Boots & Sabers

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0855, 16 Apr 20

One Disease. Two States. Different Choices. Different Results.

We are getting to the point when we can compare the effects of different policy reactions to Coronavirus. Let’s take a look, for example, at Texas versus Wisconsin. I still have a lot of family and friends in Texas, so I see a lot of their news too.

The two states responded differently. Here in Wisconsin, we locked down the state and continue to stay locked down. We are ordered to stay at home and any “non-essential” businesses are closed. It is statewide. In Texas, they took a more localized approach. Governor Abbott said, “I am governor of 254 counties in the state of Texas,” he said. “What may be right for places like the large urban areas may not be right at this time for more than two hundred counties that have zero cases of COVID-19.” While the State of Texas imposed some more stringent restrictions on people coming to the state, like mandatory quarantine for people coming into the state from the hot spot areas of New York and Louisiana, the decision to shut down, shelter in place, etc. and the specifics of those orders were left to the individual counties. The result was that counties imposed restrictions as the spread impact their areas and local leaders are accountable to their constituents for the impact of those decisions.

So we have two different policy choices. Wisconsin had a “one size fits all” response that shut down virtually everything. Texas has a more nuanced, localized response that had a few statewide actions, but primarily left it to local policy makers. What are the results?

As of today, Wisconsin has 182 dead out of a population of 5.882 million. That’s a death rate of 0.003094185%.

Texas has 364 dead out of a population of 29 million. That’s a death rate of 0.001255172% .

Despite the fact that Texas has an international border, much more international and national travel, a much larger population of black folks (black folks are being disproportionately impacted by this disease), and shares a border with a hot spot state (Louisiana), Texas has about 40% of the death rate of Wisconsin.

Meanwhile, Abbott is already talking about reopening the Texan economy:

“We will focus on restoring lives while protecting livelihoods. We can and we must do this, we can do both. Expand and restore the livelihoods that Texans want to have by helping them return to work,” Abbott said. “One things about Texans is they so much enjoy working and I know they want to get back into the work force. But we have to articulate also the strategies about ways we can do this safely.”

Governor Evers is mute on opening the Wisconsin economy.

These policy choices will have an impact far more reaching than just this crisis. Business owners will remember who had their back during the crisis. Wisconsin’s economy has been lagging Texas’ for years. Once this is over, the disparity will widen as businesses continue to open and move to states that support business.



0855, 16 April 2020


  1. Mar

    Actually, Evers has not been mute about opening the economy. He has put it out there that he wants another month of isolation.
    Evers is a clown.

  2. Pat

    What counties should and shouldn’t be opened? What provisions, if any, should be made for testing prior to starting up?

  3. Le Roi du Nord

    And should travel be restricted between counties with higher infection rates and those with lower or no known cases?  Or should we just let folks travel wherever they want, say from Milwaukee County to Forest County, taking the virus with them?

    As someone asked on a local radio station,  answered by a local MD, “How fast can the virus travel and spread”?  “How fast will your car go on the Interstate”.

    Be smart.  Keep everybody safe, even the ones you don’t like.

  4. jjf

    Ain’t over yet.  Not just “one peak.”

  5. Mar

    That’s right, there goes jjf and Le Roi praying for more deaths to completely ruin the economy.
    So, geniuses, when we should open the economies?

  6. Pat

    Another question. Does the decision when selecting counties get made on the basis of deaths per 100,000, or cases per 100,000?

  7. jjf

    Mar, pay attention.  As far as the eye can see, suppression is the plan.  It’s the Federal plan, it’s the plan of the states, it was the plan in other countries.

    Rolling lockdowns, state by state, or city by city, region by region.  The goal is to prevent the hospitals from overflowing, because when that happens, even more people die unnecessarily.  That would hurt the economy, too.

    If you did nothing and let everyone catch it naturally, how fast does it spread, how long are those people out of work, how many businesses shut down, how many need a hospital, how many beds do you need, how many die, and as is most important to you, how does that affect the economy?

  8. Mar

    So, by doing the lockdowns, you are lengthening the time the virus lockdowns continue.
    For how long?
    And the facts certainly have not been in your favor. The fact is that there are plenty of hospital beds available, some hospitals are laying off workers because they don’t have enough patients.
    But facts mean nothing to you. You believe in false and hoax theories.
    I believe in facts.
    The big difference between you and I.

  9. jjf

    The goal was to not overflow and to have hospital beds available.

    Again I ask, if no lockdown had happened, how many beds would you need?

    As for “how long,” again as everyone has been saying, from Trump and Fauci on down, and in other countries…  until a vaccine is developed or better treatment plans help reduce the need for hospitalization.

    Speaking of, how’s your fave drug cocktail doing in the fact-based examination world?

  10. Mar

    Pat, that is a good question. I would go with deaths per 100,000.
    Or a third question could be hospitalizations per 100,000 people because that can show if the hospitals need extra help.
    If you go by the number infected, then you are including people who have no symptons.
    If you include the number of deaths, you need to include only those who died of only the virus. You do not include those who you suspect died of the virus but it is just a guess.

  11. Pat

    Iron county has 55% greater fatality rate then Milwaukee county.

  12. Le Roi du Nord


    You chronically call others liars, then spout this nonsense, “That’s right, there goes jjf and Le Roi praying for more deaths to completely ruin the economy”.  I have never, ever wished for more deaths due to the virus.  You are the one that was promoting acceptable mortality rates, yet would never let us in on what you deemed “acceptable”.  Maybe it is acceptable if it isn’t you or yours doing the dying, but others may not share your opinion.  Awful.  Just awful.

  13. Mar

    So, it is official. jjf wants the economy to shut down for a year or more or forever.
    It is not knowable how many beds you would need if the lockdown had not occurred. But the US would have been able to handle an increase need for hospital beds if they were needed.
    As far as the drug, it has helped some and not helped others. It’s not a cure all and I never said that. But certainly has helped some people. Just ask that Michigan Democrat who gave credit to the drug and President Trump the other day.

  14. Mar

    Pathological Liar Le Roi, based on your posts in past and now, you want the economy and more deaths.
    You have said many times that we should not use any drug that has been approved to treat the virus. Well, no drugs have been approved to fight the virus.
    No drugs, more deaths.
    That is what you have said.
    That is what you have demanded.
    You knew that if they did not use medication to fight the drugs, there would be more deaths.
    You are a grim reaper liar.

  15. Jason

    Leroy is also a turd of a human being because he is worried that if chloroquine is used to treat the virus the price might go up or there might be shortages and impact him personally.  What a douchebag.

  16. jjf

    Mar, you know I didn’t say that about the economy, right?

    “It’s not knowable.”  Give me your medically educated guess.  More or fewer than we have now?

    The latest studies aren’t on your side for Trump’s drug.  Sorry.  No magic bullet for you.

  17. Mar

    “As for “how long,” again as everyone has been saying, from Trump and Fauci on down, and in other countries…  until a vaccine is developed or better treatment plans help reduce the need for hospitalization.”
    That’s pretty specific to me. And my question specific was about the economy.
    We would have more hospitalizations perhaps, but we don’t know for sure. But again, our medical system would be able to handle it.
    But do you admit, jjf, that the drug has helped some people?

  18. Le Roi du Nord


    I can’t help you with your problems, as you seem to be living in a far different dimension than the rest of us.  But here is some truth.  I never ever said that I want more deaths, or that I want the economy to fail.  And your miracle cure still doesn’t help folks with covid19. And it’s looking like it causes more harm than good.


    Keep trying.  You aren’t even close.

  19. jjf

    Nope, if you they can’t replicate any positive results with the drug, then it doesn’t look good for it.  But science marches on.  Show me some proof and I’ll change my position.  That’s the way it should work…  not with the President delivering false hope.  One case, we’ve got it under control, right?

    I don’t buy the “but they didn’t think of the economy” line.  Of course they did.  They made choices, they wanted to save lives, and that means you have a chance to revive the economy.

    I only asked you to speculate “up or down.”  I can narrow it to an easier question:  Do you think we’d have fewer deaths as of today, if there had been no lockdown?

  20. Mar

    Wow, you too are really something. What it is, I really cannot say here.
    But pathetic,lying and living in the twilight zone comes to mind.
    I hope guys enjoy your day in isolation while I am on my way to Phoenix and even play some golf.

  21. jjf

    I hope you don’t catch anything, Mar, and I hope you don’t infect anyone, too.

  22. Pat

    Enjoy your day of golfing! Be safe.

  23. Jason

    >Keep trying.  You aren’t even close.

    You said it, not me.

  24. Mark Hoefert

    @ Nord

    Or should we just let folks travel wherever they want, say from Milwaukee County to Forest County, taking the virus with them?

    Funny how that works – Ozaukee & Washington counties are adjacent to Milwaukee County. Part of the same Market Statistical Area for census & government programs. Majority of workers from Ozaukee & Washington Counties commute to work in Milwaukee and Waukesha counties, and there is a lot of commerce between the counties.  I know someone who tested positive early on & was quarantined. He got the bug at work in Milwaukee – they do international business. Milwaukee has had 114 deaths – 58% of the state total, and Milwaukee population is 17% of the state population.

    So, you would think being in Washington or Ozaukee County would be like being in an apartment complex with someone in the unit next door firing shots at random through the walls.  Well, guess what – this is something I posted at a news site:

    Washington County and Ozaukee County have merged health departments. Combined population is 225,000. Adjacent to Milwaukee County with 945,700 population. Washington County has had 3 deaths since this started – as of 4/15/20, the latest death was 4/3/20 – 12 days ago. Ozaukee County has reported 9 deaths as of 4/15/20. Latest death was 4/8/20 – 7 days ago. Between the two counties, 1 new positive test result yesterday. Day before that 7, 2 the day before that, 1 each of the 2 days before that. Not exactly overwhelming. Social distancing seems to be working, but maybe too well – just pushing the inevitable (where everyone gets it at some point) farther down the road.

    I would not get too worried about catching the virus from people passing through so long as you do social distancing, attend no church or large gatherings, stay out of nursing homes,  & practice good hygiene.

  25. jjf

    I would not get too worried about catching the virus from people passing through so long as you do social distancing, attend no church or large gatherings, stay out of nursing homes,  & practice good hygiene.

    Social distancing, hmm.  Well, Owen just posted a video from a guy who didn’t understand what “six feet” means, and Owen wrote a column about how it’s vital to go to church and ignore the 10-person rule if not everything else, and staying out of nursing homes will be tough for the people who live in work in nursing homes, but heck, the WisGOP just relaxed the rules on that so we’ll be able to import lower-cost workers to help there.

    Good hygiene?  Good luck with that.

  26. MjM

    @Mar: I am on my way to Phoenix and even play some golf.

    ~drool~    Meanwhile,  I’m hitting into an old blanket hanging from the floor joists in the basement.   yay.

    Walmart: Safe     Golf Course: Not Safe

    (Ever play the TPC in Scottsdale?)

  27. MarkRevere

    Washington County: 79 ‘cases’, 3 deaths, population 135,000.

  28. dad29

    Just drove up to Oneida County and left a package of viruses for LeeeeeeeeRoy as an Easter gift!

  29. Le Roi du Nord

    “How many will Evers kill today??”

    Perhaps the more appropriate question is, “How many will dad29 kill today?”

  30. Kevin Scheunemann


    Compared to your baby killing abortion advocacy…nothing is more horrible in terms of aggregate murder numbers.

  31. Le Roi du Nord

    Dr. k:

    When did you ever hear/see me advocate for abortion? I even gave you a lengthy explanation as to why I don’t. Your short term memory is failing you. Or is it just another case of you needing to make up a story, fact less and inaccurate, to suit your need to condemn those that disagree with you?

  32. MjM

    HUUUUUUGE if it can be duplicated….

    “We report the prevalence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in a sample of 3,330 people, adjusting for zip code, sex, and race/ethnicity. We also adjust for test performance characteristics using 3 different estimates: (i) the test manufacturer’s data, (ii) a sample of 37 positive and 30 negative controls tested at Stanford, and (iii) a combination of both. Results The unadjusted prevalence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in Santa Clara County was 1.5% (exact binomial 95CI 1.11-1.97%), and the population-weighted prevalence was 2.81% (95CI 2.24-3.37%). Under the three scenarios for test performance characteristics, the population prevalence of COVID-19 in Santa Clara ranged from 2.49% (95CI 1.80-3.17%) to 4.16% (2.58-5.70%). These prevalence estimates represent a range between 48,000 and 81,000 people infected in Santa Clara County by early April, 50-85-fold more than the number of confirmed cases. Conclusions The population prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in Santa Clara County implies that the infection is much more widespread than indicated by the number of confirmed cases..”

    SCC Confirmed Cases: 1870 Deaths: 73. Rate: 3.9%

    IOW, if the prevalence numbers discovered above hold true the actual CCPVirus death rate in Santa Clara Co could be, at the high end, 0.15%.

    And at the low end, 0.01% – same as everyday flu.

    One other note: of the 73 deaths in Santa Clara Co, 86% had co-morbities.

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