What’s driving pandemic outcomes?

Calvin Froedge
9 min readSep 12, 2021

A work-in-progress analysis covering vaccines, obesity, age, drug use, economic, and health outcomes in a curated selection of countries and US states

I’ve been following the pandemic since the very earliest days. In January of 2020, I was shorting cruise lines, air lines, and casinos, and watching in shock as nobody else seemed to believe that COVID-19 outbreaks would turn into a full blown pandemic that would annihilate all sorts of industries around the world and kill millions of people.

Unfortunately, I was right. The pandemic spread all over the world, financial markets crashed (temporarily), people locked up their citizens, and hospitals and morgues filled to the brim.

I have continued to follow statistics around the pandemic, tracking cases and deaths, lockdown restrictions, and the effects on oil demand. What I have noticed in observing the pandemic is how quickly narratives and correlations start breaking down when you really dig into the data. We’ve heard high vaccination rates will reduce transmission, but then observe bizarre comparisons like Israel vs Singapore:

Two highly capable health systems with high levels of testing. Israel hit high levels of vaccinations months earlier. Yet Israeli cases and deaths continue to explode while Singapore cases have flatlined (though Singapore has also started ticking up recently). Singapore’s population is older, and Singapore is more densely populated. Clearly, there is something very wrong here with the narrative that vaccination alone will give us a return to normal.

What is undeniable is that case fatality rates have plummeted worldwide. But is that really due to vaccine uptake alone? It seems hard to make that argument.

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Calvin Froedge

Software developer, investor, energy markets analyst.