Was AirVenture A Superspreader? (Amended)

165

The texts and emails started last Tuesday, about a week after the opening of AirVenture 2022. “I got %$#(% COVID!” Well, of course you did, because everyone is eventually going to, or almost everyone. A reader wrote us yesterday wondering if AirVenture was a superspreader event. (Two of our staff were infected.)

Just guessing, I’d say it probably was. Technically, a superspreader is one individual infecting a high number of others, although “high” is subject to interpretation. Anecdotally, everyone who contacted me said they knew at least several others who got infected during the show or had the case develop when they got home a few days later. One avionics business had 12 people on site and seven were infected. My suspicion is that people who developed symptoms early at the show may have brought it with them from elsewhere during their travels. Incubation for COVID is generally given between 5 and 7 days for earlier variants but as short as two days for the BA-5 currently circulating. If you got there Sunday and got sick on Tuesday, you may have imported it or got it there.

Not that it matters enough to amount to a fart in a whirlwind. Regardless of what the CDC says, the populace has decided that COVID is now endemic, not a major risk to life and livelihood and can we please just get on with it? If there is any great lesson to draw from exposure risk at AirVenture, I think that’s probably it. If you’re worried about and it and fear that it threatens your health, go or don’t go. But at this stage, expecting any kind of broad-based mitigations to make a meaningful difference is delusional.

Looking back on the lost year of 2020, you can drive yourself nuts second-guessing whether that Draconian AirVenture cancellation was even necessary. I wasn’t going anyway, so the debate, frankly, bores me. At the time AirVenture was canceled, deaths were actually declining from a high of 2000 a day earlier in the year. By the end of 2020, they had spiked above 4000. Funeral homes were running out of supplies in some places and hospitals were nearing the breaking point.

But what makes going to events like AirVenture or Sun ‘n Fun worth the risk is that we have proven the risk of serious disease is quite low. We have vaccines and boosters, widespread home and clinical testing and much more refined therapies. Against that backdrop, the risk, while not zero, seems acceptably low to me. I wasn’t able to attend AirVenture this year, but for reasons not related to COVID concerns.

To the reader who wrote us said he wasn’t going back “until this pandemic clears up”: I’m not so sure we’re not there. If COVID truly is endemic, like the flu and the common cold, it will mutate over time and become a fixed feature of crowded venues like AirVenture. My view was always that mitigations such as masks and distancing were weak at best, but just worth doing.   

One tell is how Oshkosh itself was impacted. Evidently, not much, so if show attendees brought infections with them, they didn’t seem to have passed them on in large numbers. The Winnebago County Health Department reports 23 hospitalizations and only five since July 28. The seven-day average of cases was reported at 59, up from 52 before the show started. Hardly worthy of note, in my view. In Outagamie County to the north, cases actually fell, although hospitalizations are up.   

If that’s the shape of the future, I can live with it. And in any case, might as well get used to it. This virus is probably going to be around for a long time. And so will AirVenture.

Addition: Considering The Numbers

When I wrote this blog for Monday, I skipped my usual process of diving into the numbers. After all, why mess up a good story with, you know, actual data. But a reader called me to task for this, suggesting the risk is higher than I have suggested.

Fair enough. So using what data is available from the New York Times dashboard, I can put the risk in numerical context. A disclaimer: The data on reported cases is barely worthy of the label. A recent Bloomberg article suggested they may be undercounted by between three and 31 times. This is like pushing a chain. Nonetheless, using my own multiplier of three times, the case risk is about 100/100,000 people or 0.1 percent. Decide for yourself if that’s a high risk; for me, it is not.

Hospitalization and death rates are probably more accurate and these stand at about 13/100,000 and 0.13/100,000 respectively. Again, these aren’t high numbers. The death rate is one eighth of the fatal GA crash rate. And this is the context for attending AirVenture based on reasonably considered risk. Looked at the other way, if you consider these risks high, what are the options?

Cancel the event again? A non-starter. Require masking and distancing? With the aviation crowd, I don’t think so. Nor do I think individual masking is very effective unless those around you are doing the same. That leaves don’t go as the overarching choice. It was once reasonable to insist that big events like this be canceled or subject to mitigation efforts in service of the wider good for people who would never attend. We may get there again sometime, but we aren’t there now. For public health measures to be effective, there has to be good public buy-in, not widespread rejection. Given the record 650,000 attendance, you can easily guess public sentiment.

Here’s an interesting thought experiment. Applying the numbers I presented above would yield about 650 cases of COVID out of AirVenture. Does that pass the smell test? For me, not a chance. I would guess it was many times higher than that. But it’s just a guess and, sadly, that’s all any of this is.   

Other AVwebflash Articles

165 COMMENTS

    • How did your trailer fare in the Saturday night storm? Did you tie it down before the storm came through? Sorry you caught Covid, my wife and I had it in March 2020 just as things were shutting down. I got over it in 10 days and she 2 weeks, but had some long Covid issues with breathing. Took awhile to solve that. I made it up Friday with a pilot bud, actually flew the Fisk arrival, so got to see it from the pilot’s end.

      • I sited it the previous Thursday — just jacked it up onto jack stands — and left until Sunday evening. When I got there, it was fine. LAST year during the Wednesday storm, it was also fine AND a great dry enjoyment while people tenting were having a bad time.

  1. It was completely political from the beginning. As usual the government lied to the people about almost everything related to COVID and it was clearly not as dangerous to most people absent old age and poor health. It was simply a means to redistribute wealth and condition Americans to stricter bureaucratic rule. Now we know that if the CDC tells us it’s dark outside we should open the curtains and look outside before we believe them. COVID killed science.

        • I disagree, science has been killed by politicians. Really started with the so called global warming whose name has been changed to climate change. The purpose behind that and covid is to institute global policies controlling people. The end result sadly will be the dystopian world Orwell portrayed in 1984 which sadly turns out to not be a work of fiction but a warning which we failed to heed.

          • Actually, “global warming” was a media-created name. Climatologists have always referred to it as “climate change”, which is an accurate name for the phenomenon. But most people don’t read or listen past the headlines, so the true facts get twisted and lead to a misunderstanding and loss of trust in the real science buried in the details.

        • The Climate ALWAYS CHANGES, it’s not a static phenomena. The reasons for the climatological changes is not (despite what you hear) scientifically determined.

          If you really want to know what the public/government debate on Climate change is about, ask them what they’d do with all the money that would be collected through a carbon tax? The answer is at the IPCC at the UN.

    • You need to get better informed instead of just looking at political rants.
      If you actually inform yourself, you will see that, for the most part, we were given the best knowledge available at the time. Our knowledge of the disease changed as we learned more and the recommendations changed.
      Of course it wasn’t a dangerous disease. It was just a coincidence that hospitals were beyond capacity, and they had to obtain refrigerator trucks to act as morgues. The morgues were filled with people of all ages. That could happen any time. Covid just happened to come at the same time.
      Yes, the disease is less serious now, but people are still going to the hospital. If YOU want to expose yourself and not take reasonable precautions, that is your choice. YOU can risk having symptoms for the rest of your life. Maybe a lockdown is not necessary now, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t take reasonable precautions. So, I would not eat indoors in a crowded restaurant, but one with just a few people is OK for me. The more people, the better chance of one of them carrying the virus. Also, the more people, the less distance between them.

      • “Reasonable” seriously? There were none. Lockdown’s weren’t reasonable, shutting schools has impacted a generation of children for their entire lives.
        Masks have been proven not to work. Seriously, the old ” refrigerator trucks as morgues statement. Move on, don’t go out, stay inside and alone the rest of your life and continue with the dribble.

    • “It was completely political from the beginning” and THAT proves denialism does not work. The virus doesn’t care about your politics or your beliefs. The virus is real. It threatens, hurts, disables, and kills people in the population and statistical research shows vaccines help avoid hospitalizations and death. Just because the currently-spreading variant is less-deadly does not mean the COVID pandemic is gone. Americans seem to agree somewhat on acceptable risk, like AirVenture and the upcoming Annual Sturgis Spreader Event. But I agree we should leave politics out of it.

  2. Dutch researchers show that one in 12 people who get Covid are still showing symptoms or do not think they are fully cured, six months after diagnosis. Loss of smell, taste, shortness of breath, coughing, runny nose and just feeling washed out are what they complain about.
    So when you bet on a horse, how often do you win at 12 to one?
    Around where I live, a whole lot of 20 and 30 year olds, the group who were the most impatient with the rules and restrictions, caught it between February and April.
    Most were in bed for at least three days, off work for 10 (with loss of bonuses) and rather chastened by the experience.
    They are now the group calling loudest for the fourth dose of vaccine to be available for all, not just the over 60s.
    Like you say, it is here to stay, constantly evolving (with South Africa now the main brewing pot) and, I might add, not something to treat lightly.

    • Believe it. I know too many folks personally who either took it too lightly or simply were unlucky and caught it despite all the precautions. Some rebounded, some died. The others have serious side effects that wont go away. To say it’s “just like the flu” is stupid. When the flu goes away, it’s gone, Covid not so much for too many people. Caution is advised until we get a better handle on it for sure, but at least with the vaccines we have now we can at least survive it, and for some that’s enough. Just don’t take it so lightly that you think that you’ll never be one of the folks that never has it go away, or worse, spreads it to others out of ignorance.

      • I have observed similar events with COVID. A 32 year old mom who caught COVID and died after her toddler son in daycare brought the virus home. Relatives who got very ill and had symptoms for months. Friends and relatives who had employees, relatives, long term friends perish. No, COVID wasn’t the Black Death or smallpox. However, it was and is conseqential. It’s interesting how many people remain anti-vax even after surviving a long and draining bout of COVID. Go figure…

      • “Some died.” Yes, most are getting it, no matter what Gov’t 1984 did and does. And yes, it is just like the flu, actually better? Because, well you have no idea, no data, no anything to show. This long Covid thing, is a way for people who are scared anyway, to continue to scare others. And because most humans are well, humans, yes they will spread it, get it, etc. etc. etc.

    • So THAT’s where I got it … I spent a lot of time talking to the So Africans who flew the three Sling HW airplanes in Linda was slobbering on everything any time she talked about her airplane, too. Maybe I got too close to her? 🙂

  3. Skied when covid-19 hit its height in winter of 2020; mask police were scolding those standing on liftlines to pull up masks especially those smirking with it below their noses. Social distancing was spacing wearing skis on liftlines. Lodge was all but closed except to patrons dining; website implored everyone to dress up ready for the outdoors and eat in their vehicles. Portajohns were lined up in the parking lot but I used the indoor facilities. A super spreader event standing on lifelines. Didn’t catch covid-19. Winter of 2021; no mask police, lodge opened, no restrictions, hardly anyone wearing masks as business returned, lifelines packed. Visited my ski area eighteen times, didn’t catch covid-19. Fully vaccinated and boosted. Brother in law caught covid-19 at work and spread it to his wife and adult son; both were vaccinated and likened it to a cold. Son wasn’t vaccinated and recovered.

    • Consider yourself lucky or blest. In many cases, severity is a roll of the dice. A well know airport owner in NJ, who was energetic, robust, happy, Harley owner, Twin Commander owner flew a friend to Florida. That friend had been in the early stages of infection. The airport owner came down with COVID in Florida, had to be hospitalized, wound up on a feeding tube, and intubated. He never left. He died there, in his 50’s. We were all shocked. One of many stories up here in the NY metro area. Even if the odds were 1 in 500, if you wind up being 1, nothing else matters.

  4. I came down with COVID at the show although I suspect that I either brought it from Maryland or picked it up at one of many fuel stops along the way to the show. I honestly wasn’t surprised but I was very disappointed that the EAA did not have any rapid tests available at the first-aid stations or anywhere else on the field. As you said, this is now endemic and we need to live with it so the first-aid stations should be prepared. Instead they handed me a sheet of places that sold test kits in town which would have been fine if I had a car, which I did not. I guess they expected me to Uber to a drug store but they didn’t even offer me a mask to protect the Uber driver. To make matters worse, they main reason I was trying to get tested is that I was supposed to be volunteering on Friday for the EAA at the Learn to Fly building so I was trying to protect their guests and other volunteers from what I suspected was a budding case of COVID. So yes, we need to learn to live with this, no we shouldn’t stay away from OSH, but yes, EAA should be better prepared to help guests who come down with COVID at the show.

    • Technically, covid is not yet truly endemic, though most people are behaving as through it is. At least we do seem to be past the worst of it, according to hospitalization rates. But since at-home test results are rarely collected, the infection rate data is incomplete at best and should be considered unreliable data.

      But would I go to OSH next year? Yes, I hope to. This year and last year simply didn’t work out for reasons completely unrelated to covid. But I’ve never been a part of the “I go every year, full stop” crowd, so missing a few events isn’t a big deal to me.

    • Helen W. your comment highlights exactly what is wrong with the way many Americans think today. What ever happened to taking personal responsibility for ones own actions. The Federal government has made at-home Covid 19 tests available from many sources including Walmart, CVS, Walgreens etc. for FREE! If you were concerned that you might contract Covid while attending Airventure why did you not bring your own test kit…I did, just in case. Instead you expect the EAA to provide tests for 650000 attendees. I don’t know if you even realize what your are asking, but it is preposterous to even consider. If you were so concerned, you could have provided your own test kits as well as your own masks. Both are inexpensive or free and do not take up much space or weight in an aircraft. Just something to consider next time. Don’t blame EAA for your lack of preparation.

  5. I find Covid provides great examples of “Survivorship Bias”. For many of those who got it and lived, it confirms their belief that it’s no big deal. But for those who didn’t survive, well, they’re not around to tell us what they think. It’s easy to believe in the positive when the dissenting opinions are dead.

    Though judging by the posts on sorryantivaxxer.com, I suspect many of those who died believing it was no big deal took that opinion to the grave.

    • Japanese have been wearing masks for ~70 years. Their flu incidence was consistently higher than the U.S. until they started an aggressive vaccine campaign ~15 years ago. Masks don’t work and never have. As for medical facilities, the anti-science behavior of the medical establishment has been one of the greatest eye-openers of this eye-opening pandemic.

      Aviation safety is driven by objective data, not “expert” opinion. As just one illustrative example, we adopted checklists in the early 1940’s because we learned that even the best trained pilots can, and do, err when faced with complex tasks, especially in a high stress environment or when complacent. Most docs still don’t use them. Beech Bonanzas we’re often known as Doctor killers not because the planes were dangerous but because their pilots had egos and wallets bigger than their skills warranted. It’s as good a metaphor as any for the reasons to question the opinions of the medical profession.

      • The data on masks refute your statement that they “don’t work and never have”. Depending on the type used, they may have a near-zero effect (single-layer cloth masks and neck gaiters) to a significant effect (properly-fitted N95+). It’s just that it’s impractical to walk around everywhere with a properly-fitted N95 or better masks, so most people (who wear masks) are using the less-effective but more practical ones.

      • With all the talk of science gone sour, I’m going to have to point out that your comparison of flu rates seems suspicious.

        The Japanese are a genetically homogeneous society that live like sardines compared to us. Those and other variables could seemingly skew the results.

        I’m no scientist, but I’ve had no end of frustration with arguments on both sides of the mask effectiveness issue. The biggest problem is language. We really have to be careful what we are talking about. Are we talking about mask policy effectiveness or the effectiveness of the physical mask? Does physical effectiveness get measured based on the material or the design itself. Do we allow for the factors of ease of use, comfort, cost, durability, etc.?

        All I know at this point is I’ve not seen anything convincing from either side.

        • Apparently all medical facilities continue to require masks for both patients and staff, regardless of the fact that the flimsy paper masks are not N95 nor properly fitting. Therefore the whole patient care medical establishment is perpetuating phony, virtue signaling that is medically worthless as has been proven by numerous studies. Properly fitted N95 or similar surgical masts – yes. Everything else is worthless virtue signaling nonsense.

  6. Paul: You essentially it the nail on the head as a non-physician observer of all of this. I am a lung doctor who has dealt with respiratory viruses my entire life. We have learned many things about them over the last 100 years. But we subsequently violated many of the practices and principles we learned about them dujring the last 2.5 years. “shelter in place” and lockdowns do not work and never have in the past. The WHO (World Health Organization) said the same over 15 years ago.
    The only way to stop a respiratory virus from spreading is to have everyone stop breathing. That is not possible nor necessary as the “sky is not falling” with this infection and people need to learn it never was.
    So to blame AirVenture or any other outdoor activity as a”spreader” of any infection is improper. Individuals should make the choice on what they think their personal risk tolerance allows them to do. Massive “one size fits all” rules will not get you there!

      • Except in a few places they were not. My neighbor is an administrator for a major hospital system in the Washington DC area. They were getting ready to lay off their employees, the hospital was for the most part empty. The so called “elective” procedures were stopped which cut off the revenue to the hospital, emptied many beds and left staff with nothing to do. Those doctors and nurses who everyone praised were about to lose their jobs. Totally mishandled the whole thing.

        • I have a neighbor who is a nurse that said the same thing, her facility was never overwhelmed. The US Navy actually had a hospital ship stationed in Los Angeles and New York City. Neither one was used. The mayor of New York refused offers of help by several religious organizations. The governor of New York refused help from Remington who had an empty plant ,offering to use that plant to produce more ventilators during a shortage of that equipment. Not downplaying those who died with Covid, but there where many reports of certain coroner’s offices blaming covid for for deaths even though those patients had other deadly ailments. Government has completely botched the response to Covid in 2020.

  7. Pilots, who over long periods of time, climb thousands of feet above terra firma in mechanical devices subject to periodic failure, with exposure to the vicissitudes of weather and their own human fallibility worrying about what has become the equivalent of a heavy cold, strikes me as laughable.

    • I was getting ready to fly one day and saw another pilot around his plane, by himself, wearing a mask. The dividing line definitely is not between pilots and non-pilots. I would say that it’s a different psychological aspect, the same one which tends to group people into two main political bents.

  8. We were careful for the most part. We didn’t get any sickness for over two years. We did live our lives, saw friends, I flew every week, mainly to West Virginia where it was still open, went to the grocery store and so on. Unfortunately a few weeks ago I felt like crap and tested positive the next morning. I had the runny nose from hell, a cough and that was about it. Took about 2 weeks for the runny nose to stop. My wife sadly got it also a couple of days later. Headache and fatigue. She slept for the most part for three days. As the author says eventually everyone will get it. We are vaccinated and received one booster. My wife due to health issues had her antibodies tested. More then adequate. Her physician is recommending against additional boosters. At this point I have to wonder who is benefitting from this massive transfer of wealth from the taxpayers to moderna, Pfizer and others.

    • “At this point I have to wonder who is benefitting from this massive transfer of wealth from the taxpayers to moderna, Pfizer and others.”

      Let me answer your question: moderna, Pfizer, the politicians to whom they donate, and bureaucrats like Fauci.

  9. How many million people have died from this scourge? And how many more were sickened, some for many months due to “long covid”. Paul, your column is based on your opinion, rather than epidemiological facts. I suggest taking a look at Katelyn Jettelina (an epidemiologist) for a statistical evaluation of the situation, and the real risks this virus presents to different age groups.
    Personally, my sentiments about living a full life are right with you. On the other hand, just because a guy I meet who happens to have an aircraft I’d love to fly in, asks me to go up with him, I first consider the mechanical condition of the aircraft, and second, his competency.
    Going to AirVenture or anywhere else and ignoring the actual risks and living as if it’s pre 2019, is well, ignoring significant aspects of reality.

    • Quite right, Rich K.. Although some of the words of someone that only identified himself with a single dot (.), contain, in my perspective (as an MD as I’m) a certain part of true, the Covid illness isn’t, for while, a simple endemic one and a lot of care must be taken for as members of a community. And, between those cares, the only one isn’t wearing face masks, even if we’re talkink on N95+.

    • Where did Paul say “ignore risks”? Conservatives like Paul and me (and others) wouldn’t tell anyone to ignore risks. We would tell people to make their own decisions. You know, like people in a free country ought to do.

      And just to cover the reply I’m likely to get from some, I suspect most of us would also encourage people to be respectful of others—i.e., if you know you’re sick, stay home or take precautions not to expose others.

  10. With half a million people from (literally) everywhere and numbers on the rise it was certain there were thousands, if not tens of thousands of people with active COVID cases. That’s what drove my decision to mask up (with an actual KN95) when inside; despite the looks like I was a three headed mongoose. I got to ask my annoying questions of vendors in enclosed spaces and no COVID thus far.

    It’s a bit like aviation and the Swiss cheese theory: sometimes the holes just line up for bad luck. The more you reduce the holes, the less likely they are to line up, but they still can. So were you lucky or good- I don’t know- there doesn’t have to be a whirlwind for me to fart.

  11. Two weekends before I went to Oshkosh, I and my companion picked up covid at a church potluck. We were prepared and knew what to do. Fevers, congestion, all the rest for 48 hours, and then gradual diminishing of symptoms over the next 3 days. No vax, no Pzifermectinlovid “rebound”, just large doses of supplements well-known to be mitigants of viral load and a generic therapeutic pharmaceutical that has been ridiculed by the cultists. Contrary to the shrieking of the deniers, our process worked for us, just as it worked for many, many of our friends, most of whom are, like us, in the “at-risk” demographic. We were symptom-free well before OSH. Who knows – Maybe we’ll get some of the blame by cultists for the “superspread” at OSH for our noncompliance with The Science™, carrying The Bug while not being appropriately fearful. Because blaming seems to be a big part of compliance with “authority”.

  12. Hi Paul, thank you so much for the article. If I were in your editorial shoes, I would probably take the same stance of advocating for the public-health stability of Oshkosh, the greatest aviation event in the world, and poo-pooing COVID risks and citing COVID stats of a minuscule part of the total Oshkosh attendance (650,000). There were most likely attendees, like me, who were in fine form at OSH and went nowhere near the Winnebago County Health Department, then traveled home and became sick. I got COVID after attending, and am feeling much better after a round of Paxlovid. But you speak the truth when you state it is my go/no go decision whether to attend or not, and next year, I will make that decision along with everyone else, based on all available information related to the event, with heavy emphasis on non-attendance.

  13. I both agree and disagree with Paul. All large events are super spreader events that we are going to have to learn to live with by mitigation. But Covid is a far more serious disease than the Flu. More than a Million have died from Covid and it is now the 3rd leading cause of death in the US, lagging only behind heart disease and cancer. 2.4% of our work force is now out on Long Term Disability due to Long Covid.

    Masking more effectively prevents transmission than protection against infection; it is a courtesy to others to mask up when attending any event with strangers. One should take a home Coved test (still provided for free by the government) before attending any event and stay home till testing negative, but at least mask up.

    Vaccination absolutely lessens the burden of Covid on both the individual and society. So it is a courtesy to all, to stay up to date on vaccination and boosters. Vaccination is far safer than is catching Covid.

    Yes there is survivor bias in those pooh poohing all the Covid precautions: the dead tell no tales and natural selection has killed many of the vulnerable.

    Exercising one’s right to reject masking and vaccination, does not give you the authority to jeopardize others, but the responsibility to protect other from the consequence of your decisions.

      • “Has served me well.”

        But has it served your fellow Americans? The Vaccinated have broader spectrum immunity that those with “natural immunity” gained by surviving Covid infection.

        Test yourself for Covid-19 and wear a mask if positive.

      • Because when vaccinated, your vaccine burden is lower and less likely to mutate; thus lessening the rate of transmission. This is a Corona Covid-19 virus science fact.

        The common cold is a corona virus that mutates so rapidly, that we’ve never been able to create a vaccine against it.

          • Ignore my previous reply – bad copy-paste.

            Vaccines *boost* natural immunity. Yes, you can roll the dice and take your chances with your own immunity, or you can “cheat” and increase the effectiveness of your own immunity.

            Put another way, if there was something easy and cheap I could do that statistically decreased the chance of my engine failing, why would I *not* do that, even if the chances of it failing are pretty low to begin with? It seems like a no brainer to me.

    • Nope, masking has proven not to work. And the now, courtesy argument is BS. I would like you to be courteous not to eat McDonald’s or Domino’s or smoke or drink, so you don’t get fat, heart disease and die. Which I pay for. But if you looked at the crowd at OSH, there were a lot of fat people there. Covid was a pandemic, people died and instead of science and real world solutions, politicians made the decisions on masks (which we have known for 100 years didn’t work) and keeping schools closed and hospitals unavailable to the sick, which will kill and effect generations. Polio was found in NY, you know why, because those children who were blocked from school or told to be scared to go out didn’t get their vaccinations, and polio and a lifetime with it, is far worse to a young person than COVID. If you wore a mask, great you’re an adult, fine. But you’re ignorant and a lemming.

  14. COVID wasn’t a fart in a whirlwind. When millions died mostly because the same people refused to wear masks and refused to get vaccinated citing personal freedom. A pandemic is not about personal freedom without impacting others. Unless you become a hermit.

    COVID may be a nuisance now that many are boosted but it wasn’t the case two years ago.

    • We have no idea how many people died as a DIRECT result of COVID. The CDC and almost all state health departments classified any death as a COVID death if the person had tested positive for COVID no matter what the individuals acute medical issue was. People killed by trauma that had blood drawn who died within minutes of hospital arrival were counted as COVID deaths. Hospital ICD-9 codes were monetized and created a COVID death certificate factory.

      • The virus itself is rarely the actual cause of death. It’s usually the symptoms that kill people, often pneumonia or other respiratory illness (hence the “SARS” part of SARS-CoV-2: Severe Accute Respiratory Syndrom). But how do you determine with 100% certainty that the pneumonia was directly caused by COVID or something else? The simple answer is that you can’t, so you record it as “caused by covid” if they test positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, or “caused by not-covid” if they test negative.

        • You’re missing the point. If someone went to the hospital because they were in a severe motorcycle accident, sustaining massive internal injuries, and also had COVID-19, and their death was documented as due do COVID-19, are you cool with that?

          • Do you have an example of that, or is it something you made up?

            Here’s the funny thing about motorcycle accidents. You’ll never see a cause of death listed as “motorcycle accident”. The cause of death form usually lists multiple entries. So with your theoretical motorcycle accident the cause of death would show:
            1: Massive Internal Bleeding
            …due to…
            2: Massive blunt force trauma
            …due to…
            3: injuries sustained from motorcycle accident.

            Now, if that person had Covid-19 it might be noted on their death certificate as well, just like any other conditions such as obesity, or high-blood-pressure, or cancer.

            Now, the person wouldn’t have died of Covid (or obesity, or cancer). UNLESS Covid (or obesity, or cancer) made them unable to recover from their motorcycle injuries. Then it might be listed as an additional cause of death.

          • Jay W., you are a walking encyclopedia of conspiracy theories. I know, I know … just because it’s a conspiracy doesn’t mean it’s a theory.

            jeeze … just waiting for you to play the “sheeple” card.

      • “We have no idea how many people died as a DIRECT result of COVID.”

        Actually, we have a pretty good idea. The “Excess Death” rate is the number of people who actually died beyond what was expected.

        Every year a certain number of people will die – old age, cancer, heart disease, accidents, viruses, and so on. It’s a fairly steady, predictable number. There are occasional blips due to natural disasters (hurricanes, heat waves, floods). Or a particularly big jump in 2018 due to a nasty strain of flu.

        But these past two years have seen huge increase in excess deaths due to Covid-19. If all Covid-19 deaths were subtracted, then the Excess Death rate would closely match the expected death rate.

        PS – I mention Jan 2018 flu season because some FaceBook posts seek to minimize “Excess Deaths” by cherry-picking the data, comparing Jan ’18 to Jan ’21 and claiming the two match. But if you look at a chart of Excess Deaths over several years, the truth comes out.

  15. If you don’t catch COVID at OSH, you might catch a cold, food poisoning, the flu, any of a number of exotic ailments brought in by pilots from all over the world. We can always stay home. But OSH is the premier event in the aviation world, it’s worth a sniffle to attend.

    The only thing I ever came down with at OSH was blisters on my feet.

    • The outside risk of catching covid (or any other airborne virus, for that matter) is significantly lower than the indoor risk, but it’s still non-zero, particularly in crowded areas. And depending on what type of masks people were wearing, they would have varying degrees of protection indoors.

      So I don’t think it’s accurate to assume that the only ones who caught covid at OSH were indoors and unmasked. But I do assume a degree of complacency was a common factor in all of them, since complacency affects everyone.

  16. Paul, I enjoy AVweb but… You may be knowledgeable about most things aviation but I don’t think you have the chops to pontificate about Covid-19. It’s been described as a novel virus from the beginning so almost by definition we’re learning as we go along. I mean the experts are learning. If the populace can’t accept that and can’t handle a change of expert opinion based on the data, shame on them. Your mention of weak mitigation such as masks (good quality) reminds me of what they were saying about masks during the influenza pandemic of 1918. Wearing a good quality mask indoors isn’t so much about protecting yourself but about transmitting the virus to others. So those who “imported” the virus to AirVenture and were among the 99% (by my estimation) who were maskless, Bingo! You mention vaccines and boosters. I’ll bet a significant percentage of attendees had neither. Those represent the great majority of hospitalizations and deaths from Covid. And long Covid is real. See John P’s comment. Finally, your photo shows you wearing a helmet. Since you’ve been citing statistics on Covid, I wonder what your thoughts are, other than “Freedom”, about the hospitalization and death rate among the helmetless Harley riders in Wisconsin.

    • I absolutely have the chops to write about the perceived personal risk COVID represents based on the available data. I don’t have to be an epidemiologist to make that determination for myself, as apparently 650,000 others who did go to AirVenture made for themselves.

      We are at the point in the evolution of this disease that people are not being significantly cowed by scare headlines, of which there are actually very few now anyway. They have the available information to make this decision and not you or anyone else can make it for them, regardless of expertise. Earlier in the pandemic, the risk was much higher because prevalence was much higher, hence we all had a responsibility to share in what mitigations were available. We did this to protect ourselves and to ease the strain on the medical community. We were right to do it.

      As I said above, I always believed masking was a weak mitigation but a mitigation nonetheless and was thus worth doing. I’m not doing it now and wouldn’t have at AirVenture because I believe it’s effective only if everyone masks and very few did. Anyone who thinks they are *owed* masking by others shouldn’t attend those events. I felt differently in the fall of 2020.

      I follow two epidemiologists, Michael Osterholm of CIDRAP and Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford. They are absolute polar opposites. Osterholm is a traditionalist, Bhattacharya a libertarian who co-authored the Great Barrington Declaration. I am perfectly capable of listening to both, looking at the data and deciding the proper course of action based on my own risk framework.

      I suspect you are, too.

      • Appreciate the reply. I too follow Dr. Osterholm, and just read the Declaration and some comments by Dr. Bhattacharya. Indeed, polar opposites. And yes I believe in having an open mind and listening to both sides, and personal choice. Yet I can almost hear Dr. Osterholm weep when he talks about the front-line workers, the deaths that could have been prevented, the possible mitigation measures that are ignored, the reliance on herd immunity, etc. And he readily admits to being labeled as Dr. Doom, such as when he says we may not be so lucky if a variant presents that is both highly transmissible and more lethal. Sorry, I just think we’ve become too complacent.

  17. Omicron is the dominant variant now, and its incubation period is only 3-4 days. (That’s CDC data, but NY epidemiologists think their data shows a shorter incubation period.) Any vendor who brought COVID with them to the show would have been symptomatic by Monday.

    • I’d agree. I was ‘away’ at Airventure all week and returned home on Sunday. Monday, I had bad symptoms for a day. Tuesday, my wife had bad symptoms for a day. Whatever it was, it happened FAST. A day in, we were both feeling lousy but then ‘up’ and doing things vs. horizontal one day later. I’d say that being worn down due to all the activity and walking didn’t help.

  18. From Bertorelli: “My view was always that mitigations such as masks and distancing were weak at best, but just worth doing.” Worth doing? Yes! “Weak at best”? Totally not true. As we all know, the devil is in the details. Wearing a properly fitted N-95 mask is incredibly effective. That is why doctors and nurses wear them when caring for active tuberculosis patient. The problem comes with the square (usually blue) surgical masks whose inhalation filtration is negligible, and they don’t fit closely enough (especially around the nose) to be protective. They were designed to keep moisture ladened exhaled bacteria from infecting the surgical site. And we also know that distance works. The more space between you and an infected individual, combined with masking, is very effectiver

    • I was referring to the aggregate, not in the clinical environment where medical N95s are used and people are trained to wear and handle them correctly. In the wider world, people wear all kinds of masks, including N95. The best designed study, to my layman’s eye, was the 2021 research done in Bangladesh. It estimated an 11 percent reduction in infection. Good, but not great. From the study:

      “A randomized-trial of community-level mask promotion in rural Bangladesh during the COVID-19 pandemic shows that the intervention increased mask usage and reduced symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections, demonstrating that promoting community mask-wearing can improve public health.”

  19. Interesting times. I have N95s now but did not at the outset of the COVID pandemic. I used whatever was available then. I continue to wear a mask when in crowded environments even after having been vaccinated 4X. Somehow, masks relax me. Additionally, I keep recommended distances as best as I can and have stayed healthy and free from COVID. So far, at least twelve in my family have caught the virus. Four of the unbelieving and antivaxxer “Team Red” crowd have experienced the worst symptoms. Some caught the bug more than once, all recovered. They are now believers. I think. Others, of the liberal crowd, even after being fully vaccinated got infected enduring the disease under more benign conditions. Go Blue! Sadly, seven of my friends have died of COVID. One in his 50s, two in their 60s, the others were in their 80s. Unpredictably, under COVID, life changed for all, life ended for some.

  20. I got infected most likely at AirVenture 2022 with COVID. I flew in commercially and I wore a KN95 mask when I arrived at the departure airport and wore it all the time until I landed at the arrival airport. And repeated that when I flew back home. A journey each way of about 8 hours due to connections.
    Most likely I got infected on Monday June 25 at the Garmin tent since I was there for a long period of time and it was packed with people; however, I’m not blaming Garmin. I could have been infected at other venues. I did not wear a mask.
    What Mr. Bertorelli completely missed in his write up is that in that last 3-6 months, we now have a treatment (that does not involve drinking bleach!). At least in Florida, where he also resides, it is called “Test & Treat”. I scheduled a visit at a pharmacy which also has an independent “heath clinic”. They test you, and if positive, you get an Rx. I tested positive, got an Rx for Paxlovid which consists of two antivirals. It is a five-day treatment course with twice a day dosing. I was feeling better after the second dose. However, for effectivity, the treatment needs to be started within five days.
    I do believe that “Test & Treat” is available nationwide. Without Paxlovid, I wonder what the outcome of my infection would have been. I had received two COVID vaccines plus two boosters.
    So, I agree with Mr. Bertorelli, COVID is here to stay for the long run (as will AirVenture) but with treatment and prevention it is less life threatening compared to 2020.

    • I missed no such thing. What you missed was this part of the blog. “We have vaccines and boosters, widespread home and clinical testing and much more refined therapies.”

      That includes test and treat.

      • I stand with what I said. You did not mention specifically Test & Treat – just the vague “more refined therapies”. Because Test & Treat is relatively new, (3-6 months?) not many people know about Fortunately, I happen to know about it by accident.

        Without Test & Treat I don’t know what my prognosis could have been.

        • One more clarifying comment. I realize that your (Paul’s) blog’s objective was not to go into any level of detail on treatments, that is why I wrote details about Test & Treat in the hope that fellow readers would be informed about it. Because as I said, I found out about T&T by accident.

  21. This should be the subject of one of the patented AvWeb polls: “Would you attend Airventure again–under the same conditions?”

    “Yes–absolutely!”
    “Yes–barring any widespread outbreaks or mutations.”
    “Yes–but I’ll be more careful with indoor visits and food locations.”
    “Yes–but I’ll choose to camp, so I can control where I eat, sleep, and who I choose to associate with.
    “Maybe–depends on the rate of infection when I make my decision.”
    “Maybe–but I’ll not attend indoor events unless masks are required.”
    “No–not next year–maybe in a couple of years.”
    “No–I didn’t see much of a breakthrough in offerings–it’s not worth the risk.”
    “No–but I’ll consider attending smaller events.”
    “No–I’ve decided to become a hermit, and avoid ALL crowds!”

    For the record, I’ll choose option 2, above–even after 27 trips to Oshkosh.

  22. I’ll choose option 5 depending on Omicron booster shot availability: “Maybe–depends on the rate of infection when I make my decision.”

    Just in: Covid cases surging. Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 on the roll, new booster shots expected to come this fall.

  23. It’s likely that some of OshKosh’s 67,000 residents may have been exposed or infected to a larger extent than before the event, as some of the 650,000 visiting men and women could have unknowingly carried COVID virus, in turn, causing a COVID case spike in the area. Timely Wisconsin Dept. of Health Services data would probably help answer the Superspreader question.

  24. Somewhat of a related tangent, but what’s the definition of “attendance” at AirVenture?

    With a number of 650,000, does that mean…
    …650,000 individual people showed up at some point during the show?
    …or the same 100,000 people showed up six+ days in a row (or some combination thereof)?

    I suspect it’s very much the latter, and that the actual number of individuals who showed up was half or less of 650,000.

    What prompted the thought is when Paul B. applied his 100/100,000 (0.1%) case risk yielding a theoretical 650 cases. But if we’re using the wrong population size (attendance vs individuals), then any rate of estimated (or actual) cases would be artificially low.

    Unfortunately, we’ll probably never know how many people got sick while attending AirVenture. And, as James D. pointed out earlier, “If you go to an event or on a cruise where people paid good money months in advance, you can expect them to be there, symptoms or not.” Just like harried parents with a sick schoolchild, take ibuprofen to hide the fever and a decongestant to mask the sniffles, then enjoy yourself, personal responsibility be damned.

    • The attendance figure is visitor days. In other words, each day the same visitor is on the grounds as counted as a person each day. EAA estimates between 200,000 and 300,000 unique visitors attended.

      I’m not quite sure how to apply my rates to that, because the rates are gave are global against the entire U.S. population. But if you used 100/100,000 and 250,000 uniques, it would be 250 cases, a number I find implausibly low. i would start the bidding at several thousand cases.

  25. I am now a member of the club too. Went through many sequential stages (Sore Throat, Stuffy Nose, Fever and Body Aches, Congested Lungs, and then finally Total Loss of Smell). That last item is the only one that freaked me out a bit. Somewhat in regard to how much of a loss it would be if permanent, but more in regard to the virus is just too dang close to the parts of the brain required for mental acuity when that sets in!
    Fortunately the complete loss of smell only lasted a day, followed by a day of ‘why does everything seem to smell like hot dogs?’; and then the very next stage was Recovery.

    Now promising myself I will make it to the next Airventure no matter what comes!

  26. Ah! #100. Then there are the asymptomatic COVID carriers where “according to simulations of the virus spread published in the journal Science, almost 9 OUT OF 10 INFECTIONS were caused by asymptomatic carriers.”

  27. Many people only think of themselves when weighing the risk of contracting COVID vs. attending an obvious superspreader event like AirVenture. Even if you are in good health and don’t mind catching the disease, you could easily spread it to much more vulnerable people before you develop symptoms. The numbers show that COVID is much more serious than the flu or a common cold and much more contagious. When assessing the risk of going to AirVenture, I find a good way to rephrase the risk vs. the reward as “Risk=catching COVID and spreading it to more vulnerable people who could die from it; Reward=providing me with enjoyment of an aviation event that occurs every year”. Easy decision to make. To me this is like four of the aviation decision making hazardous attitudes: Anti authority: “Don’t tell me”; Invulnerability: “It won’t happen to me”; Macho: “I can do it”; Resignation: “What’s the use”. If you ask yourself “Do I have to make this flight (or drive) to AirVenture?”, I think the answer would be “no”.

  28. Here’s a quick link to Winnebago County and the Fox Valley sites, so we can monitor cases and hospitalizations in the area https://www.co.winnebago.wi.us/sites/default/files/uploaded-files/8.5_data_summary.pdf

    Winnebago County is PLUS 6 cases for July, Fox Valley is MINUS 5. It will be interesting to note the trend lines–right now, they are pretty flat. I’m sure this data will be considered for next year’s plans by the local medical facilities–by the counties and cities, by the hospitality industry, by EAA, and by the vendors.

  29. Masks lower the risk of COVID infection (by lowering the number of inhaled virus particles). The literature on this, in aggregate, is clear. N95 masks (respirators, actually) work much better than paper or fabric masks. A good fit to the face is important to the effectiveness of N95 masks. Although nearly impossible to get for two years, quality N95 masks are now back in big box stores. I wear one whenever I am indoor with other people.

    Ventilation (air exchanges) also lowers the risk of infection. The ventilation outdoors is typically much better than the ventilation indoors (which varies tremendously).

    It was said above, but needs to be said again. Everyone who got COVID and lived gets to tell everyone that it wasn’t so bad. Everyone who got COVID and died had no opportunity to tell anybody that it was lethal.

    Death from COVID is highly preventable with vaccination. Illness with COVID has become less preventable as the virus mutates. That makes prevention of COVID transmission a worthy effort.

    COVID has not been around very long. Persistent COVID is a wildcard of which we know very little. What we do know about “long” COVID is very worrisome.

    It was mentioned above that we read about hazardous attitudes among pilots and we are quick to criticize other pilots who put our lives in danger. Oddly, many of us seem to think that machismo, resignation and invulnerability are no big deal when it comes to a disease that has led to the death of millions. Comments about how such logic leads a person to not leave the house create a false dichotomy. The question is how can we act to minimize risk to all members of society, including those more vulnerable than average (age, underlying conditions, etc), without excessive or undue burden on our lives. That is exactly how we fly, by minimizing risk and flying when reasonably safe.

    Finally, I am quite certain of one thing. Given how much misinformation has been spread about COVID (and how willingly otherwise smart people were to accept it), and the extent to which it was politicized by those seeking to minimize the risk and demonize people wanting to protect themselves and others, the next pandemic will cause much greater loss of life (and prosperity) than need be.

  30. Paul, I apologize for saying you don’t have the chops to pontificate about Covid in an aviation blog. The volume of comments it stimulated is impressive and they seem to cover the spectrum of opinions we’ve been exposed to during the pandemic. I’ve read all the posts and links, particularly yours, and have tried to have an honest self-appraisal of my opinions. In the end, my thoughts fall pretty much in line with Fred G.’s above. I wore a KF-94 when “inside” at AirVenture. I wish I had worn it more outside when in close continuous contact such as in the food lines. In the airports and shuttles I wore a well-fitting N95 respirator and with my 78 year-old skin I looked like a chipmunk. Nevertheless, I remain Covid free, and barring a worsening of the pandemic next summer, I’ll probably be back. Thanks for stimulating this discussion.

  31. After all the “water under the bridge,” it seems everyone is an expert. From our booth and what little time I had to walk around, I counted 4 mask in 7 days. That shows that people want a normal life and they are willing to take the risk. We felt safe because we used a medication that actually kills all viruses. Without it, we might have waited another year. Each person should make their own decision about Covid based on facts and not popular ideas or political views.

    • I agree. I must be either blessed or just lucky. I have never had any Covid symptoms. I have been to plenty of gun shows, been on skydives and flown skydivers, along with all the airplane owners and charter customers I have flown, all without masks once the state health departments were restrained by my home states’ legislators, and even before. I could count with one hand how many passengers I have flown who actually wore face coverings during the flight. Never once wore a face covering on the flight deck. I have been exposed at least once that I know of and still no symptoms. I am grateful that President Trump was able to push through the government red tape to get the vaccine out there. I got vaccinated as soon as I was eligible and have had all four shots so far without anything more than a sore arm for a few days. At age 63, I am not too worried about any side effects 20 years from now. I don’t agree with the mandatory vaccine mandates, but since I am vaccinated, I don’t care what someone else does. I have got on with my life.

  32. I mentioned the paucity of masks–I counted only a handful each day, despite touring the grounds for 12 hours a day. Most of those where in the exhibit halls.

    It seemed that those that wanted to come–CAME. Those that were apprehensive–STAYED HOME. With record attendance and the few new cases, I’d say THE VOTE IS IN!

    Let’s EACH applaud our own decision!

    • And take your own risk at least – Darwin Candidate though you might be.

      Question is ‘Are you exposing others?’
      Of course persons at high risk should have stayed away, ‘wanted to come’ is a bad expression.

      As for exhibit halls, those have less ventilation than out in open air so risk of infection is higher. And people working the booths have far longer exposure to the air than people just wandering through.

  33. Well no surprise, the SARS2 virus was about, some variants more contagious than others, and people have become complacent about masks and hand sanitation.

    Note that the risk is to people with serious health conditions, such as transplanted organs, severe asthma, heart problem or lung problem (both together especially bad). And anorexics and boozers as their nutrition is poor thus body won’t resist disease as well. As knowledge was gained a few additional risk factors were learned, such as heart anomaly in growing young teenagers.

    Gummints botched communication, vomiting confusing statistics instead of Keeping It Clear and SIMPLE.

    Whereas some care residences, such as two large chains in Canada, took action as soon as they learned that a new virus was emerging in Communist China – they knew it would be here soon. In contrast to the care residence in Kirkland WA that didn’t know what hit them until well after a superspreader party, and many care residences including government run ones.

    • Some gummints avoided telling people the incoming virus was serious, crazy notion of not alarming people.
      Then they flipped to obsessive shotgun measures that killed people instead of focusing and educating. (People died from delays in diagnosis and surgery, and mental anguish from loss of job.) And ignored statistics indicating that people took care once they understood.

      Gummints were generally incompetent, Florida and a Scandinavian country were smart. Gummints were pandering to flappers, such as the bleep who ranted ‘close the border’, so Americans travelling the Alaska Highway could not get home to/from Alaska, and routine but imporant supplies could not enter Canada or routine exports leave. (Fortunately clearer minds prevailed, but Canada had to start issuing permits valid for only a few days, because some twits were being tourist along the way – Banff AB is not on the direct path to the Alaska Highway. (Correction – some stoopids: increase your risk of catching the virus by wandering around, perhaps getting stuck with expensive hospital stay, instead of getting home safely.)

      And Canada is still fiddling around with screening for some travellers. Voters elect shallow incompetent irrational officials – why?

      Examples near me of failure to educate:
      – a young woman with a transplanted organ dithered about vaccination until she died
      – a 40ish male with a history of asthma procrastinated about vaccination until he died.

      Chicken Littles and Alfred E. Neumans don’t help, aka conspiracy theorists who lie and people wilfully oblivious to the risk.

      Now we are headed toward INFLUENZA season with diminishing effectiveness of vaccines, ….. be careful.

  34. During WW2 my father turned down an appointment to Annapolis and joined the Navy, because he was afraid the war might end before he got a chance to join the fight. I can remember protesting the war in Vietnam before doing a 180 and enlisting in the Army. I can remember some months 500 soldiers came home in flagged draped coffins. Based on some of your comments many of you have no idea what it means to really serve your country or what self sacrifice is. Some of you really need to open your eyes and start using your head for more than a resting place for a hat.

  35. So I’ve always wondered: attendance number means 650,000 individuals were actually there or an average of 93,000 individuals admitted each day for seven days. I suspect the latter. I think a good guess of 135,000 total individuals were actually in attendance, some staying the whole week and others for a few days or just a single day.

  36. I find the radically different ways people perceive the whole COVID thing fascinating.

    At the extremes, we find a large cohort that exists in a world of death and imminent disaster, professing to have had many of their close friends die from COVID in a world still featuring overflowing hospitals and an overwhelmed medical system staffed by exhausted doctors & nurses, railing against those who fail to meet their standards of social behavior, etc. On the opposing side are those who simply express heartfelt opposition to any sort of requirement for mitigation measures, a view that appears to be primarily based on, and typically delivered with, a political outlook.

    Personally, I don’t see reality in either of these world outlooks. I’m a member of what I do see as the fastest growing group, those of us who are simply tired of the whole thing and feel it is time to wind down the political, financial, and ego driven “COVID industry” that has grown up to advocate & maintain an endless crisis atmosphere, time to return society to a normal mode and to accept the risks that entails.

  37. I have a very simple question. If I had active, untreated pulmonary tuberculosis, would it be OK if I went to Airventure and roamed around the exhibits without a mask? Is it simply my decision to make without input from anyone else?

    Worldwide, fewer people died of TB in 2020 than died of COVID-19. Pulmonary tuberculosis is typically contracted by airborne spread of the tubercle bacilli. Pulmonary tuberculosis is treatable with antibiotics.

    So, is it OK for someone with known active pulmonary TB to attend Oshkosh without a mask? Is solely their personal choice to go or to not go?

  38. State, Local, and Tribal Health Laws
    States have police power functions to protect the health, safety, and welfare of persons within their borders. To control the spread of disease within their borders, states have laws to enforce the use of isolation and quarantine.

    These laws can vary from state to state and can be specific or broad. In some states, local health authorities implement state law. In most states, breaking a quarantine order is a criminal misdemeanor.

    Tribes also have police power authority to take actions that promote the health, safety, and welfare of their own tribal members. Tribal health authorities may enforce their own isolation and quarantine laws within tribal lands, if such laws exist.

    cdc.gov/quarantine/aboutlawsregulationsquarantineisolation.html

    • BTW: “When people get sick with SARS-CoV-2, they could not only activate their latent TB, but also transmit their TB along with SARS-CoV-2 to others,” Valafar said. “The U.S has been spared from the wrath of drug resistant TB so far, but may no longer be that lucky. We need to prepare. We may start seeing strains that are atypical in the United States very soon.” SDSU By Padma Nagappan

    • Several of those states have started to or already have reigned in their respective unelected health departments as too extreme. My home state passed a law, overriding the governors’ veto, that give the legislature the power to overrule any health department mandate. The day after that law went into effect the mask mandates required by the health department in my state ended. Even my primary care physician office no longer requires masks in the office for those who are vaccinated.

  39. Gregory, actually, any person who knowingly roams in public with active TB is subject to incarceration until their TB is under control with medication. It’s been the law for decades. Virtually everybody used to think it was a good idea to protect citizens from the spread of preventable infectious diseases such as TB.

    Interestingly, there are fewer than 2 felonies per one million riders on NYC subways. Of course, that includes all felonies, not just fatal ones. How many injuries are there per one million general aircraft flights?

    Tyler, nobody, and I mean nobody, has ever suggested shutting the whole world down to get rid of COVID or, for that matter, any other virus.

      • The point is this. No law or individual will protect you. The government will not protect you. We live in a dangerous world filled with risks. You and only you are responsible for yourself. If you’re concerned about COVID then do your thing. Many of us are no longer willing to play along to make someone else feel “safe”. There is no such thing as “safe”. It’s similar to the thought that we can outlaw evil.

  40. As far as getting Covid in a large crowd just ask yourself “How Lucky do I feel” Climate change is certainly a hot topic and here is my experience. I bought a house on the Intra Costal waterway in FL. in 1990. I built a dock which was two feet above the water level at high tide. When I sold the house in 2013 the dock was under water at high tide. Maybe some of the psuedo scientists can explain this to me? My best guess is that the rising water level is caused by all the trash, gagbage, and other waste being dumped into the ocean.

    • How the heck do we go from Airventure being a covid superspreader event to climate change? You climate change (or global warming or whatever the term du jour is these days?) acolytes are everywhere (sigh). I live on an intercoastal connected canal myself for almost as long as you and don’t see MY dock disappearing. Maybe you have covid and are hallucinating?

  41. Wait, there is more: What are the chances of dying within 30 days of contracting COVID-19?
    Age 90; 1 in 2
    Age 80; 1 in 8
    Age 70; 1 in 11
    Age 60; 1 in 20
    Age 50; 1 in 50
    Age 40, 30, 20: 1 in 457
    Go to: mdcalc.com/calc/10348/covid-risk#pearls-pitfalls
    It’s worse for those with underlying medical conditions. Have a nice day!

    • Reminds me of some other statements I’ve read: “0% inflation for July, The 3 trillion Build Back Better Plan would cost nothing, The planet only has 12 years before global warming destroys it, if you like your doctor-you can keep your doctor, the Hunter Biden laptop is russian disinformation”, etc…etc

  42. Masks work; specifically, the N95s. Ever have surgery? See what everyone about to open you up is wearing? Duh. This nonsense that Covid is a method of wealth redistribution is just that. Utter nonsense. Want to know what it’s like to die from Covid? You drown. In your own mucus. Usually with a panicked look on your face, unless of course you have a metal tube jammed down your throat in a futile attempt to keep you alive and you’re sedated. 31,162 people in Arizona have died of Covid; In the United States, the number is 1,047,563 as of 7 September 2022; those actual facts, rather than some tripe you heard in a bar or on Fox “news.”. Want some real Covid information? Find an ER nurse, buy them a cup of coffee and ask him or her what their jobs have been like for the past couple years.