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Corona and Cavalier Behavior

Old 03-30-20, 03:45 PM
  #26  
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The corona virus is something new, never seen before. It now appears that people who were previously infected but recovered are now again testing positive. To predict how this virus will behave in the future, based on what, how other viral infections have behaved is not a sound assumption. I prefer to follow the observation of that great American philosopher, Yogi Berra who said "making predictions is tough, especially about the future".
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Old 03-30-20, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
Put in a different context, the Viet Nam War lasted around 20 years and killed 55,000 Americans. That was enough that virtually everybody I've talked with has a friend or relative who was a casualty. 100,000 would be a tragic number.
Or, in the same time period, about the same number deaths occurred from traffic accidents every year. Here are the numbers broken down by cause for 2017:

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/deaths.htm
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Old 03-30-20, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by berner View Post
The corona virus is something new, never seen before. It now appears that people who were previously infected but recovered are now again testing positive. To predict how this virus will behave in the future, based on what, how other viral infections have behaved is not a sound assumption. I prefer to follow the observation of that great American philosopher, Yogi Berra who said "making predictions is tough, especially about the future".
Yep. They could be false positives too, just as there are false negatives. The Spanish Flu came in three waves, the second much more deadly than the first. Are all of the "flattening the curve" efforts (which I not only support, but thought were implemented too late) just going to give the virus more opportunities to mutate to a much more deadly form? That isn't known. We will see.

All we can do is the best we know how to do to minimize the harm, given the science and data as we understand it at the time the decisions are made. I really don't see how that is even the least bit controversial.
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Old 03-30-20, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by CyclingBK View Post
I’m right in NYC and it’s crazy to think that just 3 weeks ago, we were all on top of each other jammed into the subway, elevators, and our offices.

The toll here is huge but, what’s odd is that anecdotally, of the many dozens or hundreds of people I know, no one has covid and only 2 have said that they even know someone who has it. And I have been asking grocery store owners etc as well.

Now, it’s very possible that I (and many of us) had it already and never even knew. I don’t recall any symptoms or even feeling “off” but who knows.

People I see in Brooklyn, where I live, are very seriousl about distancing. I live near the very popular Prospect Park bike loop and it’s been very busy. I’ll see people riding in pairs and sometimes see some people in small groups but they seem to be keeping their distance.

Hoping that the past 2 weeks and next 2 we will see the worst of it. Bracing for what that will look like but hoping for the best.

Meantime, keeping distance and washing my hands and everything else. I even wash my daily apple with dish soap before I eat it!
That is my experience too. I do not personally know anyone diagnosed COVID positive, but I know at least 3 people who had the same symptoms back in January. They had a nasty "cold" with symptoms that fit very closely with the COVID symptoms, temperature, dry cough and all. One of them had a colleague that had just returned from China. They will not be counted as COVID positive patients, but probably were. Back on March 19, about 2-3 percent of NBA players tested positive, waaay more than the general population at the time. Some of that is likely due to traceable infections rather than from the community, but it is still a large number.

Personally, I think when it is all said and done, we are going to find out that there were many more infections than we realized, and that at the same time, the virus itself is not as deadly as we assumed ... just as that study I posted concluded from the data in China. We will see.

It doesn't matter though. It still means a lot of people are going to die, that still sucks, and we should do our best to minimize it.
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Old 03-30-20, 06:12 PM
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The latest ... a state by state forecast comparing peak medical care requirements and capacity.

https://covid19.healthdata.org/
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Old 03-30-20, 09:28 PM
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And your'e telling me that Birx is a good prognosticator??? Maybe a look see into her past is in order? She is not the one I would be looking to for good advice.
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Old 03-31-20, 07:10 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
Or, in the same time period, about the same number deaths occurred from traffic accidents every year. Here are the numbers broken down by cause for 2017
I'm sorry, I just don't understand your point. Two tragedies is worse than 1 tragedy.
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Old 03-31-20, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
I'm sorry, I just don't understand your point. Two tragedies is worse than 1 tragedy.
Every death is a tragedy. I'm just trying to put the numbers in perspective.
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Old 03-31-20, 12:53 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
Every death is a tragedy.
I appreciate you saying that.

Corona deaths are arguably more tragic because family members are prohibited from visiting during the victim's last days and they are prohibited from holding a timely conventional funeral or remembrance of the victim's life. At the Life Care Nursing Home in Kirkland Washington families camped out on the grounds so they could converse with patients. Not even EMS was allowed to enter the home. On March 7, a Federal Strike Team evaluated the home, made their recommendations and then left the nursing home staff to their own devices while the staff was slowly infected or even dying, The staff had to roll patients outside to transfer them to hospitals. And while all this was happening the richest country in the world was still stalling on testing procedures. Our president said it would all be over in a few days. Trivializing the grief of these unfortunately affected families into a cold statistic makes me angry.

This is a big deal. It's uniquely bad and there is simply no way it should be so trivialized.
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Old 03-31-20, 01:06 PM
  #35  
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The general public is most definitely not taking it seriously where I live. I fear soon the Houston area will be in a similar situation to what New York is experiencing soon. I wish individual people would take ownership of their civic responsibility and be part of the solution and not a hindrance
.
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Old 03-31-20, 01:48 PM
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In a sense, "social distancing" IS cavalier behavior towards coronavirus, Not the individuals who are just doing what we're directed to do, but the whole approach.

Our State government officials were recently briefed that most likely, without social distancing measures 70% of us would be infected, With social distancing the number was ... 70% For a number of reasons, but the salient fact is that social distancing is not expected to reduce the eventual infection rate, at all. Which means, our chances of getting the virus eventually is the same, whether or not we cooperate with social distancing measures. To me, that more or less defines "cavalier behavior".

There are very good reasons to cooperate fully with social distancing but - unless we're willing to take more "extreme" measures in addition to it - not gettigermaphong the virus isn't one of them. Right now, except for the germophobe misanthropists among us and those under real quarantine we're mostly all cavalier.
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Old 03-31-20, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
In a sense, "social distancing" IS cavalier behavior towards coronavirus, Not the individuals who are just doing what we're directed to do, but the whole approach.

Our State government officials were recently briefed that most likely, without social distancing measures 70% of us would be infected, With social distancing the number was ... 70% For a number of reasons, but the salient fact is that social distancing is not expected to reduce the eventual infection rate, at all. Which means, our chances of getting the virus eventually is the same, whether or not we cooperate with social distancing measures. To me, that more or less defines "cavalier behavior".

There are very good reasons to cooperate fully with social distancing but - unless we're willing to take more "extreme" measures in addition to it - not gettigermaphong the virus isn't one of them. Right now, except for the germophobe misanthropists among us and those under real quarantine we're mostly all cavalier.

The infection rate may be 70% for the two scenarios, but there is at least an order of magnitude's difference between the predicted number of deaths. Preventing the deaths of a couple million people does not sound like a cavalier approach at all. On a personal level, if I have to get the disease, I'd much rather get it in an environment and at a time where I can actually have a chance of getting adequate medical care.

It simply isn't sustainable for any length of time to maintain a society where everyone is hermetically sealed from everyone else. It is not cavalier to then take measures to make the spread of the virus more manageable knowing that it is basically impossible to take the measures necessary to stop it entirely.
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Old 03-31-20, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
The infection rate may be 70% for the two scenarios, but there is at least an order of magnitude's difference between the predicted number of deaths. Preventing the deaths of a couple million people does not sound like a cavalier approach at all. On a personal level, if I have to get the disease, I'd much rather get it in an environment and at a time where I can actually have a chance of getting adequate medical care.

It simply isn't sustainable for any length of time to maintain a society where everyone is hermetically sealed from everyone else. It is not cavalier to then take measures to make the spread of the virus more manageable knowing that it is basically impossible to take the measures necessary to stop it entirely.
As I said, there are very good reasons for social distancing. I guess you just wanted to emphasize how correct that statement was. Chiefly because there will be insufficient medical care if everyone got it within a few weeks,

But it glosses over the point: if we want to prevent individuals from contracting the virus, and having that .2% to 8% chance of dying from it, social distancing won't achieve that. It's like saying, "I'm not being cavalier paragliding in a thunderstorm, because I'd probably die if I did it without a glider".

I'm not giving anyone advice - I'm just pointing out that if we really want to save lives beyond what basic (and likely abbreviated) medical care will save, we're aren't doing it,.
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Old 03-31-20, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
As I said, there are very good reasons for social distancing. I guess you just wanted to emphasize how correct that statement was. Chiefly because there will be insufficient medical care if everyone got it within a few weeks,

But it glosses over the point: if we want to prevent individuals from contracting the virus, and having that .2% to 8% chance of dying from it, social distancing won't achieve that. It's like saying, "I'm not being cavalier paragliding in a thunderstorm, because I'd probably die if I did it without a glider".

I'm not giving anyone advice - I'm just pointing out that if we really want to save lives beyond what basic (and likely abbreviated) medical care will save, we're aren't doing it,.
You're conflating two very different things. Basically, what's become very obvious is preventing people from contracting the virus long term is simply an impossibility. 70% of the population is going to get it because you'd basically have to end civilization to stop it completely. It's that efficient at spreading. You're conflating that infection rate with a death rate. The death rate is highly dependent on our medical care for the afflicted--the subset of people who actually have a severe reaction to the infection.

The right analogy is that if you are going to have to jump out of the plane or die in a crash, it's not cavalier to use a parachute to slow your fall rather than taking on the impossible task of fixing the plane in midair.

By the way, at some point, effective antivirals will be developed. Slowing the spread might stall long enough that massive numbers of people who would otherwise get very sick and perhaps die might be saved from that.

And by Fauci's models, your last paragraph is pooh-poohing the saving of over 2 million lives.
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Old 03-31-20, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
You're conflating two very different things. Basically, what's become very obvious is preventing people from contracting the virus long term is simply an impossibility. 70% of the population is going to get it because you'd basically have to end civilization to stop it completely. It's that efficient at spreading. You're conflating that infection rate with a death rate. The death rate is highly dependent on our medical care for the afflicted--the subset of people who actually have a severe reaction to the infection.

The right analogy is that if you are going to have to jump out of the plane or die in a crash, it's not cavalier to use a parachute to slow your fall rather than taking on the impossible task of fixing the plane in midair.

By the way, at some point, effective antivirals will be developed. Slowing the spread might stall long enough that massive numbers of people who would otherwise get very sick and perhaps die might be saved from that.

And by Fauci's models, your last paragraph is pooh-poohing the saving of over 2 million lives.
For all that it's obvious, it's also wrong. In that same briefing, the estimated infection rate with quarantines was 5%.

And no, those estimated death rates assume ,medical care for the patients. It's much higher if the availability and quality of care falters.
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Old 04-01-20, 12:16 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
Or, in the same time period, about the same number deaths occurred from traffic accidents every year. Here are the numbers broken down by cause for 2017:

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/deaths.htm
And, to @Retro Grouch's point, many people I know knew somebody who died in a car accident. I went to a small, close knit high school in a small town, one of my classmates died at 17 years old. The tree was 200 and didn't even lose any bark.

Officially the US says 200,000 Americans dead from covid would be a success. About 30,000 Americans die in traffic accidents every year. (Your link lists all accidental deaths, not just ones from traffic, but also lumps in mountain climbing accidents for example.)
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Old 04-01-20, 12:31 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
Yep. They could be false positives too, just as there are false negatives. The Spanish Flu came in three waves, the second much more deadly than the first. Are all of the "flattening the curve" efforts (which I not only support, but thought were implemented too late) just going to give the virus more opportunities to mutate to a much more deadly form? That isn't known. We will see.

All we can do is the best we know how to do to minimize the harm, given the science and data as we understand it at the time the decisions are made. I really don't see how that is even the least bit controversial.
​​​​​​Probably not, for two reasons:
  1. nCov 2 has a proofreader. It mutates 20x less often than a virus without. Most mutations are harmful or fatal to the virus, so it's good at avoiding them.
  2. Natural selection favors parasites that do minimal harm to their hosts. The virus that causes oral herpes has been with "us" for at least 6 million years; it's extremely successful because it's benign, allowing its host to go around spreading it. Viruses aren't alive, but they're still subject to Darwinian evolution.
But, like you and Tupac say, only time reveals.
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Old 04-01-20, 04:48 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
For all that it's obvious, it's also wrong. In that same briefing, the estimated infection rate with quarantines was 5%.

And no, those estimated death rates assume ,medical care for the patients. It's much higher if the availability and quality of care falters.
I'm not going to quibble with you over the modeling, but the projections of deaths with and without social distancing diverge by millions.

You really want to talk about cavalier, look at Florida, look at how long we stalled on getting ppe and ventilator production ramped up.

Quarantine is an ideal, basically unsustainable state at a societal level. The places that seem to be succeeding at it have done so by extensive testing allowing them to do targeted quarantining. That ship sailed in the US weeks ago.

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Old 04-01-20, 07:38 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
This was my statement.

"I guess what I am saying is that staying 10M away from people now is not going to make up for being within 1 foot of them in a crowded restaurant two weeks ago."

In other words, over-reaction today does not make up for an under reaction two weeks ago. Kind of like making up for running out of gas last week by overfilling the gas tank today. All of the social distancing measures have their cost and consequences too, and if they're to be employed, it should be supported by science and the numbers with the effectiveness balanced by the social cost.
Just because you managed to dodge the first bullet doesn't mean you shouldn't try to get behind cover before the 2nd one comes.
And social distancing is supported by science. There' s a reason why it's pretty much standard practice across the world currently. Furthermore, economists were virtually unanimously opposed to an early end of the lockdown:
https://twitter.com/paulkrugman/status/1244953310026743808

https://twitter.com/paulkrugman/status/1244953310026743808
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Old 04-01-20, 08:07 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
Just because you managed to dodge the first bullet doesn't mean you shouldn't try to get behind cover before the 2nd one comes.
And social distancing is supported by science. There' s a reason why it's pretty much standard practice across the world currently. Furthermore, economists were virtually unanimously opposed to an early end of the lockdown:
https://twitter.com/paulkrugman/status/1244953310026743808

https://twitter.com/paulkrugman/status/1244953310026743808

I think Biker395 is making an utterly trivial point that is irrefutable. What you're missing is the 10 meter distance--over 5x what is recommended. So if I understand him correctly, I think he's saying overdoing it now isn't going to make up for "underdoing" it before, not that he's arguing against the 6 foot rule.

I have no idea why he thinks that is a point worth making.
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Old 04-01-20, 09:13 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
And, to @Retro Grouch's point, many people I know knew somebody who died in a car accident. I went to a small, close knit high school in a small town, one of my classmates died at 17 years old. The tree was 200 and didn't even lose any bark.

Officially the US says 200,000 Americans dead from covid would be a success. About 30,000 Americans die in traffic accidents every year. (Your link lists all accidental deaths, not just ones from traffic, but also lumps in mountain climbing accidents for example.)
The value of a life and the tragedy associated with the loss of that life is, of course, up to us all to judge for ourselves. As for me ... yes, should I die of COVID, it would be tragic. But personally, I think the some 70,000 people that die from overdoses ... many of them very young and with their entire lives before them ... to be more tragic than the death of this old man.

Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
​​​​​​Probably not, for two reasons:
  1. nCov 2 has a proofreader. It mutates 20x less often than a virus without. Most mutations are harmful or fatal to the virus, so it's good at avoiding them.
  2. Natural selection favors parasites that do minimal harm to their hosts. The virus that causes oral herpes has been with "us" for at least 6 million years; it's extremely successful because it's benign, allowing its host to go around spreading it. Viruses aren't alive, but they're still subject to Darwinian evolution.
But, like you and Tupac say, only time reveals.
Thank you. I read something similar and was comforted by that as well. Just recently, I read something to the effect that every time the virus mutates, it makes it twice as hard to develop a vaccine (also apparently nonsense). There is a lot of misinformation about.

Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I think Biker395 is making an utterly trivial point that is irrefutable. What you're missing is the 10 meter distance--over 5x what is recommended. So if I understand him correctly, I think he's saying overdoing it now isn't going to make up for "underdoing" it before, not that he's arguing against the 6 foot rule.

I have no idea why he thinks that is a point worth making.
You are correct. That, and only that, was my point. And in deciding how to respond, we need to make sure that what we do is science and analytically based, and consider the harm from all sources, including the cures. To me that is UTTERLY irrefutable, but you saw the responses.

Why did I think that to be a point worth making?

I was an early adopter of social distancing ... well before it was mandated by the government. That is because it was supported by the numbers as best understood at the time, and made sense. While I was staying away from groups and crowds, I would pass by restaurants and bars crowded with people, knowing that we would be paying the price for not acting in a timely matter.

The pendulum has swung. Now we have people calling each other out for walking down the street with their wife. We have people making claims that are simply not supported by evidence or any reasonable extrapolation of evidence. Case in point. San Mateo county up the Bay Area just announced that they are implementing the rather draconian measures that include:

1. Cannot hop in your car and drive elsewhere, just for fun.
2. If you're going to ride your bike or walk, it must be within 5Km of your house.

https://www.smcgov.org/shelter-place-faqs

I read this right after going to the market for some food. Let me tell you, if there is any risky behavior I am participating in, it is going to the market. Difficult to social distance in the aisles, and you are touching things other people touch. The workers are exposed to LOTS of people, yet there is no testing to assure that the are not asymptomatically infected. And in light of all that risk, they think the risk of myself to others or vice versa is even remotely comparable to walking into my own car and driving around? How can that be?

And what is the basis for limiting a bike or walk to 5Km of your house? I know people who will undoubtedly ride around in circles to get the exercise they need. Isn't the more reasonable metric how crowded it is ... how many people you encounter?

And on top of that, recent data shows that the measures currently in place are working and we are not projected to need more hospital beds, ER visits, ICU rooms or ventilators then are available.

I'm a numbers guy. I say we do what is supported by science and evidence ... no more and no less. To do more just for the sake of "showing the flag" inflicts gratuitous harm on people for no good reason.
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Old 04-01-20, 09:13 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
​​​​​​Natural selection favors parasites that do minimal harm to their hosts. The virus that causes oral herpes has been with "us" for at least 6 million years; it's extremely successful because it's benign, allowing its host to go around spreading it. Viruses aren't alive, but they're still subject to Darwinian evolution.
I don't know where you got this but it's way off the mark for at least two reasons. First, this coronavirus hasn't lived in humans for more than a few months and was probably seeded to humans accidentally. It's odd to suggest natural selection in a timeframe of months. Second, only around 1% of humans will die from this virus so the virus doesn't generally kill its host.
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Old 04-01-20, 09:26 AM
  #48  
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https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashb...23467b48e9ecf6
This link was put up a few days ago before the transfer of the thread. It is a very good link updated, evidently, daily with related pages showing greater detail. However we measure the effects of the pandemic, it is world wide, likely to get much worst, and there are already 10s of thousands of deaths. I personally don't see dying as a tragedy. It is the normal course of life. Needless deaths are a tragedy and I hope we do everything possible to make the heroic work of the medical profession as effective and safe as we know how.
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Old 04-01-20, 09:36 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post

You are correct. That, and only that, was my point. And in deciding how to respond, we need to make sure that what we do is science and analytically based, and consider the harm from all sources, including the cures. To me that is UTTERLY irrefutable, but you saw the responses.

Why did I think that to be a point worth making?

I was an early adopter of social distancing ... well before it was mandated by the government. That is because it was supported by the numbers as best understood at the time, and made sense. While I was staying away from groups and crowds, I would pass by restaurants and bars crowded with people, knowing that we would be paying the price for not acting in a timely matter.

The pendulum has swung. Now we have people calling each other out for walking down the street with their wife. We have people making claims that are simply not supported by evidence or any reasonable extrapolation of evidence. Case in point. San Mateo county up the Bay Area just announced that they are implementing the rather draconian measures that include:

1. Cannot hop in your car and drive elsewhere, just for fun.
2. If you're going to ride your bike or walk, it must be within 5Km of your house.

https://www.smcgov.org/shelter-place-faqs

I read this right after going to the market for some food. Let me tell you, if there is any risky behavior I am participating in, it is going to the market. Difficult to social distance in the aisles, and you are touching things other people touch. The workers are exposed to LOTS of people, yet there is no testing to assure that the are not asymptomatically infected. And in light of all that risk, they think the risk of myself to others or vice versa is even remotely comparable to walking into my own car and driving around? How can that be?

And what is the basis for limiting a bike or walk to 5Km of your house? I know people who will undoubtedly ride around in circles to get the exercise they need. Isn't the more reasonable metric how crowded it is ... how many people you encounter?

And on top of that, recent data shows that the measures currently in place are working and we are not projected to need more hospital beds, ER visits, ICU rooms or ventilators then are available.

I'm a numbers guy. I say we do what is supported by science and evidence ... no more and no less. To do more just for the sake of "showing the flag" inflicts gratuitous harm on people for no good reason.

Ahh, I didn't get that was what you are talking about.

Don't know the genesis of San Mateo's 5k rule or the don't hop in the car for a joy ride rule, but I can guess the reasoning and it's not terrible. It's actually mathematical. You want rules that keep people outside from clumping together.

5k rule is probably more concerned with your likelihood of stopping somewhere and also knowing that certain places are more attractive to walk and ride in than others. If everyone wants to walk by the beach, for example, the beach gets much more crowded than if access is limited to people within 5k. This is also probably related to the car rule--if everyone within a, say, 15 mile radius drives to the same park for a walk, then that park will get crowded. Also, on the whole, more car trips mean more trips to the gas station.

Riding around a 5k radius also makes sense from the standpoint of stopping at home for the pit stops rather than having to use a convenience store for bathrooms and provisions. We don't have such a rule where I live yet, but I will follow it if implemented.

They're trying to avoid the Chicago situation where everybody headed to the same beach, and Chicago had to respond by closing the beach entirely.
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Old 04-01-20, 11:19 AM
  #50  
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The flu claims 10s of thousands of lives in the US alone every year, yet we've always been "cavalier" in how we co-mingled and spread the flu to each other, because we knew the hospitals could "handle" it. So, if our current hospital system (or even our future system) could handle the total number of COVID-19 patients we have now, wouldn't we still be just as cavalier? The hard to ask question is: Is our distancing and quarantine protocols based on the projected number of deaths, or in the hospital system's ability to not be overloaded? History shows it's not based on total deaths, since 61,000 people died in the 2017-2018 flu season, and I don't recall any quarantines.

Last edited by Riveting; 04-01-20 at 11:39 AM.
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