When the Numbers Stopped

by Joe Fitzgerald

The Virginia Department of Health began posting daily COVID numbers on March 17, 2020, and effectively quit Thursday. A press release on the VDH website explains the changes, but doesn’t include enough real information to make it worth the trouble of linking there.

For two years, though, VDH produced daily information that made it possible to produce snapshots of information about the history, current state, and projected trajectory of the pandemic down to the zip code level.

A math degree and journalistic experience made it fairly simple for me to figure out what was relevant to the central Shenandoah Valley every day so that Deb and I could make personal decisions based on more than our reading about national and worldwide trends and about efforts on the various medical fronts.

That daily look at the numbers showed that Harrisonburg and Rockingham County had COVID cases out of proportion to the rest of Virginia’s population, and not in a good way. In April 2020, I asked a city official why and got back an email blaming the disproportionate share of cases on the Accordius outbreak.
It mostly fit. Nursing homes were where many of the cases and deaths occurred in the early going. And the outbreak at Accordius in Harrisonburg was no exception. Two dozen people died.

The only problem with using that outbreak to explain the city’s high numbers was that the city official’s email came two weeks after Accordius, and the numbers were still rising.

That’s when, in early May, I put up the first numbers post to point out that there was no good local information. There are multiple reasons for that, one being the shrinkage of local journalism.

Karl is the only local journalist with long experience but only has five minutes at a time to tell what’s going on. WHSV has the largest news staff in the city but covers a wide area. The News-Record, like most newspapers, had been gutted by Craigslist long before the Byrd family abandoned it to a chain. The Citizen is filling a gap but not plugging the hole, with a semi-professional staff focusing on news features more than daily journalism.

In addition to the loss of local reporters, the city has hired a publicist. If three out of four houses burn on one block, a publicist’s job is to tell you that the fourth one survived, to celebrate that the lots were saved, and to find a picture of a firefighter with a rescued kitten. Information from the city is now curated and cleaned up. The city hasn’t quite gone corporate, but is more like JMU and RMH in its PR efforts than it was 20 years ago when reporters looked up city council members’ numbers in the phone book and called them at home. Worse? Certainly different.

I began posting the numbers every day because it was easy. I copied two numbers into a spreadsheet, let the spreadsheet crunch them, and posted the daily count of new cases and the one-week trend. It was mechanical, and enough loyal readers checked for typos and errors to keep them consistent and accurate. I found myself adding and changing factors as our understanding of what mattered changed. By Wednesday of this week, the final complete post, I was using three screens and taking half an hour every day. I kept doing it because I could, and because we all wanted to do something.

That first surge of cases in the city turned out to be driven by outbreaks in poultry plants, and the single group most affected was the Hispanic community. That was true statewide, as the plants, along with nursing homes, became the source of most cases. Operational changes and enhanced precautions reduced the cases in both by early summer 2020, but there was always one more outbreak, surge, or cluster to keep the pandemic alive.

Numbers in the city went down in early summer. There’s no way of telling how much Councilman Sal Romero’s Spanish language informational videos helped, but at least he was doing something. Numbers statewide began creeping back up after July 1, when businesses began reopening and the governor visited Virginia Beach without a mask. Only one of those things spurred the surge, but symbols matter too. By the end of July, it was obvious that more than half of JMU students would be returning to Harrisonburg from areas of the state where cases were surging.

The coming surge in local cases was apparent to many people, but that did not include the JMU senior leadership. The school treated COVID as an administrative and communication issue instead of a public health crisis. The results could be seen when cases began rising in late August. The school’s response might have been comedic if people weren’t getting sick.

Possibly my favorite moment with any humor in it was when a freshman, one of the slim, blonde, spoiled daughters of Northern Virginia, looked at one of JMU’s cartoon Duke Dog pawprint directional stickers and repeated what was written on it: “Walk this way.”

“It’s from an old rock song,” I told her.

She twirled to face me, put her hands on her hips, set her feet, and with what I assume was indignation, announced, “I know about Aerosmith.”

The pawprints were the literal cartoon response. The metaphorical one was hiring new highly paid non-academic administrators while volunteers conducted COVID tests and tried to enforce mask regulations.

I retired earlier than I had planned. I didn’t want to contract COVID and I didn’t want to be even a very minor part of the school’s COVID response.

Numbers shrank but never quite retreated to summer levels when JMU went on-line with its classes. There was a surge among downtown service workers that likely originated with students, but that’s mostly anecdotal. The next big surge visible on the charts was the Thanksgiving surge.

It had been eight months of precautions. Many people had foregone vacations. Business trips had been cancelled. Schools were online. People were tired of COVID. So a lot of them took a chance on holiday gatherings. The surge after that was the first not tied to institutions – nursing home, workplace, or university – but community-wide. The rise was equal among every zip code in the city and county, and in every social group. What had been whack-a-mole was now a field of tenacious weeds.

That surge, the worst one to that point, peaked around Inauguration Day. By then the only good thing to come out of the Trump administration was available. The vaccines were out and production was ramping up. And we probably could have made the July goal of vaccinating most of the country if various commentators national and local had not been willing to lie about COVID for political purposes or enable those who did.

There are people who believed a year ago and still believe now that the pandemic was created on purpose by the same people who promoted vaccines because they wanted to put a microchip in everyone. How much they can be blamed for a year of illness and death that could have been prevented is debatable. The culpability of those who made masks and vaccines an issue of freedom instead of health is less debatable, but can be viewed in the context that most people don’t recognize their own inconsistencies or hypocrisies.

What’s not debatable is the unforgiveable criminality of those who exploited COVID ignorance for political gain. Republican governors nationwide are not necessarily evil. I’m sure they love their children and walk the dog when it’s their turn. But almost anyone smart enough to be elected governor is smart enough to know how much of what they said was lies. Non-existent weapons of mass destruction 20 years ago led to a forever war that destroyed a sovereign nation and killed untold tens of thousands of people. Crying freedom over an injection and a paper mask killed half a million Americans.

That’s roughly how many deaths happened during the Delta and Omicron surges, both post-vaccine. And those were the surges that damaged local institutions in ways we may be years recovering from. Those deaths were preventable and fit the classic definition of tragedy, often inevitable for the victim, often caused by the failure of people in critical roles. The deaths before the vaccine were simply heart-breaking.

The wife of one of those who died during the Thanksgiving surge approached me and Deb about doing more to inform people locally. Her visit and encouragement, and the deep sorrow she shared, led us to create TSA Harrisonburg, with TSA standing for transparency, safety, and accountability. To the daily numbers and charts we added notices about testing and vaccine clinics and other information gathered by a small group of volunteers.

That effort reflected the desire and need of so many people to do something, anything, about the pandemic. That need was reflected twice in fundraising to send large orders or pizzas, subs, and cookies to the nurses and staff at RMH. There were two such drives. The first was during Delta, marked by the severity of its symptoms and the stress it placed on the medical systems. The purpose of the food deliveries wasn’t to feed nurses. It was to let them know that the community knew what they were going through and wanted to show appreciation. The second pizza drive was during Omicron, when symptoms were milder for most people but contagion was so great that every record for infection was broken in the weeks from Christmas to Valentine’s Day. The two efforts raised about $5,000 locally.

It was during the Omicron wave that a business/political flack on a right-wing blog dismissed something I’d written by saying that hospitals were only overwhelmed because people were going to emergency rooms for tests instead of getting them elsewhere. Patients were being intubated in hallways at the time. That flack, oddly enough, was my first boss in journalism 45 years ago.

He was among the actively harmful, but there were others who harmed through ineffective or wrong-headed responses. JMU’s handling of the 2020 fall semester was worse than most universities in Virginia, but not by much. Virginia’s General Assembly twice snatched control of schools away from local school boards, based more on business and political concerns than health concerns.

Local school boards had to work within constraints set in Richmond, with Harrisonburg having to make major changes just to give teachers time to go to the bathroom. Not the General Assembly’s problem, I’m sure they’d tell you. School board meetings nationwide, and especially in Augusta and Rockingham counties, became showcases for wrong-headed declarations of a presumed right to spread a deadly disease. The inflamed and ignorant speakers simply added COVID misinformation to their hateful attacks on children dealing with gender dysphoria.

It’s not that simple, but nothing about COVID was. Meeting it required a sense of cooperation and shared sacrifice that we simply weren’t capable of. If we’d dealt with World War II the way we dealt with COVID, it would have lasted years longer with an uncertain result. Community is fractured.

But city councils, boards of supervisors, and state legislatures were not where the damage happened. We can say at least that that’s where it wasn’t prevented, but then we’ll reelect the same people anyway. The real damage was in the critical professions such as nursing, policing, and teaching. People have left all three of those under the stress of COVID, and it will take years to educate and train enough replacements. That’s assuming the corporate and political entities have the will to try and repair the damage. It’s assuming those on the left have the will to reject slogans like Defund the Police and those on the right have the will not to blame teachers unions. That kind of restraint has not been obvious in either group.

One thing I’ve learned from the past two years are that anger, disappointment, and frustration of the magnitude COVID has caused never quite go away. The VDH decision to quit posting daily numbers proved that to me. In isolation, it could have been just an acknowledgement that we’re in another dip of COVID numbers and this one might last. In the context of the governor’s cold-hearted and cynical response to COVID and the General Assembly’s failure to make difficult decisions, the VDH numbers become part of a pattern of failure and betrayal.

I had already decided to discontinue my daily posts today, March 11. The VDH cut-off changed that by two days. What could have been a relief in an honest political context instead became one more reason to seethe. Our systems really do work that badly.

Much of what I’ve written is open to discussion. It was, after all, everybody’s first pandemic. But what’s not open to discussion is the numbers. The surges, outbreaks, and clusters are as visible on the charts as the pockmarks on a disease survivor. These illnesses and deaths happened, and even those damages that can be repaired will be with us for years. But as we move from this to the next existential crisis, we need to ask more of those who ask to lead us and those who attempt to inform us. We need to ask them what they did during the pandemic, and we need to hold them accountable.

This column has been republished with permission from Still Not Sleeping.

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45 responses to “When the Numbers Stopped”

  1. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
    Dick Hall-Sizemore

    Good comments.

  2. walter smith Avatar
    walter smith

    This article is ridiculous. 500,000 dead over masks and not getting the shot shot shot that doesn’t work?
    So, masks work? You have any proof?
    The vaccine doesn’t work. The CDC changed the definition of vaccine and it still didn’t work. In fact, Omicron most likely mutated to get around the vaccine. Most of the cases and deaths in Israel and England are the fully vaccinated. Strange, huh?
    Did you know that every single shot in the US has been emergency use authorization? Did you know that for an EUA finding there has to be an emergency and a finding of effectiveness? Did you know that we now know the “vaccine” doesn’t meet the effectiveness standards? Do you know that you also must have no therapeutic options to declare EUA? Could that be why the CDC would not recognize ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine? Why did the US even fund gain of function research? Why did Fauci lie about it? Does lying cause people to lose trust? Do you know lockdowns didn’t work? Do you know that mandating any experimental medical treatment without informed, willing consent violates the Nuremberg Code? Did you know that the federal statute for EUA drugs says the patient has the right to accept or refuse treatment?
    Everything about this was botched. And people expressing opinions as if they knew what they are talking about when they don’t are the ones spreading misinformation. I don’t care if you did or did not get the shot – it was your choice. But I sure as hell care about people who don’t know what they are talking about telling me to take an experimental medical product that doesn’t work, for most people was not necessary and we still don’t know the long term effects. Prior to Covidiocy, a manufactured panic, no one cared that many people were not vaccinated for mumps, measles, etc. Back then We had a sane world with medical and religious exemptions…AND NO ONE CARED. We need to get back to that.

    1. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      Did you wear a mask? Did you get sick? Are you still alive? (That last one is questionable) If you answered “yes” to all 3 then a mask worked.

      1. walter smith Avatar
        walter smith

        No. Sort of (I coughed a lot and had a strange fatigue, but no fever, no loss of taste or smell, and had Covid confirmed a month after I had it…cuz the PCR test is totally accurate and wasn’t finding dead virus, and then I had to be a leper at VCU hospital for 2 weeks while I knew I was well, and so did all the staff. Meaningless ritual performed because it is policy also diminishes trust.) Yes.
        And did I get Covid a second time? Nope
        Did fully vaxed daughter, masked up at UVA, get it a second time? Yep
        How did fully vaxed first daughter, masked up teacher, and hubby get Covid?
        Cue Dr. St. Fau(x)ci to say that was merely anecdotal…

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

          Why are you still trying to undermine the Covid vaccine? It is indisputable that the vaccine saved many, many lives and that the Conservative campaign to undermine the vaccine cost many, many lives.

          1. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            I undermine illegality. It is disputable how many lives the vaccine “saved.” It could be that the vax everybody strategy cost lives. Only people at risk should have gotten the shot shot shot, and it should have been their choice. Try looking at the science. And when did Naomi Wolf and Bobby Kennedy Jr and Dr. Malone and Dr. McCullough (all Biden voters) become “conservative?” You’ll notice my comment did not say anything about Left or Right… I trust real science, rationally looking at facts and data. Dr. St. Fau(x)ci is not SCIENCE!, he is an overpaid, corrupt bureaucrat.

          2. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            Just more Walter Smith anti-vax propaganda. Predictable… Conservative standard bearer.

          3. Stephen Haner Avatar
            Stephen Haner

            Kamala Harris and Joe Biden undermined the vaccine, too. Open both eyes.

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

            False equivalency and you know it…

          5. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            I win.
            Racist, conspiracy theorist, anti-vax as a “substantive” response means I won.
            Like Mr. Haner says, open both eyes. We still do not know the effectiveness of the “vaccine,” or it’s long term effects. Nor can we know how many may have been killed by the official treatment protocol of go home and call the hospital if you get worse. How many people died by not being treated early and aggressively (you know the horse dewormer and the anti-malarial whose names are now like saying Voldemort)? What’s going on with the insurance company data in the 18-45 age group? Does VAERS suck so bad that we should ignore the data? Then why didn’t we come to that conclusion earlier? These are all fair questions.

          6. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            Sorry, you are nothing but a propagandist. I said nothing about your racism, or conspiracy theories… you dare deny you are an anti-vaxxer…?? In the end, there is nothing “substantive” in your propaganda so there is no requirement for a “substantive” reply. The lives saved by the vaccine are self-evident as are the lives lost by the unvaccinated (at your prompting). It has been demonstrated and documented multiple times on this very blog – I have no onus to republish it. Why you continue to undermine the single most effective tool we had (and continue to have) against Covid is beyond human comprehension….

          7. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            Um…because I’m right, and want you to put up proof, rather than make a bald assertion.
            Is VAERS data troubling or not? Why not?
            There are real numbers.
            How do you prove lives “saved?” Covid cases was a bogus statistic. We know who is at risk and we know who is not at risk – far and away most people.
            How many died from Covid alone? How many were pushed over the end line by Covid? These are important distinctions. And you, of course, haven’t answered questions about denial of therapeutics, violating Nuremberg Code, violating federal law, etc.
            I know your DARVO technique – sorry – doesn’t work on me.

          8. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            The proof has been submitted multiple times here and just like all propagandists you ignore it totally and re-post your same lies again, because repeating them makes them seem more credible. They are not.

            Here, I will prove my point. You “asked” about VAERS. Is it troubling? The answer, of course, is no. Why not? For your answer, I turn to that hotbed of liberalism, Nebraska:


            No. Here’s some context to explain the confusion.
            After clinical trials, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) monitors vaccine safety.

            VAERS is set up to capture potential adverse events caused by vaccines. It is the best tool we have to find what may be previously unrecognized and extraordinarily rare adverse events that may eventually be linked.

            VAERS cannot and does not determine whether a vaccine caused something. The CDC states this clearly in their disclaimer: “A report to VAERS does not mean that the vaccine caused the adverse event, only that the adverse event occurred some time after vaccination.” The disclaimer continues, “The reports may contain information that is incomplete, inaccurate, coincidental or unverifiable.”

            Reporting even unrelated deaths

            The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires health care providers to report any serious adverse event (including death) that happens after a COVID-19 vaccination – whether or not the provider thinks there is any link. The CDC says, “Health care providers are required to report to VAERS the following adverse events after COVID-19 vaccination…regardless if the reporter thinks the vaccine caused the AE.” AE stands for adverse event and includes death.

            That means that if a vaccinated person drowns, gets in a car crash or is struck by lightning, their death must be reported to VAERS as an adverse event. Since we’ve vaccinated over 223 million people in the United States, many deaths will occur coincidentally after vaccination.

            As of Nov. 2, people have reported to VAERS 14,506 deaths that occurred sometime after COVID-19 vaccination. Doctors at the CDC review each reported death, looking at death certificates, autopsy and medical records. Additional CDC vaccine safety monitoring systems such as the National Healthcare Safety Network, Vaccine Safety Datalink, Clinical Immununization Safety Assessment Project and FDA’s vaccine safety reporting systems are then used to provide more rigorous scientific investigation of potential adverse events. The true number of deaths currently attributed to COVID-19 vaccines in detailed scientific investigation is quite small.

            False reports to VAERS

            VAERS is like the Wikipedia of data reporting. Anyone can report anything. Many reports are helpful. Some reports are nonsense – to prove the point, one anesthesiologist successfully submitted a VAERS report several years ago that the flu vaccine had turned him into The Incredible Hulk. More recently, a false report of a 2-year-old dying from a COVID-19 vaccine was removed from VAERS because the CDC says it was “completely made up.”

            This site provides linked support to its claims and goes on to address other anti-vaxxer VAERS arguments as well.

            Now, having taken time out of my day to answer one of your demands, like the good propagandist you are, you will ignore these facts entirely or twist them to say what they don’t actually say or somehow call into question the very underlying data on which these facts are predicated so you can toss them. Then you will either repeat your same false claim or pivot to a different one altogether and demand an answer to your new lie. It is what propagandists do. Anything to repeat the lies in order to give them a false cloak of credibility.

            So as I said before, the data is there for anyone to see and has been presented many times here. Covid vaccines have saved many, many lives and anti-vaxxers have cost many, many lives. The end.

          9. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            Humor me. Put up “proof.” You do not have “proof.” You have some data. Do you know how the CDC manipulated the timing to do its so called masks work study from Kansas?
            How can you explain VAERS? What’s going on with the insurance company data? See…I’m doing real science – looking at data and trying to understand. You are a propagandist. Are you going to get shot #4? What happened to the effective part of safe and effective? Is it possible that all of these mRNA shots negatively affect your immune response? We would understand all of these things before we vaccinated the world…

          10. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            Real science…. oh, my lord, but that is a good one!!! Thanks for the chuckle today. See my edits to my post above. But thanks for helping me prove my point… smh…

          11. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            So believing the government is your religion?
            Nebraska – wow – I’m impressed. Did you read the article? Did you understand the disclaimer abbreviated as CI?
            CI meant confidence interval – as in standard deviations.
            And it did the usual correlation is not causation dodge. But that doesn’t mean correlation does not equal causation.
            Here is one article from a former believer…https://stevekirsch.substack.com/p/latest-vaers-estimate-388000-americans?s=r
            How come so many believers in vaccines in general are warning about the Covid shot shot shot and coming soon 4th shot?
            And VAERS is Wikipedia. Thanks for discrediting Wikipedia. When you and Larry cite it in the future, I’ll remind you.
            So why do we even have VAERS> Just more government waste? Another makeshift job for one of your relatives?
            A modern WPA?
            I really liked the UVA “expert” Dr. Petri’s dismissal of VAERS as a lot of people die every year…SCIENCE!
            Do you work for Pfizer? Or are you in Dr. St. Fau(x)ci’s family? Just a paid troll, or really this obtuse?
            I read your stupid article from Nebraska and it doesn’t do what you said.
            But way to latch onto the manufactured evidence to shut off critical thinking!
            I recognize James Lawler in Nebraska as an expert, doesn’t the whole world?
            You are a joke. Open your mind to the fact that you are wrong. There is much not known. Real scientists answer questions instead of shutting them down.

          12. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            Yep… about as expected. Again, thanks for driving my point home…

          13. walter smith Avatar
            walter smith

            I am devastated by your brilliant critique. Keep those eyes covered Full Troll!

  3. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    In a restaurant in Sunapee, New Hampshire, a waiter led my family to the table with the familiar “If you’ll follow me.”

    I quipped, “You mean, ‘walk this way?’” It drew a broad, if not a bit sardonic, smile.

    Still 900,000 dead is impressive for such a tiny thing. “Seven with one blow,” pales in comparison.

    1. Stephen Haner Avatar
      Stephen Haner

      Yet plenty here continue to wield the jawbones of asses. Oh, wait, that wasn’t Sampson. I think my point has been made that the politics has overcome both sides and become more important to many than any health considerations. Fitzgerald is among the worst offenders. My other point remains that he is dead wrong, perhaps intentionally, in claiming the VDH is hiding his precious data and interfering with his obsession. But it added to his false narrative.

      Not the first pandemic in the world. Not the worst, either. It is simply wrong to think we can really control such a force of nature. By this point, just about everybody has been exposed, about half infected, others proved immune, but it took a grim harvest. Despite Walter’s equally politically-based false conclusions, the shots have helped billions (me included).

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        It’s now ‘political” to believe the science and Govt public health agencies…. so that has become one of the “sides”, the other being people who don’t believe the science nor trust the govt and deny facts and realities in general.

        yep, two sides…. politics…..

      2. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        And this, too, shall pass. Now, do you remember the basics of “Duck & Cover”?

        1. Stephen Haner Avatar
          Stephen Haner

          My Dad was a missile guy, Systems Command. The phrase we learned was “put your head between your legs and kiss your ass goodbye.” I remember being in Turkey in 1962 and asking him where any Russian attack would come from, and he pointed to show me.

          1. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            Global (thermonuclear) warming… without CO2.

          2. YellowstoneBound1948 Avatar

            We were living in Boston in 1962 while Dad was serving on the USS WASP [CVS-14] , an Essex-class carrier left over from WW II. I vividly recall the phone call in the middle of the night. We rushed him down to the ship, hugged him goodbye, and off he went to form part of the Cuban blockade. Looking back, I think my parents were quite worried, but they never betrayed their feelings to me.

          3. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            So, Russia is seeking military equipment and support from China.
            This war has devolved into a US-China war by proxy.

          4. Lefty665 Avatar

            Looks like the Russians are net exporters of military stuff to China.

            Sullivan saber rattling at the Chinese today in Rome about severe consequences if they help the Russians avoid sanctions was every bit as brain dead as HahaHarris.

            What are we going to do, quit importing everything from computers to toilet and tractor parts? That’ll show them.

          5. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            China buys Russian equipment. May even be on the short end of the export-import. That doesn’t mean that Russia isn’t asking for a return. You’re assuming that because they make ’em and sell ’em that they have an inventory.

            They’re an autocratic country. Corruption runs rampant.

          6. Lefty665 Avatar

            I don’t expect they’re selling their last one, or even their best one. I also expect that they share with and support their allies, and their allies return the favor, just like us and ours. That does not put us in a “proxy war” with China.

            Morons like Sullivan can put us in a war with China. We don’t need help from Russia to screw the pooch. We’re doing it just fine all by ourselves.

            Corruption runs rampant everywhere, autocratic states do not have a monopoly on it. Why goodness gracious, it has even been known to occur here.

          7. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            They’re just better at it.

            But speaking of an intel failure, all of these reports of Russian generals being killed at the front by snipers are just a failure to recognize a body dump… it’s getting like prostitutes along a NJ shoreline.

          8. Lefty665 Avatar

            In good armies, the general officers lead. They’re at the front. They have staff safely in the rear.

          9. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            And Russia has a good army? You see the hole in that logic, right?

            It’s a body dump. Like many of Germany’s generals in WWII, “Der Fuhrer would like to give you a choice…”

          10. Lefty665 Avatar

            Dream on. The worst mistake you can make is believing your own propaganda and you have jumped into the deep end of that pool.

          11. Lefty665 Avatar

            I was in the D.C. area, about 5 miles as the neutron flies from the Pentagon. Dad was civilian DoD. Mom & Dad sent me to stay with relatives in very rural PA so I would survive them. I’ve never been sure if that was a favor.

            There’s no more reason for the Russians to accept us on their doorstep today than there was for us to accept the Soviets on ours 60 years ago.

            Worse, there is no JFK to pull us back from the abyss today. It’s foreign policy by wannabe Curtis LeMay neocon morons stampeding the lemmings.

    2. YellowstoneBound1948 Avatar

      Sunapee??? I worked there in the Summer of ’63 at The Anchorage. What a great time it was. It was the year I started smoking. Life was good!

      1. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        Apparently, so did Steven Tyler. In fact, he grew up there, formed a band with his delinquent friends, and now owns the place. Well, owns dozens of places, but definitely spends time at the lake.

        Life still is good in the lakes region.

  4. Stephen Haner Avatar
    Stephen Haner

    I can still find daily numbers for Harrisonburg, and weekly. Not sure what you are missing. They did move it all to “Cases” and not “Locality.” There is a pull down menu with data by each locality.

    “What’s not debatable is the unforgiveable criminality of those who exploited COVID ignorance for political gain.” You really don’t want to go there. You are as blind in one eye as Larry, if you failed to see any liberals or Democrats exploiting this, especially in 2020 (“I wouldn’t take any vaccine from Trump!”). And thus you describe yourself.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      see, on cue, up thread, a new comment as we both blather about “blind” eyes!

      ” “What’s not debatable is the unforgivable criminality of those who exploited COVID ignorance for political gain.”

    2. LarrytheG Avatar

      Good reason to not trust Trump on a wide variety of issues, not just Vaccines. Anyone who can’t see that now by this time truly are blind and weren’t so good at seeing the reality before now either.

      Comparing distrust in Trump’s corruption with people purposely spouting anti-govt, anti-science disinformation is far from the truth. Just totally false.

      IMHO, The “blind eye” is folks like you Haner, for equivalencing not trusting Trump to folks with anti-govt/anti-sicence views promoting disinformation and outright conspiracy theories – right here in BR, in fact.

      Too much conservatism these days is basically often about lies and misrepresentations , even conspiracy theories whether it’s climate, covid, CRT, renewables, grid reliability, you name it.

      Half the responses in BR is to argue/rebut clearly one-sided “prettied up” grievance rants that start with words like “leftists” and “woke”

      And just look at the GOP and their stance on the big lie election fraud.

      Haner himeself has disavowed the GOP and he and others as well , Trump after he “admired” Putin – one too many times with really bad timing… could no longer be ignored. This is the guy that some folks distrusted about vaccines early on with very good reasons.

    3. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      You damned well know that was a sarcastic response to Trump suggesting that he might personally get involved in hurrying the approval process.

      A cheap shot at the debates? Yes, it was.

      On the other hand, it took Trump, what, nearly 8 months to say he’d gotten the vaccine and booster?

      Maybe not so cheap after all.

  5. vicnicholls Avatar

    “What’s not debatable is the unforgiveable criminality of those who exploited COVID ignorance for political gain. ” Once I saw it opened up on Republican Governors but didn’t provide the Democratic ones, I quit reading. To make that statement and then not provide all sides (not just 1) said toilet paper not journalism.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      Perhaps just say that some Govs chose to follow CDC guidance and others did not?

  6. Virginia Project Avatar
    Virginia Project

    VDH data is almost all garbage. We documented dozens of metrics changes – which means from one data set to the next, even day by day, any given metric becomes an apples-to-orangutans comparison. The real world reliability/confidence level of VDH data is zero. They were engaged in intentional fraud in order to goal-seek the political thresholds established by Northam – and we can prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      so basically you do not trust the govt, right?

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

        Really just seeking attention…

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