Only weeks ago (just before the election), Governor Bullock claimed on his Facebook page that Montanans who aren’t listening to his unconstitutional mask directives are responsible for the recent “spike” COVID cases. Some, more leveled-headed people, noted that the spike in COVID-19 positivity was due to a correlational spike in testing. Others noted that the spike in COVID-19 cases curiously intersects with an influenza positivity rate of near zero, meaning that there’s some funny business going on with reporting.
But have no fear, Montana citizens. Governor Bullock now wants you to know that your faithfulness to wear masks, keep minimalistic restaurant hours, and social distance yourself from friends and family has helped bring COVID-19 numbers down around the state.
Statewide, COVID positivity rates are down from 20% (in November) to 14% today. Additionally, counties like Yellowstone and Gallatin have seen some reprieve in their high figures.
There are lots of possible reasons for a dip in COVID-19 positivity in Montana. These possibilities include herd immunity (which would require far more Montanans have COVID-19 than what we originally accounted for), a “stubbornness hold-out faction” (something suggested by many statisticians, that the longer COVID-19 goes on, people are less and less likely to get tested and seek unnecessary treatments), or a less aggressive testing posture among front-line industries.
But according to Bullock, the downturn in COVID-19 is due to people following his directives.
Bullock said, “We are seeing signs that give us some optimism. Looking at this data, it appears that Montanans are stepping up, taking the steps needed to mitigate the spread of this virus here in our state.”
Bullock seems unconvinced that some things – like pandemic diseases – are outside the control and scope of the government to mitigate. Any increase or decrease in COVID-19 figures, they presume, must be the direct responsibility of the people and whether or not they are following government directives.
The governor went on, “The control measures we have in place and the statewide mask requirement, they do make a difference. And they will make a greater difference if closely followed by all Montanans.”
Currently, there is not a medical study available that demonstrates government control measures like masks and distancing, let alone every-other-day school or 10 PM business curfews, have any impact on COVID-19 spread whatsoever. The notion that his orders have helped turn the curve on COVID seems like a combination of near-religious superstition and wishful thinking.
Montana’s mid-level health bureaucrats continue to sound the alarm of panic and hysteria. Yellowstone County Health Officer, John Felton, warned that despite a 25% downturn in COVID-19 cases, the “situation is still critical.”
Meanwhile, around Montana, its residents are largely without masks and have continued to go through life as though Governor Bullock didn’t mandate anything at all. They would be shocked to discover that their compliance to Bullock’s masking orders has saved Montana from the plague.
Finally, it does not seem that Montana’s family gatherings for Thanksgiving has caused a spike – or even a rise – in COVID-19; in fact, positive cases went down. With fewer than 10 percent actually distancing over the holiday, the dire warnings of Governor Bullock that giving thanks will kill our fellow citizens seems to lose its power. It seems that rarely, if ever, has the government demonstrated it knows something we don’t about COVID-19.