Coronavirus

As COVID-19 Infections Rise, Patients Are Getting Younger

The trend, which may reflect growing defiance of social distancing in some age groups, implies a lower death rate.

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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) is officially alarmed by the continuing rise in his state's daily tally of confirmed COVID-19 cases, which yesterday totaled nearly 5,500, a new record. Nationwide, newly detected infections have been rising this month, but the upward trend in Texas is especially striking. Abbott warns that new restrictions may be necessary to curb the outbreak, which he says is driven largely by young people who are flouting social distancing guidelines.

That explanation highlights a conflict between the interests of Texans who face very little personal risk from the COVID-19 virus and the interests of Texans who are especially vulnerable to the disease. But it also highlights the conflict between preventing virus transmission and achieving herd immunity, which would ultimately protect high-risk groups from a potentially deadly threat.

The shifting age distribution of COVID-19 infections in Texas and several other states suggests that herd immunity might be achieved without a big increase in deaths, assuming that people in high-risk groups can be adequately protected in the meantime. Opponents of that strategy, which involves trading more deaths now for fewer deaths later, argue that it's reckless because we can't be sure what the net effect will be. They add that preventing transmission buys time to develop better treatments and deploy an effective vaccine, an approach that could reduce the ultimate death toll.

As a Texas resident whose wife takes an immunosuppressive medication for a neurodegenerative disease, I have a personal stake in this debate. Given my age and health status, my own risk of dying from COVID-19 is low. The risk is even lower for our three daughters, who range in age from 14 to 27. Our oldest daughter, who had symptoms consistent with COVID-19 in March, may already be immune; she is waiting for the results of an antibody test. But because we are trying not to kill my wife (we are very considerate that way), we have been extra cautious about limiting our interactions with other people, even as legal restrictions on movement and economic activity have been lifted.

At the same time, I can understand the perspective of young, healthy people who chafe at social distancing rules of uncertain duration. Abbott notes that Texans younger than 30 account for a growing share of new infections. "There are certain counties where a majority of the people who are tested positive in that county are under the age of 30, and this typically results from people going to bars," he said during a press conference last week. He suggested that the dramatic increase in cases that Texas has seen since late May can be traced to gatherings on Memorial Day weekend, when people who might not have seen each other for months got together in close proximity.

Those people have been widely portrayed as reckless idiots who do not consider the danger they could pose to their grandparents or other vulnerable people by picking up and transmitting the virus. While their own symptoms are apt to be mild or nonexistent, that may not be true of people they subsequently encounter, and their own resilience makes it more likely that they will carry the virus without realizing it. If they are not scrupulous about avoiding close contact with vulnerable people, they could unwittingly endanger their lives.

All of that is true, which is why I am especially keen to keep my wife from interacting with young people who behave the way that young people tend to behave. But it may be too much to expect them to indefinitely suspend their social lives because of a disease that poses very little risk to them or their friends. And while I doubt they are motivated by a prosocial desire to protect high-risk individuals through herd immunity, that could be an unintentional side effect of their self-interested defiance. Over the short term, they are raising the risk to vulnerable people by increasing the prevalence of the virus. But over the longer term, they could be protecting those people by increasing the prevalence of immunity and cutting chains of transmission.

I am not at all sure that's a risk worth taking, since the answer depends on how many more infections are necessary to achieve herd immunity and how soon effective treatments and vaccines will be available. But we may not have a choice.

If rising infections in states such as Texas, California, Arizona, and Florida (which yesterday saw a record increase in new confirmed cases) represent a new normal rather than a one-time jump tied to social gatherings on Memorial Day weekend, it will be hard to put the genie back in the bottle, regardless of any legal restrictions politicians decide to reimpose. Given the impracticality of mass enforcement, social distancing has always required voluntary compliance, and the willingness to comply seems to be waning, partly because of sheer impatience but also because the experience with ham-handed, economically devastating, and frequently arbitrary lockdowns has left many people bitter and disinclined to follow official recommendations.

Assuming that large numbers of Americans are not willing to sit tight until vaccines and/or better treatments can be deployed, what will that mean for the COVID-19 death toll? On that score, there is some reason for (relative) optimism.

While I could not find data breaking down new Texas cases by age, the changing distribution of total cases confirms Abbott's point that newly infected people are younger now than they were earlier in the epidemic. As of yesterday, people older than 65 accounted for 15 percent of total confirmed cases in Texas, down from 22 percent on April 21. The share of cases involving people younger than 40 rose from 32 percent to 41 percent during the same period. Consistent with Abbott's gloss, the biggest jump was in 20-to-29-year-olds, whose share of all confirmed cases rose from 13 percent to 17 percent.

Those comparisons understate the change in recently detected infections, which is the relevant consideration in projecting COVID-19 deaths. In Florida, the median age of newly identified patients plummeted from 65 in early March to 35 last week. In California, according to an analysis released last week, 44 percent of newly diagnosed cases involved people 34 or younger, up from 29 percent a month earlier. The share of new cases involving people older than 50, meanwhile, fell from 46 percent to 30.5 percent.

Why is that good news? Last month the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that the risk of death for people with COVID-19 symptoms is just 0.05 percent among patients younger than 50. That risk rises to 0.2 percent among 50-to-64-year-olds and 1.3 percent among people 65 or older. In other words, those reckless idiots getting together in bars are correct in thinking that the risk for them is negligible, even if they overlook the fact that the risk for the oldest age group is much higher—26 times as high, according to the CDC's estimate.

While recent increases in COVID-19 infections can be expected to result in some additional deaths in the next few weeks, the consequences will not be nearly as bad as they would be if the new patients were older. The changing age distribution of cases helps explain why the nationwide tally of daily COVID-19 deaths, which has fallen dramatically since April, continued to decline long after states began lifting their lockdowns at the end of that month. Youyang Gu's epidemiological model, which has a good track record of predicting COVID-19 fatalities, currently projects that daily deaths in the United States will continue to decline until early July, then rise through mid-August, exceeding the current level by late July, before declining again through September, dropping below the current level by the middle of that month.

"With younger age of recent infections in at least some places such as Florida," former CDC Director Tom Frieden tweeted this week, "expect a lower death rate in this wave…until the 20-40-year-olds who are infected today go on to infect others." The implication is that we will eventually see a big surge in COVID-19 deaths as younger, healthier Americans relatively unscathed by the virus pass it on to others who are more vulnerable. But that is not a foregone conclusion. As always, it depends on the precautions that people take, and the onus for those seems to be shifting from the population at large to people in high-risk groups. We can debate whether or not that is fair, but it will not change the reality.

NEXT: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Had a Big Night in New York's Primary. Hillary Clinton Fell Flat.

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  1. “As COVID-19 Infections Rise”

    Garsh I cant imagine why anyone would think the media would dishonestly frame test results.

    1. I am sorry reality is conspiring against your worldview.

      1. Yes, put the whole CNN in your mouth, now look at me bitch.

        1. Oh right, CNN is the only one reporting these numbers.

          idiot

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      2. It is unfortunate you you are 80 years of age and probably are at risk.

        Meanwhile I’ll accept the risk of dying in a car accident and drive to work which is a lower risk than dying of covid for me.

      3. Dear moderators,
        I accidentally flagged Chippers comment for review, thinking it was a thumbs up. Please remove the flag

    2. Not only are overall infection numbers going up, so are the percentages of tests that come back positive. You should put down whatever Kool-Aid you’re drinking and slap on a mask.

      1. Who knew criticizing the media and their garbage lies would bring such salty little inkfuckers out of the woodwork?

        1. I did hear a rumor that there were some mass gatherings half a month ago.

          Could that have something to do with it?

          1. I did hear a rumor that there were some mass gatherings half a month ago.

            Could that have something to do with it?

            Indeed–all those anti-lockdown protests must have caused this, combined with states like Georgia opening too soon.

            Fortunately the good people stayed safe by burying themselves in BLM sponsored protests–which were declared to repel COVID-19 by our betters.

            Let’s go find some statues of scientists to tear down!

      2. Yet the death rates continue to decrease. THE HORROR.

        1. Are you really stupid enough to think that death is the only bad consequence of someone, anyone, contracting this virus?

          1. Based on the things JesseAz has posted so far I don’t know if there’s even a ceiling for how stupid he can be.

      3. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t correct for number of tests taken. Those confirmed case increases aren’t nearly so dramatic when you do that.

        1. LOL, “it’s getting worse at a slightly slower rate thank you think!” I’ve seen how that argument gets treated here when it comes to budgets.

          The disease is becoming more prevalent. There is more justification for mitigating risk right now than there has been at any point previously.

          The funny thing is we wouldn’t even need to have shit locked down if people would just wear a goddamn mask. It’s a comically small ask and you have to be a fucking pissbaby to cry about it.

      4. So what? It’s incrementally higher and there can be a number of reasons that have increased the positive rate, most all benign.

        1. Those famous benign global virus pandemics we all know and love.

    3. It would be pretty surprising if the number of infections in states that didn’t already have significant outbreaks wasn’t rising. I see no reason to disbelieve that. The numbers are questionable, but the real problem is the interpretation. The numbers are rising because the epidemic hasn’t yet run its course in some places. They will rise for a while, then they will fall. Just like they have in NY and other places that were hit earlier.
      Which is the totally normal way respiratory epidemics always happen and doesn’t justify any tyrannical lockdown bullshit or forced closure or restriction of businesses.

      1. But science!! The science! The experts!

        Bow to the overlords.

    4. An increase in positive test results is not necessarily an increase in the number of new infections.

      However, I heard a rumor there were a couple of mass gatherings about half a month ago, thus increasing exposures, and thus infections. There is a preponderance of evidence that the number of new infections rose.

      1. But when the percentage of tests coming back positive also increases, that IS a really good indicator that it’s an increase in new infections.

    5. Because the media do NOT do that?

    6. You’re the one doing the dishonest framing. The increased infection numbers are decidedly NOT an artifact of increased testing. In addition to the increased raw number of positive tests, the PERCENTAGE of tests that are coming back positive has also increased. And in the state of FL the number of tests conducted over the last couple of weeks actually DECREASED compared to the previous month. Infection numbers still went up in FL just like in other states.

  2. Fair? That’s not really part of the equation. If you are vulnerable, you best hunker down.
    Vaccine? Fagedaboudit.

    1. Exactly.

      The shifting age distribution of COVID-19 infections in Texas and several other states suggests that herd immunity might be achieved without a big increase in deaths, assuming that people in high-risk groups can be adequately protected in the meantime.

      This is a blessing for those of us who are at risk. We need to take care of ourselves.

      1. Yeah, dragging out the epidemic is a risk to the vulnerable. Especially for old people who live alone for whom social isolation has serious health impacts. The longer the epidemic lasts, the more chances they have of being exposed. If healthy, productive people had carried on as usual, this would be over by now.

        1. That’s not a fact-based assessment on your part. If we tried to “get it over with” by just letting everybody get infected, that would result in millions of deaths instead of just tens of thousands. And it very likely would require over 90% of Americans to get infected if we’re going to achieve herd immunity without a vaccine.

          That’s why trying to do so would be a fool’s errand and we’re far better off slowing the spread until a working vaccine is ready.

  3. Well, after all, we have already killed of all the grandmas, so we gotta go after the kids. If we don’t get enough of them to catch the Communist Chinese Virus and die, we will have to figure out a way to have public schools in the fall.

  4. Patients – I think you mean cases or infected. Patients imply they are being treated for the disease but you clearly point out in the article that most young folks have mild to no symptoms.

    1. Beat me to it. I was expecting an article on increasing hospitalizations.

  5. which would could ultimately protect some high-risk groups from a potentially deadly threat.

    FFS, it’s not a magic enchantment people. Without a vaccine, if the ‘load’ of succeptible individuals a population is carrying is below the herd immunity threshhold, one way or another those individuals will be culled until the herd gets above the threshhold.

    1. Which brings us back to the question I’ve been asking since March. Why the fuck do we want this to last longer than it has to?

      1. Ask the leftists. They’re the ones doing it.

      2. Because your insane “infect everybody to create herd immunity” idea would kill millions. Slowing the spread as much as possible until a vaccine is ready is how we keep the death toll from reaching 7 digits.

  6. Perhaps this virus refuses to follow any social directives other than “get together.”

    Could they be zombies at this stage of transmission? Could it be that they do not realize that payment of dues or taxes to those initial, wee demands of sighted virus monster represents conflict of interest with bit & harness of heavy-handed state?

  7. Technically, the patients are getting older, at least until the moment they die.

    1. If any of the patients are getting younger we can we finally admit that not only is COVID-19 not a bad thing, it is in fact, the fountain of youth.

      1. I ride my bicycle regularly between Bozone and Deadrock and have not seen ANY dead bicyclists along my route. What gives? Are cyclists immune from the COVID-19 virus?

  8. More young people have been shot and killed in the CHAZ than have died from CoronaVirus.

    1. Still nothing compared to the number of people shot by gangs in Chicago over last weekend. Sorry, I forgot we’re not supposed to talk about that.

      1. Fake news, you know. Chicago passed gun control years ago, so now no one at all suffers from those evil guns things that kill people on their own.

        1. Those laws may keep domesticated guns under control, but what about feral guns?

          1. Feral Guns would be a good band name.

        2. It’s all because of the MacDonald case that ruined their perfect gun control that was working perfectly.

  9. COVID-19 is a coronavirus, the same family as the common cold. We’ve been trying and failing to cure the common cold for so long that it’s its own meme. I’m not going to go so far as to say that treatments or vaccines are impossible but the people saying we should hold our breath for them are being remarkably unrealistic.

    Absent such a breakthrough, the important thing to remember is that social distancing, masks and all the lockdown rules are about flattening the curve – that is, slowing the rate of infection. None of those tactics can change the area under the curve – the eventual total number of deaths. This will sound callous and heartless but it is the simple math of infection. Achieving herd immunity requires a certain percentage of the population to become infected. (The exact percentage depends on characteristics of the particular disease.) A fraction of those infected are going to die. Whether that process takes 1 month or 100 months, the numbers do not change.

    The bottom line is that as much as I sympathize with the author’s desire to protect his wife, none of these measures will do so in the long term.

    1. Well put. I hate always having to sound like the callous one when I’m arguing with people, but the fact of the matter is that letting this spread to get herd immunity is realistically our only option. Yes that means some people will die. Just like ever single ever novel virus that came before it and will come after it. The hubris of thinking we can play god and prevent disease through edicts is going to do more harm than good. We’re already seeing the unintended consequences of trying to force everyone to live in a bubble with levels of social unrest that we haven’t seen in 50 years. This is just the beginning.

      1. The stupid thing is that even in countries that the media is sucking off for their response, every time they lighten up even a hair, another outbreak happens and they lock right back down again. You’d think it would occur to them that there’s literally nothing they can do to stop this from running through the population.

    2. The inescapable fact is that in order for the”curve” to flatten, it has to be pushed out to the right. Same number of people get sick, it just takes longer. Which is OK medically, but catastrophic if the government response is a shut down of the economy.

      1. Just like the Keynesian’s economic response to 2008, we will spend the next decade being propagandized into thinking that everything the government did during their COVID response, both in terms of lockdowns and economic reaction, was a rousing success (you’ll never guess who gets to define “success.”) Next time there’s a novel virus, we will know exactly what works and we will just need 4 times more of it than last time.

        1. It will be called a partial success. It prevented the worst results, but didn’t go far enough.

        2. “Next time there’s a novel virus, we will know exactly what works and we will just need 4 times more of it than last time.”
          Unless there’s a demoncrap in the WH.
          Then we’ll get what happened in 2009 for the H1N1 pandemic.

    3. Thought cold viruses were mostly rhinovirii, but I agree with the rest of your post. There isn’t a vaccine coming soon, or maybe at all.

      Yet sitting at home forever isn’t an option either. Keep the virus away from old farts and people like Sullum’s wife, and everyone else get back to work.

      1. Colds can be caused by many different virus strains. Rhinovirus strains are the most common.

      2. As an old fart, my demand is that we allow “old farts and people like Sullum’s wife” to make their own choices about the level of risk we wish to accept. To me, hiding in my house and eschewing human contact indefinitely is not a life worth living, but mere pointless survival. If the virus is going to kill me if I continue to live a real life, then so be it. I’ll have gone down living and not just surviving.

        1. I’m with you one hundred percent, Vernon! Fortunately for me, my favorite bar — Neptune’s Brewery in Deadrock — seems to be getting along just fine without face masks, although distancing is recommended by the management. The folks I saw were mixing it up pretty close together. Long live Neptune’s.

    4. I am in Sullum’s shoes – wife at high risk – and a daughter at risk (cancer), and I am hoping for all places to open and a quick rise to herd immunity. We are very isolated to keep safe, but the longer we have to do this, the harder it will get.

    5. They did come out with a vaccine against the common cold over 60 years ago. It didn’t work.

      1. Part of that is because – as noted elsewhere – what we call “colds” are actually a set of dozens of different viral infections, from different types of viruses, even.

        In theory if Covid-19 is caused by one specific virus, then it should be easier to come up with a vaccine, but mutations could cause the vaccine to fail.

        Either way, it’s a complex prospect and not one people should be counting on to come out from under their beds.

    6. You have to be callous when talking about an epidemic. People will die. You can’t stop that if you don’t have a cure. And if you try you harm a whole lot more people.
      Old people dying of pneumonia is not a tragedy. That’s life. Being old means you are going to die soon. Suck it up. I’m not happy about it, but life’s rough sometimes.

    7. Well done sir. One would think this would be obvious.

    8. Over 200 different viruses cause the common cold. Most of them are rhinoviruses. Only about 15% of colds are caused by coronaviruses.

  10. more young people forced into testing submission to work. spike!

  11. AIDS appeared officially on June 5, 1981 when the Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report cited a new form of pneumonia recognized as a distinct species. Today is 39 years and 19 days after the new virus was recognized and we still don’t have a vaccine.

    Herd immunity as a primary defense is looking more and more logical.

    1. And both AIDS and the Communist Chinese Virus were handled politically instead of medically.
      Did you look up how many tax dollars were spent on AIDS in the last 4 decades?

      1. The government loves you and they will stop at nothing to keep you safe. Or else…..

      2. Well they’ve been handled both politically and medically, but conservatives are welcome to get their stupid paws off the issue if they so choose.

        1. Man, your stupidity gives me a blinding headache. Why do you still fucking insist on addressing “conservatives” on a fucking LIBERTARIAN website?

          Idiot.

    2. AIDS is a poor comparison because HIV infections never results in a natural immunity. Really the possibility of a vaccine comes down to whether people who recover from Covid-19 end up with immunity, and how long that immunity lasts

  12. herd immunity might be achieved without a big increase in deaths, assuming that people in high-risk groups can be adequately protected in the meantime. Opponents of that strategy, which involves trading more deaths now for fewer deaths later, argue that it’s reckless because we can’t be sure what the net effect will be.

    As opposed to our total knowledge about the effects of the forthcoming Warp-Sped vaccine.

    1. We also have a pretty good idea of the suffering, impoverishment, physical and mental illness, and excess deaths that will result from a deliberately induced inflationary depression. We can look at past economic downturns for estimation. As was already noted above, we are already seeing the predictable widespread civil unrest. Our mitigation efforts are worse than the disease, and we won’t be suffering the worst of the effects of the lockdowns, social disruption, and money printing for months.

  13. the onus for those seems to be shifting from the population at large to people in high-risk groups. We can debate whether or not that is fair

    What is there to debate? With an average age already above average life-expectancy, the vulnerable population is already expected to die of some other cause. How does any scientific approach call for the sacrifice of the freedom and prosperity of the productive, reproducing population at large to protect a non-productive, non-reproducing vulnerable population who are perfectly capable of managing the responsibility for their own health?

    It is now conclusive that this is not the existential threat we were lead to believe it could be. The time for ‘public’ concern is over.

    1. who are perfectly capable of managing the responsibility for their own health?

      Well, they may be capable, but the federal government won’t let them do so.

      1. Because of one county. One. There are three counties in Washington with less than 5 people currently hospitalized but the whole damn state needs to wear a mask or be fined because he shut down the state before Yakima had enough cases for there to be a curve to flatten.

    2. If it saves just one life!
      Oh, sorry, that’s gun control

      1. No, it’s this too.

      2. If it saves one life, it’s worth it. Even if it also costs 3 lives.

    3. “How does any scientific approach call for the sacrifice of the freedom and prosperity of the productive, reproducing population at large to protect a non-productive, non-reproducing vulnerable population who are perfectly capable of managing the responsibility for their own health?”

      You do not wish to separate medicine from ethics. You really do not want that. It is a guild and has rules of its own. The religious give it a pass as do wise governments.

      Every life from beginning to end means something. Start there. Then we can talk. There is much more to learn and it will never end.

      1. As someone much closer to the end than the beginning, I am certain that life “means” less and less as it winds down. No, my life is not worth the same as that of a healthy young person. I don’t want our society being wrecked and the futures of the young being destroyed in order to maybe give me a few more years. It’s not worth it.

        1. You are, of course, entitled to that opinion. Also being much closer to the end than the beginning, I’m of the opposite opinion. I’ve still got a LOT more to do & contribute to my species before my end …..

          1. Then take whatever precautions you think are necessary for yourself and do not demand that everyone else put their lives on hold to protect you. “You do you; I’ll do me”, as the kids said until recently.

          2. Observant. I’m 60+ and have no death-wish at all, but my idea is that if you want to live, while belonging to a higher risk group, then YOU should wear a mask, YOU should keep a safe distance and only go out when you really have to, unless you’re willing to take your chances, etc. Why put the burden on others? And watch Del Bigtree (The HighWire) every week on Thursday – latest broadcast just finished about an hour ago, but you can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4TztuIZx18
            Wish you and everybody here all the best!

      2. Medicine is one thing. Public health policy is another. Medicine is about treating individual patients and a physician absolutely should treat every patient as if their life is as important as any other.
        Public health policy cannot operate that way. It has to consider what is most disruptive to society, not try to save every life. As we’ve seen this year, the consequences are absolutely appalling if you do that and far more harm than good is done.

    4. Chuck, that which was being approached, scientifically, was getting rid of the Bad Orange Man.
      Nothing else, even if it means the total destruction of society, is as important to the leftist media, who hyped this out of all proportion.

  14. DoNt YoU cArE aBoUt GrAnDmA?

    The worst part of all this shit is the masks. The business closures do more economic harm but the masks are just pure jackbootery. They do nothing if you aren’t coughing and aren’t around people who are coughing. It’s pure government enforced groveling before the shrine of Something Must Be Done.

    1. so true the odds of actually catching the virus in a casual pass by a person in a store is huuuuge. Scientific American had an article that you needed to interact with an infected person for at least 10 minutes. standing in line not talking to strangers is not interacting.
      or you needed to be in a large enclosed gathering so that your viral loading exceeded your bodies ability to cope. again in a grocery store does not fall under that criteria. Note now that mask are required in California stores are still requiring 6′ separation and some stores even limit the number of people all not needed when wearing mask. When they get their story straight we will believe again NOT, fool me once

    2. How does wearing a mask make you unfree? Are all your other problems solved?

      1. “How does wearing a mask make you unfree?”

        Fuck off, slaver

      2. How does wearing a gold star on your garment make you unfree?

        1. What is a gold star?

          Perhaps you are referring to something else.

          1. I think he meant yellow, rather than gold. He definitely meant the 6-pointed variety.

      3. “Are all your other problems solved?”

        What does this have to do with anything?

      4. Tony, you sound just like my wife ;-(

    3. Because people like Tony like masks so much they will probably ask the government to require it every flu season. The new normal. Even when this virus goes away.

      I think masks are a way for governments and businesses to cover their ass. Their sum is, “I don’t know what to do about this virus so let’s just cover our faces and that says we are doing something.”

      I know a grandma who wants to kill herself and other grandmas because she doesn’t like to wear a mask (something about it’s hard to breath for her).

      1. Masks are also a way for people like Tony to virtue signal to a wide audience. The leftists are loving the masks.

        1. No, the people not wearing masks are virtue signaling. The rest of us think they are annoying as fuck.

          1. To think that not doing something could be considered “virtue signaling”. I don’t hassle people about wearing masks. If you feel like wearing a mask, more power to you. I just don’t want to wear one myself and since they are entirely useless I don’t see why people should be hassled for not wearing them. It’s just importing the same security theater from TSA groping lines to a medical theater everywhere, all the time.

            1. People are wearing masks because public health safety experts say that is the prudent thing to do.

              People are not wearing masks because Donald Trump doesn’t like the optics.

              You people chose to be this way.

          2. My God you’re an insufferable twat

      2. People like Tony love the masks, because without them we might forget about the panᵈᵉᵐic, and go ahead and vote for the Bad Orange Man, who is to blame for all the ills of society.

        1. Correct. The point of the mask mandates are to keep the panic stoked and not let people think it’s just another bad illness going around that will eventually go away.

          It’s the old “you will be made to care” tactic: I’m not sick and I’m not scared of getting sick, but by god the government isn’t going to let me make decisions for myself. There are politics to be played.

        2. Lunatics like you get enraged over masks because you see them as an anti-Trump statement rather than the reality that they’re a public health measure.

    4. Did anyone bother asking Grandma if she wanted to be “protected” like this? Social interaction and physical contact is really important for old people. Without it a lot just fade away. It’s amazing how quickly loneliness and depression can kill a previously vigorous elderly person.

  15. After three months of lockdowns and now people are getting it again tells you that no matter how long you lock down you are going to get it eventually and we can’t stop life to wait for a unicorn vaccine and never should have. if they had used social distancing and mask in the begining all would have been fine but for some reason they went full shut down and clearly for political reasons not medical, even today Newsom said if some counties don’t start behaving he was going to punish them, that is clearly a political move since those counties have few to zero infections

    1. The places getting it are those that didn’t have significant cases or spikes at the time governors locked everything down. This is 100% what you would expect to see as a virus rolls out into previously unaffected or minimally affected populations. The real idiocy in all this is the top-down governance that imposes restrictions uniformly instead of based on situation.

  16. “As COVID-19 Infections Rise, Patients Are Getting Younger”

    Well, duh; A terrifyingly high percentage of the early deaths were in nursing homes infected by government orders. Now the states that did that have burned through their vulnerable populations, and the states that didn’t do that are protecting them, so the patients have to get younger.

    1. Yes. The virus has consumed the low-hanging fruit. Eventually it runs out of 80-year-olds with COPD and diabetes, and then as the infection continues to spread more widely, the age of those known to be infected drops.

    2. Of course it wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that most of the protesters, rioters, vandals, arsonists, murderers, etc, were younger people.

  17. I can’t help but get the feeling that people are advocating sacrificing grandma purely because they think it will help the economy and thus Trump’s poll numbers. But that’s standard nowadays. You gotta kill a few grandmas to protect the fetuses, and you can’t protect the fetuses without Trump or some other (R) in his place.

    The world according to the self-described arbiters of morality.

    1. I cant help knowing you’re a fucking idiot.

      We arent sacrificing grandma. The yearly death rate of those over 70 is 13% a year. With covid? It is 15% a year. Old people die dumbfuck.

    2. Exactly backwards. Protect grandma by keeping her isolated and wear a mask when you are near. Let all the young develop herd immunity ASAP so grandma can hug her grandkids again, you monster.

    3. Grandma needs a functioning economy and society to survive, moron.

  18. We need only look to Sweden if we want a picture of how a different strategy works. The results remain debatable since this is still ongoing, but their deaths remain stubbornly high and, unfortunately for the case you’re trying to make, the elderly are 50% of the deaths anyway.

    If it tries the Swedish approach, America will undoubtedly have even worse outcomes for several reasons: the rates are already completely out of control, we don’t have equitable access to healthcare, and any policy coming from the Trumpies will not be based on science but on how it’s predicted to affect his poll numbers.

    1. You dont understand statistics nor science.

      1. Nor economics. Nor ethics.

    2. We cannot judge Sweden’s actual success until the end of next Winter. I suspect that they will have a better outcome than other countries during that time.

      1. These idiot statists don’t seem to understand that the “Swedish Approach” was not about reducing deaths or infections, it was purely about economics. Not that Sweden didn’t care about people getting sick and dying, but that Sweden realized there isn’t a whole lot that can be done in the long run.

        When we get down to it, every country in the world is going to have the same death rate and the infection rate, but Sweden will be the only one that didn’t purposely choose to wreck its economy.

        1. I should also add that there is a secondary effect of galvanizing the virtue signaling nature of the democrat base. They already think they are innately better people than their political opponents. Turning masks into a political issue reinforces that feeling and keeps them in line for a few more months.

  19. Texas and Florida have more people to infect than blue state covid zones like New Jersey and Illinois, and reopening and protests will obviously lead to some new increases. And yet, the latter states nearly outpace the former in new deaths.

    And even in states seeing dramatic rises in new cases, most of it is contained in one or two areas. In CA the northern half just about survived this crisis. In So Cal LA is the only real area of concern.

    The virus isn’t going to kill 99% of people. Everyone knows this. It’s not just libertarians who say “I can’t stay cooped up in my house for 5 months and let fireworks go to waste if only to save one life”
    Americans tire of quagmires eventually,

    1. What if there were simple measures people could take when in public that would go a long way to mitigating the problem? Are libertarians and others willing to compromise that much?

      1. You scared, shitbag? crawl in a hole and stay there.

        1. So your insectoid little minds can spend all day lecturing other people about the nonaggression principle, yet no matter how hard they try, they can’t wrap themselves around the concept that giving another person a disease is to harm them.

          1. You really cant figure out this whole life thing can you. Life has risks. I’m sorry you had shitty parents that didnt teach you this fact.

          2. Libertarians allow others to take care of themselves, but may require guests to wear masks when they visit and can isolate as much as we like. Likewise, businesses. I, of course, will not be visiting businesses that don’t mask up. But THAT’s MY choice.

            1. We have an odd situation in VA in that regard. Since the governor decided to mandate masks (3 or so months into the pandemic) all companies also “mandate” mask usage. The problem there is that most companies and employees don’t give a damn and won’t enforce the rule. If there wasn’t that government mandate hanging over every business then I’d be ok with choosing which businesses I go to based on mask policy. I’d even be more willing to mask up if it was truly the business’s choice to require masks. These blanket regulations are just asking for people to throw up a middle finger

            2. BigT. Too bad I have to work fulltime in a business where wearing a mask is forced by law (so I have no choice in the matter, not if I wanna keep my job anyway). Good news is that I was home when they made wearing a mask mandatory – I took some days off, lucky me. In the meantime I’ve only wore a mask one time, at a shop, and they had airconditioning (the place where I work is hotter than hell and at best it already feels like there’s no oxygen in the air when it’s warm outside). That one time I had to wear a mask made me realize how claustrophobic people must feel when they’re stuck in a small elevator… Please, grandma, don’t make me do this! Can’t you just stay in while we go about our business and make this natural herd immunity happen?! By the way, I’m not a youngster anymore myself 🙂 Really folks, go watch this video and learn something about the whole covid-19 hype: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4TztuIZx18

          3. “So your insectoid little minds can spend all day lecturing other people about the nonaggression principle, yet no matter how hard they try, they can’t wrap themselves around the concept that giving another person a disease is to harm them.”

            You can repeat that pile of bullshit as long and often as you please; it remains bullshit.
            Your health is your concern, not mine. Wanna stay safe? Stay in bed. Nobody guaranteed you a life without getting sick and that includes me.
            Fuck off, slaver.

          4. There aren’t, Tony. Masks don’t do a damned thing unless you’re sick, and if you’re sick, you need to stay at home.

            There is essentially no asymptomatic transmission. There isn’t a Typhoid Mary for this thing. All of the cases they thought were of asymptomatic transmission, keep getting debunked.

            If you’re sick, keep your filthy ass at home until you get well. If you’re not sick, get back to work. We’re all going to get this thing, like people get the flu in flu season. The vast majority of us will feel like shit for a few days when we do. If that much drama.

            Stop destroying people’s businesses on purpose. Let people live their lives.

            1. The experts aren’t nearly as certain as you are about all the claims you’re making. Maybe you’re smarter than them.

              Also, I don’t think you should get to decide my risk of infection in the name of economic activity. So stop pretending like you know things you don’t and that you’re in charge of other people’s lives.

              1. Actually, one of the experts did come out and say that contact tracing showed that there wasn’t a risk of nonsymptomatic transmission, but she got slapped down so hard that she had to make a statement the next day, that said “but the models still say it is a risk”.
                I’ll trust the actual observations before I’ll trust the models.
                If masks work to protect you from the virus, where did all the worry about it being contracted through getting it on your hands and touching one of your mucus membranes go?
                Masks only cover two of those places, and one of them has saliva, that can’t be too accommodating to a virus, since it even begins to digest the food you eat.
                MASKS ONLY WORK WHEN WORN BY SICK PEOPLE.

            2. 3 Mask Scenarios (according to Science, by the way):

              1) Unmasked carrier speaking to Masked person: Contagion Probability = 70%

              2) Masked carrier speaking to Unmasked person: Contagion Probability = 5%

              3) Masked carrier speaking to Masked person: Contagion Probability = 1.5%

              Masks are not there to keep YOU safe from exposure; they are there to prevent a possibly asymptomatic YOU from infecting others. (Please provide references for the debunking of asymptomatacy.) This is a social-responsibility issue, created by this particular lethal viral situation. Apparently many here feel that social responsibility is something other people do, and there’s no requirement for YOU to be socially responsible (yet oddly choose to live among the socially responsible & complain about them). Social responsibility cannot (and should not) be mandated by government; it is a Moral issue. In this case, it is a moral AND medical issue to wear a mask, and immoral and medically uninformed not to — period.

              There is also, as yet, no guarantee that having had COVID will provide immunity if you are exposed a second time.

              We can’t give up on ‘best practices’ simply because we lack serious self-discipline and/or have gotten bored with doing the right, socially responsible thing ~ unless one is of the opinion that no one has any obligation to care about anyone else but themselves, in which case it’s ‘every man for himself’ and not a reflection of an actual ‘society’ of people. And without ‘society’ (socialization), we lack ‘civilization.’ Now, if you don’t like ‘civilization,’ by all means just leave it & set up your own hermitage. But the rest of us who choose to live a ‘civilized’ life do have a moral obligation to protect each other. And that requires being socially conscious when dealing with any other member of the population. Social consciousness then requires that we do things to keep each other safe. And it also appears that most of the people objecting to mask-wearing do not really understand its usefulness in flattening the curve, which has only to do with not causing our emergency & healthcare workers massive sustained burnout having to deal with constantly spiked numbers. Those workers know this is going to be a long haul & there’s a need to pace the influx so everyone can be adequately & appropriately served, and not turned away. Many are already mentally, physically & emotionally exhausted (and will need PTSD support during & after this), and many are also quitting their fields because they just can’t take the pace or need to protect vulnerable family members. They’re quitting! (Because WE’RE not wearing masks, really. We’re not being ‘socially responsible’ ~ IOW, ‘moral.’ Non-mask wearers are definitely NOT thinking of these & other essential workers, and are actually taking them for granted by not wearing a mask.) And there’s going to be a lot fewer of them around once it’s your turn to get treated for COVID. And new, just recently announced H1b visa restrictions will curtail – and probably stop – the number of foreign healthcare workers that can come here; a large percentage of US healthcare workers originate from other nations, many of them the shithole countries. The Eurozone will be using Science to determine who can visit that part of the world, and right now the US (along with Russia & Brazil) will be banned because our numbers are not lookin’ so good. That’s because we’ve lacked national commitment, execution & oversight and consistent scientific control over our regions, AND because we’ve individually lacked self-discipline. At the very least, those who purport to be Christian should have no problem with, and even welcome the opportunity to be, doing the christian thing: actually BE your brother’s keeper.

              I’m not saying that wearing masks needs to be mandated. But there’s such a thing a common sense (which, when I think about it, is rarer than hens’ teeth). And that only works in COVID’s case if you actually care about your fellow humans. By all current indications, the US is Exceptional in that it doesn’t give a shit about its own & cannot be expected to care about any one in any place they’d be visiting overseas. Now, although our nation is a ‘baby’ compared to the length of time others have been in existence, as a supposedly intelligent child we sure have blown it. Children learn from watching others; the US has watched South Korea, the Eurozone, China, Russia, Brazil & Iran (in particular) but has rejected the medical & social processes they used (or did not use) and has learned nothing simply because, as a ‘baby,’ we’ve thrown a bratty, scattered, willfully uneducated & impulsively selfish tantrum, the repercussions of which will be felt much longer than in just about any other country on earth. Today’s crisEs require this baby to stop kickin’ & screamin’ over who’s ‘except-ional’ and to grow up fast. We can start here: Just because you might be ’negative’ for COVID today, doesn’t mean you’ll stay the same tomorrow. It’s not going to kill the wearer, and might save a life, so … ‘just wear the damn mask.’

              1. “There is also, as yet, no guarantee that having had COVID will provide immunity if you are exposed a second time.”

                Only if this is unlike all other coronaviruses. Assuming herd immunity is a thing, which is a very safe bet, the socially responsible thing is for young and healthy people to catch it ASAP. The only concern is overwhelming the health care system. Why do you want to prolong the pandemic.

              2. “…but has rejected the medical & social processes they used (or did not use) and has learned nothing…”

                Do you understand how stupid this phrase is. There are no other approaches than those that were either used or not used. That encompasses 100% of the possible approaches.

      2. Those measures don’t mitigate the problem, unless you think kicking the can down the road makes it disappear.

        1. Well, that has been our fiscal policy for decades…

      3. That doesn’t do a damned thing to get us to herd immunity. You’re really banking on a vaccine by the end of the year, aren’t you?

        1. There probably won’t be a vaccine that will eradicate it. Not that I know for sure. Nobody knows anything for sure except that the illness is extremely unpleasant.

          1. the illness is extremely unpleasant.

            For nearly all who become infected, the “illness” is either nothing at all or just a chest cold.

        2. Tony, all the left and some of the right, are banking on this being the end of the Bad Orange Man.
          If Senile Joe Biden gets elected, this will, suddenly, become no more of a concern than was the H1N1 pandemic in 2009.
          You remember, when 0blama was president.

      4. ‘Mitigating’ the problem? Delaying spread only does that, delaying spread.

        Meanwhile, people are fallible.
        -Their attention spans are short. The next big news story comes along (hello anti-racism riots), and suddenly that’s more important than remembering covid-19 or social distancing.
        -Their ability to go without human contact is limited.
        -Their ability to stay vigilant decreases rapidly. I’m not even talking weeks or days – I’m talking *hours*.

        And there are exogenous problems too, like emergencies forcing people into situations with elevated risk of exposure. The odds of such a situation arising increases over longer time horizons.

        So the longer we drag this out, the harder it will be to keep vulnerable people isolated. Waiting for some ‘miracle cure’ is an act of misplaced faith. Young and healthy? Get sick, get over it, stop whining. That’s how you keep grandma safe.

  20. Hideous trolls like Tony need to stop speaking for grandma. In my experience, people at “grandma” age are largely the only sane and pleasant people left. They are nice and relatively optimistic and frequently perplexed by all of the ridiculous controls in place. They they didn’t get to their age by being whiny helpless little bitches

    1. It’s amazing old people die at all.

    2. Yes, they lived through at least one of the ’57 and ’68 pandemics. They understand death can’t be controlled and is a risk you accept for living. It’s only younger generations that are so coddled they can’t deal with any risk.

      Relatedly, the only people I see without masks on are senior citizens.

    3. Personal experience:

      My 70 yo mom has pre-existing conditions and is locking herself inside the house, I guess forever.

      My 70 yo in-laws are fit and healthy and aren’t scared and are living their lives normally.

      Both choices are valid and both choices are SOLELY the prerogative of the individual at risk.

      1. It will only be forever if we continue to run full speed away from achieving herd immunity.

    4. Yes, as someone of “grandpa” age, I am vehemently opposed to ripping apart our society and tanking the economy to “protect” me. Saving a functioning nation that can offer prosperity to our young people is far more important than how long I live.

  21. Hey, I wonder what could have happened over the last three weeks that could have caused such a rapid increase in case numbers? We all know how racist the virus is.

  22. Really, has anybody had a one-night-stand since this thing started? It’s tough to get a BJ with a mask on.

    1. If need be, I am willing to wear a mask while getting a bj.

      1. Your face being covered is probably the only thing that will increase your odds of getting a BJ.

  23. 125,000 deaths aren’t enough for RW idiots. We’re gonna need a lot more before they wake up. I’m thinking we’ll be closing in around half a million by the election.

    These same RW idiots were no doubt freaking out about the 12,000 Swine flu deaths. What a horrible tragedy, cuz Obama. 125,000 with no end in sight under Trump, meh.

    1. Woof, the projection in this post could fill a 24-screen movie theater.

      You’re going to get the coof eventually, too, son–better buckle up and accept your fate.

  24. Increase in infections caused by memorial day get-togethers? Or anti-racism protests that lasted weeks and involved a lot more people? Hmm… (Honestly, ‘why not both’, but i’m guessing the protests were an order-of-magnitude worse for transmission, at least).

    “The shifting age distribution of COVID-19 infections in Texas and several other states suggests that herd immunity might be achieved without a big increase in deaths, assuming that people in high-risk groups can be adequately protected in the meantime. Opponents of that strategy, which involves trading more deaths now for fewer deaths later, argue that it’s reckless because we can’t be sure what the net effect will be. They add that preventing transmission buys time to develop better treatments and deploy an effective vaccine, an approach that could reduce the ultimate death toll.”

    We do know what the net effect will be – faster herd immunity, same number of deaths, much less economic disaster.

    We don’t know that buying time will do anything – vaccines might not work, new treatments might not be developed. Total deaths from covid are likely to be about the same*, so what you’re trading is chance of improved treatment later vs. guaranteed massive economic shock (which has costs measured in both dollars and lives). That should be an easy decision to make – don’t wreck the economy over uncertain future benefits.

    *Delaying will probably lead to slightly more covid-19 deaths absent a vaccine or improved treatment, because recovery isn’t instantaneous. If everybody gets it at once, you only need to be careful for the 14 days or so people are infectious – less mistakes / reduction in care taken, less emergencies that push you into more ‘dangerous’ situations for spread, less need to interact with other people, and less distractions / attention-span fatigue (ie, stuff like anti-racism protests that dragged our attention away from covid-19). The more you drag it out, the more interactions people are going to have while spread is a possibility. If we’d gotten it over with by mid-May, the anti-racism protests wouldn’t have been a problem for transmission. Memorial Day wouldn’t have been a problem for transmission. People have remarkably short attention spans, and people have needs (including companionship). Any system which expects people to act like something other than people is guaranteed to fail.

    Regardless, this has still killed less of the population than the ’57 or ’68 flu pandemics, once you adjust for population growth. You know, those pandemics where the government intentionally did nothing and let them run their course, and the news media barely reported on them? And the fatality rate is much much lower for young people than either of those. (Indeed, the fatality numbers are likely only as high as they are because of government stupidity like sending recovering covid-19 patients into nursing homes, and over-counting everyone who died ‘with’ it as dying ‘of’ it.)

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  26. What is happening!!

  27. “Patients Are Getting Younger”

    Then get me infected with COVID, stat!

  28. Hospitalizations are a better, but poorly reported, metric. That takes age and testing out of the equation, and it precedes deaths by about two weeks. LA County is seeing an uptick in hospitalizations, which the Dept of Health actually blamed in part on the protests.

    1. Wait for prominent people (not just crackpots) to accuse the LA Dept of Health of being racist.

  29. As COVID-19 Infections Rise, Patients Are Getting Younger

    What a terrible headline. If taken literally, it means new patients with new infections are aging backwards. In which case, how quickly can I get the Covids? I’d like to go back to, say, 30.

  30. “The Government Accountability Office revealed in a new report that almost 1.1 million dead people received coronavirus relief checks from the government that totaled nearly $1.4 billion.”

    https://www.nationalreview.com/news/government-watchdog-finds-over-1-million-coronavirus-checks-sent-to-dead-people/

    Government’s only competency is in incompetency, and government’s only efficiency is in inefficiency.

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  31. Don’t look now, but CA just recorded its second day of 80 plus deaths in 3 days. They raced ahead of FL and TX in total cases, despite having reopened later than either of those states.

    I live in CA and we were near the bottom third in total deaths not that long ago. Was it a bad idea for protests to hit densely packed cities, Yeah, I think so.

  32. Why a Socialized System Like Medicare for All Beats For-Profit Healthcare in One Chart of Covid-19 Infection Rates

    “All countries successfully combatting this virus have robust public health systems, which provide for coordination of effort.”
    https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/06/25/why-socialized-system-medicare-all-beats-profit-healthcare-one-chart-covid-19

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  35. “But it may be too much to expect them to indefinitely suspend their social lives because of a disease that poses very little risk to them or their friends.”
    So, this near-boomer cannot imagine young people making minimal sacrifices, like distancing and masks in order to PROTECT LIVES…. ????
    What kind of post apocalyptic Mad Max environment does this guy come from?

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