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. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    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!”

    Yes my point was the large share of population who don’t realize how much work was actually done, to MAKE Y2K a “nothing burger” as far as they could see.

    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?

    So, you want all those funeral homes to suffer!  :-)

    • #61
  2. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    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.

    Yes but this reminds me of car companies who say they shouldn’t have to recall their products to repair defects that will statistically kill X number of people, because Y number of people will die in crashes just driving to and from the dealers to get the recall work done.

    Technically maybe correct, IF you accept the assumptions.  But people have a way of resenting dying because of some known defect, more than dying just because they were driving somewhere and had an accident.  Dying because of a manufacturing defect doesn’t seem so much an “accident.”

    • #62
  3. GrannyDude Member
    GrannyDude
    @GrannyDude

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    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.

    Yes but this reminds me of car companies who say they shouldn’t have to recall their products to repair defects that will statistically kill X number of people, because Y number of people will die in crashes just driving to and from the dealers to get the recall work done.

    Technically maybe correct, IF you accept the assumptions. But people have a way of resenting dying because of some known defect, more than dying just because they were driving somewhere and had an accident. Dying because of a manufacturing defect doesn’t seem so much an “accident.”

    Yes! This is why all those “you’re more likely to die falling over in the shower” arguments against “over-reacting” to terrorist attacks are so unconvincing, too. Human agency is considered to be human responsibility—“you could’ve prevented this” naturally becomes “you should’ve prevented this.” Sometimes rightly, sometimes less so. 

    In any case, as  I’ve pointed out elsewhere, Wuhan is an add-on, not a replacement; all the other things that keep funeral homes in business are still taking place. And a pandemic that lands additional folks in the E.R and ICU is going to complicate treatment for the victims of strokes, heart attacks, shower-falls, car accidents…all of which also have both human and economic effects. 

    There are plenty of treatments that seem worse than the disease. Even swallowing a pill can seem like too much trouble, when one must endure the inconvenience, discomfort and expense of the former before the pain of the latter has actually manifested itself.

    As a child,  when my family lived overseas, I had to have cholera shots once a month; they were excruciating. Cholera was a painless word, an abstraction. Given the choice, wouldn’t I have chosen to risk the abstract rather than the agonizingly concrete? And FYI,  “concrete” is the right word for the substance they had to push through that big steel needle into my little thigh muscle…

     

     

     

    • #63
  4. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Yes but this reminds me of car companies who say they shouldn’t have to recall their products to repair defects that will statistically kill X number of people, because Y number of people will die in crashes just driving to and from the dealers to get the recall work done.

    Technically maybe correct, IF you accept the assumptions. But people have a way of resenting dying because of some known defect, more than dying just because they were driving somewhere and had an accident. Dying because of a manufacturing defect doesn’t seem so much an “accident.”

    Yes! This is why all those “you’re more likely to die falling over in the shower” arguments against “over-reacting” to terrorist attacks are so unconvincing, too. Human agency is considered to be human responsibility—“you could’ve prevented this” naturally becomes “you should’ve prevented this.” Sometimes rightly, sometimes less so.

    In any case, as I’ve pointed out elsewhere, Wuhan is an add-on, not a replacement; all the other things that keep funeral homes in business are still taking place. And a pandemic that lands additional folks in the E.R and ICU is going to complicate treatment for the victims of strokes, heart attacks, shower-falls, car accidents…all of which also have both human and economic effects.

    There are plenty of treatments that seem worse than the disease. Even swallowing a pill can seem like too much trouble, when one must endure the inconvenience, discomfort and expense of the former before the pain of the latter has actually manifested itself.

    As a child, when my family lived overseas, I had to have cholera shots once a month; they were excruciating. Cholera was a painless word, an abstraction. Given the choice, wouldn’t I have chosen to risk the abstract rather than the agonizingly concrete? And FYI, “concrete” is the right word for the substance they had to push through that big steel needle into my little thigh muscle…

    Which is one reason children don’t get to make those decisions.

    • #64
  5. milkchaser Member
    milkchaser
    @milkchaser

    danys (View Comment):
    I pray that come May or June, we look back & say, “Corona Virus was a nothing burger.”

    I might join you in that prayer if I were a praying man, but in my case, it is going to be from the unemployment line. I’ve been laid off.

    So color me bitter about the overreaction.

    • #65
  6. milkchaser Member
    milkchaser
    @milkchaser

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):
    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 depends greatly on which country you look at.

    We cannot accurately determine the mortality rate without knowing the denominator – i.e. how many people are actually infected. We know that people can have the disease without showing symptoms or having only symptoms so mild they do not seek medical help. A doctor on Tucker Carlson show last night said that there may be as many as 50,000 to 500,000 infected cases in the US that we do not know about because we are not doing widespread testing. We are following the pattern of all past pandemics and only testing diagnostically (after a patient exhibits symptoms causing a doctor to suspect the infection).

     

    • #66
  7. milkchaser Member
    milkchaser
    @milkchaser

    According to CDC and WHO, 412,000 people die in the US every year from exposure to lead.

    170,000 die from accidental injuries (almost all preventable, but I’m not going to stop climbing ladders).

    150,000 die from aneurysm (totally random, if you keep your BP in check).

    61,000 die from common flu.

    47,000 commit suicide. (Sad).

    37,000 die in auto accidents (Also sad, but not entirely preventable).

    320,000 drown (this is the death I fear the most).

    300,000 die of obesity (this is the death I ought to fear the most).

    250,000 die of medical errors (somewhat preventable).

    193,000 die of poisoning (presumably accidental).

    90,000 die of natural disasters (pretty random).

    So think about it: Is it reasonable to expect that we are going to totally prevent CoVid-19 deaths? CoVid-19 strikes pretty randomly and its victims (unlike say, obesity or drug overdose, which kills 70,000/year) don’t do much to mark themselves for death.

    No, it is not reasonable to think that the US is going to suffer a pandemic without thousands dying. And there his a big cost to all of society from attempting to avoid these deaths.

    • #67
  8. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    milkchaser (View Comment):
    320,000 drown (this is the death I fear the most).

    876 people/day?

    really?

    9 people drown/day for every person killed in an auto accident?

     

    • #68
  9. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    milkchaser (View Comment):

    According to CDC and WHO, 412,000 people die in the US every year from exposure to lead.

    170,000 die from accidental injuries (almost all preventable, but I’m not going to stop climbing ladders).

    150,000 die from aneurysm (totally random, if you keep your BP in check).

    61,000 die from common flu.

    47,000 commit suicide. (Sad).

    37,000 die in auto accidents (Also sad, but not entirely preventable).

    320,000 drown (this is the death I fear the most).

    300,000 die of obesity (this is the death I ought to fear the most).

    250,000 die of medical errors (somewhat preventable).

    193,000 die of poisoning (presumably accidental).

    90,000 die of natural disasters (pretty random).

    So think about it: Is it reasonable to expect that we are going to totally prevent CoVid-19 deaths? CoVid-19 strikes pretty randomly and its victims (unlike say, obesity or drug overdose, which kills 70,000/year) don’t do much to mark themselves for death.

    No, it is not reasonable to think that the US is going to suffer a pandemic without thousands dying. And there his a big cost to all of society from attempting to avoid these deaths.

    You’re off by a factor of about 100 on the drowning deaths. 

    From 2005-2014, there were an average of 3,536 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) annually in the United States — about ten deaths per day. An additional 332 people died each year from drowning in boating-related incidents. About one in five people who die from drowningare children 14 and younger.

     

    • #69
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