I came across a Powerline post that confirmed what I expected to see in the media and scientific community, only several months too early. I wasn’t expecting reconsiderations of our Corona-policies until after November 3rd, but here you go anyway. The post, on a study in The Lancet ran the known data about government actions taken across the globe to fight COVID-19 and came to some interesting, and if you’re a journalist or on twitter, counter-intuitive conclusions.
But before I get to that, first a disclaimer about models. I’m a model skeptic as I’ve noted on more than one occasion. So I’ve been happy to rip on them for their near constant failed predictions. So, why I am more inclined to look at this one less skeptically? This isn’t a model that is making predictions based on incomplete information, it’s a model looking back at what’s already happened, and trying to find correlations.
But let’s get right to the meat.
“Increasing COVID-19 caseloads were associated with countries with higher obesity, median population age and longer time to border closures from the first reported case. Increased mortality per million was significantly associated with higher obesity prevalence and per capita gross domestic product (GDP). Reduced income dispersion reduced mortality and the number of critical cases. Rapid border closures, full lockdowns, and wide-spread testing were not associated with COVID-19 mortality per million people. However, full lockdowns and reduced country vulnerability to biological threats (i.e. high scores on the global health security scale for risk environment) were significantly associated with increased patient recovery rates. “
Those are some interesting findings. And by interesting I mean fairly obvious. Old fat people were associated higher mortality, as well as longer times to closing national borders. Lockdowns on the other hand, didn’t seem to have any correlation to lower mortality.
“A potential protective effect of smoking was identified in a recent evaluation of 17 million adult patients within the National Health Service of the United Kingdom, with 5683 COVID related deaths. In their analysis, current smokers were associated with a reduced risk of COVID-19 related mortality.“
So instead of locking down and destroying our economy and ruining millions of lives, we should have just gotten skinny and started smoking.
I’ll have to remember this for the next Black Death.