Sunday, April 04, 2021


No one brags about being illiterate, but some wear lack of math knowledge like a badge of honor--and this is what it gets us:

But people wildly overestimate the actual risks posed by COVID-19, according to several new polls that show the stunning extent to which the public has internalized alarmist misinformation.

A YouGov survey out this week reveals that young people aged 18 to 24 are the subgroup most anxious about resuming normal social life — despite being by far the least at risk from COVID-19. Indeed, the death rate for members of this age group is approximately 0.006% — a tiny fraction of a percentage. Meanwhile, folks over age 55 are the least worried about resuming social life, even though, statistically speaking, they have the most to fear from the coronavirus.

The level of comfort is inversely correlated to the level of risk.

I'm not shocked by this:

How did the public wind up so woefully misinformed? Well, the inescapable conclusion is that alarmist media coverage and irresponsible doomsday rhetoric from government officials are at least partially to blame.



Anna A said...

I propose two other explanations for the risk differences. We, over 55's, have seen a lot more of life, and know that some things are worse than catching a virus, that may not kill us. I'm thinking the social isolation especially.

Also, the young ones are more reliant upon their electronics, which means they trust the info more than others.

This is very general, because I got raked by an acquaintance,, RN ex computer jock, and roughly my same age because I expressed my mistrust of Dr. Fauci publicly and humorously (which I stole from another and admitted it.)

Auntie Ann said...

With having two young adults in the house, I'd say their fear isn't really for themselves, it's that they might cause it to spread to someone else. They are terrified that their behavior could kill someone.

They are also sheep. The level of passive obedience stuns me. They are very resistant to breaking the rules, simply because they are the rules. I don't get much sense of free-thinking Americans who get to choose for themselves, and not be dictated to by others.

As for the more general society, I'd say the misinformation, which those studies show is worse the further left you are politically, combined with other studies which show people are more risk-adverse the further left they go, pretty much explains the left/right divide on covid lockdowns. Conservative areas are willing to accept higher risk levels than liberal, and they are slightly better informed about what the risks really are.

Ellen K said...

Early on I was fearful, but the cure was to #DoTheMath. The mortality rate is still under 1%. And the vast majority of the people succumbing are over 70 with comorbidities in place. But instead of posting these numbers for 15 months the MSM has started every newscast with the numbers of the death, most people can't wrap their heads around these numbers so they follow the incendiary headlines so they buy into the fear.

Anna A said...

Auntie Ann,

Your observation makes sense about the more left being more risk adverse. I suspect that it has something to do with that conservatives tend to base their morality on 5 foundations while leftist tend to use only Harm/care and fairness/reciprocity. That is coming from Jonathan Haidt's work. Darren has written about him and his thinking and I just followed and read more.

Thank you Darren