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Today’s Worldometer.com screengrab is sorted by active cases. I think active cases rather than total cases is a better sort because total cases do not reflect the current and future challenge. And it is the current and future challenge that we need to be focused on. And we cannot assess our current strategies without context and perspective. How are we like Italy and Spain that bookend the USA on the list? How are we different? Are our critical cases fewer only based on time? Is our capacity to handle the number of critical cases seen in Italy and Spain better, worse or about the same?
The President is pulling out pretty much all the stops to deploy medical supplies and therapies to the problem. The Defense Production Act is an awesome power (and expensive) to command commercial entities to work on critical supplies and materials. The Air Force has been flying in test kits and other materials from anywhere in the world they are available.
At the same time, the Governors are closing down states for business. And it is this latter strategy that is now the focus of question of whether the “cure is worse than the disease?”
Both @drbastiat and I posted a link yesterday to Aaron Ginn’s article Evidence Over Hysteria. The website where it originally appeared, Medium, has taken it down. ZeroHedge has now published it. There is controversy over the accuracy of Ginn’s claims. But there is no controversy, in my view, over the questions he raises. As is typical, some of the most interesting information related to any post is found in the comments by Ricochet members. I encourage you to go to that post and read the commentary: Evidence over hysteria — COVID-19 [Updated][More Update].
I should also point out a second article (brought to my attention by @staugustine): A Doctor’s Assessment of the COVID-19 Outbreak. It is authored by Dr. Joel M. Zinberg, an associate clinical professor of surgery at the Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine in New York. Dr. Zinberg raises similar issues to those by Aaron Ginn: Are we doing more harm than good? Politicians are amateur sociologists, not research scientists. They react to the moods of the people and their own private predilections. The moods of the people are stirred by media reports that sensationalize threats. Certain politicians never let a crisis go to waste. Is it coincidental that the states taking the most extreme and authoritarian measures are led by progressives?
@jameslileks in a comment on the Ginn article summed it up pretty well:
The disconnect between “it’s going to kill fast swaths of the population and crash the health care system” and “it’s not the Satan Bug and the stats give us good reason to hope” is so wide and profound you do not know what to think. We’re all Jack Nicholson slapping Faye Dunaway here.
I do not get a gut-grip over the number of cases increasing, if that’s a result of increased testing. I watch the mortality stats. Likelihood of contraction from asymptomatic carriers, length of time between infection and manifestation of symptoms, and likelihood of how many infected will have anything other than a crappy fortnight of aches and weariness – that’s what I want to know.
(Yes, I know that quoting James likely makes this post ineligible for “post of the day.” He is too self-effacing to designate it thus and make quoting him appear to be a strategy to gain that honor.)
[Note: Links to all my COVID-19 posts can be found here.]Published in