Anti-Vaxxers, Anti-Maskers: IT’S YOUR FAULT

Over a year ago I began making graphs related to the COVID-19 epidemic. It’s not controversial to identify the most basic number to tell the story: how many new cases each day, per capita? Medical personell tend to express this as cases per day per hundred thousand population, but I prefer to use cases per day per million population. Call me quirky.

I (like many before and since) decided to color-code some of my graphs, with “red” reserved for the most severe outbreaks — so many new cases each day that it will strain the health care system in a week or less, and before too long will crush it, while filling up the morgue to overflowing. I did a little research (translation: looked around on the internet, not peer-reviewed research, but at least I used “reliable” sources like Johns Hopkins Univ. School of Public Health) and concluded that since the so-called “experts” seemed to think that was 25 cases/day/100,000 people, that’s what I’d use — but I’d call it 250 cases/day/million population. Call me quirky.

Here’s today’s map for the states of the USA:

Only 8 of 50 states are below the “critical” level.Some are so bad, and have been so for so long, that people are rebelling — especially since the number of children afflicted and killed by this disease is startling. Folks in Florida have nicknamed their leading anti-mask-mandate politician as “governor Deathsantis.” In Texas, a middle school closed until after labor day after not one, but two of their teachers died in a single week from COVID-19.

For a while I thought I was lucky because I live in Maine. As of today, we have the 5th-lowest infection rate in the nation (average over the last week); we’re one of those 8 under-critical states. But — we’re knocking on the door at 235 cases/day/million population, and lately I’ve heard from people in the health care industry that the local system is under severe strain, the kind you get from those uber-critical levels.

I was lulled into false security by not looking more closely. I live in Penobscot county, Maine, and the levels here are much higher: the average for the last week is 444 cases/day/million population.

The other startling statistic in all this, is that the infections and deaths are mostly among the un-vaccinated. Yes, there are “breakthrough” cases of vaccinated people getting COVID-19, but they’re comparatively rare and clearly milder too. Fewer cases, fewer ICU beds needed, far fewer deaths. So now, the health care workers, so overworked for so long, with neither the thanks nor the pay they deserve, who have done so much for so long with so little, have to deal with another severe outbreak.

If we had taken our medicine and worn our masks, we would be DONE with this disease. It would be an unpleasant memory, not a present crisis. Anti-vaxxers, anti-maskers, IT’S YOUR FAULT.

Teachers across the country are scared, especially in states like Florida and Texas and Georgia and others who don’t even want local school boards to protect kids in school with mask mandates. When I hear people object to covering up “God’s perfect breathing system,” I suspect that “God’s perfect thinking system” isn’t so perfect.

If we had taken our medicine and worn our masks, we would be DONE with this disease. It would be an unpleasant memory, not a present crisis.


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7 responses to “Anti-Vaxxers, Anti-Maskers: IT’S YOUR FAULT

  1. You don’t generally comment on economics but I believe today’s NFP job numbers are showing again the damaging effect of our poor handling of this health emergency.

  2. mike thefordprefect

    I’m not sure that this part is correct ” It would be an unpleasant memory,” In uk there is less anti vaccine ruckus. but quite a bit of mask and lockdown demos.
    But here the numbers peaked. (much fewer critical care requirements than last peak). But here’s the thing. A number of virologists have come out against a 3rd dose and now say that this disease is basically endemic and it is likely that all will eventually catch it – no herd immunity! The unvaccinated will of course be clagging the ICU beds. But the vaccinated just seem (in the majority) to get cold symptoms – runny nose, sore throat, headache etc and perhaps anosmia

    Professor Paul Hunter, University of East Anglia
    The concept of herd immunity is unachievable
    because we know the infection will spread in unvaccinated populations
    and the latest data is suggesting that two doses is probably only 50 percent protective
    Time to change the way the data is collected and recorded as the virus becomes endemic
    We need to start moving away from just reporting infections,
    or just reporting positive cases admitted to hospital,
    to actually start reporting the number of people who are ill because of Covid
    Otherwise we are going to be frightening ourselves with very high numbers that actually don’t translate into disease burden

    Sir Andrew Pollard
    I think as we look at the adult population going forward,
    if we continue to chase community testing and are worried about those results, we’re going to end up in a situation where we’re constantly boosting
    to try and deal with something which is not manageable
    It needs to be moving to clinically driven testing
    If someone is unwell they should be tested,
    but for their contacts, if they’re not unwell then it makes sense for them to be in school and being educated
    Dr Ruchi Sinha, consultant paediatrician, Imperial College
    Choosing not to vaccinate children would be unlikely to cause problems in the health service
    What matters is the burden of patient hospitalisation
    and actually there hasn’t been as much with this delta variant
    They tend to be the children who have got their comorbidities, obesity, or severe neurological problems
    and those children are already considered for vaccination.
    Covid on its own in paediatrics is not the problem

  3. Dear tamino,

    There are far too many Covidiotic Maskholes in the Disunited States of America!

    In short, such Covidiots are no longer concerned with objective reality and impartial truth, nor reachable with verifiable facts, argumentation and fair reasoning.

    There seems to be no limits in the extents and varieties of human failings, foibles and follies rooted in self-interest, irresponsibility, irrationalities, oversights, prejudices, misbeliefs, misjudgements, misrepresentations and (eco)systemic injustices. I often even have to coin new words to describe them. The latest examples are my three neologisms “Misquotation Pandemic“, “Disinformation Polemic” and “Viral Falsity“, as discussed in my extensive and analytical post entitled “Misquotation Pandemic and Disinformation Polemic: Mind Pollution by Viral Falsity“, which can be easily locate at the Home page of my blog.

    It has been all too deplorable if not despicable that such folks affect not just themselves but also plenty of others.

    I have enjoyed reading your post.

    Happy September to you!

    Wishing you a productive weekend doing or enjoying whatever that satisfies you the most!

    Yours sincerely,


    An article linked to on the “Mike the Mad Biologist” blog says that a booster shot (which is being done in Israel) does improve immune reaction. However, there is a trade-off between booster-shot use and use in poor countries that need more vaccine.

    Wild ideas for convincing anti-vaxxers:

    What if a group of famous people and/or medical professionals and/or government officials went on some sort of vaccine anti-strike? That is, the reverse of an abstinence strike (e.g., hunger strike) in which they got vaccinated with a low dose once a week until there was no more anti-vax propaganda on Facebook or the news. (To be shown on national news every week.)

    Or if a million dollar prize was offered to anyone who could take a random sample of vaccine and prove it contained something harmful, in a controlled lab? (Like the James Randi prize for paranormal demonstration.)

    Or a variation of the above, where anybody who could prove national statistics on Covid were fraudulent would win the prize.

    (Fine details to be determined.)

  5. Does 400 per day with a population of roughly 360,000 (the 17 southernmost counties in Illinois) work out to 1,111 by your way of doing it?

    [Response: Yes.]

  6. It’s great to see a blog which is sticking with the facts. So much rubbish has been written by the anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers (by the way, you have “ANTI-MAKERS” in your last sentence).

    However, I doubt you’d be done with the virus, if masks had been worn throughout and vaccines had a bigger uptake. It’s a tricky virus and mutating all the time. It would be much less of a problem, at the moment, though. Still, the problem with masking is that so many people seem to have no idea how to wear masks. So there could be a high compliance with mask wearing but a low level of effective mask wearing.

    Here in New Zealand, I’m not sure vaccinations have had much effect yet but there is a high compliance with restrictions when we get an outbreak. So even Delta is being subdued here (fingers crossed).