August 8, 2020

"It is entirely possible that, with the benefit of hindsight, we will conclude that measures to control the virus shortened or stunted more lives in the long run..."

"... than were saved in the short run. Intellectually, we may accept that we are harming more than we are helping but emotionally, morally, we bridle at the notion of putting a price on life. The over-seventies, we say (I write this on my 71st birthday) plus those with underlying health conditions, are real, living, breathing people, whom we can count and who are known to us. It feels indecent to weigh their worth against an abstract idea of humans unknown who could be future casualties of our efforts to save loved ones today. Save those we know! Let the Devil do his work, but save the physically fragile of 2020. That, however, is not always how we act. Deep down, we know we can’t. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) uses quality adjusted life-years (Qalys) to compare the worth of medical procedures, treatments and drugs. One Qaly equals one year of perfect health (or two years of 50 per cent health, and so on). The NHS is said to regard a £30,000 Qaly as the upper limit for good value for money..... It may be crude, callous, arbitrary, tasteless, but we have to make choices and to make choices we have to weigh. What’s more, we do weigh — all the while protesting otherwise. We should be more honest."

From "We can, and must, put a price on human life/This pandemic has brought into sharp focus a question that Christians have been encouraging us to dodge for centuries" by Matthew Parris (The London Times).

I'm not endorsing his statements. £30,000 per "Qaly" sounds like a scary warning about single-payer health insurance to me. I'm interested in the problem of focusing on shortened lives to the point of not  being sufficiently concerned about stunted lives. And yet when a life is shortened — that is, when a person dies — it's a specific event. You can count the deaths (even if you can't count the "quality" and quantity of the years that were lost).

How can you count the stunted lives?! You can only guess what the losses in the future are. You won't even be able to measure the losses a year or 5 or 10 or 20 years from now. Who knows what the kids who are languishing at home now would have done if they could have gone to school more? Who knows what careers would have developed if this had been a good time to start or grow a business?

And surely there will be some benefits to this period of forced inaction. We'll never be able to figure out what they are, but maybe we're becoming less shallow and materialistic. We're seeing what economic activity is nonessential, and there's got to be some creative destruction in the wreckage.

102 comments:

henge2243 said...

Death Panels!

rcocean said...

There's a lot of people who are dying because of the economic shut down due to suicide and drug/alcohol. And (even more importantly) due to the shutdown of the medical system in March-May to "reserve it" for the expected CV-19 deluge of patients.

Lots of people didn't get cancer screenings, preventive care, or couldn't see their GP, and have died or will die. How many, some statistician will have to figure out. As usual, you won't see this in the DNC-media which has been screeching "Shut it down" 24/7 for the last 4 months.

steve uhr said...

And how precisely does the model account for pain and suffering?

Michael K said...

QALYs are part of decision theory and are a valid way to judge alternatives. The numbers often end up high but do not necessarily mean what they say. They are used for comparison. As an over 70 myself, I think the economic damage of the shutdown far exceeds to value of lives saved.

gilbar said...

One Qaly equals one year of perfect health (or two years of 50 per cent health, and so on

and HOW, do we define; 50 percent health?
My dad is 91. For the last 6 years; his life has consisted of making jigsaw puzzles, and going to doctors. In the last 2 years, his heart has stopped THREE times.

I Love him, and am glad he's alive; but how many 'Qaly's does he have left?
Assuming he lives 6 more years, i'd say "less than 1"

I'm Not Sure said...

"We're seeing what economic activity is nonessential, and there's got to be some creative destruction in the wreckage."

That's an awfully progressive attitude. And when I say progressive, I mean arrogant. "Nonessential" to whom? Certainly, not to the people involved. Otherwise, they wouldn't have been engaging in it. But hey, if some scraps can be salvaged from those wrecked lives, that's a good thing, right? Like pretty plywood murals, maybe?

Lucien said...

Duh! Obviously the shutdowns have hurt more than they have helped. Mask wearing not so clearly — we have to see what the long-term costs of sheep-like conformity will be. Possibly dodged hundreds of thousands of iatrogenic deaths this year by limiting medical procedures, but only for this year.

Fernandinande said...

How can you count the stunted lives?!

First you have to define what a "stunted life" means*.

Sailer wrote about QALY a couple of weeks ago.

* QALY "stunted life" = "It looks like there aren't any great matches for your search", whatever that means. The one non-great match says "patients with sickle cell disease are living a severely stunted life expectancy"

So it seems "stunted life" means "shortened life" and not "played video games instead of going to school and so won't be able to get a fancy job in the future".

Big Mike said...

And surely there will be some benefits to this period of forced inaction. We'll never be able to figure out what they are, but maybe we're becoming less shallow and materialistic. We're seeing what economic activity is nonessential, and there's got to be some creative destruction in the wreckage.

This is written like an ivory tower-dwelling elitist, who's never had to worry about where her next meal will be coming from, and cannot even imagine a life like that. What you call "shallow materialism" is what another person calls feeding her family and making sure her kids will have nice enough clothes when they go to school that other kids won't laugh at them.

While it is fair to say that "there's got to be some creative destruction," it's even more fair to say that there's vastly more destructive destruction going on. That's because true creative destruction happens when one way of doing things is replaced by a better way of doing things, e.g., the person who mucks out the stables was replaced by the mechanic who fixes cars, and humans with the job title "computer" (I met a person like that circa 1974) were replaced by COBOL programmers and COBOL programmers were replaced by people writing in PERL or Java or JScript.

On the debit side of measures to control the virus we have to include people who died because of the lockdown. People who were turned away from doctors' offices because their issues were deemed "nonessential," except a small mole metastasized, or a common cold turned out to be something serious.

bagoh20 said...

This is a misunderstanding of "creative destruction". It means creating something better which due to it's superiority destroys the status quo. What we are doing is not creating. It's just destruction. In fact, it has killed the normal constant creative energy that keeps us moving out of stagnation and rot.

Stop trying to find a way to make a shit sandwich palatable. It would be far better to just give up shit sandwiches.

Marshall Rose said...

It always amazes me the amount of people who think that health care is an infinite resource.

So many now think they have a right to the product of another persons labor (aka slavery), and that having government pay for it will stop the fact that a limited resource must be rationed in some way. (Nevermind that supply and quality decrease outside of open markets)

No matter which rationing method you use, someone will always go without and end up dead when a life saving treatment could have worked.

I always ask, Who do you want making that decision?

Sebastian said...

Since yours truly hammered on QALYs from the outset, as a key element in judging policy, here's a quote form the paper linked in Fernandinande's link:

"The lowest estimate for lockdown costs incurred was 50% higher than highest benefits from avoiding the worst mortality case scenario at full life expectancy tariff and in more realistic estimation they were over 50 times higher. Application to potential future scenarios showed in the best case a QALY value of £220k (7xNICE guideline) and in the worst-case £3.7m (125xNICE guideline) was needed to justify the continuation of the lockdown. The evidence suggests that the costs of continuing severe restrictions in the UK are so great relative to likely benefits in numbers of lives saved so that a substantial easing in restrictions is now warranted."

Althouse says: "We'll never be able to figure out"

We'll never be able to figure it out! How can you measure x? It's so arbitrary! Why should we play games with human lives? Who knows? And do you have any evidence that's reliably reported in The New York Times?

The let's-throw-up-our-hands denial of rationality in the WuFlu response, the refusal to compare costs and benefits of alternative paths as we would do in most other circumstances, with all the uncertainties involved, is the essential error and the defining feature of The Panic.

Of course, for the key operators, it's a feature, not a bug, and they try to exploit The Panic rationally, to concentrate and amass power, to devastate civil liberties, to tank the economy in a timely manner, and to subdue the deplorable populace.

Achilles said...


And surely there will be some benefits to this period of forced inaction. We'll never be able to figure out what they are, but maybe we're becoming less shallow and materialistic. We're seeing what economic activity is nonessential, and there's got to be some creative destruction in the wreckage.

I think it is time for all of those pensions and retirements to go away or be massively reduced.

tim maguire said...

QALY is all about putting a value on those stunted lives. I work for an organization that does economic analyses of new health technologies and it's all about putting a dollar value on life just as the person from NICE says. Nobody says it out loud, management will deny it if asked directly, but that is the whole point of the QALY. If it costs to much, it won't be supported.

Valuing the stunted life is more subjective then the shortened life, but it's an established concept that is done all the time by health systems in every country.

RNB said...

-- but we're the government, so what are you gonna do about it?

hombre said...

“This pandemic has brought into sharp focus a question that Christians have been encouraging us to dodge for centuries.”

Evil Christians! Ah, yes. socialist death panels, the existence of which will be perpetually denied by lefties, will gladly take on this task.

Meanwhile, Christians would be wise to heed messages like this which are intended to solve the “problem” of Christianity and nothing else. Covid is the latest camouflage. Here in America godless Democrat/leftists are less subtle. Casinos versus churches? Easy! After all, the First Amendment protects peaceable assembly to gamble. Everybody knows that, even federal judges.

Achilles said...

Doctors are being laid off and hospitals are going out of business.

This is the dumbest pandemic ever.

Cancer diagnosis is down with numbers ranging from 70-90%. Thousands of extra deaths are going to happen.

Breast cancer tests are down 84-90%.

You panicking sheep who clamored for the shutdown will have blood on your hands.

Leland said...

This is the UK, which has put a price on carbon, the essential element of life. Why not the whole life? Then they can put a price on individuals, but let's not call socialism the slavery that it is. Alas, you can't put a price on freedom.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

from a NYT piece monday
The lockdown measures we have instituted to save lives are inevitably going to end up costing a lot of lives. Perhaps many more than they saved.....The report notes, "About 80 percent of tuberculosis, H.I.V. and malaria programs worldwide have reported disruptions in services, and one in four people living with H.I.V. have reported problems with gaining access to medications, according to U.N. AIDS. Interruptions or delays in treatment may lead to drug resistance, already a formidable problem in many countries."

and are lives of victims of abortion shortened or stunted?

Michael said...

BTW everyone over 70 or 80 or 90 who catches the virus does not die from the virus. We do not know the recovery rate for these cohorts because they won’t fucking tell us.

jaydub said...

"Who knows what the kids who are languishing at home now would have done if they could have gone to school more? Who knows what careers would have developed if this had been a good time to start or grow a business?"

Ken B and Inga know, of course! Just ask them. They swear to you that the vulnerable population could not have been protected from the general, non vulnerable population so we had to shut the country down and eat that shit sandwich. For the children. Of course, 95% of the deaths associated with the Wuflu were aged and infirm people with one or more comorbidities, but that doesn't matter. The children may be essentially immune, but so what? Ken B and Inga have thought it through using geometric logic and cutting edge medical practices in order to determine the solution. It just couldn't be done any other way. Period. If we had tried protecting the old people and going on with life, we would be dead now just like all the Swedes. Just like all the Danes and Finns who never wore masks are dead. Only Covidiots who do not understand pandemics could ever question either of our two resident lay epidemiologists' science based decisions. These experts only have our best interests at heart and that is really fortunate because none of us is smart enough to make his own decisions. They even read newspaper articles and posted those that agree with them here for your edification. Daily! Appreciate their dedication and never question the dogma. This religion has been thoroughly vetted by our lay priests. They talk to the Covid God and know stuff the rest of us only dream about understanding! So, Ken B and Inga know what could have been, so why do people even ask such silly questions?! Just order another shit sandwich and this time ask for it to be served with fries. The taste will take your mind off the coming economic depression.

Chuck said...

Let’s have a national referendum on this idea. Schedule the vote for, let’s say, November 3.

Seriously; we will surely see Trump fans on this page latch onto this idea as proof of... what, exactly? Trump hasn’t taken this position. Trump hasn’t articulated anything like what the author of this essay proposes. Trump thinks his management has been great.

Of course Trump doesn’t have the intellectual chops to make such a complicated, nuanced, data-laden argument, no matter how valid the thesis may be.

Oh well. It is what it is. It just goes away.

Jeff Brokaw said...

These debates, to me, mainly serve to illlustrate the folly of mankind thinking we have control over everything, which is fed by the arrogant and plainly wrong conceit that we 100% understand and can model accurately the natural world around us.

And all of that leads to politicians lording power over us.

How’s that working out so far?

Rory said...

"As an over 70 myself, I think the economic damage of the shutdown far exceeds to value of lives saved."

I'm early 60s, but my weight probably makes me 70ish as far as risk is concerned. I think everybody in my category should just accept the risk and let everyone else know that they should get on with their lives. Some of us may be cut short, but not so much that we didn't have a chance.

Anthony said...

Regardless of its effects, Lockdowns themselves are based on little more than a high school kid's science project:
Laura, with some guidance from her dad, devised a computer simulation that showed how people – family members, co-workers, students in schools, people in social situations – interact. What she discovered was that school kids come in contact with about 140 people a day, more than any other group. Based on that finding, her program showed that in a hypothetical town of 10,000 people, 5,000 would be infected during a pandemic if no measures were taken, but only 500 would be infected if the schools were closed.

Laura’s name appears on the foundational paper arguing for lockdowns and forced human separation. That paper is Targeted Social Distancing Designs for Pandemic Influenza (2006). It set out a model for forced separation and applied it with good results backwards in time to 1957. They conclude with a chilling call for what amounts to a totalitarian lockdown, all stated very matter-of-factly.

Implementation of social distancing strategies is challenging. They likely must be imposed for the duration of the local epidemic and possibly until a strain-specific vaccine is developed and distributed. If compliance with the strategy is high over this period, an epidemic within a community can be averted. However, if neighboring communities do not also use these interventions, infected neighbors will continue to introduce influenza and prolong the local epidemic, albeit at a depressed level more easily accommodated by healthcare systems.

rhhardin said...

The value of a human life is infinite. That doesn't mean big; it means you can't calculate with it. Infinite = no boundary.

The value obviously is sometimes quite small, but it depends on context where it winds up. Revealed preferences rather than a decision gives you where it is at the moment.

rhhardin said...

The value of a human life in gold has gone down since gold has gone up. Really the value of a human life ought to be measured in a basket of currencies and commodities.

You could put gold in there but only as one of the commodities.

Value of human life in bitcoin.

Mark said...

LESS materialistic??

Material is all that many people have left, and there are shortages of that too.

Certainly what they do not have is social interaction. And for social beings, as humans are, that is negating a huge part of who and what we are, making us shallower still.

Kevin said...

Shorter Article: Some Black Lives Shouldn't Matter

Not Sure said...

We're seeing what economic activity is nonessential, and there's got to be some creative destruction in the wreckage.

What I'm seeing is that when people are encouraged to walk around in public with their faces covered, and to not go to work, they will soon form a mob that generates a lot of uncreative destruction.

Mark said...

And in addition to the benefit of hindsight, we have had the benefit of foresight, and the benefit of during sight.

That includes both the coronavirus lockdown of humanity AND socialized medicine like Britain's national health.

Char Char Binks, Esq. said...

Children SHOULD stay home, preferably with at a least one parent. They learn in their brains, not in classrooms, the two-income family is an inefficient and wasteful system (a trap, if you will), and while there is plenty of business to be done, there is less work for people now than in the past.

Susan said...

Let's face it. When you get right down to it, everyone except the people who make the decisions is non-essential.

They get to decide who's medical issues are worthy of notice and whose aren't. Whose jobs are essential and who's aren't. If the powers that be decide that your death is a cause worthy of burning down cities and allowing mostly non-violent mobs to roam the streets, well then that is how it will be. Until it looks like that policy might hinder their reelection plans. Then the word on the street will be,"We have always been against Antifa."

If your mom died alone in a nursing home, well, do you want to murder other moms by having a funeral? How evil!
And how dare you even THINK about sending your child to school? Don't you CARE about how many teachers will DIE!? Up until it looks like those policies might hinder their reelection plans. And then, "We have always wanted schools to reopen and we can have massive funerals, but only if they involve campaign speeches masked as eulogies. No funerals for you"

Casinos? Essential.
Churches? Forbidden.
Walmart? Essential.
Local family run for three generations shop? Forbidden.
Mostly peaceful protests? Essential, you racist!
Bars? Forbidden.

Two weeks to slow the spread? Suckers! There is no slowing the spread, more waves will always come. The only way to save your villiage is to destroy it! Once there is no economic activity whatsoever and no reason for the proles to leave their hovels, then and only then, will it be safe.

Yeah, I used to worry that I was too cynical. But it is clear that I was not nearly cynical enough.

Skeptical Voter said...

The reference to "Nice" is not a "scary warning about single payer health systems".

My daughter has lived and worked in England since 2000. My two grandchildren were born in England, and I've visited them frequently over that period of time. And of course I read the newspapers while I'm there. Nice is a feature--not a bug--of the National Health System. Its focus on cost and benefit may be unappealing, but some orderly system of decision making has to be in place.

Organ transplant decisions may not be a question of monetary cost but rather allocation of finite resources. A friend's son in his late 40s waited six years for a liver transplant in Florida.

A few years back an 18 year old Armenian girl was being treated at the UCLA medical center. She had 5 or 6 different medical problems which would probably kill her before she reached the age of 20. Physicians at UCLA wanted to do some sort experimental liver transplant for the girl. The operation would cost $500,000. The girl's insurance company refused to pay saying the proposed procedure was "novel, experimental, not proven etc".There was an outpouring in Los Angeles's substantial Armenian community. The insurance company's decision was "racist, heartless" etc. A lawsuit was filed.

The insurance company caved. The operation was performed. The girl died 4 months after the transplant. Had that liver been put in another--healthier--patient, the recipient might have gone on to forty more years of life--not just four months.

Mark said...

"We're seeing what economic activity is nonessential, and there's got to be some creative destruction in the wreckage."

Remember that episode of the Twilight Zone where Burgess Meredith is dragged before the high bench and told, "You are obsolete. Obsolete. Obsolete"?

Mark said...

there's got to be some creative destruction in the wreckage

It's the Year Zero.

Edmund said...

There are also indirect economic effects. Studies from previous pandemics and wars where schools were shut show that the children that miss school (and let's be honest - online K-12 has been mediocre at best) lose quite a bit in lifetime earnings. One figure I saw (wish I had the like) says it was about 9%.

It is absurd to not open elementary schools. All the evidence from Europe shows that you can open them with no significant risk to the kids. The staff need masks and social distancing. But kids without comorbidities are not at risk of serious illness nor of spreading the virus.

Middle Schools and High Schools need to take precautions - masks for all, social distancing, etc.

Birkel said...

These arguments were made in Althouse comment thread five months ago.
Those of us making this argument were correct then.

The only difference is more people see the downside after months.
When starvation deaths in Third World countries happen, more will see clearly.
Others will deny the obvious because those people are cvnts.

Birkel said...

To be fair, Achilles, they already have blood on their hands.

Mark said...

NICE - that wonderful scientific and social planning agency in That Hideous Strength.

Jalanl said...

No "hindsight" needed - it was obvious, to anyone of moderate thoughtfulness, that the destruction of the shutdown was going to be orders of magnitude worse than Covid. Here is a chance to achieve enlightenment! Instead of rationalizing ("golly gee, some excellent medical data came out of Dr. Mengele's research") just admit you panicked!

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

Interesting how the stuff we’re told is “the moral equivalent of war” is never treated anything like the actual equivalent of war. You know, those hard decisions that may cost lives but ultimately serve the greatest good. Because hype and political narrative ensure that honest discussion of those decisions can never take place.
And yet, all kinds of prosaic things are run under these decisions (freeways are a great example) and no one bats an eyelash.

Mark said...

“This pandemic has brought into sharp focus a question that Christians have been encouraging us to dodge for centuries.”

Actually, utilitarianism that places human lives in the scales to be weighed for their benefits vs. burdens has been a guiding force for well over a century. Hence, people speak of human life in terms of value and worthiness. It has been practically a demanded imposition in medicine for decades. And, yes, it is the anti-Christianity.

Christianity -- with its view that all human life is inherently endowed with dignity and sanctity by virtue of the very nature of the human person -- has been one of the few forces to try to combat it.

But by all means, let's continue to mock and despise Christianity.

Caligula said...

"£30,000 per Qaly sounds like a scary warning about single-payer health insurance to me." Yet the supply of medical services is not unlimited; therefore, rationing in one form or another (often ability to pay vs government rationing) will happen.

A major risk with government rationing is directing resources toward those with the most effective lobbies. Thus, I can see massive government funding for mostly-ineffective treatments for autism receiving priority over treatments for prostrate cancer (for example).

In any case, compromises made to reduce COVID-19 deaths have affected routine treatment for other, serious diseases. For example, diagnostic procedures (and sometimes chemotherapy) for cancer were delayed for many because operating rooms had been re-purposed as ICUs for the expected flood of COVID-19 cases. Which, practically everywhere, did not happen).

It is surely long past time to considered any provision of any service as truly "free." For there are always tradeoffs; more of this will almost always result in less of that.

In this case, however, it would appear that delaying "elective" procedures (such cancer diagnostics and therapies, and others) can be expected to produce higher mortality and morbidity with no corresponding benefits at all.

Paul Zrimsek said...

That's an awfully progressive attitude.

Nah-- it's the attitude of someone whose pension will keep coming in no matter what. I catch myself in it occasionally.

Joe Smith said...

"I'm not endorsing his statements. £30,000 per "Qaly" sounds like a scary warning about single-payer health insurance to me."

It's not a warning, it's a reality of single payer and a harbinger of things to come in America.

We have great insurance and it has come in handy lately, but anyone tearing down US health care (not that you are) and pining for single payer (not that you are) isn't quite sane, or has never had a health emergency...

Gk1 said...

"Stop trying to find a way to make a shit sandwich palatable. It would be far better to just give up shit sandwiches."

I am seeing more of these shit sandwich stories in bay area news these days. "Oh sure thousands are out of work but it gives some people a much needed recalibration to their values and what is important" said the struggling actor who can't perform and is unable to be a waiter to pay rent.

Boy are they going to be pretty pissed off when the federal govt. doesn't cough up the extra $600 a week of unemployment and the state is too flat ass broke to make up the difference. Liberals in California are openly questioning whether its worth keeping the state closed considering its unrealistic to hope for a vaccine and there is no real metric for reopening that doesn't include a trade off of some kind.

Bob Smith said...

One of the many “statistics” surrounding end of life issues is that half of the lifetime health care are incurred in the last 18 months of life. I plan to skip that.

Gk1 said...

"Stop trying to find a way to make a shit sandwich palatable. It would be far better to just give up shit sandwiches."

I am seeing more of these shit sandwich stories in bay area news these days. "Oh sure thousands are out of work but it gives some people a much needed recalibration to their values and what is important" said the struggling actor who can't perform and is unable to be a waiter to pay rent.

Boy are they going to be pretty pissed off when the federal govt. doesn't cough up the extra $600 a week of unemployment and the state is too flat ass broke to make up the difference. Liberals in California are openly questioning whether its worth keeping the state closed considering its unrealistic to hope for a vaccine and there is no real metric for reopening that doesn't include a trade off of some kind.

Mark said...

Meanwhile, there are forces at work that seek to truly divide humanity, not merely between groups, but divide us between individuals.

By our nature, we humans are social beings. We obtain our very life and existence from others and we cannot survive without others.

Yet now we are being told that we must view the person near us as being an inherent DANGER to us, and us to him or her. By our very existence, we are told, we should look at one another as DEADLY THREATS to each other. Every other person is an ENEMY.

That is what this "social distancing" is.

At the heart of this largely progressive ideology is a nihilistic conception of reality, the world, and humanity. It is an embrace of the abyss.

Joe Smith said...

"My dad is 91. For the last 6 years; his life has consisted of making jigsaw puzzles, and going to doctors. In the last 2 years, his heart has stopped THREE times."

My father is also 91. He just visited the hospital due to an irregular heart beat. Up until last month he was outside digging irrigation ditches, planting grapes (putting in posts, etc.), building storage sheds (yes, plural...he was a carpenter), and building shelves for the garage.

Point being, not a 91-year-olds are the same. But my fear is that government health care would lump them all together as 'old' and 'about to check out so why bother.'

Hey Skipper said...

I'm not endorsing his statements. £30,000 per "Qaly" sounds like a scary warning about single-payer health insurance to me. I'm interested in the problem of focusing on shortened lives to the point of not being sufficiently concerned about stunted lives. And yet when a life is shortened — that is, when a person dies — it's a specific event. You can count the deaths (even if you can't count the "quality" and quantity of the years that were lost).

Introducing a quality cost per year of life runs the risk of unnecessarily complicating the problem — by looking at different populations, there is a way to compare years to years, thereby sidestepping valuation altogether.

I have read that in LA county, during April and May, calls to suicide hotlines increased by a factor of eighty. And that an ER doc in LA treated a year's worth of suicide attempts in May alone.

Also, opioid overdose deaths had been decreasing over the past couple years. That dreadful statistic has now reached record high territory.

Make a few simplistic assumptions:

1. Average age of a death due to Commie Cough is 70.

2. Average age of death due to suicide/opioid overdose is 30.

3. These causes aside, everyone lives to 80.

Therefore, each suicide/overdose death attributable to the disruptions caused by government responses to CC-19 is balanced by five deaths to CC-19.

As of today, there have been 150,000-ish CC-19 deaths. (Ignore for the moment attribution issues, e.g. the death of someone already in hospice care being put down to CC-19, like happened here in Idaho last week)

Therefore, to the extent these assumptions are roughly correct, 30,000 additional suicides/overdoses over what would otherwise have been the case completely cancels deaths to CC-19.

At this point, it should become glaringly apparent that there is an unquestioned assumption buried in government responses to CC-19: they saved lives.

I'm calling shenanigans. At best, they spread the same number of deaths over more time; it has never been a matter of if, only when.

In contrast, the additional deaths due to CC-19 suicides and overdoses — yes they are difficult to count, but denying they happened is foolish — were completely avoidable.

A fairly good way of estimating CC-19 deaths is to compare the number of deaths per month in the US since the beginning of March 2020, compared to the five year average of 2015-2019. Since the only substantial impact on mortality rates over that period is the addition of CC-19 in 2020, then the excess can be safely put down to CC-19.

Of course, one can also do the same analysis with respect to suicide — it runs about 148/day in the US.

What has it been since March? (Estimates of excess suicide due to CC-19 span from 3300 to 8200 through mid-2021.)

Who knows. One would think that Dr. Fauci's role with the NIH would require looking at all the health consequences of CC-19, not just its direct impacts. If he, or the NIH, has done so, I'm not aware of it.

And just to reiterate: there is precisely zero evidence that any government measure against CC-19 could possibly save even one life.

Inga said...

“We'll never be able to figure out what they are, but maybe we're becoming less shallow and materialistic. We're seeing what economic activity is nonessential...”

Well, some of us might, the majority of the commentariat here won’t. Maybe this pandemic was nature showing us there’s a better way to proceed. Hopefully we’ll have a clearer, less obstructed view forward. Or more likely, we’ll go back to the past grasping onto materialism that has been such a constant in the American way of life.

I’m seeing changes in some people I know. In some others the denial and anger for lost lifestyles is still there in full force, two of those people were people who denied it was even a dangerous virus and refused to wear a mask, who thought by denial alone they could make it go away, now have Covid. One isn’t doing very well.

I guess we do have some choice as to how we live during a pandemic.

Earnest Prole said...

I was reliably promised modern American capitalism was so heartless it would sell out the entire nation for a few dollars more. Instead we sacrificed a third of our GDP last quarter in an effort to save the lives of our elderly parents and grandparents.

gilbar said...

surely there will be some benefits to this period of forced inaction. We'll never be able to figure out what they are

here's a benefit:
we've found that teachers are self-centered selfish leeches; that Actually think that THEY should be paid Not to work, while the old ladies at the grocery store Continue to work

Last time i was back in Ames (mid June), i stopped and said hello to two teachers that i know.
I asked them how the school shutdown was treating them. I said something about:
"must be nice, not to have to work?"
and They told me; "NO!"
"Working from home, is TWICE AS MUCH WORK; because we have to take care of Our kids too!"

That's Right! School Teachers (according to those i know), HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF THEIR OWN KIDS!
UNLIKE ANYONE ELSE IN THE COUNTRY!!!

Now, OF COURSE; they are refusing to go back to work: THEY AREN'T MARTYRS !
that job description is for people making minimum wage, NOT middle class teachers

upshot: Teachers are slag. they should be throw into the slagheap

Unknown said...

It’s a typical cynical politicians choice. Save visible lives now while you are trying to get re-elected, screw everyone else. Very few of our politicians have anywhere near the courage to look long term. They seldom if ever do anymore.

Sweden has only a few more deaths per million than the US, yet they shut nothing down and their daily deaths now are minuscule. Quarantining the healthy has been the dumbest idea in decades, if not centuries.

We will feel the ramifications of this for generations of actual people and the psyche of the country.

What will we do when the next Wuhan virus appears??? We have become such Karen’s that we will be paralyzed again, I’m sure of it.

JaimeRoberto said...

Since the lockdown started I've perused the obituaries in the local paper to see if there are any Covid deaths, and I haven't found any. I have seen suicides though. It's hard to say that the suicides wouldn't have happened absent the lockdown, but it's interesting nonetheless.

n.n said...

Religion, or its relativistic cousin "ethics". Different philosophers and frame of reference.

n.n said...

Pro-Choice.

Inga said...

There are countries that had even stricter shut downs than the US had and have fared far better financially and in saved lives. Seems like the panicking that is happening is coming from the deniers. It’s really amazing that some people thought and still think that humans could just plow through a pandemic as if nothing was happening and come out of it unscathed, by pure power of their denial alone.

tcrosse said...

I wonder how dentists are weathering this storm.

Richard Dolan said...

"It feels indecent to weigh their worth against an abstract idea of humans unknown who could be future casualties of our efforts to save loved ones today. Save those we know!"

The image behind his rant is a life-raft with limited space -- we (whose the 'we' here?) have to choose who gets on and who doesn't. But the image doesn't fit what he's talking about. Accepting his premise that the over-70s are at unique risk, the person most involved in saving any one of them is the particular over-70 who's at risk. His rant is using peak 'it takes a village' reasoning, when what's needed is mostly a bit of intelligent planning of one's own life, taking into account whatever makes sense for that individual.

He gets to that when he offers a bit of utilitarian reasoning -- the measures may do more harm than good, viewed from the perspective of the entire population. It's a version of the classic dilemma about whether one is acting morally by sacrificing one life in order to save ten lives. The difference is that in those classic settings, the 'sacrificing' involves direct action -- to do the saving, the actor has to do the killing (personally). Classic Christian morality draws that distinction -- it condemns intentionally killing but not a withholding of action (often medical care) which, in the natural course, will lead to death.

Josephbleau said...

The world is now completely run by a series of moral panics. We used to have moral panics from Salem witches to devil daycare, to global warming and all were going to kill us all. But now they are concurrent. Does anyone remember how fantastically great the economy was isn’t January? What people’s income was? What black unemployment was? We were having a renaissance that was enriching lives and increasing life span due to wealth and human purpose. Children had examples to live by.

Then suddenly, sit on your ass, it’s ok, we can print money, stay home don’t go to school, a little was ok because we did not know everything at first. We definitely damaged the hopes of a generation. We could have saved more lives by going back to a 55 mph speed limit.

Now we are in a moral panic to save the lives of the millions of minorities who get murdered by police officers. Political parties who obviously manipulate crisis for their electoral advantage disgust me.

We are a silly stupid people who deserve what we get. A vaccine is a long way out and we are going to have to open up and take the hit anyway and try to get to herd immunity, like we should have, with protecting the old and ones with pre existing conditions. Otherwise life will be dismal and shortened for the rest of us. Experts failed us. To an epidemiologist, all solutions look like a lockdown. We have politicians to sort out all the competing factors. But then we make it impossible for them to do it.

Bay Area Guy said...

My wife's colleague at work, died of thyroid cancer last month. Nice woman. 2 or 3 postponements of exploratory surgery during the lockdown.

But, thankfully they did test her for Covid-19 (sarcasm off)

MayBee said...

The good that will come of it: parents realizing they want to spend time with their kids, and not just start putting them in daycare at 6 weeks and spending 2 hours a day with them otherwise

The bad: the people who have succumbed to loneliness, to mental health issues, to substance issues. The people who can't go to AA meetings or couldn't start getting sober. We won't hear from any of these people because they aren't tweeting hashtags at reporters and they aren't in the streets every night behind a wall of moms. They are behind real walls, and we don't care.

RigelDog said...

I can't find a link to it now, but I watched an interview with an American public health expert about a month ago, and he was clear that by all the standard public health metrics, we've already suffered more damage to people's physical and mental health, to children, and to the economy from the lock-down than we have saved. There are lots of established public health metrics that apply, such as cancer growth from delayed detection, besides the British "qualys." One heart-breaking example he gave was the fact that emergency room visits for child abuse have noticeably increased since the lock-down. As he noted, a child has to be severely injured or dead before an abusive adult will seek medical treatment for that child. Our whole un-nuanced narrowly-focused approach to Covid has developed into a continuing disaster.

Gospace said...

There's always been a price on lie, human and otherwise, and there always will be.

And the world has many societies with many different ways of handling it.

I remember a story about an American nurse visiting China who noted it was older women giving birth. She asked what kind of program China has for Down's Symptom children, since they're more common among older women giving birth. After several go arounds, the Chinese nurses finally realized what she was talking about and told her "They never leave the delivery room." China doesn't have a problem with raising Down's children- they don't raise them, period.

Americans routinely GIVE blood, totally voluntarily, without recompense, for others to benefit from. Doesn't happen so much in India. In fact, in a large part of the world, helping others who aren't kin or kith interferes with the natural order of things and should be avoided.

There are Jewish, Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, and other Christian based hospitals all over the world. How many Buddhist, muslim, Shinto, Aztec, or other non-Jewish or Christian hospitals do you see?

Anyone with half a brain knew fro the gitgo a lockdown was going to cause deaths from other things. 2 suicides from USAFA cadets, seniors months away from commissioning. There has been absolutely zero follow up coverage I've seen of them- but speculation is they were lockdown related.

As soon as we had the data from the Diamond Princess we knew, with absolute certainty, that the virus was neither as contagious nor as deadly as advertised. yet, worldwide, health authorities everywhere were advising full lockdown mode. Why? That's the unanswered question. Why?

I suspect to this day that something far more deadly was released in China, and that intelligence services worldwide found out and spread that info. It ended up contained, in China. But a worldwide lockdown ensued anyway. The initial Chinese reaction to the virus discovery was an overreaction by any sense of the word. Welding people into their apartment buildings? Spreading chemical mists and aerosols in the streets to "disinfect" them? That's not normal behavior, even for a totalitarian government. They were scared of something. We'll never find out what that something was.

W're a rich society. We can afford to let people retire and not work, for decades. We can provide joint replacements and nursing homes where we actually try to keep people alive instead of warehousing them until they die. We cannot continue to afford that if no one is working at all.

Yancey Ward said...

"You can only guess what the losses in the future are. You won't even be able to measure the losses a year or 5 or 10 or 20 years from now."

This is completely and utterly incorrect. You aren't reduced to guessing- there are well documented ways to fairly and accurately estimate the reduced lifespan of various economic scenarios. Additionally, you will be able to measure the losses by as early as the end of this year. By the end of 2022, you will have a fairly accurate idea of just how many QALYs were lost/will be lost to COVID-19 directly, and you will definitely start to see the effects of our actions to stop COVID-19 on all-cause mortality.

In short, these numbers like 30,000 pounds/QALY aren't just pulled out of someone's ass on a "guess"- 30,000 pounds spent saving a 75 year old from COVID-19 can't be spent saving the life of a 25 year old kidney disease patient.

Just an anecdote that I have told before, but in the last 10 years of my father's life, Medicare and his UMWA insurance paid out over 1.2 million dollars in hospital and other medical costs, and that 1.2 million dollars, at best, bought him 5-6 years of life. Now, I was happy to have him for that extra time, but then I wasn't really paying the bills, nor was my mother.

gilbar said...

Inga said...
There are countries that had even stricter shut downs than the US had and have fared far better financially and in saved lives


you mean; like Sweden?
The USA, with its version of shut downs has has 15,455 Cases per Million population
Sweden, with its MUCH STRICTER shut downs has had only 8,146 Cases per Million
yesterday, the USA had 63,246 new cases, and 1,290 deaths
yesterday, Sweden 378 new cases, and 5 deaths

Far be it, for me to NOT admit when Igna is onto something.
In THIS CASE, she is Right On The Money... We should have been doing what Sweden did

DavidUW said...

Millions more long-term unemployed.

The life years, never mind QALYs, just years of life lost due to suicide, drug use etc will far outweigh the life years (80% of 'Rona deaths in over 80 year olds) lost to the Fluhan.

The world lost its collective mind and I've been saying that from the start.

Everyone under 60 should be working, at a minimum. retirees and older people should have been more protected, offered home grocery delivery etc, in the nursing homes, constant testing of workers etc.

The reaction to this virus is indescribably stupid.

DavidUW said...

One dear friend from high school missed her breast cancer screening. She now has Stage 4, liver mets. She's 42.

Local priest missed his colon cancer screening. Now he gets chemo.

Fuck you lockdown people

Fuck you all.

Yancey Ward said...

And, not trying to be harsh here, but you don't understand the term "creative destruction" given how you used it. An example of creative destruction is the invention of the automobile- it destroyed the horse powered transport business completely, but led to a much better world.

What you are describing, implicitly, is the broken-window fallacy.

Sydney said...

Someone way, way upthrad asked what is the recovery rate of people 70,80,90 years old? We now the mortality rate of 80+ year olds is 30% so I would assume the recover rate is 70% for that age group.

Michael K said...

A useful opinion.

There’s nothing unprecedented about COVID-19 itself. The equally novel, equally infectious Asian flu of 1957 had commensurate fatalities in Britain: scaled up for today’s population, the equivalent of 42,000, while the UK’s (statistically flawed) COVID death total now stands at 46,000. Globally, the Asian flu was vastly more lethal, causing between two and four million deaths. The Hong Kong flu of 1968-69 also slew up to four million people worldwide, including 80,000 Britons. Yet in both instances, life went on.

Paging Ken B

Gospace said...

Hey Skipper said...
....
And just to reiterate: there is precisely zero evidence that any government measure against CC-19 could possibly save even one life.


And there is plenty of evidence that government measure in various places has killed people- directly- from covid.

Dictator Cuomo ( and others) ordering long term care facilities to cake in covid positve patients.

Various state Dictators playing medical professionals ORDERING that HCQ cocktail not be used because Orangeman Bad. One of the many graphs, this one from Switzerland, showing that early use prevents covid deaths. How many deaths have been cause by prohibiting it's use?

And to mention it again- Vitamin D. Amazing what you find now when you search Vitamin D and covid. Doctors and health authorities warning you NOT to take it- you might take too much!. Doctors and health authorities telling you it's not a treatment! It isn't- it's a preventive, to keep your immune system primed. Helps prevent URIs, period. Lets go back to an article from 2017 before the covidiocy. Simple, cheap, easy test to monitor Vitamin D blood level- and it's not a routine part of physicals. Why not?

Then there's nasal irrigation. No real reliable actual studies on this, so I all can give you is anecdotal evidence. Since starting it over a decade ago- I have taken no antihistamines. There are times of the yer I use to need them to barely breathe. Also haven't suffered from colds. Had some, haven't suffered. Typical cold duration is what, 10 days or so? I start showing symptoms, increase frequency of irrigation to 2 or 3 times day, in 2-3 days- back to once a day. Since adding xylitol to the rinse about 2 years ago- haven't had cold symptoms at all. Pretty much everyone who does it has the same story to tell.

Sydney said...

I've been thinking lately that a lot of what is going on behind our response to the virus now, this five months out, is motivated mostly by fear of litigation. I may just be projecting, but when I consider the virus and its impact on my practice, I sometimes think I should just open up and schedule patients as usual with my staff working as usual instead of trying to promote social distancing and striving to protect everyone as much as possible by disinfecting between each patient. Because my staff is all over the age of 60 and I am not, I have been doing the brunt of the front office work while I have my receptionist isolated in a back room just working the phones and doing scanning and filing. I don't have my nurse working at all. I do all of her work. I don't allow more than one patient in the office at a time. No one sits in the waiting room waiting their turn like they used to, although they do sometimes sit in their car. My revenues are down more than I have saved in staff salaries. The thing that keeps me from going back to business as usual, however, is that the public health authorities and the state government has set up the expectation that social distancing and mask wearing and disinfecting will save lives, and that this is the responsible thing to do. If someone did get COVID-19 in my practice- whether an employee or a patient, I can't help but think I would be held liable if I weren't engaging in all of the best practices recommended by the state and the department of health and the CDC. I am sure that the same calculation is going through school administrations and businesses as well. I honestly don't know how dentists are surviving.

RigelDog said...

Inga said: "It’s really amazing that some people thought and still think that humans could just plow through a pandemic as if nothing was happening and come out of it unscathed, by pure power of their denial alone."

You would need to address a lot of issues and known facts before you can make an informed argument as to whether those who question extended lock-down are "deniers." You could start with the fact that the stats comparing country lock-down policies with rates of infection and death are all over the place.You would have to seriously address the history and current data of the Swedish approach, which is trending very well. You would have to address the fact that viruses have a known progression through a population, where X number of people will ultimately be infected before community immunity kicks in and stops the progression. Lock-down at best only delays this progression.

Or we could simply note that your statement above is directly contradicted by the fact that the 1957 and the 1968 flu seasons resulted in comparable numbers of deaths--and the world just "plowed right through." That pandemic was also worse than Covid in some ways because the young as well as the old were in danger.

LA_Bob said...

Inga said, "It’s really amazing that some people thought and still think that humans could just plow through a pandemic as if nothing was happening and come out of it unscathed, by pure power of their denial alone."

It's really amazing some people think we can throw people out of work, "lock them down" for months on end, "flatten the curve" (or drag out the misery), close the hospitals, doctor's offices and schools, go on as if nothing was happening, and come out of it unscathed, by pure power of their superior wisdom and knowledge of pandemics alone.

LA_Bob said...

Althouse, what economic activity have you learned is non-essential? And what of the people who were doing it?

rehajm said...

What you are describing, implicitly, is the broken-window fallacy.

You're right- creative destruction is the better thing ending the old thing.

I'd choose paradigm shift as the buzzy words to use in the present...

hstad said...


Inga states: "...There are countries that had even stricter shut downs than the US had and have fared far better financially and in saved lives.."

Gees, give it a rest, your lies are so tiresome. Pandemics cannot be stopped via lockdowns or social distancing or the other B.S. prescribed by idiotic experts like Drs. Fauci and Birx. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pandemic planning documents state non-pharmaceutical interventions such as social distancing are ineffective once a disease infects 1% of a region's population. Literature on this subject is unanimous worldwide. The CDC document states, “There are no historical observations or scientific studies that support the confinement by quarantine of groups of possibly infected people for extended periods in order to slow the spread. It is hard to imagine that measures like those within the category of social distancing would not have some positive impact by reducing transmission of a human respiratory infection . . . However, the evidence base supporting each individual measure is often weak.” "Decades of evidence corroborates this..." Nature always finds a way. No respiratory virus ever needed a “lockdown” to dissipate. What it needs is herd immunity, preferably sooner than later, preferably developed by the young and healthy to minimize mortality. Sweden and other countries' experts who did not lockdown where proved correct. Politicians know the disease will eventually leave, yet they strive to convince a critical mass that their actions -- modern-day versions of the rain dance -- brought about that result. We are faced with a virus with a 997-out-of-1,000 survival rate. We have vanquished fiercer adversaries. We can rid ourselves of this plague less painfully by remembering one simple truth: neither we, nor our politicians, have control over death.

Bruce Hayden said...

“ BTW everyone over 70 or 80 or 90 who catches the virus does not die from the virus. We do not know the recovery rate for these cohorts because they won’t fucking tell u”

We popped into Spokane last week, and things were loosening up a bit in WA. Came back here to MT, and I wore a mask into the nearby convenience store. Only mask in the store, outside of the employees. Even the library wasn’t requiring masks. Democrat Governor Bullock, in order to maintain his progressive street creds, mandated masks in counties with four or more active COVID-19 cases (regardless of population). In our county of roughly 10k (averaging 1 case per 2,500 people, in a county averaging maybe 3 people/sq mile), our 4th case was an octogenarian. I worried a bit about them, given their demographics. They apparently survived, since we are down to zero cases, and no deaths.

hstad said...

"...Steven Hatfill, a veteran virologist, noted at RealClearPolitics that “There are now 53 studies that show positive results of hydroxychloroquine in COVID infections..."...I’m convinced that if a rabid leftist was dying of thirst and President Trump offered him water, he’d refuse to drink it..."
https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/matt-margolis/2020/08/07/theres-a-mountain-of-evidence-that-hydroxychloroquine-is-an-effective-treatment-for-covid-19-n763953


Mark said...

Despite the lockdown, I've actually tried to get out fairly often. Mostly walking along the park trails or walking/driving to some store or restaurant for take out. And, yes, I wear a mask inside those establishments simply as a visual courtesy to others.

How many thousands of people have I interacted with during these five months? How many of them were perfectly healthy? What sub-one percentage point of risk has there been?

How much of this social avoidance/distancing has been unneeded and pointless?

Birkel said...

Earnest Prole just lied.

GDP was down a bit more than 9% in Q2.

Earnest Prole should quit fucking lying.

Sydney said...

I do suspect we could do a better job of curbing spread if we emphasized simple hygiene more than distancing and mask wearing. We were in a diner yesterday. Everyone distanced and wearing masks when they weren’t eating. Waitress was also wearing gloves. However, I noticed she picked up used drinking glasses and cups by the rims and didn’t change her gloves before going to pick up plates of foods to take to other customers. Made me wonder about the coffee cup I was drinking from. It would be better if she changed gloves between cleaning and serving. Or better yet, if one person was designated for bussing/cleaning and someone else for serving, but I don’t think that kind of thing is being emphasized.

Birkel said...

Inga lied, also.
It is so very easy for Democratics to lie.

No major country has fared better than the US on the economic front.

Michael said...

Why are QULY's talked about as some mysterious concept? It's the basis of every Wrongful Death suit in court

Michael K said...

I can't help but think I would be held liable if I weren't engaging in all of the best practices recommended by the state and the department of health and the CDC. I am sure that the same calculation is going through school administrations and businesses as well. I honestly don't know how dentists are surviving.

Exactly. I had surgery on my right lung last month. The doctors' offices I've been into are all into masks and distancing , etc. I don't blame them. The hospital was great but we all knew the mask thing was show. I wear a mask in a store that requires it; Pima County AZ is run by Democrats. I laugh (not out loud as I don't want to be attacked) at people wearing them outside in 105 degree Tucson weather.

Steve Pitment said...

we're becoming less shallow and materialistic. We're seeing what economic activity is nonessential...

Worst line i have ever read here, at a place where Inga and Howard regularly post.

rcocean said...

I'm in favor of keeping the schools closed - as long as the Teachers and the parasitical school bureaucrats don't get paid.

Michael K said...

Or better yet, if one person was designated for bussing/cleaning and someone else for serving, but I don’t think that kind of thing is being emphasized.

The best prevention of flu is hand washing, as you well know.

walter said...

Fauci's "potential secondary side-effects".

I'm Not Sure said...

"The hospital was great but we all knew the mask thing was show. I wear a mask in a store that requires it; Pima County AZ is run by Democrats.

The stores here (SW Idaho) require masks. At the market today, a fair number of people (customers and employees) were wearing them below their noses.

I vote "show", too.

Treeamigo said...

The £30,000 comment isn’t a “scary warning” about socialized medicine- it is how the NHS works.

There is a board (or a “panel”) that determines which treatments/procedures/medications get approved and for whom. There is a cutoff - treatments that don’t deliver cures at less than £30,000 for year of quality life do not get approved. And when you are over 80, your life isn’t very high quality anyway.

Oh- and if you have the audacity to believe that your life is worth more than 30k quid a year (and have the savings or income to fund that) and then seek treatment privately in the UK, they may toss you out of the NHS and you lose your benefits.

But at least you can purchase treatments privately in the UK if needed, and private insurance exists.
In most of Canada you’d have to fly to the US to buy treatment.

Healthcare is never a right- it is a purchased service, and you only ever get what the purchaser can afford to deliver.

I am not defending the US system: Germany, Holland and Switzerland all do universal private insurance better than the US - but the NHS is different, and NICE is the prototypical death panel. When I lived in the UK a year of life was only worth £24,000- so things are looking up.

The reality is that people like the NHS for basic care, and when you get seriously ill and die you can no longer complain. The NHS’ popularity suffers from selection bias.

Inga said...

Birkel is doing his Karen duty tonight.

wbfjrr2 said...

Michael K, I’m in Tucson too. I refuse to wear a mask. Anywhere. The few times I’ve been told to wear it, which has only happened at Costco, I put it on below my nose and tell them that’s the best I can do. They back off. I never wear it in any other place, including a Bashas, Safeway, AJ’s etc. Nobody says anything to me.

It helps that I don’t look like the type that will tolerate a Karen or Ken. The masks are virtue signaling at best, or total misunderstanding of what level of protection they provide either side of the masked pair. Employees typically wear the same mask all day, which is itself unhealthy.

As I drive around town I too see people in our heat walking with nobody within 50 yards or driving alone in their cars with masks on. I was headed to tennis one morning in my golf cart last week, early morning (a 3 minute ride) and a fellow wearing an N95 mask came walking along the opposite side of the road. There was nobody else in sight in either direction. I think to myself “moron!” But don’t say anything.

The people here in my gated community are mostly well off retired. They’re perfectly fine with tens of millions thrown out of work, innumerable businesses lost forever, kids locked out of school, national debt exploding, and countless lockdown caused deaths just so they don’t have to be afraid. But they’re still afraid anyway because they mainline NYT ( the choice of all liberals, just ask AA), CNN, MSNBC, and insist that we all be afraid too.

Fuck these selfish bastards.

Rory said...

"The best prevention of flu is hand washing, as you well know."

It seems that this advice is all but lost now in the mask noise.

Birkel said...

Hand washing and getting some Vitamin D by being in the sunshine for 20-30 minutes every day.
Those two things work.

Royal ass Inga hates when I point out her lies.
One way to cure the problem would be to quit lying.
When nobody believes you about anything, lying is counterproductive.

The truth would set your dumb ass free.

hstad said...


Blogger gilbar said...
Inga said..."...There are countries that had even stricter shut downs than the US had and have fared far better financially and in saved lives...you mean; like Sweden?8/8/20, 1:02 PM.."

I trying to understand? Is this sarcasm? I'm assuming you know that "Sweden" [at least the one I know] did not have a lock-down and went for the "herd immunity" strategy. This strategy has been employed successfully for every historical pandemic with the exception of the "Spanish Flu". Because, viruses don't go away and "lock-downs" don't work. Yesterday, "Sweden" announced that Stockholm may have attained their "herd immunity" goal. Sweden's overall numbers are all trending in the right direction.

daskol said...

Hastening the decline of higher ed and hopefully public education k-12, reduce fragility inherent in our over-optimized global economy by uncoupling from China and reinvigorating domestic manufacturing, if we come up it ahead on those trends, then some good will come of this disaster. There are other things too including reduced biz travel and different attitudes towards urbanization, but my God, at what cost. We’ve also seen the accelerated destruction of small business and a rapid increase in the rate large tech companies are taking over economic activity. I wonder if govt can even break up or regulate big tech anymore, at least without bringing the entire economic edifice to the ground. That’s where we’re headed, for a reboot.

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