The Cure Is Worse Than the Disease

 

In terms of serious problems being created by COVID-19, the financial and political ramifications of the panic (bankruptcies, lost income, instability in the financial system and the governments misguided attempts to shore it up) are going to be worse than the death toll.

Also, when a more dangerous pandemic comes along (and I believe what I’m told that someday it will) people will be much less likely to take the government’s and the media’s advice seriously. It’s the “boy who cried ‘wolf'” syndrome.

This panicked reaction is doing more harm than good now and sowing the seeds for a bigger disaster in the future.

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  1. jeannebodine Member
    jeannebodine
    @jeannebodine

    PA has 41 cases in the entire state, 5 in my county. Last night, our County Council issued the following restrictions:

    All schools, public and private to be closed for 2 weeks, including daycare centers and elder care centers;

    Limit socializing and avoid all social gatherings.

    All non-essential retail establishment to close including shopping malls, movie theaters, gyms, clothing stores, you name if it’s non-essential. The only retail established allowed to remain open are essential: grocery stores, drug stores and gas stations.

    We are by no means a wealthy county and this will decimate all of our small business, put our lowest wage earners out of work and it will wreak havoc on our families, many of which may never recover. Working from home is dandy if you can work remotely from a PC but is impossible if you work in the service industry, manual labor, anywhere where warm bodies need to show up,

    I’m sorry but I think this is shameful and and smacks of martial law. I go back to the fact that we are a missing a key component in all this – there aren’t and won’t be any reliable numbers on this supposedly very contagious virus: the millions that came into contact with virus yet didn’t contract it, those who got it, suffered no or very mild symptoms, those who did get sick and got better, 99% of which will never be tested and included in the numbers.

    I’m watching several of my neighbors traumatized by panic, anger and uncertainty, not about the virus itself, but wondering how they and their families will survive this.

     

    • #31
  2. danys Thatcher
    danys
    @danys

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    danys (View Comment):

    I’m a high school teacher & my school is closed for at least 2 weeks. On Wednesday we begin online classes. Students & faculty too often come to school sick & infect others. A teaching friend of mine developed walking pneumonia after catching a cold from her students. She was in her 40s at the time. Classrooms are not large enough for everyone to sit 6 feet apart. For the overwhelming majority of my school, students who would contract CoVid-19 will recover; yet; we have students who have very serious, chronic health problems and faculty & staff who are over 60 or have underlying health problems. They are at risk of serious outcomes. Additionally, why would we want any student to become ill and miss school for 2 or more weeks?

    On a practical teaching level, having a rotating percentage of students out sick for 2+ weeks will create havoc. How many students will miss lectures, demonstrations, experiments, and exams? How do you handle all of the makeup work & rewriting exams to reduce cheating? We’re not talking about 2 or 3 students who may miss 2 days. That’s routine for any teacher. What happens if multiple teachers fall ill? Will there be enough qualified substitute teachers who can teach Freshman English, Algebra, or AP Calc for several weeks?

    Now, apply this to elementary schools where young children are still being taught good hygiene.

    I am wholly aware of the downstream economic impact of shutting down schools, people not going to restaurants, religious services, sporting events, etc. Already, restaurants in Los Angeles are laying off employees. I expect parents of our students to be laid off. The economic hit to our communities will be hard.

    I pray that come May or June, we look back & say, “Corona Virus was a nothing burger.”

    Closing schools, limiting public events may make nothing burgers.

    Edited to add: Closing schools is not a panicked decision. It is a rational decision.

    Agree. You might add that those little creatures (your students) are great disease carriers. As an octogenarian, I’m very conscious that many, many people carry diseases that have no symptoms for them but are life-threatening for those with weaker immune systems. Isolation is sometimes a good thing; necessary, even.

    Among the reasons why I prefer to teach high school is that my students know how to wash their hands, use tissues, etc. :) The little ones are darn cute and they are germ balls.

    • #32
  3. danys Thatcher
    danys
    @danys

    jeannebodine (View Comment):

    PA has 41 cases in the entire state, 5 in my county. Last night, our County Council issued the following restrictions:

    All schools, public and private to be closed for 2 weeks, including daycare centers and elder care centers;

    Limit socializing and avoid all social gatherings.

    All non-essential retail establishment to close including shopping malls, movie theaters, gyms, clothing stores, you name if it’s non-essential. The only retail established allowed to remain open are essential: grocery stores, drug stores and gas stations.

    We are by no means a wealthy county and this will decimate all of our small business, put our lowest wage earners out of work and it will wreak havoc on our families, many of which may never recover. Working from home is dandy if you can work remotely from a PC but is impossible if you work in the service industry, manual labor, anywhere where warm bodies need to show up,

    I’m sorry but I think this is shameful and and smacks of martial law. I go back to the fact that we are a missing a key component in all this – there aren’t and won’t be any reliable numbers on this supposedly very contagious virus: the millions that came into contact with virus yet didn’t contract it, those who got it, suffered no or very mild symptoms, those who did get sick and got better, 99% of which will never be tested and included in the numbers.

    I’m watching several of my neighbors traumatized by panic, anger and uncertainty, not about the virus itself, but wondering how they and their families will survive this.

     

    These measures appear to be very aggressive. Stores & gyms are open in Los Angeles but gatherings are limited to 250 people. I went to an exercise class at my physical therapist’s gym/office this morning and there were fewer participants. This is a small practice and I’ve observed how they clean their equipment, tables after each patient. I trust my pt and as long as I have no reason to believe I’ve been exposed to CoVid-19 and feel healthy, I will go to classes. 

    • #33
  4. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    jeannebodine (View Comment):

    I’m sorry but I think this is shameful and and smacks of martial law. I go back to the fact that we are a missing a key component in all this – there aren’t and won’t be any reliable numbers on this supposedly very contagious virus: the millions that came into contact with virus yet didn’t contract it, those who got it, suffered no or very mild symptoms, those who did get sick and got better, 99% of which will never be tested and included in the numbers.

     

    You’re missing the point.

    20% of those who get sick and diagnosed are requiring hospitalization with 10% in the ICU for extended periods.

    The number of those patients is expanding exponentially. It doesn’t matter if millions get infected and don’t get ill.

    If the number of sick continues to  expand exponentially our hospitals will be crushed and the death rate will sky rocket.

    The only way we have of slowing that down is social isolation. No vaccine. No treatment..

    • #34
  5. jeannebodine Member
    jeannebodine
    @jeannebodine

    Kozak

    You’re missing the point.

    20% of those who get sick and diagnosed are requiring hospitalization with 10% in the ICU for extended periods.

    The number of those patients is expanding exponentially. It doesn’t matter if millions get infected and don’t get ill.

    If the number of sick continues to expand exponentially our hospitals will be crushed and the death rate will sky rocket.

    The only way we have of slowing that down is social isolation. No vaccine. No treatment..

    Thank you, that finally makes sense to me. I said I didn’t understand the mathematics behind the dire numbers and you’ve presented it in a way even I can understand.

    One more question, I assume the the “20% of the people that got sick”, represent the ones that showed symptoms and were tested?  In any event, I finally grasp the seriousness that 20% require hospitalization with 10% of those needing long stays in ICU.

    It was only through the grace of G-d and all his saints that I obtained an undergraduate degree in Sociology without having to take a statistics course, something I would never have been able to pass. That’s why my avatar used to be (and still is on most platforms), Barbie, the “I don’t like math” edition.

    • #35
  6. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    jeannebodine (View Comment):
    One more question, I assume the the “20% of the people that got sick”, represent the ones that showed symptoms and were tested?

    Yes.

    • #36
  7. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Kozak (View Comment):

    jeannebodine (View Comment):

    I’m sorry but I think this is shameful and and smacks of martial law. I go back to the fact that we are a missing a key component in all this – there aren’t and won’t be any reliable numbers on this supposedly very contagious virus: the millions that came into contact with virus yet didn’t contract it, those who got it, suffered no or very mild symptoms, those who did get sick and got better, 99% of which will never be tested and included in the numbers.

     

    You’re missing the point.

    20% of those who get sick and diagnosed are requiring hospitalization with 10% in the ICU for extended periods.

    The number of those patients is expanding exponentially. It doesn’t matter if millions get infected and don’t get ill.

    If the number of sick continues to expand exponentially our hospitals will be crushed and the death rate will sky rocket.

    The only way we have of slowing that down is social isolation. No vaccine. No treatment..

    Kozak, do you know why they have to stay in the ICU?  Are they being intubated?  My impression is that the main issue is pneumonia.  Is intubation necessary for pneumonia treatment, or is an oxygen mask sufficient?  Does a patient have to be in the ICU in order to be treated with an oxygen mask?

    • #37
  8. MichaelKennedy Inactive
    MichaelKennedy
    @MichaelKennedy

    danys (View Comment):

    I’m a high school teacher & my school is closed for at least 2 weeks. On Wednesday we begin online classes. Students & faculty too often come to school sick & infect others. A teaching friend of mine developed walking pneumonia after catching a cold from her students. She was in her 40s at the time. Classrooms are not large enough for everyone to sit 6 feet apart. For the overwhelming majority of my school, students who would contract CoVid-19 will recover; yet; we have students who have very serious, chronic health problems and faculty & staff who are over 60 or have underlying health problems. They are at risk of serious outcomes. Additionally, why would we want any student to become ill and miss school for 2 or more weeks?

    On a practical teaching level, having a rotating percentage of students out sick for 2+ weeks will create havoc. How many students will miss lectures, demonstrations, experiments, and exams? How do you handle all of the makeup work & rewriting exams to reduce cheating? We’re not talking about 2 or 3 students who may miss 2 days. That’s routine for any teacher. What happens if multiple teachers fall ill? Will there be enough qualified substitute teachers who can teach Freshman English, Algebra, or AP Calc for several weeks?

    Now, apply this to elementary schools where young children are still being taught good hygiene.

    I am wholly aware of the downstream economic impact of shutting down schools, people not going to restaurants, religious services, sporting events, etc. Already, restaurants in Los Angeles are laying off employees. I expect parents of our students to be laid off. The economic hit to our communities will be hard.

    I pray that come May or June, we look back & say, “Corona Virus was a nothing burger.”

    Closing schools, limiting public events may make nothing burgers.

    Edited to add: Closing schools is not a panicked decision. It is a rational decision.

    I disagree.  Kids out of school, like my grand kids, will not “self isolate,” they will party with their friends.  I think they would be better in school with sensible precautions. like checking temperatures.

    • #38
  9. MichaelKennedy Inactive
    MichaelKennedy
    @MichaelKennedy

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):

    Jim Beck (View Comment):

    Morning Kozak,

    South Korea has tested over 100K, the death rate is .7 of. 1%, compared to the annual flu at .1 of 1%. It is more deadly than the flu, but to my knowledge we have not had a person in US under 56 years old die. So closing schools, colleges, even sporting events on a national level is an over reaction. I am 72 with asthma, with a wife also 72 with a heart stent and we will still carry on as usual, my brother is a doc and has not advised us to do anything else. Italy’s media age is 45+, ours is 38, just using statistics the effects here would reflect the age skew of the population and we would have fewer deaths proportionally, not even considering the better quality of medicine we have here. There will be deadlier pandemics in the future and thinking about preparing for them would be worthwhile, but this respiratory virus has caused us to become hysterical and that does not lead to clear analysis. If this causes us to rethink the CDC and the FDA then that would be a plus, they have kept us from responding as quickly as we could have.

    If you look at the Worldometer site, one of most the disturbing numbers is the death rate among cases with known outcomes, which is 7%. That is, of the cases which have been resolved one way or another, either recovery or death, 7% have died. I’m sure that number is skewed high for some reason, but it’s still a high enough number to justify these precautions.

    Not enough testing of asymptomatics.

    • #39
  10. MichaelKennedy Inactive
    MichaelKennedy
    @MichaelKennedy

    Mendel (View Comment):

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):
    We spent billions post 9/11 in supposedly preparing to detect and respond to pandemics, prompted by fears of bioterrorism. Not sure what happened.

    Part of this is an apples to pears comparison.

    Only a small number of agents and specific means of deployment would theoretically used for a bioterrorism attack, and both of those differ greatly from the types of pathogens and means of spread of a natural viral or bacterial pandemic. Therefore, even the best-designed system to protect us from a bioterrorism attack would only provide us inadequate protection from many types of novel emerging pathogens.

    Plus, there’s also the quip about every boxer having a great plan until they get punched in the face. Even the best-designed and equipped crisis response system (or army or football team) often gets pummeled in its first real-life conflict and needs to be ironed out afterwards. Seeing as how this pandemic likely won’t lead to widespread excess death, learning from our mistakes and improving the system may be one of the toughest long-term challenges going forward.

    We have learned a lot about government health care.  CDC and FDA are political  bureaucracies that follow the laws of bureaucracies.  Empire building, sloth, make work like gun safety and the rest.  If you want the DMV delivering health care, you have the model.

    • #40
  11. MichaelKennedy Inactive
    MichaelKennedy
    @MichaelKennedy

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):

    Mendel (View Comment):

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):
    We spent billions post 9/11 in supposedly preparing to detect and respond to pandemics, prompted by fears of bioterrorism. Not sure what happened.

    Part of this is an apples to pears comparison.

    Only a small number of agents and specific means of deployment would theoretically used for a bioterrorism attack, and both of those differ greatly from the types of pathogens and means of spread of a natural viral or bacterial pandemic. Therefore, even the best-designed system to protect us from a bioterrorism attack would only provide us inadequate protection from many types of novel emerging pathogens.

    Plus, there’s also the quip about every boxer having a great plan until they get punched in the face. Even the best-designed and equipped crisis response system (or army or football team) often gets pummeled in its first real-life conflict and needs to be ironed out afterwards. Seeing as how this pandemic likely won’t lead to widespread excess death, learning from our mistakes and improving the system may be one of the toughest long-term challenges going forward.

    I really appreciate your comments on this.

    While there are certainly differences what I had also anticipated was planning, materials, and capabilities to respond – protective gear, plans for quick development and implementation of testing, screening protocols at entry points, capacity to rapidly expand treatment capabilities etc. We’ve had 17 years since the response legislation was passed to develop and test the system. I’ve also been involved in emergency planning and crisis response and you’re correct – some things always go wrong. What I’m surprised about is how many basic things here have gone wrong. Traditionally Americans have been good at improvisation and that will help here though speed is of the essence.

    That was the days when we had control of our own economy.  Globalization moved that to China.

    • #41
  12. MichaelKennedy Inactive
    MichaelKennedy
    @MichaelKennedy

    Kozak (View Comment):

    jeannebodine (View Comment):

    I’m sorry but I think this is shameful and and smacks of martial law. I go back to the fact that we are a missing a key component in all this – there aren’t and won’t be any reliable numbers on this supposedly very contagious virus: the millions that came into contact with virus yet didn’t contract it, those who got it, suffered no or very mild symptoms, those who did get sick and got better, 99% of which will never be tested and included in the numbers.

     

    You’re missing the point.

    20% of those who get sick and diagnosed are requiring hospitalization with 10% in the ICU for extended periods.

    The number of those patients is expanding exponentially. It doesn’t matter if millions get infected and don’t get ill.

    If the number of sick continues to expand exponentially our hospitals will be crushed and the death rate will sky rocket.

    The only way we have of slowing that down is social isolation. No vaccine. No treatment..

    I think those numbers are way too high.  I would estimate 10% requiring hospital care at most.

    • #42
  13. MichaelKennedy Inactive
    MichaelKennedy
    @MichaelKennedy

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):

    jeannebodine (View Comment):

    I’m sorry but I think this is shameful and and smacks of martial law. I go back to the fact that we are a missing a key component in all this – there aren’t and won’t be any reliable numbers on this supposedly very contagious virus: the millions that came into contact with virus yet didn’t contract it, those who got it, suffered no or very mild symptoms, those who did get sick and got better, 99% of which will never be tested and included in the numbers.

     

    You’re missing the point.

    20% of those who get sick and diagnosed are requiring hospitalization with 10% in the ICU for extended periods.

    The number of those patients is expanding exponentially. It doesn’t matter if millions get infected and don’t get ill.

    If the number of sick continues to expand exponentially our hospitals will be crushed and the death rate will sky rocket.

    The only way we have of slowing that down is social isolation. No vaccine. No treatment..

    Kozak, do you know why they have to stay in the ICU? Are they being intubated? My impression is that the main issue is pneumonia. Is intubation necessary for pneumonia treatment, or is an oxygen mask sufficient? Does a patient have to be in the ICU in order to be treated with an oxygen mask?

    Remdesivir may end that ICU number as the index case recovered completely in 24 hours.

    https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2001191

    <i>Treatment with intravenous remdesivir (a novel nucleotide analogue prodrug in development10,11) was initiated on the evening of day 7, and no adverse events were observed in association with the infusion. Vancomycin was discontinued on the evening of day 7, and cefepime was discontinued on the following day, after serial negative procalcitonin levels and negative nasal PCR testing for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

    On hospital day 8 (illness day 12), the patient’s clinical condition improved. Supplemental oxygen was discontinued, and his oxygen saturation values improved to 94 to 96% while he was breathing ambient air. The previous bilateral lower-lobe rales were no longer present.</i>

    • #43
  14. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Kozak (View Comment):

    We are on the exact same trajectory as Italy.

    Kozak, I don’t think that this is your graph.  This graph looks designed to mislead, to me.

    I’m doing some of my own calculations on this, and will post them separately, probably tomorrow.  Interestingly, South Korea was also on same track during the relevant period (compared to the US, Germany, France, and the UK).  Spain is actually on a disturbingly higher trend.

    Notice how the graph is designed to give the impression of a 33% daily increase.  The graph runs through March 9, on which Italy had 9,172 reported cases.

    Carry out that projection of a 33% daily increase.  If it is true, Italy should have had 28,699 reported cases yesterday, March 13.  The true number of reported cases in Italy, as of yesterday, is 17,660.

    That is an erroneous overprojection of 62.5% in just four (4) days.

    We’re expecting the number of cases graph to be S-shaped (though the graph above is logarithmic, so it won’t look like an S on this scale).  If Italy is around its inflection point, its number of cases will be around twice the current total — i.e. somewhere in the 35,000 range.  South Korea appears past its inflection point.

    Here is my own graph, on a linear scale, beginning for each country on the day its WuFlu count surpassed 200:

    Notice that almost all of the countries are on the same general track as both S. Korea and Italy were at this point.  The UK (dark blue) is running a little lower, and you can see the troubling uptick in Spain (light blue).

     

     

     

     

     

    • #44
  15. Marjorie Reynolds Coolidge
    Marjorie Reynolds
    @MarjorieReynolds

    danys (View Comment):

    I’m a high school teacher & my school is closed for at least 2 weeks. On Wednesday we begin online classes. Students & faculty too often come to school sick & infect others. A teaching friend of mine developed walking pneumonia after catching a cold from her students. She was in her 40s at the time. Classrooms are not large enough for everyone to sit 6 feet apart. For the overwhelming majority of my school, students who would contract CoVid-19 will recover; yet; we have students who have very serious, chronic health problems and faculty & staff who are over 60 or have underlying health problems. They are at risk of serious outcomes. Additionally, why would we want any student to become ill and miss school for 2 or more weeks?

    On a practical teaching level, having a rotating percentage of students out sick for 2+ weeks will create havoc. How many students will miss lectures, demonstrations, experiments, and exams? How do you handle all of the makeup work & rewriting exams to reduce cheating? We’re not talking about 2 or 3 students who may miss 2 days. That’s routine for any teacher. What happens if multiple teachers fall ill? Will there be enough qualified substitute teachers who can teach Freshman English, Algebra, or AP Calc for several weeks?

    Now, apply this to elementary schools where young children are still being taught good hygiene.

    I am wholly aware of the downstream economic impact of shutting down schools, people not going to restaurants, religious services, sporting events, etc. Already, restaurants in Los Angeles are laying off employees. I expect parents of our students to be laid off. The economic hit to our communities will be hard.

    I pray that come May or June, we look back & say, “Corona Virus was a nothing burger.”

    Closing schools, limiting public events may make nothing burgers.

    Edited to add: Closing schools is not a panicked decision. It is a rational decision.

    We closed them on Thursday here too and I feel we only days away from a complete shutdown. I’m in favour of this and I think it’s a matter of prudence not panic. I don’t know about the US, but I know that the Irish Health service will be overwhelmed very quickly. It’s chaotic at the best of times. Older people will not get the care they need. It will not be a peaceful death either if they are gasping for breath.  

    • #45
  16. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    danys (View Comment):
    Closing schools, limiting public events may make nothing burgers.

    And it may very well be that some of what people now fear may be over-reaction, is what will CAUSE IT to end up a nothing-burger.  But there’s no way to know that in advance, and likely no way to really know it in hindsight either.

    • #46
  17. Mendel Inactive
    Mendel
    @Mendel

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio&hellip; (View Comment):
    Kozak, I don’t think that this is your graph. This graph looks designed to mislead, to me.

    The graph (which almost certainly wasn’t made by Kozak) is not designed to mislead, it’s designed for professionals who are adept at reading logarithmic scales and who understand that the 33% growth line is provided as a guide, not a projection.

    With those two caveats in mind, the graph shows exactly what yours does as well: most countries enter a logarithmic phase of spread, and Italy (as well as a few other countries not depicted on the graph) has already started to slowly plateau (a trend which will hopefully continue).

    In these situations, lots of laypeople access professional research and reports to try to inform themselves and discuss with others. It’s good that laypeople aren’t blocked from accessing such materials (as is done in some other countries), but it requires the laypeople to respect that professionals will often use lay-unfriendly conventions when communicating with each other. Don’t interpret that as bad faith.

    • #47
  18. Roderic Reagan
    Roderic
    @rhfabian

    JesseMcVay: This panicked reaction is doing more harm than good now and sowing the seeds for a bigger disaster in the future.

    It’s way too early to be making assessments like this.  COVID-19 has not run its course.  We don’t know how bad it will get. 

    Ironically, if the measures being taken now do manage to mitigate this crisis people will be saying that we over-reacted.  I dearly hope that they get the opportunity to say that.

    • #48
  19. Gary Robbins Reagan
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Would you prefer our future look like South Korea or Italy?

    Because right now we are on track to follow Italy’s path?

    Still in “the flu is worse, just wash your damn hands” camp?

     

    You think maybe China, Italy, and now the US took such actions because they might know something about this we don’t?

    Watch what they do not what they say.

    I am not a doctor.  Kozak is.  

    We need to rely on Ricochet’s medical doctors, and follow their medical advice.

    • #49
  20. JesseMcVay Inactive
    JesseMcVay
    @JesseMcVay

    Marjorie Reynolds (View Comment):
    Older people will not get the care they need. It will not be a peaceful death either if they are gasping for breath.

    Going out on a limb here and speculating that your assessment of the crisis is more a function of emotion than data.

    • #50
  21. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Roderic (View Comment):

    JesseMcVay: This panicked reaction is doing more harm than good now and sowing the seeds for a bigger disaster in the future.

    It’s way too early to be making assessments like this. COVID-19 has not run its course. We don’t know how bad it will get.

    Ironically, if the measures being taken now do manage to mitigate this crisis people will be saying that we over-reacted. I dearly hope that they get the opportunity to say that.

    That like I said too, about Y2K and other crises apparently averted.

    • #51
  22. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    I have to agree with the title. This is crazy. We have to isolate seniors, not the entire world population. 

    • #52
  23. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    kedavis (View Comment):
    Y2K and other crises apparently averted.

    A great deal of computer coding was done to avert the Y2K crisis. 

    • #53
  24. MichaelKennedy Inactive
    MichaelKennedy
    @MichaelKennedy

    JesseMcVay (View Comment):

    Marjorie Reynolds (View Comment):
    Older people will not get the care they need. It will not be a peaceful death either if they are gasping for breath.

    Going out on a limb here and speculating that your assessment of the crisis is more a function of emotion than data.

    Chloroquine is probably curative and preventative.  It is a common drug going back to WWII as a malaria treatment/preventative.  Hydroxychloroquine is a common drug for rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.  Its brand name is Plaquenil.  Both are reported as successful in South Korea and China. Remdesivir is still coming along in a clinical trial.

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vTi-g18ftNZUMRAj2SwRPodtscFio7bJ7GdNgbJAGbdfF67WuRJB3ZsidgpidB2eocFHAVjIL-7deJ7/pub

    Self isolation is still a good idea but I have acquired a small supply of these drugs.

    • #54
  25. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):
    Y2K and other crises apparently averted.

    A great deal of computer coding was done to avert the Y2K crisis.

    Yes, and now it’s like people – people who didn’t really know anything about it, anyway – think it was always nothing to worry about.  They don’t realize how much work was actually done.  And the same kind of thing might happen with corona.

    • #55
  26. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):
    Y2K and other crises apparently averted.

    A great deal of computer coding was done to avert the Y2K crisis.

    And I did some of that coding myself, too.  The places where I worked in the 70s and 80s and 90s had never given Y2K even a first thought, let alone a second.  But I was fed up with each new customer needing a few tweaks to the “standard” business management/accounting software that we offered.  (I say “standard” because I’m not sure if any customer ever actually used the original/standard version.)  And one reason I got into computer work to start with is that I hate doing the same thing over and over, that’s what computers are FOR!  But we wound up having a slightly different version for each customer, which meant that any changes to tax policy or even bug fixes, had to be duplicated in each version.  Perhaps with slight differences depending on the degree of previous customization…  Which of course meant more headaches, especially for me!

    So I set about making a truly standard version, where all of the previously-hard-coded “tweaks” – and some more that nobody had asked for yet – became configurable options.  And I started with a “configuration module” that included a calendar system with 4-digit years.

    It kinda sucks now that some people think all of that amounted to a “nothing burger” but I guess that’s just how life goes.  It’s not a big deal for me, but I expect there are people working in epidemiology etc now, whose hard work protecting and saving lives will later be viewed as just another “nothing burger.”  But not by me!

    • #56
  27. Marjorie Reynolds Coolidge
    Marjorie Reynolds
    @MarjorieReynolds

    JesseMcVay (View Comment):

    Marjorie Reynolds (View Comment):
    Older people will not get the care they need. It will not be a peaceful death either if they are gasping for breath.

    Going out on a limb here and speculating that your assessment of the crisis is more a function of emotion than data.

    I hope you are right. But I’m hearing this from people with friends working on the frontline in Italy. 

    • #57
  28. GrannyDude Member
    GrannyDude
    @GrannyDude

    kedavis (View Comment):

     

    It kinda sucks now that some people think all of that amounted to a “nothing burger” but I guess that’s just how life goes. It’s not a big deal for me, but I expect there are people working in epidemiology etc now, whose hard work protecting and saving lives will later be viewed as just another “nothing burger.” But not by me!

    I wrote an essay for a women’s magazine around the time of the Y2K thing that argued “this is a problem that will be solved.” Not that it isn’t a problem—rather, that it is the kind of problem that affects the wealthy and educated at least as much as the poor and ignorant, so the chances were extremely good that it would be taken care of. And it was. 

    Not at all the same as saying “nothing burger!”

    I hope, with all digits crossed, that this turns out the same way—that @jessemcvey will be saying, in a month or so, “see? Nothing!”  

    I’ve been thinking about the problem of the economy taking a hit—though I, like @jeannebodine, pilot my ship from a very different sort of wheelhouse (sounds better than “math is hard!”). And, like her, I’ve got neighbors who are going to get kicked in the teeth by this. 

    I remember reading, back in the mists of time, about the effect of the plague on the economy of Europe. Turns out that the plague —admittedly an extreme example—delayed the coming of the Renaissance by at least a century; contrary to the Bernie Bro’s assessment of things, glorious art and culture requires wealth, and wealth requires human beings to generate it. 

    And so,  preserving human lives = preserving the economy, right? Future economic activity depends on there being people around to engage in it. It doesn’t seem as though “only” the elderly are getting truly sick, but even if this were the case, those so-called “old” people are not economically inert.  My octogenarian  mother provides jobs for a whole lot more people than I do—she’s propping up all the restaurants, yoga teachers, pet stores, veterinarians, hospice nurses and pharmacies within a ten mile radius of her home.  So if we get this right, all those “old” folks who would otherwise have died will be out and about, spending their disproportionate share of the national wealth in restaurants, hotels, Walmarts, Rolling Stones concerts and RV campgrounds, flying off to see the grandkids and snowbirding between north and south.  (Surely the economy of Florida would sink faster than its sinking soil if  America’s geezers keeled over en masse? 

    By flattening the curve of the pandemic, we’ve got a shot at seeing an economy that comes roaring back, filled with pent-up demand for something other than funeral home services…right?

    • #58
  29. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    I would value if discussion of the “cure” (which currently looks to me like “eliminate human contact and crash the world economy”) would at least acknowledge that the “cure” will also kill some people and lead to serious negative health outcomes for others. Maybe fewer than the disease. But the “cure” is not cost-free in terms of human life.

    Homeless people will die after being denied access to shelters. People who lose their jobs or are forced into bankruptcy will become economically poorer, which will statistically result in a higher rate of illness and death. Unemployed and bankrupt people will commit suicide. The exact numbers may be hard to document. Economically poor societies generally have poorer health than wealthy societies, and we seem to have decided to deliberately drive ourselves into being an economically poorer society. Some already lonely people will die when more thoroughly denied human contact.

    We should at least acknowledge that the “cure” will result in increased deaths and poorer health of its own. 

    • #59
  30. Snirtler Inactive
    Snirtler
    @Snirtler

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    We should at least acknowledge that the “cure” will result in increased deaths and poorer health of its own.

    But they are. From this:

    Kudlow, meanwhile, said most U.S. supply lines were working “pretty well” amid the pandemic. “Most of our supply lines are working pretty well in the domestic United States … there’s a huge economic challenge here, don’t get me wrong—on the other hand, most of America is still working,” he said on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” but added “the employment story may become more tenuous in the weeks ahead.”

    [Mnuchin says expect a downturn.]

    Mnuchin, appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” told Wallace he expected the economy to make a “big rebound” despite the downturn caused by the virus.

    And Fauci continues to insist the “over-reaction” is necessary (from the same article linked to above):

    National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases head Anthony Fauci on Sunday said it could be weeks or months before life in the U.S. goes “back to normal” but that the worst-case scenario projections of coronavirus infections and deaths are unlikely to materialize.

    “If you just leave the virus to its own defenses it’ll go way up like we’ve seen in Italy – that’s not going to happen if we do what we’re attempting to do and are doing,” Fauci told CBS’ Margaret Brennan on “Face the Nation.”

    Steps taken across the U.S. have included recommendations that people stay home, avoid large gatherings and minimize traveling. Cities and states across the country have banned large gatherings and sports events, festivals and concerts have been canceled. The administration is also implementing a travel ban from Europe, China and Iran; U.S. residents returning home are exempt.

    “[Y]ou block infections from coming in, and then within is when you have containment and mitigation,” Fauci said. “And that’s the reason why the kinds of things we’re doing that may seem like an overreaction will keep us away from that worst-case scenario.”

    • #60
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