Coronavirus

The Reopen Debate Is a False Dichotomy

Staying inside forever and going back to normal today aren't the only choices.

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Contrary to what you may have heard, Los Angeles County is not closing for another three months.

The original message from the county's public health director Barbara Ferrer—and from the media that covered it—caused an uproar. But the actual directive moves L.A. into stage two of its reopening plan, permitting residents to resume outdoor activities. Beaches are no longer off limits, nor are golf courses, tennis courts, or hiking trails. It allows all retail businesses except those in indoor malls to reopen for delivery or pickup. Manufacturing and logistics sector businesses deemed nonessential are permitted to restart, so long as social distancing guidelines are put in place. The county will continue to lift restrictions as they observe downward trends in the area's COVID-19 outbreak.

That's a start. But it still tells Angelanos not to resume socializing with anyone outside of their immediate household.

Meanwhile, D.C.'s shutdown remains as restrictive as ever, and it's currently scheduled to stay that way through June 8. The sole regard in which Mayor Muriel Bowser is loosening the rules is with a pilot program allowing select retail establishments to restart for curbside and front-door pickup.

Cases in D.C. have decreased 4 percent over the last 14 days, and the curve has plateaued. As of yesterday, 25 percent of ICU beds were empty and the hospital system has yet to experience a ruinous patient influx.

"While we are making significant progress based on the data and metrics that we are following closely, we are not ready to begin a phased reopening of the District," Bowser said at a Wednesday town hall. She did note that she can revise the order at any time, if the data start trending in the right direction.

After two months of some form of government-enforced isolation, when will leaders be ready? The chief purpose of the lockdown was to "flatten the curve"—that is, to squash the virus's projected spread from a mountainous upward trajectory into a more docile hill, saving hospitals from a cataclysmic onslaught of patients. Lost in the recent conversation is that, by and large, the U.S. has successfully flattened the curve.

Also lost in the discussion: A grand total of one state—the sparsely populated North Dakota—has sufficiently met the Trump administration's guidelines for beginning a phased reopening.

Indeed, 31 of the 32 states that have begun some sort of partial comeback are doing so against the federal guidelines, which came from a president eager to restart the economy. Even so, reopeners deemed high-risk like Florida and Georgia have yet to experience an uptick in cases, though many experts were sure they would. That casts the debate into an even more ambiguous light, as the two respective sides—economic vitality vs. public health—claim to have the higher ground.

But a middle ground is possible. We can tread lightly amid health uncertainties while trying to address the enormous economic and social toll of forbidding people from seeing anyone outside of their household for months on end.

"The full lockdown made sense weeks ago," wrote Marty Makary, a surgeon and a professor of health policy at the Johns Hopkins, in a New York Times op-ed this week. "But the situation is changing, and more data on the virus are now available to inform our next steps. The choice before us isn't to fully lock down or to totally reopen. Many argue as though those are the only options."

Indeed, failing to reckon with the public health reverberations of seemingly eternal lockdowns is its own form of imprudence. Much has been made about the obvious economic implications, which are devastating. Largely absent from the conversation are the equally obvious social costs. A poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation concluded that nearly half of American adults feel their mental health is suffering amid the pandemic and the associated isolation. Human beings have basic needs, and not everyone lives with a family or partner. Admonishments to just watch Netflix don't really cut it anymore.

A vaccine isn't expected until 2021 at the earliest. For many, the lockdowns are already coming to an end whether governments like it or not. Effective policy making will have to take that restlessness into account, along with all the trade-offs that are fueling it. An endless holding pattern is not an effective strategy.

NEXT: What's the Herd Immunity Threshold for the COVID-19 Coronavirus?

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  1. So oits true iys not a binary choice.

    But maybe staying inside or not should be left up to the individual Billy?

    Thus is a libertarian site now isn’t it.

    1. No. No. Billy wants Effective policy making …..

      1. Taking after Suderman on that. Suderman is completely fine with authoritarian policies as long as they are sold as having a smooth process

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        2. The problem I have with selective openings is this: it in some states and counties means small businesses and churches stay closed, while big businesses, bars, and other ‘non-essential’ services are also open. Liberty Counsel and other legal groups that deal with religious freedom cases all the time are swamped right now with cases at the county and state level. Some of these groups are fighting cases where social distancing is being observed, the building can hold about three hundred people, and sixteen showed up. (The law only permits ten). Since when do we have states that can limit the First Amendment like this? We should also remember that when totalitarians rule, the freedoms of religion and speech are often the first to be attacked or removed.

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      2. . . . that “take[s] that restlessness into account.” The passive-aggressive tone of that little jibe makes me want to kick Billy B. in the balls.

        1. Oh, shit, I misread that sentence. I thought it said “recklessness.” My apologies to the author.

          1. Never apologize to Binion.
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    2. Where I live in WA, the Sheriff isn’t enforcing most Gov. You Inslee’s restrictions anymore. I’m sitting in a local diner waiting for my dinner to be served as I write this. Which Inslee has forbidden. More places are following suit each day.

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    3. “Thus is a libertarian site now isn’t it.”

      Erm, I don’t think it is. I had thought it was, but the articles seem to all be about how effective policies are in achieving some government aim, without much or any concern about the proper role of government or the concept of maximum liberty. I think at best it would be that kind of libertarianism that the media keeps telling us is the dominant thinking in Silicon Valley… the heavily Democratic, left-wing Silicon Valley. That’s not libertarianism any more than modern American leftists are “liberal.” They’re as illiberal as they come.

      The thing that was left out of this (and many other) article(s) is that which governmental actions work to bend the trajectory of the lines on a graph is secondary to the question as to whether the government had the moral or legal authority to be taking those actions in the first place.

      For those Reason.com editors who have missed this bit, pay attention. The role of government is to protect our liberty, not to restrict it, and certainly not to be our parents and tell us not to do things or we’ll get sick (and if we do them anyway, they will take us to jail and make sure we get the thing they were willing to arrest us to prevent us from getting).

      Remember all those people who derisively call libertarians “anarchists?” It’s not true, since libertarians recognize that abolishing all government would leave a vacuum that would pull in some kind of despotic dictator, and the result of that would be that the dictatorship would be the new de facto government, and one without liberty.

      To advocate actual anarchy is to advocate dictatorship, as one inevitably will lead to the other. The people who think that the communist fantasy of “the state withering away” once true communism is reached are, like the self-styled anarchists who think that a sustained state of anarchy could ever be achieved, not students of human nature. A government is thus a necessary evil, and we must never forget the “evil” part. That’s why we want to keep it small and relatively weak, so that it will have its hands full with its actual purpose (preserving liberty), and have no excess power with which to seize more power and impinge upon the liberty it is supposed to be preserving.

      The goal is to have just enough government to prevent the rise of a despotic dictatorship from happening, but not so much that it has the excess power to try to have its fingers in every pie and to regulate every aspect of our lives. Our government now does just that, and so do all the other ones in the world, and the ideal of a government that is the absolute least we could get away with is so foreign that Silicon Valley and the kinds of articles here on Reason appear libertarian by contrast. We ought to be in a place where a typical, middle of the road individual reading the above article would think it was written by a radical authoritarian, not something found on an ostensibly libertarian site. The lockdowns we’ve seen in the US should not only not have happened, but should have never even been seriously considered by any governor or mayor in this country. The idea should have been unthinkable, and yet here we are, begging for our masters to let us have a slightly bigger slice of our constitutionally guaranteed natural rights that they had no authority to take away in the first place.

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    4. Thus is a libertarian site now isn’t it.

      New here?

    5. Sometimes I wonder. Illinois Gov. Pritzker has essentially banned any church, regardless of size or safety measures from holding services of more than ten people, *including pastoral staff*! Two Romanian immigrant pastors, who pastor Logos Baptist ministries and Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church have seen this type of thing in Romania, but not in America – until now. Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot has also threatened to arrest the pastors, in spite of the health measures the churches are taking.

      1. Well, religious rights are icky and Reason is not too gung ho on icky rights.

        Now, if one dares to limit abortion access…THEN you will rage here.

    6. Restrictions on large gatherings like sports events make sense while there is still a high risk of overwhelming the health care system. My hospital should be accessible for appendectomies and elective cancer surgery, not stuffed full of Covid cases from people who went to see their favorite team play in a crowded stadium. Hospital capacity is a common resource and government has a right to protect it. If there is a lot of excess hospital/doctor capacity than easing restrictions makes sense. If capacity is tight, then some restrictions make sense even if they have to be tightened after they are loosened. We can’t depend totally on people making the right decisions without any ability to enforce restrictions when we have a central resource that has limited capacity.

      Water supplies are also central resources. We don’t allow everyone to make the personal decision to dump garbage into the water system or not. Likewise we need to restrict the number of people who want to dump themselves on the health care system if the system capacity doesn’t allow it.

  2. Actually they kind of are. If we are not going to go back to normal now, then when are we going back to normal? What guarantee is there we will ever go back to normal without some kind of promised end date to all this? There isn’t.

    So, without a set plan and a set date where things go back to normal no matter what, then there is no reason to believe they will ever go back to normal. And endless restriction is really no better than endless lockdown.

    If we don’t go back to normal now, then I think it is fair to say we might never go back to normal. So, in that sense the choices are either go back to normal or spend forever allowing our fear and the manipulation of others to rob us of our way of life.

    1. Much better would be to let people choose their own normal, which is the way it has always been. If you are willing to take your risks or are not, public policy shouldn’t get in the way. Being responsible and acting in a prudent manner has always been an individual choice, suffer the consequences as you will.

      The big thing that most are missing is that the guy who was your neighbor a year ago and they would have told to fuck-off is they same guy that people bow down to as though there was some wisdom that comes along with the oath of office. Clearly there isn’t. At best they serve well as a collective point of information. At worst, they make decisions that overrule best common sense. In most cases, it’s the latter.

      1. That is what I mean. By normal i mean the government not being involved and people figuring out on their own how cautious to be like they do with every other risk.

        1. The pro-lockdown people (the 60 something percent of people who are supposedly against ending all of the lockdowns) are apparently so habituated to their Stockholm syndrome that they don’t fully realize that ending the lockdowns doesn’t mean they HAVE to go back to the way things were before, even as the same surveys that tell us that most people support the lockdowns also tell us that most people say they will not return to normal if the lockdowns end immediately. They really don’t want to have to choose anything, preferring the comfort of being told what to do like a child over the uncertainty of being an adult.

          1. was talking to the Mrs this morning after we watched the news and this poll came up (forget what channel).

            I said something along the lines of:

            I wonder how many of those people demanding longer lockdowns would feel if things were *really* locked down. Being able to run to the grocery store or Wal-Mart or picking up your favorite take-out…those are all ways and places where you can infect other or be infected.

            So I mean *really locked down*: no grocery stores, no Wal-Mart, no fast-food drive throughs, no pizza delivery, no Uber-Eats or Door-Dash or whatever. No Amazon or Target online. No home delivery. No jogging, visiting a park, etc. You’ll stay in your house or else–we’ll allow you to wander around in your own backyard (backyard only), if you have one. For food, what you’ll get is a government truck will deliver a box of food for one person to eat for a week, and drop off the boxes at your front doorstep based on the number of people in your household (hope you didn’t lie on the census form!). An armed escort will accompany the delivery person to ensure that no one opens their doors while the delivery person is within 20 feet of the door.

            The ONLY “essential” personnel will be those involved with treating COVID and for delivering the food. These people will be issued uniforms and ID lanyards. So there’s no reason for anyone one else to ever venture outside of their house and anyone on the streets who is not in uniform obviously has no business being there, and will be subject to immediate detention in physical quarantine facilities.

            Let them imagine a real lockdown for a few minutes then ask that 60% the question again. Bet the answer is different.

  3. But a middle ground is possible.

    Why? Why must there be a middle ground? Why are you so goddamn afraid that left wing won’t like you that you feel compelled to placate them with every piece you write? Even if I agreed with your mealymouthed mollification of assholes who aren’t in the least interested in compromising with you, surely you’ve taken enough writing and rhetoric classes to know that bathing your every paragraph in an insipid glop of conditionals not only robs it of any force or power, but also renders it incredibly unpleasant to read.

    In the words of the author of Revelation:

    I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

    Afuckingmen.

    1. leftwingers*

      What must I spit out to receive an edit button?

      1. Money?

        1. Would that were the case! I’d be willing to throw down a few bucks a year for a bona fide button of edit.

          1. Hell, I’d pay money to have an “ignore” button.

    2. Testify!

  4. Fuck you and anyone who looks like you, Billy Binyon. We elect Governors to administrate the laws passed by legislatures, not dictate via edict. Emergency powers are only granted in limited situations where time for reaction is limited and the risk to life is real, which is not what we are currently facing. 99% of this bullshit is unconstitutional at both the state and federal level and anyone with 1/2 a brain knows it. It is time for lockdowns to be declared illegal. The WI court struck the first blow.

    1. Nice

    2. Limited situations and for a limited time. Time has long passed for this stuff to be in any way appropriate or anything but an abuse of power. Oh’ we ill use lube and give you a kiss, doesn’t make it anything other than what it is. That may work for Binyon and his ilk. But it sure as hell doesn’t work for me and nor should it for anyone who give a shit about freedom.

      1. Oh’ we ill use lube and give you a kiss, doesn’t make it anything other than what it is.

        Thank you. I pointed out, first in jest, that governors in the U.S.A. have essentially been ordering women (and men) to cover their faces in public, to satisfy the beliefs of ‘scientific fundamentalists’, because they sure as shit aren’t scientific reasons. Yet the pan(dem)ic-stricken portion of the public is chomping on this turd-sandwich in awe as if was something handed out during the miracle of the loaves and fishes.

    3. We elect Governors

      No we do not.

    4. Not just governors. Mayors are being revealed as petty tyrants who’ve just been vibrating with glee at the chance to open the red folder they’ve kept in their drawer for years…

      Consider the edicts dumped on the public of Champaign, IL way back in early March by their mayor:

      Champaign Mayor Deborah Frank Feinen has issued an executive order that would give her office “extraordinary powers.”

      (1) Issue such other orders as are imminently necessary for the protection of life and property.

      (2) Order a general curfew applicable to such geographical areas of the City or to the City as a whole, as the Mayor deems advisable, and applicable during such hours of the day or night as the Mayor deems necessary in the interest of public safety and welfare.

      (3) Order the closing of all retail liquor stores, including taverns and private clubs or portions thereof wherein the consumption of intoxicating liquor and beer is permitted;

      (4) Order the discontinuance of the sale of alcoholic liquor by any wholesaler or retailer;

      (5) Order the discontinuance of selling, distributing, or giving away gasoline or other liquid flammable or combustible products in any container other than a gasoline tank properly affixed to a motor vehicle;

      (6) Order the discontinuance of selling, distributing, dispensing or giving away of explosives or explosive agents, firearms or ammunition of any character whatsoever;

      (7) Order the control, restriction and regulation within the City by rationing, issuing quotas, fixing or freezing prices, allocating the use, sale or distribution of food, fuel, clothing and other commodities, materials, goods or services or the necessities of life;

      (8) (a) Order City employees or agents, on behalf of the City, to take possession of any real or personal property of any person, or to acquire full title or such lesser interest as may be necessary to deal with a disaster or emergency, and to take possession of and for a limited time, occupy and use any real estate to accomplish alleviation of the disaster, or the effects thereof;

      (b) In the event any real or personal property is utilized by the City, the City shall be liable to the owner thereof for the reasonable value of the use or for just compensation as the case may be.

      (9) Order restrictions on ingress or egress to parts of the City to limit the occupancy of any premises;

      (10) To make provision for the availability and use of temporary emergency housing;

      (11) Temporarily suspend, limit, cancel, convene, reschedule, postpone, continue, or relocate all meetings of the City Council, and any City committee, commission, board, authority, or other City body as deemed appropriate by the Mayor.

      (12) Require closing of business establishments.

      (13) Prohibit the sale or distribution within the City of any products which could be employed in a manner which would constitute a danger to public safety.

      (14) Temporarily close any and all streets, alleys, sidewalks, bike paths, public parks or public ways.

      (15) Temporarily suspend or modify, for not more than sixty (60) days, any regulation or ordinance of the City, including, but not limited to, those regarding health, safety, and zoning. This period may be extended upon approval of the City Council.

      (16) Suspend or limit the use of the water resources or other infrastructure.

      (17) Control, restrict, allocate, or regulate the use, sale, production, or distribution of food, water, fuel, clothing, and/or other commodities, materials, goods, services and resources.

      (18) Suspend or limit burning of any items or property with the City limits and up to two (2) miles outside the corporate limits.

      (19) Direct and compel the evacuation of all or part of the population from any stricken or threatened areas within the City if the mayor deems this action is necessary for the preservation of life, property, or other disaster or emergency mitigation, response or recovery and to prescribe routes, modes of transportation and destination in connection with an evacuation.

      (21) Approve application for local, state, or federal assistance.

      (22) Establish and control routes of transportation, ingress or egress.

      (23) Control ingress and egress from any designated disaster or emergency area or home, building or structures located therein.

      (24) Approve the transfer the direction, personnel, or functions of City departments and agencies for the purpose of performing or facilitating emergency or disaster services.

      (25) Accept services, gifts, grants, loans, equipment, supplies, and/or materials whether from private, nonprofit, or governmental sources.

      (26) Require the continuation, termination, disconnection, or suspension of natural gas, electrical power, water, sewer, communication or other public utilities or infrastructure.

      (27) Close or cancel the use of any municipally owned or operated building or other public facility.

      (28) Declare, issue, enforce, modify and terminate orders for quarantine and isolation of persons or animals posing a threat to the public, not conflicting with the directions of the Health Officer of the community.

      (29) Exercise such powers and functions in light of the exigencies of emergency or disaster including the waiving of compliance with any time consuming procedures and formalities, including notices, as may be prescribed by law.

      (30) Issue any and all such other orders or undertake such other functions and activities as the Mayor reasonably believes is required to protect the health, safety, and welfare of persons or property within the City or otherwise preserve the public peace or abate, clean up, or mitigate the effects of any emergency or disaster.

  5. “The full lockdown made sense weeks ago,” wrote Marty Makary, a surgeon and a professor of health policy at the Johns Hopkins, in a New York Times op-ed this week.

    Except that even this is a lie because we now know that the worst hit states inflated the number of casualties by forcing COVID positive patients into otherwise COVID free nursing homes and through malice or stupidity manufactured a significant death toll.

    1. And if got hit by a truck, and died the next day, but the hospital had even one C19 case, they logged you as killed by the virus. Something about federal money.

      The true debate is about individual freedom against government dictates.
      And there is a right and wrong, and the statists are wrong.

    2. Sorry I did not mean to flag this comment. I could not agree more.
      The lock down has purpose beyond the flimsy excuse they gave. The mortality rate is inflated by media lie, false death certificates and by poor treatment. Survival rate even on elderly was better without respirators than with. What could the purpose be for destroying small business and leaving millions of Americans without work and only able to feed families by the grace big brother. Dr.Fauci who insists on making the problem worse has billions of reasons to do so. Enough money went from the Gates Foundation to Fauci to the Wuhan lab to buy influence. I have no proof but the attitude of Bill Gates giddy with the prospect of creating a global “market for vaccines” just smells to high heaven. Mr. Bill likes monopoly capitalism like the Windows software we were stuck with. He imagines he can hold humanity hostage till he gets his unimaginable ROI. As a retired IT worker I spent years dealing with Micro$oft. I will never believe Gates give a hair off a rat’s ass about the health of anyone.

    3. Some immunologists, such as Drs. Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi have said the lockdown was the wrong approach all along, but their voices are drowned out by the likes of Dr. Fauci. They believe that ‘herd immunity’ would be best served if people were given the opportunity to develop antibodies, (as Rand Paul did) rather than through a vaccine. The only place they can get a real hearing on their evidence seems to be WND.
      https://www.wnd.com/2020/04/microbiologists-testing-shows-lockdowns-actually-harmful/

  6. It’s amusing he attacks strawmen for both sides while pretending to be the voice of reason.

  7. It’s been back to normal here for a while. I mean there are frightened rabbits in their burrows who get their news from the daily show and other lefty clowns posing as knowledgeable people. But the rest of us just went on about our lives. I’d say the world is run by centrist and conservatives and the left is just a barnacle taking from the others.

      1. Clown world.

        My city never really shut down. So have that going for me. Sure no bars and no dine in. Nail salons still operated in some places. Hospitals shut the fuck down endangering lives, dem mayor has to live with that. But most people ignored the orders and police barely enforced.

        1. Restaurant i stopped by tonight was packed.
          Been busy all week, but overflowing tonight.
          Definitely not much social distancing going on, though some, maybe a third, of the employees had masks on.
          Good stuff

        2. Where was this?

  8. >>But a middle ground is possible.

    yeah everybody can decide for their own goddam selves.

    1. Maybe the ice people of Minnesota have much lower normal body temperatures than the rest of us.

      1. In point of fact, the average body temperature of Americans has declined over the past 150 years, likely because people are in a less overall inflammatory state than they were in the 19th century.

        1. i never get to 98.7 i thought i was part undead or something

          1. Had to have my temperature taken (new normal!) to get into my appointment with an opthalmologist this morning and registered a 95.6. They didn’t even suggest I get treated for hypothermia, the insensitive cretins!

            1. bigots.

            2. Every morning during my company authoritarian moment I hit just under 97. Wondering if they biased the readings for just show protections.

          2. Same here. At 98.6 I’m warm, flushed, and otherwise obviously feverish.

        2. Or we’re all less active.

    2. What if you just have a cold or something else? What if you just get sick in this lunatic environment? How are you supposed to take care of yourself if you can’t get in anywhere?

      1. John, there are no colds. Every sniffle is covid. Every drug of is covid. Every neck break is covid. This is the new normal.

        Covid1984.

    3. Mrs. Casual works at a local hospital. They pooled the labor in order to deal with the pandemic. People with GEDs were put in charge of temperature screening at the doors. After the first week, someone brings up at a town hall meeting that they need to do something about the thermometer calibrations and/or training because people with 93 degree temperatures were being allowed in systematically.

      Zombies, Vampires, and Lizard People welcome. No COVID!

    4. Wait until some “expert” says that those temperatures must be taken rectally.

  9. A vaccine isn’t expected until 2021 at the earliest.

    And by that time we’ll have 90% herd immunity. Or possibly 3%.

    1. A vaccine for this is an unrealistic expectation.

      1. There is a vaccine for governmental overreach, however. The brand I buy is made by Winchester.

      2. The vaccine is normal human evolutionary antibodies.

        It’s like we dont even pretend evolution brought us here.

  10. Here I was thinking that I was going to click on this to read Binion argue that reopening debate was a false dichotomy because no one that instituted the lockdowns had any authority to do so in the first place. You know, like a libertarian. My mistake.

  11. When Iowa started “re-opening” a couple weeks ago, all that meant was “a handful of restrictions are being slightly eased back in certain counties”, including mine. But, like clockwork, my State Representative (a Democrat) threw a hissy fit about “IT’S TOO EARLY TO REOPEN THE STATE!!!!”

  12. The reopen debate is a false dichotomy especially if you frame it as such.

    The ‘back to normal’ crowd isn’t going to go around tearing masks off of people’s faces and forcing them to stand within 6 ft. of each other but the ‘staying inside’ crowd is certainly demonstrating that they’ll not only tell you how close together normal is, when wearing a face mask is normal and when it isn’t, but they’ll dictate a whole lot more of your normal for you if you let them.

  13. I am 70 years old. The flimsy excuse for the lock down is long past proven to be false. I will take my chances. We can’t commit suicide to avoid a headache.

  14. HALLELUJAH. May not be the perfect message, but this idea that it is either all money or all health is absurd.

    Personally, I think the lockdowns are constitutionally suspect at best. Two weeks to flatten the curve? OK. More than two months with new admonitions that we can’t go out until it is “safe?” BS. The world is not safe and never will be. Masks are a form of public health theatre similar to what we see with airport security. Most masks don’t fit tightly enough to keep molecules from escaping. Nor will they filter out any dreaded incoming particles. It’s the “doing something” mindset.

    I also think that it’s outrageous that we have done ANY of this for a virus that has, at worst based on the latest “science,” a 99.4% survival rate. It gets higher if you are younger and don’t have other chronic health problems. But the dialogue is poisoned by the idea that it is either fully open or fully closed. It IS a false dichotomy.

    Finally, the sunk-cost fallacy: the government will not back off of this and admit they went too far. They’ve bet it all on this virus being a complete disaster. If they admit they were wrong to go so far universally, they will have SO much egg on their face. Which is why the media is now reporting on scary new symptoms and the fact that three (!) children have died from a syndrome presumed to be linked to the dread virus. It has to be terrifying. It has to be deadly and awful. Otherwise they have ruined lives and livelihoods for no real reason. We all gotta die of something. Our government has forbid us to fully live. And THAT is the real crime here.

    1. This was so well-written and summed up everything I’ve been thinking very nicely.

      I’m sharing this article to my Facebook page, and I hope you don’t mind that I’m quoting you in my post. It said what I’ve tried to say much more artfully that what I’ve been able to manage.

      1. I don’t mind – that’s a very nice compliment. Thank you.

    2. Finally, the sunk-cost fallacy: the government will not back off of this and admit they went too far. They’ve bet it all on this virus being a complete disaster.

      And to think they could simply declare victory at flattening the curve and get almost everything back to normal (no nursing home visits), and yet they persist. Thus, one must question the motives and/or intelligence of these folks.

      1. No U.S. political party platform has ever admitted past error.

        1. Not true. The Democrats insist that they are no longer the party of slavery.

    3. I generally agree. I take the virus’s seriously and really don’t my want to get it. So I’m careful. I do wear masks when shopping and I wash my hands constantly. I can understand a moratorium on say, concerts. But I’m completely mystified as to why parks and beaches can’t open, much less all stores? It makes no sense. If you have a low risk tolerance, stay the duck home. You won’t go any broker than you’re going now.

      1. Why not concerts?

        Are adults permitted to make decisions about themselves or not?

        If an adult is not able to make such decisions, then the government, by default, has the obligation to serve as replacement parents, no?

  15. The chief purpose of the lockdown was to “flatten the curve”

    No it wasn’t. That was the handy excuse they latched on to, but the lockdown was just a way of hitting the pause button as these would-be central planners were hit with the full force of what it takes to actually make a million decisions for a million people every single day and they realized there was no way possible to do it.

    We’ve all been there, you get overwhelmed by events and you just wish the world could stop for 5 minutes and give you a chance to breathe and clear your head and think about things. These people actually thought they did have the power to make the world stop, they’re just too stupid to realize how pathetic their delusions about how smart and capable and powerful they are really are. You didn’t fail to handle this thing properly because you weren’t properly prepared, you’re failing to handle this thing because you’re attempting the impossible and so stupidly arrogant you refuse to see that you’re attempting the impossible.

    Look, I totally could have lifted the Statue of Liberty over my head, but I forgot to rosin up my hands and my grip slipped. No, you retard, you can’t lift the Statue of Liberty over your head and you’re a retard for even trying. Stop thinking you can do it, accept your limitations and try something more reasonably modest.

  16. Thanksfor sharing this amazing News

  17. We can tread lightly amid health uncertainties while trying to address the enormous economic and social toll of forbidding people from seeing anyone outside of their household for months on end.

    “The full lockdown made sense weeks ago,” wrote Marty Makary, a surgeon and a professor of health policy at the Johns Hopkins, in a New York Times op-ed this week. “But the situation is changing, and more data on the virus are now available to inform our next steps. The choice before us isn’t to fully lock down or to totally reopen. Many argue as though those are the only options.”

    This has been my position from the start. Use a measured response, adjusted as data are available. Early data – now understood to be flawed – presented a terrible picture, and a strong response made sense. But now we know better (still some uncertainty) and should adjust our response.

  18. I have to disagree. Very few current business models work under most proposed “social distancing” guidelines. Tyranny in the name of “Public Health” is tyranny just the same. I believe this is a binomial choice. http://axdwhiteman.com/index.php/9-uncategorised/321-time-to-choose-societal-collapse-vs-abandon-covid-19-restrictions

  19. The mayour of LA is just another petty tyrant, making up inane rules just so his cops can have a reason to force people to OBEY. “We’ll never be completely open until we have a cure”

    “While beaches in Los Angeles County finally reopened, only certain activities are allowed. Walking and running on paths and the beach is allowed, but bike riding is not. “Ocean activities” such as swimming and surfboarding is allowed. Sitting or sunbathing on the beach is not allowed.

    WTF? You can walk or run, but not ride a bike? How is that rational with respect to COVID? You can swim or surf, but not sit quietly on the beach? How is that rational with respect to COVID?

    “Look, we have to tell the hard truths and protect our people. At the same time, we take steps forward. For instance, this past weekend we opened up our trails, we have retail for curbside pickup. We’ll see that expanded and even some active recreation on our beaches this coming weekend,” he continued. “Those are important. And we’ve never been fully closed. We’ll never be completely open until we have a cure, but I do believe that we can take steps. But monitor those numbers, listen to the scientists and the medical professionals, and make the tough calls even when there’s criticism.”

    1. He took his cue from Gretchen.

      Rowboats good, motorboats bad and so forth…

  20. While compromise is nice, sometimes it is the wrong choice. This is one of them.

    A slow opening will increase the number of deaths from covid, as well as from other issues that are well known with economic distress. I could get into the numbers, but that tends to confuse anyone not statically oriented. So, I will put it in common-sense terms. I will quote some ‘facts’ that I believe to be relevant. They are well supported.

    Only 2.5-5% of deaths are in healthy people. The data rate is about 1% max. That is a death rate of .025x.01, or about .00025 among healthy people.

    We should open full bore immediately.

    Healthy people – Work force is estimated at 110M. If (if – I don’t know actual stats on this) 80M do not have health issues and return to work now, go to theaters and ball games and concerts without spacing limitations, etc., Because the virus spreads so rapidly and easily, it is reasonable to assume that this group would result in a death number of approximately 20,000 people (minuscule number), all within about 3-5 months.

    People with health issues – Stay home and continue to isolate, SIP, etc., exactly as they are doing now. If you believe that the SIP plan actually works (NYC numbers don’t indicate that) then there will be very few deaths from that group.)

    5 months from now we have virtual complete immunity in the world at large, and no cases in the SIP group. Now the virus is virtually gone PRIOR to the winter season.

    Without a full opening, the immediate deaths among young people, etc., will be fewer, but within a period of time will catch up – probably within a year. Meanwhile, the virus is still alive (although in fewer quantities) for a longer period of time. This will require the SIP crowd to stay SIP for a longer period between 6 and 12 months longer. And, again, given NYC and how difficult it has been for SIP people to stay safe, how can they possibly stay safer over 18 months than 5 months?

    Additionally, there will be considerably fewer deaths due to economic disaster. Some estimates of deaths in the US form lockdown policies to be as high as 150,000. Impossible to predict but is certainly substantial.

    Flaws in my argument that I can think of:
    -some people may think they are healthy, but aren’t.
    -some people need tower that have health conditions. They are at larger risk.
    -households with multi-generational families will have increased risk for older people because of increased risk from grandchildren, etc. (although this risk is not much different from a slow reopening).
    -provision has to be made to help those who need to SIP (doctors’ orders, etc.) and then financial support
    -a successful vaccine is developed and usable well before 12-18 months (highly unlikely)
    -new treatments appear immediately (likely, but probably not overly effective)

    These ‘flaws’ have some significance, but are not significant enough to defeat the general argument.

    This is, essentially, Sweden’s model. Some criticize and some praise. We won’t know for another 8-12 months whether they were right. Currently they believe their ‘herd immunity’ in Stockholm is around 40%, and increasing rapidly – well above other cities. But I think it is fair to assume their model has at least as good a chance of being accurate as the ‘slow opening’ model. And, meanwhile, they haven’t destroyed the economy or the lives of children, business owners, etc.å

    1. One thing they don’t usually reflect on is that flattening the curve doesn’t significantly change the area under the curve. If there are 200k at-risk people who would almost certainly die if exposed at any time to COVID-19, then there’s still 200k likely to die, they’ll just be spread out over more time. Some number may be saved because of the flatter curve allowing for better utilization of hospital beds and ventilators. But unless some miracle treatment comes about very soon or a vaccine is created followed vast immunization program, those most-at-risk people will eventually be exposed and will die anyway.

      1. It’s not really a matter of IF they get exposed (and subsequently die). It’s a matter of WHEN. The virus is in the wild, and these half-assed lockdowns aren’t fooling the virus one bit. The only way someone in the fated group doesn’t die of COVID eventually is that they die of something else first.

      2. Mathematically, flattening the curve doesn’t change the area at all. You’re just integrating a different function which will result in the same #.

        1. However, none of it implies the function was correct to begin with of course.

      3. mpercy
        You hit the nail on the head. The only reason for the lockdown was to prevent the medical system from being overwhelmed. We actually accomplished that, until politicians got involved. The original fifteen day lockdown was not a bad idea. Then it became weaponized.

  21. “But it still tells Angelanos not to resume socializing with anyone outside of their immediate household.”

    Yeh, go fuck yourself. That should be the response. I’ve already started hanging out with family. If Rob Ford and Justin Poptart Lasagne can do it, so can the rest of us.

    Black markets are forming. A friend who cuts hair (and was ok with the lockdown) is ready to go under ground now. Two months seems to be the limit. People were willing to give low IQ leaders a shot for a couple of months. But then the low IQ morons got addicted to the power and began to lie trying to keep things locked up indefinitely because Granny. They began shifting goal posts and now we’re entering the phase of Speakeasys.

    It’s all political posturing (the phasing is just to get incompetent politicians out with an honourable exit) and theater now. All of it.

    I find how all of this went down very odd and suspect.

    There is no false dichotomy to consider. There should never have been a shut or lock down. The only option is to just open the frick up already. No rescue packages needed. The duration of the lockdown wasn’t long enough to lead to long-term damage but if these weasels persist, it could.

    “Two government doctors, not even epidemiologists” — Richard Hatchett and Carter Mecher, who worked for the Bush administration — “hatched the idea [of using government-enforced social distancing] and hoped to try it out on the next virus.” We are in effect, Tucker said, part of a grand social experiment.”

    https://nypost.com/2020/05/16/why-life-went-on-as-normal-during-the-killer-pandemic-of-1969/

  22. Willie Brown, who writes a column in the local rag, has the choice between the Ds, who are looking out for *your* health, compared to the Rs, who are looking out for *your* wealth.
    Well, no. The Ds are demanding (at the point of a gun) that they control your life. The Rs are saying ‘enough; YOU look after your health and wealth’.
    Brown probably believes his bullshit, but the revealed preferences I’m seeing on the street are largely people tired of being told what to do and when to do it.
    The check-out gal at the Safeway this morning *TOOK OFF HER MASK* and left it off as she rang up my stuff!

    1. That’s the “new normal” way of flirting, Sevo. Check your receipt — did she give you her phone number?

  23. False? Sieve and Faeceface swear it’s Trump or Hillary, scratch that, Bidet. Two-parties, one system, right? Search “Lulonaro”

  24. Since the lockdown measures in the US there have been about 2500 covid19 deaths per day. That’s 75000 per month.

    Now that things are reopening without effective treatment or vaccine, it will only increase.

    If 2500 citizens dying per day is less important than economic growth, it kinda makes one wonder what the US is becoming.

    1. “If 2500 citizens dying per day is less important than economic growth, it kinda makes one wonder what the US is becoming.”

      Got any hint of evidence that the lockdown has accomplished anything? Or just lame assumptions on a par with your ignorant bigotry?

  25. “Trump’s handling of the pandemic at home and abroad has exposed more painfully than anything since he took office the meaning of America First, … America is first in the world in deaths, first in the world in infections and we stand out as an emblem of global incompetence.”

    https://www.ft.com/content/97dc7de6-940b-11ea-abcd-371e24b679ed?utm_source=The+Bulwark+Newsletter&utm_campaign=12913e655b-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_05_17_03_13&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f4bd64ac2e-12913e655b-80786994

    Even the barest hint of competence at protecting America from and fighting the pandemic would have done much to avoid enormous grief and suffering and ease us into a prosperous post-pandemic economy.

    1. “Even the barest hint of competence at protecting America from and fighting the pandemic would have done much to avoid enormous grief and suffering and ease us into a prosperous post-pandemic economy.”

      Even the barest hint of intelligence on your part would be a vast improvement.
      Stuff your TDS up your ass so your head has some company.

      1. BTW, TDS victim, got any hint how anyone would “ease us into a prosperous post-pandemic economy.”?
        I’m guessing the answer is “no”, unless you’ve got more bullshit to shovel here.

        1. The precondition would’ve been a competent response to the pandemic that kept America from having the most cases and most deaths in the world by about five times any other nation larger or smaller. This would have only allowed it to sweep out the economic refuse, rather than critically damage more of the economy.

          Next would have been to recognize and acknowledge that the old economy died with the first human C-19 case, and to get government out of the way of the necessary creative destruction of the antiquated by and too fragile to the pandemic bits of that old economy. This means at minimum no stimulus, subsidies, loans, enhanced unemployment, and extra spending not directly to medically fight the pandemic.

          1. So, “No”.

  26. Opening up is already a middle ground, though — because businesses and individuals can still follow voluntary guidelines. And of course, opening up can still mean elderly homes and hospitals have added protections. If necessary, crowds over 50 can still be banned. That’s basically what the situation had been in South Korea, Japan, Sweden, and the Netherlands to some extent or another.

    Everyone likes to be a “moderate”, and there’s always been different arguments about what the “moderate” course is, and some are more questionable than others. For example, you have people in the Washington establishment who call themselves “moderates”, yet support warmongering that drags the country into conflict after conflict.

    I don’t always agree with libertarians on this, myself. Establishment “moderates” are also very strong free traders. I don’t agree with this position myself, find it extreme, and agree more with conservatives like Coolidge and Taft who were pro-market but still understood tariffs as a necessary reality of how international commerce works. Some libertarians here might also disagree with me on pandemic management policies: so for example, some libertarians might argue Sweden went too far, too, and the government shouldn’t ban crowds over 50, or shouldn’t ban counter service at restaurants, or shouldn’t put restrictions on private elderly homes and hospitals.

    So what’s “moderate” will always be open for debate. And people can agree to disagree and have different opinions.

    But one thing seems clear to me at this point: the people who are arguing that “moderate” simply means slow-walking the end of the lockdowns seem to just not want to admit that the much lockdown policies don’t make sense and that in most circumstances, that people can make the necessary safety decisions on their own, and they’re avoiding all the data that’s been out for nearly two months now that proves this. They’re the central planners, and they’re the moralizers; they talk as if the government can manage everything and every unintended consequence can be meticulously planned away. They’re about as “moderate” as the people who warmonger and push us into endless wars.

    1. We don’t need any ‘middle ground’; we need the tin-pot-dictator-wannabes to admit that our liberties are not thier’s to dispense. They are ours by natural right.

  27. Both the socialist and nationalist statists would squeal like pigs, because they care only about government power and privilege not the health of individuals; but acknowledging that there is, here, a strong case for self-defense and the defense of others against those wantonly negligent about contagion precautions. Something like an extended castle doctrine applying to our persons, property, and loved ones as a defense against the wantonly negligent about contagion precautions, just like others posing a threat to us and others, would be a very libertarian approach to allowing those who we care about and ourselves to remain safer during this pandemic.

    1. “…Something like an extended castle doctrine applying to our persons, property, and loved ones as a defense against the wantonly negligent about contagion precautions, just like others posing a threat to us and others, would be a very libertarian approach to allowing those who we care about and ourselves to remain safer during this pandemic.”

      I’m sure you’ve got some TRUMP FUCKED UP!!! explanation for that steaming pile of shit, right?
      Or are you just shoveling bullshit on stilts?
      I’m guessing the later.

      1. I’m very consistent and serious about shifting power and responsibility to and protecting the rights of individuals; and self-defense and the defense of others from the wanton and dangerous is the most basic exercise of individual power, responsibility, and rights.

        Only the most vile statists can squeal like pigs in opposition or ridicule of such basic individual power, responsibility, and rights. If you nationalist / Trumpist pigs smell much the same as socialist pigs, it is because you are all pigs not that my nose is not delicate enough to discern the different stinks of pink pigs and brown pigs.

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  29. When can we get back to arguing about immigration?

  30. I’m sure you’ve got some TRUMP FUCKED UP!!! explanation for that steaming pile of shit, right?
    Or are you just shoveling bullshit on stilts?
    I’m guessing the later.
    messages

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