Author Topic: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?  (Read 253652 times)

mathlete

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2500 on: June 20, 2020, 11:57:42 AM »
lol man I don't know what it is about those minions. But I'm glad somebody enjoys them. Good reminder that fathers day is tomorrow to. Gotta call my dad and tell him that I love him and bug him some more about COVID.

dougules

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2501 on: June 20, 2020, 04:12:00 PM »
When a friend who grew up in the Philippines once told me that in his small village on Mindanao, "nobody ever got cancer," I was intrigued. How, I wondered, could that be possible? Was it maybe their diet, or something in the water, or because the people there gots lots of fresh air and exercise? Turns out, the reason nobody in my friend's village ever died from cancer is because they are all too poor to be able to afford to go to a hospital to get tested. In my friend's village people get sick all the time. Either, they get better, or they die but, usually, nobody knows for sure why. Wonder how many people around the world have already died from covid, but nobody knows it, since they never got tested?

A few links that take a stab at answering that very question.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/04/21/world/coronavirus-missing-deaths.html
https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/2020/05/02/excess-deaths-during-covid-19/?arc404=true
https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid19/excess_deaths.htm

It's probably not been that high in some parts of the developing world yet because they're not as well connected to the rest of the world as places like New York and Milan.  It's the same reason it hasn't been that bad in most parts of the US yet. The key word is "yet", though. 

Abe

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2502 on: June 20, 2020, 05:35:03 PM »
My hospitalís covid cases have doubled in the last two weeks, and the total hospitalizations in the county are continuing to climb. Weíve as a county taken the ďstick our heads in the sandĒ approach after doing well for a few weeks. We may have to stop non-urgent operations to keep beds available. Oh well.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2503 on: June 20, 2020, 08:33:52 PM »
It's probably not been that high in some parts of the developing world yet because they're not as well connected to the rest of the world as places like New York and Milan.
And they're younger. The median age across the West is 40 or so. Across the developing world it's 20.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_median_age

In the developing world they die of infectious diseases like malaria and diarrhea. They don't live long enough to get cancer and heart disease, or in such advanced stages of dementia they need to be in nappies and wrestled by a nurse to take their blood pressure medication. In the West our sanitation and vaccination, along with some lucky geography (malaria doesn't hit Sweden much) prevents those early deaths due to infectious disease, and so we get other stuff.

But covid-19 is a disease which kills obese and sickly people in the developed West, and we have rather a lot of them. Which is why we care about it and have made so much drama.

It also kills non-obese and relatively healthy people, but only if they get welded into their apartments like in China, or if they have shitty healthcare like in the US. But assuming decent healthcare, the main victims are the already sickly. So if you do something abominably stupid like move infected people into aged care homes, as NYC did, then you get a lot of deaths. But if you have a decent healthcare system then the sickly are already somewhat isolated, and you can greatly reduce their risks of infection.

American GenX

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2504 on: June 20, 2020, 08:50:38 PM »
It also kills non-obese and relatively healthy people, <snip>

FTFY

Kyle Schuant

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2505 on: June 20, 2020, 10:39:49 PM »
Health's always a spectrum. My brother-in-law was a normal bodyweight, cycled everywhere, ate little saturated fats, etc - and was hit with a heart attack in his 30s. He survived. But he was apparently healthy, but in fact not, and there are many people like that across a whole country, and so we say "relatively healthy." Given decent medical care, it's rare that someone with no comorbidities at all dies from covid-19. Of course, you're American, so you may not have experience of decent medical care, and across the West we have 2/3 of the population overweight or obese (up to 76.5% in my gender and age group in Australia), so that people have comorbidities more often than not.

It's unfortunate, but there were are.

This can be controlled, and deaths minimised, and this can be done without locking entire countries up. We didn't really know this in March, but we do now. Our leaders are pursuing the hardcore lockdown now for the same reason some of them were still talking about Iraqi WMDs in 2005 - having invested so much of their political capital in nonsense, they felt obliged to continue doing so.

Abe

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2506 on: June 20, 2020, 10:59:15 PM »
Icu cases are climbing at multiple state university hospitals throughout the south. We will see if the patients can recover. Independent of case numbers (which I e never found useful for a variety of confounding reasons), deaths are flat in most states. This suggests fewer early ICU deaths. Thereís not been any game-changers in treatment, so potential explanations are a lag in death reports or an actual decrease in fatality rate. We will see this week or next.

dougules

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2507 on: June 20, 2020, 11:02:34 PM »
Health's always a spectrum. My brother-in-law was a normal bodyweight, cycled everywhere, ate little saturated fats, etc - and was hit with a heart attack in his 30s. He survived. But he was apparently healthy, but in fact not, and there are many people like that across a whole country, and so we say "relatively healthy." Given decent medical care, it's rare that someone with no comorbidities at all dies from covid-19. Of course, you're American, so you may not have experience of decent medical care, and across the West we have 2/3 of the population overweight or obese (up to 76.5% in my gender and age group in Australia), so that people have comorbidities more often than not.

It's unfortunate, but there were are.

This can be controlled, and deaths minimised, and this can be done without locking entire countries up. We didn't really know this in March, but we do now. Our leaders are pursuing the hardcore lockdown now for the same reason some of them were still talking about Iraqi WMDs in 2005 - having invested so much of their political capital in nonsense, they felt obliged to continue doing so.

Another issue is that no healthcare system can deliver decent when school gyms and conference centers have to be turned into field hospitals.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2508 on: June 20, 2020, 11:28:14 PM »
Yes, of course. So you need good government and a conscientious population to keep the initial cases at a level where the healthcare system can handle them.

Obviously there's overlap between these things, it's rare to have a good government and a terrible healthcare system, and vice versa.

RetiredAt63

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2509 on: June 21, 2020, 10:44:26 AM »
https://calmatters.org/health/coronavirus/2020/06/public-health-officers-quitting-california-threats-coronavirus-pandemic/

I thought California was one of the more sensible states?

If I were one of the public health officials being slammed like this, I would be tempted to resign at one of those meetings saying "Well, you can be sensible or you can be sick. Goodbye".  And I would be thinking "And I hope you get it bad enough that you finally understand why we were trying to keep it under control.".

lemanfan

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2510 on: June 21, 2020, 11:12:12 AM »
I don't know how interested folks here are really, but a couple of days ago the latest offical report from the Swedish authorities showed this curve over "deaths compared to the average":



The green lines are the normal death rates in Sweden over a longer time.  The purple line shows the last five years, and the curve ends at May 31st 2020. 

What you see that sticks out is the flu season early 2017, the flu season early 2018 and the heatwave in the summer of 2018.  And then Covid-19.  Do notice that the curve have dropped back into normal territory at the end of the curve.  Parts of that is surely that some of the deatchs the past months are people that just died a few weeks or months earlier than they would have anyway, but parts of it really shows a decline in Covid-19 related deaths.

As a side note, the past very few years, the Swedish population have increased significantly (+5% in total the last five years, +10% in the last ten years) and I understand this is to a large degree refugees and other immigrants.  That should affect the curve, I think, but on the other hand the persons who come that way are probably mainly younger and stronger than those affected most by Covid-19.

The Swedish health care system is still very stretched.  And now we have good weather and vacations coming up, you may see a decline in social distancing. 

The source is this PDF (swedish only, sorry) https://www.folkhalsomyndigheten.se/globalassets/statistik-uppfoljning/smittsamma-sjukdomar/veckorapporter-covid-19/2020/covid-19-veckorapport-vecka-24_final.pdf

Shane

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2511 on: June 21, 2020, 02:24:03 PM »
This interview with the Norwegian Health Minister was good. She talks about the similarities and differences between Sweden's and Norway's approaches to covid. Interestingly, she wasn't willing to say that Sweden's higher death rate is, necessarily, because of their unique response to the pandemic. People like to portray it as if the Swedes were just recklessly stupid in the way they responded to covid, but the Norwegian health minister wasn't willing to go there.

In addition to their varied responses to coronavirus, there are other differences between Sweden and its neighbors, like, for example, that Sweden's population is around double that of its neighbors, and its capital city, Stockholm, has roughly twice the population of any of its neighbors' biggest cities, and the residents of Stockholm are more tightly packed, especially in districts with many recent immigrants. So, while there is a correlation between a somewhat less authoritarian response to covid and a higher death rate in Sweden, that doesn't necessarily mean that that is the (only) cause.

happyuk

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2512 on: June 21, 2020, 02:33:12 PM »
I used to feel sorry for the people who fell for this bullshit. Not any more. These people deserve what they get.

In spite of the best efforts of the Silicon Valley giants there is enough reputable information and statistics to dismantle the official big government narrative with ease.

Most of these people acknowledge that the media have been scaremongering yet continue to swallow the 24/7 lies and propaganda.

The government claim that they are supporting the economy by allowing retail to trade, hospitality to reopen in a few weeks. But with the nonsensical restrictions being put in place such as social distancing, wearing face nappies, limiting numbers into shops, informing pubs not to show live sport or have live music they are effectively killing the economy. What they are effectively saying is you can open but we donít want anyone to go.

Yet businesses willingly go along with this nonsense. They seem to be supporting their own downfall.

These are government regulations and not law.

Business owners big and small need to grow a pair and tell the government where to go - scrap social distancing, face nappies, plastic shields and all that bollocks.

If people donít want to come in then so be it. Personal choice but a business needs to be able to operate profitably otherwise it will close.
Perhaps if we choose to boycott shops that follow these silly guidelines and refuse to accept cash then they will soon change their policy.

The government only have power because too many people acquiesce so easily.  If we all ignore the regulations the whole thing falls flat on its face.

And what are they going to do? Close all businesses, fine everybody for not wearing face nappies.

We need to be brave, show courage and speak our truth.

It's pointless wasting time and energy with people who just do everything theyíre told and support this nonsense.
Itís got to the point now that I donít care what people think.
Be true to yourself.
Take it or leave it.

MudPuppy

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2513 on: June 21, 2020, 02:37:53 PM »
JFC, do you ever contribute anything worthwhile or do you just come here to crap your pants against ďthe governmentĒ

lost_in_the_endless_aisle

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2514 on: June 21, 2020, 03:00:01 PM »
https://calmatters.org/health/coronavirus/2020/06/public-health-officers-quitting-california-threats-coronavirus-pandemic/

I thought California was one of the more sensible states?

If I were one of the public health officials being slammed like this, I would be tempted to resign at one of those meetings saying "Well, you can be sensible or you can be sick. Goodbye".  And I would be thinking "And I hope you get it bad enough that you finally understand why we were trying to keep it under control.".
Orange County is a relative bastion of libertarianism in CA and is closer to being purple than blue overall (neighboring LA County was +48% for Hilary but OC was just +8% for Her). Trump got a larger vote share than Clinton in 25 of 58 CA counties and Trump was +51% over Clinton in Lassen County, which is a relative vote-differential on par with some of the reddest states. CA has massive internal variety (hence periodic suggestions to split the state into pieces) and it's generally wrong to think of it as a monolithic entity.

Abe

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2515 on: June 21, 2020, 04:29:40 PM »
https://occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/coronavirus-in-oc

Notice our increase in cases vs. testing (ignore the drop off in last 2-3 days, as the -# tests count is always delayed). More importantly note the hospitalizations on the bottom graph. LA County shows the inverse (#free beds), but basically are having the same hospitalization trend.

https://www.tmc.edu/coronavirus-updates/. This is for Harris county (Houston). Similar trend of upticking cases and hospitalizations despite testing being relatively flat.

mathlete

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2516 on: June 21, 2020, 06:52:37 PM »
There is a disease in the personal finance community. Many folks think that because they're paid a good sum of money to bang on a keyboard all day, and they invest in braindead vanguard funds and earn ~10% CAGR, that they are experts in everything.

I don't know how to impress upon people that excess mortality in the hundreds of thousands even with pretty extreme mitigation is a huge deal. I'm just a pencil pusher who does COVID modeling and analysis from the safety of my home, but when I hear my RN friend talk about how she's been reusing her PPE for weeks while her hospital's ICU is at capacity, and how she's afraid to go visit her parents (in their sixties) and check in... well then, I get a little triggered on her behalf when people run their mouths.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2020, 07:00:51 PM by mathlete »

Kris

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2517 on: June 21, 2020, 07:14:53 PM »
There is a disease in the personal finance community. Many folks think that because they're paid a good sum of money to bang on a keyboard all day, and they invest in braindead vanguard funds and earn ~10% CAGR, that they are experts in everything.

I don't know how to impress upon people that excess mortality in the hundreds of thousands even with pretty extreme mitigation is a huge deal. I'm just a pencil pusher who does COVID modeling and analysis from the safety of my home, but when I hear my RN friend talk about how she's been reusing her PPE for weeks while her hospital's ICU is at capacity, and how she's afraid to go visit her parents (in their sixties) and check in... well then, I get a little triggered on her behalf when people run their mouths.

Indeed. This has killed 120,000 people in the US in 2020. Itís pretty amazing to me that people are brushing that off.

Shane

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2518 on: June 21, 2020, 10:32:37 PM »
In our state, so far, the average age of death from covid has been 79 years old. 68% of fatalities have been among residents of nursing homes, i.e., people who were already sick from other things, who may have died a little sooner from covid than they would have otherwise, but were on their way out soon, anyway. So far, a total of ~6K people in our state have died from covid, out of a population of ~12MM. That's .05%. Moving forward, if we did a better job protecting vulnerable, sick, older people in nursing homes, wonder how bad it would be if we stopped social distancing altogether and just let the disease run through the population of healthy people, until it burned out and went away on its own? How many would die? 5X more? 10X more than have died already? I really don't know the answer to that question, but I think we may learn what it is in the coming weeks and months. To put the nationwide total of 120K deaths from covid into perspective, in normal years, usually around 650K people die from heart disease alone. Isn't it kind of amazing that Americans seem to just brush that off? If the media were reporting on deaths from heart disease 24 hours/day, 7-days/week, like they are for covid, Americans would, rightfully, be freaking out about heart disease too. I'd be all about social distancing, testing, contact tracing, quarantining, etc., if it seemed like a majority of people in our community were on board with that, but the reality is that they are not. This afternoon, I stopped by a local bar to pick up a six pack and some take-out wings to add to our Father's Day family dinner. As I walked in the front door of the bar, I slipped on my mask, thinking that it was required, but was then pretty surprised to see, for the first time since March, a bar full of customers, with no empty seats. Neither the bartender nor any of the guests were wearing masks. Apparently, our county went Green on Friday. I had totally forgotten about that. I was the only person in the bar wearing a mask. Since I don't feel sick, it seemed pretty pointless, but I kept it on anyway.

Abe

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2519 on: June 21, 2020, 10:46:26 PM »
There is a disease in the personal finance community. Many folks think that because they're paid a good sum of money to bang on a keyboard all day, and they invest in braindead vanguard funds and earn ~10% CAGR, that they are experts in everything.

I don't know how to impress upon people that excess mortality in the hundreds of thousands even with pretty extreme mitigation is a huge deal. I'm just a pencil pusher who does COVID modeling and analysis from the safety of my home, but when I hear my RN friend talk about how she's been reusing her PPE for weeks while her hospital's ICU is at capacity, and how she's afraid to go visit her parents (in their sixties) and check in... well then, I get a little triggered on her behalf when people run their mouths.

We're back to the usual "eh, it affects someone else so why should I give a s***" attitude people normally take about things in this country that don't directly impact them. They just kind of assume us healthcare workers will be there to pick up the pieces that their selfishness scatters asunder. I'm not even talking about closing businesses, etc at this point. I'm just talking about basic hygiene during an epidemic (washing hands frequently, avoiding close contact with others, wearing a mask in public indoor facilities, if only to keep you from fiddling with your face). A lot of places have many people who can't bother to do even that. Since it doesn't directly affect them, they couldn't care less. They just don't. <shrug>. Growing up as an "other" in a part of this country, I'm not surprised. Of course we'll treat them the same as someone who tried everything they could to avoid getting sick, because that is our duty and oath. However, neither of those are in-born and many of us have decided if there is no support from the government or society at large in mitigating a pandemic in the fall, we will not choose this hill to die (literally) on. I'm almost certain it won't get to that. But only almost.


My advice, take it or leave it, is to wear a mask when indoors at a store/restaurant at least. It affords some protection. If it didn't, the infection rate amongst healthcare workers would be much higher than it is. Also, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer frequently.

Regarding the death rate - that is not relevant. Total deaths or cases isn't relevant either. The thing that matters is the % of ICU capacity that is used up. When we exceed capacity in a locale, the dead will pile up because either non-COVID patients will be less likely to get an ICU bed they need, or (more likely) COVID patients in the ER will not get an ICU bed. There are some regional mitigation efforts and resource-balancing agreements, but they are a house of cards.

Also, heart disease, lung disease and diabetes are not transmissible to people, and you usually don't go from reasonable shape to dead in 2 weeks (except heart attacks, which are fairly rare these days). The public perception of nursing homes are storage units for the half-dead, but they aren't. I have plenty of nursing home patients I have performed major operations on because they have several years of good life ahead of them. They may have a hard time walking or don't have the strength to maintain their houses, or forget some things, but otherwise are relatively healthy and worthy of life. I cannot reiterate this enough and have cited it so many times. The majority of patients who have died of COVID do not have a serious, life-threatening comorbidity. They just don't. Hypertension is by far the most common, and there are literally millions of people who have that and are nowhere close to dying from it.

Ok, done with soapbox. Good day to you all. I've posted the latest state graphs elsewhere.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2020, 10:59:49 PM by Abe »

RetiredAt63

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2520 on: June 22, 2020, 04:23:20 AM »
And while we are discussing why we should be concerned, let's look at the other effects.  Dying is an end, although dying from this is quite nasty during the process, but it seems that lots of people who were mildly sick have hidden damage, they are now walking around with compromised lungs (and possibly other organs).  So that healthy 30 year old who had a mild case is now going to huff and puff when they go hiking, or riding a bike, or running around with their kids.  Quality of life is a thing, and a lot of people are going to lose some.

Re nursing homes, my Dad stayed in one after his hip replacement surgery, and went on to live another 19 years.  So not exactly at death's door while he was there.  Basically that is what lots of people do after major surgery if they are not able to go straight home from the hospital.

OtherJen

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2521 on: June 22, 2020, 05:25:53 AM »
And while we are discussing why we should be concerned, let's look at the other effects.  Dying is an end, although dying from this is quite nasty during the process, but it seems that lots of people who were mildly sick have hidden damage, they are now walking around with compromised lungs (and possibly other organs).  So that healthy 30 year old who had a mild case is now going to huff and puff when they go hiking, or riding a bike, or running around with their kids.  Quality of life is a thing, and a lot of people are going to lose some.

No matter how many times we try to hammer home this excellent point, some people refuse even to consider it. This virus has some very serious potential side effects/sequelae, and we donít yet know who is most prone to developing them. Even some young, healthy people are being knocked flat for weeks or longer by this illness. Locking up many employed and productive people based on age and letting the virus run rampant through the rest of us, as has been suggested by a few posters, seems like a poorly informed and terrible idea from a public health perspective. It is the idea of a society that has decided to give up, rather than try to continue slowing and mitigating spread so that our medical systems and essential supply chains remain functional.

Is it realistic to shut everything down until thereís a vaccine? No. Of course not. Could we be doing a hell of a lot better as a country than we have been? Yeah, I think thatís evident from the obvious community outbreaks in several states that have had plenty of time to learn from the experiences of (for example) Michigan.

RetiredAt63

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2522 on: June 22, 2020, 07:14:45 AM »
And while we are discussing why we should be concerned, let's look at the other effects.  Dying is an end, although dying from this is quite nasty during the process, but it seems that lots of people who were mildly sick have hidden damage, they are now walking around with compromised lungs (and possibly other organs).  So that healthy 30 year old who had a mild case is now going to huff and puff when they go hiking, or riding a bike, or running around with their kids.  Quality of life is a thing, and a lot of people are going to lose some.

No matter how many times we try to hammer home this excellent point, some people refuse even to consider it. This virus has some very serious potential side effects/sequelae, and we donít yet know who is most prone to developing them. Even some young, healthy people are being knocked flat for weeks or longer by this illness. Locking up many employed and productive people based on age and letting the virus run rampant through the rest of us, as has been suggested by a few posters, seems like a poorly informed and terrible idea from a public health perspective. It is the idea of a society that has decided to give up, rather than try to continue slowing and mitigating spread so that our medical systems and essential supply chains remain functional.

Is it realistic to shut everything down until thereís a vaccine? No. Of course not. Could we be doing a hell of a lot better as a country than we have been? Yeah, I think thatís evident from the obvious community outbreaks in several states that have had plenty of time to learn from the experiences of (for example) Michigan.

Ontario is in good but not great shape, the greater Toronto area is still in phase 1 and the rest of us are in phase 2.  Individuals may be relaxing, but all the groups that I am associated with are not.  Choir is being very careful, for obvious reasons.  My craft groups are being very careful, because we are generally older.  But my gardening group, which is much younger on average is also being very careful.  We don't need to wear masks while out in the gardens, but we are maintaining our 6' distance (or more, much more) and washing/sanitizing the common use taps before and after use.  And everyone has had their AGMs by Zoom, including the gardening group.

And really, on the personal level, I don't care what everyone else is doing, I am maintaining my precautions.  I have 2 old N95 masks from when I was dissolving dyes (the dye chemicals are not the problem, the particle size is) and I rotate their use.  I wear them in the apartment building and in stores.  I don't wear them in the apartment, the car, and at the garden. If I am the only one in the store I will still be wearing my mask.  I watched my Mom deal with heart issues (from a childhood illness, our family is used to long-term health issues from short-term infections) and my dad had lung issues.  I want to be healthy, not just alive.

GuitarStv

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2523 on: June 22, 2020, 07:40:22 AM »
And while we are discussing why we should be concerned, let's look at the other effects.  Dying is an end, although dying from this is quite nasty during the process, but it seems that lots of people who were mildly sick have hidden damage, they are now walking around with compromised lungs (and possibly other organs).  So that healthy 30 year old who had a mild case is now going to huff and puff when they go hiking, or riding a bike, or running around with their kids.  Quality of life is a thing, and a lot of people are going to lose some.

No matter how many times we try to hammer home this excellent point, some people refuse even to consider it. This virus has some very serious potential side effects/sequelae, and we donít yet know who is most prone to developing them. Even some young, healthy people are being knocked flat for weeks or longer by this illness. Locking up many employed and productive people based on age and letting the virus run rampant through the rest of us, as has been suggested by a few posters, seems like a poorly informed and terrible idea from a public health perspective. It is the idea of a society that has decided to give up, rather than try to continue slowing and mitigating spread so that our medical systems and essential supply chains remain functional.

Is it realistic to shut everything down until thereís a vaccine? No. Of course not. Could we be doing a hell of a lot better as a country than we have been? Yeah, I think thatís evident from the obvious community outbreaks in several states that have had plenty of time to learn from the experiences of (for example) Michigan.

Ontario is in good but not great shape, the greater Toronto area is still in phase 1 and the rest of us are in phase 2.  Individuals may be relaxing, but all the groups that I am associated with are not.  Choir is being very careful, for obvious reasons.  My craft groups are being very careful, because we are generally older.  But my gardening group, which is much younger on average is also being very careful.  We don't need to wear masks while out in the gardens, but we are maintaining our 6' distance (or more, much more) and washing/sanitizing the common use taps before and after use.  And everyone has had their AGMs by Zoom, including the gardening group.

And really, on the personal level, I don't care what everyone else is doing, I am maintaining my precautions.  I have 2 old N95 masks from when I was dissolving dyes (the dye chemicals are not the problem, the particle size is) and I rotate their use.  I wear them in the apartment building and in stores.  I don't wear them in the apartment, the car, and at the garden. If I am the only one in the store I will still be wearing my mask.  I watched my Mom deal with heart issues (from a childhood illness, our family is used to long-term health issues from short-term infections) and my dad had lung issues.  I want to be healthy, not just alive.

If you're retired, you can probably get away with trying to stay healthy and avoiding others.  But if you are working and have a kid in Ontario, you're certainly going to get this virus sooner or later no matter what you do.  We are re-opening businesses . . . and there's virtually no way to prevent the spread of this virus in most workplaces.  In September we're re-opening schools . . . and there's definitely no way to prevent kids from transmitting the disease to each other and then bringing it home from school (current plan is to somehow magically cut class sizes in half and maintain social distancing among every kindergartner all the way up to grade 12 student).

We've flattened the curve, but now it's time to remember that flattening the curve just means that we all get the disease still - but without overwhelming the health care system all at once.  If you were going to die from it, you will die from it.  If you were going to have permanent health problems from it, you are going to have permanent health problems from it.  Unless we bring the number of people infected with this disease down to low single digits very soon, we just have to accept that most of us will catch it.

RetiredAt63

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2524 on: June 22, 2020, 07:59:43 AM »
And while we are discussing why we should be concerned, let's look at the other effects.  Dying is an end, although dying from this is quite nasty during the process, but it seems that lots of people who were mildly sick have hidden damage, they are now walking around with compromised lungs (and possibly other organs).  So that healthy 30 year old who had a mild case is now going to huff and puff when they go hiking, or riding a bike, or running around with their kids.  Quality of life is a thing, and a lot of people are going to lose some.

No matter how many times we try to hammer home this excellent point, some people refuse even to consider it. This virus has some very serious potential side effects/sequelae, and we donít yet know who is most prone to developing them. Even some young, healthy people are being knocked flat for weeks or longer by this illness. Locking up many employed and productive people based on age and letting the virus run rampant through the rest of us, as has been suggested by a few posters, seems like a poorly informed and terrible idea from a public health perspective. It is the idea of a society that has decided to give up, rather than try to continue slowing and mitigating spread so that our medical systems and essential supply chains remain functional.

Is it realistic to shut everything down until thereís a vaccine? No. Of course not. Could we be doing a hell of a lot better as a country than we have been? Yeah, I think thatís evident from the obvious community outbreaks in several states that have had plenty of time to learn from the experiences of (for example) Michigan.

Ontario is in good but not great shape, the greater Toronto area is still in phase 1 and the rest of us are in phase 2.  Individuals may be relaxing, but all the groups that I am associated with are not.  Choir is being very careful, for obvious reasons.  My craft groups are being very careful, because we are generally older.  But my gardening group, which is much younger on average is also being very careful.  We don't need to wear masks while out in the gardens, but we are maintaining our 6' distance (or more, much more) and washing/sanitizing the common use taps before and after use.  And everyone has had their AGMs by Zoom, including the gardening group.

And really, on the personal level, I don't care what everyone else is doing, I am maintaining my precautions.  I have 2 old N95 masks from when I was dissolving dyes (the dye chemicals are not the problem, the particle size is) and I rotate their use.  I wear them in the apartment building and in stores.  I don't wear them in the apartment, the car, and at the garden. If I am the only one in the store I will still be wearing my mask.  I watched my Mom deal with heart issues (from a childhood illness, our family is used to long-term health issues from short-term infections) and my dad had lung issues.  I want to be healthy, not just alive.

If you're retired, you can probably get away with trying to stay healthy and avoiding others.  But if you are working and have a kid in Ontario, you're certainly going to get this virus sooner or later no matter what you do.  We are re-opening businesses . . . and there's virtually no way to prevent the spread of this virus in most workplaces.  In September we're re-opening schools . . . and there's definitely no way to prevent kids from transmitting the disease to each other and then bringing it home from school (current plan is to somehow magically cut class sizes in half and maintain social distancing among every kindergartner all the way up to grade 12 student).

We've flattened the curve, but now it's time to remember that flattening the curve just means that we all get the disease still - but without overwhelming the health care system all at once.  If you were going to die from it, you will die from it.  If you were going to have permanent health problems from it, you are going to have permanent health problems from it.  Unless we bring the number of people infected with this disease down to low single digits very soon, we just have to accept that most of us will catch it.

I know, my in person social life is non-existent, my DD is over 500 km away and I haven't seen her since December.  She is working from home, her husband has a job where he has to go to it but the only contact is the small group he works with, and they are outside.  All those of us who are older can do is self-isolate ad nauseum.  But even for the younger people, there is lots that can still be done, the obvious things like minimize social contact, wear masks, wash hands, avoid crowds as much as possible.  If I had kids I would work to minimize their exposure.

Plus the health units need to do their part to really get on top re tracing contacts and warning people of exposure so they can be tested.  Part of flattening the curve is to give time for medical professionals to not only find a vaccine but to gain a better understanding of how the virus works and improve treatment protocols.  If the main issue is the cytokine storm, then any way to tone it down will help a lot of people.

kanga1622

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2525 on: June 22, 2020, 08:03:23 AM »
If you're retired, you can probably get away with trying to stay healthy and avoiding others.  But if you are working and have a kid in Ontario, you're certainly going to get this virus sooner or later no matter what you do.  We are re-opening businesses . . . and there's virtually no way to prevent the spread of this virus in most workplaces.  In September we're re-opening schools . . . and there's definitely no way to prevent kids from transmitting the disease to each other and then bringing it home from school (current plan is to somehow magically cut class sizes in half and maintain social distancing among every kindergartner all the way up to grade 12 student).

We've flattened the curve, but now it's time to remember that flattening the curve just means that we all get the disease still - but without overwhelming the health care system all at once.  If you were going to die from it, you will die from it.  If you were going to have permanent health problems from it, you are going to have permanent health problems from it.  Unless we bring the number of people infected with this disease down to low single digits very soon, we just have to accept that most of us will catch it.

This matches up with my gut feelings. I feel like the majority of us are going to get this disease in some form or another unless a vaccine happens quickly. I have young kids that cannot properly follow the CDC guidelines for reducing transmission. DH works with small, snotty children and generally is sick all winter long from all the cold viruses they pass on to him. And I work with the 20-29 year olds that seem to be massively testing positive in college towns right now and many of whom believe this isn't a big deal. My plan has always been - if I get this, I want to get it late enough in the game that treatments and outcomes are better. Assuming my kids go back to school buildings in August, they will have been quarantined for 6 months. We will have held this off as long as our family can while still being able to keep jobs, get groceries, maintain medical care, etc. I'm still terrified of having life-long complications from this disease, but it isn't realistic to believe we can effectively avoid it at this point.

Shane

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2526 on: June 22, 2020, 08:21:06 AM »
And while we are discussing why we should be concerned, let's look at the other effects.  Dying is an end, although dying from this is quite nasty during the process, but it seems that lots of people who were mildly sick have hidden damage, they are now walking around with compromised lungs (and possibly other organs).  So that healthy 30 year old who had a mild case is now going to huff and puff when they go hiking, or riding a bike, or running around with their kids.  Quality of life is a thing, and a lot of people are going to lose some.

No matter how many times we try to hammer home this excellent point, some people refuse even to consider it. This virus has some very serious potential side effects/sequelae, and we donít yet know who is most prone to developing them. Even some young, healthy people are being knocked flat for weeks or longer by this illness. Locking up many employed and productive people based on age and letting the virus run rampant through the rest of us, as has been suggested by a few posters, seems like a poorly informed and terrible idea from a public health perspective. It is the idea of a society that has decided to give up, rather than try to continue slowing and mitigating spread so that our medical systems and essential supply chains remain functional.

Is it realistic to shut everything down until thereís a vaccine? No. Of course not. Could we be doing a hell of a lot better as a country than we have been? Yeah, I think thatís evident from the obvious community outbreaks in several states that have had plenty of time to learn from the experiences of (for example) Michigan.

Ontario is in good but not great shape, the greater Toronto area is still in phase 1 and the rest of us are in phase 2.  Individuals may be relaxing, but all the groups that I am associated with are not.  Choir is being very careful, for obvious reasons.  My craft groups are being very careful, because we are generally older.  But my gardening group, which is much younger on average is also being very careful.  We don't need to wear masks while out in the gardens, but we are maintaining our 6' distance (or more, much more) and washing/sanitizing the common use taps before and after use.  And everyone has had their AGMs by Zoom, including the gardening group.

And really, on the personal level, I don't care what everyone else is doing, I am maintaining my precautions.  I have 2 old N95 masks from when I was dissolving dyes (the dye chemicals are not the problem, the particle size is) and I rotate their use.  I wear them in the apartment building and in stores.  I don't wear them in the apartment, the car, and at the garden. If I am the only one in the store I will still be wearing my mask.  I watched my Mom deal with heart issues (from a childhood illness, our family is used to long-term health issues from short-term infections) and my dad had lung issues.  I want to be healthy, not just alive.

If you're retired, you can probably get away with trying to stay healthy and avoiding others.  But if you are working and have a kid in Ontario, you're certainly going to get this virus sooner or later no matter what you do.  We are re-opening businesses . . . and there's virtually no way to prevent the spread of this virus in most workplaces.  In September we're re-opening schools . . . and there's definitely no way to prevent kids from transmitting the disease to each other and then bringing it home from school (current plan is to somehow magically cut class sizes in half and maintain social distancing among every kindergartner all the way up to grade 12 student).

We've flattened the curve, but now it's time to remember that flattening the curve just means that we all get the disease still - but without overwhelming the health care system all at once.  If you were going to die from it, you will die from it.  If you were going to have permanent health problems from it, you are going to have permanent health problems from it.  Unless we bring the number of people infected with this disease down to low single digits very soon, we just have to accept that most of us will catch it.
^^What Steve says is true, I think. In the U.S., anyway, there's no political will in most states, and definitely not at the federal level, to do what it would take to get coronavirus under control like governments in NZ, Australia, and other countries have done. That's just our reality. Wishing it weren't so isn't going to change anything.

It's all well and good to say that our government officials should be doing things differently. We can talk all day about how people should be doing a better job at social distancing, washing their hands and avoiding crowded places, but the reality is many are not, and it seems pretty unlikely that that's going to change any time soon. At this point, Americans are basically on our own to deal with the virus as each of us sees fit and can afford to.  My family and I are taking @Abe 's advice: washing our hands, wearing masks inside public places, and trying as best we can to social distance. We can't, however, force our neighbors to do the same.

Our state government is planning on reopening schools in the fall, but it sounds like they are going to be recommending kids wear masks and social distance. Since the main reason we send our 11 year old to school is for socialization, we've decided to opt out of a brick and mortar school for the 2020-2021 school year and, instead, go with Connections Academy, an online cyber charter school. We're sad that our daughter is going to miss out on in person socialization in the coming school year, but Connections' website looks pretty good. We've already attended a couple of introductory webinars to learn more about cyber schooling, and we're actually kind of excited to see what it's like and how our daughter does with it. As a bonus, Connections Academy is tuition free for families in our state.

Shane

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2527 on: June 22, 2020, 08:26:55 AM »
This article seemed pretty relevant to the current conversation.

"Sadly, I'm becoming convinced that #COVID is not far from taking on the characteristics of #gunviolence. US will endure much higher, persistent negative effects from something that other countries have solved; we'll normalize it and convince ourselves nothing can be done."

lemanfan

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2528 on: June 22, 2020, 08:27:29 AM »
^^What Steve says is true, I think. In the U.S., anyway, there's no political will in most states, and definitely not at the federal level, to do what it would take to get coronavirus under control like governments in NZ, Australia, and other countries have done. That's just our reality. Wishing it weren't so isn't going to change anything.

Being island nations, NZ and Australia have a quite controlled flow of people coming in through (mainly) the airports.  In the US, you can just drive across state lines.  Would a single state be able to isolate itself?

(not saying that measures within a state would not be good, but it must be harder to control the virus with unlimited travel)

GuitarStv

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2529 on: June 22, 2020, 08:32:45 AM »
I know, my in person social life is non-existent, my DD is over 500 km away and I haven't seen her since December.  She is working from home, her husband has a job where he has to go to it but the only contact is the small group he works with, and they are outside.  All those of us who are older can do is self-isolate ad nauseum.  But even for the younger people, there is lots that can still be done, the obvious things like minimize social contact, wear masks, wash hands, avoid crowds as much as possible.  If I had kids I would work to minimize their exposure.

Plus the health units need to do their part to really get on top re tracing contacts and warning people of exposure so they can be tested.  Part of flattening the curve is to give time for medical professionals to not only find a vaccine but to gain a better understanding of how the virus works and improve treatment protocols.  If the main issue is the cytokine storm, then any way to tone it down will help a lot of people.

It's just very frustrating . . . I feel that our family has done everything possible to minimize contact with others.  We have had no contact with any friends/family other than over the phone.  We have purchased groceries less than once a week, and just gone without when shortages meant we couldn't find everything we wanted.  We are very careful about practicing distancing when walking the dog, about wiping down groceries when we come back from the store, about washing hands whenever we come back into the house from outside.

But it's really all for nothing if our son goes back to school and my wife and I have to go back to the office.  There's no real way to socially distance in the bathrooms at either of our workplaces.  The rooms are not physically large enough to accomodate more than one person without being within 6 ft of someone else.  You have to touch your face and remove your mask to eat lunch (and eating lunch at all at work is going to be very problematic - I'm trying to figure out if going out to my car to do this makes sense).  I often have to talk on my phone in my cubicle - something that's not really going to work while wearing a mask because of how muffled it makes your voice.  Wearing a mask for 8 - 10 hrs a day at work is also a far cry from wearing a mask for an hour or so while getting groceries.  It's easy to focus on what you're doing for an hour while getting groceries, but the odds of screwing up go up exponentially if you're trying to spend 8 hrs doing it.

My six year old son is pretty good about doing the right thing regarding keeping clean because of this virus . . . but when it's in school again it just takes one kid fooling around to spread the disease.  And even if one of us quits our job (which is riskier now than ever since both of us could be laid off since our employers are on more precarious footing due to this virus) to look after our son full time, there's still the problem of the one parent who has to keep going out every day.  And then the additional (and growing) problem we're currently observing of how lack of social peers is impacting our son.

There's a vanishingly small chance that a vaccine will come available.  There is a larger chance that new treatments to manage the disease better will be available in the future . . . but if we go back to work before either have been developed, neither matter.  We'll get the disease and it will progress as it would have.

Shane

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2530 on: June 22, 2020, 08:42:13 AM »
^^What Steve says is true, I think. In the U.S., anyway, there's no political will in most states, and definitely not at the federal level, to do what it would take to get coronavirus under control like governments in NZ, Australia, and other countries have done. That's just our reality. Wishing it weren't so isn't going to change anything.

Being island nations, NZ and Australia have a quite controlled flow of people coming in through (mainly) the airports.  In the US, you can just drive across state lines.  Would a single state be able to isolate itself?

(not saying that measures within a state would not be good, but it must be harder to control the virus with unlimited travel)
Yeah, definitely agree that there are physical, as well as cultural, differences between the US, NZ and Australia that make getting coronavirus under control more challenging in the US. With a population of 330MM, the U.S. is more comparable to Europe, as a whole, than it is to any individual country. Differences between New York and Alabama are maybe not quite as great as those between Scotland and Albania, but close. In Europe, at least, countries can legally close down their borders and they have. In the U.S., states don't have that luxury.

the_fixer

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2531 on: June 22, 2020, 08:45:35 AM »
Thing that sucks is that there are still plenty of things that can be done to impact the rate of infection but with this big push to open everything up some common sense step are getting ignored such as having employees that do not need to be in the office work from home or limit times in the office to only when absolutely necessary.

Companies are pushing to get things back to normal and bring people back to the office and in many cases that just does not make sense. If people can work from home during this time it makes sense to keep that going but it seems to be going to the wayside.

Do not even get me started on political campaign rallies WTF???


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frugalnacho

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2532 on: June 22, 2020, 09:00:05 AM »
Didn't you guys hear? The pandemic is over.  Or people are just fatigued and done with it.  I'm noticing a significant decrease in social distancing among family and neighbors.  Also noticing a drop in mask usage at stores.  Costco is still requiring everyone who enters to wear a mask, but none of the other stores are enforcing it so people (including employees) are getting very lax with the usage.  Many stores, including costco, are becoming more lax about enforcing social distancing as well.  The signs are still posted, but almost no one gives a fuck anymore. 

I'm trying to remain vigilant, but it's hard when no one else gives a fuck.  We've had several babies born into the family since March.  Yesterday was the first time I actually got to meet my niece.  We've been trying to stay away from even family, but apparently my wife and other family members have reached the breaking point and we have resumed small family get togethers as well as small outside play dates for the children. 

RetiredAt63

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2533 on: June 22, 2020, 09:20:44 AM »

It's just very frustrating . . . I feel that our family has done everything possible to minimize contact with others.  We have had no contact with any friends/family other than over the phone.  We have purchased groceries less than once a week, and just gone without when shortages meant we couldn't find everything we wanted.  We are very careful about practicing distancing when walking the dog, about wiping down groceries when we come back from the store, about washing hands whenever we come back into the house from outside.

But it's really all for nothing if our son goes back to school and my wife and I have to go back to the office.  There's no real way to socially distance in the bathrooms at either of our workplaces.  The rooms are not physically large enough to accomodate more than one person without being within 6 ft of someone else.  You have to touch your face and remove your mask to eat lunch (and eating lunch at all at work is going to be very problematic - I'm trying to figure out if going out to my car to do this makes sense).  I often have to talk on my phone in my cubicle - something that's not really going to work while wearing a mask because of how muffled it makes your voice.  Wearing a mask for 8 - 10 hrs a day at work is also a far cry from wearing a mask for an hour or so while getting groceries.  It's easy to focus on what you're doing for an hour while getting groceries, but the odds of screwing up go up exponentially if you're trying to spend 8 hrs doing it.

My six year old son is pretty good about doing the right thing regarding keeping clean because of this virus . . . but when it's in school again it just takes one kid fooling around to spread the disease.  And even if one of us quits our job (which is riskier now than ever since both of us could be laid off since our employers are on more precarious footing due to this virus) to look after our son full time, there's still the problem of the one parent who has to keep going out every day.  And then the additional (and growing) problem we're currently observing of how lack of social peers is impacting our son.

There's a vanishingly small chance that a vaccine will come available.  There is a larger chance that new treatments to manage the disease better will be available in the future . . . but if we go back to work before either have been developed, neither matter.  We'll get the disease and it will progress as it would have.
[/quote]

If we can get cases down, the chances of exposure go down - and tracing contacts means fewer exposures as well.  Wearing masks when feasible will help.  I would be eating lunch on a park bench in good weather and my car in bad weather if I were stuck.  Looking at other locations, new cases are often imports, so if the various provincial governments can discourage travel it will help.  Keeping the border with the US mostly closed will also help.  For our western compatriots, let's hope those big fines for Americans going to Alaska who stopped off to sightsee at Banff will make lots of American news stories.

Like you, I am mostly pinning my hopes on better treatments, since most likely we are not going to see a vaccine this fall.

mm1970

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2534 on: June 22, 2020, 10:21:28 AM »
https://calmatters.org/health/coronavirus/2020/06/public-health-officers-quitting-california-threats-coronavirus-pandemic/

I thought California was one of the more sensible states?

If I were one of the public health officials being slammed like this, I would be tempted to resign at one of those meetings saying "Well, you can be sensible or you can be sick. Goodbye".  And I would be thinking "And I hope you get it bad enough that you finally understand why we were trying to keep it under control.".
Oh, we have our share of nutcases, still.  I mean, our administration is doing the right thing.  Our state's recommendations are correct.  But we still have a fair % of "OPEN UP", "MUH FREEDOM", "I'M NOT WEARING A MASK", "HEY, I'M YOUNG", "MY KIDS ARE BORED".

habanero

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2535 on: June 22, 2020, 10:21:56 AM »
This interview with the Norwegian Health Minister was good. She talks about the similarities and differences between Sweden's and Norway's approaches to covid. Interestingly, she wasn't willing to say that Sweden's higher death rate is, necessarily, because of their unique response to the pandemic. People like to portray it as if the Swedes were just recklessly stupid in the way they responded to covid, but the Norwegian health minister wasn't willing to go there.

In addition to their varied responses to coronavirus, there are other differences between Sweden and its neighbors, like, for example, that Sweden's population is around double that of its neighbors, and its capital city, Stockholm, has roughly twice the population of any of its neighbors' biggest cities, and the residents of Stockholm are more tightly packed, especially in districts with many recent immigrants. So, while there is a correlation between a somewhat less authoritarian response to covid and a higher death rate in Sweden, that doesn't necessarily mean that that is the (only) cause.

Minor detail, but she is head of The Public Health Institute (kind of like the CDC but not quite). The health minister is a male, btw (he even has a beard) ;)

Anyway, in the beginning the pandemic experts at said institute recommended "flattening the curve" like Sweden has done. But the politicians decided to hit the virus hard and so far has succeeded.

Her brother is the General Secretary of NATO, btw.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2020, 10:24:44 AM by habaneroNorway »

Paper Chaser

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2536 on: June 22, 2020, 10:45:28 AM »
I know, my in person social life is non-existent, my DD is over 500 km away and I haven't seen her since December.  She is working from home, her husband has a job where he has to go to it but the only contact is the small group he works with, and they are outside.  All those of us who are older can do is self-isolate ad nauseum.  But even for the younger people, there is lots that can still be done, the obvious things like minimize social contact, wear masks, wash hands, avoid crowds as much as possible.  If I had kids I would work to minimize their exposure.

Plus the health units need to do their part to really get on top re tracing contacts and warning people of exposure so they can be tested.  Part of flattening the curve is to give time for medical professionals to not only find a vaccine but to gain a better understanding of how the virus works and improve treatment protocols.  If the main issue is the cytokine storm, then any way to tone it down will help a lot of people.

It's just very frustrating . . . I feel that our family has done everything possible to minimize contact with others.  We have had no contact with any friends/family other than over the phone.  We have purchased groceries less than once a week, and just gone without when shortages meant we couldn't find everything we wanted.  We are very careful about practicing distancing when walking the dog, about wiping down groceries when we come back from the store, about washing hands whenever we come back into the house from outside.

But it's really all for nothing if our son goes back to school and my wife and I have to go back to the office.  There's no real way to socially distance in the bathrooms at either of our workplaces.  The rooms are not physically large enough to accomodate more than one person without being within 6 ft of someone else.  You have to touch your face and remove your mask to eat lunch (and eating lunch at all at work is going to be very problematic - I'm trying to figure out if going out to my car to do this makes sense).  I often have to talk on my phone in my cubicle - something that's not really going to work while wearing a mask because of how muffled it makes your voice.  Wearing a mask for 8 - 10 hrs a day at work is also a far cry from wearing a mask for an hour or so while getting groceries.  It's easy to focus on what you're doing for an hour while getting groceries, but the odds of screwing up go up exponentially if you're trying to spend 8 hrs doing it.

My six year old son is pretty good about doing the right thing regarding keeping clean because of this virus . . . but when it's in school again it just takes one kid fooling around to spread the disease.  And even if one of us quits our job (which is riskier now than ever since both of us could be laid off since our employers are on more precarious footing due to this virus) to look after our son full time, there's still the problem of the one parent who has to keep going out every day.  And then the additional (and growing) problem we're currently observing of how lack of social peers is impacting our son.

There's a vanishingly small chance that a vaccine will come available.  There is a larger chance that new treatments to manage the disease better will be available in the future . . . but if we go back to work before either have been developed, neither matter.  We'll get the disease and it will progress as it would have.

This is the exact mindset that's becoming more and more prevalent among Americans as more and more go back to work. And it's what many have said here for along time. Seems it's similar North of the border as well. It's a mix of fear initially, but that wanes and is overtaken with a sense of hopelessness and/or inevitability. "Essential Workers" have mostly felt this for months now. So, welcome to your new reality as an "essential worker". You're a couple months later in arriving to this mindset than many, but your white collar, work-from-home privilege was likely filtering your outlook. In the next step of your journey, you'll probably realize that wiping down groceries, probably isn't really a worthwhile use of your time for a respiratory virus. You might even venture out for regular errands more than once every couple of weeks. You'll realize that being forced to wear a mask 8+ hours per day at work can be a pain and could make you less inclined to don one if you're just picking up some carry out or something on your way home. And then, without realizing it, you've become the thing you hated 4-6 weeks ago... Come on in, the water's fine!
« Last Edit: June 22, 2020, 10:52:03 AM by Paper Chaser »

HBFIRE

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2537 on: June 22, 2020, 11:00:04 AM »
Itís interesting to me that there is zero coverage of the plunging US death rate (50% in the last month). We just recorded the lowest week in 3 months and yesterday the lowest day in 3 months.   You would never know this if you only consume media.  All the focus is always on whatever negative information can be found.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2020, 11:02:01 AM by HBFIRE »

MudPuppy

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2538 on: June 22, 2020, 12:33:09 PM »
I see media talking about it all the time, but they donít seem to be qualifying it by saying that if you take out NY and NJ the rates are merely steady. People have pointed that out to you already, you just seem to be ignoring that fact.

OtherJen

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2539 on: June 22, 2020, 01:00:14 PM »
The NY Times reports the 2-week average percent changes in the national case and death counts every single morning, right on the front page of the website. Another click takes the reader to a page with a county-level national map indicating exactly where cases are increasing and decreasing every week, as well as a tabulated data by state and county.

Today, NYT reports a decrease of 43% in the national death rate over 2 weeks. It also reports a 20% increase in the national case count during the same period. The case count percent change was in the negative double digits a couple of weeks ago. It's too soon to declare victory, as the death rate patterns seem to follow the case count patterns by a few weeks.

Wolfpack Mustachian

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2540 on: June 22, 2020, 01:04:45 PM »
And while we are discussing why we should be concerned, let's look at the other effects.  Dying is an end, although dying from this is quite nasty during the process, but it seems that lots of people who were mildly sick have hidden damage, they are now walking around with compromised lungs (and possibly other organs).  So that healthy 30 year old who had a mild case is now going to huff and puff when they go hiking, or riding a bike, or running around with their kids.  Quality of life is a thing, and a lot of people are going to lose some.

No matter how many times we try to hammer home this excellent point, some people refuse even to consider it. This virus has some very serious potential side effects/sequelae, and we donít yet know who is most prone to developing them. Even some young, healthy people are being knocked flat for weeks or longer by this illness. Locking up many employed and productive people based on age and letting the virus run rampant through the rest of us, as has been suggested by a few posters, seems like a poorly informed and terrible idea from a public health perspective. It is the idea of a society that has decided to give up, rather than try to continue slowing and mitigating spread so that our medical systems and essential supply chains remain functional.

Is it realistic to shut everything down until thereís a vaccine? No. Of course not. Could we be doing a hell of a lot better as a country than we have been? Yeah, I think thatís evident from the obvious community outbreaks in several states that have had plenty of time to learn from the experiences of (for example) Michigan.

This may have been answered before, but is there any reliable knowledge out there about permanent damage for people who are relatively asymptomatic/non-hospitalized or non-what would be hospitalized if hospitals weren't having people stay away except for extreme cases? Ra63 has presented it as if you may barely know you're sick and have permanent damage. Is this accurate?

OtherJen

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2541 on: June 22, 2020, 01:25:13 PM »
And while we are discussing why we should be concerned, let's look at the other effects.  Dying is an end, although dying from this is quite nasty during the process, but it seems that lots of people who were mildly sick have hidden damage, they are now walking around with compromised lungs (and possibly other organs).  So that healthy 30 year old who had a mild case is now going to huff and puff when they go hiking, or riding a bike, or running around with their kids.  Quality of life is a thing, and a lot of people are going to lose some.

No matter how many times we try to hammer home this excellent point, some people refuse even to consider it. This virus has some very serious potential side effects/sequelae, and we donít yet know who is most prone to developing them. Even some young, healthy people are being knocked flat for weeks or longer by this illness. Locking up many employed and productive people based on age and letting the virus run rampant through the rest of us, as has been suggested by a few posters, seems like a poorly informed and terrible idea from a public health perspective. It is the idea of a society that has decided to give up, rather than try to continue slowing and mitigating spread so that our medical systems and essential supply chains remain functional.

Is it realistic to shut everything down until thereís a vaccine? No. Of course not. Could we be doing a hell of a lot better as a country than we have been? Yeah, I think thatís evident from the obvious community outbreaks in several states that have had plenty of time to learn from the experiences of (for example) Michigan.

This may have been answered before, but is there any reliable knowledge out there about permanent damage for people who are relatively asymptomatic/non-hospitalized or non-what would be hospitalized if hospitals weren't having people stay away except for extreme cases? Ra63 has presented it as if you may barely know you're sick and have permanent damage. Is this accurate?

The world has known about the virus for 6 months (at least, that's when physicians in Wuhan first started raising the alarm), so some of the long-term damage projections are based on what researchers and clinicians learned during the first SARS-coronavirus epidemic 17 years ago. It seems that many patients who do not present with significant COVID-19 symptoms are still presenting with blood clotting issues (which would also explain the emergence of Kawasaki-like syndrome in several infected children without "classic" symptoms).

https://www.biospace.com/article/covid-19-increases-risk-of-heart-attacks-and-stroke/
https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2009787
https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20200424/blood-clots-are-another-dangerous-covid-19-mystery
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31103-X/fulltext

Wolfpack Mustachian

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2542 on: June 22, 2020, 01:32:09 PM »
And while we are discussing why we should be concerned, let's look at the other effects.  Dying is an end, although dying from this is quite nasty during the process, but it seems that lots of people who were mildly sick have hidden damage, they are now walking around with compromised lungs (and possibly other organs).  So that healthy 30 year old who had a mild case is now going to huff and puff when they go hiking, or riding a bike, or running around with their kids.  Quality of life is a thing, and a lot of people are going to lose some.

No matter how many times we try to hammer home this excellent point, some people refuse even to consider it. This virus has some very serious potential side effects/sequelae, and we donít yet know who is most prone to developing them. Even some young, healthy people are being knocked flat for weeks or longer by this illness. Locking up many employed and productive people based on age and letting the virus run rampant through the rest of us, as has been suggested by a few posters, seems like a poorly informed and terrible idea from a public health perspective. It is the idea of a society that has decided to give up, rather than try to continue slowing and mitigating spread so that our medical systems and essential supply chains remain functional.

Is it realistic to shut everything down until thereís a vaccine? No. Of course not. Could we be doing a hell of a lot better as a country than we have been? Yeah, I think thatís evident from the obvious community outbreaks in several states that have had plenty of time to learn from the experiences of (for example) Michigan.

This may have been answered before, but is there any reliable knowledge out there about permanent damage for people who are relatively asymptomatic/non-hospitalized or non-what would be hospitalized if hospitals weren't having people stay away except for extreme cases? Ra63 has presented it as if you may barely know you're sick and have permanent damage. Is this accurate?

The world has known about the virus for 6 months (at least, that's when physicians in Wuhan first started raising the alarm), so some of the long-term damage projections are based on what researchers and clinicians learned during the first SARS-coronavirus epidemic 17 years ago. It seems that many patients who do not present with significant COVID-19 symptoms are still presenting with blood clotting issues (which would also explain the emergence of Kawasaki-like syndrome in several infected children without "classic" symptoms).

https://www.biospace.com/article/covid-19-increases-risk-of-heart-attacks-and-stroke/
https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2009787
https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20200424/blood-clots-are-another-dangerous-covid-19-mystery
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31103-X/fulltext

Thanks for the information!

GuitarStv

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2543 on: June 22, 2020, 02:22:55 PM »
I know, my in person social life is non-existent, my DD is over 500 km away and I haven't seen her since December.  She is working from home, her husband has a job where he has to go to it but the only contact is the small group he works with, and they are outside.  All those of us who are older can do is self-isolate ad nauseum.  But even for the younger people, there is lots that can still be done, the obvious things like minimize social contact, wear masks, wash hands, avoid crowds as much as possible.  If I had kids I would work to minimize their exposure.

Plus the health units need to do their part to really get on top re tracing contacts and warning people of exposure so they can be tested.  Part of flattening the curve is to give time for medical professionals to not only find a vaccine but to gain a better understanding of how the virus works and improve treatment protocols.  If the main issue is the cytokine storm, then any way to tone it down will help a lot of people.

It's just very frustrating . . . I feel that our family has done everything possible to minimize contact with others.  We have had no contact with any friends/family other than over the phone.  We have purchased groceries less than once a week, and just gone without when shortages meant we couldn't find everything we wanted.  We are very careful about practicing distancing when walking the dog, about wiping down groceries when we come back from the store, about washing hands whenever we come back into the house from outside.

But it's really all for nothing if our son goes back to school and my wife and I have to go back to the office.  There's no real way to socially distance in the bathrooms at either of our workplaces.  The rooms are not physically large enough to accomodate more than one person without being within 6 ft of someone else.  You have to touch your face and remove your mask to eat lunch (and eating lunch at all at work is going to be very problematic - I'm trying to figure out if going out to my car to do this makes sense).  I often have to talk on my phone in my cubicle - something that's not really going to work while wearing a mask because of how muffled it makes your voice.  Wearing a mask for 8 - 10 hrs a day at work is also a far cry from wearing a mask for an hour or so while getting groceries.  It's easy to focus on what you're doing for an hour while getting groceries, but the odds of screwing up go up exponentially if you're trying to spend 8 hrs doing it.

My six year old son is pretty good about doing the right thing regarding keeping clean because of this virus . . . but when it's in school again it just takes one kid fooling around to spread the disease.  And even if one of us quits our job (which is riskier now than ever since both of us could be laid off since our employers are on more precarious footing due to this virus) to look after our son full time, there's still the problem of the one parent who has to keep going out every day.  And then the additional (and growing) problem we're currently observing of how lack of social peers is impacting our son.

There's a vanishingly small chance that a vaccine will come available.  There is a larger chance that new treatments to manage the disease better will be available in the future . . . but if we go back to work before either have been developed, neither matter.  We'll get the disease and it will progress as it would have.

This is the exact mindset that's becoming more and more prevalent among Americans as more and more go back to work. And it's what many have said here for along time. Seems it's similar North of the border as well. It's a mix of fear initially, but that wanes and is overtaken with a sense of hopelessness and/or inevitability. "Essential Workers" have mostly felt this for months now. So, welcome to your new reality as an "essential worker". You're a couple months later in arriving to this mindset than many, but your white collar, work-from-home privilege was likely filtering your outlook. In the next step of your journey, you'll probably realize that wiping down groceries, probably isn't really a worthwhile use of your time for a respiratory virus. You might even venture out for regular errands more than once every couple of weeks. You'll realize that being forced to wear a mask 8+ hours per day at work can be a pain and could make you less inclined to don one if you're just picking up some carry out or something on your way home. And then, without realizing it, you've become the thing you hated 4-6 weeks ago... Come on in, the water's fine!

You are making a few incorrect assumptions here.

Although I've been working remotely most of the time, I've regularly had to go in to the office when there was need.  The industry that I work in (broadcast) was considered an essential service right from the start.

The hopelessness I'm beginning to feel stems from the fact that some assholes didn't fucking take things seriously early on, so it now looks like we'll be unable to get a handle on this thing.  These people have managed to help us squander our time so that now we have no choice but to start opening things that aren't safe to open.

If six weeks ago you were fucking around rather than doing what you should have done, with the sick intent of making the pandemic worse for others, make no mistake about it.  You, personally, are the problem.  You can take your schadenfreude glee and stuff it up your ass.

HBFIRE

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2544 on: June 22, 2020, 02:24:18 PM »
I see media talking about it all the time, but they donít seem to be qualifying it by saying that if you take out NY and NJ the rates are merely steady. People have pointed that out to you already, you just seem to be ignoring that fact.


 But thatís not accurate.  NY and NJ have been steadily low now for a month.  The rate has declined even if you exclude those two states.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2020, 02:26:06 PM by HBFIRE »

mathlete

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2545 on: June 22, 2020, 02:33:25 PM »
Itís interesting to me that there is zero coverage of the plunging US death rate (50% in the last month). We just recorded the lowest week in 3 months and yesterday the lowest day in 3 months.   You would never know this if you only consume media.  All the focus is always on whatever negative information can be found.

This is categorically untrue.

LWYRUP

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2546 on: June 22, 2020, 02:43:54 PM »
I know, my in person social life is non-existent, my DD is over 500 km away and I haven't seen her since December.  She is working from home, her husband has a job where he has to go to it but the only contact is the small group he works with, and they are outside.  All those of us who are older can do is self-isolate ad nauseum.  But even for the younger people, there is lots that can still be done, the obvious things like minimize social contact, wear masks, wash hands, avoid crowds as much as possible.  If I had kids I would work to minimize their exposure.

Plus the health units need to do their part to really get on top re tracing contacts and warning people of exposure so they can be tested.  Part of flattening the curve is to give time for medical professionals to not only find a vaccine but to gain a better understanding of how the virus works and improve treatment protocols.  If the main issue is the cytokine storm, then any way to tone it down will help a lot of people.

It's just very frustrating . . . I feel that our family has done everything possible to minimize contact with others.  We have had no contact with any friends/family other than over the phone.  We have purchased groceries less than once a week, and just gone without when shortages meant we couldn't find everything we wanted.  We are very careful about practicing distancing when walking the dog, about wiping down groceries when we come back from the store, about washing hands whenever we come back into the house from outside.

But it's really all for nothing if our son goes back to school and my wife and I have to go back to the office.  There's no real way to socially distance in the bathrooms at either of our workplaces.  The rooms are not physically large enough to accomodate more than one person without being within 6 ft of someone else.  You have to touch your face and remove your mask to eat lunch (and eating lunch at all at work is going to be very problematic - I'm trying to figure out if going out to my car to do this makes sense).  I often have to talk on my phone in my cubicle - something that's not really going to work while wearing a mask because of how muffled it makes your voice.  Wearing a mask for 8 - 10 hrs a day at work is also a far cry from wearing a mask for an hour or so while getting groceries.  It's easy to focus on what you're doing for an hour while getting groceries, but the odds of screwing up go up exponentially if you're trying to spend 8 hrs doing it.

My six year old son is pretty good about doing the right thing regarding keeping clean because of this virus . . . but when it's in school again it just takes one kid fooling around to spread the disease.  And even if one of us quits our job (which is riskier now than ever since both of us could be laid off since our employers are on more precarious footing due to this virus) to look after our son full time, there's still the problem of the one parent who has to keep going out every day.  And then the additional (and growing) problem we're currently observing of how lack of social peers is impacting our son.

There's a vanishingly small chance that a vaccine will come available.  There is a larger chance that new treatments to manage the disease better will be available in the future . . . but if we go back to work before either have been developed, neither matter.  We'll get the disease and it will progress as it would have.

I think you're being overly pessimistic / critical of yourself. 

By social distancing, we helped flatten the curve so that hospitals in most areas were not overwhelmed.  We have now learned more what are the big risks (enclosed spaces with lots of people, like subways) and what are lesser risks (passing by someone quickly on a path outside) so we can better navigate in the world while keeping risks down.

It really sucks that so many people did not take this seriously and that we did not make as much progress as we could have.  However, that does not negate all the progress we did make. 

Also, at this point I'm looking at places like Florida and Texas as voluntary guinea pigs.  If if in a few weeks things are really bad there, then hopefully that will be a lesson for other places.  If in a few weeks things are mostly fine, we can be more comfortable about loosening social distancing measures somewhat based on data derived from their terribly reckless experiment. 

the_fixer

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2547 on: June 22, 2020, 02:51:06 PM »
Didn't you guys hear? The pandemic is over.  Or people are just fatigued and done with it.  I'm noticing a significant decrease in social distancing among family and neighbors.  Also noticing a drop in mask usage at stores.  Costco is still requiring everyone who enters to wear a mask, but none of the other stores are enforcing it so people (including employees) are getting very lax with the usage.  Many stores, including costco, are becoming more lax about enforcing social distancing as well.  The signs are still posted, but almost no one gives a fuck anymore. 

I'm trying to remain vigilant, but it's hard when no one else gives a fuck.  We've had several babies born into the family since March.  Yesterday was the first time I actually got to meet my niece.  We've been trying to stay away from even family, but apparently my wife and other family members have reached the breaking point and we have resumed small family get togethers as well as small outside play dates for the children.
Exactly, my wife and I have been doing a great job, working from home, curbside grocery pickup, practicing social distancing and have adapted and have been enjoying riding bikes and camping.

Then BAM everything opens up, our friends are inviting us to go out to dinner, inviting her to go get their hair done and one even came by after getting her mani, pedi and hair done to show my wife and stated I feel so much better now and less like a loser you should go get yours done.

Another friend flew in from out of state when she heard the state was open since her state was still on lockdown to get a massage, hair done, mani, pedi, get her dog groomed and go out to eat because she was tired of being in lockdown in California.

It has turned into quite the internal struggle for my wife, she is at high risk and we have been very happy and content during this time but then all of our friends just go back to life as normal and she has broken down into tears a couple of times.


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wenchsenior

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2548 on: June 22, 2020, 02:56:07 PM »
I know, my in person social life is non-existent, my DD is over 500 km away and I haven't seen her since December.  She is working from home, her husband has a job where he has to go to it but the only contact is the small group he works with, and they are outside.  All those of us who are older can do is self-isolate ad nauseum.  But even for the younger people, there is lots that can still be done, the obvious things like minimize social contact, wear masks, wash hands, avoid crowds as much as possible.  If I had kids I would work to minimize their exposure.

Plus the health units need to do their part to really get on top re tracing contacts and warning people of exposure so they can be tested.  Part of flattening the curve is to give time for medical professionals to not only find a vaccine but to gain a better understanding of how the virus works and improve treatment protocols.  If the main issue is the cytokine storm, then any way to tone it down will help a lot of people.

It's just very frustrating . . . I feel that our family has done everything possible to minimize contact with others.  We have had no contact with any friends/family other than over the phone.  We have purchased groceries less than once a week, and just gone without when shortages meant we couldn't find everything we wanted.  We are very careful about practicing distancing when walking the dog, about wiping down groceries when we come back from the store, about washing hands whenever we come back into the house from outside.

But it's really all for nothing if our son goes back to school and my wife and I have to go back to the office.  There's no real way to socially distance in the bathrooms at either of our workplaces.  The rooms are not physically large enough to accomodate more than one person without being within 6 ft of someone else.  You have to touch your face and remove your mask to eat lunch (and eating lunch at all at work is going to be very problematic - I'm trying to figure out if going out to my car to do this makes sense).  I often have to talk on my phone in my cubicle - something that's not really going to work while wearing a mask because of how muffled it makes your voice.  Wearing a mask for 8 - 10 hrs a day at work is also a far cry from wearing a mask for an hour or so while getting groceries.  It's easy to focus on what you're doing for an hour while getting groceries, but the odds of screwing up go up exponentially if you're trying to spend 8 hrs doing it.

My six year old son is pretty good about doing the right thing regarding keeping clean because of this virus . . . but when it's in school again it just takes one kid fooling around to spread the disease.  And even if one of us quits our job (which is riskier now than ever since both of us could be laid off since our employers are on more precarious footing due to this virus) to look after our son full time, there's still the problem of the one parent who has to keep going out every day.  And then the additional (and growing) problem we're currently observing of how lack of social peers is impacting our son.

There's a vanishingly small chance that a vaccine will come available.  There is a larger chance that new treatments to manage the disease better will be available in the future . . . but if we go back to work before either have been developed, neither matter.  We'll get the disease and it will progress as it would have.

This is the exact mindset that's becoming more and more prevalent among Americans as more and more go back to work. And it's what many have said here for along time. Seems it's similar North of the border as well. It's a mix of fear initially, but that wanes and is overtaken with a sense of hopelessness and/or inevitability. "Essential Workers" have mostly felt this for months now. So, welcome to your new reality as an "essential worker". You're a couple months later in arriving to this mindset than many, but your white collar, work-from-home privilege was likely filtering your outlook. In the next step of your journey, you'll probably realize that wiping down groceries, probably isn't really a worthwhile use of your time for a respiratory virus. You might even venture out for regular errands more than once every couple of weeks. You'll realize that being forced to wear a mask 8+ hours per day at work can be a pain and could make you less inclined to don one if you're just picking up some carry out or something on your way home. And then, without realizing it, you've become the thing you hated 4-6 weeks ago... Come on in, the water's fine!

You are making a few incorrect assumptions here.

Although I've been working remotely most of the time, I've regularly had to go in to the office when there was need.  The industry that I work in (broadcast) was considered an essential service right from the start.

The hopelessness I'm beginning to feel stems from the fact that some assholes didn't fucking take things seriously early on, so it now looks like we'll be unable to get a handle on this thing.  These people have managed to help us squander our time so that now we have no choice but to start opening things that aren't safe to open.

If six weeks ago you were fucking around rather than doing what you should have done, with the sick intent of making the pandemic worse for others, make no mistake about it.  You, personally, are the problem.  You can take your schadenfreude glee and stuff it up your ass.

100% agree with this. Exactly how I feel about all the stupid assholes running around ignoring mask and social distancing guidelines in stores, which is now MOST of the citizens who are out and about in my town. And no surprise, cases have started skyrocketing here in the past week.


dougules

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Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #2549 on: June 22, 2020, 03:18:50 PM »
You are making a few incorrect assumptions here.

Although I've been working remotely most of the time, I've regularly had to go in to the office when there was need.  The industry that I work in (broadcast) was considered an essential service right from the start.

The hopelessness I'm beginning to feel stems from the fact that some assholes didn't fucking take things seriously early on, so it now looks like we'll be unable to get a handle on this thing.  These people have managed to help us squander our time so that now we have no choice but to start opening things that aren't safe to open.

If six weeks ago you were fucking around rather than doing what you should have done, with the sick intent of making the pandemic worse for others, make no mistake about it.  You, personally, are the problem.  You can take your schadenfreude glee and stuff it up your ass.

The numbers make it look like (unlike certain other countries) Canada is getting a handle on it.  If you get case numbers low enough that test and trace can work, it's safe to go back to semi-normal if I'm not mistaken.