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How to Calculate the "Incalculable:" How Many Quality-Adjusted Life Years Is Coronavirus Costing Us?
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The NY Times headline today reads:

U.S. Deaths Near 100,000, an Incalculable Loss

But if it’s “incalculable,” how did they calculate it?

In reality, we need more calculation, not less.

But how to do it?

From the Washington Post news section:

The government has spent decades studying what a life is worth. It hasn’t made a difference in the covid-19 crisis.
The U.S. government often studies the trade-off between cost and safety. But the White House has failed to release any analysis of the pandemic, which could offer clues to what’s ahead.

by Todd C. Frankel
May 23, 2020 at 3:29 p.m. PDT

When President Trump said in late March he didn’t think the economic devastation from stay-at-home orders was a good trade off for avoiding covid-19 deaths, tweeting, “WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF,” economists across the country already were busy working on the exact kind of cost-benefit analysis implied by the president.

They reached a very different conclusion from Trump.

Exactly what “conclusion” has Trump reached? He seems to be reacting to this novel virus and novel situation by taking in new information and talking out loud about what might be the appropriate response given what we know now. This instills fear and loathing in millions who want the President to act like The Science is absolutely certain about exactly what to do and order them to do it, like a good democratic leader would, instead of an authoritarian like Trump who seems to act like he’s leading a national talk show as we try to make up our minds.

Economists at the University of Wyoming estimated the economic benefits from lives saved by efforts to “flatten the curve” outweighed the projected massive hit to the nation’s economy by a staggering $5.2 trillion. Another study by two University of Chicago economists estimated the savings from social distancing could be so huge, “it is difficult to think of any intervention with such large potential benefits to American citizens.”

In other words, the economists are saying, “the cure” doesn’t come at a cost at all when factoring in the economic value of the lives saved.

Uh … actually, it is expensive.

What these academics are doing — and what Trump’s tweet is getting at — is measuring how the extreme efforts to avoid covid-19 deaths compare to the devastating economic fallout. They do this by putting a price tag on the deaths avoided. It’s something the federal government does all the time when deciding whether to require carmakers to install new safety features or drugmakers to add new warning labels. And it’s required by law for big-ticket new regulations, such as road safety laws and pollution controls.

But this kind of approach has been missing from the debate about how to respond to the covid-19 pandemic, which has killed almost 100,000 Americans and fueled historic unemployment rates.

The calculation — known as Value of a Statistical Life or VSL — is the amount people are willing to spend to cut risk enough to save one life. The VSL at most federal agencies, developed over several decades, is about $10 million. If a new regulation is estimated to avoid one death a year, it can cost up to $10 million and still make economic sense.

At what age, though?

I looked at Wikipedia’s list of notable American deaths from Coronavirus and the mean age was 78 and the median age was 82. Only a tiny number of these people who had at one point in their lives made themselves prominent within their professions were still in their primes, and only a limited number were still earning much income.

The debate over letting the economy reopen or protecting more lives has become one of the many political fights dividing the nation. But a cost-benefit analysis using VSL, while far from perfect, would force policymakers to confront the reality of their decisions in a much more precise way. Without it, they are left to gut feelings, educated guesses or political arguments.

But is VSL the proper metric for a disease that slays primarily the aged and infirm? The feds have other, less crude measures such as Disability-Adjusted Life Years. From Wikipedia:

The DALY is becoming increasingly common in the field of public health and health impact assessment (HIA). It not only includes the potential years of life lost due to premature death, but also includes equivalent years of ‘healthy’ life lost by virtue of being in states of poor health or disability. In so doing, mortality and morbidity are combined into a single, common metric

For example, if somebody with Alzheimer’s is killed, they first estimate how many more years he was most likely to live, then deduct 2/3rds of those years on the grounds that having Alzheimer’s is only 1/3rd as good as being alive and healthy.

The British call their equivalent of DALY the Quality-Adjusted Life Years or QALY.

… But the most controversial aspect is whether older people should be assigned the same VSL as younger people.

As an older person, I say: of course not.

It’s sadder that Mozart died at 35 than that Beethoven died at 56, even though Beethoven’s late stuff is phenomenal and it’s sad to think of what we are missing from Beethoven not living his three score and ten. A while ago we discussed how Beethoven perhaps invented ragtime in his last piano sonata, and his Grosse Fuge of 1825 appears to have invented metal:

If Beethoven had lived to be 70, he probably would have invented Debussy’s impressionist music and Schoenberg’s twelve-tone, and swing. If he’d lived to be 80, he would have invented disco. 90, rap.

But, still, we are likely missing Mozart’s peak (Charles Murray’s Human Accomplishment lists creative individuals whose birthdate isn’t known by when they “flourished,” which Murray sets at age 40). The notion of Mozart and Beethoven both in Vienna competing from 1792 to 1826 (along with the elder Haydn [d. 1809] and the younger Schubert [d. 1828]) is staggering.

The Environmental Protection Agency in 2002 suggested a clean air rule would offer less of a benefit to senior citizens. Some academics agreed with the agency’s reasoning. But when critics decried it as a “senior discount,” it proved politically untenable.

But that’s silly. We need to try to estimate the Quality-Adjusted Life Years lost to this disease.

One analysis of Italian deaths, which have been highly skewed toward the elderly, probably because the residents of Northern Italy Alpine foothill small cities are among the healthiest people on earth, suggested that 10 years of life expectancy were lost per life lost. But that ignores the likelihood that those who died rather than recovered were likely frailer. Plus it ignores quality adjustments. Some of the dead likely had Alzheimer’s or other disabilities.

But … Americans and Britons both appear to be getting hit younger and harder than Continentals are by coronavirus. In John Ionannidis’s paper on the toll by age, the only American state that is skewed as much toward the old as the Continent is the best-educated US state Massachusetts.

On the other hand, it’s quite possible that the bigger danger in terms of QALYs is less immediate mortality from those who die right now than illness and early death in the future.

Say that the infection fatality rate is 1% (I hope it’s lower and that it can be lowered much further, but a 1% IFR makes for easy calculations to illustrate broad concepts) and that 5 QALYs are lost o average: that’s a loss of .05.

But, say that 10% of those who get infected and survive lose an average of 5 QALYs off their lives. That’s an order of magnitude greater QALY toll than that from immediate lethality.

Or say that only 1% of all survivors of the infection suffer major long term problems that take 5 QALYs of their lives. That toll would be the same as from the immediate deaths. (But then there’s the question of whether to use an interest rate to discount the Net Present Value of distress that would happen over the rest of the 21st Century? And if so, what interest rate?)

And there’s also the QALY loss from feeling really sick for one to six weeks. Say that 50% of those infected lose 0.05 QALY from being sick: that’s half as big of a toll as the immediate deaths.

In summary, while there is much to be learned about the toll of this disease, we really need to get serious about learning it and stop playing partisan games like this article does with an extremely serious subject.

 
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  1. Thanks, Steve. I’m perfectly happy to accept an objective and smart VSL or DALY that shows the lockdown was worth it. Right now I’m not convinced.

    • Replies: @anon
    When you add it all up, the lockdown probably isn't going to have been worth it, but that doesn't necessarily mean it was the wrong decision at the time, with the information available (and not available) at that time.

    Say there are two boys. One is taunting the other for not tiptoeing along the edge of a cliff. Later something comes up that forces the boys to tiptoe along the cliff, which they do just fine. Afterwards the one boy goes "See, I told you we can do it and it's no big deal. You pussy idiot." Obviously it doesn't follow that tiptoeing along the cliff is a smart thing to do.

    , @Hypnotoad666
    The math a cost-benefit analysis does not seem particularly complicated. Mostly, you just need the data for the age ranges of the victims and their statistical life expectancy in order to calculate their years of life lost (YLL). And then you need to decide how much each year of life is worth. Additionally, if you can guess at how many infections there have been, you can figure out the dollar value of harm caused by each additional infection (and how much it would be worth to prevent it).

    A few days ago, I downloaded the CDC's data on deaths by age and sex (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid_weekly/index.htm), which includes 68,974 deaths through 5-20-20. I looked up the life expectancy of the various ages (using the mean of the age range reported by the CDC), and ran some spreadsheet calculations of my own. I picked $90,000 as the value of a YLL because I think I saw that number used in some insurance calculations. But anyone could adjust it up or down according to preference and all the numbers would change proportionately.

    I thought the results were pretty interesting. (I don't know how to attach or display a spreadsheet graph here, so I'll have to try to list some key numbers). Anyway,

    I. Value of Life Lost by Age Cohort

    Age Group Deaths YLL/Death $YLL Value (Mil.) %YLL Value
    0-24 65 67.05 392.24 .48%
    25-34 463 49.75 2,073.08 2.56%
    35-44 1186 40.5 4,322.97 5.33%
    45-54 3338 31.85 9,575.88 11.8%
    55-64 8312 23.9 17,879.11 22.04%
    65-74 14447 15.75 20,478.62 25.24%
    75-84 18621 9.25 15,501.98 19.11%
    85+ 22542 5.375 10,904.69 13.44%

    Total 68,974 $81,128.59 100%


    Because the victims skew so old, the total of 68,974 deaths (totaling about 901,000 YLL), have an average YLL of only about 13 -- i.e., the average Covid-19 fatality cost 13 years of life lost. At $90K per, it thus would have been worth about $2.7 million to prevent an average Covid-19 death. Surprisingly, the total value of life lost has been only about $81 billion.

    Another interesting calculation for planning purposes is: "How much is it worth to prevent one additional Covid-19 infection?" Say the infection fatality rate is .03%. That means one infection will statistically cause .0003 deaths. If it is worth $2.7 million to prevent an average Covid-19 death, then it is worth approximately $821.64 to prevent one additional infection.

    Given these numbers is it worth it to tank $4-5 trillion in GDP to prevent another $81 billion in lost life years? And if there is a 1/1000 chance of getting Covid from having a haircut, would you rather have the haircut or have your life statistically reduced by 82 cents worth of risk?

    I hope someone with influence on decisions is thinking like this. But it doesn't seem like it. Right now it seems like a lot of arm flailing and emotion at all levels.

  2. The VSL at most federal agencies, developed over several decades, is about $10 million.

    And yet I’ll bet I’ve never known anyone who insured his own life for ten million. How many people do that? One in ten thousand? One in a hundred thousand?

  3. Anonymous[109] • Disclaimer says:

    I looked at Wikipedia’s list of notable American deaths from Coronavirus and the mean age was 78 and the median age was 82. Only a tiny number of these people who had at one point in their lives made themselves prominent within their professions were still in their primes, and only a limited number were still earning much income.

    I am a bit skeptical that using notable people is a good indicator. They are usually wealthy and sharper than the average. Better connected too. If they are dying one has to wonder whether they are too senile to worry about the risk or to get proper treatment, or in spite of those things are too old to fight it off. All of those things is going to push that average age up.

    Maybe it is indicative maybe not.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    My county has been keeping track of Xi Jinping Virus deaths and the average age is 81.5. This is consistent with many other states and countries. Maybe the #'s vary slightly but generally speaking death from CV occur primarily in the elderly and only rarely in people under 60, and even more rarely in white people under 60.

    No matter how you slice and dice the data, CV is a fatal disease primarily (not solely, but primarily) among the elderly. For those who are not elderly, victims usually have some co-morbidity (diabetes, obesity, etc.) For a healthy white person under 60 to die of Covid is extremely rare. It happens now and then, but rarely (i.e. less than 1% of deaths would be among that group).

    Everything in America is politicized today so even a public health crisis is seen thru a political filter. If you are confused about the demographics of the victims it is because the media has been doing all that it can to obfuscate the identity of the victims. They did this with AIDs also.
  4. Anon[646] • Disclaimer says:

    I believe that VSL is the value of half your life, the amount left after you reach the middle of your birth cohort’s projected life span. It’s an average value per casualty used in statistical computations covering people of many ages, so like the epidemiological value BMI isn’t meant to be exactly meaningful for the health of individuals, VSL is not looking at the details of grandpa’s living situation.

    I call this a “half life” myself as a pun, since it’s useful in nuclear power debates: Deaths from radioactive events are delayed for years or decades after the accident, while lives lost from hydroelectric and wind are lost immediately when the workers tumble to their deaths in the prime of their lives.

  5. But, say that 10% of those who get infected and survive lose an average of 5 QALYs off their lives. That’s an order of magnitude greater QALY toll than that from immediate lethality.

    • Thanks: Jonathan Mason
    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
    If Trump, or at least his advisors and the governors of all the states, were taking in the opinions of various epidemiology experts in this series of video podcasts from the Lockdown TV Unherd series, they would be a lot better informed about the pros and cons of various infection control strategies and could place them in a broader context.

    https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=lockdown+tv+unherd&qpvt=lockdown+tv+unherd&FORM=VDRE

  6. It’s hard to calculate. You get an overly high estimate when you just calculate from the age groups it hits. The disease doesn’t just kill mainly 80-year-olds, it often kills the very sickest 80-year-olds. This makes it harder to calculate the impact.

    Going by simply “age of decadent” studies, I’ve seen estimates of 10 QAYL lost. But this is too high. Including health status may drop that by a factor of 10, or so. The majority of people dying from this in Europe and the US are already in long term care, and in their 7th, 8th, or 9th decade.

    • Replies: @Travis
    Most nursing home residents don't last 2 years before they pass away. Half the Wahu Flu fatalities were among elderly in assistant living facilities. One thing few have talked about, is that most of them have do not resuscitate orders. When my Step-Father was placed in an assistant living home, due to Alzheimer's disease he signed a DNR. He lasted almost 2 years. He was 72 when placed in the home and passed away before turing 74. Before he was put in the home he had been hiking about 6 miles per day, he was in very good physical health, but no longer remembered me or my kids and forgot that he had married my mother 5 years earlier.

    With so many nursing home patients with a DNR order, they will not be sent to the hospital when they get the flue of pneumonia etc...They just allow them to pass away, they will not be taken to the hospital for extra care but my be given oxygen.
  7. The taboo concept is that mass deaths of senior citizens will have an unambiguously positive net effect on the economy in terms of Medicare and social security savings. The concept rightfully should remain a taboo but it’s self-evident to any economists practicing actual economics.

    • Replies: @Richard B

    The concept rightfully should remain a taboo
     
    Could you explain why?
    , @Hypnotoad666

    mass deaths of senior citizens will have an unambiguously positive net effect on the economy in terms of Medicare and social security
     
    Are you trying to start a conspiracy theory that the Paul Ryan wing of the Republican party started Covid as a form of "entitlement reform?"
    , @Kyle
    Bullshit. What about all of the money those people spend? What about all of the money in their bank account they spent a lifetime accumulating. Is that suddenly worthless the moment they retire? With that being said I’m extremely anti lockdown. We shouldn’t punish 98% of the people for something that would only affect 2% of people in a “let ‘er rip” approach. Especially when that 2% of people are often older with good health insurance and the 98% are often like me, young and with no health insurance. I think its ironic that we pay so much money for health insurance with nothing to show for it in this crisis. If I was permanently disabled in a car accident tomorrow it would be tough luck for me. Even though tens of thousands of Americans die in car accidents every year, we wouldn’t shut down civilization while we figured out a workaround for cars. Life isn’t fair and it never has been. I don’t know how we decided in this moment that we were going to make it fair by government decree. And that we’d die on that hill, metaphorically speaking. It’s man kinds ultimate folly to think he can control nature. Did the lockdown even do anything? If they wanted to prevent the virus spreading the federal government should have shut down international’s day possibly inter state travel in January, and started regulating international and inter state commerce much more intensely. The federal government didn’t do that, it’s official policy was wash your hands, don’t wear a mask, and let ‘er rip at least until halfway through March. Then they changed up the rules on us with zero warning. They should have had the military out enforcing quarantine with live rounds and bulldozing people into their homes. I would have been down for that. Instead we got a sort kinda half lock down where poor people who make hourly wage aren’t allowed to go to work, but rich people who make salary and have top notch health insurance are allowed to leave their homes for shopping at Walmart, target, and Home Depot then hit the McDonald’s drive through for lunch. Again I don’t think this lockdown did much because it wasn’t actually a lock down. Liquor stores have remained open, which is a good sign. It means at least one person in the government isn’t completely clueless when it comes to economics. You need income to survive. Liquor tax pays their income. But where is my income?
    , @Hippopotamusdrome


    mass deaths of senior citizens

     

    Oh oh point oh oh N percent = mass death

    The real taboo concept is that senior citizens experience mass death all the time through all of history.
  8. • Thanks: Neoconned
    • Replies: @Neoconned
    This is going to be interesting over the next few years what random targets the trial lawyers go after....especially in the USA....
  9. Typical hedonic-adjusted BS: They assume we’re going to buy that continued life in the brave new world they have given us has the same quality as life in a pre-COVID-19 world.

  10. If age is a relevant factor in the valuation (and surely it is) then that opens the door to a host of other factors that we’re not allowed to mention.

    The upshot and the implication is that some lives actually do matter more than others. Vastly more, in fact, and this offends our sense of equity.

    Already in calculations such as those attending compensation for death in plane accidents, potential future earnings are considered.

    Maybe some people’s lives are worth 10 or 20 million. But some are approximately nil and some appear to be negative.

    • Replies: @anon

    some are approximately nil and some appear to be negative.
     
    Now that will make many a head explode!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWSx0bBiNIs
  11. Anonymous[751] • Disclaimer says:

    It’s not a partisan game, Steve.

    It’s extremely serious that people are destroying my country.

    This virus is fake. It just is. The facts are in. At a certain point you have to acknowledge facts.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/andrewbostom/status/1263808424489467906
    https://www.rt.com/russia/489579-coronavirus-immunity-test-moscow/

    Do some damn math. How many people live in Moscow? How many are dead? This is just a hoax.

    we dont BURN OUR COUNTRIES TO THE GROUND BECAUSE THE FLU EXISTS. 90 year olds die of the flu. Sad but we cant destroy society because that makes you sad. Go work on a goddamned treatment if you’re so personally concerned. But dont ruin childrens lives for your personal obsession.

    your comment in the other thread about how you’re trying to be a reasonable moderate is incoherent.

    “Extremists on both sides are wrong by definition….”

    Oh, really? What if one side is an extremist cult that likes murdering babies and puppies and my position is I extremely disagree? Are “extremists” on both sides of that debate wrong?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    There is an extremely important distinction between Steve's position and mine.

    Steve wants to put a gun to my head and tell me I can't go to work and my kids cant go to school.

    I do not want to put a gun to Steve's head. If he doesn't want to go to a bar where people like me might not have gotten some fake vaccine or whatever, he is free to stay home.

    It's a free country. Or, you know, people used to say that.
    , @VinnyVette
    What's your take on the CDC posting extremely low death #'s from flu this year and declaring that "this has been an extremely mild flu year"! Do we need experts or charts and graphs to connect the dots that an exorbitant amount of flu deaths have been racked up as Covid? Nice comment btw exactly how i see it!
    , @Guest007
    I wish everyone would realize that when someone is claiming that Covid-19 is a hoax that they are calling a massive number of healthcare workers, health department employees, and first responders liars.

    Maybe that is why so many people (left and right) have problems with politics. They are incapable of thinking about the implications of what they are claiming.
  12. You shouldn’t have to fiddle with numbers on the margins to decide if the lockdown was worth it. The answer should be obvious if we have any sense.

    But since we want to apply math, here goes:
    (1) Let’s put the economic cost of each life lost at $100,000. In reality this is very generous since at the age of 80 and in a nursing home, one’s economic value would be a negative number as one has no economic output and very high economic cost. (This is not to call the elderly worthless in any spiritual sense but we are talking economics here.)

    (2) What is the economic value lost for a young person who has had their job and their economic prospects destroyed for the foreseeable future? Not even thinking about the cost to society of lost fertility, I’d put this at $500,000. This is very conservative. The average person’s lifetime earnings is $2.7 million. If a young person’s career and prospects have been destroyed in a world of 40 million unemployed, a reduction of their lifetime earnings from $2.7 million to $2.2 million looks way too optimistic. Of course older people have lost jobs too but the destruction of jobs is concentrated among the young. This doesn’t even take into account big income declines among those who still hold jobs.

    So 40 million jobs lost. Say 500,000 lives saved. Which is in my opinion much more than the real number of lives saved given that the all cause excess death for the time period is only 27,000.

    Cost: $20 trillion dollars

    Savings: $50 billion dollars

    This isn’t outrageous. If I adjust these numbers, I could certainly find the cost to be higher and the savings lower. Inflation is ignored to keep things simple.

    We now have 40 million unemployed and fiscal threats for the US budget unlike anything in our history. The excess deaths in this country would hardly register on an actuarial scale.

    Here is Audacious Epigone from a few days ago with a take that actually makes sense to me:

    “From February through the middle of May, the all cause American death rate has been 3% higher than expected relative to all cause deaths from the same time period in the years 2017, 2018, and 2019. Instead of the 895,000 deaths we ‘should’ have had up to this point, coronavirus kicked us up to 922,000.

    By this all-in metric, then, coronavirus has led to about 27,000 excess deaths nationwide, a little less than one-third the number of deaths attributed to covid in media reports. Given the age profile of those who have died, most of these excess deaths have been pulled forward a few months or years. Those lives matter, too, of course, but it’s not the same as people dying unexpectedly in the prime of their lives.

    Forty million people out of work, the national debt exploded, the Fed married to the Treasury and both completely off the chain, a 1990s Russia-style oligarchic looting of the country, civil liberties extinguished, and despair rising as people contend with existing in a perpetual state of fear over what has amounted to, up to this point, something close to a rounding error in a country of nearly 330,000,000 people.”

    One could speculate that benefits could be high in terms of work-from home savings and technological advancement, but one could also speculate that since human interaction is at the center of economic networks the secondary effects are profoundly negative. The best answer is to ignore future speculation and look at the numbers we have now.

    In economic terms, the destruction of the lockdown is unprecedented and not remotely balanced by the benefits of lives saved.

    • Agree: VinnyVette, Peterike
    • Replies: @JosephB

    By this all-in metric, then, coronavirus has led to about 27,000 excess deaths nationwide, a little less than one-third the number of deaths attributed to covid in media reports.
     
    Normally I'm with you in preferring mortality data as it's much harder to fudge. However, in this case things are a bit more complex:
    1. The lockdown decreased all-cause mortality: no traffic accidents, , fewer random (non-covid) infections, less homicide, ... Some people mention fewer elective procedure screwups with the closing of the hospital. Personally I see that as tougher to score as some patients who needed to be seen asap died at home.

    2. The mortality data is coming in somewhat slowly. For example, May 16 has an overall mortality rate of just 53%. We're comparing partial data vs. a baseline of all of the data from those weeks from past years.

    Both of those effects will cause the impact of covid to be understated. In theory, I see how to model #1 but lack the data and time. For #2, you could just ignore the last (somewhat arbitrarily) 4 weeks and compute the stats without those. You get 6% excess deaths for those weeks, or about 43k. Those numbers ignore the weeks with the largest impact of covid, and effect #1.

    So let's use mortality data, but let's be careful how we do it.
  13. Audacious Epigone is linking to CDC figures showing that total US deaths this year are 103% of the same period in 2017-2019 i.e. only a few percent up.

    https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid19/index.htm

    I haven’t time to work out how much the tiny figure for the last week (53% of expected, presumably due to late registrations) affects that figure.

    The UK doesn’t report like that, but England and Wales deaths YTD are well above the average of the previous four years. Current death rate at mid-May is like a typical winter death rate, at early January levels.

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregisteredweeklyinenglandandwalesprovisional/weekending8may2020#deaths-registered-by-week

  14. The median of Covid deaths in Minnesota is 83. Eighty percent of the deaths were of people in long term care facilities. No way does that justify killing the economy and producing a devastating recession.

  15. Anonymous[751] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous
    It's not a partisan game, Steve.

    It's extremely serious that people are destroying my country.


    This virus is fake. It just is. The facts are in. At a certain point you have to acknowledge facts.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/andrewbostom/status/1263808424489467906
    https://www.rt.com/russia/489579-coronavirus-immunity-test-moscow/

    Do some damn math. How many people live in Moscow? How many are dead? This is just a hoax.



    we dont BURN OUR COUNTRIES TO THE GROUND BECAUSE THE FLU EXISTS. 90 year olds die of the flu. Sad but we cant destroy society because that makes you sad. Go work on a goddamned treatment if you're so personally concerned. But dont ruin childrens lives for your personal obsession.


    your comment in the other thread about how you're trying to be a reasonable moderate is incoherent.

    "Extremists on both sides are wrong by definition...."

    Oh, really? What if one side is an extremist cult that likes murdering babies and puppies and my position is I extremely disagree? Are "extremists" on both sides of that debate wrong?

    There is an extremely important distinction between Steve’s position and mine.

    Steve wants to put a gun to my head and tell me I can’t go to work and my kids cant go to school.

    I do not want to put a gun to Steve’s head. If he doesn’t want to go to a bar where people like me might not have gotten some fake vaccine or whatever, he is free to stay home.

    It’s a free country. Or, you know, people used to say that.

    • Replies: @Guest007
    The problem is that around 70% of the people do not want to be around someone as foolish as you are. Letting you do what you want just causes most people to avoid situations where people refuse to use social distancing and other protective steps. Can any business survive catering to idiots who believe that Covid is a hoax while alienating the other 70%?
    , @Alexander Turok

    my kids cant go to school
     
    Your kids probably go to a school funded by the public i.e. people who have been forced to fund it by a gun pointed at their head.

    It’s a free country
     
    If freedumb means having to be infected with corona, I prefer the Chinese system.
    , @Anonymous
    "Free country" my a**. I fought for this country, I was in Vietnam! Any of you brats fight in Vietnam? I don't think so. And I wasn't fighting just so some brats could put their f***ing stock performances above the lives of their fellow countrymen. I used to tell people that after what I saw in Vietnam, that war is hell, that I wouldn't wish it on anyone. Now I've changed my mind. We need two or three Vietnams to straighten out these brats.
  16. Checking around the internet, it turns out that $5.2 trillion number was based on info as of April 3rd, which was almost certainly the Neil Ferguson model that was proven to be garbage a week or two later. Likewise, the U Chicago study was published on March 25th. It is highly disingenuous for WaPo to use those studies, which are Stone Age in COVID terms, to take a shot at Trump in late May, but par the course.

    From a strictly economic point of view, the death of 70-90 year olds does not come at a great cost. Definitely not $10 million. These are people long past their earning years and who cost the system a huge amount of money. In fact, think the optimal course of action from an economic point of view would be to pull a Cuomo nationwide and plant COVID-19 patients in every nursing home in the USA, while the rest of us live our lives as normal. Of course, that is ridiculous, but if we really want to discuss whether the “cure is worse than the disease”, we must be honest about what is happening.

  17. One thing that might be worthy of being noted is that, if the WuFlu virus’ proteins interact with ACE2, which is an enzyme which is present (expressed) not only in the heart, lungs, brain, filthy intestines and kidneys, but also in the testes, the possibility of immediate and future fertility problems in those who were infected could be looked into. After all, long-lasting lung, brain and even kidney problems may be more easily noticeable compared to a lower sperm count, at least for men who don’t measure it regularly and meticulously (and assuming, for obvious reasons, it is not necessarily linked to impotence).

    Before the pandemic, it was reported (truthfully or not) that sperm count (and quality) of men in rich countries was falling already. Since the plan seems now to go for herd immunity, and it might take more than a million or two infected Americans to reach that (it could even take that many dead Americans, but that’s obviously less likely), whether it’s true SARS-CoV-2 makes some men, including young, asymptomatic men, who catch it weak in the loins, and if so, what percentage and by how much, is relevant, no? As expected for something that might be a thing, it’s being looked at already:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7171435/

    Speculative future Daily Mail headline:
    30 year old small business owner protested against the lockdown; now, finds out the bug has emasculated him!

  18. When President Trump said in late March he didn’t think the economic devastation from stay-at-home orders was a good trade off for avoiding covid-19 deaths, tweeting, “WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF

    … he was actually right, particularly since social distancing and closures have not even been all that effective in containing the epidemic; but he and his administration have completely failed to present an intellectually coherent case in support of this.

    I looked at Wikipedia’s list of notable American deaths from Coronavirus and the mean age was 78 and the median age was 82.

    If that is even remotely close to the mean and median ages of the whole population that has so far died from coronavirus, then the massive future savings in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid costs should be taken into account, so these deaths might well be an economic net gain to the taxpayer and to the heirs of the deceased.

    And, as Steve points out, very few were cut off in or before their prime. George Orwell (1903-1950) died of lung disease (TB) at the age of 47, but it would be a stretch to say that he would have been better known today for his work to abolish the death penalty in the 1960’s than for Animal Farm or Nineteen Eighty-Four had he survived into the age of TV.

    • Replies: @DanHessinMD
    "When President Trump said in late March he didn’t think the economic devastation from stay-at-home orders was a good trade off for avoiding covid-19 deaths, tweeting, “WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF"

    … he was actually right, particularly since social distancing and closures have not even been all that effective in containing the epidemic; but he and his administration have completely failed to present an intellectually coherent case in support of this."

    Trump did his part to try to resist this. This isn't on him. It was state governors who shut everything down.

    Almost the entire intellectual universe including right wing folks like Unz and Sailer and Will Chamberlain said we need to shut it all down. Unz praised the bureaucrat who led the way with the first American lockdown as the a messianic figure. While Trump was trying to urge calm, Unz was running around here screaming bloody murderer about Trump and conservatives. Same with Lion of the Blogosphere. We have the receipts.

    Bill Gates, who is apparently regarded as the worlds foremost thinker AND pandemic expert, showed up out of nowhere to tell us we have to shut down the economy -- appearing on all the talk shows and in op-eds.

    Who would even think of such a thing as shutting down the American economy? I would never have the hubris to even suggest such an absurd thing as that. But Bill Gates said to do it and he's a gorillionaire so he must understand.

    The American people in unity agreed that the economy should be shut down. So here we are.

  19. Are Covid-19 death numbers inflated? It’s said that if you have the virus and get hit by a car, you are counted as a coronavirus victim.

    And there is apparently a financial incentive for hospitals to do so – they get additional Covid-19 aid money.

    Since so many of the deaths are of very old people with underlying health problems, this could be quite an overstatement.

  20. 128 says:

    Why is stupid and cruel ageism from White people and Westerners in general where old people are treated as social throwaways, in East Asian societies old people are venerated and their presence is treated as a blessing because of the experience and wisdom that they impart due to having lived so long, I mean Subotai was still performing at an A into his late 60s, Lee Kuan Yew was still going strong mentally into his 80s, and Nguyen Giap was still performing at an A level way way way past retirement age, maybe the reason why your society is so screwed up is because Westerners treated old people as factory rejects fit for the scrap heap past 50, unlike Asian cultures and societies based on Confucian cultures? I can also add Sima Yi to this list. Maybe if you Westerners did not treat your old people like throwaways you would not have these social problems right now.

    • Replies: @Anon
    Really? During China's Cultural Revolution, students went around attacking their teachers and other elders. The Chinese Communists are pretty brutal towards their population, and they don't care if you're old or not. They aren't avoiding your head with that baton in Hong Kong right now just because you're older.
  21. Yes, compared to before, younger East Asian are different nowadays, but that is due to the influence of Western cultures eroding traditional Confucian social norms among the young.

    • Replies: @Curtis Dunkel
    Complete bullshit. Healthy societies should focus on the young. If they don't they will not have future generations and will die.
  22. Steve, thanks for addressing the big underlying COVID question head-on.

    P.S. Re Mozart, from back when The Atlantic was still a serious publication, neglected Austrian composer Ernst Toch’s grandson quoted his grandfather thus:

    Whenever he encountered anyone complaining about Mozart’s dying so young, he’d erupt, “For God’s sake, what more did you want from the man?”

    The article is a good sort of In Memoriam-type story overall. I commend it to anyone interested in music, composing, or early 20th c. Austria. It’s practically unfindable on The Atlantic‘s website. Along with their writing quality, the quality of their archives and search function has fallen off a cliff. I only managed to dredge up the old article with the help of some Google hacks.

    Another choice line:

    Lilly’s father was a banker, and she was thus a princess of the highly assimilated Jewish aristocracy — a class whose idolatry of things German and corresponding disdain for things Jewish (specifically Eastern European Jewish) could verge on the anti-Semitic.

    There’s a lot of sharp observations about the time and place, as well as about Ernst Toch’s struggle, first to stand on the shoulders of giants like Mozart, and then to broadcast the fruits of his achievement.

    “If Mozart was possible,” he would sometimes declare, “then the word impossible should be eliminated from our vocabulary.”

    Alas for the lost age when the Chosen People and the Master Race labored jointly for the enrichment of mankind!

    • Replies: @HFR
    Almost Missouri----Thank you for the link to that fascinating article.
    , @Richard B

    Along with their writing quality, the quality of their archives and search function has fallen off a cliff.
     
    The Atlantic's been reduced to boilerplate CCP-style propaganda.

    Their recent article on The Prime Minister of New Zealand is a perfect example.

    There's no real thought and definitely no integrity invovled in writing like that.

    All one gets is non-stop virtue signalling told in a snarky, know-it-all tone of voice.

    They're just posers blissfully unaware of how crackbrained and petty they are.

    , @TomSchmidt
    Thanks for that article.
    , @Old Palo Altan
    As say the others - thank you for an article of deep and very tragic significance.
    The Chosen People and the Master Race: they worked together for the benefit, not of mankind, a word fairly meaningless for both of them, but rather for the True, the Good, and the Beautiful; in other words, for God Himself.

    That first photo tells the whole story: all four were Jews, including Prince Hubertus zu Loewenstein (at least through his mother, of the Worms-Todesco-Rothschild line of millionaire bankers, who was the daughter of a man both an Austrian and later an English baron). But, at least as significantly, and the heart of the tragedy, both he and Klemperer were devout and deeply serious Roman Catholics, Loewenstein by birth and Klemperer by conversion. Loewenstein remained one, and his nephew Prince Rupert, both of whose sons are priests, carried on that seriously devout purpose even as he used his financial acumen to enrich the Rolling Stones and to live on the surface as a devoted leader of the jettiest of jet-setters.
    Klemperer left the Church in his old age. Jewish triumphalists like to say that he did so in reaction to the Vatican's indifference to the sufferings of the Jews under Hitler, but I doubt this: as is clear with Toch, so it is equally clear to those who have studied his life that Klemperer was no particular friend of his own people. I consider it far more likely that, as a man of the highest cultural level and most brilliant talents, who throughout his life had cultivated only people of similar gifts, and who had known a Catholic Church which itself honoured and cultivated all the talents and all that was a mirror of the divine, he was appalled and disgusted by the "fruits" of the Second Council of the Vatican which, as became clear almost immediately after its end in 1965, were nothing other than the repudiation and destruction of everything which had made the Church attractive, both to Klemperer and to so many others who made up that superb flowering of music and the arts and philosophy which was fin-de-siecle Austria and, it should not be forgotten, Bavaria as well. One thinks here of Klemperer's friend Dietrich von Hildebrand, Catholic convert and son of Adolf, the half-Jewish sculptor rightly considered the last flowering of the Greco-Florentine tradition. Hildebrand did not only not fall away at the spectacle of Catholic decadence, he was one of the very first to see and denounce the ruin of a great tradition by the mediocre traitors and fellow travellers of the Pauline revolution. His warnings went unheeded, and Catholicism is now in its final death throes, at least as an institution of public significance.
    But the same is true of Judaism, which is now nothing more than a "hate the goy" racket which a man like Toch would have repudiated with incomprehension and disgust. His reverence for Luther and Schweitzer is proof of this, and was an attitude more or less true of all the Jews of his circle, many of whom, from the early Nineteenth Century until the catastrophe of the First World War, either converted to Christianity or saw nothing reprehensible in doing so.
    This simbiosis was destroyed in 1918, like so much else that was good, and the result has been first the coarsening and now, one hundred years later, the extinction of the historic reality of both.

  23. I’m a gushing Beethoven obsessive so the less I say the better, but I can’t help myself…

    His genius and productivity has always been a problem for subsequent composers. How can you match up to that? Alex Ross’s review of Jan Swafford’s magisterial biography of the maestro (“Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph,” 2014) touches on that note:

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/10/20/deus-ex-musica

    I believe after Beethoven the most original voice in classical music is Chopin, who straight up ignored Beethoven’s works.

    One sad thing about Beethoven’s death at 56 (I like to think of his lifespan as that of a Mozart or Schubert who was lucky enough to be granted another 22 years) is that had he lived just a few more years (and been healthy enough) he would have repeated Haydn’s journey to London and become very wealthy. He would also likely have eventually met Chopin, Berlioz, Schumann, and Schubert (I believe that, despite lack of written evidence to the contrary, Beethoven had to have known of Schubert by reputation seeing as how they lived a few miles apart and knew the same publishers, musicians, aristocrats etc. In one of the surviving “conversation books” (people conversing with Beethoven had to do so in writing by the 1820s) he is asked “Do you know The Elfking?” by one of his musician friends. We don’t know the answer. That’s Schubert’s famous song which he wrote at age 15 (turn on the captions)):

    Incidentally, in his 20s Beethoven himself tried to set that same Goethe poem to music but there’s a reason only Schubert’s version is known…

    • Replies: @HFR
    Gurney Halleck: Thanks for mentioning: "Der Erlkonig." It reminded me to listen to my favorite version by Marian Anderson, whose ability to provide 4 very distinct voices (narrator, father, son, and Erlkonig) was extraordinary and by Franz Rupp, whose piano playing created frantic hoof beats.
    , @blank-misgivings
    I personally find Schubert's early death the saddest thing in modern history! Tbh I find it hard to get worked up about any political or socio-economic events: Napoleon wins Waterloo? Who cares? We'd end up in more or less the same (bad) place by alternative routes. But Schubert living well into the 19th century, studying counterpoint, assimilating Bach, writing opera and concertos, meeting and being influenced by Chopin......an amazing dream!

    On Mozart's early death I feel less sentimental because I think his life would have smothered the young Beethoven. So if Mozart had lived, no Beethoven as we know him. But Schubert could have lived into a relative vacuum of talent.
    , @Herzog
    The visualization, otherwise ingenious, is unfortunate and distortive in one fundamental respect.

    Early on the poem unequivocally says that the father holds his son warm and safe in his arms. Therefore, the boy must be considerably younger and smaller than in the visualization, and above all not sitting on the horse behind his father, rather independently. Instead, he should be visualized as a frightful kid of perhaps eight, nine years, and as sitting before his father, between his arms and, emotionally, in his lap.
    , @Steve Sailer
    Haydn took a big money trip to London soon after Mozart's death in 1791, where he wrote for bigger orchestras than he was used to: his last 12 symphonies are a big leap forward in popular appeal because the London audience loved German geniuses since Handel.

    Mozart probably would have gotten to London soon after if he'd lived and solved his financial problems.

    Beethoven would have loved the era of giant orchestras that Berlioz introduced in 1830 with 90 instruments for Symphony Fantastique.
  24. The NY Times headline today reads:

    U.S. Deaths Near 100,000, an Incalculable Loss

    …and the dek reads:

    Self-styled “President” Trump killed them dead, every last one, with his own tiny, morbidly obese hands.

    Or it would if they were being honest about their motives anyway.

    • Replies: @UK

    U.S. Deaths Near 100,000, an Incalculable Loss
     
    They might have used almost any negative descriptor at all to go with "loss" but they chose the one that was repudiated in their own short headline?

    Amazing.

    What next? "Jeff Bezos has an incalculable $146.9 billion fortune"?

    Of course, working out the basic number of deaths is just a baby step on the way to a sophisticated calculation of the "loss", but who writes this nonsense...

    , @Buffalo Joe
    slumber, the NYT, with their obvious hatred of Trump, salivates over this death toll probably wishing they could add another zero at the end. I am truly sorry for families that lost a loved one but the Buffalo News, NYT Lite, has been high lighting a COVID-19 Death a Day on the front page and the ages almost always over eighty and many in their nineties.
    , @Jack D
    Here is the front page that they wanted you to see in your mind's eye:

    https://i.redd.it/1r0u7bwe2o051.jpg
    , @Kyle
    It’s sickening that this NY Times editor was able to navigate our guantlet of credentialism, but they appear to not understand the definition of incalculable. They are probably like our dear leader. They probably think it means great, Yuge, or tremendous. The only possibility is that maybe he thought the juxtaposition was clever & humorous. If thats the case I’ll pull the perpetually offended asshole card and say this is no time to be joking around
  25. @Sean

    But, say that 10% of those who get infected and survive lose an average of 5 QALYs off their lives. That’s an order of magnitude greater QALY toll than that from immediate lethality.
     
    https://youtu.be/DKh6kJ-RSMI?t=1243

    If Trump, or at least his advisors and the governors of all the states, were taking in the opinions of various epidemiology experts in this series of video podcasts from the Lockdown TV Unherd series, they would be a lot better informed about the pros and cons of various infection control strategies and could place them in a broader context.

    https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=lockdown+tv+unherd&qpvt=lockdown+tv+unherd&FORM=VDRE

    • Agree: Kyle
    • Replies: @Hail

    If Trump, or at least his advisors and the governors of all the states, were taking in the opinions of various epidemiology experts
     
    What needs to be understood is there was a pro-Panic coup d'etat, international in scope. I believe all signs point also to a religious cult (the Corona Cult) that broke through along with this coup d'etat, preceding it.

    Experts were sidelined as the new pro-Panic junta took power and began a frenized process of score-settling, religious-ritual-impelled sacrifices of the lives of many, ruining lives of opponents as well as many neutrals (Corona-Losers; the new pro-Panic order omelette's broken eggs), issuing martial law proclamations.

    "Keep the experts quiet, the Holy Media is in charge now."

    Knut Wittkowski, writing April 21:


    The point of decision (at least in the US) was around March 10-15. At this time, there should have been a discussion involving epidemiologists who could question the Frankenssonian predictions. If that discussion would have had, we would not have had a shutdown.

    What to do now? We need to open schools [...] At the same time or shortly thereafter we should start opening up businesses
     

    For those who leaned pro-Panic in the past four months and became instant-experts on "R0," note that Wittkowski was the protege for years of the man who literally coined the term "R0," a German epidemeologist active in the 1960s-2010s named Klaus Dietz.

    Wittkowski has been a recognized expert in epidemiology for thirty years, with two relevant PhDs in Germany, heading a research-oriented university department in the US for twenty years. Commenters on these pages were condemning him as a quack, but of course he was right.

    (See also, A Hero of the Hour, Knut Wittkowski, written a month ago.) Youtube then deleted both his major interviews and deletes all re-uploads, in line with the Corona-Diktats. I saved, re-posted, dated, and put in context all his Youtube comments (he left dozens of replies) and the original commenters' words he was replying to, available at that link.

  26. In the first-cut cost-benefit analysis, the “lost life” for all 330 million Americans during the lockdown should be included.

    http://www.talkstats.com/threads/wanted-rational-coronavirus-analysis.74951/page-2#post-221078

    Of course, then there’s the added costs from the destruction of our economic and social fabric of job losses, bankruptcies, substance-abuse, suicides, ballooning debt, etc.

  27. Cv19 is a scamdemic. They say 100k have died but USA total death for 2020 so far is close to its 3 year average according to the cdc. I’d say the actual cost to the nation from these deaths is zero, most were over 80 and dying anyway. Thousand of people die accidental deaths every year. They are mostly in the prime of their lives. I never heard a discussion about the lost to the nation. So I’m not worried about people who don’t fall into the category elderly with one foot in the grave.

    The damage from the shut down is incomprehensible. Just NYC itself might lose 2 million people when they realize life is hell under communism.

  28. The vast majority of the people dying are a net drain on the economy. Very old and unhealthy people don’t contribute. That’s not to say we shouldn’t try to save them, but the idea that the shutdown is somehow helping the economy isn’t believable in the least.

  29. Drew says:

    It seems to me that the most obvious way for a government to calculate the value of a social policy is pretty simple: tax revenue versus tax expenditures. Closing off sources of tax revenue and delaying tax collection while shelling out trillions in stimulus and prolonging social security payments and increasing Medicare payments is incredibly bad for the government’s bottom line. And any government that works this hard to bankrupt itself might just find itself going out of business.

    Now, I don’t think the end of the federal government a bad thing per se, but a government that is focused on anything other than its own perpetuation isn’t much of a government. Its only only job is its continued existence, and thus (as heartless as it may sound) its only concern should be with what’s good for it, and not so much what’s good for the citizens it lords over, particularly since there isn’t a one-size-fits-all policy that works for every single citizen.

  30. UK says:
    @slumber_j

    The NY Times headline today reads:

    U.S. Deaths Near 100,000, an Incalculable Loss
     

    ...and the dek reads:

    Self-styled "President" Trump killed them dead, every last one, with his own tiny, morbidly obese hands.
     
    Or it would if they were being honest about their motives anyway.

    U.S. Deaths Near 100,000, an Incalculable Loss

    They might have used almost any negative descriptor at all to go with “loss” but they chose the one that was repudiated in their own short headline?

    Amazing.

    What next? “Jeff Bezos has an incalculable $146.9 billion fortune”?

    Of course, working out the basic number of deaths is just a baby step on the way to a sophisticated calculation of the “loss”, but who writes this nonsense…

    • Replies: @slumber_j
    The try-hard, half-smart artlessness of NYT headlines is an ongoing source of fascination to me. They seldom disappoint.
  31. Anon[368] • Disclaimer says:

    This analysis is terrible and dishonest. As always with leftist media, they start with the conclusion they want to reach and omit anything that doesn’t support it.

    – Not accounting for time lost by the healthy. Incredibly obvious con, but it doesn’t support their predetermined pro-lockdown viewpoint so they arrogantly ignore it.

    – They need to subtract lives that would have been lost without the lockdown from lives that were actually lost, not just take the total (eg 120,000 – 100,000 = 20,000). This is unknown.

    – Different people value things differently. There is no one formula because these things are unquantifiable and not interchangeable. They pretend to be experts on something they completely made up that is not independently verifiable. Yeah anyone could do that, just need to give them the power and the salary first. And you don’t get that position without supporting the conclusions that the elites want you to reach.

    Their analysis is sinister garbage and I don’t trust any of it. We need to get rid of all these experts. They have done nothing to help us and are worse than useless when they actually need to be called upon. They have become significant conduits of power for pushing cynical leftist garbage and oppressing the common man without allowing him to have any say (Cf. climate change, Green New Deal, etc.). You think Jeff Bezos (Washington Post) gives a crap what the common man wants? If he did, he would pay his workers more and sacrifice some of his own fortune.

  32. But if it’s “incalculable,” how did they calculate it?

    LOL!

    That’s like someone who blathers for paragraphs about how they “have no words.”

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    Or some woman who is "emotionally exhausted" but somehow has the strength to babble on about it for a couple thousand words.
  33. Economists: people who use fake data to draw fake conclusions, nearly always with a Liberal bias.

  34. “In other words, the economists are saying, “the cure” doesn’t come at a cost at all when factoring in the economic value of the lives saved. ”

    Considering that the average age of covid related deaths in in the 70’s, and that a significant number of people in their 70’s and older are retired, there is little economic loss because retired people mostly consume resources, they don’t produce them.

    In purely analytical terms, the more retired people that expire would appear to be an economic value in itself because resources and productivity are no longer required by them.

  35. Is it even possible to gauge the cost til some time has past? Suicides are up, but is that related to the shutdown? The bankruptcies are just beginning to roll in. How many are going to walkaway from their mortgages, and do they become homeless? How many farms collapse? And what happens when all the ag real estate is bought up for pennies on the dollar by the likes of Bloomberg and Bezos? Are we then going to be fed maggots that feed off our post Covid19 rot? Given how the experts are telling me Covid19 is constantly shape shifting does the bug days even end? Perhaps the biggest issue is if a the mandatory vaccine fails to deliver anything other than damaged people? Yeah, it is more maggot feed. We are currently living in the calm before the real storm. Once again how do you currently gauge the quality adjusted year costs?

  36. A Fifth of Beethoven

    [MORE]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Murphy

    Walter Anthony Murphy Jr. (born December 19, 1952) is an American composer, arranger, pianist, musician, songwriter, and record producer. He is best known for the instrumental “A Fifth of Beethoven”, a disco adaptation of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony which topped the charts in 1976 and was featured on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack in 1977. Further classical–disco fusions followed, such as “Flight ’76”, “Rhapsody in Blue”, “Toccata and Funk in ‘D’ Minor”, “Bolero”, and “Mostly Mozart”, but were not as successful.

    In a career spanning nearly five decades, Murphy has written music for numerous films and TV shows, including The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, The Savage Bees, Stingray, Wiseguy, The Commish, Profit, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Looney Tunes, and How Murray Saved Christmas. He has had a long-running partnership with Seth MacFarlane, composing music for his films and TV shows such as Family Guy, The Cleveland Show, American Dad!, Ted, and Ted 2.

    Family Guy Roller Disco

    Peter and the gang dancing to “A Fifth Of Beethoven”.

  37. RVS says:

    According to analysis by a Nobel prize laureate in chemistry, Covid19 has not caused any excess loss of life in Europe when viewed over a three year average. While surprising, the European all-cause mortality data supports his conclusion. Death is statistically variable. For instance, the flu season 2018-2019 was mild and fewer people died than was projected from the long-term average. The 2019-2020 flu season has been mild too. Then Covid19 came along and killed people who on average should have died over the previous 18 months. He estimates that Covid19 will increase this year’s death toll by the equivalent of 3 weeks normal mortality.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    I like these old & cool scientists like Michael Levitt. So - CO-19 could turn out to have caused three weeks of extra deaths. Hm. A result worth thinking about.
  38. @Anonymous
    I looked at Wikipedia’s list of notable American deaths from Coronavirus and the mean age was 78 and the median age was 82. Only a tiny number of these people who had at one point in their lives made themselves prominent within their professions were still in their primes, and only a limited number were still earning much income.

    I am a bit skeptical that using notable people is a good indicator. They are usually wealthy and sharper than the average. Better connected too. If they are dying one has to wonder whether they are too senile to worry about the risk or to get proper treatment, or in spite of those things are too old to fight it off. All of those things is going to push that average age up.

    Maybe it is indicative maybe not.

    My county has been keeping track of Xi Jinping Virus deaths and the average age is 81.5. This is consistent with many other states and countries. Maybe the #’s vary slightly but generally speaking death from CV occur primarily in the elderly and only rarely in people under 60, and even more rarely in white people under 60.

    No matter how you slice and dice the data, CV is a fatal disease primarily (not solely, but primarily) among the elderly. For those who are not elderly, victims usually have some co-morbidity (diabetes, obesity, etc.) For a healthy white person under 60 to die of Covid is extremely rare. It happens now and then, but rarely (i.e. less than 1% of deaths would be among that group).

    Everything in America is politicized today so even a public health crisis is seen thru a political filter. If you are confused about the demographics of the victims it is because the media has been doing all that it can to obfuscate the identity of the victims. They did this with AIDs also.

    • Replies: @anon
    It is not just the proper calculation of QALYs. Even the ridiculousness of subjecting precious resources like Emergency Physicians and Nurses to intubate 75+ year olds is never being questioned. Many healthcare workers are needlessly getting infected and some are dying in this process. Hospitals should educate the population that losing healthcare workers to save 75+ year olds is a losing proposition. A lost healthcare worker treating 75+ might have saved two under 60 patients next week.
    , @AnotherDad

    No matter how you slice and dice the data, CV is a fatal disease primarily (not solely, but primarily) among the elderly. For those who are not elderly, victims usually have some co-morbidity (diabetes, obesity, etc.) For a healthy white person under 60 to die of Covid is extremely rare. It happens now and then, but rarely (i.e. less than 1% of deaths would be among that group).

    Everything in America is politicized today so even a public health crisis is seen thru a political filter. If you are confused about the demographics of the victims it is because the media has been doing all that it can to obfuscate the identity of the victims. They did this with AIDs also.
     
    Very well said Jack.

    Roe (and to a lesser extend Furman) was my teenage wakeup that "progressives" in America were just going to cheat to get what they wanted. (I.e. impose it upon the people, without bothering to convince them, win elections and write new laws.)

    But the whole AIDS scam a decade later, was a wakeup call for me in terms of the sheer level of propaganda, outright lying and sheer illogic and stupidity that would be employed.

    If ever there was an epidemic that was zero threat to civilization AIDS was it.

    But media's propaganda ... holy cow!
    -- An created and epidemic spread by extreme homosexual promiscuity and IV drug users' needle sharing ... blamed on normal people.
    -- Traditional effective public health measures labelled "discrimination". The people generating the epidemic don't need to change their behavior, rather normies must be beaten with "tolerance".
    -- What we really have to stop is "stigma".
    -- "Anyone can get AIDS".
    -- A virus spread by anal intercourse and needle--neither of which normal healthy men and women have any need to engage in--was, without "action!", going to swallow us all.
    -- "A crisis", "an emergency" that actually required no response at all.
    -- Billions upon billions of dollars need to be reordered--from every area of research (ex. cancer) and medical care, that benefit normal people--to fight an "epidemic" of a disease that is no threat to the nation and is absolutely trivial for people avoid.
    -- A virus demonstrating homosexual degeneracy and irresponsibly, proving we needed homo liberation and homo marriage.
    , @J.Ross
    This: DeSantis nailed it, Whitmer bungled, Newsom is inbetween. Marshall all available resources and policies to protect the elderly like a chess king, and tell everybody else to, like, wear a mask and goggles and have a nice going about of their day.
    , @Anonymous
    I have known that it targets elderly for what, 3-4 months now. The 15% dead of 80-90yo, and 6% for 70-79yo was already known from Wuhan for a long time. It does reap a lot of people who are at the end of life, no question. But the risk is more than a bad flu by about 10x or so. Just look at the deaths from the cruise ships. Someone healthy enough to go on a cruise ship isn't usually going to get taken out by the flu.

    Still, I would have thought 70-79 yo were more numerous than 80+ yo. Maybe they are but healthier. I would still prefer not to get it, but I get quite badly impacted by flu. I think given the info we had at the time, the drive for elimination wasn't a mistake. As a practical matter there are problems with "let 'er rip" and a flattened curve.

    And yes I am very well aware of the politicization of AIDS. It was a hard one for the homos as it was an incurable death sentence... or... wear a condom.
  39. anon[225] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jack D
    My county has been keeping track of Xi Jinping Virus deaths and the average age is 81.5. This is consistent with many other states and countries. Maybe the #'s vary slightly but generally speaking death from CV occur primarily in the elderly and only rarely in people under 60, and even more rarely in white people under 60.

    No matter how you slice and dice the data, CV is a fatal disease primarily (not solely, but primarily) among the elderly. For those who are not elderly, victims usually have some co-morbidity (diabetes, obesity, etc.) For a healthy white person under 60 to die of Covid is extremely rare. It happens now and then, but rarely (i.e. less than 1% of deaths would be among that group).

    Everything in America is politicized today so even a public health crisis is seen thru a political filter. If you are confused about the demographics of the victims it is because the media has been doing all that it can to obfuscate the identity of the victims. They did this with AIDs also.

    It is not just the proper calculation of QALYs. Even the ridiculousness of subjecting precious resources like Emergency Physicians and Nurses to intubate 75+ year olds is never being questioned. Many healthcare workers are needlessly getting infected and some are dying in this process. Hospitals should educate the population that losing healthcare workers to save 75+ year olds is a losing proposition. A lost healthcare worker treating 75+ might have saved two under 60 patients next week.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    Partly due to doctor's image of themselves as life savers and partly out of religious and moral scruples which don't allow us to discriminate among who is and is not worthy of care and LARGELY out of economics (doctors and hospitals make most of their money from old people, nursing homes makes virtually ALL of their money from this population) this is completely opposite to how our health care system operates.

    Part of the panic over the "lack" of ventilators (that turned out to be non-existent and which in large part led to the lockdown) was that (and I saw NY Times articles that specifically gave this example) 85 year old Alzheimer's patients would be triaged and not get ventilated. Never mind that allowing the Lord to take such people whose time on earth is effectively over anyway is an act of mercy and never mind that a ventilator was a death sentence for them anyway - God forbid that we introduce the idea that medical costs or usage be controlled in any way. Better to burn down our whole economy than to introduce "death panels".
  40. If you want to count feeling sick for 10 days as a reduction in a quality adjusted life year then you have to do the same for the several months of lockdown. Everyone feels that quality of life reduction

  41. The VSL is pegged at 10 mil no matter if the death is a healthy 16 year old killed by a drunk driver or a 102 year old cancer patient accidentally killed by a negligent nurse. Why? Federal bureaucrats wanted to adjust the VSL based on age and other factors, but when word leaked out a political firestorm broke out and the ‘crats backed off and just left it at the same cost for everyone.

    I learned this on a very good Planet Money podcast about a month ago. If you are looking, it’s “Episode 991: Lives Vs. The Economy

  42. @Almost Missouri
    Steve, thanks for addressing the big underlying COVID question head-on.

    P.S. Re Mozart, from back when The Atlantic was still a serious publication, neglected Austrian composer Ernst Toch's grandson quoted his grandfather thus:


    Whenever he encountered anyone complaining about Mozart's dying so young, he'd erupt, "For God's sake, what more did you want from the man?"
     
    The article is a good sort of In Memoriam-type story overall. I commend it to anyone interested in music, composing, or early 20th c. Austria. It's practically unfindable on The Atlantic's website. Along with their writing quality, the quality of their archives and search function has fallen off a cliff. I only managed to dredge up the old article with the help of some Google hacks.

    Another choice line:


    Lilly's father was a banker, and she was thus a princess of the highly assimilated Jewish aristocracy -- a class whose idolatry of things German and corresponding disdain for things Jewish (specifically Eastern European Jewish) could verge on the anti-Semitic.
     
    There's a lot of sharp observations about the time and place, as well as about Ernst Toch's struggle, first to stand on the shoulders of giants like Mozart, and then to broadcast the fruits of his achievement.

    "If Mozart was possible," he would sometimes declare, "then the word impossible should be eliminated from our vocabulary."
     
    Alas for the lost age when the Chosen People and the Master Race labored jointly for the enrichment of mankind!

    Almost Missouri—-Thank you for the link to that fascinating article.

  43. @Percy Gryce
    Thanks, Steve. I'm perfectly happy to accept an objective and smart VSL or DALY that shows the lockdown was worth it. Right now I'm not convinced.

    When you add it all up, the lockdown probably isn’t going to have been worth it, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it was the wrong decision at the time, with the information available (and not available) at that time.

    Say there are two boys. One is taunting the other for not tiptoeing along the edge of a cliff. Later something comes up that forces the boys to tiptoe along the cliff, which they do just fine. Afterwards the one boy goes “See, I told you we can do it and it’s no big deal. You pussy idiot.” Obviously it doesn’t follow that tiptoeing along the cliff is a smart thing to do.

  44. B36 says:

    As bad as the current pandemic is, I think we should look at it as a dry run. It’s a Richter scale 7 and we need to get prepared for the Big One. Looking forward we need to run all kinds of analyses like these and vary the viral assumptions: different fatality rates, different effects on different demographics, different organ systems affected, etc. How would we respond to the next Chinese virus that kills not the old but the young? Or that has a small pox level of fatality? How would we respond to a virus that, like polio, causes muscle paralysis? Or one that causes renal failure so we run out of dialysis machines rather than ventilators? This is why it is so important as Steve has said to keep speech free and to allow unfettered debate and analysis.

  45. the last i checked this, which was over a week ago, there were ~7000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Connecticut nursing homes out of roughly ~35000 total confirmed cases in the state. that’s a shocking overrepresentation, but even more shocking is that there are only 24000 nursing home residents in Connecticut for CV to infect.

    7000/24000 = 0.291

    so, 29.1% is the lower bound on the attack rate in the nursing home population in Connecticut. it’s higher, perhaps by as much as 40%/

    how many deaths? 1487.

    1487/7000 = 0.212

    so, the Cases Fatality Rate for nursing home cases in Connecticut is 21.2%! but wait, even more shocking:

    1487/24000 = 0.0619

    so, Covid-19 has already managed to kill ~6% of ALL the nursing home residents in Connecticut. My God.

    anyways, this is consistent w/a point i’ve been making for a long time: Covid is spreading more quickly among the most vulnerable, which is what you’d expect given where it has the highest R0 (in places like nursing homes and hospitals) and the not unreasonable assumption that those most susceptible to the virus are also most likely to die from it.

    given these facts, the estimates of the QALY lost from CV deaths are really obviously overestimates. the life expectancy in nursing homes and among those frequenting hospitals is much lower than it is for others of the same age.

    • Replies: @Jack D

    the life expectancy in nursing homes and among those frequenting hospitals is much lower than it is for others of the same age.
     
    This is absolutely key and what the statisticians seem to have (so far) missed. For the AVERAGE 80 year old (who is the average person dying of COVID) life expectancy is around 8 years so you could say that each COVID death costs 8 years of life on average (even saying this is better than assuming that Covid is mostly killing people in the prime of life which is the impression that the media gives). BUT, in fact the 80 year olds who are dying of COVID are not AVERAGE 80 year olds, they are concentrated among the sicker 80 year olds so the average # of years lost is less than 8. How much less I don't know but I'm pretty sure it's significantly less than 8. For a significant # of the dead, they were going to die either of their terminal disease or of seasonal flu within a few weeks or months anyway, or if not this winter then next winter.
    , @Mr. Anon
    Moreover, the number of "nursing home deaths" is probably under counted. A lot of people who live in nursing homes and got the disease in the nursing home were then sent to a hospital where they died. Their deaths more properly belong in the nursing home column.
  46. One does not need to be a PHD’d genius level epidemiologist or “expert” to know that the economic fallout and consequences down the road are going to cause a tremendous loss of “quality” life years for the kids and the working population who by the way pay the taxes and supply the infrastructure to support the population who are most at risk and whom we are trying to protect. Food supply, transportation, goods and services, and care for elderly in and of itself In fact much of the working population loses quality life years, total life years… suicide, stress related health problems, drug / alcohol abuse, lack of medical care themselves because the system is now in a state of upheavel, and they “are the system” that makes it all happen. So in terms of economic “value” clearly the younger adults and in the future the kids who grow up and support the system later on have double the economic “human capital value” to society as apposed to the elderly who were not even well protected… The Cuomo / PA / NJ, nursing home disasters etc… So we ALL suffered for this lockdown and will continue to do so well into the future, young and old and it didn’t even accomplish the main objective! This post is a nice theoretical exercise; Beethoven, Mozart et el, But simple old fashioned common sense tells the story not charts, graphs, and stats! And BTW how much more artistic value would Hendrix, Morrison etc continued to bring to the table had they not been cut down in their primes? Of course it was their own fault!

  47. Interesting, the rhetoric seem to be changing and at least some attempts are being made to discuss the cost of the shutdown. I skimmed both papers, the Wyoming paper is actually clearer than the study by the supposedly superior U. of Chicago.

    The Wyoming paper operates under the federal guideline that the average benefit of a saved life is $10 million, which is a big stretch as Steve has already mentioned. They acknowledge that the $10M number should be significantly less after adjusting for the age profile of virus victims. So if that number is $7M there is no benefit for the shutdown in their model. If the number would be more reasonable, say $4M, the shutdown would instead cost $5 Trillion in their model.

    However, the biggest problem with that paper is that they use the loss of GDP to quantify the economic losses. 1) No mention of the new debt issued by the Fed which is already >$2 Trillion and will probably reach 10 trillions by the end of the year; somebody somehow will have to pay for this (ridiculous, right ?); 2) Where is an estimate for the loss of life associated with the on-going cabin fever, including the loss in life quality not just a number of associated deaths ?; 3) What about the newly unemployed and the upcoming wave of various bankruptcies ?

    The Chicago paper is wrong right off the bat – they used the already discredited Ferguson model for the their doomsday scenario projections (not clear what model for the virus spread the Wyoming paper used). But I did like this nugget in their abstract: 90% of the supposed savings benefit people older than 50. Suddenly, those Wuhan youth riots come into perspective.

    The actual papers can be found at
    https://poseidon01.ssrn.com/delivery.php?ID=301002120071064113070127073100098105032027023067011038006026013072078074068030098101021018111115103010043005030092111127100095098074087007053119102123007101006076091026021066068125022090069087070004013104003030025007090025017119092083006006093125069089&EXT=pdf
    https://bfi.uchicago.edu/wp-content/uploads/BFI_WP_202026.pdf

  48. @128
    Yes, compared to before, younger East Asian are different nowadays, but that is due to the influence of Western cultures eroding traditional Confucian social norms among the young.

    Complete bullshit. Healthy societies should focus on the young. If they don’t they will not have future generations and will die.

    • Replies: @Znzn
    Get ebola, get your just desserts.
    , @Znzn
    Actually considering how morally pozzed the youth are, boomers may actually deserve to live more than you people.
    , @dfordoom

    Healthy societies should focus on the young. If they don’t they will not have future generations and will die.
     
    Young people are having very few children. Obviously young people don't care whether there's a future or not. They don't care if there are future generations or not.
    , @dfordoom

    Healthy societies should focus on the young.
     
    Societies that focus on the young inevitably become decadent and die.
    , @AnotherDad

    Complete bullshit. Healthy societies should focus on the young. If they don’t they will not have future generations and will die.
     
    Agree with your thrust here, but this is too simplistic.

    The focus is not "the young" in any sort of independent or separate way. Old folks generally have more knowledge and wisdom.

    Rather the focus of a healthy society is replicating *in* the young the traditions, values, mores, "the culture" of the nation--that the old carry. Basically prepare them so that they may in turn carry the nation forward--both materially and culturally--and pass it on in turn to their children.

    But yes, people in healthy society understand that preparing and preserving the young to carry forward is much more important than preserving the old. Down through the ages parents--in civilized nations--sacrifice for their children precisely for this reason. They are the future of their family, nation, race and civilization.
  49. US traffic deaths average roughly 37,000 per year. However, if the age of the average traffic victim is close to the age of the average American, than their life expectancy would be at least 3x to 4x that of the average coronavirus victim. Ergo, our average traffic deaths are equivalent to at least 110,000 to 150,000 coronavirus deaths on the low end. If you factor in quality of life I couldn’t imagine it being any less than 200,000 coronavirus deaths.

    The lockdown is obviously madness to people not caught up in the religious Coronacult. But we need to start quantifying just how stupid a full lockdown really is.

    • Replies: @Anon7
    I can’t find the reference, but I recall reading that there is a calculation made regarding intersection fatalities by state and local governments.

    If an intersection has caused fatal accidents, and it would cost less than a set amount (about 1-2 million dollars per fatality) then it’s worth making infrastructure changes.

    It’s essentially a government calculation of the value of human life. If you multiply this number times 100,000 Covid-19 deaths, you get a couple hundred billion dollars.
  50. @UK

    U.S. Deaths Near 100,000, an Incalculable Loss
     
    They might have used almost any negative descriptor at all to go with "loss" but they chose the one that was repudiated in their own short headline?

    Amazing.

    What next? "Jeff Bezos has an incalculable $146.9 billion fortune"?

    Of course, working out the basic number of deaths is just a baby step on the way to a sophisticated calculation of the "loss", but who writes this nonsense...

    The try-hard, half-smart artlessness of NYT headlines is an ongoing source of fascination to me. They seldom disappoint.

  51. @jason y
    the last i checked this, which was over a week ago, there were ~7000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Connecticut nursing homes out of roughly ~35000 total confirmed cases in the state. that's a shocking overrepresentation, but even more shocking is that there are only 24000 nursing home residents in Connecticut for CV to infect.

    7000/24000 = 0.291

    so, 29.1% is the lower bound on the attack rate in the nursing home population in Connecticut. it's higher, perhaps by as much as 40%/

    how many deaths? 1487.

    1487/7000 = 0.212

    so, the Cases Fatality Rate for nursing home cases in Connecticut is 21.2%! but wait, even more shocking:

    1487/24000 = 0.0619

    so, Covid-19 has already managed to kill ~6% of ALL the nursing home residents in Connecticut. My God.

    anyways, this is consistent w/a point i've been making for a long time: Covid is spreading more quickly among the most vulnerable, which is what you'd expect given where it has the highest R0 (in places like nursing homes and hospitals) and the not unreasonable assumption that those most susceptible to the virus are also most likely to die from it.

    given these facts, the estimates of the QALY lost from CV deaths are really obviously overestimates. the life expectancy in nursing homes and among those frequenting hospitals is much lower than it is for others of the same age.

    the life expectancy in nursing homes and among those frequenting hospitals is much lower than it is for others of the same age.

    This is absolutely key and what the statisticians seem to have (so far) missed. For the AVERAGE 80 year old (who is the average person dying of COVID) life expectancy is around 8 years so you could say that each COVID death costs 8 years of life on average (even saying this is better than assuming that Covid is mostly killing people in the prime of life which is the impression that the media gives). BUT, in fact the 80 year olds who are dying of COVID are not AVERAGE 80 year olds, they are concentrated among the sicker 80 year olds so the average # of years lost is less than 8. How much less I don’t know but I’m pretty sure it’s significantly less than 8. For a significant # of the dead, they were going to die either of their terminal disease or of seasonal flu within a few weeks or months anyway, or if not this winter then next winter.

    • Replies: @res
    Agreed. See my long comment above. Andrew Briggs' SMR (Standardized Mortality Ratio) attempts to capture that effect and his spreadsheet gives QALE etc. estimates for each age bucket at different SMRs.
  52. @Xens
    It's hard to calculate. You get an overly high estimate when you just calculate from the age groups it hits. The disease doesn't just kill mainly 80-year-olds, it often kills the very sickest 80-year-olds. This makes it harder to calculate the impact.

    Going by simply "age of decadent" studies, I've seen estimates of 10 QAYL lost. But this is too high. Including health status may drop that by a factor of 10, or so. The majority of people dying from this in Europe and the US are already in long term care, and in their 7th, 8th, or 9th decade.

    Most nursing home residents don’t last 2 years before they pass away. Half the Wahu Flu fatalities were among elderly in assistant living facilities. One thing few have talked about, is that most of them have do not resuscitate orders. When my Step-Father was placed in an assistant living home, due to Alzheimer’s disease he signed a DNR. He lasted almost 2 years. He was 72 when placed in the home and passed away before turing 74. Before he was put in the home he had been hiking about 6 miles per day, he was in very good physical health, but no longer remembered me or my kids and forgot that he had married my mother 5 years earlier.

    With so many nursing home patients with a DNR order, they will not be sent to the hospital when they get the flue of pneumonia etc…They just allow them to pass away, they will not be taken to the hospital for extra care but my be given oxygen.

    • Replies: @Western
    The median stay is 5 months. The average is longer because of a few who live longer.

    The below study was 1992 to 2006.

    "the median length of stay in a nursing home before death was 5 months
    the average length of stay was longer at 14 months due to a small number of study participants who had very long lengths of stay
    65% died within 1 year of nursing home admission
    53% died within 6 months of nursing"

    https://www.geripal.org/2010/08/length-of-stay-in-nursing-homes-at-end.html

    , @prosa123
    Hospitals and nursing homes routinely ignore DNR orders because of the Daughter from California Syndrome.
  53. How about the present value of future GWAS quality streams?

    Yeah, I know, paying attention to consequences Literally Hitler.

  54. @anon
    It is not just the proper calculation of QALYs. Even the ridiculousness of subjecting precious resources like Emergency Physicians and Nurses to intubate 75+ year olds is never being questioned. Many healthcare workers are needlessly getting infected and some are dying in this process. Hospitals should educate the population that losing healthcare workers to save 75+ year olds is a losing proposition. A lost healthcare worker treating 75+ might have saved two under 60 patients next week.

    Partly due to doctor’s image of themselves as life savers and partly out of religious and moral scruples which don’t allow us to discriminate among who is and is not worthy of care and LARGELY out of economics (doctors and hospitals make most of their money from old people, nursing homes makes virtually ALL of their money from this population) this is completely opposite to how our health care system operates.

    Part of the panic over the “lack” of ventilators (that turned out to be non-existent and which in large part led to the lockdown) was that (and I saw NY Times articles that specifically gave this example) 85 year old Alzheimer’s patients would be triaged and not get ventilated. Never mind that allowing the Lord to take such people whose time on earth is effectively over anyway is an act of mercy and never mind that a ventilator was a death sentence for them anyway – God forbid that we introduce the idea that medical costs or usage be controlled in any way. Better to burn down our whole economy than to introduce “death panels”.

    • Replies: @anon

    burn down our whole economy than to introduce “death panels”.
     
    We have been doing this for about three decades. And it shows. Spending more money on the last few years to keep and extend life than all investment in human development has consequences. Pundits are wondering and publishing papers on the lowest birth rates in 2018. This was before Covid; 2020 onward, it is probably going to take a further hit. The elephant in the room - people have lost hope in the future of the nation. It is showing in the quality of leaders we have and will be getting.

    https://www.npr.org/2019/05/15/723518379/u-s-births-fell-to-a-32-year-low-in-2018-cdc-says-birthrate-is-at-record-level
    , @SunBakedSuburb
    "Never mind that allowing the Lord to take such people whose time on earth is effectively over anyway is an act of mercy"

    Hopefully the "Lord" will spare us from Christian actuaries and their acts of mercy.
  55. res says:

    I looked for QALY analysis of COVID-19 and did not see much (quantity). The best I found (and it is very good indeed IMHO) was from Andrew Briggs who has been looking at this topic for decades. This very short 2000 paper has a table with incremental costs per QALY which might be helpful for comparison.
    Using cost effectiveness information
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1117441/
    The table ranges from
    Pacemaker for atrioventricular heart block £700 to
    Haemodialysis in hospital £14 000

    Here is a recent tweet from him for ID purposes. I did not see much in his Twitter, but if anyone wants to dig deeper feel free.

    https://twitter.com/HEvigilante/status/1251461986740850689

    Here is a very recent presentation he did:
    https://avalonecon.com/moving-beyond-lives-saved-from-covid-19/
    The presentation (video) is available at
    https://www.ispor.org/conferences-education/conferences/upcoming-conferences/ispor-2020/program/covid-19-plenary-session
    If you go to the trouble of registering his segment goes from about 1:27:00 of the video to 1:36:30 (a worthwhile 10 minutes if you want to understand this, some notes below).

    He refers to his role as a HEOR (Health Economics and Outcomes Research) modeler. In contrast to infectious disease epidemiology.

    SMR is Standardized Mortality Ratio parameter (adjust for comorbidities).
    SMR1, SMR2, and SMR3 represent normal risk, 2x, and 3x risk relative to background (through comorbidities IIUC)
    For example: diabetes has SMR = 1.5, heart failure has SMR = 1.5, together in range 2-3 (all approximate)

    He looks at three separate metrics.
    LE – Life Expectancy
    QALE – Quality Adjusted Life Expectancy
    dQALYs – discounted Quality-Adjusted Life Years

    Notice pattern of COVID-19 UK deaths being much older than US deaths!

    Now on to my thoughts.

    First, the big thing I see missing is he does not really integrate the presence or absence of comorbidities with COVID-19 deaths with the age at death. I think the intended approach is to give an idea of how SMR affects the analysis. To that end I think a reasonable first order approach is to focus on somewhere around SMR2 as being a useful estimate of the average COVID-19 death.

    Second, I’m not sure how to feel about his use of discounting. It might make for a more “accurate” number, but I think it makes the figure less intuitive so I will focus on QALE (which I think is essentially the same as QALY).

    This post discusses values in the range of $50-150k per QALY:
    https://conversableeconomist.blogspot.com/2018/06/whats-value-of-qaly.html

    Now let’s look at Figure 5 and focus on the 7 QALE estimate per US COVID-19 death at SMR2. I include the figure to give some idea of how the value might vary by country or SMR estimate.

    Using that 7 year figure and $50-150k per QALY value we get a range of $350-1050k per COVID-19 death.

    Contrast that range with the $10M per VSL used in the WaPo article.

    What does everyone think?

    P.S. What makes this even better is he made his spreadsheet available! To use it go to the Results sheet. It says to choose country from a pull down list, but I don’t see that. Just enter one of the following five countries as text: UK, US, Canada, Norway, Israel
    Then he offers two scenarios (a and b) in addition to a baseline. You enter SMR and qCM (percentage of population norm QoL associated with that SMR) for each scenario along with a discount rate used for all three scenarios. The spreadsheet then calculates LE/QALE/dQALY values for each age bucket in the three scenarios along with a weighted mean. If you enter US as the country you can see 7.14 QALE as the weighted mean for scenario a (middle visually) which is a more accurate version of the 7 years I gave above.

    P.P.S. One more point I think is worth making. The fatality rate varies roughly exponentially by age so using age bucket averages will overestimate the QALY etc. for each bucket because there will be disproportionately many deaths at the older (fewer QALYs left) end of the bucket. This comment has a discussion about a similar issue which might help if anyone wants to try calculating the magnitude of the effect (probably not enough to really worry about, but worth mentioning IMHO):
    https://www.unz.com/jthompson/europe-sickens/#comment-3886416

    • Replies: @res
    To help put these numbers in perspective I did two follow on analyses. I looked at what would be the average QALYs lost if the demographics were like the US population (2010 census, https://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-03.pdf ) and if the demographics were like motor vehicle accident fatalities (2017 CDC data, https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr68/nvsr68_09-508.pdf ).

    I had to fudge around with the age buckets a bit because they did not match perfectly. I'll give details if anyone is curious.

    For these analyses I assumed SMR = 1 meaning the fatalities had average levels of comorbidities. Recall I used SMR = 2 for COVID-19 fatalities.

    With 2010 census population demographics:
    Age Population Proportion
    0-9 13%
    10-19 14%
    20-29 14%
    30-39 13%
    40-49 14%
    50-59 14%
    60-69 9%
    70-79 5%
    80-90 3%
    90-100 1%

    I calculated average QALYs lost per fatality at 37 or about 5x the COVID-19 fatalities. This is the result if we picked victims at random. Which is probably how VSL is conceptualized--at least intuitively. So using VSL as a base we derive an equivalent of
    $10M / 37 = $270k per QALY lost. Notice how high (roughly 2-5x) that is relative to the $50-150k range I quoted above.

    With 2017 MVA fatality demographics:
    0-9 2%
    10-19 10%
    20-29 17%
    30-39 15%
    40-49 14%
    50-59 15%
    60-69 12%
    70-79 8%
    80-90 6%
    90-100 1%

    I calculated average QALYs lost per fatality at 31 or about 4x the COVID-19 fatalities.

    Now let's calculate the economic cost of those MVA fatalities using the same methodology as above. There were 40,231 MVA fatalities in 2017 giving:
    40,231 * 31 = 1.25 million QALYs lost. Using the same range of $50-150k per QALY that gives us
    $62.4 - 187 billion in one year.

    Now compare that to 200,000 (to pick a number) hypothetical COVID-19 deaths (assuming the same age demographics as seen so far):
    200,000 * 7.14 = 1.43 million QALYs lost.

    So from that analysis 200,000 COVID-19 deaths would result in about 15% more QALYs lost than a single years worth of motor vehicle accidents.

    Any thoughts on that comparison?

    P.S. I would appreciate it if people would engage with my analyses in this thread in a critical (but also thoughtful) fashion. If I have made a mistake I want to know about it.
  56. @Anonymous
    It's not a partisan game, Steve.

    It's extremely serious that people are destroying my country.


    This virus is fake. It just is. The facts are in. At a certain point you have to acknowledge facts.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/andrewbostom/status/1263808424489467906
    https://www.rt.com/russia/489579-coronavirus-immunity-test-moscow/

    Do some damn math. How many people live in Moscow? How many are dead? This is just a hoax.



    we dont BURN OUR COUNTRIES TO THE GROUND BECAUSE THE FLU EXISTS. 90 year olds die of the flu. Sad but we cant destroy society because that makes you sad. Go work on a goddamned treatment if you're so personally concerned. But dont ruin childrens lives for your personal obsession.


    your comment in the other thread about how you're trying to be a reasonable moderate is incoherent.

    "Extremists on both sides are wrong by definition...."

    Oh, really? What if one side is an extremist cult that likes murdering babies and puppies and my position is I extremely disagree? Are "extremists" on both sides of that debate wrong?

    What’s your take on the CDC posting extremely low death #’s from flu this year and declaring that “this has been an extremely mild flu year”! Do we need experts or charts and graphs to connect the dots that an exorbitant amount of flu deaths have been racked up as Covid? Nice comment btw exactly how i see it!

    • Replies: @dfordoom

    What’s your take on the CDC posting extremely low death #’s from flu this year and declaring that “this has been an extremely mild flu year”! Do we need experts or charts and graphs to connect the dots that an exorbitant amount of flu deaths have been racked up as Covid?
     
    It's more likely that the lockdowns have been responsible for the very low number of flu cases (and death). We're seeing the same very low numbers of fu deaths in Australia as well as we head into flu season.

    So the lockdowns have almost certainly saved thousands of lives of people who would have died this year of flu. That's something you might want to factor into your equations about the long-term economic benefits of the lockdowns.
  57. @Coemgen

    But if it’s “incalculable,” how did they calculate it?
     
    LOL!

    That's like someone who blathers for paragraphs about how they "have no words."

    Or some woman who is “emotionally exhausted” but somehow has the strength to babble on about it for a couple thousand words.

  58. @slumber_j

    The NY Times headline today reads:

    U.S. Deaths Near 100,000, an Incalculable Loss
     

    ...and the dek reads:

    Self-styled "President" Trump killed them dead, every last one, with his own tiny, morbidly obese hands.
     
    Or it would if they were being honest about their motives anyway.

    slumber, the NYT, with their obvious hatred of Trump, salivates over this death toll probably wishing they could add another zero at the end. I am truly sorry for families that lost a loved one but the Buffalo News, NYT Lite, has been high lighting a COVID-19 Death a Day on the front page and the ages almost always over eighty and many in their nineties.

    • Replies: @prosa123
    I looked at the online obits for the newspaper in my New England hometown and found 4 Covid deaths in a few minutes' scrolling. Of course there may have been others with no cause of death information given. It was slightly surprising that three of the four were women, as it seems to hit men harder.

    In any event, one woman was 91, another was rather young at 71 but according to the obit also had been battling breast cancer for a prolonged time, and the third woman was also somewhat youngish at 77 but was in a nursing home. The man also was 77, he died in a hospice unit which might have been because of the virus but also might have been because he already was dying of something else. His wife had died just nine days ago, no cause given.
  59. Government mandated life saving devices are worthy of an iSteve post. Seat belts, ok. Air bags, better. The little hard to remove inner seals on most bottles, not so sure, but I hate the Tylenol Killer who caused that precaution. And my favorite, the illustration of an infant going head first into any and every bucket or pail, with the red circle with diagonal slash, and a printed warning in at least to languages. When we were kids every basement had a wash tub where the laundry was pre soaked. Never remember any one drowning in their basement.

    • Replies: @epebble
    Many years back, when I was trying to refill toner in an office printer/fax machine (the toner came in a plastic bottle and we would pour it into the print cartridge - before the disposable cartridges), I observed a warning on the bottle: "DO NOT EAT" - this on a bottle of toner costing $500 or so, fine black powder (atomized polythene + carbon).
    , @Liberty Mike
    Seat belts, optional. Air bags, worse.

    Make no concession to the snowflake society. Its too risky.
    , @Ganderson
    Joe- seat belts are unequivocally a good thing. I’ve been in a head on collision and two rear enders- seat belts saved my life at least once out of those three, based of course, on my observations and not a formal accident reconstruction.
    Not so sure about airbags, though- all they did is give me chemical burns.
  60. @Jack D

    the life expectancy in nursing homes and among those frequenting hospitals is much lower than it is for others of the same age.
     
    This is absolutely key and what the statisticians seem to have (so far) missed. For the AVERAGE 80 year old (who is the average person dying of COVID) life expectancy is around 8 years so you could say that each COVID death costs 8 years of life on average (even saying this is better than assuming that Covid is mostly killing people in the prime of life which is the impression that the media gives). BUT, in fact the 80 year olds who are dying of COVID are not AVERAGE 80 year olds, they are concentrated among the sicker 80 year olds so the average # of years lost is less than 8. How much less I don't know but I'm pretty sure it's significantly less than 8. For a significant # of the dead, they were going to die either of their terminal disease or of seasonal flu within a few weeks or months anyway, or if not this winter then next winter.

    Agreed. See my long comment above. Andrew Briggs’ SMR (Standardized Mortality Ratio) attempts to capture that effect and his spreadsheet gives QALE etc. estimates for each age bucket at different SMRs.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    You can see this most clearly in the young age groups in this graph:

    https://avalonecon.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Fig1-1.png


    To take an extreme example, in the under 10 bracket, based on statistical life expectancy the average victim lost around 75 years of life but when you drill down to disability adjusted life expectancy it was less than 1/3 of the unadjusted #. This reveals two things: 1. That the younger victims (especially) are mostly from a VERY sick segment of the population that has a radically lower life expectancy than normal people and 2. any assumption (such as the Italian study that the NY Times gave ink to a few weeks ago) that relies on crude life expectancy is just wrong (and you have to question whether people pushing these assumptions have some (not so) hidden political agenda to use such slanted #s.
  61. @slumber_j

    The NY Times headline today reads:

    U.S. Deaths Near 100,000, an Incalculable Loss
     

    ...and the dek reads:

    Self-styled "President" Trump killed them dead, every last one, with his own tiny, morbidly obese hands.
     
    Or it would if they were being honest about their motives anyway.

    Here is the front page that they wanted you to see in your mind’s eye:

    • Agree: slumber_j
  62. @res
    Agreed. See my long comment above. Andrew Briggs' SMR (Standardized Mortality Ratio) attempts to capture that effect and his spreadsheet gives QALE etc. estimates for each age bucket at different SMRs.

    You can see this most clearly in the young age groups in this graph:

    To take an extreme example, in the under 10 bracket, based on statistical life expectancy the average victim lost around 75 years of life but when you drill down to disability adjusted life expectancy it was less than 1/3 of the unadjusted #. This reveals two things: 1. That the younger victims (especially) are mostly from a VERY sick segment of the population that has a radically lower life expectancy than normal people and 2. any assumption (such as the Italian study that the NY Times gave ink to a few weeks ago) that relies on crude life expectancy is just wrong (and you have to question whether people pushing these assumptions have some (not so) hidden political agenda to use such slanted #s.

    • Replies: @res
    I don't think that is what that graph is showing (but I'm not sure, I find it a bit confusing). I think what is going on there is some kind of derating of QoL as you get older (I haven't been able to figure out from the spreadsheet though, it is complicated). Here is the descriptive text from the link:

    Figure 1 shows the results for the UK in terms of life-expectancy (LE), quality adjusted-life expectancy (QALE) and discounted QALYs (dQALYs) by age, assuming a SMR of 1, which is equivalent to no excess comorbidity (life tables already include the ‘average’ background levels of comorbidity in the population).
     
    The SMR of 1 indicates a typical level of comorbidities. If you look at the spreadsheet (I will use US numbers) for SMR 1 ages 0-9 have LE 74.42 and QALE 65.49
    Where you see the effect you mention is comparing to SMR = 2 with (note BOTH decline, but QALE declines more) LE 66.55 and QALE 53.33

    I think your point is more along the lines of what I noted as a lack in that analysis. It does not really capture how the average SMR is likely to be higher for the young COVID-19 fatalities.

    And that is important because those young fatalities are disproportionately contributing QALYs lost.

    Notice how both issues I have raised result in overestimating QALYs lost. I think that gives some margin for error when we just take these numbers at face value.

    Regardless of that particular point, I think your conclusion is dead on.

    P.S. In an effort to quantify the relative contributions to QALYs lost by age I added a calculation of QALYs lost per age bucket (%deaths * QALE) to the spreadsheet. Hopefully this gives some idea of which age groups are being hit the worst in the US in terms of QALYs lost. This uses the SMR2 scenario I discussed earlier (notice how the sum equals the 7.14 years weighted mean for QALE I cited above). Multiply the numbers by the number of deaths to estimate the QALYs lost per group.

    Age | Scenario a QALYs Lost
    0-9 _| 0.012
    10-19 | 0.025
    20-29 | 0.159
    30-39 | 0.388
    40-49 | 0.787
    50-59 | 1.412
    60-69 | 1.816
    70-79 | 1.479
    80-90 | 0.866
    90-100 | 0.192
    sum _| 7.135

    , @Steve Sailer
    I think the d in dQALY stands for discounted, which I assume has something to do with net present value.

    I considered the idea of discounting for the cost of capital in my post but then decided not to go down that rabbit hole. Tyler Cowen loves arguments about net present value of the heat death of the universe, but he's a lot smarter than me.
  63. My death is an “incalculable loss.” Yours, not so much.

    Of course economists calculate the economic effect of mortality. Economic journals are full of such stuff.

    This is why auto accidents, suicides and drug overdoses are so horrible. On average these deaths skew very young (and male). What about deaths in military service? Nearly all under 40, disproportionally male.

    Has the NYT ever run a headline “deaths from Iraq War (Vietnam War, Afghan War, etc.) an incalculable loss?

    The economic impact of the Spanish flu, which killed young adults mainly, was far worse in terms of economic impact, even if you adjust for fewer deaths from the Wuhan flu.

    Before antibiotics, pneumonia was sometimes called the “old man’s friend” due to its common reason for elderly death. Though my cardiologist told me it was hardly anyone’s friend in the manner of death, very gruesome. So this COVID thing is bad for fragile people, many very elderly.

    No one should be deliberately exposed. But for most, risk of dying is small. Economic depression is very bad for everyone’s mortality.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    It's almost like a missing pretty 21 year old girl gets people most worked up.
  64. anon[225] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jack D
    Partly due to doctor's image of themselves as life savers and partly out of religious and moral scruples which don't allow us to discriminate among who is and is not worthy of care and LARGELY out of economics (doctors and hospitals make most of their money from old people, nursing homes makes virtually ALL of their money from this population) this is completely opposite to how our health care system operates.

    Part of the panic over the "lack" of ventilators (that turned out to be non-existent and which in large part led to the lockdown) was that (and I saw NY Times articles that specifically gave this example) 85 year old Alzheimer's patients would be triaged and not get ventilated. Never mind that allowing the Lord to take such people whose time on earth is effectively over anyway is an act of mercy and never mind that a ventilator was a death sentence for them anyway - God forbid that we introduce the idea that medical costs or usage be controlled in any way. Better to burn down our whole economy than to introduce "death panels".

    burn down our whole economy than to introduce “death panels”.

    We have been doing this for about three decades. And it shows. Spending more money on the last few years to keep and extend life than all investment in human development has consequences. Pundits are wondering and publishing papers on the lowest birth rates in 2018. This was before Covid; 2020 onward, it is probably going to take a further hit. The elephant in the room – people have lost hope in the future of the nation. It is showing in the quality of leaders we have and will be getting.

    https://www.npr.org/2019/05/15/723518379/u-s-births-fell-to-a-32-year-low-in-2018-cdc-says-birthrate-is-at-record-level

  65. “It’s sadder [sic] that Mozart died at 35”

    The Jupiter Symphony can be quite exhilarating, but Mozart is classical music for people who don’t listen to classical music. Had he lived past 35 his childhood genius would have burned out, becoming a debauched has-been, writing incidental pieces for the birthday parties of Austrian Richie Riches.

    “If Beethoven had lived to be 70, he probably would have invented Debussy’s impressionist music”

    Big fan of Beethoven, especially his music for the piano. But nope, no way. Debussy was in a completely different space.

    • Agree: Je Suis Omar Mateen
    • Replies: @Charon

    Mozart is classical music for people who don’t listen to classical music.
     
    Agree, and that goes double for Haydn.
  66. @Travis
    Most nursing home residents don't last 2 years before they pass away. Half the Wahu Flu fatalities were among elderly in assistant living facilities. One thing few have talked about, is that most of them have do not resuscitate orders. When my Step-Father was placed in an assistant living home, due to Alzheimer's disease he signed a DNR. He lasted almost 2 years. He was 72 when placed in the home and passed away before turing 74. Before he was put in the home he had been hiking about 6 miles per day, he was in very good physical health, but no longer remembered me or my kids and forgot that he had married my mother 5 years earlier.

    With so many nursing home patients with a DNR order, they will not be sent to the hospital when they get the flue of pneumonia etc...They just allow them to pass away, they will not be taken to the hospital for extra care but my be given oxygen.

    The median stay is 5 months. The average is longer because of a few who live longer.

    The below study was 1992 to 2006.

    “the median length of stay in a nursing home before death was 5 months
    the average length of stay was longer at 14 months due to a small number of study participants who had very long lengths of stay
    65% died within 1 year of nursing home admission
    53% died within 6 months of nursing”

    https://www.geripal.org/2010/08/length-of-stay-in-nursing-homes-at-end.html

  67. @Travis
    Most nursing home residents don't last 2 years before they pass away. Half the Wahu Flu fatalities were among elderly in assistant living facilities. One thing few have talked about, is that most of them have do not resuscitate orders. When my Step-Father was placed in an assistant living home, due to Alzheimer's disease he signed a DNR. He lasted almost 2 years. He was 72 when placed in the home and passed away before turing 74. Before he was put in the home he had been hiking about 6 miles per day, he was in very good physical health, but no longer remembered me or my kids and forgot that he had married my mother 5 years earlier.

    With so many nursing home patients with a DNR order, they will not be sent to the hospital when they get the flue of pneumonia etc...They just allow them to pass away, they will not be taken to the hospital for extra care but my be given oxygen.

    Hospitals and nursing homes routinely ignore DNR orders because of the Daughter from California Syndrome.

    • Agree: Redneck farmer, Charon
  68. @Jack D
    Partly due to doctor's image of themselves as life savers and partly out of religious and moral scruples which don't allow us to discriminate among who is and is not worthy of care and LARGELY out of economics (doctors and hospitals make most of their money from old people, nursing homes makes virtually ALL of their money from this population) this is completely opposite to how our health care system operates.

    Part of the panic over the "lack" of ventilators (that turned out to be non-existent and which in large part led to the lockdown) was that (and I saw NY Times articles that specifically gave this example) 85 year old Alzheimer's patients would be triaged and not get ventilated. Never mind that allowing the Lord to take such people whose time on earth is effectively over anyway is an act of mercy and never mind that a ventilator was a death sentence for them anyway - God forbid that we introduce the idea that medical costs or usage be controlled in any way. Better to burn down our whole economy than to introduce "death panels".

    “Never mind that allowing the Lord to take such people whose time on earth is effectively over anyway is an act of mercy”

    Hopefully the “Lord” will spare us from Christian actuaries and their acts of mercy.

  69. @RVS
    According to analysis by a Nobel prize laureate in chemistry, Covid19 has not caused any excess loss of life in Europe when viewed over a three year average. While surprising, the European all-cause mortality data supports his conclusion. Death is statistically variable. For instance, the flu season 2018-2019 was mild and fewer people died than was projected from the long-term average. The 2019-2020 flu season has been mild too. Then Covid19 came along and killed people who on average should have died over the previous 18 months. He estimates that Covid19 will increase this year's death toll by the equivalent of 3 weeks normal mortality.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHOoqdkj4Zs

    I like these old & cool scientists like Michael Levitt. So – CO-19 could turn out to have caused three weeks of extra deaths. Hm. A result worth thinking about.

  70. Thank you, Isteve. This was what I was trying to say a few weeks ago, in calling for calculation of life-life tradeoffs. I think you’re right that VSL is not the appropriate metric. And, confessing that I did not examine the Wyoming and Chicago analyses, it strikes me intuitively that they must be quite simplistic and incomplete in calculating overall losses caused by control measures. A month ago I did look more closely at LSE analysis claiming that strong lockdown is a net benefit by their particular measure, that I almost posted here, but their low estimates of lockdown losses were flat incompetent.

    Many of the commenters in this thread seem to think that the only analysis is what someone is worth to the economy. We’ve been through this before. Berserk free trade and mass migration are great for that economy. So is slaughtering everyone on their 65th birthday and turning them into pig feed. The QALY analysis, however, is from the standpoint of the individual benefited. And (I am no expert), in addition to VSL and QALY there are further measures to apply, such as equal value of life years gained (if you’re squeamish about discounting disability), patient perspective value framework, etc.

    These need not determine policy, but having available calculations of several metrics, “objective and smart,” could greatly improve policy decisions. And I suspect they would favor milder control measures, agreeing with Sunetra Gupta, however, that, “it is unfortunate that those of us who feel we should think differently about lockdown have had our voices added to that libertarian harangue.”

    Congratulations for the fine Mozart/Beethoven analogy.

  71. Everyone forgets Abortion.

    An abortion, killing at -0.5 years snuffs out 80+ potential years.

    We do that a million times a year so that some women won’t have to go through the inconvenience of giving birth.

    Covid will not kill as many as Planned Parenthood will this year.

  72. What am I not getting here?

    100,000 * $10,000,000 = $1T

    right?

    But the impact of the shutdown has been far over $1T — the various government programs alone, which don’t fully cover losses by any means, amount already to over $4T. So if we go up to 400,000 dead (and likely even up to 1,000,000 given a more realistic estimate of eventual costs of $10T) we’re still well within the already incurred losses, right?

    So if we’re already well behind our “allotted” deaths, why isn’t the current cure worse than the disease?

    • Thanks: TomSchmidt
    • Replies: @TomSchmidt
    That's remarkably straightforward. Take the excess increase in debt. Divide by 10MM/ life. At that cost, 1.6 mm lives saved is cheap, and100,000 is expensive.
  73. @Curtis Dunkel
    Complete bullshit. Healthy societies should focus on the young. If they don't they will not have future generations and will die.

    Get ebola, get your just desserts.

  74. @Buffalo Joe
    slumber, the NYT, with their obvious hatred of Trump, salivates over this death toll probably wishing they could add another zero at the end. I am truly sorry for families that lost a loved one but the Buffalo News, NYT Lite, has been high lighting a COVID-19 Death a Day on the front page and the ages almost always over eighty and many in their nineties.

    I looked at the online obits for the newspaper in my New England hometown and found 4 Covid deaths in a few minutes’ scrolling. Of course there may have been others with no cause of death information given. It was slightly surprising that three of the four were women, as it seems to hit men harder.

    In any event, one woman was 91, another was rather young at 71 but according to the obit also had been battling breast cancer for a prolonged time, and the third woman was also somewhat youngish at 77 but was in a nursing home. The man also was 77, he died in a hospice unit which might have been because of the virus but also might have been because he already was dying of something else. His wife had died just nine days ago, no cause given.

    • Replies: @Liberty Mike
    Why would you think that those deaths are Covid? Its not as if:

    (1) you know whether a test was administered to each of the deceased;

    (2) you know whether a test was accurate, if one was, indeed, administered;

    (3) you could identify the type of test that may have been given and its reliability;

    (4) you could vouchsafe for the bona-fides of the patients' physicians;

    (5) you could guarantee the bona-fides of the hospitals / long term care facilities in question;

    (6) you know whether an autopsy was conducted; and

    (7) you know that the local rag has the fundamental journalistic integrity to ask the foregoing questions.
  75. and stop playing partisan games like this article does with an extremely serious subject.

    all I had to do was look at the surname. SKIP!

    What are the chances the article doesnt involve tricks? About 10% in my experience.

  76. Oh my, the kabuki is putrid right out the gate on the Tiger v. Mickelson golf match today. They got the commentarders quarantined in separate plastic hamster boxes.

    I’ve literally unplugged my TV since mid March. Is this the thumbsucking infantilism Americans have enjoyed throughout CoronaHoax? No wonder 75% are strapping diapers to their faces.

    Hey, Russia: feel free to conquer us. Please.

    • Agree: Hippopotamusdrome
    • Troll: Guest007
  77. res says:
    @Jack D
    You can see this most clearly in the young age groups in this graph:

    https://avalonecon.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Fig1-1.png


    To take an extreme example, in the under 10 bracket, based on statistical life expectancy the average victim lost around 75 years of life but when you drill down to disability adjusted life expectancy it was less than 1/3 of the unadjusted #. This reveals two things: 1. That the younger victims (especially) are mostly from a VERY sick segment of the population that has a radically lower life expectancy than normal people and 2. any assumption (such as the Italian study that the NY Times gave ink to a few weeks ago) that relies on crude life expectancy is just wrong (and you have to question whether people pushing these assumptions have some (not so) hidden political agenda to use such slanted #s.

    I don’t think that is what that graph is showing (but I’m not sure, I find it a bit confusing). I think what is going on there is some kind of derating of QoL as you get older (I haven’t been able to figure out from the spreadsheet though, it is complicated). Here is the descriptive text from the link:

    Figure 1 shows the results for the UK in terms of life-expectancy (LE), quality adjusted-life expectancy (QALE) and discounted QALYs (dQALYs) by age, assuming a SMR of 1, which is equivalent to no excess comorbidity (life tables already include the ‘average’ background levels of comorbidity in the population).

    The SMR of 1 indicates a typical level of comorbidities. If you look at the spreadsheet (I will use US numbers) for SMR 1 ages 0-9 have LE 74.42 and QALE 65.49
    Where you see the effect you mention is comparing to SMR = 2 with (note BOTH decline, but QALE declines more) LE 66.55 and QALE 53.33

    I think your point is more along the lines of what I noted as a lack in that analysis. It does not really capture how the average SMR is likely to be higher for the young COVID-19 fatalities.

    And that is important because those young fatalities are disproportionately contributing QALYs lost.

    Notice how both issues I have raised result in overestimating QALYs lost. I think that gives some margin for error when we just take these numbers at face value.

    Regardless of that particular point, I think your conclusion is dead on.

    P.S. In an effort to quantify the relative contributions to QALYs lost by age I added a calculation of QALYs lost per age bucket (%deaths * QALE) to the spreadsheet. Hopefully this gives some idea of which age groups are being hit the worst in the US in terms of QALYs lost. This uses the SMR2 scenario I discussed earlier (notice how the sum equals the 7.14 years weighted mean for QALE I cited above). Multiply the numbers by the number of deaths to estimate the QALYs lost per group.

    Age | Scenario a QALYs Lost
    0-9 _| 0.012
    10-19 | 0.025
    20-29 | 0.159
    30-39 | 0.388
    40-49 | 0.787
    50-59 | 1.412
    60-69 | 1.816
    70-79 | 1.479
    80-90 | 0.866
    90-100 | 0.192
    sum _| 7.135

    • Replies: @Jack D
    I think what is going on is that, as Briggs says "life tables [for SMR 1] already include the ‘average’ background levels of comorbidity in the population" . The average 5 year old who is still alive has another 75 years left to go on average, but the average DECEASED 5 year old had a high background level of comorbidity (which caused him to die at such a young age) so his life expectancy adjusted for quality of life is considerably less and even less when you discount for present value. As you get older all of the bars get shorter but also the difference in quality of life between the average living vs (about to be) dead 90 year old is much less since both groups are going to have a lot of co-morbidity. And of course the discount period is much shorter.
  78. @Buffalo Joe
    Government mandated life saving devices are worthy of an iSteve post. Seat belts, ok. Air bags, better. The little hard to remove inner seals on most bottles, not so sure, but I hate the Tylenol Killer who caused that precaution. And my favorite, the illustration of an infant going head first into any and every bucket or pail, with the red circle with diagonal slash, and a printed warning in at least to languages. When we were kids every basement had a wash tub where the laundry was pre soaked. Never remember any one drowning in their basement.

    Many years back, when I was trying to refill toner in an office printer/fax machine (the toner came in a plastic bottle and we would pour it into the print cartridge – before the disposable cartridges), I observed a warning on the bottle: “DO NOT EAT” – this on a bottle of toner costing $500 or so, fine black powder (atomized polythene + carbon).

  79. The losses younger people are incurring due to the lockdown are staggering. I live in Washington state, which due to our governor and some bad luck (heavily reliant on Boeing) is the hardest hit state in the US. Possibly one of the worst places on earth in terms of economic damage. Over 30% unemployment, and people aren’t even allowed to get a haircut, send their kids to school or go to church.

    I don’t know whether I’ll be able to stay here. I got wiped out by a divorce in 2008, just when the recession started, and it took me years to climb out of that hole. Now this.

    Sometimes it leaves you with the impression that the people running this country really hate us. It’s as though they are using this virus as an excuse to wage war on us.

    Sure, it’s a nasty infection, but did they have to punish us so harshly for it? It poses little danger to me and my kids, but we are paying the highest price for it. Think about that. All the people working to build a nest egg are screwed if this doesn’t end immediately. In the meanwhile, those who are at risk are drawing pensions and sitting in their own homes — they don’t even have to leave the house and they’ll be fine.

    So why are the rest of us locked out of work? This is extremely cruel, wasteful and punitive. And I don’t even believe it’s saving many lives.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    The losses younger people are incurring due to the lockdown are staggering.
     
    A lockdown imposed by governors who got their heavily skewed vote. It's the "boomer geezer" Trump, whom they hate, who wants to open things up again.
    , @Liberty Mike
    The Snowflake society is an authoritarian society.
    , @Mr. Anon

    Sometimes it leaves you with the impression that the people running this country really hate us. It’s as though they are using this virus as an excuse to wage war on us.
     
    It only seems that way because it's true.
    , @J.Ross
    Sometimes it leaves you with the impression that the people running this country really hate us.

    Hate? The guys who want to eliminate your standard of living, ban your religion, criminalize your culture, destroy your Bill of Rights, replace your literature with pornography, replace you with unquestioning third world helots, kill your grandchildren, and who can't be motivated by profit because they're already third world monopolist rich, and who call critics "loser virgins"? Hate? Naw, they're merely gambling addicts, and a dollar is at stake.
    , @TomSchmidt
    I recall you from The Spearhead, Bill. How can I reach you?
    , @nebulafox
    The only reason I probably still have a job is that I ended up relocating halfway around the world rather than staying in post-industrial Washington. I took a massive paycut to do so-at the time, I had little other choice-but turns out I lucked out on the lottery, especially since the place I work at is so much cooler and amenable to my own personal goals.

    They don't hate us, so much as they just don't care. Today's ruling class took power just as the USSR fell: any sort of restraint seemed to be removed, their vision of the world utterly confirmed. At best, you have an additional concern to ensure that the young of today never get the same chance to enjoy themselves as they did, probably out of a petty thoughtlessness. But at bottom, all they are concerned with is looting the country as much as they can before they die. That this puts the livelihoods and futures of young people at risk is of no concern to the late Silent/early Boomer.

    Pretty much everything about policy making from the early 1990s onward has made that clear, no? I've been pretty critical of my own generation at times, but the essential reality that they've been mortgaging our future cannot be denied, and many people are extremely bitter, testy, and would not be at all sad to see the geronotocracy die painfully. Especially so since we all know damn well that they would have never taken similar steps to protect their own parents.

  80. The Post is citing studies that used outdated and wildly unrealistic estimates of the life-years gained by lock-down measures, and these same studies did not account for the probably lengthy period it will require to recover some or much of the job losses.

    Not to be paranoid, but the Jeff Bezos-owned Post is promoting continued lock downs of brick-and- mortal retail, while revenue and stock prices soar for the Bezos-owned online retailer, Amazon. Oh, and the Zuckerberg-owned Facebook is censoring anti-lock-down sentiment, while Facebook, the alternative to live, face-to-face gathering, also sees stock prices rise.

  81. If he’d lived to be 80, he would have invented disco. 90, rap.

    Rap does give the impression of a nonagenarian’s rant in the common room at the home.

    Note that Beethoven had lost his hearing, and was going by memory of that sense. An older Beethoven’s œuvre might have deteriorated along with that memory.

    At the other extreme, there are those early retirements, the most notable of which include Rossini, who stopped composing before his ninth birthday. (Okay, it was Feb. 29th; he was 37.)

    He had just completed William Tell. Now that’s quitting while you’re ahead!

    • Replies: @gfhändel
    That was his retirement as an opera composer. Petite Messe Solennelle he composed as age 70.

    "Twelve singers of three sexes, men, women and castrati will suffice for its execution: that is, eight for the choir, four soloists, in all twelve cherubim."
  82. @Jack D
    My county has been keeping track of Xi Jinping Virus deaths and the average age is 81.5. This is consistent with many other states and countries. Maybe the #'s vary slightly but generally speaking death from CV occur primarily in the elderly and only rarely in people under 60, and even more rarely in white people under 60.

    No matter how you slice and dice the data, CV is a fatal disease primarily (not solely, but primarily) among the elderly. For those who are not elderly, victims usually have some co-morbidity (diabetes, obesity, etc.) For a healthy white person under 60 to die of Covid is extremely rare. It happens now and then, but rarely (i.e. less than 1% of deaths would be among that group).

    Everything in America is politicized today so even a public health crisis is seen thru a political filter. If you are confused about the demographics of the victims it is because the media has been doing all that it can to obfuscate the identity of the victims. They did this with AIDs also.

    No matter how you slice and dice the data, CV is a fatal disease primarily (not solely, but primarily) among the elderly. For those who are not elderly, victims usually have some co-morbidity (diabetes, obesity, etc.) For a healthy white person under 60 to die of Covid is extremely rare. It happens now and then, but rarely (i.e. less than 1% of deaths would be among that group).

    Everything in America is politicized today so even a public health crisis is seen thru a political filter. If you are confused about the demographics of the victims it is because the media has been doing all that it can to obfuscate the identity of the victims. They did this with AIDs also.

    Very well said Jack.

    Roe (and to a lesser extend Furman) was my teenage wakeup that “progressives” in America were just going to cheat to get what they wanted. (I.e. impose it upon the people, without bothering to convince them, win elections and write new laws.)

    But the whole AIDS scam a decade later, was a wakeup call for me in terms of the sheer level of propaganda, outright lying and sheer illogic and stupidity that would be employed.

    If ever there was an epidemic that was zero threat to civilization AIDS was it.

    But media’s propaganda … holy cow!
    — An created and epidemic spread by extreme homosexual promiscuity and IV drug users’ needle sharing … blamed on normal people.
    — Traditional effective public health measures labelled “discrimination”. The people generating the epidemic don’t need to change their behavior, rather normies must be beaten with “tolerance”.
    — What we really have to stop is “stigma”.
    — “Anyone can get AIDS”.
    — A virus spread by anal intercourse and needle–neither of which normal healthy men and women have any need to engage in–was, without “action!”, going to swallow us all.
    — “A crisis”, “an emergency” that actually required no response at all.
    — Billions upon billions of dollars need to be reordered–from every area of research (ex. cancer) and medical care, that benefit normal people–to fight an “epidemic” of a disease that is no threat to the nation and is absolutely trivial for people avoid.
    — A virus demonstrating homosexual degeneracy and irresponsibly, proving we needed homo liberation and homo marriage.

    • Replies: @Ganderson
    And who was the guy pushing this “anyone can get AIDS” nonsense? Anthony Something or other...
  83. @Curtis Dunkel
    Complete bullshit. Healthy societies should focus on the young. If they don't they will not have future generations and will die.

    Actually considering how morally pozzed the youth are, boomers may actually deserve to live more than you people.

  84. @Bill P
    The losses younger people are incurring due to the lockdown are staggering. I live in Washington state, which due to our governor and some bad luck (heavily reliant on Boeing) is the hardest hit state in the US. Possibly one of the worst places on earth in terms of economic damage. Over 30% unemployment, and people aren't even allowed to get a haircut, send their kids to school or go to church.

    I don't know whether I'll be able to stay here. I got wiped out by a divorce in 2008, just when the recession started, and it took me years to climb out of that hole. Now this.

    Sometimes it leaves you with the impression that the people running this country really hate us. It's as though they are using this virus as an excuse to wage war on us.

    Sure, it's a nasty infection, but did they have to punish us so harshly for it? It poses little danger to me and my kids, but we are paying the highest price for it. Think about that. All the people working to build a nest egg are screwed if this doesn't end immediately. In the meanwhile, those who are at risk are drawing pensions and sitting in their own homes -- they don't even have to leave the house and they'll be fine.

    So why are the rest of us locked out of work? This is extremely cruel, wasteful and punitive. And I don't even believe it's saving many lives.

    The losses younger people are incurring due to the lockdown are staggering.

    A lockdown imposed by governors who got their heavily skewed vote. It’s the “boomer geezer” Trump, whom they hate, who wants to open things up again.

    • Replies: @Johann Ricke

    A lockdown imposed by governors who got their heavily skewed vote. It’s the “boomer geezer” Trump, whom they hate, who wants to open things up again.
     
    People tend to vote with their pocketbooks. You have to wonder if young people might end up voting Republican much more than they usually do because the GOP wants to get them employed again.
  85. @Buffalo Joe
    Government mandated life saving devices are worthy of an iSteve post. Seat belts, ok. Air bags, better. The little hard to remove inner seals on most bottles, not so sure, but I hate the Tylenol Killer who caused that precaution. And my favorite, the illustration of an infant going head first into any and every bucket or pail, with the red circle with diagonal slash, and a printed warning in at least to languages. When we were kids every basement had a wash tub where the laundry was pre soaked. Never remember any one drowning in their basement.

    Seat belts, optional. Air bags, worse.

    Make no concession to the snowflake society. Its too risky.

  86. @Bill P
    The losses younger people are incurring due to the lockdown are staggering. I live in Washington state, which due to our governor and some bad luck (heavily reliant on Boeing) is the hardest hit state in the US. Possibly one of the worst places on earth in terms of economic damage. Over 30% unemployment, and people aren't even allowed to get a haircut, send their kids to school or go to church.

    I don't know whether I'll be able to stay here. I got wiped out by a divorce in 2008, just when the recession started, and it took me years to climb out of that hole. Now this.

    Sometimes it leaves you with the impression that the people running this country really hate us. It's as though they are using this virus as an excuse to wage war on us.

    Sure, it's a nasty infection, but did they have to punish us so harshly for it? It poses little danger to me and my kids, but we are paying the highest price for it. Think about that. All the people working to build a nest egg are screwed if this doesn't end immediately. In the meanwhile, those who are at risk are drawing pensions and sitting in their own homes -- they don't even have to leave the house and they'll be fine.

    So why are the rest of us locked out of work? This is extremely cruel, wasteful and punitive. And I don't even believe it's saving many lives.

    The Snowflake society is an authoritarian society.

  87. Znzn says:

    Uhm since people are pushing the they are about to die anyway message, aren’t business like brick and mortar retailers that are going to go under really have a business model that is about to die anyway? Or a few years from going under, and this coronavirus is just giving them a good shove in advance? Or lousy restaurants that are about to close down anyway, if a business’ business model is fundamentally sound and adaptible enough, they can actually surf along relatively fine through this. And as for work from home, it is going to be a thing a few years from now anyway, so this is just bringing up things in advance.

  88. @Percy Gryce
    Thanks, Steve. I'm perfectly happy to accept an objective and smart VSL or DALY that shows the lockdown was worth it. Right now I'm not convinced.

    The math a cost-benefit analysis does not seem particularly complicated. Mostly, you just need the data for the age ranges of the victims and their statistical life expectancy in order to calculate their years of life lost (YLL). And then you need to decide how much each year of life is worth. Additionally, if you can guess at how many infections there have been, you can figure out the dollar value of harm caused by each additional infection (and how much it would be worth to prevent it).

    A few days ago, I downloaded the CDC’s data on deaths by age and sex (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid_weekly/index.htm), which includes 68,974 deaths through 5-20-20. I looked up the life expectancy of the various ages (using the mean of the age range reported by the CDC), and ran some spreadsheet calculations of my own. I picked $90,000 as the value of a YLL because I think I saw that number used in some insurance calculations. But anyone could adjust it up or down according to preference and all the numbers would change proportionately.

    I thought the results were pretty interesting. (I don’t know how to attach or display a spreadsheet graph here, so I’ll have to try to list some key numbers). Anyway,

    I. Value of Life Lost by Age Cohort

    Age Group Deaths YLL/Death $YLL Value (Mil.) %YLL Value
    0-24 65 67.05 392.24 .48%
    25-34 463 49.75 2,073.08 2.56%
    35-44 1186 40.5 4,322.97 5.33%
    45-54 3338 31.85 9,575.88 11.8%
    55-64 8312 23.9 17,879.11 22.04%
    65-74 14447 15.75 20,478.62 25.24%
    75-84 18621 9.25 15,501.98 19.11%
    85+ 22542 5.375 10,904.69 13.44%

    Total 68,974 $81,128.59 100%

    Because the victims skew so old, the total of 68,974 deaths (totaling about 901,000 YLL), have an average YLL of only about 13 — i.e., the average Covid-19 fatality cost 13 years of life lost. At $90K per, it thus would have been worth about $2.7 million to prevent an average Covid-19 death. Surprisingly, the total value of life lost has been only about $81 billion.

    Another interesting calculation for planning purposes is: “How much is it worth to prevent one additional Covid-19 infection?” Say the infection fatality rate is .03%. That means one infection will statistically cause .0003 deaths. If it is worth $2.7 million to prevent an average Covid-19 death, then it is worth approximately $821.64 to prevent one additional infection.

    Given these numbers is it worth it to tank $4-5 trillion in GDP to prevent another $81 billion in lost life years? And if there is a 1/1000 chance of getting Covid from having a haircut, would you rather have the haircut or have your life statistically reduced by 82 cents worth of risk?

    I hope someone with influence on decisions is thinking like this. But it doesn’t seem like it. Right now it seems like a lot of arm flailing and emotion at all levels.

    • Replies: @res

    Total 68,974 $81,128.59 100%

    Because the victims skew so old, the total of 68,974 deaths (totaling about 901,000 YLL), have an average YLL of only about 13 — i.e., the average Covid-19 fatality cost 13 years of life lost. At $90K per, it thus would have been worth about $2.7 million to prevent an average Covid-19 death. Surprisingly, the total value of life lost has been only about $81 billion.
     
    Assuming the same number of deaths with the methodology I outlined above gives
    68,974 * 7.14 = 492500 QALYs lost. At $50-150k per QALY that gives a range of
    $25 -75 billion.

    So you get fairly similar results from a much simpler analysis. Nicely done.

    Taking the high end of the numbers I used (similar to yours) we get a figure of 7.14 * $150k = $1071k cost per fatality. Let's call that $1 million (one tenth of the VSL in the WaPo article). So even a high end fatality estimate like 1 million people would "only" be $1 trillion.

    What is the economic cost of the lockdowns again?

    P.S. But I don't understand this:

    the average Covid-19 fatality cost 13 years of life lost. At $90K per, it thus would have been worth about $2.7 million to prevent an average Covid-19 death.
     
    Isn't $90k * 13 = $1.17 million?
    , @Kratoklastes

    their statistical life expectancy
     
    So long as that's their current life expectancy, not the life expectancy at birth of their age cohort. Current 80 year olds are all 10+ years past their life expectancy at birth - partly because when they were born, infant mortality was 20%. They've also outlived everyone else in their birth cohort, so necessarily exceeded expectations.

    An average 80 year old has a life expectancy of more than ten years - but their HALE (health-adjusted life expectancy) is significantly less than half of that: they drop off the twig at about 20% a year. And the sicker the 80-year-old, the shorter the HALE and the larger the proportion who can be expected to die in a given 12 month period.
    , @AnotherDad


    ...

    Total 68,974 $81,128.59 100%
     
    H-Toad, thanks for the analysis, but the problem is that the point of the lockdown was to *prevent* an epidemic.

    So the savings isn't the lives lost it is the value of the lives that *would have been* lost without it.

    Doing my physicsy back-on-the-envelope:

    1oyrs * 100k/year and 1,000,000 lives saved => 1 trilion $.

    Now, i personally don't buy the $1m value for these lives. Does a typical American family actually value their 80 year old grandma/pa's life at $1m. Sure they love them, but if offered a deal--"Hey, you Grandma is going to die this year unless you come up with $1m in which case they will live to 90 and then die"--would they go into debt to take it? Would Grandma/pa actually want their family to go into a $1m dollar debt for that? I sure as hell would not. My kids should put their spending power toward stuff like "buying a house" and "filling it with children". There is a "natural order" to life.

    ~~

    The other big issue here is the deaths saved. I think 1 million is a pretty good estimate of what you'd have gotten letting this run free. (200m infections to get toward herd immunity and 0.5% dying.)

    However, the issue is whether the lockdown actually *saves* those lives. If there's no vaccine, coming, then you're going to continue to hemorrhage lives over the next several flu seasons until you approach herd immunity. So maybe you end up at 1 million anyway. And much less drastic and expensive changes in behavior--let me see, um, uh, ... wearing masks!--can do that for you at orders of magnitude lower cost.

    To me there were only a few sensible approaches:

    -- Stamp it out.
    Slam the borders shut. Everyone masked up. Hard quarantine on the sick. Contact tracing. Aggressive test-everyone, again and again, testing regime. Lockdown except for essential services as necessary to contain/extinguish it.

    -- Check and control it until vaccine--i.e. mask up.
    Same as above on borders. But control is just everyone masking up in public places and good medical advice. But don't lock down and encourage normal economic activity.

    -- Do nothing and "let it rip!" to herd immunity.

    We clearly didn't try to stamp it out. We didn't seal the border. (Heck, there's still flights from China--Air China 983 will land at LAX in a few minutes--though admittedly China might be one of the less infected places right now.) There are still immigrants coming in, still refugees coming in. We didn't mask up. We aren't contact tracing. We aren't aggressively testing. We don't have hard quarantines. But we "locked down" and forced millions of businesses to close up. Genius.
    , @Hail
    Good calculations. As Krakoklastes does in a reply, I am skeptical of this...:

    the average Covid-19 fatality cost 13 years of life lost
     
    ...because people dying are not a randomized cross-section of the age group that is dying.

    One of the keys to the whole Corona puzzle, which the pro-Panic side still bizarrely refuses to admit, is that a large share of people in the Corona Victims list are people who were dying anyway ("deaths with the virus"). It is fundamentally a scam to count deathbed patients dying positive for some virus as because "victims of this new virus," yet that's what they've done. In official reports there are asterisks but this never gets across, there is little general awareness of the problem.

    There are really three cause-of-death categories of Corona victims, as I wrote in another comment-reply, coincidentally also to you:

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/a-big-question/#comment-3907490

    (1) Healthy people with many years of healthy life left, with no other diseases or conditions than the Wuhan Coronavirus; subdividable into three conceptual subgroups:
    — (1a.) Healthy children or adolescents;
    — (1b.) Healthy working-age people;
    — (1c.) Healthy older people of retired age;

    (2) Ambiguous cases. People with other conditions clearly contributing to a person’s ill health and/or death;

    (3) Deathbed patients expected to die very soon of another cause and/or people who very obviously died of another cause (“gunshot to head victim dies of coronavirus”).
     
    What calculations of lost-life-years might fall into is assuming that all the victims are (1)'s (a sub-point is that in in practice, any true (1)'s are pretty much all are (1c.)'s, but the media pro-Panic propaganda-mill still has people thinking it is (1a.) and (1b.) at considerable rates too, which is a lie), maybe sometimes (2)'s, and never (3)'s, a conceptual category which is effectively suppressed in Corona discourse.

    We have long had reason to believe that (3) constitutes a large share of the deaths, and that (2)+(3) together constitute a very large majority. Indications are how big the (2)+(3) majority is varies by country, but everywhere it is significant. This pushes down the real number of lost-years down for media's Corona Victims total, probably to less than half the vanilla calculation.
  89. Worst Trump Tweet Ever.

    Feel like a battered wife with small kids with no real option to leave. 🙁

  90. @prosa123
    I looked at the online obits for the newspaper in my New England hometown and found 4 Covid deaths in a few minutes' scrolling. Of course there may have been others with no cause of death information given. It was slightly surprising that three of the four were women, as it seems to hit men harder.

    In any event, one woman was 91, another was rather young at 71 but according to the obit also had been battling breast cancer for a prolonged time, and the third woman was also somewhat youngish at 77 but was in a nursing home. The man also was 77, he died in a hospice unit which might have been because of the virus but also might have been because he already was dying of something else. His wife had died just nine days ago, no cause given.

    Why would you think that those deaths are Covid? Its not as if:

    (1) you know whether a test was administered to each of the deceased;

    (2) you know whether a test was accurate, if one was, indeed, administered;

    (3) you could identify the type of test that may have been given and its reliability;

    (4) you could vouchsafe for the bona-fides of the patients’ physicians;

    (5) you could guarantee the bona-fides of the hospitals / long term care facilities in question;

    (6) you know whether an autopsy was conducted; and

    (7) you know that the local rag has the fundamental journalistic integrity to ask the foregoing questions.

    • Agree: Je Suis Omar Mateen
    • Replies: @prosa123
    Those cautions absolutely are warranted. Obituaries are based on what family members tell the funeral directors, who then notify the publications. I can't imagine there's any fact-checking along the way. For example, in something that long predates the virus, at least half of all obits say that the people died surrounded by their families. Yeah, sure.
  91. I think no cost is too great to bring down infinitely bad Trump, along with his supporters, but I’d have to ask Pascal.

    Montaigne considered the decreasing quality of life and function to be consolations in facing death. He’d say, “You’re already three quarters dead, you just don’t have that much more to lose.”

  92. res says:
    @Hypnotoad666
    The math a cost-benefit analysis does not seem particularly complicated. Mostly, you just need the data for the age ranges of the victims and their statistical life expectancy in order to calculate their years of life lost (YLL). And then you need to decide how much each year of life is worth. Additionally, if you can guess at how many infections there have been, you can figure out the dollar value of harm caused by each additional infection (and how much it would be worth to prevent it).

    A few days ago, I downloaded the CDC's data on deaths by age and sex (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid_weekly/index.htm), which includes 68,974 deaths through 5-20-20. I looked up the life expectancy of the various ages (using the mean of the age range reported by the CDC), and ran some spreadsheet calculations of my own. I picked $90,000 as the value of a YLL because I think I saw that number used in some insurance calculations. But anyone could adjust it up or down according to preference and all the numbers would change proportionately.

    I thought the results were pretty interesting. (I don't know how to attach or display a spreadsheet graph here, so I'll have to try to list some key numbers). Anyway,

    I. Value of Life Lost by Age Cohort

    Age Group Deaths YLL/Death $YLL Value (Mil.) %YLL Value
    0-24 65 67.05 392.24 .48%
    25-34 463 49.75 2,073.08 2.56%
    35-44 1186 40.5 4,322.97 5.33%
    45-54 3338 31.85 9,575.88 11.8%
    55-64 8312 23.9 17,879.11 22.04%
    65-74 14447 15.75 20,478.62 25.24%
    75-84 18621 9.25 15,501.98 19.11%
    85+ 22542 5.375 10,904.69 13.44%

    Total 68,974 $81,128.59 100%


    Because the victims skew so old, the total of 68,974 deaths (totaling about 901,000 YLL), have an average YLL of only about 13 -- i.e., the average Covid-19 fatality cost 13 years of life lost. At $90K per, it thus would have been worth about $2.7 million to prevent an average Covid-19 death. Surprisingly, the total value of life lost has been only about $81 billion.

    Another interesting calculation for planning purposes is: "How much is it worth to prevent one additional Covid-19 infection?" Say the infection fatality rate is .03%. That means one infection will statistically cause .0003 deaths. If it is worth $2.7 million to prevent an average Covid-19 death, then it is worth approximately $821.64 to prevent one additional infection.

    Given these numbers is it worth it to tank $4-5 trillion in GDP to prevent another $81 billion in lost life years? And if there is a 1/1000 chance of getting Covid from having a haircut, would you rather have the haircut or have your life statistically reduced by 82 cents worth of risk?

    I hope someone with influence on decisions is thinking like this. But it doesn't seem like it. Right now it seems like a lot of arm flailing and emotion at all levels.

    Total 68,974 $81,128.59 100%

    Because the victims skew so old, the total of 68,974 deaths (totaling about 901,000 YLL), have an average YLL of only about 13 — i.e., the average Covid-19 fatality cost 13 years of life lost. At $90K per, it thus would have been worth about $2.7 million to prevent an average Covid-19 death. Surprisingly, the total value of life lost has been only about $81 billion.

    Assuming the same number of deaths with the methodology I outlined above gives
    68,974 * 7.14 = 492500 QALYs lost. At $50-150k per QALY that gives a range of
    $25 -75 billion.

    So you get fairly similar results from a much simpler analysis. Nicely done.

    Taking the high end of the numbers I used (similar to yours) we get a figure of 7.14 * $150k = $1071k cost per fatality. Let’s call that $1 million (one tenth of the VSL in the WaPo article). So even a high end fatality estimate like 1 million people would “only” be $1 trillion.

    What is the economic cost of the lockdowns again?

    P.S. But I don’t understand this:

    the average Covid-19 fatality cost 13 years of life lost. At $90K per, it thus would have been worth about $2.7 million to prevent an average Covid-19 death.

    Isn’t $90k * 13 = $1.17 million?

    • Replies: @Hypnotoad666
    Thanks, Res.

    You are right about the math error. Under this methodology it is, indeed, only $1.17 million in YLL per average Covid death -- i.e., 13 years x $90K/yr. (I had used the "avg." function for the column of $YLL by age cohort and forgot that the average would actually have to be value-weighted). So there is even less return on investment for each Covid death prevented.

    Another thing I did, that I didn't mention in the last post, is to take a go at calculating the $YLL/infection/age group. By that, I mean I took the total number of people in each population age cohort, the number of deaths in that cohort, and assumed a constant infection rate of 12% for all groups. That yields an age-specific infection fatality rate (IFR) for each age cohort.

    These age-specific IFRs are massively tilted against the elderly: (0-24=.00047%); (25-34 =.0085%); (35-44=.0024%); (45-54 =0668%); (55-64=(.1638%); (65-74=.3950%); (74-85 = 1.008%); (85+= 2.8679%).

    If you multiply the age-specific fatality rate, times the YLL for each group based on life expectancy, times the $90K per year figure, you get the monetary value of preventing an infection for a member of each age group. As it turns out, young people may have many years left to live but old people are so much more vulnerable that the value of protecting the elderly is actually far greater.

    Here is what I got for the value of preventing an infection. (0-24=$28.54); (25-34 = $378.11); (35-44= $872.69); (45-54 =$1,916.86); (55-64=$3,523.95); (65-74=$5,598.92); (75-84 = $8,393.97); (85+= $13,873.65).

    So the ROI of preventing the infection of an 85 year-old is approximately 486x greater than preventing an infection of a 12 year-old. And this is fully accounting for the 12 year-old's far greater life expectancy. Perhaps this type of trade-off was worth thinking about when they decided to close the elementary schools while dumping Covid-positive patients in nursing homes.


    P.S., It occurs to me that the $90K per year figure that I used, happens to be the $10 million per life divided by a life expectancy of 90, which is the age demographers apparently sometimes use as a shorthand figure for calculating YLL. So, I wouldn't be surprised if both numbers actually come from the same place.
  93. Many thanks to Steve for posting this. It is more along the lines of what I have been asking for. Thank you.

  94. @Gurney Halleck
    I'm a gushing Beethoven obsessive so the less I say the better, but I can't help myself...

    His genius and productivity has always been a problem for subsequent composers. How can you match up to that? Alex Ross's review of Jan Swafford's magisterial biography of the maestro ("Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph," 2014) touches on that note:

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/10/20/deus-ex-musica

    I believe after Beethoven the most original voice in classical music is Chopin, who straight up ignored Beethoven's works.

    One sad thing about Beethoven's death at 56 (I like to think of his lifespan as that of a Mozart or Schubert who was lucky enough to be granted another 22 years) is that had he lived just a few more years (and been healthy enough) he would have repeated Haydn's journey to London and become very wealthy. He would also likely have eventually met Chopin, Berlioz, Schumann, and Schubert (I believe that, despite lack of written evidence to the contrary, Beethoven had to have known of Schubert by reputation seeing as how they lived a few miles apart and knew the same publishers, musicians, aristocrats etc. In one of the surviving "conversation books" (people conversing with Beethoven had to do so in writing by the 1820s) he is asked "Do you know The Elfking?" by one of his musician friends. We don't know the answer. That's Schubert's famous song which he wrote at age 15 (turn on the captions)):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JS91p-vmSf0

    Incidentally, in his 20s Beethoven himself tried to set that same Goethe poem to music but there's a reason only Schubert's version is known...

    Gurney Halleck: Thanks for mentioning: “Der Erlkonig.” It reminded me to listen to my favorite version by Marian Anderson, whose ability to provide 4 very distinct voices (narrator, father, son, and Erlkonig) was extraordinary and by Franz Rupp, whose piano playing created frantic hoof beats.

  95. Once upon a time I was a substitute teacher for a middle school. My co-sub told the kiddies, “You can talk but not too loudly.” I, of course, did the mandatory face palm.

    Middle school kiddies do not understand moderation.

    We will all have to acquire immunity either by surviving the disease or by vaccine. The lockdown was enacted to prevent a collapse of the healthcare system. We can’t have doctors and nurses dying en mass.

    Now that we managed to slow the progression, the tactic being used is to keep it from spreading too fast. If that fails, like my kiddies failed to talk but not too loudly, then another clamp down is warranted.

    The tradeoff is between collapse of the nation via the economy versus collapse of the nation via destruction of health care, but this statement is too dire for the plebs to digest. Thus we direct their attention to minutia.

    • Replies: @Peterike
    “ The tradeoff is between collapse of the nation via the economy versus collapse of the nation via destruction of health care, but this statement is too dire for the plebs to digest. ”

    It was never either of those things. Like usual, the plebs understood more than their “betters.”
  96. Anonymous[295] • Disclaimer says:

    we really need to get serious about learning it and stop playing partisan games like this article does with an extremely serious subject.

    Charity begins at home, Steve. You could start by calling out the half of your comment section who think the only reason the governors did the same thing the entire rest of the world is doing in imposing social distancing is to unseat Blumpf. Until you do so, get off that high-horse. You don’t deserve to be there.

  97. @Charon
    If age is a relevant factor in the valuation (and surely it is) then that opens the door to a host of other factors that we're not allowed to mention.

    The upshot and the implication is that some lives actually do matter more than others. Vastly more, in fact, and this offends our sense of equity.

    Already in calculations such as those attending compensation for death in plane accidents, potential future earnings are considered.

    Maybe some people's lives are worth 10 or 20 million. But some are approximately nil and some appear to be negative.

    some are approximately nil and some appear to be negative.

    Now that will make many a head explode!

  98. @Jonathan Mason

    When President Trump said in late March he didn’t think the economic devastation from stay-at-home orders was a good trade off for avoiding covid-19 deaths, tweeting, “WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF
     
    ... he was actually right, particularly since social distancing and closures have not even been all that effective in containing the epidemic; but he and his administration have completely failed to present an intellectually coherent case in support of this.

    I looked at Wikipedia’s list of notable American deaths from Coronavirus and the mean age was 78 and the median age was 82.

     

    If that is even remotely close to the mean and median ages of the whole population that has so far died from coronavirus, then the massive future savings in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid costs should be taken into account, so these deaths might well be an economic net gain to the taxpayer and to the heirs of the deceased.

    And, as Steve points out, very few were cut off in or before their prime. George Orwell (1903-1950) died of lung disease (TB) at the age of 47, but it would be a stretch to say that he would have been better known today for his work to abolish the death penalty in the 1960's than for Animal Farm or Nineteen Eighty-Four had he survived into the age of TV.

    “When President Trump said in late March he didn’t think the economic devastation from stay-at-home orders was a good trade off for avoiding covid-19 deaths, tweeting, “WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF”

    … he was actually right, particularly since social distancing and closures have not even been all that effective in containing the epidemic; but he and his administration have completely failed to present an intellectually coherent case in support of this.”

    Trump did his part to try to resist this. This isn’t on him. It was state governors who shut everything down.

    Almost the entire intellectual universe including right wing folks like Unz and Sailer and Will Chamberlain said we need to shut it all down. Unz praised the bureaucrat who led the way with the first American lockdown as the a messianic figure. While Trump was trying to urge calm, Unz was running around here screaming bloody murderer about Trump and conservatives. Same with Lion of the Blogosphere. We have the receipts.

    Bill Gates, who is apparently regarded as the worlds foremost thinker AND pandemic expert, showed up out of nowhere to tell us we have to shut down the economy — appearing on all the talk shows and in op-eds.

    Who would even think of such a thing as shutting down the American economy? I would never have the hubris to even suggest such an absurd thing as that. But Bill Gates said to do it and he’s a gorillionaire so he must understand.

    The American people in unity agreed that the economy should be shut down. So here we are.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    "Who would even think of such a thing as shutting down the American economy? I would never have the hubris to even suggest such an absurd thing as that."

    Ask not what your economy can do for you, ask what you can do for your economy.
  99. The NY Times headline today reads:

    U.S. Deaths Near 100,000, an Incalculable Loss

    America, including the Times, never seemed to keen to calculate the losses from the Forever War:

    https://www.fcnl.org/updates/costs-of-war-by-the-numbers-396

  100. @Bill P
    The losses younger people are incurring due to the lockdown are staggering. I live in Washington state, which due to our governor and some bad luck (heavily reliant on Boeing) is the hardest hit state in the US. Possibly one of the worst places on earth in terms of economic damage. Over 30% unemployment, and people aren't even allowed to get a haircut, send their kids to school or go to church.

    I don't know whether I'll be able to stay here. I got wiped out by a divorce in 2008, just when the recession started, and it took me years to climb out of that hole. Now this.

    Sometimes it leaves you with the impression that the people running this country really hate us. It's as though they are using this virus as an excuse to wage war on us.

    Sure, it's a nasty infection, but did they have to punish us so harshly for it? It poses little danger to me and my kids, but we are paying the highest price for it. Think about that. All the people working to build a nest egg are screwed if this doesn't end immediately. In the meanwhile, those who are at risk are drawing pensions and sitting in their own homes -- they don't even have to leave the house and they'll be fine.

    So why are the rest of us locked out of work? This is extremely cruel, wasteful and punitive. And I don't even believe it's saving many lives.

    Sometimes it leaves you with the impression that the people running this country really hate us. It’s as though they are using this virus as an excuse to wage war on us.

    It only seems that way because it’s true.

  101. Economists-for-hire give economics a bad name. I only hope that since it’s being filtered through some fuckwit journalist at Bezos’ Blog, they’ve missed a major point somehow.

    Because let’s be clear: if the WaPo story represents a faithful re-telling of these Chicago guys’ “research”, then the research itself is so shoddy that it almost must be deliberate.

    Why did they not include the present value of the lives lost as a result of lockdown?

    As I and others have been saying since March, the opportunity cost of lockdowns is not just lost production, increases in unemployment, and the inconvenience of not going to raves and having badged 95-IQ fuckwits hassle you if you go sit in a park.

    The big opportunity cost – predictable, and quantified over and over – is additional “deaths of despair” that predictably happen as a result of severe economic downturns.

    Each one of those is between 30× and 70× more costly (in QALY terms) than the average covid19 death – simply by dint of the fact that the median suicide is about ~37 years old (and 2/3rds of them are male).

    A person in their late 30s driven to despair by unemployment and isolation, has many more QALY to run, and this a more of their VSL left, than a sickly septuagenarian in a nursing home. Especially in Canada, where 81% of covid19 deaths have been nursing home residents.

    (VSL, as I’ve said before, is obtained by hyper-retarded methods – but let’s leave that to one side).

    If deaths of despair have not been accounted for in the Chicago research, this story should be mocked until the authors (and the journalist involved) commit suicide: that would be social-welfare enhancing.

  102. @DanHessinMD
    You shouldn't have to fiddle with numbers on the margins to decide if the lockdown was worth it. The answer should be obvious if we have any sense.

    But since we want to apply math, here goes:
    (1) Let's put the economic cost of each life lost at $100,000. In reality this is very generous since at the age of 80 and in a nursing home, one's economic value would be a negative number as one has no economic output and very high economic cost. (This is not to call the elderly worthless in any spiritual sense but we are talking economics here.)

    (2) What is the economic value lost for a young person who has had their job and their economic prospects destroyed for the foreseeable future? Not even thinking about the cost to society of lost fertility, I'd put this at $500,000. This is very conservative. The average person's lifetime earnings is $2.7 million. If a young person's career and prospects have been destroyed in a world of 40 million unemployed, a reduction of their lifetime earnings from $2.7 million to $2.2 million looks way too optimistic. Of course older people have lost jobs too but the destruction of jobs is concentrated among the young. This doesn't even take into account big income declines among those who still hold jobs.

    So 40 million jobs lost. Say 500,000 lives saved. Which is in my opinion much more than the real number of lives saved given that the all cause excess death for the time period is only 27,000.

    Cost: $20 trillion dollars

    Savings: $50 billion dollars

    This isn't outrageous. If I adjust these numbers, I could certainly find the cost to be higher and the savings lower. Inflation is ignored to keep things simple.

    We now have 40 million unemployed and fiscal threats for the US budget unlike anything in our history. The excess deaths in this country would hardly register on an actuarial scale.

    Here is Audacious Epigone from a few days ago with a take that actually makes sense to me:

    "From February through the middle of May, the all cause American death rate has been 3% higher than expected relative to all cause deaths from the same time period in the years 2017, 2018, and 2019. Instead of the 895,000 deaths we ‘should’ have had up to this point, coronavirus kicked us up to 922,000.

    By this all-in metric, then, coronavirus has led to about 27,000 excess deaths nationwide, a little less than one-third the number of deaths attributed to covid in media reports. Given the age profile of those who have died, most of these excess deaths have been pulled forward a few months or years. Those lives matter, too, of course, but it’s not the same as people dying unexpectedly in the prime of their lives.

    Forty million people out of work, the national debt exploded, the Fed married to the Treasury and both completely off the chain, a 1990s Russia-style oligarchic looting of the country, civil liberties extinguished, and despair rising as people contend with existing in a perpetual state of fear over what has amounted to, up to this point, something close to a rounding error in a country of nearly 330,000,000 people."

    One could speculate that benefits could be high in terms of work-from home savings and technological advancement, but one could also speculate that since human interaction is at the center of economic networks the secondary effects are profoundly negative. The best answer is to ignore future speculation and look at the numbers we have now.

    In economic terms, the destruction of the lockdown is unprecedented and not remotely balanced by the benefits of lives saved.

    By this all-in metric, then, coronavirus has led to about 27,000 excess deaths nationwide, a little less than one-third the number of deaths attributed to covid in media reports.

    Normally I’m with you in preferring mortality data as it’s much harder to fudge. However, in this case things are a bit more complex:
    1. The lockdown decreased all-cause mortality: no traffic accidents, , fewer random (non-covid) infections, less homicide, … Some people mention fewer elective procedure screwups with the closing of the hospital. Personally I see that as tougher to score as some patients who needed to be seen asap died at home.

    2. The mortality data is coming in somewhat slowly. For example, May 16 has an overall mortality rate of just 53%. We’re comparing partial data vs. a baseline of all of the data from those weeks from past years.

    Both of those effects will cause the impact of covid to be understated. In theory, I see how to model #1 but lack the data and time. For #2, you could just ignore the last (somewhat arbitrarily) 4 weeks and compute the stats without those. You get 6% excess deaths for those weeks, or about 43k. Those numbers ignore the weeks with the largest impact of covid, and effect #1.

    So let’s use mortality data, but let’s be careful how we do it.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Total Deaths from all causes trickle in over weeks and even months. Some places are like California counting votes. Demographer Lyman Stone has been modeling what the ultimate death totals, all causes, are going to be for each week. He figures the official covid deaths are an understatement, but not hugely.
    , @DanHessinMD
    The point of my comment is that you don't need to fiddle with the numbers on the margins to see if the lockdown was worth it. The destruction of the lockdown outweighs the benefit by three orders of magnitude, give or take.
  103. @jason y
    the last i checked this, which was over a week ago, there were ~7000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Connecticut nursing homes out of roughly ~35000 total confirmed cases in the state. that's a shocking overrepresentation, but even more shocking is that there are only 24000 nursing home residents in Connecticut for CV to infect.

    7000/24000 = 0.291

    so, 29.1% is the lower bound on the attack rate in the nursing home population in Connecticut. it's higher, perhaps by as much as 40%/

    how many deaths? 1487.

    1487/7000 = 0.212

    so, the Cases Fatality Rate for nursing home cases in Connecticut is 21.2%! but wait, even more shocking:

    1487/24000 = 0.0619

    so, Covid-19 has already managed to kill ~6% of ALL the nursing home residents in Connecticut. My God.

    anyways, this is consistent w/a point i've been making for a long time: Covid is spreading more quickly among the most vulnerable, which is what you'd expect given where it has the highest R0 (in places like nursing homes and hospitals) and the not unreasonable assumption that those most susceptible to the virus are also most likely to die from it.

    given these facts, the estimates of the QALY lost from CV deaths are really obviously overestimates. the life expectancy in nursing homes and among those frequenting hospitals is much lower than it is for others of the same age.

    Moreover, the number of “nursing home deaths” is probably under counted. A lot of people who live in nursing homes and got the disease in the nursing home were then sent to a hospital where they died. Their deaths more properly belong in the nursing home column.

  104. Anonymous[109] • Disclaimer says:

    On the subject of the Chinese Virus in Australia, the latest update for flu-like symptom incidence. We are a few weeks into a historical low for fever and cough. I would not be surprised if we have beaten back the flu itself to whatever animal reservoirs exist in Australia, if at all. Flu is less infectious by most accounts. With about 10 CV cases per day coming through, mostly in Victoria, AU has done well there as well.

    An exponential rise of cases from seasonality is yet to kick in here though the flu season obviously has. As states start to open up we will see how long this lasts though. AU isn’t pushing masks as a way to do that (and in states with no cases, not sure it’s justified).

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Thanks. So to get a heads up about a possible Second Wave next November-December, keep and eye on Australia and New Zealand.
  105. The fact that the Chinese were willing to shut down an entire city, let alone their entire country, on a moment’s notice sends a strong signal that COVID-19 (or the Wuhan virus) is probably more dangerous than it seems. China by far has the most accurate data on the virus (granted, them sharing it another issue) simply by their larger population and lack of privacy on any personal data.

    Normally, I wouldn’t think that China would value human life enough to enforce draconian lockdown measures; if the lethality were low were enough to be appalling but still acceptable, they’d let it run its course. But they didn’t, and instead imposed ridiculous quarantine measures. Which, to me at least, means that this virus, left unchecked, is bad enough to appall even the Chinese. This doesn’t necessarily imply it had high death rate, but its side effects are bad enough that it’ll seriously hamper a population.

    I mean, imagine if this virus were like airborne HIV. The initial infection gives you a bad flu, but then you “get better” after a short while. It’s not until 1 to 3 years down the line that its actual side effects begin to show, but by that point, 80% of the population has it.

    • Replies: @Black-hole creator

    imagine if this virus were like airborne HIV. The initial infection gives you a bad flu, but then you “get better” after a short while. It’s not until 1 to 3 years down the line that its actual side effects begin to show, but by that point, 80% of the population has it.
     
    Imagine if an asteroid hits us in two weeks and a giant tsunami destroys all life on Earth, a very realistic scenario for which we currently have no remedy. This is supposed to be a free country and people are supposed to be able to choose their own fate, hopefully aided by an open and free discussion and scientific research.

    As to you pious reference to Chinese measures, it was the first country to encounter the virus and they already had issues with SARS a few years ago, so it was natural for them to overreact. They shut down only 5% of the China, and more importantly they had resources and political will to do a full-scale Night of the Living Dead military quarantine. Oh, and now they are successfully using the current situation to further their economic dominance.
  106. @Hypnotoad666
    The math a cost-benefit analysis does not seem particularly complicated. Mostly, you just need the data for the age ranges of the victims and their statistical life expectancy in order to calculate their years of life lost (YLL). And then you need to decide how much each year of life is worth. Additionally, if you can guess at how many infections there have been, you can figure out the dollar value of harm caused by each additional infection (and how much it would be worth to prevent it).

    A few days ago, I downloaded the CDC's data on deaths by age and sex (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid_weekly/index.htm), which includes 68,974 deaths through 5-20-20. I looked up the life expectancy of the various ages (using the mean of the age range reported by the CDC), and ran some spreadsheet calculations of my own. I picked $90,000 as the value of a YLL because I think I saw that number used in some insurance calculations. But anyone could adjust it up or down according to preference and all the numbers would change proportionately.

    I thought the results were pretty interesting. (I don't know how to attach or display a spreadsheet graph here, so I'll have to try to list some key numbers). Anyway,

    I. Value of Life Lost by Age Cohort

    Age Group Deaths YLL/Death $YLL Value (Mil.) %YLL Value
    0-24 65 67.05 392.24 .48%
    25-34 463 49.75 2,073.08 2.56%
    35-44 1186 40.5 4,322.97 5.33%
    45-54 3338 31.85 9,575.88 11.8%
    55-64 8312 23.9 17,879.11 22.04%
    65-74 14447 15.75 20,478.62 25.24%
    75-84 18621 9.25 15,501.98 19.11%
    85+ 22542 5.375 10,904.69 13.44%

    Total 68,974 $81,128.59 100%


    Because the victims skew so old, the total of 68,974 deaths (totaling about 901,000 YLL), have an average YLL of only about 13 -- i.e., the average Covid-19 fatality cost 13 years of life lost. At $90K per, it thus would have been worth about $2.7 million to prevent an average Covid-19 death. Surprisingly, the total value of life lost has been only about $81 billion.

    Another interesting calculation for planning purposes is: "How much is it worth to prevent one additional Covid-19 infection?" Say the infection fatality rate is .03%. That means one infection will statistically cause .0003 deaths. If it is worth $2.7 million to prevent an average Covid-19 death, then it is worth approximately $821.64 to prevent one additional infection.

    Given these numbers is it worth it to tank $4-5 trillion in GDP to prevent another $81 billion in lost life years? And if there is a 1/1000 chance of getting Covid from having a haircut, would you rather have the haircut or have your life statistically reduced by 82 cents worth of risk?

    I hope someone with influence on decisions is thinking like this. But it doesn't seem like it. Right now it seems like a lot of arm flailing and emotion at all levels.

    their statistical life expectancy

    So long as that’s their current life expectancy, not the life expectancy at birth of their age cohort. Current 80 year olds are all 10+ years past their life expectancy at birth – partly because when they were born, infant mortality was 20%. They’ve also outlived everyone else in their birth cohort, so necessarily exceeded expectations.

    An average 80 year old has a life expectancy of more than ten years – but their HALE (health-adjusted life expectancy) is significantly less than half of that: they drop off the twig at about 20% a year. And the sicker the 80-year-old, the shorter the HALE and the larger the proportion who can be expected to die in a given 12 month period.

    • Replies: @res
    Kratoklastes, I would appreciate it if you would take a look at the Andrew Briggs link and spreadsheet I posted. You have the background and statistical chops to critique it (more so than I do IMHO) and I would like to know your opinion. Thanks in advance.
    , @Hypnotoad666

    So long as that’s their current life expectancy, not the life expectancy at birth of their age cohort.
     
    That's basically what I did. I looked up the life expectancy table for a person at each age. For example, for the range 45-54, I used the remaining years for a 50 year-old according to the table. https://www.ssa.gov/oact/STATS/table4c6.html. (In calculating YLL, I split the difference evenly between Male and Female life expectancy, although to be more precise, I should have weighted the Male a little more because CDC says the death totals are about 37.5K Male deaths to 31.2K Female.

    Also, I have to imagine that the 75 year-olds who die "of/with" Covid were less healthy than their peers to start with, and had a lower realistic life expectancy independent of Covid.
  107. @Jack D
    My county has been keeping track of Xi Jinping Virus deaths and the average age is 81.5. This is consistent with many other states and countries. Maybe the #'s vary slightly but generally speaking death from CV occur primarily in the elderly and only rarely in people under 60, and even more rarely in white people under 60.

    No matter how you slice and dice the data, CV is a fatal disease primarily (not solely, but primarily) among the elderly. For those who are not elderly, victims usually have some co-morbidity (diabetes, obesity, etc.) For a healthy white person under 60 to die of Covid is extremely rare. It happens now and then, but rarely (i.e. less than 1% of deaths would be among that group).

    Everything in America is politicized today so even a public health crisis is seen thru a political filter. If you are confused about the demographics of the victims it is because the media has been doing all that it can to obfuscate the identity of the victims. They did this with AIDs also.

    This: DeSantis nailed it, Whitmer bungled, Newsom is inbetween. Marshall all available resources and policies to protect the elderly like a chess king, and tell everybody else to, like, wear a mask and goggles and have a nice going about of their day.

  108. @Bill P
    The losses younger people are incurring due to the lockdown are staggering. I live in Washington state, which due to our governor and some bad luck (heavily reliant on Boeing) is the hardest hit state in the US. Possibly one of the worst places on earth in terms of economic damage. Over 30% unemployment, and people aren't even allowed to get a haircut, send their kids to school or go to church.

    I don't know whether I'll be able to stay here. I got wiped out by a divorce in 2008, just when the recession started, and it took me years to climb out of that hole. Now this.

    Sometimes it leaves you with the impression that the people running this country really hate us. It's as though they are using this virus as an excuse to wage war on us.

    Sure, it's a nasty infection, but did they have to punish us so harshly for it? It poses little danger to me and my kids, but we are paying the highest price for it. Think about that. All the people working to build a nest egg are screwed if this doesn't end immediately. In the meanwhile, those who are at risk are drawing pensions and sitting in their own homes -- they don't even have to leave the house and they'll be fine.

    So why are the rest of us locked out of work? This is extremely cruel, wasteful and punitive. And I don't even believe it's saving many lives.

    Sometimes it leaves you with the impression that the people running this country really hate us.

    Hate? The guys who want to eliminate your standard of living, ban your religion, criminalize your culture, destroy your Bill of Rights, replace your literature with pornography, replace you with unquestioning third world helots, kill your grandchildren, and who can’t be motivated by profit because they’re already third world monopolist rich, and who call critics “loser virgins”? Hate? Naw, they’re merely gambling addicts, and a dollar is at stake.

    • Thanks: AnotherDad
  109. In other words, the economists are saying, “the cure” doesn’t come at a cost at all when factoring in the economic value of the lives saved.

    LOL.

    These must be the same “economists” who say that immigration doesn’t lower the wages–even of the poor and unskilled because … magic!

    One can argue up down and sideways about the lives saved. Social value, personal value, happiness value–sure. Heck, I sure want to hang around even though i’m retired–i.e. a useless eater. But there just isn’t any serious argument that there’s much in the way of “economic value” left in these lives.

  110. Anonymous[109] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jack D
    My county has been keeping track of Xi Jinping Virus deaths and the average age is 81.5. This is consistent with many other states and countries. Maybe the #'s vary slightly but generally speaking death from CV occur primarily in the elderly and only rarely in people under 60, and even more rarely in white people under 60.

    No matter how you slice and dice the data, CV is a fatal disease primarily (not solely, but primarily) among the elderly. For those who are not elderly, victims usually have some co-morbidity (diabetes, obesity, etc.) For a healthy white person under 60 to die of Covid is extremely rare. It happens now and then, but rarely (i.e. less than 1% of deaths would be among that group).

    Everything in America is politicized today so even a public health crisis is seen thru a political filter. If you are confused about the demographics of the victims it is because the media has been doing all that it can to obfuscate the identity of the victims. They did this with AIDs also.

    I have known that it targets elderly for what, 3-4 months now. The 15% dead of 80-90yo, and 6% for 70-79yo was already known from Wuhan for a long time. It does reap a lot of people who are at the end of life, no question. But the risk is more than a bad flu by about 10x or so. Just look at the deaths from the cruise ships. Someone healthy enough to go on a cruise ship isn’t usually going to get taken out by the flu.

    Still, I would have thought 70-79 yo were more numerous than 80+ yo. Maybe they are but healthier. I would still prefer not to get it, but I get quite badly impacted by flu. I think given the info we had at the time, the drive for elimination wasn’t a mistake. As a practical matter there are problems with “let ‘er rip” and a flattened curve.

    And yes I am very well aware of the politicization of AIDS. It was a hard one for the homos as it was an incurable death sentence… or… wear a condom.

    • Replies: @AnotherDad

    And yes I am very well aware of the politicization of AIDS. It was a hard one for the homos as it was an incurable death sentence… or… wear a condom.
     
    What are you, some kind of Nazi?
    , @International Jew

    Someone healthy enough to go on a cruise ship isn’t usually going to get taken out by the flu.
     
    You might be overestimating the physical rigors of cruising. I went on a cruise in the Caribbean and my turn to climb to the crow's nest and watch for pirates never even came up.
  111. @Reg Cæsar

    The losses younger people are incurring due to the lockdown are staggering.
     
    A lockdown imposed by governors who got their heavily skewed vote. It's the "boomer geezer" Trump, whom they hate, who wants to open things up again.

    A lockdown imposed by governors who got their heavily skewed vote. It’s the “boomer geezer” Trump, whom they hate, who wants to open things up again.

    People tend to vote with their pocketbooks. You have to wonder if young people might end up voting Republican much more than they usually do because the GOP wants to get them employed again.

  112. @Anonymous
    On the subject of the Chinese Virus in Australia, the latest update for flu-like symptom incidence. We are a few weeks into a historical low for fever and cough. I would not be surprised if we have beaten back the flu itself to whatever animal reservoirs exist in Australia, if at all. Flu is less infectious by most accounts. With about 10 CV cases per day coming through, mostly in Victoria, AU has done well there as well.

    https://i.postimg.cc/W3DCXpPy/Smart-Select-20200525-064830-Drive.jpg

    An exponential rise of cases from seasonality is yet to kick in here though the flu season obviously has. As states start to open up we will see how long this lasts though. AU isn't pushing masks as a way to do that (and in states with no cases, not sure it's justified).

    Thanks. So to get a heads up about a possible Second Wave next November-December, keep and eye on Australia and New Zealand.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    No problem. Yes, that survey is definitely a useful data point.

    One thing to bear in mind is that with flu also at very low incidence (if not eliminated in AU except from animal reservoirs if they exist), is that due to exponential growth starting from a low ebb, we won't necessarily see that curve moved until there are an appreciable number of cases. The R(effective) may have moved up but we would only know it from the CV stats (which will be a good indication because AU is testing everyone with symptoms now and has been for a month or so).

    However, as an indication that the measures Australia has put in place have been effective in lowering transmission, I think it's inarguable because of the record flu symptom lows at a time when normally 2.2% of the population has fever/cough, and bearing in mind that even in the s0-called "peak" of the flu season, it's only 2.9% of the population that has such symptoms. 0.2% compared to 2.2%, it may even be at a baseline and including people who just have a perpetual cough, or are susceptible to a cough. i.e. maybe it's impossible to actually hit zero.

    Yes, Australia started with a seasonal advantage, but AU's actions have very, very obviously had a massive real-world impact, beyond question.

    As I have said before, zero x something is still zero, so if your transmission prevention is on point, the season won't shift what's happening much, R will still be less than zero and the only thing that will shift is the halving time. If you have no cases at all, seasonality won't make any difference.

    If in the unlikely case now that no measures are in place, then the doubling time will be larger in a flu season one would expect, but you'd still get doubling otherwise why would places like Singapore not be able to control effectively. Maybe I'm wrong on that though.

    I think where the biggest difference will be in the mild to moderate measure region where R is around 1 for either season with a level of measures in place. There you will see growth or decline.

    The cruise ships are also an indication that the season is not a magical preventative. But we will see how things go. If seasonality has reasonable impact, then a policy of elimination by border control + extra effort in the non-flu season of each hemisphere may be workable.
  113. @JosephB

    By this all-in metric, then, coronavirus has led to about 27,000 excess deaths nationwide, a little less than one-third the number of deaths attributed to covid in media reports.
     
    Normally I'm with you in preferring mortality data as it's much harder to fudge. However, in this case things are a bit more complex:
    1. The lockdown decreased all-cause mortality: no traffic accidents, , fewer random (non-covid) infections, less homicide, ... Some people mention fewer elective procedure screwups with the closing of the hospital. Personally I see that as tougher to score as some patients who needed to be seen asap died at home.

    2. The mortality data is coming in somewhat slowly. For example, May 16 has an overall mortality rate of just 53%. We're comparing partial data vs. a baseline of all of the data from those weeks from past years.

    Both of those effects will cause the impact of covid to be understated. In theory, I see how to model #1 but lack the data and time. For #2, you could just ignore the last (somewhat arbitrarily) 4 weeks and compute the stats without those. You get 6% excess deaths for those weeks, or about 43k. Those numbers ignore the weeks with the largest impact of covid, and effect #1.

    So let's use mortality data, but let's be careful how we do it.

    Total Deaths from all causes trickle in over weeks and even months. Some places are like California counting votes. Demographer Lyman Stone has been modeling what the ultimate death totals, all causes, are going to be for each week. He figures the official covid deaths are an understatement, but not hugely.

    • Thanks: JosephB
  114. Kroger apparently paid out too much lockdown bonus and is asking for sone of it back.
    https://postimg.cc/0bSgPqzk

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
    From a PR point of view, it would be better to send out a letter apologizing for underpaying employees and enclosing a check for a few dollars more plus a pack of toilet paper. Kroger is unlikely to have lost money due to the COVID-19 hoax, due to many former employees of other employers having to eat at home.
  115. Anonymous[415] • Disclaimer says:
    @DanHessinMD
    "When President Trump said in late March he didn’t think the economic devastation from stay-at-home orders was a good trade off for avoiding covid-19 deaths, tweeting, “WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF"

    … he was actually right, particularly since social distancing and closures have not even been all that effective in containing the epidemic; but he and his administration have completely failed to present an intellectually coherent case in support of this."

    Trump did his part to try to resist this. This isn't on him. It was state governors who shut everything down.

    Almost the entire intellectual universe including right wing folks like Unz and Sailer and Will Chamberlain said we need to shut it all down. Unz praised the bureaucrat who led the way with the first American lockdown as the a messianic figure. While Trump was trying to urge calm, Unz was running around here screaming bloody murderer about Trump and conservatives. Same with Lion of the Blogosphere. We have the receipts.

    Bill Gates, who is apparently regarded as the worlds foremost thinker AND pandemic expert, showed up out of nowhere to tell us we have to shut down the economy -- appearing on all the talk shows and in op-eds.

    Who would even think of such a thing as shutting down the American economy? I would never have the hubris to even suggest such an absurd thing as that. But Bill Gates said to do it and he's a gorillionaire so he must understand.

    The American people in unity agreed that the economy should be shut down. So here we are.

    “Who would even think of such a thing as shutting down the American economy? I would never have the hubris to even suggest such an absurd thing as that.”

    Ask not what your economy can do for you, ask what you can do for your economy.

  116. The doctors now say they think my nursing home living grandmother, had Covid-19 and got over it. So there is hope for older people.

  117. @Liberty Mike
    Why would you think that those deaths are Covid? Its not as if:

    (1) you know whether a test was administered to each of the deceased;

    (2) you know whether a test was accurate, if one was, indeed, administered;

    (3) you could identify the type of test that may have been given and its reliability;

    (4) you could vouchsafe for the bona-fides of the patients' physicians;

    (5) you could guarantee the bona-fides of the hospitals / long term care facilities in question;

    (6) you know whether an autopsy was conducted; and

    (7) you know that the local rag has the fundamental journalistic integrity to ask the foregoing questions.

    Those cautions absolutely are warranted. Obituaries are based on what family members tell the funeral directors, who then notify the publications. I can’t imagine there’s any fact-checking along the way. For example, in something that long predates the virus, at least half of all obits say that the people died surrounded by their families. Yeah, sure.

  118. Steve,

    You should try to get ahead of the next trend in Covid-19: states that are cooking their reporting numbers to make the governor and state politicians look better. The State of Georgia is looking like the state is cooking the books. In early may the state has a day with over 900 new cases but three weeks later is reporting 2 deaths on a Sunday. Someone people who are sick enough to justify testing are somehow beating every other state is not dying.

    Also, If you look at world data, it seems that some countries are unreporting deaths (like Russia) while other are not working very hard at tesing (See Mexico and Brazil) while having lots of deaths.

  119. @J.Ross
    Kroger apparently paid out too much lockdown bonus and is asking for sone of it back.
    https://postimg.cc/0bSgPqzk

    From a PR point of view, it would be better to send out a letter apologizing for underpaying employees and enclosing a check for a few dollars more plus a pack of toilet paper. Kroger is unlikely to have lost money due to the COVID-19 hoax, due to many former employees of other employers having to eat at home.

    • Troll: Guest007
  120. @res
    I don't think that is what that graph is showing (but I'm not sure, I find it a bit confusing). I think what is going on there is some kind of derating of QoL as you get older (I haven't been able to figure out from the spreadsheet though, it is complicated). Here is the descriptive text from the link:

    Figure 1 shows the results for the UK in terms of life-expectancy (LE), quality adjusted-life expectancy (QALE) and discounted QALYs (dQALYs) by age, assuming a SMR of 1, which is equivalent to no excess comorbidity (life tables already include the ‘average’ background levels of comorbidity in the population).
     
    The SMR of 1 indicates a typical level of comorbidities. If you look at the spreadsheet (I will use US numbers) for SMR 1 ages 0-9 have LE 74.42 and QALE 65.49
    Where you see the effect you mention is comparing to SMR = 2 with (note BOTH decline, but QALE declines more) LE 66.55 and QALE 53.33

    I think your point is more along the lines of what I noted as a lack in that analysis. It does not really capture how the average SMR is likely to be higher for the young COVID-19 fatalities.

    And that is important because those young fatalities are disproportionately contributing QALYs lost.

    Notice how both issues I have raised result in overestimating QALYs lost. I think that gives some margin for error when we just take these numbers at face value.

    Regardless of that particular point, I think your conclusion is dead on.

    P.S. In an effort to quantify the relative contributions to QALYs lost by age I added a calculation of QALYs lost per age bucket (%deaths * QALE) to the spreadsheet. Hopefully this gives some idea of which age groups are being hit the worst in the US in terms of QALYs lost. This uses the SMR2 scenario I discussed earlier (notice how the sum equals the 7.14 years weighted mean for QALE I cited above). Multiply the numbers by the number of deaths to estimate the QALYs lost per group.

    Age | Scenario a QALYs Lost
    0-9 _| 0.012
    10-19 | 0.025
    20-29 | 0.159
    30-39 | 0.388
    40-49 | 0.787
    50-59 | 1.412
    60-69 | 1.816
    70-79 | 1.479
    80-90 | 0.866
    90-100 | 0.192
    sum _| 7.135

    I think what is going on is that, as Briggs says “life tables [for SMR 1] already include the ‘average’ background levels of comorbidity in the population” . The average 5 year old who is still alive has another 75 years left to go on average, but the average DECEASED 5 year old had a high background level of comorbidity (which caused him to die at such a young age) so his life expectancy adjusted for quality of life is considerably less and even less when you discount for present value. As you get older all of the bars get shorter but also the difference in quality of life between the average living vs (about to be) dead 90 year old is much less since both groups are going to have a lot of co-morbidity. And of course the discount period is much shorter.

  121. @Curtis Dunkel
    Complete bullshit. Healthy societies should focus on the young. If they don't they will not have future generations and will die.

    Healthy societies should focus on the young. If they don’t they will not have future generations and will die.

    Young people are having very few children. Obviously young people don’t care whether there’s a future or not. They don’t care if there are future generations or not.

  122. @Curtis Dunkel
    Complete bullshit. Healthy societies should focus on the young. If they don't they will not have future generations and will die.

    Healthy societies should focus on the young.

    Societies that focus on the young inevitably become decadent and die.

  123. @Anonymous
    It's not a partisan game, Steve.

    It's extremely serious that people are destroying my country.


    This virus is fake. It just is. The facts are in. At a certain point you have to acknowledge facts.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/andrewbostom/status/1263808424489467906
    https://www.rt.com/russia/489579-coronavirus-immunity-test-moscow/

    Do some damn math. How many people live in Moscow? How many are dead? This is just a hoax.



    we dont BURN OUR COUNTRIES TO THE GROUND BECAUSE THE FLU EXISTS. 90 year olds die of the flu. Sad but we cant destroy society because that makes you sad. Go work on a goddamned treatment if you're so personally concerned. But dont ruin childrens lives for your personal obsession.


    your comment in the other thread about how you're trying to be a reasonable moderate is incoherent.

    "Extremists on both sides are wrong by definition...."

    Oh, really? What if one side is an extremist cult that likes murdering babies and puppies and my position is I extremely disagree? Are "extremists" on both sides of that debate wrong?

    I wish everyone would realize that when someone is claiming that Covid-19 is a hoax that they are calling a massive number of healthcare workers, health department employees, and first responders liars.

    Maybe that is why so many people (left and right) have problems with politics. They are incapable of thinking about the implications of what they are claiming.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    I am absolutely calling them liars.

    How is it not a hoax if the New York Times decided to publish a list of names of Covid victims and included on the list were shooting victims?

    That is what a hoax means. The newspaper lying to your face on the front page.
  124. @Anonymous
    There is an extremely important distinction between Steve's position and mine.

    Steve wants to put a gun to my head and tell me I can't go to work and my kids cant go to school.

    I do not want to put a gun to Steve's head. If he doesn't want to go to a bar where people like me might not have gotten some fake vaccine or whatever, he is free to stay home.

    It's a free country. Or, you know, people used to say that.

    The problem is that around 70% of the people do not want to be around someone as foolish as you are. Letting you do what you want just causes most people to avoid situations where people refuse to use social distancing and other protective steps. Can any business survive catering to idiots who believe that Covid is a hoax while alienating the other 70%?

    • Replies: @Alexander Turok
    Indeed. I've suggested a liberty restoration plan for people who believe their freedumb is infringed by the lockdown: jus grant us the freedom to keep you away:

    https://alexanderturok.wordpress.com/2020/05/01/corona-my-liberty-restoration-plan/
  125. @res

    Total 68,974 $81,128.59 100%

    Because the victims skew so old, the total of 68,974 deaths (totaling about 901,000 YLL), have an average YLL of only about 13 — i.e., the average Covid-19 fatality cost 13 years of life lost. At $90K per, it thus would have been worth about $2.7 million to prevent an average Covid-19 death. Surprisingly, the total value of life lost has been only about $81 billion.
     
    Assuming the same number of deaths with the methodology I outlined above gives
    68,974 * 7.14 = 492500 QALYs lost. At $50-150k per QALY that gives a range of
    $25 -75 billion.

    So you get fairly similar results from a much simpler analysis. Nicely done.

    Taking the high end of the numbers I used (similar to yours) we get a figure of 7.14 * $150k = $1071k cost per fatality. Let's call that $1 million (one tenth of the VSL in the WaPo article). So even a high end fatality estimate like 1 million people would "only" be $1 trillion.

    What is the economic cost of the lockdowns again?

    P.S. But I don't understand this:

    the average Covid-19 fatality cost 13 years of life lost. At $90K per, it thus would have been worth about $2.7 million to prevent an average Covid-19 death.
     
    Isn't $90k * 13 = $1.17 million?

    Thanks, Res.

    You are right about the math error. Under this methodology it is, indeed, only $1.17 million in YLL per average Covid death — i.e., 13 years x $90K/yr. (I had used the “avg.” function for the column of $YLL by age cohort and forgot that the average would actually have to be value-weighted). So there is even less return on investment for each Covid death prevented.

    Another thing I did, that I didn’t mention in the last post, is to take a go at calculating the $YLL/infection/age group. By that, I mean I took the total number of people in each population age cohort, the number of deaths in that cohort, and assumed a constant infection rate of 12% for all groups. That yields an age-specific infection fatality rate (IFR) for each age cohort.

    These age-specific IFRs are massively tilted against the elderly: (0-24=.00047%); (25-34 =.0085%); (35-44=.0024%); (45-54 =0668%); (55-64=(.1638%); (65-74=.3950%); (74-85 = 1.008%); (85+= 2.8679%).

    If you multiply the age-specific fatality rate, times the YLL for each group based on life expectancy, times the $90K per year figure, you get the monetary value of preventing an infection for a member of each age group. As it turns out, young people may have many years left to live but old people are so much more vulnerable that the value of protecting the elderly is actually far greater.

    Here is what I got for the value of preventing an infection. (0-24=$28.54); (25-34 = $378.11); (35-44= $872.69); (45-54 =$1,916.86); (55-64=$3,523.95); (65-74=$5,598.92); (75-84 = $8,393.97); (85+= $13,873.65).

    So the ROI of preventing the infection of an 85 year-old is approximately 486x greater than preventing an infection of a 12 year-old. And this is fully accounting for the 12 year-old’s far greater life expectancy. Perhaps this type of trade-off was worth thinking about when they decided to close the elementary schools while dumping Covid-positive patients in nursing homes.

    P.S., It occurs to me that the $90K per year figure that I used, happens to be the $10 million per life divided by a life expectancy of 90, which is the age demographers apparently sometimes use as a shorthand figure for calculating YLL. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if both numbers actually come from the same place.

  126. @Coag
    The taboo concept is that mass deaths of senior citizens will have an unambiguously positive net effect on the economy in terms of Medicare and social security savings. The concept rightfully should remain a taboo but it’s self-evident to any economists practicing actual economics.

    The concept rightfully should remain a taboo

    Could you explain why?

    • Replies: @Coag
    No; moral axioms do not and cannot sustain reasoning.
    , @dfordoom


    The concept rightfully should remain a taboo
     
    Could you explain why?
     
    If you need that explained to you then I feel very sorry for you.
  127. @Kratoklastes

    their statistical life expectancy
     
    So long as that's their current life expectancy, not the life expectancy at birth of their age cohort. Current 80 year olds are all 10+ years past their life expectancy at birth - partly because when they were born, infant mortality was 20%. They've also outlived everyone else in their birth cohort, so necessarily exceeded expectations.

    An average 80 year old has a life expectancy of more than ten years - but their HALE (health-adjusted life expectancy) is significantly less than half of that: they drop off the twig at about 20% a year. And the sicker the 80-year-old, the shorter the HALE and the larger the proportion who can be expected to die in a given 12 month period.

    Kratoklastes, I would appreciate it if you would take a look at the Andrew Briggs link and spreadsheet I posted. You have the background and statistical chops to critique it (more so than I do IMHO) and I would like to know your opinion. Thanks in advance.

  128. @Hypnotoad666
    The math a cost-benefit analysis does not seem particularly complicated. Mostly, you just need the data for the age ranges of the victims and their statistical life expectancy in order to calculate their years of life lost (YLL). And then you need to decide how much each year of life is worth. Additionally, if you can guess at how many infections there have been, you can figure out the dollar value of harm caused by each additional infection (and how much it would be worth to prevent it).

    A few days ago, I downloaded the CDC's data on deaths by age and sex (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid_weekly/index.htm), which includes 68,974 deaths through 5-20-20. I looked up the life expectancy of the various ages (using the mean of the age range reported by the CDC), and ran some spreadsheet calculations of my own. I picked $90,000 as the value of a YLL because I think I saw that number used in some insurance calculations. But anyone could adjust it up or down according to preference and all the numbers would change proportionately.

    I thought the results were pretty interesting. (I don't know how to attach or display a spreadsheet graph here, so I'll have to try to list some key numbers). Anyway,

    I. Value of Life Lost by Age Cohort

    Age Group Deaths YLL/Death $YLL Value (Mil.) %YLL Value
    0-24 65 67.05 392.24 .48%
    25-34 463 49.75 2,073.08 2.56%
    35-44 1186 40.5 4,322.97 5.33%
    45-54 3338 31.85 9,575.88 11.8%
    55-64 8312 23.9 17,879.11 22.04%
    65-74 14447 15.75 20,478.62 25.24%
    75-84 18621 9.25 15,501.98 19.11%
    85+ 22542 5.375 10,904.69 13.44%

    Total 68,974 $81,128.59 100%


    Because the victims skew so old, the total of 68,974 deaths (totaling about 901,000 YLL), have an average YLL of only about 13 -- i.e., the average Covid-19 fatality cost 13 years of life lost. At $90K per, it thus would have been worth about $2.7 million to prevent an average Covid-19 death. Surprisingly, the total value of life lost has been only about $81 billion.

    Another interesting calculation for planning purposes is: "How much is it worth to prevent one additional Covid-19 infection?" Say the infection fatality rate is .03%. That means one infection will statistically cause .0003 deaths. If it is worth $2.7 million to prevent an average Covid-19 death, then it is worth approximately $821.64 to prevent one additional infection.

    Given these numbers is it worth it to tank $4-5 trillion in GDP to prevent another $81 billion in lost life years? And if there is a 1/1000 chance of getting Covid from having a haircut, would you rather have the haircut or have your life statistically reduced by 82 cents worth of risk?

    I hope someone with influence on decisions is thinking like this. But it doesn't seem like it. Right now it seems like a lot of arm flailing and emotion at all levels.

    Total 68,974 $81,128.59 100%

    H-Toad, thanks for the analysis, but the problem is that the point of the lockdown was to *prevent* an epidemic.

    So the savings isn’t the lives lost it is the value of the lives that *would have been* lost without it.

    Doing my physicsy back-on-the-envelope:

    1oyrs * 100k/year and 1,000,000 lives saved => 1 trilion $.

    Now, i personally don’t buy the $1m value for these lives. Does a typical American family actually value their 80 year old grandma/pa’s life at $1m. Sure they love them, but if offered a deal–“Hey, you Grandma is going to die this year unless you come up with $1m in which case they will live to 90 and then die”–would they go into debt to take it? Would Grandma/pa actually want their family to go into a $1m dollar debt for that? I sure as hell would not. My kids should put their spending power toward stuff like “buying a house” and “filling it with children”. There is a “natural order” to life.

    ~~

    The other big issue here is the deaths saved. I think 1 million is a pretty good estimate of what you’d have gotten letting this run free. (200m infections to get toward herd immunity and 0.5% dying.)

    However, the issue is whether the lockdown actually *saves* those lives. If there’s no vaccine, coming, then you’re going to continue to hemorrhage lives over the next several flu seasons until you approach herd immunity. So maybe you end up at 1 million anyway. And much less drastic and expensive changes in behavior–let me see, um, uh, … wearing masks!–can do that for you at orders of magnitude lower cost.

    To me there were only a few sensible approaches:

    — Stamp it out.
    Slam the borders shut. Everyone masked up. Hard quarantine on the sick. Contact tracing. Aggressive test-everyone, again and again, testing regime. Lockdown except for essential services as necessary to contain/extinguish it.

    — Check and control it until vaccine–i.e. mask up.
    Same as above on borders. But control is just everyone masking up in public places and good medical advice. But don’t lock down and encourage normal economic activity.

    — Do nothing and “let it rip!” to herd immunity.

    We clearly didn’t try to stamp it out. We didn’t seal the border. (Heck, there’s still flights from China–Air China 983 will land at LAX in a few minutes–though admittedly China might be one of the less infected places right now.) There are still immigrants coming in, still refugees coming in. We didn’t mask up. We aren’t contact tracing. We aren’t aggressively testing. We don’t have hard quarantines. But we “locked down” and forced millions of businesses to close up. Genius.

    • Replies: @res
    Hopefully the analyses I presented can help answer your numerical questions.

    Regarding approaches. I think a controlled run to herd immunity (using countermeasures to keep Re in the 1.5-2 range to prevent HI overshoot and/or general loss of control, say causing hospital overload) among the lowest risk groups while protecting the most vulnerable would be a worthy addition to your options. Some rough rules of thumb:

    Ages 0-45 go about their business as usual (modulo avoiding elders as possible). Ages 45-60 take self protection measures as they feel appropriate. Ages 60 and up are given special assistance to enable isolation (e.g. meal delivery).

    Thoughts?
  129. @James Speaks
    Once upon a time I was a substitute teacher for a middle school. My co-sub told the kiddies, “You can talk but not too loudly.” I, of course, did the mandatory face palm.

    Middle school kiddies do not understand moderation.

    We will all have to acquire immunity either by surviving the disease or by vaccine. The lockdown was enacted to prevent a collapse of the healthcare system. We can’t have doctors and nurses dying en mass.

    Now that we managed to slow the progression, the tactic being used is to keep it from spreading too fast. If that fails, like my kiddies failed to talk but not too loudly, then another clamp down is warranted.

    The tradeoff is between collapse of the nation via the economy versus collapse of the nation via destruction of health care, but this statement is too dire for the plebs to digest. Thus we direct their attention to minutia.

    “ The tradeoff is between collapse of the nation via the economy versus collapse of the nation via destruction of health care, but this statement is too dire for the plebs to digest. ”

    It was never either of those things. Like usual, the plebs understood more than their “betters.”

    • Replies: @James Speaks

    It was never either of those things. Like usual, the plebs understood more than their “betters.”
     
    The plebs don't know the difference between antivirals and antibiotics, between dissolved O2 and H2O, nor the significance of viral load. I get my information from specialists actively treating the disease. Where do you get your uninformed notion from?
  130. @Almost Missouri
    Steve, thanks for addressing the big underlying COVID question head-on.

    P.S. Re Mozart, from back when The Atlantic was still a serious publication, neglected Austrian composer Ernst Toch's grandson quoted his grandfather thus:


    Whenever he encountered anyone complaining about Mozart's dying so young, he'd erupt, "For God's sake, what more did you want from the man?"
     
    The article is a good sort of In Memoriam-type story overall. I commend it to anyone interested in music, composing, or early 20th c. Austria. It's practically unfindable on The Atlantic's website. Along with their writing quality, the quality of their archives and search function has fallen off a cliff. I only managed to dredge up the old article with the help of some Google hacks.

    Another choice line:


    Lilly's father was a banker, and she was thus a princess of the highly assimilated Jewish aristocracy -- a class whose idolatry of things German and corresponding disdain for things Jewish (specifically Eastern European Jewish) could verge on the anti-Semitic.
     
    There's a lot of sharp observations about the time and place, as well as about Ernst Toch's struggle, first to stand on the shoulders of giants like Mozart, and then to broadcast the fruits of his achievement.

    "If Mozart was possible," he would sometimes declare, "then the word impossible should be eliminated from our vocabulary."
     
    Alas for the lost age when the Chosen People and the Master Race labored jointly for the enrichment of mankind!

    Along with their writing quality, the quality of their archives and search function has fallen off a cliff.

    The Atlantic’s been reduced to boilerplate CCP-style propaganda.

    Their recent article on The Prime Minister of New Zealand is a perfect example.

    There’s no real thought and definitely no integrity invovled in writing like that.

    All one gets is non-stop virtue signalling told in a snarky, know-it-all tone of voice.

    They’re just posers blissfully unaware of how crackbrained and petty they are.

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
    Obviously I agree. The sad part about it is supposedly this Idiocracy-version of The Atlantic has revived it financially, so I guess there is a big market for aggressive stupidity. I don't know why those readers couldn't have been contented with BuzzFeed and MSNBC, but maybe they feel an extra frisson of smugness doing their voodoo dances while wearing the skinsuit of a formerly respectable institution.
  131. @Anonymous
    I have known that it targets elderly for what, 3-4 months now. The 15% dead of 80-90yo, and 6% for 70-79yo was already known from Wuhan for a long time. It does reap a lot of people who are at the end of life, no question. But the risk is more than a bad flu by about 10x or so. Just look at the deaths from the cruise ships. Someone healthy enough to go on a cruise ship isn't usually going to get taken out by the flu.

    Still, I would have thought 70-79 yo were more numerous than 80+ yo. Maybe they are but healthier. I would still prefer not to get it, but I get quite badly impacted by flu. I think given the info we had at the time, the drive for elimination wasn't a mistake. As a practical matter there are problems with "let 'er rip" and a flattened curve.

    And yes I am very well aware of the politicization of AIDS. It was a hard one for the homos as it was an incurable death sentence... or... wear a condom.

    And yes I am very well aware of the politicization of AIDS. It was a hard one for the homos as it was an incurable death sentence… or… wear a condom.

    What are you, some kind of Nazi?

  132. @Gurney Halleck
    I'm a gushing Beethoven obsessive so the less I say the better, but I can't help myself...

    His genius and productivity has always been a problem for subsequent composers. How can you match up to that? Alex Ross's review of Jan Swafford's magisterial biography of the maestro ("Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph," 2014) touches on that note:

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/10/20/deus-ex-musica

    I believe after Beethoven the most original voice in classical music is Chopin, who straight up ignored Beethoven's works.

    One sad thing about Beethoven's death at 56 (I like to think of his lifespan as that of a Mozart or Schubert who was lucky enough to be granted another 22 years) is that had he lived just a few more years (and been healthy enough) he would have repeated Haydn's journey to London and become very wealthy. He would also likely have eventually met Chopin, Berlioz, Schumann, and Schubert (I believe that, despite lack of written evidence to the contrary, Beethoven had to have known of Schubert by reputation seeing as how they lived a few miles apart and knew the same publishers, musicians, aristocrats etc. In one of the surviving "conversation books" (people conversing with Beethoven had to do so in writing by the 1820s) he is asked "Do you know The Elfking?" by one of his musician friends. We don't know the answer. That's Schubert's famous song which he wrote at age 15 (turn on the captions)):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JS91p-vmSf0

    Incidentally, in his 20s Beethoven himself tried to set that same Goethe poem to music but there's a reason only Schubert's version is known...

    I personally find Schubert’s early death the saddest thing in modern history! Tbh I find it hard to get worked up about any political or socio-economic events: Napoleon wins Waterloo? Who cares? We’d end up in more or less the same (bad) place by alternative routes. But Schubert living well into the 19th century, studying counterpoint, assimilating Bach, writing opera and concertos, meeting and being influenced by Chopin……an amazing dream!

    On Mozart’s early death I feel less sentimental because I think his life would have smothered the young Beethoven. So if Mozart had lived, no Beethoven as we know him. But Schubert could have lived into a relative vacuum of talent.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    On Mozart’s early death I feel less sentimental because I think his life would have smothered the young Beethoven. So if Mozart had lived, no Beethoven as we know him. But Schubert could have lived into a relative vacuum of talent.

    Iron sharpens iron. Just like the Beatles and the Beach Boys.

    As the twin GOATs of classical, extra years of either may have produced something special but we'll never know unfortunately.
    , @Gurney Halleck
    Schubert was a tremendous loss. There's a really captivating documentary on youtube by Sir Andras Schiff (a character himself) in which he talks about his admiration for Schubert. At one point Schiff states that it's useless to speculate "what have been" with Schubert and that he lived a full life, which is an interesting point.

    By the way in that documentary Schiff states that, for him, this song by Schubert contains more drama than the entire output of Richard Wagner. Surely an exaggeration but what a song!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpabBV2FfkY

  133. res says:
    @res
    I looked for QALY analysis of COVID-19 and did not see much (quantity). The best I found (and it is very good indeed IMHO) was from Andrew Briggs who has been looking at this topic for decades. This very short 2000 paper has a table with incremental costs per QALY which might be helpful for comparison.
    Using cost effectiveness information
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1117441/
    The table ranges from
    Pacemaker for atrioventricular heart block £700 to
    Haemodialysis in hospital £14 000

    Here is a recent tweet from him for ID purposes. I did not see much in his Twitter, but if anyone wants to dig deeper feel free.

    https://twitter.com/HEvigilante/status/1251461986740850689

    Here is a very recent presentation he did:
    https://avalonecon.com/moving-beyond-lives-saved-from-covid-19/
    The presentation (video) is available at
    https://www.ispor.org/conferences-education/conferences/upcoming-conferences/ispor-2020/program/covid-19-plenary-session
    If you go to the trouble of registering his segment goes from about 1:27:00 of the video to 1:36:30 (a worthwhile 10 minutes if you want to understand this, some notes below).

    He refers to his role as a HEOR (Health Economics and Outcomes Research) modeler. In contrast to infectious disease epidemiology.

    SMR is Standardized Mortality Ratio parameter (adjust for comorbidities).
    SMR1, SMR2, and SMR3 represent normal risk, 2x, and 3x risk relative to background (through comorbidities IIUC)
    For example: diabetes has SMR = 1.5, heart failure has SMR = 1.5, together in range 2-3 (all approximate)

    He looks at three separate metrics.
    LE - Life Expectancy
    QALE - Quality Adjusted Life Expectancy
    dQALYs - discounted Quality-Adjusted Life Years

    Notice pattern of COVID-19 UK deaths being much older than US deaths!

    Now on to my thoughts.

    First, the big thing I see missing is he does not really integrate the presence or absence of comorbidities with COVID-19 deaths with the age at death. I think the intended approach is to give an idea of how SMR affects the analysis. To that end I think a reasonable first order approach is to focus on somewhere around SMR2 as being a useful estimate of the average COVID-19 death.

    Second, I'm not sure how to feel about his use of discounting. It might make for a more "accurate" number, but I think it makes the figure less intuitive so I will focus on QALE (which I think is essentially the same as QALY).

    This post discusses values in the range of $50-150k per QALY:
    https://conversableeconomist.blogspot.com/2018/06/whats-value-of-qaly.html

    Now let's look at Figure 5 and focus on the 7 QALE estimate per US COVID-19 death at SMR2. I include the figure to give some idea of how the value might vary by country or SMR estimate.

    https://avalonecon.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/FIG5-1.png

    Using that 7 year figure and $50-150k per QALY value we get a range of $350-1050k per COVID-19 death.

    Contrast that range with the $10M per VSL used in the WaPo article.

    What does everyone think?

    P.S. What makes this even better is he made his spreadsheet available! To use it go to the Results sheet. It says to choose country from a pull down list, but I don't see that. Just enter one of the following five countries as text: UK, US, Canada, Norway, Israel
    Then he offers two scenarios (a and b) in addition to a baseline. You enter SMR and qCM (percentage of population norm QoL associated with that SMR) for each scenario along with a discount rate used for all three scenarios. The spreadsheet then calculates LE/QALE/dQALY values for each age bucket in the three scenarios along with a weighted mean. If you enter US as the country you can see 7.14 QALE as the weighted mean for scenario a (middle visually) which is a more accurate version of the 7 years I gave above.

    P.P.S. One more point I think is worth making. The fatality rate varies roughly exponentially by age so using age bucket averages will overestimate the QALY etc. for each bucket because there will be disproportionately many deaths at the older (fewer QALYs left) end of the bucket. This comment has a discussion about a similar issue which might help if anyone wants to try calculating the magnitude of the effect (probably not enough to really worry about, but worth mentioning IMHO):
    https://www.unz.com/jthompson/europe-sickens/#comment-3886416

    To help put these numbers in perspective I did two follow on analyses. I looked at what would be the average QALYs lost if the demographics were like the US population (2010 census, https://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-03.pdf ) and if the demographics were like motor vehicle accident fatalities (2017 CDC data, https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr68/nvsr68_09-508.pdf ).

    I had to fudge around with the age buckets a bit because they did not match perfectly. I’ll give details if anyone is curious.

    For these analyses I assumed SMR = 1 meaning the fatalities had average levels of comorbidities. Recall I used SMR = 2 for COVID-19 fatalities.

    With 2010 census population demographics:
    Age Population Proportion
    0-9 13%
    10-19 14%
    20-29 14%
    30-39 13%
    40-49 14%
    50-59 14%
    60-69 9%
    70-79 5%
    80-90 3%
    90-100 1%

    I calculated average QALYs lost per fatality at 37 or about 5x the COVID-19 fatalities. This is the result if we picked victims at random. Which is probably how VSL is conceptualized–at least intuitively. So using VSL as a base we derive an equivalent of
    $10M / 37 = $270k per QALY lost. Notice how high (roughly 2-5x) that is relative to the $50-150k range I quoted above.

    With 2017 MVA fatality demographics:
    0-9 2%
    10-19 10%
    20-29 17%
    30-39 15%
    40-49 14%
    50-59 15%
    60-69 12%
    70-79 8%
    80-90 6%
    90-100 1%

    I calculated average QALYs lost per fatality at 31 or about 4x the COVID-19 fatalities.

    Now let’s calculate the economic cost of those MVA fatalities using the same methodology as above. There were 40,231 MVA fatalities in 2017 giving:
    40,231 * 31 = 1.25 million QALYs lost. Using the same range of $50-150k per QALY that gives us
    $62.4 – 187 billion in one year.

    Now compare that to 200,000 (to pick a number) hypothetical COVID-19 deaths (assuming the same age demographics as seen so far):
    200,000 * 7.14 = 1.43 million QALYs lost.

    So from that analysis 200,000 COVID-19 deaths would result in about 15% more QALYs lost than a single years worth of motor vehicle accidents.

    Any thoughts on that comparison?

    P.S. I would appreciate it if people would engage with my analyses in this thread in a critical (but also thoughtful) fashion. If I have made a mistake I want to know about it.

  134. @Richard B

    The concept rightfully should remain a taboo
     
    Could you explain why?

    No; moral axioms do not and cannot sustain reasoning.

  135. @VinnyVette
    What's your take on the CDC posting extremely low death #'s from flu this year and declaring that "this has been an extremely mild flu year"! Do we need experts or charts and graphs to connect the dots that an exorbitant amount of flu deaths have been racked up as Covid? Nice comment btw exactly how i see it!

    What’s your take on the CDC posting extremely low death #’s from flu this year and declaring that “this has been an extremely mild flu year”! Do we need experts or charts and graphs to connect the dots that an exorbitant amount of flu deaths have been racked up as Covid?

    It’s more likely that the lockdowns have been responsible for the very low number of flu cases (and death). We’re seeing the same very low numbers of fu deaths in Australia as well as we head into flu season.

    So the lockdowns have almost certainly saved thousands of lives of people who would have died this year of flu. That’s something you might want to factor into your equations about the long-term economic benefits of the lockdowns.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon

    It’s more likely that the lockdowns have been responsible for the very low number of flu cases (and death).
     
    Flu deaths peak in January/February. More likely is that a couple of mild flu seasons in a row left more people available for COVID to kill.
  136. res says:
    @AnotherDad


    ...

    Total 68,974 $81,128.59 100%
     
    H-Toad, thanks for the analysis, but the problem is that the point of the lockdown was to *prevent* an epidemic.

    So the savings isn't the lives lost it is the value of the lives that *would have been* lost without it.

    Doing my physicsy back-on-the-envelope:

    1oyrs * 100k/year and 1,000,000 lives saved => 1 trilion $.

    Now, i personally don't buy the $1m value for these lives. Does a typical American family actually value their 80 year old grandma/pa's life at $1m. Sure they love them, but if offered a deal--"Hey, you Grandma is going to die this year unless you come up with $1m in which case they will live to 90 and then die"--would they go into debt to take it? Would Grandma/pa actually want their family to go into a $1m dollar debt for that? I sure as hell would not. My kids should put their spending power toward stuff like "buying a house" and "filling it with children". There is a "natural order" to life.

    ~~

    The other big issue here is the deaths saved. I think 1 million is a pretty good estimate of what you'd have gotten letting this run free. (200m infections to get toward herd immunity and 0.5% dying.)

    However, the issue is whether the lockdown actually *saves* those lives. If there's no vaccine, coming, then you're going to continue to hemorrhage lives over the next several flu seasons until you approach herd immunity. So maybe you end up at 1 million anyway. And much less drastic and expensive changes in behavior--let me see, um, uh, ... wearing masks!--can do that for you at orders of magnitude lower cost.

    To me there were only a few sensible approaches:

    -- Stamp it out.
    Slam the borders shut. Everyone masked up. Hard quarantine on the sick. Contact tracing. Aggressive test-everyone, again and again, testing regime. Lockdown except for essential services as necessary to contain/extinguish it.

    -- Check and control it until vaccine--i.e. mask up.
    Same as above on borders. But control is just everyone masking up in public places and good medical advice. But don't lock down and encourage normal economic activity.

    -- Do nothing and "let it rip!" to herd immunity.

    We clearly didn't try to stamp it out. We didn't seal the border. (Heck, there's still flights from China--Air China 983 will land at LAX in a few minutes--though admittedly China might be one of the less infected places right now.) There are still immigrants coming in, still refugees coming in. We didn't mask up. We aren't contact tracing. We aren't aggressively testing. We don't have hard quarantines. But we "locked down" and forced millions of businesses to close up. Genius.

    Hopefully the analyses I presented can help answer your numerical questions.

    Regarding approaches. I think a controlled run to herd immunity (using countermeasures to keep Re in the 1.5-2 range to prevent HI overshoot and/or general loss of control, say causing hospital overload) among the lowest risk groups while protecting the most vulnerable would be a worthy addition to your options. Some rough rules of thumb:

    Ages 0-45 go about their business as usual (modulo avoiding elders as possible). Ages 45-60 take self protection measures as they feel appropriate. Ages 60 and up are given special assistance to enable isolation (e.g. meal delivery).

    Thoughts?

    • Replies: @Travis
    The key to reducing deaths is keeping the nursing homes safer, since the majority of the fatalities have been among nursing home residents.. All nursing home workers need to be tested and those who have the Wahu flu should be prevented from working in nursing homes...they need to stop sending COVID19 patients into nursing homes, send the COVID19 patients to special quarantine facilities until they clear the virus.

    It is difficult to imagine our hospitals will be overrun, this never occurred in NY or NJ during the peak 7 weeks ago. Instead of building hospitals , they should have taken over some of the empty hotels to quarantine those with coronavirus , most of whom had mild symptoms. If we had quarantined the sick nursing home residents it may have prevented the rapid spread among the nursing home facilities and saved lives..

    If we think a second wave is coming in November, they should have a plan to quarantine the sick. If you test positive, the government orders you to a quarantine facility until you clear the virus to prevent you from spreading it to others, like Chris Cuomo spread it to his entire family when he was "quarantined" is his basement. Testing without quarantining the sick is almost pointless.
  137. Anonymous[413] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Thanks. So to get a heads up about a possible Second Wave next November-December, keep and eye on Australia and New Zealand.

    No problem. Yes, that survey is definitely a useful data point.

    One thing to bear in mind is that with flu also at very low incidence (if not eliminated in AU except from animal reservoirs if they exist), is that due to exponential growth starting from a low ebb, we won’t necessarily see that curve moved until there are an appreciable number of cases. The R(effective) may have moved up but we would only know it from the CV stats (which will be a good indication because AU is testing everyone with symptoms now and has been for a month or so).

    However, as an indication that the measures Australia has put in place have been effective in lowering transmission, I think it’s inarguable because of the record flu symptom lows at a time when normally 2.2% of the population has fever/cough, and bearing in mind that even in the s0-called “peak” of the flu season, it’s only 2.9% of the population that has such symptoms. 0.2% compared to 2.2%, it may even be at a baseline and including people who just have a perpetual cough, or are susceptible to a cough. i.e. maybe it’s impossible to actually hit zero.

    Yes, Australia started with a seasonal advantage, but AU’s actions have very, very obviously had a massive real-world impact, beyond question.

    As I have said before, zero x something is still zero, so if your transmission prevention is on point, the season won’t shift what’s happening much, R will still be less than zero and the only thing that will shift is the halving time. If you have no cases at all, seasonality won’t make any difference.

    If in the unlikely case now that no measures are in place, then the doubling time will be larger in a flu season one would expect, but you’d still get doubling otherwise why would places like Singapore not be able to control effectively. Maybe I’m wrong on that though.

    I think where the biggest difference will be in the mild to moderate measure region where R is around 1 for either season with a level of measures in place. There you will see growth or decline.

    The cruise ships are also an indication that the season is not a magical preventative. But we will see how things go. If seasonality has reasonable impact, then a policy of elimination by border control + extra effort in the non-flu season of each hemisphere may be workable.

  138. I imagine a lotta govt planners and technocrats are sitting around saying good…..”less Social Security and pension and health care liability…..more money for us and the politicians to loot….”

  139. Using seretology studies from Spain and Italy, and applying their age-group death rates to our demographics, and assuming herd immunity at 60%, we will ultimately suffer between 670,000 and 825,000 deaths, assuming no vaccine or game-changing treatment. (That’s an IFR of between 0.56% and 0.70%.)

    Applying the Social Security Administration actuary table, the average estimated remaining lifespan of each victim was 8.5 years. So a total of 6.4 million years of life will be lost due to Covid.

    During the flu of 2018, (a bad flu but not bad enough to be a news event) the total years of life lost was 2.0 million. (That flu killed 80,000, but the average years of life lost per victim was 23 because the flu has a younger victim profile.) So going purely by years of life lost, the Covid-19 event is merely 3.2 times as bad as a bad flu season.

    Are all the measures were are taking to mitigate Covid-19 appropriate if the disaster is only 3.2 times that of a bad flu season? The disparity between Covid-19 and the 2018 Flu is even smaller if you assume the final year or two of life is inevitably a lower quality of life.

  140. @Anon
    The coronavirus ski resort lawsuits begin.

    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/class-action-lawsuit-launched-over-covid-19-ski-resort-1.4235393

    This is going to be interesting over the next few years what random targets the trial lawyers go after….especially in the USA….

  141. @Richard B

    The concept rightfully should remain a taboo
     
    Could you explain why?

    The concept rightfully should remain a taboo

    Could you explain why?

    If you need that explained to you then I feel very sorry for you.

    • Troll: Richard B
    • Replies: @Richard B
    In other words, you have no answer.

    Childish and Pathetic.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

  142. @Gurney Halleck
    I'm a gushing Beethoven obsessive so the less I say the better, but I can't help myself...

    His genius and productivity has always been a problem for subsequent composers. How can you match up to that? Alex Ross's review of Jan Swafford's magisterial biography of the maestro ("Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph," 2014) touches on that note:

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/10/20/deus-ex-musica

    I believe after Beethoven the most original voice in classical music is Chopin, who straight up ignored Beethoven's works.

    One sad thing about Beethoven's death at 56 (I like to think of his lifespan as that of a Mozart or Schubert who was lucky enough to be granted another 22 years) is that had he lived just a few more years (and been healthy enough) he would have repeated Haydn's journey to London and become very wealthy. He would also likely have eventually met Chopin, Berlioz, Schumann, and Schubert (I believe that, despite lack of written evidence to the contrary, Beethoven had to have known of Schubert by reputation seeing as how they lived a few miles apart and knew the same publishers, musicians, aristocrats etc. In one of the surviving "conversation books" (people conversing with Beethoven had to do so in writing by the 1820s) he is asked "Do you know The Elfking?" by one of his musician friends. We don't know the answer. That's Schubert's famous song which he wrote at age 15 (turn on the captions)):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JS91p-vmSf0

    Incidentally, in his 20s Beethoven himself tried to set that same Goethe poem to music but there's a reason only Schubert's version is known...

    The visualization, otherwise ingenious, is unfortunate and distortive in one fundamental respect.

    Early on the poem unequivocally says that the father holds his son warm and safe in his arms. Therefore, the boy must be considerably younger and smaller than in the visualization, and above all not sitting on the horse behind his father, rather independently. Instead, he should be visualized as a frightful kid of perhaps eight, nine years, and as sitting before his father, between his arms and, emotionally, in his lap.

  143. But, say that 10% of those who get infected and survive lose an average of 5 QALYs off their lives. That’s an order of magnitude greater QALY toll than that from immediate lethality.

    So far all I’ve seen about this were some personal anecdotes in MSM, and I trust those about as much as I trust OP-ed about whiteys’ fascination with black hair. No serious studies seem to be available. There have also been reports that not all infected get lasting immunity, but again no statistics is available. Going by my lying eyes, everybody of note eventually fully recovers. Oh, and flu can also have devastating long-term effects. A lot depends also on how those seriously affected patients were treated, e.g. excessive use of ventilators might lead to long-term problems.

    If these two weak papers are the best our scientific community could produce after two months of this calamity, we are in big trouble. I think it is time to emulate the empirical approach of some countries: most people can return to work taking appropriate precautions – masks for now & sensible social distancing, those vulnerable say older than 65 and chronically sick can stay in self-isolation with help from social services and volunteers. Of course that would require masks to be widely available…

  144. @Guest007
    The problem is that around 70% of the people do not want to be around someone as foolish as you are. Letting you do what you want just causes most people to avoid situations where people refuse to use social distancing and other protective steps. Can any business survive catering to idiots who believe that Covid is a hoax while alienating the other 70%?

    Indeed. I’ve suggested a liberty restoration plan for people who believe their freedumb is infringed by the lockdown: jus grant us the freedom to keep you away:

    https://alexanderturok.wordpress.com/2020/05/01/corona-my-liberty-restoration-plan/

  145. @Anonymous
    There is an extremely important distinction between Steve's position and mine.

    Steve wants to put a gun to my head and tell me I can't go to work and my kids cant go to school.

    I do not want to put a gun to Steve's head. If he doesn't want to go to a bar where people like me might not have gotten some fake vaccine or whatever, he is free to stay home.

    It's a free country. Or, you know, people used to say that.

    my kids cant go to school

    Your kids probably go to a school funded by the public i.e. people who have been forced to fund it by a gun pointed at their head.

    It’s a free country

    If freedumb means having to be infected with corona, I prefer the Chinese system.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon

    If freedumb means having to be infected with corona, I prefer the Chinese system.
     
    Then go live there. You won't be missed.
  146. @al-Gharaniq
    The fact that the Chinese were willing to shut down an entire city, let alone their entire country, on a moment's notice sends a strong signal that COVID-19 (or the Wuhan virus) is probably more dangerous than it seems. China by far has the most accurate data on the virus (granted, them sharing it another issue) simply by their larger population and lack of privacy on any personal data.

    Normally, I wouldn't think that China would value human life enough to enforce draconian lockdown measures; if the lethality were low were enough to be appalling but still acceptable, they'd let it run its course. But they didn't, and instead imposed ridiculous quarantine measures. Which, to me at least, means that this virus, left unchecked, is bad enough to appall even the Chinese. This doesn't necessarily imply it had high death rate, but its side effects are bad enough that it'll seriously hamper a population.

    I mean, imagine if this virus were like airborne HIV. The initial infection gives you a bad flu, but then you "get better" after a short while. It's not until 1 to 3 years down the line that its actual side effects begin to show, but by that point, 80% of the population has it.

    imagine if this virus were like airborne HIV. The initial infection gives you a bad flu, but then you “get better” after a short while. It’s not until 1 to 3 years down the line that its actual side effects begin to show, but by that point, 80% of the population has it.

    Imagine if an asteroid hits us in two weeks and a giant tsunami destroys all life on Earth, a very realistic scenario for which we currently have no remedy. This is supposed to be a free country and people are supposed to be able to choose their own fate, hopefully aided by an open and free discussion and scientific research.

    As to you pious reference to Chinese measures, it was the first country to encounter the virus and they already had issues with SARS a few years ago, so it was natural for them to overreact. They shut down only 5% of the China, and more importantly they had resources and political will to do a full-scale Night of the Living Dead military quarantine. Oh, and now they are successfully using the current situation to further their economic dominance.

  147. Life is a bitch. Grow up!

  148. @Coag
    The taboo concept is that mass deaths of senior citizens will have an unambiguously positive net effect on the economy in terms of Medicare and social security savings. The concept rightfully should remain a taboo but it’s self-evident to any economists practicing actual economics.

    mass deaths of senior citizens will have an unambiguously positive net effect on the economy in terms of Medicare and social security

    Are you trying to start a conspiracy theory that the Paul Ryan wing of the Republican party started Covid as a form of “entitlement reform?”

  149. Well, you can calculate all the QALYs and DAlYs you want, but a big, big assumption is being made here- that we saved lives so far, or that we will save any going forward.

    For me, that is the question that should be addressed first– did we have any effect at all?

  150. How about the hidden cost of accustoming government officials to instituting draconian emergency orders? We have established the principal that governors can do damned near anything if they declare an emergency. What if they someday declare an emergency and declare that the population shall be decimated – every tenth person killed. That’s ridiculous, you would say. Okay, what if it were every hundredth person? Every thousandth? What number would be acceptable? Because that was just done – some fraction of the population was condemned to death by the shutdowns through suicide, panic-induced heart-attack, lack of a timely cancer diagnosis, etc.

    Some of our laws – deeply revered ones – are intended precisely to stop governments from doing things that might be economically expedient or even popular. In pure economic terms, it probably makes sense to euthanize people above a certain age. But we don’t do it. Why? Because it is evil.

    • Replies: @Alexander Turok
    If some people are such special snowflakes they off themselves because they can't handle a few months of self-quarantine, that's not the government "condemning people to death."

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VM9YxmULuo
  151. @Coag
    The taboo concept is that mass deaths of senior citizens will have an unambiguously positive net effect on the economy in terms of Medicare and social security savings. The concept rightfully should remain a taboo but it’s self-evident to any economists practicing actual economics.

    Bullshit. What about all of the money those people spend? What about all of the money in their bank account they spent a lifetime accumulating. Is that suddenly worthless the moment they retire? With that being said I’m extremely anti lockdown. We shouldn’t punish 98% of the people for something that would only affect 2% of people in a “let ‘er rip” approach. Especially when that 2% of people are often older with good health insurance and the 98% are often like me, young and with no health insurance. I think its ironic that we pay so much money for health insurance with nothing to show for it in this crisis. If I was permanently disabled in a car accident tomorrow it would be tough luck for me. Even though tens of thousands of Americans die in car accidents every year, we wouldn’t shut down civilization while we figured out a workaround for cars. Life isn’t fair and it never has been. I don’t know how we decided in this moment that we were going to make it fair by government decree. And that we’d die on that hill, metaphorically speaking. It’s man kinds ultimate folly to think he can control nature. Did the lockdown even do anything? If they wanted to prevent the virus spreading the federal government should have shut down international’s day possibly inter state travel in January, and started regulating international and inter state commerce much more intensely. The federal government didn’t do that, it’s official policy was wash your hands, don’t wear a mask, and let ‘er rip at least until halfway through March. Then they changed up the rules on us with zero warning. They should have had the military out enforcing quarantine with live rounds and bulldozing people into their homes. I would have been down for that. Instead we got a sort kinda half lock down where poor people who make hourly wage aren’t allowed to go to work, but rich people who make salary and have top notch health insurance are allowed to leave their homes for shopping at Walmart, target, and Home Depot then hit the McDonald’s drive through for lunch. Again I don’t think this lockdown did much because it wasn’t actually a lock down. Liquor stores have remained open, which is a good sign. It means at least one person in the government isn’t completely clueless when it comes to economics. You need income to survive. Liquor tax pays their income. But where is my income?

  152. @Almost Missouri
    Steve, thanks for addressing the big underlying COVID question head-on.

    P.S. Re Mozart, from back when The Atlantic was still a serious publication, neglected Austrian composer Ernst Toch's grandson quoted his grandfather thus:


    Whenever he encountered anyone complaining about Mozart's dying so young, he'd erupt, "For God's sake, what more did you want from the man?"
     
    The article is a good sort of In Memoriam-type story overall. I commend it to anyone interested in music, composing, or early 20th c. Austria. It's practically unfindable on The Atlantic's website. Along with their writing quality, the quality of their archives and search function has fallen off a cliff. I only managed to dredge up the old article with the help of some Google hacks.

    Another choice line:


    Lilly's father was a banker, and she was thus a princess of the highly assimilated Jewish aristocracy -- a class whose idolatry of things German and corresponding disdain for things Jewish (specifically Eastern European Jewish) could verge on the anti-Semitic.
     
    There's a lot of sharp observations about the time and place, as well as about Ernst Toch's struggle, first to stand on the shoulders of giants like Mozart, and then to broadcast the fruits of his achievement.

    "If Mozart was possible," he would sometimes declare, "then the word impossible should be eliminated from our vocabulary."
     
    Alas for the lost age when the Chosen People and the Master Race labored jointly for the enrichment of mankind!

    Thanks for that article.

  153. @JosephB

    By this all-in metric, then, coronavirus has led to about 27,000 excess deaths nationwide, a little less than one-third the number of deaths attributed to covid in media reports.
     
    Normally I'm with you in preferring mortality data as it's much harder to fudge. However, in this case things are a bit more complex:
    1. The lockdown decreased all-cause mortality: no traffic accidents, , fewer random (non-covid) infections, less homicide, ... Some people mention fewer elective procedure screwups with the closing of the hospital. Personally I see that as tougher to score as some patients who needed to be seen asap died at home.

    2. The mortality data is coming in somewhat slowly. For example, May 16 has an overall mortality rate of just 53%. We're comparing partial data vs. a baseline of all of the data from those weeks from past years.

    Both of those effects will cause the impact of covid to be understated. In theory, I see how to model #1 but lack the data and time. For #2, you could just ignore the last (somewhat arbitrarily) 4 weeks and compute the stats without those. You get 6% excess deaths for those weeks, or about 43k. Those numbers ignore the weeks with the largest impact of covid, and effect #1.

    So let's use mortality data, but let's be careful how we do it.

    The point of my comment is that you don’t need to fiddle with the numbers on the margins to see if the lockdown was worth it. The destruction of the lockdown outweighs the benefit by three orders of magnitude, give or take.

    • Agree: Kyle
  154. @Richard B

    Along with their writing quality, the quality of their archives and search function has fallen off a cliff.
     
    The Atlantic's been reduced to boilerplate CCP-style propaganda.

    Their recent article on The Prime Minister of New Zealand is a perfect example.

    There's no real thought and definitely no integrity invovled in writing like that.

    All one gets is non-stop virtue signalling told in a snarky, know-it-all tone of voice.

    They're just posers blissfully unaware of how crackbrained and petty they are.

    Obviously I agree. The sad part about it is supposedly this Idiocracy-version of The Atlantic has revived it financially, so I guess there is a big market for aggressive stupidity. I don’t know why those readers couldn’t have been contented with BuzzFeed and MSNBC, but maybe they feel an extra frisson of smugness doing their voodoo dances while wearing the skinsuit of a formerly respectable institution.

    • Replies: @Richard B
    Great comment.

    But I often wonder about them being revived financially.

    Because I've heard that before about other publications and news outlets.

    It very well may be.

    But they also might be lying.

    I certainly wouldn't put it past them.
  155. @candid_observer
    What am I not getting here?

    100,000 * $10,000,000 = $1T

    right?

    But the impact of the shutdown has been far over $1T -- the various government programs alone, which don't fully cover losses by any means, amount already to over $4T. So if we go up to 400,000 dead (and likely even up to 1,000,000 given a more realistic estimate of eventual costs of $10T) we're still well within the already incurred losses, right?

    So if we're already well behind our "allotted" deaths, why isn't the current cure worse than the disease?

    That’s remarkably straightforward. Take the excess increase in debt. Divide by 10MM/ life. At that cost, 1.6 mm lives saved is cheap, and100,000 is expensive.

  156. @Bill P
    The losses younger people are incurring due to the lockdown are staggering. I live in Washington state, which due to our governor and some bad luck (heavily reliant on Boeing) is the hardest hit state in the US. Possibly one of the worst places on earth in terms of economic damage. Over 30% unemployment, and people aren't even allowed to get a haircut, send their kids to school or go to church.

    I don't know whether I'll be able to stay here. I got wiped out by a divorce in 2008, just when the recession started, and it took me years to climb out of that hole. Now this.

    Sometimes it leaves you with the impression that the people running this country really hate us. It's as though they are using this virus as an excuse to wage war on us.

    Sure, it's a nasty infection, but did they have to punish us so harshly for it? It poses little danger to me and my kids, but we are paying the highest price for it. Think about that. All the people working to build a nest egg are screwed if this doesn't end immediately. In the meanwhile, those who are at risk are drawing pensions and sitting in their own homes -- they don't even have to leave the house and they'll be fine.

    So why are the rest of us locked out of work? This is extremely cruel, wasteful and punitive. And I don't even believe it's saving many lives.

    I recall you from The Spearhead, Bill. How can I reach you?

  157. @Mr. Anon
    How about the hidden cost of accustoming government officials to instituting draconian emergency orders? We have established the principal that governors can do damned near anything if they declare an emergency. What if they someday declare an emergency and declare that the population shall be decimated - every tenth person killed. That's ridiculous, you would say. Okay, what if it were every hundredth person? Every thousandth? What number would be acceptable? Because that was just done - some fraction of the population was condemned to death by the shutdowns through suicide, panic-induced heart-attack, lack of a timely cancer diagnosis, etc.

    Some of our laws - deeply revered ones - are intended precisely to stop governments from doing things that might be economically expedient or even popular. In pure economic terms, it probably makes sense to euthanize people above a certain age. But we don't do it. Why? Because it is evil.

    If some people are such special snowflakes they off themselves because they can’t handle a few months of self-quarantine, that’s not the government “condemning people to death.”

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Actually, lots of our fellow Americans are not 100% healthy, whether in body or mind, and it's a good thing for the government to try to look out for them.
    , @Mr. Anon
    So they were probably going to off themselves anyway, right?

    Seems like I've heard an argument like that before.................

    And I suppose a lot of our governors were going to become petty tyrants anyway too. So what's the diff?

    , @dfordoom

    If some people are such special snowflakes they off themselves because they can’t handle a few months of self-quarantine, that’s not the government “condemning people to death.”
     
    To a large extent I agree with you. Some ludicrous ideologically motivated claims are being made about huge increases in suicides as a result of lockdowns. These claims are typical of the hysterical emotionally charged arguments that both sides in this debate are now resorting to.
  158. @Alexander Turok
    If some people are such special snowflakes they off themselves because they can't handle a few months of self-quarantine, that's not the government "condemning people to death."

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VM9YxmULuo

    Actually, lots of our fellow Americans are not 100% healthy, whether in body or mind, and it’s a good thing for the government to try to look out for them.

    • Replies: @Alexander Turok
    In your own personal life, if someone's saying "I'm going to kill myself or otherwise self-harm unless I get what I want," you're probably not going to give in. Or you give in for fifteen minutes, while the ambulance driver races to your house. By all means, have mental health treatment. All that jazz, it's fine. But we're not going to end the lockdowns based on implicit threats of self-harm.
    , @Anonymous
    What counts as a social problem? It's not simply any problem a large group of individuals have. A lot of young men want girlfriends and don't have them. Is that a social problem? Is there a President's Council on the Girlfriendlessness Crisis? It sounds like a joke, an SNL skit. There are some problems we charge society with solving and others where we say, if you have this problem, it's your problem to solve, the rest of us will focus on "real" problems.

    The COVID crisis has given us a slight, brief taste of what our ancestors experienced. Theirs was a poor world, full of famine and disease and violence, and they couldn't afford to be charitable. When their children were baying for the last potato they were not gonna go down and donate it to charity. It's a good thing our world is richer. It's a good thing we can put our wealth together and consider more things to be social, rather than individual, problems. But we can't just wish away this crisis.

    When you have a situation where morgues in Italy are overflowing, we're not going to worry a lot about the suffering of neurotics, drunks, drug addicts, and women who like thuggish men. When this pandemic is over, then we can engage in all that tikkun olam stuff. when 100,000 people have died, they should not be the priority. They're going to have to help themselves for the foreseeable future.
  159. @SunBakedSuburb
    "It's sadder [sic] that Mozart died at 35"

    The Jupiter Symphony can be quite exhilarating, but Mozart is classical music for people who don't listen to classical music. Had he lived past 35 his childhood genius would have burned out, becoming a debauched has-been, writing incidental pieces for the birthday parties of Austrian Richie Riches.

    "If Beethoven had lived to be 70, he probably would have invented Debussy's impressionist music"

    Big fan of Beethoven, especially his music for the piano. But nope, no way. Debussy was in a completely different space.

    Mozart is classical music for people who don’t listen to classical music.

    Agree, and that goes double for Haydn.

  160. Kyle says:
    @slumber_j

    The NY Times headline today reads:

    U.S. Deaths Near 100,000, an Incalculable Loss
     

    ...and the dek reads:

    Self-styled "President" Trump killed them dead, every last one, with his own tiny, morbidly obese hands.
     
    Or it would if they were being honest about their motives anyway.

    It’s sickening that this NY Times editor was able to navigate our guantlet of credentialism, but they appear to not understand the definition of incalculable. They are probably like our dear leader. They probably think it means great, Yuge, or tremendous. The only possibility is that maybe he thought the juxtaposition was clever & humorous. If thats the case I’ll pull the perpetually offended asshole card and say this is no time to be joking around

  161. Anonymous[109] • Disclaimer says:
    @blank-misgivings
    I personally find Schubert's early death the saddest thing in modern history! Tbh I find it hard to get worked up about any political or socio-economic events: Napoleon wins Waterloo? Who cares? We'd end up in more or less the same (bad) place by alternative routes. But Schubert living well into the 19th century, studying counterpoint, assimilating Bach, writing opera and concertos, meeting and being influenced by Chopin......an amazing dream!

    On Mozart's early death I feel less sentimental because I think his life would have smothered the young Beethoven. So if Mozart had lived, no Beethoven as we know him. But Schubert could have lived into a relative vacuum of talent.

    On Mozart’s early death I feel less sentimental because I think his life would have smothered the young Beethoven. So if Mozart had lived, no Beethoven as we know him. But Schubert could have lived into a relative vacuum of talent.

    Iron sharpens iron. Just like the Beatles and the Beach Boys.

    As the twin GOATs of classical, extra years of either may have produced something special but we’ll never know unfortunately.

    • Replies: @Stephen Dodge
    Many of the great composers of the next couple of generations after the death of Mozart saw themselves as artists who were just as inspired as he was ( it was only in the 20th century that actual composers began to understand that Mozart was sui generis and they could never do anything like what he did.

    To get a good idea of what Mozart might have done had he lived a few more years - say you want to hear what the next ten inspired symphonies were like - one should listen to the early works of Saint Saens, Berlioz, and Bizet in France, and Mendelssohn, Bruckner, and Brahms in the German-speaking land.

    Another commenter on this thread noted that Chopin was in a different universe, which is true. I would add Bellini and Verdi to that list, and of course Schumann and Berlioz.

    To understand Western music, one must not only understand the love of music that the great composers had, in their world, with all its long-vanished sounds and all its long-vanished echoes, but one should also understand that with the exception of a few drunken masters, they were all able to access that pure place in the heart of a musician where the sound of the angels is available.

    So yes, while it would be almost heaven on earth for a musician of today to be able to hear just two or three minutes of a sting quartet written by a 50 year old Mozart, or a few scenes from Beethoven's second real try at an opera after Fidelio, the fact remains that they (Mozart and Beethoven) were mere vessels for angelic inspiration, the great fount of beautiful music, a fountain of music which was easy to find not only by Mozart and Beethoven but also by dozens and dozens of fiddlers and pianists who lived in the culture they lived in, over the next couple of generations.

    Even in our lifetimes, there have been composers with access to such a world - just to name one each from five different countries, Samuel Barber, Shostakovich, Nino Rota, Elgar (well, I am old), and

  162. @Alexander Turok
    If some people are such special snowflakes they off themselves because they can't handle a few months of self-quarantine, that's not the government "condemning people to death."

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VM9YxmULuo

    So they were probably going to off themselves anyway, right?

    Seems like I’ve heard an argument like that before……………..

    And I suppose a lot of our governors were going to become petty tyrants anyway too. So what’s the diff?

  163. @Peterike
    “ The tradeoff is between collapse of the nation via the economy versus collapse of the nation via destruction of health care, but this statement is too dire for the plebs to digest. ”

    It was never either of those things. Like usual, the plebs understood more than their “betters.”

    It was never either of those things. Like usual, the plebs understood more than their “betters.”

    The plebs don’t know the difference between antivirals and antibiotics, between dissolved O2 and H2O, nor the significance of viral load. I get my information from specialists actively treating the disease. Where do you get your uninformed notion from?

  164. @dfordoom

    What’s your take on the CDC posting extremely low death #’s from flu this year and declaring that “this has been an extremely mild flu year”! Do we need experts or charts and graphs to connect the dots that an exorbitant amount of flu deaths have been racked up as Covid?
     
    It's more likely that the lockdowns have been responsible for the very low number of flu cases (and death). We're seeing the same very low numbers of fu deaths in Australia as well as we head into flu season.

    So the lockdowns have almost certainly saved thousands of lives of people who would have died this year of flu. That's something you might want to factor into your equations about the long-term economic benefits of the lockdowns.

    It’s more likely that the lockdowns have been responsible for the very low number of flu cases (and death).

    Flu deaths peak in January/February. More likely is that a couple of mild flu seasons in a row left more people available for COVID to kill.

    • Replies: @dfordoom


    It’s more likely that the lockdowns have been responsible for the very low number of flu cases (and death).
     
    Flu deaths peak in January/February. More likely is that a couple of mild flu seasons in a row left more people available for COVID to kill.
     
    The evidence so far from Australia definitely suggests that the lockdowns are responsible for the very low number of flu cases (and death) since very very few Australians have died of COVID. Which means the lockdowns will definitely have had the side-effect of saving many lives by substantially reducing flu deaths. Flu cases are way way way down in Australia for this time of year. The evidence does seem pretty clear.
  165. @Alexander Turok

    my kids cant go to school
     
    Your kids probably go to a school funded by the public i.e. people who have been forced to fund it by a gun pointed at their head.

    It’s a free country
     
    If freedumb means having to be infected with corona, I prefer the Chinese system.

    If freedumb means having to be infected with corona, I prefer the Chinese system.

    Then go live there. You won’t be missed.

    • Replies: @Alexander Turok
    I'd rather stay here and go river rafting in the streams of tears from snowflakes who can't handle the quarantines. Luckily nobody listens to fat cuck president, so they'll continue.
  166. @Steve Sailer
    Actually, lots of our fellow Americans are not 100% healthy, whether in body or mind, and it's a good thing for the government to try to look out for them.

    In your own personal life, if someone’s saying “I’m going to kill myself or otherwise self-harm unless I get what I want,” you’re probably not going to give in. Or you give in for fifteen minutes, while the ambulance driver races to your house. By all means, have mental health treatment. All that jazz, it’s fine. But we’re not going to end the lockdowns based on implicit threats of self-harm.

    • Agree: dfordoom
  167. So misleading. Simply ring any term life provider. They know what life is worth, to the penny.

  168. @128
    Why is stupid and cruel ageism from White people and Westerners in general where old people are treated as social throwaways, in East Asian societies old people are venerated and their presence is treated as a blessing because of the experience and wisdom that they impart due to having lived so long, I mean Subotai was still performing at an A into his late 60s, Lee Kuan Yew was still going strong mentally into his 80s, and Nguyen Giap was still performing at an A level way way way past retirement age, maybe the reason why your society is so screwed up is because Westerners treated old people as factory rejects fit for the scrap heap past 50, unlike Asian cultures and societies based on Confucian cultures? I can also add Sima Yi to this list. Maybe if you Westerners did not treat your old people like throwaways you would not have these social problems right now.

    Really? During China’s Cultural Revolution, students went around attacking their teachers and other elders. The Chinese Communists are pretty brutal towards their population, and they don’t care if you’re old or not. They aren’t avoiding your head with that baton in Hong Kong right now just because you’re older.

  169. @Kratoklastes

    their statistical life expectancy
     
    So long as that's their current life expectancy, not the life expectancy at birth of their age cohort. Current 80 year olds are all 10+ years past their life expectancy at birth - partly because when they were born, infant mortality was 20%. They've also outlived everyone else in their birth cohort, so necessarily exceeded expectations.

    An average 80 year old has a life expectancy of more than ten years - but their HALE (health-adjusted life expectancy) is significantly less than half of that: they drop off the twig at about 20% a year. And the sicker the 80-year-old, the shorter the HALE and the larger the proportion who can be expected to die in a given 12 month period.

    So long as that’s their current life expectancy, not the life expectancy at birth of their age cohort.

    That’s basically what I did. I looked up the life expectancy table for a person at each age. For example, for the range 45-54, I used the remaining years for a 50 year-old according to the table. https://www.ssa.gov/oact/STATS/table4c6.html. (In calculating YLL, I split the difference evenly between Male and Female life expectancy, although to be more precise, I should have weighted the Male a little more because CDC says the death totals are about 37.5K Male deaths to 31.2K Female.

    Also, I have to imagine that the 75 year-olds who die “of/with” Covid were less healthy than their peers to start with, and had a lower realistic life expectancy independent of Covid.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    With close to half of deaths being in nursing homes, I figure their life expectancies weren't too high.
  170. @Curtis Dunkel
    Complete bullshit. Healthy societies should focus on the young. If they don't they will not have future generations and will die.

    Complete bullshit. Healthy societies should focus on the young. If they don’t they will not have future generations and will die.

    Agree with your thrust here, but this is too simplistic.

    The focus is not “the young” in any sort of independent or separate way. Old folks generally have more knowledge and wisdom.

    Rather the focus of a healthy society is replicating *in* the young the traditions, values, mores, “the culture” of the nation–that the old carry. Basically prepare them so that they may in turn carry the nation forward–both materially and culturally–and pass it on in turn to their children.

    But yes, people in healthy society understand that preparing and preserving the young to carry forward is much more important than preserving the old. Down through the ages parents–in civilized nations–sacrifice for their children precisely for this reason. They are the future of their family, nation, race and civilization.

  171. @Anonymous Jew
    US traffic deaths average roughly 37,000 per year. However, if the age of the average traffic victim is close to the age of the average American, than their life expectancy would be at least 3x to 4x that of the average coronavirus victim. Ergo, our average traffic deaths are equivalent to at least 110,000 to 150,000 coronavirus deaths on the low end. If you factor in quality of life I couldn’t imagine it being any less than 200,000 coronavirus deaths.

    The lockdown is obviously madness to people not caught up in the religious Coronacult. But we need to start quantifying just how stupid a full lockdown really is.

    I can’t find the reference, but I recall reading that there is a calculation made regarding intersection fatalities by state and local governments.

    If an intersection has caused fatal accidents, and it would cost less than a set amount (about 1-2 million dollars per fatality) then it’s worth making infrastructure changes.

    It’s essentially a government calculation of the value of human life. If you multiply this number times 100,000 Covid-19 deaths, you get a couple hundred billion dollars.

  172. @Bill P
    The losses younger people are incurring due to the lockdown are staggering. I live in Washington state, which due to our governor and some bad luck (heavily reliant on Boeing) is the hardest hit state in the US. Possibly one of the worst places on earth in terms of economic damage. Over 30% unemployment, and people aren't even allowed to get a haircut, send their kids to school or go to church.

    I don't know whether I'll be able to stay here. I got wiped out by a divorce in 2008, just when the recession started, and it took me years to climb out of that hole. Now this.

    Sometimes it leaves you with the impression that the people running this country really hate us. It's as though they are using this virus as an excuse to wage war on us.

    Sure, it's a nasty infection, but did they have to punish us so harshly for it? It poses little danger to me and my kids, but we are paying the highest price for it. Think about that. All the people working to build a nest egg are screwed if this doesn't end immediately. In the meanwhile, those who are at risk are drawing pensions and sitting in their own homes -- they don't even have to leave the house and they'll be fine.

    So why are the rest of us locked out of work? This is extremely cruel, wasteful and punitive. And I don't even believe it's saving many lives.

    The only reason I probably still have a job is that I ended up relocating halfway around the world rather than staying in post-industrial Washington. I took a massive paycut to do so-at the time, I had little other choice-but turns out I lucked out on the lottery, especially since the place I work at is so much cooler and amenable to my own personal goals.

    They don’t hate us, so much as they just don’t care. Today’s ruling class took power just as the USSR fell: any sort of restraint seemed to be removed, their vision of the world utterly confirmed. At best, you have an additional concern to ensure that the young of today never get the same chance to enjoy themselves as they did, probably out of a petty thoughtlessness. But at bottom, all they are concerned with is looting the country as much as they can before they die. That this puts the livelihoods and futures of young people at risk is of no concern to the late Silent/early Boomer.

    Pretty much everything about policy making from the early 1990s onward has made that clear, no? I’ve been pretty critical of my own generation at times, but the essential reality that they’ve been mortgaging our future cannot be denied, and many people are extremely bitter, testy, and would not be at all sad to see the geronotocracy die painfully. Especially so since we all know damn well that they would have never taken similar steps to protect their own parents.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
    >That this puts the livelihoods and futures of young people at risk is of no concern to the late Silent/early Boomer.

    leadership. Comment timed out on me. As usual, this is merely a generalization: I've known excellent people of that age... just none of them in school. Or the workplace. Or the government.

    No point in bitching about what can't be changed, I suppose. Only can learn what not to do with our own kids. Assuming that many of us even have them.

    , @anon
    It will be helpful if you would elaborate who "they" are and how did "they" become "they".
  173. @nebulafox
    The only reason I probably still have a job is that I ended up relocating halfway around the world rather than staying in post-industrial Washington. I took a massive paycut to do so-at the time, I had little other choice-but turns out I lucked out on the lottery, especially since the place I work at is so much cooler and amenable to my own personal goals.

    They don't hate us, so much as they just don't care. Today's ruling class took power just as the USSR fell: any sort of restraint seemed to be removed, their vision of the world utterly confirmed. At best, you have an additional concern to ensure that the young of today never get the same chance to enjoy themselves as they did, probably out of a petty thoughtlessness. But at bottom, all they are concerned with is looting the country as much as they can before they die. That this puts the livelihoods and futures of young people at risk is of no concern to the late Silent/early Boomer.

    Pretty much everything about policy making from the early 1990s onward has made that clear, no? I've been pretty critical of my own generation at times, but the essential reality that they've been mortgaging our future cannot be denied, and many people are extremely bitter, testy, and would not be at all sad to see the geronotocracy die painfully. Especially so since we all know damn well that they would have never taken similar steps to protect their own parents.

    >That this puts the livelihoods and futures of young people at risk is of no concern to the late Silent/early Boomer.

    leadership. Comment timed out on me. As usual, this is merely a generalization: I’ve known excellent people of that age… just none of them in school. Or the workplace. Or the government.

    No point in bitching about what can’t be changed, I suppose. Only can learn what not to do with our own kids. Assuming that many of us even have them.

  174. @Hypnotoad666

    So long as that’s their current life expectancy, not the life expectancy at birth of their age cohort.
     
    That's basically what I did. I looked up the life expectancy table for a person at each age. For example, for the range 45-54, I used the remaining years for a 50 year-old according to the table. https://www.ssa.gov/oact/STATS/table4c6.html. (In calculating YLL, I split the difference evenly between Male and Female life expectancy, although to be more precise, I should have weighted the Male a little more because CDC says the death totals are about 37.5K Male deaths to 31.2K Female.

    Also, I have to imagine that the 75 year-olds who die "of/with" Covid were less healthy than their peers to start with, and had a lower realistic life expectancy independent of Covid.

    With close to half of deaths being in nursing homes, I figure their life expectancies weren’t too high.

    • Replies: @Hypnotoad666

    With close to half of deaths being in nursing homes, I figure their life expectancies weren’t too high.

     

    My father had to go into a rehab/nursing home after a stroke. It was actually a clean, lovely place with very professional people. But looking at the age of the residents and their conditions, I couldn't help having the thought that their life expectancy was probably similar to residents of a nazi concentration camp.

    That might not be far off:

    One out of every four of us will die while residing in a nursing home. For most of us, that stay in a nursing home will be brief, although this may depend upon social and demographic variables like our gender, net worth, and marital status. These are the conclusions of an important new study published in JAGS by Kelly and colleagues (many of whom are geripal contributors, including Alex Smith and Ken Covinsky).

    The study authors used data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) to describe the lengths of stay of older adults who resided in nursing homes at the end of life. What they found was that out of the 8,433 study participants who died between 1992 and 2006, 27.3% of resided in a nursing home prior to their death. Most of these patients (70%) actually died in the nursing home without being transferred to another setting like a hospital.

    The length of stay data were striking:

    the median length of stay in a nursing home before death was 5 months
    the average length of stay was longer at 14 months due to a small number of study participants who had very long lengths of stay
    65% died within 1 year of nursing home admission
    53% died within 6 months of nursing home admission

    https://www.geripal.org/2010/08/length-of-stay-in-nursing-homes-at-end.html
     
  175. @Anonymous
    On Mozart’s early death I feel less sentimental because I think his life would have smothered the young Beethoven. So if Mozart had lived, no Beethoven as we know him. But Schubert could have lived into a relative vacuum of talent.

    Iron sharpens iron. Just like the Beatles and the Beach Boys.

    As the twin GOATs of classical, extra years of either may have produced something special but we'll never know unfortunately.

    Many of the great composers of the next couple of generations after the death of Mozart saw themselves as artists who were just as inspired as he was ( it was only in the 20th century that actual composers began to understand that Mozart was sui generis and they could never do anything like what he did.

    To get a good idea of what Mozart might have done had he lived a few more years – say you want to hear what the next ten inspired symphonies were like – one should listen to the early works of Saint Saens, Berlioz, and Bizet in France, and Mendelssohn, Bruckner, and Brahms in the German-speaking land.

    Another commenter on this thread noted that Chopin was in a different universe, which is true. I would add Bellini and Verdi to that list, and of course Schumann and Berlioz.

    To understand Western music, one must not only understand the love of music that the great composers had, in their world, with all its long-vanished sounds and all its long-vanished echoes, but one should also understand that with the exception of a few drunken masters, they were all able to access that pure place in the heart of a musician where the sound of the angels is available.

    So yes, while it would be almost heaven on earth for a musician of today to be able to hear just two or three minutes of a sting quartet written by a 50 year old Mozart, or a few scenes from Beethoven’s second real try at an opera after Fidelio, the fact remains that they (Mozart and Beethoven) were mere vessels for angelic inspiration, the great fount of beautiful music, a fountain of music which was easy to find not only by Mozart and Beethoven but also by dozens and dozens of fiddlers and pianists who lived in the culture they lived in, over the next couple of generations.

    Even in our lifetimes, there have been composers with access to such a world – just to name one each from five different countries, Samuel Barber, Shostakovich, Nino Rota, Elgar (well, I am old), and

    • Replies: @Stephen Dodge
    and Sibelius. (actually I was born way after Elgar and Sibelius died, but I forget that sometimes, I still remember when John Wayne was an early middle aged guy making his comeback).
    , @Old Palo Altan
    And who were those few drunken masters?
  176. @Stephen Dodge
    Many of the great composers of the next couple of generations after the death of Mozart saw themselves as artists who were just as inspired as he was ( it was only in the 20th century that actual composers began to understand that Mozart was sui generis and they could never do anything like what he did.

    To get a good idea of what Mozart might have done had he lived a few more years - say you want to hear what the next ten inspired symphonies were like - one should listen to the early works of Saint Saens, Berlioz, and Bizet in France, and Mendelssohn, Bruckner, and Brahms in the German-speaking land.

    Another commenter on this thread noted that Chopin was in a different universe, which is true. I would add Bellini and Verdi to that list, and of course Schumann and Berlioz.

    To understand Western music, one must not only understand the love of music that the great composers had, in their world, with all its long-vanished sounds and all its long-vanished echoes, but one should also understand that with the exception of a few drunken masters, they were all able to access that pure place in the heart of a musician where the sound of the angels is available.

    So yes, while it would be almost heaven on earth for a musician of today to be able to hear just two or three minutes of a sting quartet written by a 50 year old Mozart, or a few scenes from Beethoven's second real try at an opera after Fidelio, the fact remains that they (Mozart and Beethoven) were mere vessels for angelic inspiration, the great fount of beautiful music, a fountain of music which was easy to find not only by Mozart and Beethoven but also by dozens and dozens of fiddlers and pianists who lived in the culture they lived in, over the next couple of generations.

    Even in our lifetimes, there have been composers with access to such a world - just to name one each from five different countries, Samuel Barber, Shostakovich, Nino Rota, Elgar (well, I am old), and

    and Sibelius. (actually I was born way after Elgar and Sibelius died, but I forget that sometimes, I still remember when John Wayne was an early middle aged guy making his comeback).

    • Replies: @Charon
    We really, really need a classical music subforum here.
  177. @nebulafox
    The only reason I probably still have a job is that I ended up relocating halfway around the world rather than staying in post-industrial Washington. I took a massive paycut to do so-at the time, I had little other choice-but turns out I lucked out on the lottery, especially since the place I work at is so much cooler and amenable to my own personal goals.

    They don't hate us, so much as they just don't care. Today's ruling class took power just as the USSR fell: any sort of restraint seemed to be removed, their vision of the world utterly confirmed. At best, you have an additional concern to ensure that the young of today never get the same chance to enjoy themselves as they did, probably out of a petty thoughtlessness. But at bottom, all they are concerned with is looting the country as much as they can before they die. That this puts the livelihoods and futures of young people at risk is of no concern to the late Silent/early Boomer.

    Pretty much everything about policy making from the early 1990s onward has made that clear, no? I've been pretty critical of my own generation at times, but the essential reality that they've been mortgaging our future cannot be denied, and many people are extremely bitter, testy, and would not be at all sad to see the geronotocracy die painfully. Especially so since we all know damn well that they would have never taken similar steps to protect their own parents.

    It will be helpful if you would elaborate who “they” are and how did “they” become “they”.

  178. Anonymous[400] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Actually, lots of our fellow Americans are not 100% healthy, whether in body or mind, and it's a good thing for the government to try to look out for them.

    What counts as a social problem? It’s not simply any problem a large group of individuals have. A lot of young men want girlfriends and don’t have them. Is that a social problem? Is there a President’s Council on the Girlfriendlessness Crisis? It sounds like a joke, an SNL skit. There are some problems we charge society with solving and others where we say, if you have this problem, it’s your problem to solve, the rest of us will focus on “real” problems.

    The COVID crisis has given us a slight, brief taste of what our ancestors experienced. Theirs was a poor world, full of famine and disease and violence, and they couldn’t afford to be charitable. When their children were baying for the last potato they were not gonna go down and donate it to charity. It’s a good thing our world is richer. It’s a good thing we can put our wealth together and consider more things to be social, rather than individual, problems. But we can’t just wish away this crisis.

    When you have a situation where morgues in Italy are overflowing, we’re not going to worry a lot about the suffering of neurotics, drunks, drug addicts, and women who like thuggish men. When this pandemic is over, then we can engage in all that tikkun olam stuff. when 100,000 people have died, they should not be the priority. They’re going to have to help themselves for the foreseeable future.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    Honestly, one has nothing to do with the other. Are people who work as drug counselors supposed to quit their jobs and go work in Covid wards? It sounds to me like you were not a big tikkun olam fan to begin with and are using this "crisis" as an excuse for getting rid of things that you don't like. This is a tactic I associate with Democrats - "never let a crisis go to waste".

    We are commanded to do charity even if we are poor. America in the past was a poorer country but never a less charitable one. Charity helps not only the receiver but the giver.
  179. @Mr. Anon

    If freedumb means having to be infected with corona, I prefer the Chinese system.
     
    Then go live there. You won't be missed.

    I’d rather stay here and go river rafting in the streams of tears from snowflakes who can’t handle the quarantines. Luckily nobody listens to fat cuck president, so they’ll continue.

    • Replies: @DanHessinMD
    Alexander Turok, you don't seem to get that there is no quarantine, anywhere in America. Nobody is actually following lockdowns anymore, as cell phone mobility data have shown. The lockdowns have already defacto ended, and achieved little but economic destruction. My leftist SJW neighbors just hosted a big live band today in their backyard in a jurisdiction that is supposedly under strict lockdown. What a farce. It's like the late stage Soviet Union where the system was a big joke to everyone, but you had to put on an act. You can prance around on a moral high horse but you seem to be the only one that doesn't get the joke. The data are in - the morally preening blue states performed horribly, couldn't follow any rules in the first place, and are the overwhelming reason why the US did poorly. Red states performed better almost across the board. New York was the disease vector for the whole country and Florida performed superbly before, during and after lockdown.
    , @Mr. Anon
    Tears? You're the one throwing a great big hissy-fit, clown.

    China will probably pay you to emigrate. You should really go.

  180. @res
    Hopefully the analyses I presented can help answer your numerical questions.

    Regarding approaches. I think a controlled run to herd immunity (using countermeasures to keep Re in the 1.5-2 range to prevent HI overshoot and/or general loss of control, say causing hospital overload) among the lowest risk groups while protecting the most vulnerable would be a worthy addition to your options. Some rough rules of thumb:

    Ages 0-45 go about their business as usual (modulo avoiding elders as possible). Ages 45-60 take self protection measures as they feel appropriate. Ages 60 and up are given special assistance to enable isolation (e.g. meal delivery).

    Thoughts?

    The key to reducing deaths is keeping the nursing homes safer, since the majority of the fatalities have been among nursing home residents.. All nursing home workers need to be tested and those who have the Wahu flu should be prevented from working in nursing homes…they need to stop sending COVID19 patients into nursing homes, send the COVID19 patients to special quarantine facilities until they clear the virus.

    It is difficult to imagine our hospitals will be overrun, this never occurred in NY or NJ during the peak 7 weeks ago. Instead of building hospitals , they should have taken over some of the empty hotels to quarantine those with coronavirus , most of whom had mild symptoms. If we had quarantined the sick nursing home residents it may have prevented the rapid spread among the nursing home facilities and saved lives..

    If we think a second wave is coming in November, they should have a plan to quarantine the sick. If you test positive, the government orders you to a quarantine facility until you clear the virus to prevent you from spreading it to others, like Chris Cuomo spread it to his entire family when he was “quarantined” is his basement. Testing without quarantining the sick is almost pointless.

  181. @Alexander Turok
    I'd rather stay here and go river rafting in the streams of tears from snowflakes who can't handle the quarantines. Luckily nobody listens to fat cuck president, so they'll continue.

    Alexander Turok, you don’t seem to get that there is no quarantine, anywhere in America. Nobody is actually following lockdowns anymore, as cell phone mobility data have shown. The lockdowns have already defacto ended, and achieved little but economic destruction. My leftist SJW neighbors just hosted a big live band today in their backyard in a jurisdiction that is supposedly under strict lockdown. What a farce. It’s like the late stage Soviet Union where the system was a big joke to everyone, but you had to put on an act. You can prance around on a moral high horse but you seem to be the only one that doesn’t get the joke. The data are in – the morally preening blue states performed horribly, couldn’t follow any rules in the first place, and are the overwhelming reason why the US did poorly. Red states performed better almost across the board. New York was the disease vector for the whole country and Florida performed superbly before, during and after lockdown.

  182. @Gurney Halleck
    I'm a gushing Beethoven obsessive so the less I say the better, but I can't help myself...

    His genius and productivity has always been a problem for subsequent composers. How can you match up to that? Alex Ross's review of Jan Swafford's magisterial biography of the maestro ("Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph," 2014) touches on that note:

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/10/20/deus-ex-musica

    I believe after Beethoven the most original voice in classical music is Chopin, who straight up ignored Beethoven's works.

    One sad thing about Beethoven's death at 56 (I like to think of his lifespan as that of a Mozart or Schubert who was lucky enough to be granted another 22 years) is that had he lived just a few more years (and been healthy enough) he would have repeated Haydn's journey to London and become very wealthy. He would also likely have eventually met Chopin, Berlioz, Schumann, and Schubert (I believe that, despite lack of written evidence to the contrary, Beethoven had to have known of Schubert by reputation seeing as how they lived a few miles apart and knew the same publishers, musicians, aristocrats etc. In one of the surviving "conversation books" (people conversing with Beethoven had to do so in writing by the 1820s) he is asked "Do you know The Elfking?" by one of his musician friends. We don't know the answer. That's Schubert's famous song which he wrote at age 15 (turn on the captions)):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JS91p-vmSf0

    Incidentally, in his 20s Beethoven himself tried to set that same Goethe poem to music but there's a reason only Schubert's version is known...

    Haydn took a big money trip to London soon after Mozart’s death in 1791, where he wrote for bigger orchestras than he was used to: his last 12 symphonies are a big leap forward in popular appeal because the London audience loved German geniuses since Handel.

    Mozart probably would have gotten to London soon after if he’d lived and solved his financial problems.

    Beethoven would have loved the era of giant orchestras that Berlioz introduced in 1830 with 90 instruments for Symphony Fantastique.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    I saw Gotterdammerung at the Met last year and the orchestra had 90 musicians including 5 on the harp. It's really quite something to hear.
  183. @Muggles
    My death is an "incalculable loss." Yours, not so much.

    Of course economists calculate the economic effect of mortality. Economic journals are full of such stuff.

    This is why auto accidents, suicides and drug overdoses are so horrible. On average these deaths skew very young (and male). What about deaths in military service? Nearly all under 40, disproportionally male.

    Has the NYT ever run a headline "deaths from Iraq War (Vietnam War, Afghan War, etc.) an incalculable loss?

    The economic impact of the Spanish flu, which killed young adults mainly, was far worse in terms of economic impact, even if you adjust for fewer deaths from the Wuhan flu.

    Before antibiotics, pneumonia was sometimes called the "old man's friend" due to its common reason for elderly death. Though my cardiologist told me it was hardly anyone's friend in the manner of death, very gruesome. So this COVID thing is bad for fragile people, many very elderly.

    No one should be deliberately exposed. But for most, risk of dying is small. Economic depression is very bad for everyone's mortality.

    It’s almost like a missing pretty 21 year old girl gets people most worked up.

  184. @Jack D
    You can see this most clearly in the young age groups in this graph:

    https://avalonecon.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Fig1-1.png


    To take an extreme example, in the under 10 bracket, based on statistical life expectancy the average victim lost around 75 years of life but when you drill down to disability adjusted life expectancy it was less than 1/3 of the unadjusted #. This reveals two things: 1. That the younger victims (especially) are mostly from a VERY sick segment of the population that has a radically lower life expectancy than normal people and 2. any assumption (such as the Italian study that the NY Times gave ink to a few weeks ago) that relies on crude life expectancy is just wrong (and you have to question whether people pushing these assumptions have some (not so) hidden political agenda to use such slanted #s.

    I think the d in dQALY stands for discounted, which I assume has something to do with net present value.

    I considered the idea of discounting for the cost of capital in my post but then decided not to go down that rabbit hole. Tyler Cowen loves arguments about net present value of the heat death of the universe, but he’s a lot smarter than me.

    • Replies: @res

    I think the d in dQALY stands for discounted, which I assume has something to do with net present value.
     
    I believe that is correct. The discount rate is a settable parameter in the spreadsheet from Andrew Briggs and defaults to 3%.

    I considered the idea of discounting for the cost of capital in my post but then decided not to go down that rabbit hole. Tyler Cowen loves arguments about net present value of the heat death of the universe, but he’s a lot smarter than me.
     
    I think you made the right choice. Not only does the discounting make things less intuitive (IMHO), I also think it is just wrong in some sense. That is why I focused on QALE and QALYs lost in my analysis.

    Consider that for the base US scenario these are the results for the youngest three age buckets.

    Age | LE | QALE | dQALY
    0-9 | 74.42 | 65.49 | 27.75
    10-19 | 64.52 | 55.57 | 25.52
    20-29 | 54.94 | 46.46 | 23.29

    Does it really seem reasonable that 10 additional years of life are only worth 2 dQALYs? This is the kind of thing which gives NPV calculations a bad name. With any kind of realistic discount rate life in the next century has very little value (1.03^100 =19.2).
  185. @Coag
    The taboo concept is that mass deaths of senior citizens will have an unambiguously positive net effect on the economy in terms of Medicare and social security savings. The concept rightfully should remain a taboo but it’s self-evident to any economists practicing actual economics.

    mass deaths of senior citizens

    Oh oh point oh oh N percent = mass death

    The real taboo concept is that senior citizens experience mass death all the time through all of history.

  186. @Alexander Turok
    If some people are such special snowflakes they off themselves because they can't handle a few months of self-quarantine, that's not the government "condemning people to death."

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VM9YxmULuo

    If some people are such special snowflakes they off themselves because they can’t handle a few months of self-quarantine, that’s not the government “condemning people to death.”

    To a large extent I agree with you. Some ludicrous ideologically motivated claims are being made about huge increases in suicides as a result of lockdowns. These claims are typical of the hysterical emotionally charged arguments that both sides in this debate are now resorting to.

  187. @Mr. Anon

    It’s more likely that the lockdowns have been responsible for the very low number of flu cases (and death).
     
    Flu deaths peak in January/February. More likely is that a couple of mild flu seasons in a row left more people available for COVID to kill.

    It’s more likely that the lockdowns have been responsible for the very low number of flu cases (and death).

    Flu deaths peak in January/February. More likely is that a couple of mild flu seasons in a row left more people available for COVID to kill.

    The evidence so far from Australia definitely suggests that the lockdowns are responsible for the very low number of flu cases (and death) since very very few Australians have died of COVID. Which means the lockdowns will definitely have had the side-effect of saving many lives by substantially reducing flu deaths. Flu cases are way way way down in Australia for this time of year. The evidence does seem pretty clear.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Social distancing does seem to work. It also demolishes the economy, whether it's ordered by the government or determined by private choice.
    , @Mr. Anon
    So.............do we do this every year, then? Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations via Zoom? We all just hibernate between November and March........like bears?
    , @res

    Which means the lockdowns will definitely have had the side-effect of saving many lives by substantially reducing flu deaths.
     
    Yes. That would also be another factor contributing to the excess deaths methodology underestimating COVID-19 deaths.
  188. @dfordoom


    It’s more likely that the lockdowns have been responsible for the very low number of flu cases (and death).
     
    Flu deaths peak in January/February. More likely is that a couple of mild flu seasons in a row left more people available for COVID to kill.
     
    The evidence so far from Australia definitely suggests that the lockdowns are responsible for the very low number of flu cases (and death) since very very few Australians have died of COVID. Which means the lockdowns will definitely have had the side-effect of saving many lives by substantially reducing flu deaths. Flu cases are way way way down in Australia for this time of year. The evidence does seem pretty clear.

    Social distancing does seem to work. It also demolishes the economy, whether it’s ordered by the government or determined by private choice.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Social distancing does seem to work. It also demolishes the economy, whether it’s ordered by the government or determined by private choice.

    So what's your suggestion Steve?

    AFAIAA, those in restaurant business, gyms etc. are being paid. Eventually the taxpayer will have to pay for all those people who went on a CV holiday.

    Remember in this game it is the lesser evil AFAICT. That being said I don't think there is a country yet who has tried "let 'er rip" yet. In theory there is some super patriotic country out there full of brave citizens willing to cough up a lung for the motherland, and look on the bright side, gramps is no longer a tax burden, and the funeral directors have just had the year of their careers. Or better yet, maybe gramps could be remanufactured into... hmmm.

    You mentioned Tyler Cowen, this seems like right up his alley.
  189. Is there any real evidence of “devastating economic fallout” or just a lot of hedge fund guys whining about losing their overleveraged investments in companies like J. Crew? The government has handed out so much money that most normal Americans don’t seem that distressed, in fact I notice people for the most part seem less stressed than normal.

    A lot of the service jobs we’ve lost will come back pretty quickly, this is not like a war where assets are physically destroyed.

    For the most part people who have truly lost their jobs forever in the crisis have to face the fact that their jobs were pretty inessential to begin with. Maybe this will be a wake up call to some of them.

  190. Anonymous[751] • Disclaimer says:
    @Guest007
    I wish everyone would realize that when someone is claiming that Covid-19 is a hoax that they are calling a massive number of healthcare workers, health department employees, and first responders liars.

    Maybe that is why so many people (left and right) have problems with politics. They are incapable of thinking about the implications of what they are claiming.

    I am absolutely calling them liars.

    How is it not a hoax if the New York Times decided to publish a list of names of Covid victims and included on the list were shooting victims?

    That is what a hoax means. The newspaper lying to your face on the front page.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    How many of them were shooting victims? IIRC, they printed the names of 1,000 victims out of the 100,000 that died. Maybe they made a mistake and a couple of those were shooting victims but that doesn't negate their point, such as it is.

    I get push notifications to my phone from the NY Times and the push notification for this story read (I'm paraphrasing from memory but it was very close to this) was "100,000 died while Trump tweeted and played golf." That of course was supposed to be the takeaway from this story. Trump fiddled while Rome burned - the oldest slander in the book (the real Nero didn't fiddle either, but history is written by the victors). Of course the NY Times and the Democrats (but I repeat myself) want the blame for all of these deaths to be laid at Trump's feet - the pandemic was a blessing from the gods as far as they were concerned. Up until this point, Trump was bullet proof. The Russia investigation, the impeachment - nothing was working. The damn stock market kept going up and up and unemployment down and down. Sleepy Joe was clearly a less than optimal candidate.

    But suddenly this deus ex machina arrives. Never let a crisis go to waste! Must take maximum political advantage! OK, so 100,000 victims is inflated. Maybe it's only 50,000 and maybe half of these were going to die pretty soon anyway. Inflating the numbers increases the blow to Trump. But even if they were being honest (which they never are), a bunch of people are dead from Coronavirus. Whether this is Trump's fault is another question but as far as the NY Times and the Democrats are concerned, Trump is personally responsible for the death of each and every one of the "100,000" victims and therefore Sleepy Joe must replace him. This is going to be the narrative from now until November. That this bears no resemblance to the truth is no obstacle. What is truth, anyway?

    , @Guest007
    It must take a huge ego to believe that 100,000's of people are wrong and a few people are correct just because who think your conclusions scores a few political points.

    Image what President Trump's approval ratings would be if he had been smart enough to jump on Covid-19, say we are all in this together, and had a consistent message instead of claiming one day it is the equivalent of war and saying that it is a myth on another day.
  191. @Reg Cæsar

    If he’d lived to be 80, he would have invented disco. 90, rap.
     
    Rap does give the impression of a nonagenarian's rant in the common room at the home.

    Note that Beethoven had lost his hearing, and was going by memory of that sense. An older Beethoven's œuvre might have deteriorated along with that memory.

    At the other extreme, there are those early retirements, the most notable of which include Rossini, who stopped composing before his ninth birthday. (Okay, it was Feb. 29th; he was 37.)

    He had just completed William Tell. Now that's quitting while you're ahead!

    That was his retirement as an opera composer. Petite Messe Solennelle he composed as age 70.

    “Twelve singers of three sexes, men, women and castrati will suffice for its execution: that is, eight for the choir, four soloists, in all twelve cherubim.”

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
    A wonderful quote, which proves what I like to tell people, viz., that Rossini was an unreconstructed reactionary Catholic of the deepest hue.

    Moderns (and all too many others who should know better) are horrified, but it is what I like most about him.
  192. @Stephen Dodge
    and Sibelius. (actually I was born way after Elgar and Sibelius died, but I forget that sometimes, I still remember when John Wayne was an early middle aged guy making his comeback).

    We really, really need a classical music subforum here.

  193. A very interesting question and many interesting replies.

    Has anyone any knowledge or evidence that any government anywhere undertook a cost benefit analysis of this kind prior to deciding on their preferred course of action?

    I have seen no such evidence in the UK or anywhere else. In the UK, the compelling reason for a major policy u-turn seems to have been that the government didn’t want to be seen to be responsible for a lot of deaths. I suppose it’s not that surprising.

    Surely such an analysis should have been done, and the deliberations made public – in fact surely they have been debated by legislatures prior to laws being made. Isn’t this what governments are meant to do?

    Of course the situation evolved quite quickly, but not so quickly that existing pre-prepared models, which ought to have been ready, could not have been adapted to provide at least some rational basis for making what is surely one of the major decisions for any Western government since WW2.

  194. International Jew [AKA "Hebrew National"] says:
    @Anonymous
    I have known that it targets elderly for what, 3-4 months now. The 15% dead of 80-90yo, and 6% for 70-79yo was already known from Wuhan for a long time. It does reap a lot of people who are at the end of life, no question. But the risk is more than a bad flu by about 10x or so. Just look at the deaths from the cruise ships. Someone healthy enough to go on a cruise ship isn't usually going to get taken out by the flu.

    Still, I would have thought 70-79 yo were more numerous than 80+ yo. Maybe they are but healthier. I would still prefer not to get it, but I get quite badly impacted by flu. I think given the info we had at the time, the drive for elimination wasn't a mistake. As a practical matter there are problems with "let 'er rip" and a flattened curve.

    And yes I am very well aware of the politicization of AIDS. It was a hard one for the homos as it was an incurable death sentence... or... wear a condom.

    Someone healthy enough to go on a cruise ship isn’t usually going to get taken out by the flu.

    You might be overestimating the physical rigors of cruising. I went on a cruise in the Caribbean and my turn to climb to the crow’s nest and watch for pirates never even came up.

    • Replies: @Anon242
    The pirate comment is well deserving of a “lol”.
    , @Jack D

    You might be overestimating the physical rigors of cruising.
     
    This is true. My mother-in-law and late father-in-law spent their retirement years traveling extensively. Finally they reached a point (in their 80s) where my FIL was slowing down considerably (got around but with a walker, mentally he had lost some of his sharpness but not to the point of complete senility) but my MIL was still rarin' to go. So as a compromise they went on cruises. When the ship docked he would stay on board and she would go on the shore excursions.

    Cruises are notorious for attracting an older crowd. Perhaps for this reason, I have assiduously avoided them like the plague and I suspect that I'm REALLY never going on one after this. I gather that cruise ships are like everything else - cheap ones aren't good and good ones aren't cheap.
  195. @Anonymous
    What counts as a social problem? It's not simply any problem a large group of individuals have. A lot of young men want girlfriends and don't have them. Is that a social problem? Is there a President's Council on the Girlfriendlessness Crisis? It sounds like a joke, an SNL skit. There are some problems we charge society with solving and others where we say, if you have this problem, it's your problem to solve, the rest of us will focus on "real" problems.

    The COVID crisis has given us a slight, brief taste of what our ancestors experienced. Theirs was a poor world, full of famine and disease and violence, and they couldn't afford to be charitable. When their children were baying for the last potato they were not gonna go down and donate it to charity. It's a good thing our world is richer. It's a good thing we can put our wealth together and consider more things to be social, rather than individual, problems. But we can't just wish away this crisis.

    When you have a situation where morgues in Italy are overflowing, we're not going to worry a lot about the suffering of neurotics, drunks, drug addicts, and women who like thuggish men. When this pandemic is over, then we can engage in all that tikkun olam stuff. when 100,000 people have died, they should not be the priority. They're going to have to help themselves for the foreseeable future.

    Honestly, one has nothing to do with the other. Are people who work as drug counselors supposed to quit their jobs and go work in Covid wards? It sounds to me like you were not a big tikkun olam fan to begin with and are using this “crisis” as an excuse for getting rid of things that you don’t like. This is a tactic I associate with Democrats – “never let a crisis go to waste”.

    We are commanded to do charity even if we are poor. America in the past was a poorer country but never a less charitable one. Charity helps not only the receiver but the giver.

    • Replies: @128
    Well lots of people on your side like Brabantian are saying that this crisis is just getting rid of old and sick people that are on the way to being shown out anyway, which is sort of the same. And a lot of people on Unz.com like Je Suis Omar Mateen and Feryl do not seem not like boomers anyway, to put it mildly, so it kind of correlates.
  196. 128 says:
    @Jack D
    Honestly, one has nothing to do with the other. Are people who work as drug counselors supposed to quit their jobs and go work in Covid wards? It sounds to me like you were not a big tikkun olam fan to begin with and are using this "crisis" as an excuse for getting rid of things that you don't like. This is a tactic I associate with Democrats - "never let a crisis go to waste".

    We are commanded to do charity even if we are poor. America in the past was a poorer country but never a less charitable one. Charity helps not only the receiver but the giver.

    Well lots of people on your side like Brabantian are saying that this crisis is just getting rid of old and sick people that are on the way to being shown out anyway, which is sort of the same. And a lot of people on Unz.com like Je Suis Omar Mateen and Feryl do not seem not like boomers anyway, to put it mildly, so it kind of correlates.

  197. Anonymous[413] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Social distancing does seem to work. It also demolishes the economy, whether it's ordered by the government or determined by private choice.

    Social distancing does seem to work. It also demolishes the economy, whether it’s ordered by the government or determined by private choice.

    So what’s your suggestion Steve?

    AFAIAA, those in restaurant business, gyms etc. are being paid. Eventually the taxpayer will have to pay for all those people who went on a CV holiday.

    Remember in this game it is the lesser evil AFAICT. That being said I don’t think there is a country yet who has tried “let ‘er rip” yet. In theory there is some super patriotic country out there full of brave citizens willing to cough up a lung for the motherland, and look on the bright side, gramps is no longer a tax burden, and the funeral directors have just had the year of their careers. Or better yet, maybe gramps could be remanufactured into… hmmm.

    You mentioned Tyler Cowen, this seems like right up his alley.

    • Replies: @res
    You might be interested in this comment:
    https://www.unz.com/isteve/cdc-finally-admits-touching-things-less-risky-than-talking-to-people/#comment-3917487

    This paper mentioned by ic1000:
    Lloyd-Smith et al.
    Superspreading and the effect of individual variation on disease emergence.
    https://www.nature.com/articles/nature04153

    Discusses the impact heterogeneity has on extinction at different levels of control (makes it easier) and has the original SARS as the disease showing the most heterogeneity of infectiousness of those they studied.

    You might also be interested in how much more effective targeted individual-specific (vs. population-wide, aka lockdowns) control is with heterogeneity.

    I looked at the paper in some depth in that comment and would be interesting in finding people interested in discussing it further.

    BTW, any thoughts on my QALY estimates above? Those would seem to indicate the lockdown cost/benefit ratio has been terrible.
  198. Anonymous[146] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous
    There is an extremely important distinction between Steve's position and mine.

    Steve wants to put a gun to my head and tell me I can't go to work and my kids cant go to school.

    I do not want to put a gun to Steve's head. If he doesn't want to go to a bar where people like me might not have gotten some fake vaccine or whatever, he is free to stay home.

    It's a free country. Or, you know, people used to say that.

    “Free country” my a**. I fought for this country, I was in Vietnam! Any of you brats fight in Vietnam? I don’t think so. And I wasn’t fighting just so some brats could put their f***ing stock performances above the lives of their fellow countrymen. I used to tell people that after what I saw in Vietnam, that war is hell, that I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Now I’ve changed my mind. We need two or three Vietnams to straighten out these brats.

  199. Hail says: • Website
    @Hypnotoad666
    The math a cost-benefit analysis does not seem particularly complicated. Mostly, you just need the data for the age ranges of the victims and their statistical life expectancy in order to calculate their years of life lost (YLL). And then you need to decide how much each year of life is worth. Additionally, if you can guess at how many infections there have been, you can figure out the dollar value of harm caused by each additional infection (and how much it would be worth to prevent it).

    A few days ago, I downloaded the CDC's data on deaths by age and sex (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid_weekly/index.htm), which includes 68,974 deaths through 5-20-20. I looked up the life expectancy of the various ages (using the mean of the age range reported by the CDC), and ran some spreadsheet calculations of my own. I picked $90,000 as the value of a YLL because I think I saw that number used in some insurance calculations. But anyone could adjust it up or down according to preference and all the numbers would change proportionately.

    I thought the results were pretty interesting. (I don't know how to attach or display a spreadsheet graph here, so I'll have to try to list some key numbers). Anyway,

    I. Value of Life Lost by Age Cohort

    Age Group Deaths YLL/Death $YLL Value (Mil.) %YLL Value
    0-24 65 67.05 392.24 .48%
    25-34 463 49.75 2,073.08 2.56%
    35-44 1186 40.5 4,322.97 5.33%
    45-54 3338 31.85 9,575.88 11.8%
    55-64 8312 23.9 17,879.11 22.04%
    65-74 14447 15.75 20,478.62 25.24%
    75-84 18621 9.25 15,501.98 19.11%
    85+ 22542 5.375 10,904.69 13.44%

    Total 68,974 $81,128.59 100%


    Because the victims skew so old, the total of 68,974 deaths (totaling about 901,000 YLL), have an average YLL of only about 13 -- i.e., the average Covid-19 fatality cost 13 years of life lost. At $90K per, it thus would have been worth about $2.7 million to prevent an average Covid-19 death. Surprisingly, the total value of life lost has been only about $81 billion.

    Another interesting calculation for planning purposes is: "How much is it worth to prevent one additional Covid-19 infection?" Say the infection fatality rate is .03%. That means one infection will statistically cause .0003 deaths. If it is worth $2.7 million to prevent an average Covid-19 death, then it is worth approximately $821.64 to prevent one additional infection.

    Given these numbers is it worth it to tank $4-5 trillion in GDP to prevent another $81 billion in lost life years? And if there is a 1/1000 chance of getting Covid from having a haircut, would you rather have the haircut or have your life statistically reduced by 82 cents worth of risk?

    I hope someone with influence on decisions is thinking like this. But it doesn't seem like it. Right now it seems like a lot of arm flailing and emotion at all levels.

    Good calculations. As Krakoklastes does in a reply, I am skeptical of this…:

    the average Covid-19 fatality cost 13 years of life lost

    …because people dying are not a randomized cross-section of the age group that is dying.

    One of the keys to the whole Corona puzzle, which the pro-Panic side still bizarrely refuses to admit, is that a large share of people in the Corona Victims list are people who were dying anyway (“deaths with the virus”). It is fundamentally a scam to count deathbed patients dying positive for some virus as because “victims of this new virus,” yet that’s what they’ve done. In official reports there are asterisks but this never gets across, there is little general awareness of the problem.

    There are really three cause-of-death categories of Corona victims, as I wrote in another comment-reply, coincidentally also to you:

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/a-big-question/#comment-3907490

    (1) Healthy people with many years of healthy life left, with no other diseases or conditions than the Wuhan Coronavirus; subdividable into three conceptual subgroups:
    — (1a.) Healthy children or adolescents;
    — (1b.) Healthy working-age people;
    — (1c.) Healthy older people of retired age;

    (2) Ambiguous cases. People with other conditions clearly contributing to a person’s ill health and/or death;

    (3) Deathbed patients expected to die very soon of another cause and/or people who very obviously died of another cause (“gunshot to head victim dies of coronavirus”).

    What calculations of lost-life-years might fall into is assuming that all the victims are (1)’s (a sub-point is that in in practice, any true (1)’s are pretty much all are (1c.)’s, but the media pro-Panic propaganda-mill still has people thinking it is (1a.) and (1b.) at considerable rates too, which is a lie), maybe sometimes (2)’s, and never (3)’s, a conceptual category which is effectively suppressed in Corona discourse.

    We have long had reason to believe that (3) constitutes a large share of the deaths, and that (2)+(3) together constitute a very large majority. Indications are how big the (2)+(3) majority is varies by country, but everywhere it is significant. This pushes down the real number of lost-years down for media’s Corona Victims total, probably to less than half the vanilla calculation.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    You have to understand that modern medicine has gotten pretty good at keeping people with co-morbidities alive for quite some time, absent Coronavirus. Even some of the senile elderly dying in nursing homes were going to last several more years (to what end other than to enrich the nursing home operators I don't know, but that's a discussion for another time). They might or might not have gotten the seasonal flu and died of it this year. IF there was no vaccine for the flu and IF there was no immunity for it due to past exposure, flu would have been just as deadly to this population, but neither of those is true.

    And all of those middle aged obese black diabetics dying of Covid - they were going to last decades. They were going to get insulin and dialysis when their kidneys failed and so on and would go on for a LONG time thanks to modern medicine. Covid moved the cheese for a lot of people who were doing quite well with the status quo. And by people I don't just mean the victims and their families, I mean a whole medical-industrial complex that was making a lot of money from managing an unhealthy population with an unhealthy lifestyle and diet.

    I absolutely agree with you that using unadjusted life expectancy (i.e. assuming that Covid victims were going to live on average just as long as other members of their age cohort) is not correct but the view that all of the people dying from Covid were going to die this year anyway is equally wrong. If I had to guess, the truth is half way in between. The age of the average Covid victim is around 80. For average 80 year olds (some of whom who are healthier than average and others who are sicker) life expectancy is around 8 years and if I had to guess, for those with Covid it was probably around 4 on average.

    , @res

    …because people dying are not a randomized cross-section of the age group that is dying.
     
    My analysis above (in particular comments 56, 78, and 134) covers that in some detail.

    Any response?

    In a later comment you state:

    If you do this calculation (as I have; I will spare the calculations but can present them if desired), you find the answer is something so low as to actually be stunning
     
    Please do present them.
  200. Hail says: • Website
    @Jonathan Mason
    If Trump, or at least his advisors and the governors of all the states, were taking in the opinions of various epidemiology experts in this series of video podcasts from the Lockdown TV Unherd series, they would be a lot better informed about the pros and cons of various infection control strategies and could place them in a broader context.

    https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=lockdown+tv+unherd&qpvt=lockdown+tv+unherd&FORM=VDRE

    If Trump, or at least his advisors and the governors of all the states, were taking in the opinions of various epidemiology experts

    What needs to be understood is there was a pro-Panic coup d’etat, international in scope. I believe all signs point also to a religious cult (the Corona Cult) that broke through along with this coup d’etat, preceding it.

    Experts were sidelined as the new pro-Panic junta took power and began a frenized process of score-settling, religious-ritual-impelled sacrifices of the lives of many, ruining lives of opponents as well as many neutrals (Corona-Losers; the new pro-Panic order omelette’s broken eggs), issuing martial law proclamations.

    “Keep the experts quiet, the Holy Media is in charge now.”

    Knut Wittkowski, writing April 21:

    The point of decision (at least in the US) was around March 10-15. At this time, there should have been a discussion involving epidemiologists who could question the Frankenssonian predictions. If that discussion would have had, we would not have had a shutdown.

    What to do now? We need to open schools […] At the same time or shortly thereafter we should start opening up businesses

    For those who leaned pro-Panic in the past four months and became instant-experts on “R0,” note that Wittkowski was the protege for years of the man who literally coined the term “R0,” a German epidemeologist active in the 1960s-2010s named Klaus Dietz.

    Wittkowski has been a recognized expert in epidemiology for thirty years, with two relevant PhDs in Germany, heading a research-oriented university department in the US for twenty years. Commenters on these pages were condemning him as a quack, but of course he was right.

    (See also, A Hero of the Hour, Knut Wittkowski, written a month ago.) Youtube then deleted both his major interviews and deletes all re-uploads, in line with the Corona-Diktats. I saved, re-posted, dated, and put in context all his Youtube comments (he left dozens of replies) and the original commenters’ words he was replying to, available at that link.

  201. @Hail
    Good calculations. As Krakoklastes does in a reply, I am skeptical of this...:

    the average Covid-19 fatality cost 13 years of life lost
     
    ...because people dying are not a randomized cross-section of the age group that is dying.

    One of the keys to the whole Corona puzzle, which the pro-Panic side still bizarrely refuses to admit, is that a large share of people in the Corona Victims list are people who were dying anyway ("deaths with the virus"). It is fundamentally a scam to count deathbed patients dying positive for some virus as because "victims of this new virus," yet that's what they've done. In official reports there are asterisks but this never gets across, there is little general awareness of the problem.

    There are really three cause-of-death categories of Corona victims, as I wrote in another comment-reply, coincidentally also to you:

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/a-big-question/#comment-3907490

    (1) Healthy people with many years of healthy life left, with no other diseases or conditions than the Wuhan Coronavirus; subdividable into three conceptual subgroups:
    — (1a.) Healthy children or adolescents;
    — (1b.) Healthy working-age people;
    — (1c.) Healthy older people of retired age;

    (2) Ambiguous cases. People with other conditions clearly contributing to a person’s ill health and/or death;

    (3) Deathbed patients expected to die very soon of another cause and/or people who very obviously died of another cause (“gunshot to head victim dies of coronavirus”).
     
    What calculations of lost-life-years might fall into is assuming that all the victims are (1)'s (a sub-point is that in in practice, any true (1)'s are pretty much all are (1c.)'s, but the media pro-Panic propaganda-mill still has people thinking it is (1a.) and (1b.) at considerable rates too, which is a lie), maybe sometimes (2)'s, and never (3)'s, a conceptual category which is effectively suppressed in Corona discourse.

    We have long had reason to believe that (3) constitutes a large share of the deaths, and that (2)+(3) together constitute a very large majority. Indications are how big the (2)+(3) majority is varies by country, but everywhere it is significant. This pushes down the real number of lost-years down for media's Corona Victims total, probably to less than half the vanilla calculation.

    You have to understand that modern medicine has gotten pretty good at keeping people with co-morbidities alive for quite some time, absent Coronavirus. Even some of the senile elderly dying in nursing homes were going to last several more years (to what end other than to enrich the nursing home operators I don’t know, but that’s a discussion for another time). They might or might not have gotten the seasonal flu and died of it this year. IF there was no vaccine for the flu and IF there was no immunity for it due to past exposure, flu would have been just as deadly to this population, but neither of those is true.

    And all of those middle aged obese black diabetics dying of Covid – they were going to last decades. They were going to get insulin and dialysis when their kidneys failed and so on and would go on for a LONG time thanks to modern medicine. Covid moved the cheese for a lot of people who were doing quite well with the status quo. And by people I don’t just mean the victims and their families, I mean a whole medical-industrial complex that was making a lot of money from managing an unhealthy population with an unhealthy lifestyle and diet.

    I absolutely agree with you that using unadjusted life expectancy (i.e. assuming that Covid victims were going to live on average just as long as other members of their age cohort) is not correct but the view that all of the people dying from Covid were going to die this year anyway is equally wrong. If I had to guess, the truth is half way in between. The age of the average Covid victim is around 80. For average 80 year olds (some of whom who are healthier than average and others who are sicker) life expectancy is around 8 years and if I had to guess, for those with Covid it was probably around 4 on average.

    • Replies: @Hail
    Granted that modern medicine is good at keeping people alive (white life expectancy declining in the US is not due to a reversal in medical quality) but it's also true that people with serious health conditions are always at risk and will always have an at-least-somewhat lower life expectancy than their healthy counterparts. An all-out effort to help them makes sense if there were no downside, but of course there is.

    Incidentally, Google recently gave a 'doodle' celebrating the obese Hawaiian singer who became a world-sensation and had one of the world's top Youtube videos despite dying years before Youtube was created, Israel Kamakawiwoe [1959-1997], whose super-obesity led to his early death at age 38.

    If that Hawaiian singer had died in 2020, hospitalized due to obesity-induced diseases, he might have caught the Wuhan Coronavirus in the hospital and been counted as a Corona Victim when he died. The young victims generally fit something like that profile.

    Without a media drumbeat (in an alternate scenario of "no one knows there was a 'new virus' at all"), people would say of the non-elderly victims, "Oh, man, it's too bad he died, but he WAS seriously unhealthy..."

    It's worth dealing with averages, of course. The number of probably-would-survive-for-decades-forty-year-olds who have died (all with serious health conditions) is not zero, but is low; the number dying in their 80s and 90s is high and is the norm in most places (see Sweden's Corona-positive deaths by age-bracket; 66% of corona-positive deaths are born in the 1920s and 1930s).

    The bigger problem is, therefore, the considerable number of people being counted in the Corona Deaths column who were literal deathbed patients, in conditions putting them statistically likely to die in 2020, as in terminal cancer patients.

    , @res

    For average 80 year olds (some of whom who are healthier than average and others who are sicker) life expectancy is around 8 years and if I had to guess, for those with Covid it was probably around 4 on average.
     
    For comparison, in the spreadsheet I have been looking at SMR2 is about 1/3 less than the life expectancy of SMR1 (average, 12.49 years for 70-79, 6.76 years for 80-89) with SMR3 being about half that of SMR1.
  202. @Anonymous
    I am absolutely calling them liars.

    How is it not a hoax if the New York Times decided to publish a list of names of Covid victims and included on the list were shooting victims?

    That is what a hoax means. The newspaper lying to your face on the front page.

    How many of them were shooting victims? IIRC, they printed the names of 1,000 victims out of the 100,000 that died. Maybe they made a mistake and a couple of those were shooting victims but that doesn’t negate their point, such as it is.

    I get push notifications to my phone from the NY Times and the push notification for this story read (I’m paraphrasing from memory but it was very close to this) was “100,000 died while Trump tweeted and played golf.” That of course was supposed to be the takeaway from this story. Trump fiddled while Rome burned – the oldest slander in the book (the real Nero didn’t fiddle either, but history is written by the victors). Of course the NY Times and the Democrats (but I repeat myself) want the blame for all of these deaths to be laid at Trump’s feet – the pandemic was a blessing from the gods as far as they were concerned. Up until this point, Trump was bullet proof. The Russia investigation, the impeachment – nothing was working. The damn stock market kept going up and up and unemployment down and down. Sleepy Joe was clearly a less than optimal candidate.

    But suddenly this deus ex machina arrives. Never let a crisis go to waste! Must take maximum political advantage! OK, so 100,000 victims is inflated. Maybe it’s only 50,000 and maybe half of these were going to die pretty soon anyway. Inflating the numbers increases the blow to Trump. But even if they were being honest (which they never are), a bunch of people are dead from Coronavirus. Whether this is Trump’s fault is another question but as far as the NY Times and the Democrats are concerned, Trump is personally responsible for the death of each and every one of the “100,000” victims and therefore Sleepy Joe must replace him. This is going to be the narrative from now until November. That this bears no resemblance to the truth is no obstacle. What is truth, anyway?

    • Troll: Guest007
    • Replies: @Guest007
    Trumps approval rating has never been above 50% during his term. Bullet proof is the last thing to call President Trump. Of course, the rest of the world's reaction to Covid-19 has nothing to do with President Trump but some people fail to remember there is a world with many other countries.

    If you want to see what President Trump really wanted for the U.S. look at the current condition in Brazil where the President refuses to deal with Covid-19.

    Also, claiming that the people who have died of Covid-19 deserve it is not a real winner in politics either.
  203. Hail says: • Website

    Steve Sailer wrote:

    In reality, we need more calculation, not less.

    The calculations of how disastrously bad the Shutdown/Lockdown decisions were both easy to do and were being done by people. Your comment-section had plenty of people doing them, including me.

    Taking into account several variables, a fair- and easily-made calculation is that the Corona-Response is hundreds of times worse than the Corona-Virus’ direct impact (true virus-caused deaths) measured in aggregate-lost-life-years.

    There is some uncertainty, but it’s in the hundreds of times worse. Plausibly it’s even in the thousands of times worse. Either way, a public policy disaster, and really so obvious a one that people will not be able to understand it except in terms of combination of a breakthrough by a new religion and a vicious political coup d’etat process.

    I would ask: What was the point in training a leadership class in public policy and related fields if they all “caved in,” suspended the concepts of basic cost-benefit analysis, tradeoffs, and suspended all kinds of statistical thinking immediately?

    There is an old joke that goes, “How do you tell the French antique military rifles from the others you see on the market? The French ones say, ‘Condition: Never used. Dropped once.’”

    This is exactly what I see as the public policy experts. The prime directive of public policy should be, Don’t cause unnecessary, destructive panics. They failed to use their own training, in theory training they worked so hard to learn over many years including advanced degrees. They caved in to hysteria. They did almost unbelievable damage, and frankly for nothing. For a flu virus resembling those many times in the lifetime of the median reader here (when the smoke clears, it’s unclear whether it will even be the worst of the past ten years).

    The anti-Panic dissidents have been shouting from the rooftops, “True fatality rate no more than 0.1%!” since shortly after the wacko-lockdowns went into place. “More Calculation, Not Less” was certainly not welcome in late March. Nor were they welcome in April, as every study confirmed the anti-Panic position (with every study finding a 0.02% to 0.2% true fatality rate, and a best-best for most places settling in at <0.1%). Nothing changed.

    I was among those doing aggregate-lost-life-years calculations during the Panic. Some versions of it, often in fragments (take things one at a time to better grasp them) were posted in comments here in the past two months.

    Here is what I published April 19:

    A possible calculation to make that is useful would be: “Aggregate lost expected-life-years of coronavirus-positive deaths,” paired a twin calculation of “Sum-Aggregate of all living persons’ statistically expected remaining life-years.” Compare the two. What proportion of society’s sum-aggregate-expected-life-years is the coronavirus epidemic going to take?

    If you do this calculation (as I have; I will spare the calculations but can present them if desired), you find the answer is something so low as to actually be stunning, given the media’s drumbeat and the impression of a serious crisis. By my calculation, the coronavirus epidemic’s impact is well below <0.01% of aggregate expected-life-years, something like two, maybe three days of an average person’s lifespan.

    In real-world personal terms, this means that if the coronavirus crisis has already cost you as much as a net of three days of lost time, you are already on the losing side.

    The insane response leading to unnecessary mass unemployment, and other disruption, will cause lost time for all (and already far exceeding the three-days as calculated above), but will also cause an inevitable rise in prime-age suicides, other early deaths of despair, and worse healthcare outcomes for years as people become too poor or insecure to afford medical care.

    This all means the Corona Response will ‘cost’ many hundreds more life-days or life-day-equivalents to be lost than are saved. For many it will ‘cost’ thousands, even tens of thousands of lost life-days (a suicide for a person with fifty expected-life-years left would be more than 18,000 lost expected-life-days.

    In the case of coronavirus-response-induced job loss, loss of hope, and suicide by a young adult, the young person who takes his life would be among the biggest net-losers of all. Recalling that the aggregate-life-days-saved calculation could be 2-3 days, and in order to get those ‘days’ the response means others lose life-days (earlier deaths) or life-day-equivalents (e.g., to unemployment), a suicide case means a loss of 10,000, even 20,000 expected-life-days, an outcome literally thousands of times worse than the coronavirus threat for the suicide victim’s case.

    And none of us come off well. On aggregate, through playing around with these kinds of calculations, the inescapable conclusion is now that the “Corona Response” is some hundreds of times worse than the “Corona Virus” for society. We have all already long passed the point of the cure being worse than the disease, and the question now is, “how many hundreds of times worse will it be,” when all is said and done.

    (From “Just the Flu” Vindicated by the Data; Or, Why to End the Shutdowns Now (April 19).

    ____________

    That calculation of the Corona ‘costing’ the equivalent of no more than an aggregate sum which when applied to an average person’s life equals three days, turns out itself to have probably been too high. For Stay-Open Sweden, it is looking more like a loss of 1.5 days, 36 life-hours, when aggregate-all-population-lost-years are applied to a single person’s normal lifespan.

    Here is how the calculation works out for Stay-Open Sweden, the best proxy we have for full impact of the virus in a Western country, originally written late April, numbers updated recently:

    The aggregate-life-years number can be estimated something like this:

    Sweden total resident living population: 10,4000,000 @ 45 years expected life left (for the average resident) = 468 million aggregate-life-years for the total population, plus 575,000 expected new births in the five-year period Jan. 2020 to Dec. 2024 @ 85 expected life years each = 50 million more aggregate-life-years; adding the two, we have society’s currently-living and soon-to-be-living population has as much as 520 million aggregate-expected-life-years to live.

    Coronavirus-positive deaths, which could total 3,500, 5,000 may average @ 5 expected-life years each, including many with <1 expected-life-year and others with somewhat more, but very few with decades left ahead of them. Multiplying the two, sum of aggregate-life-years lost to this flu-epidemic we can now say looks to be <20,000 25,000.

    – Living and soon-to-be-living aggregate expected life years = 520 million
    – Of which, loss to the Wuhan Coronavirus = <20,000 25,000
    = Wuhan Coronavirus will cause a loss of ca. 0.0035% 0.005% to the population’s expected remaining life-years, a rate which will hold for other countries regardless of their policies.

    The surprising thing is, this represents a net loss of just one day in the life of a person who lives to age eighty-five (update, May 22: Now it looks like 1.5 days — that is 36 hours — in a normal, full, first-world lifespan today; it will very unlikely exceed 2 life-days). In other words, if you have lost at least one day to the Corona-Panic in any form, you have already been a net loser from the extremist Corona Shutdowns, based on these numbers. In countries in which the epidemic was worse, it could sum to two or three days, but unlikely any more.

    The fact is that all life is limited and therefore all our time in these earthly bodies is valuable; “time is the one thing,” it is said, “that money can’t buy;” that is to say, when your time comes, no Shutdown-fanatic can buy you more time; as Jesus said through a parable (Luke 12:19-20):

    Someone pointed out that the better verse of reference is Luke 12:25 which says:

    “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?”

    (From Sweden’s vindication is complete; Graphing the actual coronavirus epidemic in Sweden against the pro-Panic side’s wild projections (originally posted April 29; graphs and calculations updated May 22).

    ______________

    Corona aggregate-remaining-life-year loss is a simple and easy-to-understand, no-variable calculation but will not do. Because the Corona-Response(s) will have a direct effect on the rest of society’s expected life years (and quality of life), causing potentially major aggregate-life-year deadweight losses to the effects of the disruption/recession.

    One of the Corona-Response ‘hits’ will be a fertility rate crash with the associated devastating blow to family-formation. This is not some magical mystery, but easily predictable:

    There are likely therefore to be millions fewer births in the West in 2021, 2022, 2023 than there would have been if we had ‘ignored’ this flu strain (which I believe we should have, especially knowing what we know now), with basic measures but no shutdowns and no media-directed ‘CoronaPanic.’ The “lost births” ramps up the ‘hit’ even further in the aggregate-lost-life-years calculation, if you include those never-to-be-born people’s expected-lifespans.

    If a drop of just 0.2 TFR points occurs, as observed with the last recession for US White women (and greater in magnitude for groups that were in the 2000s in a “Bubble Economy fertility-bubble,” notably US Hispanics), how many lost people does that translate to over, say, five years?

    It could mean that if 10 million births are supposed to occur to White US women (2m/year/5 years), there would only be 8.5 million to 9 million actually born. That’s a net loss of up to 1.5 million people, immediately swamping the sacred CoronaDeaths the media loves so much.

    We know that major recessions hit fertility. This is calculable.

    [N]eedless to say, crude body-counting obscures a lot of the effect.

    A simple illustrative calculation:

    Let’s be generous to the bloodthirsty media and assume (for simple calculation’s sake) they get 200,000 corona-bodies which are fairly-counted excess deaths that they can mourn/celebrate over. All data from everywhere is that these 200,000 would be overwhelmingly of advanced age and and/or in poor condition. The typical death is well over age 80, for example.

    Applying the conceptual layer of analysis of “aggregate expected life-years”:

    200,000 fairly-counted corona deaths x 5 years = 1,000,000 agg.-expected-life-years

    1,500,000 babies not born x 85 years (life-span) = 127,500,000 agg.-exp.-life-years.

    After just this one single calculation, not even yet taking into account the huge hit in lost life-years and life-year-equivalents to us the living (some of which is quantifiable, such as marginal suicides; some less immediately quantifiable; some of the effect will take years, or decades, to show up, but at which we can make best-guesses), we already see the Corona Response is easily hundreds of times worse than the Coronavirus.

    “Aggregate-Life-Years-Lost to Virus” is swamped, probably by over a hundred times, to “Aggregate-Life-Years-Lost to babies that will never be born” ALONE. Adding in all the other follow-on effects, and it’s definitely well into the hundreds of times (measured on life-years and life-year equivalents), and could well sail into four figures (over a thousand times worse) when adjusting for quality-years and quality-life-year-equivalents (i.e., people who will lose significant amount of time on their life-trajectories to unemployment, depression, missed opportunities…)

    Here is another:

    Marginal suicides alone could well reach Corona in aggregate-lost-life-years. The effect of recession on suicides has been studied and is well understood. The Lockdown-junta must have known this, but didn’t care. These Corona-Negative Suicides are just unpatriotic losers and probably deserved to die. “Let the weak of will perish!”

    • Replies: @Western
    I don't know if you saw this already but a former Israel health minister agrees with you.

    Title: Nothing can justify the destruction of people's lives.

    A quote: from the article: " People are brainwashed. They do not listen to the data. And that includes governments."


    https://www.spiked-online.com/2020/05/22/nothing-can-justify-this-destruction-of-peoples-lives/amp/?__twitter_impression=true
    , @res

    A possible calculation to make that is useful would be: “Aggregate lost expected-life-years of coronavirus-positive deaths,” paired a twin calculation of “Sum-Aggregate of all living persons’ statistically expected remaining life-years.” Compare the two. What proportion of society’s sum-aggregate-expected-life-years is the coronavirus epidemic going to take?

    If you do this calculation (as I have; I will spare the calculations but can present them if desired), you find the answer is something so low as to actually be stunning, given the media’s drumbeat and the impression of a serious crisis. By my calculation, the coronavirus epidemic’s impact is well below <0.01% of aggregate expected-life-years, something like two, maybe three days of an average person’s lifespan.
     
    As I requested above, please present your calculations. At this point I am guessing you are just full of hot air, but please feel free to prove me wrong.
  204. Hail says: • Website
    @Jack D
    You have to understand that modern medicine has gotten pretty good at keeping people with co-morbidities alive for quite some time, absent Coronavirus. Even some of the senile elderly dying in nursing homes were going to last several more years (to what end other than to enrich the nursing home operators I don't know, but that's a discussion for another time). They might or might not have gotten the seasonal flu and died of it this year. IF there was no vaccine for the flu and IF there was no immunity for it due to past exposure, flu would have been just as deadly to this population, but neither of those is true.

    And all of those middle aged obese black diabetics dying of Covid - they were going to last decades. They were going to get insulin and dialysis when their kidneys failed and so on and would go on for a LONG time thanks to modern medicine. Covid moved the cheese for a lot of people who were doing quite well with the status quo. And by people I don't just mean the victims and their families, I mean a whole medical-industrial complex that was making a lot of money from managing an unhealthy population with an unhealthy lifestyle and diet.

    I absolutely agree with you that using unadjusted life expectancy (i.e. assuming that Covid victims were going to live on average just as long as other members of their age cohort) is not correct but the view that all of the people dying from Covid were going to die this year anyway is equally wrong. If I had to guess, the truth is half way in between. The age of the average Covid victim is around 80. For average 80 year olds (some of whom who are healthier than average and others who are sicker) life expectancy is around 8 years and if I had to guess, for those with Covid it was probably around 4 on average.

    Granted that modern medicine is good at keeping people alive (white life expectancy declining in the US is not due to a reversal in medical quality) but it’s also true that people with serious health conditions are always at risk and will always have an at-least-somewhat lower life expectancy than their healthy counterparts. An all-out effort to help them makes sense if there were no downside, but of course there is.

    Incidentally, Google recently gave a ‘doodle’ celebrating the obese Hawaiian singer who became a world-sensation and had one of the world’s top Youtube videos despite dying years before Youtube was created, Israel Kamakawiwoe [1959-1997], whose super-obesity led to his early death at age 38.

    If that Hawaiian singer had died in 2020, hospitalized due to obesity-induced diseases, he might have caught the Wuhan Coronavirus in the hospital and been counted as a Corona Victim when he died. The young victims generally fit something like that profile.

    Without a media drumbeat (in an alternate scenario of “no one knows there was a ‘new virus’ at all”), people would say of the non-elderly victims, “Oh, man, it’s too bad he died, but he WAS seriously unhealthy…

    It’s worth dealing with averages, of course. The number of probably-would-survive-for-decades-forty-year-olds who have died (all with serious health conditions) is not zero, but is low; the number dying in their 80s and 90s is high and is the norm in most places (see Sweden’s Corona-positive deaths by age-bracket; 66% of corona-positive deaths are born in the 1920s and 1930s).

    The bigger problem is, therefore, the considerable number of people being counted in the Corona Deaths column who were literal deathbed patients, in conditions putting them statistically likely to die in 2020, as in terminal cancer patients.

  205. @Jack D
    How many of them were shooting victims? IIRC, they printed the names of 1,000 victims out of the 100,000 that died. Maybe they made a mistake and a couple of those were shooting victims but that doesn't negate their point, such as it is.

    I get push notifications to my phone from the NY Times and the push notification for this story read (I'm paraphrasing from memory but it was very close to this) was "100,000 died while Trump tweeted and played golf." That of course was supposed to be the takeaway from this story. Trump fiddled while Rome burned - the oldest slander in the book (the real Nero didn't fiddle either, but history is written by the victors). Of course the NY Times and the Democrats (but I repeat myself) want the blame for all of these deaths to be laid at Trump's feet - the pandemic was a blessing from the gods as far as they were concerned. Up until this point, Trump was bullet proof. The Russia investigation, the impeachment - nothing was working. The damn stock market kept going up and up and unemployment down and down. Sleepy Joe was clearly a less than optimal candidate.

    But suddenly this deus ex machina arrives. Never let a crisis go to waste! Must take maximum political advantage! OK, so 100,000 victims is inflated. Maybe it's only 50,000 and maybe half of these were going to die pretty soon anyway. Inflating the numbers increases the blow to Trump. But even if they were being honest (which they never are), a bunch of people are dead from Coronavirus. Whether this is Trump's fault is another question but as far as the NY Times and the Democrats are concerned, Trump is personally responsible for the death of each and every one of the "100,000" victims and therefore Sleepy Joe must replace him. This is going to be the narrative from now until November. That this bears no resemblance to the truth is no obstacle. What is truth, anyway?

    Trumps approval rating has never been above 50% during his term. Bullet proof is the last thing to call President Trump. Of course, the rest of the world’s reaction to Covid-19 has nothing to do with President Trump but some people fail to remember there is a world with many other countries.

    If you want to see what President Trump really wanted for the U.S. look at the current condition in Brazil where the President refuses to deal with Covid-19.

    Also, claiming that the people who have died of Covid-19 deserve it is not a real winner in politics either.

  206. @Anonymous
    I am absolutely calling them liars.

    How is it not a hoax if the New York Times decided to publish a list of names of Covid victims and included on the list were shooting victims?

    That is what a hoax means. The newspaper lying to your face on the front page.

    It must take a huge ego to believe that 100,000’s of people are wrong and a few people are correct just because who think your conclusions scores a few political points.

    Image what President Trump’s approval ratings would be if he had been smart enough to jump on Covid-19, say we are all in this together, and had a consistent message instead of claiming one day it is the equivalent of war and saying that it is a myth on another day.

  207. @International Jew

    Someone healthy enough to go on a cruise ship isn’t usually going to get taken out by the flu.
     
    You might be overestimating the physical rigors of cruising. I went on a cruise in the Caribbean and my turn to climb to the crow's nest and watch for pirates never even came up.

    The pirate comment is well deserving of a “lol”.

  208. @International Jew

    Someone healthy enough to go on a cruise ship isn’t usually going to get taken out by the flu.
     
    You might be overestimating the physical rigors of cruising. I went on a cruise in the Caribbean and my turn to climb to the crow's nest and watch for pirates never even came up.

    You might be overestimating the physical rigors of cruising.

    This is true. My mother-in-law and late father-in-law spent their retirement years traveling extensively. Finally they reached a point (in their 80s) where my FIL was slowing down considerably (got around but with a walker, mentally he had lost some of his sharpness but not to the point of complete senility) but my MIL was still rarin’ to go. So as a compromise they went on cruises. When the ship docked he would stay on board and she would go on the shore excursions.

    Cruises are notorious for attracting an older crowd. Perhaps for this reason, I have assiduously avoided them like the plague and I suspect that I’m REALLY never going on one after this. I gather that cruise ships are like everything else – cheap ones aren’t good and good ones aren’t cheap.

    • Agree: Johann Ricke
  209. @Alexander Turok
    I'd rather stay here and go river rafting in the streams of tears from snowflakes who can't handle the quarantines. Luckily nobody listens to fat cuck president, so they'll continue.

    Tears? You’re the one throwing a great big hissy-fit, clown.

    China will probably pay you to emigrate. You should really go.

    • Replies: @Alexander Turok
    Describing a dumpster fire accurately is not "throwing a hissy fit." Trump's a fat cuck and you're a moron. Those are simply the facts.
  210. @Steve Sailer
    Haydn took a big money trip to London soon after Mozart's death in 1791, where he wrote for bigger orchestras than he was used to: his last 12 symphonies are a big leap forward in popular appeal because the London audience loved German geniuses since Handel.

    Mozart probably would have gotten to London soon after if he'd lived and solved his financial problems.

    Beethoven would have loved the era of giant orchestras that Berlioz introduced in 1830 with 90 instruments for Symphony Fantastique.

    I saw Gotterdammerung at the Met last year and the orchestra had 90 musicians including 5 on the harp. It’s really quite something to hear.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    The great composers like Beethoven generally wanted bigger and louder instruments and orchestras. Ludwig van would have loved the technological and organizational developments of mid-19th century music business if he'd lived to exploit them.
  211. @dfordoom


    It’s more likely that the lockdowns have been responsible for the very low number of flu cases (and death).
     
    Flu deaths peak in January/February. More likely is that a couple of mild flu seasons in a row left more people available for COVID to kill.
     
    The evidence so far from Australia definitely suggests that the lockdowns are responsible for the very low number of flu cases (and death) since very very few Australians have died of COVID. Which means the lockdowns will definitely have had the side-effect of saving many lives by substantially reducing flu deaths. Flu cases are way way way down in Australia for this time of year. The evidence does seem pretty clear.

    So………….do we do this every year, then? Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations via Zoom? We all just hibernate between November and March……..like bears?

  212. res says:
    @Steve Sailer
    I think the d in dQALY stands for discounted, which I assume has something to do with net present value.

    I considered the idea of discounting for the cost of capital in my post but then decided not to go down that rabbit hole. Tyler Cowen loves arguments about net present value of the heat death of the universe, but he's a lot smarter than me.

    I think the d in dQALY stands for discounted, which I assume has something to do with net present value.

    I believe that is correct. The discount rate is a settable parameter in the spreadsheet from Andrew Briggs and defaults to 3%.

    I considered the idea of discounting for the cost of capital in my post but then decided not to go down that rabbit hole. Tyler Cowen loves arguments about net present value of the heat death of the universe, but he’s a lot smarter than me.

    I think you made the right choice. Not only does the discounting make things less intuitive (IMHO), I also think it is just wrong in some sense. That is why I focused on QALE and QALYs lost in my analysis.

    Consider that for the base US scenario these are the results for the youngest three age buckets.

    Age | LE | QALE | dQALY
    0-9 | 74.42 | 65.49 | 27.75
    10-19 | 64.52 | 55.57 | 25.52
    20-29 | 54.94 | 46.46 | 23.29

    Does it really seem reasonable that 10 additional years of life are only worth 2 dQALYs? This is the kind of thing which gives NPV calculations a bad name. With any kind of realistic discount rate life in the next century has very little value (1.03^100 =19.2).

  213. @dfordoom


    It’s more likely that the lockdowns have been responsible for the very low number of flu cases (and death).
     
    Flu deaths peak in January/February. More likely is that a couple of mild flu seasons in a row left more people available for COVID to kill.
     
    The evidence so far from Australia definitely suggests that the lockdowns are responsible for the very low number of flu cases (and death) since very very few Australians have died of COVID. Which means the lockdowns will definitely have had the side-effect of saving many lives by substantially reducing flu deaths. Flu cases are way way way down in Australia for this time of year. The evidence does seem pretty clear.

    Which means the lockdowns will definitely have had the side-effect of saving many lives by substantially reducing flu deaths.

    Yes. That would also be another factor contributing to the excess deaths methodology underestimating COVID-19 deaths.

  214. res says:
    @Anonymous
    Social distancing does seem to work. It also demolishes the economy, whether it’s ordered by the government or determined by private choice.

    So what's your suggestion Steve?

    AFAIAA, those in restaurant business, gyms etc. are being paid. Eventually the taxpayer will have to pay for all those people who went on a CV holiday.

    Remember in this game it is the lesser evil AFAICT. That being said I don't think there is a country yet who has tried "let 'er rip" yet. In theory there is some super patriotic country out there full of brave citizens willing to cough up a lung for the motherland, and look on the bright side, gramps is no longer a tax burden, and the funeral directors have just had the year of their careers. Or better yet, maybe gramps could be remanufactured into... hmmm.

    You mentioned Tyler Cowen, this seems like right up his alley.

    You might be interested in this comment:
    https://www.unz.com/isteve/cdc-finally-admits-touching-things-less-risky-than-talking-to-people/#comment-3917487

    This paper mentioned by ic1000:
    Lloyd-Smith et al.
    Superspreading and the effect of individual variation on disease emergence.
    https://www.nature.com/articles/nature04153

    Discusses the impact heterogeneity has on extinction at different levels of control (makes it easier) and has the original SARS as the disease showing the most heterogeneity of infectiousness of those they studied.

    You might also be interested in how much more effective targeted individual-specific (vs. population-wide, aka lockdowns) control is with heterogeneity.

    I looked at the paper in some depth in that comment and would be interesting in finding people interested in discussing it further.

    BTW, any thoughts on my QALY estimates above? Those would seem to indicate the lockdown cost/benefit ratio has been terrible.

  215. @Hail
    Steve Sailer wrote:

    In reality, we need more calculation, not less.
     
    The calculations of how disastrously bad the Shutdown/Lockdown decisions were both easy to do and were being done by people. Your comment-section had plenty of people doing them, including me.

    Taking into account several variables, a fair- and easily-made calculation is that the Corona-Response is hundreds of times worse than the Corona-Virus' direct impact (true virus-caused deaths) measured in aggregate-lost-life-years.

    There is some uncertainty, but it's in the hundreds of times worse. Plausibly it's even in the thousands of times worse. Either way, a public policy disaster, and really so obvious a one that people will not be able to understand it except in terms of combination of a breakthrough by a new religion and a vicious political coup d'etat process.

    I would ask: What was the point in training a leadership class in public policy and related fields if they all "caved in," suspended the concepts of basic cost-benefit analysis, tradeoffs, and suspended all kinds of statistical thinking immediately?

    There is an old joke that goes, "How do you tell the French antique military rifles from the others you see on the market? The French ones say, 'Condition: Never used. Dropped once.'"

    This is exactly what I see as the public policy experts. The prime directive of public policy should be, Don't cause unnecessary, destructive panics. They failed to use their own training, in theory training they worked so hard to learn over many years including advanced degrees. They caved in to hysteria. They did almost unbelievable damage, and frankly for nothing. For a flu virus resembling those many times in the lifetime of the median reader here (when the smoke clears, it's unclear whether it will even be the worst of the past ten years).

    The anti-Panic dissidents have been shouting from the rooftops, "True fatality rate no more than 0.1%!" since shortly after the wacko-lockdowns went into place. "More Calculation, Not Less" was certainly not welcome in late March. Nor were they welcome in April, as every study confirmed the anti-Panic position (with every study finding a 0.02% to 0.2% true fatality rate, and a best-best for most places settling in at <0.1%). Nothing changed.

    I was among those doing aggregate-lost-life-years calculations during the Panic. Some versions of it, often in fragments (take things one at a time to better grasp them) were posted in comments here in the past two months.

    Here is what I published April 19:

    A possible calculation to make that is useful would be: “Aggregate lost expected-life-years of coronavirus-positive deaths,” paired a twin calculation of “Sum-Aggregate of all living persons’ statistically expected remaining life-years.” Compare the two. What proportion of society’s sum-aggregate-expected-life-years is the coronavirus epidemic going to take?

    If you do this calculation (as I have; I will spare the calculations but can present them if desired), you find the answer is something so low as to actually be stunning, given the media’s drumbeat and the impression of a serious crisis. By my calculation, the coronavirus epidemic’s impact is well below <0.01% of aggregate expected-life-years, something like two, maybe three days of an average person’s lifespan.

    In real-world personal terms, this means that if the coronavirus crisis has already cost you as much as a net of three days of lost time, you are already on the losing side.

    The insane response leading to unnecessary mass unemployment, and other disruption, will cause lost time for all (and already far exceeding the three-days as calculated above), but will also cause an inevitable rise in prime-age suicides, other early deaths of despair, and worse healthcare outcomes for years as people become too poor or insecure to afford medical care.

    This all means the Corona Response will ‘cost’ many hundreds more life-days or life-day-equivalents to be lost than are saved. For many it will ‘cost’ thousands, even tens of thousands of lost life-days (a suicide for a person with fifty expected-life-years left would be more than 18,000 lost expected-life-days.

    In the case of coronavirus-response-induced job loss, loss of hope, and suicide by a young adult, the young person who takes his life would be among the biggest net-losers of all. Recalling that the aggregate-life-days-saved calculation could be 2-3 days, and in order to get those ‘days’ the response means others lose life-days (earlier deaths) or life-day-equivalents (e.g., to unemployment), a suicide case means a loss of 10,000, even 20,000 expected-life-days, an outcome literally thousands of times worse than the coronavirus threat for the suicide victim’s case.

    And none of us come off well. On aggregate, through playing around with these kinds of calculations, the inescapable conclusion is now that the “Corona Response” is some hundreds of times worse than the “Corona Virus” for society. We have all already long passed the point of the cure being worse than the disease, and the question now is, “how many hundreds of times worse will it be,” when all is said and done.
     
    (From “Just the Flu” Vindicated by the Data; Or, Why to End the Shutdowns Now (April 19).

    ____________

    That calculation of the Corona 'costing' the equivalent of no more than an aggregate sum which when applied to an average person's life equals three days, turns out itself to have probably been too high. For Stay-Open Sweden, it is looking more like a loss of 1.5 days, 36 life-hours, when aggregate-all-population-lost-years are applied to a single person's normal lifespan.

    Here is how the calculation works out for Stay-Open Sweden, the best proxy we have for full impact of the virus in a Western country, originally written late April, numbers updated recently:

    The aggregate-life-years number can be estimated something like this:

    Sweden total resident living population: 10,4000,000 @ 45 years expected life left (for the average resident) = 468 million aggregate-life-years for the total population, plus 575,000 expected new births in the five-year period Jan. 2020 to Dec. 2024 @ 85 expected life years each = 50 million more aggregate-life-years; adding the two, we have society's currently-living and soon-to-be-living population has as much as 520 million aggregate-expected-life-years to live.

    Coronavirus-positive deaths, which could total 3,500, 5,000 may average @ 5 expected-life years each, including many with <1 expected-life-year and others with somewhat more, but very few with decades left ahead of them. Multiplying the two, sum of aggregate-life-years lost to this flu-epidemic we can now say looks to be <20,000 25,000.

    - Living and soon-to-be-living aggregate expected life years = 520 million
    - Of which, loss to the Wuhan Coronavirus = <20,000 25,000
    = Wuhan Coronavirus will cause a loss of ca. 0.0035% 0.005% to the population's expected remaining life-years, a rate which will hold for other countries regardless of their policies.

    The surprising thing is, this represents a net loss of just one day in the life of a person who lives to age eighty-five (update, May 22: Now it looks like 1.5 days -- that is 36 hours -- in a normal, full, first-world lifespan today; it will very unlikely exceed 2 life-days). In other words, if you have lost at least one day to the Corona-Panic in any form, you have already been a net loser from the extremist Corona Shutdowns, based on these numbers. In countries in which the epidemic was worse, it could sum to two or three days, but unlikely any more.
     
    The fact is that all life is limited and therefore all our time in these earthly bodies is valuable; "time is the one thing," it is said, "that money can't buy;" that is to say, when your time comes, no Shutdown-fanatic can buy you more time; as Jesus said through a parable (Luke 12:19-20):

    https://hailtoyou.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/luke-chapter-12-verses-19-and-20.png

    Someone pointed out that the better verse of reference is Luke 12:25 which says:

    “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?”
     
    (From Sweden’s vindication is complete; Graphing the actual coronavirus epidemic in Sweden against the pro-Panic side’s wild projections (originally posted April 29; graphs and calculations updated May 22).

    ______________

    Corona aggregate-remaining-life-year loss is a simple and easy-to-understand, no-variable calculation but will not do. Because the Corona-Response(s) will have a direct effect on the rest of society's expected life years (and quality of life), causing potentially major aggregate-life-year deadweight losses to the effects of the disruption/recession.

    One of the Corona-Response 'hits' will be a fertility rate crash with the associated devastating blow to family-formation. This is not some magical mystery, but easily predictable:

    There are likely therefore to be millions fewer births in the West in 2021, 2022, 2023 than there would have been if we had ‘ignored’ this flu strain (which I believe we should have, especially knowing what we know now), with basic measures but no shutdowns and no media-directed ‘CoronaPanic.’ The “lost births” ramps up the ‘hit’ even further in the aggregate-lost-life-years calculation, if you include those never-to-be-born people’s expected-lifespans.
     

    If a drop of just 0.2 TFR points occurs, as observed with the last recession for US White women (and greater in magnitude for groups that were in the 2000s in a “Bubble Economy fertility-bubble,” notably US Hispanics), how many lost people does that translate to over, say, five years?

    It could mean that if 10 million births are supposed to occur to White US women (2m/year/5 years), there would only be 8.5 million to 9 million actually born. That’s a net loss of up to 1.5 million people, immediately swamping the sacred CoronaDeaths the media loves so much.
     
    We know that major recessions hit fertility. This is calculable.

    [N]eedless to say, crude body-counting obscures a lot of the effect.

    A simple illustrative calculation:

    Let’s be generous to the bloodthirsty media and assume (for simple calculation’s sake) they get 200,000 corona-bodies which are fairly-counted excess deaths that they can mourn/celebrate over. All data from everywhere is that these 200,000 would be overwhelmingly of advanced age and and/or in poor condition. The typical death is well over age 80, for example.

    Applying the conceptual layer of analysis of “aggregate expected life-years”:

    200,000 fairly-counted corona deaths x 5 years = 1,000,000 agg.-expected-life-years

    1,500,000 babies not born x 85 years (life-span) = 127,500,000 agg.-exp.-life-years.

    After just this one single calculation, not even yet taking into account the huge hit in lost life-years and life-year-equivalents to us the living (some of which is quantifiable, such as marginal suicides; some less immediately quantifiable; some of the effect will take years, or decades, to show up, but at which we can make best-guesses), we already see the Corona Response is easily hundreds of times worse than the Coronavirus.
     
    "Aggregate-Life-Years-Lost to Virus" is swamped, probably by over a hundred times, to "Aggregate-Life-Years-Lost to babies that will never be born" ALONE. Adding in all the other follow-on effects, and it's definitely well into the hundreds of times (measured on life-years and life-year equivalents), and could well sail into four figures (over a thousand times worse) when adjusting for quality-years and quality-life-year-equivalents (i.e., people who will lose significant amount of time on their life-trajectories to unemployment, depression, missed opportunities...)

    Here is another:

    Marginal suicides alone could well reach Corona in aggregate-lost-life-years. The effect of recession on suicides has been studied and is well understood. The Lockdown-junta must have known this, but didn't care. These Corona-Negative Suicides are just unpatriotic losers and probably deserved to die. "Let the weak of will perish!"

    I don’t know if you saw this already but a former Israel health minister agrees with you.

    Title: Nothing can justify the destruction of people’s lives.

    A quote: from the article: ” People are brainwashed. They do not listen to the data. And that includes governments.”

    https://www.spiked-online.com/2020/05/22/nothing-can-justify-this-destruction-of-peoples-lives/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

  216. @Jim Don Bob
    I saw Gotterdammerung at the Met last year and the orchestra had 90 musicians including 5 on the harp. It's really quite something to hear.

    The great composers like Beethoven generally wanted bigger and louder instruments and orchestras. Ludwig van would have loved the technological and organizational developments of mid-19th century music business if he’d lived to exploit them.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    The great composers like Beethoven generally wanted bigger and louder instruments and orchestras.
     
    Beethoven needed bigger and louder instruments.
  217. @Mr. Anon
    Tears? You're the one throwing a great big hissy-fit, clown.

    China will probably pay you to emigrate. You should really go.

    Describing a dumpster fire accurately is not “throwing a hissy fit.” Trump’s a fat cuck and you’re a moron. Those are simply the facts.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    Who's talking about Trump? I certainly wasn't. I'm hardly a fan. I was referring to your ridiculous ravings about COVID, nitwit.
  218. res says:
    @Hail
    Good calculations. As Krakoklastes does in a reply, I am skeptical of this...:

    the average Covid-19 fatality cost 13 years of life lost
     
    ...because people dying are not a randomized cross-section of the age group that is dying.

    One of the keys to the whole Corona puzzle, which the pro-Panic side still bizarrely refuses to admit, is that a large share of people in the Corona Victims list are people who were dying anyway ("deaths with the virus"). It is fundamentally a scam to count deathbed patients dying positive for some virus as because "victims of this new virus," yet that's what they've done. In official reports there are asterisks but this never gets across, there is little general awareness of the problem.

    There are really three cause-of-death categories of Corona victims, as I wrote in another comment-reply, coincidentally also to you:

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/a-big-question/#comment-3907490

    (1) Healthy people with many years of healthy life left, with no other diseases or conditions than the Wuhan Coronavirus; subdividable into three conceptual subgroups:
    — (1a.) Healthy children or adolescents;
    — (1b.) Healthy working-age people;
    — (1c.) Healthy older people of retired age;

    (2) Ambiguous cases. People with other conditions clearly contributing to a person’s ill health and/or death;

    (3) Deathbed patients expected to die very soon of another cause and/or people who very obviously died of another cause (“gunshot to head victim dies of coronavirus”).
     
    What calculations of lost-life-years might fall into is assuming that all the victims are (1)'s (a sub-point is that in in practice, any true (1)'s are pretty much all are (1c.)'s, but the media pro-Panic propaganda-mill still has people thinking it is (1a.) and (1b.) at considerable rates too, which is a lie), maybe sometimes (2)'s, and never (3)'s, a conceptual category which is effectively suppressed in Corona discourse.

    We have long had reason to believe that (3) constitutes a large share of the deaths, and that (2)+(3) together constitute a very large majority. Indications are how big the (2)+(3) majority is varies by country, but everywhere it is significant. This pushes down the real number of lost-years down for media's Corona Victims total, probably to less than half the vanilla calculation.

    …because people dying are not a randomized cross-section of the age group that is dying.

    My analysis above (in particular comments 56, 78, and 134) covers that in some detail.

    Any response?

    In a later comment you state:

    If you do this calculation (as I have; I will spare the calculations but can present them if desired), you find the answer is something so low as to actually be stunning

    Please do present them.

  219. res says:
    @Jack D
    You have to understand that modern medicine has gotten pretty good at keeping people with co-morbidities alive for quite some time, absent Coronavirus. Even some of the senile elderly dying in nursing homes were going to last several more years (to what end other than to enrich the nursing home operators I don't know, but that's a discussion for another time). They might or might not have gotten the seasonal flu and died of it this year. IF there was no vaccine for the flu and IF there was no immunity for it due to past exposure, flu would have been just as deadly to this population, but neither of those is true.

    And all of those middle aged obese black diabetics dying of Covid - they were going to last decades. They were going to get insulin and dialysis when their kidneys failed and so on and would go on for a LONG time thanks to modern medicine. Covid moved the cheese for a lot of people who were doing quite well with the status quo. And by people I don't just mean the victims and their families, I mean a whole medical-industrial complex that was making a lot of money from managing an unhealthy population with an unhealthy lifestyle and diet.

    I absolutely agree with you that using unadjusted life expectancy (i.e. assuming that Covid victims were going to live on average just as long as other members of their age cohort) is not correct but the view that all of the people dying from Covid were going to die this year anyway is equally wrong. If I had to guess, the truth is half way in between. The age of the average Covid victim is around 80. For average 80 year olds (some of whom who are healthier than average and others who are sicker) life expectancy is around 8 years and if I had to guess, for those with Covid it was probably around 4 on average.

    For average 80 year olds (some of whom who are healthier than average and others who are sicker) life expectancy is around 8 years and if I had to guess, for those with Covid it was probably around 4 on average.

    For comparison, in the spreadsheet I have been looking at SMR2 is about 1/3 less than the life expectancy of SMR1 (average, 12.49 years for 70-79, 6.76 years for 80-89) with SMR3 being about half that of SMR1.

  220. @Steve Sailer
    The great composers like Beethoven generally wanted bigger and louder instruments and orchestras. Ludwig van would have loved the technological and organizational developments of mid-19th century music business if he'd lived to exploit them.

    The great composers like Beethoven generally wanted bigger and louder instruments and orchestras.

    Beethoven needed bigger and louder instruments.

  221. @Alexander Turok
    Describing a dumpster fire accurately is not "throwing a hissy fit." Trump's a fat cuck and you're a moron. Those are simply the facts.

    Who’s talking about Trump? I certainly wasn’t. I’m hardly a fan. I was referring to your ridiculous ravings about COVID, nitwit.

  222. @Buffalo Joe
    Government mandated life saving devices are worthy of an iSteve post. Seat belts, ok. Air bags, better. The little hard to remove inner seals on most bottles, not so sure, but I hate the Tylenol Killer who caused that precaution. And my favorite, the illustration of an infant going head first into any and every bucket or pail, with the red circle with diagonal slash, and a printed warning in at least to languages. When we were kids every basement had a wash tub where the laundry was pre soaked. Never remember any one drowning in their basement.

    Joe- seat belts are unequivocally a good thing. I’ve been in a head on collision and two rear enders- seat belts saved my life at least once out of those three, based of course, on my observations and not a formal accident reconstruction.
    Not so sure about airbags, though- all they did is give me chemical burns.

  223. @AnotherDad

    No matter how you slice and dice the data, CV is a fatal disease primarily (not solely, but primarily) among the elderly. For those who are not elderly, victims usually have some co-morbidity (diabetes, obesity, etc.) For a healthy white person under 60 to die of Covid is extremely rare. It happens now and then, but rarely (i.e. less than 1% of deaths would be among that group).

    Everything in America is politicized today so even a public health crisis is seen thru a political filter. If you are confused about the demographics of the victims it is because the media has been doing all that it can to obfuscate the identity of the victims. They did this with AIDs also.
     
    Very well said Jack.

    Roe (and to a lesser extend Furman) was my teenage wakeup that "progressives" in America were just going to cheat to get what they wanted. (I.e. impose it upon the people, without bothering to convince them, win elections and write new laws.)

    But the whole AIDS scam a decade later, was a wakeup call for me in terms of the sheer level of propaganda, outright lying and sheer illogic and stupidity that would be employed.

    If ever there was an epidemic that was zero threat to civilization AIDS was it.

    But media's propaganda ... holy cow!
    -- An created and epidemic spread by extreme homosexual promiscuity and IV drug users' needle sharing ... blamed on normal people.
    -- Traditional effective public health measures labelled "discrimination". The people generating the epidemic don't need to change their behavior, rather normies must be beaten with "tolerance".
    -- What we really have to stop is "stigma".
    -- "Anyone can get AIDS".
    -- A virus spread by anal intercourse and needle--neither of which normal healthy men and women have any need to engage in--was, without "action!", going to swallow us all.
    -- "A crisis", "an emergency" that actually required no response at all.
    -- Billions upon billions of dollars need to be reordered--from every area of research (ex. cancer) and medical care, that benefit normal people--to fight an "epidemic" of a disease that is no threat to the nation and is absolutely trivial for people avoid.
    -- A virus demonstrating homosexual degeneracy and irresponsibly, proving we needed homo liberation and homo marriage.

    And who was the guy pushing this “anyone can get AIDS” nonsense? Anthony Something or other…

  224. @blank-misgivings
    I personally find Schubert's early death the saddest thing in modern history! Tbh I find it hard to get worked up about any political or socio-economic events: Napoleon wins Waterloo? Who cares? We'd end up in more or less the same (bad) place by alternative routes. But Schubert living well into the 19th century, studying counterpoint, assimilating Bach, writing opera and concertos, meeting and being influenced by Chopin......an amazing dream!

    On Mozart's early death I feel less sentimental because I think his life would have smothered the young Beethoven. So if Mozart had lived, no Beethoven as we know him. But Schubert could have lived into a relative vacuum of talent.

    Schubert was a tremendous loss. There’s a really captivating documentary on youtube by Sir Andras Schiff (a character himself) in which he talks about his admiration for Schubert. At one point Schiff states that it’s useless to speculate “what have been” with Schubert and that he lived a full life, which is an interesting point.

    By the way in that documentary Schiff states that, for him, this song by Schubert contains more drama than the entire output of Richard Wagner. Surely an exaggeration but what a song!

    • Replies: @gfhändel
    Magic. Utter magic. Thanks for link.
    PS DFD endorsed Frank Martin. Worth a look?
  225. The much anticipated event just happened:

    USA 1,713,245 +7,019 100,030 +225 468,669 1,144,546 17,147 5,179 302 15,271,109 46,163 330,811,717

  226. @Steve Sailer
    With close to half of deaths being in nursing homes, I figure their life expectancies weren't too high.

    With close to half of deaths being in nursing homes, I figure their life expectancies weren’t too high.

    My father had to go into a rehab/nursing home after a stroke. It was actually a clean, lovely place with very professional people. But looking at the age of the residents and their conditions, I couldn’t help having the thought that their life expectancy was probably similar to residents of a nazi concentration camp.

    That might not be far off:

    One out of every four of us will die while residing in a nursing home. For most of us, that stay in a nursing home will be brief, although this may depend upon social and demographic variables like our gender, net worth, and marital status. These are the conclusions of an important new study published in JAGS by Kelly and colleagues (many of whom are geripal contributors, including Alex Smith and Ken Covinsky).

    The study authors used data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) to describe the lengths of stay of older adults who resided in nursing homes at the end of life. What they found was that out of the 8,433 study participants who died between 1992 and 2006, 27.3% of resided in a nursing home prior to their death. Most of these patients (70%) actually died in the nursing home without being transferred to another setting like a hospital.

    The length of stay data were striking:

    the median length of stay in a nursing home before death was 5 months
    the average length of stay was longer at 14 months due to a small number of study participants who had very long lengths of stay
    65% died within 1 year of nursing home admission
    53% died within 6 months of nursing home admission

    https://www.geripal.org/2010/08/length-of-stay-in-nursing-homes-at-end.html

  227. @Almost Missouri
    Obviously I agree. The sad part about it is supposedly this Idiocracy-version of The Atlantic has revived it financially, so I guess there is a big market for aggressive stupidity. I don't know why those readers couldn't have been contented with BuzzFeed and MSNBC, but maybe they feel an extra frisson of smugness doing their voodoo dances while wearing the skinsuit of a formerly respectable institution.

    Great comment.

    But I often wonder about them being revived financially.

    Because I’ve heard that before about other publications and news outlets.

    It very well may be.

    But they also might be lying.

    I certainly wouldn’t put it past them.

  228. @dfordoom


    The concept rightfully should remain a taboo
     
    Could you explain why?
     
    If you need that explained to you then I feel very sorry for you.

    In other words, you have no answer.

    Childish and Pathetic.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

  229. @Almost Missouri
    Steve, thanks for addressing the big underlying COVID question head-on.

    P.S. Re Mozart, from back when The Atlantic was still a serious publication, neglected Austrian composer Ernst Toch's grandson quoted his grandfather thus:


    Whenever he encountered anyone complaining about Mozart's dying so young, he'd erupt, "For God's sake, what more did you want from the man?"
     
    The article is a good sort of In Memoriam-type story overall. I commend it to anyone interested in music, composing, or early 20th c. Austria. It's practically unfindable on The Atlantic's website. Along with their writing quality, the quality of their archives and search function has fallen off a cliff. I only managed to dredge up the old article with the help of some Google hacks.

    Another choice line:


    Lilly's father was a banker, and she was thus a princess of the highly assimilated Jewish aristocracy -- a class whose idolatry of things German and corresponding disdain for things Jewish (specifically Eastern European Jewish) could verge on the anti-Semitic.
     
    There's a lot of sharp observations about the time and place, as well as about Ernst Toch's struggle, first to stand on the shoulders of giants like Mozart, and then to broadcast the fruits of his achievement.

    "If Mozart was possible," he would sometimes declare, "then the word impossible should be eliminated from our vocabulary."
     
    Alas for the lost age when the Chosen People and the Master Race labored jointly for the enrichment of mankind!

    As say the others – thank you for an article of deep and very tragic significance.
    The Chosen People and the Master Race: they worked together for the benefit, not of mankind, a word fairly meaningless for both of them, but rather for the True, the Good, and the Beautiful; in other words, for God Himself.

    That first photo tells the whole story: all four were Jews, including Prince Hubertus zu Loewenstein (at least through his mother, of the Worms-Todesco-Rothschild line of millionaire bankers, who was the daughter of a man both an Austrian and later an English baron). But, at least as significantly, and the heart of the tragedy, both he and Klemperer were devout and deeply serious Roman Catholics, Loewenstein by birth and Klemperer by conversion. Loewenstein remained one, and his nephew Prince Rupert, both of whose sons are priests, carried on that seriously devout purpose even as he used his financial acumen to enrich the Rolling Stones and to live on the surface as a devoted leader of the jettiest of jet-setters.
    Klemperer left the Church in his old age. Jewish triumphalists like to say that he did so in reaction to the Vatican’s indifference to the sufferings of the Jews under Hitler, but I doubt this: as is clear with Toch, so it is equally clear to those who have studied his life that Klemperer was no particular friend of his own people. I consider it far more likely that, as a man of the highest cultural level and most brilliant talents, who throughout his life had cultivated only people of similar gifts, and who had known a Catholic Church which itself honoured and cultivated all the talents and all that was a mirror of the divine, he was appalled and disgusted by the “fruits” of the Second Council of the Vatican which, as became clear almost immediately after its end in 1965, were nothing other than the repudiation and destruction of everything which had made the Church attractive, both to Klemperer and to so many others who made up that superb flowering of music and the arts and philosophy which was fin-de-siecle Austria and, it should not be forgotten, Bavaria as well. One thinks here of Klemperer’s friend Dietrich von Hildebrand, Catholic convert and son of Adolf, the half-Jewish sculptor rightly considered the last flowering of the Greco-Florentine tradition. Hildebrand did not only not fall away at the spectacle of Catholic decadence, he was one of the very first to see and denounce the ruin of a great tradition by the mediocre traitors and fellow travellers of the Pauline revolution. His warnings went unheeded, and Catholicism is now in its final death throes, at least as an institution of public significance.
    But the same is true of Judaism, which is now nothing more than a “hate the goy” racket which a man like Toch would have repudiated with incomprehension and disgust. His reverence for Luther and Schweitzer is proof of this, and was an attitude more or less true of all the Jews of his circle, many of whom, from the early Nineteenth Century until the catastrophe of the First World War, either converted to Christianity or saw nothing reprehensible in doing so.
    This simbiosis was destroyed in 1918, like so much else that was good, and the result has been first the coarsening and now, one hundred years later, the extinction of the historic reality of both.

    • Thanks: Almost Missouri
  230. @Stephen Dodge
    Many of the great composers of the next couple of generations after the death of Mozart saw themselves as artists who were just as inspired as he was ( it was only in the 20th century that actual composers began to understand that Mozart was sui generis and they could never do anything like what he did.

    To get a good idea of what Mozart might have done had he lived a few more years - say you want to hear what the next ten inspired symphonies were like - one should listen to the early works of Saint Saens, Berlioz, and Bizet in France, and Mendelssohn, Bruckner, and Brahms in the German-speaking land.

    Another commenter on this thread noted that Chopin was in a different universe, which is true. I would add Bellini and Verdi to that list, and of course Schumann and Berlioz.

    To understand Western music, one must not only understand the love of music that the great composers had, in their world, with all its long-vanished sounds and all its long-vanished echoes, but one should also understand that with the exception of a few drunken masters, they were all able to access that pure place in the heart of a musician where the sound of the angels is available.

    So yes, while it would be almost heaven on earth for a musician of today to be able to hear just two or three minutes of a sting quartet written by a 50 year old Mozart, or a few scenes from Beethoven's second real try at an opera after Fidelio, the fact remains that they (Mozart and Beethoven) were mere vessels for angelic inspiration, the great fount of beautiful music, a fountain of music which was easy to find not only by Mozart and Beethoven but also by dozens and dozens of fiddlers and pianists who lived in the culture they lived in, over the next couple of generations.

    Even in our lifetimes, there have been composers with access to such a world - just to name one each from five different countries, Samuel Barber, Shostakovich, Nino Rota, Elgar (well, I am old), and

    And who were those few drunken masters?

  231. @gfhändel
    That was his retirement as an opera composer. Petite Messe Solennelle he composed as age 70.

    "Twelve singers of three sexes, men, women and castrati will suffice for its execution: that is, eight for the choir, four soloists, in all twelve cherubim."

    A wonderful quote, which proves what I like to tell people, viz., that Rossini was an unreconstructed reactionary Catholic of the deepest hue.

    Moderns (and all too many others who should know better) are horrified, but it is what I like most about him.

    • Replies: @gfhändel
    I stole it from Wikipedia. I thought the "three sexes" might get juices flowing. It's his best work. I recommend Robert King's Hyperion version.
  232. @Gurney Halleck
    Schubert was a tremendous loss. There's a really captivating documentary on youtube by Sir Andras Schiff (a character himself) in which he talks about his admiration for Schubert. At one point Schiff states that it's useless to speculate "what have been" with Schubert and that he lived a full life, which is an interesting point.

    By the way in that documentary Schiff states that, for him, this song by Schubert contains more drama than the entire output of Richard Wagner. Surely an exaggeration but what a song!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpabBV2FfkY

    Magic. Utter magic. Thanks for link.
    PS DFD endorsed Frank Martin. Worth a look?

  233. @Old Palo Altan
    A wonderful quote, which proves what I like to tell people, viz., that Rossini was an unreconstructed reactionary Catholic of the deepest hue.

    Moderns (and all too many others who should know better) are horrified, but it is what I like most about him.

    I stole it from Wikipedia. I thought the “three sexes” might get juices flowing. It’s his best work. I recommend Robert King’s Hyperion version.

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
    Thank you. I shall try it.
  234. @gfhändel
    I stole it from Wikipedia. I thought the "three sexes" might get juices flowing. It's his best work. I recommend Robert King's Hyperion version.

    Thank you. I shall try it.

  235. res says:
    @Hail
    Steve Sailer wrote:

    In reality, we need more calculation, not less.
     
    The calculations of how disastrously bad the Shutdown/Lockdown decisions were both easy to do and were being done by people. Your comment-section had plenty of people doing them, including me.

    Taking into account several variables, a fair- and easily-made calculation is that the Corona-Response is hundreds of times worse than the Corona-Virus' direct impact (true virus-caused deaths) measured in aggregate-lost-life-years.

    There is some uncertainty, but it's in the hundreds of times worse. Plausibly it's even in the thousands of times worse. Either way, a public policy disaster, and really so obvious a one that people will not be able to understand it except in terms of combination of a breakthrough by a new religion and a vicious political coup d'etat process.

    I would ask: What was the point in training a leadership class in public policy and related fields if they all "caved in," suspended the concepts of basic cost-benefit analysis, tradeoffs, and suspended all kinds of statistical thinking immediately?

    There is an old joke that goes, "How do you tell the French antique military rifles from the others you see on the market? The French ones say, 'Condition: Never used. Dropped once.'"

    This is exactly what I see as the public policy experts. The prime directive of public policy should be, Don't cause unnecessary, destructive panics. They failed to use their own training, in theory training they worked so hard to learn over many years including advanced degrees. They caved in to hysteria. They did almost unbelievable damage, and frankly for nothing. For a flu virus resembling those many times in the lifetime of the median reader here (when the smoke clears, it's unclear whether it will even be the worst of the past ten years).

    The anti-Panic dissidents have been shouting from the rooftops, "True fatality rate no more than 0.1%!" since shortly after the wacko-lockdowns went into place. "More Calculation, Not Less" was certainly not welcome in late March. Nor were they welcome in April, as every study confirmed the anti-Panic position (with every study finding a 0.02% to 0.2% true fatality rate, and a best-best for most places settling in at <0.1%). Nothing changed.

    I was among those doing aggregate-lost-life-years calculations during the Panic. Some versions of it, often in fragments (take things one at a time to better grasp them) were posted in comments here in the past two months.

    Here is what I published April 19:

    A possible calculation to make that is useful would be: “Aggregate lost expected-life-years of coronavirus-positive deaths,” paired a twin calculation of “Sum-Aggregate of all living persons’ statistically expected remaining life-years.” Compare the two. What proportion of society’s sum-aggregate-expected-life-years is the coronavirus epidemic going to take?

    If you do this calculation (as I have; I will spare the calculations but can present them if desired), you find the answer is something so low as to actually be stunning, given the media’s drumbeat and the impression of a serious crisis. By my calculation, the coronavirus epidemic’s impact is well below <0.01% of aggregate expected-life-years, something like two, maybe three days of an average person’s lifespan.

    In real-world personal terms, this means that if the coronavirus crisis has already cost you as much as a net of three days of lost time, you are already on the losing side.

    The insane response leading to unnecessary mass unemployment, and other disruption, will cause lost time for all (and already far exceeding the three-days as calculated above), but will also cause an inevitable rise in prime-age suicides, other early deaths of despair, and worse healthcare outcomes for years as people become too poor or insecure to afford medical care.

    This all means the Corona Response will ‘cost’ many hundreds more life-days or life-day-equivalents to be lost than are saved. For many it will ‘cost’ thousands, even tens of thousands of lost life-days (a suicide for a person with fifty expected-life-years left would be more than 18,000 lost expected-life-days.

    In the case of coronavirus-response-induced job loss, loss of hope, and suicide by a young adult, the young person who takes his life would be among the biggest net-losers of all. Recalling that the aggregate-life-days-saved calculation could be 2-3 days, and in order to get those ‘days’ the response means others lose life-days (earlier deaths) or life-day-equivalents (e.g., to unemployment), a suicide case means a loss of 10,000, even 20,000 expected-life-days, an outcome literally thousands of times worse than the coronavirus threat for the suicide victim’s case.

    And none of us come off well. On aggregate, through playing around with these kinds of calculations, the inescapable conclusion is now that the “Corona Response” is some hundreds of times worse than the “Corona Virus” for society. We have all already long passed the point of the cure being worse than the disease, and the question now is, “how many hundreds of times worse will it be,” when all is said and done.
     
    (From “Just the Flu” Vindicated by the Data; Or, Why to End the Shutdowns Now (April 19).

    ____________

    That calculation of the Corona 'costing' the equivalent of no more than an aggregate sum which when applied to an average person's life equals three days, turns out itself to have probably been too high. For Stay-Open Sweden, it is looking more like a loss of 1.5 days, 36 life-hours, when aggregate-all-population-lost-years are applied to a single person's normal lifespan.

    Here is how the calculation works out for Stay-Open Sweden, the best proxy we have for full impact of the virus in a Western country, originally written late April, numbers updated recently:

    The aggregate-life-years number can be estimated something like this:

    Sweden total resident living population: 10,4000,000 @ 45 years expected life left (for the average resident) = 468 million aggregate-life-years for the total population, plus 575,000 expected new births in the five-year period Jan. 2020 to Dec. 2024 @ 85 expected life years each = 50 million more aggregate-life-years; adding the two, we have society's currently-living and soon-to-be-living population has as much as 520 million aggregate-expected-life-years to live.

    Coronavirus-positive deaths, which could total 3,500, 5,000 may average @ 5 expected-life years each, including many with <1 expected-life-year and others with somewhat more, but very few with decades left ahead of them. Multiplying the two, sum of aggregate-life-years lost to this flu-epidemic we can now say looks to be <20,000 25,000.

    - Living and soon-to-be-living aggregate expected life years = 520 million
    - Of which, loss to the Wuhan Coronavirus = <20,000 25,000
    = Wuhan Coronavirus will cause a loss of ca. 0.0035% 0.005% to the population's expected remaining life-years, a rate which will hold for other countries regardless of their policies.

    The surprising thing is, this represents a net loss of just one day in the life of a person who lives to age eighty-five (update, May 22: Now it looks like 1.5 days -- that is 36 hours -- in a normal, full, first-world lifespan today; it will very unlikely exceed 2 life-days). In other words, if you have lost at least one day to the Corona-Panic in any form, you have already been a net loser from the extremist Corona Shutdowns, based on these numbers. In countries in which the epidemic was worse, it could sum to two or three days, but unlikely any more.
     
    The fact is that all life is limited and therefore all our time in these earthly bodies is valuable; "time is the one thing," it is said, "that money can't buy;" that is to say, when your time comes, no Shutdown-fanatic can buy you more time; as Jesus said through a parable (Luke 12:19-20):

    https://hailtoyou.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/luke-chapter-12-verses-19-and-20.png

    Someone pointed out that the better verse of reference is Luke 12:25 which says:

    “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?”
     
    (From Sweden’s vindication is complete; Graphing the actual coronavirus epidemic in Sweden against the pro-Panic side’s wild projections (originally posted April 29; graphs and calculations updated May 22).

    ______________

    Corona aggregate-remaining-life-year loss is a simple and easy-to-understand, no-variable calculation but will not do. Because the Corona-Response(s) will have a direct effect on the rest of society's expected life years (and quality of life), causing potentially major aggregate-life-year deadweight losses to the effects of the disruption/recession.

    One of the Corona-Response 'hits' will be a fertility rate crash with the associated devastating blow to family-formation. This is not some magical mystery, but easily predictable:

    There are likely therefore to be millions fewer births in the West in 2021, 2022, 2023 than there would have been if we had ‘ignored’ this flu strain (which I believe we should have, especially knowing what we know now), with basic measures but no shutdowns and no media-directed ‘CoronaPanic.’ The “lost births” ramps up the ‘hit’ even further in the aggregate-lost-life-years calculation, if you include those never-to-be-born people’s expected-lifespans.
     

    If a drop of just 0.2 TFR points occurs, as observed with the last recession for US White women (and greater in magnitude for groups that were in the 2000s in a “Bubble Economy fertility-bubble,” notably US Hispanics), how many lost people does that translate to over, say, five years?

    It could mean that if 10 million births are supposed to occur to White US women (2m/year/5 years), there would only be 8.5 million to 9 million actually born. That’s a net loss of up to 1.5 million people, immediately swamping the sacred CoronaDeaths the media loves so much.
     
    We know that major recessions hit fertility. This is calculable.

    [N]eedless to say, crude body-counting obscures a lot of the effect.

    A simple illustrative calculation:

    Let’s be generous to the bloodthirsty media and assume (for simple calculation’s sake) they get 200,000 corona-bodies which are fairly-counted excess deaths that they can mourn/celebrate over. All data from everywhere is that these 200,000 would be overwhelmingly of advanced age and and/or in poor condition. The typical death is well over age 80, for example.

    Applying the conceptual layer of analysis of “aggregate expected life-years”:

    200,000 fairly-counted corona deaths x 5 years = 1,000,000 agg.-expected-life-years

    1,500,000 babies not born x 85 years (life-span) = 127,500,000 agg.-exp.-life-years.

    After just this one single calculation, not even yet taking into account the huge hit in lost life-years and life-year-equivalents to us the living (some of which is quantifiable, such as marginal suicides; some less immediately quantifiable; some of the effect will take years, or decades, to show up, but at which we can make best-guesses), we already see the Corona Response is easily hundreds of times worse than the Coronavirus.
     
    "Aggregate-Life-Years-Lost to Virus" is swamped, probably by over a hundred times, to "Aggregate-Life-Years-Lost to babies that will never be born" ALONE. Adding in all the other follow-on effects, and it's definitely well into the hundreds of times (measured on life-years and life-year equivalents), and could well sail into four figures (over a thousand times worse) when adjusting for quality-years and quality-life-year-equivalents (i.e., people who will lose significant amount of time on their life-trajectories to unemployment, depression, missed opportunities...)

    Here is another:

    Marginal suicides alone could well reach Corona in aggregate-lost-life-years. The effect of recession on suicides has been studied and is well understood. The Lockdown-junta must have known this, but didn't care. These Corona-Negative Suicides are just unpatriotic losers and probably deserved to die. "Let the weak of will perish!"

    A possible calculation to make that is useful would be: “Aggregate lost expected-life-years of coronavirus-positive deaths,” paired a twin calculation of “Sum-Aggregate of all living persons’ statistically expected remaining life-years.” Compare the two. What proportion of society’s sum-aggregate-expected-life-years is the coronavirus epidemic going to take?

    If you do this calculation (as I have; I will spare the calculations but can present them if desired), you find the answer is something so low as to actually be stunning, given the media’s drumbeat and the impression of a serious crisis. By my calculation, the coronavirus epidemic’s impact is well below <0.01% of aggregate expected-life-years, something like two, maybe three days of an average person’s lifespan.

    As I requested above, please present your calculations. At this point I am guessing you are just full of hot air, but please feel free to prove me wrong.

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