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Opinion: Follow the data on COVID

Oct 04, 2021


Should you get the COVID-19 vaccine? What about the booster? And how effective are those masks anyway? We hear a lot of opinions and official recommendations based on the science. It’s hard to consider all of this without thinking about how it impacts the economy and the labor market. When faced with a choice between losing their job or getting the vaccine, quite a few people are willing to risk their income, and that’s not good for anyone. The bottom line is you should do what’s right for you based on the data.

I’m sure you’ve been bombarded over the last three weeks with more information about COVID than you could possibly want. Everyone’s telling you, especially the government, what you are supposed to do. And some people are saying, don’t do it. 

The phrase that’s thrown around a lot is quote “the science.” Well, there is no such thing as “the science”, science does not provide an answer. 

Science is a process, ongoing, never ending. You form a hypothesis, you design a test, you run the test, you look at the results, and then you go back to your hypothesis, and modify it based on what the test said. It never ends. 

There is no final answer. So what you should do isn’t follow quote “the science”, but follow the data. 

What do the numbers tell you? And on that score, I think there’s a few points that are pretty clear.

First, for the overwhelming majority of people, the vaccine is a good bet. What do I mean by that?

I mean that the payoff from it far exceeds any risk that you might have. Remember, there is no perfectly safe anything in medicine, but the odds are very, very high that, unless you know you have a specific condition, that the vaccine is going to be perfectly safe for you to take, and it’s going to pay off in big benefits. Should you happen to contract the COVID virus, the effect of it on keeping you out of the hospital or any even worse result is just enormous.

So the data say: get the vaccine.

How about this booster that everyone’s talking about? Well, the, CDC has just recommended that people over 65 and those with particular health risks get the booster. I think that the data says that that’s probably a good idea, but you should be a little bit careful, a little bit cautious.

First of all, how are you doing in terms of the antibodies you already have? 

You can get those tested at your doctor. If the doctor says you have plenty of antibodies, there’s no point in getting a booster now.  

You should wait until you need a booster before you get the booster, just don’t do it because they tell you to do so. 

And by the way, that’s probably not just the case for people for whom it’s approved. That’s probably true for all those other people as well. So before you go ahead and make a decision about the booster, do get your antibodies checked. 

Quote, “the science” tries to have a one size fits all solution. That’s a crazy way to run your life as someone else imposes a one size fits all solution on you.

Make up your own mind based on the data that’s relevant to you.

Go get your antibodies tests. 

How about those masks? Well, frankly, uh, even Dr. Fauci said this when it was politically okay for him to say it, and so does everyone else, the kind of masks you get at your local drug store are essentially useless. 

What we found is that masks are able to slow the spread of the pandemic by somewhere between two and five percent. That is the number so close to zero. Then it’s not worth all the pain and suffering that the masks entail. 

Even those so-called N-95 masks don’t have anything to do with the number 95. Generally, they filter out between 55% and 60% of the COVID virus. Well, that’s a reasonable number, but it’s not perfect. 

So, you know, don’t cause a fuss, don’t be socially disruptive, wear a mask if you’re supposed to, but keep in mind, it’s really not going to do you that much good.

And as to mandates, one thing that government is not taking into account is the consequences of mandating it. 

Roughly 30% of the working population right now has not gotten its two shots. Well, when those people were surveyed, most of them said, there’s nothing you could do to make me get a shot.

In fact, 70% said they would lose their, be willing to lose their jobs, to not take the shot. 

Well, that’s a lot of people and frankly, if that was true, the economy would shut down. 

But let’s just imagine for the sake of argument that those people are, 90% of those people are lying. 

And in fact, if threatened with their job, they’ll get the shot. 

Even if that’s true, we’re going to lose three and a half million people out of the labor force.

This is in an economy where there is an intense labor shortage already three and a half million people will take our, the number of people working in America down below, or there are people willing to work in America, down below where it was at the bottom of the pandemic when we were in deep recession, not a good idea. 

So in the end, listen to the data. Don’t listen to what the experts and the science say. What’s best for you is what’s best for you based on your own circumstances. 

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