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  • Lyle Romer
    replied
    Originally posted by Bobby Henderson View Post

    The governor down in Florida has been trying to block the release of numbers of hospitalizations and deaths out of fear it will make him and the President look bad.
    I don't have time for a long response right now but I had to respond to this statement. What on earth are you talking about? Florida has been one of the most open, if not the most open, when it comes to data availability. They have an interactive dashboard where you can see all data by county and a lot of data by zip code. The data includes cases, hospitalizations, deaths, testing and sentinel health metrics. The state also releases a daily report for the state and another report by county in PDF form. The statewide report has every single case listed on a separate line with pertinent details. The report by county shows very detailed data including the monitoring metrics since before the outbreak began.

    The detailed PDFs are available here https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/ and the interactive dashboard is https://experience.arcgis.com/experi...8ddedb9b25e429.

    I don't know what source you get your news from but if what Florida is doing is the governor trying to block the release of data then I don't know what is considered being open. Would they have to release the patient names and what hospital and room they are in?

    Perhaps your news source has spun the fact that Florida doesn't count deaths of non-residents (which is a tiny number based on the cases which they do count and detail) in the total into some kind of attempt to block the release of data.

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  • Marcel Birgelen
    replied
    Originally posted by Lyle Romer View Post
    I would lean towards giving your idea a shot IF the end result would be eradicating the virus over the course of a few months. That is just an impossibility at this point because it would require a full quarantine that is not possible to implement.
    Everybody knows a zero-risk society cannot function in any way it would still resemble a society we want to live in. We take "calculated" risks each and every day, that's obvious. That's also why we don't shut-down society for the flu. But the flu is a relatively calculated risk. Most of us have some kind of resistance against it and it follows roughly the same pattern every year. We're dealing with something people don't have any pre-existing resistance for and something that is highly contagious. All risk models we have, are based on a few months worth of data, which seems to be partly unreliable (yes, China, I'm looking at you). So, welcome in this global viral and social experiment...

    The problem I have with the current approaches is that they are all way to weak for the problems at hand. It's obviously easy to shout from the sidelines, but it's just startling to see how we're essentially stuck with a bunch of dreadful amateurs leading the show. That's especially true in the U.S., where the people leading the show are almost criminally ignorant of the reality at hand on ALL levels, but it's also true to what's happening over in Europe, where a lack of unity and a web of self-interests blocks anything really constructive from happening.

    In my opinion, if you, as a government, whether it is the central government, state or local government, shut down the entire economy, you're obliged to come up with a plan of how to make sure the people you just robbed of their rights of making a living will be able to survive this government mandated shutdown. The situation may be more dire in one country than the other, but I know not ONE country that put forward the means to ensure this. Now, there are many countries in the world that simply can't do that. But the U.S. and the E.U. as a whole, they COULD do it. They could put forward a GLOBAL "New Marshall Plan" and make sure China and India commit to it. Heck, they will probably gladly join, for all the shit China is getting (some of it deservedly so), their economy is hit equally hard.

    On the other hand, after ignoring all the early warnings, the only way that was left to contain this virus was to pull the big red lever, as it was clear, it was getting out of hand. Now, restarting stuff is a bit like restarting a big power grid once it has failed. It's clear we can't just reverse the lever and go full-steam ahead. It's also clear we can't wait months to come up with a restart plan, by then, all the ice cream has melted and the milk in the fridge has gone sour, so to say... But what you see there is the same lack of leadership all around the globe. Without a few exceptions, there are no governments that REALLY have the means in place to restart the economy. It's all just a big experiment, as nobody really knows what's going to happen and that's all due to lack of testing. And that's where my primary concern is.

    I agree with Steve that testing is essential to restart the whole thing. How can you isolate new pockets when you don't even know where they are? So, most of the restart plans I've seen are nothing but experiments. We're starting the engines of the big tanker, but we're sailing blind, only when the floor starts rumbling under our feet, we'll probably pull that big red lever again... The last few months could've been used to ramp-up testing. Why not force big-pharma to open up the tests they have? Why not use the emergency powers to force production of those tests and testing gear? I'm getting angry when I hear that one of the reasons for lack of testing in e.g. the Netherlands was, because someone decided that Roche should be the sole supplier of testing gear. Now, there are apparently more or less sufficient testing machines, but the test kits, which were essentially nothing more than plastic tubes with a piece of cotton in it, were on short supply. Roche couldn't handle the demand, so doctors had to come up with their own improvised test tubes, but it obviously wasn't enough, also, they had better things to do... Any competent leader would've put the middle finger towards Roche and would've tasked a bunch of local plastic manufacturers to produce those tubes en-masse, but apparently they were afraid of getting sued...

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  • Steve Guttag
    replied
    Bobby, your argument fails in a couple of levels. For someone to infect you, they'd have to have the virus, something nobody can say since, you know, the testing has been so delinquent. Constitutionally, the concept of "prior-restraint" has been deemed unconstitutional so you don't get to stop someone from doing something on the mere presumption that they will break the law. Remember too, the virus can only spread if one picks it up and then delivers it to another. The only way grandma gets it is if you bring it to her.

    Does society's mere fear of the virus give them the "right" to inflect financial ruin? Depending on where you are in life, this may not ever be recoverable. Business are already permanently lost. In the non-universal healthcare society we are in, those that have lost their jobs have, for the most part, lost their medical insurance too. Not only is this preventing them from seeking medical care, this has also cause medical institutions, particularly in rural areas to close down (they are compelled to treat people unable to pay...until they themselves go bust) thereby putting yet more people at risk. The government should have also ensured that when they prevented people from being able to earn a living that they were held harmless on financial obligations and I don't mean that they were running up a tab with their landlord and the like...that money is gone...it would have to ripple all of the way through too if landlords aren't receiving rent/mortgages, they can't pay...etc.

    There is not an easy answer here. However, we should be further along on the whole testing front, smart isolation (protecting those most vulnerable), isolating those likely carrying the virus, knowing who has had it already...etc. We are mostly shooting blind now. It will also be interesting to see if the "herd immunity" thing plays out as hoped (if enough people attain the antibodies, the virus cannot jump from person to person and then make it to someone vulnerable.

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  • Bobby Henderson
    replied
    Originally posted by Lyle Romer
    The not following the rules (like one aisles in the grocery store) are being violated like crazy here and this county has a relatively bad outbreak (5127 confirmed cases, 204 deaths in a little under 2 million people). Based upon the political landscape here, it is unlikely that the disregarding is for political reasons, I suspect more for selfish reasons. I do think that the more "reasonable" the rules are, the more people will follow them. The more people that follow the rules, the less spread there will be.
    Some of the push-back against SARS-CoV-2 virus mitigation rules and guidelines is indeed motivated by politics and inflammatory disinformation coming from hyper-partisan 24-hour cable news channels (what I personally call "anger pornography") and other hyper-partisan outlets online.

    One of the latest, zany and shameful examples happened right here in Oklahoma in the town of Stillwater. It's a college town, home to Oklahoma State University. Residents were going to be required to wear facemasks in public starting May 1. Before that Friday was even finished Stillwater Mayor Will Joyce amended the emergency declaration taking down the requirement. This was after residents of Stillwater totally lost their shit and took their anger out on employees of local stores. These assholes were verbally threatening cashiers and stock clerks with physical violence. How could these angry morons make a connection that a minimally paid cashier at a grocery store had any say on the details of a local emergency declaration? These low paid, yet essential workers already have to risk their lives showing up to work every day. But they have to put up with this shit? It is utterly disgraceful. The story is going national. It's just another thing to make Oklahoma look like a state filled only with meth-heads and cousin-fuckers.

    And I also see a great deal of hypocrisy going on with the armed gangs of mostly white guys literally invading government buildings, literally looking for a fight with elected officials and police trying to keep the peace. Not too long ago groups of Black Lives Matter protesters carrying nothing more than signs were called "thugs" and even "terrorists." What would happen if a large group of black guys with rifles invaded a state government building?

    Originally posted by Mark Lane
    This year our rights are taken away because of the Coronavirus, next year it will be the flu and the year after that it will be because of the common cold. How far are we willing to give up our rights?
    I don't buy this whole "constitutional" argument at all. Here's one important thing: no American has the constitutional right to infect other people. One person's rights END where another person's rights begin.

    I've heard the same variety of griping and bringing up the constitution most of my life regarding different issues regarding public safety. 50 years ago people were bitching about government over-reach by the feds requiring automobile manufacturers to install seat belts. It was another 20-30 years before wearing them became mandatory. In recent years the bitching has been about making it illegal to send mobile phone text messages while driving. The government does have some latitude to enact laws and emergency declarations for safety reasons.

    And, no, there won't be any government enacting emergency declarations over the plain seasonal flu. The flu is not remotely the same thing as SARS-CoV-2. We already have vaccines against every known strain of the flu, including the 2009 H1N1 strain. There is also a great deal of herd immunity built up in the population already making various strains of the flu more difficult to spread. We don't have herd immunity to SARS-CoV-2. It isn't even yet proven that anyone previously infected and recovered from SARS-CoV-2 has any immunity, much less lasting immunity. There isn't even any guarantee a vaccine will ever be developed. Nevertheless a bunch of hot heads out there are insisting this whole crisis is a just a made-up, mainstream media hoax.

    As to what numbers the state of Michigan is releasing in hospitalizations how do you know the numbers they're releasing are false (and presumably politically tainted)? The governor down in Florida has been trying to block the release of numbers of hospitalizations and deaths out of fear it will make him and the President look bad. Thanks to the overall lack of testing nationwide the numbers of those actually infected by SARS-CoV-2 and killed by COVID-19 illness are probably significantly higher.
    Last edited by Bobby Henderson; 05-03-2020, 10:19 PM.

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  • Mark Lane
    replied
    This year our rights are taken away because of the Coronavirus, next year it will be the flu and the year after that it will be because of the common cold. How far are we willing to give up our rights?

    Here is Michigan we are not given access to the freedom of information act to get hospital numbers. We have to accept the word of the governor and the people in the field are saying things that go against the official word. I have learned from many past investigations and have used the FOIA several times and when they don't want to honor it, it often times is for a good reason.
    The rules are not implemented fairly, the state picks winners and losers, encourage people to report neighbors. People who wish to organize a protest through Facebook are seeing their post being removed, Youtube removed the video of two doctors saying it is time to send the lock down.. people feel they are being silenced if their views differ from others. They might be afraid to speak out. The state seized our property for the good of the people which they are allowed to do, but we have not been fairly compensated for that, which is required...One party fights with the other party while we are stuck in the middle and people wonder why people feel the need to be defiant and push back. If refusing to wear a mask or walking down the isle the wrong way, is a small way to speak out about a bigger issue.
    This has been handled poorly on every level by everyone... but we will get thought it. Hopefully we learn something from it.

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  • Lyle Romer
    replied
    The not following the rules (like one aisles in the grocery store) are being violated like crazy here and this county has a relatively bad outbreak (5127 confirmed cases, 204 deaths in a little under 2 million people). Based upon the political landscape here, it is unlikely that the disregarding is for political reasons, I suspect more for selfish reasons. I do think that the more "reasonable" the rules are, the more people will follow them. The more people that follow the rules, the less spread there will be.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bobby Henderson
    replied
    Unless an effective vaccine can become widely available soon I feel like we could end up finding out just what this virus can do the hard way. We'll see what happens with it spreading to 70% of the population. Yeah, we can't afford to stay in various types of lock down. Unfortunately the virus can out-wait us. We've done little to contain it and starve it of new people to infect. The various re-openings and relaxation of rules are going to allow the virus to spread more widely.

    I personally have no problem with following virus mitigation rules, be it social distancing, wearing face coverings in public or even complying with a curfew. Unfortunately there is a bunch of contrarians who don't like following rules. Or they think the rules can be bent or disregarded at their convenience (or disregarded for political reasons). Our grocery stores here have aisles restricted to one way traffic, yet a bunch of people ignore the signs and arrows on the floor and push their carts any direction they like. Distancing rules are not being followed properly. Some people are prisoners of their own emotions. They'll be hugging and shaking hands at church.

    Anecdotally, the problem here in Lawton is very few people have been personally affected by the virus. The crisis is not personally real for them. They haven't lost a relative or friend to COVID-19 illness. We haven't had a lot of hospitalizations; 2 people out of a town of 93,000 people have died. Many residents in Lawton see all these rules or, rather, suggestions as an inconvenience. Some people are wearing masks out in public, but most are not. There is definitely a false sense of security present.

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  • Lyle Romer
    replied
    Originally posted by Bobby Henderson View Post



    The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is still only in its early stages. Barring the development of a truly effective vaccine sometime later this year (which would be nothing short of miraculous) this novel coronavirus is going to be tear-assing across the globe for another 18-24 months. I think a final worldwide death toll under 500,000 is wishful thinking. The world-wide death toll has neared 250,000 mostly in just the last six weeks.
    To be sure it is wishful thinking if we just pretend the virus doesn't exist. The only way to keep it to that range (or at least less than 2x that range) is to take measures to slow the spread and especially to try and keep the elderly from contracting it.

    Even though it seems counter-intuitive, to slow the spread we must find a way to open the economy while taking precautions that people find reasonable. To do these things will still require some form of bailouts. Taking restaurants, for example, tables need to be spaced at least 6 feet from each other which limits dining room capacity. There is no way that a restaurant can profit (or break even) operating under those restrictions so some kind of "make good" payments need to happen to keep them in business. Same with movie theaters because the only way to not do distancing is to require face coverings to be worn during the show. Unfortunately, concession items can't be consumed with something over your mouth. Theaters would need a much higher bailout if allowed to operate at full capacity without concession sales vs. social distancing and limited capacity with concession sales.

    On the other hand, retail stores can operate normally with face coverings and socially distanced lines None of these measures will completely stop the spread but neither will the "safer at home" orders. If you keep the restrictions reasonable, the vast majority of people will follow them. If you try to keep draconian measures in place, more and more people will "revolt" for a variety of reasons and not follow the guidelines, which will lead to much more virus spread.

    Just like there were speakeasies during prohibition and underground gambling parlors in modern times, there are/will be underground restaurants under these restrictions. This type of "revolt" is a huge risk because people aren't going to follow many guidelines in those types of establishments.

    The other type of "revolt" that can cause progress to be reversed is a legal revolt. There is no doubt that if people get fed up enough to start filing federal lawsuits, much of what is done with all of these orders will be found unconstitutional. It is better not to let it get to that level or the governors are going to lose much of the power they have to put reasonable restrictions in place. Things like the banning of church services would definitely be overturned as doing so violates both "freedom of religion" and "freedom of assembly" in the constitution. Better to work with the churches on a socially distanced way to have services (doing multiple services to spread the congregation, face coverings, etc.) than have churches filing federal suits and ending up going back to business as usual.

    To end this pandemic will take a vaccine so hopefully the dramatically accelerated development and testing of candidates (especially the one from Oxford that already had some testing phases done for MERS) will be proven effective and begin to be available within 6 months.

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  • Bobby Henderson
    replied
    Originally posted by Marcel Birgelen
    The last crash only made the rich richer and "the middle-class" smaller. If this crash is doing the same to "the middle-class", then it could take it one step too far. There comes a point when "the people" won't take it anymore, when guillotines start to appear on public squares, you know we're past that time..
    I think a more destructive "revolution" of sorts is already happening, a self-destructive one that could greatly change the geo-political landscape 100 years from now.

    Some kind of French Revolution-style uprising by civilians could happen if the situation became desperate enough. But it's laughably foolish for anyone to think civilians with mere rifles on their backs can overthrow a modern government and its military. And it's laugh out loud comedy to think some "sovereign citizens" would have a snowball's chance in hell against America's military. I've seen infrared gun-cam combat videos from Apache helicopters. "Weekend warriors" wanting to overthrow the state would be lining up to get absolutely shredded.

    The "revolution" I mention is one most people still aren't noticing. There is no law requiring Americans to breed. Even if abortion was outlawed, having kids is still 100% a choice. There is no requirement. Raising children is an expensive, giant pain in the ass. Lately the expense part has become hatefully extreme (health care, day care, etc). Lots of young people really like their "me" time. And they sure don't want to be broke. Every "rich" (and predominately white) country now has birth rates that have fallen into regressive levels. The cost of living for young adults in supposedly rich countries is very high. Europe has generous health care and maternity care systems, but housing prices are insane. Without some serious changes we'll have a lot fewer Americans and Europeans but a lot more from African nations and other developing nations with a far younger median age population. They'll become the new economic and military power houses.

    Some people have been joking that we could have a mini baby-boom 9 months from now due to the lock-down. The theory is people with nothing else to do are just going to screw and make babies. The cost of having kids isn't going to drop. And with a rash of unemployment and severe economic recession no one is going to be in the mood to have kids. If anything, with couples being locked up together for too long it's going to lead to a lot more divorce.

    Originally posted by Lyle Romer
    Also, the flu kills 250,000 - 500,000 people a year (according to the WHO). The total worldwide deaths from COVID-19 can be kept in that range by implementing measures to slow and minimize the spread while also allowing for economies to return to some semblance of normal.
    The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is still only in its early stages. Barring the development of a truly effective vaccine sometime later this year (which would be nothing short of miraculous) this novel coronavirus is going to be tear-assing across the globe for another 18-24 months. I think a final worldwide death toll under 500,000 is wishful thinking. The world-wide death toll has neared 250,000 mostly in just the last six weeks.

    We had a Vietnam War death toll in the US just in April alone all while locking down and social distancing. Americans have had enough of the lock-down crap. They're going to go back to work and back to the stores and restaurants. It won't be long before we're letting down our guard, pretending SARS-CoV-2 doesn't exist, or that it's just a little flu.

    SARS-CoV-2 hasn't even hit its stride in poorer countries yet. Brazil could be poised to take over for the US as the world's "epicenter" of this pandemic. Rich people vacationing in Europe brought the virus back home to Brazil. It has taken a while, but now SARS-CoV-2 is starting to pick up momentum at spreading in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. Africa could eventually be hit very hard. Case levels so far have been relatively low compared to the spread in rich, developed countries. Impoverished people don't do a hell of a lot of driving or catching air flights. Many African nations are not democracies and have been quick to enact lock downs or even Marshall law. But even totalitarian police states and Muslim run theocracies can't stay in lock-down forever either. There is a hell of a lot of virus-spread potential in enormously populated cities like Lagos.

    The spread potential in the Southern Hemisphere will keep SARS-CoV-2 alive and well even if it turns out Summer sun and heat will make it abate in the Northern Hemisphere (something that also appears to be wishful thinking, the virus has already been spreading well in warm and even tropical climates). Unless an effective vaccine is developed soon and distributed to freaking everybody we will face additional waves of this pandemic.
    Last edited by Bobby Henderson; 05-01-2020, 11:18 PM.

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  • Lyle Romer
    replied
    I can understand what you are saying. I know that the virus doesn't ONLY seriously effect the elderly. It's just that a much higher percentage of the elderly will get seriously ill and a much, much higher percentage will die. The difference with something like WWII is that select countries were devastated economically and could be rebuilt with the financial assistance of the ones that weren't. Right now, every country is suffering economic catastrophe to an unprecedented degree.

    A bank not having to pay its debts during the freeze means that I can't get my money out of the bank at some point so the depositors funds would have to appear from somewhere.

    I would lean towards giving your idea a shot IF the end result would be eradicating the virus over the course of a few months. That is just an impossibility at this point because it would require a full quarantine that is not possible to implement.

    Also, the flu kills 250,000 - 500,000 people a year (according to the WHO). The total worldwide deaths from COVID-19 can be kept in that range by implementing measures to slow and minimize the spread while also allowing for economies to return to some semblance of normal.

    The fact is that if we shut down the world for flu season (varies by location) every year, it would save a very high percentage of the 250,000 - 500,000 people but nobody has ever suggested doing that. The reason that some measures to reduce and slow the spread of COVID-19 are needed is due to the lack of vaccine or any inherent immunity. That means that if allowed to spread completely unmitigated, you'd end up with a few billion people infected. Even with the same mortality rate as the flu (which it is likely close to in reality), if you had 2 billion people infected you'd have 2 million deaths.

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  • Marcel Birgelen
    replied
    First of all: I know from second hand, that's not only the elderly that get hit hard by this virus, there are plenty of 20-somethings, 30-somethings or 40-somethings that get hit very hard. Most of them don't die, but only because they could be treated, in some cases they only survived because there was a ventilator available for them. The whole "flattening the curve" is nothing more than trying to stay beyond the local limit of what the healthcare system can handle. Luckily, that has been achieved almost everywhere, with a few exceptions. But the virus, until now, only hit hard in relatively developed countries. But once healthcare gets overwhelmed, you will see a lot of people outside of the risk-group die from it.

    These are exceptional times, that's why we need exceptional solutions. You could compare the economy a lot with a situation after a war. If you look at Germany for example, you can see how they recovered after the second world war and how they became the economic powerhouse they have ever since been. It's the driving force of the European Union and the only reason why it didn't fail about 10 years ago.

    The Germany that emerged after the first world war was one riddled with debt and we've seen where that lead us. They had so much debt, it was clear they would never be able to pay it all back. Although the world hasn't been shot to pieces, after months of lock-down and no plan, this is a similar situation we're going to face. If we simply pile on the debt we've made now, we're so deep in it, there's simply no way out.

    That's why I propose an almost complete freeze, maybe combined with a partial economic reset afterwards. The bank not getting paid should not be a real problem, if the bank doesn't have to pay their debts during the freeze. If we globally agree on such a freeze, and the U.S. can probably force something for that for the dollar market, the damage should be minimal. During the freeze, we essentially create no debt, we simply pretend those months never ever happened.

    Yes, we still need to survive for those months and I'm not saying we should make everything free, but if we would eliminate costs for housing, electricity, water, it would help most people and businesses to get through this without much trouble. We could order a global freeze on food prices. Provide the poorest with a basic level of income, so they can at least get food on the table. But the costs for this would be far less than the bail-out packages we're now already handing out. Trillions of dollars, euros, whatnot, of which a whole lot will go to the biggest companies. We're bailing out oil companies for god's sake, the same companies that have so much capital on hand, they'll could go into total shutdown for years and still emerge almost unbroken from this...

    The last crash only made the rich richer and "the middle-class" smaller. If this crash is doing the same to "the middle-class", then it could take it one step too far. There comes a point when "the people" won't take it anymore, when guillotines start to appear on public squares, you know we're past that time...

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  • Lyle Romer
    replied
    Originally posted by Marcel Birgelen View Post

    Well, it's something which has been actively suggested around the world by some high ranking politicians, more or less direct.

    The problem is that we don't have sufficient information about this virus, to know how to go forward. That's also what I personally hear from medical experts working at a local hospital which I know very well. All data we have is preliminary. The reason why most governments around the world have taken such drastic measures in such record time, is because it was clear the virus was far more contagious and far more impactful to certain individuals than previously anticipated.

    Many western countries have since seen a "flattening of the curve", but given how fast it exploded, there is a clear danger in reopening it back up again. That stuff can get pretty nasty if it overwhelms the local healthcare systems has been shown around the world, just look at Italy, Spain and to some extend New York. I can get very angry at people who claim it's all just a hoax or just "a flu" that will blow over. It's that brain-amputated mindset, which unfortunately is very big in the U.S., that got us here in the first place and it's those people who will bring us all right back here if we just let them do whatever they claim to be their freedoms...

    My own business is hurting... a lot... and yeah, something needs to happen or else, stuff will get very dark. But that's what I was pointing at. Our economy is a man-made thing. The reason why we seemingly can't fix it in this time of need is just this: selfishness. I'm trying to help my local community with everything we got. I don't want to get paid or just want to get compensated for the costs. I can survive the coming months like this and I know there are plenty of other people out there that could do the same.

    For all what it's worth, we could "freeze" large parts of the economy for a few months. Nobody pays rent, nobody pays their mortgage, banks don't have to pay back anything, we could make water and electricity free for a few months, we could provide those in need with a basic income, so they can pay for their groceries, we just keep the essential parts of the economy running and everybody who can do their part can do their part for free, because he doesn't have to worry about their income during those months. It would still require a lot of money, but would save us the trillions of dollars, euros, that are now being created as debts. While it may be an extremely socialist move (and I'm usually not even such a socialist), in times like these, we need the human factor. Even if we should practice social distancing, that doesn't mean we need to "socially distance" us from each other. We should help each other.

    Let's face it. The world economy was completely broken before, it's a few people living the high-life, reaping all the benefits from that so called greatest economy of all times, while the biggest part of the population of the world, including large parts of the country you live in, don't see a dollar's worth in return. This is the third economic crash in 20 years, for what it's worth, the economy is one of the least stable things we've ever built, creating more pain every day than this virus has ever created. To hell with it...
    The problem is that no previous economic crash (at least in my lifetime) has been this calamitous where huge percentages of the world population is unemployed. How do you just make all this stuff free? Taking your example of rent or mortgage, how does that work? The landlord or bank doesn't get paid. If it was a landlord, the landlord now doesn't pay the bank. How do you make the bank whole again? Bail them out like 2008, only this time 100% of the loans are bad? The governments will have to print trillions upon trillions of dollars (or whatever currency) to do that and all the other financial actions you recommend. It will create such crazy inflation that nobody will be able to afford anything and we'd have to go back to the barter system like it was 5000 years ago.

    In simplistic terms, the value of a currency is backed by the power of the economy of the issuing government. If you shut down the economy and make everything free then the currency isn't worth more than the paper it is printed on or the hard drives that it is stored in.

    Even if what you suggest was practical, it wouldn't work. While the "lock downs" appear to be slowing the spread and flattening the curve somewhat, they aren't close to eradicating the virus. That can't be done no matter what kind of social distancing is in place unless everybody in the world was quarantined and didn't leave their home for probably two months. They'd also have to quarantine in the home from others in their households. It is too widespread already to contain once there is any interaction like producing food or purchasing/getting food.

    The data is very clear about the differences in severity and especially fatality by age group. This pattern holds true in every country. If we took measures that did nothing but had people aged 65 and over shelter in place and have all food and necessities delivered over 80% of the fatalities would be eliminated.

    For the rest of the population, social distancing measures will continue to minimize the spread and make sure not to overwhelm the healthcare system.

    We need to come to terms with the fact that everybody can't be saved no matter what we do. All we can do is try to minimize fatalities while we have as normal of a worldwide economy as possible while taking the measures to keep the curve flat.

    Going to extremes with economic shutdowns takes away the life of the 99%+ that wouldn't get killed by the virus even if it was allowed to spread to everybody on earth (which it wouldn't due to herd immunity at some point). With these lock downs in place, humans all over the world are existing but they aren't living.

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  • Marcel Birgelen
    replied
    Originally posted by Lyle Romer View Post
    Marcel, nobody (well maybe there are some psychopaths) suggests writing off the elderly to save the economy. On the contrary, since the virus causes a disproportionate mortality rate in the elderly and they are clearly the most vulnerable to it, it is possible to protect the elderly in a targeted way while allowing the less vulnerable to return the economy to some semblance of normal.

    The economy is not something that we can easily fix. Spending trillions of dollars that don't exist reaches a point where it will cause economic calamity. It is impossible to keep the world shut down for much longer without having long term issues that reduce quality of life everywhere and cause countless deaths in developing nations.
    Well, it's something which has been actively suggested around the world by some high ranking politicians, more or less direct.

    The problem is that we don't have sufficient information about this virus, to know how to go forward. That's also what I personally hear from medical experts working at a local hospital which I know very well. All data we have is preliminary. The reason why most governments around the world have taken such drastic measures in such record time, is because it was clear the virus was far more contagious and far more impactful to certain individuals than previously anticipated.

    Many western countries have since seen a "flattening of the curve", but given how fast it exploded, there is a clear danger in reopening it back up again. That stuff can get pretty nasty if it overwhelms the local healthcare systems has been shown around the world, just look at Italy, Spain and to some extend New York. I can get very angry at people who claim it's all just a hoax or just "a flu" that will blow over. It's that brain-amputated mindset, which unfortunately is very big in the U.S., that got us here in the first place and it's those people who will bring us all right back here if we just let them do whatever they claim to be their freedoms...

    My own business is hurting... a lot... and yeah, something needs to happen or else, stuff will get very dark. But that's what I was pointing at. Our economy is a man-made thing. The reason why we seemingly can't fix it in this time of need is just this: selfishness. I'm trying to help my local community with everything we got. I don't want to get paid or just want to get compensated for the costs. I can survive the coming months like this and I know there are plenty of other people out there that could do the same.

    For all what it's worth, we could "freeze" large parts of the economy for a few months. Nobody pays rent, nobody pays their mortgage, banks don't have to pay back anything, we could make water and electricity free for a few months, we could provide those in need with a basic income, so they can pay for their groceries, we just keep the essential parts of the economy running and everybody who can do their part can do their part for free, because he doesn't have to worry about their income during those months. It would still require a lot of money, but would save us the trillions of dollars, euros, that are now being created as debts. While it may be an extremely socialist move (and I'm usually not even such a socialist), in times like these, we need the human factor. Even if we should practice social distancing, that doesn't mean we need to "socially distance" us from each other. We should help each other.

    Let's face it. The world economy was completely broken before, it's a few people living the high-life, reaping all the benefits from that so called greatest economy of all times, while the biggest part of the population of the world, including large parts of the country you live in, don't see a dollar's worth in return. This is the third economic crash in 20 years, for what it's worth, the economy is one of the least stable things we've ever built, creating more pain every day than this virus has ever created. To hell with it...

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  • Mike Blakesley
    replied
    In Montana the drive-in thing was a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand was doing. A drive-in a couple of hours from here followed the directives of their county and opened. After a couple days, somebody from the state came in an ordered them to shut down. So the owner started making phone calls and I'm not sure who he got through to, but the state order was rescinded and now they're allowed to operate.

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  • Eric Thuemmel
    replied
    Not to kick the hornet's nest, but I'm also in Michigan, right next to a great lake and several inland lakes, and motor boats were DEFINITELY banned. The DNR pulled all the docks at the boat launch down the street from me. I have an acquaintance that is a DNR officer that had to patrol fishing and boating spots for motor boats. It may not have been spelled out in such words in the law, but the meaning, spelled out in the FAQ, was clearly understood by the local police and DNR to disallow motor boats at that time. They didn't want crowds of fishermen traveling up north to their favorite fishing spot, or crowding the small town convenience stores as they had earlier. The ban has since been lifted.

    https://www.wzzm13.com/article/news/...7-d3a2969b4836

    https://www.clickondetroit.com/news/...at-home-order/

    https://wsbt.com/news/local/michigan...ult-to-enforce

    But moving on to things movie related - why are drive-ins, even when they limit vehicles to allow extra spacing for social distancing, still being banned in many states? Especially in rural areas where the infection rate is practically zero - it doesn't seem very logical. Our governor did shut down a "pop-up" drive in that was planning to open today.

    https://www.freep.com/story/news/loc...er/3054052001/

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