Life in a small town

“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

Ballad Of A Thin Man”, Bob Dylan, from the album “Highway 61 Revisited”, (1965)

A few questions pop up after even a cursory glance at the reported COVID-19 statistics, for example appearing here.

Apparently, 60,480,000 people is the population of Italy. Italy’s COVID-19 death rate is about 9%, with cases numbering about 59138 or .0009 % of pop.  These demographics, reflected in other centers like Iran, Spain, Germany, and France as well, would seem to give us a fairly believable ballpark projection of where we might be headed here at home in Alberta in the next 6 weeks or so, absent our current extraordinary efforts on the part of our governments and health care systems.

China, and North Korea, and even Russia seem to be missing in action when it comes to reported COVID-19 cases and deaths. China with a population of 1,386,000,000 “should” be reporting about 1,247,400 cases with 112,266 deaths. Why such a huge difference for China and for North Korea, and even Russia for that matter, from what simple demographic stats might predict?

To my admittedly limited intelligence, and based on life experience, only two possible answers present themselves: First, China (and North Korea and Russia) has (or already had) a 100% effective cure and has stopped the spread of COVID-19 in its tracks. They are keeping this breakthrough secret for strategic reasons and economic advantage.

The other possibility is that, like North Korea, and Russia, China has stopped reporting any COVID-19 data. I know where my beliefs lead me, given 70 years of historical track record of data reporting out of any of the communist regimes on the planet since at least the 50’s.

So we can believe what the useful idiots in the MSM are reporting, that there have been no significant increases in deaths or cases in any Communist countries since about mid February. Or we can question the MSM reporting.

It might also be true, that, even as we have personally experienced throughout our own life in government employ, that in senior government bureaucratic circles, understanding of math and stats and what they actually tell us is very thin on the ground. Understanding math and stats is what staff officers and briefing notes are for. Why should there be any difference between the political masters in the Communist bloc, and the first hand witness of our own political masters in the “Free” West.

However one looks at things, it is a certainty that Communists and the instruments of the Left, the “Running Dogs”, have the same credibility problems which Uncle Joe and  Mao and their acolytes suffered from in the middle of the 20th century.

Remember the heroic protagonists of the movie “Reds? Remember George Bernard Shaw’s reporting of the “Vacation Resorts” in the Soviet Union … ah yes … remember … or just believe whatever the latest twitter post tells you, that this whole epidemic is the fault of some nameless group of government regulators who failed to stop global airline traffic before there was a problem. I am in the same head space as David Warren in his post here.

Historically it has been a truism that anything good reported out of the Communist bloc should be downgraded by a factor of about 20. Likewise, anything bad reported should be inflated by about a factor of 20. This has been true for as long as I can remember, especially noted during my military service during the 70’s.


It’s really all about Trust, isn’t it?