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Thursday, April 30. 2020
Assuming lockdowns do not prevent deaths but only slow the rate (still unknown whether that works very well, but maybe), who decides what number is acceptable?
Protecting the most vulnerable (nursing homes and the like) has not worked very well thus far, with up to 50% of corona deaths occurring in such places. Those places require lots of staff.
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I noted two weeks ago this Guardian article about how 'unconscionable' it was for the British fashion retailer to be cancelling orders, following on from articles weeks earlier describing the dire situation of developing-world clothing supply-chain workers plunged into even more crippling poverty in places without the social safety-net that we have in developed western countries.
Of course like many places in the USA, the UK have no clothing stores open so no clothing store sales. With everyone on lockdown, the need for their product so reduced that online-sales aren't going to make up for even a tiny portion of the lack of in-store business.
I'm reading carefully all of the articles I see advocating the continuation of the severest US lockdown measures, and without exception their cost-benefit analysis stops at the border.
I know that I don't have the answers myself, and I know that my personal response is and will be to follow and not undermine the strictures lawfully instituted by my state and county.
But Danish schools have been reopened for over two weeks, and I've now seen (one) report on how that is working out.
We really do have new information and more accurate information arriving daily. It is going to become increasingly clear that some of the restrictions (such as on many forms of individual and household group outdoor recreation) have no continuing scientific justification, just as it remains clear that other restrictions (such as on large-group events) clearly need to remain in place.
Well, let’s see, the decision to move forward with lockdown was made with zero concern for or recognition of potential downsides of closing much of the economy, and hospitals as well.
They decided for us that none of that matters. No discussion needed. Suddenly now it’s time to start looking at downsides?
If "they" know something that we don't, they're supposed to tell us, not keep it secret. What did they know, when did they know it, why did they keep it secret.
It's far more likely than it ought to be, that they know something we don't, which is their fault, not ours.
What's more, I'm not that convinced of it. There's a lot of information publicly available. It would be nice to think they've done a better job than the man on the street about digesting all that information and drawing sound conclusions from it, but frankly I'm not seeing conclusive evidence of that so far.
"the decision to move forward with lockdown was made with zero concern for or recognition of potential downsides of closing much of the economy."
Zero? You expect to be taken seriously as a discussant when you make absolutist statements like that? You've read their minds with your motive-o-meter? You were present at their discussions? You know what they think?
It makes life so much simpler when you know that all the people who disagree with you must be just evil or stupid.
Got any reason to think otherwise? Actual evidence of some kind? Should be easy to prove me wrong then. Go for it. I’m all ears.
I think first you should give evidence that you have understood what my objection is. Please restate what you think I meant. I don't think you got it.
AVI, while "zero concern" is a rhetorical exaggeration, it's not a totally unfair description of a recklessness in the initial decision, combined with a rather hostile refusal to discuss the trade-off civilly now that we have more information. It's not possible to engage rationally on this issue if the answer keeps being "you value money over lives," which too many politicians and pundits are falling into. There's very little honest recognition of the impact of economic ruin on longevity, for that matter.
The first closures were a defensible response, even if in retrospect it's tempting to paint them as slightly panicked. Under the circumstances, a little panic probably was called for, as an aid to getting people moving on something big and unprecedented. But before long, when the staggering economic cost became apparent, and discussion of cost still was reluctant and rudimentary, it sure started to look like something you could fairly call "no consideration." I don't see any evidence that many of the people who issued the lockdown orders had any real idea how damaging they would be. They hadn't had time to think it through. When they got time, they still resisted discussing it.
There are exceptions, of course. I'm happy with my governor, overall, and the President certainly tried to talk about the trade-off, for all the good it did him.
I don't call this evil, but I do abhor the approach, even while acknowledging that it was subjectively motivated by rational fear and probable good will of a fuzzy if dangerous sort.
As I was reading, I thought how reasonable Jeff had suddenly become, making good points and actually engaging with a rational argument. I was composing in my head my apology to him for misunderestimating him. Then I saw it was Texan99.
In this climate, rhetorical exaggerations - and I think you are being kind to him, as there is no evidence that is what he is doing, and I think he really believes it is "zero" and his opponents are simply evil - should generally be considered off-limits. They destroy discussion at a time we most need it.
:-) Perhaps you're being just a tiny bit unkind to him?
I don't like many of the decisions made in the crisis, either. But why do you think you, or any of us, should be involved in discussions during the decision making process? This isn't a democracy. We've elected people to do a job and they're doing it. If you were the person making the decisions, then you wouldn't have discussed it with us either.
Each person in public office today had plenty of discussions with the public during his campaign. It's said so often that it's become a stupid cliche, but it's still true. Elections have consequences. If you don't like your mayor or governor, do something about it.
Well technically you are right. BUT, the constitution drew a line around the powers that we the people gave our elected employees. They cannot legally exceed those powers even in a crisis or emergency. In a crisis they can ask us to do certain things but they cannot mandate that we do things that they have no legal/constitutional right to do. They cannot make us stay in our homes or shut down our livelyhood. They can't do it! Even if they make those decisions in secret or in public they cannot do it!!! They cannot arrest a dad playing ball with his child or a mother taking her children to a playground. They cannot simply shut down city streets and public lands, OUR LANDS! They can't do it. The can ASK us to do things we can all agree are the right things to do in a crisis. They can "tsk, tsk, and clutch their beads if we choose to do what we want to do. But they cannot weaponize OUR police against us. AND if they do we have the right to remove them from office by any means necessary. We DO have more options than simply accept that because a son of a bitch was elected we must do what he/she says for four years. Tar and feathers is an option, a rope and a tree would be good. They have forgotten their place. They are not kings and queens and petty tyrants, they are our employees and we can fire them one way or another. If they step over that line too far or too aggressively we too can remove them aggressively.
The question should be turned around: Are you willing to let people die, make people financially destitute, create & expand psychological problems for people, create conditions where crime is the only choice left just to continue the shutdown?
A couple of weeks ago Sarah Hoyt made what I think were some profound comments about this.
Money is life. We're not just collecting it to put in swimming pools like Scrooge McDuck. We're using it to buy food, shelter, heating, etc. For us and our families.
We're not moral relativists. The fact is there is no perfect solution. That's how this fallen world is. Trying to pretend that it's some other way is falling into the trap of the Utopian promises of leftists and other secularists.
She got the Scrooge McDuck idea from me over at Chicago Boyz, which she reads regularly. I thought she got it only partly right.
Daycares closed, so why didn't nursing homes? At the very least they should have called families and asked them to take their elder into their home to keep them well. Now, in hind site, that would probably have saved some lives. But then, do those in power over us actually want to save the elderly? I doubt it.
One of my neighbors exfiltrated his 80+ y.o. father from a local nursing home a couple of days after the first case in a local facility hit the news. I happened to the son unloading his van the day he came home, carrying luggage, an IV rack (!) and what appeared to be other medical equipment. It was a huge risk given the potential that the old man was already exposed by then, but ultimately it may have saved his father's life, because there have been dozens, maybe hundreds, of deaths in these facilities statewide since. It got so bad that the state stopped reporting numbers for the nursing home clusters as separate totals. That was over a month ago. I see him out for walks , son pushing Dad around the neighborhood in his wheelchair. Just goes to show, it's always better to take care of your own than to rely on the government or any other third party to protect the safety of your family. I imagine it's going to be a tough call when/if he has to go back to the "home."
Over 80 years ago my father "exfiltrated" his father from the hospital. He was dying and didn't want to die alone in a hospital. He died at home under the care of my mother. Probably from stomach cancer but the diagnoses back then was not that good. Died in some pain but at least not in a cold unfriendly hospital. That simple compassionate act created a family myth that maybe he would have lived if he was not removed from the hospital. An issue that came between my father and one of his brothers for the rest of their life.
That would depend on the degree of need and the level of care required. Many residents of nursing homes require very specialised, professional care that would be beyond the capacity of most lay people. In those circumstances, sending such people home might represent a much greater danger than COVID-19, while still not guaranteeing protection from the virus.
If someone is so gravely ill that the risk of moving them out of a coronavirus infested nursing home is greater than the risk of leaving them inside with the virus, being cared for by doctors and nurses who are most likely overwhelmed also possibly virus carriers, then you're really talking about the choice between hospice care at home and hospice care in a nursing home. Because if someone can't be moved to escape the virus, they're not likely to survive being surrounded by it either. So the choice is, take them home to die among family, or leave them in a facility to die under quarantine, unable to see their families. It's a crappy choice, but there you go.
The deaths at nursing homes are not results of misfortune, but government force, at least in New York state. Gov. Cuomo ordered that any elderly people with symptoms be refused treatment at hospitals and taken to nursing homes which were forced to accept them -- thereby infecting and killing large numbers of residents and staff who had done everything right and would otherwise still be alive.
Governor Cuomo needs to go on trial for murder. Right Now.
God certainly didn't do that, that's all on Cuomo. Definitely murderous.
the ultimate straw man. No I'm not willing to "let" sick people die. Nor do I have control over them one way or another. No one is being turned away from a hospital, and even in NYC. The whole premise is utter bullsh*t.
We do what we can to control it, but life must go on. Considering the extremely widespread nature of this virus, everyone is going to be exposed, period. Most will survive. And no amount of lockdown will prevent it. Driving the nation and the world into economic collapse trying to stop something we have now power over will only cause more deaths (even the UN recently observed that death from poverty and starvation will far exceed death from the disease.)
These arguments are based on the assumption that the lockdown is actually accomplishing something significant.
That in itself is questionable. The disease has bascially 2 week life cycle, regardless of the outcome the patient is not significantly contageous at the end of 2 weeks. If the lockdown were actually effective we should see a significant drop, or at least shift in the numbers within 3 weeks after imposing. But that did no happen. Not here, not in Europe.
The reason is simply that quarantines depend for success on keeping the disease away from the population to a very high degree. Just a partial degree us useless. It's spread all through the population, so we're doing this toxic ritual for no real benefit.
The author doesn't understand the term 'moral relativism'. He seems to have no idea what he's talking about.
I just read that one too. I sent a link to our local political animal in chief in the hopes he will moderate his lockdown rules.
I also suggested that the autopsies and inquests on the dead and our economy will not be kind to him and calls for rolling heads will include his.
Not opening is now a greater risk than opening. The currently paid are about to start loosing their incomes, too.
Like most, I've swayed in my opinion but mostly believed we should have taken the route of Sweden with no shutdown. Developing herd immunity as rapidly as possible with voluntary distancing, protecting the at risk and ramping up hospital capability. However our media is irrational and decided to cause mass hysteria.
Its not heartless to accept a certain number of deaths, the media spin on this is derelict. The fear and panic about reopening comes from too many Americans realizing they are mortal. The decision to reopen has become an existential crisis.
We need to know how many people died last year at these nursing homes. How many deaths are due to Covid and how many would occur anyway. About 1.9 million Americans aged 65 and older die every year so how bad is this really?