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NYT: Don't Wait Until It's Too Late to Close Schools
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UPDATE: Stanford U. just shut down all in-person classes for at least two weeks beginning Monday, March 9.

From the New York Times opinion page:

Coronavirus School Closings: Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late
History teaches us that keeping children at home early in an outbreak can save lives.

By Howard Markel
Dr. Markel studies the history of pandemics. Dr. Markel is the director of the Center for the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan and a professor of pediatrics.

March 6, 2020, 6:43 p.m. ET

My research on the long history of epidemics has taught me that when it comes to outbreaks of contagious respiratory infections, closing schools can help prevent many thousands of illnesses and deaths.

Schools are community gathering places where large numbers of people are in proximity to one another and respiratory infections can easily spread among young people and adults alike. Shutting them down can be a key part of slowing the spread of easily transmissible viruses so that hospitals are not overrun with sick people, and it can help to buy time to allow for the development of antiviral medications, medical treatments or a vaccine.

But policymakers working to stop the spread of the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 should remember a key part of this historically informed equation: We can’t wait until it’s too late.

Communities in the United States must shut down schools before, not after, the outbreak becomes widespread here. “Widespread” is admittedly an imprecise term, but I use it to describe a situation in which there are multiple cases throughout a town or state and more cases with each passing day.

In 2007, my colleagues and I at the University of Michigan Center for the History of Medicine and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studied the 1918-19 influenza pandemic, which killed up to 750,000 Americans.

We looked at 43 large cities that carried out some combination of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs): isolating the ill or those suspected of being ill in hospitals or at home; banning public gatherings; in some cases, shutting down roads and railways; and closing schools.

School closing turned out to be one of the most effective firewalls against the spread of the pandemic; cities that acted fast, for lengthy periods, and included school closing and at least one other NPI in their responses saw the lowest death rates.

Of course, all NPIs are socially disruptive and should be used only as a last resort, to control infections that are highly transmissible and dangerous, and have high fatality rates. The primary problem with the new coronavirus is that we have never before experienced an outbreak with it, so we do not yet have good, stable numbers to tell us how serious it is.

The thing about school closings is that if this somehow turns out to be a false alarm, or if the trouble is over by, say, Memorial Day, we can just extend the school year later into spring or summer the way that school districts routinely respond to strikes, blizzards, smoke from brushfires, and other causes of school closures.

https://twitter.com/craftsprite/status/1236143728290480128

 
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  1. But…but just yesterday they said it was racist to do this.

    Racist to do anything really.

    • Replies: @anon
    @Mr McKenna

    But…but just yesterday they said it was racist to do this.

    It's different when they do it.

    , @BenKenobi
    @Mr McKenna

    Just say it's fo' dem po-gams fo' dem keeds. Easy-peasy, Japan-eezy.

    [this post was written by a Bruce Hornsby fan]

  2. Anon[997] • Disclaimer says:

    we can just extend the school year later into spring or summer the way that school districts routinely respond to school closures.

    Or just give the kids their degrees. High school diplomas are so compromised now, with the No Black Child Left Uncredentialed policy that has developed, that the idea that your education was a few months short is no big deal. Smart kids are probably learning as much out of school, and their parents are probably enforcing a certain degree of impromptu homeschooling, while dumb kids who weren’t learning in school anyway just continue the status quo.

    In other news, finally someone grew some balls.

    At a City Hall press conference, Mayor Steve Adler and Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt jointly announced the declaration of a “local state of disaster” in the city and county, allowing the two leaders increased authority in ensuring public safety in light of growing fears over an outbreak of the coronavirus in our community. Their first move was to announce the cancellation of SXSW.

    Stubborn private sector nonprofit won’t cancel dangerous event. Hmmm, let’s see what laws are on the books … joint executive-judicial state of emergency? Sounds good.

    Events expected to exceed 2,500 people in attendance will be cancelled, “unless organizers are able to assure Austin Public Health that mitigation plans for infectious diseases are in place,” per a statement from city and county officials.

    There are camp follower events:

    The big question now is what the cancellation of SXSW means for the ancillary events – official and unofficial – that occur alongside the annual conference and festival.

    Rodeo Austin, which runs from March 14-28, is the next planned mass gathering. In 2019, the fair and rodeo drew in 255,000 visitors, and the organization – a nonprofit – contributed $2.3 million to various youth programs in the region.

  3. What’s the youngest reported death due to this virus?

    • Replies: @Len
    @MikeatMikedotMike

    No one under age nine yet.

    (scroll down)

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/coronavirus-age-sex-demographics/

    , @Hail
    @MikeatMikedotMike

    A few Chinese in their thirties, but there may be extenuating circumstances there.

    The whistleblower doctor in Wuhan who discovered the virus and was harassed and humiliated for it by the CCP secret police, who later died of the virus, was 34 (name Li Wenliang), but he was probably in such a long-term panic mode and overwork, not to mention the secret-police harassment in late Dec. and early Jan., that I'd guess he very likely would have survived the virus if he had let himself rest; he died in the line of duty, as it were, not because the virus had any real fair-odds chance of killing him.

    There was a curious report in South Korea of a mother in her 30s, a minor government bureaucrat tasked with working all-out on the government's COVID-19 emergency response after the doomsday cult began spreading it. She was one of those on it full-time for several weeks. A few days ago she collapsed and died, at home. She did not have the virus. She was under such strain, stress, and pressure, that she, too, died of overwork. Another collateral loss. Her young daughter is said to have discovered the body.

  4. My kids school already closed for a week in Jan. because so many kids were sick with a severe flu. I know this isn’t uncommon but it is the first time it has happened in my neck of the woods since my kids have been in school. And I hadn’t been sick since I was a child but this winter I and several coworkers got a horrible case of flu that lingered for over a month. Was it corona virus? Who knows.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Futurethirdworlder

    Is there a test to see if you've already had it and are now immune?

    Replies: @Chrisnonymous, @ic1000, @LondonBob

    , @Anon
    @Futurethirdworlder

    I had 5 family members come down with something in the same week in late February. The problem is, that just seems too early for Covid-19 in their area of the country. The state they're in has zero reported cases so far.

    Sometimes you just get a bad flu season.

    , @Hail
    @Futurethirdworlder

    In November and December 2019, there were reports going around in the US that the then-beginning flu season was one of the worst in years. Someone could confirm this in news archives. This was weeks before anyone had ever heard of the Wuhan Bat virus.

    Replies: @LondonBob, @danand

  5. @Futurethirdworlder
    My kids school already closed for a week in Jan. because so many kids were sick with a severe flu. I know this isn't uncommon but it is the first time it has happened in my neck of the woods since my kids have been in school. And I hadn't been sick since I was a child but this winter I and several coworkers got a horrible case of flu that lingered for over a month. Was it corona virus? Who knows.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Anon, @Hail

    Is there a test to see if you’ve already had it and are now immune?

    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
    @Steve Sailer

    No, not really. The ability to do that exists, but it is not a "test" per se.

    , @ic1000
    @Steve Sailer

    > Is there a test to see if you’ve already had it [Covid19] and are now immune?

    In theory (in the future), Yes; in practice (today), No.

    The body responds to a viral infection by having the immune system mount a two-pronged attack on the pathogenic virus. Some white blood cells produce “neutralizing antibodies,” which circulate in the blood and inactivate free virus. Other lymphocytes surveil tissues and target infected cells, killing them before the viral replication cycle is complete.

    Immunology research labs set up and run these assays fairly routinely for a wide range of targets, but most aren’t “clinical grade”: the sensitivity and specificity haven’t been determined, and the assays aren’t designed for high-volume use. And they’re labor-intensive.*

    There was a peer-reviewed article a couple of days ago where a Chinese lab looked at titers of Covid19 neutralizing antibodies in the blood of newly-recovered patients. They were present in variable amounts, and one “recovered” patient had a relapse and died of a new (or resurgent) infection. So it seems at this point that “not everybody” develops durable immunity to the virus, once the initial acute phase is past.

    * Also, screening is the most challenging application for a clinical assay, most of them aren’t good enough to be used constructively for that purpose. I imagine that Wiki has a reasonable explanation of why this is so.

    , @LondonBob
    @Steve Sailer

    You can be reinfected but you have some immunity so it shouldn't have much impact next time around.

    https://twitter.com/theprojecttv/status/1235116217108582400?s=20

    Replies: @Futurethirdworlder

  6. CPK says:

    There may be a good argument that closing public schools would be an over-reaction — but stipulating arguendo that it would save kids from sickness and death, it would come at a terrible cost. People might start thinking that maybe public schools aren’t that important after all, and we can’t have that.

  7. @Mr McKenna
    But...but just yesterday they said it was racist to do this.

    Racist to do anything really.

    Replies: @anon, @BenKenobi

    But…but just yesterday they said it was racist to do this.

    It’s different when they do it.

  8. Frisco, Texas resident here. Spring Break is next week. We are ready to withdraw the kids from school and homeschool for the balance of the year.

  9. The thing about school closings is that if this somehow turns out to be a false alarm, or if the trouble is over by, say, Memorial Day, we can just extend the school year later into spring or summer the way that school districts routinely respond to strikes, blizzards, smoke from brushfires, and other causes of school closures.

    NO! We’re not doin’ it. We’ve got real shit to do during the summer. This year’s fraction lessons have dragged on long enough as it is. Peak Stupidity says “Hey, Ed-Schools, leave them teachers alone!”

    All in all, you’re just bricks in the wall.

    • LOL: a Newsreader
  10. Anon[279] • Disclaimer says:

    The King County Health officials are recommending against it because of “equity” issues: 1) not all kids have access to the internet and 2) the <10% of kids in the Free Lunch Program will "go hungry".

    Northshore School District solved #1 by loaning iPads and laptops to all kids who need one. They closed their district of 23,000 students.

    But what about #2? Unsolvable. Therefore, we will risk lots of people dying because we just can't let those poor kids on free lunch program "go hungry".

    This is what happens when you live in an area run by libtards.

    • Replies: @Anon
    @Anon

    Of course the black parents can feed their black kids. Those kids sure aren't starving to death over summer vacation every year. They're getting fed. It's just that their conniving parents are taking advantage of dumb libtard whites.

    Offer free stuff, people always take it.

  11. another fake and stupid lie from Democrats. i’m surprised every single school everywhere isn’t closed.

    1) the teachers get paid whether they teach or not. of course they’d prefer the schools to close. they just sit at home doing nothing, getting paid.
    2) school kids don’t do anything important, so who cares. they miss a month of school, nothing happens to planet earth.
    3) all the teachers are Democrats anyway.

    nice way for politicians to give their Democrat ally teacher voting base free money while appearing to do something about Covid-19, but not actually doing anything. kids don’t seem to really pick up the virus anyway.

    let me know when they start canceling Democrat primaries or NBA games. things that will cost Democrats money. not pay them to sit at home doing nothing. NCAA canceled the D3 basketball tournament. note, not the D1, money making tournament, where literally hundreds of thousands more people will attend.

    this is all about money. and as always, Democrats at total liars. Republicans should go on the attack. force them to be held to their own standards. Republicans should not stay on the defensive and try to deflect endless, free attacks from the Democrat press about how Trump is going to get us all killed.

  12. @Futurethirdworlder
    My kids school already closed for a week in Jan. because so many kids were sick with a severe flu. I know this isn't uncommon but it is the first time it has happened in my neck of the woods since my kids have been in school. And I hadn't been sick since I was a child but this winter I and several coworkers got a horrible case of flu that lingered for over a month. Was it corona virus? Who knows.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Anon, @Hail

    I had 5 family members come down with something in the same week in late February. The problem is, that just seems too early for Covid-19 in their area of the country. The state they’re in has zero reported cases so far.

    Sometimes you just get a bad flu season.

  13. This is another one of those funny American situations where everybody tries to have a discussion while deliberately not mentioning the elephant in the room.

    Schools are free childcare so the parents can go to work. Most households literally can’t function without this.

    If you shut down the schools, what are people going to do with their kids?

    They can’t afford to not go to work. Most do not even have 500 bucks available. They can probably get essentially a line of credit from a private daycare provider so they can keep working, and put the kid in daycare. But congratulations, you’re right back where you started. Kids crowded together transmitting disease.

    • Replies: @Hail
    @Not my economy

    Of all the things this social panic may do, add getting some to question the quasi-mandatory, out-of-home full-time work regime for all mothers, a kind of ideology and cultural-norm certainly for Blue America, and for much of Red America; one long now enforced from the top, by an apparatus of grrl-power conditioning and reinforcement.

    (Because most people ultimately still do care about their own children, if they have any.)

    , @Pericles
    @Not my economy

    Oh, the humanity!

    , @Paul Jolliffe
    @Not my economy

    I absolutely agree that a HUGE reason schools (especially public schools) exist in the first place is because parents want and NEED to have their kids in a reasonably safe space for several hours a day while they work.

    Most parents want their kids to learn something while they're there, but that is not the real point. No, the real concern for most parents is that their kids are doing something (vaguely) productive until the middle of the afternoon each weekday, watched and guided (for the most part) by competent, caring professionals who know something about instructing children of various ages.

    Not all public schools are staffed by such professionals, but most are, so most parents are content to send their kids to the local public schools.

    If a school district loses the confidence of the local parents (almost always because the NAM tipping point has been reached), then that district and that community are on a one-way slide to property value hell.

    , @S. Anonyia
    @Not my economy

    Right. Also in many rural/suburban counties the public school systems are the single largest employer themselves.

    , @Alden
    @Not my economy

    Kids age 8 and up can take care of themselves at home. And they enjoy it.

  14. I don’t get the reaction to COVID-19. It’s oddly bi-polar

    There’s a psuh-and-pull reaction, with one side trying to ease the potential panic and the other taking every necessary precaution.

    I can understand not attempting to induce a panic, even in severe situations—panics exacerbate already poor circumstances. But, with a potentially deadly virus with little known about it, the “safe is better than sorry” approach is also sensible.

    Personally, I’d go with the overly cautious approach.

  15. @MikeatMikedotMike
    What's the youngest reported death due to this virus?

    Replies: @Len, @Hail

    • Thanks: MikeatMikedotMike
  16. @Not my economy
    This is another one of those funny American situations where everybody tries to have a discussion while deliberately not mentioning the elephant in the room.

    Schools are free childcare so the parents can go to work. Most households literally can’t function without this.

    If you shut down the schools, what are people going to do with their kids?

    They can’t afford to not go to work. Most do not even have 500 bucks available. They can probably get essentially a line of credit from a private daycare provider so they can keep working, and put the kid in daycare. But congratulations, you’re right back where you started. Kids crowded together transmitting disease.

    Replies: @Hail, @Pericles, @Paul Jolliffe, @S. Anonyia, @Alden

    Of all the things this social panic may do, add getting some to question the quasi-mandatory, out-of-home full-time work regime for all mothers, a kind of ideology and cultural-norm certainly for Blue America, and for much of Red America; one long now enforced from the top, by an apparatus of grrl-power conditioning and reinforcement.

    (Because most people ultimately still do care about their own children, if they have any.)

    • Agree: dfordoom
  17. @Futurethirdworlder
    My kids school already closed for a week in Jan. because so many kids were sick with a severe flu. I know this isn't uncommon but it is the first time it has happened in my neck of the woods since my kids have been in school. And I hadn't been sick since I was a child but this winter I and several coworkers got a horrible case of flu that lingered for over a month. Was it corona virus? Who knows.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Anon, @Hail

    In November and December 2019, there were reports going around in the US that the then-beginning flu season was one of the worst in years. Someone could confirm this in news archives. This was weeks before anyone had ever heard of the Wuhan Bat virus.

    • Replies: @LondonBob
    @Hail

    The experts think there might be as much ten times the number of reported cases, most people with few symptoms and tests aren't actually completely reliable. This would drop the fatality rate right down. In Wuhan the coronavirus might have started circulating as early as October but it is highly unlikely to have reached anywhere else, after all it took a few weeks to get going in Wuhan and for it then to be noticed by the authorities.

    I had bad flu in October, for the first time in years. I expect coronavirus would be more mild than that, should I get it.

    Replies: @Hail

    , @danand
    @Hail


    “In November and December 2019, there were reports going around in the US that the then-beginning flu season was one of the worst in years.”
     
    Hail, you are correct. Our CDC has a decent interactive infographic which shows week by week flu infection activity going back to the ‘08/09 season:

    https://gis.cdc.gov/grasp/fluview/main.html


    I’m this must have post here before, but I’ll add this is the best Coronavirus infogphaic:

    https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

  18. Hail says: • Website
    @MikeatMikedotMike
    What's the youngest reported death due to this virus?

    Replies: @Len, @Hail

    A few Chinese in their thirties, but there may be extenuating circumstances there.

    The whistleblower doctor in Wuhan who discovered the virus and was harassed and humiliated for it by the CCP secret police, who later died of the virus, was 34 (name Li Wenliang), but he was probably in such a long-term panic mode and overwork, not to mention the secret-police harassment in late Dec. and early Jan., that I’d guess he very likely would have survived the virus if he had let himself rest; he died in the line of duty, as it were, not because the virus had any real fair-odds chance of killing him.

    There was a curious report in South Korea of a mother in her 30s, a minor government bureaucrat tasked with working all-out on the government’s COVID-19 emergency response after the doomsday cult began spreading it. She was one of those on it full-time for several weeks. A few days ago she collapsed and died, at home. She did not have the virus. She was under such strain, stress, and pressure, that she, too, died of overwork. Another collateral loss. Her young daughter is said to have discovered the body.

    • Thanks: MikeatMikedotMike
  19. I’m a Katrina survivor….i recall people thinking everything was fine til 18 hrs pre storm landfall….the interstates were bumper to bumper moving north….

    I won’t make the same mistake twice but i think this will get worse….

  20. @Anon
    The King County Health officials are recommending against it because of "equity" issues: 1) not all kids have access to the internet and 2) the <10% of kids in the Free Lunch Program will "go hungry".

    Northshore School District solved #1 by loaning iPads and laptops to all kids who need one. They closed their district of 23,000 students.

    But what about #2? Unsolvable. Therefore, we will risk lots of people dying because we just can't let those poor kids on free lunch program "go hungry".

    This is what happens when you live in an area run by libtards.

    Replies: @Anon

    Of course the black parents can feed their black kids. Those kids sure aren’t starving to death over summer vacation every year. They’re getting fed. It’s just that their conniving parents are taking advantage of dumb libtard whites.

    Offer free stuff, people always take it.

  21. In California (and probably a lot of other states), public schools are funded based on how many student butts are in chairs on a daily basis. As long as that’s the funding metric, you can bet they won’t be closing public schools anytime soon.

    Stanford, on the other hand, gets its tuition paid up front, without regard to physical attendance.

    This may come as a shock to some, but these decisions are not always motivated by the best interests of public safety.

    • Agree: Alden
  22. @Mr McKenna
    But...but just yesterday they said it was racist to do this.

    Racist to do anything really.

    Replies: @anon, @BenKenobi

    Just say it’s fo’ dem po-gams fo’ dem keeds. Easy-peasy, Japan-eezy.

    [this post was written by a Bruce Hornsby fan]

  23. @Not my economy
    This is another one of those funny American situations where everybody tries to have a discussion while deliberately not mentioning the elephant in the room.

    Schools are free childcare so the parents can go to work. Most households literally can’t function without this.

    If you shut down the schools, what are people going to do with their kids?

    They can’t afford to not go to work. Most do not even have 500 bucks available. They can probably get essentially a line of credit from a private daycare provider so they can keep working, and put the kid in daycare. But congratulations, you’re right back where you started. Kids crowded together transmitting disease.

    Replies: @Hail, @Pericles, @Paul Jolliffe, @S. Anonyia, @Alden

    Oh, the humanity!

  24. @Hail
    @Futurethirdworlder

    In November and December 2019, there were reports going around in the US that the then-beginning flu season was one of the worst in years. Someone could confirm this in news archives. This was weeks before anyone had ever heard of the Wuhan Bat virus.

    Replies: @LondonBob, @danand

    The experts think there might be as much ten times the number of reported cases, most people with few symptoms and tests aren’t actually completely reliable. This would drop the fatality rate right down. In Wuhan the coronavirus might have started circulating as early as October but it is highly unlikely to have reached anywhere else, after all it took a few weeks to get going in Wuhan and for it then to be noticed by the authorities.

    I had bad flu in October, for the first time in years. I expect coronavirus would be more mild than that, should I get it.

    • Replies: @Hail
    @LondonBob

    The most comprehensive and largest-sample-size data we have, I think, is S.Korea's. They've tested tens of thousands, and went into overdrive, panic-mode, full-social-mobilization war-footing mode, after the doomsday cult began spreading the virus. The way the latest numbers look, they're going to probably end up with a 1.0% death rate of known-infected, once some more of the critical-condition patients die.

    It seems unlikely that S.Korea's aggressive, all-known-close-contacts testing has undercounted by a factor of 10, but (warning: speculative) maybe undercounts are inevitable, by a factor of two or three is plausible. (The place almost certainly undercounting by a factor of 10 is the USA, among others.)

    Given this 1.0% death rate, if [True-Infected] = [Known Infected]*3, that would put the true death-total at 0.33% of [True-Infected].

    A Bad Flu Season: 0.1%+ die, of 10% of pop. infected.

    Wuhan Super-Flu: 0.3–0.5% die of 20%(?) of pop. infected. (The H1N1 'Swine Flu' virus pandemic of 2009, a big 'washout' given the brief hype, is said to have infected 15–20% of Americans.)

    Wuhan Super-Flu, by this count, = 8x the body-count of Regular Flu, and same victim profile (age and weakness).

    Replies: @LondonBob

  25. Hail says: • Website
    @LondonBob
    @Hail

    The experts think there might be as much ten times the number of reported cases, most people with few symptoms and tests aren't actually completely reliable. This would drop the fatality rate right down. In Wuhan the coronavirus might have started circulating as early as October but it is highly unlikely to have reached anywhere else, after all it took a few weeks to get going in Wuhan and for it then to be noticed by the authorities.

    I had bad flu in October, for the first time in years. I expect coronavirus would be more mild than that, should I get it.

    Replies: @Hail

    The most comprehensive and largest-sample-size data we have, I think, is S.Korea’s. They’ve tested tens of thousands, and went into overdrive, panic-mode, full-social-mobilization war-footing mode, after the doomsday cult began spreading the virus. The way the latest numbers look, they’re going to probably end up with a 1.0% death rate of known-infected, once some more of the critical-condition patients die.

    It seems unlikely that S.Korea’s aggressive, all-known-close-contacts testing has undercounted by a factor of 10, but (warning: speculative) maybe undercounts are inevitable, by a factor of two or three is plausible. (The place almost certainly undercounting by a factor of 10 is the USA, among others.)

    Given this 1.0% death rate, if [True-Infected] = [Known Infected]*3, that would put the true death-total at 0.33% of [True-Infected].

    A Bad Flu Season: 0.1%+ die, of 10% of pop. infected.

    Wuhan Super-Flu: 0.3–0.5% die of 20%(?) of pop. infected. (The H1N1 ‘Swine Flu’ virus pandemic of 2009, a big ‘washout’ given the brief hype, is said to have infected 15–20% of Americans.)

    Wuhan Super-Flu, by this count, = 8x the body-count of Regular Flu, and same victim profile (age and weakness).

    • Replies: @LondonBob
    @Hail

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8076395/amp/Leading-doctor-claims-coronavirus-isnt-deadly-feared-death-rate-1.html?__twitter_impression=true

    Diamond Princess is another test case, unlikely they missed many there.

  26. @Steve Sailer
    @Futurethirdworlder

    Is there a test to see if you've already had it and are now immune?

    Replies: @Chrisnonymous, @ic1000, @LondonBob

    No, not really. The ability to do that exists, but it is not a “test” per se.

  27. > School closing turned out to be one of the most effective firewalls against the spread of the pandemic

    Firewall, wrong metaphor. “Delaying tactic” is what the Professor should have said. That confers the advantage of moving from the Red Curve to the Blue Curve of Steve’s earlier post, which would be a different but still good thing.

    BTW, Covid19 seems to be illustrating the converse of key Steve theme “political correctness makes you stupid.” The US response to the pandemic has been dismal, but the prestige press organs are airing diverse opinions on topics like this one. Cf. the ongoing poverty of public intellectuals on race/education policy or gender dysphoria/puberty blocking.

  28. @Steve Sailer
    @Futurethirdworlder

    Is there a test to see if you've already had it and are now immune?

    Replies: @Chrisnonymous, @ic1000, @LondonBob

    > Is there a test to see if you’ve already had it [Covid19] and are now immune?

    In theory (in the future), Yes; in practice (today), No.

    The body responds to a viral infection by having the immune system mount a two-pronged attack on the pathogenic virus. Some white blood cells produce “neutralizing antibodies,” which circulate in the blood and inactivate free virus. Other lymphocytes surveil tissues and target infected cells, killing them before the viral replication cycle is complete.

    Immunology research labs set up and run these assays fairly routinely for a wide range of targets, but most aren’t “clinical grade”: the sensitivity and specificity haven’t been determined, and the assays aren’t designed for high-volume use. And they’re labor-intensive.*

    There was a peer-reviewed article a couple of days ago where a Chinese lab looked at titers of Covid19 neutralizing antibodies in the blood of newly-recovered patients. They were present in variable amounts, and one “recovered” patient had a relapse and died of a new (or resurgent) infection. So it seems at this point that “not everybody” develops durable immunity to the virus, once the initial acute phase is past.

    * Also, screening is the most challenging application for a clinical assay, most of them aren’t good enough to be used constructively for that purpose. I imagine that Wiki has a reasonable explanation of why this is so.

  29. @Steve Sailer
    @Futurethirdworlder

    Is there a test to see if you've already had it and are now immune?

    Replies: @Chrisnonymous, @ic1000, @LondonBob

    You can be reinfected but you have some immunity so it shouldn’t have much impact next time around.

    • Replies: @Futurethirdworlder
    @LondonBob

    "explain what it's really like to have the corona virus."

    They both claim that corona virus was completely unsymptomatic for them. If they hadn't been tested they would have never known they had it.

  30. @Hail
    @LondonBob

    The most comprehensive and largest-sample-size data we have, I think, is S.Korea's. They've tested tens of thousands, and went into overdrive, panic-mode, full-social-mobilization war-footing mode, after the doomsday cult began spreading the virus. The way the latest numbers look, they're going to probably end up with a 1.0% death rate of known-infected, once some more of the critical-condition patients die.

    It seems unlikely that S.Korea's aggressive, all-known-close-contacts testing has undercounted by a factor of 10, but (warning: speculative) maybe undercounts are inevitable, by a factor of two or three is plausible. (The place almost certainly undercounting by a factor of 10 is the USA, among others.)

    Given this 1.0% death rate, if [True-Infected] = [Known Infected]*3, that would put the true death-total at 0.33% of [True-Infected].

    A Bad Flu Season: 0.1%+ die, of 10% of pop. infected.

    Wuhan Super-Flu: 0.3–0.5% die of 20%(?) of pop. infected. (The H1N1 'Swine Flu' virus pandemic of 2009, a big 'washout' given the brief hype, is said to have infected 15–20% of Americans.)

    Wuhan Super-Flu, by this count, = 8x the body-count of Regular Flu, and same victim profile (age and weakness).

    Replies: @LondonBob

  31. @Not my economy
    This is another one of those funny American situations where everybody tries to have a discussion while deliberately not mentioning the elephant in the room.

    Schools are free childcare so the parents can go to work. Most households literally can’t function without this.

    If you shut down the schools, what are people going to do with their kids?

    They can’t afford to not go to work. Most do not even have 500 bucks available. They can probably get essentially a line of credit from a private daycare provider so they can keep working, and put the kid in daycare. But congratulations, you’re right back where you started. Kids crowded together transmitting disease.

    Replies: @Hail, @Pericles, @Paul Jolliffe, @S. Anonyia, @Alden

    I absolutely agree that a HUGE reason schools (especially public schools) exist in the first place is because parents want and NEED to have their kids in a reasonably safe space for several hours a day while they work.

    Most parents want their kids to learn something while they’re there, but that is not the real point. No, the real concern for most parents is that their kids are doing something (vaguely) productive until the middle of the afternoon each weekday, watched and guided (for the most part) by competent, caring professionals who know something about instructing children of various ages.

    Not all public schools are staffed by such professionals, but most are, so most parents are content to send their kids to the local public schools.

    If a school district loses the confidence of the local parents (almost always because the NAM tipping point has been reached), then that district and that community are on a one-way slide to property value hell.

  32. @Hail
    @Futurethirdworlder

    In November and December 2019, there were reports going around in the US that the then-beginning flu season was one of the worst in years. Someone could confirm this in news archives. This was weeks before anyone had ever heard of the Wuhan Bat virus.

    Replies: @LondonBob, @danand

    “In November and December 2019, there were reports going around in the US that the then-beginning flu season was one of the worst in years.”

    Hail, you are correct. Our CDC has a decent interactive infographic which shows week by week flu infection activity going back to the ‘08/09 season:

    https://gis.cdc.gov/grasp/fluview/main.html

    I’m this must have post here before, but I’ll add this is the best Coronavirus infogphaic:

    https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

  33. @Not my economy
    This is another one of those funny American situations where everybody tries to have a discussion while deliberately not mentioning the elephant in the room.

    Schools are free childcare so the parents can go to work. Most households literally can’t function without this.

    If you shut down the schools, what are people going to do with their kids?

    They can’t afford to not go to work. Most do not even have 500 bucks available. They can probably get essentially a line of credit from a private daycare provider so they can keep working, and put the kid in daycare. But congratulations, you’re right back where you started. Kids crowded together transmitting disease.

    Replies: @Hail, @Pericles, @Paul Jolliffe, @S. Anonyia, @Alden

    Right. Also in many rural/suburban counties the public school systems are the single largest employer themselves.

  34. @LondonBob
    @Steve Sailer

    You can be reinfected but you have some immunity so it shouldn't have much impact next time around.

    https://twitter.com/theprojecttv/status/1235116217108582400?s=20

    Replies: @Futurethirdworlder

    “explain what it’s really like to have the corona virus.”

    They both claim that corona virus was completely unsymptomatic for them. If they hadn’t been tested they would have never known they had it.

  35. @Not my economy
    This is another one of those funny American situations where everybody tries to have a discussion while deliberately not mentioning the elephant in the room.

    Schools are free childcare so the parents can go to work. Most households literally can’t function without this.

    If you shut down the schools, what are people going to do with their kids?

    They can’t afford to not go to work. Most do not even have 500 bucks available. They can probably get essentially a line of credit from a private daycare provider so they can keep working, and put the kid in daycare. But congratulations, you’re right back where you started. Kids crowded together transmitting disease.

    Replies: @Hail, @Pericles, @Paul Jolliffe, @S. Anonyia, @Alden

    Kids age 8 and up can take care of themselves at home. And they enjoy it.

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