Fundraising for 2020/2021: Currently at $1580. Fundraising has begun, see the global post for options. Paypal Donation Links US dollars CDN Dollars

The Viral Economy

For discussion of religion and politics

Moderators: LawBeefaroni, $iljanus

Post Reply
User avatar
Grifman
Posts: 18692
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 7:17 pm

The Viral Economy

Post by Grifman »

I think we could use a separate thread on the impacts of the epidemic on the economy and what can/should be done to mitigate the effects of the pandemic. I'll start with this Vox article that lays out how bad it is, and how bad it may get:

https://www.vox.com/2020/3/23/21188900/ ... employment

This is scary stuff for sure.
Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions. – G.K. Chesterton

User avatar
Grifman
Posts: 18692
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 7:17 pm

Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Grifman »

So my question is this:

How long can we afford to keep doing what we are doing? I know that sounds cold but there are hidden costs here. The economy is more than just money - it literally is people's lives. The economy allows us to treat and heal the sick, care for the weaker members of society, educate our children, invent new technologies, to invest for the future (and I don't mean just retirement). At what point - is there a point? - that the economic cost of shutting down the entire economy is just too much. Is there a point we need to activate the economy (if we still can) and just try to manage the epidemic as well as we can?' Or do lives over rule all, regardless of the other costs?

Note, I ask this question as a 61 year old who has a higher risk than most due to my age, and as a son who has a 93 year old mother in good health who luckily still lives alone at home.

What do we do?
Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions. – G.K. Chesterton

User avatar
Smoove_B
Posts: 42788
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:58 am
Location: Kaer Morhen

Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Smoove_B »

Not an economist, but speaking from what I know about diseases - it needs to be a layered approach. There needs to be a short-term solution put in place to guarantee the supply chains keep moving. Anything related to the logistics of food, medical and other essential supplies needs to be shored up.

Additionally, money needs to get to people *now* so they can maintain daily life activities at home. I have no doubt people are going to squander their money on non-essential crap, but we can't fix that.

As has been pointed out we're caught between two options. Shutter business and the economy collapses. Keep people working, a % of them get sick and die, the economy collapses as industry no longer has workers.

I believe more than ever the sociopath nature of corporations and the people that run them will push to get money direct from the government. I have no faith that money will broadly be used to support their workers. I absolutely believe money needs to go to people.

Mid to long term, I have no idea what this looks like, but that won't matter if we don't do something short term to address what's about to happen. In other words, the planning horizon right now is quite short - maybe 10-12 weeks. Get stopgaps in now to address the immediate and then have the big brains look at longer term solutions.

User avatar
Grifman
Posts: 18692
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 7:17 pm

Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Grifman »

Smoove_B wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 3:12 pm

Keep people working, a % of them get sick and die, the economy collapses as industry no longer has workers.
I'd agree if the death rate was 30% or 50% but this kills between 1% and 4%, and that's not going to kill enough people to collapse the economy. In fact since this disease attacks the elderly worse, the effect on the economy from a productions/distribution standpoint would be lessened.
Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions. – G.K. Chesterton

User avatar
Grifman
Posts: 18692
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 7:17 pm

Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Grifman »

Smoove_B wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 3:12 pm
Not an economist, but speaking from what I know about diseases - it needs to be a layered approach. There needs to be a short-term solution put in place to guarantee the supply chains keep moving. Anything related to the logistics of food, medical and other essential supplies needs to be shored up.

Additionally, money needs to get to people *now* so they can maintain daily life activities at home. I have no doubt people are going to squander their money on non-essential crap, but we can't fix that.

As has been pointed out we're caught between two options. Shutter business and the economy collapses. Keep people working, a % of them get sick and die, the economy collapses as industry no longer has workers.

I believe more than ever the sociopath nature of corporations and the people that run them will push to get money direct from the government. I have no faith that money will broadly be used to support their workers. I absolutely believe money needs to go to people.

Mid to long term, I have no idea what this looks like, but that won't matter if we don't do something short term to address what's about to happen. In other words, the planning horizon right now is quite short - maybe 10-12 weeks. Get stopgaps in now to address the immediate and then have the big brains look at longer term solutions.


To your broader points, from what I am reading (as in the article I linked to above) it looks like we might be able to continue the current regime for one to two months (which is about how long China did this), but not much longer. If it can be that short, we might be able to bounce back strongly. But if it goes past two months, it might take us years to bounce back - it would be a long and slow mountain to climb.

Hard decisions, hard choices, none of them good. The bad part is our leader is more interested in his re-election chances that the good of the American people.
Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions. – G.K. Chesterton

User avatar
hitbyambulance
Posts: 7104
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 3:51 am
Location: Map Ref 47.6°N 122.35°W
Contact:
Battlefinch’s avatar
Loading…

Re: The Viral Economy

Post by hitbyambulance »

Smoove_B wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 3:12 pm
I believe more than ever the sociopath nature of corporations and the people that run them
"Our Sociopathic Economy"

malchior
Posts: 12207
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:58 pm

Re: The Viral Economy

Post by malchior »

I think that's a good piece. It is direction-ally accurate but the actual numbers are pretty hazy. IMO Congress (read McConnell) dicked around too much already and we are going to be in a world of hurt in April. Many missed rent, mortgage, and services payments are going to set off a chain reaction of more layoffs which leads to more cuts...which leads to more...

User avatar
Smoove_B
Posts: 42788
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:58 am
Location: Kaer Morhen

Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Smoove_B »

Grifman wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 3:18 pm
I'd agree if the death rate was 30% or 50% but this kills between 1% and 4%, and that's not going to kill enough people to collapse the economy. In fact since this disease attacks the elderly worse, the effect on the economy from a productions/distribution standpoint would be lessened.
Non-essential people should not be at work risking exposure and then putting the lives of doctors, nurses and other front-line medical staff at risk right now (or for the next ~3 months). Going to work to make widgets is not worth the life of medical personnel.

Knowing that, opening the doors of business in two weeks is unacceptable (to me). That's not quite the same as workers dying (though they will) and ultimately impacting businesses, but that's my take.

User avatar
Daehawk
Posts: 47866
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2005 1:11 am
daehawk’s avatar
Loading…

Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Daehawk »

The Viral Economy
Or lack thereof.
https://www.gofundme.com/please-help-di ... -wife-died ....Help for me to take care of stuff . Wife died Jan 3 2019 after 31 years. My soulmate.
---------------------------------------------
I am Dyslexic of Borg, prepare to have your ass laminated.
GroovAtroN, stop asking
I guess Ray Butts has ate his last pancake.
http://steamcommunity.com/id/daehawk

User avatar
Kraken
Posts: 36494
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 11:59 pm
Location: The Hub of the Universe
Contact:
Kraken’s avatar
Loading…

Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Kraken »

It was surprisingly easy to shut businesses down by decree. One cannot quickly reopen them by decree. If your restaurant's been closed for, say, two months, you've got to give it a good cleaning, order fresh food and other supplies, and rehire and train a staff. You'll be trying to do this at the same time as all the other survivors in your sector, and with the cloud of a possible repeat shutdown hanging over you. Those that can sustain themselves with takeout orders in the interim will have a head start. When the restaurants do start reopening, demand will be so high that nobody will be able to casually walk in and get a table for months.

I'm hoping for a short, sharp recession followed by a quickly booming recovery. Hoping for, but not counting on.

malchior
Posts: 12207
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:58 pm

Re: The Viral Economy

Post by malchior »

Kraken wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 4:10 pm
It was surprisingly easy to shut businesses down by decree. One cannot quickly reopen them by decree. If your restaurant's been closed for, say, two months, you've got to give it a good cleaning, order fresh food and other supplies, and rehire and train a staff. You'll be trying to do this at the same time as all the other survivors in your sector, and with the cloud of a possible repeat shutdown hanging over you. Those that can sustain themselves with takeout orders in the interim will have a head start. When the restaurants do start reopening, demand will be so high that nobody will be able to casually walk in and get a table for months.

I'm hoping for a short, sharp recession followed by a quickly booming recovery. Hoping for, but not counting on.
I was hoping for that until I started seeing several restaurants collapsing in my local area within a week of the governor's shut down order. I don't know if they are just riding it out or if they are closing permanently yet but it was really discouraging. I've been watching it day by day. Last week at dinner time there were 140 choices in my local area on Grubhub. Over the weekend it was 110. I just looked now. It is down to 85. And Congress is dicking around. Every single Chinese restaurant in my area is gone now. I don't think that is a coincidence.
Last edited by malchior on Mon Mar 23, 2020 5:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Holman
Posts: 23527
Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2004 8:00 pm
Location: Approximately Wissahickon

Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Holman »

I'm heartbroken for the Tibetan restaurant that opened in my neighborhood this past Fall.

They were doing great getting off the ground and had gotten all kinds of excellent reviews across the city. They were becoming a destination restaurant, and you couldn't get a seat on a weekend night. (Tibetan food is subtly different from Chinese, and it's original enough that I'd never seen some of the dishes before.)

Now they're closed. I really hope they'll be back somehow.
Much prefer my Nazis Nuremberged.

malchior
Posts: 12207
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:58 pm

Re: The Viral Economy

Post by malchior »

Internal Screaming


Trump called Art Laffer three times in one night to talk about this, according to Laffer.
Sam Stein wrote:NEW - Trump has been pressing outside allies for plan to get people back to work so that the economic damage doesn’t last “one month longer”

User avatar
Grifman
Posts: 18692
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 7:17 pm

Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Grifman »

Smoove_B wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 4:03 pm
Grifman wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 3:18 pm
I'd agree if the death rate was 30% or 50% but this kills between 1% and 4%, and that's not going to kill enough people to collapse the economy. In fact since this disease attacks the elderly worse, the effect on the economy from a productions/distribution standpoint would be lessened.
Non-essential people should not be at work risking exposure and then putting the lives of doctors, nurses and other front-line medical staff at risk right now (or for the next ~3 months). Going to work to make widgets is not worth the life of medical personnel.

Knowing that, opening the doors of business in two weeks is unacceptable (to me). That's not quite the same as workers dying (though they will) and ultimately impacting businesses, but that's my take.
Ok, good point, and not one enough people think about, the risk to health care workers. But that's not the same as the epidemic leading to a collapse of the economy.

That said, none of this is going to easy, nor is there any perfect answer. How do we strike a balance between lives and economic concerns is very difficult and probably the hardest decision that needs to be made.
Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions. – G.K. Chesterton

malchior
Posts: 12207
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:58 pm

Re: The Viral Economy

Post by malchior »

Grifman wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 5:58 pm
That said, none of this is going to easy, nor is there any perfect answer. How do we strike a balance between lives and economic concerns is very difficult and probably the hardest decision that needs to be made.
As you said, the answer is unfortunately not easy. It requires Trump to take this seriously. Not likely or until too late. He needs to likely shut down the country for 3 weeks as the UK just did. Not easy. Especially since Trump can't do anything with complexity successfully. Also not easy because no one knows if Americans would even follow such an order. Unfortunately, the virus is going to win this match no matter what if we don't do it. And it'll still take down the economy with it.

User avatar
Daehawk
Posts: 47866
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2005 1:11 am
daehawk’s avatar
Loading…

Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Daehawk »

Georgia has something like 750 infected and 25 dead. Seems larger than a 1% death rate.
https://www.gofundme.com/please-help-di ... -wife-died ....Help for me to take care of stuff . Wife died Jan 3 2019 after 31 years. My soulmate.
---------------------------------------------
I am Dyslexic of Borg, prepare to have your ass laminated.
GroovAtroN, stop asking
I guess Ray Butts has ate his last pancake.
http://steamcommunity.com/id/daehawk

User avatar
Smoove_B
Posts: 42788
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:58 am
Location: Kaer Morhen

Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Smoove_B »

Grifman wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 5:58 pm
That said, none of this is going to easy, nor is there any perfect answer. How do we strike a balance between lives and economic concerns is very difficult and probably the hardest decision that needs to be made.
No one should be choosing their job or potentially their life right now. Whatever economic magic wand that needs to be waved to get us through the next ~30 days needs to happen immediately. After 30 days, I can even begin to imagine what that looks like, economically. I also don't think anyone knows (really) what it looks like either, but I'll trust those that might to come up with a solid plan.

If nothing else, I think this pandemic had exposed the issues of (1) having your health insurance tied to your job (2) the gig economy (3) the insane amount of daily life that is being shouldered on hourly workers. I genuinely don't know how this doesn't change everything moving forward - particularly for the American way of life.

malchior
Posts: 12207
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:58 pm

Re: The Viral Economy

Post by malchior »

The way Trump is talking workers will be faced with the choice to decide between a job and their life. A lot of employers will take their cues from him and re-open no matter what.

User avatar
Jaymann
Posts: 10390
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 7:13 pm
Location: California

Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Jaymann »

malchior wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 7:13 pm
The way Trump is talking workers will be faced with the choice to decide between a job and their life. A lot of employers will take their cues from him and re-open no matter what.
And these are the people who will vote for this asshat.
Jaymann
]==(:::::::::::::>

User avatar
hitbyambulance
Posts: 7104
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 3:51 am
Location: Map Ref 47.6°N 122.35°W
Contact:
Battlefinch’s avatar
Loading…

Re: The Viral Economy

Post by hitbyambulance »

super great that it took the death of an employee to get Boeing to finally shutter the factory

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-ne ... he-nation/

User avatar
Grifman
Posts: 18692
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 7:17 pm

Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Grifman »

Regarding the parties economic plans, I'm pretty frustrated with both of them right now:

1) The holdup on the Democratic side is the $500 billion corporate "slush fund". The proposal includes roughly $500 billion in funds for loans and loan guarantees to be doled out to distressed companies, states and localities. What it doesn't include, however, are strict guidelines as to which companies would be eligible, guarantees that any company that taps the funding pool maintains its current workforce and the ability for the treasury secretary to waive, at his discretion, any restrictions on stock buybacks for recipients. It also doesn't require any reporting of which companies took loans until six months after the fact.

2) However, the Democrats are trying to include provisions that have absolutely nothing to do with the epidemic: 1) mandating airline CO2 reductions, strengthening union bargaining rights, enhancements to the ACA, among others. Whether they are really serious about these or they are just bargaining points to be tossed away for other things, I don't know. But they don't look good to me and they make for a good Republican TV commercial.'

They need to stop screwing around.
Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions. – G.K. Chesterton

User avatar
Zarathud
Posts: 14276
Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2004 10:29 pm
Location: Chicago, Illinois

Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Zarathud »

Businesses had an illness and disaster plan in place because of Bush/Obama. Trump tried to dismantle the government part, and has now thrown out the playbook.

Trump abdicated responsibility to the States, trying to shirk responsibility to coordinate and get ahead of the problem. Now he’s looking at putting people back to work calling the situation “fixed” after taking his chances.

This is the time for rational leadership that enables social distancing. We don’t have anything close to that.
"If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts." - Albert Einstein
"I don't stand by anything." - Trump
“Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.” - John Stuart Mill, Inaugural Address Delivered to the University of St Andrews, 2/1/1867
“It is the impractical things in this tumultuous hell-scape of a world that matter most. A book, a name, chicken soup. They help us remember that, even in our darkest hour, life is still to be savored.” - Poe, Altered Carbon

User avatar
Anonymous Bosch
Posts: 8330
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 6:09 pm
Location: Northern California [originally from the UK]

Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Anonymous Bosch »

There's an interesting write-up on this topic from Dr. David L. Katz, founding director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, in the New York Times:

Is Our Fight Against Coronavirus Worse Than the Disease?
NYTimes.com wrote:There may be more targeted ways to beat the pandemic.

We routinely differentiate between two kinds of military action: the inevitable carnage and collateral damage of diffuse hostilities, and the precision of a “surgical strike,” methodically targeted to the sources of our particular peril. The latter, when executed well, minimizes resources and unintended consequences alike.

As we battle the coronavirus pandemic, and heads of state declare that we are “at war” with this contagion, the same dichotomy applies. This can be open war, with all the fallout that portends, or it could be something more surgical. The United States and much of the world so far have gone in for the former. I write now with a sense of urgency to make sure we consider the surgical approach, while there is still time.

Outbreaks tend to be isolated when pathogens move through water or food, and of greater scope when they travel by widespread vectors like fleas, mosquitoes or the air itself. Like the coronavirus pandemic, the infamous flu pandemic of 1918 was caused by viral particles transmitted by coughing and sneezing. Pandemics occur when an entire population is vulnerable — that is, not immune — to a given pathogen capable of efficiently spreading itself.

Immunity occurs when our immune system has developed antibodies against a germ, either naturally or as a result of a vaccine, and is fully prepared should exposure recur. The immune system response is so robust that the invading germ is eradicated before symptomatic disease can develop.

Importantly, that robust immune response also prevents transmission. If a germ can’t secure its hold on your body, your body no longer serves as a vector to send it forward to the next potential host. This is true even if that next person is not yet immune. When enough of us represent such “dead ends” for viral transmission, spread through the population is blunted, and eventually terminated. This is called herd immunity.

What we know so far about the coronavirus makes it a unique case for the potential application of a “herd immunity” approach, a strategy viewed as a desirable side effect in the Netherlands, and briefly considered in the United Kingdom.

The data from South Korea, where tracking the coronavirus has been by far the best to date, indicate that as much as 99 percent of active cases in the general population are “mild” and do not require specific medical treatment. The small percentage of cases that do require such services are highly concentrated among those age 60 and older, and further so the older people are. Other things being equal, those over age 70 appear at three times the mortality risk as those age 60 to 69, and those over age 80 at nearly twice the mortality risk of those age 70 to 79.

These conclusions are corroborated by the data from Wuhan, China, which show a higher death rate, but an almost identical distribution. The higher death rate in China may be real, but is perhaps a result of less widespread testing. South Korea promptly, and uniquely, started testing the apparently healthy population at large, finding the mild and asymptomatic cases of Covid-19 other countries are overlooking. The experience of the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which houses a contained, older population, proves the point. The death rate among that insular and uniformly exposed population is roughly 1 percent.

We have, to date, fewer than 200 deaths from the coronavirus in the United States — a small data set from which to draw big conclusions. Still, it is entirely aligned with the data from other countries. The deaths have been mainly clustered among the elderly, those with significant chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease, and those in both groups.

This is not true of infectious scourges such as influenza. The flu hits the elderly and chronically ill hard, too, but it also kills children. Trying to create herd immunity among those most likely to recover from infection while also isolating the young and the old is daunting, to say the least. How does one allow exposure and immunity to develop in parents, without exposing their young children?

The clustering of complications and death from Covid-19 among the elderly and chronically ill, but not children (there have been only very rare deaths in children), suggests that we could achieve the crucial goals of social distancing — saving lives and not overwhelming our medical system — by preferentially protecting the medically frail and those over age 60, and in particular those over 70 and 80, from exposure.

Why does this matter?

I am deeply concerned that the social, economic and public health consequences of this near total meltdown of normal life — schools and businesses closed, gatherings banned — will be long lasting and calamitous, possibly graver than the direct toll of the virus itself. The stock market will bounce back in time, but many businesses never will. The unemployment, impoverishment and despair likely to result will be public health scourges of the first order.
"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." -- Daniel Webster

malchior
Posts: 12207
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:58 pm

Re: The Viral Economy

Post by malchior »

Anonymous Bosch wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:10 pm
There's an interesting write-up on this topic from Dr. David L. Katz, founding director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, in the New York Times:

Is Our Fight Against Coronavirus Worse Than the Disease?
This would be a great debate if we were in South Korea's shoes. We missed that chance. The only way to buy enough time for that type of response is probably a UK style (as of tonight) reset. Notice when he wrote this article he mentions 200 deaths. It is barely 4 days later and there are 600 dead. This disease isn't a joke. These type of ideas are trading potentially thousands of people's lives to avoid a few weeks of hardship that we can likely mitigate by collective sacrifice. What the heck is wrong with us that we are having these type of sociopathic discussions?

Edit: FWIW I read this at the time and I just recalled several people from Yale health rebutted his argument.
Last edited by malchior on Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Smoove_B
Posts: 42788
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:58 am
Location: Kaer Morhen

Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Smoove_B »

Do you know what would make that broad argument work so much better? If we had test kits to take a look at what the actual disease prevalence is, instead of relying on hospitals to tell us there are sick people. Imagine a world where these test kits could have been widely distributed back in January and we could have collectively been given information on where the virus was and whether or not we we were already collectively soaking in it.

That's my general issue with economic assessments like these. They're assuming outcomes will be [X]. We have no idea because we have very little domestic data supporting the theory this is mostly harmless.

I said it earlier, we need test kits *right now* to not only help front line medical staff, but to also determine how many people already had this and are now recovered. Without that data, arbitrarily sending people back to work is morally irresponsible.

User avatar
gameoverman
Posts: 5685
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 2:21 pm
Location: Glendora, CA

Re: The Viral Economy

Post by gameoverman »

How long can this go on? As long as it needs to, who is going to stop it? If we start things up again and it results in piles of dead bodies being trucked out of hospitals as the virus continues to rage, how is that going to result in a better economy? What good is starting stuff up here again if the rest of the world is shut down? We don't exist in our own little cocoon.

Trickle down doesn't work, we've seen that. So I don't like making trillions available to the big guys and a much smaller amount getting split between all the people who are taking a hit. The ones who can afford to take a hit are the big guys(corporate and individual). I used to believe that idea that you give a corporation all that money and they expand their operations, hiring more US workers. Maybe once upon a time they did that, but these days lots of their operations are overseas. They'll just use the money to keep themselves alive and keep shareholder value up. If that winds up helping the economy it'll be a fluke.

malchior
Posts: 12207
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:58 pm

Re: The Viral Economy

Post by malchior »

gameoverman wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:24 pm
How long can this go on? As long as it needs to, who is going to stop it? If we start things up again and it results in piles of dead bodies being trucked out of hospitals as the virus continues to rage, how is that going to result in a better economy? What good is starting stuff up here again if the rest of the world is shut down? We don't exist in our own little cocoon.
This is a good point. It doesn't mean much if we let up on the brakes and other nations don't. In the meantime maybe lots of people get sick. We end up in the same place. Of course, maybe it doesn't and it was for nothing, but until we know more it is the only ethical and moral choice. Based on what we are starting to find out this is not a joke. People also keep making a mistake about how mild it is. It is mild in many cases but look at that NYC data. Visits skyrocketed. Admissions skyrocketed. It was across multiple age groups. The risk is overwhelming the health care system. That has been the consistent story and we are seeing it happen in a major city right now.

User avatar
Kraken
Posts: 36494
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 11:59 pm
Location: The Hub of the Universe
Contact:
Kraken’s avatar
Loading…

Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Kraken »

Anonymous Bosch wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:10 pm
There's an interesting write-up on this topic from Dr. David L. Katz, founding director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, in the New York Times:

Is Our Fight Against Coronavirus Worse Than the Disease?
I see two holes in this argument. Correct me if I'm wrong. I'm fully prepared to believe that Dr Katz knows more about it than I do.

First, assuming that immunity following infection is persistent. Unknown.

Second, ignoring that the virus is mutating. It is, quite vigorously.

If the coronavirus mimics characteristics of the flu virus and the common cold, herd immunity won't develop on the scale needed to tame the pandemic.

User avatar
Anonymous Bosch
Posts: 8330
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 6:09 pm
Location: Northern California [originally from the UK]

Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Anonymous Bosch »

Kraken wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:11 pm
Anonymous Bosch wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:10 pm
There's an interesting write-up on this topic from Dr. David L. Katz, founding director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, in the New York Times:

Is Our Fight Against Coronavirus Worse Than the Disease?
I see two holes in this argument. Correct me if I'm wrong. I'm fully prepared to believe that Dr Katz knows more about it than I do.

First, assuming that immunity following infection is persistent. Unknown.

Second, ignoring that the virus is mutating. It is, quite vigorously.

If the coronavirus mimics characteristics of the flu virus and the common cold, herd immunity won't develop on the scale needed to tame the pandemic.
I didn't see such assumptions made in his suggested 'surgical approach'; he's concerned the 'sledgehammer' approach could put those especially vulnerable to severe infection at even greater risk as a result of younger people of indeterminate infectious status being sent home to mingle with their families:
NYTimes.com wrote:Worse, I fear our efforts will do little to contain the virus, because we have a resource-constrained, fragmented, perennially underfunded public health system. Distributing such limited resources so widely, so shallowly and so haphazardly is a formula for failure. How certain are you of the best ways to protect your most vulnerable loved ones? How readily can you get tested?

We have already failed to respond as decisively as China or South Korea, and lack the means to respond like Singapore. We are following in Italy’s wake, at risk of seeing our medical system overwhelmed twice: First when people rush to get tested for the coronavirus, and again when the especially vulnerable succumb to severe infection and require hospital beds.

Yes, in more and more places we are limiting gatherings uniformly, a tactic I call “horizontal interdiction” — when containment policies are applied to the entire population without consideration of their risk for severe infection.

But as the work force is laid off en masse (our family has one adult child home for that reason already), and colleges close (we have another two young adults back home for this reason), young people of indeterminate infectious status are being sent home to huddle with their families nationwide. And because we lack widespread testing, they may be carrying the virus and transmitting it to their 50-something parents, and 70- or 80-something grandparents. If there are any clear guidelines for behavior within families — what I call “vertical interdiction” — I have not seen them.

Such is the collateral damage of this diffuse form of warfare, aimed at “flattening” the epidemic curve generally rather than preferentially protecting the especially vulnerable. I believe we may be ineffectively fighting the contagion even as we are causing economic collapse.

There is another and much overlooked liability in this approach. If we succeed in slowing the spread of coronavirus from torrent to trickle, then when does the society-wide disruption end? When will it be safe for healthy children and younger teachers to return to school, much less older teachers and teachers with chronic illnesses? When will it be safe for the work force to repopulate the workplace, given that some are in the at-risk group for severe infection?

When would it be safe to visit loved ones in nursing homes or hospitals? When once again might grandparents pick up their grandchildren?

There are many possible answers, but the most likely one is: We just don’t know. We could wait until there’s an effective treatment, a vaccine or transmission rates fall to undetectable levels. But what if those are a year or more away? Then we suffer the full extent of societal disruption the virus might cause for all those months. The costs, not just in money, are staggering to contemplate.

So what is the alternative? Well, we could focus our resources on testing and protecting, in every way possible, all those people the data indicate are especially vulnerable to severe infection: the elderly, people with chronic diseases and the immunologically compromised. Those that test positive could be the first to receive the first approved antivirals. The majority, testing negative, could benefit from every resource we have to shield them from exposure.

To be sure, while mortality is highly concentrated in a select groups, it does not stop there. There are poignant, heart-rending tales of severe infection and death from Covid-19 in younger people for reasons we do not know. If we found over time that younger people were also especially vulnerable to the virus, we could expand the at-risk category and extend protections to them.

We have already identified many of the especially vulnerable. A detailed list of criteria could be generated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, updated daily and circulated widely to health professionals and the public alike. The at-risk population is already subject to the protections of our current policies: social distancing, medical attention for fever or cough. But there are several major problems with subsuming the especially vulnerable within the policies now applied to all.

First, the medical system is being overwhelmed by those in the lower-risk group seeking its resources, limiting its capacity to direct them to those at greatest need. Second, health professionals are burdened not just with work demands, but also with family demands as schools, colleges and businesses are shuttered. Third, sending everyone home to huddle together increases mingling across generations that will expose the most vulnerable.

As the virus is already circulating widely in the United States, with many cases going undetected, this is like sending innumerable lit matches into small patches of tinder. Right now, it is harder, not easier, to keep the especially vulnerable isolated from all others — including members of their own families — who may have been exposed to the virus.

If we were to focus on the especially vulnerable, there would be resources to keep them at home, provide them with needed services and coronavirus testing, and direct our medical system to their early care. I would favor proactive rather than reactive testing in this group, and early use of the most promising anti-viral drugs. This cannot be done under current policies, as we spread our relatively few test kits across the expanse of a whole population, made all the more anxious because society has shut down.

This focus on a much smaller portion of the population would allow most of society to return to life as usual and perhaps prevent vast segments of the economy from collapsing. Healthy children could return to school and healthy adults go back to their jobs. Theaters and restaurants could reopen, though we might be wise to avoid very large social gatherings like stadium sporting events and concerts.

So long as we were protecting the truly vulnerable, a sense of calm could be restored to society. Just as important, society as a whole could develop natural herd immunity to the virus. The vast majority of people would develop mild coronavirus infections, while medical resources could focus on those who fell critically ill. Once the wider population had been exposed and, if infected, had recovered and gained natural immunity, the risk to the most vulnerable would fall dramatically.

A pivot right now from trying to protect all people to focusing on the most vulnerable remains entirely plausible. With each passing day, however, it becomes more difficult. The path we are on may well lead to uncontained viral contagion and monumental collateral damage to our society and economy. A more surgical approach is what we need.
"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." -- Daniel Webster

User avatar
Kraken
Posts: 36494
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 11:59 pm
Location: The Hub of the Universe
Contact:
Kraken’s avatar
Loading…

Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Kraken »

Thanks for the second excerpt (wot? you thought I was going to read the whole thing before commenting?) Makes more sense now.

User avatar
Smoove_B
Posts: 42788
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:58 am
Location: Kaer Morhen

Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Smoove_B »

Governor Cuomo gets it:
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Tuesday government officials need to focus on a strategy to improve both public health and the economy simultaneously in wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

“There's a smarter approach to this, we don’t have to choose between the two. We can develop a more defined public health strategy that is also an economic strategy,” Cuomo said Tuesday at his daily press briefing.

...

“My mother is not expendable, your mother is not expendable and our brothers and sisters are not expendable, and we’re not going to accept the premise that human life is disposable, and we’re not going to put a dollar figure on human life. The first order of business is to save lives, period. Whatever it costs,” Cuomo said.

“You can have an economic startup strategy consistent with the public health strategy. It's smart, it’s complicated, it’s sophisticated, but that's what government is supposed to do … you can do both but not in a clumsy ham-handed way,” he added.

Cuomo said the initial strategy to close down all nonessential businesses was not the “most refined” but, with the knowledge of the dangers of the outbreak at the time, the New York state government needed to act.

Moving forward, he said, a more refined approach can be implemented including possibly allowing younger workers or people who have recovered from the virus return to work.
Everything - everything hinges on testing and surveillance. Without data, none of this matters.

User avatar
Daehawk
Posts: 47866
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2005 1:11 am
daehawk’s avatar
Loading…

Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Daehawk »

I like watching GOV Cuomo talk with his brother the CNN Cuomo. I feel the smarts. I wonder if he is planning a future Prez run?
https://www.gofundme.com/please-help-di ... -wife-died ....Help for me to take care of stuff . Wife died Jan 3 2019 after 31 years. My soulmate.
---------------------------------------------
I am Dyslexic of Borg, prepare to have your ass laminated.
GroovAtroN, stop asking
I guess Ray Butts has ate his last pancake.
http://steamcommunity.com/id/daehawk

malchior
Posts: 12207
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:58 pm

Re: The Viral Economy

Post by malchior »

It's starting to look like the Dems cut a *great* deal. The outlines are 4-months of 100% pay to furloughed workers. That'll take pressure off Governors who want to shutdown. That might really help. The companies will still be hurting and we'll have an inflation monster to deal with but anything helps.

User avatar
El Guapo
Posts: 35101
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2005 4:01 pm
Location: Boston

Re: The Viral Economy

Post by El Guapo »

malchior wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:26 pm
It's starting to look like the Dems cut a *great* deal. The outlines are 4-months of 100% pay to furloughed workers. That'll take pressure off Governors who want to shutdown. That might really help. The companies will still be hurting and we'll have an inflation monster to deal with but anything helps.
Where are you getting the details from? I haven't seen much on the political twitter accounts that I follow.

Anything on election protection / vote by mail provisions?

malchior
Posts: 12207
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:58 pm

Re: The Viral Economy

Post by malchior »

The Hill had some coverage - this is where I first saw it. Don't see much about the other stuff yet. That is a pretty significant headline its own though.


User avatar
Kraken
Posts: 36494
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 11:59 pm
Location: The Hub of the Universe
Contact:
Kraken’s avatar
Loading…

Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Kraken »

Hmmm, I wonder if/how that applies to the owner and sole employee of my own corporation. Can I furlough myself? (I really will be without work after April.)

User avatar
El Guapo
Posts: 35101
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2005 4:01 pm
Location: Boston

Re: The Viral Economy

Post by El Guapo »

Kraken wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 2:56 pm
Hmmm, I wonder if/how that applies to the owner and sole employee of my own corporation. Can I furlough myself? (I really will be without work after April.)
Depends. Do you think of yourself as essential?

Jeff V
Posts: 33096
Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2004 7:17 pm
Location: Nowhere you want to be.

Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Jeff V »

El Guapo wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 3:00 pm
Depends. Do you think of yourself as essential?
You'll have to ask his wife.

User avatar
Grifman
Posts: 18692
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 7:17 pm

Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Grifman »

malchior wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:26 pm
It's starting to look like the Dems cut a *great* deal. The outlines are 4-months of 100% pay to furloughed workers. That'll take pressure off Governors who want to shutdown. That might really help. The companies will still be hurting and we'll have an inflation monster to deal with but anything helps.
No, I disagree, I don't see an inflation problem at all. Inflation usually occurs when there's too much money chasing too few goods. People are going to be spending money on mortgages, rent, car payments, etc. I don't think there's going to be a lot of spending on computers, iPhones, big screen tv's, etc., because of the unsure economic situation. The money will just be replacing normal earnings, it's not priming or pumping the economy up past where it would normally be for the most part.
Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions. – G.K. Chesterton

User avatar
Grifman
Posts: 18692
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 7:17 pm

Re: The Viral Economy

Post by Grifman »

Kraken wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 2:56 pm
Hmmm, I wonder if/how that applies to the owner and sole employee of my own corporation. Can I furlough myself? (I really will be without work after April.)
If you are employee and pay yourself a salary, you should be ok. The real question is about sole proprietors, who don't have a separate corporate entity such they can be considered an employee.
Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions. – G.K. Chesterton

Post Reply