The 'False Debate' About Reopening the Economy Is the One That Ignores the Enormous Human Cost of Sweeping COVID-19 Control Measures

A New York Times Magazine forum highlights the moral implications of suppressing economic activity.


Jon Allsop, who writes the Columbia Journalism Review's daily newsletter, argues that the conversation about when and how to relax COVID-19 lockdowns is a "false debate" that misleadingly pits "lives" against "livelihoods." In reality, Allsop says, there is "no choice to be made between public health and a healthy economy—because public health is an essential prerequisite of a healthy economy."

While that is true at some level, broad business closure and stay-at-home orders nevertheless entail tradeoffs that cannot be wished away by such anodyne assurances. Those tradeoffs are a recurring theme of a recent roundtable in The New York Times Magazine that Allsop himself mentions. The title of the forum is telling: "Restarting America Means People Will Die. So When Do We Do It?" The five panelists—especially Princeton bioethicist Peter Singer—repeatedly call attention to the moral implications of reducing COVID-19 transmission by shutting down large sectors of the economy.

Singer forthrightly questions "the assumption…that we have to do everything to reduce the number of deaths." That assumption is manifestly wrong, as reflected in the decisions that government agencies make when they assess the cost-effectiveness of health and safety regulations—decisions that routinely take into account not just the deaths that might be prevented but the resources expended to do so. Those assessments assign a large value to preventable deaths, but the value is not and cannot be infinite.

"At some point," Singer says, "we are willing to trade off loss of life against loss of quality of life. No government puts every dollar it spends into saving lives. And we can't really keep everything locked down until there won't be any more deaths. So I think that's something that needs to come into this discussion. How do we assess the overall cost to everybody in terms of loss of quality of life [and] loss of well-being as well as the fact that lives are being lost?"

Singer is equally frank in discussing the weight that should be assigned to COVID-19 deaths, whether they are prevented by current control measures or allowed by loosening those restrictions:

This is killing mostly older people. I think that's really relevant. I think we want to take into account the number of life years lost—not just the number of lives lost.

The average age of death from COVID in Italy is 79½. So you do have to ask the question: How many years of life were lost? Especially when you consider that many of the people who have died had underlying medical conditions. The economist Paul Frijters roughly estimates that Italians lost perhaps an average of three years of life. And that's very different from a younger person losing 40 years of life or 60 years of life.

Similarly, the British epidemiologist Neil Ferguson has estimated that "as much as half to two-thirds" of the people who will die from COVID-19 in the U.K. would have died "anyhow" by the end of the year because deaths from the disease are concentrated among people who are old and/or have serious preexisting medical conditions.

Another participant in the New York Times forum—Zeke Emanuel, vice provost for global initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania—reinforces Singer's point. "I am a big believer in using life-years saved, rather than just number of deaths avoided, as the goal," he says, noting that allocation of scarce medical resources such as ventilators and organs routinely takes that factor into account. Emanuel argues that COVID-19 restrictions could be loosened in June if appropriate testing, surveillance, and contact tracing is possible by then.

Singer emphasizes that the economic cost of aggressive control measures is morally important and not simply a matter of elevating crass financial concerns above issues of life and death (the way that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, among many others, has misleadingly framed the issue):

If we're thinking of a year to 18 months [the projected amount of time required to develop and deploy a vaccine] of this kind of lockdown, then we really do need to think about the consequences other than in terms of deaths from COVID-19. I think the consequences are horrific, in terms of unemployment in particular, which has been shown to have a very serious effect on well-being, and particularly for poorer people. Are we really going to be able to continue an assistance package to all of those people for 18 months?

That's a question each country will have to answer. Maybe some of the affluent countries can, but we have a lot of poor countries that just have no possibility of providing that kind of assistance for their poor people. That's where we'll get into saying, "Yes, people will die if we open up, but the consequences of not opening up are so severe that maybe we've got to do it anyway." If we keep it locked down, then more younger people are going to die because they're basically not going to get enough to eat or other basics. So those tradeoffs will come out differently in different countries.

The economic cost, Singer notes, goes far beyond the immediate impact on people forcibly deprived of their livelihoods:

We need to think about this in the context of the well-being of the community as a whole….We are currently impoverishing the economy, which means we are reducing our capacity in the long term to provide exactly those things that people are talking about that we need—better health care services, better social-security arrangements to make sure that people aren't in poverty. There are victims in the future, after the pandemic, who will bear these costs. The economic costs we incur now will spill over, in terms of loss of lives, loss of quality of life, and loss of well-being.

I think that we're losing sight of the extent to which that's already happening. And we need to really consider that tradeoff.

The "false debate," in other words, is not the discussion that considers the enormous human cost of suppressing economic activity. It's the discussion that pretends there is no such tradeoff.

NEXT: Kids Missing School Because of Coronavirus? Don't Worry Too Much

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  1. If saving lives is the only ethical path, then a national 20 mph speed limit is called for. Think of the lives saved! Many more than those who will die from the coronavirus.

    1. You bastard! A national 5 mph speed limit is the maximum tolerable!

      Personally I think we need a balance between lives saved and lives lost, I think we should maintain a national lockdown until the number of deaths caused by the National Guard troops shooting quarantine violators equals the number of deaths caused by the coronavirus. That seems about fair.

      1. You bastard!

        No cars at all. Walk, and be healthy.

        1. Walking? You bastard! What if someone falls and breaks a hip?

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      2. You are both idiots 1 mph should be the standard.

        1. Walking it is.

          1. If we would have banned all automobiles last year we would have saved 38000 lives

            1. Excuse me. Would someone please think of the planet and carbon emissions?

              1. Millions dying from Covid19 will signficantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions, as those who die will no longer emit any more. Nor will they require the use of energy of any sort, as they will be inert, and at ambient temperature, wherever they are.

                And if you have read this far and think I am in favour of this happening, you are crazy or think I am, and YOU are part of the problem..

          2. No, no, no…you are all bastards. Crawling and rolling on the ground! You did it when you were younger, and you’re still here. Clearly, crawling and rolling are the safest alternatives. 🙂

            1. But, in mi neck of the woods if you crawl you might get bit by a snake or other varmint! Let’s face it we all need to live in bubbles!

    2. I can’t help wondering how many of those LOL-ing it up here have lost anyone close to them from either COVID19 *or* a an auto fatality. I’m guessing a tiny fraction. Not saying we shouldn’t engage in dark humor – just that personal experience can change this from an abstract philosophical musing into a real and crushingly difficult decision.

      1. “…just that personal experience can change this from an abstract philosophical musing into a real and crushingly difficult decision.”

        If you are making a decision based on an experience which causes you strong emotions, you are NOT the person who should make decisions for others.

    3. I think the author is also unintentionally creating a false dichotomy. There are various ways to reduce restrictions without lifting them entirely.

  2. Where is Gujarat the retard who claimed NY was over counting Covid Deaths?

    1. Officials are likely to be underestimating how many may have died from covid-19

      In between the lines: NYC healthcare professionals are asserting that COVID is causing heart attacks.

      1. didn’t someone else mention the other day that there’s a Federal dollar amount for every COVID-19 case/victim they have? Jeeze, it’s almost like there’s an incentive to inflate numbers or something

    2. Yeah, you dishonest piece of shit, how many deaths from other causes are being attributed to Covid-19?

    3. According to official info obtained from, we have had two people in Ohio that have died twice.

      1. Easter was yesterday.

      2. But the President said people were dying who had NEVER died before!

    4. Lol. Did you even read the link and who the sources were? It is fucking pure speculation dipshit. Why else may deaths at home be up… hmm… because most people are avoiding the hospitals you fucking dumb piece of shit.

      1. “because most people are avoiding the hospitals”

        In most areas, for no good reason.

      2. So you honestly think the number of heart attack 911 calls is up that much, and the number of heart attack deaths is up that much, because people are avoiding the hospitals? Then why are they calling 911?

    5. A known consequence of COVID-19 or a consequence of the STRESS caused by undue shuttering of people and businesses due to COVID-19 panic? People’s stress levels are through the roof.

      1. Yeah, that should be plenty to account for a good number of extra heart attacks. I’m sure people are drinking and smoking a lot more too.

    6. Anyone noticing how quickly the comments here have devolved into partisan sniping? Could this possibly be as big a problem for us as he virus itself?

      1. The comments are driven by one side using armed thugs to force the other side’s actions.
        Not only should the comments be partisan, there should be rioting in the streets.

  3. It’s an election year. Reasonable discussions, in the realm of reality, governed by logic and equanimity, are prohibited.

    If our elites are not bouncing back and forth between increasingly deluded extremes, while looking for every opportunity to skewer their opponents for not being extreme enough, what the fuck do we have left to rely upon in November when it comes time to choose between Team Red and Team Blue?

    1. We are talking about public policy matters. even next year, after this election and the next is as far away as possible, reality will have no bearing on any discussions that happen.

  4. If only there were a way to figure out, equitably and without prejudice, if people nearing death in the hospital had amassed the resources to keep themselves alive for the duration of any medical calamity they may face. Ideally, this way of figuring things out would *allow* for their loved ones, family, and community to transfer any excessive amount of clout or value to people who they deem in need of assistance it would be good.

    Seems like somebody with pre-existing conditions, little-to-no income, and ~3 yrs. left to live shouldn’t be too hard to price out. Most reasonable 79.5-yr.-olds have done this math themselves already.

    1. Like releasing equity in your house? Seems health equity is reasonable. But who assesses the value? My property is always given too low of an assessment IMHO.

  5. Would have been nice for all of us if the president wasn’t a lying, incompetent piece of shit. Maybe then we would have started the response sooner. People could have prepared themselves for the possibility of a stay at home situation. They could have organized their businesses to better weather the shutdown. Congress could have prepared the legislation sooner. But no, instead we have a complete disaster in charge of the federal govt and all thanks to Republicans. Congratulations Republicans, you have managed to fuck everything up once again.

    1. If you find a candidate willing to run for office who isn’t a lying, incompetent piece of shit, let me know.

      1. I would suggest Joe Biden.

        1. LOLZ

        2. Yep, Joe is more honest than most and he’s definitely competent.

          He called this pandemic back in Jan in an op ed in USA Today.

          1. Can’t tell if this is sarcasm or if you’re genuinely this stupid. And that scares me.

        3. Joe the serial plagiarizer? That lying, incompetent piece of shit Joe?

        4. Thanks, I needed a laugh today.

        5. To be fair it isn’t lying for Biden, because there is no intent on his part his dementia just makes reality a difficult target for him to hit.

      2. So your idea is to pick the biggest lying, incompetent piece of shit you can find?

        1. Yes, then maybe more people will stop trusting the government and stop whining to the government to fix all their fucking problems.

          1. It’s been the Republican party’s strategy for years: hey, let’s make the USPS fund 75 years of pension obligation so we can claim government doesn’t work and we need to privatize it! Guarantee you whoever takes over won’t have to fund 75 years of pensions. (Or, indeed, fund a pension.)

            1. For a century and a half postal delivery was privatized. Actually, longer than that. The colonial postal service was also privatized. The post master’s main job was hiring contractors and over sight. And it worked very well.

            2. It’s almost like there is a reason why the private sector has mostly moved away from defined benefit pensions.

              1. Is this a joke? Obviously it’s cheaper to treat people like garbage and leave them poor and unprotected later in life. As long as it’s good for the bottom line, right?

                1. Oh, gee, RobR, you might actually have to PLAN FOR YOUR OWN RETIREMENT, slaver.

        2. “So your idea is to pick the biggest lying, incompetent piece of shit you can find?”

          FDR’s been dead a long time and Obo was termed-out in ’17, so we don’t have that choice.

      3. They’re all incompetent pieces of shit. But some are more incompetent and shittier than others.

    2. Which Democrats were calling for preparations then? Oh, they were all tied up in Impeachment nonsense. Wasn’t the mayor of NYC even telling people, as late as Mid-March, to go about their business? How partisans of either party can’t see that their party too eats shit is rather remarkable to libertarians.

      1. Wasn’t the mayor of NYC even telling people, as late as Mid-March, to go about their business?

        This fuckwit probably thinks Bill De Blasio is a Republican.

      2. Joe Biden did, read his USA Today op ed in Jan.

        It’s like you guys forgot all of February when we were telling you this was a serious threat and you were calling us hysterical saying it was no worse than the flu.

        1. If it’s the new Black Plague, the death count is hilariously low.

        2. That’s twice you’ve posted that comment without a URL. Perhaps that is because if someone were to click on the link and read the actual article, it basically doesn’t say much except make some promises, imply that Trump reduced funding for the CDC (he did propose that; Congress ignored him), and repeat the trivially debunked lie that Trump disbanded the pandemic response office:

          For anyone who’s curious about the article which GenoS wouldn’t link at least twice, do a Google (or scroogle, or whatever) search for “joe biden coronavirus usa today january” – it’s the first result.

      3. BTW, impeachment wasn’t nonsense.

        The only reason he wasn’t removed his because the Republicans care more about establishing a permanent conservative hegemony than loyalty to the United States. They know he did it.

        1. Lol at ” permanent conservative hegemony”. Guess we forgot all about Dems pushing “40 more years” after Obama got elected, huh?

        2. He was impeached for the very thing Biden was bragging about actually doing.

        3. Republicans care more about establishing a permanent conservative hegemony

          That may be true, but it is equally true that Democrats want to establish a permanent progressive hegemony, so I can’t really blame them.

    3. Cool story bro. You done?

      Good. Now fuck off, m’kay?

    4. Fauci on Feb 29th on the Today show:

      FAUCI: No. Right now at this moment, there is no need to change anything that you’re doing on a day-by-day basis. Right now the risk is still low, but this could change. I’ve said that many times, even on this program. You got watch out, because although the risk is low now, you don’t need to change anything you’re doing. When you start to see community spread, this could change, and force you to become much more attentive to doing things that would protect you from, spread.

      You fucking dumbshit. Trump was called racist for the china travel ban of you dont fucking remember. Lockdown orders are providence of the the state, not the feds dumbshit.

      1. These facts must not be allowed to be memory-holed.

    5. The administrations of both parties failed to adequately stock up on basic medical supplies, and both parties participated in (eagerly, and with libertarian cheerleading), the outsourcing of medical supplies to a hostile foreign power.
      Also, not even Chocolate Jesus could see the future, why do you castigate Republicans for a similar lack of clairvoyance?
      Further, if you must blame a political party, then I would suggest blaming the Chinese Communist Party.

    6. Haha. Awwww, how cute. Someone really needs to be lead.

      Everything is so terrible and unfair.

    7. And the panic would have wiped out far more than the toilet paper supply even faster than what did occur.

      You don’t know human nature, do you?

    8. I dunno two whole days isn’t much of a delay………. and when he DID start trying to shut things down and restrict travel I distinctly recall large numbers of people throwing everything they could come up with to stop his doing so.
      “Its no big deal, “

  6. I’m starting to become concerned that if these scumbag mayors and governors don’t relent pretty soon, we might end up with a full-blown constitutional crisis on our hands.

    Admittedly, in our federalist system governors DO have a lot of power within their state, But I don’t believe they were ever intended to have absolute and unlimited power, nor do I believe they have the authority to suspend the United States constitution within their state indefinitely without legitimate just cause.

    At some point, the Trump administration might have to actually consider suing some of them in order to get the United States Supreme Court to intervene on behalf of the citizenry. I would be very curious indeed to hear what they would have to say about this issue.

    1. Remember when Hillary said The Party of Lincoln had become The Party of Trump? Funny to imagine Democrats in 2164 advertising their virtue in choosing a ‘Team of Rivals’ just like Trump did.

      1. Noted asshat Thomas Friedman has called for Biden to nominate a “unity cabinet” before the election- you know, Democrats and Never-Trump Republicans- the same crowd that has led the nation so well since… what, 1988?

    2. I doubt it. The general electorate doesn’t understand the concept of trade-offs. Do you see Cuomo getting called out beyond our little corner of the world? Hardly.

      EVEN IF IT ONLY SAVES ONE LIFE. That shit sells…for the same reason that pre-existing conditions and mandatory admittance sells.

      1. The only trade off the electorate is worried about is their pocketbook. California may be able to convince the dems to wait out as long as possible, but only if their getting 1200 every two weeks to do it. The minute rumors of food scarcity becomes known, the quarantine will be over. The government better have a plan for civil unrest if they insist on staying in quarantine past June

        1. You’re being generous. I’d say after May 1st the pot will boil over.

        2. I hope there is no civil unrest (even though there probably should be); these scumbags would love that because it would give them exactly the justification they need for their martial law that they don’t really have right now.

      2. Don’t you know? Every life is priceless. Full stop.

        Well, except for insurance actuaries. They’ll actually quote you a price.

    3. Some of them really seem to be just seeing how far they can go before someone forces them to stop. Whitmer in particular- WTF is wrong with her? Detroit has something of a concern- about as much as anyplace in the nation at least. But rather than taking actions focused on where the problem is (no more than 3 customers in a crackhouse at a time, abandoned warehouses can sleep no more than 20 people per 1000 sq ft, please shit in the street, not on the sidewalk would be good policies to start), she puts the screws on outdoor recreation and home improvement/gardening projects. She is simply an evil person who apparently bears malice towards any constituents that are not suffering right now; if the virus won’t make the population miserable, then she will do it herself dammit.

      1. “How does one man assert his power over another, Winston?“

        Winston thought. “By making him suffer”, he said.

        “Exactly. By making him suffer. Obedience is not enough. Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure that he is obeying your will and not his own? Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing. Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating?”

        1. Prophecy, warning, instruction manual, cookbook?

        2. Excellent quote from Saint Orwell the Prophet

    4. <

      At some point, the Trump administration might have to actually consider suing some of them in order to get the United States Supreme Court to intervene on behalf of the citizenry.

      Due to an abundance of caution, the courts are closed.

      1. Yeah. They shut down all government functions during wartime as well. Right?

  7. It was a study that purports to_just how terrible this epidemic is. Someone looked at the excess deaths caused by the pandemic. They looked to New York City for the numbers. They found the epidemic was causing an excess of 300 deaths per day.

    Now, they didn’t use total deaths. They used deaths at home. Prior to this pandemic, just a handful of people died at home each day. Now it is a few hundred.

    The reporting I have seen is that the implications are that those deaths are caused by the pandemic.

    Now, if you paused a moment to apply a little bit of thought, you might ask the question “is this due to the fact that people have been ordered to stay at home and that is where people are all of the time, rather than being at work, out shopping, or at the hospital?”

    But, like every other half-fact that has come to light via our National media, the only scrutiny that this faced was how might it be of use in pressing forward with a partisan agenda?

    So no, nobody is going to have an honest debate. Nobody is going to worry that throwing 30 million people out of work is a big deal. Nobody is going to worry that pushing 10 million people into semi-permanent poverty will result in many of those people dying in early death. In fact, is tweets and gleeful and snarky comments on CNN and MSNBC are to be believed, those outcomes will be relished.

    1. I get your point, but I don’t think it’s the best example. I’d expect that the number of people who would have, if not for the lockdowns, died outside of the home instead of in the home is rather small. Yes, the rando heart attacks and strokes will now all be at home instead of wherever. But a 10-fold increase seems like it would be mostly due to non-rando deaths that would have occurred at the home or hospital regardless.

      1. But if you were doing an honest cohort, you would have picked your cohort before you ran the numbers.

        That’s not how this one went. The looked at a bunch of different slices, and then picked the one that changed.

        That’s interesting. It helps identify that something is happening.

        But that’s not how you do “Is Covid causing a change in the death rate”. Not scientifically anyway. You have to name your cohort before you start, and there has to be a reason. You say “I’m picking all black males over 75 who live in queens” because you have a reason to say that… not because that was the group that was a big outlier.

        The question was “is Covid-19 a net killer?” And they didn’t say “300 more people per day are dying” in response, they said “if you look only at the people who die in their home, we see a big increase”.

        That’s all you need to hear to know that they cherry picked the data. That’s not science. That’s the same process that gives you a study that shows that foot reflexology helps decrease neck pain or that acai berry juice reduces the incidence of melanoma among female Asians aged 23-34.

        The key phrase is “researcher degrees of freedom”. Those are bad things. And this study undoubtedly had a hundred degrees of freedom.

        You know what else has skyrocketed at home? Toilet paper use. In fact, they can’t make retail packaged toilet paper for the home fast enough. Meanwhile, institutional toilet paper sales are off by huge margins. That’s proxy evidence for people are spending massively more time at home than normal.

        1. that game IS being played now in NYC. An YOOOOGE percentage of folks dying in hospital were already dying of this or that typical condition leading proximally to death. Once dead, they test the blood, and if corona is found there, the death is listed as CAUSED BY corona. Just like what happened in Italy…. 650 or so folks died on one day, all but about a dozen died of some cause OTHER THAN corona, but since they had the virus, that was listed as CAUSE of death. I read the Italian… hundreds died WITH corona virus, a dozen died BECAUSE of it.

          NYC are playing that game, as are other places.
          WHY are they bothering to test dead people when the live ones being tested is what will provide USEFUL data.

          1. This is not new.
            They test every death from a car wreck for alcohol.
            If it is present, regardless of what caused the accident, they call it a drunk driving fatality.
            Then they use the number to impose draconian punishments for driving with an arbitrary amount of alcohol in your system and the courts have allowed road-blocks to interfere with the freedom of travel of citizens “just to check”.
            Then there’s “disparate impact” used to “prove” discrimination.
            Same, same.

    2. Not sure what study you’re referring to, but total deaths are showing a big jump throughout March 2020 – almost double what they would typically be at this time of the year.

      Not all these are attributable to covid-19 itself, and some are probably due to the lockdown rather than the disease. But still, this is a pretty serious jump.

      1. Of course there is an increase in death rates. There’s a new disease that is pretty dangerous to certain segments of the population. The problem is the lack of anyone in government or media actually having an honest discussion about it.

      2. COVID 19 deaths are extremely biased to the right. 50% are 75+ and around 75% are 65+. This brings into question what impact this actually has on excess deaths over the long term. 99% have serious co-morbidities. Which also calls into question any short term excess death claims.

        1. Yeah, seems likely that by the end of the year, the excess death tally will be a lot less shocking.

      3. Four year average of deaths, nationwide, for this period of the year is DOWN 15%.

    3. Most people already died at home before this. But the bigger point is that the effects of an economic shutdown are not simultaneous with the concurrent deaths from the virus. They will take time to manifest and will largely be unmeasurable. The suicide because someone lost their job and life savings. The life saving medical innovation that never happened because investment dried up. The taxes that were never collected leading to less public services leading to more economic downturn.

      1. That is another reason to question the die at home numbers. There is already anecdotal evidence that suicides have increased in a number of areas.

        1. Most suicides happen at home.

    4. I would suggest that the same sort of belief system that implies that government can magically provide health care leads to the belief that government can magically sustain the entire population during a lockdown.

      1. It’s fucking nuts. Bailing out the whole country by its bootstraps. Not going to work.

    5. At-home death rates were trending upward before the shutdown.

  8. As soon as there is a sufficient amount of that malaria drug cocktail, start reopening everything. We should then be able to ride this out without wrecking the country until there is a vaccine.

    1. Start reopening NOW!
      Scared of catching a cold? Stay home.

      1. And this drug cocktail appears to largely ameliorate the symptoms. If so, then there is no need to keep everything shut down.

    2. the unproven vaccine will end up causing far more damage with side effects, reactions, induced sickness from the vaccine itself, just as what now happens with seasonal flu shots. THOSE numbers, if the vaccine is forced upon us all, are all but certain to exceed the numbers of deaths we are now seeing.
      There are a number of effective treatments out there right now…. low cost, effective safe…. HCQ is one of them. Other measures can be adopted at home that reduce one’s likelihood of getting sick from this virus to almost zero. NONE of these are bieng promoted pubilcally.

  9. So let’s say that we all stay inside and stay safe from the big bad virus. Now we’re ready to open up the country to everybody around the world, exposing ourselves to the bug.

    There’s just no way “stay at home for months” is a logical course of action.

    1. 60 and over stay home.
      Problem solved

      1. Same as it ever was during flu season.

  10. The choice we have today is if grandma dies of COVID-19 in 2020 or of some other old age aliment in the next few years. Either way, she’s not living until 2030.

    In 2030, we’re going to look back on a “lost decade” of economic and social upheaval from the COVID-19 response currently in place (and likely continuing in place for the next 24 months until a vaccine is widely distributed). Will we look back and be happy we gave grandma a few more fighting years so that We the Living could suffer for the 2020s?

    1. Good perspective. Also, consider people who are relatively healthy but will die in 3 years…. so if we do shut down for 24 months then 2 of their last 3 years are spent in isolation and with the country in panic.

  11. >>>pits “lives” against “livelihoods.”

    2.636 million peeps in Dallas County. may they rest in peace, 31 have died. doesn’t hold water ….

  12. You know it’s bad when I side with a bio-ethicist whose main job is to justify murder.


    In the words of the great Sonny in A Bronx Tale, ‘No one cares’. All this talk about the elderly makes me laugh. When times are good, no one gives a rat’s ass about two groups: The elderly and Veterans. They only matter when there are cheap political points to be scored off them. How many stories do we hear about Vets being mistreated by governments who send them off to ‘kill the yellow man’ only to shun them once they return? How many stories do we hear (and this goes for both Canada and the USA) about the miserable conditions in old folks homes? So anyone who normally licks their ice-cream cone in normal times but are crying about the old now are full of shit. Full. Of. Shit.

    My concern about the immorality of preventing someone from earning a living is simple. It doesn’t take a genius (sorry Justin, you don’t qualify you quarter-wi sentient piece of lint) to understand the ‘bail out’ measures aren’t going to work if this goes on indefinitely (and the incompetent buffoons ‘leading’ us get to exact their authoritarian cum shots on us) and that Adam Smith’s ‘invisible hand’ will have the final say.

    Has anyone considered the potential fall out of a prolonged shut down in the form of: Suicides, stress, obesity, broken marriages, increased debt loads destroying debt/equity ratios, bankruptcies and other issues I may be missing?

    Also. Fuck this Covid-19. It’s the Wuhan Virus.

    The CCP can lick my balls.

    1. i should add. In Canada, 25 000 cases. But we’re willing to ruin the lives of millions for this?

    2. “Wuhan Flu” just has so much better a ring to it.

      1. Either way, using Covid means you bowed to the left and the CCP.

        Fuck ’em both.

        China referred to it as such in the beginning and the media too.

        Then they turned. They can eat shit and die.

        Wuhan it is.

      2. I prefer calling it the Boomer Doomer flu

      3. I’m trying to make “the covid” happen.
        I like the way it can be used in conversation.

        But, objectively, Kung Flu is the best name

        1. Agree….Kung Flu is the hands down winner. But the social justice warriors tell us the term is racist.

          Wuhan coronavirus is more accurate, but just doesn’t have the zing to it.

      4. I’ve been calling it the flu. Because that’s what it is.

    3. 1. The request for divorces skyrocketed in Wuhan the moment they ended the lockdown. The backlog is enormous.

      2. Justin is a virtue-signalling savant. It is the only thing that ever happens in his head.

    4. other issues I may be missing?

      Hyperinflation. They’re dumping trillions of dollars on an economy that’s one-third or more shut down.

    5. Just to be extra pedantic for a minute: the virus is SARS-CoV2, Covid-19 is the illness it causes. I like calling it “SARS Jr.” because it amuses me most. I don’t care one bit what anyone else wants to call it.

    6. There is also the staggering hypocrisy of those, worrying about every death, while simultaneously advocating unfettered abortions.

  13. “…those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience”

    1. “Macbeth’s self-justifications were feeble – and his conscience devoured him. Yes, even Iago was a little lamb, too. The imagination and spiritual strength of Shakespeare’s evildoers stopped short at a dozen corpses. Ideology—that is what gives evildoing its long-sought justification and gives the evildoer the necessary steadfastness and determination. That is the social theory which helps to make his acts seem good instead of bad in his own and others’ eyes, so that he won’t hear reproaches and curses but will receive praise and honors.”

      Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, the Gulag Archipelago

  14. I think we want to take into account the number of life years lost—not just the number of lives lost.

    “It’s not the years in your life; it’s the life in your years.”

  15. Anyone remember when Milton Friedman rebutted this on tape in the 70s?

    Half the country out of work? No problem! As long as it saves just one life!

    1. Ah man. Where the fuck is Milton when you need him most. Just spent 2 hours watching MF YouTube videos.

  16. If the economy is destroyed in the name of public health, forcing millions of people out of work and businesses bankrupt, then the tax base will be destroyed and the government won’t have the resources to provide that public health, stockpiling respirators, creating test kits, or whatever else people think government should do. Then other services will have to be cut, less police, more crime, infrastructure crumbling. This will then be an economic death spiral, more business failings and unemployment, people fleeing the economically depressed areas, so even less taxes and on and on.

    All the innovation in technology, medicine, and pharmaceuticals that has saved lives required a robust economy and investment. Once the economy collapses and investment dries up, we can’t know the innovations that never happened that would have saved millions more lives than the ones maybe saved from a model projection of this virus.

    1. Our newly “planned” economy is already resulting in milks being dumped at the farms and not available in the supermarkets.
      Right now the lack of TP is the result of people overbuying, but in not too long, we should be able to join Venezuela among those countries which ‘planned’ TP right out of existence:

      “California dairies dump milk, crops may be left to wither as coronavirus pandemic disrupts food system”

      The Chron, being a left-wing rag, claims the disruption is a result of the disease, instead of the manufactured ‘crisis’ and planned economy.

      1. The Chron, being a left-wing rag, claims the disruption is a result of the disease, instead of the manufactured ‘crisis’ and planned economy.

        You misunderstand, comrade. The disruption is not caused by the state. It is an involuntary reflex to the disease. The disease is to blame. The state loves you and it is trying its very best to help you, and maybe, just maybe, if you love it back then salvation will come to you.

    2. Are you implying that the tax base, even previous as it was to Death Plague 2K19, was sufficient to pay for all the things that government spends money on? On what planet do you live? Government hasn’t paid for what is has spent since fiscal year 2001 and is, by my quick google search, about 24 trillion George Washington’s in the hole. It was at 22 trillion a few weeks ago and was projecting the largest budget deficit ever when it was decided to spend an extra 2 trillion dollars on free stuff for everyone, but mostly for campaign donors.

      No, the lack of a tax base is no impediment to spending. Rest assured citizen, your government can spend money it has no way of earning. What is the debt clock currently estimating unfunded liabilities to reach? Just a hair under 140 trillion.

      1. In New York City, debt can only used for capital expenditures like building/fixing a bridge. Expenses like cop salaries must be paid through taxes. Less taxes = less cops.

        1. So there is a bright side.

          1. Update, Di Blasio is now considering changing the law to allow expenses to be funded through debt. I guess he realized how disastrous this shutdown will be.


    3. At which point our government pulls a Greece, freezes all bank and investment accounts, seizes 20 percent of everyone’s assets, and redistributes to those in most need.

      1. We’re getting there.

  17. The discussion of when and how to reopen the country allows the Washington Post, the New York Times, CNN, MSNBC and others to run election-year stories about how Trump is willing to kill your grandma to keep the stock market from crashing, that’s all you need to know.

    1. Hey, I’d shoot my grandmother to keep the Dow from crashing.
      I’d have to dig her up first, died in 1971.

  18. That fool is deluded. You don’t need a healthy population, you need a young population willing to work for a good economy.

    Everything else is wealth transfer from healthy young people to not so healthy old people.

    Get your ass out there and work.

  19. “no choice to be made between public health and a healthy economy—because public health is an essential prerequisite of a healthy economy.”

    The people that drive the economy are healthy.

    1. A healthy economy is a pre-requisite to a healthy medical system.

  20. One death we can celebrate:

    TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi warned on Monday that the Paris climate accord could face death if steps to fight global warming were put on the backburner to facilitate the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

    1. It should be taken out behind the barn and killed with a pitchfork for any reason anyone can think of in the next two seconds.

  21. First the economy is not completely stopped, but it at a low ebb and certainly must be expanded. But that expansion will have to come gradually. For the reboot to happen successfully we need tests and supplies. There is no getting around that problem. We have an incompetent administration that floated along until a real problem developed and then showed their incompetence to us all. We are playing catch up and we can not just wish the economy to start back up. It will take hard work, the kind this administration is not good at.

    1. What are you talking about? They got the death rate down from 2 million to 60,000.

    2. Ask Singapore and Europe how well your strategy worked out.

    3. In a long line of bullshit claims, you’ve outdone yourself:
      “First the economy is not completely stopped, but it at a low ebb and certainly must be expanded. But that expansion will have to come gradually.”
      Bullshit; the economy will expand as it can, gradually or otherwise as the opportunities allow.

      “For the reboot to happen successfully we need tests and supplies. There is no getting around that problem.”
      THAT ‘problem’ is what got us into this mess, you nincompoop!

      “We have an incompetent administration that floated along until a real problem developed and then showed their incompetence to us all. We are playing catch up and we can not just wish the economy to start back up.”
      I’m sure you’re just great at Q-bing the game on Monday, right? Your TDS is at near fatal levels; do NOT seek help!

      “It will take hard work, the kind this administration is not good at.”
      No, it doesn’t take hard work by any administration; it takes canceling the ‘stop work, stay home’ orders.
      That’s all; the economy will begin to function again and any further fucking with it to ‘help’ will do nothing of the sort.

    4. I am rather amazed that on a “liberterian blog” no one has pick up on the surveillance state implications of “effective surveillance, and contact tracing” being essential to successfully restarting without incurring a severe rebound. Be prepared for politicians to argue that CCTV and facial recognition software are needed for effectiveness. After all those tools worked well in China.

      1. I can’t point you where to look, but those aspects are getting some critical comment.
        I agree they are damned dangerous. Personally, I’m focused on allowing the economy to restart and looking for data on that.
        Seriously, have at it! The commenters willing to do some looking are a good reason to be here.

  22. Has any one on this thread actually read the piece that Jacob Sullum is quoting? Did Jacob Sullum even read the piece? Probably not. In the third paragraph is the proviso for opening up the country again. First, the group said, the country needs a national stay-at-home policy through mid-May. Second, testing of everyone who has a fever, or lives with someone who tests positive for Covid-19. Comprehensive contact-tracing would be put in place. Comprehensive quarantine for those infected or in proximity to the infected. There would also be testing of a representative sample in every county, to determine the rate of infection in the population, as well as mapping and alerts to inform the public about the location of Covid-19 cases.
    If these efforts are successfully put in place, the current restrictions could begin to ease in June. In other words you need to make a data driven decision.

    The general trend on these pages from Ronald Bailey and now Jacob Sullum is that the denominator for the case-fatality rate is likely greater than we think, meaning that we do not really have much greater risk than the seasonal flu. In New York 40% of those tested are positive for SARS-COV-2. That is a pretty grim number. And speaking of the flu, typically between 5 and 20% or people in the US get the flu every year. And that is by the way in the presence of a mass vaccination program. Still ~ 100,000 deaths per year and most are aged and with comorbidities. Now what of the projections for SARS-COV2? It can be read out simply. Images of seasonal flu deaths in the US do not usually include mass burials in a major US city. I shudder to think what life would be like right now if there was not a shutdown.

    During the debates for the ACA, the Republicans repeatedly brought up the specter of “death panels” deciding who lives or who dies. Much was made by the MAGA crowd of not wanting some faceless bureaucrat to decide who gets medical care and who does not. Granny’s got to live. Now comes a pandemic and the Republicans are reaping what they sowed. A dysfunctional market driven health care system buried under the weight of need. Now, death by virus seems rather reasonable and since its the old and infirm doing most of the dying well, so be it. Granny’s got to go.

    1. Ignore everything but the last line.

    2. “…During the debates for the ACA, the Republicans repeatedly brought up the specter of “death panels” deciding who lives or who dies. Much was made by the MAGA crowd of not wanting some faceless bureaucrat to decide who gets medical care and who does not. Granny’s got to live. Now comes a pandemic and the Republicans are reaping what they sowed. A dysfunctional market driven health care system buried under the weight of need. Now, death by virus seems rather reasonable and since its the old and infirm doing most of the dying well, so be it. Granny’s got to go.”

      That’s a pretty impressive effort at conflation, goal-post-shoving and other assorted bullshit; all driven by your serious case of TDS.
      I also notice you didn’t bother linking it the article, so your claims of a ‘proviso’ for reopening the economy can be taken with more salt than is healthy.

    3. If these efforts are successfully put in place, the current restrictions could begin to ease in June. In other words you need to make a data driven decision.

      I realize you autists are driven by numbers, but not a single governor, even your precious Democrats, has come out and said the exact metrics they need to reopen the economy. The rest of that paragraph is wish-casting, there simply isn’t going to be a giant testing effort for 330 million people. You’re a tard if you think that’s the case. And by the time June rolls around, people are going to get real antsy to either get back to work, or are going to get fed up with these increasing draconian measures, and will either take their chances, or start taking their frustrations out on their fellow citizens.

      Much was made by the MAGA crowd of not wanting some faceless bureaucrat to decide who gets medical care and who does not. Granny’s got to live. Now comes a pandemic and the Republicans are reaping what they sowed. A dysfunctional market driven health care system buried under the weight of need.

      Hey idiot, why have the Democrat governors been so incompetent in tackling the primary vector of this illness, which has been nursing homes?

      Now what of the projections for SARS-COV2? It can be read out simply. Images of seasonal flu deaths in the US do not usually include mass burials in a major US city.

      Hey dumbass, if Cuomo had allowed the morgues to be emptied and funerals to take place, they wouldn’t have had to put all those bodies out on Hart Island to begin with. That’s a failure of administration, not proof that this is the new Black Plague.

      1. Well, (see Newsom, below), the government(s) are here to fix what the govenrment(s) fucked up in the last five-year-plan!
        And if that doesn’t work, they’re ready with the next one, all with ‘provisos’ to re-open the economy!
        What’s it take to satisfy you guys?!

      2. “a single governor, even your precious Democrats, has come out and said the exact metrics they need to reopen the economy”
        Nor are they willing to describe the metrics and survetllence measures need to prevent multiple rebounds for 15 to 18 more months.

        1. Bite ’em in the ass, DN! They need it.
          JFree has been pitching his bullshit regarding a ‘second wave!!!!’. Is that this year, 5 years down the road? Crickets…
          Bite ’em in the ass!

  23. OK, all 50 governors and the Prez agreed that the best choice was to lock down their states and the federal apparatus.

    Of course the option to do nothing is always a choice. The Govs couldn’t prohibit people from other states from entering their states, but the Prez could and eventually did prohibit entry from other countries.

    Were there any another options offered by federal or state emergency planners or public health staff?

    Since it was pretty evident early on that COVID-19 is most dangerous to older folks, did anyone come up with a plan to lock down just that demographic? For example, it could have come in this form:

    A. At the federal level, pass immediate emergency legislation stating that anyone receiving Social Security/railroad retirement/military pension over the age of (say) 69 will, during the COVID-19 crisis, receive a 100% benefit increase. For a frame of reference, SS paid out a little over a trillion bucks in benefits last year, so it would cost an additional trillion to do this. A lot cheaper than the bailout option they went with.

    B. At the State level, each Governor declare a state of emergency, which requires all persons over that same age as above, go on personal quarantine and home lockdown.

    C. The rest of America, business as usual.

    D. The small army of census workers they hired for the census is now charged with spot checking the old folks to make sure they’re Ok and to encourage them to maintain their lockdown.

    E. The market would most likely respond to the old folks’s need for stuff and services to be delivered to them as they are on lockdown, and the old folks can use their extra benefit money to pay for deliveries.

    1. TLDR: over 60 stay home.

      1. An English “crisis expert” is advocating that everyone over 40 be locked in.

    2. Dan_In_Philly
      April.13.2020 at 8:28 pm
      “OK, all 50 governors and the Prez agreed that the best choice was to lock down their states and the federal apparatus…”

      Your dog ate your cite.

  24. Allsop is a moron. It is equally true that a healthy economy is an essential prerequisite of public health. Without a healthy economy, people don’t have the excess capital to invest in public health. They scrabble to put food in their children’s mouths and defer or even skip any but the direst of medical treatments.

    But even Singer is missing the major costs of the lockdown. In addition to collapsing the economy, it is directly causing deaths. Think of the people who were barely hanging on before this crisis hit and who have been cut off from essential services. Think of the elders who have fallen and are dying alone because their loved ones are afraid to come check on them. Think of the dramatic increase in suicides and domestic violence that’s already occurring. You don’t have to frame this a costs of the economy. You can frame it as a direct cost in lives lost to the lockdown.

    1. “Think of the dramatic increase in suicides and domestic violence that’s already occurring.”

      Suicide rates and shortening life expectancy have been noticeable since long before the pandemic and our politicians have yet to be held accountable for them.

  25. Newsom is not planning to ‘reopen’ the economy, through his onw ‘plan’.
    I don’t think he has the capability to understand what an open economy is; it is NOT what he desires it to be.

    1. Newsom is *now* planning to ‘reopen’ the economy, through his *own* ‘plan’.
      All else is good.

      1. Not only doesn’t he say what his plan is, but the reporters who submit questions at his daily press conference don’t have the balls to ask about, metrics, surveillance and actions in case of even minor rebounds.

        1. When he was mayor of SF, there were a couple of reporters who ASKED HIM QUESTIONS!
          He ducked, regularly, but they continued to ASK HIM QUESTIONS!
          Surprising, given the current lap-dogs who make claims to journalism in SF, but that was at least 6 years ago, and the Chron has pretty much purged any writers who don’t ‘tow the lion’, being taken over by a new publisher who makes sure her beauty shots get regular ink.
          An acquaintance who ‘retired’ from the Chron (in his late 50s?) is notably silent on any sort of ‘issues’; the sports page got infected by an SJW ‘witlessness’, and so forth.
          Newsom would have a compliant press if he showed up in SF again, sadly.

  26. I noticed a lot of Dunning Krueger name drops by the pro lockdown crowd, why dont I hear about Milgram?

    1. Got some cites to suggest why we should care?

      1. The liberal commentariat all over. They say we are not smart enough to know better than “their” experts.

        I’m simply reminded of the Milgram experiment. And sheep.

        1. You need to do more reading; that ‘study’ was faked and has been debunked many times.

  27. Elizehab T Gregg want to have some fun and to play dirtу ==>> Details Here

  28. “Singer forthrightly questions “the assumption…that we have to do everything to reduce the number of deaths.”

    First of all, there is no ‘we’ having to do everything, it’s our politicians who are calling the shots. The rest of us are expected to follow. The writer is ignoring the ‘enormous cost’ to a politician who lets people die avoidable deaths on his/her watch. Politicians fear being held accountable by an angry electorate at election time and losing their seat. Politicians will do what it takes to prevent avoidable deaths for which they fear the electorate will hold them accountable.

    If we wanted politicians who were willing to bear the cost of doing nothing, we’d presumably elect them. For now we’re stuck with the politicians we have.

    1. “The writer is ignoring the ‘enormous cost’ to a politician who lets people die avoidable deaths on his/her watch. Politicians fear being held accountable by an angry electorate at election time and losing their seat.”

      Dude, you’re trying to have it both ways. Here’s the post where you state “Suicide rates and shortening life expectancy have been noticeable since long before the pandemic and our politicians have yet to be held accountable for them” and there’s a similar post of yours farther up:

      1. “Dude, you’re trying to have it both ways.”

        Thanks for paying attention. American politicians typically aren’t blamed for the abysmal state of public health: a higher infant mortality rate than that of Cuba, increasing suicide and obesity rates etc. Still, I think their reaction to the pandemic is motivated by a desire to avoid avoidable deaths. They don’t want to be portrayed as Nero, playing golf while Rome burns.

        Why the difference, why there are ‘two ways to have this,’ I would speculate that suicide and obesity and even poverty is attributable to the victim not being able to buck up and overcome life’s difficulties, not able to control an eating disorder etc. In a word these are arguably self inflicted conditions. The pandemic, on the other hand, hits rich and poor, young and old alike. You can’t blame the victim for getting infected. That makes the pandemic more of an issue that potentially threatens a political career. See what I mean?

        1. I disagree as to the reasons COVID-19 is addressed differently by politicians. I would say it is entirely about the perceived (which might or might not be the same as actual) rapidity of change.

          Suicide and obesity hit the wealthy, too, and the young are disproportionately affected by the former. The political reaction to crack cocaine was proportional to how quickly it changed the landscape. Type 2 Diabetes, which disproportionately affects US blacks relative to non-Hispanic whites and has associated increased morbidities, is largely ignored by politicians, because IMHO it simply crept up on the population just like it’s precursors (overweight and obesity), slowly becoming a new normal of its own.

          I’ll paint with an unflattering, unkind, and admittedly broad brush: Politicians care about what their mostly disengaged constituencies actually notice, and whatever can be exploited. Everything else is a very distant third.

          1. I agree, and I think the prospect of large numbers of people dying avoidable deaths is something that most elected politicians would shy away from. That’s what accounts for the heavy handed response by Trump and other politicians in positions of responsibility.

  29. Jesus tittyfucking Christ, people are dying now. The false choice is to imagine that we can save everyone. We have no idea at this point how much difference all of the shutdowns have made. We do know a lot about how it is destroying economic activity and social lives for everyone.
    Unless we are going to declare that every life has infinite value to everyone, then there is a tradeoff to me made between protecting people from disease and tanking the economy and fucking up everyone’s life. The dishonest position is to pretend there isn’t. And to assume that not doing what we are doing now would be worse.

  30. Those moral titans Pete Singer and Zeke Emmanuel are taking the same position I do? I have some rethinking to do.

    1. “I have some rethinking to do.”

      Here’s something to ponder: 19 titans of industry, each with some medical condition that could be cured by harvesting the organs of 1 simpleton. Are you Utilitarian enough to green light the sacrifice of the simpleton?

      1. Surely there is some deal that can be made with the simpleton. An enormous cash payment to his survivors? A vacation in Tahiti with a hot starlet before the donation? Think outside the box.

      2. That depends. If the simpleton is a member of Congress, he or she deserves it…

  31. I can only imagine how your more mainstream conservative readers are taking this. Mixed feelings, I imagine. On the one hand, I’m sure the “it’s just a cold” wing of mainstream conservatism is right on board with opening everything up. On the other hand, more mainstream right-wing media was absolutely appalled when Italian hospitals started using triage procedures to decide who got treated first. Oh, look, this is the sort of thing you get from state-run healthcare! Now here’s Reason, arguing in favor of economic triage. Hey, citizen, before we care whether you’re sick and possibly going to die, we just need to know: are you old? How many years left do you think you have? Do you have pre-existing conditions? Are you a productive member of society? How long until you retire? Behold the libertarian death panel.

  32. If we put our collective minds together, we can combine the Overton Window with the Broken Window fallacy and create the Broken Overton Window fallacy.

    By cutting the GDP by 40% this year, the 20% growth next year will be the strongest proof yet that governments create prosperity.

  33. The state lacks moral authority to decide which lives matter. Collective decision-making about when we will be allowed to work is a denial of all rights.

  34. I’m sorry I will chime in here as an RN. We see these infections every single year: some worse than others. In most bad flu/cold/parainfluenza seasons we see clusters of death in the aged and infirm. No one bats an eye. No one. At the local level we beef up our supplies and our protocols and move on. It ends.
    What we are seeing now is not so vastly different. It seems to spread faster and that leaves a bunch of questions but the death toll is like a bad year. The average person is not at risk for any of this. And yet I see masked 30 year olds everywhere i go. They’re panicked and they are being fed information to keep them there. There’s not going to be a fast vaccine. If someone is offering you something it usually takes decades to make you should be very wary. When you look at who is behind it you should run away (the Gates Foundation- Bill Gates also funds the WHO and is involved in many nefarious vaccine-related areas. Faucci alsp works for him. Look into this!). You are at the door of the global takeover. You are watching Federal and local control miss the mark. We’re at war all right… and it’s not with a virus.
    The average lifespan is 79!! 79!! And guess what? Many of us will have chronic conditions, get a bug and ultimately die of the exacerbation of the chronic condition as a result of the bug, but in normal times, docs can’t get the special reimbursement they are now getting by claiming a Covid death.
    We have obliterated youth at the expense of those who have had their time. And we have played right into the hands of those who have wanted us there for decades, likely much longer.
    You can choose to believe the lie, the boogeyman… or you can stand up and say GIVE ME LIBERTY…
    I am worried these days that Americans have become a bunch of pussies.

  35. “The average person is not at risk for any of this.”

    I’m a very average person and not concerned about suffering from the virus. Still, I would hate to get infected and pass it along to someone else who might suffer, even die.


    ‘or give me death’ is the part you left out. Careful what you wish for.

    1. You’re in that position every day with the myriad communicable illnesses in existence.
      Lock yourself away, with no income.
      Maybe by the 2030 census, someone will discover your body.

      1. “Lock yourself away, with no income.”

        Two words: Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. You can earn as much as $US5 an hour doing vital work tagging photographs etc.

        1. Give me liberty (unless I might catch cold)
          Is what you, you cowardly piece of shit, left off.

          1. Thank you. Agreed

    2. Give me liberty. I will defend my own security and risk my own death. I am not beholden to any of this bs argument. There’s no death from this cold unless you’re old and ailing. YOU stay home and quarantine and leave the world to those who can HANDLE it.

  36. the entire discussion on the national level, and even local, is focussed on a false dichotomy. They are discussing two options… open it up as it was before the magic virus came along and scared us, or keep things locked down as they are now.
    This is stupid thinking. When you drive your car, the options are not “park it” or “drive it at 125 mph”.
    Most of us are not likely targets. Let us all put our Big Boy Britches back on and decide for ourselves whether I will risk joining these fifty people I know well at church this Sunday, meeting in a room that is less then 15% filled on a crowded day, or whether, because I’m feeling a bit feverish I will stay home and rest. Or whether I will, AFTER I’ve been packed into a crowded grocery store that has been out of toilet paper for three weeks, drop the goods at home then cycle out to the water and go take a four hour hike up to a view point with three friends, or go it solo (at present both would be illegal, go figure).
    Some folks work in a high risk invironment (in terms of this disease) others do not.
    This panic-demonic obsession with government mandating every breath we take.
    When government make ALL our decisions FOR us, then WE do not learn the skills to do so thus become utterly dependent upon and subservient to someone else. And government ever would have it thus.

  37. The false debate is that there’s any point in keeping the shutdown going come May. I live in NY and even here the stay at home measures are already failing. The temperature got above 50, and the sun came out, and the people wanted to do things.

    By the end of the month it’s all going to fall apart, people will be too bored and the weather will be too nice to sustain the shutdown.

    1. And the police said, “hold my beer”.

    2. “people will be too bored and the weather will be too nice to sustain the shutdown.”

      When was the last time you read a book? I’m re-reading Thomas Mann’s masterpiece, The Magic Mountain, a novel set in a sanitarium in Davos. It’s about illness (TB) and killing time.

    3. Here is a link to Magic Mountain, thanks to our Russian comrades at Libgen. You can download without leaving home.

    4. My state’s governor just said on television today, no dropping stay at home orders until we have widespread testing and some way to track people, “an app,” who are sick. Says we will be the federal model for this. Which means months before we are allowed off our leashes.

      Already shortages at stores and hospital workers not devoted to COVID-19 are getting laid off. Woe unto anyone who needs care not related to the virus.

      If I were conspiracy-minded, I’d say this was deliberate.

      1. Doesn’t need a conspiracy. Dipshits like trueman, JFree, Hihn and others are sufficient to provide the required support.
        IOWs, stupidity will suffice.

  38. Shame people can’t discuss this intelligently on here.
    The fact is that we still need massive testing, both PCR & antigen to tell who has had the disease & has antibodies to it, & who has the virus & is contagious. We should have been scaling this up for months now, & this is something only the federal government can do, yet both the administration have failed at this. We could do this in 3 months, tops, if we put $100 billion into it. We could have a national database & test and trace programs in place where it would be safe to open the economy, but we are failing miserably at it. This will come back to haunt us. Those complaining we need to open back up should be complaining to their representatives about this.

  39. This pandemic has been a good remover of cobwebs. Let it finish it jobs, and let the rest of us finish our jobs.

  40. Sacrifice is an interesting concept. In a sense, it is something to be traded with coercion used as a tool. Suppose, pardon my language, if nuking Washington DC were to benefit the lives of everyone else in the country, why wouldn’t we do it?

    1. “why wouldn’t we do it?”

      If Washington were populated entirely with unwanted foetuses, we probably would.

  41. I’m sorry. I’m done. This is not a libertarian site at all. Libertarians aren’t collectivists advocating for broad public health for the “common good.” That is opposite the point. Either you’re all accepting this label on false premises or you’ve been severely corrupted. I for one am 100% medical choice and freedom at the cost of security for any and all. No compromise. I am certain we have become a nation of pussies.

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  43. I’m glad someone is looking at this in terms of “life years.”

    however they are only looking at one half of this equation.

    if i am told to stay in my house for 6 months and everything in my life- my mortgage, my job, my education, my vacation plans, how much football i get to watch, etc are put into stasis for a year you have in fact shortened my life by one year. no one at all is discussing this. they all seem to think because i am awake and watching netflix and eating takeout that i’m living my life. i am not, and i am never getting this time back. my life is not longer now to make up for this time that has been taken away now.

    sure, its not a perfect one to one because i can accomplish some things during this time. but i’d say it’d be fair to say that 3 months of lockdown costs me 2 months of my life.

    this applies to every single living person.

    so now do the math and tell me, are we really saving any “life years” at all with any of this foolishness?

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