Episode 732

Is the pandemic now endemic? Data Visualization Expert Matt Shapiro explains


October 21st, 2021

38 mins 31 secs

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About this Episode

Matt explains his newsletter, "Everything Happens at the Margins:

Marginally Compelling is a newsletter about data, curiosity, and grace. It’s an off-shoot of my twitter account @politicalmath. I’ve grown tired that twitter has become such a poor place for thoughtful conversation and complex topics, I’ve found that the newsletter is a much better place to think through things that need more than a few sentences or a snarky quip to understand.

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Episode Links

  • Planning For The COVID Endgame - by Matt Shapiro - Marginally Compelling — Very early on in this crisis, I wondered what the worst-case scenario for COVID was and I came to the conclusion that it would be if COVID became endemic, a new member of the family of diseases that endlessly circulate through the human population. It seems increasingly likely that is the scenario we have. To be fair, when I said that, we had no idea if there would be an effective vaccine and, lucky for us, there is. Even so, the “endgame” was always a question of what things will look like when we get back to pre-COVID behaviors.
  • The Case Against Masks In Schools - by Matt Shapiro - Marginally Compelling — I want to get into none of the politics of this here. I’m not going to talk about federal vs state vs local control. Those are procedural questions to me, a sideshow to the core question: Are mask mandates necessary to protect children in schools? I’m going to “spoiler alert” this by saying that I think that mask mandates in schools are not a good idea. In this post, I’m going to lay out how I’ve come to this conclusion and give every paper and piece of data that has brought me there. I’m also going to spend some time pointing to a few papers that have been used to make the case for mask mandates in schools. I don’t think anyone benefits from ignoring those studies & we’re all mature enough to read everything we can and make up our own minds.