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Monday, April 27. 2020
Where my opinions are leaning towards. CORONAVIRUS REALITY CHECK:
Maybe not more fatal, but more infectious. It is unavoidable. Like death and taxes.
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You may be right. But when people increasingly write that their opinions are Common Sense, and other people's are Mass Hysteria, red flags go up. It is never a strong sign that they are dispassionate. When you find yourself using that language, you are already beyond being reasonable and need a serious reset.
Not just on C19. On anything. Everyone wants to reopen and we will reopen. The questions are how, and how soon. This is mirrored on all intense debates - immigration, taxes, affirmative action, nature/nurture, religious belief, war/no war.
I don't think everyone wants to reopen.
I know quite a few people who scream at you if you even hint at a phased reopening within the next 6 months. They are happy in their cocoon of fear, I assume. Or maybe they have cash to last a lifetime, I don't know.
I'm not sure who people think will pay for all this continued lockdown? The taxes on essential workers who only contribute about 30% to the national revenue? Maybe we'll tax the rich into compliance to cover the costs. Or we can just turn on the printing presses full bore.
I don't know what the long-term effect of the virus is, but China is opening - even if we can't see what's going on there, they at least are opening up their businesses. Maybe they just feel they have 2 billion people, what's 600,000 here or there (I really do think they believe that)?
Sweden isn't locked down tight and is surviving at least as well as us, if not better.
At what point do we decide that livelihoods count?
I can't employ the idea that "if we save one life..." It's a notion fraught with problems. There is a cost to every life whether we like it or not, but we just don't know what that cost is. We pretend to, with actuarial analysis, etc. In the end what that "just one life" comes down to is whether it's someone you care about. But what about people I care about? We can't employ that concept, it only pits us against each other.
My father (a retired doctor in isolation since Feb) told me today his cardiologist told him we should remain indoors until there's a vaccine and ANY OTHER viewpoint is naive. Given a 12 to 18 month time frame for a vaccine, I'm afraid that's just absurd.
Do people really think whole families with no income will just sit at home for that long? I guess once the Universal Basic Income assures you can do it as a full-time job, sure.
I'm beginning to understand how the Dark Ages began...
As to the point of Common Sense versus Mass Hysteria, I think the "this wasn't meant to last forever"; and the "this thing isn't much more deadly than the annual flu"; and "the country has been sold a bill" points-of-view are the winners in the clubhouse!
I know it's all goofy statistics, but the rule of thumb is something like 30,000 incremental suicides for every point of unemployment. That means we are way past 55,000 COVID deaths because of shutting the economy down. So which Ox again gets to be gored?
Sweden has the 7th-highest death per million rate in Europe, much, much higher than all its comps. Maybe their approach will prove out, but for the moment, no.
I don't know anyone who thinks we have to stay locked down that long, and I work at a hospital among generally cautious people whose lives are most at risk as the general risk increases. I'm not saying there are none out there - I have seen links I haven't followed to people advocating long lockdowns - but I think they are greatly overestimated.
Come to the NYC region. That's where most are (and Philly), and the funny thing is - NYC is the media capital. So they get a voice that is tremendously loud. di Blasio wants to remain shuttered for 12 to 18 months. He may be one of the most prominent and influential people saying it. But he's also got the money and the power to force people to abide by his will, to a point.
Sweden has 225 deaths per 1mm population. The US is at 172. Yes, they are near the top (11th out of all nations) but lower than Spain, Italy, UK, France, Netherlands and Belgium. When you consider the difference between 225 per million and 172, among the nations most badly affected, Sweden is handling it very well. They, at least, recognize that death is going to take place and some level of it is part of management. Slightly higher rates? Yes, but without significant loss to their economy and potentially through the entire process of herd immunity faster. We shall see.
Don't bail out the cities or states and they will quickly factor in financial reality.
NYC has a rate of ~1000 per million..
I am only counting 10,000 deaths, not the additional 4,000 that they attributed to the virus postmortem without the benefit of autopsy.
Add NYC to Sweden or take it out of the US and the numbers are not close. You are saying that "Yeah, their numbers are a little worse, but I just know in my gut they are doing the right thing." They might be. Viral load matters, and how intensely most people are exposed seems to affect the death rate. In the long run wide dispersal might be better.
But it might not. That is speculative, even though people are quoting it as gospel these days. It's a theory that makes sense to some people. No more than that.
Yes, in NYC you likely do have many people threatening a longer shutdown. I was wrong on that.
But the lockdown isn't intended to reduce the number of deaths. That has never been put forth as a reason. Whoever is going to die from this virus is going to die. The goal was to avoid everyone dying at the same time. So far, we've avoided that problem.
I hope the lockdown prevented the hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. I hope it wasn't all for nothing. But if the medical system is able to function as intended, then we should go back to our normal lives. If it appears that we are being overwhelmed again, then we should discuss what to do about it.
Texas begins opening this Friday, 25% capacity for restaurants, retail stores, theaters, churches. After about 2 weeks to assess infection rates under this profile, Phase 2 goes to 50% and includes gyms, barbershops & salons, etc. Seems sensible, but unmentioned are the office /school environments. Can't really do these reasonably at less than 100%, but then maybe distance / from-home modes have finally proven their niche. I know both my daughter and S.I.L. have spent the past 5 weeks getting as much / more work done from our homestead compared to what they did in their respective metro offices. No distractions.
I can't employ the idea that "if we save one life..." It's a notion fraught with problems. ...
I'm not sure I understand your father's cardio doc. The path studies I saw twenty-some-odd years ago, courtesy of some transplant doctors, we're pretty clear as to hygiene and mask wearing. They recommended self-isolation only in pretty extreme cases. Those doctors were initially skeptical, since the findings went against received wisdom going back to the epidemics of early in the last century; but time has proven the studies' findings quite valid.
You and I, along with most of us having more than a little snow on the roof, have learned that there is risk in life. Some of us learned this the hard way. As much as we may not like it, and may reasonably wish to avoid it, the cost of avoiding risk is often greater than the risk itself.
Governments are reactive, by nature, and most of those who run them tend to be crisis habituated because the are risk averse. It's fairly clear to me that we can't afford much more of that.
I know a PhD chemist that used to do lots of computer modeling of chemical reactions. He said that the chemicals ignored his computer models and did whatever they wanted. Because of this, he says that anybody who bases public policy on a computer model is a fool. He points out as an example of this, the banning of Freon based on computer models of the Freon effect on ozone. The hole in the ozone hasn't gone away like the computer modes said would happen. Have you seen any of the promoters of the Freon ban calling it a great success and taking credit for it?
And the continued to ban. In 2009, Obama banned the manufacture of effective asthma medications because of the propellant. The medicine was perfectly safe to breathe directly into the lungs, but if breathed back out, it would destroy the environment. People have died because of this cruel banning of medicine.
This mass hysteria over coronavirus has caused me to lose a lot of respect for my fellow citizens. With a few exceptions, I never had any for the politicians.
Same here! I lost a lot of respect for my fellow Americans when they voted for Obama the second time (first time I said to myself they just don't know who he is yet; but, the second time? and they still voted for him again!)
Now, when I hear so many folks talk about "better safe than sorry" or "what? open up? you want YOUR grandmother to die!" I lose any respect that I had left for them.
And, the tattle tales who inform on their fellow citizens for breaking the "rules." Little Nazis!
Time for Trump to call for a National Liberation Celebration on May Day. Have parades, cook outs, and community festivals.
Hang the worst of the governors and mount their heads on pikes for community enrichment.
Relocate Pelosi's office to downtown SanFran and let her mingle amongst her constituents, drink wine from a bottle learn how to live as a native.
Being an inmate of the Massachusetts asylum noticing the parking lots covered with discarded, germ ridden gloves....I wonder if the large outbreaks of disease can be tied to the filthy habits of the cities inhabitants? Not that I expect any non partisan, scientific, helpful reviews of this sickness. Only orange man bad which we will pay for, again, with our lives.
Go back and examine the" flatten the curve" graphs that the epidemiologist/public health experts have showed and discussed for the last two month.
Flattening the curve was NEVER about reducing the number of infections or the number of deaths. It may briefly delay some of them, but that's about it.(See Note 1)
Flattening the curve was meant to keep the medical system from being overwhelmed. But if keeping the medical system from being overwhelmed means the economy tanks and people suffer and die from other causes...and the COVID deaths still happen, what's the point.
Note 1. OK, it "may" slightly reduce the number of deaths DUE DIRECTLY TO COVID, but in doing so, it will increase deaths due to people not being able to afford food, clothing shelter or these items not being as readily available at any price.
I'm not sure 'flatten the curve' really saved lives by preventing hospitals from being overrun.
By all accounts, Italy's were a mess to begin with, and the horror stories from NYC really vary - depending on who you talk to. I've heard horrible stories, but I've heard others that don't contradict, merely add context and explain more fully (they are not my stories, so not repeating them).
I have a friend who is a nurse who was moved into the respiratory unit. She is working double time right now (in NJ). We are where NYC was 2 weeks ago.
I'm not sure people are aware of what they signed up for when they agreed this was the best course of action. I suppose we'll know in a few weeks as states that are reopening give us an indication.
The lockdown is collapsing here in San Francisco, freeway traffic was over 30% this morning. Parks are full.
We just need to to keep pointing out those who are in place on the full boat.
The dems who have a zombie at the top of the ticket; desperate to protect their sinecures have decided to burn the economic house down. Who reads the smoke to say when the fire is out? The party of "progress" is alienating younger voters with long term effects.
I posted this same article on a forum and on the whiteboard at work and got back immediate push back like the concept of
reality is offensive.
They have been driven to fear by the fake news media.
Based in the % of people wearing masks and gloves in our local Shaw’s (90-95%) and the number of my husband’s (degreed professionals) staff who want to keep working from home and not occasionally meet him in the office - by himself - (100%), an astonishingly large number of people are really scared and unable to see that the risk to them is low. The likelihood that any one of the public “experts” will address the difference between the models and the actual is vanished small. The public needs to be told that they are not likely to die if they leave their homes. Over and over again.
Exactly right — living in fear is destructive and unhealthy all by itself. I’m both shocked and disappointed at how many of us fell for the fear porn.
There’s actual risks worth changing your life for — becoming active after being sedentary for years is a great example — and then a whole bunch of other imagined risks best ignored, or at most, take basic minimal precautions and then move on with your life.
With viruses, it seems like ultimately you have two lnes of defense, you have to trust your immune system along with simple but vitally important and effective hygiene behaviors, and if you can’t trust those two things you are playing Russian Roulette every day of your life anyway. My two cents. YMMV.
Just because it won’t work with the worst case scenarios does not make it a bad idea, but surely you knew that already when you cleverly typed out your “gotcha!” comment.
The point is, focusing on what you can control is always a good idea with your health, instead of ignoring that part and waiting to be saved by a vaccine that may never come.
We're suckers for anyone who promises us "safety." I don't mind that so much, as long as people make their own decisions about what they're willing to sacrifice to be safe. I start to fight back when they assume the right to dictate what other people must do. We'll always have some annoying, intrusive rules in service of keeping not only ourselves but other people safe, but in recent decades we've gone way overboard. The mindset has become that there's practically no limit to what you can expect society at large to give up in the name of safety. People will barely let their kids play in a playground any more. I call it "if it saves one life" thinking--though "thinking" may not be the right word.
I've been staying home since March 13. Back then I had very little idea how dangerous this thing could be, and it's no great hardship on me, or loss to my society, if I stay home. With every passing week I'm less convinced the draconian lockdown measures no more good than harm. We don't seem able to look at the facts as they develop, and tailor our response. It's political poison to change anything, because "if it saves one life" also translates to "if anyone dies for any reason, it's your fault because you altered the status quo." And yet we underplay the unintended side effects of altering the status quo six weeks ago.