Author Topic: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?  (Read 248235 times)

lutorm

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #100 on: March 20, 2020, 10:36:05 PM »
This was a really good article about what lies on the other side of the lockdowns and why a hard lockdown is a preferable strategy to a half-assed flattening of the curve: https://www.google.com/url?q=https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coronavirus-the-hammer-and-the-dance-be9337092b56.

caleb

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #101 on: March 21, 2020, 09:31:08 AM »
The pushback is already beginning from within public health: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/20/opinion/coronavirus-pandemic-social-distancing.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

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Such is the collateral damage of this diffuse form of warfare, aimed at “flattening” the epidemic curve generally rather than preferentially protecting the especially vulnerable. I believe we may be ineffectively fighting the contagion even as we are causing economic collapse.

There is another and much overlooked liability in this approach. If we succeed in slowing the spread of coronavirus from torrent to trickle, then when does the society-wide disruption end? When will it be safe for healthy children and younger teachers to return to school, much less older teachers and teachers with chronic illnesses? When will it be safe for the work force to repopulate the workplace, given that some are in the at-risk group for severe infection?

Basically, we don't even know how well social distancing will work, but we can see that we're causing very real damage to real people's lives by doing it.  And, it's worth noting, that the people most likely to be economically harmed are the young and less well off working on the lower rungs of the service industries.

markus

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #102 on: March 21, 2020, 09:51:41 AM »
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This was a really good article about what lies on the other side of the lockdowns and why a hard lockdown is a preferable strategy to a half-assed flattening of the curve: https://www.google.com/url?q=https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coronavirus-the-hammer-and-the-dance-be9337092b56.

Seconding this. I find Mr. Pueyo's article particularly convincing, and I personally would prefer this much stricter approach in the short term over the significant but still loose approach currently in place. With a virus so contagious and nefarious in its method of operation (i.e. high transmission from asymptomatic individuals), it's likely going to be the only way to get control of the situation.

Picture a field of dry grass and someone lighting small fires everywhere, except you can't see the flames until they grow to a certain height. To quote the immortal Barney Fife, we gotta, "Nip it in the bud!"

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #103 on: March 21, 2020, 09:47:26 PM »
Quote
This was a really good article about what lies on the other side of the lockdowns and why a hard lockdown is a preferable strategy to a half-assed flattening of the curve: https://www.google.com/url?q=https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coronavirus-the-hammer-and-the-dance-be9337092b56.

Seconding this. I find Mr. Pueyo's article particularly convincing, and I personally would prefer this much stricter approach in the short term over the significant but still loose approach currently in place. With a virus so contagious and nefarious in its method of operation (i.e. high transmission from asymptomatic individuals), it's likely going to be the only way to get control of the situation.

Picture a field of dry grass and someone lighting small fires everywhere, except you can't see the flames until they grow to a certain height. To quote the immortal Barney Fife, we gotta, "Nip it in the bud!"

The evidence is beginning to point towards low transmission between asymptomatic individuals.

Fru-Gal

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #104 on: March 22, 2020, 01:23:00 AM »
The other good point made in the article is that the virus is mutating all over the world. So if we think we're all gonna catch it and be immune, we may be horribly wrong. Whereas if we work HARD to stop it now (the hammer approach) we could stamp it out.

Jon Bon

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #105 on: March 22, 2020, 10:28:40 AM »
Quote
This was a really good article about what lies on the other side of the lockdowns and why a hard lockdown is a preferable strategy to a half-assed flattening of the curve: https://www.google.com/url?q=https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coronavirus-the-hammer-and-the-dance-be9337092b56.

Seconding this. I find Mr. Pueyo's article particularly convincing, and I personally would prefer this much stricter approach in the short term over the significant but still loose approach currently in place. With a virus so contagious and nefarious in its method of operation (i.e. high transmission from asymptomatic individuals), it's likely going to be the only way to get control of the situation.

Picture a field of dry grass and someone lighting small fires everywhere, except you can't see the flames until they grow to a certain height. To quote the immortal Barney Fife, we gotta, "Nip it in the bud!"

The evidence is beginning to point towards low transmission between asymptomatic individuals.

@ReadySetMillionaire

Can you give a source on this? Sure would be nice if that is true!


American GenX

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #106 on: March 22, 2020, 11:22:18 AM »
The other good point made in the article is that the virus is mutating all over the world. So if we think we're all gonna catch it and be immune, we may be horribly wrong. Whereas if we work HARD to stop it now (the hammer approach) we could stamp it out.
I think that's more of a scare tactic this at this point.  Mutations are normal, and I heard the mutations still left the different strains so identical that a vaccine or immunity against one would be extremely likely to provide protection against the other.

lutorm

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #107 on: March 22, 2020, 08:08:20 PM »
Really good NYT article today surveying a bunch of experts and they basically advocate the "hammer" approach:

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... The next priority, experts said, is extreme social distancing.

If it were possible to wave a magic wand and make all Americans freeze in place for 14 days while sitting six feet apart, epidemiologists say, the whole epidemic would sputter to a halt. The virus would die out on every contaminated surface and, because almost everyone shows symptoms within two weeks, it would be evident who was infected. If we had enough tests for every American, even the completely asymptomatic cases could be found and isolated.

The crisis would be over.

Obviously, there is no magic wand, and no 300 million tests. But the goal of lockdowns and social distancing is to approximate such a total freeze.

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... It’s an intimidating picture. But the weaker the freeze, the more people die in overburdened hospitals — and the longer it ultimately takes for the economy to restart.

That's the second priority. Their first is:

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Many experts, some of whom are international civil servants, declined to speak on the record for fear of offending the president. But they were united in the opinion that politicians must step aside and let scientists both lead the effort to contain the virus and explain to Americans what must be done.

Just as generals take the lead in giving daily briefings in wartime — as Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf did during the Persian Gulf war — medical experts should be at the microphone now ...
I find it extremely alarming that people are afraid to speak freely about what should be done because of Trump. I have no confidence that if it comes down to agreeing with an aggressive course of action or doubling down on what he's said before that it won't be that bad, because he's clinically unable to admit he's wrong, he won't send people to their deaths...

fattest_foot

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #108 on: March 22, 2020, 09:47:06 PM »
The problem is, their only concern is the virus. Economy be damned.

And while yes, that may end up squashing the virus (for this season anyway), and we'll save the healthcare industry...what about the dozens of other industries that seize up to save the one?

What about the people that die in the oncoming depression? Are their lives less valuable than those saved from the virus?

lutorm

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #109 on: March 22, 2020, 10:48:15 PM »
The problem is, their only concern is the virus. Economy be damned.
Did you even read the article?
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the weaker the freeze, the more people die in overburdened hospitals — and the longer it ultimately takes for the economy to restart.

Ratherboard

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #110 on: March 22, 2020, 10:54:33 PM »
I've been watching this site for following the "flattening of the curve"   https://coronavirus.1point3acres.com/en

I agree with some who have stated that with more testing, we will have more data. Then know who to quarantine and slow down the death rate and spread rate.  Quite simply, test, test, and test.  As of today, the US has completed 254,000 tests, which initially sounds impressive.  However, out of approximately 354 million people in the US, that's not a lot. 

kenmoremmm

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #111 on: March 23, 2020, 06:02:42 AM »
if the US had leadership, there'd be a 3 week hard shutdown, everywhere. only essential services would somehow operate.

you can't piecemeal this stuff.

borders and all flight would need to be locked down.

as it stands now, i think states that are shelter-in-place would be wise to lock down their borders with adjoining states without the same policy.

once food rations and other consumables start running out, prepare for violence, at least in this country. i am not optimistic.

Radagast

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #112 on: March 23, 2020, 10:51:51 AM »
if the US had leadership, there'd be a 3 week hard shutdown, everywhere. only essential services would somehow operate.

you can't piecemeal this stuff.

borders and all flight would need to be locked down.
I agree. Some time like right now, plus or minus a few days, "someone" who claims/wants to claim leadership over the country needs to declare that all movement of people must stop for 2-4 weeks except as critical to life. On the course we are on the economic activity of most places will be locked down for months, while the infection still spreads unchecked. The worst of both outcomes. The opposite of leadership.

The pandemic ended in China within a few weeks. I don't think people understand the extent of the Chinese lockdowns, and I don't just mean the extreme version in Wuhan. Every village in the country blockaded its roads with bricks and sticks and chicks (made for funny images on Chinese social media) and refused to let anything that was not vital in or out for two months. All non-vital traffic between cities and provinces ended. Now they are going back to normal. Lesson?

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once food rations and other consumables start running out, prepare for violence, at least in this country. i am not optimistic.
Ok, you are freaking out. Quite the opposite: there will be an overabundance of most consumables, food supply will be at the same rate it has always been (but with more going to groceries and take out), and it will be oddly calm.

Maybe step away from the internet for a few days. Watch a funny movie. Exercise. Play some video games. Everything will work out alright, and I am serious when I say that.

kenmoremmm

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #113 on: March 23, 2020, 11:53:07 AM »
Ok, you are freaking out. Quite the opposite: there will be an overabundance of most consumables, food supply will be at the same rate it has always been (but with more going to groceries and take out), and it will be oddly calm.

Maybe step away from the internet for a few days. Watch a funny movie. Exercise. Play some video games. Everything will work out alright, and I am serious when I say that.
have you seen black friday deals videos?
we're talking about having food to eat.
most americans have barely enough $ to get them to the next week.
stay calm and rational. ok.

nereo

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #114 on: March 23, 2020, 12:13:51 PM »

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once food rations and other consumables start running out, prepare for violence, at least in this country. i am not optimistic.
Ok, you are freaking out. Quite the opposite: there will be an overabundance of most consumables, food supply will be at the same rate it has always been (but with more going to groceries and take out), and it will be oddly calm.

Maybe step away from the internet for a few days. Watch a funny movie. Exercise. Play some video games. Everything will work out alright, and I am serious when I say that.

My open question is how food supply might be disrupted by a lack of workers. Sure, the end of the supply chain (grocery stores) is working, but there are gaps in the middle.  Cows, Chickens and Pigs are still going to produce meat, milk and butter.  Farms (AFAIK) are still growing food just fine.  But we've had a shortage of migrant workers last year, and now we've effectively closed off that entire labor-force with the border closures.  Food doesn't just go from the field to the grocery store - it gets picked or slaughtered, cleaned, stored, transported, re-packaged, transported again and then sent to individual grocery stores.
A lot of produce comes from Chile and Mexico right now. 

Some stuff we already have in warehouses in multi-month supplies (e.g. apples, potatoes, many canned/frozen products).  But the more perishable stuff ... that's more vulnerable to disruptions in teh supply chain.

My personal take is that we'll have plenty of food for a long while, but we're going to rapidly see widespread shortages of fresh/perishable stuff, as well as some random other stuff.  There will be plenty to feed anyone who has a normal amount of grocery money, but not everything you want will always be aailable (as we've become accustomed to here in the western world).

Luz

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #115 on: March 23, 2020, 01:12:33 PM »
if the US had leadership, there'd be a 3 week hard shutdown, everywhere. only essential services would somehow operate.

you can't piecemeal this stuff.

borders and all flight would need to be locked down.
I agree. Some time like right now, plus or minus a few days, "someone" who claims/wants to claim leadership over the country needs to declare that all movement of people must stop for 2-4 weeks except as critical to life. On the course we are on the economic activity of most places will be locked down for months, while the infection still spreads unchecked. The worst of both outcomes. The opposite of leadership.

The pandemic ended in China within a few weeks. I don't think people understand the extent of the Chinese lockdowns, and I don't just mean the extreme version in Wuhan. Every village in the country blockaded its roads with bricks and sticks and chicks (made for funny images on Chinese social media) and refused to let anything that was not vital in or out for two months. All non-vital traffic between cities and provinces ended. Now they are going back to normal. Lesson?

Quote
once food rations and other consumables start running out, prepare for violence, at least in this country. i am not optimistic.
Ok, you are freaking out. Quite the opposite: there will be an overabundance of most consumables, food supply will be at the same rate it has always been (but with more going to groceries and take out), and it will be oddly calm.

Maybe step away from the internet for a few days. Watch a funny movie. Exercise. Play some video games. Everything will work out alright, and I am serious when I say that.

But how will the people who don't have remote jobs or savings pay for those consumables? This country has a high rate of inequality (the highest it's been in 50 years, per the Census), which will likely greatly exacerbate the issue.

Radagast

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #116 on: March 23, 2020, 02:43:39 PM »
In general I cannot see any reason why the food supply chain will substantially change. It will switch more to cook at home choices, which are also less expensive so people's money will go farther.

I am not concerned about labor to harvest food. There is plenty of food, and all of the people still need it. Collectively we will make it work, even if vegetable prices rise to pay agricultural workers decent wages, or we have to actually think of a reasonable immigration solution.

I guess that non essential consumables will not sell well for the next year, which is why there will be an overabundance. I am sure some people will have financial stress. Many people will donate, including me if I start reading of problems in the local news. Charity kitchens are all open. The government is sending people unemployment money and soon checks. Financial inequality is too extreme, but it's not like everybody is helpless. People have resources.

American GenX

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #117 on: March 23, 2020, 03:30:50 PM »
Trump is chomping at the bit to end the quarantines and social distancing because it's hurting his economic numbers and chance of re-election.  Just more proof that he doesn't really care about American lives and overwhelmed hospitals.   It's all about him.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/23/politics/trump-coronavirus-15-days-social-distancing/index.html

waltworks

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #118 on: March 23, 2020, 03:39:59 PM »
I dislike Trump strongly too, but his point "the cure can't be worse than the disease" (paraphrasing) is true.

Are we willing to spend many trillions of dollars and collapse our economy to (maybe) save something like a million mostly elderly people?

I don't have an answer for that, but based on how we value human life in other situations with limited resources, the answer is probably "no" from a utilitarian perspective.

There's enough uncertainty about the costs on both sides of the equation that it's not cut and dried, though. The economic damage might be much greater and the lives saved less, or the economic damage might be minimal/business as usual soon and the risk to life far greater.

-W

kenmoremmm

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #119 on: March 23, 2020, 03:43:55 PM »
from day 1, like december, i have believed it either needs to be full shutdown (way way too late for that) or let it run wild and a lot of people emotionally suffer bigly. we're in the middle. it's too late. trump is correct in this case (probably not very well thought through on his part, but still)

lutorm

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #120 on: March 23, 2020, 06:34:03 PM »
from day 1, like december, i have believed it either needs to be full shutdown (way way too late for that) or let it run wild and a lot of people emotionally suffer bigly. we're in the middle. it's too late. trump is correct in this case (probably not very well thought through on his part, but still)
It is never too late for a full shutdown. No one moves, it burns out in one cycle. Then you go the South Korea and aggressively track and contain the cases that pop up.

In fact, once the corpses start piling up, things will shutdown by themselves. I don't understand those that think we can just have the "economy" go back to normal while a million people are dying. Do you really think people will be willing to just go about their business and risk getting infected when the hospitals have broken down and people are dying in droves?

PDXTabs

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #121 on: March 23, 2020, 06:43:25 PM »
Are we willing to spend many trillions of dollars and collapse our economy to (maybe) save something like a million mostly elderly people?

Some of those people who will die will be healthcare professionals. If the hospitals are overrun there will be MDs and RNs with PTSD and the ones that have the resources to retire early will. People are already talking about a major healthcare professional shortage a year from now.

PDXTabs

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #122 on: March 23, 2020, 06:44:58 PM »
Trump is chomping at the bit to end the quarantines and social distancing because it's hurting his economic numbers and chance of re-election.  Just more proof that he doesn't really care about American lives and overwhelmed hospitals.   It's all about him.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/23/politics/trump-coronavirus-15-days-social-distancing/index.html

Or his complete lack of attention span. We've quantified his attention span: 15 days.

Telecaster

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #123 on: March 23, 2020, 07:09:32 PM »
I dislike Trump strongly too, but his point "the cure can't be worse than the disease" (paraphrasing) is true.

Are we willing to spend many trillions of dollars and collapse our economy to (maybe) save something like a million mostly elderly people?

I don't have an answer for that, but based on how we value human life in other situations with limited resources, the answer is probably "no" from a utilitarian perspective.

There's enough uncertainty about the costs on both sides of the equation that it's not cut and dried, though. The economic damage might be much greater and the lives saved less, or the economic damage might be minimal/business as usual soon and the risk to life far greater.

-W

That's the thing.  We don't really know.  FWIW, CDC reports something like 30% of hospitalizations are people under 65 (approx. number).   There is a wide range of estimates of how many might get infected with no mitigation, ranging from many tens to hundreds of millions.  If even a small percentage of those require hospitalization, we would completely wipe out all of our health care capacity in this country, which would cause many needless deaths not only among COVID patients, but among the rest of the population too.   

Then we have however many people too sick too work.  There's a cost there.  And many people survive COVID with permanent disabilities.  There's a cost there, too.




fattest_foot

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #124 on: March 23, 2020, 07:22:56 PM »
Trump is chomping at the bit to end the quarantines and social distancing because it's hurting his economic numbers and chance of re-election.  Just more proof that he doesn't really care about American lives and overwhelmed hospitals.   It's all about him.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/23/politics/trump-coronavirus-15-days-social-distancing/index.html

Your partisanship is showing. Why is it "his" economy and not "our" economy? Are you not participating in it?

Telecaster

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #125 on: March 23, 2020, 07:27:42 PM »
Trump is chomping at the bit to end the quarantines and social distancing because it's hurting his economic numbers and chance of re-election.  Just more proof that he doesn't really care about American lives and overwhelmed hospitals.   It's all about him.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/23/politics/trump-coronavirus-15-days-social-distancing/index.html

Your partisanship is showing. Why is it "his" economy and not "our" economy? Are you not participating in it?

Trump often references the economy and stock markets as personal achievements.  I interpreted @American GenX 's comment to mean how Trump views the economy, not how American GenX does. 

OtherJen

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #126 on: March 23, 2020, 07:36:11 PM »
Trump is chomping at the bit to end the quarantines and social distancing because it's hurting his economic numbers and chance of re-election.  Just more proof that he doesn't really care about American lives and overwhelmed hospitals.   It's all about him.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/23/politics/trump-coronavirus-15-days-social-distancing/index.html

Your partisanship is showing. Why is it "his" economy and not "our" economy? Are you not participating in it?

Trump often references the economy and stock markets as personal achievements.  I interpreted @American GenX 's comment to mean how Trump views the economy, not how American GenX does.

That was how I interpreted it. Trump views national achievements as his personal successes, and national failures as the fault of anyone but himself.

martyconlonontherun

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #127 on: March 23, 2020, 08:56:16 PM »
I dislike Trump strongly too, but his point "the cure can't be worse than the disease" (paraphrasing) is true.

Are we willing to spend many trillions of dollars and collapse our economy to (maybe) save something like a million mostly elderly people?

I don't have an answer for that, but based on how we value human life in other situations with limited resources, the answer is probably "no" from a utilitarian perspective.

There's enough uncertainty about the costs on both sides of the equation that it's not cut and dried, though. The economic damage might be much greater and the lives saved less, or the economic damage might be minimal/business as usual soon and the risk to life far greater.

-W
Yes. Selfishly my first kid is due in early May. I'm scared to death something goes wrong and the NICU is overwhelmed. I'm already the only person allowed with my wife in the hospital. If things get worse I'll miss that. This isn't just about worthless old people if that is your mindset. It impacts everyone.

waltworks

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #128 on: March 23, 2020, 09:44:04 PM »
Lots of babies will die if there's a complete collapse of the economy, too, though. I mean, they'll mostly be poor people's babies, not yours. But still.

I don't hate old people or babies. Yet I drive a car sometimes, which means there's some small chance I'll kill or hurt one. As a society, we've decided it's ok to kill thousands of people a year for the convenience of personal automobiles. Literally for the sake of laziness and convenience - we could all be taking the bus/riding bikes/walking.

See where I'm going with this? Life has a value, even if it feels a bit icky to think about it.

Again, I don't personally know whether the current lockdowns and economic damage are worth it or not, and I'm not saying we should just immediately resume normal life and let people die. But we shouldn't accept any amount of economic harm, no matter how great, to save limited lives, either.

My feeling is that the half-assed lockdowns and limited enforcement I've witnessed thus far are the worst of both worlds.

-W

PDXTabs

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #129 on: March 23, 2020, 10:19:11 PM »
Lots of babies will die if there's a complete collapse of the economy, too, though. I mean, they'll mostly be poor people's babies, not yours. But still.

Do you have any data to back up this claim? Is there some example of an economic collapse in a developed western country leading to "lots of babies" dying?

Roland of Gilead

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #130 on: March 23, 2020, 10:40:44 PM »
Lots of babies will die if there's a complete collapse of the economy, too, though. I mean, they'll mostly be poor people's babies, not yours. But still.

Do you have any data to back up this claim? Is there some example of an economic collapse in a developed western country leading to "lots of babies" dying?

I don't think we have actually had a complete collapse of a modern developed country in recent history.   It is not unrealistic to think many people would die, not just babies, if we had a complete collapse.

Cassie

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #131 on: March 23, 2020, 10:43:46 PM »
Babies will have priority as they should. My generation had babies without husbands in the delivery room and my mom’s had them without them in the labor room. It sucks but is survival.  Old people like me will be sacrificed and I am okay with that if we have a shutdown and don’t reopen in 8 days. 

Sultan58

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #132 on: March 23, 2020, 11:25:44 PM »
UK is a grand experiment. There are 66.5 Milliion people in the UK.

Lets assume that 16.5 Million are in the high risk category and are able to perfectly self-quarantine for an "appropriate" amount of time.

That leaves 50 Million "low risk" folks that should be just fine, right?

Well, if we assume the low-low-low mortality rate of "only" 0.2% despite adequate medical care. That still leaves us with -------->>>>> 100,000 dead "low risk" healthy young people.

Do you find this number acceptable?

JGS

This assumes that every young, healthy person would get the virus. Thus far, There's no place on Earth that's anywhere near even 10% of the total population getting it (including elderly and at-risk) let alone 10% of the young healthy demographic.
Expecting 100k young, healthy deaths seems wildly pessimistic to me.

To look at it another way, Hubei province has a population of about 58.5 million, which isn't far off of your UK population estimate of healthy people. They've had 67794 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 3085 resulting in death over a 4 month period. That means that in the hardest hit place on the planet, 0.11% of the total population has confirmed cases, and 0.0052% of the total population died. That's including the elderly and predisposed.

Run those rates for the UK total population and you'd get 3454 deaths in all of the UK, with a large percentage of those coming from the weakest demographics.

I think you are not taking into account that Hubei was put on a central party  lockdown that is much more stringent that the UK or the US would ever be able to mandate. That's why their numbers were relatively low.

Paper Chaser

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #133 on: March 24, 2020, 03:44:16 AM »
UK is a grand experiment. There are 66.5 Milliion people in the UK.

Lets assume that 16.5 Million are in the high risk category and are able to perfectly self-quarantine for an "appropriate" amount of time.

That leaves 50 Million "low risk" folks that should be just fine, right?

Well, if we assume the low-low-low mortality rate of "only" 0.2% despite adequate medical care. That still leaves us with -------->>>>> 100,000 dead "low risk" healthy young people.

Do you find this number acceptable?

JGS

This assumes that every young, healthy person would get the virus. Thus far, There's no place on Earth that's anywhere near even 10% of the total population getting it (including elderly and at-risk) let alone 10% of the young healthy demographic.
Expecting 100k young, healthy deaths seems wildly pessimistic to me.

To look at it another way, Hubei province has a population of about 58.5 million, which isn't far off of your UK population estimate of healthy people. They've had 67794 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 3085 resulting in death over a 4 month period. That means that in the hardest hit place on the planet, 0.11% of the total population has confirmed cases, and 0.0052% of the total population died. That's including the elderly and predisposed.

Run those rates for the UK total population and you'd get 3454 deaths in all of the UK, with a large percentage of those coming from the weakest demographics.

I think you are not taking into account that Hubei was put on a central party  lockdown that is much more stringent that the UK or the US would ever be able to mandate. That's why their numbers were relatively low.

It took over two months for them to implement that lockdown though. The first reported case of what is now known as COVID-19 was reported to the Chinese gov on 11-19-2019:
https://www.livescience.com/first-case-coronavirus-found.html

Wuhan was locked down 1-23-2020. There are 58.5 million people in Hubei, which is very similar in land area to Washington state. For reference, California is the most populous state in the US with 37 million people and more than twice the land area of Hubei. So Hubei is very densely populated. Hubei also has pretty poor air quality. So in Hubei, they gave a new respiratory virus a 2 month head start in what's basically an ideal breeding ground (dense population, poor air quality, travel and manufacturing hub generates tons of movement among citizens).

If you'd like to consider other locations than China, lets look at the latest situation report from the WHO:

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports

Italy has 59138 confirmed cases among a population of 60.5 million ~ 0.097% of the total population
Spain has 28572 cases among 46.6 million ~ 0.06% of the total population
Germany has 27774 cases among 82.8 million ~ 0.033% of the total population
The UK has 5687 cases among 66.4 million ~ 0.0085% of the total population
Iran has 21638 cases among 81.1 million ~ 0.026% of the total population
US has 31573 cases among 327 million ~ 0.0096% of the total population

And keep in mind that those numbers show the number of confirmed cases. Only a relatively small percentage of those confirmed cases result in deaths. I understand that testing isn't being done on a large number of people, and that there are guaranteed to be many people with minor symptoms that haven't been tested and therefore aren't showing up in this data. That's probably true for every country on Earth.
That means that a larger percentage of the total population than what is shown likely has COVID-19, but it also means that the mortality rate is lower than what's been calculated with the current data as well.You can't add a bunch of people with minor symptoms (or no symptoms at all) to the data set without reducing the mortality rate by a decent margin. In other words, the virus is more widespread than the data reflects, but it's also less deadly than the data reflects too.

« Last Edit: March 24, 2020, 03:53:33 AM by Paper Chaser »

partgypsy

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #134 on: March 24, 2020, 05:58:14 AM »
I dislike Trump strongly too, but his point "the cure can't be worse than the disease" (paraphrasing) is true.

Are we willing to spend many trillions of dollars and collapse our economy to (maybe) save something like a million mostly elderly people?

I don't have an answer for that, but based on how we value human life in other situations with limited resources, the answer is probably "no" from a utilitarian perspective.

There's enough uncertainty about the costs on both sides of the equation that it's not cut and dried, though. The economic damage might be much greater and the lives saved less, or the economic damage might be minimal/business as usual soon and the risk to life far greater.

-W
Yes. Selfishly my first kid is due in early May. I'm scared to death something goes wrong and the NICU is overwhelmed. I'm already the only person allowed with my wife in the hospital. If things get worse I'll miss that. This isn't just about worthless old people if that is your mindset. It impacts everyone.
I don't want to scare you, but women in their third trimester have suppressed immune systems. They are posited to have higher risk of dying from Corona. If she could do a home birth; may be preferable.  Also those who are talking about relative occurrence and death rates. The main takeaway this is a novel virus that we have no natural defense from. We know the mortality rate is not .1%, because that is the mortality rate of flu and with flu we do not get these hot spots and overloading of hospital systems. And whether it is. .5 or 2% it is an exponential growth, and exponential growth does not look too bad till it explodes.   I also prefer a fuller lock down. I don't know if there is political will and understanding for that to happen.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2020, 06:07:49 AM by partgypsy »

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #135 on: March 24, 2020, 07:01:22 AM »
I am the author of a thread on here ripping Trump, and I stand by everything I said (that he botched this horribly in Jan/Feb/early March).

But, I saw this article on Medium yesterday, apparently written by an accountant in Canton advocating for the opening of Ohio's economy, and it has at least shifted my opinion.

https://medium.com/@adam_61330/an-open-letter-to-governor-mike-dewine-trust-ohioans-to-open-up-business-on-april-6-4eb0add31df5

The author states that for every one C-19 death in Ohio, there have been 23,245 claims for unemployment, and that was only claims for last Monday through Thursday.  I know for a fact it's way worse than that.  The economic catastrophe is just staggering to me.

Regarding research, the author cites an interesting paper from Duke that I was bored enough to read in its entirety (mostly to try and calm myself about this disease).  The authors basically conclude that this virus cannot spread "exponentially" because society works in closed networks: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.02.16.20023820v2.full.pdf

I totally understand that public health is remarkably important, and that balancing public health and the economy is an almost impossible choice, but I am starting to turn towards the economy NEEDING to open ASAP.  And I really mean ASAP by it's literal definition -- as soon as possible.

What's as soon as possible? When we have enough capacity to test, isolate, treat, and manufacture PPE/ventilators.  I don't have the answer to that quiz, but we need to be focusing on this issue with a borderline military industrial complex.

This economic story is a catastrophe that will make the 2008 Recession seem impotent.  It's a wasteland out there, and there will be enormous public health consequences from that that we have to consider.

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #136 on: March 24, 2020, 08:00:49 AM »
I see everyone making the assumption that the economic benefits of ending restrictions will outweight the costs of letting the virus spread.  What is the cost of so many people being out of work for weeks from getting sick, even if they aren't critically ill?  Are people really going to go back to eating out, traveling, and shopping as normal once the virus is everywhere?  Also, the US economy really hinges on trade with other countries.  Are countries that have made extreme sacrifices to fight the spread going to let potentially infected Americans travel and do business freely?  There will be severe economic pain either way.  It's not so clear-cut that sending everyone back to work will do enough good to outweigh sacrificing so many people.   

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #137 on: March 24, 2020, 08:07:48 AM »
I heard a quote recently, didn't note who said it but it wasn't me: ultimately you need a life to have a livelihood.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #138 on: March 24, 2020, 08:09:56 AM »
I see everyone making the assumption that the economic benefits of ending restrictions will outweight the costs of letting the virus spread.  What is the cost of so many people being out of work for weeks from getting sick, even if they aren't critically ill?  Are people really going to go back to eating out, traveling, and shopping as normal once the virus is everywhere?  Also, the US economy really hinges on trade with other countries.  Are countries that have made extreme sacrifices to fight the spread going to let potentially infected Americans travel and do business freely?  There will be severe economic pain either way.  It's not so clear-cut that sending everyone back to work will do enough good to outweigh sacrificing so many people.

I think the data we are relying on to make these projections has thus far been proven to be fucking terrible, drastically over-estimated, and based upon assumptions that have proven not to be true.

Paper Chaser

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #139 on: March 24, 2020, 08:43:18 AM »
I see everyone making the assumption that the economic benefits of ending restrictions will outweight the costs of letting the virus spread.  What is the cost of so many people being out of work for weeks from getting sick, even if they aren't critically ill?  Are people really going to go back to eating out, traveling, and shopping as normal once the virus is everywhere?  Also, the US economy really hinges on trade with other countries.  Are countries that have made extreme sacrifices to fight the spread going to let potentially infected Americans travel and do business freely?  There will be severe economic pain either way.  It's not so clear-cut that sending everyone back to work will do enough good to outweigh sacrificing so many people.

Well right now, we're pretty much guaranteeing that most people are missing work aren't we? And it's all at the same time? There's basically zero commerce taking place on the entire planet outside of groceries. Even if 10-20% of the workforce were missing a couple of weeks at a time while sick, the remainder can keep some production going. Commerce still occurs during flu season ( I know this is more extreme than the flu, just saying).

dougules

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #140 on: March 24, 2020, 11:04:27 AM »
I see everyone making the assumption that the economic benefits of ending restrictions will outweight the costs of letting the virus spread.  What is the cost of so many people being out of work for weeks from getting sick, even if they aren't critically ill?  Are people really going to go back to eating out, traveling, and shopping as normal once the virus is everywhere?  Also, the US economy really hinges on trade with other countries.  Are countries that have made extreme sacrifices to fight the spread going to let potentially infected Americans travel and do business freely?  There will be severe economic pain either way.  It's not so clear-cut that sending everyone back to work will do enough good to outweigh sacrificing so many people.

I think the data we are relying on to make these projections has thus far been proven to be fucking terrible, drastically over-estimated, and based upon assumptions that have proven not to be true.

The lack of good data cuts both ways.  Does it make sense to try and return to normal before we have enough test kits to get a clear picture of what is happening?

PDXTabs

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #141 on: March 24, 2020, 11:21:53 AM »
Lots of babies will die if there's a complete collapse of the economy, too, though. I mean, they'll mostly be poor people's babies, not yours. But still.

Do you have any data to back up this claim? Is there some example of an economic collapse in a developed western country leading to "lots of babies" dying?

I don't think we have actually had a complete collapse of a modern developed country in recent history.   It is not unrealistic to think many people would die, not just babies, if we had a complete collapse.

waltworks said a complete (intentional) collapse of the economy, not a complete collapse of the country. Again, I'm not worried, and no one can point to to a scary counter-example.

afox

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #142 on: March 24, 2020, 12:36:40 PM »
I see everyone making the assumption that the economic benefits of ending restrictions will outweight the costs of letting the virus spread.  What is the cost of so many people being out of work for weeks from getting sick, even if they aren't critically ill?  Are people really going to go back to eating out, traveling, and shopping as normal once the virus is everywhere?  Also, the US economy really hinges on trade with other countries.  Are countries that have made extreme sacrifices to fight the spread going to let potentially infected Americans travel and do business freely?  There will be severe economic pain either way.  It's not so clear-cut that sending everyone back to work will do enough good to outweigh sacrificing so many people.

Well right now, we're pretty much guaranteeing that most people are missing work aren't we? And it's all at the same time? There's basically zero commerce taking place on the entire planet outside of groceries. Even if 10-20% of the workforce were missing a couple of weeks at a time while sick, the remainder can keep some production going. Commerce still occurs during flu season ( I know this is more extreme than the flu, just saying).

zero commerce? not even close to true.

itchyfeet

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #143 on: March 24, 2020, 12:57:58 PM »
Yep, completely not true.

Sure groceries continues, but so does utilities, banking, home maintenance, cleaning, freight transport, mining.... I could list so many industries.

DW went to a book store yesterday to buy a puzzle and the store keeper apologised because there had been a massive run on puzzles. They received additional stock that morning and by evening they were gone.

Everywhere you look you can see commerce.

GuitarStv

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #144 on: March 24, 2020, 01:12:30 PM »
Amazon is exploding with business right now.

Luz

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #145 on: March 24, 2020, 01:49:44 PM »
I heard a quote recently, didn't note who said it but it wasn't me: ultimately you need a life to have a livelihood.

But by definition, livelihood is "a means of supporting one's existence". The economic and health crises can't be separated from each other. They are interrelated. It's not an either/or choice.

Luz

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #146 on: March 24, 2020, 02:08:53 PM »
I dislike Trump strongly too, but his point "the cure can't be worse than the disease" (paraphrasing) is true.

Are we willing to spend many trillions of dollars and collapse our economy to (maybe) save something like a million mostly elderly people?

I don't have an answer for that, but based on how we value human life in other situations with limited resources, the answer is probably "no" from a utilitarian perspective.

There's enough uncertainty about the costs on both sides of the equation that it's not cut and dried, though. The economic damage might be much greater and the lives saved less, or the economic damage might be minimal/business as usual soon and the risk to life far greater.

-W
Yes. Selfishly my first kid is due in early May. I'm scared to death something goes wrong and the NICU is overwhelmed. I'm already the only person allowed with my wife in the hospital. If things get worse I'll miss that. This isn't just about worthless old people if that is your mindset. It impacts everyone.
I don't want to scare you, but women in their third trimester have suppressed immune systems. They are posited to have higher risk of dying from Corona. If she could do a home birth; may be preferable.  Also those who are talking about relative occurrence and death rates. The main takeaway this is a novel virus that we have no natural defense from. We know the mortality rate is not .1%, because that is the mortality rate of flu and with flu we do not get these hot spots and overloading of hospital systems. And whether it is. .5 or 2% it is an exponential growth, and exponential growth does not look too bad till it explodes.   I also prefer a fuller lock down. I don't know if there is political will and understanding for that to happen.

From what they currently know, women who became ill with the virus in their third trimester (complete with pneumonia) had outcomes consistent with lower-risk groups.
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/03/22/817801475/pregnant-and-worried-about-coronavirus-how-to-stay-safe-and-make-a-game-plan
"None of the women developed severe illness, and all of their babies were born healthy."
It's based on a small sample size, but I find it reassuring that pregnant women and children under 5 do not appear to be vulnerable populations (as is the usual case).

Jon Bon

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #147 on: March 24, 2020, 02:15:56 PM »
Yep, completely not true.

Sure groceries continues, but so does utilities, banking, home maintenance, cleaning, freight transport, mining.... I could list so many industries.

DW went to a book store yesterday to buy a puzzle and the store keeper apologised because there had been a massive run on puzzles. They received additional stock that morning and by evening they were gone.

Everywhere you look you can see commerce.

I think that might have been a bit of hyperbole.

However the point remains you simply cannot surgically cut out 50% (or 25%, 10% etc) of the economy and expect the remainder to run long on its own.

If we can't restart in April I think we are going to have a hard time restarting at all. How long are we willing to wait? How bad of a depression are we willing to stand on the side of safety?

Remember folks almost all of us on here are in most measurements freaking rich! So that has to cloud our judgement some. Sure we will likely be fine, but we are a tiny subset of the world as a whole. Lots of people simply cannot miss a week of work and stay afloat. Even more cant miss a month, let alone 2-3.

We need everyone to make the economy work, savers/spenders, rich and poor. Lets all stay home now, but we gotta get back out there sooner rather than later.



 

Jon Bon

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #148 on: March 24, 2020, 02:23:24 PM »
So lets do some math shall we? This is what I got about what this is costing us.

GDP    20,000,000,000,000
Daily GDP    54,794,520,548
US population    327,000,000
Daily GDP Per Person    168
People Shutdown    158,000,000
Workers Unpaid @15%    23,700,000
Total Shutdown Cost Per Day    3,971,345,985

4 Billion Per Day. I felt I was pretty conservative. That is a pretty big dang number. Please take a look at my numbers and let me know if you see anything that looks off.

My point remains this is a huge cost. How much of this can we tolerate?

afox

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #149 on: March 24, 2020, 02:23:54 PM »
Yep, completely not true.

Sure groceries continues, but so does utilities, banking, home maintenance, cleaning, freight transport, mining.... I could list so many industries.

DW went to a book store yesterday to buy a puzzle and the store keeper apologised because there had been a massive run on puzzles. They received additional stock that morning and by evening they were gone.

Everywhere you look you can see commerce.

I think that might have been a bit of hyperbole.

However the point remains you simply cannot surgically cut out 50% (or 25%, 10% etc) of the economy and expect the remainder to run long on its own.

If we can't restart in April I think we are going to have a hard time restarting at all. How long are we willing to wait? How bad of a depression are we willing to stand on the side of safety?

Remember folks almost all of us on here are in most measurements freaking rich! So that has to cloud our judgement some. Sure we will likely be fine, but we are a tiny subset of the world as a whole. Lots of people simply cannot miss a week of work and stay afloat. Even more cant miss a month, let alone 2-3.

We need everyone to make the economy work, savers/spenders, rich and poor. Lets all stay home now, but we gotta get back out there sooner rather than later.

Right, that's why we need to give people who cant work due to this money. We need to take money from the people that are "rich" and working and give it to those who cant work. Getting thru this short term shutdown sounds like an accounting problem to me. The real capital (humans and organizations) that drive the economy isn't going to go away if 30% of workers stay home for a few months.