Lockdowns, where effective and where not

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I Shrugged
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Lockdowns, where effective and where not

Post by I Shrugged » Fri May 29, 2020 7:28 am

(Maybe we can minimize political commentary in this thread?)

Norway health chief says it was not necessary.
https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/nor ... tame-covid
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sophie
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Re: Lockdowns, where effective and where not

Post by sophie » Fri May 29, 2020 10:02 am

No kidding.

The info coming from New York City & state is revealing that nearly all patients hospitalized with COVID are elderly and/or sick. Few are employed. It is true that they may have been infected by a member of their household but otherwise these are not the people who are out on the street, taking public transportation, or working in grocery stores.

I still think lockdowns could have been limited to the at risk population AND members of their household. That would have had a minimal economic impact, mainly providing income support to household members who had to stop working, or to help them go live somewhere else for the duration. Which is what a lot of "front line" workers have done on their own.

Also keep in mind that the numbers quoted for years of life lost to COVID are greatly exaggerated. It's based on the life expectancy of > 10 years for the general population of, say, 70 year olds. That figure is less for the unhealthy population who are getting hospitalized with COVID. e.g. for nursing home patients it's probably no more than 1-2 years.

Also here is a really hateful thought....sorry but just have to come out with this. I have been wondering if, a year or two hence, we will start to see articles about how COVID-19 was the savior of Medicare and blue state budgets. The people dying of COVID have incurred a lot of hospital bills in the short term, true, but sans COVID they would have continued to incur high medical costs, nearly all paid by Medicare and Medicaid, and the hospital bills would have merely been deferred. And since COVID is cheap as far as terminal illnesses go, those future hospital bills would likely have been a lot higher. As Medicaid is 1/3 of the New York State budget, this is potentially a big deal.
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Re: Lockdowns, where effective and where not

Post by pp4me » Sat May 30, 2020 3:07 pm

I've been watching the COVID-19 dashboard for Florida since the very beginning and I can report that, at least in my county, there has been no significant increase in either cases or number of deaths since the lock downs were lifted. Since they implemented some free testing sites where anybody can be tested even without symptoms I expected the number of cases to go up but that hasn't happened. The number of new cases has remained steady at less than 20 a day with a few one or two day spikes since I've been watching the dashboard (county population right around 1 million in one of the most densely populated counties in Florida, BTW).

People have successfully had the sh**t scared out of them by the media so when we went to our favorite Thai restaurant last night it was completely empty. So obviously we aren't back to anything close to normal. Other restaurants have had bigger crowds so it does look like people are starting to eschew the most extreme social distancing measures.

I'd say about half the people at stores are wearing masks which creates an uncomfortable situation because you have no idea what the other people are thinking. Is it "where's your mask a**hole" or "he's not wearing a mask so why am I and don't I feel silly"? Really hard to tell. Looking forward to the day when you don't see them any more at all.

As for the nursing home fiasco Governor Ron Desantis was way out front on this when it first started as opposed to, say, Governor Cuomo, but he doesn't get any credit for it.
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Re: Lockdowns, where effective and where not

Post by technovelist » Tue Jun 02, 2020 9:15 am

sophie wrote:
Fri May 29, 2020 10:02 am
No kidding.

The info coming from New York City & state is revealing that nearly all patients hospitalized with COVID are elderly and/or sick. Few are employed. It is true that they may have been infected by a member of their household but otherwise these are not the people who are out on the street, taking public transportation, or working in grocery stores.

I still think lockdowns could have been limited to the at risk population AND members of their household. That would have had a minimal economic impact, mainly providing income support to household members who had to stop working, or to help them go live somewhere else for the duration. Which is what a lot of "front line" workers have done on their own.

Also keep in mind that the numbers quoted for years of life lost to COVID are greatly exaggerated. It's based on the life expectancy of > 10 years for the general population of, say, 70 year olds. That figure is less for the unhealthy population who are getting hospitalized with COVID. e.g. for nursing home patients it's probably no more than 1-2 years.

Also here is a really hateful thought....sorry but just have to come out with this. I have been wondering if, a year or two hence, we will start to see articles about how COVID-19 was the savior of Medicare and blue state budgets. The people dying of COVID have incurred a lot of hospital bills in the short term, true, but sans COVID they would have continued to incur high medical costs, nearly all paid by Medicare and Medicaid, and the hospital bills would have merely been deferred. And since COVID is cheap as far as terminal illnesses go, those future hospital bills would likely have been a lot higher. As Medicaid is 1/3 of the New York State budget, this is potentially a big deal.
I don't know the numbers but I have trouble imagining that the die-off was sufficient to help much with budgets. We're talking about a few tens of thousands of people dying out of tens of millions of Medicaid and Medicare patients.

But I'm sure that even if it is significant, the blue states would have no trouble wasting any money they did save.
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Re: Lockdowns, where effective and where not

Post by technovelist » Tue Jun 02, 2020 9:16 am

pp4me wrote:
Sat May 30, 2020 3:07 pm
As for the nursing home fiasco Governor Ron Desantis was way out front on this when it first started as opposed to, say, Governor Cuomo, but he doesn't get any credit for it.
Of course not. Not only is he a Republican, but he is a strong supporter of the Bad Orange Man!
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Re: Lockdowns, where effective and where not

Post by I Shrugged » Tue Jun 02, 2020 6:47 pm

We should be able to see the new outbreaks as a result of the flagrant Memorial Day weekend celebrating.
Are they happening? Serious question.
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Re: Lockdowns, where effective and where not

Post by drumminj » Tue Jun 02, 2020 7:40 pm

I Shrugged wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 6:47 pm
flagrant Memorial Day weekend celebrating.
Nothing meaningful to add in response to the question, but I found your wording, particularly the aspect of "flagrant....celebrating" quite amusing :)
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Re: Lockdowns, where effective and where not

Post by technovelist » Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:11 pm

I Shrugged wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 6:47 pm
We should be able to see the new outbreaks as a result of the flagrant Memorial Day weekend celebrating.
Are they happening? Serious question.
Possibly the only potential good that can come from the rioting is that if there are no new outbreaks in any of the cities where the rioting occurred, we can conclude that the pandemic has burnt itself out.
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Re: Lockdowns, where effective and where not

Post by Tortoise » Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:30 pm

technovelist wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:11 pm
I Shrugged wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 6:47 pm
We should be able to see the new outbreaks as a result of the flagrant Memorial Day weekend celebrating.
Are they happening? Serious question.
Possibly the only potential good that can come from the rioting is that if there are no new outbreaks in any of the cities where the rioting occurred, we can conclude that the pandemic has burnt itself out.
Or maybe in the case of large outdoor gatherings of healthy young people, there was never anything to "burn out" in the first place.

I don't know of any scientific evidence that large outdoor gatherings of healthy young people has ever resulted in large spikes of Covid-19 cases, even in the beginning of the pandemic. The big case spikes I'm aware of were in nursing homes, cruise ships, airplanes, prisons, and other enclosed spaces without good ventilation.

In other words, I don't think the widespread cancellation and prohibition of large outdoor gatherings of young people was ever based on scientific data. It was always just speculation based on fears of worst-case scenarios.
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Re: Lockdowns, where effective and where not

Post by Kriegsspiel » Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:36 pm

Tortoise wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:30 pm
technovelist wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:11 pm
I Shrugged wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 6:47 pm
We should be able to see the new outbreaks as a result of the flagrant Memorial Day weekend celebrating.
Are they happening? Serious question.
Possibly the only potential good that can come from the rioting is that if there are no new outbreaks in any of the cities where the rioting occurred, we can conclude that the pandemic has burnt itself out.
Or maybe in the case of large outdoor gatherings of healthy young people, there was never anything to "burn out" in the first place.

I don't know of any scientific evidence that large outdoor gatherings of healthy young people has ever resulted in large spikes of Covid-19 cases, even in the beginning of the pandemic. The big case spikes I'm aware of were in nursing homes, cruise ships, airplanes, prisons, and other enclosed spaces without good ventilation.

In other words, I don't think the widespread cancellation and prohibition of large outdoor gatherings of young people was ever based on scientific data. It was always just speculation based on fears of worst-case scenarios.
Quite so.
I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. Who knows whether that person will be wise or foolish? Yet they will have control over all the fruit of my toil into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. . . Nothing is better for a man than to eat and drink and enjoy his work.
- Ecclesiastes
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Re: Lockdowns, where effective and where not

Post by sophie » Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:06 pm

Mardi Gras in New Orleans?

I can't imagine that a lot of nursing home residents were involved in that.

I think the issue is that mild or asymptomatic cases get passed around in the crowds, and then they go home and infect older people who weren't at the party. Same thing is going to happen with the protests/riots. The case increase should be evident in about 2 weeks, or maybe by end of next week. That was about the lag I saw between the crush at airports of people trying to get back from Europe, and when NYC cases started going through the roof.
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Re: Lockdowns, where effective and where not

Post by Tortoise » Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:16 pm

Note that I referred to outdoor gatherings.

A good portion of social mixing during Mardi Gras in New Orleans took place indoors, such as in bars, restaurants, and people's apartments and houses. Yes, there were also crowds in the streets, but we can't ignore the jam-packed indoor spaces during the festival.

Also, are we sure that the spike in Covid-19 cases in New Orleans after Mardi Gras was causally linked to Mardi Gras, or did they just happen to ramp up testing a couple of weeks after the festival? We wouldn't know that for sure unless they tested the same people before and after the festival.

Keep in mind, one of the media's favorite tactics of sophistry during this pandemic has been to point to case spikes without mentioning that often, the "spike" was due to increasing testing by a factor of 2x, 3x, 10x, etc.
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