- Written by Michael Z Williamson
Article by professionals linked at the end.
Idiots are still attempting to "quarantine" 3rd order contacts of anyone who has tested positive for COVID (Even if the test has an 85% failure rate). The myth is that this "flatterns a curve."┬á It doesn't.
This is not how herd immunity works.
No parallel is exact, but try this one to simplify it for state governors and other complete idiots:
We had cats, and we had a housemate. The housemate acquired a cat, but didn't want their precious kitten getting beaten up by the other three cats. So they came up with this brilliant idea of locking their cat in their bedroom for a month, under the idea that the other cats would SMELL the new cat, and accept the presence of the new cat, and eventually it would be all cool.
As anyone who's had cats can tell you, the other cats were pissed off when they smelled or heard the new cat, growled at the door for a month, and when the door was opened...
The cats fought anyway, and in about three spats and two days, status was established.
If you constantly try to quarantine healthy people who MIGHT have been exposed (but probably not), you "flatten the curve" to the point where the virus remains a virgin field infection for as long as you act like an idiot...and then will still run through the remaining population.
Coronavirii have existed for at least 8000 years. This strain is bad. But it's not going to magically go away, and no one has ever successfully cofferdammed around one.
The only way this works is for the people who are legitimately at risk, which all studies show to be the elderly and/or compromised and particularly both, to sequester (not "quarantine." You only "quarantine" infected) themselves, while the rest of us get on with life and spread that herd immunity so their odds of getting it are much less, and there's plenty of resources if they do.
This endless panic of, "ZOMG! My sister's coworker's husband was in the same room with someone who tested positive!" is not only stupid, it is insane. It's reminiscent of AIDS-phobia where people were terrified to shake hands with a gay man.
And shutting down all "non-essential" businesses and sales as a method is equally stupid for three reasons:
There are ZERO non-essential businesses. Every business supports the owner, employees, and families.┬á┬á
Urbanites are utterly unqualified to know what constitutes "Essential" since they basically have finished goods delivered to them by a magic truck backing up to a store. "Gardening supplies" (Vermont) enable production of FOOD.┬á "Books" are not only constitutionally protected, they're EDUCATION, something every governor obviously needs, starting with Thomas Sowell's Basic Economics.
And crashing the economy is not a treatment for a virus.
The Founders were correct. Non-land owners have zero credibility exercising franchise or holding office.
- Written by Michael Z Williamson
By week 2, unemployment went from 3% to 10%.
It really hasn't occurred to most of you that businesses fail from not engaging in business.┬á This just tells me the socialist indoctrination centers (schools) have utterly failed to explain how business works.
And let me stick in a note here that no matter what you think of the type of business, they have employees who suffer first.┬á Go ahead and get your hate-on about whomever, but the wage earners will be out of jobs.
Most businesses operate on tiny margins, especially stores and restaurants.┬á Now, restaurants that can do takeout are managing, mostly (at reduced capacity and with reduced employees). But fine dining establishments or sit-down-only ethnic restaurants aren't. They're closed. That means no income for any of the owners or employees, followed shortly by no income for the landlord, who is also probably a small business, so stow your socialist-indoctrinated hate.
Keep in mind that every one that fails means unemployed workers as well.┬á And just because YOU can find a workaround for their product, doesn't put money in THEIR pocket.
Here's a partial list I will expand:┬á
Theaters, who have managers, ushers, concessionaires, ticket takers.
Restaurants and bars who have managers, cooks, servers, cleaners.
Restaurants need food suppliers. If they're not selling food, they're not ordering food from the suppliers. (One corresepondent reports his factory produces sliced cheese.┬á 80% drop in orders with so many restaurants closed or doing less business.)
Specialty retailers--bookstores, hobby stores.
Hotels--no one is renting rooms if they're not traveling for leisure or business. Hotels employ maintenance, housekeepers, clerks, often entertainers.
Convention facilities--who have lots of overhead, and lots of staff and/or contractors for support, displays, decorations, etc.
Venues for music or live theater.
Gyms aren't getting anything without guests and attendees.
MUSICIANS, ACTORS AND OTHER PERFORMERS for whom you've cancelled literally every gig in the next quarter. I know a couple of bona-fide rock stars, who don't earn nearly as much as you think they do, who have to hold out until JUNE hoping for potential shows. Their entire tours have been cancelled.
Event planners for weddings and other events. There's no venues to hold them in.
Anything tourism related--retailers, guides, other activities.
Transportation related to those--airlines (already taking massive hits), tour buses.
Since I write SF, I assume a number of readers do. At least two SF literary conventions have already quit for good.┬á They can't afford to hold everything over another year. They're done permanently.┬á That's more hotel room-nights and concessions not being used next year.
With all those closed, beverage and food concessionaires and distributors are out of work.
Within days, trucking and delivery companies for anything other than the essentials.
Oh, yes--by this point the state is missing out on millions or billions of sales tax revenues that never happened.
There are already lawsuits against insurers. If they have to pay out enough, they close. That will be the smaller insurers, leaving only a few big ones to negotiate with. Who will also lay off people when there are fewer businesses needing insurance.
Now, any single one of these is manageable by the whole, it only sucks rocks for the families in question. But ALL of them are in the process of failing right now. Fortunately, my convention retail business is my part time fun job, but I'm out at least $20,000 in sales for the first half of the year. So far. For people for whom this is their livelihood, I know of several with literally nothing, no income at all, and a $1200 check isn't going to fix it. There's been at least one suicide in my circle, and hotlines report increasing numbers all over. I guess if you don't care how many people you kill to save people, you have a really confusing thought process.
Accountants and payroll companies won't be doing well soon, either. A good number of their clients are going out of business and won't need their services.
In a few weeks:
Lots of car payments have been missed, and there's less of a market for new cars for certain, and probably a glut of used cars. Buyer's market. So car dealers are suffering. I know, a good number of them suck, but it still means their families are short of food and money. Mechanics may do well, maintaining cars for those who can afford them.┬á Dealers and manufacturers are going to take a bite. That's more layoffs.
The restaurants that did stay open are going to struggle at this point. Who has money to spend out? So they're going to lay off even more people.
The food demand drop is going to affect farms and ranches.
And once the economy is on a slide like that, it just keeps going. Experts are predicting worse than the Great Depression.┬á┬á
Doctors are knowledgeable about medicine. Do you know who the most famous doctor put in charge of an economy was?
Che Guevara, in Cuba. Okay, so a racist, homophobic, hypocritical murderous thug isn't really a valid comparison. But he knew nothing of economics and it showed. The CDC should not be making economic policy.
The point is there are ZERO non-essential jobs in even our nominally free (though massively government controlled) market.┬á If a job doesn't generate income, it goes away.
The question comes down to: How many people are you willing to starve and murder over a virus that the experts agree won't be significantly worse than the four previous major viruses, in the last half century?┬á And if you can't name them without looking, then your opinion is irrelevant.
EVERY business is essential to the owner, the employees, and the families.
Any politician speaking of a "non-essential" business is an idiot and should be removed from office. Because lamppost decorators need work, too.
"VAST DISRUPTIONS AHEAD IN EMPLOYMENT DISTRIBUTION
The US economic outlook depends largely on the degree that businesses respond to the pandemic crisis by laying off workers. Until recently, they have largely avoided the tactic. But as so much demand has vanished almost instantaneously, the pressure on companies to reduce costs is urgent.
The five sectors experiencing the most direct and immediate collapse in demand or facing government-mandated shutdowns because of coronavirus are air transportation; performing arts and sports; gambling and recreation; hotels and other lodging; and restaurants and bars. Together, they accounted for $574 billion in total employee compensation in 2018, about 10% of the total, and spread among 13.8 million full-time equivalent workers. Unemployment claims are expected to skyrocket in the coming weeks."
As far as the socialist bleating about "2 million deaths" and "companies with sketchy priorities," feeding our families IS our priority. Feel free to start writing checks.
To prove my first point, some idiot in comments claims "this is capitalism" and I "should be down with it."
It is not capitalism when socialists order your business closed at gunpoint.
- Written by Michael Z Williamson
From George Avery, PhD. MPA
Dr. Avery has a PhD in Health Services Research from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, and has conducted significant research in the area of public health emergency preparedness, including five journal articles and two book chapters on the topic. He has served on several CDC advisory boards, including a panel on preparedness and emergency response centers, and consulted for the Defense Department on Medical Civic Action program doctrine. He has edited a special issue of the research journal Bioterrorism and Biodefense and served as a reviewer for the Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management as well as Disaster Medicine and Public Health. He is a health services researcher with a medical analytics firm in the Midwest, and has formerly been a professor with the public health program at Purdue and worked from 1990-2000 with the Arkansas Department of HealthΓÇÖs Division of Public Health Laboratories.
We are seeing a panic reaction towards the newly emerged SARS-COVID-2 [Wuhan] epidemic, marked by panic buying of items including the much-joked about toilet paper, drastic action by political figures that often impinges on basic civil rights, and potentially devastating lasting economic impact. Much of this has been fueled by na├»ve and sensationalist reporting of fatality rates, such as a March 10, 2020 report by the Bloomberg news service that implies that 3.4-3.5% of infected individuals die (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-09/travel-companies-pull-forecasts-italy-extends-ban-virus-update ).┬á This has caused comparisons to the 1919 Influenza A:H1N1 pandemic and its 2.5% case fatality rate, which would qualify as a level 5 event on the CDCΓÇÖs Pandemic Severity Index (PSI) and has led to a panicked overreaction worldwide. This case fatality rate, however, to a trained epidemiologist is obviously a significant overestimation of the actual fatality rate from the disease.
Ascertainment bias is a systematic error in statistical estimation of a population parameter resulting from errors in measurement - usually, in undermeasurement of a parameter. In this case, we are underestimating the actual number of cases in the population, which is the denominator in the calculation of the estimated case fatality rate. We are accurately estimating deaths, but to get the case fatality rate, we divide deaths by our estimate of the number of cases. Because that it too low due to measurement error, the estimate of the case fatality rate is too high.
For example, for a hypothetical disease if we have three deaths and observed ten cases, then the case fatality rate is 30% (3/10=0.3 or 30%). If, however, there were actually 300 cases, and only 10 were observed and reported, ascertainment bias has led us to underestimate the cases and overestimate the case fatality rate, which is actually 1% (3/300=0.01 or 1%).
In this case, in the absence of population-based screening to more actually estimate the total number of cases, we are only counting cases who are sick enough to seek health care -- almost all disease reports are made by healthcare professionals. We are missing people who have no more than a cold or who are infected but show no symptoms, individuals who almost certainly make up the overwhelming majority of actual cases. Thus, as in my hypothetical example, we are overestimating the case fatality rate for the disease.
There is, however, data available on SARS-COVID-2 [Wuhan] that allows us to get a better grasp on the actual case fatality rates for the virus.
One case is that of the cruise ship Diamond Princess, which achieved some notoriety from the well-publicized outbreak among its 3711 passengers and crew in January and February of 2006. Held aboard in constricted quarters, the population was subject to 3068 polymerase chain reaction (pcr) tests, which identified 634 individuals (17%) as infected, with over half of these infections (328 ) producing no symptoms. Seven infected passengers died, all of them over the age of 70. Adjusting the data for age, researchers at the London Institute of Tropical Medicine have estimated a fatality rate per infection (IFR) for the epidemic in China of 0.5% (95% CI: 0.2-1.2%) during the same period. This is far below the earlier estimates of 3.4% or greater that were promoting panic over the epidemic.┬á See Russell et al, Estimating the infection and case fatality ratio for COVID-19 using age-adjusted data from the outbreak on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, MedRXIV 2020 at https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.03.05.20031773v2.full.pdf.
South Korea has also implemented far wider population-based screening than the US, expanding their screening past suspected cases to voluntary population screening in geographies frequented by identified cases. As of March 15, as Stanford University economist Richard Epstein has noted, they performed over 235,000 tests and identified 8, 162 infections with 75 deaths (CFR=0.91%). Again, only about 10% of the deaths were in the population under the age of 60. See https://www.hoover.org/research/coronavirus-isnt-pandemic . While their population screening efforts were far better than that of the United States, this was still not a broad-based screening effort (such as was used on the Diamond Princess), being biased because while it looked at a broader population, it still was enriched with cases by looking only at a segment of the population with a higher risk.┬á Still, the case fatality rate is significantly below the 3.4% rate that caused the public panic.
What we are likely seeing, in my estimation, is an epidemic with a real case fatality rate between 0.2 and 0.5%, which is similar to the 1957 Asian Influenza A:H2N2 or 1968 Hong Kong Influenza A:H3N2 pandemics, which were also essentially virgin field respiratory epidemics. These pandemics rate, not as PSI5 events, but as PSI2 events on the CDC scale. They are certainly atypical and more severe than a PSI1 event (such as a routine seasonal flu epidemic), but not a shattering event like the 1919 influenza A:H1N1 pandemic. These earlier pandemics essentially tripled the number of deaths due to influenza experienced annually, and were posed little long-term economic or other damage to the population despite being handled without the extreme measures that are currently being adopted or proposed by political figures. Like those pandemic events, SARS-COVID-2 [Wuhan] has its most significant impact on elderly or otherwise compromised individuals, with few fatalities observed in the population under the age of 60. From what we have observed, half of those infected show no symptoms, 40% show mild symptoms such as a cold, and only about 2% advance to serious or critical illness. What is needed now is for politicians and the population to pause, take a deep breath, and address the epidemic with rational measures, such as social distancing of the older population, ring screening around identified cases, quarantine of identified infected individuals, and adequate hospital triage systems to protect other patients and health care staff rom infection in order to preserve our ability to treat the most severe cases. This is a strategy identified by myself and colleagues at Purdue in 2007 to ensure adequate capacity to deal with another true influenza pandemic, and it applies to this one as well.
- Written by Michael Z Williamson
Greetings, fellow citizens.
You may have noticed most of the country losing their collective minds. Relax.┬á I'm here to put things right.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Coronavirus is contagious, but presents with no symptoms in the majority of those infected. ┬áOf those presenting, most only experience a cold. At the extreme end, it can cause pneumonia and death.┬á Complicating factors are: Age, heart conditions, breathing issues (COPD, Asthma), immunocompromise, diabetes. ┬áBasically, if you're old and/or frail, this crap can kill you.
Got that? Good. So, if you are one of those, you should try to sequester yourself as much as possible. Get friends or family to drop off supplies for you. Minimize contact with other people.
WHAT THE STATE IS DOING FOR YOU: For the duration, your employer will not be able to fire you for quarantining yourself. We are encouraging them to pay you if they can afford it, and reducing their tax burden by the amount of your compensation.┬á If they can't, our agencies stand ready with help for utilities, food, etc. I have appointed a special task force, and if you have no local friends or family, the National Guard will drop off food and supplies to you.
IF YOU ARE NOT AT SIGNIFICANT RISK: Wash your damned hands. Don't shake hands. Don't breathe or sneeze on people. Seriously, didn't you learn all this in kindergarten?┬á Try to keep some distance.
DON'T PANIC:┬á If you see a bunch of people having fun at a park, relax.┬á There is no way you can get infected at a distance based on their cheerfulness. Just avoid them and you'll be fine.
EVENTS: We will do our damndest not to cancel any public events, because the hospitality industry runs on narrow margins and employs a lot of people. We'll use a lot of bleach and scrubbing between events, with extras borrowed, if necessary, from the National Guard.┬á It may surprise you, but military people are really freaking good at detail oriented cleaning. It's almost as if they get specific training in it.┬á
IF CLOSURES BECOMES NECESSARY, WE WILL STAGE ACCORDINGLY: Three weeks ahead, events will be advised of potential shutdowns so they can either cancel preparations by choice, or tell their attendees to stand by.┬á Two weeks ahead, the event will be cancelled so travel, transport, and other preparations are not wasted. We're not shutting down months of events based on a vague, undefined threat.
SOME OTHER STATES ARE COMPLETELY FLIPPING THEIR LIDS and trying to end civilization with complete lockdowns. This isn't 1346 and this isn't the Black Plague.┬á Take a deep breath and wash your hands again.
SUPPLIES:┬á You do not need 50 extra rolls of bogwipe, nor a pallet of water--the water from your faucet is perfectly safe, can be settled or boiled, and plenty of filters exist.┬á You don't need 400 lbs of meat, either.┬á God gave you a brain. Use it. Make a list of consumables, try to get two weeks' worth (Why didn't you already?) and stand by. This will all be over soon.
VIRUSES ARE NOT TO BE TAKEN LIGHTLY, but we experience literally thousands of them in our lifetimes. Be cautious, be careful, and remain calm.
Signed: The gov
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