The Governor’s Surge

We’ll know soon if the rest of us get what the unvaxed voted for.

by Joe Fitzgerald

Virginia’s governor ran on a platform to protect children from critical race theory and expose them to COVID. The first goal was moot, since CRT wasn’t often mentioned in public schools to begin with. How well the second succeeds should be apparent by the Ides of March.

It’s been known from the outset of the pandemic that masking, social distancing, and vaccines were the primary defenses against COVID. A year after vaccines became widely available the pandemic could have been effectively over, had rightist demagogues not discovered something new to rail against. If the 1950s were like this, iron lungs would dot America’s red counties like coal-rolling pickups.

And it is in the coal-rolling counties that the Republican freedom-to-infect mandate will be tested beginning Tuesday. Statewide, red counties are less vaccinated. The nearest example is comparing the age 5-17 populations in blue Harrisonburg and red Rockingham, 60% and 34% vaccinated, respectively. Let’s be judgmental, and assume that there is some overlap between the intentionally unvaxed and those who think spewing COVID aerosols is enshrined in some amendment they haven’t read.

Recalling that the main purpose of masking is to slow the COVID virus being spread from infected carriers, it is not themselves the anti-maskers are exposing. They may think they’re demanding the right to take their chances, but in reality they are shrieking for and voting for the right to let the rest of us take their chances.

Statistically, COVID will be less severe for those of us smart enough to come in out of the rain, wear our seatbelts, and get the vaccine. The unvaxed will be spreading severe cases primarily among themselves. And if they swap it around the playgrounds, classrooms, and gyms like mono or crabs, the difference from those more traditional ailments will be that they can more easily take it home to their parents and grandparents.

And, again statistically, it’s among those grandparents, if unvaxed as well, that most of the hospitalizations and deaths will occur. The parents exercising their so-called right to send their children to school unmasked will be putting primarily their own parents at risk. Weird ironies abound.

For the rest of us, the unhealthy decisions of the COVID-rollers will serve to keep the virus propagating until the next variant arrives. Maybe it will be less severe than Omicron, and maybe it will be more severe and vaccine-resistant. The governor’s followers are rolling our dice for us.

Whether we will be able to look for a rise in cases the second week of March is uncertain. The VDH has said it’s “streamlining” its data pages in March. That could mean putting the data on a faster server so data promised by 10 a.m. won’t arrive at 11. Or it could mean changing the way the information is reported in order to increase the level of ignorance the current administration encourages and exploits.

The numbers on Friday, March 11, if they’re available, should show us the results of the anti-mask policies of the Republican Party, aided by the Gutless Dem Caucus in the state Senate. Cases have been dropping for six weeks, and we may be far enough out of the woods and into spring that vigorously rejecting public health precautions has a relatively small effect. Or the anti-science policies may mean a Governor’s Surge in cases by the spring equinox, followed by a surge of deaths by Easter.

This column has been republished from Still Not Sleeping.


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42 responses to “The Governor’s Surge”

  1. James C. Sherlock Avatar
    James C. Sherlock

    So, a confirmed radical progressive – obey or die – or at least your betters hope you die.

    Like all self anointed sorters of people into blessed and damned groups that you yourself define, you appear positively (excuse the expression) giddy with anticipation at the demise of your own deplorables.

    Karma, in Buddhism, is “a transcendent state in which there is neither suffering, desire, nor sense of self, and the subject is released from the effects of karma and the cycle of death and rebirth”.

    You have achieved karma in the religion of radical progressivism, a transcendent state in which wishing death on non-believers releases the subject from humanity.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      re: ‘anointed sorters”. Yep sorta like those folks who said others who drove while drunk DID make it OUR business also.

      When your behavior endangers others, yep they notice.

      1. Exactly. Libertarianism is all about your personal freedom but “personal freedom” is always subject to community decisions about things that impact others. It may well be wrong for the law to regulate private consensual activity, but it is right for the law to decide which side of the road to drive on (and to impose consequences if you don’t). Pubic health measures are clearly in the latter category.

    2. LarrytheG Avatar

      re: ” obey or die”. coming from a military man, one would think there was some legitimacy to the concept, especially when it comes to contagious disease.

      It’s like the concept of public health has been deemed government overreach!

    3. Eric the half a troll Avatar
      Eric the half a troll

      You do realize there is a difference between wishing death on anti-vaxxers and saying “well, we tried to warn you”… right…?

      1. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        That’s because when he said, “The stove is hot, Honey,” he was secretly hoping his 4-year old would touch it.

        1. LarrytheG Avatar

          I’m wondering if the same wackadoodles are going to refuse vaccinations for their kids for other childhood diseases.

          1. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            If intelligence is hereditary then it’s a form of evolution if they don’t.

          2. LarrytheG Avatar

            Well, doing it used to be pretty much universal except for a very few. Now, we have many that claim it is their “freedom” and “their choice”, I would expect them to think similarly about their kids.

            No matter what the public schools do or not, it’s a no win for them, but at least the folks that do support masks don’t show up to make physical threats against public school staff and school boards.

          3. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            More threatening with a mask. Ask any goniff.

    4. I believe that JAB posted about tracking these same numbers as related to flu prevalence for a likewise purpose.

      1. James C. Sherlock Avatar
        James C. Sherlock

        Tracking the numbers and wishing them selectively higher represent two different philosophies.

        1. Not sure that Joe was actually wishing them selectively higher.

  2. Kevin W. Holt Avatar
    Kevin W. Holt

    The Governor ran on a platform of freedom—and won. 80% of adult Virginians are vaxxed, so your article’s very premise is false. The rest is laughable.

  3. David Wojick Avatar
    David Wojick

    Joe gives us rightist demagogues too much credit. I do not cause people to have their basic beliefs. I help them articulate those beliefs. But then I got to the “anti-science” name calling, so got to end the read with a good laugh.

  4. Eric the half a troll Avatar
    Eric the half a troll

    Covid community level by county… take a look at Virginia… pretty much says it all…

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b58b22b55e1f3cc1f22cd715b342c1326b0e3218854529456a57643d75c846c3.jpg

    1. Thanks; I’ve been wondering what the new CDC guidance was based on. Yes, the map is fascinating. Pretty much all green along the coast from Norfolk to Boston, but Appalachia’s solid red bleeds east across Southside Virginia and south. Then there’s that green belt on the other side of Appalachia, from northern Ohio through Pittsburgh into western New York. Gee, what characteristics correlate with the green in this geography: Urbanization? Education? Economic health? Or should we stop after: Common sense?

    2. Matt Adams Avatar

      I don’t know where your graphic is from or that data that was used to generated it, but it wasn’t the CDC.

      https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view?list_select_state=all_states&list_select_county=all_counties&data-type=Risk

        1. Matt Adams Avatar
          Matt Adams

          That’s a static link that points to data on the 24th, what I linked provides the most recent data.

          1. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            Which came from the CDC… (you said it didn’t)… It was updated on the 25th and I posted it on the 26th… (today is the 1st)….

          2. Matt Adams Avatar
            Matt Adams

            I was wrong and no it wasn’t updated. The link clearly says the 24th nothing beyond that. What I linked was the community transmission up to date.

          3. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            Conflicting dates on the website.

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/387493cc988b07bb8d1308598029d9f674bf4b1bcc3b2d8606637b169d24e1d5.jpg

            I did not realize the original post was a static website though.

            Also from the link you provided (using today’s data:
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/eea1f1a9a8b5dceb557236dc6f08697d9ed84b3bcecaef4a40d76908e2ee4d0b.jpg

            Hard to compare the two as your link uses four categories and mine presents three but it shows the same basic pattern. Community transmission is generally lower in the more urban areas and higher in the rural areas. I ran the 2/24 to present animation and there has been very little change in that time period. If anything the urban areas have gotten a little better.

          4. Matt Adams Avatar
            Matt Adams

            “Community transmission is generally lower in the more urban areas and higher in the rural areas.”

            The more granular (4 categories) would be a more accurate presentation.

            You can’t draw that conclusions from this graphic. Take for instance PA, Allegheny County, Westmorland County and the like make up Pittsburgh and it’s suburbs, they show a high transmission rate. Also evident from across the state is that Perry county (very rural has moderate transmission), outside of Harrisburg city proper the area is very rural.

            In VA, Rappahannock is the only county with low transmission, Rappahannock is rural.

  5. Stephen Haner Avatar
    Stephen Haner

    I will at least give this Mask Covidian credit for understanding that wearing the mask doesn’t protect him. He wants to force masks on others because he is terrified of them, thinks the mask protects him from them. Try garlic around your neck, Joe….

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      It DOES protect SOME. It protects MORE than no mask. How much or how little is arguable but even in a hospital, they prefer you wear some kind of mask and the same on an airliner or for instance, if you go have your taxes done at an AARP taxaide site, they require a face covering. Red Cross requires masks. etc, etc, … the idea that if offers zero protect is not correct but it’s what the naysayers claim.

      1. walter smith Avatar
        walter smith

        They don’t work Larry.
        You need a real religion, not that false one.
        The SCIENCE! (of polling) is now leading the Dems and the CDC (but I repeat myself, sorta like saying the Dems and the Media) to try to find some way to back out of all the fear they stoked and damage they caused.
        They cause harm on a net basis. Or must kids suffer for you to feel safe? Speech difficulty, suicide ideation, drug and alcohol abuse…all for virtue signaling – but you do you.
        https://twitter.com/hamill_law/status/1497205184790872065?s=20&t=0TuqMp2jcxWihwe225TsrQ

        1. LarrytheG Avatar

          They DO “work”. They don’t work as well as N95 but they do work and there is research that confirms it.

          You guys are spouting lies and disinformation on this.

          It’s who you are apparently.

          1. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            Show me a study. Show me a study besides the CDC Bangladesh BS study. Then show me a study that considers the costs imposed on kids. won’t find one. And for them to “work,” even remotely, they would need to not be touched and not re-worn. Instead, a filthy face diaper gets pulled out of a pocketbook or pocket or wherever. Seriously, are you paid to just repeat the Dem talking points? Seems that way…
            Did you check out the Twitter link to see the new talking points? Don’t tell me I am more up to date on Dem lies du jour than you!

          2. LarrytheG Avatar

            Now you’re lying again, you don’t seem capable of the truth. There are several studies that say they are effective. Show me a credible one that says they are not. I don’t do twitter nor dem talking points and I definitely know when someone is hard over also!

            And masks are used around the world. Is the CDC a world-wide conspiracy?

            Study shows cloth face coverings help protect both wearers and those nearby
            Study design represents conditions closer to real-world use, with the control of laboratory testing

            https://vtx.vt.edu/articles/2020/11/eng-marrmasks-1123.html

          3. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            So here is how one does science. He reads more than the headline. In this case, there is nothing saying that reduction of particles equals reduction of disease. Because it doesn’t exist.
            The CDC updated its bogus “science” – https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/science/science-briefs/masking-science-sars-cov2.html – and these were all weak. In fact, it had to address the two real studies and explain why it didn’t trust those, but did trust these, in other words – apples and oranges for standards. And now we have overwhelming evidence of the negative effects. Wear the freaking mask if you want to. But you are a ridiculous, non-scientific proponent of SCIENCE!, which in your case is Dem scientism, not science.

          4. LarrytheG Avatar

            There are scores of studies that say they are effective. Your “analysis” is not worth warm spit guy. I’ll believe these researchers any day over your beliefs! You are truly willfully ignorant AND proud of it!

            You’ve not provided single link to any research that backs up your beliefs. A simple google search will turn up dozens and more that confirm some level of effectiveness.

            Again – this is science around the world. Not done by the CDC but by scientists not affiliated with the CDC.

            ” The US has suffered 900,000 deaths from Covid-19, the highest figure of any nation. The death toll would be equivalent to the 15th most populous city in the country, more than San Francisco, Washington DC or Boston – a city of ghosts with its population swelling each day.

            It’s not just the total numbers. America also has the highest death rate of any wealthy country, with half of the deaths occurring after vaccines became available.”

            https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/feb/06/us-covid-death-rate-vaccines

            this is due to folks like you!

          5. Joe Jeeva Abbate Avatar
            Joe Jeeva Abbate

            Larry, of course anyone who has friends or family in the medical field would know that masks can offer real protection from Covid and other infectious diseases. Why do doctors wear masks?

            If one requires further proof, there are other medical proofs, if you are capable of reading and researching the science on this matter. One study from 2021 in India is worth considering:

            Sept. 7, 2021 — A large, real-world test of face masks in Bangladesh shows that masks reduce community spread of COVID-19. It also shows that surgical masks are more effective than cloth face coverings.

            The study demonstrates the power of careful investigation and offers a host of lessons about mask wearing that will be important worldwide. One key finding of the study, for example, is that wearing a mask doesn’t lead people to abandon social distancing, something public health officials had feared might happen if masks gave people a false sense of security.

            “What we really were able to achieve is to demonstrate that masks are effective against COVID-19, even under a rigorous and systematic evaluation that was done in the throes of the pandemic,” said Ashley Styczynski, MD, who was an infectious disease fellow at Stanford University when she collaborated on the study with other colleagues at Stanford, Yale, and Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), a large research and policy nonprofit organization that currently works in 22 countries.
            (https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20210907/masks-limit-covid-spread-study)

          6. LarrytheG Avatar

            Yep. Clearly cloth masks are not as effective as N95 but even the cloth masks were found to be effective on a more limited basis. Better than nothing for sure.

            The medical providers I go to and the hospital all require them. If you don’t have a mask on, you get escorted out.

            The false premise being promoted by the deniers is that if the masks are not HIGHLY effective, then they are _not_ effective, which is totally not true as well as the additional safety of social distancing.

            It’s like some folks do not understand infectious diseases and the role of public health.

          7. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            The Attack of the Headline Propaganda Readers strikes again.
            If you read the study and actually look at the data, instead of accepting the Narrative crafted headline, you would discover the masks don’t work.
            Seriously, you are fortunate to live in a civilized society, else you would have been taken advantage of and killed.
            https://stevekirsch.substack.com/p/bangladesh-study-proves-masks-dont?utm_source=url
            Try to go beyond headlines. Remember the vaccine was safe and effective?
            It’s not effective. It doesn’t meet the standards to even be approved EUA because it is less than 50% effective.
            And you can doubt VAERS now all you want, but it is severely under-reported and the CDC knew this prior to Covidiocy. How come insurers are reporting strange spikes in deaths and disabilities – beyond a 200 year variance?
            Meanwhile, I am sure you are on the ivermectin is a horse dewormer denial train. There were many therapeutic approaches that had positive effects. Believe it or not, different people are…different! And certain treatments may be better depending on the patient – so let doctors practice medicine as they always had previously.
            The CDC approved protocol of go home and go to the hospital if it gets worse was inhumane and caused hundreds of thousands of deaths (but maybe only a short time for people already very sick). It was inhumane and a crime against humanity, just like mandating an experimental medical product without informed willing consent is a crime against humanity.
            I participated in a medical experiment in my bone marrow transplant. It was for giving large doses of Vitamin C in the hope that it would reduce inflammation and increase survival odds. I had to sign about 10 pieces of paper and go through an hour of explanations for that experiment…with Vitamin C! So I don’t want to hear any more from you people – mandating the jabjabjab violated the Nuremberg Code, medical ethics, patients rights and federal law…but other than that…

    2. vicnicholls Avatar
      vicnicholls

      Good one Haner I was laughing for a while on this.

  6. Kathleen Smith Avatar
    Kathleen Smith

    As senior with asthma, living in Petersburg with a high transmission rate, I am wearing my mask until the rate drops to moderate or light. My choice, my mask. I am vaccinated and boosted. Others younger than me or healthier than me can do as they wish. Even those like me can do as they wish. Thier destiny, not mine.

    I said earlier on this blog, change is difficult for everyone. Changing from COVID with CDC siting danger to COVID with CDC easing up a little, both based on science and data, is going to be a struggle for some.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      for me, there are two aspects:

      1. – protect yourself
      2. – protect others from your own infection.

      This is public health 101. No?

  7. walter smith Avatar
    walter smith

    Mr. Fitzgerald is entitled to his own opinions. But not his own facts.
    All viruses mutate. In fact, I believe it is clear that Omicron specifically mutated to get around the non-vaccine vaccine.
    Our so-called flagship University of Virginia as of last year did not track vaccinated vs. unvaccinated cases, while JMU and Tech did. Even before Omicron, it was running that “cases” were about 60% in the “vaccinated.”
    Based on the case levels at UVA among students, staff and faculty considering about 97% “vaccinated,” the cases were likely running at 90% or so “vaccinated.” it might be fair to wonder why UVA is not tracking that statistic.
    Cases is a bogus statistic. It’s like tracking “colds,” which we never did previously.
    Hospitalizations and deaths are better statistics, and then it really depends on fair characterization of cause of death. Covid pushed many people over the edge, but was it Covid or all the co-morbidities? How many Covid “deaths” were very sick people within a month or months of death already?
    Another statistic I would like to see is how many of the evil unvaccinated who have “survived” Covid got Covid again and had anything more than a cold?
    The masks don’t work. wear one if you want, but it is theater. But if you are on the Left, everyone will know you CARE!
    Get the shot if you want, but it should be your choice.
    In reality, we need to go back to a world that existed before Covid, and this would include full stadiums, no masks, nobody caring about anyone else’s vaccination status (admit it – you didn’t – and there were unvaxed people all around), doctors able to practice medicine, and government not ruling by arbitrary decree. The lockdowns failed. Social distancing failed. Masking failed. The vaccine failed (as a vaccine, and I have real doubts about its therapeutic value – at least the value versus the cost – we still don’t know all of its long term effects). One size fits all medical treatment failed. Maybe we should have done like we had previously…

    And, just asking, why were we funding gain of function research?

  8. vicnicholls Avatar
    vicnicholls

    Mr. Fitzgerald:

    1) Define CRT and all of its tenets.
    2) What proof do you offer that “CRT wasn’t often mentioned in public schools to begin with”.
    3) What proof do you have to discount PACT?
    4) What scientific proof do you have that “the pandemic could have been effectively over, had rightist demagogues not discovered something new to rail against”?
    5) I know someone with polio. You’re “iron lung” example misses the mark.
    6) “Republican freedom-to-infect mandate”? What is that? I know D’s and I’s that are as sick of it as any R I know.
    7) “spewing COVID aerosols is enshrined in some amendment they haven’t read” – do you have scientific proof that everyone is carrying COVID who is in the group you suggest, and only those folks?
    8) “Recalling that the main purpose of masking is to slow the COVID virus being spread from infected carriers”, is incorrect. If that were true, only those folks proven to have the virus would be required to wear masks, which is not a perfect solution.
    9) “shrieking for and voting for the right to let the rest of us take their chances” scientific proof?
    10) “The unvaxed will be spreading severe cases primarily among themselves.” Explain Israel. How did the US cases go down and how come vaxxed folks got it?
    11) “they can more easily take it home to their parents and grandparents” COVID comes not from schools as much as other places. Your science?
    12) “parents exercising their so-called right”. Lets see both the Va. Constitution and the federal constitution contain statements that parents are responsible for their kids. Not teachers, principals or any one person at large who wants to control them.
    13) “the unhealthy decisions of the COVID-rollers will serve to keep the virus propagating until the next variant arrives” proof that those who are vaxxed don’t get and spread the disease? Science, that is.
    14) “The numbers on Friday, March 11, if they’re available, should show us the results of the anti-mask policies of the Republican Party, aided by the Gutless Dem Caucus in the state Senate” actually they won’t. See you don’t know what is due to masks, social distancing, vaccines that may or may not have worked, etc.
    15) Please, feel free to list all the science you have, along with the “anti science” both policies and how you looked into these “anti science” policies to know that they were “anti science”.

    Thank you,

  9. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    Here comes the judge! Here comes the judge!
    COV-2 Omicron Ba.2

    You better hurry up and order some.
    Our limited supply is very nearly gone.
    https://www.acrobiosystems.com/static/main/images/mutants/mutants_bannerf.jpg

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