Is It Just Me?

 

There seem to be two basic kinds of people out there today:

Those that are positive and hopeful in the face of this COVID-19 stuff. I am one of these. I am pretty well convinced we are overreacting a bit to all of this, but I still think that good will come of it in the long run. I’m hopeful about the drug that might cure the disease. I am hopeful that the spread will slow. I am hopeful that the long-term effects will be minimal.

Those that are negative, filled with doom and gloom. These people believe the worst is going to happen. That the cure will be worse than the disease. That we must put everyone on complete lockdown. That we must stockpile food, ammo, and potable water.

It feels to me, and I may be wrong, that the people in the first camp are generally conservative, while the people in the second camp are mostly progressives.

Am I wrong?

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  1. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    JoelB (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):

    I don’t see anything that doesn’t put us on the trajectory of Italy, Spain and France at this point.

    @kozak I would be fascinated to hear how your first hand experiences in the ER have changed with the corona virus situation. Maybe you have posted this somewhere and I missed it.

     

     

    I can’t help you there.  I’m semi retired and worked my last ED shift at Ft Bragg in Jan 2019.   I will hear second hand from my friends.

    So far here in Wilmington we are in the very early days stage.

    I will say I am getting a lot of emails and phone calls for locums work. Lots of states are waiving their state license requirement to work, as long as you have a valid license in any state.

    • #31
  2. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    JoelB (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):

    I don’t see anything that doesn’t put us on the trajectory of Italy, Spain and France at this point.

    @kozak I would be fascinated to hear how your first hand experiences in the ER have changed with the corona virus situation. Maybe you have posted this somewhere and I missed it.

     

     

    Here’s an Italian perspective.

     

    • #32
  3. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    My information is limited, obviously.

    Again, my optimism is that I doubt that the disease will spread as rapidly as the catastrophic projections are estimating, and I doubt that it will be as deadly as assumed in such projections.

    But I am becoming more and more convinced that we are in a triage situation here.  We should do the relatively minor measures listed in the Imperial College report, which are:

    • home isolation of suspect cases
    • home quarantine of those living in the same household as suspect cases, and
    • social distancing of the elderly and others at most risk of severe disease

    We should do nothing more.  We need to get people back to work, get kids back to school, and ride this one out.  The economic impact will be minimal.

    But someone needs to make this decision, and the only one who can make it is the President.

    • #33
  4. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):
    What trajectory is that? I honestly don’t know what trajectory they are on, relative to other years.

     

     

    These graphs are ok but I would feel better know a bit more detail like how many need what level of hospital care.  The only primary issue I see is if we end up with more people that need intensive hospital care than we have resources to provide.  

    • #34
  5. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):
    These graphs are ok but I would feel better know a bit more detail like how many need what level of hospital care. The only primary issue I see is if we end up with more people that need intensive hospital care than we have resources to provide.

    Look at the Sky News story from Italy and you will get an idea of the care required.

    • #35
  6. DrewInWisconsin, Negative Infl… Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Negative Infl…
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):
    These graphs are ok but I would feel better know a bit more detail like how many need what level of hospital care. The only primary issue I see is if we end up with more people that need intensive hospital care than we have resources to provide.

    Look at the Sky News story from Italy and you will get an idea of the care required.

    . . . in Italy.

    • #36
  7. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    Italy is not really a first-world country. Not long ago, we were talking about how Italy, Greece, and Spain were dragging northern Europe down economically. Should we really expect similar difficulties, especially considering that we have the luxury of viewing Italy as a test scenario? 

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    The cause of the economic impact is the efforts to prevent the spread of the virus. I do not think that these efforts will help. They may postpone the inevitable, but not affect the ultimate outcome. We will have caused massive economic harm, while obtaining little or no health benefit.

    I agree that the economic impact will be dire if this keeps up. But staggering hospital loads might still prove worthwhile. 

    Some have suggested a more targeted ban on older (most vulnerable) people in public. The ban can be voluntary, with exceptions for particular scenarios perhaps. If elderly people seclude themselves, might that also stagger hospital requirements?

    • #37
  8. Ultron Will Inject You Now Inactive
    Ultron Will Inject You Now
    @Pseudodionysius

    Bill Gates happy, then Ultron happy. Hulk angry. Rinse, lather, repeat.

    • #38
  9. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    I am cautiously pessimistic.

    What do I mean by that? Human beings are irrational. Human beings in an election year are more irrational. Human beings in an election year with access to the internet are even worse.

    If government does nothing and all the horror stories come true then we are truly done. “Look at all the laissez-faire, uncaring capitalist bastards who left millions to die to preserve their precious capitalism!” How quickly could the mob be ginned up? Pretty quick in my estimation.

    Now, let’s say we limp out of this thing in fairly good shape. Bloodied but not too. Yes, an argument can be made for the helpful hand of government in a crisis, but you can also point to the overreach, the slow lumbering pace of the leviathan state that insists on protocol and procedure instead of nimble response. You can also point to where Trump has been right from the start: A nation that doesn’t control its own borders is not a nation, a nation that allows its enemies to become its life-and-death supplier is not free.

    The narrative is being set. How sure are you that you can talk yourself out of it, that you can rationalize with the irrational?

    • #39
  10. Joseph Stanko Coolidge
    Joseph Stanko
    @JosephStanko

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Even just using the $15 trillion figure, the cost per life saved would be about $13.6 million. Most of the lives saved will be the elderly.

    I guess that’s forbidden death-panel talk. But seriously, imagine that you had a 75-year-old WuFlu patient, and had a treatment that would give him a 50-50 chance of survival. The treatment costs $7.8 million. Would you do it?

    According to the WSJ it’s not just the elderly who end up in the ICU in New York:

    Far more young people than they expected are falling very ill. According to data published Friday morning by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 56% of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the city at the time involved patients under the age of 50.

    At the Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens, several coronavirus patients under 40, including a few in their 20s, were on ventilators in the intensive-care unit as of Thursday. All were healthy before getting the virus, said Dr. Narasimhan.

    https://apple.news/AFSw4TBywTY-QMiPFZAiVeA

    • #40
  11. Ralphie Inactive
    Ralphie
    @Ralphie

    Stad (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Spin: That the cure will be worse than the disease. That we must put everyone on complete lock down.

    The cure will be worse than the disease. But the cure that is worse than the disease is the lockdown.

    I wonder what the ratio of estimated lives saved to economic losses will be? Ten million dollars per life? A hundred million? It sounds cruel because it could be your Aunt Mabel we’re talking about. Still, risk/benefit analyses will have to be perfomed once this blows over, and hopefully the results used to find a better way to save lives and preserve the economy . . .

    The age group who’s health is most effected based on current knowledge is also the retired group, those that won’t lose income if they stay isolated. The business shut downs target the group least likely to have problems if infected, but most likely to have economic problems that may last longer than a few weeks.  Anyone not in the workforce should have had to stay home. I don’t think those on SS, welfare, will see a change.  

    • #41
  12. JuliaBlaschke Coolidge
    JuliaBlaschke
    @JuliaBlaschke

    Actually I think that a lot of Democrats are ghoulishly happy about it all. Anything to get rid of Trump.

    • #42
  13. Lilly B Coolidge
    Lilly B
    @LillyB

    DrewInWisconsin, Negative Infl… (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):
    These graphs are ok but I would feel better know a bit more detail like how many need what level of hospital care. The only primary issue I see is if we end up with more people that need intensive hospital care than we have resources to provide.

    Look at the Sky News story from Italy and you will get an idea of the care required.

    . . . in Italy.

    I have read many accounts about the important differences between Italy’s population, particularly that it skews older and is more likely to live in inter-generational households. Also, there seems to be a significant connection between Wuhan and Bergamo & northern Italy that seeded the virus in Italy before people knew it was happening. I have been tracking the stats in various countries and have noticed that Spain and Switzerland appear to have as many cases per 1M people as did Italy when I started hearing stories of the latter country’s nightmare. Yet, I have not similar stories about the other countries. I can’t say that I have scoured all possible sources, since I am also trying to keep kids happy, occupied and appreciative of the blessings we do still enjoy. Please point me to those stories if you know if them. 

    • #43
  14. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    JuliaBlaschke: Actually I think that a lot of Democrats are ghoulishly happy about it all. Anything to get rid of Trump.

    So are a good deal of prominent “conservatives.”

    • #44
  15. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Ralphie (View Comment):
    The age group who’s health is most effected based on current knowledge is also the retired group, those that won’t lose income if they stay isolated

    Sure.  My wife and my income would be in the $75k range if we stayed isolated for the rest of our lives.

    • #45
  16. Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane
    @LoisLane

    Joseph Stanko (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Even just using the $15 trillion figure, the cost per life saved would be about $13.6 million. Most of the lives saved will be the elderly.

    I guess that’s forbidden death-panel talk. But seriously, imagine that you had a 75-year-old WuFlu patient, and had a treatment that would give him a 50-50 chance of survival. The treatment costs $7.8 million. Would you do it?

    According to the WSJ it’s not just the elderly who end up in the ICU in New York:

    Far more young people than they expected are falling very ill. According to data published Friday morning by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 56% of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the city at the time involved patients under the age of 50.

    At the Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens, several coronavirus patients under 40, including a few in their 20s, were on ventilators in the intensive-care unit as of Thursday. All were healthy before getting the virus, said Dr. Narasimhan.

    https://apple.news/AFSw4TBywTY-QMiPFZAiVeA

    His cost analysis question is the same, even if the cold answers about productivity value per age are shifted.  One person = 7 million.  Understanding that I believe all life is sacred, do actuaries say that cost is fine when multiplied by whatever number we guess we saved?

    • #46
  17. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    We’ve seen doctors and nurses around the world succumb to COVID-19 because they are in the storm of infection. New York City and other dense metropolitan areas are their own special storms of unsanitary living. How many of those previously healthy young people in NYC spend riding the subway every day?

    • #47
  18. Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane
    @LoisLane

    (Before I’m misunderstood, I just want to reiterate, I think the questions are fair ones. The article about NY hospitals was also interesting.  Good to know what is happening there.  Not sure I understand the equipment shortages when this is in such a concentrated area.  Can’t resources be shifted from other networks that are currently not stressed at all?)

    • #48
  19. Duane Oyen Member
    Duane Oyen
    @DuaneOyen

    Here you go, Spin.  Review of an analytical paper regarding the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which had the perfect environment to transmit the disease.  https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/03/16/diamond-princess-mysteries/

    • #49
  20. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    I would think that some preposterous but perfectly d0able sum , say $200 billion, would buy an awful lot of respirators in short order. There are choices — expensive, sometimes tragic choices — between lockdown on the one hand, and disastrously overwhelmed critical care on the other. Almost anything is likely to be financially cheaper than long-term lockdown; almost anything is likely to be less costly in human suffering than a significantly overwhelmed critical care infrastructure.

    Let’s dump a ton of money into mitigation for the unfortunate minority who are at serious risk, and get the country working again.

    • #50
  21. JosePluma Thatcher
    JosePluma
    @JosePluma

    Spin: That we must stockpile food, ammo, and potable water.

    The first group already has all that stuff.

    • #51
  22. Jon1979 Inactive
    Jon1979
    @Jon1979

    EJHill (View Comment):

    JuliaBlaschke: Actually I think that a lot of Democrats are ghoulishly happy about it all. Anything to get rid of Trump.

    So are a good deal of prominent “conservatives.”

    There’s sort of mixed messaging going on here, in that many of the people who want to use the current situation to bash Trump also (and unlike the other ‘crises’ they’ve bashed Trump over) don’t particularly want to succumb to COVID-19 themselves in order to prove a point. Schadenfreude doesn’t taste good if you’re not around to enjoy it. So there’s both a bit of calculation in things like ‘gotcha’ questions to administration officials, and a bit of real panic in their reactions.

    (As for the younger people in New York coming down with coronavirus, I’d like to see if the ones falling ill also have some type of underlying respiratory condition, even asthma, that would have made their reaction to it more dangerous than for your average 30-35 year old. The more parameters that can be identified as high-risk factors, the more rules can be put in place in the near future to at least get part of the workforce back on their jobs again.)

    • #52
  23. JosePluma Thatcher
    JosePluma
    @JosePluma

    JuliaBlaschke (View Comment):

    Actually I think that a lot of Democrats are ghoulishly happy about it all. Anything to get rid of Trump.

    That word has a double meaning with the animated corpse they have running against him.

    • #53
  24. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Joseph Stanko (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Even just using the $15 trillion figure, the cost per life saved would be about $13.6 million. Most of the lives saved will be the elderly.

    I guess that’s forbidden death-panel talk. But seriously, imagine that you had a 75-year-old WuFlu patient, and had a treatment that would give him a 50-50 chance of survival. The treatment costs $7.8 million. Would you do it?

    According to the WSJ it’s not just the elderly who end up in the ICU in New York:

    Far more young people than they expected are falling very ill. According to data published Friday morning by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 56% of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the city at the time involved patients under the age of 50.

    At the Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens, several coronavirus patients under 40, including a few in their 20s, were on ventilators in the intensive-care unit as of Thursday. All were healthy before getting the virus, said Dr. Narasimhan.

    https://apple.news/AFSw4TBywTY-QMiPFZAiVeA

    The article is behind a paywall.  The information quoted is meaningless, unfortunately.  “Several” under 40, and “a few” in their 20s, needed ventilators, they say.  Out of how many?  What percentage is this?

    From a CDC report (here) released 2 days ago, analyzing US cases for Feb. 12-Mar. 16:

    Among 121 patients known to have been admitted to an ICU, 7% of cases were reported among adults ≥85 years, 46% among adults aged 65–84 years, 36% among adults aged 45–64 years, and 12% among adults aged 20–44 years (Figure 2). No ICU admissions were reported among persons aged ≤19 years. Percentages of ICU admissions were lowest among adults aged 20–44 years (2%–4%) and highest among adults aged 75–84 years (11%–31%) (Table).

    Among 44 cases with known outcome, 15 (34%) deaths were reported among adults aged ≥85 years, 20 (46%) among adults aged 65–84 years, and nine (20%) among adults aged 20–64 years. Case-fatality percentages increased with increasing age, from no deaths reported among persons aged ≤19 years to highest percentages (10%–27%) among adults aged ≥85 years (Table) (Figure 2).

    This is consistent with prior reports, based on information out of China, that severe cases and fatalities are heavily concentrated among the elderly.

     

    • #54
  25. Samuel Block Support
    Samuel Block
    @SamuelBlock

    I’m not sure there are only two camps. I’m positive and cheery. Other than bored and anxious to get on with the move I had planned I’m fine.

    But I think this is like any big political issue that needs some irritated people to start arguing with the same people who tend to be behind these overreaching policies, and coincidently have incentive to fight the ethereal and unmeasurable rather than the concrete. 

    • #55
  26. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Here’s a sample of the upcoming arguments: Philip Bump, former union-agitator-turned-WaPost-reporter, loves to make charts and maps. Last night (Friday ET) he produced one that showed that 8 million Trump voters live in a county that have no ICU beds. His Twitter replies were predictable. Good. They all deserve to die! And that’s what they get for voting against “their self-interest!”

    Well, the State of New York, blessed with a Democratic governor has a population of 19.54M. Some 8.6M reside in their largest city, the City of New York, and they have a socialist mayor. They have 53,000 hospital beds total in the STATE, which per capita, works out to about .003 beds. Statistically, that is equal to zero. And they voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton.

    Presenting one’s chances of surviving COVID-19 in terms of who one voted for in 2016 is irrational. (See my first comment in this thread.) So, when you say, “We would have been best served by doing nothing,” that is a hard sell.

    • #56
  27. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    EJHill (View Comment):
    Philip Bump, former union-agitator-turned-WaPost-reporter, loves to make charts and maps. Last night (Friday ET) he produced one that showed that 8 million Trump voters live in a county that have no ICU beds. His Twitter replies were predictable. Good. They all deserve to die! And that’s what they get for voting against “their self-interest!”

    I had to do an internet search to be sure this wasn’t some kind of comedy-parody prediction. 

    • #57
  28. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    EJHill (View Comment):
    Philip Bump, former union-agitator-turned-WaPost-reporter, loves to make charts and maps. Last night (Friday ET) he produced one that showed that 8 million Trump voters live in a county that have no ICU beds. His Twitter replies were predictable. Good. They all deserve to die! And that’s what they get for voting against “their self-interest!”

    I had to do an internet search to be sure this wasn’t some kind of comedy-parody prediction.

    No, they want us dead.

    • #58
  29. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    Kozak (View Comment):

    I’m a trained professional pessimist. ER docs are trained to think “whats the worst thing this could be”.

    I don’t see anything that doesn’t put us on the trajectory of Italy, Spain and France at this point.

    I don’t know why people seem to assume that the U.S., with the most advanced medical facilities in the World, not to mention many other advantages, would suffer the same fate as Italy, which is wildly worse than any other country’s situation in the World.  Why not compare our trajectory to South Korea?  Even China’s trajectory and stats did not come out  that bad.  Or any of the 150+ countries where the disease hardly ever got going?  The severe outbreaks and high number of deaths are occurring only in a very few selected places on Earth and the U.S. so far is not one of them.

     

     

    • #59
  30. Larry3435 Member
    Larry3435
    @Larry3435

    I wouldn’t make any predictions about the trajectory of the virus, because it depends so heavily on how quickly we can develop treatments and, especially, an effective vaccine.  And we don’t yet know whether this virus is seasonal, like the flu.  I will go out on a limb and predict that the public will not tolerate this shutdown for very long.  Maybe 30 days.  Maybe a bit longer.  But the time will come (soon) when young and healthy people are going to get fed up with being forced to stay at home with little or no income, just to protect someone’s great grandmother from possible infection.  If the politicians are under the impression that they are now dictators who can do whatever they want for as long as they want, they are going to be disabused very soon.

    I should also mention that (the hysteria of Rob and Jonah notwithstanding) the public strongly approves of Trump’s handling of this pandemic, and Trump’s overall approval rating is at an all time high.

    https://justthenews.com/government/white-house/trumps-approval-rating-soars-during-handling-coronavirus

    The polls also show that more Americans are relying on the White House for accurate information, while slightly fewer are relying on the media.  (Same article.)

    Two other quick observations:  First, is anyone besides me surprised (I’m astonished, really) that there have been no stories about looting?  If one can trust the news on this, it really is an indication of how much Americans are willing to pull together and follow their leaders to combat the virus.  For the moment.  As I said, I don’t expect that to last.

    Second, I’m beginning to feel that the media (both left and right) has become more concerned about spewing propaganda to manipulate public behavior, than it is about providing accurate information.  It kind of reminds me of the news coverage of wars, back in the days before being loudly and reflexively anti-war became a form of virtue signalling.  

    • #60
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