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Anthony Fauci says staying closed too long could cause irreparable damage (cnbc.com)
26 points by mrfusion 15 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 25 comments



> However, Fauci also cautioned states against reducing social distancing measures too quickly, adding they must take “very significant precautions.”

It seems rather obvious that we can certainly "reopen" wide swaths of the economy very quickly if "significant precautions" are taken. The question is, what qualifies as "significant precautions", and how willing are people to implement and deal with those precautions?

I ask because I see simple things like mask wearing to be something that a lot of people seem to have a big problem with, whereas it seems to be something that confers clear benefits while having very little downside aside from some minor discomfort for some people.

If we can't do the little stuff, how are we supposed to do the "significant stuff"?

The approach a lot of places seem to be taking is to forgo "significant precautions" and simply approach reopening as something where, as long as you do it slow enough in a phased approach, maybe things will just turn out fine. As if the virus can be tricked if we're sneaky enough about returning to normal.


>I ask because I see simple things like mask wearing to be something that a lot of people seem to have a big problem with, whereas it seems to be something that confers clear benefits while having very little downside aside from some minor discomfort for some people.

I'm someone who was strongly anti-mask (and I still am), but I've softened that stance a bit. People should wear a mask if they want; they should learn how to do it properly; we probably don't have enough evidence yet to compel people to wear mask, but it's not a burdensome requirement so I guess it doesn't matter if it's law; please do remember deaf people often need to see your mouth to communicate.

It's weird how masks in the US are super polarising, and have become signs of political alliance.

But there's genuinely not much evidence that masks worn by members of the public when they're walking about do much to protect them from getting or transmitting the virus. There's a plausible mechanism of action (they trap droplets), but there are also plausible mechanisms of harm (they don't trap that many droplets; they embolden ill people to go outside; the could cause people to reduce their social distancing). In the UK I see a few people wearing masks and every single one of them has done weird things - taken the mask off to cough; taken the mask off to spit(!!!), taken the mask off smoke; left the mask on while speaking on a mobile phone (etc etc).

> The approach a lot of places seem to be taking is to forgo "significant precautions" and simply approach reopening as something where, as long as you do it slow enough in a phased approach, maybe things will just turn out fine. As if the virus can be tricked if we're sneaky enough about returning to normal.

I completely agree. We need a plan to come out of lockdown. That plan needs to include stuff like protecting the very vulnerable, test track and trace programmes to monitor the virus, clear guidance about social distancing in services and workplaces (how are cinemas ever going to re-open?), and it needs to be informed by science of virology and epidemiology. But at the moment (at least in the UK) we've got a less coherent mishmash of unclear advice that no-one can follow.


I am curious. Where is everyone getting their masks from? I have had a mask on order via am amazon for almost a month now, and it will only be delivered in June.

Is there a faster way?


I ordered a few from Etsy. Took about a week or so to arrive. But this was before it was advised that everyone wear them so maybe wait times are now longer?

I’ve also seen signs that some dry cleaning places are carrying them.

Sports online stores (Fans Edge) also selling sports ones.


If you want them ASAP, best bet is to make your own. Everyone selling them is slammed.

That said I was able to order 10 from https://radianjeans.com/collections/reusable-mask and they arrived in just under a week.


You could Google for "t-shirt sleeve mask" and make your own.

Etsy can also be quite fast.


Needle, thread, fabric from your clothes closet and few hours.


I think a lot of the Hacker News audience is pretty insulated from the economic repercussions of the lockdown. At this point I believe the long term consequences of continuing a lockdown are worse. At least most places seem ready to move and start opening up sooner than later.

Sadly this whole things has turned politically too so now SF is going to stay closed as long as possible and really screw over any small business. I'm really not looking forward to the number of bar and restaurant closures in the next 6 months.


When there's no cost to denying others their freedom for "the greater good", then I can just do it all day long and feel good about myself.

Disagree with me, and I'll get to call you all sorts of bad things.

How can I lose?


It's clear that whether we like it or not, we need to reopen. Lockdown is a luxury that only rich nations can afford to try - and it's not clear that it's having an appreciable affect beyond proper social distancing and widespread mask wearing.


I've got to imagine they are getting a ton a disparate data, and it's ugly. Fauci-for better or worse—is truly the face of this COVID-19 action taken.

Hoover did a ton to stave off the Great Depression, yet it still wasn't enough. Hoovervilles stuck to him even to this day: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hooverville


And he saved more lives than anyone else in history, via his food relief initiatives. 10 million people in France and Belgium alone. Another 10 to 20 million in Russia. He's largely the reason the US commonly represents half of all global food aid to this day.

https://www.cornellcollege.edu/history/courses/stewart/his26...


> And he saved more lives than anyone else in history...

I beg to differ:

http://www.scienceheroes.com/index.php?option=com_content&vi...


This was well before he became president. There he proved that the challenges of making changes in govt, helping people survive was more than he could make politically. I've often wondered why he was such a prisoner of his political environment. In effect the extreme failure of the govt before FDR opened the way for a large political change that could do more extreme changes when FDR and the dems came to power in 1933. It kiiind of resonates with today a bit, doesn't it?


Hospital and clinic here have fewer emergencies, there are fewer sirens going on, the graphs show infections have not really changed. You can't throw 16% of my towns buisness into bankruptsy for this flimsy reason anymore.

fewer than last year I mean. There is nothing wrong in the town.


Irreparable damage to what? To returns on capital? To societal structures? To mental health? Worthless article with zero details.


I was looking for clarity too in the article. The CNBC video is a bit more clear:

"We can't stay locked down for such a considerable time that we have irreparable damage and create unintended consequences, including consequences for health" - Fauci


I was researching this last week when I was debating someone and I collected the following sources to explain my reasonings:

80,000 Missed Cancer Diagnoses in 3 Months:

https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/930066

The UN's World Food Program says that 130 MILLION more people worldwide could be on the brink of starvation by the end of 2020 due to coronavirus lockdown. They predict that 300,000 could die every day over a 3 month period if people are not able to get the help they need:

https://www.wfp.org/news/wfp-chief-warns-hunger-pandemic-cov...

Another source if needed: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/u-n-warns-hunger-pandemic...

> California doctors say they've seen more deaths from suicide than coronavirus since lockdowns

> "We've never seen numbers like this, in such a short period of time," he said. "I mean we've seen a year's worth of suicide attempts in the last four weeks."

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/california-doctors-s...

Another source: https://abc7news.com/suicide-covid-19-coronavirus-rates-duri...

The best explanation of lockdown vs no lockdown was this one - If the coronavirus lockdown leads to a fall in GDP of more than 6.4 per cent more years of life will be lost due to recession than will be gained through beating the virus:

http://archive.is/z7FvB

Elective surgeries haven't happened since March despite empty beds. People with crucial surgeries like hip replacement, fractures etc are all suffering because they can't get surgeries. And delaying surgeries often means the condition gets worse.


We should listen to Fauci in his field of expertise: people's health. Not sure why we should care about this statement of his.


Well this really is still a health related message. I think it's obvious to pretty much everyone that it's really not economically feasible to stay locked down forever. So he is saying that, given that we do need to reopen, it should be safe if we take significant precautions when doing so.


If we can actually "re-open America" without significantly increasing the spread of COVID-19, that will make the lockdown look like a major over-reaction.

On the other hand, if we re-open and then see a return to doubling the number of cases every 3-4 days... what then? Will people go back on lockdown?


> Will people go back on lockdown?

It depends. People with the means to do so will weigh the consequences and decide for themselves. Like, I’ll be limiting my physical contact with my parents and aunts/uncles for quite a few more months whichever way this goes, I expect. I’ll probably not be eating at restaurants, though I may partake in dinner parties with very close friends instead. Voluntary social distancing but not as strictly as the lockdown.

Generally, if we can put the right structures in place to give everyone the ability to reduce their exposure at their choice, a lockdown isn’t necessary. Seriously: if you and anyone you care about could live decently without human contact, then we wouldn’t need to force a lockdown on anybody else.

We’ll never get there fully — humans are social animals and many will weigh the value seeing a select group of family/friends regularly greater than the risk of disease. But there’s so much room for decreasing R without lockdown (I.e. in a non-compulsory way) that we haven’t explored yet. Obvious ones include some form of UBI so that people aren’t forced into high-risk jobs. Or subsidies to organizations based on how much they decrease transmission associated with their practices (e.g. curbside pickup for retail, sanitizing warehouse/store surfaces and testing employees regularly, subsidizing safer local transit (biking, scooters — just not busses), etc).

I think one of our larger mistakes in handling this is embracing mandatory lockdown as the be-all end-all solution. It’s not a long-term solution. It risks building serious animosity among the classes of people who feel deprived from opportunity as a result of it, and generally there’s no telling what compliance will look like after 4 months, 6 months, or a reopening followed by another lockdown. We have to find ways of reducing the lockdown while replacing its benefits with other tools that have fewer negative impacts on society.


> Voluntary social distancing but not as strictly as the lockdown

Doesn't this ignore the idea of viral spread? I mean, the nurses of the elderly come home to their "voluntary" lockdown, and the young mailmail delivers mail to boomer parents. Many people carry and spread the disease without knowing they have it.


I don't think the lockdown orders are necessary when behavior has changed. Sweden never had a lockdown order, their confirmed cases have been stable since the beginning of April and their deaths are going down. Germany reopened weeks ago, their cases are still slowly declining.


Because economics and public health are related, and cannot be balanced in isolation.




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