Tom Jones: Unsettling ‘settled science’ |

Tom Jones: Unsettling ‘settled science’

I agree that the claim of “settled science” is frequently nonsense, but it is awfully easy to fall into “Monday morning Quarterback” syndrome, too. People try to get it right with the available data. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t.

At the time Newsom closed California, he was convinced that we were literally weeks away from a collapse of the medical system, running out of hospital beds and equipment. That never happened here, although it certainly did in Italy and New York City. It wasn’t pretty, and I understand trying to avoid it.

The common flu was well understood and predictable. The coronavirus is much more contagious and lethal than the flu, according to the CDC, nor does it seem to disappear when the weather turns warm. What is really amazing to me, though, is the drastically different results different countries had in managing the disease.

The Swedes famously ignored COVID-19, while the Norwegians, next-door, shut down just like California. The Swedes, twice as populous, had 19 times as many cases, and five times as many deaths. Some people may want to imitate Sweden, I don’t.

The Taiwanese, with 24 million people, had just 433 cases and seven deaths, with only a mild shutdown of their economy. They may have gotten it right. How about we learn from them?

Or from the Australians? We are 13 times more populous, but had 263 times as many cases and 1,000 times more deaths, and we are a long way from done.

Tom Jones

Penn Valley

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