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If We Want to Return to Normal, We Have to Fix the Policy
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Most of the United States is still under lockdown, but why? What is the purpose of the policy?

We’ve had the “flatten the curve” meme pounded into our brains for so long, that most people think it’s the objective of the policy, but is it?

Flattening the curve is a worthy goal, but preventing the health care system from being overwhelmed should not be our highest priority. True, it is critical, I don’t dispute that, I just think there are other goals that are more important.

But what would those be?

Saving lives, for one. Naturally, we want to save as many lives as possible, so any responsible policy should aim to do just that. But should saving lives be our top priority?

Many people will say “Yes”, but I disagree. Saving lives should not be our top priority, preserving our American way of life, our culture, our traditions our personal freedom, and, yes, our economy –which sustains us all, provides us with meaningful work, puts food on the table and a roof over our heads– these should be our top priority. Just ask a veteran who served his country whether he places his life above the values and ideals he fought for. He’ll tell you “No”. He’ll tell you those things are worth fighting for and worth dying for. I agree.

So the ultimate goal of our policy should be to get back to normal, to restore the life we had before the masks, the gloves, the daily briefings, the self isolation, the social distancing, the daily death toll, the shutting down of the economy, the deluge of unemployment claims, the destruction of small and mid-sized businesses, the trillions dollars of additional red ink, and the abrupt termination of all normal interaction with our friends, our neighbors and our families. That’s what the aim of our policy should be, to get back to normal.

But that’s the problem, our current (lockdown) policy doesn’t do that. It doesn’t put us on a path for achieving our objectives. Take a look at this article at The Hill and you’ll see what I mean:

“The coronavirus pandemic could continue into 2022 and won’t be under control until a majority of the world’s population becomes immune, a report released by experts Thursday says. The report from the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota says based on the most recent flu pandemics, the highly transmissible coronavirus that causes COVID-19 will likely keep spreading for as long as two years, and will likely not stop spreading until 60 to 70 percent of the population is immune.

“The length of the pandemic will likely be 18 to 24 months, as herd immunity gradually develops in the human population,” the researchers wrote. …..Researchers recommended that the U.S. prepare for a worst-case scenario, including no vaccine availability or herd immunity.

“Risk communication messaging from government officials should incorporate the concept that this pandemic will not be over soon,” they say, “and that people need to be prepared for possible periodic resurgences of disease over the next 2 years.” (“New report says coronavirus pandemic could last up to two years”, The Hill)

“2 years”???

2 years is not an acceptable time-frame. We need a policy that accelerates the process and avoids the depressing scenario the experts now anticipate? So what do we do?

We start to follow Sweden’s lead, because Sweden settled on a policy that actually gets them out of the virus-rut in a timely manner. And that’s exactly what we’re looking for, a path back to normal that doesn’t drag on for two years.

So what do we do?

We start by allowing the younger, low-risk people to go back to work. (Older and infirm people should take the recommended precautions of self isolating as much as possible.) That allows the economy to restart while the virus spreads among a segment of the population that is least likely to die. If you’re under 40, your chances of dying are near zero, so it shouldn’t be a huge concern.

Also, you open up restaurants, primary schools, parks and some retail shops while–at the same time–monitoring the rate of new Covid-positive cases. If it looks like the health care system is going to be overwhelmed, you pull back by implementing new guidelines and restrictions on public activities and get-togethers. You don’t just send everyone back to work on Day 1 announcing “The coast is clear”. The coast is not clear and it’s not going be clear for quite a while, but at least the new policy will get us to where we want to go eventually. And that’s the point, because if we don’t chart a new course, we’re definitely not going to reach our destination.

What we need is immunity, which comes through human interaction. An infected person passes the infection along to a healthy person who develops the antibodies to fight the virus now and in the future. When the majority of the population develop these antibodies, they achieve “herd immunity” which is “a form of protection from infectious disease that occurs when a large percentage of a population has become immune through previous infections.”

Sweden’s ‘controlled spread of the virus’ has put them just weeks away from herd immunity, at which point they won’t have to worry as much about future outbreaks. They won’t have to shut down their economy, lay off millions of workers, or run up trillions of dollars of debts. Their people will have the antibodies they need to fight off future infections. They can safely return to normal.

The US needs a similar policy that takes into consideration our demographics, geography and culture. It’ll be a challenge, but can be done, and it MUST be done. The lockdown policy is idiotic, it does not move us in a positive direction. Young people are not going to develop immunity by lying on the sofa watching daytime TV. Nor will they build up antibodies by bolting the door and waiting for Uncle Sam to give them a thumbs-up. It doesn’t work that way. There needs to be a controlled spread of the virus. That’s the only way to achieve herd immunity, and that’s the only way to get out of this mess.

The only alternative is to hang-around for two years waiting for Bill Gates and the vaccine posse to save us after we’ve crashed the economy, devoured the seed corn, and turned the entire country into a gigantic-sprawling homeless camp.

The choice is ours.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Coronavirus 
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  1. Unfortunately, the damage is done in the USA…we panicked and closed everything, bending our good but fragile economy over backwards and boning it until it bled. We put 10% of our population on the unemployment line, how many of those people have no job to go back to because their employer had to downsize or close? I’m one of those people, now I get to try and get back to work in what’s probably going to be the worst economy I’ve seen in my life.

    We shut down all the schools, damaging both the educational level of everyone in them while removing those most likely to survive and help the herd immunity from circulation. There’s talk of keeping them closed next year. Why?

    Did it slow the spread? Who knows, even the CDC can’t decide what’s a death from COVID-19 and what’s a death from the wishy-washy category of “pnuemonia, OR influenza, OR COVID…”

    May as well be in for the Pound here, we’ve already forged the Penny into a coffin nail.

  2. Mark G. says:

    One of the advantages of the U.S. is that it has a more federalist system that allows 50 different states to all follow different policies. If a few states reopen and you don’t see a big increase in deaths over the following couple of weeks then that will put more pressure on the other states to reopen.

    The worst thing that could happen would be if the federal government caves in and starts bailing out states financially. If a state government wants to keep everything locked down for a long time then they should come up with the money to offset any economic losses rather than have the states that immediately reopened subsidize them through their tax revenues going to Washington.

    Some states completely shut down while others didn’t but if you look you don’t see a strong relationship between number of deaths and the extent of the shutdown. It appears other factors are more important. This would include things like having a large densely populated city with mass transit, lots of international air travel in and out of the city, large numbers of old people or nonwhites, and an efficient government. New York city in New York would be the prime example. Tokyo and Seoul share some things in common with New York but it appears they did a better job of testing and then isolating anyone found to have the disease and so had fewer cases. Cuomo also apparently told New York nursing homes they had to take in elderly people who already had the disease and this may not have been a good idea.

    • Replies: @CharlesD
  3. Mike, that’s exactly what I’ve been saying (see below) EXCEPT that, instead of initiating new lockdowns if the system is overloaded, we should open temporary quarantine/treatment facilities outside of the normal hospital system. That’s what we should have done in the first place.

    Given the way corona virus is being handled, one would think we don’t realize that people die quite regularly, especially when they’re in bad condition. Now, we’re practically demanding that nobody should die from catching a microbe – that we should stay home and hold our breath until everyone is guaranteed to survive. Since when have we ever believed that? Is that how we built civilization? The civilization that we’re now destroying?

    There’s little reason for insulin-sensitive people – with healthy immune status and without metabolic disease – to stay home, wear a mask or ‘social distance’ themselves. Since they won’t be getting seriously ill, their staying home wouldn’t help ‘flatten the curve’ of sick people overburdening the healthcare system (as usual, to the expense of all of us). On the contrary, active healthy people can contribute something to the economy.

    The main benefit of herd immunity is that it will allow the country to function again. And that would be good for everyone, healthy and sickly alike. The metabolically/immunologically compromised will be vulnerable to catching the corona virus from anyone who’s contracted it and is temporarily contagious, no matter whether the carrier’s general health is good or poor. And that’s the same fix that people with poor immune function are in, always and everywhere. The answer for protecting these most vulnerable people from COVID – which is only one of the many dangers to their health that they face – can be one of two things; the best one being that they start eating right. And/or, we can build as much equipment and medical facilities, where they’re most needed, as they may require. Either of these solutions is much more viable, less disruptive and less expensive than what we’re doing now. And with either solution, healthier people would no longer be punished for possessing normal human vitality.

    While governments, health agencies and scientists take steps to upgrade the availability of care facilities, equipment and treatments, individuals should follow this
    CORONA VIRUS PROTOCOL
    Part A (Everyone)
    Begin a therapeutic diet to quickly upgrade and regulate the immune system. This consists of, wholly or mostly:
    Home cooked meat, oily fish, eggs (especially yolks), animal fat, bone broth, collagen or gelatin, and liver, and the elimination of corn, soy, canola, safflower, sunflower, grapeseed and rice bran oils as well as flours, sugar and prepared foods.

    Part B (those most at risk for COVID complications- individuals with high BMI or chronic health issues, or taking prescription medications, etc.)
    While following the part A protocol, take reasonable precautions to limit your exposure to possible infection from others, such as limiting time or wearing a mask when in close contact with other people.

    • Replies: @Stealth
  4. @Getchur Ducksworth

    Getchur Ducksworth
    Why? I’ll tell you why. Our ‘leaders’ must continue to double down, because if we take ever more extreme action about corona, they think that will somehow prove that the idiocy they’ve demonstrated thus far was necessary.

    • Replies: @Getchur Ducksworth
  5. CharlesD says:

    “preserving our American way of life, our culture, our traditions our personal freedom, and, yes, our economy –which sustains us all, provides us with meaningful work, puts food on the table and a roof over our heads– these should be our top priority.”

    It seems to me that our American way of life was lost some time ago along with our culture and traditions. It fell victim to the neoliberal economic agenda of Reagan, Bushes, Clinton, and Obama that shipped our meaningful work to China and left many Americans less able than their parents to put food on their table and a roof over their heads.

    The problem here is that our government demanded that people stay at home and closed their places of business for 2 months (or more) while sending them a $1200 check which will not cover the rent and utilities for 1 month for most of them. Knowing that many Americans have been unable to save enough to get them through more than a week or two, they essentially put them on unpaid leave, with no health insurance, and no relief from the liability of paying rent, mortgage payments, or car payments. Meanwhile, as Mike Whitney has so effectively explained, they have thrown trillions of dollars to the big banks, the shadow banking system, the hedge funds and major corporations.

    It is the people of the United States who should be the top priority of government, not the banks or Wall Street investors, or the corporations that have enriched their executives with stock buybacks. If it was necessary or advisable to force Americans to stay home, the government should have made sure they had enough money to meet their expenses, that their health care would be paid for, and that the small businesses in their communities were bailed out so they could restart when this is over. But no, that wasn’t done because a lot of our leaders are ideologues who believe the market should do everything and the federal government should do as little as possible. It’s time to throw out ideologies that have no basis in reality and put the American people first.

    • Agree: Ann Nonny Mouse
    • Replies: @GeeBee
  6. CharlesD says:
    @Mark G.

    Tokyo and Seoul did a better job because they were not saddled with an antiquated federal system and could bring the resources of their national government to bear to help them deal with the problem.

    • Replies: @Mark G.
  7. @john cronk

    @john cronk

    Yeah, I know. Cover up the stupidity with even more stupidity in hopes we’ll forget the stupidity of yesterday.

  8. Levtraro says:

    Mike, did you read the original report quoted by The Hill? What do you think of their methodology?

    Here is another projection by a modelling group in Singapur (SUTD) that says the epidemics in the USA will end in June (thanks to Brás Cubas for this information).

    https://ddi.sutd.edu.sg/when-will-covid-19-end/

    The U. of Minnesota report and the SUTD report give strikingly different projections.

  9. Biff says:

    Just ask a veteran who served his country whether he places his life above the values and ideals he fought for.

    Join the U.S. Army and fight for Israel?

  10. Stealth says:
    @john cronk

    Home cooked meat, oily fish, eggs (especially yolks), animal fat, bone broth, collagen or gelatin, and liver,….

    LMFAO. With the possible exception of oily fish (although it contains copious amounts of mercury), none of that stuff is good for people. Animal products are not health promoting in the quantities we eat them. I agree that whole plant foods taste like cardboard in comparison, but the vast majority of legitimate scientific study into the matter points to vegetation being much healthier for us than meat, dairy and eggs.

    • Replies: @john cronk
  11. theMann says:

    For all of you that are willingly obeying any part of the Lockdown Rules:

    Fuck you and die, hysterical cowards.

    • Agree: Achmed E. Newman
  12. Mark G. says:
    @CharlesD

    Tokyo and Seoul did a better job because they were not saddled with an antiquated federal system and could bring the resources of their national government to bear to help them deal with the problem.

    That only works if the national government is ready. The U.S. national government didn’t have enough tests available to do mass testing. So, no, it doesn’t matter what level of government is making the initial decisions. What matters is the ability of government officials to make good decisions. A national government making bad decisions and forcing them on local governments may have worse results than letting local governments experiment and make their own decisions. Local governments that come up with good ideas can then have their good ideas adopted by others.

  13. eD says:

    Flu viruses always abate with warmer weather, and COVID-19 is exactly that, a flu virus. All the government statistics, even inflated, are in concordance that the deaths from the virus are on a downward trend as the weather gets warmer.

    Now I think the crackdown is not happening for public health reasons. The question is whether it will be made permanent, or if this was a rehearsal and so it will be lifted temporarily and a bigger crackdown reimposed later. Only the people organizing this know that, and they might have not made the decision yet However, the entire flu excuse gives cover for a temporary lifting, just say the lockdown beat the pandemic. You can always reimpose the crackdown next winter, incorporating lessons learned from this exercise to make it more effective.

    As stupid as many people have been shown to be, I’m really not sure if the crackdown can just be made permanent without some other story being floated. As the weather gets warmer in the northern hemisphere, it just gets too obvious that not only is no one dying from this, no one is even coming down with symptoms of the flu. If you want to make it permanent, something like the “new normal” is a better narrative than the “its temporary for two years!” thing. You only get the really deep imbeciles with the two year thing.

    My guess is that purpose the cute partial and gradual lifting plans are to stall, as the weather gets warmer, to keep the crackdown in place until another story can be floated. Though they can also enable a temporary lifting while still maintaining the original cover story. We will find out in the next couple of months. Also the two years thing seems to be a reflection of arguments among our rulers whether to make this crackdown the permanent one.

    • Agree: Hail
  14. CamFree says:

    We need to stop pretending that our treasonous, corporate controlled governments have any serious plan – or any intention – of ever bringing this nonsense to an end. It’s a power grab masked as a viral pandemic to establish one world government.

  15. @Stealth

    Stealth
    Now that readers of this thread can see how diametrically opposed you are to what I’ve written, I invite them to research the topic, self-experiment for a month, and see who is right.

  16. JasonT says:
    @eD

    You are correct. But in November at the start of the next flu season, a new virus will be released so that more lockdowns will be justified. The new virus will be more virulent because the goal is not only control but population reduction.

  17. SteveK9 says:

    ‘Sweden’s ‘controlled spread of the virus’ has put them just weeks away from herd immunity, at which point they won’t have to worry as much about future outbreaks. They won’t have to shut down their economy, lay off millions of workers, or run up trillions of dollars of debts. Their people will have the antibodies they need to fight off future infections. They can safely return to normal.’

    You mean what has kept humanity going for thousands of years? Every epidemiologist knows this to be true. What happened? That is not a question for ‘Science’, the Science was clear and we did not follow it. It’s a question for psychologists. In particular we need someone to shrink Fauci’s head.

  18. @eD

    They say Ecuador is badly affected, so Covid19 may be very different from influenza in that way, Summer no better.

  19. GeeBee says:
    @CharlesD

    ‘It is the people of the United States who should be the top priority of government, not the banks or Wall Street investors, or the corporations that have enriched their executives with stock buybacks.’

    Well yes, always supposing that the government represents ‘the people’. Sad to relate, however, that situation – if it ever existed – was thrown out of the window a very long time ago. 1912 perhaps. Or fifty years before that.

    It is precisely because the government is no more and no less than a bought-and-paid-for vehicle of
    ‘the banks, the Wall Street investors, and the corporations that have enriched their executives with stock buybacks’ that ‘the people’ will always come a poor second, will always be marginalised and will always be fobbed off with the propaganda, the tub-thumping and the cynical empty promises of whichever President the true matrix of power has at any time in its pocket, and whom they compel to issue these contemptible ‘sound-bites’.

    Not until ‘the people’ comprehend the shocking and almost unthinkable truth – which is to say that our much vaunted ‘democracy’ is not merely a sham, but a cynical tool whose purpose is to perpetuate the current situation where at each election the electorate is given the choice of voting for Agenda A in a blue rosette, or Agend A in a red rosette. It need scarcely be added that ‘Agenda A’ involves channeling all the nation’s wealth into capital, at the expense of labour. Or in other words, to hose trillions into the FIRE sector, while steadily eroding the lives of the 99%, whose lot it is under Agenda A to endure falling wages, increasing unemployment, growing debt, failing helathcare, diminishing education and – the ultimate ignominy to underscore all this – the growing presence of an authoritative and mendacious police state. Welcome to ‘The Twilight of the Gods’ (and congratulations on having been duped into helping the architects of Agenda A to extinguish your only route to salvation all those years ago).

  20. Alright. So this asshole wants people to die. He says freedom is more important than dying. (Well, he’s got a backasswards point. The only “freedom” is in the grave.) If there is anything I hate, it’s this live free or die crap. Most of us would rather live, thank you. Not only that–we hate your dumbass idea of “freedom,” which means nothing to you but letting people die. Yesirreee–We Hate Your Freedom!

    Go stick your “freedom” where the sun don’t shine. Your Cornholio “freedom” means basically making slavery legal again.

    Libertarian assholes are the bane of the earth.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  21. @Getchur Ducksworth

    “we panicked and closed everything, bending our good but fragile economy over backwards and boning it until it bled. We put 10% of our population on the unemployment line,”

    Da fuq y’all do that for? Kidding aside, “We” didn’t do any such thing. This was done TO us, not BY us. If you’re one of the ones who did this, then I can see why you’d take the blame, but since you say you’ve lost your job because your employer was ruined, then it appears that you’re falling for that collectivist idea that “we are the government”. Sorry to bust your bubble, but we ain’t.

    The people who did this are obviously deranged and shouldn’t be walking around loose. I’m not one of them, and I’ll never say, “We sure screwed up this time, innit?”. I was not involved, and I doubt that you were either. Don’t take the blame for this mess unless you really are at fault.

  22. TG says:

    “Saving lives should not be our top priority, preserving our American way of life, our culture, our traditions our personal freedom, and, yes, our economy –which sustains us all, provides us with meaningful work, puts food on the table and a roof over our heads– these should be our top priority. Just ask a veteran who served his country whether he places his life above the values and ideals he fought for. He’ll tell you “No”. He’ll tell you those things are worth fighting for and worth dying for. I agree.” Well said. Triple kudos.

    But. The rich have used the opportunity to shower almost unimaginable benefits on themselves: tax cuts for only the superrich, massive bailouts, “trash for cash” the federal reserve paying cash full face value for worthless pieces of paper – for the people at the top, it’s all good. What, you don’t like it? What are you, a communist?

  23. Anonymous[432] • Disclaimer says:
    @obwandiyag

    Not saying I don’t share the disdain for libertarianism, but it’s the same script with you every time. Go back to Africa already. You’ll enjoy your life more.

  24. @eD

    At least one of the Virginia governor’s spokestwits has floated the 2 year idea. That was the first I heard of a proposed 2 year extension to the lockdown here in Virginia. The Minstrel Man’s regime would need the 2 year extension for him to remain in office, but it’s likely that he will be removed long before that time, regardless of the legislature’s schemes to block any recalls or impeachments.

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