Thursday, April 23, 2020

Bigger Pie Forum: Herd Mentality

Sometimes there’s safety in numbers. A Cape Buffalo in a herd is less likely to be eaten by lions than a straggler. Sometimes there’s danger. American Indians stampeded herds of Bison over cliffs and butchered the injured and dead. We ordinary Americans seem more like Bison stampeded by experts than Cape Buffalos staring down hungry lions.

We’re social distancing, sheltering-in-place, losing jobs and committing economic and social hari-kari because of experts. They said we had to flatten the Coronavirus (Covid-19) typical bell-snapped infection curve. Otherwise, hospitals would be overwhelmed with virus victims when the epidemic peaked. That hasn’t happened. Few hospitals have been overwhelmed. Apparently none in Mississippi.

Experts said flattening the curve would reduce deaths from the virus due to lack of treatment. But it wouldn’t reduce total deaths from the epidemic. It would just spread them out over a longer time period. I’ve seen no reports of deaths due to lack of treatment. But there are reports of inflated death counts in New York — apparently to save face for doomsayers.

Flattening the curve makes hari-kari take longer and prolongs the pain. That was the point of the ritual suicide. The Samurai slowly sliced his belly open with a short knife while another stood by to lop his head off when he had suffered enough. There was no stopping partway through to put the Samurai back together. But that’s what we are about to try by order of the President with help from experts under the direction of Governors.

Experts (Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx) who are to help get us out of this mess are the same ones who got us into it. They told the President there would be 2.2 million U.S. deaths from the virus — unless we committed economic and social hair-kari. Now they say there won’t be so many. Maybe just 60,000 or so. About like an average flu season.

Do they now say: “Oops we were wrong. Our models were wrong. Sorry about the hair-kari pain.” No. Those words don’t seem to be in their vocabularies. They say: “We prevented more deaths because the country is committing hari-kari.” They also say don’t stop committing hari-kari all at once because bad things may happen later if you do.

The President said Governors can now “stop the hari-kari” in their states (subject to experts advice). Haven’t we had enough of the experts? Isn’t it time for some common sense and perspective? Haven’t we been stampeded long enough? Can’t we break the herd mentality?

Our Governor just appointed a commission to help us recover. I don’t see any credentialed experts on the commission. Good. I do see exceptional ordinary people who have accomplished things. And who can probably understand the pain and fear of other ordinary people caused by our collective economic and social suicide. People who don’t have guaranteed or secure jobs. Or any job. And who don’t have letters after their names.

I hope the appointed understand they are mainly for show and that the Governor will make his own decision. That’s how it works in a democracy. That’s what he was elected to do. Hopefully they have some common sense, a sense of perspective, good judgement and the self-confidence to question experts. Here are some questions they might ask them.

How do you know that 6 ft. of social distancing, shutdown of “non-essential” businesses and of worship and of other activities, use of masks and other prescribed remedies actually reduce virus infections and deaths? How do you know that ten people is the optimum over/under for social gatherings? Do you have controlled double-blind trials that prove any of this?


Probably not because there are too many variables to identify and control. So, are your remedies just guesses? How do you justify them without your double-blind trials? And at the same time dismiss life-saving reports and endorsements by hundreds of doctors who have actually treated Covid-19 cases with legacy drugs because they don’t have such trials?

How do you experts know that increases or decreases in reported cases show anything useful about how fast the virus is spreading? Or where we are on the epidemic curve to make valid judgements about herd immunity and stopping the hari-kari? Many cases are asymptomatic and uncounted. Apparently you don’t know how many total cases there are, where they are, when they occurred, or how to control them — or even if it’s possible.

A recent report on the first widespread antibody testing of a representative sample of 3,300 people in Santa Clara County, California showed that 48,000-81,000 people may have been infected vs 1000 tested and counted in the county’s official tally. That’s some 50-80 times as many people with antibodies (showing they have already had the virus and have recovered in a county of 2 million people) as there are certified cases.

So what conclusions can be drawn from the larger sample of those with antibodies vs the smaller number of those with the disease?

I think you could conclude that the virus case death rate is much lower than announced by doomsayers (despite inflated death counts) if there are 50-80 times more cases than were used in the denominator to calculate the death rate. You could probably also conclude that the virus has been around longer than our collective hari-kari efforts to contain it. Without doomsday results. And that we didn’t need to sacrifice our freedoms and the economy. And that Big Brother doesn’t know best.

It might be instructive to look at South Dakota. The Governor there is also a young Republican with national potential. She rejected advice from experts and relied on the common sense of her ordinary people. She didn’t order hari-kari. She’s been harshly criticized by experts’ syncopates because she didn’t. She hasn’t flinched.

The latest CDC death count in South Dakota is 6 per million population. It’s not suffering from hari-kari.

The latest count in Mississippi is 25 deaths per million. It hopes to begin recovery from hari-kari soon.

 Kelly Williams is the former President of First Mississippi Corporation and the author of this post.



This post is sponsored content provided by Bigger Pie Forum. 



28 comments:

Anonymous said...

This post is so full of false equivalencies, scientific ignorance, and deliberate misinformation that I don’t even know where to start. What an idiot.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! Finally, someone who provides a perspective on this pandemic grounded in common sense.

Anonymous said...

"just 60,000"? How many people have to die before you think steps should be taken to slow the spread?

Anonymous said...

@9:37 I am a local physician and care for COVID patients. This is not an issue to politicize. Dismissing the post in whole is a mistake. The Santa Clara County study, run by Stanford University, is very important and speaks to the likelihood that the virus has been present in CA since at least December. It also accurately estimates the true infection fatality rate is between 0.12% and 0.2%. While this is higher than influenza it is remarkably lower than initial estimates of 2-5%.

Poor decision making is often based on fear. It is time to re-evaluate our decisions in regard to the pandemic as a community and country.

Anonymous said...

Typical millionaire mentality. The economy has to open. So what if people die? I'm safe hiding behind my walls.
How did that illegal tax shelter you tried work out? Oh yeah, you had to pay the tax AND a penalty.

Anonymous said...

Things Kelly leave out in the "Let's Get Coronavirus Back to Killing" Tea Party Propaganda:

1. On March 16, Santa Clara County was among the first counties in the nation to announce stay-at-home orders. “Clearly in retrospect that was a good decision,” Dr. Cody said. “Now we see there was even more transmission than we recognized.”

Although California was an early state to report that individuals were carrying the virus, it has had one-tenth the number of deaths as New York State, the hardest-hit place in America. Officials believe that the early imposition of stay-at-home orders and the state’s lower population density are among factors that have helped California avoid the worst so far.

2. Health officials said Wednesday that 180 more people tested positive for COVID-19 in the last day, bringing the statewide total to 1,168 confirmed cases. Of those, 934 cases were in Minnehaha County, the location of the Smithfield Foods plant, making the site one of the largest known clusters of COVID-19 cases in the U.S.

So, now that multiple beef, pork, and poultry plants are closing down, with a looming meat shortage, how do you think things are going in Mississippi? Scott and Leake County cases surging.

You don't "commit hari kari" (note to Kelly, that's a Boomer term if there ever was one) by saving lives and keeping the food supply and the economy alive and not on a ventilator.

You commit suicide by letting a deadly disease run rampant because YOU drink the Jonestown Koolaid of the Tea Party.

Anonymous said...

Have you guys noticed that it seems like everyone is all of a sudden an expert on what should have been done regarding the Coronavirus? They are quick to tell you what has not worked. Where in the hell were they when those having to make the tough decisions were doing their damndest to make the correct decision? Monday morning quarterbacks are pathetic.

Anonymous said...


9:37...please list 3 examples of false equivalencies & deliberate misinformation...or write your own article.

Anonymous said...

The Bigger Pie Forum is a political tool, made up of political tools (pun intended).

Anonymous said...

To everyone that agrees with Mr. Williams, please feel free to rush back to your favorite restaurant, gym, bowling alley, theater, tattoo parlor, etc. at the first opportunity. Since this lockdown is overblown and ridiculous, you should have no problem rubbing elbows with those of like mind. You might even be in the 98% to 99.5% that survive the virus but of course it will kinda suck if you aren't.

Anonymous said...

Sars virus?

It simply dissipated by itself. A vaccine was imminent....but not needed as the virus went away.

Covid 19

The flattening buys time for tests and study.

The author of this article is an example of troll / disinformation / click bait for blog owner

Sadly it will lead to more people dying needlessly

Keep clicking

Dying by the numbers

Anonymous said...

Kill the economy for the children!!!!!!

You scared Betties are pathetic and weak.

The WOLF is always at the door. Just because the wolf has a name you roll over for it. Pathetic



Handy said...



The vast majority of people will make ZERO life changes to cure Diabetes, Heart Disease or Obesity and for God's sake don't mention, drugs, alcohol and smoking. These are proven killers, Covid 19 is a little killer.

If the cure for this was diet, moderate exercise and no TV watching, 99% would not even consider it.

Mention getting paid to not go to work, stay home, watch TV and eat all day and they all of a sudden believe in this cure.

Anonymous said...

Chicken Little?

Anonymous said...

... please feel free to rush back to your favorite ...

Thanks but we don't need your green light.

You might even be in the 98% to 99.5% that survive ...

Those are damn good odds.

Just think, by the time you finally emerge disheveled from your hovel you'll likely be immediately infected. Remember to look both ways when crossing a busy street.

Anonymous said...

So, 9:58, you are saying we should shut down every year because of the flu??? After all, it causes a similar number of deaths each year. Shutting down our economy will also cause deaths, but those deaths will never be tracked because the real kool-aid drinkers don't want to see reality. This whole thing is like cutting off your head to save your arm.

Anonymous said...

Just laughable Tea Party propaganda. In fact, it goes against Trump's own policy.
But the smooth brains are hyped up by Jenny Death Martin, and Kelly, when not working on one of those nifty "tax shelters," is lapping it up, it seems.

You think "Dr. Fauci and Dr Birx got us into it"????? You are NUTS.

But even for this blog, this is beyond the pale. You don't want to follow the Trump plan and open up bowling alleys, movie theaters, like Krazy Kemp of GA? Even Trump says he's nuts.

"The most-respected plan is the one Trump’s own administration has set forth. Once deaths and new cases are down for a solid period of time, once testing can track the virus’s spread, the rules can slowly start to change. It’s a cautious approach based on the best evidence available. It’s not about politics. And most Americans don’t want it to be. "

81% of Americans are opposed to the Tea Party's latest circus. 80% of Americans respect Dr. Fauci.

Those are HUGE numbers. So, BPF, be aware of the downside of this approach, politically and financially.

Your Rah Rah for more death is simply disgusting. It would have been a relief to just say it's idiotic and filled with lies.

Anonymous said...

One party or person sells the fear of COVID-19 for money or their agenda and another sells something else. BPF is no different. They push their agenda while calling out those that took the cautious path with a unknown virus. Hypocrites.

Kingfish said...

Kemp AND his state health officer were going by the Rt number. The Rt number is .73 for Georgia. He did a lousy job of explaining his decision and is paying a price for it.

Anonymous said...

The article is interesting. The dichotomy of the commenting anons is amusing.

Anonymous said...

Best post ever, Mr. Williams.

Bill Barr Fan Club said...

The vast majority of people will make ZERO life changes to cure Diabetes, Heart Disease or Obesity and for God's sake don't mention, drugs, alcohol and smoking.

[AND] 'access' to healthcare, or lack thereof, has NOTHING to do with it.

Anonymous said...

These comments are Exhibit A on many of societies' problems today. People can't just disagree and offer facts. They feel compelled to demonize by claiming anyone who doesn't agree with them is a kool-aid drinking idiot, who ignores science, and who cares only for money and wants people dead.

If you disagree, try to make an argument without name calling and pejorative statements. You simply make your own case look weak with all the hyperbole.

KF, please consider not publishing these inflammatory posts. JJ is getting insufferable.

Anonymous said...

@9:59 I could not agree more.

@10:26 I will be the first to go to the salon, restaurant, and other public places if the government would allow these businesses to open. For those of you who are scared to do the same, make your own decision to stay home but stop denying the rest of us the option to make our own choices. Every day that passes is one less day we have to live, and what we are doing now is not living.

Anonymous said...

Call Chris McDaniel and ask him what to do. Then do the opposite.

Anonymous said...

Great post most common sense I’ve heard to date. Dr Fauci and group at scientists and drs. They only see black and white and pass advice based on science, nothing more. Most of you should see this everyday in the business world. There are specialties of all sorts. The president and leaders have to make the best decision overall given all the information. This virus is just one of another hundred or 1000 out there floating around just waiting for the right host, conditions and slight mutation. Only the strong survive and sadly but truthfully sacrifices have to be made weather it be economically ( poor suffer more then the affluent) or health wise old, young, sick, immunosuppressed.
Times like this should bring back to reality that we are just another species on this earth trying to survive no different then birds, gazelles, fish or mice.

Anonymous said...

The post at 11:08 p.m. may hold true for the animal kingdom. Mankind, however, is not just another species, and the laws of the jungle should not be applied in a nation of laws as if they are one and the same.

Anonymous said...

10:49 So.. you think the boondoggle response was because "we're a nation of laws"? That's hilarious!

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