Counting is hard

Because counting is hard, you can’t trust the numbers. How can they screw up the COVID count, you ask? Let me count the ways:

  • False positives (many ways for this one thing alone to happen).
  • Test the same person multiple times, counting each one separately as a new case.
  • Inflating the numbers as they get aggregated and passed up the line.
  • Straight up lying.
  • Counting anyone with one of more of the symptoms, even in the absence of any test results, as positive.
  • Incentivizing assigning COVID as the diagnosis by paying more for it than for any possible alternate diagnosis.
  • Treating any death for any reason as a COVID death entry if they test positive at any time.
  • Count any hospitalization for any reason as primarily a COVID case if they test positive, or have any of the symptoms even if it isn’t confirmed.
  • Once the COVID diagnosis is given, not changing it even if they are later determined to not ever have had it.
  • Changing the definition of what gets counted to be more sweeping.

News stories documenting each and every one of these things can easily be found in any and every month time-period since things started getting weird in late March. In fact, most of them can be found if you dig around in every calendar week. They are often not headline stories for weeks on end because they don’t fit the official narrative, but the cumulative effect isn’t trivial. Meanwhile the death toll is falling, much like it would in the summer months with a seasonal flu.

5 thoughts on “Counting is hard

    1. And another thing. “Excess deaths” includes all dead above expectations. Lots of people who were scheduled for chemo, surgery, etc., put it off because hospitals were gearing up for the predicted tidal wave of COVID patients, so some portion of those excess deaths are people who might have otherwise gone in for treatment and survived, but had their potentially life-saving treatment postponed. It also includes the elderly in states like NY and NJ who required nursing homes to admit residents who had tested positive, contrary to national guidance. (Something like half of all nursing home deaths were in just five states that had such a policy).

      1. I’ve been watching excess deaths since it’s harder to fake than the case counts. Doesn’t mean they still can’t double count them.

  1. And since Kung-flu rarely kills people under 45? It seems covid cases are much higher simply because most people getting the sniffles don’t go to the doctor. They never could have gotten an accurate count in the first place.
    But after all, we are talking about government here.

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