Riddle me this, Batman. Why is California on a seemingly never-ending lockdown? Governor Gavin Newsom has recently made adjustments to have counties reopen at a pace that coincides, in a new quite unorthodox manner, with their cases and deaths (which I will explain below).
Some of my family are in San Luis Obispo county, and their 22 deaths TOTAL this year related to COVID-19 seem remarkably low to have to endure the same lockdown restrictions as say, Los Angeles county with 6,030 COVID-19 related deaths.
Per usual, I feel it is necessary to explain how COVID-19 related deaths and cases are counted. When deaths are counted, they are deaths WITH COVID-19 not FROM COVID-19. This means anyone who died from other causes, but had probable, presumed, suspected, or confirmed COVID-19 will be marked as a COVID-19 death. The CDC numbers also include PIC deaths which are Pneumonia, Influenza, COVID-19 combined into one category. However, to have probable COVID-19, one must merely have a cough OR shortness of breath OR two or more symptoms of COVID-19 (i.e. runny nose and fever, headache and change in sense of smell or taste, or any other combination of two symptoms). Therefore, in my opinion the numbers are massively inflated with people who have a simple cold to even people marked as COVID-19 related deaths that died of self-inflicted injuries. For “conditions contributing to death involving coronavirus disease 2019” see table 3 on the linked CDC website.
There are two numbers I find to be most important to look at (in my non-expert opinion) are case fatality rates (CFR) and infection fatality rates (IFR). Case fatality rate is determined as it sounds- deaths/known positive cases. Infection fatality rate is more broadly defined and represents the proportion of deaths among all infected individuals, including all asymptomatic and undiagnosed subjects- deaths/population.
San Luis Obispo county has had 3,116 cases TOTAL this year related to COVID-19, and have a TOTAL positivity rate of 1.1%. That makes their CFR a mere 0.7%, and their IFR even lower at 0.008%. It hardly seems like a disease of such epidemic proportions that require business to shut down, and schools only available for distance learning. The numbers Governor Newsom has decided to base “reopening California” off of is the case positivity rate (CPR), the number of positive cases among those tested. Even using those standards, it is only 4.3%, yet the state site calls this “widespread.” This struck me as odd since San Diego county has a 4.3% CPR as well, but their outbreak is rated “substantial.”
That isnt even the county with the least cases and deaths; just one I chose because of my connections to it.
In contrast, Los Angeles county has lost the most people in California that died WITH COVID-19, yet the percentage of the population (not counting illegal immigrants) that has died WITH COVID-19 is minuscule compared to the massive amount of deaths the perpetual lockdown would have you believe. The CFR in Los Angeles county is 2.4%, and the IFR is 0.06% of people died WITH COVID-19. Again, California’s guidelines for mostly reopening the state uses the CPR, which amazingly enough is exactly the same as San Luis Obispo county, at 4.3%, also labeled as “widespread.”
We went from “flattening the curve” for 15 days as to not overwhelm our hospitals to eliminating COVID-19 being the standard for reopening the state. Even if we meet the bottom tier for Governor Newsom’s unusually counted tiered reopening chart, which means a CPR of under a teensy 2% AND less than ONE daily new case (per 100k); the outcome being “Most indoor business operations are open with modifications.” This means if COVID-19 is practically non-existent in your community, you will at most be able to open MOST indoor businesses and STILL have to have modifications. It really makes you wonder if this is about COVID-19 at all at this point.