CDC recolors maps to declare victory

How to lie with numbers, Invisible Hand of Capitalism Edition! As far as I can tell, these two maps represent approximately the same data. The first one, which you've been seeing variants of for years, puts nearly every county in the Danger Zone. The second one is how CDC is coloring it today.

So if you had been thinking, "I'm going to avoid crowds until my county isn't SCORCHING RED", congratulations! CDC has solved that problem for you, without any of the underlying numbers having substantially changed!

And of course CDC is uninterested in talking about Long COVID at all.

As far as I can tell, the motivation here is:

"Federal, State and Local government functionaries, along with people in rural diners and lunatic Qanons, have decided that masking is over, and so we must make our guidance reflect the 'Personal Freedoms' that these idiots are going to do anyway."

The new "low" threshold is 2× the old "high" threshold.

So overnight we went from "Holy shit, the whole country is red, we are letting the virus rip, Omicron is going to kill us all" to... "It's fiiiiiiine, everybody get back to work, go to the mall, book a flight, so that we can put out some press releases about Strong Economic Growth so that we don't get slaughtered in the midterms."

[Narrator: they are going to get absolutely slaughtered in the midterms regardless.]


I say this seriously and it is not a contested statement: the new CDC guidance is predicated on the assumption that you are entirely okay with catching Covid and passing it on to others. If you are NOT okay with that, you're just a footnote in the new guidance.

The new CDC "Community Levels" determining when they do or don't recommend masks have virtually no connection to your risk of catching Covid; they're just about whether there's a decent chance you'll die specifically because local hospitals are full with your neighbors.


CDC says it's ok to unmask now because there's still local freezer truck morgue capacity available in your area.

To clarify: it's not entirely accurate to describe what CDC has done as "recoloring the map". They didn't just change the scale or the map key: they are actually measuring different data now.

That old map, the all-red map on the left, is a map of new infections per 100k people: it correlates well to your chance of exposure and infection. CDC's term for this is "Community Transmission".

The map on the right is the new one that they say we should be paying attention to instead: the "Community Levels" map, which is basically new infections DIVIDED BY available hospital beds. So COVID could be absolutely ripping through your community, but if you happen to have an excess of ICU capacity, that map is going to be green and tell you "you're golden, go eat at indoor restaurants and don't worry about it."

Previously, previously, previously, previously.
Tags: , , ,

From craft beer to Molotov cocktails

"Right now, nobody is drinking much beer anyway because of the war, so we decided to use the bottles to make Molotovs instead," said Juri Zastavniy, the manager of Pravda.

"As a brewery, we have access to large numbers of bottles, and we also know to handle materials and generally keep everything clean and safe." [...] Mr Zastavniy said it helped the war effort to have Molotovs that were ready-made by experts, as they could injure the user if not properly constructed. "It can be very dangerous if you don't put a proper cork into the bottle, for example," he said.

At his brewery in an old industrial quarter on the outskirts of Lviv, where start-up firms operate from old shipping containers, Pravda's staff were churning out hundreds of Molotovs on Sunday in the corner of a yard.

They used a mixture of petrol and other household ingredients blended to a specific recipe that they had downloaded from the internet. Ukraine's civil authorities have also issued the public with instructions on how to make Molotovs, urging civilians to use them to "neutralise the occupier".

The Putin Huilo beer - described as a "dry-hopped golden ale" - has a label depicting Mr Putin as a tattooed Russian mafia boss sitting on a throne. In his lap sits a childlike-version of Dimitry Medvedev, Russia's former prime minister, who holds a toy-like version of the MH17 airliner. The plane was shot down by Russian separatists over Ukraine in 2014, killing 298 civilians. [...]

The beer is brewed in a large champagne-style bottle, which Mr Zastavniy said was the ideal size for petrol bombs. He added, though, that the company would be making Molotovs donated from every brewery in the city. "Even the big brewery from Carlsberg offered their bottles for free," he said.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.


  • Previously