As the riots have receded from the headlines, the press is renewing its focus on the Wuhan Coronavirus pandemic.

For example, there are breathless reports about new outbreaks in California.

California reported the biggest single-day spike in coronavirus cases since the pandemic started, according to an alarming report.

The number of new infections in the Golden State soared to 4,224 Wednesday — dwarfing its previous highest record of 3,683 on June 12, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

California officials attributed the increase in new cases to more testing in the state, along with delays in lab results.

Of the 2,100 new cases reported in LA County, nearly half came from “from an earlier testing period,” the California Department of Public Health’s website notes.

It is heartening to see a news report note the increase in testing as part of its discussion about new cases. However, in a rush to contain the freedom genie that has been released in the wake of Black Lives Matters demonstrations, Governor Gavin Newsom is re-mandating that masks be worn in all public places.

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday ordered all Californians to wear face coverings while in public or high-risk settings, including when shopping, taking public transit or seeking medical care, after growing concerns that an increase in coronavirus cases has been caused by residents failing to voluntarily take that precaution.

Newsom’s order came a week after Orange County rescinded a requirement for residents to wear masks and as other counties across California were debating whether to join local jurisdictions that had mandated face coverings.

“Simply put, we are seeing too many people with faces uncovered — putting at risk the real progress we have made in fighting the disease,” Newsom said in a statement. “California’s strategy to restart the economy and get people back to work will only be successful if people act safely and follow health recommendations. That means wearing a face covering, washing your hands and practicing physical distancing.”

Under state law, residents who violate the new requirement could be charged with a misdemeanor and potentially face a financial penalty. The Sacramento Sheriff’s Office has already announced it will not enforce this order:

In a statement Friday, the Sheriff’s Office recommended people should be “exercising safe practices” during the pandemic, including wearing masks, but said it would be “inappropriate” would criminally enforce the governor’s order, or target people and businesses for failing to do so.

“Due to the minor nature of the offense, the potential for negative outcomes during enforcement encounters, and anticipating the various ways in which the order may be violated, it would be inappropriate for deputies to criminally enforce the Governor’s mandate,” a statement from Sheriff Scott Jones said.

It must be noted that many medical and health professionals are questioning the efficacy of the face masks being used.

One study, published April 6 in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, found that they did not. That study, led by South Korean researchers, involved asking four patients with COVID-19 to cough into a petri dish 7.8 inches (20 centimeters) away. The patients coughed without masks, while wearing a disposable surgical mask and again wearing a 100% cotton mask.

Neither mask meaningfully decreased the viral load coughed onto the petri dishes. But experts not involved in the study who were contacted by Live Science were hesitant to put much stock into the findings. The researchers didn’t look at distances beyond 7.8 inches to see if droplets didn’t travel as far while people were wearing masks, Chu said.

One aspect of the coverage to keep in mind are the “statistics” being used to make the case that it is time to panic over a disease that has in infection fatality rate that has been substantially lowered over the course of the pandemic. Focusing on California, let’s see how the hospitalization rate is being reported in Orange County:

Orange County has experienced a 76% jump in coronavirus intensive care unit hospitalizations in the last six weeks.

76% seems like a fairly big number, until you look at the underlying data:

So, hospitalizations have “jumped” all of 101 cases, hardly the level to overwhelm medical staff. Clearly, the curve has been flattened. Furthermore, the report said the hospitalizations are “linked” to COVID-19. Translation: The patient is there because of the effects of the virus OR has a serious non-COVID condition AND an infection.

In conclusion: The statistic is meaningless.

Let’s take a look at the dreaded “death” statistic, to see if that is any more meaningful. The state had 52 deaths today so far recorded, and the trend line looks as if it is slowly dropping:

Additionally, it is important to note that given the broad application of “COVID-19” to death certificates, it is difficult to ascertain whether the virus caused the death or was simply part of the overall medical issues that led to death in these cases.

But it is clear that the curve is also flattened. Furthermore, vaccines and effective treatments are swiftly becoming available that will help prevent more serious illness and fatalities in the future.

Clearly, the press intends to renew is panic-porn reporting about the virus, but a detailed look at the statistics proves to be very damning to fear-mongering.


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