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The center did not hold under prolonged and arbitrary lockdowns, as predicted

The center did not hold under prolonged and arbitrary lockdowns, as predicted

We are at the inflection point I predicted two months ago would arrive in May. Reopening the economy is the only sustainable option.

Used with permission reader WAJ

Just under two months ago, when the nation was under its first “15-days to flatten the curve,” I wrote that the situation could not hold, that shutting down the economy was not a sustainable long-term plan.

My estimation was that the inflection point would come sometime in May, June at the very latest. I was right. The inflection point has arrived.

I wrote in Ghost Towns USA:

You can’t just stop an economy, and expect it not to tear at the seams that hold society together.

I don’t know when the end comes. I think we’re okay for the current 15-day “social distancing” period. Maybe another 15 days after that. But not for several months.

The approaching cash stimulus to people and business assistance will buy a little time. But not indefinite. The government cannot bail out an entire economy.

At some point, we’re going to have to weigh the risk of a virus against the risk of ripping our societal bonds. I think the economic shutdown inflection point comes sometime in May, June at the latest. Beyond that, the center will not hold.

The initial 15-days was psychologically strategic. That is a time period people could tolerate, a finite end just a couple of weeks away. After all, the expressed logic was that by flattening the curve, we would buy precious days and weeks to ramp up the healthcare system to deal with a projected avalanche of Wuhan coronavirus cases. Those projections and models would proved wildly wrong on the high side.

Had it been announced initially that the shutdown of the economy would go on for months, it would have been much more difficult to sell to the public. Two weeks, yes; two months, no. When Trump suggested the possibility of easing by Easter, the media freaked out that Trump (and Republicans generally) would have the deaths of tens of thousands on their hands. It was a false choice.

So that 15 days turned into another 15 days, and now we’re entering month three.

The terms of the lockdown varied by state, but what did not vary was the evisceration of the hotel, travel, live entertainment, and restaurant industries. In the most cruel irony, a lockdown strategy designed to save the healthcare system has devastated the healthcare system by starving hospitals, medical offices, and related health industry companies of cash flow from ‘elective’ surgical procedures and other medical services.  With only a small number of exceptions, mostly in the greater New York City area, hospitals sit almost empty and medical staff have been laid off.

Unemployment has skyrocketed from under 4% to almost 15%, and going higher. Over 30 million people have filed first-time unemployment claims, with at least 20 million on continuing unemployment.

The only thing preventing widescale rioting and violence in the streets is the relatively rapid and massive federal government unemployment and stimulus packages. While there certainly are cases where unemployed people have not received assistance, for the most part these programs have been successful at putting cash in people’s pockets after the government forced them out of work.

But this economic stimulus and unemployment relief cannot solve the problem from the effects of shutting the economy and the destruction of hopes and dreams. The effort to save lives by shutting down the economy is causing real health and mental health problems, and likely will kill tens of thousands of people from the depression, substance abuse, and despair caused by the economic collapse.

At the same time, a fissure has been exposed in society between the class who works with information and can work remotely from home, and people who work face-to-face with other people. The former are doing mostly fine, the latter are suffering greatly. Politicians and media live in the world of information workers and are seemingly oblivious to the suffering around them leading to vindictive, bullying, and arbitrary restrictions on movement that bear no obvious relationship to public health, and every relationship to proving who has the power.

By what healthcare logic is 6-foot social distancing among crowds at Walmart acceptable, but solo surfing in the Pacific Ocean unlawful? These sort of arbitraty powerplays by state and local government have infuriated people who otherwise are not prone to protest or acts of defiance.

People are protesting and defying the lockdown and the police and judges who enforce it. The protests, of course, are derided by the people who work with information as dangerous, but for the people who work with people, these acts of defience are acts of desperation.

In reaction to protests and defiance, there has been an easing of the lockdown in many states. While some governors insist the protests had no impact, the sequence is clear. All but a handful of particularly pernicious bullies (yes, I’m looking at you Governors Whitmer and Northam) recognized that the center was not holding.

Reopening the economy is the only option. A good case can be made that we never should have shut down so much of the economy, that a targeted strategy of protecting the vulnerable (e.g. the elderly, people with preexisting conditions, and those in nursing homes) would have saved more lives without the societal costs. But that boat has sailed.

There is so much more going on here, particularly the media effort to turn everything about the pandemic into an anti-Trump feeding frenzy. First Trump was racist and xenophobic because he was too tough too early by shutting down travel from China, as the media assured us there was not cause for concern. Then Trump was too weak, they claimed, when he didn’t impose national control, then he was too strong again when he suggested he had the power to do precisely what the media had been demanding he do. And so on and so on.

Trump’s instincts to fight the virus while opening the economy are right. Governors are coming along with that view reluctantly.

But back to my original post. We are at the inflection point.

Things fall apart. We don’t want to get to that point, but we’re not far away. Reopening the economy is the only sustainable option.

[Featured Image: Manhattan, Madison Avenue, 3-19-2020, at 5 p.m.]

 

 

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Comments

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | May 11, 2020 at 9:33 pm

FYI

Scientists Pushing The Goal Posts Further
…Vaccine Needed Before Normal Returns

https://www.weaselzippers.us/448659-scientists-pushing-the-goal-posts-further-vaccine-needed-before-normal-returns/

    We’ll then be told that the vaccine needs to be “90% protective” before normal returns. Keep in mind that in a good year the influenza vaccine is about 70% effective.

    Those who can will work to move the goal posts further.

      InEssence in reply to stevewhitemd. | May 11, 2020 at 11:09 pm

      There has never been a successful RNA vaccine. All the proposed vaccines, except the one from China, are RNA vaccines. The flu vaccine is DNA. At this point, we can not see a RNA vaccine becoming viable within the next couple of years.

      Yeah, I know that they are in human trials. That has happened before, and the death rate from the vaccine was around 10%. I’ll take my chances with the Wuhan virus.

    The statement in the article looks false to me. An effective therapy before you get really sick would address the situation well, along with universally available testing. Your child gets a sore throat, you take him/her to the doctor, get a rapid strep test in the office and get an antibiotic Rx if positive. No big deal.

      Close The Fed in reply to jb4. | May 11, 2020 at 10:10 pm

      I upvoted you, but reflecting, I’m unsure why.

      What do you mean, something in the article is wrong?

        That things can not return to normal until there is a vaccine. As I illustrated with strep throat, there are lots of conditions that can be dangerous, for which there is not a vaccine, but an effective treatment – without even getting into the probability a vaccine is not 100% effective. Which would you choose tomorrow, a 100% effective therapy, if addressed early, or an 80% effective vaccine?

          Close The Fed in reply to jb4. | May 11, 2020 at 10:55 pm

          I respectfully disagree, except with regard to the old and those with underlying conditions.

          jb4 in reply to jb4. | May 11, 2020 at 11:06 pm

          Why do you believe that universally available testing plus a good therapy (which remdesivir is not) is not sufficient – as implicitly claimed by the article in stating that things can not return to normal without a vaccine?

          rdm in reply to jb4. | May 12, 2020 at 6:12 am

          So you believe in forever lockdowns then?

      rdmdawg in reply to jb4. | May 11, 2020 at 11:28 pm

      Respectfully, you’re insane. We should’ve never closed in the first place. Open everything now.

        notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to rdmdawg. | May 12, 2020 at 1:01 am

        Amen and Amen

        texannie in reply to rdmdawg. | May 13, 2020 at 9:04 am

        And we can take up the Dem mantra of the “new norm” and live in fear and wear face masks forever! There is a new strain of flu every year so this will never end! Better wake up and take your chances living in the world of bacteria and viruses we have always had!

      texannie in reply to jb4. | May 13, 2020 at 8:56 am

      It is a big deal! We won’t have a vaccine for years if ever! You want testing so folks who are positive can be thrown into camps? We have viruses and bacteria all around us and we live with them ..or not. We never before have stopped the entire country for a seasonal flu. This one is no more virulent than a bad seasonal flu.

There is another fissure, between the political class and public employees who have paid no price whatever and everyone without a job or trying to keep a small business afloat (that still have to support the former people). From Nancy Pelosi sitting in front of her expensive refrigerators eating high end ice cream and considering herself not necessary to be in Washington to Department of Motor Vehicles people when there are not many cars on the road, it is infuriating to many.

Total lockdown was always the wrong solution, induced by faulty models forecasting up to 2.2M deaths in the USA. Hospitals are no longer overwhelmed, if they ever were, the stated purpose of “flattening the curve”. We need to reopen immediately, except for the old and unhealthy, with social distancing and face masks.

    cktheman in reply to jb4. | May 11, 2020 at 10:42 pm

    I agreed with you up until “face masks”.

    A’int happening either.

      Milhouse in reply to cktheman. | May 11, 2020 at 11:09 pm

      The evidence seems to be that face masks do help significantly. The US medical establishment was originally against them, but has been forced to recommend them because reality asserted itself.

        rdmdawg in reply to Milhouse. | May 11, 2020 at 11:30 pm

        Lol! Are you making up data again, Milhouse. I’ve read nothing yet as to the effectiveness of masks except as a virtue-signalling device.

          jb4 in reply to rdmdawg. | May 11, 2020 at 11:36 pm

          Check out Japan. I read an article today that attributes their very low death rates to strict use of masks.

          Valerie in reply to rdmdawg. | May 11, 2020 at 11:51 pm

          Was it the face masks, or the testing, treating, and contact tracing, all of which were robust in both Japan and Korea, but not in the US.

          Most of the face masks worn by people in public are as effective against viruses and a window screen against smoke. The pores are THAT BIG compared to the virus particles.

          Milhouse in reply to rdmdawg. | May 11, 2020 at 11:59 pm

          Check out the Czechs.

          Milhouse in reply to rdmdawg. | May 12, 2020 at 12:00 am

          Valerie, the face masks are not there to protect the wearer, they’re there to protect everyone else. And the evidence seems to suggest they are significantly effective at that.

          Milhouse in reply to rdmdawg. | May 12, 2020 at 12:01 am

          rdmdawg, why do you think the CDC suddenly switched from pooh-poohing home-made masks to encouraging them? It’s because the evidence was coming in and it wasn’t what they expected.

          beagleEar in reply to rdmdawg. | May 12, 2020 at 6:53 am

          Face masks were used to combat the 1917 Spanish Flu. Until just now, it seems there were no studies to prove if they work or don’t. But they should; the virus isn’t zipping out by itself at nano-scale, it’s on tiny droplets which can be filtered. Those drops are big enough to be filtered to a fair extent by a plain surgical mask, or better by something you can make with cloth and coffee filters.

          It’s a lot more likely to defeat this thing with 5 steps that each cut it 25% rather than some dramatic magic that cuts it 95%. Slow it down to a tolerable level and better solutions will be developed, medical stuff will take 6-36 months I’d guess.

          There is the option of just ignoring it entirely, but then you get Italy or Ecuador for a while until about 2/3rds have had it. I don’t think that’ll work: News would be running scare stories 24/8, officials would concentrate cases is one hospital and let run out of space so there’d be trucks full of bodies (NYC), pols would be maneuvering to replace everyone in office with their party’s puppets, but with new totalitarian powers.

        gospace in reply to Milhouse. | May 12, 2020 at 2:03 am

        There is no evidence at all that face masks worn by the general public help in any way.There is lots of evidence that telling everyone to start taking 1000 IU Vitamin D a day, starting right now, as in EVERYONE, as in right NOW, would reduce the death rate and ICU rate. Wouldn’t reduce the infection rate, but if the chances are greatly reduced that you’re going to die or end up in the ICU, so what?

        And if you get symptoms and test positive with a quick test kit (which SHOULD be available by now)? HCQ, Azithromycin, and zinc. Without delay.

        The virus is treatable. Some people will still die, but a lot less if no one is Vitamin D deficient, and the one known early treatment regimen is followed.

          The primary source of vitamin D is sunlight so EVERYONE! GO OUTSIDE! NOW!

          jb4 in reply to gospace. | May 12, 2020 at 11:07 am

          gospace, best post! At least you do not have the political bias of the FDA – not the first time for their picking favorites, by the way. I have yet to see any doctor administering the HCQ regimen early that is not positive and all are indifferent to negative to using it on critically ill patients. (An antibiotic won’t save your life either if you wait too long – such as for sepsis.)

          Following thyroid surgery I have been prescribed 2,000 IU daily for years – and am outside a reasonable amount – to keep my blood readings in range. Do you know if it is taking it currently, if you get Covid, or your blood reading that matters, or are both the same?

        rdm in reply to Milhouse. | May 12, 2020 at 6:14 am

        Eh. I’ll have to support Milhouse here. Even if they only cut transmissibility by ten or fifteen percent, it brings the whole system that much closer to transmission collapse it would seem.

          DaveGinOly in reply to rdm. | May 12, 2020 at 12:09 pm

          “Transmission collapse,” aka “herd immunity” requires a certain percentage of the population to become infected. As you say, face masks will slow the rate of transmission, but slowing the rate of transmission will do nothing but set back the date at which herd immunity is established.

          Barry Soetoro in reply to rdm. | May 19, 2020 at 12:59 am

          Social distancing, including use of face masks, will, most importantly, prevent hospitals from being overloaded, the initial reason for the lockdown.

          Take a daily zinc supplement as a prophylactic.

        DanJ1 in reply to Milhouse. | May 12, 2020 at 9:07 am

        I always thought that there was initially concern about supply and demand when it came to facemasks. Once the supply was there and people started making facemasks it became a broad suggestion/requirement.
        .
        I remember reading about how “water goes right through it” like that was an ultimate test for somebody standing six feet from you breathing through it. Anything covering the spread of particulates from your breath is a good thing or at least better than nothing. Scientific study or not.
        .
        Finally, the true test would be if Trump made it a federal requirement that everyone must wear a mask. At that point the media would be finding all kinds of “experts” claiming that facemasks are useless.

        DaveGinOly in reply to Milhouse. | May 12, 2020 at 11:03 am

        I believe face masks are being promoted to give people something “proactive” to do, creating a sense of empowerment and control. They’re not about the virus, they’re about mental health.

          AF_Chief_Master_Sgt in reply to DaveGinOly. | May 17, 2020 at 8:31 am

          I have no plans on wearing a face mask. It’s as you say, a mental health (read psychological) placebo.

    speaking of the DMV, georgia has recently started issuing new drivers licenses w/o the road test component. yup, just pass the written test and get your brand new drivers license!
    that pesky old road test wasn’t important anyway. so, if you come for a visit, beware, some people behind the wheel are still “in training”.

      Over 2 decades ago my daughters got a card in drivers ed. class that said the passed drivers ed. and could get a license without a road test unless the examiner using his judgement decided that they should have a test.

      For insurance reasons, the school district’s drivers ed. cars were not allowed off of school property.

      So, Georgia’s actions are really nothing new.

    beagleEar in reply to jb4. | May 12, 2020 at 6:30 am

    What if assaulting the Deplorables and Kulaks was the goal? How would the actions be different?

    CommoChief in reply to jb4. | May 12, 2020 at 10:44 am

    jb4,

    Agreed. Local government needs to assess what and where their vulnerable population is. Develop a plan to get these folks food etc. Mostly this is older folks already in nursing home and assisted living. Some are not; immuno comprised as one example. Folks with multiple comorbid factors like obesity, diabetes and COPD are more complicated.

    Masks sure as long as folks don’t view wearing a mask as immunity. Still need some social distancing and hand washing.

    Personally I would say start with crowded areas like restaurants at 50% capacity with a goal to move to 70% then 90% capacity at two or three week interval.

    For other business have the owners use common sense. A factory floor and processing facility are different than a hardware store. Let the management develop a plan using local data that can guide the safe opening.

    We will have more spread. That is common sense. The early efforts and continued efforts simply delayed the eventual spread. Without opening up our economy is ruined and without allowing the less at risk population to acquire the covid we will never get close to a herd immunity. Assuming that the virus allows one.

      DaveGinOly in reply to CommoChief. | May 12, 2020 at 11:08 am

      Restaurants need to be open 100%. At some times of the day they will be nearly empty. Because of that, they need to be able to work at full capacity at other times of the day. In other words, they need 100% of their overall daily traffic to survive. It’s a very low-margin business. A restaurant not getting 100% of its daily traffic will struggle to stay open (as many restaurants do ordinarily). Below a certain level of traffic, it makes more business sense to close.

        CommoChief in reply to DaveGinOly. | May 12, 2020 at 6:28 pm

        DaveGinOly,

        For restaurant traffic I don’t doubt that they need higher occupancy rate vs lower rates. The question is not really whether that is true. The question is some locations is whether at any level above zero occupancy.

        I get the economics of it. What I am uncertain you are appreciative of is that some business owners are in a total shut down. I am one of those; shut down since March 18 and not much I can do about it.

        Vacation cabin rentals have a high capital cost and operating expenses with little labor cost. I’m still making my monthly payments with zero customers. Don’t qualify for PPP. I have capital reserves to account for seasonal differences in revenue and for the ‘unexpected’. In essence self insured for a lengthy business interruption.

        While I sympathize with every owner hit by covid, some of us planned ahead like the ant, while some did not like the grasshopper. Those restaurant owners waiting for a return to previous 100% occupancy rates as a precondition to reopen are likely going to be out of business before then.

        I hope they can figure out a way to survive; combine lower occupancy with increased take out, delivery and catering, maybe add a mobile option like a food truck? Sitting on their hands until things go back to January isn’t going to save them nor is waiting on the government to bail them out.

MoeHowardwasright | May 11, 2020 at 10:04 pm

Professor, you captured the frustration perfectly. I can’t add anything more meaningful.

i refused to “lock down” from Jump Street.

in fact, i go out and run at least one errand everyday, even if it is just to see what might be in the grocery store, because i can, and mayor Garstasi, and Gavin Nutless can besa mi culo. all of it. 😉

i’m an American, not their serf or a member of the narod, to be lorded over by the vlasti.

if these would be tin-horn tyrants don’t back off soon, things are going to get “sporty”.

that’s not a threat, just a promise. even the Lieberals i live amongst here in the bluest part of Blue Lost Angels are getting fed up: there is more traffic, and more people out every day.

that which can’t continue, won’t.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to redc1c4. | May 12, 2020 at 1:07 am

    Hear Hear.

    I’ve been out on errands and to get sunlight, fresh air, and exercise.

      I’m an essential worker. Because of my shift, 16-24, I hit the store everyday on the way to and from work to get things. I don’t make big shopping trips. Because of the d— lockdown, the only place I can stop on the way home is where I get milk and other dairy products. I have to take frozen stuff to work and store it in the work freezer and remember to take it back out and home as I leave.

      Social distancing was the norm for shoppers after midnight BEFORE all this hit.

        DaveGinOly in reply to gospace. | May 12, 2020 at 11:21 am

        Reducing the business hours of establishments like supermarkets was a mistake.

        Let’s presume they’re going to have a reduced number of customers because people are afraid to leave their homes. That leaves a certain number of customers that will come to the market on any given day. Under normal hours of operation, that number would be spread out over Y hours. Shorten the business hours and that same number of customers will come in over a period of time less than “Y,” increasing the overall customer density (on average) at all hours of operation. Exactly the opposite of what you want – lower density.

        Two weekends ago in a Walmart, where they have made their aisles “one way,” I discovered another fallacy – “one way” aisles increase customer exposure to the store environment and to more people in that environment. “One way” aisles cause a customer to do two things: 1) walk farther (and therefore spend more time) in the store (because sometimes you have to walk down an aisle just so you can turn into the next going the “right” way); and 2) come within proximity to people you otherwise would not have come near (because of the need walk in aisles as in #1). So the first results in a longer time of exposure and the second leads to more exposure to people you may have been able to otherwise avoid. (These effects are in addition to unnaturally high customer density caused by reduced hours.)

Close The Fed | May 11, 2020 at 10:16 pm

Somewhat OT, but at Pres. Trump’s presser today, the disrespect from the press appalls me. It’s unsurprising in this day and time, but still outrageous.

SCOTUS would NEVER tolerate that crap at their courthouse, but they inflicted this constant indignity upon Pres. Trump. Whoever voted that Trump couldn’t summarily eject people let the country down immensely.

SCOTUS would never permit POTUS to determine the decorum required in its courtroom. SCOTUS has usurped POTUS’s perogatives (sp?) and should be ignored. Pres. Trump should kick out each offending reporter, until the news company the reporter represents sends in a civil one.

Tens of millions of people voted for Pres. Trump. How dare these wet-behind-the-ear kids treat him as they do!

    Milhouse in reply to Close The Fed. | May 11, 2020 at 11:15 pm

    . Whoever voted that Trump couldn’t summarily eject people let the country down immensely.

    Nobody said he couldn’t do that. The court (not SCOTUS) said that since there exists a system of press passes, the holders have a property interest in them so they can’t just be pulled arbitrarily. There have to be rules and procedures.

    But the whole system could be ended, and press conferences can be by invitation only. The White House could have done that the day after the decision, but decided not to. It also, last I heard, hasn’t published the rules the court said it needed to, in order to pull the press passes of those who break them.

    But nothing at all prevents Trump in the meantime from simply telling Acosta or whomever to get out, to get off the premises. A press pass doesn’t give you the right to be in the White House when the president has told you to leave.

      rdm in reply to Milhouse. | May 12, 2020 at 6:16 am

      The process of the media having special rights of free speech above and beyond those of ordinary Americans needs to end.

        Milhouse in reply to rdm. | May 12, 2020 at 3:18 pm

        They don’t have any special rights. They only pretend they do.

          rdm in reply to Milhouse. | May 12, 2020 at 6:56 pm

          How about I add ‘effectively’.

          The process of the media effectively having special rights of free speech above and beyond those of ordinary Americans needs to end.

          No, they don’t by the actual wording. But we let them have those rights they don’t have.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | May 13, 2020 at 12:41 am

          How do they effectively have more rights? I can think of a few instances where the government chooses to give them preferential treatment, but that can be withdrawn. And should be. But in general, I don’t think their bluster about being a “fourth estate” has succeeded in giving them special rights that they’re not entitled to.

Close The Fed | May 11, 2020 at 10:23 pm

Breitbart: The court denied Michigan’s motion to keep the 77-year-old barber closed!

The economy will at least partially open no matter what the politicians do. Where there is demand there will be suppliers, one way or another.

A black market of sorts will organically arise, if nothing else. People can become quite clever when their backs are against the wall. And there won’t be enough cops to answer all of the snitch reports. Eventually they won’t bother.

The American Left may think they can dictate and control economic activity. All previous attempts in other countries have failed miserably.

    Close The Fed in reply to JHogan. | May 11, 2020 at 10:53 pm

    Mr. Hogan, I beg to differ. Wherever they’ve been willing to violently suppress activity it’s been supressed. See North Korea.

    Another Voice in reply to JHogan. | May 12, 2020 at 12:24 am

    Black Market? It’s been pretty active in my small UP UP State NY Community in the last 4 weeks. I’ve obtained a hair cut, a pedicure and an order of a specialty food product from a friend who was passing product along at cost as the normal market, restaurants, aren’t buying. I’ve been able to get a house service call on my washer and a painter to paint a room. No one is stopping to ask if it’s permissible. Each of these people wanted to work and I had need for what they had to sell. But what I really want is a glass of Chardonnay at the local watering hole on Karaoke Night.

Cuomo did his part to fix the pension and medicare problem by sending Covid positives to Nursing homes where they would infect and kill the residents.

We knew the problem after Kirkland WA in EARLY MARCH!. HALF THE COVID DEATHS ARE FROM NURSING HOMES!!!. Cuomo is a murderer.

Some will remember AIDS where we KNEW it was the bathhouses where it was spreading, but those we refused to close down so killed tens of thousands.

Science? Epidemiology? If we were using those by 4/1 every nursing home would be locked down and the vulnerable in hotels in remote resorts also isolated (instead of a few homes that have had NO cases).

The effort to save lives by shutting down the economy is causing real health and mental health problems, and likely will kill tens of thousands of people from the depression, substance abuse, and despair caused by the economic collapse.

This, but not only this.

On top of those deaths there will be those killed by not getting normal medical care, either because it wasn’t available or because they were afraid to access it for fear of contracting Wuhan Disease, or out of reluctance to enter overburdened hospitals where the normal standard of care was impossible.

And on top of that is the normal, predictable, mortality rate simply from relative poverty. The greatest known promoter of long life is prosperity, and the worse off people are economically the shorter their lives. It goes from such simple things as not being able to afford so many fresh fruits and vegetables, to the general cost of a healthy lifestyle, to the cost of health-related care not covered by insurance, to the stress caused by economic insecurity, etc. When you make people poorer you shorten their lives.

Then there’s the fact that yes, some people are out getting exercise and sunshine, but many are not. Well, I’m not. I know I should, but without a definite place to go and a time I need to be there I’m not motivated, so I stay indoors, and I’m sure I’m far far from the only one.

So yes, this whole thing will probably end up costing more lives than it will have saved. And that’s without even taking into account that the alternative to this was not doing nothing, but targeted quarantine measures directed at the vulnerable only. For a lot less money than this has cost us we could have ordered all elderly and immunocompromised people into strict isolation, and hired people to call each of them every day to make sure they’re OK, find out what they need and deliver it to them, perform whatever services they need in the safest possible manner, etc. That would have saved almost all of the lives that the current measures have, without doing nearly as much damage.

    jb4 in reply to Milhouse. | May 11, 2020 at 11:30 pm

    Excellent post. There have been lots of studies showing unemployment and poverty increase mortality. Half of all workers are in “small businesses”. Many of them will be destroyed and the economic and psychological/medical impact will be severe. Last year’s low unemployment rate of 3.5% was the lowest in 50 years. It may be decades before it is seen again (and possibly never). I have a friend needing cancer surgery, which was labeled “elective” and has been delayed repeatedly.

    These kinds of bad outcomes are so obvious and predictable that it apparently took that London Imperial College forecast of up to 2.2 million American deaths to get Trump to lock down, ruin the economy and perhaps his re-election chances. I have wondered if that was the goal of the model designers and those who sold it to Trump as credible?

      Milhouse in reply to jb4. | May 11, 2020 at 11:58 pm

      Cancer surgery is elective. “Elective” doesn’t mean “unnecessary”, it means that it doesn’t have to be done this very minute, and can be scheduled in advance. It’s the difference between “Let’s have you in on the twenty-fourth” and “OMG you’re going into surgery NOW”.

        redc1c4 in reply to Milhouse. | May 12, 2020 at 1:32 am

        get back to us when they delay your, or someone you actually care about’s, cancer surgery for a few weeks or months, because it’s “elective”

        you are NOT a serious person.

          rdm in reply to redc1c4. | May 12, 2020 at 6:19 am

          I’m pretty sure Milhouse wasn’t in favor of the delayed cancer surgery, he is just saying under what rubric cancer surgery is called elective. That does not indicate approval or disapproval…

          pst314 in reply to redc1c4. | May 12, 2020 at 8:00 am

          “you are NOT a serious person.”
          You are seriously misunderstanding Milhouse.

          Milhouse in reply to redc1c4. | May 12, 2020 at 3:22 pm

          Was there any content in that at all, or was it pure, unreasoning emotion?

          The definition of elective is anything that doesn’t have to be done immediately. That’s all. Therefore cancer surgery is elective, and that will remain true no matter how you feel about it. Facts don’t care how anybody feels about them.

        alaskabob in reply to Milhouse. | May 12, 2020 at 1:44 am

        Just how far out do we go in delaying “elective” surgery such as for cancer? Enough delay and elective becomes emergency surgery. classic question.. “What’s the difference between Shea Stadium and Sloan Kettering?” At Sloan Kettering the mets always win.

        gospace in reply to Milhouse. | May 12, 2020 at 2:12 am

        Some people didn’t understand what you’re saying there. People have died already from appendicitis because they’ve delayed ER visits until their appendixes have burst.

        My son’s tonsillectomy was delayed because of this nonsense. Yes, he can live with his tonsils. But they make him more prone to URIs. Like, for example, covid19! But, it’s elective surgery….

        DaveGinOly in reply to Milhouse. | May 12, 2020 at 2:34 pm

        Milhouse, “red” seems to think you’re one of those heartless Republicans we read about in the MSM (usually in the months before an election)!

it would have been much more difficult to sell to the public.

Certainly nobody asked me.

I don’t recall anyone even trying to “sell” it. It was imposed.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to tom_swift. | May 12, 2020 at 1:51 am

    Hear Hear.

    Now that the traitors have un-masked themselves it’s time to take them to the Tree of Liberty methinks…….

I have also been saying, n this very blob, that society has to be opened by May 1 or the people will push, strongly, for its opening. This has come to pass. But, make mo mistake, the damage has been done.

Under the guise of fighting a deadly, apocalyptic disease, the political leadership of almost the entire world, shut down their societies and crashed their economies. This is completely at odds with human psychology. These politicians either conspired to do this as a group or upon someone’s direction. In order for this to be possible, the news media was required to hype COVID as an apocalyptic disease which required draconian measures to combat. This was to convince the populace to allow these measures to be enacted. To bolster the media hype, leaders in the medical profession had to make outrageous claims of mass casualties, then advise that a prolonged shutdown was necessary to save millions of victims. The political class, most notably the Dems and liberals, then immediately imposed these ridiculous restrictions. It was simply too well orchestrated to be coincidence.

Why was this shutdown necessary? And, why did it have to be in place for 2-3 months? And, why is it necessary to continue to keep the economy at reduced levels for the rest of the year? Why would any sane person, who depends upon a growing economy for financial stability, choose to cripple that economy? The most likely answer is that some of the people ARE insane. However, it is also very likely that the people who are pushing this program are best situated to weather a reduced, stagnant economy.

Do not get trapped in the weeds here. While there are medical drawbacks as a result of these actions, there is a far greater fallout from the economics results from all of this. And, it is extremely unlikely that this was all the result of unfortunate coincidence. COVID, like the Swine Flu and many other diseases is going to be around forever. And every year thousands of people, in the US, are going to die from it, vaccine or not. Are we going to shut down the world every flu season for the next 50 years? Or. will the objective of this operation have been achieved by year’s end?

    Close The Fed in reply to Mac45. | May 12, 2020 at 5:27 am

    Mac, I don’t think there has to be coordination for this to have occurred in the U.S.A. Every dem believes if the economy is bad, Trump is less likely to be re-elected. Therefore, acting in the same manner requires no coordination, just understanding of this likelihood.

    As for the world, Italy had a problem…. Unsure why the rest of the world adopted its solution.

      if you look at the states that allowed HCQ to be used, it follows the same pattern Dem governor lest hurt Pres Trump

      First of all, this societal shutdown was worldwide and it is totally counter intuitive. Never before, in modern history, has the world, or even industrialized nations, shutdown their economy for an infectious disease. Yet, we saw that happen within 3 weeks for COVID. It would not have happened this time, except the news media terrified the populace to the point where they would accept such a draconian practice.

      Now, the US. Even with the media hyping the apocalyptic nature of the COVID virus, the Trump administration, most federal politicians and most state politicians were downplaying the media reported danger. Suddenly, seemingly overnight, this all changed. Did it change to facilitate attacks on Trump? Yes. Was it a spontaneous coincidence? Not likely. But, an attack on Trump would not explain why the rest of the industrialized world shutdown. Would Italy, Germany, France, Japan, Korea, or any other country in the world destroy their own economy to Get Trump? Not likely. If this had happened only in the Us, then we might be able to say that it was all designed to Get Trump. But, that is not what happened. Unless one wants to ascribe this to the totally incompetent boob lemming theory of international political actions, the theory that there was some intelligent design at work, in the response to COVID, is far more likely.

        jb4 in reply to Mac45. | May 12, 2020 at 11:49 am

        Check (do not know) who is behind Imperial College London, which put out the first model that up to 2.2 million Americans could die. I saw Trump reference that and he looked quite sober – as if he had no choice but to lock down. Of course, we also face an “existential” Climate Change threat, driven by models that never change despite never being right, which also want us to shut down large parts of our economy. So …. we are just a little early with Covid.

    DaveGinOly in reply to Mac45. | May 12, 2020 at 2:36 pm

    “(i)n this very blob”
    Biggest laugh of the day!
    (Sorry, Mac, not casting asparagus, it’s just true – I laughed out loud!)

Delaying cancer surgery could be the difference between finding that the cancer is local, and you may live, or spread throughout the body, and you die a horrible painful death. With 120,000 cancer cases being found monthly in the US it is true that denying such surgeries has/will kill more people than the Wuhan virus. Sad.

    ronk in reply to Gersh204. | May 12, 2020 at 7:12 am

    not so much the surgery, but the diagnostics that would be the first line of curing the cancers, and they would also be elective under the rules they have

    Another Voice in reply to Gersh204. | May 12, 2020 at 2:26 pm

    As a result of a mammogram and then biopsy, I was diagnosed with a Ductal Carcinoma in late fall 2019. The tests showed it to be approx. less 1 cm. and surgery was scheduled post these tests for 3 weeks later. When removed it had grown to 1.8 cm. in those 3 weeks and involved two lymph glands. Had this happened mid Feb. 2020, all things being equal, exactly how more marginalized would I be now for having it grow at this rate in 3 weeks if my cancer was designated as elective surgery? Would I be on hold for that and the radiation required post-op? I was blessed to have found it early, but more so because timing was/is everything.

Break’s over, back to work.

caseoftheblues | May 12, 2020 at 8:41 am

The democrats are oblivious to how much they are overplaying their hand with these lockdowns and their frankly draconian decrees. Even the lifelong dems and libs I know have become nervous about the easy transition their politicians had made to illogical power hungry petty vindictive totalitarian dictators….many are going to have a difficult if not impossible task of voting for any of them in Nov. They have revealed themselves to be exactly what we have been warning them about for years.

    TrickyRicky in reply to caseoftheblues. | May 12, 2020 at 11:08 am

    I hope that you are correct. Of course, this will require lifelong dems and libs to utilize rational thought. It may be quite a stretch for that to actually occur at crunch time.

    DaveGinOly in reply to caseoftheblues. | May 12, 2020 at 2:38 pm

    Recalls to me something about “motes” and “beams,” yes?

It will get testy once the masses figure out that the Dems ruined their lives in order to undermine Trump. Every episode of the twilight Zone resolves itself in the correct direction, and this one will too. I have no garden, but I will be sewing seeds of discontent wherever I can tomorrow. Make statements which encourage others to challenge what they are being told. Talk about the negative unintended consequences of the shutdowns. Remember, the shutdown is just a preview of socialism in general. Bill Klinton went too far with the AWB in 94 and now we have 20M new AR15 owners in the US. Pelosi is doing the same thing and it will very well backfire on her and her ilk as long as we muster the troops on our side. As I tell people here, 120 people who died in the last 2 months in Oregon tested positive for covid. The other 7,800 died from other stuff. In the grand scheme, Covid isn’t that big of a deal, and the shutdown is doing far more damage than good.

When SARS and MERS happened, the scientists & medical community were not asleep. They attempted to create vaccines, but in animal models, vaccine development was hampered by a) antibody mediated enhancement (meaning antibodies raised to vaccine might worsen infection) and b) hypersensitivity reactions. Since COVID 19 is in the same family of viruses, there is not reason to think that vaccine development will be easy. Skipping safety testing is a HUGE mistake and rushing is a HUGE mistake.
In my rural community, we had not access to testing (the discrepancy between healthcare in the rural America and metropolitan America was truly amplified in this disaster). We *finally* got testing when we had an outbreak in our nursing homes (plural). We now have a death rate of 6% because the testing has primarily been done in nursing homes. So, we made our elderly miserable by not allowing visitors for over 2 months. Based on the current outbreak in 3/4 of our nursing homes, that was obviously NOT protective, yet we insist on having them die alone without the human contact of loved ones. Someone please explain the science of that to me. In our pursuit of science/perfection we lost our humanity.
I agree with all of the previous comments that we are going to see a greater morbidity/mortality from the shut down that from COVID 19. Unintended consequences are such a pesky thing.

BierceAmbrose | May 13, 2020 at 7:24 pm

Well, it’s a clear demonstration at the last.

We think their job is to orchestrate this or that, so we can do more of what we want. They think their job is to orchestrate anythign they care to, so we do more of what they want.

The “lockdowns” aren’t becuse they ordered them, for whatever their reason. The “Lockdowns” are becuase we didn’t have a better idea, to buy them time to figure out a better idea. Since they didn’t do it, we’ll do that too.

Traffic is only a little lighter than normal were I live.

People are realizing that as bad as the COVID-19 numbers are, they are not as bad as season flue numbers.

Dr. Fauci’s dire warnings will not come to pass.

We are tired of being lied to!

The British Treasury has warned that given the lavish spending to business and workers the country faces an sovereign debt crisis similar to what was the case in the aftermath of World War II. We are on the edge of the same given how the Federal Reserve and Congress have been running the printing presses with total abandon. I am brushing up on my French and German in anticipation of having to flee to Switzerland

My wife and I are in mid 80’s and to me it seems that the economy must open. Older folks can practice safety habits and avoid the virus. Can we devise a safety system to protect most vulnerable in nursing homes etc.? We served our country before and we’re ready to serve again, Open the damned economy and put folks back to work!

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