A Middle Course Between COVID-19 Hopes and Fears

Control measures should be based on emerging evidence about the danger posed by the virus.


Despite what many people hoped, COVID-19 is clearly worse than the seasonal flu. But despite what other people feared, it does not seem to be nearly as lethal as the "Spanish flu" of 1918, which killed about 0.7 percent of the total U.S. population—equivalent to more than 2 million people today.

As we move from lockdowns to something more closely resembling normal life, the emerging evidence about the threat posed by COVID-19 should inform our judgment about which precautions make sense. The initial, ham-handed approach—which confined hundreds of millions of people to their homes except for government-approved purposes—should be replaced by more carefully targeted measures focused on protecting the people who face the highest risk.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the current "best estimate" of the death rate among Americans who develop COVID-19 symptoms is 0.4 percent. By that measure—the symptomatic case fatality rate (CFR)—COVID-19 is roughly four times as deadly as the seasonal flu but far less deadly than the Spanish flu.

Unlike the Spanish flu, which commonly struck down healthy people in the prime of life, COVID-19 primarily kills elderly people. The CDC estimates that the symptomatic CFR for people younger than 50 is just 0.05 percent, compared to 1.3 percent for people 65 or older and 0.2 percent for 50-to-64-year-olds.

In other words, older people, who account for about 17 percent of the population, are 26 times as likely to die from COVID-19 as people in the youngest age group. Age seems to be largely a proxy for serious preexisting medical conditions such as hypertension, heart and lung disease, and cancer, which are independently associated with COVID-19 deaths and become more common as people get older.

The CDC also estimates that 35 percent of people infected by the COVID-19 virus never develop symptoms, which implies that the infection fatality rate (IFR)—deaths as a share of total infections—is between 0.2 percent and 0.3 percent. That is far lower than the IFRs assumed in the horrifying worst-case scenarios that had a profound impact on COVID-19 control policies in the U.S. and around the world, which suggested that the disease could cause as many deaths per capita as the 1918 pandemic.

Those projections were never realistic, since they counterfactually assumed that people would carry on as usual despite COVID-19—that they would not take voluntary precautions such as avoiding crowds, minimizing social contact, working from home, wearing masks, and paying extra attention to hygiene. If the CDC's current estimates are in the right ballpark, those models also were based on IFRs that were much too high.

There is an even bigger gap between these new estimates and the crude case fatality rate—reported deaths as a share of confirmed cases. Even taking into account underreporting of deaths, the crude CFR, which currently is close to 6 percent nationwide, vastly overstates the lethality of the COVID-19 virus, since testing so far has been skewed toward people with severe symptoms, who are not representative of everyone who has been infected.

The national average also obscures striking regional variations in the percentage of COVID-19 patients who succumb to the disease. The current crude CFR in New York, for instance, is nearly 8 percent, compared to 4.3 percent in Florida.

One plausible explanation for that difference is that Florida (which lifted its lockdown at the end of April) strove to keep elderly COVID-19 patients away from nursing home residents. By contrast, Stanford epidemiologist John Ioannidis notes, "a very unfortunate decision of the governors in New York and New Jersey was to have COVID-19 patients sent to nursing homes."

The current challenge is finding a way to emulate Florida's apparent success in protecting people who are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 without broad business closure and stay-at-home orders, which are unsustainable and economically ruinous. We need to steer a middle course between our worst fears and our highest hopes.

© Copyright 2020 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

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185 responses to “A Middle Course Between COVID-19 Hopes and Fears

  1. Maybe they screwed up so bad we shouldn’t have any more “controlled measures” imposed on us by the same idiots.

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    3. Something has to be done to at least slow the spread of Covid-19, and social distancing and mask wearing out in public are the best ways to go right now.

      I’ll also add that younger people are not altogether infallible to developing a nasty enough case of Covid-19 to be fatal, and it has happened.

  2. So protect the elderly and everyone else go back to normal.

    1. Almost like what half of us on this site were saying in February based on the Princess Cruise data.. weird. We had an actual fairly controlled experiment early on that predicted the outcome… instead we relied on shitty models based on awful assumptions.


        On March 25, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz presented two scenarios describing the state’s future outlook related to the COVID-19 outbreak. One projection showed that cases would peak around April 26 in Minnesota if there were no mitigating steps to slow the virus. The death toll in this scenario could reach 74,000. The other scenario showed a time frame with significant and staged mitigations in place that pushed the peak to about June 29 and projected deaths in the 50,000–55,000 range. …

        Before Friday, March 20, Marina Kirkeide, who graduated from the University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering in 2019, was a School of Public Health part-time research assistant working on HPV transmission for Kulasingam. On a gap year before starting Medical School at the University in fall 2020, Kirkeide also had a second job as a lab tech at St. Paul’s Regions Hospital. That Friday, Kulasingam called her and two other research assistants and asked if anyone was available to “work through the day and night” to get a COVID-19 model to Governor Walz the following Monday. They all jumped at the chance.

        “I don’t think a lot of researchers get to work on something over the weekend and have public figures talk about it and make decisions based on it three days later,” says Kirkeide, who had to leave her hospital job to focus solely on modeling. She feels the responsibility of such a big project, too. “[In this situation] you don’t have the time to validate as much as you normally would. You want to get it right the first time. And your work has to be really, really quick.”

        1. Scariest thing I’ve read!

          On the other hand I really must ask….why not ask my dog for help? He’s really good at sensing danger and stuff, always knows when the mailman is on the porch even before he opens the mailbox. AND –he loves helping people. Couldn’t he, like put some cool numbers together and stuff?

      2. Horseshit. You assholes were and continue to state that this is just the flu.

        1. So this turns out to be double-flu. We then should have reacted with twice the restrictions for flu season.

          Fuck off.

          1. Two times nothing is — what?

            1. Kinda the point.

              Not sticking them with nursing home folks would’ve made this less deadly than the flu.

        2. I’ve been consistent and never said it was like a seasonal flu. (Like the Hong Kong Flu of ’68, sure, which actually has a higher IFR).

          You, however, have been saying the sky was falling. The sky didn’t fall.

          1. You and others say I’ve been saying that. Repeatedly. As if repetition makes it true.

            Link to ONE post where I’ve been on the high side. ONE. I’ve gone back to find two of my posts – one the first one on Jan 27, a second in early April where someone specifically mentioned IHME – both of those I was on the LOW side. And even then – in both cases, the responses at the time was ‘the sky ain’t falling. It’ll never be like that’.

            You people are just perpetually full of bullshit and cognitive dissonance and are just lashing out at anyone who challenges your preferred narrative.

            1. I’ve gone back to find two of my posts – one the first one on Jan 27, a second in early April where someone specifically mentioned IHME – both of those I was on the LOW side. And even then – in both cases, the responses at the time was ‘the sky ain’t falling. It’ll never be like that’.

              So you ‘found’ these posts that show you were ‘correct’ and don’t link to them? How humble of you.

              1. I’ve already linked to both of them. BOTH of which were raised by asswipes as examples of me going all high side. When in fact what they both proved was that I was on the low side for what actually happened even then. I can’t link to more than one post in a comment. And I’m done playing your fucking whack-a-mole games.


        3. “Horseshit. You assholes were and continue to state that this is just the flu.”

          Yes, and it is not far off.
          OTOH, you cowardly piece of lefty shit were whining that the world was going to end.
          Stuff your PANIC!!! flag up your ass, stick first and sit on it. If you are so scared, go crawl in a hole and stay there. Forever.

        4. That shit you smell is in your pants, bud. This aint no Spanish flu like you hoped and prayed for.

    2. What do you mean by protecting the elderly? Isolating them permanently, regardless of whether or not they’re healthy and active? Sorry, but as an adult over 65 who’s active (walking, doing Tae Kwon Do), I don’t buy that.

      1. “What do you mean by protecting the elderly? Isolating them permanently, regardless of whether or not they’re healthy and active? ”

        Mostly it’s the seniors in nursing homes and other care facilities that need protection (from the likes of Cuomo, dumping COVID patients there deliberately). People should never be compelled to do anything outside of their normal routine… if they think it’s in their own best interests, they will do it on their own, and if they do not think it is in their best interests, then either get to work convincing, or accept that things do not always go your way in a free society.

        The isolation of seniors would not have to be “forever.” It would only have to be until non-seniors have taken enough of the hits that seniors are avoiding to build herd immunity. By differentially quaranting the most vulnerable (but not against their wills), we skew the transmission of the virus toward those of us that can handle it. If we quarantine everyone, it’s like we’re quarantining no one… all we are doing is delaying transmission, delaying deaths that are going to happen one way or another, and delaying herd immunity. If we delay deaths by the same amount we delay herd immunity, the thing that will ultimately end the deaths, we haven’t accomplished anything, and that quarantine comes at great cost in terms of liberty, the lives of the people the quarantine kills, and financially.

  3. I don’t think it really is clear that it’s worse than the seasonal flu. The way it kills old people almost entirely might mean there are more overall deaths, but the regular flu kills young people at a higher rate than this does.

    So basically you see more years of life lost in the seasonal flu. Most the victims of this have already lived past the average lifespan and to be blunt, are just sitting around in nursing homes waiting to die, having been dumped there by their families.

    The media likes to highlight the cases where this isn’t true, but in pretty much every exception (to the old person dying) there is more to the story, usually obesity related. Like there’s a current sob story in my town about a 55 year old cop that has it bad (and says “See, anyone can get it”, but buried in the story was that he’s had two heart attacks already.

    1. Why did he start hydroxychlorine so many years prior… based on the new Bailey promoted study, that drug is to blame.

      1. Damn auto correct still doesnt know the talking points…


    2. “Years of life lost” is become a less-callous-sounding way of saying “it’s only killing people who were going to die anyway”.

      Meanwhile, if you compare death tallies apples-to-apples…

      1. Or “it’s not killing children and young adults.”

        Numbers vary, but in a nursing home you might find upwards of a third of the residents are already in a hospice program. Which means not only that they are expected to die within six months, but that they (or their medical decision maker if they are incapacitated) agrees with that assessment.

        Their demise, while always a loss, is not made any worse by any particular medical cause.

      2. I know right? It isnt like the age cohort above 70 doesnt already have a 13% yearly death rate. How dare we let old people die right? We cant stop the lockdowns until we achieve immortality.

      3. By the way. Didnt the smack down last thread teach you fucking anything? You’re presenting the viewpoints of 2 doctors, opinions not a study, as immutable fact while ignoring any counter opinion even from other doctors. At this point I’m guessing you’re a DoL sock. He did the same dumb shit.

      4. No! Not callous sounding! Anything but callous-sounding! Especially when we’re talking about indirect causes of death?!? Have people no humanity?

        See, people need to be more cheery and up beat when we point out that, gee whiz, we’re gonna lay off forcibly unemploy (in)opportunistically relieve at least two health-diddly-ealth-care workers for every energetic octogenarian we restore to full health?

        COVID doesn’t care how callous-sounding its kill demographics are.

    3. I’ll say it once again:

      There is an epidemiological phenomenon known as the Harvesting Effect or mortality displacement. Essentially, during a major event you’ll see increased numbers of deaths. This increased number of deaths is followed by a lull because all the individuals susceptible to otherwise normal conditions have already been killed. There’s nothing that says this phenomenon can’t/doesn’t work in the opposite direction.

      If you had a vaccine that provided slim immunity and provided it only to the most susceptible individuals, you’re going to accumulate a number of individuals that normally would’ve succumbed to the flu but, instead, hang around until a mildly more virulent or lethal strain comes around. Then, their most significant contribution to the ‘outbreak’ would be to drive the mortality numbers up.

      We’ve been told for a decade that the flu vaccine has saved tens of thousands of lives annually. All of these lives are, by definition, people who would’ve died during a normal flu season.

      1. I liken it to dead brush in the forest. Sooner or later something is going to come along and turn it to ash.

      2. The flu vaccine does not guarantee that one will not get the flu, but it can and often enough does reduce the severity of the flu in the event that they do come down with it.

        The same thing can be said for the pneumonia vaccines, as well.

    4. Per the CDC, if memory serves, WuhanV victims average 2.5 comorbidities, per.

      The question unanswered and unanswerable (for at least a year or two): Will we see truly incremental peaks in our annual death tally which averages (in normal years) 8000 some Americans/day? OR, will we see simply ‘pushed’ peaks? (Meaning — given those 2.5 comoribidities — that what we see as a mini-peak or an ‘excess’ death is really just a normally ‘expected’ death moved earlier as pushed by the virus.

      Will we see, in other words, a significant uptick in the annual 3M death total? Or will it be about what it always is, with a curve slightly reshaped and moved earlier?

    5. Sorry, JeremyR, but Covid-19 is much more deadly, and much more contagious than the regular seasonal flu. The fact that a total of 100, 000 people here in the United States have lost their lives to Covid-19 indicates that the pandemic really is out of control.

  4. <a href="Thanksfor sharing this amazing News

  5. TLDR: it’s been bullshit from the start. Meanwhile thousands, if not millions, of small businesses are now out of business, while amazon and certain other large corporations are doing great (there’s delivery jobs available if you need work).

    1. If we can save just one life by killing 1.3 business per… It was worth it or something.

      1. Again, healthcare-wise, it’s looking like we killed two healthcare jobs for every person we saved.

        We’re operating at a loss, but we’ll make it up on volume.

  6. The current challenge is finding a way to emulate Florida’s apparent success in protecting people who are especially vulnerable to COVID-19…

    This can’t be right. I’m hearing on the news that Florida’s governor did everything wrong while the effort of New York’s governor was heroic.

    1. Not sure I’d call Florida a “success”.

      1. As a fraction of population and contrasted with, say, New York or New Jersey, yeah that counts as a success. As an age-adjusted per-capita measure (that is, after correcting for the higher than average elderly population in FL), it’s a pretty astounding measure of success.

      2. Their numbers are actually good based on the older population dummy.

        1. Who cares if they’re alive if people like you are going to refer to them using callous-sounding language?!

      3. If the rest of the country had Florida’s per capita fatality rate from COVID-19, the national total would be around 40,000, not 100,000.

  7. This was of course obvious in *February* (that the right course of action was targeted protection of older people). But no, the media and government health researchers conspired to make us panic instead of dispassionately making decisions supported by the evidence.

    The 0.4% IFR ‘best estimate’ from the CDC is less than CDC’s own estimate for the 1968 flu pandemic (which was 0.5%). (Something that seemed obvious to me months ago). I’d note that nothing closed in 1968, and the media barely reported on the flu pandemic that year.

    The ‘expert consensus’ in march was nonsense, and was obviously nonsense to anyone with any ability to actually look at the data. As were the ridiculous models with sky high fatality rates. ‘State of the art’ modeling obviously isn’t accurate, and that probably means it’s operating on false fundamental assumptions.

    And now that we’ve wrecked the economy listening to chicken littles, we’re (1) much poorer because of it, and (2) much less likely to listen when the sky actually is falling. That makes the covid-19 response catastrophic twice-over.

    Meanwhile, I bet some states are going to continue the lockdowns, because power.

    1. VA just mandated the use of masks in all buildings. Seems to me that the move is clearly about control when we are months into this before such an order is given. Even more obvious when noting the governor’s hypocrisy of going on vacation to the beach and not following his own orders

      1. Gotta muzzle the people.
        Makes them less dangerous if they get off their leash

      2. Given their patient population VA facilities are not that all that different from nursing homes – their clientele is largely older and sicker, exactly the sort most threatened by the disease.

        1. Virginia, not the VA. I

          1. Oh, well. Nevermind.

            /Emily Litella

      3. Yea, I saw the best meme on that very subject yesterday ……


        A little too late to do any good.

        And the imbecile moron, #GovBlackFaceBabyKillerGunGrabber, really blew it when he showed up at the beach without a mask and ignoring his own mandated 6-ft social distancing rules.
        Then he throws local businesses under the bus to enforce his idiotic rules or they could get shutdown by the Health Dept. This SOB and his minions need to be gone, sooner than later.

      4. Massachusetts did too, I think. Not only that, but everybody who goes outdoors, even if it’s only for a walk, a jog, or a bike ride has to wear them, too. We, too, have to wear masks when we go anywhere in our building, except in our own apartments.

    2. The news article on politico about democrats being scared to death of an economic rebound is telling.

      1. A tanking economy is their only hope left for November with QuidProDementia Joe as their candidate.

  8. Has it really taken this long to suggest what has long been the clear libertarian response? It should always have been the case that people should be allowed to carry on with business as usual. Some guidance on how to not contract/transmit the disease with some policies to assist and protect at risk populations is what makes sense. It feels weird to give Sullum any credit, but Reason writers have been putting out dumb pants-shitting takes for a long time while commenters have repeatedly stated most of the points in this article

    1. The reason writers use Vox and Salon as their sources so it’s not their fault that they were scared shitless.

  9. “Despite what many people hoped, COVID-19 is clearly worse than the seasonal flu.”

    Ahahahaha keep wishing bitch, you fucked up and now you’re desperate to pretend you weren’t a screeching pussy

    1. Also

      “The CDC’s New ‘Best Estimate’ Implies a COVID-19 Infection Fatality Rate Below 0.3%”

      YOU wrote that Sullum.

      THEN you wrote this

      “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the current “best estimate” of the death rate among Americans who develop COVID-19 symptoms is 0.4 percent. ”

      So I hope you’ll understand how little credibility you have Sullum.

      1. And sadly, he has been far and away Reason’s best voice on this thing…

      2. Good point. You should definitely shoot the messenger when the numbers they are reporting on change.

        1. In less than 3 days? You’re either too dumb to understand arguments or being intentionally dishonest.

          Nevermind.. you’re broken.

          1. Oh, golly. I guess that’s my bad for not spending every waking hour on this forum. So yeah that makes me a liar for not reading every article and then making a sarcastic comment. I’m so chagrined. I’m seriously gonna cry now because some asshat without a life called me names! Waaaaaaaaaaah!

            1. Just plain broken.

            2. You can’t read, and you aren’t any good at making sarcastic comments. You claim you have a life outside this forum — a claim that nobody believes.

              But, in the off chance you do, go live your life. Those high school girls aren’t going to spy on themselves.

        2. Journalists are supposed to think and analyze, not just repeat whatever nonsense politicians and bureaucrats give them.

          Yeah, we should kick bad journalists to the curb, journalists who mistakes their job for being merely a messenger

          1. When you find a journalist who is simply a messenger and not a spin meister, please let me know.

      3. He’s not wrong. The first number is the cdc’s estimate for everyone that gets infected (of which, the CDC estimates 35% will never develop symptoms). The second number considers only cases where symptoms develop. So its reasonable for the infection fatality rate to be lower than the symptomatic case fatality rate.

        I still think the estimate for asymptomatic is low, unless you have to be devoid of any possible symptoms, even ones with other causes to be included.

        1. No, you’re wrong. JesseAZ said so.

          1. I said you’re wrong. It is pretty much a given at this point.

      4. Did you actually bother to read either article? Perhaps a recap with some basic math will help.

        – The CDC says that 0.4% of those with symptoms will die.
        – The CDC says that 35% of those infected never show any symptoms.
        – So if we start with 1000 people infected, only 650 will show symptoms. 2.6 of those showing symptoms will die. (Since death would count as a symptom, we can say with confidence that 0.0% of those not showing symptoms will die.)
        – Yes, 2.6 / 650 = 0.4% of those showing symptoms.
        – But 2.6 / 1000 < 0.3% of those infected.

      5. Barbie says, “Math is hard!”

      6. In mild defense, both of those quotes are accurate. IFR estimate of 0.3% includes asymptomatic individuals. The 0.4% estimate is only for those who develop symptoms.

  10. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),


  11. a very unfortunate decision of the governors in New York and New Jersey was to have COVID-19 patients sent to nursing homes

    Unfortunately, nobody knew infectious diseases were infectious.

    The current challenge is finding a way to emulate Florida’s apparent success in protecting people who are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 without broad business closure and stay-at-home orders, which are unsustainable and economically ruinous.

    Is there any evidence that anything other than Florida’s actions to isolate at-risk and infected people had an effect on Florida’s outcomes? That is, had Florida simply done what it did to isolate the at-risk and infected without any closures or social restrictions beyond advice on hygiene, would things have been much worse?

    1. I have a feeling climate/weather plays a big role in FL’s results. The northeast had fluctuating temps and a couple major cold snaps coinciding with the disease

      1. And a mass transit system they kept open…

        1. BINGO!

  12. “Those projections were never realistic, since they counterfactually assumed that people would carry on as usual despite COVID-19”

    This statement is wrong. Both the IHME and Imperial model had 2 million deaths after assuming people would commit to social distancing.

      1. He will never cite or link to anything. Just repeat it – with the other bots – until it becomes truth by repetition

        1. Stuff your PANIC!!! flag up your ass, stick first and sit on it, you cowardly piece of lefty shit.

        2. We learned it from you. WE LEARNED IT FROM WATCHING YOU!!!!

  13. CDC is stupid! They don’t know anything! Only Trump supporters know the truth because TRUMP IS AWESOME!

    Oh wait, what? The CDC estimates are coming inline with what Trump supporters have been saying all along?

    CDC is awesome! They’re telling us what we want to hear!

    MAGA 2020!

    1. Fucking broken.

      1. *tap* *tap*

        Yep. Your sarcometer is definitely busted.

        1. Going full Jeff again huh?

          What you are fronting as sarcasm isnt actually sarcasm.

          1. Well boo fucking hoo if it doesn’t live up to your high standards. I’m gonna go cry in my coffee now.


          2. I don’t even know what “full Jeff” means. Contrary to popular belief I don’t spend every day and night on this forum. Do you have a job?

            1. “Full Jeff” means full retarded – as in, posting things you actually think and fully believe and, when called out, pretending the things you said were “sarcasm” to cover for your stupidity rather than admitting you might have been wrong or misinformed.

              Sarcasm has an element of wit to it. Good sarcasm makes something think *and* smirk.

              “You suck Trump’s cock, Trumper!” is not sarcasm. It’s not funny. It’s not elucidating. It’s a waste of time and that is why everyone that posts here either ignores or abuses you.

              1. How do you know what people actually think and believe?

                “You suck Trump’s cock, Trumper!” is not sarcasm. It’s not funny.

                It is to those of us who don’t.

                1. Nobody is laughing.

                  Fucking broken.

    2. Yeah, isn’t this the same CDC that said “don’t wear masks” and then said “DO wear masks”?

      1. Until they realize that people, over time, will inevitably revert to using their masks like reusable cloth grocery bags.

        Then they’ll be back to “DON’T wear masks” again.

        1. VERY true.
          Wearing masks sounds good to the hyper-cautious because they like to assume either 1) every mask is discarded correctly after use… or 2) every mask is disinfected appropriately after every use and discarded after “X” number of reuses.

          Neither of these things is happening…nor will they happen. It’s not in our nature. We’ll wear the same stupid mask over and over again (after all, it has my team logo on it…or I hand-made it!); we won’t handle them correctly; they’ll become inevitably dampened and made ineffective; we’ll stuff them in our dirty pockets (and make our pockets that much dirtier); we’ll plop them on our kitchen counters; we’ll share them with other family members. BUT — the mask-wearers will continue to feel ‘safe’ and definitely far superior to the deplorables who don’t.

    3. The CDC is still stupid, but even they can’t deny obvious facts anymore.

      1. I wouldn’t count on it. The Dims are experts at doing it.

    4. 2016 Dems: Clapper is a traitor and he is trying to kill democracy and steal the election for Trump!!!!!!
      2018 Dems: Clapper is goddamn American hero for telling truth to power about Trump and helping us remove him from office.

      If you’ve payed attention to politics for more than 15 minutes and you haven’t figured out that this is precisely how the game is played, you’re incredibly dense. Hate the game, not the players. Actually, fuck the players too.

      1. BINGO! They done the same with every Republican turncoat ….. McCain, Romney, Sessions, etc. Dims are the dumbest phucking morons on the face of the earth.

  14. “Love” how some of these articles and more than a few of the comments are elaborate versions of saying “Let me to back to the bar, the people this is killing were going to die soon anyway”.

    1. It’s more like “Let’s protect that 17% that’s most vulnerable, and let everyone else get on with their lives.” Derp.

    2. Love how cowardly lefty shits are more than happy to ignore the deaths and economic disasters caused by the lockdowns.

    3. Love how some of these articles and more than a few of the comments are elaborate versions of saying “I know full well that lots of people were hanging on by various fiscal and psychological threads before the lockdown, but aren’t Zoom meetings in your PJs at 11 a.m. the shit?”

  15. I haven’t seen anything on robberies going up.

    “What did he look like ma’am?”

    “Fuck if I know, he was wearing a mask like everyone else!”

    “Was there anything distinguishing about the mask?”

    “It was a fucking mask you dingus!”

    “That’s it, you’re under arrest.”

    1. So, how is this sarcasm?

      1. Who said it was?

        1. Nobody cares about your shitty novel, then.

    1. Andrew Cuomo gave immunity to nursing home execs after big campaign donations

      1. Tuccille must have missed this when he was researching his article yesterday. Surely this will cause him to revise his assessment about who is most to blame.

      2. They should immunize the nursing home execs over covid. Many nursing homes were reluctant to take back covid patients. The NY government threatened them with permanent closure if they didn’t.

        The nursing home execs are not the ones responsible for this mess.

        1. IDK, a little from column A, a little from column B. I’d imagine a couple dozen nursing home execs could string Cuomo up from a lamppost without needing to incite much of a mob.

    2. Had the Democratic governors not decided to murder their citizens in nursing homes, this pandemic would be a virtual non event.

      1. Nursing home residents and subway riders.

        1. If DiBlasio and Cuomo had set up special nursing homes for people with COVID and shut down the subways to be cleaned and disinfected every night starting at the beginning of February and canceled Chinese New Year, tens of thousands of lives could have been saved.

          1. Yes, but Tuccille says he and Trump are alike, so there you go.

          2. Thing is…they did. How many hospitals that were opened (like Javitz center) never got used?

  16. It is not really a challenge at all. You just don’t put COVID positive people in nursing homes. Reason seems intent on running interference for Andrew Cuomo and the other Democratic governors who forced nursing homes to take COVID patients resulting in the death of thousands.


      “The policy the Department of Health put out was in line directly with the March 13 directive put out by the CDC,” Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa said Saturday. “I know there’s been lot of discussion on this topic. There are over a dozen states that did the exact same thing — many of whom were concerned about hospital capacity. …It’s been a national and international tragedy that everybody has had to grapple with, and it is something that we’re trying to learn from everyday and move forward.”

      1. They were concerned about “hospital capacity” when they had the USS Hope sitting in New York Harbor empty with its personnel playing solitaire. I am sorry but I don’t believe even these people can be that stupid. I think they did it on purpose. I think they did it knowing that it would result in thousands of deaths and with the hope that the resulting deaths could then be blamed on Trump and used for political gain. The more I learn about this, the more I am convinced that is what happened.

      2. DeRosa is lying. Federal recommendations did not say that, and they weren’t binding anyway.

        1. And if they did say that…why did Republican governors ignore them with impunity?

    2. You can put them in nursing homes, they just need to be in an isolated wing/zone and be served by staff that are also isolated from the rest of the patient population.

      Some homes can, and have done that, many cannot. The ones in New York had no choice.

      1. Exactly. They had access to any amount of federal aid they wanted. They could have easily set up special nursing homes for people who tested positive and all of this could have been prevented.

    3. You just don’t put COVID positive people in nursing homes.

      This was, perhaps, the stupidest thing anyone could have done. We’ve known since, what January, that COVID was much worse for old, sick people than for anyone else. “Our” response should have always been focused on places that old, sick people congregate like hospitals, nursing homes, senior communities, etc. Mainly on testing those people and isolating the ones that have COVID from the rest.

      1. You are correct. It was so stupid that I refuse to believe that it was a mistake. No one can be that stupid. It would be like forcing schools to allow children sick with the measles to go to class before there was a vaccine for it. No amount of stupidity is sufficient to explain that decision. It had to be malice.

        1. Malice doesn’t make sense either though. I can’t believe Cuomo actually wants people to die. I think he’s just a normal authoritarian. He thought he could tell people exactly what to do and they would just do it, everyone single one of them. He thought he could just tell them to readmit the covid patients, but keep them perfectly quarantined. He never stopped to think about whether the homes could or would execute his plan perfectly. It’s just hubris.

          1. I think that is likely correct. It was a case of the sort of madness that arises among people with power and authority sometimes especially during emergencies.

          2. Hey, juicing those death numbers allowed the “justification” for destroying the economy and going full totalitarian.
            Not sure how that can be seen as stupid considering the Left’s goals

  17. There’s still a bunch of questions.

    1) What about over-reporting? There is a monetary incentive for hospitals to stamp COVID-19 on any patient who comes in with any COVID symptoms. I’m sure there are plenty of people coming in with head colds, flu and maybe even asthma who are assumed to have COVID. This should be getting better now that tests are more readily available, but it was certainly a problem in the past.

    2) What about error bars? CDC says 0.4% CFR. What’s the plus or minus on that?

    3) Why do we even trust the CDC on these numbers. Reason itself has documented the nearly constant screw-ups of the CDC over the last six months. I know documenting events is easier than planning them, but still, why trust them?

    4) What about dying from COVID vs. dying with COVID. Just because someone dies while infected with COVID, it doesn’t mean they were killed by the disease. If someone with stage 4 lung cancer and a month to live catches COVID and dies in a week instead, it wasn’t the COVID that killed him. Given that COVID is particularly hard on old, sick people, this will be a significant effect.

    1. Those are all very valid questions. There clearly has been a significant amount of over reporting of deaths. And even to the extent that the deaths can fairly be attributed to COVID, a significant number of deaths were of people who were very ill to begin with and likely had months or even days left to live regardless of the virus. That doesn’t make their death meaningless or that we shouldn’t care that they died. But, it does affect how much the outbreak should affect the behavior of otherwise healthy people. You don’t lock healthy people in their homes in Kansas because a virus is killing people on their death bed in New York. Yet, that is exactly what we did.

      1. Question 4 can be somewhat answered by looking at “excess” deaths compared to previous years, but the full story won’t be known until after the pandemic has run its course. If the “excess” deaths number stays positive or near 0 for the rest of the year, then yes COVID was definitely killing people who would not have otherwise died. But if that number goes negative in the future we’ll know that a lot of deaths were just accelerated by a few weeks or months.

        The same goes with criticism of Sweden. Yes, Sweden is doing worse than Finland right now, and if the pandemic ends permanently soon, then that conclusion will hold. But if it comes back again, then Sweden will start reaping the benefits of herd immunity while Finland will start catching up in deaths. And of course, this all ignores the differences in damage done to people’s quality of life and livelihoods by lockdowns, or the lack thereof.

        1. I think the most interesting piece of data coming out of Sweden is the finding that less than 10% of the population seem to have COVID antibodies. Sweden did not lock the country down and still less than 10% of the population ever caught the virus. That statistic is entirely consistent with the most recent NIH and CDC findings that the virus does not spread from casual contact or common surfaces. It spreads through close personal contact. That is why it ran rampant in nursing homes. There, care providers are in close personal contact with one patient after another.

          When you look at these to things together, it seems to me that locking people in their homes creating more close personal contact among people was the worst thing we could have done. We people out of their homes more and away from each other more. I really think the lockdowns increased the spread of the virus.

          1. Of course, it only went that way in Sweden because it’s a uniform population of good-hearted, wholesome people who voluntarily wore masks and locked themselves in their homes without the government having to make it mandatory, because they knew their stupid, far-right wing president should have ordered harsher measures. Or something along those lines…

          2. In Sweden the Somali population is suffering a much higher death rate. This could be a Vitamin D issue or socio-economic or some mix of reasons. Comparing the white population to Norway, Finland, or Denmark would be more meaningful.

    2. ” I’m sure there are plenty of people coming in with head colds, flu and maybe even asthma who are assumed to have COVID.”

      Yes, and they are treated as such until testing rules them out.

      1. If they ever get tested. Before tests were easy to get, they diagnosed on symptoms alone and didn’t always come back to test later. Plus the tests haven’t always been that accurate.

        1. No, they get tested. I do PRN relief at some hospitals in my region and can attest that they do. I didn’t do any such work in February, so cannot speak about then, but by March everyone was getting PCR.

          1. Well that’s good to know. Hopefully that was happening nationwide by March.

          2. Not in CO. Most of the people I know working in hospitals here (tend to be nurses and above – not orderly or technicians) didn’t get tested until late April or early May. And I suspect the same is true most places since that is the reason nursing homes and other institutions have been the epicenters. People have two jobs – esp at the lower levels. The combo of residents there being more frequent hospital patients and medical/staff there being infected is a double whammy.

            Course if we had done contact tracing/testing or any Public Health 101, then we would have begun tackling that potential problem in late Jan and early Feb. Hospitals/etc are always one of the earliest epicenters for any serious contagious disease. Obviously.

            1. Stuff your PANIC!!! flag up your ass, stick first and sit on it, you cowardly piece of lefty shit.

            2. Yeah CDC and FDA really dropped the ball on this one, not that I would expect any different. But your experience seems to indicate that the actual CFR and IFR are inflated above official numbers because hospitals have been classifying cases based on symptoms only, without tests to back up the diagnosis.

              1. No actually I think the studies that Ron linked to a couple days ago re expected IFR – based on ACTUAL experience in a variety of countries is looking fairly accurate at this point. I projected a roughly 0.8% IFR (800k-1million fatalities) a couple months ago. Emphasis however is at this point which is why my numbers would still probably be a bit higher than those. We haven’t yet seen the big problem with pandemics – which is the SECOND wave when things pop up everywhere simultaneously. Unless there’s an effective treatment between now and then to get people in/out of hospital FAST, that one will look really ugly compared to what we’ve seen so far. That’s the one where I’ve had fun tweaking people with my MadMax Thunderdome link – Ladies and gentlemen. boys and girls. Dyin time’s here

                Once I see serological studies actually distinguish by age (are under-20’s missing from confirmed cases because they just haven’t been exposed or because they are overwhelmingly asymptomatic? is the exposure rate higher for the elderly because they go to hospital a lot cuz that would affect IFR too?) and/or occupation (at minimum – medical workers v others), then I think we can figure out some valid conclusions. Until then, it’s mostly just fun playing games with numbers.

                1. Stuff your PANIC!!! flag up your ass, stick first and sit on it, you cowardly piece of lefty shit.

    3. 3/
      The CDC should be expected to get it right *eventually*. They’re apparently terrible in the short term, including making diagnostic tests, providing guidance, or even characterizing the pandemic. But they can’t be totally useless – in the longterm their estimates should converge on reality.

      I mean, I trust their seasonal flu numbers, because their methodology has been validated over decades. I expected their Covid-19 numbers will look reasonably like reality by December at the latest (and they’re actually starting to look reasonable now).

      Let’s not conflate short term failures with long term failures.

      1. Their numbers are nowhere near reasonable now. They are not even getting the raw data anymore from many states. I do agree that that will likely improve over the summer so after this ‘flu season’ ends (which is I assume the reason why projections are using what seems to be a random ‘Aug’ as cutoff), they will gradually collect the info needed to make ‘reasonable projections’ by Dec.

        Of course by then, it will be pretty useless because that is the middle of the second wave and ‘making projections’ at that point is not a very useful/helpful exercise for anyone who actually has skills of value.

        1. “…Of course by then, it will be pretty useless because that is the middle of the second wave and ‘making projections’ at that point is not a very useful/helpful exercise for anyone who actually has skills of value…”

          Stuff your PANIC!!! flag up your ass, stick first and sit on it, you cowardly piece of lefty shit.

        2. Given that we’ve had time to stock up on PPE and tests the second wave should be much easier to control. I expect it will fizzle and the whole flu/cold season will be collateral “damage” thanks to continued (voluntary) mask-wearing and social distancing.

          1. I expect the opposite for the second wave. I hope I’m wrong but so far I haven’t seen any data that even makes me question the assumptions I’ve made for that. And those assumptions aren’t really reaches either. Same virus, same effect on us, no vaccine this year, etc. The main one is that it starts everywhere when it starts getting sniffles season – rather than a single point halfway around the world halfway through sniffles season.

            AU, NZ, CL, AR are the only four countries that are just now entering their sniffles season. Where a first and second wave mix together. AU and NZ, like much of Eastern Asia, had phenomenal public health responses early on and that will pay dividends with fatalities there too. CL and AR are, like most of the rest of the world, mostly relying on lying/delusion/incompetence. I expect any dividends from that to be negative. The US is firmly in the latter camp not the former.

            AU in particular did the Public Health 101 stuff with contact tracing and airport screening. So the 4436 ‘imported’ cases have resulted in only 1957 ‘contact’ cases and 746 local/community cases. And public health is all over those latter containing them. Vs the US – where we simply gave up counting or testing even the imports at around 2500 – so now have 1 million plus local/community. Which is good for AU because I think they have been pretty transparent that ‘voluntary social distancing’ has no chance of working among Aussies.

            1. Since AU is preventing herd immunity, they can expect hot spots to develop sporadically until a vaccine is developed. Those could trigger more intense waves at random times and places. How many years do they expect to keep up their current activities?

            2. “I hope I’m wrong, but…….”

              I don’t think you do. I think you’d rather be right. You seem kinda ugly that way.

              1. No, that fucking cowardly piece of lefty shit is hoping the PANIC he’s promoting will get Biden elected.
                Beyond cowardly, he’s a lying piece of lefty shit.

  18. What can we learn from the fact that most of the world went full retard from pandemic fear?

    Compared to the past, more people, especially in the “educated class” have an inflated sense of fragility, both for themselves and for society. They see everything as a threat, and every threat as dire.

    More people want government solutions, including for emotional assurance and comfort. As people in western democracies become more secular, they need institutions other than religion to provide that comfort.

    Technology, especially social media, has greatly amplified the power of gossip-based “knowledge” and thinking. It was bad enough when many people heard dumb things from Aunt Betty and their neighbors, but now the feed is global and wrapped in false authority.

    Our partisan-industrial complex, including media that are proudly shameless, is ready to weaponize every aspect of any issue, and create (and leverage) divisive positions–all in thrall to our equally partisan and divisive politics.

    Good luck asking for a middle course.

    1. That and the “educated class” is incapable of understanding or appreciating the second order effects and trade offs that come with their actions. All they see is a virus they don’t want to catch. They seem to be constitutionally incapable of understanding the cost of the measures they demand to protect them from the virus. To give just one example, I read the other day that the cancer rate has fallen to the lowest level since they started recording such things over the past three months. That is not because people magically stopped getting cancer. It is because thanks to the states banning “non essential medical care” in the name of saving us from this virus, people who otherwise would have gone to the doctor and had their cancer discovered did not. Now, how many people are going to die because their cancer will be discovered too late thanks to this policy? We can’t know right now but it is certain to be a significant number of people. Whether it be those people or people driven to suicide by the economic costs of all this our educated class is utterly incapable of understanding and taking those lives into account.

      1. Karen wants the poors to keep working enough to keep her safe and comfortable during lockdown, but to stay home and eat cat food so she doesn’t catch a disease from ‘them’.

        1. It’s funny how the Karen meme has been around for a while, but something about a pandemic made it explode in popularity.

      2. Response to that?

        POOR YOU YOU HAD TO WAIT FOR YOUR CANCER DIAGNOSIS. Poor little you wanting a hair cut!

        This is how they think. It’s malice. No other way to look at it.

        People supporting lockdowns get off on it like people get off watching midget porn or something.

    2. “Compared to the past, more people, especially in the “educated class” have an inflated sense of fragility, both for themselves and for society. They see everything as a threat, and every threat as dire.”

      That is a thing, to be sure. What I suspect is the greater controlling factor in this fiasco is that those people largely did not have any real skin in the game. Most of the things they imposed had little to know immediate effect on their lives.

      They still got paid the same, they still ate the same (granted, it was take out, not dine-in), their kids were still making progress towards their degree (ie. time serving), etc.

      Hell, these people even managed to get hair cuts.

      They didn’t give a shit because nothing made them give a shit.

      1. …little to no…

        Can’t blame autocorrect, gonna blame multitasking.

      2. If karma is real, then next time they won’t be able to dodge that bullet so easily.

    3. The Skeptic nailed it.

  19. JD,

    The problem is reason is completely out of the equation once fear sets in. Government went straight from ‘nothing to see here’ to full blown panic with an extra kick from lockdowns.

    So even as actual evidence comes in, good luck conniving people.

    It blows my mind how we severely under appreciate the fact we messed with people’s psyche through our most primal emotion: Fear.

    Fear will always trump reason.

    Look at the fact the CDC and WHO said the virus doesn’t spread through surfaces so easily. Do you see people adjusting their behaviours accordingly? Nope. They double down with the excessive cleaning and absurd glove wearing. Same with the kids – who have been made to pay the highest price for our idiotic fears. They’re not spreaders of Covid and are not in general danger.

    Yet I’m being told by a doctor friend I should accept only kids with antibody certificates at my daycare. Seems rathe over the top if you ask me.

    Considering this virus, for the most part, while serious is far from an existential threat.

    End the damn lockdowns. It’s now in the territory of malice now. Governors insisting on ruining lives despite mounting evidence of their actions doing more harm than good should be REMOVED.

    But that’s my utopian dream of people being vigilant and brave.

    Judging by how we acted throughout this hysteria, looks like we’re more cowardly and willing participants in deception.

    Bah. Just my take.

    1. convincing and not conniving – che cazzo auto spell?

      1. Sorry. Meant Jacob. Like he cares.

    2. Denial is a natural first response from the government, especially when they know they are way behind on having a valid response. “Nothing to see here. Certainly don’t ask if we’re ready to protect you from this thing like we’ve said we are…”

      Then, eventually they realize that the virus is going to spread and is going to kill a bunch of people, no matter what. That’s when panic mode sets in. They know they have to come up with a “strong” and “rapid” response so that they can say “we did everything we could” and “it would have been much worse” when a lot of people end up dying anyway. And they always throw in a bunch of “it’s the other party’s fault” throughout the entire process.

      BTW, hurricane and fire season are coming. Be ready for FEMA et. al. to say “we would have been more prepared if not for COVID!”

    3. “Yet I’m being told by a doctor friend I should accept only kids with antibody certificates at my daycare.”

      Does this doctor have any data on how much of the general population has COVID antibodies? Because, absent that information I don’t see how that advice is remotely helpful.

      My wife runs an assisted living facility. Her entire facility – residents and staff – were tested by the health department a week ago Monday. Everyone came back negative for active infection with the exception of one botched test that gave no result.

      Right now the regional hospital system, Ballad, is in the process of conducting voluntary antibody testing on all staff. Results from that should begin rolling in over the next couple weeks.

  20. Brought to you by “Libertarians for technocracy”

  21. Those projections were never realistic, since they counterfactually assumed that people would carry on as usual despite COVID-19—that they would not take voluntary precautions such as avoiding crowds, minimizing social contact, working from home, wearing masks, and paying extra attention to hygiene.

    The fatality rate of those projections did not depend on that. The fatality rate depends entirely on keeping spare capacity in the hospital system so that hospitals are available to treat those who need treatment. But that voluntary social distancing SHOULD NEVER have remotely been an issue in this first wave where all the freaking virus originates from a single point halfway around the world. Public health 101 should have stopped this mostly with the airport screening with only some leakage out from there.

    In FACT, the reason for the lockdown in some states at least was precisely because the voluntary social distancing was not happening. Here in CO, it was the six Aussies in Aspen who were diagnosed as positive who then, quite deliberately, continued to ski and socially mingle with the uninfected skiing daytrippers and weekenders up from Denver. Voluntary social distancing only works when the INFECTED do that distancing. Which they tended to do in Asia because Asia has a long history and established social pressure for people to wear masks. If the infected specifically don’t give a shit, it is ludicrous to assume that the problem is going to be resolved by some magical awareness among the non-infected. That stuff in ski country was what drove CO decision-making.

    Further, this is all wormhole time machine post-facto crap. There WAS A SHORTAGE of masks until a couple weeks ago. Still is to an extent since hospitals are still using garbage bags for gowns. Not a surplus that people were using in Feb/Mar. There WAS A SHORTAGE of sanitizer. Not supermarkets/stores in Feb/Mar with a supply that they directly diverted to a useful purpose for all their customers – say one-squirt-at-a-time dispensers at the store entrance or checkout where customers could use them for actual, you know, hygiene. There was no fucking increase in ‘work-at-home’ for those who can do that until that was MANDATED even for those who can’t do that. Stop rewriting history like the Soviet Union Sullum.

    1. The fatality rate of those projections did in fact depend on no social response at all. Explicitly. The Imperial College one, for example, said in their press release that their projection assumed no social response.

      Social distancing reduces R. Ergo, if you assume R stays high, you’re assuming no social distancing. The overblown predictions of deaths assumed exactly that.

      And there was only a shortage of masks and sanitizer because the media intentionally panicked the public, who went out and bought it all. Without the panic, there probably wouldn’t have been a shortage. (Similarly, the toilet paper shortage was entirely caused by the panic).

      And there was an increase in work-at-home prior to the lockdown orders. I know several people (with different employers) who were told to work at home at least a week before my state locked down. And voluntary individual behavior was already starting to social distance at least two weeks before the lockdown orders.

      Your post is like 80% disinformation. And you accuse Sullum of rewriting history?

      1. I was in Italy in March. People were slowly receding for public spaces BEFORE any government measures undertaken. They were keeping kids from schools, not going out as much. It could have gone in a much more rational way.

        Not saying it would have been enough particularly given government were sleeping at the switch, but what I’m saying is there was a lockdown because, well, government dropped the ball.

        Then we got, ‘OH MY FUCKEN GOD CORONAZILLA!’ and all the theatre that went with it.

      2. The fatality rate of those projections did in fact depend on no social response at all.

        No that is NOT what the fatality rate directly depends on. The fatality rate depends on whether the hospitals/facilities are FULL. Because that means they have to do triage at the door – and that means some people who might benefit from medical treatment and/or die without it, don’t get that treatment. THAT is what increases the fatality rate. Because some portion of the ‘hospitalization rate’ for the disease instead turns into ‘fatality rate’ for the disease. That was the problem for awhile in Lombardy and probably a few other places. Lombardy was explicit about its triage then – no one over 60 admitted to hospital outside the ER.

        Social distancing CAN delay the timeframe where you hit capacity constraint – and can slow the contagion if you are above that point. But merely uttering the phrase ‘voluntary social distancing’ does not have magical effects. There is no abracadabra here. Face masks can only reduce contagion when they are being WORN. Hand sanitizer only improves hygiene when it is being USED one squirt at a time. In Feb/Mar those were being HOARDED but they were not being USED in public places. And I would suspect that there is in fact a strong correlation between those who hoarded early and those who stayed indoors themselves. IOW – the supply of those materials in fact shifted over to precisely those people who didn’t use as much in present and less was available to those who actually did need to use in present. Hoarding is entirely about FUTURE expected social distancing not present. But only present has a damn thing to do with the virus.

        Even so – I expect voluntary social distancing mainly really works in Asia where the ‘voluntary’ is really the consequence of very strong implicit social pressures/norms created over decades/centuries.

        And BTW – one of your fellow bots jesseaz is, somewhere else in this very thread, claiming that those projections relied explicitly on social distancing happening. Get your programmed narratives straight willya? And speaking of bots – you better tell someone at the bot factory that the sevo bot is stuck in a recursive loop that has gone full psychotic. Poor thing probably needs to be recycled for the junkyard dog bot market at this point.

        1. “…Get your programmed narratives straight willya?…”

          Is your PANIC programed, you cowardly piece of lefty shit?

        2. Sorry, I meant total fatalities (which is what Imperial College, for example, predicted – that 2.2 million number), and they do, in fact, depend on infection rate (R). That 2.2 million number explicitly depended on no social response (and thus assumed R stayed high). It’s right there in their damn press release, and in Reason’s coverage of it.

          And you said we didn’t have the necessary hand sanitizer and masks. That shortage was because the media caused a panic which led to people who didn’t need them hoarding them. *That hoarding doesn’t happen if there is no panic*. The hoarding wasn’t a consequence of covid-19 itself. No one started hoarding in January, after all, but only after panic set in. (And you could even watch it progress state by state – OR and WA panicked first, because their state governments basically encouraged it, and they were the first states with shortages.)

          1. Do we all get to watch JFree jam his PANIC!!! flag up his ass? Or can we help?

    2. dude the panic is passed. ketchup.

    3. “…Stop rewriting history like the Soviet Union Sullum.”

      Stuff your PANIC!!! flag up your ass, stick first and sit on it, you cowardly piece of lefty shit.

  22. “A Middle Course Between COVID-19 Hopes and Fears”

    OK, here’s the ‘middle course’:
    Let cowardly pieces of lefty shit like JFree crawl in a hole and stay there until they are scared of the boogyman anymore.
    Let the rest of us do as we please.

  23. A well reasoned argument. It is worth remembering, however, that it was the 2nd wave of the 1918 flu that was so deadly. It’s also worth noting that there is some very disturbing research coming out of China right now, suggesting that this virus can hide in our cells like HIV and destroy the immune system by fooling our T-cells. I’m wary of people saying this virus isn’t as bad as we feared this early in its life. We need to be cognizant of the fact that everything we know about COVID amounts to just a few months worth of study.

    1. >>destroy the immune system by fooling our T-cells

      like Twinkies? you’ll be wary forever waiting for everything we know.

    2. Charles Brandan
      May.27.2020 at 12:28 pm

      Fuck you.
      Scared of living? Crawl in a hole with JFree and fuck off.

  24. And the worst part about this — WE KNEW ALL THIS IN FEBRUARY! Locking down nursing homes would have been enough, and cost roughly $6T less than what we did. As an added bonus, we wouldn’t even have all the needless death from idiot governors!

    Maybe next time we’ll have the courage to admit government isn’t magic.

  25. No, Jacob Sullum, we don’t need “control measures” to cope with any pandemic. We need freedom and respect for the rights and property of all, and we need applied intelligence.

    In other words, we need the government to butt out. Power always corrupts and panic-spreading “authorities” will be unable to restrain themselves from oppressive measures.

    Please do not think we need your solutions or the solutions of smarter politicians “next time.” We do not. There are no smarter people who deserve to be our rulers.

  26. “We need to steer a middle course”???

    Absolutely right — 3 months ago.
    Three months ago, in the face of uncertainty, and wildly pessimistic modeling produced by dubious sources with middling track records, yes…we should have steered a middle course, informed by best-possible-science, and some calmly rational consideration of costs & benefits on both sides of the equation.

    And how should that middle have been measured?
    As a point partway between one extreme — figuring we were going to be fighting the Black Death (with a mortality rate right between 50%) — and the other extreme… say, a common cold. But we didn’t do that. Not even close. We not only didn’t steer a ‘middle course’, we didn’t even consider a middle course. Rather we bunkered and quarantined 330M healthy individuals, shuttering trillions of dollars worth of business, dis-employing 40M Americans, draining uncounted billions in life savings, radically driving deaths of despair….all because — for some ungodly reason — we decided to treat a viral respiratory tract infection, minimally more dangerous than the common flu, like it was Ebola.

    And now, after all the Lockdown Bombs have gone off and we stumble, masked and gloved, among the cratered ruins of what was (3 months ago) one of the most vital and thriving economies in history….now it’s suggested: gosh, maybe a middle course might be … I dunno….better???

    Screw that.
    It’s too late for middle courses. Now what we need is some aggressive common sense coupled with some significant urgency to return the world to NORMAL. Not, I hasten to add, a ‘new normal’ but NORMAL (albeit a minimally more risky normal).

    The IFR (not the incredibly misleading CFR) is down around .2%. But wait — it’s not even THAT high. That .2% is primarily driven 1) by age/comorbidity AND our lack of expertise when we first began to treat the victims of WuhanV…. And 2) some very rough assumptions about the true size of the infected/ recovered/ asymptomatic population. Stanford’s serology (antibody) study of Santa Clara county in mid-April indicated that the true ‘infected/recovered’ count was 50X higher than the ‘case count’. They indicated NOT that “35 percent of people infected by the COVID-19 virus never develop symptom”, but that 80% of the people infected were asymptomatic. The truth, as per typical, is probably somewhere between those two poles. And if the asymptomatic count is significantly higher than 35%, then the IFR is equally significantly lower than .2%.

    And that means WuhanV is exactly as deadly as Influenza A&B, maybe even less deadly. It also means that we KNOW that the most vulnerable among us are significantly comorbid. And that means the retirement communities and elder care facilities are the population centers that we must protect.

    Everyone else? Go back to work; go back to living.

    If we catch the virus, we’ll probably not even know it. If we actually get sick, we’ll probably not have to see a doctor. If we get sick enough to go to a hospital, we probably won’t be on a ventilator. And if, God forbid, we’re on a ventilator, the odds are still good we will not die. Add all that to the fact that our treatments for WuhanV are improving (“antibody plasma”)….and why would we even hesitate.

    And if we contrast those minimal risks against the cost of national lockdowns (cost as measured economically, socially, culturally, psychologically), especially as those costs extend and will be measured in years, or decades, not months or days — how is there even a choice??

    WuhanV is a risk. But life itself is risk. And if we are to live the lives we wish to live, we embrace it and move on!

  27. So “one-size-fits-all” doesn’t? That should come as no surprise. Clearly, those over 65 and other vulnerable populations need to be under a different protocol than the rest of the population. There also need to be different protocols for hotspots.

    The real problem is with asymptomatic super-spreaders who travel. These are the main vector of transmission into areas that have thus far had few cases. The answer isn’t to shut down all travel and to close all borders, but neither is the answer to just throw everything wide open. Some sort of reasonable controls and testing are necessary.

  28. f the CDC’s current estimates are in the right ballpark, those models also were based on IFRs that were much too high. electrician alexandria va

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