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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Discussion

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12 minutes ago, fletch44 said:

I don't put a whole lot of blame on anyone outside of China. Sure, it's easy to play Monday morning QB and say we should have done , this, that or whatever but even Fauci wasn't suggesting we start social distancing, wearing masks or lockdowns back in February. Hell, some people said some of the early preventative measures taken were racist/xenophobic. Once this thing was out of the bag, life was going was going to be tragically altered no matter what we did. The only thing that could have prevented this was nipping it in bud.

Mistakes were made early on which led us down a path with more pain, in death's and economically. We're just not going to totally agree on who is to blame for the mistakes. I've decided not to point fingers anymore. 

Imo, all we can do now is to learn from our mistakes and try to be more prepared for the next pandemic. 

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38 minutes ago, IceGoat said:

Agree 100%. I don't know how, in this interconnected globalized world could the spread of such a highly-communicable disease been averted, if not put out at its source. I would find fewer faults with China if they had been more open about it from the outset. 

 

31 minutes ago, lolcopter said:

The federal and state system is working as intended. Comparisons to countries with socialized healthcare and a fraction of our population don't really translate. If you don't want to blame individual governors for their particularly bad situations and would rather run it up the chain, so be it. 

 

Fault is not binary.

Let's try this in a non-pandemic context.  An arsonist sets fire to a duplex in a small town.  Two fire companies take the call, each one assuming responsibility for one unit in the building.  Company A shows up immediately and begins putting the fire out, while Company B wonders if it was really the owner's responsibility to prevent and extinguish the fire.  Eventually, seeing that the fire is engulfing both units, Company B finally arrives, and begins fighting their half of the blaze.  At the end of the day, the first unit is damaged but salvageable, while the second is a total loss.

Is it the arsonist's fault for setting the blaze?  Certainly.  But arson happens, which is why we have fire departments, and they have a responsibility to protect people and property even when the fire was preventable.  And frankly, the analogy works whether you call Company A South Korea and Company B the United States, or whether you call Company A the State of Washington and Company B the State of New York.  Those entities that responded earlier and more forcefully, be they foreign nations or US states, have generally had fewer lives lost and a quicker return to normalcy than those that abdicated their responsibility or eschewed expert opinion.

China did a horrible job containing the virus. Also, the feds didn't take it seriously.  Also, many state governors failed to do their part.  All of these things can be true.

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I've never found the whole "who to blame" conversation to be particularly interesting or productive.  It can't be undone.  It is unlikely any of us will face similar circumstances again in our lifetimes.

That said, when I am in the voting booth in November I will certainly be thinking about individual judgement I expect people to display moving forward, and some of that will be based on whether it appears as though they had a motivation to protect others or their own political career during this crisis when I cast my ballot.

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Pivoting away from the blame discussion, I found this Salt Lake Tribune piece on the risks associated with various venues and activities to be very informative, if a bit disappointing from a "when can we get back to watching live baseball" standpoint.

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6 minutes ago, tonycpsu said:

Pivoting away from the blame discussion, I found this Salt Lake Tribune piece on the risks associated with various venues and activities to be very informative, if a bit disappointing from a "when can we get back to watching live baseball" standpoint.

Although (relatively) good news for offices and schools.

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1 hour ago, tonycpsu said:

Pivoting away from the blame discussion, I found this Salt Lake Tribune piece on the risks associated with various venues and activities to be very informative, if a bit disappointing from a "when can we get back to watching live baseball" standpoint.

 

Or basically anything enjoyable. 

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4 hours ago, JE7HorseGod said:

Although (relatively) good news for offices and schools.

Not really. Did you actually read it all?  The schools weren't operating like normal.  It was also based on some schools in Australia.  I'm not sure how much alike they are to schools in the US.  I know schools in the US compared to some other parts of the world are incomparable.

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53 minutes ago, MrBrown said:

Not really. Did you actually read it all?  The schools weren't operating like normal.  It was also based on some schools in Australia.  I'm not sure how much alike they are to schools in the US.  I know schools in the US compared to some other parts of the world are incomparable.

Better than kids getting sick, regardless of the conditions or location.

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26 minutes ago, JE7HorseGod said:

Better than kids getting sick, regardless of the conditions or location.

Not sure what you're talking about.  Half the kids weren't there.

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30 minutes ago, MrBrown said:

Not sure what you're talking about.  Half the kids weren't there.

There were 18 coronavirus cases split evenly, nine students and nine staff. But out of 863 close contacts with those people — of which 384 were tested — only two secondary cases were discovered: one in a high school, and one in a primary school. That’s a tiny transmission rate.

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On 5/24/2020 at 9:54 AM, tonycpsu said:

 

What did people not know?  That social distancing is effective in slowing the transmission of communicable disease?  Sorry, but that's simply false.  Social distancing has been used to slow the transmission of disease since the Roman Empire!

Now, did we know at the outset of this particular outbreak how effective social distancing would be?  No, we did not.  But when scientists don't have an exact experiment, they infer from similar outbreaks, as shown here and here,  These are real world epidemiological studies of similar outbreaks, not toy computer models, making your silly attempt to label it as the work of computer scientists based on the fact that a single 2006 study used a 14 year-old's computer simulation nothing but a blatant attempt to rewrite history.

Look, anyone at this point who believes that social distancing can't slow the spread of flu-like illnesses deserves to be scorned as much as any flat-earther or chemtrail believer, particularly in light of the peer-reviewed results I linked to a couple of pages ago showing that lockdowns have been proven to be effective in this pandemic, in the United States, even when you control for the impact of voluntary social distancing.  Does that mean that the strict lockdowns have to stay in place until there's an effective vaccine?  No.  But what it does mean is that your statement "nobody really knew" is only true in the most narrow sense -- that there was no experiment proving it effective against this particular virus at the time.  Now there is.

If you want to argue about the comparative level of suffering of hundreds of thousands of additional deaths vs. the economic suffering of people losing their jobs and having to collect unemployment, we can have that conversation, but enough of this "nobody really knew" bunk.  Epidemiologists knew as much as one can know anything about a new disease, and their approach has been proven correct.  It remains to be seen how much we can reopen and still keep the pandemic at bay, and people do need to get back to work, but it's not even clear that easing lockdowns is going to bring the jobs back when so many are voluntarily choosing to social distance, as these results from Georgia show.  Your statement that the burden of proof lies on those who wish to continue to control the disease is baseless.  We can replace income and we can forgive debt.  We can't replace lives lost.

What I was saying was that nobody knew for sure what level of response was warranted.  I have zero problem admitting some measures had to be taken.  I have zero problem admitting the measures have been effective in slowing the virus to some degree. 

From the beginning, the only thing everyone seemed to agree on was that it was too late to stop it, it was too contagious and difficult to detect to stop it, and so it was going to spread.  It was going to infect a lot of people.  It was going to kill plenty of people, no matter what we did.  The question was, could we mitigate the damage - not by stopping it, which was never on the table.  But by slowing it so that the healthcare system didn't get overwhelmed.  That was it.  That was the goal, and that was the rationale for the measures we took.  And that's where the disagreements began. 

And that's where yes, lots of people immediately started to have questions about the tradeoffs we were about to make.  And lots of people didn't - at least not right away.  It's slowly dawning on people just how much suffering the lockdowns have caused, and continue to cause.  Not just "people losing their jobs and having to collect unemployment".   It's the people afraid to go the hospital for anything from important procedures to well checks where some of them are not going to find out they have a major problem until it's too late.  It's increased child abuse, suicides, drug abuse, alcoholism, domestic violence, and other crimes that may be associated with the substantial economic reverses that the United States is enduring.  Things that will be difficult to quantify but likely to be significant.  And have been largely ignored or downplayed from the start by people desperate to justify the extreme nature of what we've done here.

That's my main problem - the idea that we should have all just gotten together at the beginning and just agreed that there's this elite group of scientists who know exactly what we ALL ABSOLUTELY MUST DO WITH NO DISCUSSION, NO EXCEPTIONS AND NO COMPLAINING.  Because they're the smartest and they know best.  Sorry, not how it works.  If you're going to destroy people's livelihoods, mental health, completely turn their lives upside down and inside out - by force - you really need to prove that these extreme, one-size-fits-all measures are absolutely necessary. 

 

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47 minutes ago, Nefarious Industrialist said:

And that's where yes, lots of people immediately started to have questions about the tradeoffs we were about to make.  And lots of people didn't - at least not right away.  It's slowly dawning on people just how much suffering the lockdowns have caused, and continue to cause.  Not just "people losing their jobs and having to collect unemployment".   It's the people afraid to go the hospital for anything from important procedures to well checks where some of them are not going to find out they have a major problem until it's too late.  It's increased child abuse, suicides, drug abuse, alcoholism, domestic violence, and other crimes that may be associated with the substantial economic reverses that the United States is enduring.  Things that will be difficult to quantify but likely to be significant.  And have been largely ignored or downplayed from the start by people desperate to justify the extreme nature of what we've done here.


If by "ignored or downplayed" you mean "asking those making claims of unspeakable harm to provide data to support their position", then that tracks with my experience as well.

However, many of the things you've cited here aren't "tradeoffs" related to lockdowns -- they're things that would have happened as much or a lot more in an alternate scenario with no lockdowns.  A massive amount of social distancing was already happening prior to lockdowns as people realized the danger.  All shelter in place orders do is compel the most reluctant constituents to participate.  Even without them, mass layoffs were going to happen as businesses dealt with a massive drop in business, a drop that we can easily see in data like restaurant bookings in the states that waited until later to implement lockdowns (or never implemented them):

A chart showing the percent changes in states' restaurant businesses described above.

 

States can allow businesses to reopen, but they can't compel people to frequent businesses.  Much of the economic harm folks like yourself are attributing to the lockdowns are actually attributable to the disease itself.  Sweden famously hasn't locked down, and their economy is in the toilet, as bad or worse than their Scandinavian neighbors. 

As for people forgoing routine checkups or elective procedures: that's certainly a thing that happened at the peak times of outbreaks in certain hard-hit areas, but, again, with the hospitals already at or near capacity due to the virus, failure to social distance would have only made this worse and forced their hand anyway due to a lack of resources.  How much of a difference is there between what would have been the natural amount of denial of service from an overloaded system as compared to the proactive reservation of the resources for COVID-19?  I'd be interested in seeing data on that.  But you can't just attribute every canceled appointment or procedure to the lockdowns instead of the virus when the virus was going to be worse without the lockdowns.

That leaves us with the various mental health-related societal harms you speak of, some of which can surely be assigned to the economic consequences of the disease.  But, again, the lockdowns aren't causing the disease, nor are they causing much of the economic slowdown related to it.  So, again, we need to disentangle how much of the economic harm that motivates the suicides, domestic violence, drug abuse, etc. is a result of the lockdowns, and. as you allude to, that's hard to quantify.  I'm sure some economists are working on a paper comparing the mental health effects in areas that locked down vs. areas that didn't, and I'd love to see those results, but until we have them, doesn't it stand to reason that a lot of this was going to happen anyway?

 

1 hour ago, Nefarious Industrialist said:

That's my main problem - the idea that we should have all just gotten together at the beginning and just agreed that there's this elite group of scientists who know exactly what we ALL ABSOLUTELY MUST DO WITH NO DISCUSSION, NO EXCEPTIONS AND NO COMPLAINING.  Because they're the smartest and they know best.  Sorry, not how it works.

 

This is an idea that exists primarily in the minds of critics like yourself, who find it easier to engage with this caricatured defense of social distancing and lockdowns rather than the defense that was actually present at the time.  There is always room for debate and dissent when we're talking about a massive governmental intervention, but it has to be informed debate and dissent.  Instead, what we heard early on in this thread was complete nonsense.  It's just the flu, perhaps a few hundred will die, we'll be playing baseball in early May...  It was basically a turbo-charged version of American exceptionalism whereby our might and prosperity as a nation will make us impervious to the disease that had already killed thousands.  This was a viewpoint that did not merit serious consideration as compared to what was at the time an evolving but strong consensus that mass social distancing was needed.

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On 5/24/2020 at 10:07 AM, MrBrett said:

You seem to want to just place blame. So tell me specifically who you feel is responsible for our failures in our response to this pandemic from the beginning to now.

First of all, I blame myself.  I went from denial to panic just like everyone else.  And it is the people that encourage the media to do what they do, which is scare the living hell out of us every chance they get.  And of course the politicians have every incentive to scare us, so that we think they're the only ones that can save us. 

There's no one person I'd like to blame, but I will agree with most people here (I think) that what we really needed was a strong president taking things seriously from the start.  And we did not get that.  We also needed our federal agencies like the CDC and the FDA to recognize that this was their big moment and step up.  Instead we got the usual, feet-dragging, arrogant bureaucratic BS we always get.  I specifically blame them for our painfully slow response to get testing.

So there's plenty of blame to go around.  Right now, it's difficult not to believe that there are a lot of people in denial about how panicked and disastrous our response has been, so they're doubling down instead of facing reality.

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12 minutes ago, tonycpsu said:


If by "ignored or downplayed" you mean "asking those making claims of unspeakable harm to provide data to support their position", then that tracks with my experience as well.

However, many of the things you've cited here aren't "tradeoffs" related to lockdowns -- they're things that would have happened as much or a lot more in an alternate scenario with no lockdowns.  A massive amount of social distancing was already happening prior to lockdowns as people realized the danger.  All shelter in place orders do is compel the most reluctant constituents to participate.  Even without them, mass layoffs were going to happen as businesses dealt with a massive drop in business, a drop that we can easily see in data like restaurant bookings in the states that waited until later to implement lockdowns (or never implemented them):

A chart showing the percent changes in states' restaurant businesses described above.

 

States can allow businesses to reopen, but they can't compel people to frequent businesses.  Much of the economic harm folks like yourself are attributing to the lockdowns are actually attributable to the disease itself.  Sweden famously hasn't locked down, and their economy is in the toilet, as bad or worse than their Scandinavian neighbors. 

As for people forgoing routine checkups or elective procedures: that's certainly a thing that happened at the peak times of outbreaks in certain hard-hit areas, but, again, with the hospitals already at or near capacity due to the virus, failure to social distance would have only made this worse and forced their hand anyway due to a lack of resources.  How much of a difference is there between what would have been the natural amount of denial of service from an overloaded system as compared to the proactive reservation of the resources for COVID-19?  I'd be interested in seeing data on that.  But you can't just attribute every canceled appointment or procedure to the lockdowns instead of the virus when the virus was going to be worse without the lockdowns.

That leaves us with the various mental health-related societal harms you speak of, some of which can surely be assigned to the economic consequences of the disease.  But, again, the lockdowns aren't causing the disease, nor are they causing much of the economic slowdown related to it.  So, again, we need to disentangle how much of the economic harm that motivates the suicides, domestic violence, drug abuse, etc. is a result of the lockdowns, and. as you allude to, that's hard to quantify.  I'm sure some economists are working on a paper comparing the mental health effects in areas that locked down vs. areas that didn't, and I'd love to see those results, but until we have them, doesn't it stand to reason that a lot of this was going to happen anyway?

 

 

This is an idea that exists primarily in the minds of critics like yourself, who find it easier to engage with this caricatured defense of social distancing and lockdowns rather than the defense that was actually present at the time.  There is always room for debate and dissent when we're talking about a massive governmental intervention, but it has to be informed debate and dissent.  Instead, what we heard early on in this thread was complete nonsense.  It's just the flu, perhaps a few hundred will die, we'll be playing baseball in early May...  It was basically a turbo-charged version of American exceptionalism whereby our might and prosperity as a nation will make us impervious to the disease that had already killed thousands.  This was a viewpoint that did not merit serious consideration as compared to what was at the time an evolving but strong consensus that mass social distancing was needed.

I agree that the people who immediately dismissed it as a hoax, and basically continue to do so, are making a mistake.  Yet I can understand - and in some ways, share - their overall skepticism of anything coming from what they consider to be an incredibly biased mainstream media.  I'm not on board with the conspiracy theorists, but I do think that human beings - all of them - are fundamentally self-interested.  It's very obvious when you look at someone like say, our current president, who seems to have no idea how he comes across to most people.  It's less obvious when you look at, say, a socially intelligent, highly respected immunologist who's suddenly become a household name.

To some degree, I agree with your point about the virus causing harm that I'd like to attribute to the lockdowns.  I shall now endeavor to compromise somewhat and blame the politician- and media-driven fear instead.

Honestly, I think our chief disagreement is the old one - I'm inclined to err on the side of individual liberty, whereas you're inclined to err on the side of the public good.  I swear, I really do care about the same stuff you do, I just don't believe government institutions have the ability to behave selflessly, no matter who's in charge. 

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52 minutes ago, Nefarious Industrialist said:

First of all, I blame myself.  I went from denial to panic just like everyone else.  And it is the people that encourage the media to do what they do, which is scare the living hell out of us every chance they get.  And of course the politicians have every incentive to scare us, so that we think they're the only ones that can save us. 

There's no one person I'd like to blame, but I will agree with most people here (I think) that what we really needed was a strong president taking things seriously from the start.  And we did not get that.  We also needed our federal agencies like the CDC and the FDA to recognize that this was their big moment and step up.  Instead we got the usual, feet-dragging, arrogant bureaucratic BS we always get.  I specifically blame them for our painfully slow response to get testing.

So there's plenty of blame to go around.  Right now, it's difficult not to believe that there are a lot of people in denial about how panicked and disastrous our response has been, so they're doubling down instead of facing reality.

I understand and others believe exactly how you do regarding politicians and the media, but I get the sense you blame liberal media and liberal politicians for our response and that's where you lose me.

The virus is disastrous and because we were not adequately prepared and didn't take more drastic action early enough we were left with limited options and imo was going to be very painful no matter what. Herd immuity mentality response would've been impossible for our leaders to sell to the general public imo.

 Sure, in hindsight we could have done somethings differently, but in real time don't blame our leaders for making errors with no time to think through every possible consequence of these actions. Very difficult to be free and safe during a pandemic. My personal preference is to err on the side of less infections and death but understand you and others disagree and I'm empathetic to all dealing with economic hardship just no way to reconcile the two equally.

Fear is a powerful emotion and I've always said what sex can't sell fear will. In regards to this virus and our response idk, I mean if you don't want the virus to spread and believe getting people to stay home is wise then some fear is useful. Would be great if we all responded to danger in the same way and be rational about things, and could say only the irresponsible stay home. Unfortunately we don't and couldn't so we to had convey a message of urgency to get the desired reponse to limit the spread the best we could. We were never under total lockdown with so many considered essential so the orders to stay home were to meant to be broad to get the rest of us to stay home as much as possible.

Even now, we have to take in consideration how many people will take the necessary precautions to prevent outbreaks and unnecessary death when making decisions on loosening restrictions.

Feel free to to respond, but I'm done on this subject. We'll just have to agree to disagree on the correct reponses to this crisis. 

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Jeez this is long 

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On 3/3/2020 at 3:27 PM, StevieStats said:

The hysteria over this is ridiculous. 

Every year its the end of the world... Y2K, mad cow, swine flu, bird flu, sars, mers, end of Mayan calendar, last year's mosquitos... Or this January when the media hyped up WW3...

The flu kills 291,000 - 646,000 people worldwide every single year. 3,000 have died from Coronavirus so far. We'll be fine.

Coronavirus is not a real threat. The media hysterics and driving people to a panic is the damage being done. 

This should not impact MLB games... Unless the league caves to hysterics.

What should we do? I'd start by refinancing your house at these rates. If you have money to invest time to buy stocks that tumbled without any reason other than hurd mentality.

As for fantasy baseball... Zero impact and I'm not making a single adjustment to any player values or my strategy because of it.

Ouch.

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5 minutes ago, El_Chingon said:

Ouch.

That dude hasn't posted since March 13th.

I think it's always a good idea to leave yourself a little wiggle room.  People are always so desperate for #hottakes today, but frankly I think acting as though there is no possible way your unknowable prognostications on the future could be wrong is just foolishness, and people who demand same are asking to be sold snake oil.

But that's just my opinion, and I might be wrong.

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1 hour ago, JE7HorseGod said:

That dude hasn't posted since March 13th.

I think it's always a good idea to leave yourself a little wiggle room.  People are always so desperate for #hottakes today, but frankly I think acting as though there is no possible way your unknowable prognostications on the future could be wrong is just foolishness, and people who demand same are asking to be sold snake oil.

But that's just my opinion, and I might be wrong.

March 13 I was extremely skeptical, and the post being belittled is 10 days before that. 

20/20 hindsight in the midst of this crap is vomit-worthy imo. Everyone needs to be given a break who had an opinion on this when it first started.

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1 hour ago, SuperJoint said:

 

20/20 hindsight in the midst of this crap is vomit-worthy imo. Everyone needs to be given a break who had an opinion on this when it first started.

 

Why? 

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12 hours ago, El_Chingon said:

Ouch.

In fairness the market has come a ways back in just a couple months. If you're a long term investor, March was a good time to get money in. And it is still a good time to refinance. He wasn't all wrong.

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21 minutes ago, fletch44 said:

In fairness the market has come a ways back in just a couple months. If you're a long term investor, March was a good time to get money in. And it is still a good time to refinance. He wasn't all wrong.

Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

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Posted (edited)

I may get a lot of heat for this.

I want folks to understand, like many, I was highly disturbed by the video of George Floyd’s death. Also, like many, I want to see justice for his death.

However, I cannot come to terms with the fact that no one is talking about the COVID-implications of densely packed and many times maskless mobs of rioters burning down cities across the country. All the while, innocent beach goers have been shamed while the media has been largely reticent about the biggest super spreading event to occur since these lockdowns began. What kind of hypocrisy is this?

Edited by IceGoat
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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, IceGoat said:

I may get a lot of heat for this.

I want folks to understand, like many, I was highly disturbed by the video of George Floyd’s death. Also, like many, I want to see justice for his death.

However, I cannot come to terms with the fact that no one is talking about the COVID-implications of densely packed and many times maskless mobs of rioters burning down cities across the country. All the while, innocent beach goers have been shamed while the media has been largely reticent about the biggest super spreading event to occur since these lockdowns began. What kind of hypocrisy is this?

 

It's almost as if COVID-19 has been politicized all along by one side to pillory the points of view of another.

 

Not unlike how certain state governors have been attacked for their decisions to allow businesses to open up but other governors do the same thing but you don't hear a word about it because of their political affiliation.

Edited by UberRebel
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