The documentary itself establishes its lead questions at the outset. Nico Sloot, described as an international entrepreneur, acts as the main voice in the film and our lead detective. What struck me from the start was how he framed the central problem that provoked his investigative journey: when would herd immunity be achieved? On the question of risk: who is going to get sick and who is going to die?
Sloot formed an independent research team that grew to include up to 20 scientists in four countries, across a range of specialties. This was something of an ad hoc think tank. The team encompassed doctors, economists, accountants, data specialists, among other specialties, and each member of the team had his/her own specific research task. It is quite impressive to see such an independent citizens’ initiative form, and it is a welcome antidote to the authoritarian, top-down, ask no questions, just follow orders approach involved with state proclamations and directives by top public health officers. Such independent initiatives should serve as a refreshing reminder—because apparently one is needed—that it is not wrong to ask questions and challenge assertions.
What or who provoked Nico Sloot? In part, he admits, it was a speech given early in the crisis by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. This compelled Sloot to conduct what he estimates is about 1,000 hours of research, added to others who joined him, totalling at least 5,000 hours. I suspect he is providing a low estimate. On his motivation, Sloot explains: “In business you always work with risk…so the first thing I looked at was: What are the facts here? How many will die and how many will fall victim to COVID-19?”
We hear and view the same speech by Prime Minister Rutte to which Sloot refers at the opening, and it is the standard kind of dramatic announcement that we all heard in our respective locales (it is included in the trailer I created, in the absence of an English-language trailer).
Yet Sloot himself apparently disagrees: the “collateral damage” of the measures taken were worse than the virus. He mentions that, for The Netherlands alone, around 300,000 hospital procedures had to be postponed. In Canada it was reported that many crucial cancer treatments, colonoscopies, and important surgeries that had been scheduled, were all pushed back thus creating a massive backlog. Even more: Canadian media reported the common occurrence of people suffering from heart problems, or even actual heart attacks, and not going to the hospital (either out of fear of getting infected by the virus, or because they knew hospitals were already dedicated almost exclusively to COVID-19 patients).
Related: Catholic schools will sue Dane County Madison Public Health to open as scheduled
which pushed Dane County this week not to calculate its percentage of positive tests — a data point the public uses to determine how intense infection is in an area.
While positive test results are being processed and their number reported quickly, negative test results are taking days in some cases to be analyzed before they are reported to the state.
The department said it was between eight and 10 days behind in updating that metric on the dashboard, and as a result it appeared to show a higher positive percentage of tests and a lower number of total tests per day.
The department said this delay is due to the fact data analysts must input each of the hundreds of tests per day manually, and in order to continue accurate and timely contact tracing efforts, they prioritized inputting positive tests.
“Positive tests are always immediately verified and processed, and delays in processing negative tests in our data system does not affect notification of test results,” the department said in a news release. “The only effect this backlog has had is on our percent positivity rate and daily test counts.”
Staff have not verified the approximately 17,000 tests, which includes steps such as matching test results to patients to avoid duplicating numbers and verifying the person who was tested resides in Dane County.
All 77 false-positive COVID-19 tests come back negative upon reruns.
Assembly against private school forced closure.
2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results
My Question to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Teacher Mulligans and our Disastrous Reading Results
Booked, but can’t read (Madison): functional literacy, National citizenship and the new face of Dred Scott in the age of mass incarceration.