Matt, Pre-School Diploma 😀 Profile picture
Full-time cynic, part-time marathoner. Cancer survivor, baseball addict, data-obsessive with libertarian leanings. Allergic to elitism and squid.
29 Jul
Restrictions of any kind at all once vaccine supply has outstripped demand are completely ludicrous. It's amazing that an explanation is even necessary, but, well, here we are. All we need to break this down is some simple logic. Here goes...
When it comes to a circulating virus, there are four conceivable paths a person can take:

1) Face the virus at some point. Survive and you develop immunity.
2) Gain immunity via vaccination
3) Die of some other cause first
4) Live the rest of your life in sterile isolation
Now, I think the evidence by now is overwhelming that lockdowns and mask mandates don't work, but let's give the biggest benefit of the doubt to the pro-lockdown side and, for the moment, cede that ground. We won't convince them now. For their benefit, let's assume the NPIs work.
Read 12 tweets
30 Jun
I've given some thought to this Delta Variant brouhaha, and have a hypothesis. If you're nervous about a return to lockdowns, I wouldn't be. Renewed mask mandates are slightly more conceivable, but I'd also bet against those happening. So why am I optimistic? Here's why...
The Delta Variant appears to be easily transmissible, but milder, frequently producing symptoms similar to a cold.

Late April is when we saw mask mandates begin to wither at the national level. That this was 2 1/2 weeks after vaccine demand peaked was not a coincidence. This is when the government's primary aim shifted from sustaining lockdowns to pushing vaccination.

Read 11 tweets
24 Jun
This is a great, authentic, and devastating thread, and I agree with everything @annbauerwriter expresses. But at the end, she asks for stories of hope, reasons why we shouldn't feel too down. Here's mine. (1/)
In 2008, I survived a bout with cancer, with significant symptoms. I was too weak to run. Walking winded me. Night sweats, weight loss, clouded mind. This happened while I was engaged to be married. All I wanted in the world was to feel normal again one day. (2/)
You know how people who grew up poor see it as sinful to waste food, because they have experienced a world where food isn't a given? Well, my experience battling cancer gave me that same aversion to wastefulness, only in my case I cannot tolerate wasting time. (3/)
Read 16 tweets
19 Apr
I had an epiphany last night.

Since vaccines came available, there's been an odd phenomenon: Many of the most ardent pro-lockdown, pro-mask zealots show euphoric excitement - sometimes to the point of tears - at receiving a COVID vaccine. They share photos far and wide... (1/)
And then, having received the vaccine, they go straight back to double masking, staying isolated, and shaming all who don't do the same that the vaccine changes nothing.

If you truly believe the vaccine works, this makes no sense. If you don't, why were you so excited to get it?
This is obviously unscientific and seems irrational.

Up until now, my theory has been that these most ardent zealots have completely lost touch with rational cost-benefit analysis and are effectively living "virtually," a meme and narrative based existence where selfie = truth.
Read 13 tweets
17 Mar
A realization has been weighing on my mind lately: As we in America emerge from the pandemic, our traditional geographical/cultural alignments are, and will, prove a significant psychological hurdle we need to clear as we return to normal. Thread upcoming... (1/)
First off, others can continue to debate the wisdom of lockdown policies and mask mandates if they wish. Me, personally, I'm done with those serious debates. Not because I am tired of them (though I certainly am), but because they are no longer serious debates. It's over. (2/)
We have abundant data from a full year, and scientific consensus from before the Chinese snookered some and found convenient ideological allies in others: Lockdowns do not work. They only inflict harm. Mask mandates do not work. They only perpetuate power and fear. Period. (3/)
Read 19 tweets
4 Jan
To be a hardcore mask advocate, you must simultaneously believe the following:

1) Dr. Fauci's guidance against masks in March 2020 was to preserve supply for health-care workers, despite the fact this had been the consensus opinion at times with no pandemic (or fear of shortage)
2) Reams of data spontaneously appeared in Spring 2020, confirming the efficacy of cloth and surgical masks vs. COVID-19 (though the public has not seen any such reams of data - only a few weak examples of correlation), cementing the new consensus.
3) Masks have been so effective as to make the "old" virus (flu) disappear almost completely, while failing to move the numbers significantly against COVID. This proves the masks work AND that COVID is dangerous. Even though the consensus is that masks prevent COVID transmission.
Read 7 tweets
9 Dec 20
"Denier" is an ugly slur meant to evoke the Holocaust. But if someone calls you a denier b/c you won't subjugate your life to a virus, embrace it.

Deny that science is a political weapon rather than a method of inquiry.

Deny that media propaganda will determine your actions.
Deny the corrosive fallacy that harmful government mandates can defeat a virus.

Deny that this virus is so different from all others before that we must throw decades of scientific consensus to the wind.

Deny the myopic viewpoint that pretends tradeoffs don't exist or matter.
Deny the lie that denying children who are not at risk precious formative months and years of education is EVER okay.

Deny the dehumanization of relegating our vital social events to the flattening simulated world of Zoom.

Deny that the Uber Eats driver's health matters less.
Read 5 tweets