Broken Telephone

Some idiot with half a million equally idiotic followers on Twitter is spreading a rumor that if schools are reopened, millions of children will die.

This is obviously ridiculous because the virus is of virtually no threat to anybody under 20. But the idiot heard some other idiot who heard the statistic from the beginning of the quarantine which said that closing schools would lower COVID mortality (among vulnerable groups, not children) by 2%. So in the idiot’s brain, that translated into 2% of all kids in the US dying if the schools are reopened. And now every idiot follower is retweeting it to his idiot followers.

I’m sure the narrative about millions of kids in the US being on the verge of immediate death if schools reopen will make it on Maddow in no time. And then we’ll have to put up with our more impressionable friends telling us about Trump’s evil plan to murder all American children on orders of Putin. Or Nazis. Or both.

9 thoughts on “Broken Telephone”

  1. You mean this idiot?

    or this one:

    People get very huffy about mortality rates. It looks like a lot of people misheard this in exactly the same way, which you would think someone who is used to going on tv a lot with illustrative dioramas would understand.

    Here’s a paper on rationing that people WILL definitely get upset about: Fair Allocation of Scarce Medical Resources in the Time of Covid-19


    1. No, that’s the idiot that my idiot misheard. :-))))

      Here’s my idiot:


        1. But here’s the kicker: All the interpretations are bad and sound ghoulish, and using the words “appetizing opportunity” sounds disgusting in this context. And applying correct numerical reasoning to attempt to figure out how many extra people would die as a result of schools being opened…


          1. Any risk can be mitigated by directing elderly people and people in high risk groups to self-isolate. If the only risk is that schoolchildren would pass the infection to grandparents, then grandparents should stay away for a while.


            1. “my idiot is a lot more idiotic”

              Ah, playing the Eichenwald card…. an automatic winner in the “What an idiot!” game, he’s twelve pounds of stupid in a ten pound bag.


  2. In related news, worldometers adjusted their US covid deaths number so that Tuesday now looks like a crazy spike over 6k deaths, because:

    “New York City today has reported 3,778 additional deaths that have occurred since March 11 and have been classified as “probable,” defined as follows: “decedent […] had no known positive laboratory test for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) but the death certificate lists as a cause of death “COVID-19” or an equivalent” [source]. We will add these to the New York State total as soon as it is determined whether the historical distribution can be obtained”

    So, now you can count anything “equivalent” as a COVID death. What’s “equivalent”?


    1. In New York, it’s basically assumed right now that anybody who dies at this moment of the ages 90+ is a COVID death. I don’t have any official link or anything but I know somebody whose 98-year-old relative died and it’s one of these “assumed COVID” deaths. We all understand, of course, that a person can die at 98 of all sorts of things. But the family is given the “assumed COVID” story.

      It’s getting so, grandma slips, hits her head, it’s an assumed COVID death because why the hell not.


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