Last week we learned there is plausibly a simple, cheap and easy way out of this entire mess. All we have to do is take our Vitamin D. In case it needed to be said, no. We are not taking our Vitamin D. There’s definitely some voices out there pushing it, including the nation’s top podcaster Joe Rogan, but I don’t see any signs of progress.
Instead, as school restarts, the outside gets colder and pandemic fatigue sets in, people’s precautions are proving insufficient to the task. This week showed that we have taken a clear step backwards across the country.
I see three ways for things not to get steadily worse for a while. Either a vaccine arrives, which is unlikely, something else new (that we see little sign of) arrives to change behavior for the better, or this week was a blip. It’s only one week of data, it follows labor day, and it is wise not to move too quickly to extrapolation. The effect size seems too large, though, and too distributed among outcomes, to be coincidence.
In terms of news, it was a quiet week. There was some bluster, but little substance.
Let’s run the numbers. They’re not good.Continue reading