Letters to the editor — May 20, 2020

Predictions fair poorly

How can pundits be so spectacularly wrong in their predictions and yet continue to be published?

Surprisingly enough, they don’t need to be accurate to be published, just sensational. For pundits, this is a good thing.

You see, successful pundits rely upon a public “relief factor” which ensures that the community soon forgets a stunningly inaccurate prediction. For pundits, a good thing.

This “relief factor” is illustrated in, say, weather forecasting whereby a predicted hurricane that ultimately peters out produces sighs of relief and no one remembers that the weather forecast was staggeringly wrong. For pundits, a good thing.

These days pundits are falling all over themselves to predict how many people will die due to Coronavirus and, as usual, are hedging their bets to ensure that they overemphasize its severity. For pundits, a good thing.

Accordingly, they appear to be vying to have the highest possible death count … University of Washington estimated 60,308 deaths, only to quickly revise this estimate to 147,000.Whitehouse coordinators Drs. Birx’s and Fauci estimate between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths. But they are pikers compared to the Imperial College of London that envisions 2.2 million.

Because if massive death does occur, the pundit loudly demands credit for an accurate prediction and if deaths are less than forecast, the public rejoice, and the prediction is soon forgotten. For pundits, a good thing.

Accordingly, the pundits’ secret of success is to never be wrong unless being wrong is a good thing …

Dick Pilling

Port Angeles

Quarantine the peninsula?

Historically Sequim during the spring and early summer has put on festivals and events designed specifically to promote “travel from outside the county.” Now suddenly it is to be feared. Huh?

In the past month, the response to this Wuhan virus has gone from insane to stupid. Perhaps road blocks on US Highway 101 just east of West Sequim Bay Road may be set up to stop entrance of anyone from King County that hasn’t been in quarantine for 14 days.

The response of our governor to the Wuhan virus has imparted an entirely new meaning to “The Sovereign State of Washington.”

Ethan Harris

Sequim

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