Coronavirus

A Group of Scientists Wants To Reopen Society. Here's What Everyone Is Getting Wrong About What They Said.

The Great Barrington Declaration asks how much collateral damage is too much.

|

A trio of epidemiologists released a public letter last week rebuking the lockdown-focused approach to combating COVID-19. Their alternative: a model called Focused Protection, outlined in their Great Barrington Declaration, which would reopen society and allow young people to live their lives normally while implementing safeguards for the elderly.

Reactions were predictably polarized, as coronavirus proposals have tended to be. It's been hailed as the "best advice" and condemned as "grotesque." So who's right?

Let's start with the gist of the declaration: "Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health," write Dr. Martin Kulldorff of Harvard, Dr. Sunetra Gupta of Oxford, and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford. "The results (to name a few) include lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health—leading to greater excess mortality in years to come, with the working class and younger members of society carrying the heaviest burden."

It's true that the coronavirus lockdowns have precipitated a slew of indirect harms. A July study in The Lancet concluded that the United Kingdom should expect "substantial increases in the number of avoidable cancer deaths" because "cancer screening has been suspended, routine diagnostic work deferred, and only urgent symptomatic cases prioritised for diagnostic intervention." A recent Oxfam report posits that 12,000 people could die from starvation per day as a direct result of supply chain interruptions caused by COVID-19 lockdowns. Researchers have also noted an "alarming decline" in child vaccination rates "due to disruptions in the delivery and uptake of immunization services caused by the COVID-19 pandemic," according to both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). Mental health problems appear to be rising.

Though lockdowns were expected to have costs, we wouldn't want those to outweigh the benefits. Such is the notion at the heart of the Great Barrington Declaration, and it's a sensible one. They propose another way forward: "The most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity, is to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk."

Unfortunately, the group's suggestions for how to proceed toward that goal are somewhat murky. 

Consider one of the declaration's fundamental claims. "We know that all populations will eventually reach herd immunity—i.e.  the point at which the rate of new infections is stable—and that this can be assisted by (but is not dependent upon) a vaccine," it says. "Our goal should therefore be to minimize mortality and social harm until we reach herd immunity." Though it is possible to achieve herd immunity via mass infection, one would be hard-pressed to come up with a major infectious disease that reached lasting herd immunity without vaccination. That includes measles, mumps, rubella, smallpox, polio, and pertussis, all of which were brought under control (or eradicated, in the case of smallpox) only with a vaccine.

"We have not achieved any herd immunity through a natural disease process to most major infectious diseases that affect the population to this scale," says Dr. Christelle Ilboudo, an infectious disease expert at the University of Missouri. "All of the major infections I know of have required vaccination."

Bhattacharya calls the herd immunity focus, and the ensuing backlash, a red herring. "The current 'lockdown-until-a-vaccine' strategy itself is also a herd immunity strategy in the same sense, because essentially, you're saying, 'Let's wait until we have a vaccine and that will then induce the population immunity that we want for safe activity," he tells Reason. "The problem with the current strategy is it is absolutely deadly to the people who don't face very much risk from COVID-19."

Some critics, such as Yale epidemiologist Gregg Gonsalves, have suggested that the declaration seeks to "cull the herd of the sick and disabled." Bhattacharya especially pushes back on that: "The goal is to minimize death," he says. "If you want to minimize deaths, you need to account for the deaths that come from the lockdowns as well as from COVID itself. The critics focus only on COVID deaths and ignore the deaths of the lockdowns. That's unconscionable." 

So how would they allow the young to continue life as normal while protecting the elderly? The declaration is a bit thin on details. "A comprehensive and detailed list of measures," the scientists write, "including approaches to multi-generational households, can be implemented, and is well within the scope and capability of public health professionals."

That detailed list doesn't materialize in the letter itself. Over the course of our conversation, Bhattacharya mentions the possibility of quarantining the elderly and the vulnerable in hotels if they live with younger household members, though just how feasible that would be remains unclear. Are masks part of the solution, I ask? "Depends on the setting," he says, mentioning hospitals as a place where they should be used. What about social distancing? A refrain: "In some settings, yes. In some settings, it's not possible." 

Schools are typically classified as one of those impossible settings. "Schools closing because you can't stay six feet apart is criminal," he says. "The harm from closing schools is so high." Those closures have adversely impacted poor families who have fewer resources for child care and often little ability to work remotely. Adolescent mental health has suffered. And American schools that have reopened have yet to see major case outbreaks, perhaps because of lower COVID-19 transmission rates among children and the decreased likelihood that they will develop the disease.

Part of Bhattacharya's resistance to diving deeper with me seems to be rooted in a resentment toward the one-size-fits-all model we've seen over the last seven months. Fair enough. But the alternative still hasn't been ironed out. "We're talking about an infinity of settings, right?" he asks me.

The plan also does not appear to include countermeasures implemented on a wide scale. A robust, cheap testing program, for instance, has often been touted as a possible way out of freedom-impinging lockdowns, with its potential to zero in on positive cases before someone becomes a super-spreader. Not so under the declaration. According to Bhattacharya, such measures should actually be directed away from society at large. "All that Focused Protection is is to divert those resources—testing resources, masks, non-pharmaceutical interventions, the therapies—to the service of protecting the vulnerable," he says.

Bhattacharya did hone in on at least one thing that most everyone will be able to agree on: the politicization of COVID-19. "Masks [have become] a political debate," he says, "where one side looks at you and says, 'Oh, you're wearing a mask. Therefore you're too scared and you don't value individual freedom.'" Meanwhile, the other side "looks at you and says, 'You're not wearing a mask. You just hate other people because you're trying to kill them.'"

That mutual animus extends far beyond masks, and it helps explain the mixture of vigorous support and vigorous pushback that Bhattacharya and his colleagues received for their declaration. The proposal isn't perfect, and it certainly has some gaps to fill. But it asks an important question: How much collateral damage is too much?

Advertisement

NEXT: Today's Nobel and the Future of Settlement Bargaining

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Every month start earning more cash from $20,000 to $24,000 by working very simple j0b 0nline from home. I have earned last month $23159 from this by just doing this 0nline w0rk for maximum 3 to 4 hrs a day using my laptop. This home j0b is just awesome and regular earning from this are much times better than other regular 9 to 5 desk j0b. Now every person on this earth can get this j0b and start making dollars 0nline just by follow instructions on the given website….Check my site.

    1. See, now THAT’s the kind of thinking we need to defeat this.

      1. The Brave New Economy, in a nutshell.

        1. I quit working at shoprite and now I make $65-85 per/h. How? I’m working online! My work didn’t exactly make me happy so I decided to take a chance on something new…QWe after 4 years it was so hard to quit my day job but now I couldn’t be happier.

          Here’s what I do…>> Click here

      2. You cannot expect a society that bans peanuts from airplanes, suspends koids from schools for chewing a sandwich into the shape of a gun, mandates seat belts and air bags, and generally has scared the crap out of people relentlessly for 50 years to think this through. As sensible as it sounds, it requires a concerted effort, applied almost universally to a group of people including those who believe the Qanonsense and listen to Alex Jones for something other than entertainment. We are a society full of idiots who literally throw their money away on lottery tickets. Critical thinking skills in general and the ability to understand mathematical probability is absent.

        Until people feel safe the economy will not reopen. It’s delusional to think reason and data will sway even a plurality of people. This is an academic argument to be fought and won by academics. Until we have herd immunity from a vaccine the only other way to get people to fill airplanes and restaurants and subways is to develop ultra-rapid, inexpensive self-administered tests. If everyone who was going in to a public place could be tested as often as daily, and if the tests were administered universally people could be convinced that their safety was not compromised. Masks, social distancing, contact tracing and testing is how we will reopen before a vaccine is available. That’s it. Nature will continue to administer this test until we pass it. It doesn’t matter if it seems oppressive. It has to be done. The other option is to give up, and most people won’t stand for that. Rapid testing is available. It must be made available and affordable or it won’t work. I do not understand why this hasn’t happened here. Other parts of the worldd have had comparatively great success with only masks, distance, and tracing. But American’s are so goddamned precious about their “freedom” that they are willing to jeopardize the economy of the whole country and the lives of their sick and elderly friends and families. We a dumb country. We may have already reached terminal stupidity.

        1. There is some sort of deeper problem here. Society has always been prone to these moral panics. From the various Jewish pogroms of the middle ages, to Salem Witch Trials to the Red Scare, to Satanic Cult Scares of the 80s, our population has always been prone to these collective bouts of mass hysteria.

          And yet, somehow, as our society has undeniably become more educated and pluralistic, it has also become more neurotic. We went from once in a century freak outs to now getting them every 10 – 20 years.

          1. I fear we are past the peak of human capacity. At first, enlightenment ideals and growing technology complimented each other, and inspired people to risk and achieve more, and in doing so humanity overcome most true hardships. But then life got too easy, and, while technology still advances, people have become irrational and fearful, much like their ancient ancestors. Now they reject both risk and enlightenment ideals.

            Serfs with iPhones.

            1. Meh. Free global instantaneous communication is new. We’re still adapting. Gonna be rough for a few more years.

        2. You are a fool. I’m not sure why a person who clearly hates liberty is here, on Reason. In fact you have contempt for those who love liberty. You are one of those clowns that eagerly give away liberty for that false sense of safety. This virus is a non-issue for the vast majority of people. Those who are under 60 with no serious health problems have very little to worry about. Those over 60, and those under 60 with health problems know they are at risk. If they know they are at risk and choose to live as they were before covid, is no business of yours.

      3. ●▬▬▬▬PART TIME JOBS FOR US RESIDENTS▬▬▬▬▬●
        Makes $140 to $180 per day online work and i received $17884 in one month online acting from home. I am a daily student and work simply one to a pair of hours in my spare time. Everybody will do that job and online makes extra cash by simply You can check more.

        open this web……↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓ ­­⇛­⇛­⇛­⇛­⇛­►Click here

    2. I am now making extra $19k or more every month from home by doing very simple and easy job online from home. I have received exactly $20845 last month from this home job. Join now this job and start making extra cash online by follow instruction on the given website………Click here

    3. I quit working at shoprite and now I make $65-85 per/h. How? I’m working online! My work didn’t exactly make Abq me happy so I decided to take a chance on something new…CMs after 4 years it was so hard to quit my day job but now I couldn’t be happier.

      Here’s what I do…>>Visit Here

    4. Google pays for every Person every hour online working from home job. I have received $23K Abq in this month easily and I earns every weeks $5K to 8$K on the internet. Every Person join this working easily by just just open this website and follow instructions……Click here

  2. It’s the obvious solution to a disease that is mostly dangerous to people who are too old or too sick to be working. Why stop young healthy people from working? Why add economic misery (which leads to an increase in deaths) to a health crisis when you don’t have to?

    1. But what is the plan? You can not have a society unless there are rules and plans for every single contingency.

        1. What are you laughing at? S/he didn’t say anything to laugh about.

          1. please produce your version of rules and plans for every single contingency.

            1. I quit working at shoprite and now I make $65-85 per/h. How? I’m working online! My work didn’t exactly make me happy so I decided to take a chance on something new… after 4 years it was so hard to quit my day job but now I couldn’t be happier.

              Here’s what I do…>> Click here

              1. Haha. Ok, that was at least well placed, bot.

            2. That may have been overstating it a bit. But the point is taken. And Americans are to selfish to do something for the good of the whole country if they don’t see tangible benefits for themselves immediately. We cannot survive as a society because we refuse to behave like one. We have reached Terminal Stupidity. Maybe that’s just another term for evolution by natural selection.

              1. “Americans are to selfish to do something for the good of the whole country if they don’t see tangible benefits for themselves immediately.”

                Every single person I have talked to who is freaking out about the Virus today is doing it for one of two reasons: 1) Because they are selfishly concerned about their own health or that of a direct family member, or 2) because they narcissistically see it as a way to make themselves feel morally superior to others.

                By and large the impact of this lockdown has fallen on kids. Children are locked out of school and falling behind. Kids are the most likely to be laid off because they work in an industry that allows them to work from home or because they have the least seniority when layoffs come around.

                And by and large, this lockdown has been commanded by 50+ year olds who are not feeling the brunt of this impact, and who can protect their children from the impact of this nonsense.

                So take the “Americans resisting lockdown are selfish” nonsense and shove it up your ass. As is the case with Social Security, the lockdowns are yet one more example of old, entitled, well off people soaking the young and insisting it is compassionate.

                1. pretty much what Overt said although I’d mock you more than tell you to shove it up your ass

                2. This reminds me of when the retirement community got hit by the initial wave of COVID. They initially blamed the “vendors” (i.e., 20-something hairdressers and chefs)–that didn’t play well when all the restaurants and businesses had been closed down for weeks. They wanted to be protected without changing their way of life.

              2. “….. something for the good of the whole country…..”

                Haha. The road to tyranny is paved with virtue signaling bullshit.

              3. Wrong again. Try walking around without a mask. You will be “shamed”. That’s because the people (the Nannies) are trying to do good. That’s what “Social Justice” is about, too. Their intentions are pure, so it doesn’t matter that their reasoning, methods and results are wrong.

      1. don’t forget color codes. are we purple or crimson this week?

          1. Eggshell white on a 2017 Cadillac Escalade.

        1. We are in stage 21 of phase 13 of light fuchsia. But of course that can change if we don’t have the right ethnic distribution of infection rates or if the CTA isn’t happy with it.

        2. Harvest Gold….No wait, cornflower blue.

        3. This whole thread is too much Queer Eye for a political forum dominated by men.

      2. NO, they must have the competency and flexibility to plan on the fly. There can NEVER be sufficient plans for every emergency and when we think we can rely on pre-planned responses, we get one size fits all responses and often the wrong responses as bureaucrats feel they must choose from the available plans even if none are actually all that good.

        A Fascist or communist society needs rules and plans for everything because the people are not free to think on their own.

      3. It is impossible to have rules and plans for every conceivable and inconceivable contingency. Unless you want an authoritarian government to dictate every aspect of life, which is what I think you’re advocating. You just want to be “safe”, what a weakling.

    2. “Why stop young healthy people from working? Why add economic misery (which leads to an increase in deaths) to a health crisis when you don’t have to?”

      Cuz 2020 is a highly partisan election year?

      1. Cuz 2020 is a highly partisan election year…and the booming economy made re-electing the Bad Orange Man an almost certainty.
        We had to do something, even if it meant the death of thousands, to try to take away that possibility.

  3. The best plan is one in which individuals weigh their risks, and act accordingly.

    It does not require any grand plan or governmental intrusion.

    This was sound advice and the exact way we lived our lives prior to 2020.

    How quickly we’ve forgotten.

    1. it is amazing that they forgot 2000 years of proven methods but the government always knows a new way to screw things up

      1. then after the dance they all go screw so not much good was it. I’am curious if that was just one dance or all dances

        1. this was meant for RA’s dance link

          1. the kids in the dance link are too well-coordinated to not have been well-coordinated

      2. There is nothing so bad that government cannot make it worse.

    2. I refuse to wear a fag bag or engage in “social distance” bullshit. I go about my life the best I can, staring at the sheep being tread on with their face panties.

      Literally nothing has happened to me from Covids. The Branch Covidians have certainly hindered mine and other businesses, however.

      1. Slurs based on gender preference are not cool.

        1. Shut up fag

        2. Please don’t be hypersensitive.

    3. ^^^^ A thousand times this

      1. This was meant for Geiger Goldstaedt’s original comment about no government involvement needed. Damn, I wish Reason would change the formatting of their comment’s section.

    4. Yes. And it is extremely disappointing to read an article in a LIBERTARIAN publication that criticizes this “declaration” because there is no cohesive central planning. Why are the authors required to tell us how to do it? Why can’t their recommendations push us to decide how WE want to manage it?

  4. https://twitter.com/AlexBerenson/status/1315069835144036354

    Oh that is terrible. Sweden is up to 50 new positive tests (let’s not call them cases, let’s try to be accurate) and ~0 deaths per million people. That must be way worse than countries like Spain and France, which took the hard lockdown route, right?

    Let’s see (next screenshot)

  5. Prom kids dancing backwards to be socially distanced.

    https://twitter.com/aginnt/status/1315380514187087872
    What hysteria does to people

  6. Reactions were predictably polarized, as coronavirus proposals have tended to be. It’s been hailed as the “best advice” and condemned as “grotesque.” So who’s right?

    The people hailing it as the best advice?

    1. What do the scientists think?

      1. A, there is not unitary group of “the scientists”.
        B, look at the credentials of the authors. It’s pretty clear what those scientists think.

    2. Well, the WHO has now said that lockdowns are the wrong approach, so you know the WHO are no longer considered a reliable source for answering that question. Has the WHO been Twitter-banned yet for spreading misinformation about the coronavirus? I can’t wait for the CDC to suggest that lockdowns might not be the best approach, they’ll get their asses Twitter-banned as well.

      1. And the WHO said lockdowns are necessary a week ago. They have been wrong and reversed themselves on nearly every single issue that has arisen during this pandemic. There is no reason to listen to a single thing the WHO says.

  7. Are those other diseases comparable? There’s no vaccine for cold viruses but we don’t shut down for those. Some years they make the wrong variant of vaccine for flu viruses but we don’t shut down over that. This whole thing is very odd.

    1. The shutdowns were predicated upon the virus being not only extremely contagious, but also extremely deadly. It is neither, but we are now stuck with the lockdown model, which will invariably be applied to stop the spread of other relatively benign viruses. Proponents of authoritarian lockdowns will simply argue that we as a society have “evolved” in our understanding of public health policy and, unfortunately, millions of Americans will accept this explanation and willingly surrender their liberties.

      1. it is pretty contagious, but not very deadly for most people

        1. H1n1 hit 60 million Americans within 6 months. Not even close to that.

          1. We also didn’t lock down for H1N1. Not comparable at all. I’m not saying we should have locked down. Just that the situations aren’t comparable.

            1. …and H1N1 hit more positive test results each for two years when they did random PCR tests, but no deaths to speak of as a result. They eventually just quit testing.

      2. I’d like a constitutional amendment that every single law has to specify the conditions upon which it is predicated. Then allow citizen juries to void laws, with punishment for legislators who voted for it, if even a single juror thinks the law does not address the predicates, or goes beyond them.

        Further, any citizen can force a similar jury trial at any time to verify that the predicate and law still match; again, if even one juror thinks not, the law is terminated, but without punishing legislators. No appeals, since the purpose is to get opinions from ordinary people, not learned judges.

        Here is a fine example of why.

        1. Every law should have a sunset provision (has to be re-passed by the legislature after some amount of time or it no longer has effect). If it’s a law predicated on some sort of alleged emergency, the sunset period should be very short (no longer than a month or so).

      3. The shutdowns were predicated upon the virus being not only extremely contagious, but also extremely deadly. It is neither, but we are now stuck with the lockdown model, which will invariably be applied to stop the spread of other relatively benign viruses. Proponents of authoritarian lockdowns will simply argue that we as a society have “evolved” in our understanding of public health policy and, unfortunately, millions of Americans will accept this explanation and willingly surrender their liberties.

        This is my fear. Genie out of bottle, won’t be able to put it back in.

      4. Lockdown model will also be applied to climate change. During recent fires CA Gov Gavin Newsom pointedly used the term “climate emergency” implying that in the future draconian steps might be taken by CA to address the climate “emergency”

        1. “EVERYBODY STOP BREATHING!!!”

    2. Agreed, people are not rational animals.

      1. A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.

    3. flue Vaccines are only affective less than 30% of the time, in reality probably a waste of time and money

      1. and you get the ash all over your face if you look up at the wrong time …

        1. But then you get a view seen only by the birds, the stars, and the chimney sweeps.

      2. Even if a vaccine is only 30% effective it would make a huge difference in the spread rate if everyone got vaccinated. Probably enough to drop R0 below 1 and let the virus stop spreading.

        1. This is fundamentally incorrect. It may be true for viruses with a very low natural transmissivity ratio. It is not true for viruses with a high natural transmissivity ratio. SARS-CoV-2 is the latter.

    4. At the height of shutdownland, when testing was restricted to only those with “flu-like symptoms”, less than 10% turned out to be the Chinaflu.
      That meant that about ten times as many sick people had the seasonal flu, yet the world was turned upside down for this.
      Anyone, who doesn’t realize that the panic was created by the media, desperate to find a way to get Trump defeated, is naïve at best.

  8. Over the course of our conversation, Bhattacharya mentions the possibility of quarantining the elderly and the vulnerable in hotels if they live with younger household members, though just how feasible that would be remains unclear.

    Where are the quarantined now?

      1. They are not quarantined now. As the article explains, the elderly in question currently live side by side with the youth in multi-generational households.

        Because we won’t segregate based on actual risk, we try to lock down everyone, a protocol that is only modestly effective and comes with massive negative side-effects.

        If population-wide lockdowns were a protocol that had to go through FDA review, they’d be rejected in a heartbeat.

        1. Evidence that it’s modestly successful?

            1. Well, it is true that elderly in multi-generational households are dying at lower levels than when they were forced into overcrowded nursing homes as they were in NY and NJ.

              (I did say “modest”, not “outstanding”.)

        2. They are not quarantined now. As the article explains, the elderly in question currently live side by side with the youth in multi-generational households.

          Exactly. It was a bit of a rhetorical question.

  9. We have not achieved any herd immunity through a natural disease process to most major infectious diseases that affect the population to this scale,” says Dr. Christelle Ilboudo, an infectious disease expert at the University of Missouri. “All of the major infections I know of have required vaccination.

    If by “herd immunity” you mean getting rid of a disease entirely, then that has only happened in a small handful of cases. We have never reached that kind of absolute herd immunity with any influenza, corona or other similar respiratory viruses, even with a vaccine.
    This is idiotic. The idea that this virus can be eliminated is ridiculous. We need to stop thinking that way and just stop all of this bullshit. We don’t need a national plan. We need to accept that this is now another in the collection of cold/flu viruses that we deal with all the time and have done forever.

    1. It’s a hysteria driven by superstitious magic Zeb, unfortunately i don’t see a way out of this without a magical solution.

      1. “…unfortunately i don’t see a way out of this without a magical solution.”

        Fight climate change!
        There ya go; magical solution to what ails ya.

        1. What if climate change (rather than fighting it) is the magic solution?

      2. “unfortunately i don’t see a way out of this without a magical solution.”

        Personally, I think this is exactly what masks were intended to be. They spent so long chasing people into closets to cower in fear that they realized they would need a totem a la Dumbo’s Magic Feather to get them back out again.

      3. “… i don’t see a way out of this without a magical solution.”
        That “magical solution” will be Crazy Uncle Joe and his sidekick Kameltoe getting elected.
        The disease will continue to get caught and people will still die, but the Chinaflu will be relegated to the status of other common sicknesses and the media will not report every case and death.
        We may no longer even have widespread testing, just as we don’t for the other influenza strains, which estimates say infect up to 63,000,000 each year.

    2. Perfect. They argue from the assumptions that the lock downs are a good idea and that they are the only thing between the current situation and death on a scale not seen this the 1300s. This is rubbish.

      1. And they totally ignore the economic cost of the lockdowns, as well as the health cost of the lockdowns. It’s as if only COVID-19 costs count.

        Assuming an economic value of 10 million dollars per American life (more or less what the courts have determined in liability cases), it makes sense to shut down a 15 trillion dollar economy if 2 million people are going to die otherwise, since it would save 20 trillion dollars worth of lives.

        But if 200,000 are going to die, you’re shutting down a 15 trillion dollar economy to save 2 trillion dollars.

        And the truth is the shutdowns don’t save that many lives anyway, they just flatten the curve and spread out the cases so the health system doesn’t get overrun. We got 200,000 deaths even with the shutdowns, and wouldn’t have had 2 million deaths with no shutdowns at all.

        1. The seen and the unseen.

        2. They don’t ignore the economic cost. They treat it as a justification to continue, like war in Vietnam. How can we not keep this up, when it’s cost us so much? We can’t acknowledge it was a bad idea, because then it’d all have been in vain.

          1. Two different articles from the same day in my news feed:

            “Trump cuts off stimulus-relief until after the election, upending prospects for aid”

            and

            “Doomed to fail”: Why $4 trillion in bailouts couldn’t revive the American economy

            The irony, it burns…

        3. I’d argue the lives of people who died of/with COVID should be significantly discounted from $10M, because so many of them were Olds. A life with 6 months or 2 years left to live realistically should not be valued the same as a 6 year old dying with their entire life ahead of them.

          1. To my mind, I think no more about the people dying of COVID than I think about the people dying of the flu. COVID deaths are not more tragic than flu deaths. The vast (VAST) majority of people who get the flu will survive and it seems the vast majority of people who get COVID will survive, albeit at a slightly higher risk of dying. COVID *is* more deadly than the flu. Some people who get the flu will die, despite medicine’s best efforts; a somewhat larger (maybe 4-5x) number of people who get COVID will die despite medicine’s best effort.

            Virtually no one has ever advocated that people wear masks in public to prevent spreading the flu, despite the flu killing 30-50k people in the US most years. I never remember hearing you advocating that we wear masks around town just in case we might infect someone else with the flu. I know I never did.

            No one cared about those deaths. I didn’t. I don’t. I don’t care much about COVID deaths. Deaths of strangers from car accidents, falling off ladders, cancer, alcoholism, drug overdoses, flu, COVID, are all pretty much the same to me–it’s too bad, and I feel some sadness for their loved ones but that’s about it. Death of a loved one from any cause is a personal tragedy, so if someone in my circle dies of COVID, does it affect me more or less than if they die from the flu or a car wreck? Do I stop driving my car in case today is the day I accidentally kill someone with my vehicle? Do I stop watching football games in case this game is the one in which a young man breaks his neck and dies?

            COVID is nothing special. It’s apparently slightly more lethal than the flu OVERALL, but largely because it is about 4-10x more lethal in the 85+ age group, and especially for people in that age group who are in nursing homes. I believe something north of 40% of all COVID deaths have been from 85+ age group in nursing homes.

            I’m really not willing to submit to the upheavals for COVID anymore than I would be willing to do so for the flu. Are the alarmist willing to commit to this level of effort forever to save 30-50k people from the flu annually? Or is it just COVID?

            1. A small but growing number of people are now advocating for making masks and social distancing permanent even after COVID fades, precisely because people will still die of other communicable diseases. The longer this BS goes on, the more their numbers grow, which is why this crap needs to end now.

    3. This is what I came to say. By definition, if herd immunity was reached without vaccination, it would not be harmful enough to have drawn enough attention to make a vaccine useful.

      The common cold, for instance. Annoying but hardly dangerous. Who’s to say it didn’t start out as more dangerous, and herd immunity tamed it?

      Dogs started out as dangerous wolves. One could say we have tamed them through herd immunity. Horses, cattle, cats — all were dangerous once, but have been tamed. Is that analogous to the common cold?

      Lactose tolerance — herd immunity for sure. Now we embrace milk, and before it used to be unhealthy, if not truly dangerous.

      How about the pound or two of gut microbes each of us carries around? I bet they were dangerous until tamed, and now necessary. Is that herd immunity?

        1. All the other animals were afraid of fire, ran away from it. We looked, we saw, we realized we could use it.

          1. And the boys wanted to play with it.

      1. Actually if left to overpopulate some guy microbes can be extremely dangerous. Our if they infect other areas outside the gut.

      2. Correct except the cats. They tamed us.

      3. The common cold (Rhinoviruses) ARE that deadly to populations never exposed to them.

        So this is exactly a Coronavirus cold that was relevant for about 12 weeks and is now just another fucking cold you MIGHT catch, and if you’re already sick and weak it MIGHT kill you, just like any other fucking cold.

        1. Martians can confirm that the common cold is deadly.

    4. And we have as a model viral pneumonia. Each year it reaps many lives in nursing homes and elsewhere among the elderly and debilitated. Why is this not leading to the same reaction? Because it’s not a specific and new agent.

      1. Why is this not leading to the same reaction?

        Just give these statist shitheads another year.

      2. “Why is this not leading to the same reaction?”
        Because it has been around for so long it can’t be used to try to get rid of the guy in the White House, when it came to our attention.

    5. If we never achieved herd immunity then how the F did the human race survive thousands of years before vaccination was available?

      1. To be fair, the Human Race survived because no species is going to go extinct from a virus that eliminates .1% of its populace- especially if that populace is the least capable, and most dependent on the rest of the species.

        Scaled to today’s population levels, the flu pandemics of the 50s and 60s were probably about as deadly as COVID, and our country barely remembers them. Because these weren’t anything close to a species threatening event.

  10. Unfortunately, the group’s suggestions for how to proceed toward that goal are somewhat murky.

    But Gavin Newsom’s ‘equity metrics’ are laser focused with a clearly established goal.

    1. based on the science of moving goalposts.

      1. GN should win a Nobel Prize in the science of moving goalposts. First it was flatten the curve to keep ICU’s from being overloaded. Then it was prevent all covid deaths at any cost. Then it was prevent all COVID infections at any cost. Now it’s prevent all COVID infections and make sure the infection rate is evenly distributed across ethnic and socioeconomic lines.

        1. Don’t forget the phase that was implemented to punish people for defying his beach-closure edict by way of a vindictive doubling-down on beach closures.

          Gavin is a dreamy ultra-fascist poster boy.

    2. For you California voters, out there:
      recallgavin2020.com

  11. This appealing to the authority of scientists is just beyond creepy. I don’t need scientists permission to live my life even when they happen to agree with me.

    1. This has to be the most religious this country has ever been and it’s freaking me out. Even peak god bothering we at least had a variety of different Christians sects ruling over us. Now it’s just believers in the science and heretical non believers.

      1. Scary, indeed.

        Slowly, but surely, we will circle our way back to politically inspired eugenics.

      2. Right! I cringed and rebelled against the Focus on the Family, hardcore evangelical thing that happened in the 80s and 90s. But it was nothing remotely comparable to the worship that occurs for “science.”

        It’s getting to the point where I have been wondering if we need to bring religions back to the public square because I can’t tell what is worse: standard religious adherents or the new populist humanists that profess “science!”

      3. And it’s not even science. It’s Lysenkoism.

      4. Many brilliant scientists practice Scientism. It can be more profitable, and
        by currying favor with the political class it allows them to impose their personal political biases to their data-collection techniques, model design, and conclusions.

    2. Wow. Ever heard of the NAP?

      1. You’re no OBL and that’s setting a pretty low bar.

        1. He’s a LittleFuckingBitch. And not very thorough.

  12. ‘A recent Oxfam report posits that 12,000 people could die from starvation per day as a direct result of supply chain interruptions caused by COVID-19 lockdowns’ Think globally, act locally /sarc.

  13. ●▬▬▬▬PART TIME JOBS▬▬▬▬▬●my co-employee’s ex-wife makes seventy one dollars every hour at the pc. she’s been unemployed for 4 months.. remaining month her take a look at became $13213 operating on the laptop for four hours each day.. take a look at….. Usa Online Jobs

  14. re: “one would be hard-pressed to come up with a major infectious disease that reached lasting herd immunity without vaccination.”

    Good lord, what a stupid statement. One would have to be completely ignorant of all human history before the invention of vaccines for that to be hard. One would also have to ignore all the other lifeforms on the planet that get sick and achieve herd immunity without the benefit of vaccines.

    Herd immunity does not mean the disease is wiped out. It doesn’t even mean that nobody dies from it. Herd immunity merely means that it’s no longer an epidemic – that it becomes a normal disease that people sometimes get but we don’t worry about mass contagion anymore.

    No matter how much some folks want to pretend otherwise, people are still going to get sick and die. Always have, always will. It’s good to hear someone finally addressing the right goal – minimizing total deaths and misery, not merely the COVID deaths.

    1. Thanks for that. This weird definition of herd immunity that seems to have caught on is useless. It’s just the theoretical point where a virus will stop being transmitted based on a very simplistic model.
      Aside from smallpox and polio, we have never eliminated a human disease as far as I know.

      1. No, it’s not even that. It’s the additional reduction in transmission in a population over what would be calculated from average individual immunity.

        1. According to the article, herd immunity is “the point at which the rate of new infections is stable”.

          I mean, with that definition of “herd immunity”, literally every disease reaches it. Including the ones we don’t even develop immunity to. An infection rate of 100% is, after all, stable.

  15. when will the calls begin to give up the ghost? it’s been over for months.

    1. When the states and municipalities have to start budgeting for the next fiscal year and they realize they are going to start bouncing checks from the shortfall.

      1. that’s why they’re counting on a federal bailout after Biden wins

        1. Exactly. Here in WA, Inslee is all in on the bailout but using our chips to bet.

      2. ^ This. This is when the shit hits the fan.

    2. Over for who? We have people all over the country and the world fighting for their lives as we speak. Just because you feel fine right now doesn’t mean I do, or that someone else does.
      God bless the brave women and men on the frontlines making sure people like YOU can sit around all day and write ignorant comments on the internet.

      1. I see you went to OBL University?

        1. What does that even mean?

          1. Come on, man!

            1. i guess this one is serious …

              1. No, still a parody account. Just not very good at it.

      2. They aren’t sitting around at home making ignorant comments like yours because of brave men and women on the frontlines, they are at home because the fascist mother-fucking governors and mayors LOCKED THEM UP.

      3. I would love to see the join date for this account…..like some Biden campaign person created an account to help sway middle of the road voters like us. I. Aint. Buying. It. In the race to the bottom betwixt Biden and Trump, Trump is the lesser of evils. Your username and what you’re posting isnt passing the smell check.

  16. In all honesty this is the perfect political scenario. It’s an unsolvable problem that could have always been worse if they hadn’t acted with Masks or Lockdowns. People wanted this and they wanted it so hard. Don’t believe me look at the polling numbers of gov who had the most draconian nonsensical rules.

    1. I haven’t seen any public opinion polls on Gavin Newsom’s popularity, but it’s lucky for him he’s not up for reelection this year. Everyone hates him.

      1. I believe Idle is talking about Cuomo the Nana Killer.

        As for Newsance, I hate to tell you this but as recently as September 29, his general job approval was 64%- up from 57% a year ago.

        Yeah, I know. It boggles the mind.

      2. Unfortunately he wasn’t so much elected as selected by the CaliLand political mafia. There wasn’t much of a campaign, little mention of opposing candidates, and the day after the election, he was governor.

      3. Gavin Newsolini can be recalled, however, by the voters of his state.
        recallgavin2020.com

  17. They ignore the impact of what libertarians call for…individual choice. Yes, things like cancer screenings went into hiding for two reasons when the lockdowns were just started. People on their own made the choice to just stay home rather than be screened because they themselves judged the risk…do I want to be exposed to Covid just to be tested to find out I’m clear of cancer. In addition, hospitals were swamped with Covid patients and couldn’t do testing and elective surgeries because they were overwhelmed. And that would be the sad reality anyway without any restrictions at all.

    One of our local hospitals has 150 beds. At one point 140 were Covid patients. All that would get worse by magnitudes with no restrictions.

    1. many hospitals were so lacking for any patiences that they had to lay off personnel. there wasn’t a covid patient for 100’s of miles

      1. That is over now. Outpatients and elective surgery are back.

        I don’t see any real lockdowns here. The only two things are large gatherings and the schools which are reopening. People are taking more precautions and may be postponing some things. Thanksgiving travel perhaps but the government is not making them do that.

        People here in flyover country are generally pretty easy. Perhaps they have reached herd common sense.

    2. No, idiot, when the lockdowns started they cancelled elective procedures and non-emergency appointments. And most hospitals were no where close to overwhelmed at any point.

    3. In addition, hospitals were swamped with Covid patients and couldn’t do testing and elective surgeries because they were overwhelmed.

      LOL, no they weren’t. The only place that could conceivably be argued was New York City, and they stopped using field hospitals after a month. They didn’t even use the hospital ship that was sent specifically to support treatment efforts.

      In Denver, Polis set up an entire facility at the convention center, and not a single bed was used. Dig into every story that has the breathless “ICU beds filling up!” shows that they’re simply flexing the number of beds available, because it’s not a static number.

      It’s time to stop pretending that this is the new Black Plague and act accordingly.

      1. Ditto our hospital in Seattle.

      2. Ditto in Louisville.

        An entire convention center set up for CV.

        Not 1 bed used.

    4. One of our local hospitals has 150 beds. At one point 140 were Covid patients. All that would get worse by magnitudes with no restrictions.

      So what part of New York City do you live in? I live in Damnearalabama, Georgia and oddly enough, our 150-bed hospital at one time saw a surge of 11 coronavirus patients. My niece works at that hospital as an OR nurse and, due to the fact that the hospital canceled all elective surgeries, she damn near lost her job. Fortunately, the hospital found some busy work she could do for 26 hours a week so she could keep her benefits.

      1. It likely happened in some cases. ICU beds do fill up from time to time anyway so they go on bypass to another facility.

        There was a lot of cancellation of elective procedures but that is all over now. It was precautionary rather than reactive. Nobody knew. So why did things not escalate as badly as feared? You can’t measure but reasonable precautions must have had something to do with it.

        The whole idea has been to slow transmission and prevent overwhelming of resources. Also to buy time until better treatments, diagnostics and eventually vaccines could be developed. Seems to be working.

        1. Seems to have worked better in a place called Sweden.

        2. Don’t forget that ICU capacity is often around 80% full in normal times. It is simply not economical to keep numerous beds open if there are no patients to fill them.

        3. Or “scientists” were just… I don’t know… wrong?

          But that can’t be! Scientists are gods worthy of all our trust and devotion! They are never wrong!

    5. >>150 beds. At one point 140 were Covid patients

      New York, New Orleans, or baloney? not in Texas …

    6. “…All that would get worse by magnitudes with no restrictions.”

      Assertions from lefty shits =/= evidence or argument.

    7. only a handful of hospitals were turning away elective surgeries because they were swamped with COVID-19 cases.

      they were advising people to stay away so they wouldn’t get infected, and now people are staying away voluntarily out of fear.

      1. Most were not advising against elective surgery. They were not scheduling them. My brother had prostrate cancer surgery in Florida in the spring at the Mayo Clinic and two weeks later that procedure was no longer being performed, full stop, due to Covid. Florida!

    8. In addition, hospitals were swamped with Covid patients and couldn’t do testing and elective surgeries because they were overwhelmed.

      This is flatly untrue: it’s two different sides of the house, who use different personnel and have largely exclusive resource requirements.

      Beyond that, all hospitals have off-campus facilities to perform exactly this sort of work and it simply wasn’t permitted. That’s a major public health problem directly caused by the lockdowns, as is the huge negative impact on hospitals’ bottom lines.

      1. No it’s not untrue. You didn’t have to be in NY to see hospitals threatened to be overwhelmed by Covid. In fact it occurred in Texas, Florida and Arizona. In fact, the situation was so severe in those states that those Republican governors had to do the unthinkable…shutdown. If it wasn’t for those shutdowns, those governors knew all ICU units would be 100% Covid, and the next to fall would be standard beds. They didn’t just continue on because the result would have been disastrous.

        https://radio.azpm.org/p/radio-buzz/2020/7/17/176739-tucson-hospitals-balance-full-patient-loads-covid-19-stress/

        1. It is flatly untrue. You don’t know how hospitals actually function. And you’re ignoring the second paragraph, which is the more important point: most of the things that were shut down had jack and shit to do with preserving inpatient capacity.

        2. “…If it wasn’t for those shutdowns, those governors knew all ICU units would be 100% Covid…”
          Again, assertions from lefty shits =/= evidence or argument.

          And then,from your link, jackass:
          “Capacity for inpatient beds, especially in intensive care units, has been hovering at about 90%.”
          WOOOO!
          Even at its worst, there remained 10% surplus in Tucson.

          1. Honestly, 10% open is really at capacity. It’s a similar idea to full employment.

            That said, the headline capacity figures often underestimate the available beds, particularly for ICU beds. If the hospital has any idea what they’re doing then the distinction between ICU and Med/Surg essentially vanishes in the wave.

            1. North Dakota. Today.

              “Hospital capacity is a concern around North Dakota. There were 253 available staffed inpatient beds plus 29 intensive care unit beds in North Dakota on Monday, according to state data. There were three available staffed beds plus one ICU bed in Bismarck, all at Sanford Health. CHI St. Alexius Health had none. “

              In all of Bismarck, three standard beds left. KEep trying.

              https://bismarcktribune.com/news/local/health/active-covid-19-cases-hospitalizations-continue-steady-rise-in-north-dakota/article_125f2b1b-849b-5a1a-b78d-e7b2c886375e.html

              1. 158 people in North Dakota current hospitalized. 253+29 hospital beds available. In other words, covid hospitalization numbers could triple and the system would be just fine.

                Again, hospitals typically operate at 80%-90% capacity in normal times. This is because it’s not economical to leave more than 10-20% of beds open. Open beds are overhead. It’s really as simple as that.

  18. If you think we are close to being out of this I don’t know what to tell you. We live in a black mirror episode.

    https://twitter.com/CryptoParadyme/status/1315028386457157634

    1. this is quite possible the creepiest depressing thing I’ve ever seen.

      1. I think it’s actually really smart and beautiful. The only thing creepy and disturbing is how close the couples are dancing near each other and then that douchebag’s stupid face at the end of the video.

    2. I have a hard time believing that isn’t staged. But who the fuck knows these days.

      1. Could also be a prank. I’d have done that as a prank. Lots of people would have, if these really are teenagers.

        1. Hmm, no Nazi salutes… not sure if it’s a prank.

  19. Though it is possible to achieve herd immunity via mass infection, one would be hard-pressed to come up with a major infectious disease that reached lasting herd immunity without vaccination. That includes measles, mumps, rubella, smallpox, polio, and pertussis, all of which were brought under control (or eradicated, in the case of smallpox) only with a vaccine.

    Hey, Binyon, which of those diseases listed is a coronavirus? Why don’t you STFU and try to understand that there was never any need to do any of what was done because there was never any hope of preventing the spread of COVID. Fauci and Redfield and all their ilk have done nothing but incite panic and put themselves in the spotlight. The repercussions of listening to these public heath ‘experts’ only started with dead grandmas at the hands of Cuomo. The ripple effect on the economy and the breach of the people’s trust will echo for generations.

    Quit pretending that health can be managed centrally. Promote a policy of individuals taking individual responsibility for their individual health. Like some kind of libertarian economic policy only applied to health care. Try to be what you pretend to be.

  20. I’ve been reading 1491 thanks to the suggestion by Soldiermike, where is he anyway, But i wonder if our government officials believed Covid-19 was a real threat by China much as the European diseases that were a real threat to the Native Americans. what did our government know and then lie to us to avoid a real panic about a real perceived bio weapon attack. Inquiring mines want to know or else make more conspiracies

    1. California should read the part in 1491 where the Indians would keep the forests clear of underbrush with controlled fires.

  21. Sweden’s stunning success in reducing Covid deaths (and new cases) continues to be ignored by the US news media, most notably by those who condemned Sweden’s wise (and scientifically sound) decision to not shut down businesses.

    Sweden’s daily Covid death rate has remained below 0.33 per million people since the beginning of August, below 0.2 per million since the beginning of September, and has been close to 0.1 death per million for the past several weeks (i.e. 1 death per day in Sweden).

    In sharp contrast, the daily Covid death rate in the US has fluctuated between 2.1 and 3.5 per million since May 25.

    So why won’t the news media (including those at Reason) report that the daily Covid death rate in the US is 20 times greater than in Sweden?

    The only possible explanation is that doing so would help Trump win reelection, help Republicans keep the US Senate, and help Republicans gain control of the US House.

    Anyone can easily compare daily and cumulative cases, deaths and tests (and their rates) between Sweden, US and other countries at:
    https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus-data-explorer?zoomToSelection=true&time=2020-03-01..latest&country=USA~SWE&region=World&deathsMetric=true&interval=smoothed&perCapita=true&smoothing=7&pickerMetric=gdp_per_capita&pickerSort=desc

    1. And cowardly lefty shits who are more than happy to grab power won’t care.

      1. The left are not cowards. The left and libertarians need to form an alliance of strength and unity and overcome the evil that has seeped into the WH (White House). There is only 1 way we can do this for certain, and that is to vote for Biden, who will be better for civil liberties, better for free speech, better for gun rights and better for racial justice than the current occupant of the White House. If you’re a libertarian, do the right thing and vote your conscience; vote Biden.

        1. You are terrible. Leave the gig to OBL.

          1. K again I don’teven know what that is, I’m done w this site anyways asshead.

        2. You’re no OBL and that’s setting a pretty low bar.

        3. I’m not a Real Libertarian, but I think most libertarians avoid a Political Party — even one with brave people — that has spokespeople and allies brazen enough to call for forced-labor gulags and death camps for political enemies. So if that’s you conscience, go for it.

  22. First, thank you for finally getting to this. Second, stop using frigging contractions (we’ve, hasn’t, wouldn’t, etc.). We are not having a conversation over beer.

    Now to the heart of the article. Why is Reason so focused on top-down plans? This is a magazine supposedly for free markets and free minds. Should not the onus be on the lock down proponents to explain why they need to ruin our economy and take away our liberties forever?

    But they do not provide enough details for Billy the fan of government planning. What are the details? Stop locking down everyone down when the direct risk of the virus is not significant to the vast majority of the population. Open things up, figure out how to keep older and riskier people as safe as possible. That is it Billy. Why is that so hard to understand?

    Why is testing so important? Read between the lines, the authors of the declaration want the disease to spread among people at low risk. The important metrics are not positive tests, but deaths and hospitalizations. Therefore, the only place testing really makes sense is in hospitals and nursing homes. Testing kids and young adults is just used by the panic porn merchants to scare the shit out of the innumerate (Billy based on your arguments, you belong in this group).

    1. Yeah, the emphasis on testing needs to stop. It is not useful information at this point. We know it is becoming endemic. The pandemic state is nearly over. All the test numbers do is confuse and mislead.
      If people want to get tested, or employers want employees tested, fine. But we don’t need a running tally of every positive test. Death and hospitalization numbers are what really show what is going on.

      1. Testing allows the media to report “cases” with no context given. Rising cases looks scary.

      2. At this point, test results are disinformation. It could be of marginal use now if done systematically — but only academically, not much practical application at this point.

    2. “Second, stop using frigging contractions”

      Relax old man, this is 2020 we can do whatever the FUCK we want.

      1. You sound stupid using them. Oh, and fuck off you young puss.

      2. Also, stop using dumb substituted for profanity like “frigging”. If you want to say “fuck”, say “fuck”.

        1. What about Frack? Aren’t all the cool kids using Frack?

    3. Contractions are how people talk, it’s how they should write too. And it damn well SHOULD be over beer! You probably insist on ties and jackets too, thinking they lend class. If the class isn’t in the content, it isn’t anywhere.

      1. Oh, and fuck you for writing “should not” instead of “shouldn’t”. It makes you read like a foreigner.

        1. If you want to really make it clear, it should be, “Should the onus not be…?” And it’s “lockdown”. That makes it clear it’s a noun, rather than “lock down”.

  23. Nearly every establishment I do regular business with, including hardware stores, pharmacies, groceries, restaurants, etc, have instituted (or, in some cases, expanded existing policies), allowing me to shop for what I need without ever actually entering their establishment, either by curb-side pickup or delivery.

    That being the reality, does mandating masks make much sense? I am in a “higher risk” group, but geez, I can take care of myself just fine thank you.

    That being said, I have no problem with these businesses requiring masks to protect their employees. But aren’t we getting past the time when masks should be mandated? Like several months past?

  24. Along with the fear mongering left wing news media and Democrats, Big Pharma has also been aggressively promoting the narratives that businesses should remain locked down until a vaccine is approved by FDA, that only vaccines should be allowed to create herd immunity, and that naturally achieved herd immunity (as appears to be occurring in Sweden) is immoral and inhumane.

    Notably, former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb (who now makes more money as a Big Pharma lobbyist) has been promoting herd immunity by vaccine, while demonizing natural herd immunity for Covid.

  25. Gee, this didn’t take long, did it?
    Newsom, et al, will simply ignore this; you think he’s gonna give up his new-found powers that easily

    1. California has already signaled that they want to make people work from home after the pandemic is over, to fight climate change.

      1. Well, Newsom has a ‘plan’ to re-open the economy, and doesn’t see the irony of ‘planning’ to return to an un-planned economy.

  26. Funny, I wanted to know more about this “Great Barrington Declaration” so I Googled it and the second search result said they were climate denialists and almost all the top search results said they were full of shit to one extent or another. Then I tried Bing and DuckDuckGo……the results were like day and night. Why would Bing and DuckDuckGo be lying to me like that about what’s important to know about this declaration? It’s such a fucking mystery, I can’t figure out why they’re not more transparent in not censoring search results like Google. Google would never lie to me.

    1. The three authors were interviewed for the UnHerd podcast for 30 minutes or so. It is pretty good. I think it is available on youtube (or it was).

  27. That includes measles, mumps, rubella, smallpox, polio, and pertussis, all of which were brought under control (or eradicated, in the case of smallpox) only with a vaccine.

    I would say it was brought under control for mumps by natural infection. It was passed around among children enough that it became rare among adults, where it could do serious damage.

    Also, for a long time polio was under control by natural infection. Children by and large got it asymptomatically, although there were occasional cases of paralysis before the late 19th Century. It was only with improved sanitation — which was worth it to get rid of cholera and bacterial dysentery — that we stopped drinking raw sewage enough to inoculate us, and it became an epidemic disease that eventually needed vaccination.

    We also get rid of each season’s epidemic flu strain mostly by natural infection.

  28. The plan also does not appear to include countermeasures implemented on a wide scale. A robust, cheap testing program, for instance

    We had no central planning countermeasures for previous and larger pandemics, like the late 1950s and late 1960s. WTF do we need one now?

    STOP THE LOCKDOWNS! There’s your countermeasures.

  29. Any strategy’s got to be better than “Everybody stay away from everybody else.”

    1. Except testing and tracing. Works for some epidemics, not for this now.

  30. Wow I heard Reason was a libertarian website, the articles are good but wow shocked and saddened to learn the comments are basically 4chan but worse. Hope you sad fucks have fun losing this election and every election from now until the end of time. Fuck Trump, if you vote for him you’re probably racist and you’re definitely a loser. Whatever I’m out of here, fun while it lasted. I guess.

    #VoteBiden

      1. What did I ever do to you??? I literally just came to this website to make some new libertarian friends and talk about politics and have fun and then I’m attacked by a bunch of neo-nazi white supremacists. Fuck You Dude why don’t you be my guest and go fuck off and die first. Or what are you too chicken Bawk Bawk BAwk Bawk Trumpo Boy Bawk Bawk. That’s what I thought.

        1. “I literally just came to this website to make some new libertarian friends and talk about politics and have fun and then I’m attacked by a bunch of neo-nazi white supremacists.”

          Some posters here are actually capable of polite commentary.

        2. Try a different handle. Yours looks like a trolling attempt and seems really implausible.

        3. You said you were done with this site and you keep posting.

        4. Who would recommend voting for the candidate of a party of hideous warmongers, ultra-violent looting mobs, and lock-down fascists supported by Bush-era neocons and CIA torture masters?

          Really now.

    1. Wow. Blanket dropping “Racist” eh when you’re not in your comfy place? Yeah, you’re totes a promoter of liberty.

    2. Wow. Blanket dropping “Racist” eh when you’re not in your comfy place? Yeah, you’re totes a promoter of liberty. Lefties out themselves quicker than anybody.

  31. One might have imagined that this entire conversation could have occurred in March.

    Why it didn’t occur then is imo far more interesting than the bilious vomit of most of the commentariat here.

    1. That’s rich.
      Cowardly lefty shits like you didn’t want to hear about collateral damage; it was MILLIONS ARE GONNA DIE! as I recall.

      1. Be gentle. That was chemjeff, not JFree. Remember, socks can go on either foot, there is no left or right.

  32. If Biden wins it will be interesting to see how the liberal narrative changes over the next year.

    1. It’ll swing back to law and order PDQ. Gotta get the police unions back in the fold.

  33. Single Mom With 4 Kids Lost Her Job with…READ MORE

  34. “We have not achieved any herd immunity through a natural disease process to most major infectious diseases that affect the population to this scale,”
    Where does she think the Spanish and HK flu went then?

  35. It feels like the critics don’t have a basic understanding of respiratory diseases and herd immunity or pretend not to have it. 1. Measles and smallpox aren’t respiratory diseases, but Spanish flu is 2. Herd immunity isn’t about eliminating the virus but bringing deaths significantly below the epidemic level. Get real, vaccines didn’t eliminate measles (I myself a living proof having it after being vaccinated). 3. How about recognizing that many places already achieved herd immunity (Sweden is a good example)? Why arguing that it’s not possible when it’s already staring at your face? Scared to lose that covid funding?

    1. Measles is spread by the respiratory route and is highly contagious. It can cause viral pneumonia which is common.

      Smallpox also could be spread by the respiratory route.

      Sweden is experiencing a second wave of infection from a low of around 130 cases per day to around 780 currently and trending upward. They have a case fatality rate of 5.8% compared to 2.7% in the US and 1.7% in Norway.

      I think it is a myth that Sweden has herd immunity. There have not been enough cases and natural herd immunity rarely occurs. The only way to achieve that would be an effective vaccine and mass global inoculation.

  36. I love seeing this. The timing (close to the election), and likelihood Biden gets elected, made this sooo predictable.

    I was thinking the tide would turn as we got closer and closer, and the polls favored the dems.

    Hell, by Nov 5, everyone who previously supported strict lockdowns will be convinced we need to reopen by Jan 21, 2021!

    1. Well, if you are right there would be one upside to Biden being elected.

      1. True!
        It would, of course, be bad the next time it happened and no one takes it seriously AND it is really deadly. All because Wuhan was hyped as the next Bubonic plaque.

        1. Nah.
          H1N1 was predicted to be as deadly and for young people, yet the media hardly mentioned it because the great messiah 0blama was in office and his weak economic recovery efforts couldn’t stand any disruptions.

          1. Obama hypothetically could have had a worse outbreak once… but didn’t. Not the most pristine Trump apology I’ve ever read tbh.

  37. This declaration is great, but what we also need is for each of our individual state legislatures to amend their states’ emergency powers acts to include the exact definition of what constitutes an emergency and give specific time limits.

    As it stands in New Mexico, for instance, governor Michelle Lujan Grisham can extend her draconian orders indefinitely and invoke them anytime a mild cold makes its way through the populace. And she doesn’t have to tell us, or have the legislature vote on, what she means by emergency.

    1. We don’t social distance from close family. Going to see the grandkids next week. With close friends I just follow their lead.

      I wouldn’t get within 10 feet of these denier types though.

      1. Meant as reply to lhfry.

  38. As a healthy 75 year old who like many would rather die of Covid than continue social distancing from family and friends, I would resist quarantine. What about those of us who would rather decide for ourselves what level of “protection”we want?

    1. One might wonder why you think you have the right to make others sick too.

      We’ll just assume for the sake of argument that you’re gonna pay for your own tens of thousands of dollars worth of healthcare.

      1. One might wonder why you think you have the right to make others sick too.

        Make others sick with what? Is that supposed “right” taken away only for the ChiCom flu? Or does he never get back the “right” to make others sick — i.e., does he have to wear a face diaper in perpetuity? Do you see my point, you braindamaged NPC?

        We’ll just assume for the sake of argument that you’re gonna pay for your own tens of thousands of dollars worth of healthcare.

        Fully-intended consequence of your asshole heroes socializing medicine: You get to dictate individual life choices on the basis that someone’s “wrong” choice will cost *you* money. Fuck off with that shit.

  39. Also, the WHO has now come out against lockdowns? Have you seen this development covered by CNN. NO, I didn’t think so.

    1. Move along, Citizen. Nothing to see.

  40. “The results (to name a few) include lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health—leading to greater excess mortality in years to come, with the working class and younger members of society carrying the heaviest burden.”

    That’s OK–those are just more COVID deaths to add to the total, and further justify DRASTIC MEASURES.

  41. This ignores the real purpose of the fake pandemic. That is for a one world government to control the world and create a new green disaster that replaces humanity with robotic trans-humans that do Gate’s bidding. There is no proof that vaccines rid the world of any disease.

    Mostly it was improved food and growing conditions as well as much improved sanitation. Some diseases were over 90% gone just when vaccines came on the scene and they were erroneously given credit. Many of these diseases have no more of a fatality rate than does the flu.

    What do you think is going to happen to these children and young adults who have to get 40-70 vaccinations? There is no way to know how they will be affected later in life. Vaccinations are not the cure all for anything, but we have been marketed to death by Big Pharma and most doctors worship at the alter of pharma drugs…for profit of course.

    There will be no getting back to normal since Marxist governments, ours included, will not surrender their purpose of complete control through forced vaccinations filled with poisons and chipping people like dogs.

  42. “But it asks an important question: How much collateral damage is too much?”

    As far as I can see, this is not the issue. The major issue is why such an important question is NOT being answered, and instead is being censored from view…

  43. ●▬▬▬▬PART TIME JOBS▬▬▬▬▬●my co-employee’s ex-wife makes seventy one dollars every hour at the pc. she’s been unemployed for 4 months.. remaining month her take a look at became $13213 operating on the laptop for four hours each day.. take a look at….. Usa Online Jobs

  44. How long are we willing to wait for a vaccine? What if it takes years? We have to decide how long we are willing to suffer in the hope that a universally effective vaccine will exist?

    I had Chicken Pox as a kid. Most of us do. Then we are immune. Chicken Pox is miserable and unpleasant, but not deadly to the young. It would be, however, deadly to the elderly. What if we all got COVID-19 while young?

    Mass testing is a stupid way to manage the virus. We would have to test every person each time they leave the house. We would have to have a test with an extremely low false negative rate. I might test negative today, then go to the store and catch it. If you don’t test me again tomorrow, I’m a spreader.

    Nobody locked children up when Polio emerged. And interestingly enough, it was a disease that largely felled the affluent. Why? Because poorer kids were more likely to play outside and get dirty, which built up their immune systems.

    Life has become absurd. Today I had a staff meeting for 12 people. Because there is a limit of 10 people to a room at my office, we had to sit in two separate rooms and connect those rooms via Zoom. We all sat there with our masks on. You couldn’t understand anyone, you couldn’t really see or hear the other half of the team, and yet this is just how we do things now.

    I have been rotating through the stages of grief about this mess, and may finally have come to acceptance that the world no longer makes sense. We expect a risk-free existence, which doesn’t exist. We have allowed our political preferences to paralyze us – we can’t agree on anything. I’m powerless, and the government rarely gives up power once it has been acquired, so get used to masks and dots on the floor. It doesn’t make any more sense than taking off your shoes and putting your toothpaste in a little plastic baggy when you get on a plane, but we’re still doing all that shit. Maybe now you won’t be able to board a plane until you go through the usual security theatre crap AND have a swab shoved up into your sinus cavity by a disgruntled TSA employee.

    I read Lord of the Flies in high school. Now I fear we are living it.

    1. You are not really immune from chicken pox. It can come back as shingles. Also if you have or develop an immune deficiency it can come back as chicken pox again.

  45. “Bhattacharya mentions the possibility of quarantining the elderly and the vulnerable in hotels if they live with younger household members…”

    Bhattacharya should mind his own damned business!

    I’m one of “the elderly”–I’m 67–these busybodies want to “protect” whether we want to be “protected” or not.

    Just leave me the hell alone–I’ll take whatever steps I think are necessary.

  46. Trump seems to be doing his civic duty. His cultists swarm around him even though for all they know he’s still contagious. No masks. Lots of white hair though. Do we force the olds to lock themselves up as we force all non-morons to go out to restaurants? Or is this just a way to make it seem like the lazy orange motherfucker has a plan? How perfect that the plan is simply to fail as hard as we can. He can probably manage that!

    1. His goal is to win the election. That is the only goal. What he is doing or not doing is very logical from that perspective.

      The Covid epidemic was not supposed to happen. To really effectively manage it he would have to do things that are unpopular. So he minimizes those and minimizes the effects of the virus.

      Instead he manages by doing things that are popular. He gives away money. He takes ownership of vaccine efforts and treatments so that when we get one he can take credit.

  47. I get paid more than $120 to $130 per hour for working online. I heard about this job 3 months ago and after joining this i have earned easily $15k from this without having online working skills. This is what I do..Usa Online Jobs

  48. Looking for best accountant consultancy? check this out 🙂 Accountant St Neots

  49. “Though it is possible to achieve herd immunity via mass infection, one would be hard-pressed to come up with a major infectious disease that reached lasting herd immunity without vaccination.”

    All of them? All of them before vaccines? All of them after vaccines? The common cold would be the first on the list, I think. Or the plague thing that had a certain effect. Then the various flu viruses, which laugh at vaccines. The human race survived long enough to invent vaccines. It survived long enough to create/utilize the two items most responsible for improved quality of life and healthcare: plastic and petroleum. Those two are far more beneficial and impacting than vaccines. Simply observe their influence on global population numbers (a very bad thing to eugenics freaks).

    Measles has mentions in the 9th century. It got big in the US in the early 1900s. That’s odd. Then a vaccine was created in 1963. Yet in 1989 there were outbreaks amongst vaccinated kids. Also odd. Then in 2000 it was declared eliminated. (Source: CDC). Now it’s back. Odd as fuck, right?

    Personally, my list of vaccinations is too long to try to remember. But I’ve had 13 anthrax shots and the small pox vaccine. If you’re not there, stop writing and go find some needles, murderer. Or don’t, it’s been 10 years since I had any shots and life is greatish.

  50. Unique Submission is the most trusted online university assignment help service available today.
    We help students efficiently in completing their due assignments.
    The most distinct feature we offer as a leading assignment help website is confidentiality as customer’s privacy and
    security is of utmost importance to us.

    Assignment Helpers Online

Please to post comments