Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. This Once, But Never Again

 

Whether or not we should have been, we were caught unprepared by this epidemic. There will be plenty of time to assign blame when this current phase is over. I’m willing to excuse virtually any error if it was made with good intentions. That doesn’t include naked power grabs; those have to be exposed and punished. But unpreparedness, miscalculations, overly optimistic or pessimistic assumptions, and excessive or inadequate reactions: all of these can be expected when something this big and this novel happens this quickly.

But it can only happen once. Assuming this peaks soon, as seems likely, and assuming it is expected to return in the winter, as again seems likely, we have a few months to prepare.

Next time, we should accept the deaths rather than shut down. This isn’t the last epidemic we’ll experience, and we can’t be brought to our knees each time a particularly virulent strain reaches our shores.

We have time to prepare. Our government should do that, investing as necessary in this aspect of our defense. It should do it with the understanding that we the American people are unwilling to be caged again because our defenses were inadequate for something that we now know is out there.

Never again.

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  1. Kozak Member
    Kozak Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Hopefully by the time the second wave arrives we will have time to collect and be able to manufacture enough PPE, have a clear drug treatment strategy and a domestic supply , plenty of rapid test ability, both PCR and antibody. All those things will help manage and mitigate a second pass of this bastard.

    • #1
    • April 6, 2020, at 3:08 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  2. Kozak Member
    Kozak Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member
    • #2
    • April 6, 2020, at 3:09 PM PDT
    • Like
    • This comment has been edited.
  3. Kozak Member
    Kozak Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Sorry, computer hiccuped.

    • #3
    • April 6, 2020, at 3:09 PM PDT
    • Like
    • This comment has been edited.
  4. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette

    I agree.

    But no more pyrrhic victories. America should stay open, even at the cost of a great many lives.

    • #4
    • April 6, 2020, at 3:12 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  5. Dr. Bastiat Member

    Henry Racette: This isn’t the last epidemic we’ll experience,

    Influenza kills 40,000 Americans a year. Every year.

    80,000 in a moderately bad year.

    • #5
    • April 6, 2020, at 6:09 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  6. Dr. Bastiat Member

    Sorry for the repeat comment. Seems to be a lot of that going around lately.

    • #6
    • April 6, 2020, at 6:10 PM PDT
    • 1 like
    • This comment has been edited.
  7. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Henry Racette: This isn’t the last epidemic we’ll experience,

    Influenza kills 40,000 Americans a year. Every year.

    80,000 in a moderately bad year.

    Yes.

    We don’t know the final count. We certainly don’t know what it would have been had we not closed shop for the past few weeks. Let’s assume it would have been substantially higher. Next time, nonetheless, I think we should stay open.

    • #7
    • April 6, 2020, at 6:12 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  8. Spin Coolidge
    Spin Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Henry Racette: We have time to prepare.

    I keep hearing that. Yes, we can prepare for something like coronavirus. What if the next one is completely different? How do we prepare for what we don’t know? I don’t know the answer, maybe you do? I’m interested to hear…

    • #8
    • April 6, 2020, at 7:58 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  9. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette

    Spin (View Comment):

    Henry Racette: We have time to prepare.

    I keep hearing that. Yes, we can prepare for something like coronavirus. What if the next one is completely different? How do we prepare for what we don’t know? I don’t know the answer, maybe you do? I’m interested to hear…

    When we’re talking about diseases, I suppose a lot of the preparing is the same: we should have huge stockpiles of high-quality masks and protective gear. Hospitals should have big inventories of this stuff. Per capita ICU capacity should probably go up in some areas.

    More of the drug supply chain should be moved back into the US. Talk about capping the profits of drug companies should stop, and drug companies should be encouraged to innovate, particularly in antibiotic and antiviral development.

    There have long been pilot projects for detecting biochemical attacks, attempts to quickly identify clusters and outbreaks. We should begin re-investigating things like that. We should make sure we have a good, well-understood reporting system to be used when unusual cases present themselves. And we should stop depending on the WHO and other incompetent multinationals, streamline our own CDC and FDA to reduce their regulatory burden and make them more responsive.

    But whatever we do, we should agree that it will have to be enough, and resolve to continue with life as normal — or close to normal — when the next one hits. And if that’s this coming November, so be it.

    • #9
    • April 6, 2020, at 8:06 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  10. Sandy Member

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Spin (View Comment):

    Henry Racette: We have time to prepare.

    I keep hearing that. Yes, we can prepare for something like coronavirus. What if the next one is completely different? How do we prepare for what we don’t know? I don’t know the answer, maybe you do? I’m interested to hear…

    When we’re talking about diseases, I suppose a lot of the preparing is the same: we should have huge stockpiles of high-quality masks and protective gear. Hospitals should have big inventories of this stuff. Per capita ICU capacity should probably go up in some areas.

    More of the drug supply chain should be moved back into the US. Talk about capping the profits of drug companies should stop, and drug companies should be encouraged to innovate, particularly in antibiotic and antiviral development.

    There have long been pilot projects for detecting biochemical attacks, attempts to quickly identify clusters and outbreaks. We should begin re-investigating things like that. We should make sure we have a good, well-understood reporting system to be used when unusual cases present themselves. And we should stop depending on the WHO and other incompetent multinationals, streamline our own CDC and FDA to reduce their regulatory burden and make them more responsive.

    But whatever we do, we should agree that it will have to be enough, and resolve to continue with life as normal — or close to normal — when the next one hits. And if that’s this coming November, so be it.

    Even if the next epidemic requires a different medical response, the governmental response needs to be to put the effort and money where the problem is, which will most likely be in the medical system. I think there is a good chance that Americans, having suffered through the wrong choice, would look favorably on that sort of response.

    • #10
    • April 6, 2020, at 8:33 PM PDT
    • Like
  11. MarciN Member

    I wonder if we need regional hospitals devoted exclusively to infectious diseases like the old TB sanatoriums. I think that viruses for which there are no vaccines may be a fact of life in the future because of air travel and urbanization. 

    • #11
    • April 6, 2020, at 9:05 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  12. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I wonder if we need regional hospitals devoted exclusively to infectious diseases like the old TB sanatoriums. I think that viruses for which there are no vaccines may be a fact of life in the future because of air travel and urbanization.

    I’d be surprised if that were necessary, unless things were to change a lot. In conversations with friends who work in hospitals, I’ve been impressed by how quickly they can dedicate entire wings or buildings to a specific outbreak, double up beds in rooms intended for one, etc. I think they can respond quickly.

    • #12
    • April 6, 2020, at 9:11 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  13. MarciN Member

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I wonder if we need regional hospitals devoted exclusively to infectious diseases like the old TB sanatoriums. I think that viruses for which there are no vaccines may be a fact of life in the future because of air travel and urbanization.

    I’d be surprised if that were necessary, unless things were to change a lot. In conversations with friends who work in hospitals, I’ve been impressed by how quickly they can dedicate entire wings or buildings to a specific outbreak, double up beds in rooms intended for one, etc. I think they can respond quickly.

    I think they can, but I know at our local hospital, every other specialty has had to be put on hold for an indefinite amount of time. 

    It’s a real problem. 

    • #13
    • April 6, 2020, at 9:52 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  14. The Reticulator Member

    It’s heartwarming to see conservatives hold on to their faith in central planning.

    • #14
    • April 6, 2020, at 10:08 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  15. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    It’s heartwarming to see conservatives hold on to their faith in central planning.

    Oh, I don’t know. It’s hard to tell who is supporting what, and why, just now. I think those on the right tend to be uncomfortable with what’s going on, but it’s hard to know.

    • #15
    • April 6, 2020, at 10:14 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  16. Kozak Member
    Kozak Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    I agree.

    But no more pyrrhic victories. America should stay open, even at the cost of a great many lives.

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Henry Racette: This isn’t the last epidemic we’ll experience,

    Influenza kills 40,000 Americans a year. Every year.

    80,000 in a moderately bad year.

    Actually thats an unusually bad year for estimated Influenza like illness deaths.

    • #16
    • April 7, 2020, at 3:49 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  17. Larry3435 Member

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Henry Racette: This isn’t the last epidemic we’ll experience,

    Influenza kills 40,000 Americans a year. Every year.

    80,000 in a moderately bad year.

    Total number of deaths in the US (2018 is the most recent data): 2,839,204

    Number of COVID-19 deaths in the US to date: 8,910

    COVID deaths as a percentage of total: 3.1%

    • #17
    • April 7, 2020, at 9:56 AM PDT
    • Like
  18. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette

    Larry3435 (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Henry Racette: This isn’t the last epidemic we’ll experience,

    Influenza kills 40,000 Americans a year. Every year.

    80,000 in a moderately bad year.

    Total number of deaths in the US (2018 is the most recent data): 2,839,204

    Number of COVID-19 deaths in the US to date: 8,910

    COVID deaths as a percentage of total: 3.1%

    If you’re talking about annual deaths, you’re off by a factor of ten: thus far, the Wuhan virus has added about 0.3% to the annual toll. Of course, it did it in roughly a tenth of the year, so you could say that, at the current rate, it could eventually account for a 3% increase after a full year. That’s about 85,000 deaths, and I think that’s far too high, but it’s plausible.

    But then we have to consider the probability that a significant fraction of those deaths would have occurred in any case, since COVID-19 mortality is highest in a demographic that has a relatively short life expectancy anyway. So whatever number we come up with when this is over will almost certainly overestimate mortality — not least because it feathers political nests to do it that way.

     

    • #18
    • April 7, 2020, at 10:24 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  19. Spin Coolidge
    Spin Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    I agree.

    But no more pyrrhic victories. America should stay open, even at the cost of a great many lives.

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Henry Racette: This isn’t the last epidemic we’ll experience,

    Influenza kills 40,000 Americans a year. Every year.

    80,000 in a moderately bad year.

    Actually thats an unusually bad year for estimated Influenza like illness deaths.

    And that’s for a disease for which we have a vaccine.

    • #19
    • April 7, 2020, at 10:55 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  20. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette

    Spin (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    I agree.

    But no more pyrrhic victories. America should stay open, even at the cost of a great many lives.

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Henry Racette: This isn’t the last epidemic we’ll experience,

    Influenza kills 40,000 Americans a year. Every year.

    80,000 in a moderately bad year.

    Actually thats an unusually bad year for estimated Influenza like illness deaths.

    And that’s for a disease for which we have a vaccine.

    Yes. I suspect a recurrence of the Wuhan virus might well kill more people than a bad influenza year — perhaps very many more.

    Even so, I still want us to remain open.

    • #20
    • April 7, 2020, at 11:03 AM PDT
    • Like
  21. ToryWarWriter Thatcher

    As mentioned in the NRO this morning, when the shutdown order went into effect the only place that we had numbers to work on the model set was Wuhans which is why they predicted up to 2 million deaths.

    As more data sets have become available every day the number drops and it looks like we will much lower dead.

    But your the President of the USA and your experts are saying 2 million dead unless drastic action is taken.

    So we got the response we had.

    The real solution is to never trust anything the Chinese ever tell us again. Because they lied to us for 2 months while conning us out of all our available stocks of medical supplies.

    • #21
    • April 7, 2020, at 1:19 PM PDT
    • Like
  22. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):

    As mentioned in the NRO this morning, when the shutdown order went into effect the only place that we had numbers to work on the model set was Wuhans which is why they predicted up to 2 million deaths.

    As more data sets have become available every day the number drops and it looks like we will much lower dead.

    But your the President of the USA and your experts are saying 2 million dead unless drastic action is taken.

    So we got the response we had.

    The real solution is to never trust anything the Chinese ever tell us again. Because they lied to us for 2 months while conning us out of all our available stocks of medical supplies.

    It will be good when we can analyze the data and really get some idea what we’re dealing with. Certainly it is different from influenza, though whether that’s because it’s inherently more lethal or because we have little immunity to it, I don’t think we know.

    I still can’t reconcile what I suspect is a fairly wide distribution of asymptomatic or barely symptomatic cases in the general population with acute onset of respiratory distress in a significant portion of the population. In other words, I can’t reconcile California with New York City. I’m looking forward to learning just what is going on.

    Until then, I don’t know for certain that what we did was excessive. And, as I said, I really don’t want to blame anyone in the US for what we may have done wrong.

    But I don’t want to do this again. Next time, I want only voluntary lifestyle changes.

    • #22
    • April 7, 2020, at 1:28 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  23. Ontheleftcoast Member

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Hopefully by the time the second wave arrives we will have time to collect and be able to manufacture enough PPE, have a clear drug treatment strategy and a domestic supply , plenty of rapid test ability, both PCR and antibody. All those things will help manage and mitigate a second pass of this bastard.

    The second wave isn’t the only point. Infectious disease people have been worrying for decades about another Spanish Flu. Or, updating the narrative, another novel zoonotic virus but this time as nasty as smallpox.

    Thank G-d this thing doesn’t match the initial worst fears. ([Expletive] you very much, PRC, for leading us to think that this thing started later than it did; that made it look  a lot worse than the bundle of joy it has actually turned out to be.) Because if it had been Spanish Flu II, we’d have been toast.

    It’s also borders, drug manufacturing, supply of critical industrial chemicals, and a whole bunch of other things, and we need to improve at a lot of them.

    • #23
    • April 7, 2020, at 2:11 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  24. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Henry Racette: Next time, we should accept the deaths rather than shut down. This isn’t the last epidemic we’ll experience, and we can’t be brought to our knees each time a particularly virulent strain reaches our shores.

    OK, How virulent and deadly does it have to be before you will accept such measures in the future?

    • #24
    • April 8, 2020, at 2:44 AM PDT
    • Like
  25. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    I agree.

    But no more pyrrhic victories. America should stay open, even at the cost of a great many lives.

    How many is “a great many”?

    • #25
    • April 8, 2020, at 2:46 AM PDT
    • Like
  26. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette

    Instugator (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    I agree.

    But no more pyrrhic victories. America should stay open, even at the cost of a great many lives.

    How many is “a great many”?

    854,600.

    • #26
    • April 8, 2020, at 5:58 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  27. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Instugator (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    I agree.

    But no more pyrrhic victories. America should stay open, even at the cost of a great many lives.

    How many is “a great many”?

    854,600.

    Got it, at 854,601 Henry votes implement the same measures as are now in place. 

    Obviously, there has to be some projection in those numbers, so how soon after the forecast 854,601 do you propose they begin to implement?

    Point estimates are really a poor way to look at things. Why this very morning the IHME model was updated to have a range of 140K to 40K deaths, with a point estimate of 81K.

    The news media will run with the 81K number, ignoring that the 41K outcome is equally possible at confidence interval the IHME is currently using.

    So with your 854,601 number is that the point estimate, lower bound or upper bound? 

    • #27
    • April 8, 2020, at 6:37 AM PDT
    • Like
  28. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette

    Instugator (View Comment):
    Got it, at 854,601 Henry votes implement the same measures as are now in place. 

    Oh, heavens no. That’s a false dichotomy you present.

    We shouldn’t “implement the same measures as are now in place” until we have compelling reason to believe that we will hit 3,856,004 deaths.

    • #28
    • April 8, 2020, at 6:58 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  29. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Instugator (View Comment):
    Got it, at 854,601 Henry votes implement the same measures as are now in place.

    Oh, heavens no. That’s a false dichotomy you present.

    We shouldn’t “implement the same measures as are now in place” until we have compelling reason to believe that we will hit 3,856,004 deaths.

    Talk about moving the goalposts! You say we shouldn’t do things when the death toll hits 854,600. That is a pretty specific number so 1 more (854,601) is obviously the threshold. We do things then.

    Where did you come up with the extra 3,002,003 necessary?

    So the Governor of Louisiana has to wait for a 50% death rate before he issues an executive order for people to stay at home?

    Because, regardless you what you think is happening, the Federal Government measures are to close international travel from infected places and to open up stockpiles and direct business to make ventilators, or and deploy mobile hospitals.

    • #29
    • April 8, 2020, at 7:35 AM PDT
    • Like
  30. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    You miss the point. It was who this was killing. It was killing older people. Older people that have money and power. Maximum effort must be done to protect the elderly powerful. If it was killing young, there would be no almost no action at all. We do that every decade or so in a war. Heck we even kill them by the millions before they are born everyday.

    • #30
    • April 8, 2020, at 7:35 AM PDT
    • 1 like