From Lockdown to Liberty

Puja Ahluwalia Ohlhaver and I have a piece in the Washington Post talking about a Federalist plan to move from lockdown to liberty. You won’t be surprised to learn that it involves testing, testing, testing. I know, you have testing fatigue. So do I. It’s important, however, to not give up on testing too early. We are really only 6-8 weeks into the US crisis and while everyone is frustrated at the slow pace I think we will start to see leaps in capacity soon as major labs come online.

The piece makes two points. First moving too quickly can kill grandma and the economy:

The dangers of reopening without disease control — or a coronavirus vaccine or therapeutic breakthrough — are illustrated by events at the Smithfield Foods meatpacking plant in Sioux Falls, S.D. Smithfield offered workers a bonus if they showed up every day in April. Normally, bonus pay would increase attendance. But in a pandemic, encouraging the sick to haul themselves into work can be disastrous. The plan backfired. Hundreds of Smithfield employees were infected, forcing the plant to shut down for more than three weeks. If we stay the current course, we risk repeating the same mistake across the whole economy.

Second, we need a Federalist approach to testing.

The only way to restore the economy is to earn the confidence of both vulnerable industries and vulnerable people through testing, contact tracing and isolation.

There is already a bipartisan plan to achieve this; we helped write it. The plan relies on frequent testing followed by tracing the contacts of people who test positive (and their contacts) until no new positive cases are found. It also encourages voluntary isolation, at home or in hotel rooms, to prevent further disease spread. Isolated patients would receive a federal stipend, like jurors, to discourage them from returning to workplaces too soon.

But our plan also recognizes that rural towns in Montana should not necessarily have to shut down the way New York City has. To pull off this balancing act, the country should be divided into red, yellow and green zones. The goal is to be a green zone, where fewer than one resident per 36,000 is infected. Here, large gatherings are allowed, and masks aren’t required for those who don’t interact with the elderly or other vulnerable populations. Green zones require a minimum of one test per day for every 10,000 people and a five-person contact tracing team for every 100,000 people. (These are the levels currently maintained in South Korea, which has suppressed covid-19.)

Most Americans — about 298 million — live in yellow zones, where disease prevalence is between .002 percent and 1 percent. But even in yellow zones, the economy could safely reopen with aggressive testing and tracing, coupled with safety measures including mandatory masks. In South Korea, during the peak of its outbreak, it took 25 tests to detect one positive case, and the case fatality rate was 1 percent. Following this model, yellow zones would require 2,500 tests for every daily death.

…A disease prevalence greater than 1 percent defines red zones. Today, 30 million Americans live in such hot spots — which include Detroit, New Jersey, New Orleans and New York City. In addition to the yellow-zone interventions, these places require stay-at-home orders.

One virtue of this plan is that conforms with the common sense of people where they live. People in New York have seen their friends die and understand that stricter rules make sense. People in Montana haven’t seen the crisis up close and so their common sense and our testing strategy require less stringent rules.

We do need testing even in low-prevalence areas, however, and we need to be able to mobilize a lot of testing and tracing quickly to cap flare ups.

One danger of the current situation is that many of the places which have not yet been hit hard by COVID-19 are also the places with the most natural danger as they have lots of elderly with comorbidities.

Read the whole thing.

Addendum: The plan is described in more detail in Pandemic Resilience: Getting it Done. A live map of the US and how different places are faring is here and the COVID vulnerability index is here.


In addition to federalism and testing, don't forget about natural rights! See:

Testing is far from perfect. There are false positive, false negatives and in the short time your test takes to produce a result you can become infected. Testing may be valuable to determine what medical steps to take but not to determine if you are infectious into the future.

Marketing and Branding 101

Name it
Before they understand It
And before they figure out
That is what everyone has been urging
Trump to do.

You need some flags, a hat and
Some planes flying overhead
To kick this off.

I agree:
Identification through testing
Isolation or Quarantine
Of sick people and
Contact tracing
Makes sense.

If you can get FoxNews on board
You're home free.
Just don't say it is

And perhaps to enhance palatability
Call it

+1 You improved it.
Thank you.

It's worth a try, but at this point, I suspect the cognitive load of a new plan may exceed the public's willingness to swallow something new. Also, although we've made strides in improving testing capacity and may yet make more, hiring and training the contact tracers, at the speed required, probably exceeds the capacity and skills of American government as it stands today. Funding won't change that. You go to war with the army you have.

The best hope is simple directives that individuals can easily digest and implement. For example, masks. Just three weeks ago, who would have imagined the widespread use (even overuse!) of masks by Americans? In this spirit, a simple directive for infected persons to completely self-isolate, away from home (such as in a hotel), does hold promise. Like masks, self-isolation is not a plan and is easy to explain as the right thing for an individual to do. At nursing homes, a few more specific directives regarding in-house isolation procedures or mandatory testing wouldn't cause an eye to blink. Regulation is already part of the business model.

The United States is not a country of plans, but we remain a country of responsibility. So let's ride responsibility by directing it wisely.

Dividing America into zones (red, yellow, and green) is a very good idea, but zones without travel restrictions is multiplication not division. For example, if a resident of a red zone wishes to travel to a green zone, she would have to be tested first and subject to close inspection at the point of departure (because test results take time and one can be covid-free on the date of the test but covid-infected on the date of travel). Of course, what I'm describing are travel restrictions that existed between countries before the pandemic. We are all immigrants, now (is how I express this).

I think the issue is more about how fast and effective testing can be done so that we confidently assess the area. And who do we test first? Likely super-spreaders? Minor symptoms? Essentials?

The thing to remember is that when you increase testing you will get more positives (and negatives). The counts go up. You are not seeing new cases, mostly, just "discovering" existing ones. And the more positive cases found, while the number of deaths grows comparatively slowly, means that the fatality rate drops. Which is why so many of us are saying that this virus is not as lethal as first claimed; you need a numerator AND a denominator.

You make a good point, but when the much higher infection rate becomes known, people are likely to increase social distancing - and demand travel restrictions from those places with high infection rates. I've emphasized the need for domestic travel restrictions for two months. It seems obvious to me, for the same reason "immigration" restrictions seem obvious to many MR readers. The low country depends on tourists, so I know that travel restrictions will hurt economically, but better to suffer economically than physically.

No, no, no. When people realize how much less lethal this thing is than they were told, when they see so little correlation of infection and illness, never mind death, they are going to demand their lives back. We get viruses all the time, cold, flu, and other - we fight them off, nearly always win, even if it is a virus we haven't had before. There is nothing new here but the ratcheting of fear.

You are in the AIDS/HIV, TB, polio, diphtheria, Ebola, ... is no big deal camp?

SARS-Cov2 is probably worse than measles, mumps, polio, ... in every dimension.

Now that Germany is re-opening, it is no longer using a federalist approach, but instead a central federal one, where it is the German federal government that determines which local areas return to lockdown using a straightforward measure of 50 new cases per 100,000 population using a 7 day average. Of course, lockdown is a very inaccurate term for Germany (or many other countries which seem to be able to get corona under control), but in typical fashion, apparently the only thing Americans seem to recognize are the extremes.

And the German infectious disease law does not encourage voluntary isolation, it mandates quarantine. A household quarantine, where all employed members of the household receive their normal pay during quarantine, ensured by the government as part of the law.

It takes an economist, working day and night, to come up with a traffic light scheme which no other country has thought of using as they get their outbreaks under control.

Don't we all look forward to his regaling us on the splendor of the German fatherland on a daily basis. It's what a perfectly sane and well adjusted person would spend his time doing. Telling everyone else how inferior they are to the great Germanic peoples.

Including the plainly not so great Germanic peoples. Maybe the South Koreans prize modesty when comparing their results regarding coronavirus to such Germanic countries as Austria or the Netherlands. Germany, of course, did a fairly poor job compared to Finland or Greece, but nobody much listens to the Finns or Greeks either.

To be fair, most people have tried to listen to the Finns or the Greeks. It is challenging.

I wonder where Ray is?

The time for plans has come and gone. Spring is here and people are getting out more and distancing less, whether their area has a formal lockdown or not. This is forcing states to open sooner than they won't and once open, people aren't going to lock back down.

Make plans for the coming fall maybe, but the cat is out of the bag for the next several months.

Not really. I see some people focusing on low-stakes minutiae (not for the individual, of course, but in terms of disease-prevention importance) such as what you can and cannot do at the beach, whether parks are open, etc., but the high-stakes decisions concern what businesses and workplaces can reopen and what events (especially concerts) can take place. This is very much within the state's ability to regulate. Some localities in Georgia, for instance, presume to order supermarkets not to sell beer on Sundays -- if they can do that, they can certainly order that the tables be spaced out or moved outdoors at local restaurants.

Group think occurring in the media on Covid 19 parallels the Iraq War in terms of its persuasiveness.

On and on, one excuse after another to keep the boot on our neck.

notice the elites may have bigly underrated ventilator efficacy

The issue, I think, is that while many world leaders such as Taiwan's Tsai and Brazil's President Captain Bolsonaro have been doing a good job, our toddlerish leader can not understand the stakes involved. According to experts, the tweeter-in-chief speaks at fourth grade level. It is not clear he possesses the intelectual acumen to understand this crises and make the right decisions.

That might be a troll, but here is a sad truth:

The president is an imbecile, and maybe a third of the country think their main job is to defend every mistake.

And so that's what American culture is focused on, not defeating the disease, but defending the idiocy.

I had the misfortune to listen to a long radio show yesterday where they talked to various people around the country who just wanted to "open up." They did not talk to one epidemiologist or one doctor. Just people about their feelings.

That is the tone of the toddler room n chief has set. We should open up because it feels like the time, if we keep saying it feels like the time, if we keep saying it feels like the time.

I spent the day yesterday among adults who were getting back into operation. They are all very aware of the risks or lack of risks, all figuring out how to do things so that their customers can be safe and feel safe. Oh I also kept a grocery store running. It was great, I was among men and women, adults doing the hard work of keeping the world running.

As well as an Orthodontist who has customers begging to be able to get their problems sorted out.

All this encouraged carefully by a leftist government (Green/NDP minority parliament) who have payroll very second friday as well, and a health care system to fund.

The adults are out working, figuring out how to make it work.

The children are sniping from the sidelines.

Do you know what I notice? You did not tie that to the stats for your area.

Now, I straddle two areas, Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Los Angeles is at 36,259 cases, up 930 yesterday. Orange county has done better, up 229 to 3,968.

Now, do you think "adults" should just "feel" they are safe and open up in either place?


And do you think if I fear 100,000 additional deaths in the US I should get animated about that?

Indeed. Take care of yourself. My daughter lives in the middle of the same situation.

We had 15 new cases yesterday, it was very similar all week. About 500 active cases. It was sitting around 800 for the previous two weeks. Most of the cases are in the city, outlying areas have very few; I think less than 10 in the whole of the interior.

No one I talked to yesterday thinks that this is over, not by a long shot. But many were around and remember the decade long slog of digging out of an economic catastrophe in the 80's and 90's, and are steely eyed clear when balancing the no good alternatives on both sides of this issue.

This has been going on long enough that we might be seeing places where both shelter in place orders and a raging pandemic are occuring at the same time. Which means that the isolation measures are collapsing. It could be that harsh and very restrictive measures are counterproductive. They may seem very effective in the short run but over the long run have worse results.

As for worrying about more deaths, fine. I worry about the long run effects where the things needed to sustain life are lacking. Next year we likely will see starvation kill as many as the pandemic.

In industrial societies plans to prevent starvation are pretty easy, aren't they? Make sure the staples are brought in, and if you really want to do it good, subsidized delivery via Amazon.

Here is a fresh graph, for adjacent San Diego County.

Do you think they should open up? Maybe check their "new cases" plot before answering.

A vaccine hopefully comes in months, but it could be two years. A person who gets sick will probably have some immunity, but not for the duration. We will not eradicate this absent a vaccine.

Therefore, you must learn to live with the virus. The death rate of the virus is very, very low if you are under 60...a year of driving is more risky.

We cannot contemplate a case where 30% are unemployed until the vaccine comes. The costs will be extraordinary to the point of ruin. It has cost one year of government receipts to cover just 8 weeks of the expenses forced by the virus, and it's not going away.

Thus, we really only survive by figuring out how to get back to normal while living with the virus. That means many will get sick, but they will recover. And they will likely get sick again and again.

The alternative, where half the country is losing their net worth at 1% per day is untenable.

I can promise you if Bill Gates were losing his net worth at 1% per day, and in 90 days he was going to have to leave his home and he'd move to a normal home in suburbia you'd be hearing a different story from him. Ditto with all the tech workers that are still enjoying their fat salaries.

Nobody that was losing 1% of their net worth per day would opt to stay inside to fight this. They'd all say "Let's go back to work" and face the storm and live with the consequences.

The worst ABSOLUTE WORST we can do is turn the economy into an absolute ash heap with 8 months of sheltering in place and then realize we have to face this anyways. That is the worst of all words.

By advocating sheltering in place, what you must be certain of is that something big will happen in 1-2 months that will change the calculus. What is that event? If you think in two months we're still dealing with flare ups all over, deaths are continuing, and half the country is getting paid and the other half isn't...what then? Wait 2 more months?

Even the big tech companies cannot keep this up forever. With half the country worrying about food, Facebook's ad revenue will slow. They will lay off if this goes on long enough.

One thing is clear: The virus will erase decades of social programs and progressive agendas like solar and wind, child care, kindergarten for all, college subsidies, etc. Those are not things that countries can do when they are worried about food production and have no receipts are rolling in.

My bottom line belief is that no one who cannot turn their growth rate negative should "open up." It means that do not have things handled.

You could take a harsher view, that some level of growth (and death) is acceptable, but given the nature of contagious disease, that plan really does just create more problems, later. I mean, that's how the US got in this spot, relative to any country that shut it down.

Denmark, for instance.

Nobody has turned their growth rate negative, including Denmark. What you may mean is a declining/manageable growth rate, like Denmark's or South Korea's, where the number is in the low single or double digits over a day or week period.

Possibly I mean the "rate of change of growth" rather than simple growth.

But bottom line:

"Denmark reports lowest number of new coronavirus cases since March"

"Despite Denmark stepping up its testing capacity and reopening large swathes of the country from lockdown, there hasn’t been a spike in new cases.

In fact, according to new figures from the State Serum Institute (SSI), the 46 new cases since yesterday is the lowest increase in Denmark since mid-March."

So do you really think it is "negativity" to demand the same?

To be redundant here, I'm not against opening up. I'm for doing it in the right order. *AFTER* you halt growth.

You are wrong many places (e.g. italy) are having declines in the total number of active cases.

I never said no one is declining. My whole point is that many are, and that is the time to open up. Not before.

I think he might be referring to active cases, where the number of people recovering is higher than the number of new infections. We are seeing that in BC right now.

Noting the caveats that recovered is not as clear cut as we wish it was.

"You could take a harsher view, that some level of growth (and death) is acceptable"

So your actual position is that the lockdown should continue until there are zero deaths?

I said my view:

"no one who cannot turn their growth rate negative should 'open up.'"

You don't need zero for that, you just need consistently declining new cases for .. a few weeks say.

So you're backing away from the statement of yours that I quoted, where you said that people who are comfortable with some level of death are taking a harsher view than you are? You're agreeing that some level of death is acceptable?

Come on Tom, my second statement was supposed to clarify the first.

I *mean* people that open up in the face of rising case counts are clearly more comfortable with death (of others) than I.

"You don't need zero for that, you just need consistently declining new cases for .. a few weeks say."

Well I could point out the obvious, that this has already happened for the US:

But we all know you'll just move the goal posts.

Come on, do you think that's a rational argument? That we should *not* do region by region policy in response to *local* new case data?


"Come on, do you think that's a rational argument?"

Well you said that we'd need declining cases for a few weeks and I pointed out that the US has had declining cases for a few weeks.

A rational person would consider that a rational argument.

"That we should *not* do region by region policy in response to *local* new case data?"

Oh yeah, that's where you Move the Goal Posts. Who could have seen that coming? /sarcasm

Come on, I even quoted my early post of the day to prove to you that those were my original goalposts.

You just don't care.

And since you can't keep track, me in one of my first comments on this page:

"stats for your area"

To be clear on who I think I'm fighting. I *think* large portions of this country are ready to "open up" as their "new cases" increase week over week.

At this point is the troll Thiago, or the partisan troll who responds to him ?

Why is a desire to minimize US deaths a "troll" to defenders of Donald Trump?

This i so poorly written I can't parse it. What in this thread has anything to do with the POTUS? Thiago makes his normal troll comments, and you jump up ranting about the president and radio shows.

Lol, you're losing it. Really.

California will open up if and when Gavin Newsom's decides to. He has the sole authority here, which you probably understand on some level

I think my criticism is pretty legit. In 2019 you personally told me that it was OK to have an idiot president, because it doesn't matter who is president, and it would never matter to my personally => to my safety.

Now that the shit has hit the fan, rather than understand your error, you just want to run off to Taipei and leave us to die?

Is Macron an idiot? Or more generally if Trump is uniquely incompetent, and that incompetence has caused the current state of COVID 19 in the US, what are your thoughts on the countries where the situation is worse?

I don't follow France or Marcon, but I'm comfortable with the idea that policy should match rising/falling new case counts.

In my opinion countries that crushed their new case rate and then opened up did it right.

I did find this:

"There were 351 new deaths in France from Covid-19 in the 24 hours Wednesday to Thursday this week but the number of people in intensive care continues to decrease.

There are currently 20,463 people in hospital due to the virus, 608 less than the day before.

This figure includes 2,299 patients in intensive care – 129 less than on Wednesday."

That does seem like good news, and perhaps reason to "ease up." At that point the reasonable discussion surrounds how much and how fast.

The US data is spotty, but some areas do indeed have falling hospitalization rates:

So thus far Trump has been fairly competent, but going forward he is showing his incompetence by not constraining states from relaxing restrictions?

Is that really a sincere question, as Trump both endorses slow opening, and at the same time armed protesters who want "FREEDOM" now?

Do you or Trump make any attempt to tie "FREEDOM" to contained areas? Note that the Minnesota protesters, endorsed by Trump, are in a growth area.


You're now at the point where you're saying "the response is competent but the tweets are dumb"


See, there you go defending Donald Trump again as is your wont.

And with a really stupid and outdated belief that "tweets don't matter" nor "set policy."

Those tweets both empower those protesters and shift the entire national conversation to a "freedom" based argument for "open up" rather than an epidemiological one.

And of course it's not just the tweets. He's said the same in press conferences and interviews as well. He supports the protesters, thinks we should open up because it's time.

It just seems that there is a lot of picking and choosing between which results correspond to a particular individuals competence which don't in regards to Trump and many others.

I guess I am just curious if I am missing something because I don't see a lot of coherence in these discussions, but its probably that I am just too dumb to see it.

Anyway thank you for taking the time to respond.

The comment made no sense, and still makes no sense. So this is you shifting to something completely different and should be read as such.

It still makes no difference who the POTUS is. The virus doesn't care about your culture war, because it is incapable of caring. That you can't see this is a pretty indicting fact about your partisan lens.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, throw the bums out if it makes you feel any better about the situation. It won't make a difference, but if it makes people feel better they can watch Joe Biden going senile on the news instead of Trump.

Now that the shit has hit the fan, rather than understand your error, you just want to run off to Taipei and leave us to die?

The virus, even if you catch it, has about a 0.01% chance of killing you. The median age of death is between 81 and 85 depending on country. So uh...that's insane hyperbole.

The 'shit hitting the fan' hasn't happened and still may not, it ain't the virus, it's the reaction. You'll know it when LA is rioting like it's 1992. I doubt it will happen, but it's always good to have an exit strategy.

"It still makes no difference who the POTUS is."

Never. Been. True.

The world was entirely shaped by who George W. Bush was, and his decision to invade Iraq. The world is being shaped again by who Donald Trump is.

And he's certainly reshaped conservatism, driving the stupid party and the crazy party into a very sick endgame.

It doesn't matter who the POTUS is. Donald Trump is not reshaping the world at all. A virus is, though. See how important the president is? He has less impact on the world than a tiny, disputably alive RNA replication machine.

Foreign policy is the one area that the POTUS can actually have an impact on the world, but that doesn't affect you personally and thus is outside the scope of the argument.

The rest of your comment is just refighting the culture war, and as I am not on either side I find it tedious, exhausting, and irretrievably stupid.

Keep fightin the culture war, anon

You obviously have an inflexible belief here, resistent to all evidence.

FWIW, I could go part way in for "historic trends" but at the same time, we cannot deny that Great Man Theory has its uses. At certain times and in certain places "one guy" has to authority and a bug up his butt do to something not on the radar.

It is not *always* Great Man Theory, but sometimes it is.

> The world was entirely shaped by who George W. Bush was, and his decision to invade Iraq.

The democrats overwhelmingly believed Iraq had WMD before Bush arrived. And the dems, including Hillary, overwhelmingly supported the Iraq war.

Do you really think that if eternal beta-male Al Gore was elected that HE would have said "No" to war? When Hillary et al were rooting for it? Remember, Gore hired people to "teach" him how to not sound like whiny sissy. That is why he grabbed kissed Tipper hard on stage--to show the world he knew how to "take" a woman.

Gore would have gone to war against Iraq. There's not a single person that would not have gone to war given the CIA assessment of the situation. 9/11 had just happened, and Clinton's CIA was telling Bush another one will happen. It could be a suitcase nuke in LA. It's coming. Be ready. Remember, this was done by a dozen guys with box cutters.

Gore would have invaded. No doubt on that.

I don't think you have to go this far; Gore may not have done. Different leaders are different. Donald Trump seems less likely to want to invade places than Hilary Clinton. You are making a real choice, and the choice to go Trump rather than Killary probably did matter.

I don't think it's totally crazy that anonymous wants to make this into an issue about Trump. It is what it is. Trump is responsible for many stupidities. he is, in many ways, an idiot.

His actual contribution to events under discussion is a bit opaque, but probably wasn't that positive (after his initial travel ban). anon is almost certainly overplaying it of course.

but (perhaps unfortunately):

He's still the only candidate that represents renegotiation of America's trade on an explicitly America-first platform. He's still the only candidate that represents renegotiation with multinational institutions that have proved themselves incompetent (WHO anyone?). He's still the only candidate that seems to at least nominally care about practicing protectionism to maintain the US's industrial base and the jobs of the working class away from the coasts. He's still the only candidate that vociferously rejects PC. He's still the only candidate that appears "strong" on China (which perhaps he gets too much credit for, being only concerned about trade, but here we are). He's still the only candidate who strongly consistently for avoiding entanglement in foreign wars.

and that's all why people will probably vote for him again, despite everything. perhaps enough for him to win, perhaps not.

despite his stupidities, he's owned a lot of issues in 2016 on which he has since appeared prescient. and his opposition have not really engaged with that but done these strange things like Russiagate, which seems completely confabulated (and led to him stupidly trying to entangle Biden in international corruption as well, and getting himself messed up).

Contrast him in 2016 with Biden now, who hasn't really done a good job of owning any issues at all, not too far out to the November election. nothing going on for him other than people believing that, at best, compared to Trump, he's a safe pair of hands.

Anyone else in the political scene *could* have made an attempt to own these issues, and defused Trump quite handily. but they really haven't, rather than done all of this targeting of the man (just on these issues of character again and again) and evading the political issues under discussion, and having these little "progressive" party faction disputes.

Why isn't this assuming the can opener? From the outset, people have been saying, "All we need to do is ramp up testing from a few thousand a day to a several million per day," as if scaling up were a trivial problem.

Assume a vaccine.

Why isn't this assuming the can opener?

There's a difference between "assume a can opener" and "with all the resources of the US economy we can make a whole bunch of can openers."

"Congrats to Denmark for being the latest country to report zero Covid-19 deaths in the past 24 hrs."

We could if we wanted to. The great American tragedy is that we think of reasons "we can't."

Keep clicking those heels anonymous.

Maybe you if you keep clicking enough we’ll be a high trust society again with a functional federal bureaucracy.

Or not

Well, I want to fix things. You want to declare them unfixable, until you run off to a country .. that does it the way we should!

WTF's the matter with you?

Lol, keep clicking.

Well, I want to fix things.

Lol, I seriously doubt it. Fix what things? You're here to (1) attack your tribal near out-group and (2) offer vague meaningless Hallmark Card platitudes. That's obvious to anyone here.

-There's a posted national reopening plan. You've never once commented on it to offer a critique
-There are state reopening plans. You've never once commented on any of them to offer critiques
-You have yet to offer any substantive comments on the pandemic at all. It's either an attack on your culture war out-group or vague bullshit
-Recently you've descended into just throwing juvenile insults at everyone across the board

Keep clickin those heels anon, keep clickin

You are such a liar. This administration does not have "a plan." It has a game it plays one foot in, one foot out.

"Trump tweets support for Michigan protesters, some of whom were armed, as 2020 stress mounts"

That's what you are defending, what you are saying can't be criticized.

Yes, there is a national plan. It's posted. You've never once commented on it, preferring to link tweets and fight the culture war.

That's what you are defending, what you are saying can't be criticized.

Lol. Instead of any substantive comments on the national policy, or any comments on any policy at all, you link a tweet. A tweet you've spammed in like 30 threads.

So tell me anoymous, are you here to offer substantive policy critiques or are you here to fight the culture war? Or are you just a troll?

That's stupid.

I have centered my position here today on a policy position. That we should "open up" after we control new cases in a given area.

You are fighting me on that because you can't take the implicit criticism that DT's "FREEDOM" argument is just plain stupid.


There's a national policy posted by the WH.

You ignore it and instead choose to talk about tweets. This is an indication of whether you're here to wage your culture war crusade or debate things in good faith.

but nice all caps boomer

King County (Seattle, 2.2M) had a day yesterday with zero covid deaths. Good news all around.

"The goal is to be a green zone, where fewer than one resident per 36,000 is infected. Here, large gatherings are allowed, and masks aren’t required for those who don’t interact with the elderly or other vulnerable populations."

As long as Americans are allowed to travel freely, this is idiotic. I assume you're familiar with what a single infected person accomplished in South Korea very recently (

There are multiple examples of this, including at the very beginning of the pandemic when EVERY PLACE outside of China was a "green zone."

Now, if these green zones are effectively walled off once they're declared, with no one allowed to enter from yellow and red zones, then the plan might work. Of course, there is no possibility that the green zones will be either walled off, nor have checkpoints and 2-week mandatory quarantines at every point of entry, so this is (as currently described) another useless thought experiment.

Now if being in a green zone means you still don't have mass gatherings, and you strongly encourage mask wearing when out of the house, and you make sure large and medium employers make adjustments to keep their work forces safe, and you have truly effective test-and-trace in place, and you discourage travel into those green zones, then yes, you could open things up quite a bit. Otherwise, green zones would become yellow zones constantly, and the whole system would crumble into a chaotic and confusing mess.


This should be obvious. This would hypothetically work in a ”papiere bitte” country with checkpoints on the highways, county lines, state lines, etc. Maybe only certain connected families get internal passports to move across county lines at will, along with truck drivers etc.

Yeah. None of this is going to happen. It’s pure fantasy.

We’re heading to Sweden one way or the other. Many Americans are still in the five stages of grief, combing the denial/anger phases with a dose of partisan stupidity.

+1, I didn't spend the time reading their plan but this was the obvious Achilles heel. So, I assume they addressed it at least to some degree?

I was just reading Balaji S. Srinivasan's twitter feed, and he's retweeted several articles about this concept of red and green zones. Apparently it's an idea that might guide opening travel between "green" countries (e.g., South Korea, Taiwan, China, New Zealand etc.) with the virus under good control. France has been doing something a little like this within the country, but by the criteria in Alex's post they don't have any true green zones, just shades of orange and red.

But yeah, this couldn't work in the US.

Here’s an article on why Lysol and Clorox wipes won’t be available until the summer. If simples items such as these face supply challenges, I have my doubts about testing suddenly becoming plentiful.

Forgot the link:

I’ve got an idea: why don’t we go right to liberty? If you want to cower in fear in your home I won’t prevent you. The Democrat governors have, in general, done a fatally negligent job and blown a disease of the same magnitude as the seasonal flu into a “crisis”.

I'm okay with that. As long as freedom-lovers carry an identifier that allows hospital works to have the freedom to choose not to care for them.

Oooo. Frightening. How about some math. An average of 2.8 Million people die in this country every year, current Covid deaths stand around 86K, slightly ahead of the flu season two years ago. So, a 3% increase, maybe, but we know the Covid deaths have been over-reported because the Covid relief bill gives money to hospitals based largely on death certificates. Most who get it will never know they had it, those who become symptomatic will nearly certainly survive, and the people who do die have more than one major health condition going in. This whole thing has been overblown, because the media likes clicks and politicians will never admit they over-reacted.


That statement of flu comparisons is incorrect. Here is an article in infectious disease magazine.

If you want to look at some work on Medpage, find it here:

An "apples-to-apples" comparison showed COVID-19 deaths for one week in April dramatically outpaced the mean number of deaths from influenza in the worst weeks of the past seven flu seasons.

For the week ending April 21, there were 14,478 COVID-19 counted deaths in the U.S. compared to a mean of 752.4 counted deaths during the peak weeks for the 2013-2020 flu seasons, or a 20.5-fold mean increase (95% CI 16.3-27.7), reported Jeremy Faust, MD, of Harvard Medical School in Boston, and Carlos del Rio, MD, of Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta.

John, it is also a bit disingenuous to compare flu deaths to covid when we have had mitigation efforts for covid during the same period but not for flu. If the Princess Diamond had had the flu, rather than covid, what would have been the infection rate and death rate.

Answer below:

No mitigation efforts for the flu? There's a widespread campaign for vaccination every year.

Well, Tom, did you consider that the death rates for the flu were WITH vaccination.

Shows you how deadly covid is.

Thanks for the additional supporting information.

Take care.

So BIll you seem to b agreeing that COVID is less than the flu...

So, you'll openly defy public health orders, and fundamentaly disagree with public health experts, but if you turn out to be wrong and need hospitalization, you still want medical care providers to be FORCED to put themselves and their families at risk of infection in order to bail you out?

So much for personal responsibility. There's the face of "freedom" American-style.

It would be far simpler to simply kill the ones with glasses.

Public health “experts” are pulling in steady paychecks and retirement contributions from We, the still taxpayer.

What you’re asking is so that you live, I bankrupt myself and live in poverty at the end of my life and no inheritance to my children to make their lives better. Our 35-year old family business Is sputtering.

We are not all in this together because too many people are getting paychecks. They have no skin in the game. Maybe “We” should suspend all paychecks until there’s a vaccine since that seems to be the standard. Some want The perfect vs. the good. This comment is semi-tongue-in-cheek.

I do love the argument for closed borders, though. I’ve also thought for a long time Congress should work remotely. This is proving they can.

The amusing thing is the rhetoric. We are in a WAR it seems. Well, soldiers die in war/nursing homes and sometimes from friendly but stupid “expert” dictats.

The US is still the world’s economic engine. We are better equipped than most to deal with China’s death bug, but other parts of the world will suffer in different ways if we don’t get moving.

The world has come a long way in 30 years, it’s getting fed and healthier due to capitalism.

What YOU are asking, is that so you can make money, tens of thousands of people will die early deaths, and tens of thousands more - of all ages - will suffer severe long term illness with lingering effects, and further, that retail wage workers and front line medical workers will take extra risks of infection, so that YOU can make money.

THAT'S the trade-off you propose.

We've fallen a long way indeed.

We've spent one year of gov receipts to get us through the last 8 weeks. This isn't sustainable. A vaccine might not be available for two years, and it's very likely you can catch this multiple times during that time.

Are you advocating sheltering in place for up to two years and spending $52T (13 years of government receipts) to push through this if a vaccine takes 2 years?

The stupidest thing we could do is shelter for 6 months, destroy every thing economically, and then decide we must emerge and face head on because sheltering in place is no longer economically possible.

Assuming a virus doesn't come and we must live with this, what is the big event coming that will flip your decision?

Will you promise to give up 2/3 of your paycheck until this is solved so others can buy food during these trying times?

No I am not.

I am insisting that the advocates for going back to normal behave honestly, without diminishing the human health cost of their proposal, acknoweledging who will bear the brunt of that, and not be driven by the antics of armed dingbats.

Also, i disagree about your economics. we piss away tens of trillions on banks and wars. I bet we've got some more money still lying around under the couch cushions.

Your side of the argument seems to be that because hospitals cannot turn patients away from the ER, then that means that the government must naturally be able to assume the power to regulate citizens' lives however it sees fit (including indefinite house arrest) to reduce the chances of them showing up at the ER? Is that what you're advocating?

When the crisis is over, could the government use the same rationale to, for example, ban rock climbing because the government could be stuck with the bill if an uninsured badly-injured climber required expensive treatment?

Under this view, what limits would there be on government control of citizens' lives based on the govt being the health insurer of last resort?

Why take this attitude? You are endangering yourself and others. This is not a political or identity statement. This is just rational public health. If people want to make this an identity issue, get a tattoo...after the parlor is open. But, don't endanger or possibly be responsible for the death of another person.

Is an activity that endangers another person your threshold for government bans? OK, then why not impose bans on mountain climbing, back-country skiing, and whitewater rafting? After all, injuries that occur during those activities can require risky remote rescue operations even before the patient makes it to the ER. In your view, should people who do those things be required to have 'no rescue' tattoos? Should these things be banned because they could be used to put search and rescue personnel at risk?

Don't just shake your finger, what are your principles? When does the government's willingness to help or the potential for putting others at risk justify extraordinary controls of citizens (like shelter-in-place shutdowns)? And you're nuts if you think that the conditions under which a government may impose strict controls on its citizens' lives is somehow NOT a political issue.

Learn more about externalities.

So either no principles or no willingness or ability to communicate them then. Got it.

You are probably the guy who refuses to wear a mask on the airplane because it would interfere with your liberty.

You understood what I said but if you didn't look up negative externality and pareto optimality.

I hope this helps you with your understanding of negative externalities, but you will probably come back with something that reflects no research or understanding.

No, I'm not the guy on the plane without a mask. I'm a guy who would not consider flying under current conditions (or getting on a train or a bus or going inside into a bar or restaurant even if they were open). But I don't (and wouldn't) wear a mask in a park or on a trail or at the beach, though I do so on my infrequent trips to the grocery store. I encouraged to my elderly mother to stay home before there were any orders and have not seen her except standing outside her condo talking from a safe distance. When we have a mild enough evening to sit outside on the patio, we plan to have her over for dinner. This is based on my understanding of the data of how and where the virus has been spread (surfaces and outdoors seem to be low risk -- being with people in enclosed spaces like offices, restaurants, and buses/trains/airplanes seems high risk -- as does living with an infected person).

But you're missing the point which is that governments have assumed truly extraordinary, unprecedented powers and often those powers are vested completely in the hands of a single executive with no check or authorization from any other branch of government. This is the case in my own state of Michigan where the governor has ignored the fact that the legislature's initial emergency authorization expired and has claimed the personal authority to extend her own emergency powers indefinitely as she seems fit. You seem to be perfectly OK with this, with no concerns for civil liberties, democracy, or abuses of power. What political reasoning do you rely on the justify this? Just muttering 'negative externalities' doesn't begin to cut it.

These appeals to liberty would be more compelling, if they weren't so conveniently partisan in the targets of the displeasure, and also were accompanied by outcries about - just for example - that the Senate just re-upped warrantless surveillance on the internet.

My side of the argument is that many of the people who are having a temper tantrum about masks are being reckless with other people's health without the other peoples' consent.

(I used to be under the impression that this was a cornerstone of Libertarianism, but I know better now).

Further, my point (elsewhere) is that many of those same people who claim to be motivated by 'freedom' wouldn't know the Patriot Act, indefinite detention, pervasive surveillance, extrajudicial assassination, or 'free speech zone' and police kettling of peaceful protestors if they were living in the middle of that sort of regime.

Which, in fact, the ignorant yet angry jackholes are.

Libertarianism is generally more "If you think people are racing cars in a dangerous way, maybe stay at home and don't go walking on the track?" before it is "Let's ban these dangerous races! What if some ignorant fool went and walked across the track?".

Similarly it's probably gonna be "You think other people not wearing masks endangers you? Then stay home!" than it is going to be about compelling mask wearing.

This is not me speaking as a Libertarian, simply that I don't think there is any inconsistency in this. They will want you to make recourse to your options, even if those options are very expensive to you, before introducing compulsions on others. And especially will do so as you already have a cheap recourse yourself (wear a mask yourself).

Your analogy is flawed.

The race car drivers here are forcing retail workers and front line health care providers to ride in the back seat of the car without seat belts.

The healthcare workers and retail workers can always stay home too. Then pick up making a living again when the “danger” of their jobs is... acceptable to them again.

So your choice forces them out of work.

More briefly, Libertarianism can accept compulsion in cases where externalities are unavoidable and unpredictable and extremely unreasonable and not punishing introduce extreme perverse consequences.

For instance, they will not expect you to have predicted that some random psychopath will decide to spree shoot you.

But if there are reasonable precautions based on not very difficult prediction you can still take, they are not going to us to introduce compulsions in order to protect your.

In practice this would probably mean Libertarians would support mask compulsions perhaps in some environments which you can't willingly avoid - police stations, government buildings, health facilities.

But probably not in settings which you can simply choose to opt out of, if most people going there do not want to mask wear. Public parks, etc.

"same magnitude as the seasonal flu"
What an ignorant, bullshit statement.

No technically true, flu kills around 50 k per year in the us a. So an order of magnitude would be 500k

The rodeo isn't over yet... we didn't 'distance' to get those flu numbers. We are now at about the 1/20 point according to some estimates (1/10, if you are extremely optimistic) and many states are now taking action to increase the spread. An order of magnitude is well within possibility.
"Same magnitude" does not include "9 times as much but not 10" in my book... it means 'about the same'.

If we counted flu deaths, which have disappeared lately, like we're counting Covid, we would have a million flu deaths every season.

I am ashamed of my fellow citizens for continuing to fall for this crap.

Good news is Covid has cured cardiovascular disease and cancer as those have gone away.

A quick perusal of the Smithfield situation didn't indicate any deaths. Is that the case? It didn't even mention hospitalizations. Any information somewhere?

This is from the BBC, a month ago - "By 15 April, when Smithfield finally closed under pressure from the South Dakota governor's office, the plant had become the number one hotspot in the US, with a cluster of 644 confirmed cases among Smithfield employees and people who contracted it from them. In total, Smithfield-related infections account for 55% of the caseload in the state, which is far outpacing its far more populous Midwestern neighbour states in cases per capita. According to the New York Times, the Smithfield Foods case numbers have surpassed the USS Theodore Roosevelt naval ship and the Cook County Jail in Chicago, Illinois.

Those figures were released one day after the first Smithfield employee died in hospital.

"He got that virus there. He was very healthy before," his wife, Angelita, told the BBC in Spanish. "My husband will not be the only one to die.""

Which turns out to be the case , as a second employee was reported as having died 4 days later.

And if there had been any additional deaths in the weeks since, there would have been intense media coverage.


South Dakota department of public health hospitalizationsand active cases by county. The county in question has over 3100 cases and 228 hospitalizations. The state has had 44 deaths and counting.

“Liberty”, LOL.

“Back to work in the plague pits or your family starves! Returns to capital must be maximized!”

This is the most Libertarian piece of rhetoric I have ever seen. Congratulations. You’ve achieved perfect self-parody.

Does anyone listen to corporate earnings calls? This thing is over except for industries that pack lots of people into small places. The hardship request curve has flattened for lenders. People with jobs who think they will keep them are spending money on durable goods. The service sector still has adjusting to do, but people are looking around and saying, “what pandemic?” No one is dying who wouldn’t have died from something else in a couple months and the hospital reporting of Covid deaths is as bad as China but in the other direction.

What we need isn’t more tests, we need a firm message from government, business, and civil leaders: “Get back to work, get back to spending, and Biden will never be president!”

A little Saturday morning humor is always nice.

Here is funny. Testing that can’t be done because someone is out of swabs when my grocery store is stock full of Q tips. I guess tweezers are hard to come by.

+1 this whole thing is fake news

I’m the coconut man
I am the king of the coconut land

And I rule my island
With a very fair hand

I drink the coconut milk
And I run with the coconut Elk

I’m the coconut man
I am the king of the coconut land

" The Plan "

... how cute & cozy in the Ivory Tower

But the daily mechanism of American government is force & coercion to bend the public to the impulses of politicians and bureaucrats.

Social Engineering games are just so much fun in the Tower.

Does anyone remember back in the depths of time, a whole 10 days ago? When the models were saying 200K new cases a day (and 3K deaths per day) by June 1st?

That all seems so far from the truth at this point.

You're not supposed to point that out.

The true silver lining is that most any blog post, news article, or preprint that is based on a "model" can go straight into the trash.

You did notice, JW, that the report
Was an internal White House report.

"An internal Trump administration report expects about 200,000 daily cases by June."

The dangers and pleasures of providing a link.

He just hoped that no one else would be aware that it was a projection that came from within the White House. Or possibly, these days, even administration defenders have given up on even pretending to care.

No, it was another deep state initiative to sow fear and dissension Coming from FEMA and quickly quashed by the responsible parties. Of course, the Times picked up and ran with it. Being the Times, you are never held accountable for falsehoods.

Well great, then we can all agree, that the White Houses widely reported "internal" report was clearly far too pessimistic and agree that we won't have 200K case by June.

I'll go on record here as stating the US will Never have 200K daily cases. Nor even 40K daily cases.

We are clearly past the inflection point of the sigmoid function for a typical infectious outbreak. The numbers are flat/declining.

The headlines last month were scary:
Georgia’s dangerous coronavirus experiment
— Joel Mathis, The Week April 21
Georgia’s Kemp neglected to warn people
about his dangerous gamble
— Steve Benen, MSNBC, April 22
Kemp poised to lift restrictions,
despite warnings of renewed outbreak
— Alan Judd and Greg Bluestein, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, April 29
It was a “gamble,” an “experiment,” and the media all agreed it was “dangerous” for Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to do this “despite warnings.” You would have thought, based on the coverage, that Kemp’s plan was so reckless and irresponsible as to guarantee a “renewed outbreak” that would kill thousands. But what actually happened?
Georgia’s daily COVID-19 deaths had already peaked by the time Kemp announced he would begin re-opening the state’s economy. On April 16, Georgia recorded 52 deaths from the virus, concluding a week (April 10-16) in which the state recorded 205 deaths, an average of 35.7 deaths daily for that week. For the seven day period ending Thursday (i.e., May 8-14), Georgia recorded a total of 105 coronavirus deaths, an average of 15 daily. In other words, comparing these two seven-day periods, there was a 58% decrease in Georgia’s COVID-19 deaths. The number of daily new COVID-19 cases reported has likewise declined more than 50% since April, even as the number of tests performed has increased.
COVID-19 is a new disease. Everything we know about this virus, we’ve learned in the past six months. However, something Michael Fumento remarked last month bears repeating: Epidemics are always subject to Farr’s Law, in which cases rise and fall in a bell-curve pattern. The death toll peaks and then recedes because, in the early stages of the outbreak, the disease “grabs the low-hanging fruit” (the most vulnerable population), but eventually runs out of such victims. While quarantine policies can “slow the spread” and “flatten the curve,” ultimately no human intervention matters more than the effect of Farr’s Law.
By the time Governor Kemp announced his “gamble” in the third week of April, the number of COVID-19 deaths in Georgia had already peaked. While the number of reported cases was still continuing to rise (it did not peak until April 27, when 937 new cases were reported), this was an artifact, the result of more widespread testing, which identified asymptomatic or mild cases. Throughout the course of Georgia’s coronavirus outbreak so far, there have been 1,557 deaths and, with the daily death toll still decreasing steadily, it seems unlikely the state will experience the “renewed outbreak” that Kemp’s critics warned about.
From Robert Stacy McCain (the other McCain) “As of 10 a.m. today, Georgia’s per-capita death rate from COVID-19 (measured in deaths per million residents) was 150, which was 88.5% lower than the state of New York’s death rate of 1,417.
Oh, and just for your information, the daily number of U.S. coronavirus deaths nationwide peaked at 2,683 — on April 21, which was 25 days ago. The highest daily number of deaths in the past week was 1,772 on Wednesday (May 13), and that number was 34% below the April 21 peak.“

Georgia cases back to early March levels. < 10 deaths/day. Kemp brilliantly identified the fake news corona virus pandemic story and bravely acted to reopen.

Yeah, 37,000 covid cases, 6735 hospital admits, 1500 icu admissions, and 1,592 deaths.

In a state of 9 million people...........

I think it was Meet the Press. They had a guy on from University of Minnesota saying they’re running their testing machines to breaking point. I understand why testing our way out of this is appealing. But I think economists are maybe being a bit to optimistic. Romer is betting 20 million tests a month or something. Hopefully that happens, but I’d take his bet.

Plus, how many people without symptoms are really going to submit to testing? Seems like people are getting a little paranoid already. Telling them they should get tested every two weeks, or whatever, might not go over so well.

>Plus, how many people without symptoms are really going to submit to testing?

How many people without symptoms should be tested ethically and on a medical cost benefit calculation? Unless there was a common and cheap non invasive test.

The number I remember being used was $10 for a test. Not sure I am remembering that right, maybe I got the order of magnitude wrong...but the point of that segment was cheap testing.

Assuming a cost of less than $50, I think it makes a lot of sense economically. As to ethical questions, I don’t see major issues, definitely some. Probably major legal issues if you made testing compulsory. Probably better to just treat it as a legal issue, not an ethical one. Because all a conversation along that line will get you is an idea of the interlocutor’s ethical intuitions and, implicitly, how serious they think the treat is. And if you sort of assume most people believe in some form of the categorical imperative under normal circumstance but are consequentialist sunder extreme circumstances, all you really are discovering is the implicit assessment of the threat. Not sure if that makes sense. No time to proof, sorry.

Romer wants 20 million tests a day. Just did a quick check. Knew my numbers were off somewhere.

That just seems like an insane number to me.

" Romer is betting 20 million tests a month or something. Hopefully that happens, but I’d take his bet."

It seems unlikely we'll need that much testing. But we're already at 10 million tests per month, so it could well reach that level because everyone will be afraid to take their foot off the gas.

Interesting to know. Like I’ve said before, I am spending a lot less time reading about all this. I don’t really check any numbers aside for Shanghai. I just watch the American nightly news once a week, or maybe twice.

I think you’re right, people won’t want to take their foot of the gas. Still curious about the wear and tear on the current machines.

"Still curious about the wear and tear on the current machines."

If they are industrial machines then they are designed to run an optimal speed 24/7 with periodic maintenance. As long as the short cycle maintenance is being followed, they should be good for at least a year.

Sometimes we forget that this whole event has been only going on for 4-5 months.

- Most people will not adhere to individual or family preemptive quarantines anymore, unless mandatory, and enforced. And who will do that?
- Travel ruins everything.
- This needs to be calibrated to local hospital capacity.
- We need to decide if people can opt out of work based on risk asessment without punishment or not.
- The right will defy every sensible control or backstop in any plan, unless told to comply directly by Trump.

Hey George! Good post! I agree with you completely....

This article is yet another dangerous distraction from what is critical for the health of those actually at risk of severe consequences and death. That every place that got hit hard was a NURSING HOME MANAGEMENT CLUSTERFUCK. Meat packing plant CASES? who gives a shit. Sending people from isolation in hospital back to nursing homes across NY and NJ? Insanity that must not be repeated.

Yeah, if we had had testing earlier, none of this would have happened in nursing homes or in meat plans.

True management clusterfuck, as you would say.

But they DID test these people man, they did. They had C19 and they sent them to places with the most (only?) extremely vulnerable people. Testing the general population early would only have shown what we have known for months: it was already among us.

Re: Nursing homes

After they were sick they were test.. You should test the employees before they go into the nursing home. Don't try to defend incompetence. Every time you do, you just make the mistake more obvious.


That's not what he's saying. They sent sick C19 positive patients back into the nursing homes.

Testing the employees is ... a valid concern but not he one he's talking about.

That's the second thing he said. If you go back to yesterday's comments, you would find that 1) nursing homes are required under their license to be able to take care of infectious patients; 2) at the time there were not enough beds in the hospitals; 3) there was patient dumping (remember, snf and nursing facilities are supposed to have segregated facilities and be able to handle infectious residents.

If you go back a few days, there was a long article about this in the Kaiser Health News on March 30, while this was occurring.

Here is the article written as this was occurring.

By the way, Skeptical, I presume that if you talk about something you know something about it, or that you read the discussion on this subject previously.

Apparently neither in this case--you are not informed about the subject, did not read previous posts and and do not do your own research but simply react to comments by putting in one liners rather than researching.

That's some great snark, thanks Boomer.

The article doesn't refute anything I said. It's also from March 30th

New York was sending Covid positive olds back to nursing homes while there were 1,000+ bed field hospitals sitting ehpty

Appreciate the snark though, +1 internets, -50 internets for not reading your own article from March

" you would find that 1) nursing homes are required under their license to be able to take care of infectious patients;"

Oh, You say their required under license to take care of infectious patients? Well if the license says so, everything must be good. /sarcasm

That's great news if all those meat-processing workers were infected. They will have immunity for life.

I've wanted to see modelling of the supply chain, but I think that won't be necessary. Enough activity is being loosened up to forestall a collapse in that realm.

What I want to see is a graph of the actual severity of movement and economic limitation, the degree of government coercion involved vs the number of cases and deaths.

I suspect that very strict measures are effective but lose effectiveness over time. Less strict measures are less effective but don't deteriorate over time, and may by means of the feedback mechanisms of the pandemic increase in effectiveness.

This may be a State capacity issue. Non compliance generally is an indication of misrule. Perverse incentives for non compliance, corrupt on the street enforcement, a disconnected ruling class. On the other hand reasonable and fair enforcement of agreed upon rules by a responsive ruling class will have high compliance rates, as well as the capability to react in a timely way.

This is an interesting graph. My province is right at the bottom. Our restrictions were in practice quite vigorous, but in mandate very reasonable. The only time our Premier started yelling was at Trudeau. Which was quite reasonable all things considered.

Yawn. Wake me when reliable, inexpensive tests become widely available. The majority of tests available are only Emergency Use Authorization. Only two tests are approved now and that was very recent:

I am not sure testing is such a panacea. There’s a fairly high rate of false negatives especially close to symptom onset. ( before/after).
I would add other measures such as fever, symptoms check.

the economy could safely reopen with aggressive testing and tracing, coupled with safety measures including mandatory masks.

There's no way to measure if masks actually accomplish anything at all in terms of infection prevention. It's simply signalling, a large, obvious sort of St. Christopher's medal that shows the wearer knows of the danger and wants to be regarded as a conscientious member of the community.

As of this morning: US fatalities ascribed to Covid-19 virus, 88,237

Seating capacity of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville, FL: 88,548

First reported covid death in US in early February. Three and a half months and we are at 88,237 deaths

We cannot handle this problem at a Federal level. This is a dysfunctional county. Sometimes the truth hurts.

What county are you in? The vast majority are doing well.

I live in the US, the worst performing country on Earth where, still in the early innings, we get people already leaving the ballpark thinking the game is over.

...This is not an intelligent take.

Most of the US is doing just fine, NYC is really the big hotspot and ineptitude at the State and Local levels is largely the cause of failure.

are curious as to the specific provisions&plans for testing in the
pandemic plans created by the cdc!

People in NYC have seen people die. In my county, Ontario (greater Rochester area), we have had 12 deaths. New York is a big state.

> The plan backfired. Hundreds of Smithfield employees were infected, forcing the plant to shut down for more than three weeks. If we stay the current course, we risk repeating the same mistake across the whole economy.

Yeah, but three weeks later they can all come back to work, secure in the knowledge that they won't get sick again. It is not at all clear that this was the economically worse path for Smithfield to go down

Sell short companies with poor employee protection and buy those that do.

Fire the management that can't control risks.

Drawing the boundaries of the zones appears to be either under or overthought. People in Baudette,MN are not going to be put into lockdown because there is an outbreak at the meatpacking plant in Worthington (400+ mi away). With boundaries of zones crossing state borders, governors and legislatures are going to want to put their local stamp on things for political reasons as well.

That there are only 3 categories and 2 active categories also will lead to problems. With one category containing 90% of the country the filter is not that fine given the extreme differences in locations and feel. Even their map has a finer breakdown. That there could be two orders of magnitude differences within one category seems too large.

First, we've already destroyed the economy without even thinking about it, so it's a little late to pretend to worry about that now.

Second, Alex obviously hasn't read any of Tyler's recent posts on maybe considering reality when devising your dumb coronavirus plans.

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