So what’s your point? What should the country do about it?
A limited quarantine applied to vulnerable populations makes the most sense. 85% of those infected by the virus experience no or minimal effects. The elderly, those with per-existing conditions, or with compromised immune systems need to be protected.This would be far easier to implement, have fewer collateral effects particularly as relates to the economy, and improve the chances of developing "herd immunity" in the larger population. Indeed, this is the approach being tried in Sweden, to some considerable effect, as a recent story in the New York Times illustrated.The practical problem is that the culture overall presumes that every problem has a solution. Rather than being a difficulty to be managed. The elderly - who vote a lot it should be added - will not take kindly to bearing the brunt of a quarantine, and government officials do not wish to take the risk of being blamed for fatalities. Fatalities that are happening and will continue to happen even under the most stringent practicable quarantine.Trust me, as fear decline and boredom and restiveness rises in the general population, and as the collateral effects rise, the quarantine will first break down by default. Then subsequently it will be modified by policy.This is only a matter of time.
How would you apply that limited quarantine effectively?
It is not that complicated. Protections would afforded to senior citizens homes and such. Segregated areas in doctor's offices, hospitals and such. The elderly would be encouraged to remain at home. Special shopping hours for the elderly or otherwise qualified populations. People apt to be in contact with the elderly or otherwise vulnerable populations - families, workers in senior citizen's facilities, etc. - would be encouraged, as they are now, anyhow, to take precautions such as hand washing and such.Essentially the same principles and practices would be employed, only targeted to vulnerable populations rather then being applied across the population overall. As with the current system, it would not assure full protection. However, it would more equitably balance the benefits and costs of protecting populations vulnerable to the virus with the costs and benefits to the population overall.Please note, this is the very same method that Sweden is employing, as a recent article in the New York Times demonstrated, to great effect. Please also note that in the 1918-1919 pandemic, there was no universal application of a quarantine and a more limited approach was used in parts of the United States.According to Professor Nancy Tomes of Stony Brook University, both methods seemed to have about the same impact in deterring the spread of that virus. See also her book: The Gospel of Germs: Men, Women, and the Microbe in American Life. Bottom line, the method that has been adopted so far has been more a response to the hysteria of the moment - and of science abstractly applied without regard to context - than to a prudent balancing of needs, costs and benefits. To which has been added the usual amount of media ambulance chasing and the public's mix of of self-pity and self-congratulations.A more sober and mature society - see 1918/1919 - would not act so and would behave more soberly both in individual conduct and public policy.
Might not work in all countries. America has wide open spaces and things are very spaced out. Many countries are more densely populated and so it would be a lot more difficult to do limited quarantines.
It is working in Sweden. Small, densely located population centered around Stockholm and a few other cities. This at the same time as it is a member of the Shengen area and thus has borderless travel within the EU.The point is that the perfect is the enemy of the good. There is no perfect solution, nor is their apt to be. Rather, the starting point must be an assessment of risk set against the balancing of costs and benefits.Anything else, the law of unintended consequences pertains always and everywhere. Trust me, 6 months from now the whining and complaining will not be about a long forgotten virus but a prolonged recession and chronic unemployment. The public never stopping to consider how much a little prudence at the outset might have avoided a concatenation of problems in the end.
Sweden has a low population anyway and healthy too. And they also have a high healthcare capacity for their size.
I don’t think you can apply the same thing everywhere. Every country is different - different culture, different population densities, different way of living, different household types
Yup. that is why you make a case-by-case assessment. Just as you do not treat Sweden the same as the United States. So you do not treat Idaho the same as New York. You are trying to hard to panic. You like the false security that comes from a blanket quarantine, but false security it is. First, because even the most blanket quarantine must have its holes. You want to stop coronavirus in its tracks. Keep everyone at home all the time. Close the power plants, close the grocery store, close the pharmacies and so on. Do you really think that the virus is ignoring the groups of people who run the electrical plants and then go grocery shopping and so on?Secondly, because even with the security you do have, you have illness and death. (Though by historical norms - see that 1918/1919 example - it is modest.) The difference being that under the current system you will get those illnesses and those deaths, PLUS mass unemployment. With all that entails, in rising crime, suicides, spousal abuse, hunger and so on.To repeat, the pursuit of perfection is the enemy of the good. You will think of a million reasons why your system is best and a more limited one not as good. You will be right in the abstract. However, the reality is more complicated and you do not take sufficient account of the costs of your noble intentions.
Actually I don’t disagree with you. Do you think a blanket quarantine is right for New York City?
For the time being. However, even there, the effect is likely to be less than hoped. Access to grocery stores, pharmacies and such cannot be curtailed and already there are indications that the population in some areas is ignoring the restrictions. (Note the large group that ironically came out to welcome the arrival of the US military hospital ship, Comfort.)To wit, once there is some confidence that the hospital system is ready, the restrictions may need to be reduced in stages. (Indeed, there is at least some anecdotal evidence that the restrictions are hampering efforts to complete the construction of medical facilities and get supplies in as transportation facilities have been constricted due to lack of personnel and the closing of manufacturing facilities.) Again, hysterical and theatrical reactions are no substitute for prudent and sober judgment.
I thought they’re allowed to go to grocery stores and pharmacies.
They are. That was part of my point regarding that even the most tightly bound quarantine will be imperfectly effective. It will not afford as much security as the illusion of perfect security - and this with the concomitant economic and other collateral costs.Hence the argument for a more limited approach. It can be a quarantine applied to vulnerable populations, or regionally as necessity and the data dictate, or some combination.However, the blanket approach, unless it be applied to abstract perfection, will only slow infections (and related casualties) at the margins. Then only with other costs - specifically economic but not only - attendant to that.
Regional makes sense. I don’t know about only applying to vulnerable populations but I guess it depends where. It’s probably easily doable in rural America. Although in places where there’s so few cases (0 in some cases), I don’t see the needs for any restrictions other than preventing large gatherings.
Well, again, Sweden is doing it. The Netherlands is doing it. The UK was doing it until the tabloid press went into spasms, at which point Prime Minister Johnson decided that the political costs were not worth it.In terms of the United States, both President Trump and Governor Cuomo have mentioned implementing a more limited approach. Thereby giving it at least the patina of bipartisan consideration. Albeit that politicians dread the risk of an "I told ya so" and thus will tread carefully.Bottom line, the current approach is unsistainable both as a practical matter and as an economic one. In that you are belaboring a point over which there is far less control then you imagine.
Well in most democratic nations, total lockdown won't be sustainable for anything longer than a few months before you start to get unrest, poverty, mental health problems which could eventually escalate to a point where authorities start to lose control especially if they fight back.
Yes, that was part of my point. The policy will likely begin to unravel in fact before it is repealed formally.
I think it is a very difficult situation for any government though. Southern Italy is already seeing the starting roots of civil unrest due to food poverty. With Italy extending that lockdown, I can only imagining it getting worse.
Well, as one wag once put it - and I say this of a man with Italian descent on my mother's side - the Italian political philosophy might be, "I don't care who runs the state, so long as I get to make the sauce." Alternatively, quoting somewhat less tastefully, as Mussolini said, "It is not impossible to govern the Italian people. It is pointless."Italian culture is somewhat more loosey goosey when it comes to the rule of law. Albeit that loyalties tend to be more local. Americans, paradoxically, are more individualistic but also more nationalistic. Thus respect for the rule of law tends to be more consistent.Still, individual circumstances will determine much and thus it is also wise to give some scope to a more decentralized response to this situation.
News coming out of Britain now of parks and open spaces being packed despite Government telling them not to do it. And police out in numbers. could this be an early sign government is losing control of the lockdown?
Well, you make it sound like a deliberate campaign of civil disobedience, when in fact more likely it is just people drifting back into old habits. Yet, that said, no doubt the ability of democracies - the United States included - to enforce such a policy will decline with time, particularly as fear is replaced by boredom and restlessness. This will vary, society to society. In societies with a strong emphasis on the rule of law - think Germany and the Scandinavian countries - it will be easier to enforce the policy over the long term. In societies with more individualist tendencies or less of a rule of law tradition - think the US, the UK, Italy - it will get harder more quickly.By the way, as an aside, Dr. Barbara Birx of the President's Coronavirus Task Force announced today that they are now trying to build models that take account of the costs and trade-offs involved in the quarantine. To now, the models have been structured to address only the issue of disease containment. Henceforward they will now try to build more sophisticated statistical models. This, in turn, may lead to an official relaxation of the quarantine policy. Though, to be sure, building such statistical models will take a rather long while.
That’s logical and wholistic thinking. So why do people get so emotional over this especially in the west? As far as I can see, in Asia everyone is acting calmly and collectively and largely carrying on and they haven’t enforced any of the draconian measures being seen across America and Europe.
Particularly I can see as time goes on, I can see frontline workers who are out and about arguing Over this with those in quarantine saying they are putting lives at risk etc.
And do you think any of the countries out of America, UK and Sweden have got the approach right?
Well, one has to be careful about overgeneralizing. However, in broad terms, it is because the West has grown accustomed to a standard of living and security that is not seen in large swathes of Asia. Thus, when a problem of this type arises there is a tendency to react to it more deeply. To see it as a greater threat given the level of security and the concomitant trust in science that Western peoples have come to expect.Also because, in general, the peoples of Asia have a deeper sense of community purpose. There is more of an individualistic tradition in the West. Thus making the immediate remedies to this illness tend to rub more aggressively against the broad ethic that pervades Western cultures, thereby making the reaction more shrill.As to your last point that you belatedly added, I am afraid that I cannot understand what you wrote. In general, the "frontline workers" are health care and emergency services professionals. Suffice to say, they have much more at stake - and therefore a greater interest in containing the disease as their highest priority - compared to the overall population. (Though grant, the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions and compromised immune systems among the general population also have a greater interest in containing the disease.)That said, in general, the workers who have lost their jobs are more immediately hurt by unemployment and its effects and are also, in general, less directly impacted by the virus. Consequently, they are more inclined to gripe about the quarantine whereas the frontline workers are apt, in general, to favor a more restrictive quarantine.
I think places like Japan, South Korea, Singapore must have a high standard of living and security? Although admittedly even the advanced Asian nations do face more natural disasters than most of the west.
Two points.First, as I said, you have to be careful about overgeneralizing. For every rule, particularly given human diversity, there will be exceptions and degrees of validity to any observation.Second, as regards the countries you mentioned. Yes, they have more Western standards of living. However, as a historical matter, they have had them for less time and thus more traditional cultural patterns, including a stronger emphasis on group identity, are still in place. Consequently, the reaction in those countries is more subdued.
How do you maintain such high level of neutral big picture thinking?
You are very kind. Well, I have worked in politics a lot of years and it just seems to conduce to better outcomes. As you can tell from the state of the world at the moment, the run of unrestrained emotionalism does not conducive to good outcomes. Also, I am just temperamentally built that way. That said, as my poor long suffering girlfriend will attest, when it comes to my three little children, I am anything but objective and dispassionate. In fact, I am the most besotted milksop of a daddy you will ever meet.
Well as a decision maker, yes neutral big picture thinking generally wins I agree. But I think even those people become emotional when it’s something that affects them directly. And when people become emotionally involved, neutral big picture thinking goes out of the window.
I also sometimes question whether it’s possible to be completely neutral big picture thinking at all on an issue like this virus and responses to it which affects everyone in some way.
Well, I certainly try. We are not creatures of pure logic. However, we have learned to discipline our minds and control our reactions. Not perfectly, but certainly well enough to have built a civilization. It then varying across time and circumstance.The ideal perhaps best being summarized, as someone once said, "A life guided by reason but inspired by emotion."
I guess it’s harder in politics. In business it’s easier because it’s clearer Exactly what you need to achieve and also who has influence over that and who you need to keep happy.
Well, no. If business were as sober as it pretends to be, the stock markets all over the planet would not be fluctuating wildly at the moment. The difference is more the ease and means of expressing the passions than it is that the passions are better controlled.
Yeah there are still passionate arguments in business. I think humans are just generally emotional in everything they’re involved in directly. And so generally will take a side - even decision makers who think they are looking at the big picture and making the best decision based on that. Because otherwise every leader would make the same decision if that wasn’t true.
You are suggesting an artificial division. Man is a passionate being who alone has the capacity to master his emotions. No other animal on the planet can do that.However, it is an act of will, enforced and made possible by culture, education and a host of other social and individual factors. As we are not perfect, and as the disciplines that make emotional self-control must be nurtured and are not, for the most part spontaneous, such control will never be perfect.Men are BOTH emotional and logical. The balance being held and determined by a host of factors and circumstances, some general, some particular to a given moment in time and indeed to the individual himself.
Humans will naturally have different viewpoints. That is not an artificial division.
Didn't say it was. However, the way we address our divisions is critical. Indeed can be a matter of life and death.
Yes and every decision maker will do that differently how they think is best. and by doing that they will please some and upset others. Therefore taking a side even if they believe they are not.
Sir, you have lost me at this point. You are stating the obvious. Suffice to add that much of the drama in human history has been the battle between man's good and evil sides. Ditto between rationality and irrationality. Between man as an individual and man as a social being. We are both and the trick to the good life is striking the balance. Keeping ever in mind that it is a never ending problem and that, as man is not perfectible, the perfect balance will never be struck. Rather, each culture and each individual within each culture and influenced by it, will wrestle with it time without end.
Perhaps though in the worst affected areas such as New York and London, total lockdown is the safest way to manage the situation and prevent healthcare capacity being exceeded until a better way of managing the situation is discovered. Simply because with simply advisory measures, there will be many gatherings and the rate of spread will be faster.
Well, again, measure the trade-offs. Data shows that while economic activity has declined overall, during this lockdown alcohol sales are up by 55%.So, we have millions of people at home, with nothing to do, who are unlikely to be impacted by the disease - 67% of those not in a vulnerable population who are infected will experience minor or no symptoms - are drinking at above normal rates. What costs do you think will attend that.There are no hard and easy rules. There are rather trade-offs, judgment calls and cost/benefit estimates. Maybe it would be better to lock down all of New York, but it will not be cost free and you need to take into account those costs. THAT is my point.The policy at the moment is Ahab chasing his whale. All other values are being tossed aside for one overriding goal. It is only now, very dimly - see Dr. Birx's announcement - beginning to occur to policymakers and the public more generally that thr single minded pursuit of one goal at the expense of all else can often come at a disproportionate price.At any rate, forgive me, but we began with you mentioning that it was getting harder in the UK to enforce a lockdown. So the point may be academic. You may speak of what is a better policy, but it is not as if democratically elected government will have the capacity to unilaterally enforce there will absent public consent.It is all well and good to discuss the oughts. The time has come to assess the realistic alternatives.
Yes I agree but I meant whilst they figure that out, in the short term, a lockdown is fine. The effects of alcohol won’t become damaging unless you carry it on for months which most governments won’t. In the mean time, keeping people at home reduces the spread including to those most affected and saves lives. The young and healthy are amongst those who end up in hospital care even if less so.
The alternative at the moment (until a better management policy is found) to Ahab chasing his whale, is people dieing and overwhelming the healthcare capacities.
Although the UK seems to have gone too far now. I agree with that. Looking at social media from there, it seems they’ve banned sunbathing too (confirmed by one of the ministers). And people are now screaming on social media saying those who sunbathe are killing people. I fail to see the logic in that. Surely a trip to the supermarket is more risky.
Two problems with your argument.The first is that the lockdown is being implemented and the scientists and experts have no idea how long it would be required. (Example, Maryland is, so far, extending it to April 30. Virginia till June.) The fact that a deadline cannot be definitively set will have its own impacts, not to mention that as is, the policy has cost 10 million jobs in two weeks - and contrary to popular optimism, it is VERY likely that a good segment of those jobs will not be restored. As to the effects of alcohol specifically, also not true. Already, reports of suicide, child abuse and domestic violence police reports are rising. Alcohol playing a part in some segments of this.Finally, the estimated high end projection of virus related deaths under a full lockdown in 270,000. However, that is based on a permanent lockdown and makes no allowance for the costs that would attend such a lockdown. (Example, there were 38,000 traffic fatalities on the highways last year.) Thus, there is no comparative statistical basis on which to weigh the costs and benefits - even in the short term. If the most you save with a permanent lockdown is 270,000, how will that way against the number of lives - currently unknown - lost caused by the lockdown. (Not to mention the trade-offs to be made at shorter duration lockdowns.)Bottom line, you are at best speculating on the trade-offs absent information. A one month lockdown has cost 10 million jobs. How much longer and how many jobs you might lose as against how many lives you might save being the central question that cannot be answered.This then suggesting a more limited - and perhaps geographically employed - lockdown would be the wiser course.
P. S. On your last point, if it is any consolation, there is probably not too much sunbathing going on in the UK in early April. It would be a wee bit chilly.In any case, the theory may be that if anything but most the essential exceptions are made, the whole edifice will come crumbling down faster. So you put on the strictest controls possible - you cannot ban grocery shopping for obvious reasons - and that makes the whole lockdown more viable.It is debatable, but there is a certain logic. On a more extreme scale, when Mr. Gorbachev began implementing Glasnost - Openness - the public began taking advantage and the regime lost control. Machiavelli having rightly argued that one thing the Prince never should do is loosen his grip.
Yes but in the absence of science, politicians are choosing lives over the economy and seeking as close to absolute security in that as possible.
There is the very heart of the flaw in your argument. To postulate a separation of lives and the economy is a false dichotomy.Lives will be saved or lost according to the fortunes of the economy as much as according to the pattern of the virus. What do you think will happen when people cannot find work? What do you think will happen when they lose their homes - think the streets of Los Angeles and San Francisco.You are making the mistake that the media and a public driven by emotion rather than reason is making. You are putting the economy in distinction to the virus, when in fact the two are intertwined in ways that cannot be reasonably separated.That is what I mean by measuring the trade-offs and the costs and benefits in a broader context. The current policy aims at solving one problem while neglecting the interconnectedness of things. You think you are saving lives at the expense of the economy when all you are doing is picking and choosing what lives you will lose and which you will save.It is well past time when the public and policymakers begin to understand the trade-offs to be made. The is NOT a problem with a solution. This is a difficulty to be managed.
That won’t happen for a while though. If you continue lockdown for longer, the more likely this scenario becomes. But a few months, any good economy Can handle it.
It would last even longer if measured are taken such as that of the UK government to pay 80% of wages of companies who decide to “furlough” people. And also support self employed workers.
Sorry, it already is happening. The projection is for 270,000 deaths and over 10,000 have already died at the same time 10 million jobs have been lost, suicides and domestic abuse are up. You are giving yourself the luxury of time you do not have. To be sure, some time to decide on an optimum course is necessary. Acting in haste produces its own problems. However, the idea that the bill is not being paid right now is a comforting fiction. Made worse in this case because a public driven by fear is driving policy to be made in terms of either/or rather that cost/benefit trade-offs.
It’s harder in America yes. UK is much smaller country. And people aren’t losing jobs. Employers are furloughing them. and gov is paying their bills.
Your antecedent is not clear. If you are referring to enforcement of the quarantine, although I have not seen specifics stats, anecdotally the US is - so far - having better luck than the UK.Moreover, if you are referring to spread of the disease, the UK is more densely populated. This suggesting that the disease will more easily spread than in the US.So by those two metrics you are mistaken. However, as I say, since the antecedent in your statement was unclear, I am not sure if I answered your question.
What I mean is that yes in the long term total lockdown is not sustainable. But in the short term, people aren’t just going to start Dieing off for other reasons as in places like the UK so far everyone who has become furloughed is being paid for by the government and no one is out of pocket as a result.
Again, you are being too glib. The odds are that any lockdown that is long enough to inhibit the spread of the virus is going to have collateral economic and social effects. As noted, it has only been a month and early data show that suicides, domestic disputes and alcohol consumption are all up. That is after one month and the impact of the spread of the disease has been minimal - and if the projections hold up, the week ahead will be especially bad.So you are making presumptions that do not bear up even in the short term. The initial reaction of total lockdown was understandable given the unknowns. However, based on what we no know, to persist in it is an overreaction, at best, negligence at worst.
So you look at ways of relaxing the lockdown whilst still in lockdown. As soon as you lift it, infections will rise and more people will die and the overwhelm healthcare systems. You are Emotionally prioritising the effects on the economy over effects form the virus. That is not big picture thinking.
A total lockdown isn’t sustainable for more than about 3 months I think.
People are dying in any case. All you are you are arguing is that, to your mind, it is preferable that some portion die from the collateral damage caused by a strict quarantine rather than from the virus. 6 of one, a half dozen of the other - I admire your capacity to make such a measured judgment.Suffice to say, you are attempting perfect security and that is not possible. As to your three month prediction - given what the stats already show and the extant data - how do you know?
You’re missing my point though. 3 months is a guess. But the point is the effects from the economy which you describe are unlikely to happen for months. During this time of total lockdown, Governments should be looking at ways to relax total lockdowns as soon as possible.
Virus deaths aren’t waiting months in comparison. They are happening now. And at the moment deaths from economic effects are nowhere near overtaking deaths from virus.
However, to repeat, the economic effects ARE already being seen. 10 million jobs lost. Suicides up - those are deaths. (The mayor of Knoxville, TN reports that his city has had more suicides in 48 hours than normally see in a year.) Domestic altercation reports up. So it goes.You keep insisting that the economic effects will take longer to get here. Yet there they are. All you are doing is spreading the misery over a wider set of causes. You cannot say that the effects have not already appeared - because the immediate data absolutely contradict you and it will get worse.As to your three month guess. Yup. Got that it was a guess. Not sure we want to shape public policy based on a guess driven by fear and subjective impressions.
Give me numbers, not qualitative statements made by the mayor of one small area. Your claims equally have no backing
You don't either. The mayor was interviewed on Fox News earlier this week. The incidence of domestic disputes is available on the DoJ website.At any rate, I don't see any corroborating data from you. Only a guess that 3 months should be about right - and no estimate of what the cost of 3 months might be.
Then give me the numbers. I don’t see any corroborating data from you other than the economic losses and lives lost from that will outweigh the deaths from the virus. Where is your data for that?
Here you go.blogs.scientificamerican.com/.../www.reuters.com/.../www.nbcnews.com/.../police-see-rise-domestic-violence-calls-amid-coronavirus-lockdown-n1176151In any case, I am not suggesting that immediacy is the issue. Rather I am suggesting that when you see a problem coming down the road, it makes sense to get out ahead of it. The approach being taken at the moment places a primacy on the immediate and takes no account of the collateral and long term effects.These things matter. Now, your data, please?
None of that is hard data. They are all making guesses using terms such as “likely”. They are also naming cases but no hard numbers. Because they also cannot predict the future.
You read pretty fast. Still waiting for your hard data in any case.No matter. Sir, I do this as a hobby and am, in fact, I am neglecting family time right now. You have gone on with this world with end, amen.We shall in the fullness of time see who is right and who is wrong. So rather than take further time to dig out the data. (For example, I would have to go through the Fox website to track down the interview with the Knoxville mayor and I just don't think it worth the time for what you will pay me to do so.)Thus we will leave it here. Here is one more article: newsone.com/.../If the matter interests you further you are certainly free to do your own research - both to confirm or deny my own thesis or indeed to provide some evidence for your own.
www.who.int/.../Here is solid data from the past weeks on the number of cases and deaths worldwide, numbers updated daily in each situation report split per country. Can you give me something similar showing your claim of rising suicide rates as a result of lockdowns?
Do not dispute the deaths so far. Rather I ask what the comparative improvement will be set against the costs of a comprehensive lockdown. Deaths there will be. The only thing you cannot tell me is why death by a virus is to feared more than deaths by other causes - especially when those causes were inflicted to limit death from the virus.Follow that loop-the-loop.
Because the data shows clear evidence of rising deaths. There is no clear data based evidence of rising suicides as a result of lockdown.
The models show rising deaths regardless. So what are you fixing and how well are you fixing it?270,000 deaths projected worst case scenario. A million with no protections at all. I am not arguing for no protections, only more limited protections to limit the damage that will come from an unlimited lockdown.Both assure casualties either way. The only thing we are debating is whether a long term economic stagnation brought on by prolonged lockdown will not have even more ramifications than maximum projected casualties from a total lockdown.Elementary logic, if nothing else, should tell you that an economic contraction of a year's duration will bring on all sorts of costs that you are not considering. Indeed, the preliminary data - as the articles I sent you already show - are already beginning to rise. To repeat, there are no assurances and there is no perfect safety to be had. It is pointless to try as seeking out the ephemeral goal will only get you the worst of all possible worlds.
I never argued for a total lockdown for as long as possible. I’m simply saying that it’s right for now, particularly in the most affected areas, as Governments figure out a way of slowly relaxing measures.
You’re fixing the rate of spread thereby spreading infections out over a longer period of time and not overwhelming the healthcare system. As you say, it’s not sustainable In the long term so it’s in the interests of governments to find a way of relaxing measures as soon as possible.
Which still leaves you with the problem of when, then, to lift it. You are devising policy on the fly with no definitive principle to guide you other than the exigencies of the moment.Bad idea. Better to think a few steps ahead.
Yes and that few steps ahead is thinking of ways to relax measure as as soon as possible.
It beginning with defining "as soon as possible." This given that, if possible the moment you mean that infections and fatalities would drop to zero, you can have no idea let alone any definable timeframe.Either we accept that some level of infection and fatalities is inevitable, or we end the discussion before it begins. That being my point. This is about trade-offs and cost/benefit calculations. My argument being that you will invariably get some level of infection and fatality and that must be measured against the equally inevitable costs in economic terms (including the fatalities that will attend such costs.) Operating on that premise, then, the case for a more limited quarantine beginning immediately is pretty much a given.There will never be a point in time when those trade-offs won't be there. So you accept them now or you delay and exacerbate the costs by doing so. Either way, the disease produces infections and casualties. It is the economic costs that are, in effect, optional - and worsened the longer they are prolonged. Again, it is not a matter of NO quarantine. Rather it is a question of a limited quarantine that will still entail costs but that will mitigate those costs - the economic costs - that can be managed.
Well you are going off lack of data to go for economic absolute security which also doesn’t exist. That is Ahab chasing its tail. There is no cost benefit analysis here when there is no data for the economy.
We must accept that there will be economic losses.
Sweden about to do a u turn. www.google.co.uk/.../a-53020024
We do have data. 10 million jobs lost to date. Suicides up. Domestic disputes up. The list goes on and it is easy to extrapolate from the data we have where things will go. Your blythe acceptance of the economic costs suggests a person who does not expect to pay them. Be careful of that. Other than to add that policymaking is a more complicated and nuanced thing than you pretend.As to Sweden, I have no doubt that it is experiencing political pressures not unlike those in the UK and elsewhere. The notion that pristine science dictates policy in either direction is more than the evidence will bear.
Lockdowns are working in Europe www.google.co.uk/.../...m-coronavirus-slowing.html
Yes I see your point about the economy. But until the curve flattens the economy can suffer. Yes economies take time to recover but guess what - dead people don’t recover. And yes absolute security doesn’t exist but you’re willing to risk millions of lives with your policy.
Your last point is a value judgment. Even your point about lockdowns working is debatable.Define "works." The projected losses to a full lockdown in the United States is a maximum of 270,000 dead by cause of the virus. (This assuming a lockdown with no endpoint, which is of course neither economically nor ultimately culturally and politically doable.) Please note, again, that this does not account for the collateral losses - suicides and such - that flow from a tight lockdown induced long term economic recesssion.You keep repeating the same mistake. This is not a problem with a solution. Rather this is a difficulty to be managed as best it can be. This involves trade-offs. For each life your lockdown saves, you must count on the debit side of the ledger lost jobs - 10 million to date (as against 270,000 lives that MIGHT be lost) - and lives lost to the effects of a recession.That is my point. You are focusing on one narrow aspect of a larger problem - as is the country. Driven by fear and political convenience, public policy is being shaped by what must be imperfect application of abstract scientific standards to a real world cultural dynamic. For the moment, you MIGHT arrest the progression of the disease - although with no definitive deadline for accomplishing that goal to point to that is problematic. However, what you are failing to account for in the narrow pursuit of that singular goal is all the other costs you will incur.No matter. In due course it is those costs that will eventually preoccupy the public. Indeed, consume it as the virus becomes a memory and the recession that was, by conscious choice, induced continues to linger.
You are focusing on one narrrow aspect. The economy. the British Prime Minister is now in intensive care.
The policy worldwide generally is to carry on with lockdown until at least the curve flattens.
So as to not overwhelm the healthcare system. That is the immediate problem. That has been balanced against economic effects which is more longer term.
No, YOU and the public driven by the fears are zeroing in one narrow aspect. I am saying that the efficacy of the policy must be judged in a broader context. Not just medical, but economic, social, cultural and political.That canvas is wider than you seem to understand. You focus on one piece of it and assume that it defines the whole.
You are the one obsessed with the economy. I understand the canvas. Your canvas considers the economy and puts that as the priority.
And you assume that the economy is the majority of the thing that affects the whole. you are stubborn and dangerous.
And you quickly refute any evidence which disagrees with your narrow view.
You are obsessed with stopping an illness. What is part of the greater whole. Is the economy a subset of the disease or the disease a factor in the economy.Man is more complex than one thing. Culture comes before economics, and what happens within the economy - pandemics included - are a subset of that. What will endure longer, the illness or the economy?
The economy. But it’s clear you are not taking this pandemic seriously. Since you are obsessed with the economy. Are you still going about your daily business going out there meeting everyone and doing nothing different?
You write: " But it’s clear you are not taking this pandemic seriously." Really? I work from home. I have phone and Skype meetings and have organized a few webinars and done political writing as requested by my clients. Other than going to the grocery store and the drug store I have been nowhere in two or three weeks. Spending time with my girlfriend and my little Munchkins as we all live in the same house. Beyond that, writing here. What else would you have me do?Beyond that, I believe that the policy addressing this has been badly mishandled and will produce more negative unanticipated consequences that you can imagine.Put simply, you address one aspect of a complex problem. I am attempting to address the larger issue. So who is it that is not taking this seriously?Y
There is plenty of evidence lockdown in Europe is working but you are simply refuting is beachside it doesn’t support your view. Lockdown is kept in place only until the peak is reached to protect the healthcare system and flatten the curve. This is a strategy which has been developed Over years by health authorities and does also consider socio economic effects. The socio economic effects is the reason you don’t keep lockdown in place until the number of active cases drops to 0 because that would not be managing the risk against the wholistic picture. Because that’s when lockdown happens for too long and then the effects from social economic. But in the short term, lockdown is the best way to flatten the curve, lower the number of deaths and slow the spread as much as possible. This is not an ideal scenario. You’re still looking at a large number of deaths. Doing nothing would be catastrophic since that will just cause a sharp spike in infections, deaths and Indirect deaths from an overwhelmed healthcare system also. Remember these deaths and hospitalisation are on top of usual deaths and hospitalisations which happen anyway. The issue with a more limited lockdown is that it increases the rate of transmission to above 1, when you want to keep it below 1. That is So you give the healthcare system a chance to handle it. This is balancing economy and the pandemic. Going back to your limited quarantine, Its actually not that simple to keep elderly and young people separate. You would still pass the virus on to older people particularly in densely populated places. As for regional quarantines, that is a possibility for places with less cases and what’s happening anyway with some rural counties having less restrictions in place.
If you are also working from home and taking those precautions surely you understand this. I understand that it’s an uncertain time for you as it is for all of us and that you are worried about yours and people’s employment but this is the wholistic balanced picture.
On your first point, check Austria. As to the second, I work from home normally. The only thing that has changed is that I have fewer out if office meetings. None actually.In any case, I am not the yardstick - nor are you - by which prudent public policy ought be measured and evaluated.Forgive me not having read much of your first post in this last round. I prefer conventional sentence and paragraph structure and not just a blob of words. Suffice to add that evidence that a total lockdown works is problematic. Of course it does if you have one singular purpose and no other obligations. Unfortunately, policymakers do have other obligations, not least balancing the need to restrain the growth of the virus against the need to maintain a sustainable economy.As I say, policymaking is far more complicated than the simple task you have assigned to it.
I think you’ve completely ignored everything I said in the last post. I mentioned balancing the need to restrain the growth of the virus against the need to maintain a sustainable economy. Go back and read the post again. And again you are refuting evidence which doesn’t align to your thinking.
With regards to Austria, they are doing exactly what I said. They have reached their peak and their number of active cases is falling as can be seen in the link below. So they are slowly releasing measures. www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/austria/
As regards Austria - how based on the data do we know they have reached their peak? What percentage of the population that is showing no symptoms has been tested? Therefore, what percentage remains contagious?Suffice to say, I could go on. You are basing - and they are basing - on hypothetical models based on a random sample applicable to a narrow set of circumstances. It leaves you in an intellectual - and thus policy - hall of mirrors.Please set me the definitive data that establishes the definitive moment when the restrictions can be lifted. Otherwise, you are just doing what I advocate under the patina of more certitude than certainty. The difference between what I advocate and what Austria is doing could be measured with a micrometer.
Well you gave the example of Austria. So I’m pointing out that they’re following what I described. You didn’t like that did you? Hence why you’re not going against the example you provided yourself. A sign that you are simply looking for ways to discredit any view other than your own. And you look at the trend since there is some uncertainty based around number of tests. The restrictions are lifted when the general trends show the peak has been reached. You look at data based on hospital admissions, deaths and active cases. That’s managing it with the data you have available. And before you bring up your economy counter argument again, your economic models also have similar levels of uncertainty and I’ll save time (because you’re becoming so predictable now) and ask you to provide the same concrete evidence in the same way you ask of me. But I’m sure you’ll come back with something less than concrete.
Except that they are not following what you described - except perhaps superficially. Remember, you are the one who claims that I care more about the economy then the disease.So let us track this out:1) Please provide the data that Austria has finally "flattened the curve" and can begin to re-activate the economy? What is the data that substantiates that we have been through the life cycle of this virus and can begin to re-activate the economy?Related question:2) In how many waves did the 1918-1919 Spanish influenza recur?
Now you are going back on yourself. In the last post, you went against what Austria are doing. Now you’ve flipped it again this time again to suit your own agenda. 1) I already provided the data and explained the uncertainties. Go back and get the link from my last post. 2). Spanish flu occurred in several waves and that’s exactly the reason you don’t suddenly release restrictions and go back to normal. You slowly release them in a phased approach as Austria are doing and as Germany is also planning and most of the world will follow.
No, Austria's policy has changed.Originally, it was full lockdown. Now they are opening up the economy step by step on the PRESUMPTION - for it cannot be anything other that that based on the extant data - that things are improving. My only quibble being that they are doing what I suggest, albeit on the pretext - which is political as much as not - that the curve has been flattened. My only difference is that we need to open up the economy - protecting vulnerable subsets of the population - as the presumption that the curve has flattened.Because guess what? Based on the data, that is little better than an educated guess. If it follows the 1918-1919 pattern, we will be back here next fall.
If you bothered to read anything I wrote earlier, Austria are following what I described earlier which I won’t repeat. In short, that’s to slowly start easing off on restrictions once there’s a general indication that the curve has peaked.
Spanish flu had waves because it died down during the warmer summer season. You can prevent that by easing off on restrictions and mass testing at the same time.
What you wrote earlier you wrote in a blob without proper paragraphs. Which is why I apologized for not reading it in full.In nay case, if your animating principle is saving lives vs the economy, then you are obligated - to stay consistent - to maintain a full lockdown until we run through a whole year cycle. This then to confirm - as there is no way to do at this time - that this virus will NOT be like the Spanish influenza.You are bang on about the Spanish flu's seasonal nature. What you cannot affirm, because we have never followed this illness through a year is that it will not act like its Spanish equivalent.Thus, you would be putting lives at risk merely for the economy - you heartless monster!! (That last was a joke just in case you have no sense of humor.)
Well how convenient if you to not read anything I said because it doesn’t suit you. At no point did I mention lockdown for a whole year. No idea where you got that from and I didn’t say that at all. I’ll copy what I said just for you.
Lockdown is kept in place only until the peak is reached to protect the healthcare system and flatten the curve. This is a strategy which has been developed Over years by health authorities and does also consider socio economic effects. The socio economic effects is the reason you don’t keep lockdown in place until the number of active cases drops to 0 because that would not be managing the risk against the wholistic picture. Because that’s when lockdown happens for too long and then the effects from social economic. But in the short term, lockdown is the best way to flatten the curve, lower the number of deaths and slow the spread as much as possible. This is not an ideal scenario. You’re still looking at a large number of deaths. Doing nothing would be catastrophic since that will just cause a sharp spike in infections, deaths and Indirect deaths from an overwhelmed healthcare system also. Remember these deaths and hospitalisation are on top of usual deaths and hospitalisations which happen anyway. The issue with a more limited lockdown is that it increases the rate of transmission to above 1, when you want to keep it below 1. That is So you give the healthcare system a chance to handle it. This is balancing economy and the pandemic. Going back to your limited quarantine, Its actually not that simple to keep elderly and young people separate. You would still pass the virus on to older people particularly in densely populated places. As for regional quarantines, that is a possibility for places with less cases and what’s happening anyway with some rural counties having less restrictions in place.
No, I didn't read it because I will not read things written so sloppily that you cannot even bother to use proper sentence and paragraph structure. (As again you have repeated in your most recent entry.)Sorry. If you wish to be understood you are obliged to make yourself understandable. A type-o or two is one thing. That mess you just sent a second ago - unreadable. No matter how profound your insights.Bottom line, Austria is taking a calculated risk that it can open up its economy again. It is going what I suggest. Cost/benefit analysis and trade-offs. Not wallowing in cliches like "sacrificing lives for the economy." That is a slogan tarted up as an idea and no serious policymaker ought give it credibility.
Lockdown is kept in place only until the peak is reached to protect the healthcare system and flatten the curve. This is a strategy which has been developed Over years by health authorities and does also consider socio economic effects. The socio economic effects is the reason you don’t keep lockdown in place until the number of active cases drops to 0 because that would not be managing the risk against the wholistic picture. Because that’s when lockdown happens for too long and then the effects from socio economic effects can become greater. But in the short term, lockdown is the best way to flatten the curve, lower the number of deaths and slow the spread as much as possible. This is not an ideal scenario. You’re still looking at a large number of deaths. Doing nothing would be catastrophic since that will just cause a sharp spike in infections, deaths and Indirect deaths from an overwhelmed healthcare system also. Remember these deaths and hospitalisation are on top of usual deaths and hospitalisations which happen anyway. The issue with a more limited lockdown is that it increases the rate of transmission to above 1, when you want to keep it below 1. That is So you give the healthcare system a chance to handle it. This is balancing economy and the pandemic. Going back to your limited quarantine, Its actually not that simple to keep elderly and young people separate. You would still pass the virus on to older people particularly in densely populated places. As for regional quarantines, that is a possibility for places with less cases and what’s happening anyway with some rural counties having less restrictions in place.
There you go sir.
Two problems:1) You write: "Lockdown is kept in place only until the peak is reached to protect the healthcare system and flatten the curve." How do you know that the curve has been flattened? You are presuming something for which there is no statistical basis. To repeat, unless and until you have completed an annual cycle, you are just guessing. You are making a trade-off assuming certain things for which there is no basis. Loosen the lockdown now and it is just as likely that you will provoke a resurgence of the virus. In a nutshell, you are doing what I am advocating while pretending that you are not.2) You write: "Doing nothing would be catastrophic since that will just cause a sharp spike in infections, deaths and Indirect deaths from an overwhelmed healthcare system also." This is the fallacy of the false alternative.For the record, I am not advocating doing nothing. I am saying open up the economy while putting in protections for vulnerable populations. This is far more manageable - and less destructive - than the "total lockdown in the hope that maybe we have flattened the curve" approach you suggest.
See previous points.
Well, rather than go back and forth, we can end it here. We are about, in large swathes of Europe and North America, going to try it your way. It is problematic how successful it will be in restraining a disease for which we have no prior experience. However, I will lay odds that in five months or so, you and folks like you will be complaining bitterly about the wretched state of the economy. Too late.
Yes I probably will be. And it’s a sacrifice which I’ll be glad we made.
Doubt that. Because of course you will have no metric by which to judge your decision. Save perhaps the self-satisfaction that comes with letting others pay the price of your unsubstantiated assumptions.
Ok. Again see previous posts.
I will remember And pay my respects to the dead and look towards rebuilding the economy and the country. 🙂
Well, if you want to make a point, you will have to be more specific. I read you clarified paragraph and pointed to its flawed premises. The arguments you used to substantiate a flawed premise does not make it less flawed. Your theory I understand. The arguments for it I understand. The problem is that the argument itself is flawed on two counts as noted. That said, it is the presumed wisdom of the hour, based paradoxically on an almost faith in abstract science.On your last, good of you. I am sure it will be a comfort to those who pay the price of the flawed policy.
All points have been answered previously. 🙂
Yes, just not satisfactorily such as to justify a sustainable public policy.
See previous post.
You have only proved your immaturity by now blocking me.
Yes, well, I didn't think it would be too hard to convince you of your own virtue and my vices. I did so only because I enjoy the debate, but not the vituperation, and life is too short. Be on your way, your virtues will be tested on a large scale going forward.
You started the vituperation. Clearly you don’t like being challenged on your own views.
As you wish. He said, she said. If it makes you feel better.
That is what you are doing. You are a typical bully dragging your opponents down to your level to try and make people cave. I refuse to engage with such bullies.
Yes, I know. We have already that the vituperation and airs of moral superiority were on my side. I can see it in your responses. Mea culpa!! Mea culpa!! Mea maxima culpa!!!
Glad we agree
Forgive me. I am just going to see how you respond to this.
Good day to you as well sir.
This is almost becoming caricature. Keep it up.
@nightdrot and @asker, both of you are just spamming the site now and it needs to stop. I’m only giving one warning.
@musicbrain5 Please, I wish you would stop it. I blocked him. He did an endrun. Feel free to stop it, though I would be grateful if you would retain my original essay as I keep that for records.
@musicbrain5 my apologies for the spamming. You are correct, it is not acceptable behaviour.
@nightdrot Blocking anonymous users doesn’t accomplish anything as the interaction can still go both ways. Stop engaging with each other. I will be reporting and removing the nonsense comments above as well as anything that appears from this point on as spam. I believe both of you have said your piece.
@musicbrain5 Actually, he didn't start as anonymous. He just achieved it mutatis mutandis. That said, I agree with him that he is to blame.That was a joke.
@musicbrain5 thanks, appreciate your work.
@nightdrot I’m holding both of you accountable, actually. You both continued to engage each other with nonsense comments. To both of you - don’t do it again.
@musicbrain5 thanks. I accept that.
@musicbrain5 It was a joke. Relax. In fact, had I known that this was between other than the two of us I would have ceased long ago. I am about as computer illiterate as they come. Beyond that, I only went "silly" when I realized the argument had become pointless.No matter. I will whip myself with a cat-o-nine-tails and never ever do it again. (Though you might ask him how he switched his ID to get around the block. Speaking of skirting rules and such.)
Blocks don't seem to work when the original post is posted as anon. It must just be how the site works.
This from the G@G website: "Blocked users cannot message or @mention you, they cannot Follow you or your questions/myTakes, they cannot share their opinions on your questions/myTakes, they cannot reply to your opinions, and they cannot like your posts... UNLESS you post anonymously. Whether you post anonymously or not, a blocked user can never send you private messages (just remember to delete the existing conversation BEFORE blocking)."NOTE: It does not block if the person being responded to was posting anonymously. I was not so posting. You were not, and then switched. So it appears that something is amiss.
@nightdrot Can you please follow me so I can send you a message? Thanks.
This was my question as an anon? And I am still showing as Anon?
Scroll Down to Read Other Opinions
By the way, Asker, this is not unusual behaviour for the person who totally isn't a Trump supporter, but is insanely a Republican.
You could argue that’s what was needed to get governments around the world to take it seriously.
since media is usually controlled by governments its not an argument i would use
So trump is telling them to criticise him?
oh sorry, i didn't realize you still hold on to the notion that whatever puppet is sat in the whitehouse actually runs the show
You said the government. Who do you think the government is?
big pharma, oil companies , arms manufacturers and wall street and that isn't merely an opinion.
Well that’s the same in any capitalist society. It’s just how capitalist societies operate.
not so... in many we still have democrasy but in a two party system where both side reprazent the same handful of companies i can see why you assume that... here in the uk for example we have a tory party reprazenting business but a labour party reprazenting the workers so even with the tories in control they still have to answer to the people... thaeres a big difference between the late stage capitalism america employs and the neo lib version of european capitalist economies... when you understand that then all which i have said to you might just fall into place
And labour still has to keep businesses on side. The Uk as a country is paralysed without businesses. Look at the Uks Coronavirus response relying heavily on the private sector.
no idea where you get you info from but its government spending thats keeping both business and people afloat right now here, and as for the private sector propping up the nhs thats kinda bollox... many companies have chosen to volunteer services thats true but so have over half a million individuals also on a voluntary basis... if you think thats capitalism im lost for words
You said yourself earlier that “ big pharma, oil companies , arms manufacturers and wall street” have the control. Now you’re contradicting yourself.
no im not... in reference to them i was pointing out the American late stage capitalist system and then went on to point out that capitalism in Europe isn't following that model... wheres the contradiction in that?
I don’t think the UK government can do much without their private sector. They pay the private sector to do everything Coronavirus or not. All the skill is in the private sector.
you have got that a bit twisted there... they depend on each other and as such they also depend on the masses which is why we have more of a balanced approach to things
I think the start of summer is when it will start to get problematic with nice weather. People will want to go outside. And combined with people who have run out of money, if the authorities start fighting back, that could really cause unrest.
it could but its also likely that in summer the actual virus itself will die off a bit as it seems to not like warm weather so we will see i guess
Is there any evidence it doesn’t like warm weather? It’s spreading even in Australia where it’s summer now.
you sure about that... its warming in the northern hemishere now and australia are seeing temperatures drop as they enter their autumn... as for evidence i heard several medical experts claim it to be the case but ofcourse there is no definitive proof yet as this is a totally new strain of flu. it does make sense though that like other flu viruses it would prefer cooler, damp climates
What I mean is that yes in the long term total lockdown is not sustainable. But in the short term, people aren’t just going to start Dieing off for other reasons as in places like the UK so far everyone who has become furloughed is being paid for by the government and no one is out of pocket as a result.
Wrong reply. Ignore that.
Be the first girl to share an opinion and earn 1 more Xper point!