Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Who's Afraid Of Covid?

Spoiler: It's young people.

It's a Covid day, and this story from the Epoch Times (which I picked up through Zerohedge) is rather fascinating. The article is based off a YouGov poll that you can read about here. What the Epoch Times author did was to inquire into what lies behind the seemingly contra indicated results of the YouGov poll:

Why Young Adults Are The Most Scared Of COVID, Even Though They Are The Least At Risk

Back when I was in the waning years of my working life, we old timers (I was in my 50s then) were constantly being told that the Bureau would be hiring large numbers of "computer savvy young people" to lead the FBI into the brave new digital world of law enforcement. I was pretty unimpressed with these supposedly "computer savvy" youngsters--their savviness usually extended to using electronic gadgets like cell phones, but did not extend to critical analysis of the vast amounts of data made available on the internet. Nor was I able to see much interest in learning. It was old timers who seemed more interested in the implications of understanding how data is collected and used.

Sorry if I bored you with that, but it seems to play into the YouGov results. Here's what YouGov found:

 very nervous or fairly nervous
 feel very nervous or don't feel nervous at all
US adults
18-to 24-year-olds
25-to 34-year-olds
35-to 44-year-olds
45-to 54-year-olds
55 and older

Overall, most (54%) Americans are not feeling anxious about the prospect of returning to social interactions. Those who are 55 or older are especially likely (65%) to say they’re not nervous.  

Women (43%) are slightly more likely than men (34%) to say they’re feeling nervous about the prospect of social interaction.  

What's up with this? As Dr. John Ioannidis pointed out long ago (July, 2020), Coronavirus fatality rate for people under 45 'almost 0%':

“There are already more than 50 studies that have presented results on how many people in different countries and locations have developed antibodies to the virus,” Dr. John Ioannidis said during a recent interview with Greek Reporter. “Of course, none of these studies are perfect, but cumulatively, they provide useful composite evidence. A very crude estimate might suggest that about 150-300 million or more people have already been infected around the world, far more than the 10 million documented cases.”

Ioannidis pointed out the mortality rate is low among young people who have contracted the virus.

“The death rate in a given country depends a lot on the age structure, who are the people infected, and how they are managed,” Ioannidis said. “For people younger than 45, the infection fatality rate is almost 0%. For 45 to 70, it is probably about 0.05%-0.3%. For those above 70, it escalates substantially.”

Comorbidities, of course, play a major role--if you're already at death's door, Covid may well push you over into the Great Beyond, as will other respiratory diseases. Andrew Cuomo somehow didn't get that memo, or his dog ate it. Or something.

The clever Epoch Times author, Jonathan Miltimore, went looking for an explanation for this discrepancy, this inverse relationship between actual risk and subjective fear. He places the blame on the media:

All the official data point in the same direction: Young people have the least to fear from COVID-19. Yet the YouGov poll also shows they are the most afraid.

This is odd. As influencers noted on Twitter, the level of comfort people feel in returning to normal life is inversely correlated to their level of actual risk.

This invites an important question: Why are young people more afraid? One obvious answer is young adults might simply be unaware their risk of serious illness is low.

As I recently noted, Americans in general are wildly misinformed about the risk of hospitalization from COVID-19, with roughly a third of Americans believing the chances of being hospitalized with the virus are 50 percent. In actuality, it’s closer to 1 percent.

The reasons for this aren’t hard to find.

Studies have shown that U.S. media essentially created a climate of fear by publishing a flood of negative news in 2020. Indeed, an Ivy League-led study concluded that 91 percent of U.S. articles in major media were negative in tone, nearly double when compared to non-U.S. media. The negative news, the researchers noted, continued even when the pandemic was ebbing and when positive medical breakthroughs were being achieved.

Interestingly, the author confirms this overwhelming negativity by citing his own Google searches for articles using the search string: ‘Young People Less Likely to Die From Covid’. Try it yourself--you come up with stories that suggest the exact opposite, which probably means that, well, "91% percent of US articles in major media" say exactly that. I tried that search with both Startpage and DuckDuckGo, and the results were the same, so it doesn't appear to be Google manipulating the results.

What this means, of course, is that if you want to find out the truth of these matters, you need to do a fair amount of determined digging. My experience from work was that young people tend to absorb digital media in a rather credulous way. In fairness, many people do--the constant bombardment by the MSM leads many to assume that, where there's smoke there's fire. All those news readers can't be wrong, can they? Try to suggest that to people, and the reactions is likely to be: C'mon, Man! My government would never lie to me or mislead me! CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky wouldn't be warning us of “impending doom” if doom weren't actually impending, would she? But all this credulousness comes with a significant price:

The YouGov poll results show there is a disconnect between perception and reality when it comes to COVID-19. Unfortunately, this disconnect has real-world consequences.

“Those who overestimate risks to young people or hold an exaggerated sense of risk upon infection are more likely to favor closing schools, restaurants, and other businesses,” the authors of a recent Franklin Templeton/Gallup study concluded.

This is important because these restrictions are quite serious. Closing parts of the economy is no small matter. These actions are associated with numerous unintended consequences—job losses, mental health deterioration, increased global poverty, surging loneliness, health procedures deferred, and more. Meanwhile, the documented benefits of these restrictions remain elusive.

In 2020, we witnessed unprecedented infringements on fundamental civil liberties. And it all stemmed from fear.

And the drumbeat of alarmism continues. It's high time that more people asked, Who's benefiting from the alarmism?


  1. “Who's benefiting from the alarmism?”

    The “authorities”; in every tyranny there is a constant state of manufactured “crises”. Pre-invasion of Poland in 1939, the German media - @ the behest of Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels - was in a state of hysteria over Polish treatment of ethnic Germans in the Danzig corridor as well as French/British encroachment. North Korea has been in a constant state of hysteria with the Il Sung regime keeping the country on a virtual near-war basis by constantly beating the war drums about a joint South Korean/American invasion expected @ any moment. The Soviet Union did the same thing with NATO, even going so far as to shoot down civilian airliners to make their point.

    By fomenting & keeping a “crisis” ongoing, it allows all sorts of nefarious activities to be implemented without oversight as well as keeping the populace distracted, “Look Over Here!” instead of the populace focusing on the things the govt doesn’t want to populace to be aware of/pay attention to.

    It’s classic bait & switch.


    1. It's exactly opposite, in the sense that it is NATO beating the war drums on Russia, hence Muh Russia since 2014.

      I, for one, have only very recently realized the extent that we Westerners have been brainwashed by our own Govts.

  2. The "whos benefiting list" is so long now that I don't think anyone could keep up with it anymore. The majority of the Government, teachers unions, media, digital and US contracting groups are basically on one long over paid and subsidized vacation.

    No one wants that to end... Can you blame them? 🙄

  3. Granted that The Terror is due to the MSM, I think that a portion is also due to the fact that the < 30 crowd in the US has a large chunk of Pajama Boy marshmallows.

  4. It all boils down to loss of religion. Everything always does.

  5. Speaking of cultist like behavior... I made in half way through this article and about fell over.

    Do people not understand what a cult is anymore? My alarm bells were going off!!!