> “Our hope is that by using the data, we’d be able to slowly lift restrictions over the next three months,”
>aiming to open up the bare minimum amount required to avoid riots or economic collapse
why do you believe the root goal is "keep people at home" vs "respond to a disease?"
It's especially frustrating because I've repeatedly seen people argue that it's a strawman, that nobody's really planning to stay at home forever. Even in this comments section, about an article where LA county says "yeah we're staying at home for the next 3 months at least", people insist they didn't mean it!
I hate this juvenile, dismissive angle that's so pervasive here. There are serious considerations here. It's not just about enjoying life. First: how are we going to fund compulsory unemployment for another 3 months?
Even so, this is not something anyone should apologize over.
Life should be worth living. To someone who has lived their whole life being able to enjoy life in any which way is experiencing a massive shock right now. Of course people want to be able to go to crowded bars, be around other people, go to concerts, ride roller coasters, get wasted, etc. We rely on these things because life is boring at best and usually bad for a lot of people. If we don't have anything to look forward to, even simple things, we lose hope. Gee, I'm really sorry that it seems selfish or even "conservative" to the smarty pants who are content living indoors and consuming media and frozen dinners. Most of us get tired of that and it becomes frightening when our jobs are in question or have no job at all. Just being able to go to a crowded bar, be around other people, having a pint, and not having to wear masks, sounds really damned good right now.
I understand that there's always a cost benefit analysis to all of this, but the high and mighty attitude towards people who simply want to feel happy needs to stop. It damages every discussion.
EDIT: Many of the people who make that kind of argument also say "cry me a river" when someone whose business or job is "nonessential" says anything negative about their predicament. Um, you people ought to look at your own jobs and question just how "essential" they are. I don't think I've ever worked an "essential" job in my life, yet I'm payed much more than most "essential" workers are.
Everyone wants to simply feel happy. Everyone is sick and tired of all of this. Everyone wants to go out to a bar and have a pint. But we can't. We just can't. And not because the government says so. But because many many many more people than necessary will die if we do. That's the reality we live in now. And not understanding that, while acting as if your feelings matter more than others' lives makes you sound like a spoiled child. That is what people are being "high and mighty" about.
Yes, actually, we can. We can reopen things like this with caution, some new social precautions, protect those who are vulnerable, and calculatingly reevaluate the risk once it turns out that the situation has become more or less safe.
This idea that we "can't" is simply bogus and based on nothing. And the idea that people, who don't put the same weight on the risks the way that you do, are being childish, is asinine. People with your position might sound like they're the adults in the room, but a policy that is more rigorous is not necessarily the better policy.
> And not understanding that, while acting as if your feelings matter more than others' lives makes you sound like a spoiled child.
Clearly, I'm a spoiled little child who doesn't care about the lives of others. /s
How would you like it if we made the stay-at-home orders permanent, decreased the speed limits to 25 MPH, and banned all drugs and alcohol, and put strict limits on added sugar and fat? After all, we could save tens if not hundreds of thousands of lives if we all just sacrificed our productivity and happiness. If we're going to apply your argument towards a single virus, why not go all the way?
Even if you were to say yes, the vast majority of people don't actually want that because this idea that we're all supposed to stay alive is a relatively new idea and, in order to accomplish it, requires a lot of sacrifice. We don't want to live this way forever, even if it makes sense from a utilitarian standpoint. There is nothing wrong with accepting that a percentage of people are always going to die. This is not spoiled or childish.
You aren't using the word "can" in its meaning related to ability. You are making value judgement with respect to your perceived results of doing vs. not doing something. When you say "we can't", you actually mean "we shouldn't" or "we mustn't".
Moreover, I'd like to point out that your argument that many more people die if we lift the lockdown is based on the model simulations. These model simulations already don't match the reality: we do not observe predicted exponential decay of cases to 0. When we lift the lockdown, and the outcomes will keep not matching the models, which consistently overpredict number of deaths, I expect people like you to keep saying that if we kept lockdown longer, we could have avoided more deaths, based on... model simulations.
I think we need to stop confusing the map, that is, the model simulations, with the territory, that is, the reality.
 - https://twitter.com/lacdbh/status/1259933680408997888
So he just sits around day after day watching his business go down the toilet.
Or worse, they run it out, go back to work, then there's another lock-down because infection rates go up. Now they're not eligible for unemployment at all because they haven't paid into the system for too long.
(At least that's how it works in the three states where I have experience filing for unemployment. I doubt that California lets people collect money forever.)
There's a long history of this happening in the USA if you're interested:
He should pay his employees more money.
You can't just pretend that every business can magically afford to raise wages. This isn't Apple paying kids in China 50 cents to build an iPhone they sell for $1,000, this is a local business that's probably barely able to pay the founder a middle-class salary in the best of times.
If people are afraid to be in public, then the restaurants, bars, and shops won't see full-scale business return. Those jobs and business will be lost anyway, perhaps with more people infected than necessary. Or, we try and find some middle-ground "new normal" that lets people feel safe in public. Or something else? I have no idea and I doubt many people in this comment section really know either.
Because there's no point debating such a question. Arguing that we should leave lockdowns in place because people would be too scared to go outside even if we lifted the lockdowns, is tautological.
If the argument is that people are going to stay home anyway, then we should open the economy on first principles.
So yeah, of course there is a point in debating such a question. And there are real ways to find answers. Probably even better ones than what I said.
That's 300 billion dollars every month... And that's for only 150 million adults...(there's a lot more than that)
It's estimated to have cost about 3 Trillion dollars for the Iraq war, a 17+ year conflict.
At $300 billion a month (on the extreme low end), that's $3 Trillion every 10 months.
Put another way - we could fund another 17+ year long armed conflict every 10 months at that rate.
The entire 2021 federal budget is projected to be around 4.8 Trillion... and they estimate they'll only bring in
$3.8 Trillion in revenue.
Disregarding that your projection is grossly innacurate, how is this something we can do?
Basically move to a more redistributive system like Europe, which can afford to do this for a lot of their citizens.
That's how we've funded war-like efforts in the past, and if this is likened to a WWII style mobilization effort (which it has been by several politicians, then the well off citizens need to pitch in much more than they are now).
If you took all of Bill Gates' ($107 billion) and all of Jeff Bezos' ($145 billion) and all of Larry Ellison's ($59 billion) money... every single penny, you'd still wouldn't be able to pay for even a single complete month of this program.
It's an enormous amount of money.
What the Nordic counties do doesn't scale to the third largest country by population... Not to mention they don't pay for their own military protection (barely) among other differences.
Funded wars? Wars have almost always involved massive debt being taken on by the federal government. It's just simply not feasible to run that way for long term.
Why does the absolute population number matter in this case? Whether you have 1 million people or 300 million, the viability of any tax scheme hinges on the relative proportions.
In any case, what Nordics actually do is tax everybody's salaries. Not just the rich, but also the middle class.
Because GDP and total potential tax revenue isn't proportional like you assume.
In Norway's case (5 million pop, $434 Billion GDP), that's $86,800 per person.
In the US' case (328 million pop, $20.5 Trillion GDP), that's $62,500 per person.
A small country with a couple very successful businesses can spread that total potential tax revenue further. Particularly if they don't pay much for their defense costs, but I digress.
In the US, we have a lot more people, and most of those aren't high earners and don't contribute much to the GDP nor tax revenue. It's estimated about 76 million Americans pay zero federal taxes.
The point was, at our scale, we'd be doubling our national budget to accomplish this any way you look at it.
That's going to require a lot more than just taxing the rich more. It's going to require a lot more than just taxing everyone more.
The scale of this is difficult to think about. People often point to the bloated military budget as something to pull from. Well, the projected 2021 budget for the entire DoD is $740 Billion. At the rate of spending we're discussing, that's just about only 2 months of this program... to the cost of having zero military.
All that for what purpose? Just to give some of it back every month? That would basically just be a "feel-good" program then... confiscate your money and give it right back to you in a government stipend.
I just don't see a realistic way to pull this sort of program off. Unless we take it down to something more reasonable like $100 a month... which would only be $15 Billion per month, $180 Billion per year. That's much more manageable... but what's $100 going to do realistically?
As I've laid out... you gotta come up with $3+ Trillion more every year... at a bare minimum. The real numbers probably look closer to $4-5 Trillion if the plan is to give everyone over 18 this $2,000 monthly, plus you have all this Bureaucracy you'll need to manage this program. You gotta double the national budget and then some.
There are no numbers that make sense to pull that off. It's a fantasy to think otherwise.
The bureaucracy to manage such a program is orders of magnitude less than for any other welfare program, because it's not means-tested. In fact, since IRS already has the bureaucracy and the logistics to handle tax returns, there's no reason why this couldn't be tacked onto that.
There are a lot of them. Stop acting like this is just about entitled tech workers demanding a night on the town.
It's a food line. This is what they got at the end
Politicians simply don't get it. White collars do not get it. They will, soon. Not politicians, the white collars.
I've replaced the title with a phrase from the article that manages to be both accurate and noncommittal.
You don't go to a headline for subtlety.
How long ago did Florida open everything back up? If I remember correctly it was just May 4th?
That's only 8 days. This thing lags by two weeks. Put a note on your calendar to check again in 7 days.
Meanwhile, our testing rates have shot up to the ~7500/day range and our positive test rate has gone from ~25% down to 13.2% today: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1wrGsD3T_JIvKwsudQwVH...
The lockdown and resulting economic damage is much less an effort of state enforcement than it is individuals being (correctly) terrified to engage in commerce unless absolutely necessary.
What makes you so sure that average people should be CORRECTLY terrified of this virus?
If I'm in a high-risk category, I get it. But what about others? Are the rates of severe infection remotely high in people who aren't elderly, immuno-compromised, or with underlying conditions?
Keep in mind, the advice on this SHOULD be different depending on where you are. NYC? Sure, be incredibly vigilant. Nebraska? Probably not a big deal.
Looking at all the trackers I have bookmarked I'm not seeing much of an indication of this. Yes, confirmed cases seem to be up in the last week, but that seems to track with increased testing (a good thing). The rate of positives is showing a decline over the same time period.
More indicative of an outbreak would be increased hospitalizations or deaths. Hospital bed usage has been at the same level since mid April, and deaths have been at a steady 1 to 3 per day since the end of April.
are the two I count on the most. I don't really trust any of the confirmed case counts to matter much since testing isn't consistent. In most parts of the state you can't get tested unless you're exhibiting symptoms.
One of the local hospitals reported that they're currently at 50% ICU capacity just with COVID-19 patients.
The reason you have a few hot spots WITHIN Nebraska is due to 4 different meat processing plants in 4 different counties. The worst hit county, Dakota County, is home to a massive Tyson facility.
Do those workers magically teleport elsewhere after work? Do they not go to the grocery? Do some of them go to church? Do they not wind up in the local hospital?
You don't just ignore inconvenient data.
The point I'm making is that if this was a dispersed infection that was spreading through normal community interactions it would be much worse and harder to contain than if it's at a few facilities..
It's almost like depending on where you are and what the data says you should have a different action to optimize the outcome... And that's the point. This one size fits all everybody act like we live in Wuhan isn't working well.
50% of Asymptomatic and 80% of Symptomatic cases on the Diamond Princess had ground glass opacity on CT scans. Usually indicates irreversible lung damage. Care to gamble on decreased lung capacity for the rest of your life?
I'd say anyone drawing conclusions from a a few weeks data has a 50% chance of getting burned at this point.
Point is I think the opposite of what you're saying might happen here, i.e. regulations loosen and there's going to be a disproportionate number of exposures as a place not so tightly regulated
Go here and scroll down to Cases by US States/Territories per Day and highlight GA, FL, and TX then play with the metrics. All three seem pretty stable so far.
Arguably, most of the party-goers were out-of-state, but it also would've been relatively easy for authorities to link a spike in deaths to those events. So far we have not seen the spike take place.
What makes you say it "would've been relatively easy" given contact tracing is not widespread in the US and certainly wasn't during the weeks of US Spring Break (ca. mid-Mar)?
In any case, you are mistaken that "we have not seen the spike take place".  See, especially, the map "generated by Tectonix GEO and X-Mode Social" about 1/3 of the way down the page.
Plane tickets were bought, credit card spending took place, cell phone towers were pinged, hotel reservations had names linked to them, relatives, friends or colleagues aware of the whereabouts and can be interviewed post-mortem?
For what it's worth, they're able to pinpoint specific parties or night club performances https://www.pasadenastarnews.com/2020/05/09/pasadena-identif... https://ktla.com/news/local-news/former-rancho-palos-verdes-...
Keep in mind that the young person might be a medical worker, or in the family of a medical worker.
There were 58 deaths reported by 3/14. If you assume that mortality is 1% (probably on the high side, but good enough for estimates), that translates to ~6k cases.
However, since we know that deaths lag cases by 1-3 weeks (let's assume 2 weeks for the analysis), we should be looking at deaths two weeks from 3/14, which would be 3/28.
By 3/28, there were ~3k deaths from COVID-19, meaning that the true estimate of the number of cases from 3/14 is likely around 270,000 cases (estimate range is 130K - 800K).
This also means that there were about 8.5 million cases in the US on May 1st (I happen to think mortality is closer to 0.5%, so that would be ~17 million cases instead), and that we've most likely crossed the 10 (or 20) million case mark by now.
How would we know? They are spread across the nation.
Two weeks is the period within > 99% cases exhibit symptoms. The median incubation is between 4 and 6 days.
Hello from Peru! Where I have been in lockdown for 58 days straight and counting...
We 100% do not have military threatening arrest for going out. At this point, many (rural) police districts and politicians are even saying they won't enforce the stay-home orders anymore.
So. Yeah. Not quite the same.
Summary: under control, but still not great.
Perú: there are 992 for the entire country (195 are still free).
Parent is referring to weeks and weeks of predictions that Florida would be utterly decimated because of large Spring Break parties, taking a long time to shut down in the first place, beaches not closing down for a long time, etc.
Florida, like apparently everywhere else in the US, has been perpetually “two weeks away” for the past six weeks from becoming New York City.
Almost the exact time most states started stay-at-home orders.
330 million * 50% * 0.005 = 825k die. 5-10x in the hospital is 4 million to 8 million. Those are big impacts.
Some people want to argue the next thing "those are mostly old people or sick people", so too bad for them?
1. IHME, https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america
The argument re: old/sick people is a combination of "these people have fewer years left to live anyways, making deaths less impactful" and "this is a smaller subset of the population that can be isolated while the rest are set free".
> Some people want to argue the next thing "those are mostly old people or sick people", so too bad for them?
No, they are most vulnerable and should therefor treated differently than other groups that are not. They also don't tend to work. Considering that ~20%-50% of covid deaths are nursing home residents, protecting them should be priority, not shutting it all down in hope it will dry up over the next 3 months, it won't.
I think people are smarter and more accepting of the status quo than those who are making the most noise. As for those who are overburdened by the lockdown (i.e. lost jobs), its on the governments to provide the safety net until we have everything under control.
I live in California and I can tell you that people are already extremely over this shit. Go out and about and hardly anyone is wearing masks, hardly anyone is social distancing. Some people are trying ... but you are only as strong as your weakest link. It's tough to keep up stringent personal standards when everyone around you has said fuck it and given up.
So I completely 110% agree with the parent commenter that people have already been demonstrating they don't want to comply. I mean, it's human nature. No one wants to be told what to do.
The hospital boat off the shore is completely empty (it treated a total of 77 patients). Most of our hospitals are significantly below capacity.
We've all been sitting around twiddling our thumbs waiting for the apocalypse and nothing is happening. Just crickets. Unavailable unemployment funds, closed businesses, lost jobs.
The one thing everyone is learning from this is that the government will not help you. It doesn't matter how liberal or conservative your state is, or whether you believe most in federal or state governments ... everyone is doing a shitty job in one way or another.
So if the government is not going to do fuck-all for me, why should I do fuck-all for the government?
I think a lot of people don't realize this. My wife's friend is a nurse shift supervisor at our local hospital. The hospital is practically empty because there are no elective surgeries. They've been laying off nurses over the past month. She had her hours reduced. She's expecting to be laid off soon too.
If the whole point of this is to buy time for hospitals, doing so to the point where they have to start laying off staff members is a pretty dumb way to do it.
I have a large labral tear in my shoulder, an impaction fracture on my humerus, there’s a bone bruise with bone marrow leaking out, my glenohumeral ligament is stripped from the glenoid rim, I have a new area of full-thickness articular cartilage loss...
...And because CA suspended ALL elective surgeries statewide for a month, my surgeon has a month backlog before he can get to me. Until then I cannot perform any of the activities that keep me healthy and sane. Also my arm is at risk of dislocating in my sleep until I get surgery
Suspending elective surgeries was the dumbest possible decision we could have made yet our leaders won’t ever admit that they fucked up and completely botched their covid response.
Failure to maintain an adequate stockpile of PPE is probably what made the lockdowns necessary, more than anything else. If everyone in the US could have been given masks and instructed to keep their distance from other people, that would probably have been enough to allow us to lock down only the most vulnerable. At least we could have begun with that approach, and moved on to heavier measures only if/when they proved necessary.
Y was more than they had to they panicked
When X was found to be a massive over estimation they still doubled down and said "well in 2 week we will be over run"
2 weeks came, and it was "well in 2 weeks we will be over run"
2 weeks later and "well in 2 weeks...."
There was also very poor visibility on the likely case growth, because testing was so limited. It's only the last couple of weeks where there are enough tests to be testing people with likely exposure instead of just people that were gravely sick (so now healthcare workers and first responders and other essential workers can be tested without requiring that they be symptomatic).
It's a bit of a birthday paradox problem in that if you have large groups of people not social distancing in an area with pretty low prevalence like CA, the risk to any one person of contracting the virus could be extremely low, while the risk that some of those people will contract is extremely high.
Americans are, for better or worse, really not used to thinking in collectivist terms.
Think of it this way; if 2/3rds need to become infected before this crap is over, don't you want to be in the 1/3 that doesn't risk death/hospitalization?
So - you may have seen someone like me (who doesn't want to touch his face or mask) driving with a mask.
It's a big state. Compliance varies a lot by area, and by local culture. Just because there are some people who don't take social distancing precautions doesn't mean that those who have the civic sense to take those precautions should abandon their efforts.
The rates are higher in LA/OC too, not just the absolute numbers.
The LA metro area population (which includes OC) has 13 million people. There are 36k confirmed infections. So the confirmed infection rate is .28%. There are 1600 deaths so far, so the death rate is .01%.
The Bay Area population is 7.75 million, the # of infections stands at 10k, which is confirmed infection rate of .13%, and deaths are 360, which is a death rate of .005%.
It's absolutely not a contest, but the rates are what they are. If you choose to expand either areas' stats out to include their neighboring counties, the differences in the rates don't change much, but will eventually converge with CA wide rates, since this disease is most prevalent in urban areas.
Both the Bay Area and LA/OC appear to have lower infection rates than many other urban parts of the country and world, but the Bay Area is currently seeing both a lower infection and death rate than Southern California. Only time will tell if that holds.
Fortunately, it seems to be leveling off somewhat, except for Santa Barbara. I really, really hope we can keep it that way.
I also noticed that traffic hasn't really changed in my neighborhood and people all seem to be ignoring stay-at-home, but have gradually come to the conclusion that that doesn't have anything to do with the actual stay-at-home compliance rate.
Unfortunately, LA is governed by people who do not understand what "the economy" actually means, and view it as a thing to disdain. They will not bear the costs of lost jobs, lost medical screenings, lost K-12 education, and lost social services (both now and pursuant to the city budget shortfalls).
> its on the governments to provide the safety net until we have everything under control.
There is no plan for "under control." We are still looking at a scenario where 50-70% of the population gets the virus. There is a possibility of a vaccine, yes — but no one credible suggests we ought to be planning for it in the next year.
Plan for a 2-year shutdown order, or plan to reopen soon. A three month shutdown, in the middle of that range, doesn't make any sense at all.
That's not really working out now. Plenty of people in WA state as well as NY state are waiting on unemployment claims dating back to March. Fed is backstopping large corp. losses while the every day person gets nothing. WA state is rolling out a "science and data" dashboard that looks like an MS Word clipart project from an 8 year old kid.
Our governments are mostly inept at anything resembling complexity. Something ten times more complicated and difficult like this shows how slow they are to action.
This was foreseeable. The WA state subduction zone report shows that in a simulated catastrophe due to liquifaction / earthquake in the Pacific Northwest, mean time for government intervention for aid-related activities was on the order of 3-4 weeks.
We talk about how large corporations privatize gains and socialize losses; government agencies are quick to act on authoritarian measures like lockdowns but slow to act on remedies to keep them going in an equitable fashion. The only surprising thing ongoing in the nation right now is the degree of ineptitude of our government agencies. Not even I thought they were this bad at getting aid to people.
Let's be clear-- there is no true safety net for middle-income professionals. We can draw down savings and cross our fingers that this resume gap doesn't kill a professional career. And that's just the financial and career consequences. There definitely are other consequences of unemployment too.
I feel fortunate not to live in L.A. county but the public health response my state is not a lot less draconian. I just am astounded. I would love to wrap everyone and everything in bubble wrap as much as the next person to protect everyone from a very dangerous world but this is too much.
There are limits to this and the burden is distributed very unevenly. If you have a spa, your business is taking a big hit , but the landlord is not required to stop asking for rent. We would have to switch the whole economy to a non profit model, otherwise the lucky ones make out like bandits and others are being driven out of business.
If the government wanted to provide support to keep everyone roughly where they were before the pandemic, that's great. But picking and choosing is really unfair.
And it seems to be hurting small business owners and the middle class the most. Unemployment payments max out at what, $4000 per month? Meanwhile a middle class professional in the Bay Area might pay that much just for rent, before considering food or other expenses.
Unless you just want infinite money printing. The Federal Unemployment increase ends in July, and it highly unlikely this will be extended, so the county of LA has no ability to print more money, or really extend their debt
LA and CA has a real chance of going bankrupt,
Further I am sure employee will stick around for a long time when their paychecks are replaced with "IOU's"
So sure technically there is no bankrupcy court for the entire state, the fact remains that a State can absolutely enter in to a condition that is more or less the same thing as bankrupcy. The feds can just print more money, and most likely CA would beg the feds to do just that to bail them out should that happen
Local municipalities and counties can absolutely go bankrupt. Which is more likely in this situation
I can't wait to see what happens when restaurants reopen. I'm definitely heading to a bar asap.
There are a lot of entitled people around here, and a lot of folks doing plague cosplay (wearing a mask around their neck like a talisman, gathering but moving to "safe" distance when other people draw close, etc.)
This is the problem with a website for desk jockeys commenting on orders that don't impact their livelihoods.
For any individual, there is a cost/benefit analysis for the lock downs.
The cost is a hell of a lot lower for you and me than it is for restaurant, construction, factory, etc workers who have lost their livelihoods. Let's not forget about the small business owners and independent contractors.
These folks are incurring a much higher cost, and as far as the government assisting them, how smooth do you think that is going?
Have you personally gone and applied for unemployment benefits, or an SBA loan to keep your business afloat?
The government safety net isn't ideal, or pleasant, to deal with. Mayor Garcetti hasn't done well with reforming the LA government, nor dozens of predecessors. The state government of California isn't fun to deal with either.
You probably don't have kids either, if you fit the typical demographic on HN.
A complete failure of empathy on the part of members of the professional/managerial class, who bear little costs of the lockdown towards those who pay the most.
This stay at home order doesn't seem to be informed by updated models and data on this illness. The disease is highly contagious, and deadly at an unacceptably high rate to certain high-risk categories of the population. Those people should change their behavior.
The "wait 2 weeks" thing is what I keep hearing people who are stuck in the "only lockdowns will work" mindset say about every place that has lifted or not implemented lockdowns. It's almost as if they are hoping for it.
Let's be clear: If Georgia and Texas are fine a week from now, that will be good news for the whole country. Even if this good news proves your previously held opinion wrong, it will still be good news. I sense that people on here are hoping for bad news instead, because then they would be right.
Your statement about people being "smarter". Let's be real here, what you mean by "smart" is people who share your beliefs about the best solution to this virus. As if anyone knows with certainty what the best path is. Nobody does. We are all trying our best with the latest data. Except for politicians, who are hell bent on proving that their initial, poorly informed decisions are indeed the way to go by doubling down on them.
I saw one chart which allegedly mapped the effect of the lockdown over four weeks with various various indexes:
COVID - significant drop. Death from other medical items - even more significant drop. Death from traffic accidents - even moreso.
Number of deaths from suicide - significant jump. From drug overdose - even more significant jump. Number of mental breakdowns and newly diagnosed illnesses - jump. Number of deaths from people not getting care they needed - jump.
I cannot find that chart anymore, and when I tried to verify the items, I could not.
Anyone who knows the chart I am referring to, or generally reliably sources for these things (and not just COVID deaths), please reply!
If the drop into poverty as people lose jobs create slums, gangs, and muggings, there will be a lot more deaths, and those will also offset the numbers.
So, even quality of life aside, I am not sure we come out ahead even on saving lives.
I would like data though, since anyone can speculate. Can someone point to real data?
Every % rise of unemployment in Europe during the financial crisis resulted in a 3.5% drop in all cause mortality, and that includes a ~35% increase in suicides. We can probably extrapolate that for a scenario where business as usual also kills a good amount more people due to a pandemic.
Clearly the US, being the US, could be different due to cultural differences in how the poor and underemployed are treated.
Not if they get counted as a COVID death. You better believe that drug overdose death is getting a test if there's federal reimbursement in play.
I recognize that you're making a joke here, but that's categorically not true. Mental-health related deaths have gone up, and will continue to go up. A lot.
Ok, i'm only being mildly sarcastic. Flashbacks from stories told by a grandfather and father. Honestly, if someone told me last year I would be typing this in a discussion on HN on this topic I would have told them they were insane. And here we are, people on HN actually discussing "stay at home" as if it was a not a big deal.
These are the people who work for Google and Facebook and Instagram and Twitter? It horrifies me. It should terrify the population.
Hesitate to bring it up since its so contentious but this is actually probably a huge side benefit of the Alameda County go slow approach. For the interim county health advisor, there's no benefit for going out on a limb and providing the rubber stamp to allow a plant to open as they'd ultimately individually be scape-goated if things went wrong. All politicians above would be free to claim - "I wasn't consulted on such details". Now since the plant is open without full approvals, all legal liability is on the private company for any health issues that arise. In fact the state hasn't really officially said the plant could open and so is free from liability and now that the president has chimed in, the interim county health advisor is completely free from liability.
It's a great get out of jail free card, release from liability stance as the individual or company is against government orders.
If the government wants to limit its liability it should stop telling people what to do and let them decide for themselves.
> For the interim county health advisor, there's no benefit for going out on a limb and providing the rubber stamp to allow a plant to open as they'd ultimately individually be scape-goated if things went wrong.
So the only alternative is for the government, after imposing the costs of the lockdown on everybody, to simply refuse to accept the costs of reopening?
The best political safe alternative for all players involved is to do what's happening now; the government provides a hard line on guidance and then is lax on enforcement and lets the plant re-open and begin production. If it goes well (and hopefully it goes well), it goes well.
If it doesn't go well, then people who were advocating taking the risk and with the most to gain if had it gone well, are ultimately responsible for the downside liability. Which seems fair?
Called out by whom? I won't. I don't expect the government to provide me guidance. I'm an adult human being and I don't need a parent.
> The best political safe alternative
I have no interest in a "political safe alternative". Politicians worrying more about their political safety than the good of the people is what got us into this mess. Without a culture of "political safe alternative" the FDA would not have had the power to keep state and local health authorities from coming up with their own testing protocols when it was clear the FDA and the CDC weren't up to the job. And without a culture of too many people waiting for "guidance" from the government, people would not have waited to take obvious common sense precautions against a possible pandemic until the government and the media told them to, way too late.
> Which seems fair?
I have no problem with people who decide for themselves what to do with their own lives having to live with the consequences.
What I have a problem with is someone else claiming the power to decide for me what I am allowed to do, and the only consequences to them if they screw up being "political".
1.) Individual (or Company) A does some potentially unsafe activity and the Government says hastily - "Great, sure; continue!" or doesn't provide any guidance (edited).
2.) Individual (or Company) B is affected negatively - so negatively in fact that they decide to sue not only Individual (or Company) A but the Government as well since the Government said everything was on the up and up either through explicit approval or inaction (i.e. Individual B thinks the Government should have acted) - (edited).
The Government then loses the lawsuit and uses taxpayer money to pay the settlement. Then Taxpayer A, B and C proceed to also sue the government due to gross mismanagement of tax payer dollars and the government loses that as well. And now the rest of us Taxpayers D thru Z have to pay for all these settlements.
Who gave the government the power to make that decision unilaterally?
> Individual (or Company) B is affected negatively - so negatively in fact that they decide to sue not only Individual (or Company) A but the Government as well since the Government said everything was on the up and up.
So if the government were out of the picture, B would simply be suing A. There would be nobody else to sue. And the taxpayers would not have to pay anything.
So what value, exactly, is the government adding here?
So I should have my freedom restricted because other people can't handle theirs responsibly?
No, some people's choices impact some other people in serious, often fatal ways.
My wife and I started taking precautions more than two months ago. We have drastically cut down the number of shopping trips we make--one of us used to go to the grocery store, drugstore, or whatever every other day or so, now it's about once every 10 days, and we make sure to stock up so we don't have to go more often. We wear mask and gloves whenever we do go to the store or any other public place where we can't reliably social distance. When we walk our dogs, we stay well away from anyone else.
How have our choices impacted anyone else negatively?
No, I've exercised my own freedom to choose what's best for me.
> I’m not sure what we’re arguing about.
First, you made an obviously wrong factual claim, so I called you on it. It is not true that "everyone’s choices impact everyone else in serious, often fatal, ways".
Second, this wrong factual claim is not harmless, because, as you yourself note, it is being used as justification for the government to exercise draconian powers to restrict everyone's freedom. The government cannot be trusted to exercise such powers responsibly. No government can, because governments are run by humans, and no humans can be trusted with that much power over other humans. That was supposed to be the key lesson that got the United States of America started as an independent country, but we seem to have forgotten it.
A 14 day decline in new cases while maintaining a testing rate 200/100,000.
A number of people on here have made this claim, and every time I try and point out that it's the complete and exact opposite of the truth it gets downvoted. It seems to be something everyone on HN firmly believes. Maybe I should give up? Trying to get coronavirus testing-related comparisons to bear any resemblance to actual numbers feels more and more like eternally tilting at windmills.
(Admittedly, the media has done a good job on this one. There was even a really bizarre, cynical part in the last Trump press conference where he claimed that all US states are now testing more than South Korea and a reporter accused him of making "this a global competition", as though it was him and not the press that had been pushing this comparison - and all the media discussion became about his row with that journalist, ensuring that no-one heard about the underlying facts and updated their false belief that the US was behind South Korea in testing due to the federal government fucking up. Masterfully done. Practically Trumpian.)
Now, Israel is genuinely doing more testing than the US, but you'd kind of hope for that from a much smaller country with a big globally-relevant pharmaceutical industry.
And the quality issues can be solved as well, it just makes point one even worse -- it'll be that much harder to maintain the testing rate and the quality.
But they are achievable goals.
This all seems in line with what anyone would have expected. Anyone who thought that on June 1 when the stay-at-home orders officially end everyone would just jump back into normal life and it would magically be safe clearly hasn't been paying attention.
The difference between California and states like Georgia that have "opened up" actually seems to be quite minimal. Some people are taking more risks (which is not really being stopped in either place), the majority are still being very cautious. That's bad news for people hoping that the small businesses that have been financially hurt would spring back immediately, but hopefully good news for where we are in containment of the virus. And, knock on wood, at least for now it seems to be enough to keep the disease spread from ramping back up.
I still think it would have been nice to just go all the way with the lockdown from day 1 back in March, actually enforce the rules and keep more people inside, and squashed the curve faster so that by now we'd be a lot more open than we are. But instead we chose the route of making most people only moderately miserable instead for a long time, instead of even slightly more miserable but for a shorter time.
(Not to mention the infection rate is a really lagging indicator)
> a lockdown for such a long time is crazy.
And people will rebel, and the infection rate will spike yet again, and people will die, and the lockdowns will be imposed with force.
Better to listen and understand than to disobey and risk worse. What's the expression? Regulations are written with blood?
Do you have something that reinforces this? JHU dashboard data extrapolation (https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/us-map) and revised models (https://www.livescience.com/trump-administration-models-pred...) starkly disagree.
If people mill about and it doesn't stop till we reach herd immunity, imagine at 50% of pop, 0.3 or 0.5% die, that's a big number 330mil * .05 * 0.005 = 825k deaths. IHME estimates assume we won't just keep standing around until half of us get it. The fools walking around are competing with that vision.
Why so defeatist?
Also, there's mounting evidence that social distancing is being done socially (by people making their own choices) as much or more than by governments.
In which case it's easy to feel like it's all for nothing.
I personally still support it but I can see why people are frustrated, and I think as this goes on you can't just extend it without some really clear and transparent communication.
that is unknown. If anything, the flu experience shows that the hot dry air minimizes transmission by minimizing the lifetime of the exhaled aerosol mini droplets which carry the virus.
The rate will most probably spike again in the Fall, lockdown or no lockdown, because of the colder moist air then, and I think it is very misleading to promise people the lockdown avoidance later in exchange for a larger lockdown now.
Governments at all levels seem to be doing only lockdown, which basically means doing nothing by the governments themselves and just putting the burden squarely on the people shoulders and waiting hoping that the issue resolves on its own. Where are the true government actions to fight pandemic - i mean at least bare minimum - masks, testing, contact tracing? Why Whole Foods, not the government, should give away free masks? I guess, no money for masks in the $6T dollars that have just been printed and have propelled the stock market back into the bubble.
I'd love some experimental data for once (with regards to SARS-CoV-2, a lot is modeling, and a lot less is bench work) to know if this is true or not (there are a few studies but most of them aren't that great, at least the ones I've read).
Very true. There should be no shortages of tests, masks or other protective equipment. Instead the stock market is going up.
"Comply or be killed" will be an interesting order, I look forward to seeing that one go out.
Civil tickets. Revocation of business licenses. Fines. Arrests. Tear gas.
Many of my childhood friends (living in LA) have already been incredibly angry at measures before this came out, and many other protests have already been seen.
It seems strange to me to not try to do a partial reopening of businesses that can guarantee social distancing guidelines -- and yet they're reopening recreational activities, including the beach. This feels back-asswards, and I really hope it works out well, but I think they need to think this through really carefully.
Here in Korea, some clubs were reopened and abrutly reclosed because of a spike in coronavirus cases linked to club. This totally confuses the objective. "Flattening the curve" is one thing, and "keeping everything closed until there is zero transmission ever again" is something else. It seems to me that the disease will be with us possibly forever. Whether we reopen today or 6 months from now. If LA County et al have this firm requirement of zero transmission to qualify for reopening:
(1) This is not "flattening the curve"
(2) This threshold may possibly never be reached
In addition, a lot of people aren't talking about the fact that this seemingly has left a lot of people with significantly longer lung problems:
> Also, so many deaths are being counted as covid when the patient already had a severe condition
Yes... as many scientists talk about, COVID-19 has a much more severe effect in people with underlying conditions. Here is where Dr. Fauci, or the CDC as a whole talks specifically about underlying issues:
"the numbers are way inflated" is using generalized language for something that might be true, but even if you take a _very_ conservative view and consider 50% of the reports are false (and I've seen nowhere claiming it's anywhere near that high), the 50% of remaining deaths and complications are significantly high enough that it's far worse than the flu, and far worse if lockdown wasn't in play where some basic math indicates it would be 10x worse:
It's really a case that because they contained it so well it looks like they didn't need to. Kudos.
We've already seen some of that early on, but it was before masks were broadly recommended, and was tied into anti-Asian racism. This time, I'm worried that masks are rapidly becoming the visible, prominent symbol of social distancing etc; there's already active pushback against them, and attempts to enforce them, to the point of extreme violence. At some point, merely wearing them around people who do not do so, becomes an unwelcome reminder to those people, even if you're really only wearing it for safety reasons.
I had missed that they are planning to reopen some businesses:
> Under the plan, some in-restaurant dining, car washes and shopping malls could also be allowed to reopen in coming weeks if public health officials in a county are able to demonstrate that the spread of the virus has stabilized and that they have adequate testing and hospital capacity.
Specifically: "dining, car washes and shopping malls could"
These are _not_ the type of businesses I was referring to. I meant more along the lines of factories, and other "not quite essential, but maybe essential" such as dental offices.
Edit: I am not endorsing the channel, but this video seemed reasonable and didn't describe any conspiracy that wasn't well known (Microsoft anti trust).
The us federal govt has abrogated much of its responsibility, our only hope at this stage is local/state govts and ngos. These paranoid people things that bill gates is coming for their precious bodily fluids is sad but predictable.
2. Thus far, it's worked to keep hospitals functioning. We're doing worse than most other countries (https://91-divoc.com/pages/covid-visualization/).
Very few regions have had anything close to overwhelmed hospitals. More regions have had to lay off hospital staff than have been overwhelmed. Some like UW medicine now face a $500 million budget shortfall due to the ban on elective procedures.
Social distancing measures may have an effect on r_t as low as 0.1 per analysis by Nate Silver. Others show a negative or no correlation between government lockdowns and reduction of r_t.
It is fair to question if these lockdowns - as instituted - have done anything.
That's a bit of a red herring. Hospitals aren't laying off ER and ICU staff. They're furloughing in areas like dermatology, plastic surgery, and the like - parts of the hospital that see largely elective procedures.
Stop. This is incredibly misleading.
Elective just means that you can choose the time to do the surgery. It doesn't mean they are optional for health.
Elective surgeries include inguinal hernia surgery, cataract surgery, mastectomy for breast cancer, kidney transplant, and hip surgery.
Most surgeries are elective.
Don't minimize this as a bunch of delayed facelifts.
There's a range of severity in "elective" procedures, certainly. There are a lot of procedures folks will willingly postpone right now, and it's not surprising that hospitals are furloughing staff that service them.
It is disingenuous to suggest that furloughs in these elective areas demonstrate an excess of capacity in the ER/ICU.
Which will mean that department's staff - docs, nurses, receptionists, billers, cleaners, etc. - will be more likely to be on the furlough lists than the ER or ICU.
Knee replacements, hip replacements, even Coronary artery bypass graft can be considered "elective" if there is not an urgent need.
My kids get eye exams at the hospital. My son's allergist is there. These visits can wait, and they make up a lot of a hospital's business; the staff in those areas have little to do at the moment.
 “We are grateful to the Administration for clarifying that transplantations are an essential surgery which can be performed safely if a hospital feels they have the staff and resources available during the COVID-19 crisis,” said Joseph Vassalotti, MD, Chief Medical Officer, National Kidney Foundation.
My wife has had to "visit" an OB/GYN over Zoom.
I don't know how effective or not midwives and such are (I really should get on that...) but women are having to go without them or choose to go without having fathers by their sides. Some places have stopped any visitors from being present.
There are potentially long term health impacts from the above changes, I'd imagine.
Not all of what a hospital deals with is immediately life threatening, though putting it off can certainly make it so.
Hospitals are rightly trying to figure out what rules make sense. It's not surprising there's some uncertainty, and adjustments will be made as we learn more.
Yes, that's right -- sorry for the mix up.
> If so, New York indicated doulas wouldn't be counted as visitors, but essential healthcare staff
Thanks for sharing, but that's seemingly not the policy in the actual hospitals that I can see.
From NYU Langone's visitor policy (https://nyulangone.org/patient-family-support/visiting-hours):
> Labor and delivery patients are permitted one visitor throughout the labor, delivery, and postpartum period, which can include a partner, family member, doula, or other support person. The visitor cannot be rotated.
It seems like there is no option to have both a doula and the father present.
I honestly have no idea if we would even use a doula--I've done approximately zero research into them at this point--but it's a pretty hard choice to make at the moment.
I feel like that's a symptom of a much larger problem...
I could buy this line of reasoning if there was any indication that hospitals outside of NYC were at any point “whelmed”, nevermind “overwhelmed.” All across the country you’ve got doctors and nurses getting their hours cut, furloughed, and laid off. And the ones who actually are in the hospitals have enough time to coordinate elaborate dance videos on TikTok.
Also, I don't think you can accurately determine the workload of a nurse based on a 30 second tiktok video. You know, I saw some truckers sleeping for a few hours at a truck stop on the highway. Why aren't they driving to deliver their packages? Clearly they have plenty of time.
An overloaded _system_ does not necessarily result in overloaded _workers_. In fact, it should minimize the number of overloaded workers as much as possible to avoid preventable mistakes. Taking some time to film a fun video with your coworkers should be viewed as workers taking necessary time to unwind, not as workers taking unnecessary time to goof off.
When you disallow elective procedures and everyone else stays away from hospitals for fear of catching the disease, they kinda do.
But another limiting factor is the facilities with which they work. When I say "not every doctor" I don't just refer to the warm body that went to medical school, I'm talking about the doctor and the facilities they use to perform their duties. A podiatrist's office can't just turn into a COVID ICU overnight, however willing or able that podiatrist may be to lend a helping hand.
You know, it IS possible for both “lockdowns work” and “the models and experts were a bit off base” to be correct.
I hope we don't overcorrect, open up too soon and too much, and get to see what the other side of getting it wrong looks like.
For example, Russia looks like its #2 on the page but Russia has less than half the population of the US. If you look at per capita Russia would be above the US according to your graph.
(There's also one further down, "normalized by country population", in which we still don't look great.)
I think that the number of cases which is the default isn't all that important. In fact the higher number who are infected could make herd immunity happen sooner. The number of deaths is far more important. When you look at that on your chart the US is behind many Western European countries and it definitely doesn't look as bad. Its not great but it could be worse.
Do you have a chart that is looking at population density? I think that would also be a useful comparison when comparing different areas. Its not fair to compare NYC with Nebraska for example. I am not really sure how the European countries compare and am interested in a comparison if you know of one.
Until this question is answered clearly and officials show that whatever goal they set is achievable in a reasonable timeframe, I think it’s unreasonable to expect people to continue to comply.
The actions you take for #2 and #3 are similar, and which one you wind up implementing depends largely on how long the vaccine takes to develop.
Edited: meant to say states are doing 2 (comment initially said they are doing 3)
As more people become immune, the spread naturally gets slower, reducing the likelihood of hospitals being overwhelmed in the first place and thus reducing the desire to maintain stricter control. The individual risk of any given social interaction is reduced.
Conversely, the more infected, the more dead, meaning the number of life-years that would be saved via a stricter lockdown until a vaccine or effective treatment gets developed gets smaller and smaller.
I believe the shortest time it has taken to develop a new vaccine is the 5 years it took to develop one for Ebola, so I don't think one will be available in any meaningful way for this pandemic, though I'd love to be wrong.
Other companies like Sinovac have also been doing challenge testing already (I believe Oxford too, but AFAICS they haven't published anything yet) in animals, so far with good results. EDIT: Sinovac findings were a preprint, but now it's been published in Science, so I guess it has more weight.
Also to speed up trials, Oxford is doing a hybrid Phase II / Phase III trial, hoping to get emergency use authorization in September if vaccine responses are positive.
Lastly, most companies and consortia are ramping up manufacturing at-risk (because there's no guarantee vaccines will work) to make sure the demand is met earlier.
So it is likely that if a vaccine works, it will be around earlier than before. Whether everyone will be able to have it, is a different matter entirely.
This is my biggest complaint. The press briefings and the media have been worthless for trying to figure this out. I want to now the exact plan and I realize it will need to adapt over time but that should be explained by the plan. All the White House wants to talk about is the economy. I just want to know, are we going to wait for everyone to get vaccinated or tested for antibodies? How is the progress on those things? I don't care if some idiot who's not a doctor thinks some malaria drugs might help because he stands to benefit from that.
Or is our goal to fully go to 0 new cases and just hope it doesn't pop up again. That seems unlikely since I don't know how that's possible without a complete lockdown for at least two weeks. Also, is there any possibility that this just goes away on its own?
Saying we're opening things up just because of the economy seems completely moronic to me. I want to know what the actual plan is. Everything seems just arbitrary right now.
Not everyone is this shady. There's a real trial (University of Minnesota) trying to determine if HCQ works or not as post-exposure prophylaxis. Sadly, it only needs 150ish more people but it's struggling to get them (at least according to its PI).
There is no way to prevent all death. We won't and can't get to zero deaths in the short term - testing, tracing and vaccines are all far out from useful yet.
Given that we don't have a government like Denmark, that can support all workers staying at home with job security, we have the tough choice of "rot at home and lose our jobs and businesses" or "take some risk, try to be smart, and keep hospitals from getting slammed".
Protect the old and the immuno-compromised, and give them the support they need. Mandate mask use in crowded areas until we hit certain non-pandemic levels of new infection. Continue heightened production of PPE, sanitizer, etc. and work to allow small-medium in-person gatherings to be feasible again.
If we do have large events, or open nightclubs, I could see requiring contact tracing apps. Like, give us your name/number so if you get infected, we know about it and can track it; if we(the club) cause an outbreak, we can notify people.
But we can't sit at home much longer, financially or psychologically.