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I'm not arguing that preparation wouldn't have helped either, just saying a claim needs evidence. From what I'm mostly hearing, everyone that needs a hospital bed or ventilator is getting one. Medically our needs are largely being fulfilled. Would preparation have saved people's jobs instead? That's the thing taking a beating right now.
 

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It's an interesting debate. What I'm hearing is that one one hand we need to save as many people as possible, which means shutting things down to keep virus transmission to a minimum until a vaccine or effective treatments are available. The problem with that is that we don't know how long these will take, and I think there are practical limits to how long we can keep such a tight lid on.

On the other hand, we could open up, allowing the disease to spread, hopefully adjusting our response to keep the infection rate within the capacity of the medical system. The downside of that is that more people will die.

There's a whole spectrum of responses from tight lockdown to wide open, along with arguments for and against. The weaker cases will be those that argue for an extreme position. As always, we will never have complete agreement on what course to take, and the reality is that individual countries, states and people will each make their own choices.
 

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We are barely two months into a two year medical crisis. Talking about how well we have done is more than a bit premature.

Apparently, the virus was already out of the box before anybody knew it existed.


A respiratory pandemic was predicted for decades. Many of the things needed to prepare were known. It simply wasn't good for short term profits. Doing whatever we could to prepare would have been the cheapest approach in the long run. As always, the costs are socialized, while the profits are privatized.
 

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Deciding whether to save lives, or the economy, may be a false choice. If a vaccine is not found, and immunity is short, we will lose both. Imagining disease, or climate change, can't beat us is magical thinking.
 

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I'm not arguing that preparation wouldn't have helped either, just saying a claim needs evidence. From what I'm mostly hearing, everyone that needs a hospital bed or ventilator is getting one. Medically our needs are largely being fulfilled. Would preparation have saved people's jobs instead? That's the thing taking a beating right now.
Um... how's S Korea and Taiwan as examples of Democratic being prepared? And they're on the same continent. :)

Never watch Contageon, watching ton HBO now.
 

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If a basic defense is social distancing and sanitation, it's really not that hard to implement. K-12 and higher education have already moved to educate based on this. It's a pain--you'll just have your basic three RRRs, staggered schedules, and laboratory learning has components that have moved virtual. My college is now fully configured and able to communicate with students regarding administrative matters without ever having to have real contact with them or their parents.

Schiit audio in California has reconfigured their manufacturing facilities and continue to make audio products. I have relatives who work in ultra high volume consumer plastics manufacturing and production has been reduced by 60% to allow time for reconfiguration. The plants in NY State they work at now beginning to re-hire after configuration. Production is slowly increasing in pace with consumer demand. Same with auto manufacturing.

One of my favorite hotels now no longer cleans your room while you are there. After guest check out the room is disinfected and then unoccupied for two days before the next guest arrives. This is a temporary measure. They will be purchasing one of those machines a hospital uses to disinfect room with extreme light. Once they have that I presume the room won't have to be unoccupied for two days before the next guest.

Some localities are allowing manufacturing to move facilities into empty retail location space if they need to spread their facilities out.

I've got no problem getting my hair cut if the chair is disinfected and everyone is wearing a mask.

In terms the economy being destroyed that's really not true. What you're talking about is the economy staffed by unskilled working class labor. That's not the whole economy. People worked between October 1929 and December 7th, 1941. People worked, fortunes were made, people graduated form college, new companies were formed, and on and on. People out of work have my complete sympathy. But unskilled labor has always gotten the short end of the stick. Currently unemployment for college graduates is about 8% now compared with 21% for non college graduates. You saw similar pattern in 2008.

In California tradesmen (skilled labor) have been exempt from any lockdown. Welding, contractors, electricians, plumbers, stone masons, mechanics, etc. have all been working. I know because I've had occasion to hire them.

Restaurants, bars and clubs are a harder nut to crack, although this is where you need nuance. I know restaurants where ALL their tables are 6 feet apart or more. This allows for larger parties to spread out and servers to move freely. And of course I know restaurant where you sit cheek to jowl.

It's a tough situation. But I believe we can innovate our way out fit. Economy v health is a false choice. As a country let's not be an illustration of the phrase, "Never time to do it right but always time to do it over." I prefer, "Do it right the first time."
 

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We are barely two months into a two year medical crisis. Talking about how well we have done is more than a bit premature.
On the contrary, I think it's important to understand which strategies have worked and which haven't even in these early stages. We can look around at various countries to see which ones have minimized per-capita deaths while at the same time minimizing restrictions, and learn from them.

What's premature is claiming victory. We may have won some battles here and lost some there, but the war still rages.

Of course it's the nature of politicians to claim victory no matter what happens. It's up to an informed electorate to hold their feet to the fire.
 

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We can look around at various countries to see which ones have minimized per-capita deaths while at the same time minimizing restrictions, and learn from them.

Of course it's the nature of politicians to claim victory no matter what happens. It's up to an informed electorate to hold their feet to the fire.
Absolutely.

 

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High age and high weight are the 2 biggest factors that predict negative outcomes with this disease, and the US is relatively high on both counts. It wouldn't surprise me if case fatality rates were lower in countries where the population is younger and lower weight.

Back to preparation, what specifically should have been done to prepare, and how would that have positively affected the outcome? It's one thing to say that outbreaks are inevitable, because it takes no intelligence or understanding at all to be 100% correct on that, but it takes a lot of understanding to make specific recommendations to prepare.
 

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what specifically should have been done to prepare, and how would that have positively affected the outcome?
The science is pretty consistent. The politics what you would expect.





 

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Somehow relevant.



 

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Looks like Sweden, which is running an experiment in what happens when you don't force schools and businesses to close, is still experiencing some pretty severe economic fallout. Their death toll has been higher than their neighbors but less than the worst hit countries such as the US, Italy, Spain, etc. And antibody testing shows that about 7% of their population had acquired antibodies to the virus by the end of April. That doesn't sound like much, but it suggests that they could reach 50% by the end of the year, which is far ahead of where most other countries are at. If it turns out that we're not able to develop an effective vaccine or treatment over the next year or two then their course of action may seem wise in hindsight. And if we are able to mitigate the virus, they'll likely come under fire for not doing more to protect their citizens.

But the economic damage they're undergoing tells me that "reopening" isn't going to be the magic bullet for the economy that some politicians are counting on. People aren't stupid, they're not going to risk exposing themselves if they can avoid it (aside from a fringe group in the US who want to expose themselves as a political statement, I'll leave it to you to judge how smart that is).
 

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If you want solid data for COVID-19, look at Iceland. Iceland is a small island nation with the most complete genealogical record in the world. Ten years ago they set out to map the DNA of every Icelander.

Íslendingabók (genealogical database) - Wikipedia

National Human Genome Research Institute Home | NHGRI

Iceland Coronavirus: 1,803 Cases and 10 Deaths - Worldometer

Data

population 340,994

cases/M 5,287

deaths/M 29

tests/m 169,000 Second highest in the world, only behind the Faeroe Islands.
 

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But the economic damage they're undergoing tells me that "reopening" isn't going to be the magic bullet for the economy that some politicians are counting on. People aren't stupid, they're not going to risk exposing themselves if they can avoid it (aside from a fringe group in the US who want to expose themselves as a political statement, I'll leave it to you to judge how smart that is).
That's exactly the point, that it's MY life, not the governments, and I'm responsible for assessing risk and making decisions for MY life.
You want to know what kills millions of humans every year in the US alone; abortions. We still allow people to decide with certainty to end it, but be don't allow people to decide if they should risk exposure to a virus which has a very low probability of killing them and a very high probability of eventually exposing the person later on. Some massive cognitive dissonance there.

It's entirely possible Sweden ends up coming out ahead in every respect; with an average amount of reduced life expectancy (death count is a stupid measure) and a better economic recovery. The thing about economics is compounding benefits, so even a small fraction of an advantage in economic growth pays dividends into the future (and the reverse is true).
 

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Looks like Sweden, which is running an experiment in what happens when you don't force schools and businesses to close, is still experiencing some pretty severe economic fallout. Their death toll has been higher than their neighbors but less than the worst hit countries such as the US, Italy, Spain, etc. And antibody testing shows that about 7% of their population had acquired antibodies to the virus by the end of April. That doesn't sound like much, but it suggests that they could reach 50% by the end of the year, which is far ahead of where most other countries are at. If it turns out that we're not able to develop an effective vaccine or treatment over the next year or two then their course of action may seem wise in hindsight. And if we are able to mitigate the virus, they'll likely come under fire for not doing more to protect their citizens.

But the economic damage they're undergoing tells me that "reopening" isn't going to be the magic bullet for the economy that some politicians are counting on. People aren't stupid, they're not going to risk exposing themselves if they can avoid it (aside from a fringe group in the US who want to expose themselves as a political statement, I'll leave it to you to judge how smart that is).
Regarding getting the population to herd immunity... I still think it's smarter to get infected later rather than sooner so 1) we understand the disease more and 2) we have more treatments.
 

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Regarding getting the population to herd immunity... I still think it's smarter to get infected later rather than sooner so 1) we understand the disease more and 2) we have more treatments.
Agreed, but not at the expense of jobs, economic welfare, and mental welfare. There's reasonable precautions to take to slow the spread that don't involve arbitrary declarations of "essential" people.

I'm "essential", but equally as angry had I been deemed non-essential because it isn't the decision of some half-wit bureaucrat who would fail an economics 101 test to decide.

The inevitable outcome is that governments will hand over decision making back to their people. I'd say the last of those politicians to do so should be applying for unemployment and looking for a real job next election cycle.
 

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That's exactly the point, that it's MY life, not the governments, and I'm responsible for assessing risk and making decisions for MY life.
As long as you stay at least six feet away from me in public I don't give a rat's behind if you snort the virus. I still think folks who can't be bothered with simple safeguards are the scum of the earth.
 
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