Coronavirus

'The Fear, the Panic, Is a Bigger Problem Than the Virus,' Says New York's Governor

The "panic" Andrew Cuomo has in mind is a rational response to the threat of an economically ruinous government overreaction.

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"The fear, the panic, is a bigger problem than the virus," says New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is resisting calls for "shelter in place" orders as a way of curtailing the COVID-19 epidemic. Telling New Yorkers they must not leave their homes "scares people," he told The New York Times yesterday, and he will not approve such edicts in New York City or elsewhere. "That is not going to happen," he promised, contradicting warnings to that effect from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The "panic" Cuomo has in mind is actually a rational response to the threat of a disproportionate, economically ruinous government reaction to COVID-19. "Why the fear, why the panic?" he said. "Because you watch things like that all day….Somebody says something, and then it's on the screen right away. 'Oh my God, I'm going to be locked in my home. I better go to the store and buy stuff.'"

That reaction is not only understandable but perfectly reasonable when state and local governments across the country are ordering businesses to close and telling millions of people they must stay at home except for "essential" purposes, when the mayor of New York City is threatening a similar lockdown, when prominent legal scholars are urging a nationwide lockdown and a suspension of habeas corpus rights, and when doomsayers are suggesting that such measures need to be maintained for a year or more. Is it possible that the politicians are the ones who are panicking, while the people subject to their whims are simply trying to deal with the fallout as best they can?

As NYU law professor Richard Epstein points out in his recent interview with Nick Gillespie, these extreme measures are motivated by worst-case scenarios that do not take into account adaptive behavior or the natural attenuation of viral epidemics. John Ioannidis, an epidemiologist and biostatistician at Stanford University, notes that governments are imposing "draconian countermeasures" based on data that are "utterly unreliable." Estimates of COVID-19's case fatality rate (CFR), ranging from 1 percent to more than 3 percent, are "meaningless," he says, because they are systematically biased by unrepresentative samples that include only people with symptoms severe enough to seek testing or medical attention.

Based on data from the Diamond Princess cruise ship—"the one situation where an entire, closed population was tested"—Ioannidis argues that "reasonable estimates for the case fatality ratio in the general U.S. population vary from 0.05% to 1%." He notes that "a population-wide case fatality rate of 0.05% is lower than [the CFR for] seasonal influenza." He warns that "if that is the true rate, locking down the world with potentially tremendous social and financial consequences may be totally irrational."

In the face of all that uncertainty, public officials may imagine they are erring on the side of caution. But that is true only if you ignore the negative impact of aggressive interventions. Some economists say those restrictions could lead to a downturn as bad as or worse than the Great Recession of 2008–09, which cost the United States an estimated $22 trillion—and that is without assuming even more extreme measures such as a national "shelter in place" order. It is hard to see how a loss of that magnitude can be rationally justified, even if you accept the worst-case scenario sketched by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

COVID-19 itself may have serious economic consequences. But the virus is not shutting down workplaces, disrupting supply lines, driving people out of business, depriving people of the jobs they need to get by, and confining them to their homes. The government is doing that.

Today China, where the epidemic emerged three months ago, for the first time reported no new local infections. Does that development mean that the severe economic price China paid for its sweeping restrictions on movement was worth it, and that other countries should follow its example? Or does it mean that the epidemic can be expected to peter out in the United States after a few months, regardless of whether the government locks down the country?

While governments in South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong have not imposed restrictions as onerous as China's, they nevertheless seem to have been successful at curtailing infections. In South Korea, which has a robust testing program strikingly different from the government-engineered fiasco in the United States, the number of new cases has been declining since early March.

While the benefits of aggressive COVID-19 control measures are speculative, the costs are certain. Americans are suffering right now, and will continue to suffer, because of the way politicians have decided to respond. It may be impossible for everyone to be "made whole," as Bernie Sanders promised during this week's Democratic presidential debate. But the government has a duty to try, since it is inflicting this pain in the name of protecting the general public. Whatever relief measures Congress approves should focus on compensating people for the damage caused by these policies.

NEXT: Can Our Shuttered Auto Plants Make Ventilators for Coronavirus Patients? And Will the Government Let Them?

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  1. ‘The Fear, the Panic, Is a Bigger Problem Than the Virus,’

    This guy gets it

    1. It might be the only thing he gets, but I’ll take it right now as government puts a gun to the head of the US economy.

    2. His brother, Fredo, has been not panicking for years. The Governor finally listened to his brother.

  2. So…we have nothing to fear but fear itself?

    1. …and zombies. You always have to fear zombies in a plague.

      1. And Feds. You can fear the Feds all the time, plague or no plague.

      2. Nah. Ask the question; what do zombies eat? Human brains. If the current irrational pants-shitting panic is any indication, brains are in such short supply that the poor zombies would starve to death before they ever got rolling.

  3. I’m in a sector of the building industry and we were thinking this might actually be a great year for us with the lowered interest rates, the dropping of onerous transportation regulations, and the low fuel costs.

    Unfortunately the idiot governors in MN and the surrounding states have apparently furloughed the inspectors so nothing is being built.

    What a croc of crap. If this goes on for more than a couple weeks we’ll be out of business meaning 50 people won’t have jobs.

    1. If you build it, they will come.

      1. That’s the problem they built it and they can’t get inspectors to close it out. Which means they are leveraged and can’t get paid.

    2. This is the posistion I’m in. These people are wrecking everything with little to no real information about this, and no end game planned. It’s fucking shameful. This officially seals Boomers as the most selfish generation of all time.

      1. This.

        All of this for a disease so dangerous it only kills the very old and informed.

        No children under 10 have died. No one under 50 who didn’t already have medical issues. Only the old and sick, and we’re killing our economy because of it.

        1. Well the people making this decisions and advising the ones making these decisions are the ones in the demographic in which this is the most dangerous too and are largely the ones that are going to avoid the hardest economic repercussions or they will be bailed out. The people who will be fucked the hardest will be the trades(as always) and the service industry. Everyone else figures they are okay they are working from home and getting a paycheck everyone else can too.

          1. Same people that think that all the electricity they need comes from the wall.

          2. I definitely don’t figure I’m okay.

            I have a stock ticker. My IRA (and every other portfolio of mine) is trashed, and that was with mitigation by managers paid to mitigate these sorts of things. Which means most other people’s are too.

            Retirements fucked (which probably affects boomers more than any other demographic in the short term). College funds wrecked, which affects Gen X, because now they have to find a way to get money they had a month ago to pay their kid’s college, as well as whatever the fuck the college generation is now, because they’ll have to borrow when a month ago their parents had the money to pay.

            And that’s not to mention how much worse it will make the public pension problem much worse since the portfolios they used to pay for it have been trashed by 1/3 or more, which means more taxes on people who’ve already lost their asses.

            We are all fucked.

            The only people who won’t suffer are the fuckers responsible for killing our economy.

            1. The conventional wisdom is that the market will recover in time.

              1. The stock market in the USA always recovers if you wait long enough.

              2. In time, sure.

                But what of the trillions in lost capital?

                My wife was the beneficiary of winning a large lawsuit last year (her brother stole about $500k from her – the ruling for summary judgment is at https://casetext.com/case/williams-v-georgiadis and he was found liable on all counts, but case was settled during appeal). Because of that massive blast in income (most of which were stocks and not cash), we have to sell stock in order to cover what is about to be a very large tax bill.

                We will never regain those losses, which were mostly avoidable.

                1. I don’t know the specifics of your situation, but I glanced at the ruling. I am not a lawyer, so this shouldn’t be considered to be legal or tax advice, for that you should speak with your own legal counsel or tax professional. But, If this is proceeds of an inheritance, that isn’t considered income for tax purposes. Even if it’s a judgement for damages, as long as they aren’t punitive damages, I don’t think they are considered income either. The only way any of this becomes income is if you sell the securities. Unless I’m missing something. Like I said, I only glanced through the ruling, and I also have no knowledge of your particular situation.

                  1. This. If the $500K stock is from inheritance, and you didn’t also inherit other stuff worth more than $10.68M, you shouldn’t owe any federal tax on that inheritance. DON’T SELL!

                    1. Not true for an untaxed inherited IRA. But you only have to pay taxes on the minimum dispersement if that is all you take out.

                2. You dont have stock losses until you sell. They are also not income until you sell.

                  DONT SELL RIGHT NOW.

                  Pay the money to speak with a tax professional and an investment professional.

                  You sound like you dont know what you are doing, so seek professional help.

                  1. You now have until July 15, 2020 to file now, so dont rush into anything.

                  2. I have a tax pro.

                    And all of the money that needs claiming is from punitive damages.

                    The stocks are fine. No tax on those (until we sell – which we did months ago – the entire portfolio was in tatters after 15 years of neglect), so we’re not really worried about that. Those will recover given time.

                    What I’m getting at is we also took in a big amount of cash (on the order of 5.5-6x our annual income), which was subsequently invested early last fall. That is taxable.

                    All of this was planned in coordination with a professional financial advisor, our estate attorney, and our accountant. We’re getting the best advice we can.

                    But what I’m getting at is that in order to pay the tax man, we will now have to sell a good chunk of the securities we bought, which have taken an absolute beating in the last 30 days. That value, the difference between what the stocks to be sold will sell at vs what they were worth 30 days ago, will never be recovered. It will probably amount to more than a year’s worth of salary. Gone. And all because of a manufactured global crisis in which politicians have destroyed the economy with no regard to real world results.

                    And yes, tax payments are postponed 90 days, but that’s not going to be enough time to recover that value.

                    1. Could you take out a loan to cover the tax payment without having to sell off your investment?

                    2. Then you are getting limited advice.

                      There are other solutions but maybe your advisors are not comfortable giving other options because they result in a tax penalty. Some tax professionals refuse to give advice that jeopardizes their tax business with the IRS. Remember, you want advice that is in YOUR interest not some person who is just after their fee.

                      One such option is filing a return but not paying the tax owed right away. You will incur a tax penalty but that might be worth the penalty to wait for the stock price to go up. Do the math.

                      If you dont have a few options to choose from, your advisors are not as good as they could be.

                      Im wealthy partly because I give the government as little tax revenue as legally possible.

                    3. Dont forget gifts to relatives and starting a non-profit then donate all the settlement. Then hire everyone in your family to work in the non-profit.

                      Do whatever you have to within the letter of the law to lower your tax bill.

            2. Relax. Until your investments are sold, those are unrealized losses.

              If your portfolio manager sells the investments for a loss, then your fucked.

              1. That’s true, but read above.

                Also, I’m in an okay spot. I’m not near retirement and my kids aren’t close to college yet.

                What of the 68 year old guy who’s been working since his early 20s who was set to retire? The guy who had a 529 account he needed to send his college student to school? People like my parents who are old will never have the opportunity to regain their lost assets?

                Those people are fucked, and it could been have been mostly avoided had the government not decided to trash the best economy we’ve ever had.

                The only real hope is that because this market crash is artificial (meaning it wasn’t caused because the market was already in bad shape, or a total collapse in a major sector like in 2008), that once pols get off of the power bender they’re currently on things will reasonably quickly go back up.

                But just as you can’t create value with broken windows, nor can you when the market is trashed.

                1. I think the economy can definitely rebound quickly. I think people will say “fuck this” and go back to work.

                  Wealth was not destroyed. It was lowered on paper. We did not experience a war where factories and cities were blown to bits.

                  The DOW Jones dropped because businesses slowed to a crawl. In 10 more days, many people will go back to work and the reasons for the strong economy will still be there. Add in the economic desire to restock what was used up will likely gain back all the losses in the last 3 weeks.

                  China is starting to come back online for industry too.

                  Once this hysteria blows over and Americans tell politicians to “fuck off” with their curfews and business restrictions, we will work our way back.

                  1. I wish I had your optimism. I can’t see any path where this ends well. We had the most highly valued market to start with, and have now completely dismantled the economy, frozen credit markets, and had the price of energy collapse.

                    There will likely be a violent bear-market rally, as always, but that will be followed by lower lows and a brutal bear market – caused by a collapse in earnings AND a collapse in multiples.

                    Absolutely nobody had a plan for this. They are in full blown panic reaction mode now. There is no end game. Tens of millions in the lower middle class will be hurt the most – their savings and livelihoods destroyed. They won’t be coming back to drive the economy any time soon.

            3. I have just retired. The money I need for the next 5 years is in bonds that mature in the year I need the money.

              My buffer money is in stocks protected by put options, so the downside is minimal (e.g. SPY put at 300 next Jan)

              All my other investments are planned for 5 or more years.

              1. Good luck with that. Municipal bonds will be defaulting soon depending on which jurisdiction.

                This market will recover quickly because the smoke and mirrors of the media clears or we’re all fucked. Stocks and bonds.

        2. It kills the “informed”? Like NY Times, CNN, and FOX junkies?

          Hallelujah!

    3. I’m in the trade and always wondered if there are no inspectors how can they legally stop us from building. you can’t make a law and then refuse to provide the inspectors required to meet the law. maybe someone will sue but then it will not be heard since it won’t be considered critical by the courts in this time of “emergency’

      Luckily our building department is still working just no face time

    4. Only the short term interest rates dropped with the order last week, not long term.

  4. Was Cuomo complaining or bragging? He has had as much to do with whipping up this panic as anybody.

    1. No he hasn’t actually.

  5. It’s just awful. You can’t just shut down the economy for a few months, even if it was a more dangerous disease on the loose, and then bail everyone out at everyone’s expense. Fuck.

    1. Zeb have you read the bailout bill, if you have employees that are w2’d businesses with under 500 employers are expected to pay for up to three months of sick leave if they have kids that are stuck at home or a family member with the virus. Why would anyone who has kids show up for work in two weeks? If you had a trade or skill why wouldn’t you take your leave and start your own handyman business? Why wouldn’t your employer fire you before this takes affect in two weeks?

      1. Yes, the free rider problem is well known. Maternity leave, for example, is a great time to find a new job at your current companies expense.

      2. Read the fine print, Idle. The expenses the employers incur in paying paid leave will be reimbursed 100% as a tax credit Against the employer’s Social Security taxes. If the cost exceeds what the employer pays in Social Security taxes, the difference Will be reimbursed. That means that it’s paid leave is really being funded through Social Security, with the employer simply being the conduit.

        After all, since Social Security is in such a great financial shape, it makes perfect sense to do this!

    2. On the bright side, if the government goes full Venezuela and prints enough money to shame even Paul Krugman, the great toilet paper crisis will be miraculously solved. We’ll all be wiping our asses with twenty dollar bills.

      1. I was going to say Andrew Jackson will come back to life just to shoot people for that…
        But he was a pretty staunch opponent of a federal bank.
        So he’ll come back to life, be initially offended by what his being done to his image, then think about it a be conflicted.
        So there will be zombie Jackson, just standing around in deep thought and indecision

        1. Ultimately, he will decide that him being on the $20 was a “fuck you” from the banks, and join in with the ass wiping.

  6. Cuomo is doing what Trump was doing but it was bad when Trump did it but not when Cuomo. I wish reason had consistency

    1. I think Sullum just needs to have a talk with Suderman.

      1. Suderman’s life and everyone he knows is largely unaffected because they work from home anyway. So this last week has been another day at the office for them. I’m sure he asks himself everyday when he passes people out and about why these selfish serfs he sees can’t work from home like him and his wife.

  7. if this goes on for a month there will be pitchforks, torches and mobs. And I’m not positive I’m not going to be among them.

    1. “Mobs” with at most 10 people?

      1. I don’t know if this thing isn’t as bad as they say their are going to be a ton of pissed off jobless people with time on their hands.

  8. Cuomo even gave Trump a compliment for sending the hospital ship to NY. The Gov Calif. is please with Trumps response. This is bizzaro world.

  9. “The fear, the panic, is a bigger problem than the virus,”

    Cuomo wasn’t listening to the speech he gave on Monday.

  10. I don’t think it will last anyway. Nobody is going to sit around for months waiting on word from up high. They are going to say fuck it and do whatever they want. What are they going to put them in jail then? After releasing a bunch of prisoners. No I don’t think so. This is all get the people past the panic stage and by end of month they will be oh fuck this and go right back to what they were doing. And if some oldsters kick the bucket well I am certain the fucking liberal media will make it Trump’s fault even if they don’t. Yeah go ahead and arrest me but I am not going to sit in the house for months and I doubt anyone except the very paranoid will either.

    1. if old people die would teh democrat run commercial showing trump pushing old people in wheelchairs over a cliff. they would never sink so low oh, they did that once already never mind. it doesn’t matter if they do die or don’t they will run the same campaign they did some 20 years ago

    2. Months? I was in a grocery store today and heard college-age employees talking about getting together at someone’s house for a party tonight.
      No, I didn’t ask for the address. I hope they have fun. After the last week they deserve it.

  11. I almost broke my phone in a rage listening to Russ Roberts and Tyler Cowen talk about this today. They are more than willing for business’s and people to be financially ruined in this self imposed depression we are going to go through because they are largely unaffected personally and financially and their lives have hardly changed at all. I also learned everyone who is going outside and continuing work and engaging in commerce is being selfish unlike them who just happen to be in the demographic this thing kills and are in no way being selfish by wrecking the economy over this.

    1. I don’t know who those assholes are, but fuck them.

  12. >>”The fear, the panic, is a bigger problem than the virus,”

    my mother in small-town Iowa is afraid the cops will pull her over if she tries to go to a friend’s house because they’re “on lockdown”

  13. Is this the beginning of the narrative that Trump shouldn’t have panicked and he imploded the economy without any good reasons?

    Because that pivot is coming.

    1. Rule 1: In any given situation ask yourself how this might make Trump look bad and go with it.

      That’s the mantra. It doesn’t matter how outlandish the argument, or how fair a stretch one must make. That’s the job.

    2. When this thing only kills 20 thousand Americans over the next year they are going to pretend this never happened and the economy wreckage is all due to Trump.

      1. It only matters until November, I would assume.

      2. I’m in saying it will kill 5k or fewer.

        And yes, the economy crashing will be Trump’s fault.

        1. According to the narrative.

          Edit button?

          1. Thanks for catching that; I’m reading other places that the crash is Trump’s fault since the virus must have been developed by TRUMP!!!!

        2. I agree. I doubt it will go over 5K. Then people will be PISSED.

  14. So far, the most prominent people I’ve heard being rational about this even in the face of criticism for not panicking like every right-thinking human are Sen. Ron Johnson, Elon Musk, and… Andrew Cuomo?? Can’t believe I am saying that.

    1. It’s been incredibly disappointing few sane people who are willing to even broach the discussion of tradeoffs associated with a risk/death rate that is largely unknown and is in all likelyhood >= .7-.9% which is great sacrifice to be sure, but what about how many people and deaths are going to be associated with a global depression. Classic seen and unseen argument and nobody seems to be willing to even talk about it. In fact the few brave people who have brought it up have been castigated as selfish witches. I’ve never seen a hysteria like this and I hope to never again.

      1. This.

        Even bring up the economy crashing and you get drones spewing out worst scenario numbers about 20 million dead blah blah blah.

        1. “Even bring up the economy crashing and you get drones spewing out worst scenario numbers about 20 million dead blah blah blah.”

          And the oh, so virtuous claims regarding ‘saving just one life by our sacrifices!’, accompanied by the ignorance of the lives the commenter proposes to sacrifice by that activity.
          GROW the FUCK UP!

      2. And frankly, it’s not only the (rational) argument you mention about measuring potential virus death tolls against potential deaths from poor economic conditions. It’s also that even if no one died from not being able to afford food/shelter/medicine in an economic downturn as a result of no one being able to do anything, what about quality of life? It concerns me that this seems to have zero value to anyone. Yeah, if shutting things down for a week or maybe two REALLY helps, then OK, even though I’m not convinced that juice is worth the economic squeeze. But when they say “prepare for severe social distancing for 6-12-18 months and if you don’t like it you are a selfish kulak, don’t you care if the weakest members of society die,” that is scary. Because hell no, life like that is not worth living. The idea that we should be willing to live in cages long-term to keep a small minority (or even not so small) marginally more safe and secure is ridiculous. I am not willing to subjugate my free will to the collective, and I sure as hell hope most people feel the same way.

        1. I am willing to not travel and such for another 10 days. After that, this charade has gone on long enough.

          A declaration of Martial Law that Lefties want is a deal breaker for me. This experiment is off.

          1. I’m waiting to see who will obey a Martial law. will i obey?

            1. I’ve been under mandatory curfews….

              It was the first step on my way to libertarianism.

              It’s no fun when, as a 16 year old, you get a shotgun pulled on by a twitchy cop when you’re standing in your own front yard.

              The only thing that saved the day was my friend’s father was a fire chief came running out at just the right time.

              Fuck martial law. Fuck curfews.

        2. “The idea that we should be willing to live in cages long-term to keep a small minority (or even not so small) marginally more safe and secure is ridiculous. ”

          The parallels to the New Green Deal and neofeudalism are overwhelming. I’m of the opinion that even if it does end up killing 1.5 million or so, the vast majority over 70, like I’ve said in prior threads, the destruction of our economy trying to prevent that isn’t worth the potential savings.

          Sorry Mom. Maybe the bug won’t kill you, and maybe this new drug cocktail will work if the bug does try to kill you.

          1. I’ve heard comparisons to world war II.
            “Your grandparents went to war, you’re just being asked to sit on your couch for a bit.”
            Ok.
            Well, what did our grandparents go to war for?
            Our way of life.
            What are we being asked to sacrifice now?
            Our way of life…

      3. “In fact the few brave people who have brought it up have been castigated as selfish witches. ”

        It seems the plan for something like this needs to have been prepared beforehand. Perhaps using some of the rules of the constitution? All of these restrictions on personal liberties are probably unconstitutional.

        Personal responsibility – if you don’t want to catch this, then practice extreme self isolation. Everyone needs to be free to take risks.

        It’s not the flu. It’s very, very bad:

        https://www.propublica.org/article/a-medical-worker-describes–terrifying-lung-failure-from-covid19-even-in-his-young-patients

        What price, freedom?

  15. Now Governor Wolf here in Pennsylvania has changed his previous proclamation shutting “nonessential” businesses to “non life sustaining” businesses.

    1. What’s the difference? Isn’t sustaining life essential?

      1. This is the problem. They think it’s easy to just determine what people “need” and don’t. But it’s not. Grocery stores, sure, everyone probably agrees on that. What about restaurants? Most places have allowed them to stay open for take out at least, but if you are taking the next step here, can they be open? Is there a point to forcing people to cook their own food after they buy it? And a lot of grocery stores have prepared food sections that are almost indistinguishable from restaurants- do you allow those to stay open? If you do, how is that fair to the restaurants? Then what about gas stations- are they essential if no one is supposed to go anywhere? But what about the people working at the “life sustaining” businesses- do you need to show an ID from an acceptable business to buy gas? And then there’s hardware stores- is the Home Depot essential? If not, what do I do if a water line breaks in my house- go without running water for the next x number of weeks/months until the Crown decides I am allowed to purchase certain goods?

    2. Well, to each employee, every business is life sustaining.

  16. “COVID-19 itself may have serious economic consequences. But the virus is not shutting down workplaces, disrupting supply lines, driving people out of business, depriving people of the jobs they need to get by, and confining them to their homes. The government is doing that.” Because people are demanding it. The ones who aren’t demanding it agree with the fascist takeover and go tamely along with it. There are two types of political scum in this country: the ones who see panic as an opportunity to expand their power, and the ones afraid to be seen as not expanding their power and getting voted out of office.

  17. Not sure about this. The interview with Epstein was thoughtful and informative, especially the stuff about how the virus will evolve. But I wouldn’t fault either the docs or the government for overreacting. No one knows how deadly the virus will be, and the price for guessing wrong is awfully high.

    1. “…No one knows how deadly the virus will be, and the price for guessing wrong is awfully high.”

      It certainly is! Killing the economy based on wild guesses is likely to kill ‘way more people over the next several years than the disease is.

    2. The price is less than the number of deaths from abortion, even if you take the worst case numbers ever propagandized.

  18. I didn’t think Cuomo was right even *ONCE* a day!

  19. seeing all of these comments gives me hope… i’m not the only one who knows it’s ridiculous…

  20. No to Jacob Sullum, the government has no duty to try to make us whole for the damage it has caused. The basic nature of government is to use force to address every issue, except when it withholds or reduces the use of force. So yes, the government’s draconian suppression of the rights of Americans to support their lives and exercise their liberties, in the name of protecting them, has caused untold damage and harm. But what the government can do now is stop inflicting the damage. Just back off, end the edicts and decrees and orders, and let free Americans solve the coronavirus epidemic. That’s where creativity and resourcefulness and solutions will be found.

    1. I do not recognize your handle, but your comment is both non-obvious and correct:
      Yes, the government fucked up my financial efforts and planning, and is still fucking with my liberties and has probably screwed the pooch regarding the economy for some time to come, and:
      NO! Please do NOT try to make me whole!
      The government is, almost without fail, incompetent. Fuck off and leave me alone; I’ll do far better absent your ‘help’.

    1. Damn it.
      The title on the web page is different than its link (it’s a running story)
      CA governor issues state-wide “stay at home” order

      1. The SF Chron ran photos on the front page (since they long ago failed as a newspaper) of folks strolling on the waterfront, in casual discussion, within TWO FEET OF EACH OTHER!!!!!!!!!!
        Even in the PR(of)SF, some resistance appears. Wife and I ordered take out from a fave restaurant; they said ‘Come on in for a drink and order here’; we did and probably could have eaten at the bar. Screw London Breed (with turd’s dick).
        And Newsom imagines he was coronated rather than elected; screw him similarly.

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  22. There is no denying that the head researcher working to develop this at the Wuhan P4 lab received millions in US defence grants.

    Now it’s a pandemic. Own it.

    If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.

  23. Yes, we could keep everything open and just accept whatever death rate happens. But if we did that, we’d be assured of repeating what’s happening in Italy with dying patients gasping for air being parked end-to-end in hospital corridors. Even if the percentage of people becoming seriously ill is relatively low, ICUs will be overwhelmed and more people will die who might have been saved simply because there was not enough capacity to treat them. You all really think that ‘carry on and bring out your dead’ scenario is socially and politically acceptable in the U.S. in 2020?

    Also, businesses are simply not shuttering only because of government orders. The entire auto industry shut down voluntarily because a couple of line-workers got the disease and the UAW demanded the factories be shut down. Similarly, before the government ordered school shutdowns, teachers and their unions were pushing for closures.

  24. Wait a minute. This is nuts. We need to stick to what we know.

    We have 14,250 cases confirmed. Dividing this number by 15% (only 1 in 7 get sick enough to get a test) implies there are an additional 95,000 people walking around pumping out virus to varying degrees. In 12 days, we will have much, much better data. That number is going to increase – a lot.

    The precautions we are taking now are reasonable responses to a virus to which we have no immunity and no known effective treatment.

    1. Again, who cares how many people have it? All that matters is how many people are seriously sick. Because the numbers of new known infections are going to keep increasing, a lot, simply because more people are going to be tested. But if the number of critical cases don’t increase at the same rate, that’s all that matters.

      I saw this: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/ posted elsewhere as evidence that panic is warranted, because LOOK AT ALL THE SCARY GRAPHS. But again, a lot of that comes simply from timing. Yeah cases are shooting up because we are testing more and more. Plus yes, it is spreading to some degree (exactly what that is we don’t know), so more people will continue to get it. And there are more deaths than “confirmed recoveries” right now, because those that are going to die from this probably do so relatively quickly, while I would expect that a lot of evidence is needed before they are willing to say someone has “recovered.” But the interesting thing to me is the 14,030 active cases- of those, 13,966 are “mild” (one would assume anything from no symptoms to standard cold or flu-like symptoms), and 64 are “serious or critical.” So right around 0.5% are serious or critical (they actually round to 0%). With a large enough infected population, of course even that ends up as a not insignificant number (690,000 if you use 150,000,000). But, what are the chances that half the country will be infected at the same time AND the percentage of cases requiring care for serious or critical conditions will hold, since right now the confirmed cases have an extremely heavy selection bias towards those that are exhibiting the worst symptoms to begin with? I’d say not too good.

      Italy has everyone freaked out, and they have a bad situation. Everyone acts like they did the best they could from the start, at LEAST as good as the US, and ended up where they are. Plus they have socialized medicine, which is ipso facto superior to what we have in the US! But I think when this is all said and done, the post mortem on the Italian situation will show that their “superior European model” is not all it’s cracked up to be. Plus clearly the infection was gaining a strong foothold there among a vulnerable population before anyone fully realized what is going on. It sucks, but I don’t think you can use that absolute worst-case scenario as anything approaching a model for the US or most other countries.

    2. to which we have no immunity and no known effective treatment

      Hey stupid dickwad, the overwhelming majority of people who get this virus show little to no ill effects from it whatsoever. A lot of people will get it and never even know they had it because their immune system beat it so easily.

  25. This manufactured mass hysteria has taught me something: the average fool is far more docile, obedient, sheep-like, and gullible than I had already suspected was the case before this.

    For the first time in my life, I think I understand now how it’s possible that most people will voluntarily take off all their clothes and walk right into the gas chamber if they’re ordered to rather than go down fighting with a bullet in the head. Probably while delusionally thinking to themselves “What’s the worst that can really happen?”

    1. Or believe that bullshit story.

    2. THIS.

  26. ‘The Fear, the Panic, Is a Bigger Problem Than the Virus,’ Says New York’s Governor

    Isn’t that the same governor who spreads fear and panic?

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