Author Topic: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?  (Read 253684 times)

Bloop Bloop

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2140
  • Location: Melbourne, Australia
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3300 on: August 02, 2020, 06:11:10 AM »
NZ lockdown (way back then) had a pile of possibly arguable restrictions such as no surfing,even if you lived right by the beach. There were plenty of but, but, but,  arguments expressed although compliance was generally good.

Time has shown that this was an effective strategy for the country. The fewer people out and about the easier contact tracing is, and the more apparent  breaches of lockdown are.

It makes perfect sense to me. If you say everything is banned except golf and surfing guess what happens? Tens of thousands of people will suddenly take up golfing and surfing.

Donít laugh, you know it.
My retired (and by their recycling bins heavy drinking) neighbours started walking every day when lockdown rules meant that was their only way to leave the house.  They now look fitter and happier than I've ever known them.

Fitter. Happier. More productive.

Shane

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1296
  • Location: PA
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3301 on: August 02, 2020, 10:40:55 AM »
Bill Maher calls out public health officials, the media, and politicians for not being willing to even mention the uncomfortable truth that eating more healthily, exercising, and losing weight might help increase Americans' chances of surviving any serious illness, including covid. Maybe Bill's right that it may not be a coincidence that the countries with the lowest rates of obesity have had the fewest covid deaths. "Maybe China isn't hiding all their covid deaths. Maybe their secret is that their obesity rate is 6% and ours is 42..."

boy_bye

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2472
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3302 on: August 02, 2020, 05:28:10 PM »
Bill Maher calls out public health officials, the media, and politicians for not being willing to even mention the uncomfortable truth that eating more healthily, exercising, and losing weight might help increase Americans' chances of surviving any serious illness, including covid. Maybe Bill's right that it may not be a coincidence that the countries with the lowest rates of obesity have had the fewest covid deaths. "Maybe China isn't hiding all their covid deaths. Maybe their secret is that their obesity rate is 6% and ours is 42..."

Bill Maher is a racist misogynistic idiot and I cant believe anyone watches or listens to him.

PS the evidence about how dangerous it is to be fat and how feasible it is to lose weight does not lead to the conclusions Maher has jumped to

dougules

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2110
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3303 on: August 02, 2020, 05:49:21 PM »
Fitter. Happier. More productive.

Another Radiohead fan I see. 

Shane

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1296
  • Location: PA
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3304 on: August 02, 2020, 07:11:27 PM »
Bill Maher calls out public health officials, the media, and politicians for not being willing to even mention the uncomfortable truth that eating more healthily, exercising, and losing weight might help increase Americans' chances of surviving any serious illness, including covid. Maybe Bill's right that it may not be a coincidence that the countries with the lowest rates of obesity have had the fewest covid deaths. "Maybe China isn't hiding all their covid deaths. Maybe their secret is that their obesity rate is 6% and ours is 42..."

Bill Maher is a racist misogynistic idiot and I cant believe anyone watches or listens to him.

PS the evidence about how dangerous it is to be fat and how feasible it is to lose weight does not lead to the conclusions Maher has jumped to

UK and US public health officials seem to agree with Maher.

The UK study Maher mentions:

Excess weight can increase risk of serious illness and death from COVID-19 "Being obese or excessively overweight increases the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19, a new Public Health England (PHE) report confirms."

CDC says, basically, the same thing:

"Having obesity, defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above, increases your risk of severe illness from COVID-19."


MudPuppy

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 587
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3305 on: August 02, 2020, 07:31:25 PM »
You donít get points for this? No shit Sherlock that generally speaking, a normal BMI is correlated with better health outcomes. Thumping this drum right now, however is useless.

Shane

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1296
  • Location: PA
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3306 on: August 02, 2020, 07:43:07 PM »
Eating healthier, exercising, quitting smoking, living as healthy a life as possible, lowers risk of negative outcomes from covid and everything else. Seems like common sense.

MudPuppy

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 587
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3307 on: August 02, 2020, 07:53:26 PM »
Right. Whatís your point?

Shane

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1296
  • Location: PA
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3308 on: August 02, 2020, 07:57:23 PM »
That public health officials might mention that fact, once in a while, along with their other recommendations.

MudPuppy

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 587
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3309 on: August 02, 2020, 07:58:30 PM »
They might also mention that water is wet and the sky is blue. Itís not a helpful or relevant fact right now.

Travis

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3196
  • Location: South Korea
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3310 on: August 02, 2020, 08:02:47 PM »
That public health officials might mention that fact, once in a while, along with their other recommendations.

It's not going to stop people from catching the virus, which is the primary issue right now.  I'm seeing testimonials on my military discussion groups from young 20-somethings in peak physical condition whose lungs are now useless after getting COVID.

OtherJen

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3621
  • Location: Metro Detroit
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3311 on: August 02, 2020, 08:14:18 PM »
They might also mention that water is wet and the sky is blue. Itís not a helpful or relevant fact right now.

Right? It would be like telling a housewife with two young kids whose husband just walked out that her finances would be so much better if she saved 20% of her income in a Vanguard index fund. It may be true, but it's neither kind nor helpful.

Shane

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1296
  • Location: PA
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3312 on: August 02, 2020, 08:22:39 PM »
That public health officials might mention that fact, once in a while, along with their other recommendations.

It's not going to stop people from catching the virus, which is the primary issue right now.  I'm seeing testimonials on my military discussion groups from young 20-somethings in peak physical condition whose lungs are now useless after getting COVID.

Nobody's claiming that living healthier will keep people from catching covid. Maher was just pointing out that, "the number one thing you can do to improve your chances, in the event that you get covid, is to be in better general health, and the number one route to that is an improved diet." Maher suggested replacing sugary sodas with water. Seemed like good common sense advice that anyone could easily follow.

Bloop Bloop

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2140
  • Location: Melbourne, Australia
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3313 on: August 02, 2020, 08:33:07 PM »
They might also mention that water is wet and the sky is blue. Itís not a helpful or relevant fact right now.

Right? It would be like telling a housewife with two young kids whose husband just walked out that her finances would be so much better if she saved 20% of her income in a Vanguard index fund. It may be true, but it's neither kind nor helpful.

That might be true if the person had already caught coronavirus, in which case the person has bigger fish to fry. Given that the pandemic has already lasted six months and might easily last another six, it's good advice for those in the general population who want to mitigate risks.

I understand fat shaming is bad, but telling people to try to be healthier can be done in a sensible way. The backlash against "telling people to try to be at a healthy weight" is reminiscent to me of the backlash against shaming pregnant women for drinking small amounts of alcohol. Yeah, it's your life and you have autonomy over it but some things are objectively likely to be bad for you (or in the latter case, the foetus).

Travis

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3196
  • Location: South Korea
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3314 on: August 03, 2020, 01:24:56 AM »
That public health officials might mention that fact, once in a while, along with their other recommendations.

It's not going to stop people from catching the virus, which is the primary issue right now.  I'm seeing testimonials on my military discussion groups from young 20-somethings in peak physical condition whose lungs are now useless after getting COVID.

Nobody's claiming that living healthier will keep people from catching covid. Maher was just pointing out that, "the number one thing you can do to improve your chances, in the event that you get covid, is to be in better general health, and the number one route to that is an improved diet." Maher suggested replacing sugary sodas with water. Seemed like good common sense advice that anyone could easily follow.

Which is something their general practitioner has probably been telling them for years. Clearly Americans don't listen to their doctors. What effect would a complete stranger have telling them the same thing when that doctor has been screaming for the last six months that they could have avoided the virus entirely by wearing a scrap of cloth over their faces?

Kyle Schuant

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1297
  • Location: Melbourne, Australia
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3315 on: August 03, 2020, 03:17:39 AM »
Which is something their general practitioner has probably been telling them for years. Clearly Americans don't listen to their doctors. What effect would a complete stranger have telling them the same thing
I dunno. We managed to greatly reduce the rate of smoking across the West. What measures achieved that? Copy that.

Bloop Bloop

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2140
  • Location: Melbourne, Australia
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3316 on: August 03, 2020, 03:46:02 AM »
Which is something their general practitioner has probably been telling them for years. Clearly Americans don't listen to their doctors. What effect would a complete stranger have telling them the same thing
I dunno. We managed to greatly reduce the rate of smoking across the West. What measures achieved that? Copy that.

Social stigma, basically. Over time. And huge taxes on cigarettes.

cerat0n1a

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1912
  • Location: England
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3317 on: August 03, 2020, 05:17:24 AM »
There are differences with smoking. Being obese doesn't directly impact the health of others in the way that smoking does (one could argue that it does indirectly). Also smoking is in some respects an active choice. In the UK we had public health campaigns to help people to stop smoking, banned advertisements for cigarettes, imposed warning language on packets etc.

Becoming obese is perhaps more something that happens to people by default. They have to choose to eat vegetables, take exercise, get more sleep, avoid sugary drinks (or whatever other set of actions you think might help to avoid it). I don't see us going down the road of putting health warnings on every chair, or television set, or can of Coke. It also seems to me that it's much harder for someone who is obese to lose weight than it is for someone to give up smoking.

Anyway, here in the UK, it seems the government has decided that Covid is the prompt to announce some half-hearted measures to combat obesity. That's quite a turnaround for our Prime Minister, who has previously opposed such things (and who said that he himself was "way overweight").

Bloop Bloop

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2140
  • Location: Melbourne, Australia
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3318 on: August 03, 2020, 05:40:35 AM »
Melbourne has now closed all retail (other than essential stuff like supermarkets and petrol stations) and most manufacturing.

Professional services workers are required to work from home too.

There's an exemption for sole traders who have no contact with the public, meaning that I'm still able to head to my office to access files there. Which is good, cause I don't want to have to courier all my files to my home. And it gives me flexibility too in terms of timing (curfew doesn't apply to those with a valid reason to be at work, and I tend to work odd hours.)

Bad news is that as a sole trader I don't qualify for the $10k business assistance grant but eh, I think I'll probably survive.

Kris

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5668
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3319 on: August 03, 2020, 05:42:19 AM »
Which is something their general practitioner has probably been telling them for years. Clearly Americans don't listen to their doctors. What effect would a complete stranger have telling them the same thing
I dunno. We managed to greatly reduce the rate of smoking across the West. What measures achieved that? Copy that.

Social stigma, basically. Over time. And huge taxes on cigarettes.

And laws about smoking in public places.

StashingAway

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 361
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3320 on: August 03, 2020, 06:07:41 AM »
They might also mention that water is wet and the sky is blue. Itís not a helpful or relevant fact right now.

Right? It would be like telling a housewife with two young kids whose husband just walked out that her finances would be so much better if she saved 20% of her income in a Vanguard index fund. It may be true, but it's neither kind nor helpful.

Is the only focus to get through this next day or week or month? Or is it to become a better species able manage ourselves and the environment in the future? This thing will be with us for awhile. 6 months, a year, two years. That's PLENTY of time to be well on your way to a healthier lifestyle. Much less, say, 20 years when the next one hits. Part of managing something like this is having the optimism to see ourselves on the other end. Collectively we (should) want to see a better life in the future and see a way toward that.

Saying that your BMI affects your health doesn't help someone who catches COVID today. But it definitely could have some effect for someone who catches it next month or a year from now. And the best time to plant that seed of motivation is now.

Travis

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3196
  • Location: South Korea
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3321 on: August 03, 2020, 06:43:44 AM »
Which is something their general practitioner has probably been telling them for years. Clearly Americans don't listen to their doctors. What effect would a complete stranger have telling them the same thing
I dunno. We managed to greatly reduce the rate of smoking across the West. What measures achieved that? Copy that.

Social stigma, basically. Over time. And huge taxes on cigarettes.

And laws about smoking in public places.

Putting a label on the package that said "This will kill you" did squat.  Public service announcements on TV and radio did squat. Smoking didn't decline in any significant numbers until it was made progressively more expensive and restricting where people could smoke. 

Michael Bloomberg tried to make sodas just as restrictive/illegal in NYC.  He was made the laughing stock of the nation for that one.  The public has fought tooth and nail over the last century against the government for trying to take away its vices. Banning alcohol didn't work. The best we could do with tobacco was to make it difficult to use. Marijuana is on the edge of becoming mainstream. Good luck banning fatty foods.

Bloop Bloop

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2140
  • Location: Melbourne, Australia
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3322 on: August 03, 2020, 06:50:04 AM »
I've always thought that instead of putting labels like "Smoking kills" it would be more effective to put labels saying "Smoking disfigures your teeth and leads to permanent bad breath" or "Smoking makes your penis smaller." I'm not sure if it's true or not but it would still be a great warning label.

OtherJen

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3621
  • Location: Metro Detroit
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3323 on: August 03, 2020, 06:58:25 AM »
I've always thought that instead of putting labels like "Smoking kills" it would be more effective to put labels saying "Smoking disfigures your teeth and leads to permanent bad breath" or "Smoking makes your penis smaller." I'm not sure if it's true or not but it would still be a great warning label.

In the 1980s, there was a whole slew of anti-smoking ads aimed at kids that attempted to do just that. I attended high school in the mid 1990s, and every single school bathroom was a cigarette smoke bomb. Don't underestimate peer pressure. The only things that seemed to make any difference were 1) laws against indoor smoking (which made it difficult to be a social smoker) and 2) jacking up the taxes (which made cigarettes prohibitively expensive for many young teens).

MudPuppy

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 587
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3324 on: August 03, 2020, 07:02:10 AM »
Being in a healthy weight range doesnít prevent infection, which is the huge difference here. Washing hands, staying home, wearing masks, etc are all interventions aimed at preventing people from contracting (and spreading) the disease in the first place.

jambongris

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 273
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3325 on: August 03, 2020, 07:21:09 AM »
I've always thought that instead of putting labels like "Smoking kills" it would be more effective to put labels saying "Smoking disfigures your teeth and leads to permanent bad breath" or "Smoking makes your penis smaller." I'm not sure if it's true or not but it would still be a great warning label.

That's essentially what they say in Canada:

Tobacco use can make you impotent.

When you smoke. It shows.

https://tobaccolabels.ca/countries/canada/

Shane

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1296
  • Location: PA
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3326 on: August 03, 2020, 08:10:53 AM »
The Bill Maher clip resonated with me, because my wife and I had just been talking, during dinner, about ways we could realistically hope to improve our health, so that, if and when we get covid, we'll have better chances of surviving. One idea we agreed on was to substitute water for juice with meals. The only "cost" will be listening to some, hopefully temporary, grumbling from our tween daughter. Maher points out, correctly I think, that it would be a good thing if doctors and politicians who are regularly reminding the public to wash our hands and maintain social distance also mentioned the simple fact that small steps towards a healthier lifestyle can improve all of our chances of surviving, not only covid, but many other health challenges, as well. A systemic change that might help a lot would be for the USDA to prohibit poor people from using SNAP benefits to purchase candy and soda. Duh! Seems like a no brainer, but as someone mentioned above, when Mike Bloomberg tried to restrict sodas in NYC, he got attacked. When Michelle Obama suggested Americans grow a garden and, maybe, eat vegetables and fruit, once in a while, she got labeled an extremist. A governor of our former state of Hawaii lost his bid for a second term, partly due to his support for a bill that would've taxed sodas at something like 10 cents a can. People went nuts over that simple, common sense proposal, which eventually failed, due to heavy lobbying by the HFCS industry.

StashingAway

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 361
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3327 on: August 03, 2020, 08:36:09 AM »
Being in a healthy weight range doesnít prevent infection, which is the huge difference here. Washing hands, staying home, wearing masks, etc are all interventions aimed at preventing people from contracting (and spreading) the disease in the first place.

Again, that's a solution for now. And I agree with all of it. But the problem with not addressing health concerns is that it's always a "future" problem.

In 6 months, we are likely going to be still managing this disease. In 6 months, many people will be saying that, sure, health is important but we need measures to prevent and cure disease NOW. But the time to do that was 6 months ago (the current present)

The whole inertia of the MMM forum is pushing for making personal lifestyle changes that help the present self and the future self be more productive and worthwhile. And if it's a good message, is should presumably be shared with everyone that wants to hear it. So recommending that people use this pandemic to kick start a healthier life is, in my book, one of the MOST important things to do. Becoming healthy will immediately make our collective lives better. It will make individual daily life better regardless of whether or not we get covid. Heart disease is still the leading cause of death in the US. It outpaces covid by a large margin.

We need to address the current issues, yes. There are many of them. But recommending people try to become more healthy alongside of that is hardly a cardinal sin.

bloodaxe

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 223
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3328 on: August 03, 2020, 08:40:00 AM »

People went nuts over that simple, common sense proposal, which eventually failed, due to heavy lobbying by the HFCS industry.

There might have been heavy lobbying. But if you ask the average american if they want to pay extra for soda to reduce obesity they will say no.

Shane

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1296
  • Location: PA
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3329 on: August 03, 2020, 08:49:53 AM »

People went nuts over that simple, common sense proposal, which eventually failed, due to heavy lobbying by the HFCS industry.

There might have been heavy lobbying. But if you ask the average american if they want to pay extra for soda to reduce obesity they will say no.

Sure, people didn't need much encouragement from the HFCS industry to get behind voting Governor Abercrombie out of office. His outspoken support of the same-sex marriage bill also made him a favorite target of many Evangelical Christians. Pretty sure there was a good bit of overlap between the group who opposed Abercrombie because his support for same-sex marriage and those who wanted to see him lose because of his support for the soda tax bill.

Shane

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1296
  • Location: PA
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3330 on: August 03, 2020, 09:02:01 AM »
In 6 months, we are likely going to be still managing this disease. In 6 months, many people will be saying that, sure, health is important but we need measures to prevent and cure disease NOW. But the time to do that was 6 months ago (the current present)

The whole inertia of the MMM forum is pushing for making personal lifestyle changes that help the present self and the future self be more productive and worthwhile. And if it's a good message, is should presumably be shared with everyone that wants to hear it. So recommending that people use this pandemic to kick start a healthier life is, in my book, one of the MOST important things to do. Becoming healthy will immediately make our collective lives better. It will make individual daily life better regardless of whether or not we get covid. Heart disease is still the leading cause of death in the US. It outpaces covid by a large margin.

We need to address the current issues, yes. There are many of them. But recommending people try to become more healthy alongside of that is hardly a cardinal sin.

Agreed, we don't know how long this thing is going to continue. It might last for years. Encouraging people to do simple things like: take the stairs, instead of the elevator; walk or ride a bike to work or school, instead of driving everywhere; drink water, instead of soda or juice; etc., seems like it wouldn't hurt. Pretty sure Maher is right. The reason public health leaders like Fauci, Birx, Redfield, etal., aren't encouraging Americans to do what they can to improve their general health is because they know the response would be negative. Some of the comments in this thread seem to confirm that. Not saying people who are morbidly obese have much hope of slimming down to become thin in just a few months, but every little bit helps, IMHO.

Shane

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1296
  • Location: PA
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3331 on: August 03, 2020, 09:09:41 AM »
Reading a really good book, right now, that is relevant to this thread. David Quammen is the author. I remember reading articles by Quammen in National Geographic years ago. Quammen's book is called Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic. TL/DR: Overpopulation and over-development by humans is causing more and more spillover of diseases from wild animals to humans. Seems like moving towards lower, or at least stable, human population might be a good way to move forward. Unfortunately, suggesting that fewer humans might be a good thing usually meets with a lot of resistance...

wenchsenior

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2657
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3332 on: August 03, 2020, 09:40:06 AM »
Reading a really good book, right now, that is relevant to this thread. David Quammen is the author. I remember reading articles by Quammen in National Geographic years ago. Quammen's book is called Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic. TL/DR: Overpopulation and over-development by humans is causing more and more spillover of diseases from wild animals to humans. Seems like moving towards lower, or at least stable, human population might be a good way to move forward. Unfortunately, suggesting that fewer humans might be a good thing usually meets with a lot of resistance...

Husband and I were JUST talking about this book at dinner last night. We've been on the 'drastically reduce the human population to solve most of our completely intractable long-term problems' train since decades before that book was a gleam in Quammen's eye.  Unfortunately, it is an unpopular notion.  I remember decades ago, one of my natural resource management professors (a silviculturalist) couldn't wait to get tenure so he could finally start doing lectures on human overpopulation...it was that much of a third rail, which is, quite frankly, insane.  And the week he got tenure, he started doing that lecture.

RetiredAt63

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 13951
  • Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3333 on: August 03, 2020, 09:52:46 AM »
Reading a really good book, right now, that is relevant to this thread. David Quammen is the author. I remember reading articles by Quammen in National Geographic years ago. Quammen's book is called Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic. TL/DR: Overpopulation and over-development by humans is causing more and more spillover of diseases from wild animals to humans. Seems like moving towards lower, or at least stable, human population might be a good way to move forward. Unfortunately, suggesting that fewer humans might be a good thing usually meets with a lot of resistance...

Husband and I were JUST talking about this book at dinner last night. We've been on the 'drastically reduce the human population to solve most of our completely intractable long-term problems' train since decades before that book was a gleam in Quammen's eye.  Unfortunately, it is an unpopular notion.  I remember decades ago, one of my natural resource management professors (a silviculturalist) couldn't wait to get tenure so he could finally start doing lectures on human overpopulation...it was that much of a third rail, which is, quite frankly, insane.  And the week he got tenure, he started doing that lecture.

ZPG was floating around in the 70s.  Not sure why/how it got torpedoed, but it sure did.

wenchsenior

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2657
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3334 on: August 03, 2020, 09:58:11 AM »
Reading a really good book, right now, that is relevant to this thread. David Quammen is the author. I remember reading articles by Quammen in National Geographic years ago. Quammen's book is called Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic. TL/DR: Overpopulation and over-development by humans is causing more and more spillover of diseases from wild animals to humans. Seems like moving towards lower, or at least stable, human population might be a good way to move forward. Unfortunately, suggesting that fewer humans might be a good thing usually meets with a lot of resistance...

Husband and I were JUST talking about this book at dinner last night. We've been on the 'drastically reduce the human population to solve most of our completely intractable long-term problems' train since decades before that book was a gleam in Quammen's eye.  Unfortunately, it is an unpopular notion.  I remember decades ago, one of my natural resource management professors (a silviculturalist) couldn't wait to get tenure so he could finally start doing lectures on human overpopulation...it was that much of a third rail, which is, quite frankly, insane.  And the week he got tenure, he started doing that lecture.

ZPG was floating around in the 70s.  Not sure why/how it got torpedoed, but it sure did.

Here in the states, I suspect it was unpopular b/c it goes against 'God's Plan'.

Shane

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1296
  • Location: PA
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3335 on: August 03, 2020, 10:09:02 AM »
Reading a really good book, right now, that is relevant to this thread. David Quammen is the author. I remember reading articles by Quammen in National Geographic years ago. Quammen's book is called Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic. TL/DR: Overpopulation and over-development by humans is causing more and more spillover of diseases from wild animals to humans. Seems like moving towards lower, or at least stable, human population might be a good way to move forward. Unfortunately, suggesting that fewer humans might be a good thing usually meets with a lot of resistance...

Husband and I were JUST talking about this book at dinner last night. We've been on the 'drastically reduce the human population to solve most of our completely intractable long-term problems' train since decades before that book was a gleam in Quammen's eye.  Unfortunately, it is an unpopular notion.  I remember decades ago, one of my natural resource management professors (a silviculturalist) couldn't wait to get tenure so he could finally start doing lectures on human overpopulation...it was that much of a third rail, which is, quite frankly, insane.  And the week he got tenure, he started doing that lecture.

ZPG was floating around in the 70s.  Not sure why/how it got torpedoed, but it sure did.

Here in the states, I suspect it was unpopular b/c it goes against 'God's Plan'.

When you combine the people who oppose reducing population, because it's "against God's Plan," with the people who oppose it, because it would be bad for business, with the people who oppose it, because it might negatively affect their future SS benefits, etc., chances for positive change start to look pretty slim.

former player

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5813
  • Location: Avalon
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3336 on: August 03, 2020, 10:15:58 AM »
It also got a bad name because of the one child policy in China and the authoritarian tactics used to enforce it.

rothwem

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 734
  • Location: WNC
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3337 on: August 03, 2020, 10:34:19 AM »
The other problem with reducing population growth is the economyóthe current population gets older and thereís nobody to support them and pay into the social system.  Iím pretty sure this is an issue in Italy and Japan, not sure about other countries.

Shane

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1296
  • Location: PA
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3338 on: August 03, 2020, 10:35:15 AM »
Most rich countries already have a fertility rate well below replacement level. The only way we keep growing our populations is by encouraging immigration. If the US and most other rich countries stopped allowing immigration, population would immediately start falling, without the need for any draconian, One Child Policy type measures. In 2020, of course, anyone who opposes immigration is automatically assumed to be a racist. :(

MudPuppy

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 587
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3339 on: August 03, 2020, 10:40:08 AM »
How does not allowing immigration affect the total human population? Sure, it might affect the population of the countries losing and receiving the people, but the net remains the same.

rothwem

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 734
  • Location: WNC
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3340 on: August 03, 2020, 10:40:35 AM »
Most rich countries already have a fertility rate well below replacement level. The only way we keep growing our populations is by encouraging immigration. If the US and most other rich countries stopped allowing immigration, population would immediately start falling, without the need for any draconian, One Child Policy type measures. In 2020, of course, anyone who opposes immigration is automatically assumed to be a racist. :(

It seems like that would be the worst of all scenarios. You would have poor countries with overcrowding, so youíd probably have even more animal-human contact, AND youíd have a shitty economy in the rich countries.

Shane

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1296
  • Location: PA
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3341 on: August 03, 2020, 10:41:07 AM »
The other problem with reducing population growth is the economyóthe current population gets older and thereís nobody to support them and pay into the social system.  Iím pretty sure this is an issue in Italy and Japan, not sure about other countries.

It's true that under our current system of funding government retirement programs, there is a need to have more people working than retired. Otherwise, the system breaks down and fails. Population growth can't go on forever, though. How we move out of our current system, which requires constant population growth, to a new paradigm in which human population first stabilizes, then begins to gradually start falling, is one of the most important questions we're going to need to answer in coming years...

Shane

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1296
  • Location: PA
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3342 on: August 03, 2020, 10:45:03 AM »
How does not allowing immigration affect the total human population? Sure, it might affect the population of the countries losing and receiving the people, but the net remains the same.

People living in, say, Bangladesh consume a tiny fraction of world resources compared to the same person living in the US. Moving people from the 3rd World to the 1st is a net negative for the planet.

MudPuppy

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 587
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3343 on: August 03, 2020, 10:46:13 AM »
I doubt that would be strictly true.

Shane

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1296
  • Location: PA

gaja

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1414
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3345 on: August 03, 2020, 10:53:33 AM »
Our main problem in the world today is how much resources humans use. Reducing the number of children in rich countries is much more efficient than reducing the number in poorer countries. Luckily, most rich countries are solving this on their own, with negative birth rates in countries such as Japan and Germany. My main reason to oppose a focus on limiting population growth, is that I have never seen the argument contributing constructively to any discussion. The times I have seen it used IRL, it has either been a cover for racism, or as an excuse for doing less to reduce their own environmental impact.

With all debates that really are about traditions, values and feelings, there is no use in arguing pro or contra directly. There have never been as many people taking part in whaling in the Faroes, as in the years after Sea Shepherd ran their large campaigns against "the grind". "Pro life" and "pro choice" are landmines. If we all focused on the measures that really reduced abortions, we could make make big changes: high quality sex education, free contraceptives, anti rape measures that focus on teaching men not to rape, excellent financial and social support for mothers, free daycare, etc.

In addition to free contraceptives, if we really want to reduce reproduction rates, education and employment for women is alpha omega. (And light bulbs. There is a very clear negative correlation between number of light bulbs in a country, and the number of children per woman.)

MudPuppy

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 587
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3346 on: August 03, 2020, 10:57:16 AM »
Looks like per capita energy consumption is about 35:1 between US and Bangladesh.


I don't doubt that, what I doubt is that someone coming from bangladesh automatically uses resources the same as a the american average.

Shane

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1296
  • Location: PA
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3347 on: August 03, 2020, 10:59:58 AM »
Our main problem in the world today is how much resources humans use. Reducing the number of children in rich countries is much more efficient than reducing the number in poorer countries. Luckily, most rich countries are solving this on their own, with negative birth rates in countries such as Japan and Germany. My main reason to oppose a focus on limiting population growth, is that I have never seen the argument contributing constructively to any discussion. The times I have seen it used IRL, it has either been a cover for racism, or as an excuse for doing less to reduce their own environmental impact.

With all debates that really are about traditions, values and feelings, there is no use in arguing pro or contra directly. There have never been as many people taking part in whaling in the Faroes, as in the years after Sea Shepherd ran their large campaigns against "the grind". "Pro life" and "pro choice" are landmines. If we all focused on the measures that really reduced abortions, we could make make big changes: high quality sex education, free contraceptives, anti rape measures that focus on teaching men not to rape, excellent financial and social support for mothers, free daycare, etc.

In addition to free contraceptives, if we really want to reduce reproduction rates, education and employment for women is alpha omega. (And light bulbs. There is a very clear negative correlation between number of light bulbs in a country, and the number of children per woman.)

Since education and income correlate positively with lower birth rates, financial aid to the poorest countries seems like it would have a positive impact. Nobody needs to force people in Japan, US, Canada, Europe, Australia, NZ, etc., to have fewer children. As people get more educated and richer, they naturally start having fewer children.

Shane

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1296
  • Location: PA
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3348 on: August 03, 2020, 11:05:05 AM »
Looks like per capita energy consumption is about 35:1 between US and Bangladesh.


I don't doubt that, what I doubt is that someone coming from bangladesh automatically uses resources the same as a the american average.

You're probably right that an average immigrant from a poor country like Bangladesh uses less resources than an average native-born American. The Bangladeshi immigrant is still going to use multiples more resources if she moves to the US than she would have if she stayed in her country of birth. Shuffling humans from poor countries to rich countries is a net negative for the planet. If we really wanted to make things better, we would help poor people to make their own countries better. As education levels and wealth in currently poor countries improved, population rates would start falling on their own, just like they have in all developed countries, already.

DadJokes

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1698
Re: How long can we wait while flattening the curve?
« Reply #3349 on: August 03, 2020, 11:11:52 AM »
You donít get points for this? No shit Sherlock that generally speaking, a normal BMI is correlated with better health outcomes. Thumping this drum right now, however is useless.

Well, I've lost ~15 lbs. since the start of the pandemic in the US. I'd say that my survival chances have increased at least moderately.

I highly doubt that the pandemic is going to push people into being healthier, but it's certainly possible for people to improve their survival odds in a short period. So making the point isn't useless.