Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

 
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

 
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.


He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

 
Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit.
 

The dying COVID-19 epidemic

Daily mortality from COVID-19 in the United States

Daily mortality and number of cases of COVID-19 in California

The time has come for another update on the state of the COVID-19 epidemic in the United States, mostly because the evidence, as shown in the updated graphs to the right, continues to tell us that the epidemic is dying off, both in its deadliness and in its spread, despite what some ignorant and power-hungry politicians from both political parties might be saying.

There is also no evidence yet of a second wave of the virus, something that these same fear-mongering politicians have been touting. Both the national graph to the right as well as the graph showing California’s numbers below show this.

There is, however, ample evidence that the number of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. has been corrupted in order to inflate the totals. CDC data shows almost no flu deaths in 2020, something that is simply not credible. More likely the totals of COVID-19 deaths are a combination of COVID-19 and flu deaths, with all the deaths assigned to the coronavirus because hospitals get more government money by doing so.

This combination suggests that all told this epidemic is essentially comparable to a normal flu season. The 2020 winter season was simply one in which we were hit with two respiratory diseases, one old and one new, and the two combined to make that season worse than normal.

To confirm what I have just written however I will let my new GP doctor speak for me. Dr. Robert Lending is certified in both internal medicine and clinical lipidology. Two years ago he became disgusted with the way his practice was evolving due to Obamacare and insurance requirements, both of which were forcing him to see an endless string of patients quickly, with no time to spend with each in order to make sure their needs were covered properly. As noted at his webpage,

In 2018, Dr. Lending decided to return to his roots of delivering personalized, one-on-one health care in a more intimate professional setting. He has partnered with Cypress Concierge Medicine and is now one of a limited number of physicians in the region offering membership-based concierge medicine to patients. This provides more time, attention, and VIP service than patients would experience at your average Internal Medicine provider.

As a result, when I called his office to find out if he would consider my own legitimate medical issues that strongly preclude mask use, he very quickly was willing to listen and work with me. For such concierge service you need to pay an annual retainer, which is not cheap, but based on my experience in the past month, it is well worth every penny. For the first time in more than a decade I actually feel I have a real doctor again, who will spend the time to oversee my medical issues and make sure they are taken care of. For example, I can call him anytime, and he answers the phone. With most modern doctors you never get to talk to them directly, except in your short visits. Instead you have to go through go-betweens, who act to protect the doctor rather than treat the patient.

One of Lending’s services is a periodic email he personally writes and sends to his patients, in which he reviews the most recent medical news of the day. Obviously, for the past six months these updates have been focused mostly on the coronavirus, from the perspective of a doctor in the field. I think what he wrote in yesterday’s email about COVID-19 is most pertinent:

Europe has seen an increased number of cases but not an increased fatality rate in many countries. Some experts feel that this is a direct result of quarantining; and despite this, Europe may actually increase and get stricter with more quarantines.

A recent study of new COVID-19 cases revealed that 71% of those people wore masks 100% of the time; and 15% more wore masks almost all the time. These people still got infected. This study again reveals that mask-wearing may not only be fruitless, but could be a causative factor actually increasing risks of contracting COVID-19. Bottom line is that the mask data and opinion is all over the map.

CNN recently INCORRECTLY reported that all 50 USA states were surging. There may be 40 with an increase in cases due to increased testing and due to pooled and one-pot testing; but the death rates are mostly dramatically decreasing even in the states with increased cases.

Pima County Health Dept. continues to defy logic and science. AZ last week had 80cases/100,000. Pima County had only 60/100,000, and has had ZERO deaths <19 years old. Yet Pima County still wants the case rate to decrease to 10/100,000 before they recommend school openings and school sports to be restarted. Pima County has an infection rate since this all started between 7.5%-10%. New case rates in Pima County have been 3%-3.75% for the last month. In my opinion, this is an insane and narrow-minded view of the importance of schools, school sports activities, socialization, and education; which also contradicts common sense and science and data and public health. [emphasis mine]

The highlighted phrases all confirm the same conclusions that have been repeatedly made by me, based on ample data that is readily available. The virus is weakening, and even in its most virulent period it was still nothing more than a variation of the common flu. Most important, its differences from the flu actually almost made every single policy decision by our bankrupt leaders downright foolish, from lock downs to house arrest to masks.

First, while both the flu and COVID-19 are dangerous to the elderly sick, it appears that the coronavirus is more deadly to this population, though not remarkably so. Thus, the smartest thing we should have done is protect that population from the virus. Instead, Democratic Party governors in New York, New Jersey, Michigan, and Pennsylvania have all demanded that hospitals place infected patients in nursing homes. exposing that vulnerable population and causing many unnecessary deaths.

Second, while both the flu and COVID-19 appear relatively harmless to healthy people, there is mounting evidence that the coronavirus is even more harmless. It appears that people younger than twenty are practically immune, while healthy people older than twenty generally show no symptoms at all if they get infected — meaning they might not even know they got it. And those healthy people who do get sick quickly recover, even if they are elderly (consider President Trump as a prime example). A bout with flu actually appears more intense, lasting longer and causing more sickness. Regardless, in all cases there appear to be few deaths among the young or the healthy.

Daily mortality from COVID-19 in New York
See this post for an explanation of the
strange spike in deaths on May 7th.

Daily mortality of COVID-19 in New Jersey
See this post for an explanation of the
strange negative numbers on this graph.

Based on this knowledge (which was evident almost before the virus arrived in the United States), the best policy would have been to allow the general population to continue their normal lives, thus quickly spreading the virus through that immune population so that the virus would rapidly play itself out and thus become less of a threat to the vulnerable elderly.

The result: No lock downs, no closed businesses, no unemployment, no masks, and a quick and relatively harmless COVID-19 season, just like the flu.

This is what Sweden did, to great success.

This is also what happened across most of the densely populated American northeast, where it was impossible for lockdowns to prevent people from congregating closely. The two graphs for New York and New Jersey to the right are typical of what you see when you view the “full range” graphs for Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Maryland. The epidemic spread fast and quickly died off. In all these states the number of deaths from the coronavirus has been practically nil for months. The epidemic has long since been over, despite the continuing panic, fear-mongering, and despotic edicts of their Democratic Party elected officials.

These graphs also show starkly, as does the national and California graph above, that there is zero evidence of a second epidemic wave, despite the increase in cases. As Lending noted above, the rise in cases is due mostly because of the increase in testing. It also demonstrates that the virus itself is weakening in deadliness.

The time has come for Americans, and in fact the entire world, to take a breath, put aside fear, and return to normal life. COVID-19 is not the plague that too many ignorant people have been claiming. It is a variation of the common flu, and thus deserves the normal response we have given that respiratory disease for centuries: Protect the weak from it, but let everyone else continue their lives in a normal manner.

Readers! My Quick November Fund-Raiser for Behind the Black is now over
 

I cannot thank the numerous people who so generously donated or subscribed to Behind the Black during this fund drive. The response was remarkable, and reflected the steady growth and popularity of the work I have been doing here for the past ten-plus years.


Thank you again!


Though the find-raising campaign is officially over, and I am no longer plastering the main page with requests for help, if you like what you have read you can still contribute, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.


Regular readers can support Behind The Black with a contribution via paypal:

Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:


 

If Paypal doesn't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to

Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

29 comments

  • Bernard

    More lies and misinformation on your favorite topic.
    The most respected minds and publications of medicine and science stand against you and this vast right wing misinformation campaign. This kind of denial of reality will result in deaths. Come back and post these curves again in three months. Case counts are now escalating, deaths will inevitably follow.

    The New England Journal of Medicine:
    https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMe2029812

    The Lancet:
    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31140-5/fulltext

    Science:
    https://science.sciencemag.org/content/sci/369/6510/1409.full.pdf

    Nature:
    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-02852-x

    Scientific American:
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/debunking-the-false-claim-that-covid-death-counts-are-inflated/

  • As Dr. Robert Lending notes:

    “. . . this is an insane and narrow-minded view. . .”

    That is the Progressive Mission Statement.

  • Max

    I am relieved you found a doctor. Now should any medical problems come up, you have a place to go.
    My recently widowed neighbor, who is in the high risk group, was just telling me yesterday that her doctor will not renew her prescriptions unless she goes to see him in a doctors visit. Nothing has changed but she says he wants to be able to charge more money. She’s not comfortable going out in public, let alone to a clinic with sick patients.
    My wife’s doctor refuses to see any patients and does everything on video conference, Skype, or a phone call. He charges the office visit just the same.

    Remember the good old days just 4 years ago when a encephalopathy pandemic had everybody worried and scrambling, that Congress had to get involved allowing Obama to issue $1.1 billion to fund research into an immunization shot …

    https://www.statnews.com/2016/09/28/senate-approves-zika-funding/

    Some of the wording and scare tactics are identical to what the media and the government are using today on the population.
    It’s odd that the Zika virus completely disappeared and there has been no cases reported in three years. Just like the billion dollars disappeared without a trace. Perhaps it was used to build a level four facility for enhancing viruses in Wuhan? How did Joe Biden afford 4 mansions on a government salary? Or Obama going from a broke politician to having two homes in the most exclusive/expensive places to live and still be worth more than $100 million?

  • Max

    Zimmerman said;
    “There is, however, ample evidence that the number of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. has been corrupted in order to inflate the totals”

    Another new “official” report of verification of this statement.
    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/10/report-shows-40-floridas-covid-19-deaths-may-not-merit-classification/

    “What a mess the US medical agencies placed the country as a result of the China coronavirus. The numbers make no sense and are over counted in Florida. No doubt the same has occurred across the nation.”

  • Bernard

    Are you finally censoring my posts, Robert?
    I assumed that it simply hadn’t yet appeared because it was under moderation because of the links that I included. But the posts above also contain links and have cleared your moderation.
    Don’t like the truth Robert?

  • sippin_bourbon

    Bernard

    All posts that have multiple links are held while under moderation, and then, as long as all the links are safe and not spam, the comment is posted. But all is on his schedule when he has time.

    It is built into the software. The delay has nothing to do with you. In that regard, you are nothing special.

  • Bernand: You desire to insult people and see the worst in them, at all times, does you no credit. When any comment has more than one link, it goes into moderation until I get to it. I was out most of today, and approved it the minute I got home.

    A decent person would apologize to me for the kind of insulting language you used in this comment, especially since you remain a guest here (as are all commenters). It is usually considered very uncivilized to insult your guest willy-nilly, because you simply feel like it.

    My patience is wearing thin. You had better learn to treat others with respect, or you will find yourself very isolated in life.

  • Cotour

    The other day one of my similar to Bernard friends sent me this:

    https://news.yahoo.com/black-lives-matter-navy-seal-031036423.html

    An editorial, an opinion.

    This was my reply:

    https://www.military.com/daily-news/2020/09/15/dozens-of-retired-generals-admirals-sign-letter-backing-trump-reelection.html

    “Some 235 retired senior military officers have signed a letter backing the reelection of President Donald Trump and warning that electing former Vice President Joe Biden would lead to growing influence in government by “socialists and Marxists.”

    And like I have pointed out to you numerous times……..YOU ARE NOT A SOCIALIST, nor a Marxist

    So why do you support such?

    Bernard, do you really think that those editorials or opinions are un biased? Come without and agenda? Are objective? For that matter do you think that you are objective?

  • Bernard

    Cotour,
    Every one of those publications is historically non-political.
    It is beyond pathetic if one now wishes to believe that every widely respected medical organization and scientific society and publication have suddenly become partisan and are only now weighing in on the matter in order to discredit a politician. If that is the world that you chose to live in, then you live in a world in which there is no truth and science doesn’t matter.

    You are not arguing against me. I am not making graphs and just stating my opinion on the matter. You are all taking a stand against every widely respected medical and scientific body that have rendered an opinion on this matter. The scope of that is astounding, and is a really strange stand to take on what is supposed to be a science-based site.

  • Cotour

    There is no one set of rock solid rules that MUST be followed in regards to this virus as I can detect coming from the “Experts”. Other than generally stay away from others, wash your hands, don’t touch your face, and wear a mask if you are forced to be in close proximity to others.

    And the various governments that oversee the public health policies for the many people around the world are dealing with this event in varying different ways as per their “experts’ council.

    There are some general personal rules of behavior that individual people need to determine and follow. And still people are going to become infected. Some will blow it off, some will come down with a more severe case and will need some level of medical intervention. And some will die.

    Thats it until it burns itself out and / or the human host becomes immune to it.

    There is just so much that government can do. Will mistakes be made? Have mistakes been made? Yes. And that is related to the learning curve both by individuals and government. There is no “Better” result that could have been arrived at in relation to this or any other virus event.

    The virus appears, there is fear and confusion, hospitals are overwhelmed, this stresses the system, government panics, people die. Then it slowly becomes under control as the virus winds its way through the population.

    Could better decisions be made? Sure. Could worse decisions be made? Sure. It is what it is and it has and without doubt is being used in the chaos and fear as a political weapon. So in between the chaos and fear decisions are made and decisions are lived with and there are without doubt those who will disagree about what is most prudent, but there must be lines drawn. Someone must have the say where that line lives between the interests of the public and the individuals rights.

    And what is my evidence? All of the varied opinions of the varied highly trained medical professionals from all different parts of the globe who can not nail down anything other than some good common sense protocols to keep the general public as safe as possible until this situation subsides. That and the now varied therapies and drugs that have been identified to be effective to varying degrees.

    So you yourself are in fact politicizing this issue IMO and in that you are not being objective you are being partisan. You yourself have instead of attempting to remain objective have directly condemned Trump outright if I remember correctly.

    There is no other politician given the situation that could have come up with better results, or worse results.

  • sippin_bourbon

    Bernard

    “Every one of those publications is historically non-political”.

    An editorial is just that. An editorial. An opinion.
    And if those magazines have chosen to endorse one candidate or another as an organization, then yes, they have chosen a side.

    Also, the first article you chose was from early May. So dated data.

  • commodude

    Bernard, None of those publications is apolitical, all are heavily left leaning.

    The Scientific American published an article on the USPS removing processing equipment….since when is that science?

  • pzatchok

    I quit reading Science, Scientific American, Nature and Nat Geo about 15 years ago.

    I could not find a single issue that did not have some reference to Global warming in it. In some cases every single article blamed everything in the world on global warming.

    I have been listening to junk about global warming since the global cooling hysteria died out in the 1970’s. Not one single prediction of global warming has come true. Not a single one.

    As for the other two. A quick search and this turns up inside the top ten.
    https://www.foxnews.com/science/covid-19-papers-retracted-lancet-new-england-medical-journal

    You need to search a bit deeper for your data.

  • pzatchok

    Oh and those two publication only posted those faked articles to embarrass Trump.

  • Max

    Bernard, I don’t get it. You said;
    “Every one of those publications is historically non-political”
    Yeah, they were so political I could almost classify them as late night satire. One of them declares in the headline “why we support Biden!”
    Is this reverse psychology, or are you being sarcastic?

    I just learned something tonight, Brigham young University, when the students began the school year, were very upset with the dictatorial attitude of the virus restrictions that they decided to take matters into their own hands.
    The student parties, I reported about a month ago, were against the rules because the students wanted to have fun… were more than just parties! They were called “let’s get sick” parties so that everyone would contract the virus from the individual’s who are spreading it and then, in this way, everyone would have the antibodies.
    Similar to what they’ve been doing in other universities;
    https://abcnews.go.com/US/alabama-students-throwing-covid-parties-infected-officials/story?id=71552514
    I remember playing with a child with chickenpox so that I could catch it when I was young.
    But some prefer the flu shot which can kill you.
    http://m.koreatimes.co.kr/pages/article.asp?newsIdx=298012
    13 people dead, absolutely no connection to the flu shot they just received.

    If you like conspiracy theories, here’s a great one that at first, sounds like I wrote it. But then it goes off the deep end so far that I couldn’t take it without drowning…
    The health ranger;
    https://www.naturalnews.com/2020-10-20-covid-19-isnt-a-pandemic-plan-its-an-extermination-plan-for-humanity.html
    Artificially enhanced virus is phase 1, in a two-part pandemic designed to destroy the economy, destroy food production, make us rely on the government for everything… if we just except their rule, and their vaccination.

  • Andrew_W

    The time has come for another update on the state of the COVID-19 epidemic in the United States, mostly because the evidence, as shown in the updated graphs to the right, continues to tell us that the epidemic is dying off, both in its deadliness and in its spread,

    That’s the third time you’ve predicted the imminent end of the epidemic, on each of the past occasions you were wrong, on this occasion as with the last, there will be an increase in the number of deaths days after your prediction.

    CDC data shows almost no flu deaths in 2020, something that is simply not credible.

    Flu incidence is down 99% in New Zealand as a result of efforts to fight the spread of Covid. Over the last 3 months deaths from all causes have been down 13%.

  • pzatchok

    ” continues to tell us that the epidemic is dying off, both in its deadliness and in its spread,”

    This is not a prediction of an end. Just a slow down. A lessening.

    As for your comments on the flu……..

  • LocalFluff

    I watch the death rate of Sweden, and it has remained uncorrelated with the numbers tested and positive, according to some of the tests under some circumstances.
    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/sweden/
    There is no medical problem here. But politics, using panic propaganda, has caused a horrible destruction of societies. No lock-down caused quick herd immunity. As it always has done! Everyone knew this. Those who proposed other politics did not have honest intentions. We should remember them!

  • Cotour

    Andrew W:

    I have proposed to several doctors and nurses who are waiting for the onslaught of the flue season and have great fear as it may related to telling a Covid patient or a flu patient. I would say that the flu season this year would be much less rather than as normal or more. I asked a nurse “what if you contracted both at the same time?”. Her response? Your screwed.

    With everyone in such hyper awareness about their proximity to others and their hygiene related to washing their hands and not touching their face the flu season may well be less than rather than more. It will be very interesting to see what in reality plays out.

  • Ray Van Dune

    I have been challenged by members of my own family for espousing the opinion that the CV has been overhyped in the manner asserted by our host. I can only counter that it is beyond obvious that thousands of bureaucrats in government agencies that manage our response to scientific and medical issues have seized upon the CV as a means of discrediting President Trump. They have obfuscated the truth beyond not only our leaders’ ability to form cogent plans, but the average American’s ability to make informed decisions about them.

    Compounding this mess is the almost universal commitment of the media to destroying the President, which makes them eagerly embrace and promote the dirty work of our bureaucracy by subjecting the people to an onslaught of propaganda that would make Goebbels blush with admiration.

    The infection that is killing this nation is communist and capitalist globalism, not CV.

  • Max

    I agree, and science is in trouble;
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/10/21/new-dark-age-cometh-nobel-prize-biochemist-cancelled-for-covid-19-wrongthink/

    It looks like the Z-man is in good company.

    As for debate questions tonight, when pres. Trump is asked what he will do about CO2, he should ask,”you exhale CO2 with every breath, what are you going to do about it?

  • Cotour

    Disclaimer: This is going to upset both Bernard and David, and there is some adult language by you know who.

    https://youtu.be/CpB2dmIA-lA

    A little humor, thats what we need.

  • Edward

    Bernard,
    As pzatchok noted yesterday ( https://behindtheblack.com/behind-the-black/essays-and-commentaries/the-big-lie-of-systematic-racism-in-america/#comment-1091422 ), you still link to op/eds, not facts.

    I am not making graphs and just stating my opinion on the matter. You are all taking a stand against every widely respected medical and scientific body that have rendered an opinion on this matter.

    those publications may historically be non-political, But that does not mean that their op/eds are non-political. You also presume that they have remained non-political. This demonstrates that you base your opinions and conclusions not on real world empirical data but on opinions that fit your own biases.

    You deny the facts that are presented here, but you still do not present facts that support a different conclusion, not that you have yet presented your own different conclusion for us to consider.

    We have presented papers from before the Wuhan Plague (sorry, Robert, for continuing to use the “lets panic” nomenclature, but it is sarcastic), and we have pointed out that papers released after the start of the panicdemic have come to different conclusions that support what certain politicians have been advocating. This is Lysenkoism, a political strategy so prevalent that it has a name.

  • Lame-R

    There is only one way to beat a virus: eliminate viable hosts.
    Two ways to accomplish this: hosts are unreachable (transmission not possible), or hosts are non-viable (immunity).
    Two ways to make hosts unreachable: distance (lockdown, quarantine, etc), or transmission barriers (PPE, sanitation, etc.)
    Two ways to make hosts immune: naturally (exposure), or synthetically (vaccine).

    With this in mind it is straightforward to build a decision tree incorporating short and long-term effectiveness, costs, etc. There will always be trade-offs. Different viruses factor differently, but the same tree holds.

    The panic-mongers have been ignoring both good science and good data, so their decision tree has not worked out like they expected. Reality eventually dispels all fantasies. The only question is “how much did that fantasy cost”?

  • pzatchok: MOST intriguing indeed. The suspicions expressed at both links, that this mask research is being rejected by journals because it found masks either useless or worse, is reasonable, but remains unconfirmed. There might very well be legitimate reasons why the paper has been rejected. I’d rather wait until publication before posting.

    At the same time, we’ve seen this game before, in the climate field. The science community, almost to a person Democrats or partisan liberal, acts to block any publication of any paper that contradicts their theories, and because they so completely dominate the population in the academic community, they succeed. They then claim the rejection was due to bad science, when in truth it was due to partisan politics corrupting science.

  • Edward

    Robert commented: “They then claim the rejection was due to bad science, when in truth it was due to partisan politics corrupting science.

    Lysenkoism in action.

  • David

    These are the graphs of a fading epidemic:

    https://covidusa.net/?state=Texas

    Bernard, why do you not believe your government?

  • david

    “They then claim the rejection was due to bad science, when in truth it was due to partisan politics corrupting science.”

    Quite correct Robert. Same thing happened with Copernicus and Gallileo. The consensus in those days was that ‘The Science is Settled: Ptolemy is correct’.

Readers: the rules for commenting!

 

No registration is required. I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.

 

However, name-calling and obscenities will not be tolerated. First time offenders who are new to the site will be warned. Second time offenders or first time offenders who have been here awhile will be suspended for a week. After that, I will ban you. Period.

 

Note also that first time commenters as well as any comment with more than one link will be placed in moderation for my approval. Be patient, I will get to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *