We have, without question, taken unprecedented action to stop the Coronavirus. This certainly differs to the reaction for the Spanish Flu in 1918, which the Federal level, basically did nothing. It's good they did something this time, but at this point, it's pretty clear that barring a major mutation, this will not be the Spanish Flu Part Deux. The death rate doesn't even compare. And the economic effects of the lock down and massive spending spree could be enormous.
Just this week, for example, 3.8 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits.
And remember, something like 40,000 more Americans die for every percentage point the unemployment rate goes up. So this is not about money versus lives. It's a trade off for both.
Indeed, evidence seems to be accumulating that Covid-19 is substantially less deadly and far more people have had it than previous expected. For example, a study from New York City found that:
Blood samples collected from about 3,000 people indicated that nearly 14% had developed antibodies to fight a coronavirus infection, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at his daily news briefing.
14 percent of New York City would be almost 1.2 million people. Yet Worldometer says the entire state of New York has only 315,000 cases.
Another study from Santa Clara found even more startling results (especially since California hasn't been hit nearly as hard as New York):
Large-scale antibody tests are expected to give researchers an idea of just how widespread the outbreak is, and preliminary results from the first such test in Santa Clara County suggest we are underreporting cases by at least a factor of 50.
By a factor of 50!
Of course, there have been problems with Coronavirus tests so these studies need to be looked at with a large grain of salt.
Indeed, despite early reports that the mortality rate was over 2 percent, it seems pretty widely accepted now that we just don't know because we don't know how many are infected. Yet Denmark has reopened its economy and seen no a spike in cases of Coronavirus. Sweden, for its part, never closed its economy and is doing relatively well.
Dr. Scott Atlas for The Hill makes a very compelling case that this quarantine has gone way too far. He lists five key facts (or, at least, well-founded opinions):
Fact 1: The overwhelming majority of people do not have any significant risk of dying from COVID-19.
It's becoming more and more difficult for me to argue with against this position, especially as some states descend into police states. There were other ways we could have dealt with the pandemic without such extreme measures. (And, of course, they would have been easier had Trump not downplayed the virus early on.)
These measures would include quarantining at-risk populations, distributing PPE and recommending everyone wear masks in public (instead of saying they were useless) and keep their distance at stores and restaurants. Large events should have been canceled and maybe schools for one month and obviously New York and New Jersey needed larger efforts. But the full-scale shut downs appears to have been a mistake.
"Every day is a new life to the wise man."
The Righteous Mind
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