For today's newsletter, I launched off of CNN's "90% vaccine efficacy means that 100K people out of 1 million travelers will have COVID" innumeracy and decided to visualize the results of the Pfizer vaccine trial… Image
I made some back-of-the-napkins calculations and came up with this interesting proposal for the difference between a vaccinated and unvaccinated population

Without vaccines, there's about a 50-50 chance someone on your plane has COVID. With vaccines, it's a 2% chance. Image
I have a whole paragraph of caveats around this statement.

Stuff is complicated and you could certainly poke holes in my assumptions or argue that it's a far too simplistic way of looking at things.

But I thought it was helpful Image
I also looked at how long COVID antibodies provide protection from re-infection

It's odd b/c we've become conditioned as consumers to hearing "at least 8 months" or "up to 8 months" and assume that means that after 8 months, all bets are off Image
All the reinfection studies that I've looked at give the number of months of protection that basically say "antibodies provide protection from re-infection up to and including this month in which I'm writing this sentence"
For my cartoon, I watched High Diving Hare, which is a masterpiece of comic pacing

I also found out why Yosemite Sam has the line “Open that door”, the turns to the audience and says “You notice I didn’t say Richard” Image

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More from @politicalmath

15 Apr
Dear conservative movement:

The biggest thing that matters now is the purge coming in which corporate entities demand anyone right-of-left submit to their ideology

You need to help people know what to do here…
"Have Courage" is not an answer

We need to be war-gaming this b/c it is coming. Employees will be subjected to ideological tests to determine who is and is not part of the blue tribe.

Critical Race Theory is the blueprint for these tests. How will non-leftists survive this?
This is not coming out of the blue

I was in a meeting this week in which my leadership demanded we all switch to the anti-racist tech terminology and set forth a plan to "stamp out" (their words) the use of this terminology among our partners…
Read 6 tweets
14 Apr
If I had to pick one policy that I most misjudged, it would be the contact tracing policy

Contact tracing seemed to be how S Korea kept things under control last year but it just... didn't work here.
Part of the problem was our contact tracing wasn't consistently paired with testing.

We'd find someone who tested positive and run around slapping "quarantine" stickers on everyone they touched in the last 3 days but then... not test them.
Different states had different levels of contact tracing, states built apps to auto-contact trace, we spent millions on this problem but I don't think it made much of a difference in infection numbers.
Read 6 tweets
12 Apr
Are there active studies on

1) What information people are internalizing concerning vaccines and transmission
2) How that impacts their decision making

Polling on this issue is all over the map and the polls are often poorly designed
I feel like now is a near-perfect opportunity to see how people internalize "official" information, with what frequency they change their minds, how they change their minds, what kinds of public policy strategies actually work, etc
Just about everyone is going to decide that it's ok to go to a packed indoor concert within the next 18-24 months

This is the perfect opportunity to see how and when opinions change. Do they change individually? In response to peer pressure?
Read 5 tweets
8 Apr
This is insane

YouTube is specifically censoring American politicians for *agreeing* with European scientists and policy makers b/c that agreement is rejected by the American left…
Republicans and policy makers who do not have an *active* solution to this problem, a thing they are specifically doing right now to address it, are unmoored from reality and prancing about in a world of make-believe
I know I shouldn't be stunned by this, but YouTube is actively suppressing uncontroversial scientific information at the request of political actors in this country

That's weird, y'all! Stop acting like this isn't a monster scandal b/c it is!
Read 4 tweets
8 Apr
I'd love to see an analysis of trust, leadership, and the use of wiggle phrases

Phrases like "We're going to try to do X" or "we should be ready for X" or "We're doing our best to X"

I'm writing about COVID messaging and how it's simply filled with wiggle phrases
I'm looking up studies on re-infection and it's filled with excruciatingly slippery messaging

"We did not identify anything to indicate that protection against reinfection declines within six months of having Covid-19"

You could parse that in a much simpler way
That that sentence really means is: "We studied people who had COVID 6 months ago and it looks like they are mostly still immune now"
Read 5 tweets
6 Apr
I am so incredibly tired of COVID surges, I really would like to be done with this

Despite a 30% adult vaccination rate, Michigan saw a substantial surge last month. We hope it will break and trend down within the next few weeks…
The silver lining in the Michigan surge is that we are seeing substantial reductions in senior hospitalization, which I'm pretty sure are due to the high rates of vaccination among the elderly

Given this, we expect the death rate to be substantially lower
The other thing I wrote about was the 60 Minutes disaster

I don't know how to say this any other way:

Most reporters simply do not have the context to report their stories and the seem uninterested in gathering that context
Read 4 tweets

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