Sunday, May 10, 2020

Confusion About COVID-19 And Government Actions

At the post, Why is President Trump Bailing Out His Dishonest, Power Freak, Democratic Rivals?, The Lab Manager asks:
So what would you have him do RW? If he did nothing and people died, he would be criticized. He did some things like restrict travel in late January while being called a racist. Libertardians would have the left the borders open I would guess.
RW response:

There is a lot of confusion in this question.

First, it assumes that travel restrictions and a quarantine, somehow work. It is not clear how they "work."

Readers will recall that the first claim of policymakers was that the goal was to "flatten the curve," that is to stretch out the time period over which people would be infected by COVID-19, to ensure that hospitals would not be overrun.

One problem with this thinking, among many, is that  it ignores how free markets adapt to changes in demand. It is absolutely absurd to think the number of hospital beds is static. This is shallow central planner type thinking.

The only thing Trump should have done is remove regulations that make it difficult for hospitals to adapt to changes in situations.

This would have eliminated the need for "flattening of the curve."

The only thing this attempt did is spread the active period of the virus over a longer period.

The world-renowned epidemiologist Dr. Knut Wittkowski points out that viruses of the COVID-19 variety tend to have an intense period of only two weeks, then the peak and two weeks on the downside from peak. Professor Johan Giesecke, one of the world’s most senior epidemiologists, says that in the end, there will be little difference in infections between countries who’ve locked down and those who haven't.

All the "flattening of the curve" lockdown has done is extend the period over which the virus continues to infect. And since somehow, the goal of the "flattening of the curve" has shifted from the weakly thought out desire to provide hospitals with time to deal with a rush of patients to the elimination of infections, the lockdowns continue with the bizarre notion that somehow, before we have a safe vaccine, the virus can be prevented from infecting people if we only keep people in a state of semi-lockdown.

Lab Manager also says that if Trump didn't do anything people would die, but Trump and government power freaks throughout the nation have done much and people have died and continue to die. It is clear that with over 35% of the deaths occurring in nursing homes and similar facilities, government authorities failed, if we are talking about government doing anything, in terms of securing such facilities rather than using the lockdown sledgehammer which was used by such power freaks as Lori Lightfoot, Gretchen Whitmer, Andrew Cuomo, Gavin Newsom, Eric Garcetti, London Breed and Libby Schaaf. And this speaks not at all about those psychologically frail who have taken their own lives because of the lockdown.

History will record the lockdown government officials as shallow thinking policymakers who ended up being destroyers of economies and killers of people.

As limited removal of restrictions does occur, the number of infected may increase but this is only because of the earlier more aggressive lockdown period which prevented what would have been a much shorter period of infection. Deaths as a percentage of infected will be lower, but no thanks to government officials, but because we learned early on that the infection was a virus that killed mostly the elderly and so once this was understood, those that are elderly and take care of the elderly took precautions. This is basic, the idea that deaths would occur at the same level as the early days of the infection is more shallow thinking.

As for the borders question and COVID-19, once the virus hit the United States, which was probably in January if not earlier, closing the borders made no sense. The Lab Manager with that statement simply indicates he fails to understand the compounding nature of COVID-19. Once it is in the country, it will spread. If anything, infected foreigners would do nothing but help spread the virus much more quickly so that herd immunity would have been reached much sooner and saved the lives of many elderly, who need to avoid infection, taking precautions against infection and whose time period of general high exposure would have shrunk.

In short, The Lab Manager's central planning, anti-foreigner thinking, is as shallow as any random person you could pick out of the masses. It is advocacy for a policy that would prolong the devastating impact on the economy and result in many more deaths. It is a policy prescription for killing. He should run for office in California.



  1. Trump was in the position of being accused of not doing enough or being the dictator the left accused him of wanting to be all along.

    The idiots who are doing all the scaremongering do not understand time of exposure. The exposure time I have to germs at stores and so forth increases because of the queuing. All that has occurred is the addition of submission rituals that increase exposure, like taking shoes off at the airport in the TSA line. Or just being in the line.

    The masses do not understand the concept of area under the curve. Flattening the curve doesn't save lives. The area under the curve is either the same or larger. It may actually kill more.

    Stopping flights from China was already moot since it appears the virus got into the USA via the US military members who attended the military games.

    1. Or got into China from the members of the US military at the games.

  2. Does anyone remember the (good old) days just after Trump was elected, when we were told that he was literally Hitler, and would intern all manner of ethnic groups and trample on our freedoms, the fascist dictator that he was?

    How has that turned out amid COVID? He looks like a veritable wimp now, compared with the tyrants running CA, NJ, NY, MI, etc.

  3. There is a bigger picture. Viruses are part of the world we live in so we should not allow C-19 to make us overly fearful of viruses. Nobody wants to get sick but viruses have help make us what we are (of course knowing that may be reason to fear viruses even more).
    ...sequences of viral genes, called "endogenous retroviruses" (ERVs), can contribute to the onset of diseases such as cancer. They can also make their hosts susceptible to infections from other viruses. However, scientists have identified numerous cases of viral hitchhikers bestowing crucial benefits to their human hosts -- from protection against disease to shaping important aspects of human evolution, such as the ability to digest starch.

  4. RW's observations that flattening the curve and the commercial shutdown can do nothing to prevent covid-19 but can extend the time of exposure and extend the pain and suffering reminds me of what the political/bureaucrats did in the 1930's. Their actions extended an economic depression into a decade of suffering and a world war. Hopefully these colossal errors will alert more people to the fact that the coercive actions by the political/bureaucrats benefits only the politicians at the suffering and expense of everyone else. We need to begin at the local level abandoning town, city and county political organizations and embrace voluntary organizations.

    1. No and I mean no one did any sort of risk analysis on the cascading economic damage shutting down world economies would create. The swamp saw an advantage to letting a toxic debt leveraged govt crash as the oligarchy would suffer the least and the idiocracy would become sooo reliant on the state that they could exert any control they wanted.

      No way were they letting the opportunity slide by