- Date published:
3:11 pm, December 19th, 2021 - 130 comments
Categories: covid-19, health, making shit up, Media, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:
There seems to be a strong correlation between commentators who have both Herald and Newstalk ZB exposure and how really bad their Covid takes are. There have been four examples of them this week.
Kerre McIvor seems to be going down the anti vax rabbit hole. On talk back radio she struck a rarity, a caller with some intellectual chops and an ability to think clearly. The caller, her name was Janine, made some perfectly valid points such as:
The discussion descended into farce as Kerre:
The call was then terminated. McIvor then apologised and revealed there had been a lot of texts but claimed they mostly supported her.
It is terribly easy to dispel McIvor’s statements. The modellers predicted that Covid cases would peak at 1,400 per week before declining in late November. The actual peak in weekly cases was 1,426 on November 28 and numbers have reduced nicely ever since then.
And do unvaccinated people take up Hospital beds? You becha. From the same Herald article that reported McIvor’s rant included this passage:
As of December 13, there are 61 people in hospital with Covid-19, 13 are in North Shore; 19 in Auckland, 25 in Middlemore, two in Waikato and two in Tauranga. Four people are in ICU – two in Auckland, one in Middlemore, one in North Shore.
Of the cases in hospital and their vaccination status, 64 per cent are unvaccinated. 14 per cent are pare partially immunised – having one dose, while 14 per cent have had one dose, while 19 per cent are fully vaccinated. Of the remaining 4 per cent their status is unknown.
The link now leads to a 404. I am not sure what happened here.
To follow up there have been two really bad takes by Heather Du Plessis Allan.
In the first, published yesterday, she wondered if we were freaking out too much about Omicron.
The internal inconsistency of her analysis was highlighted by this statement:
Granted these are early days so information and circumstances can and almost certainly will change.
But all I’m hoping to do is just inject a few facts into the hysteria.
Obviously we should not rush into judgment but she will anyway and accuse everyone of freaking out even though the science is far from settled and the UK and Europe are preparing for the worst.
She capped off that effort with this piece of trash fire this morning where she complained, like McIvor, that the experts and the modelers had got it all wrong. And as the rest of the world struggles under the onslaught of Omicron induced spikes and experts struggle to work out how dangerous the virus actually is she pronounced with complete assurance that the Government was being too cautious.
From her article:
Only 12 weeks ago Covid modeller Shaun Hendy predicted 7000 deaths a year if we hit an 80 per cent vaccination rate. Even if we hit 90 per cent – which is where we are now – he forecast 1557 deaths.
We’ve seen nowhere near that level of carnage. We’ve only recorded around 50 deaths.
Again, that’s still sad. Every death represents a loss to a family, but it’s nowhere near the catastrophising we were sold.
Partly, that’s because the gloomy predictions fail to account for the human ability to adapt and be brilliant.
Hendy’s model was wrong because the vaccine was better than his headline numbers accounted for. He assumed the vaccine had medium efficacy. But actually, Pfizer’s brilliant employees managed to make something with high efficacy. And then Kiwis did their bit by getting jabbed at levels we had hoped for but not really believed possible.
Her bias is showing. Instead of celebrating an outcome way better than any other country could have done through extremely high vaccination levels and other health measures she poo poos the experts.
And it is pretty clear she either did not read Henry’s research or, if she did, she did not understand it. From the report:
We find that there are scenarios where, through a combination of high vaccine coverage (including amongst those aged 5-11) and moderate public health measures, population immunity is achieved, resulting in very low mortality burden. For example, with 90 per cent vaccine coverage of the population over the age of 5, a suite of moderate public health measures and an effective test, trace and isolate system, the modelling suggests there would be around 500 hospitalisations and 50 fatalities from COVID-19 over a one year period.
There are scenarios where, despite a high vaccination coverage, population immunity is not achieved, resulting in a disease mortality burden that is an order of magnitude greater. For example, with 80 per cent vaccine coverage of the population over the age of five and moderate public health measures, the modelling suggests there would be around 60,000 hospitalisations and 7,000 fatalities per year from COVID-19. Such outcomes could be mitigated if more restrictive control measures, akin to current Alert Levels 3 or 4, were utilised.
If this is the report Du Plessis Allan is referring to all I can say is that I cannot find her figure for 90% death rates anywhere. Even with low Test Trace Isolate Quarantine measures at 90% vaccination levels for over 12s the annual death rate was predicted to be 260. Current moderate TTIQ measures appear to have reduced predicted numbers of deaths although we are not through 12 months yet.
And as mentioned above subsequent modeling has been very accurate. It was predicted that case numbers would peak at 1,400 per week and the peak would occur in late November. The actual case numbers were 1,426 and the peak date was November 28.
And to cap things off the King of bad takes Mike Hoskins thinks the country has been badly let down by the vaccine rollout even though our vaccination rates are extremely good, the current incursion appears to be under control and our death rate is still extraordinarily low. And he still is complaining about MIQ, even though with Omicron all bets are off.
I find these approaches very irritating. The country is still performing extraordinarily well, thanks to the Government’s approach, the quality of the advice and the commitment of the vast majority of the community to making it work. Having to continuously put up with these sorts of crap analyses which do nothing but reduce morale and the collective commitment to seeing this incursion off. And with Omicron waiting at the boarder to be let in now is not the time for bad Covid takes.