Casting my CPA eye on the 1946 probate document for my grandfather’s estate led to a series of posts on my other blog describing what we can learn about farming in the 1940s from a legal filing. Those posts have been combined into one section of my newest book: An Ulvog Journey.
The book also provides recollections of growing up on a South Dakota farm in the 1930s and 1940s, written by my dad and his seven siblings.
One of my uncles, Carl Ulvog, was a captivating storyteller. His autobiographic tale of experiences in the South Pacific during World War II are also included.
The California Department of Public Health has listed their specific restrictions on holiday gatherings. There are serious limits on what you can do for your Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year celebration.
Economic damage from the shutdown is becoming more obvious as more reporters spend time covering the destruction. Here are two articles each on the overall economic impact, specific impact on individuals, and concentrated impact on two cities:
GDP in Italy expected to shrink to the level it was 23 years ago
Airline CEOs expect it will take years for the airlines to recover
Additional 8 million Americans drop below the poverty level, joining the 55 million who were there before the pandemic
All 1,600 orchestras in the country have gone dark; their 160K musicians are unemployed
San Francisco has 14% vacancy rate in commercial office space
Impact on employment in New York City is more severe than the national average
The damage to health caused by the lockdown is becoming more visible. The damage has been there from the beginning of the shutdown; it is just becoming more obvious. A growing number of news articles are describing the deteriorating health outcomes. A growing number of reporters are noticing the devastation.
A few recent articles for your consideration:
‘Years of life lost’ caused by the shutdown is calculated in one analysis to be seven times the number of ‘years of life lost’ which are prevented by the shutdown
Frightening increase in suicide ideation by young adults
Mental health services pulled off line because of the shutdown
Seniors at one nursing home protest the shutdown and the loneliness it causes
Make a mental note that a large number of governors, state-level health officials, federal health officials, and county health officials are forcefully, willfully continuing the lockdowns.
Summarized below are a few of the recent articles pointing to expanding economic damage from the shutdown. Destruction in the movie business is noticeable in recent days:
Second largest movie chain in the US closes all its theaters
Wonder Woman director worried the entire theater industry may die
Disney restructures in order to increase focus toward direct-to-consumer distribution channel and away from theatrical release
Sales tax collections in San Francisco collapse
Passenger cruise ships are getting scrapped
10/5/20 – Wall Street Journal – Regal Cinemas Suspending Operations at All US Locations– The chain with the second largest number of theaters in the U.S. has closed all of its US theaters after having reopened only two months ago. Article does not indicate when any of the theaters will be reopened.
Article says release dates for a dozen movies have been postponed.
Increasing numbers of reports describe the damage to education of our youth. Students of every age group being hurt by the lockdown. Impact on poor or disadvantaged or previously struggling students is even more severe.
I am heartbroken that the damage will continue for the near future. The compounding effect will be terrible.
9/28/20 – ProPublica – The Students Left Behind by Remote Learning – Keep in mind this article describing the devastating impact of the lockdown on students from disadvantaged families is from ProPublica, a far-left news organization and not from some wild eyed Libertarian organization that wants people to have the freedom to make their own decisions on absolutely every issue in their lives.
Article goes into great lengths describing the struggles experienced by one particular student who has been trying to learn in virtual classes. As a starting point, there’s a grand total of four hours online teaching per week. Four hours – one hour per day on Monday through Thursday. That is the only teaching time. For all his class subjects.
Indications are starting to emerge that the answer to the question may actually be no.
Previously mentioned one analysis which found a weak statistical correlation between weaker lockdown requirements and lower infection rate. The study found no correlation between the date that states started releasing the lockdown restrictions and subsequent infection rates.
The rate of infections accelerates rapidly and then hits an inflection point where the rate of infections either plateaus or the rate slows dramatically.
The following study suggests the lockdowns have no correlation to when the infection rates hit that transition point. In fact, the inflection point normally is reached before the lockdowns could have had any impact.
Authors pulled the daily infection rate for 13 states and graphed the data on a logarithmic scale. Seeing infections on a log scale makes it easier to see trends. There are visible transitions in every state from rapid acceleration to a flattened or greatly reduced infection rate.
We have been locked down long enough for the volume of statistics to build up to the point of allowing deeper analysis. As is always the case, the statistics can also be manipulated to give whatever answer you want. Deeper, honest analysis is starting to show surprising results, for example, the lack of correlation between infection rates and lockdown policies.
Surprising results on the low correlation will be mentioned after some game playing is described.
The annual motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota routinely draws huge numbers of people to the town, whose population is only 7,000 people. Attendance at the 10-day event this year was lower than usual with an estimated 460,000 motorcycle enthusiasts hanging around.
Frightening news reports at the time said this would cause massive numbers of Covid infections leading to massive numbers of deaths.
In news over the last few days, Rev. Dr. John MacArthur said he would start a jail ministry if County officials toss him in the slammer, the Archbishop of San Francisco stands up to de facto shutdown of Masses, and one church concedes to the severe pressures from Santa Clara County.
Growing indications point towards ongoing damage to learning at all educational levels due to the shut down. From kindergartners to college students there will be losses of learning time and knowledge.
Older students will be able to catch up. Motivated students will get through. I fear youngsters in particular and unmotivated students in general will suffer permanent damage from the lockdown.
Consider all the damage described in the following articles is a result of a public policy choice made by a host of state and local officials.
The Dispatch – 9/10/20 – The sad realities of virtual learning. – Looks like kindergartners are disappearing from schools. Enrollment in Los Angeles Unified School District is down 14% from a year ago.
The number of new claims for unemployment for week ending 9/12/20 dropped a little, with “only” 860,000 people losing their jobs, down from an upwardly revised 893,000 the previous week. For contrast, before the government induced shutdown of the economy new claims averaged about 220,000 per week.
Better news in the data is the number of continuing claims for unemployment dropped about twice as much as the new claims, to 12.6M for the week ending 9/5/20. That is the lowest since the shutdown started.
As I continue to sort out for myself what this means, will continue listing the stats I’m tracking.
The number of new claims for unemployment and number drawing unemployment is provided by Department of Labor. I calculated the net change, which I assume represents the number of new jobs, although it could also be that people dropping out of the job market wash into the new jobs number:
Check out the lengthy list of specific requirements imposed by the County of Los Angeles before a church can worship on campus. Pastor John MacArthur describes the requirements placed on Grace Community Church.
After I go through the requirements ponder how you would summarize these restrictions.
Ponder whether the net effect is to strangle worship.
Then ponder whether the net effect is an intentional strategy.
Circumstances are now to the point in the state of California, and three counties in particular, where we can say that the government is now persecuting the Church. This presents itself as counties going after three specific congregations, but when you look at the details you see a broader pattern in play.
A few updates to previous posts before getting to the main discussion.
The County of Los Angeles has unilaterally canceled the lease on land which provides something in the range of 40% or 50% of parking capacity for Grace Community Church. Oh, the lease has been in place for 45 years.
North Valley Baptist Church is now facing $52,000 in fines for the heinous offense of worshiping indoors. Keep in mind this is the church which was visited by spies from the county. It certainly appears that Santa Clara is acting like the Stasi back in about old days of East Germany. The pastor declared “We Are Not Closing down This Church” – California Pastor Warns Officials.
The article also provides the biblical explanation for standing up to unbiblical government rules.
These efforts will ultimately fail.
There may be short-term successes for the government.
There may be intermediate-term successes.
These efforts will fail.
Standing up for constitutional rights in court.
Los Angeles County doesn’t realize they have taken on a church that will not back down. I will make an easy guess that Grace Community Church will put whatever effort in time and dollars that it takes to stand up in court even if it involves going to state appeal court, then federal appeal, then US Supreme Court.
Check out any of the pictures from the rally and you will notice a distinct lack of masks and social distancing.
Expectations in most media sources were for this event to produce massive amounts of infection.
Half a million people. In one town.
The tracking results are in from the massive numbers of people who were infected and the resulting fatalities from this massive event.
It is shocking. Amazing. Head-shaking. Astounding.
Best info available is that:
196 people tested positive for COVID with results linked to attending Sturgis.
4 people died.
To put that in context, 5 people died of motorcycle accidents in Sturgis during the rally.
Growing awareness something is wrong with lockdowns
8/24/20 – Wall Street Journal – New Thinking on COVID Lockdowns: They are Overly Blunt and Costly – Article has a massive amount of information on the course of the pandemic, wide range of strategies by national and state governments, and large volume of statistics. The story is told basically scrambled egg style with no pattern or trends or storylines that I can easily summarize.