The costs of flattening the curve

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Aristotleded24

Pondering wrote:

Mobo2000 wrote:
Pondering:  "because your sole objective seems to be lifting all restrictions immediately."   In my view caricaturing people's positions is the real conversation killer.

It isn't a caricature. Ask Aristotled himself and he will tell you. He wants mass events like concerts and world festivals to go ahead. No restrictions at all.   He thinks it should all be left to the individual to decide and vulnerable individuals can self-isolate if they so choose.

I've actually spoken to vulnerable individuals who essentially said if they want to take the risk and go out in a pandemic it should be up to them without someone else telling them where they should and should not go.

Mobo2000

Yes, people have vastly different approaches to dealing with risk.   My father is 83 years old, last year he was diagnosed with lymphoma.   After chemo he was in remission in January, then COVID happened.    He's about as high risk as it gets.   But he still wants hugs from the grandkids, to go on the occasional trip to the farmer's market, and to play bridge with his friends.   So he does.   We do what we can to minimize our risk of exposing him to anything we have when we are around, but there's no way to save him from himself, or to make different choices for him.   And he's been fortunate, he got to enjoy one of his few remaining summers with his friends and grandkids, and didn't get sick.   So it's hard for me to say he made the wrong choice.

Government enforcement of the pandemic restrictions seems to me to be to be an impossible task, and fruitless.    Not enough cops, too many noncompliant people.    And I don't want more cops.   If anyone's behaviour is going to be changed it will be because they are persuaded.  Overcoming the (very often justified) skepticism of government health agencies and health experts seems to me a greater challenge than our current media enviroment can handle.  

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..imho

..when governments want certain outcomes they set conditions that force those outcomes to be achieved. ie if they want their constituencies, the corporation and banks etc, to maximize profits they keep the minimum wage low, they create poverty and unemployment. there is little choice for individuals.     

..from what i see we face the very same situation with the pandemic. those same governments want to normalize the economy as much as they can. so the don't offer adequate supports. they force people to go back to work where there isn't proper protections against covid. they force schools to reopen without ensuring the proper protections. and there is no doubt that the have the money to do just that..create adequate protections. what they don't have is the political will. 

..this is much greater than the civil liberties argument. the civil liberties argument reduces that reality. and the structural impact being felt by a far larger majority of people who have have lost work, are being evicted from their homes and so much more. those government failed to take the pandemic seriously in the 1st place. because they didn't want to spend the money nor disturb the economy. the economy where there is a structural upward transfer of wealth. the fact is there is very little free choice for the majority of people. that is not being addressed by the civil liberties argument.   

Feds announce plan to buy 7.9 million rapid COVID tests

In fact, the first approval for a point-of-care device — one that could be used in such settings as a doctor's office or a walk-in clinic — only came last week

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Mobo2000

Epaulo:  "..when governments want certain outcomes they set conditions that force those outcomes to be achieved. ie if they want their constituencies, the corporation and banks etc, to maximize profits they keep the minimum wage low, they create poverty and unemployment. there is little choice for individuals.     

..from what i see we face the very same situation with the pandemic. those same governments want to normalize the economy as much as they can. so the don't offer adequate supports. they force people to go back to work where there isn't proper protections against covid. they force schools to reopen without ensuring the proper protections. and there is no doubt that the have the money to do just that..create adequate protections. what they don't have is the political will.   ..this is much greater than the civil liberties argument. the civil liberties argument reduces that reality."

I agree and well said (as usual).  There are many serious issues with civil liberties under the pandemic, particularly with contact tracing, cell phone tracking and an increased willingness in the general culture to believe in and defer to experts and leaders.   Worth talking about and paying attention to.   The level of relatively organized noncompliance has been surprising, and there's many possible government responses.      

But I very much agree the progressive focus must be on, as you say, inadequate supports, and ensuring that the costs of those supports aren't used to justify further austerity down the line.   

Pondering

Mobo2000 wrote:

Yes, people have vastly different approaches to dealing with risk.   My father is 83 years old, last year he was diagnosed with lymphoma.   After chemo he was in remission in January, then COVID happened.    He's about as high risk as it gets.   But he still wants hugs from the grandkids, to go on the occasional trip to the farmer's market, and to play bridge with his friends.   So he does.   We do what we can to minimize our risk of exposing him to anything we have when we are around, but there's no way to save him from himself, or to make different choices for him.   And he's been fortunate, he got to enjoy one of his few remaining summers with his friends and grandkids, and didn't get sick.   So it's hard for me to say he made the wrong choice.

Government enforcement of the pandemic restrictions seems to me to be to be an impossible task, and fruitless.    Not enough cops, too many noncompliant people.    And I don't want more cops.   If anyone's behaviour is going to be changed it will be because they are persuaded.  Overcoming the (very often justified) skepticism of government health agencies and health experts seems to me a greater challenge than our current media enviroment can handle.  

Interesting response. You accused me of caricaturing Aristotled's position. Aristatled confirmed that it was no caricature.

You then stated that your father should have the decision to decide for himself if he is willing to be exposed in exchange for contact with grandchildren. I agree with that too. Both my parents passed away before covid but had they not they would have wanted to be with family because they knew they didn't have a lot of time left anyway.

Are you agreeing with Aristotled that there should be no restrictions whatsoever? A position you thought was a charicature? If not what restrictions do you agree with?

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

There are many serious issues with civil liberties under the pandemic

..i agree

Mobo2000

Well, my personal practice is:   I follow the guidelines, I wear a mask, I don't go to raves or outdoor parties.   If I were to have anonymous sex in New York or BC I'd use a glory hole:  https://globalnews.ca/news/7204384/coronavirus-glory-holes-sex/

Regarding mass events, I am saying that regardless of the efficacy of banning mass events, it is difficult and problematic for governments to enforce a ban on mass events, and even more difficult for me to get behind that enforcement.   

Aristotleded24

Mobo2000 wrote:

Well, my personal practice is:   I follow the guidelines, I wear a mask, I don't go to raves or outdoor parties.   If I were to have anonymous sex in New York or BC I'd use a glory hole:  

">https://globalnews.ca/news/7204384/coronavirus-glory-holes-sex/

This, along with Tam's advise to wear masks while kissing, is a perfect example of health officials missing the bigger picture. The message I've been hearing since the 1990s is that anonymous sex is a risk for spreading infection, and that aside from using condoms, taking time to get to know someone before becoming physically intimate was also important. That's the message that I think should be emphasised. Unfortunately, I think the kind of person who would have anonymous sex (especially without protection) is the kind of person who would ignore Tam's advice anyways. But at least by pivoting back to precautions that are already public knowledge, health officials maintain their credibility and don't subject themselves to ridicule.

Mobo2000 wrote:
Regarding mass events, I am saying that regardless of the efficacy of banning mass events, it is difficult and problematic for governments to enforce a ban on mass events, and even more difficult for me to get behind that enforcement.

One of the interesting things about regulations is that many European jurisdictions have relaxed restrictions on indoor gatherings as the first wave of the pandemic eased off. Sweden has enforced a hard cap on 50 people at events from the beginning and has not budged from that regardless of the trend in cases.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Aristotleded24 wrote:
Sweden has enforced a hard cap on 50 people at events from the beginning and has not budged from that regardless of the trend in cases.

BC has also enforced a hard cap of 50 people in gatherings since the beginning of the pandemic, and is planning to continue this until there is a vaccine.

Aristotleded24

In other words, a permanent restriction on the right to free assembly made palatable by having people hold out hope for an ever-elusive vaccine that may never come.

NDPP

WATCH: "Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn, New York set fire to a pile of face masks in protest of lockdown restrictions by NY Governor Andrew Cuomo."

https://twitter.com/SVNewsAlerts/status/1313696596245258240

 

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

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Aristotleded24

So when I went to look for a headline about alcohol sales during the pandemic, there were so many google hits from different areas that I didn't know which one I would use. So I won't use any of those headlines. The evidence of alcohol sales increasing during the pandemic are there for anyone who wants to look, as people under stress tend to turn to alcohol to cope. Alcohol is also addictive. "Covid 19 causes long-term health impacts, so we have to stop its transmission at all costs!" Do you know what else causes long-term health impacts? Alcohol addiction. Does the pro-lockdown crowd have any answer or any suggestion for how to deal with this one? Unlike with "some drugs," it's not possible to provide people a "safe" supply as a band-aid while ignoring the emotional distress which triggered their addiction in the first place.

Aristotleded24

Report on mental health during the pandemic:

Quote:
Many Canadians say their mental health is worse than before the COVID-19 pandemic and have reported an increase in alcohol consumption, according to a new survey by Nanos Research.

The survey of 1,003 Canadians, which was commissioned by CTV News, found that two in five Canadians said that their mental health is currently worse than before the pandemic. The survey also found that Canadians reported a 20 per cent increase in alcohol consumption compared to before the pandemic.

According to the survey results, four in 10 Canadians said their mental health is now worse (16 per cent) or somewhat worse (24 per cent) than it was in April during the early stages of the pandemic. At that time, 10 per cent of respondents reported worse and 28 per cent reported somewhat worse mental health.

Just under half of the respondents said their mental health is about the same as it was prior to COVID-19, while one in 10 Canadians said their mental health is better (four per cent) or somewhat better (seven per cent). One per cent of those surveyed said they were unsure.

What a finding. I thought that subjecting a population to gaslighting, fear-mongering,  psychological terrorism, browbeating, and emotional blackmail would have a positive impact on overall mental health. This comes as a complete shock to me!

Aristotleded24

With post-secondary school now in swing, this is the time when many students would be doing practicums. Unfortunately many workplaces aren't accepting practicums because of the covid restrictions. At the same time, workplaces are always losing trained staff due to resignations, retirements, deaths, people who go on patental leave and never come back, or illness or disability. These employees all need to be replaced by qualified individuals. In addition, there are only so many workplaces that can accomodate practicum students at a time. If the restrictions are in place for just the Fall that is one thing. What if they are still in effect in the spring and practicums still cannot happen then? The longer these restrictions go on, the more of a backlog you will create. Or will they try and find a way to cut corners on some practicum requirements to address this? What will that do do qualifications, how people who were short-cut feel about their ability to do the job, or confidence in the profession overall?

Aristotleded24

Here is a news clip describing suicide calls in LA going from 20 to over 1800. As the reporters point out, the crisis workers dealing with these calls are also front line workers. You can say bring in more people to help, but remember that dealing with suicidal people takes a big toll on people's mental health. If something is increasing suicidal tendancies and thoughts in the population, that needs to be addressed.

Aristotleded24

Here is an example of someone waiting for surgery that has been postponed:

Quote:

Maxine Lawrenz’s 87-year-old mother has been awaiting a hip replacement surgery since prior to the pandemic, but has still have not been given a date for that surgery.

While waiting for her surgery, Lawrenz’s mother was scheduled to receive cortisone shots at Royal University Hospital to help alleviate her pain. Those appointments however were also cancelled twice - the most recent being cancelled Thursday.

...

Lawrenz says she understood back in April why her mother’s procedure was cancelled, but now six months later she doesn’t understand why it can’t be done.

“Its not just my mother. My mother’s procedure is not the only one that was cancelled, there’s a lot of people finding themselves in this position.”

Note this woman is 87 years old. It is also the case that many people who need these kinds of operations tend to be older. At 87, she doesn't have much time left, and I think it's a travesty to needlessly force her to endure much of that time in severe pain. Not only does it impact quality of life, but I'm also guessing that if left unchecked, it could lead to not only debilitation but could shorten her life.

Aristotleded24

Guess which generation is going to experience the worst reprecussions:

Quote:
The number of people being made redundant in the UK has risen at the fastest rate on record as the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic continue to bite, with the number of people aged 16-24 in work falling particularly sharply.

There has to be a better way to protect our elders than asking their grand children and great-grand children to sacrifice the same chances they had to live their lives.

Aristotleded24

Flatten the curve to save lives in the United Kingdom:

Quote:

More than 26,000 extra deaths occurred in private homes this year, an analysis by the Office for National Statistics found.

In contrast, deaths in hospitals from these causes have been lower than usual.

The Covid epidemic may have led to fewer people being treated in hospital.

Or it may be that people in older age groups, who make up the majority of these deaths, are choosing to stay at home - but the underlying reasons for the figures are still not clear.

...

Prof Sir David Spiegelhalter, chairman of the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication at the University of Cambridge, said that equated to an extra 100 people dying at home every day.

"Usually around 300 people die each day in their homes in England and Wales," he commented.

"The latest ONS analysis confirms that even after the peak of the epidemic this has stayed at around 400 a day and shows no sign of declining. That's one third extra, very few of which are from Covid."

He suggested these deaths would normally have occurred in hospital.

"People have either been reluctant to go, discouraged from attending, or the services have been disrupted," Prof Spiegelhalter added.

"It is unclear how many of these lives could have been extended had they gone to hospital, for example among the 450 extra deaths from cardiac arrhythmias."

Alzheimer's Research UK said the fact more people were dying from dementia in their own homes than ever before was "truly heartbreaking".

"Many people say they would prefer to die at home, but we need to understand whether people with dementia are able to access the medical help they need during the Covid-19 pandemic," said director of policy and public affairs, Samantha Benham-Hermetz.

"It's likely that factors such as social isolation and people's fear of coming forward to access the medial care they need has led to such a huge increase, which is why it's more important than ever that people with dementia are not neglected."

Aristotleded24

Working from home has worked out for everyone:

Quote:
We traditionally tend to think of working from home as a perk. You can do your laundry while you work. You can stay in pajamas and control your own thermostat. You can take the dog for a walk. But after being abruptly forced to work from home full time this year, a lot of people have discovered they don’t like it nearly as much as they thought they would.

Of course, working from home in the midst of a highly stressful global crisis is different from doing it in normal times—especially if you add in the stress of child care. But a surprising number of people have told me they’re shocked by how eager they are to return to their offices once it’s safe to do so.

One of the biggest themes I’ve heard is that people simply miss their co-workers, and they miss the ease of collaborating in person.

Why is that surprising? In-person connection is a basic human need and is essential for survival, almost up there with food, water and air.

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