The latest COVID strain

It’s the Omicron strain. Or as I prefer, the OMG strain. Viruses mutate, particularly so in response to mass vaccination. No surprises in this quarter. This strain is likely to consider both the vaxxed and the unvaxxed as fair game.

Update: increased government restrictions as a result of this strain apply to all people regardless of vaccination status. The UK has gone even further: to remain classed as vaccinated, booster jabs are now to required once every three months. (Cognitive dissonance alert for those readers who prefer government actions to be coherent.)

Australians should be grateful to the US founders

The Australian constitutional convention to establish the Federation in 1901 closely followed the US model that had been established in 1776. We should be grateful for the wisdom and foresight of both. A Federation of States has the advantage of internal constrained competition.

In both the US and Australia, interstate migration is increasing. Victoria is well on the way to self destruction due to decades of Labor government. Whether it’s deliberate or accidental can be discussed. Both are plausible. The end result is the same. Migration out of states like Victoria in Australia and California in the US after leftist government naivety, wilful stupidity or deliberate destruction is on the rise. That couldn’t happen in a one jurisdictional state, such as Austria, for example. The Austrian Government is trying to impose a lockdown on the unvaccinated citizens. Memories appear to be short in Austria. Not even long enough to remember what happened in 1939.

While certain Australian States are doomed, the country is not necessarily so. NSW looks to be a beacon.

About that modelling….

Readers may recall that I said the Burnet Institute’s COVID modelling from September 2021 should be revisited in late October to check the actual outcomes against the modelling predictions. It is now late October. The following actual data is sourced from covidlive.com.au

Predicted deaths: 964

Actual deaths: 280

Predicted hospitalisations: 1,666

Actual: 738

Predicted intensive care cases: 360

Actual: 130

What does this comparison of actual against expected prove? The modelling was wrong, of course. It was wrong by a factor of around 3 in these measures. Modelling is just a guess based on certain assumptions. Burnet’s modelling was clearly poor quality, but many modellers around the world have been proven to be just as bad or worse. The real lesson is that modelling is not gospel truth and should not be held up as justification for a government coercion on the populace. Nor should the modelling be used to prove how effective those coercive measures were: ‘See how much worse it would have been had we not imposed the lockdown?’ Modelling may have some uses, but should only ever be one input among many. Modellers that have a track record of dud predictions should be treated with scepticism or, preferably, ignored.

The dangers of cycling near the unvaccinated

I received an email today from Audax Australia with some details about rides being opened up again in Victoria. The pith of the missive is shown below.

To the eagle-eyed reader, the exclusion of the unvaccinated from certain rides will be noted. Plus, such exclusion has been made for two reasons: increasing participation rates and safety.

I may be able to clarify the rationale if I get a response from Audax to my two questions: on what basis did the Committee determine that banning the unvaccinated will increase participation and on what basis will it increase the safety of riders and families?

I’m expecting a response soon. It should be a hoot.

I received a response: because “The Science.”

More on vaccine efficacy

In a Swedish study, the results of which are about to be published in the Lancet, vaccine effectiveness against COVID infection has been found to wane over 6 months. It is not obvious that there is any effect against infection beyond 6 months from date of full vaccination. Meanwhile, effectiveness against severe outcomes was found to wane over 9 months for men, older people and those with co-morbidities. The report is available here.

Inflationary Expectations

It seems that suddenly everybody is talking about inflation. Better late than never, I guess. In Australia, the inflation rate for the full year to 30 September 2021 was 3.1%. The September quarter price index rise was said to surprise economists and the bond market traders. Some Chief Executive Officers of large Australian companies have begone warning their consumers that price rises will be on-going. I know that in some industries, suppliers are giving notice of impending price rises closer to 10%. Producer prices are increasing rapidly and that will eventually feed its way into consumer prices. The Consumer Price Index is the favoured inflation measure of many people, but producer prices give a better lead indication. Continue reading