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Are COVID-19 Cases Really

“Surging” in Maine?

Well, Not Exactly

By:  David Deschesne

November 13, 2020

   Positive COVID-19 cases are rising in Maine, but the increased testing in November has created the illusion of a second wave, when a closer look at the data shows Maine is actually in better shape now than it was in mid-June.

   To listen to the establishment news media these days, one would think Maine is undergoing an Armageddon of COVID-19 positive cases and that the State’s population will soon be decimated.

   Setting aside the fact that a “positive” COVID-19 case doesn’t contain any clinically meaningful information, and that most of the cases are from oversensitive tests keying in on past viral infections, it’s still important to bring some context to the numbers that the infotainment journalists today have no formal training in.

   Looking at the second week of November in Maine, there were around 1,135 new positive cases of COVID-19, while at the peak in the second week of June of this year there were only 233 positive COVID-19 cases.  To an average person, that would seem like a gigantic leap in cases.  The average positive case count per day in the second week of June was a modest 33 cases per day while in the second week of November, that had escalated to 162 positive cases per day on average.

   Surely the mainstream media is sounding the alarm and capitalizing on clicks on their websites as they push their fear-based psychological warfare operation against the public.  But, there are some key contextual clues that, when considered, show that Maine is actually in a better place now, than at the start of the outbreak.  Paradoxically, even with more “positive” cases - whatever that really means - Maine is actually doing better now than it was in mid-June.  The context clues the mainstream media seems to ignore are: Total Tests and Positive Percentage Rate.

   In the second week of June, Maine had only conducted a total of 9,472 COVID-19 tests to get 233 positive results.  Meanwhile in the second week of November, Maine had conducted 57,710 total COVID-19 tests to get the 1,135 positive cases.  So, while the positive cases in November have gone up 5 times the amount of mid-June, the total number of tests administered in November have increased almost 6 times the amount of mid-June. 

   Maine’s 7 day rolling average positive case rate in mid-June, as reported by the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center, was 2.5%.  The 7 day rolling average positive case rate for Maine in the second week of November is 2.0% - or lower than June by half a percent. 

   What this means is if we were still administering the same number of daily COVID-19 tests in November as we were in June, Maine’s case numbers for COVID-19 now would actually be lower than June’s and therefore not be much of a story for the mainstream media to sensationalize or for the governor to glean political capital from.

   Another important indicator of the severity of the disease is ICU admissions.  In the first two weeks of June the average daily ICU bed occupancy for COVID-19 patients for all of Maine’s hospitals was 14.  For the first two weeks of November, that average daily ICU bed count for COVID patients has remained about the same.  However, the daily average regular hospitalizations with COVID have doubled in November to around 60 compared to around 30 in June.  This rise in admissions could be due to people returning to the hospital for their cancer, heart disease, kidney issues, etc. and keying positive for COVID-19 but not necessarily showing any symptoms.  Regardless of what you’re in the hospital for, if you have a positive COVID-19 PCR test, you will be classified for the data and statistical purposes as a “COVID-19” patient.  The Maine CDC does not distinguish between patients who are in the hospital for normal, routine illnesses who happen to have a positive COVID-19 test and those who are actually hospitalized for COVID-19 symptoms.  This quirk in the data reporting also skews the perception of the disease in favor of big government, command and control reactionary edicts by the governor - when they may in all likelihood not be necessary.

   While Maine did have a lull of around 0.4% - 0.8% positive case rates throughout the summer months, the rolling average positive rate began to increase at the end of October, just as face mask use among the public began to increase.  After Governor Mills mandated all masks all the time for everyone, everywhere at the first of November, positive case rates continued to climb as there was up to 99% compliance with the mask mandate among the citizenry.  But, masks could be the culprit for some of the new COVID cases.

   Randomized control trials have shown that face masks - particularly cloth face masks - actually increase the risk of acquiring a respiratory illness which could be part of what we’re seeing with these rising case numbers in November compared to the summer months when less people were wearing face masks. (ref. footnotes below)

   The chart from Johns Hopkins University for Maine, below, illustrates the expansive new daily testing now being done (vertical bars).  It also shows the 7 day rolling average for positive case numbers (black line at bottom of graph) is not much more than a blip on the radar at this point.

   The mainstream, establishment media isn’t interested (much less even capable) of providing Maine citizens with this level of context because it turns an otherwise sensational story into a lackluster dud and does not give Maine’s Democrat governor the impetus she needs to bring Maine into the next round of lockdowns and ultimately forced COVID-19 vaccinations that will surely be coming when a reactionary, emotion-driven Democrat-controlled Maine Legislature convenes next year.

 Ref:

 

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/5/19-0994_article

https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/5/4/e006577

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/planning-scenarios.html

https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/testing/individual-states