Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Why End the Shutdown?

 

I can think of four pretty straightforward arguments in favor of ending the mandated shutdown. The first three will fall on deaf ears for those of the “even one death is too many” way of thinking: it’s fundamentally un-American to take away the people’s rights without an overwhelming and existential justification; the US economy and critical infrastructure are being wrecked, with serious long-term consequences that will likely exceed the cost of the disease itself; and the shutdown is likely shifting unavoidable illness a bit into the future at an enormous and largely avoidable cost.

A fourth argument for ending the shutdown might gain some traction with our friends on the left. At the very least, it’s likely to be harder to answer with the usual you’re-putting-money-before-lives accusation.

The shutdown, in the US and globally, is going to doom literally millions of the world’s poorest to suffering and death. Millions are going without essential medical treatment for diseases like malaria, tuberculosis, AIDS, and a host of normally manageable conditions. Scores of millions, perhaps hundreds of millions, are being pushed from marginal situations into serious malnutrition; scores or hundreds of millions more, already malnourished, will be pushed into literal starvation. However frightening, inconvenient, and sometimes tragic this disease is here in the west, it is a horrific humanitarian disaster for the billion or so who, until a couple of months ago, were on a long slow climb from crushing poverty. More people will die because of the shutdown than will be saved by it but, because they are far away and have no voice, their suffering is easy to ignore: they get no memes on Facebook.

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  1. I Walton Member

    I’d guess that four is a driving force for the left’s leadership. Do you really think they care?

    • #1
    • May 13, 2020, at 6:12 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  2. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette

    I Walton (View Comment):

    I’d guess that four is a driving force for the left’s leadership. Do you really think they care?

    I’m more interested in talking to and persuading individuals, regular people. “Leadership” has all kinds of motivations, many of them unsavory, but it generally responds to the people it purports to lead or represent.

    • #2
    • May 13, 2020, at 6:15 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  3. Housebroken Thatcher

    Do you really think your fourth argument hasn’t occured to those people?

    I don’t believe it makes one whit of difference to them: No, it’s about individuals wanting to preserve first of all THEIR life, and then secondly THEIR pleasures as long as possibly can be, without regard to any other life: Your freedom, your business, your career, and your life is at best secondary to MY desires.

     

    • #3
    • May 13, 2020, at 6:55 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  4. Full Size Tabby Member

    Housebroken (View Comment):

    Do you really think your fourth argument hasn’t occured to those people?

    I don’t believe it makes one whit of difference to them: No, it’s about individuals wanting to preserve first of all THEIR life, and then secondly THEIR pleasures as long as possibly can be, without regard to any other life: Your freedom, your business, your career, and your life is at best secondary to MY desires.

     

    Since @henryracette says that his target audience is individual, regular people, not “leadership,” I think that huge numbers of such individual regular people have not thought of the fourth argument. Most of us rarely if ever think about the poorest of the poor elsewhere in the world, except when a charity plea comes along or after some disaster has occurred. 

    • #4
    • May 13, 2020, at 7:26 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  5. Hartmann von Aue Member

    I’ve been saying this since March. Maybe it’s the fact that I am a missionary and very quickly started hearing from friends and acquaintances in the developing world about this very impending problem. When first world demand for products made in the developing world tanks, those people in all those heart-string tugging commercials “Living on just a Dollar a day” no longer have even that. 

    • #5
    • May 13, 2020, at 7:35 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  6. D.A. Venters Member

    I tend to agree that we need to, with due caution, get things moving again. It seems most states are doing that, and I think that makes sense.

    So, I generally agree with you, but in terms of convincing those who do not agree with you, it’s like I tell my clients all the time, “Evidence is king.” Rhetoric, at least as compared to evidence, is terribly overrated. The problem is that evidence requires more work, and more patience.

    I don’t think there is anyone who literally believes in the “even one death is too many” mantra. If there are such people, they are too few to worry about. The vast majority of people will thoroughly agree with you that it requires an “overwhelming and existential justification” to take away people’s rights in the way we have seen. The problem is that they believe, not without reason, that that justification does exist. The evidence has mostly been in that direction – the horror out of Italy and Spain, the 80,000+ bodies in the US, the hundreds of thousands of close calls that people have experienced or heard about from friends, family, or in the news. For every death, there have been several who were very close to death. People are very familiar with that evidence. The economic harm, while it is certainly out there and getting worse the longer this goes on, has yet to really hit people in the same way. That evidence, in terms of hard numbers and in terms of large numbers of people seeing imminent financial collapse – the malnourishment you mention – is naturally going to be slower to come in.

    It is extraordinary for a brand new cause of death like this to suddenly arrive on the scene. The idea that we should have just shrugged it off and gone about our business, that the reactions have been a big mistake, is just not going to fly with most people. Even if that ultimately proves true, it contradicts the evidence people have seen so far.

    As the disease (hopefully) wanes, and the economic harm increases, the evidence will start to mount in the direction of opening up. There will be plenty of evidence to convince governments to relax the restrictions. Again, most are already doing that. I think the problem will be getting people to take personal risks even after the reopening. And that is what you need people to do in order to improve the economy. More detailed information, better scientific (as opposed to anecdotal) evidence about the disease, how it spreads, how to avoid it and still go about life, better testing, evidence that the health care system is prepared for a spike, better effective treatments – that is the kind of evidence people will need to resume their pre-corona economic activity. Rhetoric alone won’t do any good.

     

    • #6
    • May 13, 2020, at 7:54 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  7. MarciN Member

    I think the shutdown will quietly go away on its own if we can straighten out the liability issues. The bottomless-pit liability issue for all organizations–nonprofits, businesses including healthcare, and even government agencies–is the legal concept of “failure to protect.” We really have to get that out of our legal mind. It is so removed from the crime itself that it should be relegated to a cultural and moral issue, not a legal issue. You can see the nightmares of managers here: “You made me work next to someone you knew had covid-19.” 

    Otherwise, people seeing other people going about their towns and cities normally will gradually wear away the fear and allow them to create a new perspective on this. The lockdown will simply go away. 

    • #7
    • May 13, 2020, at 8:03 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  8. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):
    So, I generally agree with you, but in terms of convincing those who do not agree with you, it’s like I tell my clients all the time, “Evidence is king.” Rhetoric, at least as compared to evidence, is terribly overrated. The problem is that evidence requires more work, and more patience.

    I would respond that the burden of providing evidence is on those who are attempting to justify the abrogation of our rights. The default position, in America, is that we are free: those who would repeal that state should face the burden of proof to justify doing so. I understand the rhetoric they’ve provided; I’m still waiting for evidence that what they’ve done is essential, and that repealing the restrictions would clearly lead to an intolerable condition.

    As a prerequisite for providing that evidence, they should tell us what that intolerable condition is. We entered into this situation with a clear understanding that preventing an overload of our health care facilities was the goal. I have seen exactly zero evidence that removing the restrictions now will, in virtually any jurisdiction, overload our health care system.

    • #8
    • May 13, 2020, at 8:07 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  9. D.A. Venters Member

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):
    So, I generally agree with you, but in terms of convincing those who do not agree with you, it’s like I tell my clients all the time, “Evidence is king.” Rhetoric, at least as compared to evidence, is terribly overrated. The problem is that evidence requires more work, and more patience.

    I would respond that the burden of providing evidence is on those who are attempting to justify the abrogation of our rights. The default position, in America, is that we are free: those who would repeal that state should face the burden of proof to justify doing so. I understand the rhetoric they’ve provided; I’m still waiting for evidence that what they’ve done is essential, and that repealing the restrictions would clearly lead to an intolerable condition.

    As a prerequisite for providing that evidence, they should tell us what that intolerable condition is. We entered into this situation with a clear understanding that preventing an overload of our health care facilities was the goal. I have seen exactly zero evidence that removing the restrictions now will, in virtually any jurisdiction, overload our health care system.

    I understand what you’re saying here, but your post was about the best arguments to present to others who do not already agree with you. Your response to me seems to indicate you don’t really believe you should have to present any argument to them at all because the burden of proof is not on you.

    You may be still waiting for evidence that the lockdown orders were essential, but most people are not. They were convinced of that long ago. Sure, you can talk about who has the burden of proof, but for most people, the government met that burden fairly easily. This is apparent because so many people were already changing their behavior before the government stepped in and made it mandatory. Now, what they need is evidence that this is no longer necessary. If you are looking to win this argument, and change people’s behavior, that is what you need. If your argument is that they overreacted to begin with, that they foolishly ceded their rights, or foolishly panicked, and you talk to them about burdens of proof and all that, it’s just not going to go very far. I’m not saying you’re wrong, I’m just saying it wont’ be effective.

    • #9
    • May 13, 2020, at 8:23 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  10. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    Your fourth argument fits in well with what I heard on the emergency medicine livestream I listen to every few days. It is mostly frontline docs in various cities but the one yesterday also carried interviews with doctors in Sweden followed by two senior American professors of emergency medicine. From a couple of passing comments it was clear the professors were on the Left but they made the following points:

    1. The purpose of the lockdowns was to flatten the curve and prevent overwhelming of critical care facilities, not to eradicate the virus. That had been accomplished.

    2. There is no way to “do no harm” in these circumstances. There are going to be deaths no matter what strategy you follow.

    3. Economic harm, which is falling disproportionately on lower income people, has health consequences just as much as direct infection by the virus.

    4. The extent and duration of the lockdowns was an extreme reaction, erring on closing too much, is causing extensive harm, and we need to reverse course, even knowing there will some level of surge in cases when that happens.

    5. One of them said he was shocked this had become a political discussion.

    • #10
    • May 13, 2020, at 8:47 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  11. Ray Gunner Coolidge

    Henry Racette: The shutdown, in the U.S. and globally, is going to doom literally millions of the world’s poorest to suffering and death.

    Suffering, schmuffering…To our comfortable leftist friends, if the shutdown decreases DJT’s chances for re-election by 1%, that’s reason enough to keep it up. Peasants be d*mned. 

    • #11
    • May 13, 2020, at 9:09 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  12. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):
    So, I generally agree with you, but in terms of convincing those who do not agree with you, it’s like I tell my clients all the time, “Evidence is king.” Rhetoric, at least as compared to evidence, is terribly overrated. The problem is that evidence requires more work, and more patience.

    I would respond that the burden of providing evidence is on those who are attempting to justify the abrogation of our rights. The default position, in America, is that we are free: those who would repeal that state should face the burden of proof to justify doing so. I understand the rhetoric they’ve provided; I’m still waiting for evidence that what they’ve done is essential, and that repealing the restrictions would clearly lead to an intolerable condition.

    As a prerequisite for providing that evidence, they should tell us what that intolerable condition is. We entered into this situation with a clear understanding that preventing an overload of our health care facilities was the goal. I have seen exactly zero evidence that removing the restrictions now will, in virtually any jurisdiction, overload our health care system.

    I understand what you’re saying here, but your post was about the best arguments to present to others who do not already agree with you. Your response to me seems to indicate you don’t really believe you should have to present any argument to them at all because the burden of proof is not on you.

    You may be still waiting for evidence that the lockdown orders were essential, but most people are not. They were convinced of that long ago. Sure, you can talk about who has the burden of proof, but for most people, the government met that burden fairly easily. This is apparent because so many people were already changing their behavior before the government stepped in and made it mandatory. Now, what they need is evidence that this is no longer necessary. If you are looking to win this argument, and change people’s behavior, that is what you need. If your argument is that they overreacted to begin with, that they foolishly ceded their rights, or foolishly panicked, and you talk to them about burdens of proof and all that, it’s just not going to go very far. I’m not saying you’re wrong, I’m just saying it wont’ be effective.

    I’m not sure what you mean by “evidence” in this context but, whatever it is, I think you overestimate its value in normal conversation with normal people. A great many people, possibly a majority, are accepting widespread shutdowns absent any compelling evidence; I don’t see why they’d suddenly become sensitive to evidence now.

    • #12
    • May 13, 2020, at 9:53 AM PDT
    • Like
  13. Ralphie Member

    There is too much government stimulus/bailouts to allow the reality of the situation be felt, a simulacra of normalcy. Nothing about this feels normal to me. 

    When you are self employed, you tend to understand risk. You know there isn’t a promise you will be able to provide without the private, free interaction of yourself and others. When that is forbidden, it is very scary and depressing that the risk thrust upon you was not by free will. It is anxiety producing.

    Everyone should be self employed, they wouldn’t be so happy to ask the government to do things. Ah, the forgotten man. He never goes away.

     

     

    • #13
    • May 13, 2020, at 10:15 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  14. Marythefifth Member
    Marythefifth Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    If they hear and see individual stories and images of those who are hurting the most, they may not spew quite as much hatred on those begging to end the shutdown. Nobody in MSM is telling those stories. As far as world-wide news goes, the economic effect is and will be as devastating, if not more so, than the virus itself.

    • #14
    • May 13, 2020, at 10:19 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  15. D.A. Venters Member

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):

    ……….

     

    I’m not sure what you mean by “evidence” in this context but, whatever it is, I think you overestimate its value in normal conversation with normal people. A great many people, possibly a majority, are accepting widespread shutdowns absent any compelling evidence; I don’t see why they’d suddenly become sensitive to evidence now.

    I think they accepted the shutdowns primarily because those orders comported with what most people intended to do anyway, more or less. I think they had seen compelling evidence for changing their behavior. The most significant one being the disaster in Italy. That wasn’t fake news, and at the time, there was little good explanation for it and no reason to believe it couldn’t happen here. Then, they began to hear of the positive tests all around them. They began to hear of people they know getting it, or people dying in a nursing home a couple of miles away. Add to this everyone’s common everyday experience with the transmission of viruses, which is also an obvious phenomenon we all know about and deal with all the time. That is also a form of evidence that confirms the threat of this virus, and confirmed the experts’ warnings. We know this is a thing that can happen.

    Now 83,000+ have died. Go out a couple of degrees of separation from that, and you have millions who are connected with those 83,000 who are acutely aware of their deaths.

    There are 1.4 million people in the country who’ve tested positive. If they were all placed in one geographical location, they could apply for statehood and have 2 senators and couple of congressmen. Go out a couple of degrees of separation and you have tens of millions, maybe hundreds of millions of people who know someone (and maybe several someones) who have had the disease. They’re hearing about people they know having it. They’re sometimes hearing about people they know hospitalized and having close calls.

    Now, of course, the same is true about knowing people who have lost jobs, and have begun to financially struggle. But financial trouble naturally hits people differently than health issues. But I would say, so far, people are not seeing widespread economic carnage and starvation and malnutrition. I don’t doubt there is a risk of that, but in terms of the evidence people have seen in their daily lives, that risk does not seem as present as the risk posed by the virus. Also, people have always assumed the shutdowns would be temporary. This has turned out to be a correct assumption for the majority of them, as states begin to reopen. They are expecting the economic harm to be temporary.

    So, that’s the kind of evidence I am talking about. Real numbers, real experiences, real facts on the ground.

    • #15
    • May 13, 2020, at 10:43 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  16. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):

    ……….

     

    I’m not sure what you mean by “evidence” in this context but, whatever it is, I think you overestimate its value in normal conversation with normal people. A great many people, possibly a majority, are accepting widespread shutdowns absent any compelling evidence; I don’t see why they’d suddenly become sensitive to evidence now.

    I think they accepted the shutdowns primarily because those orders comported with what most people intended to do anyway, more or less. I think they had seen compelling evidence for changing their behavior. The most significant one being the disaster in Italy. That wasn’t fake news, and at the time, there was little good explanation for it and no reason to believe it couldn’t happen here. Then, they began to hear of the positive tests all around them. They began to hear of people they know getting it, or people dying in a nursing home a couple of miles away. Add to this everyone’s common everyday experience with the transmission of viruses, which is also an obvious phenomenon we all know about and deal with all the time. That is also a form of evidence that confirms the threat of this virus, and confirmed the experts’ warnings. We know this is a thing that can happen.

    Now 83,000+ have died. Go out a couple of degrees of separation from that, and you have millions who are connected with those 83,000 who are acutely aware of their deaths.

    There are 1.4 million people in the country who’ve tested positive. If they were all placed in one geographical location, they could apply for statehood and have 2 senators and couple of congressmen. Go out a couple of degrees of separation and you have tens of millions, maybe hundreds of millions of people who know someone (and maybe several someones) who have had the disease. They’re hearing about people they know having it. They’re sometimes hearing about people they know hospitalized and having close calls.

    Now, of course, the same is true about knowing people who have lost jobs, and have begun to financially struggle. But financial trouble naturally hits people differently than health issues. But I would say, so far, people are not seeing widespread economic carnage and starvation and malnutrition. I don’t doubt there is a risk of that, but in terms of the evidence people have seen in their daily lives, that risk does not seem as present as the risk posed by the virus. Also, people have always assumed the shutdowns would be temporary. This has turned out to be a correct assumption for the majority of them, as states begin to reopen. They are expecting the economic harm to be temporary.

    So, that’s the kind of evidence I am talking about. Real numbers, real experiences, real facts on the ground.

    I’m still not sure I understand your contention here. So 83,000 or so have died. Millions will die abroad. What makes the smaller number more compelling than the larger? I suspect most people know neither figure, and have simply been assured, over and over, that “lives will be saved” if we all stay home. The point of this post is to suggest that vastly more lives will be lost if we all stay home.

    • #16
    • May 13, 2020, at 11:08 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  17. Flicker Coolidge

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):
    So, I generally agree with you, but in terms of convincing those who do not agree with you, it’s like I tell my clients all the time, “Evidence is king.” Rhetoric, at least as compared to evidence, is terribly overrated. The problem is that evidence requires more work, and more patience.

    I would respond that the burden of providing evidence is on those who are attempting to justify the abrogation of our rights. The default position, in America, is that we are free: those who would repeal that state should face the burden of proof to justify doing so. I understand the rhetoric they’ve provided; I’m still waiting for evidence that what they’ve done is essential, and that repealing the restrictions would clearly lead to an intolerable condition.

    As a prerequisite for providing that evidence, they should tell us what that intolerable condition is. We entered into this situation with a clear understanding that preventing an overload of our health care facilities was the goal. I have seen exactly zero evidence that removing the restrictions now will, in virtually any jurisdiction, overload our health care system.

    Maybe we should have a national conversation on this.

    • #17
    • May 13, 2020, at 11:43 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  18. Flicker Coolidge

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

    3. Economic harm, which is falling disproportionately on lower income people, has health consequences just as much as direct infection by the virus.

    I think this (along with physical harm to the medically-neglected parts of the population) is the best, most arguable reason to open up. But I can’t find data to support wither of these. Do you know of any sources? Thanks.

    • #18
    • May 13, 2020, at 11:49 AM PDT
    • Like
  19. MarciN Member

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    The point of this post is to suggest that vastly more lives will be lost if we all stay home

    The death tolls on both sides of the economy-virus equation are equally difficult to compute usefully. 

    • #19
    • May 13, 2020, at 12:01 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  20. D.A. Venters Member

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):

    I’m still not sure I understand your contention here. So 83,000 or so have died. Millions will die abroad. What makes the smaller number more compelling than the larger? I suspect most people know neither figure, and have simply been assured, over and over, that “lives will be saved” if we all stay home. The point of this post is to suggest that vastly more lives will be lost if we all stay home.

    I assume the audience you are talking making the argument to are Americans. I bring up the 83,000 not because the number itself carries weight, but to point out that it means millions in that audience are within a degree of separation or two from someone who has actually died from the disease. So there is a personal impact from the disease on a large portion of the audience. That portion is even greater when you consider the number of people made seriously ill by the disease, and greater still when you consider the number who have tested positive. You are now talking about tens of millions, and maybe more, who have that personal connection to what would otherwise be a scary but remote news story. These experiences they have heard about have served to confirm for them the need to stay in and avoid spreading the disease. It is a form of evidence that gives those expert warnings credibility. It enhances all of the other evidence that would otherwise be sterile cold statistics – the millions of cases worldwide, for example. It also makes rhetoric about how everyone foolishly overreacted seem foolish itself. You’re going to have people saying things like, “Yes, I know there are some tough economic times ahead, and that I hate that the government is making these harsh orders, but Brenda’s cousin was on a ventilator for two weeks and almost died, and her poor kids couldn’t even visit her and they were worried sick. And my little son has asthma. So, you know, I’m not going to go out to a restaurant tonight. I’d be too worried to enjoy it anyway.” 

    I’m saying that in order to convince people to do something – in this case get back out there and go to restaurants, retail stores, swimming pools, movie theaters, concerts, etc..all those things that generate the economic activity not happening now – you need evidence they can do it safely, or else that they have no choice but to take the risk. This will require more credible news stories that are optimistic on the disease, news that the numbers keep declining, for the horror stories to get old without new ones arising, for good news on testing and treatment, and for the economic harm to become more apparent to more people.

    • #20
    • May 13, 2020, at 12:15 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  21. Full Size Tabby Member

    Flicker (View Comment):

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

    3. Economic harm, which is falling disproportionately on lower income people, has health consequences just as much as direct infection by the virus.

    I think this (along with physical harm to the medically-neglected parts of the population) is the best, most arguable reason to open up. But I can’t find data to support wither of these. Do you know of any sources? Thanks.

    Not specific to income level, but according to a report from last Thursday’s Wall Street Journal, childhood disease vaccinations are down 40% from the end of February through mid-April. Some of this is by families that fear exposure to the Wuhan virus if they go to the doctor, and some by families that have lost medical insurance or have reduced income due to job losses. So, are we going to see a resurgence of diseases we thought had been eradicated?

    In a separate Wall Street Journal article, it is noted that a very high percentage of low income households in the United States had experienced job loss. 

    Early data revealed the downturn had hit households least able to bear it. Mr. Powell previewed a Fed survey to be released Thursday showing that among people who were working in February, nearly 40% of those households making less than $40,000 a year had lost a job in March.

     

     

    • #21
    • May 13, 2020, at 2:05 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  22. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):

    I think you are overstating the significance of the number of Wuhan virus deaths. Even at 100,000 this year, they would account for less than 4% of the normal annual death tole. Most of us don’t lose a loved most years; relatively few people are going to lose a loved one to this disease, or even lose someone they know reasonably well.

    For many of those who sincerely believe that maintaining the shutdown saves lives, and who justify maintaining it on that basis, patiently explaining that it does just the opposite seems to me to be a productive strategy.

    • #22
    • May 13, 2020, at 2:19 PM PDT
    • Like
  23. Housebroken Thatcher

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Housebroken (View Comment):

    Do you really think your fourth argument hasn’t occured to those people?

    I don’t believe it makes one whit of difference to them: No, it’s about individuals wanting to preserve first of all THEIR life, and then secondly THEIR pleasures as long as possibly can be, without regard to any other life: Your freedom, your business, your career, and your life is at best secondary to MY desires.

    Since @henryracette says that his target audience is individual, regular people, not “leadership,” I think that huge numbers of such individual regular people have not thought of the fourth argument. Most of us rarely if ever think about the poorest of the poor elsewhere in the world, except when a charity plea comes along or after some disaster has occurred.

    I don’t know about worldwide, but if I go on FB I see something related to those that are hurting every time. Plus I get telephone, mail and email solicitations to help the needy from Nashville to Nigeria. When I mention to others travelling in different circles the hurt this shutdown puts on others they don’t seem surprised. Now all this could be just me, but somehow I doubt it.

    edit: One of the things i see regularly is how people that need healthcare are not getting it because of the shutdown. But I’ve never heard an indication this changes anybody’s mind.

    • #23
    • May 13, 2020, at 2:46 PM PDT
    • Like
    • This comment has been edited.
  24. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette

    Housebroken (View Comment):

    Do you really think your fourth argument hasn’t occured to those people?

    I don’t believe it makes one whit of difference to them: No, it’s about individuals wanting to preserve first of all THEIR life, and then secondly THEIR pleasures as long as possibly can be, without regard to any other life: Your freedom, your business, your career, and your life is at best secondary to MY desires.

     

    I’m sure that’s true of some people, but I think there are a great number of people for whom it’s not true. I think a lot of people are simply made uncomfortable by the thought that they might be advocating a position that will be perceived as callous, as insensitive to life and death. I suspect that a great many truly believe that, and many others who might otherwise want to be free of these constraints accept them because they think it’s the morally right thing to do.

    I’m thinking of those people, basically decent people who think of themselves as such. If they can change their perspective and begin to think of the stay-at-home option as no longer the morally superior one, that frees them to look at the other aspects of their choices.

    • #24
    • May 13, 2020, at 3:22 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  25. Bob Wainwright Member

    We already know the left doesn’t care about the poor of the world. Their climate and agricultural policies, if fully enacted, would consign huge multitudes of the world’s poor to an even poorer existence than they have now. 

    • #25
    • May 13, 2020, at 6:21 PM PDT
    • Like
  26. Unsk Member

    Fine Arguments Henry. Your four points are all true.

    “I think they accepted the shutdowns primarily because those orders comported with what most people intended to do anyway, more or less. I think they had seen compelling evidence for changing their behavior.”

    Because millions of Americans chose to voluntarily quarantine themselves does not in any way give the right for the Government to step in and demand a mandatory quarantine.

    The Fifth Amendment gives every American the Rights to Life, Liberty and Property. He or she must be awarded “just compensation” if those rights are unfairly taken from him or her. D.A., please cite the law that Constitutionally grants any government official the right to take away a person’s livelihood. The quarantine/lockdown issue has clearly become purely a political issue at this point with roughly half the country at least against the manner in which these lockdowns have been handled. No argument can be made then that there is an “overwhelming and existential justification” for these lockdowns because:

    A. A Significant portion of the citizenry believe there is no sufficient justification for them. Even if there were a lesser portion of the country against these lockdowns, Constitutional rights cannot be taken away by a simple majority or as has been the case, by edicts by Governors, Mayors etc. Emergency Powers do not grant those rights to these elected officials.

    B. The experience of both Sweden and South Korea show that those countries that did not enforce a heavy handed lockdown actually fared significantly better in terms of COVID-19 mortality rates that many, many countries that went to a heavy handed lockdown. These facts destroy the argument that lockdowns are absolutely necessary. If lockdowns were absolutely necessary, Sweden and South Korea would not be in the better shape they are today.

    C. A very credible case has been made by many that these lockdowns will actually kill and destroy the lives of considerably more people than the COVID-19 virus. There are now rational estimates that these lockdowns have caused over 40 millions Americans to become unemployed with an estimated 42% expected never to get their job back, if some leading economists are to be believed. If only 1% of these millions suffer death from stress related issues, heart attacks, strokes or whatever – a seriously low number given the extreme stress this situations would cause, a minimum of over 160,000 would die with millions more having their lives ruined forever.

    These lockdowns are thus wholly unreasonable Unconstitutional takings of people’s livelihoods. Those officials enforcing these lockdowns should be considered wanton criminals and should he harshly prosecuted, tried and punished while those who have lost their livelihoods as a result should be compensated justly as guaranteed by the Constitution.

    • #26
    • May 13, 2020, at 6:35 PM PDT
    • 1 like
    • This comment has been edited.
  27. Lois Lane Coolidge

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):
    I’m saying that in order to convince people to do something – in this case get back out there and go to restaurants, retail stores, swimming pools, movie theaters, concerts, etc..all those things that generate the economic activity not happening now – you need evidence they can do it safely, or else that they have no choice but to take the risk.

    I think this is a fair enough point. My best friend thinks I’m absolutely bonkers because I’ve flown on a plane, gone out to eat in restaurants, and never wear a mask because I haven’t been persuaded one is useful. I love my best friend. We talk all the time, and I have to come up with different topics. I don’t know how to convince her that the collapse of the economy is a bigger threat to way, way, way more people, but I feel that it is. I don’t know how to convince her that people in our demographic–fit and only middle aged despite my co-morbidity of a lung disease–have great odds regardless. She just thinks I’m being selfish. It’s not that simple.

    I don’t believe that the majority of people are like me, ready to live life again. I don’t know why, but they are not going out. And I’m not talking about the more long in the tooth amongst us. I’m talking about the young who are really barely hit statistically.

    • #27
    • May 13, 2020, at 6:58 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  28. Jon1979 Lincoln

    I think the Axios story Wednesday morning noting the decline in COVID cases in Georgia and Florida points even more to the fact that the virus likes neither warmer weather nor UV rays, and those conditions are going to keep moving further and further north in the upcoming weeks. I just find it hard to see how if the southern states that have loosened are not coronavirus zombie apocalypses by Memorial Day how the officials in the other states that continue to support onerous lockdowns don’t see more and more residents rebelling, based on looking at the freedoms those other states again are enjoying and not seeing huge spikes in COVID infections and deaths.

    Sooner of later if you keep scaring people about the hypotheticals of dead bodies, you’re going to have to show some dead bodies somewhere in those other states, if they’re not putting the screws to local businesses and individuals like you are (it’s also why the talk by some of those people about not opening up until after Labor Day seems either idiotic or deliberately mendacious — if Fauci and other are right about a possible return of COVID as the weather cools down this fall and winter, you want things opening back up in the hottest months of the year, which are June-July-August. Keeping things closed then, only to try to reopen as the risk of coronavirus rises as temperatures decline, sounds like either willful ignorance or a desire to deliberately tie any reopenings in September or early October to a new round of COVID increases in late October and November).

    • #28
    • May 13, 2020, at 8:39 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
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  29. James Lileks Contributor

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):
    This will require more credible news stories that are optimistic on the disease,

    Dispassionate reporting has not been the defining characteristic of the industry these days. 

    news that the numbers keep declining,

    Which numbers, though? “New cases” numbers seldom seem to be put in the context of increased testing, or whether they’re happening in the concentrated hot-spots responsible for most of the cases.

    for the horror stories to get old without new ones arising,

    When I see a journalist retweet or like a tweet about Killing Grandma, I am fairly confident they will seek out horror stories and give them the amplification they believe the store deserves. There’s an institutional pessimism and misanthropy that affects a lot of the industry.

     and for the economic harm to become more apparent to more people.

    This goes to your point about the ripple effect of the 83K, and how someone knows someone who knows someone who had it. Far more people know about the economic effect. 

    • #29
    • May 13, 2020, at 9:01 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  30. Doctor Robert Member

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):

    I think you are overstating the significance of the number of Wuhan virus deaths. Even at 100,000 this year, they would account for less than 4% of the normal annual death tole. Most of us don’t lose a loved most years; relatively few people are going to lose a loved one to this disease, or even lose someone they know reasonably well.

    For many of those who sincerely believe that maintaining the shutdown saves lives, and who justify maintaining it on that basis, patiently explaining that it does just the opposite seems to me to be a productive strategy.

    A practicing physician, I live in western Mass. I am working maybe half time now, 100’s of my patients have been denied medical care because of this and will continue to be denied care. My wife works at a community hospital serving a largely indigent population. And yet, we do not know ANYONE who has died from it, nor ANYONE who is virus positive, nor ANYONE who has had a Covid death in their family.

    My first wife died in our bed, aged 49, of the seasonal flu.

    The concentration of deaths in metro NYC is a large part of the hysteria; that market controls the public media outside of LA. Farmers in Nebraska are being punished because Warren Wilhelm Junior was encouraging his subjects to ride the subway into Chinatown for dinner as late as March 16, even as Son-of-Mario pushed infected old folks into nursing homes, turning them into virology labs. The stupidity of leftists never fails to astonish me.

    I remember debating someone here on Ricochet and stating that I would accept 30,000 US deaths. 83,000 deaths is a terrible thing. Still, the ultimate toll of 150,000 or 200,000 will constitute one American in 1600-2200. 

    A plague that kills one in 1600 is no plague. This is a local problem. This virus, just like influenza and hIV, will establish an equilibrium in the population. We will be able to deal with it best when we have a society again. 

    Open everything. Tomorrow. Everywhere. People are intelligent enough to watch out for themselves. Just keep the nursing homes isolated, wear your mask in the city, wash your hands and stay out of the subway. 

    And nuke Wuhan.

     

    • #30
    • May 13, 2020, at 9:23 PM PDT
    • 4 likes