The NBA’s reopening is a warning sign

There’s only one problem: An increasing number of players do not seem very interested in being guinea pigs in this experiment. At first the secessions were a trickle. Now they are picking up steam.

Davis Bertrans, arguably the second-best active player on my home team the Washington Wizards, will not play because he doesn’t want to risk injury and endanger his prospects as a free agent next season. [TC: Bradley Beal has since announced his indecision.]  That’s an entirely reasonable excuse, and more and more players are finding them…

These players will still be paid, but they are lowering their future market value by expressing less than a full commitment to the team. And it is hard to imagine that many other workplace environments can be made much safer than the planned NBA bubble.

One has to wonder how many other players are planning to drop out, or perhaps hoping that the decision will be made for them: Maybe they will get an injury during training camp, say, or worsening conditions in Florida will require cancellation of the season, or it will become more socially acceptable not to play. In the meantime, the dominant strategy may simply be to wait and root against the resumption of play.

Here is the rest of my Bloomberg column on this topic.  The broader point of course is this: if players being paid millions, and put into a highly regulated bubble, and tested regularly, feel this way, what about the broader work force?

Comments

" if players being paid millions, and put into a highly regulated bubble, and tested regularly, feel this way, what about the broader work force?"

Ask yourself the same question. Are you going back to in class teaching at George Mason? (not that you are getting paid the same as NBA players)

I thought the magic mask would save them! Just wear the mask and you won't get covid-19 the talking heads tell us. If they work let them play while wearing the masks. If they don't work than admit it and stop this farce.

Small mind have a problem grasping the concept of actions that have less than 100% effectiveness.

so you think less than 100% is good for inhaling a virus?

Small minds sounds like the sort of insult that goes daneben, so to speak. The sort of thing a person from a stereotypically culturally insecure place would find cutting. Remember, at some point in the script you are supposed to call someone a lolobertarian.

It is the only way to save civilization.

"Small mind", "deplorable", "conspiracy theory"

It's getting easy to tell which arguments the consensus drones can't deal with.

Care nothing about any argument, and their job is to reduce consensus to the greatest extent possible.

Will masks provide a person with absolute protection - no. Will masks provide protection so that your risk of catching or transmitting the disease will be lowered - yes. At a societal level, masks (and other hygiene practices) don't have to work absolutely to be effective - they just have to work enough that the transmission rate goes below 1 as that will mean the disease will die out.

That's also why it's not critical to require 100% compliance. Even 50% compliance yields significant benefits according to studies, apparently. As a courtesy to others, it would be helpful if people would wear masks as many now feel uncomfortable around the maskless. But, if someone has personal reasons to not want to, it's not the end of the world. If the person is not even showing symptoms, there's probably a 99%+ chance that he's not even infected (based on estimate of active infection rate). Selfishly, all of us stand to gain personally when others wear masks for us. But, selfish personal gain is not sufficient reason to infringe other people's freedom and judgement.

I will give you the +1 the other + commenters above aren't going to give you.

I generally weak masks around in public, primarily as a courtesy to others, but to some degree to avoid the dirty looks of the ignorant. I live in Thailand where is is 99.999999% likely that I do not have Covid.

But there is a point at which we don't need to bend to the irrationally fearful. It seems obvious that "shame machines" are a problem in our society, not a mechanism for correcting behavior. The shakers are in general (i.e. beyond mask issue) stupider that the shamees, in my experience

Wearing a mask is not 100% protection for other people, but it is rather selfish to consider only one's convenience rather than mitigate the risk of infecting others.

Exactly!! That is the meme. Wear the mask or you are a selfish SOB. Never mind that they don't work conform or else. We will beat you up if you don't have the mask on (seemingly without regard to all the contamination involved in giving someone a beating). Don't you see this isn't about protecting you or someone else? We all know the masks don't work even though some prefer to say "well, they don't work 100%..." Anything less than 100% isn't working!!! On average you only need 7 virus to become infected and a million virus can sit on the point of a pin OR pass through the mesh of your mask. They DON'T work. There is another reason why they want you to wear them. Think for yourself... Even if it is the first time for you, think for yourself!!

Guidance from the WHO back in March:

Who should wear a mask:

Those who are sick. WHO officials recommended those infected with the COVID-19 coronavirus to wear masks to prevent spreading it to someone else.
Those who are home caregivers for those who are sick. People caring for the sick should wear masks to protect themselves and to prevent further transmission throughout a family unit. Mask wearing has become critical in these situations, thanks to lockdown, said Michael J. Ryan, Chief Executive Director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme, since most of the new transmissions are happening at the family level. “In some senses,” he said, “the transmission has been taken off the streets and pushed back into the family unit.”
Those who are frontline healthcare workers. Right now the people most at risk from this virus are frontline healthworkers who are exposed to the virus "every second of every day", Ryan also said.
WHO officials were careful to say that the agency does not criticise countries who advise wearing masks. But at the same time, the agency was quick to stress that masks are commonly misused, and as a result, won't offer the intended protections.

For instance, wearing a mask can provide a false sense of security, say experts, leading some to become less vigilant in more important hygiene measures, such as hand washing. Additionally, removing a mask so it no longer covers your nose, or touching the outside of the mask can make it less effective.

Why rely on outdated and incomplete advice?

Why rely on current and incompetent advice. Wearing the mask has become politically correct. No politician, health expert or scientists dares say the wrong thing so they will go along to get along. If wearing the mask worked we could end all disease. It does not work, you will get Covid-19 sooner or later. Until 70% or more of the worlds population gets and survives Covid-19 it is still viable and still highly communicable. The mask won't stop it, social distancing won't stop it, it is a stupid mindless virus that infects almost everyone until the herd immunity allows it to die off.

Are you going back to in class teaching at George Mason? is a silly question - the odds are only 50-50 he would have been teaching at all, and with all the Fast Grants Emergent Ventures Progress Studies responsibilities, even if he been scheduled to teach one class, he has far more important things to with his time during a pandemic.

Like visit West Virginia to sample the foodie scene.

Masks are for the protection of other people, not te wearer.

And we could change the incentive to self-interest and attain what would presumably be much greater compliance if effective masks were actually available. For that we need more melt blown filter material. Has there been a sustained, serious effort to manufacture more of the machines which produce this? The ones that we could see would be needed four months ago?

I know of many bartenders that are eager to get back to work. Hair stylists were ecstatic to finally be able to reopen. The strongest protests against the lockdowns came from working class folks wanting to get back to work, not CEOs. Tyler is not considering income/wealth effect, just substitution effect. Established NBA players can afford to sit out the rest of the season even if they weren't getting paid.

I bet rookies/prospects are eager to play baseball and football this year. Athletic careers can be very short and there will be a new draft class next year, so missing this season could really significantly impact some players' entire careers, meaning whether they will even have professional careers. Similarly, I bet college seniors are really hoping to play football and basketball this coming year, especially those on the "bubble" of being drafted or drafted in a high round. I'm guessing minor league baseball was cancelled because, without fans, there will be no revenue. (TV revenue is probably zero, or close to it.) Minor league players probably very much want to play.

There seems to be a real lack of appreciation for how penalizing it is to force some people to just "pause" their lives: workers living paycheck-to-paycheck, athletes trying to break in to the pros, Olympic athletes, and (as Tyler points out) athletes that might have their best chance at winning a championship, MVP, career season, etc. this year.

"Tyler is not considering income/wealth effect, just substitution effect."

Methinks the opposite.

"The strongest protests against the lockdowns came from working class folks"

I'm sure there were some who fit the bill but not every working class person is a healthy 20-30 year-old with no family responsibilities. People who are older, have chronic conditions, live with elderly parents or grandparents, lack health insurance, or who are sole providers may well prefer to be on unemployment for a bit.

This one blue collar essential worker has been treated like garbage by her employer and the government: https://www.wnpr.org/post/essential-workers-denied-compensation-job-related-covid-19-exposure

Contract status is also important. In baseball some of these guys have long term contacts going into latter parts of their career. If they play this year they get 30% of schedule pay and contract tolls a year but if they don’t pay they would eventually get paid 100% of contract for a full year of service. If their contracts expiring into their 30’s it’s unlikely that year of play would be at the pay they are getting now so burning one year of a contract for a prorated year is a bad deal.

Other injury risks may be a concern for guys approaching big ufa years.

>Established NBA players can afford to sit out the rest of the season even if they weren't getting paid.

+1 Basically, if you already have $50 million sitting in the bank, why take any chance here? But, if you are a marginal player (e.g., likely 2-3 year career making journeyman money), one year off is a huge hit.

The Olympic Sport athletes are in even worse shape. With one or two exceptions, even the great ones realistically only have 'one cycle' to make their money.

People living off "welfare", i.e, the wealth of others without working, can afford to decide not to return to work. People who provide for their own sustenance, as well as that of their families, don't have that choice. Most of those pontificating about whether it is "safe" to return to work are not those who need to make money for food, rent, electricity, etc.

These NBA players aren't struggling for food as they are still getting paid. So their calculations prioritize future possible risks over the immediate. But there are a lot of people who earned a living off the games who aren't getting paid, and are increasingly desperate.

I would think an on-court NBA athlete would be breathing just a little bit harder than a professor doing "sage on the stage" in front of a live audience.

Perhaps that means they need masks all the more, but, how practical is it to breathe in and out of mask while playing NBA-level basketball?

They're all under 50 and in very little danger.

They are extremely well paid because of their athletic abilities. If anything even slightly compromises their lung capacity, they are out millions. It's the same reason fashion models don't take up potentially bruising activities like rock climbing.

(Also, some of them are Black which puts them at higher risk.)

Only if they ride on public transportation, it seems

Like Herman 999 Cain?

There is absolutely no way the athletes face a significant risk of lowered respiratory capability that would impact their careers ay anywhere near the level sitting out a season would. First, there is no evidence of respiratory issues in this or any previous corona episode. Secondly, you healthy athletes under medical supervision should be much safer that the general population at their age, who seem to have a 1/5,000 - 1/25,000 chance of dying.

More NBA players will probably die of gunshot wounds than Covid.

I am a higher-risk person for covid and I will be present on campus and teach. Obviously, as far as fear and courage is concerned, there are various grades of humans.

Maybe there are other factors involved in the decision to play or not than risk adjusted returns. Most NBA players, perhaps all, have families and some members of which may be at risk. Other players might look at the reputational harm by Gobert’s naive interactions with teammates and reporters that almost certainly infected them, and think “I don’t want to be an idiot”. Others might want to provide an example to their communities and fans that the pandemic should be taken seriously.

Is it still assumed that everyone does, or even should, use mathematics to drive their decision-making about their perceptions of well-being?

Besides, anyone who is sure that epidemiologists know everything about the long term impacts of this virus on survivors - and potential for impact on lung capacity or other physiological effects - is naive and/or ignorant. A 3% decrease, post recovery, in lung capacity will be negligent to most of the population. Not so for a professional athlete - even for 3 months that would have a significant impact on the capacity to play at the highest level. “He seems to have lost a step” would be translated directly to lower salary.

Those NBA players are paid millions. They have some leverage. For the typical employee, it's the Stalinist work or starve.

This!! For 99.999 percent of humanity throughout human history you either work during the pandemic or you starve.

Only this time around there seems to be some hope that the laws of scarcity don’t apply and we can avoid work through covid socialism until virus burnout, herd immunity or vaccine.

We shall see....

Or it's just the case that we are finally rich enough that we can afford a proper public health response that isn't "if you die due to blind luck and/or meaningless natural selection via the robustness of your immune response to a novel pathogen, too bad for you".

That's of course without even mentioning the fact that today's economy is so different from the one of a century ago that huge chunks of it literally cannot function during an uncontrolled viral outbreak because the demand for their products disappers.

Agree on first paragraph, confused on second. Demand didn't exist 100 years ago?

The economy is much better now because we have the option of continuing education and activities from home via the internet. There was no ability to do that in 1918.

When there is a raging pandemic, demand for indoor dining, clubbing, bars decreases a lot. And those are not high margin businesses.

Eventually, they are forced to close on their own.

This is self-evidently the truth, after a half year of this pandemic - the robustness of your immune response to a novel pathogen.

The script was far more amusing when warning of the dire consequences of civilizational collapse. Economic collapse is ho hum in comparison.

The public health response is make sure you are an island nation with good government institutions and you’ll make it out OK.

Everyone is hurting economically. Germany, France, Spain and Italy have all flattened the curve and flattened their economies. None of them are remotely close to herd immunity. If cases spike anywhere they immediately shut everything down.

I guess we’re waiting on a vaccine? Again, reality isn’t optional. At this moment in time, heed immunity is the only option.

Sidelining humanity or test and trace with draconian reductions in human interaction is a mental placebo to placate people into feeling like things are being “managed.”

All that we are really doing is managing our further slide into economic ruin.

Herd immunity doesn't exist for respiratory viruses that confer only short-term immunity like this one.

You either accept the economic consequences of controlling this virus or you let it rip, constantly re-infecting your population and eventually this course of action becomes even more economically costly.

Accidentaly, China will not be as severely affected economically as the us - because putting infections under control is a better economic policy than the moronic, non-existent herd immunity strategy.

So sideline humanity forever? The virus is always with us?

You’re saying that you have proof that reinfection is real?

You have prove that reinfection is more virulent and not attenuated?

There have been 6 coronaviruses infecting humans so far and none of them provided sterlizing immunity for more than a couple of years.

The ones commonly circulating can reinfect you after a year.

There is no single proof that any respiratory virus causing common cold like symtoms that can reinfect is significantly less virulent upon reinfection.

So, yes - "humanity" needs to take all the measures necessary to eradicate SARS-CoV-2.

So sideline humanity forever? The virus is always with us?

You’re saying that you have proof that reinfection is real?

You have proof that reinfection is more virulent and not attenuated?

>So sideline humanity forever?

Don't be ridiculous. Until November 4 will be plenty!

The logic seems exactly backwards. Betrans has nothing to lose from not playing (he gets paid anyway) and everything to gain (by not playing he is not risking the massive contract he'll likely get next season)

On the other hand, common worker have lots to lose from not showing up to work (they get fired) and very little to gain (the virus will likely affect 70-80% of the population. By not showing up to work they are likely only delaying the when they will get infected).

NBA players have the luxury of separating their health concerns from their economic concerns. Since most people do not have that luxury they will make a choice exactly opposite to the one made by Davis Bertan.

If work requires them to show up they will.

"the virus will likely affect 70-80% of the population"

If the virus affects 80% of the population, get ready for an additional 5-10 million americans on permanent disability that needs to be paid somehow (or, alternatively, just let them starve).

All because most people are morons who cannot process and analyze information or understand the need for measures protecting public health.

We finally have data on this? You’ve been spamming this for weeks.

Please link.

Official data will be available in September. Till then, you can just take the SARS-CoV-1 disability rate (30-40%), scale it back with the same factor (~10) as the mortality differential and accept this as the most likely approximation to the actual value (which it is).

How does that back of the envelope calculation take into account people who have very minor infections? I thought that studies were showing that half of the total number of people infected had either asymptomatic infection or the symptoms were very mild. And that is to say nothing of people who have had the virus but whom antibody seroprevalence studies missed.

The IFR ratio comes from seroprevalence studies so all the minor infections that produce antibodies are accounted for.

Since almost all infections do produce antibodies (https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.30.20085613v1), the ratio will not change significantly.

Your linked paper is from end of April. The recent literature says one can show specific T-cell response without IgG.

Intrafamilial Exposure to SARS-CoV-2 Induces Cellular Immune Response without Seroconversion
https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.06.21.20132449v1

"Exposure to SARS-CoV-2 can induce virus-specific T cell responses without seroconversion. T cell responses may be more sensitive indicators of SARS-Co-V-2 exposure than antibodies. Our results indicate that epidemiological data relying only on the detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies may lead to a substantial underestimation of prior exposure to the virus"

Another showed that in those with milder/asymptomatic infections it took upto 8 weeks for seroconversion - so the sero surveys provide a window into a more distant past than the 2 weeks usually assumed.

That's of course not correct but even if it is and actual infections are 2 times those detected by serosurveys, that would decrease long term disabling sequlae under outlined conditions from 4 to 2% of those infected.

That's still 5 million people given 80% infection rates.

> That's of course not correct

It's been confirmed in larger studies

Robust T cell immunity in convalescent individuals with asymptomatic or mild COVID-19
https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.06.29.174888v1

"SARS-CoV-2 induces robust memory T cell responses in antibody-seronegative and antibody-seropositive individuals with asymptomatic or mild COVID-19."
(Mild Convalescent n = 40; Exposed family members n = 30)

And, again - this paper does not say what you think it says, but even if it did, severity will fall at the low end of the interval I provided.

A paid troll has been here for weeks (on and off, much longer - check for the spelling 'lolobertarian' to see the same style), and only the first glimmers of the truth are starting to appear?

>>"the virus will likely affect 70-80% of the population"

I'll take the under. Even odds?

this is the right answer

It’s almost as if the virus’s characteristics, and the ways populations will respond to its presence, have at this point been quite well established.

The common thread here between NBA players and the general public is unwarranted fear, not actual risk of death.

Americans accept risk choices far greater than COVID every day. These risks aren't headline news, however. One of two things needs to happen to get people comfortable with getting out and about again:

(1) The media needs to shift to responsible reporting and headlines. The virus situation is steadily improving by the day, but what gets clicks is stories about more cases -- even though those cases are not leading to more deaths and have likely been there all along if we'd been testing for them.

(2) When deaths don't tick up dramatically, Americans will begin listening to voices who have been following the actual science rather than the panic-porn headlines. More of us will get out and about again with little to no consequence and those who are hiding and legitimately afraid (not motivated by political animus) will feel confident to step out again.

"The media needs to shift to responsible reporting and headlines."

Oops, meant to continue:

"The media needs to shift to responsible reporting and headlines." Nice to see such a nuanced understanding of supply and demand in the comments to an econ blog.

"Americans accept risk choices far greater than COVID every day."

There is not a single choice a double-digit percentage of americans undertake even once a month that is as likely to leave them disabled as being infected by covid. Stop being an innumerate moron.

Don't call people morons. You have not earned the right.

By the way, I am sorry you have to go through life innumerate.

There is no truth in Ivzestia.

"The Truth" does seem to be a troll, trying to implant an imaginary idea that there is some massive post covid trauma that changes everything.

This does not seem accurate.

He was here just a few weeks ago talking about how civilization would collapse due to the high death rate from corona. Now that such the stupidity of that argument is apparent, he has simply had his script shifted a bit.

No, Variant is correct.

It is precisely because we have no experience with this stuff that people make decisions akin to flipping a coin. Were the information to get better, people could make decisions in their own best interests.

We'll have to see how deaths go... .

Yeah. This Texas Medical Association chart is a good first pass at recreational risks:

https://twitter.com/ColinDyckes/status/1279446348673298432?s=19

The ultimate risk is a product of activity risk and area risk. Restaurants in New Zealand are safer than restaurants in Texas.

At some point the risk gets high enough that you're begging for a Darwin Award.

-5 for innumerate links

That’s great that they ranked stuff. But there are no probabilities at all in there

So now you have a problem with the Texas Medical Association, and you want to fault me for knowing about the Texas Medical Association.

Par for your course, buddy.

For my age group, the relative risk of dying in a car accident is 5x higher than the risk of dying from COVID. The relative risk ratio of becoming disabled is probably even higher.

So sorry, turns out calling people “innumerate morons” doesn’t qualify you as numerate. But it does qualify you as a moron.

Since the risk of dying from SARS-CoV-2 infection for a person in the 20-29 age group is at least 1/1000 which is equivalent to the risk of driving 75 000 miles in the states (and that's assuming 1 passenger per each mile driven so the actual mileage necessary to get to that risk level is even higher), I'd say I am indeed numerate and you are a hypermoron.

"Since the risk of dying from SARS-CoV-2 infection for a person in the 20-29 age group is at least 1/1000"

(i) How do you know? Does that account for the asymptomatic cases too?

(ii) Even if true, shouldn't you multiply it by the risk of becoming infected?

It is based on the results of serology studies.

Also, there is a lot of difference between "risk of dying from SARS-CoV-2 infection" (which I wrote) and "risk of contracting a SARS-CoV-2 infection that you die of" (which I didn't).

Thank you for your work in the comments section. Please remain patient and friendly :)

"Even if true, shouldn't you multiply it by the risk of becoming infected?"

Game theory kicks in here. If people are led to believe through rhetoric such as the above that covid-19 is not very dangerous for them, they will engage in activities that increase the risk of infection and lobby their elected officials to remove restrictions on those activities. The probability of infection then shoots up.

I think you're also asserting a static risk.

Clearly whatever your age, you are safer in a country where the disease is knocked out and subdued in a couple months, than you are in one where it is just left to run for year.

Too bad we did not take that first path, eh?

@anonymous and @the truth

In favor of civil discourse and keeping MR useful... my bad, I didn’t read correctly and thought we were talking about absolute risk.

L, they aren't interested in a true answer. You are on the right track. In my state, where deaths are 1 per million per day, death is like driving for 80 miles. Not many show concern for a 80 mile drive.

You must have an implicit epidemiological model in mind that holds that deaths will stay at the rate of <= 1 per million per day. New York State had such a rate right up until March 21. A novel contagious disease -- unlike car crashes or plane crashes -- does not follow neat probabilities that actuaries can estimate with a high degree of precision.

In MLB a player who was set to become a free agent after 2020 has free agency pushed back a year if they sit out. So Joe Ross of the Nationals was gonna hit free agency in 2020 but since he is sitting out he’s not an FA til 2021.

Entitled NBA players whining about the size of their million dollar paychecks and about actually doing their jobs *shocked pikachu face

Ok in all serious, health concerns for them are a much bigger concern for them than most people. And they have no reason to do it. I don't know what the endgame here is ... boxing and NASCAR are much easier, relatively, to do under quarantine and it is being done ... in fact there are a lot more boxing fights now than before the crisis. NBA ... it is entirely reasonable for players to be concerned that you straight up cannot do that safely.

+1 Kaleberg
+1 VIkram

It is hard to believe that TC really thinks that "expressing less than a full commitment to the team," i.e., making a decision that TC already granted was a "reasonable excuse" will adversely affect market value.

The Wizards have a vanishingly small chance of making the playoffs, and, if they do, they'll be matched up with the Bucks. If there were no Covid, and Bertans (they're his home team, but he can't spell his last name right?) tweaked his ankle after 64 games, the Wizards might shut him down for the season and tank for the lottery. But by sitting out now, we're supposed to believe he's costing himself money in the future?

I'm sure TC can remember 2012, when his home team Nationals shut Stephen Strasburg down as a precaution even though the Nationals made the playoffs. Abundance of caution has been the order of the day in at least three major sports (NHL possibly excepted, and NFL perhaps grudgingly RE: concussions) for some time now.

I think the question you are asking says far more about the level of coercion faced by most people who are working low wage jobs than the economic implications of the decisions of high value individuals who have large financial reserves. This has nothing to do with decisions based on marginal revenue or future earnings and everything to do with the ability to just let time pass without becoming destitute. Do people have to literally starve in the streets before we recognize that this is not even remotely about utility maximization?

Yeah. I take Tyler's point, that this can be a teaching moment about jobs and testing. But at the same time, like last week's story of testing at elite colleges(*), it also looks a bit dystopian.

America is telling us who they are.

(* - or he who cannot be named surrounding himself with rings and rings of coronavirus testers, while telling everyone else to just live with it.)

America is telling us who they are

Not an American, eh?

'(* - or he who cannot be named'

First acknowledgement that it would be stupid for him to wear a mask?
You might be slow, but at least moving in the right direction.

That's a really stupid response. On several levels.

Maybe they need to follow the local/state govt./big business mandatory activities like the rest of us such as contemplate racial and trans injustice inside or riot outside.

"At first the secessions were a trickle. Now they are picking up steam." Your evidence is David Bertans?!?!?! On a team that has ZERO postseason hopes? This might convince other readers who have no clue about basketball. Shame on you Tyler

Interesting perspective. At my company the grumbling, to the extent there is any, falls more into the "this is ridiculous; let's just get back to work already" category. I have no idea how common that sentiment is at other companies, but of my friends and acquaintances, only one is still cowering in terror at home. Everybody else is bristling at the remaining restrictions. We've got pretty solid mask use, but otherwise people are thoroughly sick of the shutdown measures, including "social distancing". One thing driving that sentiment locally: in the face of a huge spike in cases in the last month or so that the media endlessly screeches about (the panic porn Variant speaks of), daily deaths from COVID have basically fallen off a cliff (about a 60% drop in the last 3 weeks). Also:

"These players will still be paid"

That is so unrepresentative of the real world it's hard to figure out what link it has to public sentiment about going back to work.

"We've got pretty solid mask use, but otherwise people are thoroughly sick of the shutdown measures, including "social distancing". "

Just wait till all of those people have at least 1 acquaintance with permanent lung fibrosis after the infection and get back to us what they are sick of.

We can use the resulting answers to pick out candidates for non-voluntary euthanasia since anyone who thinks 'social distancing' is a bigger deal than the health effects of this virus is too stupid to be allowed to waste precious oxygen.

You sound like a genocidal maniac. Who is talking about depriving people of oxygen, if not you, you crackhead?

Are you dosing on something?

The level of your stupidity is frightening, either way.

And I am not going to "get back" to anyone who hopes to triumph in the misfortune of others. Your punishment is being you.

Try and be better tomorrow.

Wow, grow up or stay out of the comments. Maybe you'll feel better about yourself.

Well, he just plays a role on the Internet. When off the job, John is a decent human being without any interest in non-voluntary euthanasia, I'm sure.

The permanent lung fibrosis folks decided they'd rather have that than the total loss of mobility, or the cancer that was missed due to cancellation of their "non-essential" medical procedure. It's a mixed bag, to be sure; some of the problems caused by delays in treatment are better, some worse. Those caused by fear of seeking medical treatment itself are mostly worse. The non-voluntary death slots were taken by people who already died suddenly. There were some non-voluntary slots left, but they were all taken by suicides. We're not sure about the body count from the explosive increase in alcohol and drug abuse, but that data will become available over time. COVID-19 is a terrible, deadly disease, but amazingly enough, we came up with a "cure" that was even worse. From https://abc7news.com/suicide-covid-19-coronavirus-rates-during-pandemic-death-by/6201962/ :

"We've never seen numbers like this, in such a short period of time," he said. "I mean we've seen a year's worth of suicide attempts in the last four weeks."

The elevated suicide rate alone will probably kill more people than COVID-19 does. We're way past the point where the cure became deadlier than the disease.

"The Truth" is great. This is the most convincing evidence I've seen yet that some people just need us to panic, and will muster any horror that the think aids them.

Others should just regard "The Truth" as "Chicken Little" and realise that he/she is helping to shed light on the vacuity of the fear mongers

The Turth is very flexible - he is more than willing to shine a light on anything that furthers the goals of those writing his scripts.

"daily deaths from COVID have basically fallen off a cliff"

Just to be clear, we are talking about an average of 600 deaths per day or 18,000 deaths per month. It used to be about twice that but I wouldn't describe the decline as "falling off a cliff."

It obviously can take a few weeks from the time someone tests positive until they pass away from complications. I remember people here back in March saying that South Korea proved the virus isn't very deadly because, at the time, they had lots of confirmed cases and very few deaths. Sure enough, deaths steadily increased over time even as there were few new cases. The more relevant metric at this point is hospitalizations.

Used to be 4x that, but yes, agree that it's not "falling off a cliff."

The players are being eminently sensible here. We have zero knowledge of the long-term health consequences of this thing (we can't; it's too new), and early evidence about the permanent loss of smell and lung damage is not encouraging. Focusing solely on the chance dying is a serious error in reasoning.

Unfortunately, due to ideological reasons, a lot of the commenters here have accepted that any infection by necessity has only 2 possible outcomes: death or return to perfect health.

Boy, are they in for a rude awakening when they realize for this particular infection morbidity (including "mild" morbidity like partial anosmia) will be an order of magnitude higher than mortality.

In a similar spirit, the concept of "herd immunity" seems premature. We don't know if surviving the disease confers much immunity. The disease is too new.

A virtual pandemic of binary thinking is evident in many of these comments, as Darren and the truth rightly point out.

It's amusing to see the troll conversing with himself, particularly in such a congratulatory fashion.

I don't gain any impression that MLB, the NFL, or the NBA will be convening this year at all, anywhere, for any length of season. Nor professional hockey. Nor live theatre. Nor live concerts. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera (short of the shout of "EUREKA!" everyone's waiting to hear).

I do gain the impression that the US will see a COVID-19 death toll exceeding 200,000 by the beginning of August.

Simply wishing the plague away is not working, for anyone, anywhere.

Spouting uniformed "impressions" on the internet, though -- that's just working great for you, isn't it?

Some of you guys are delusional. In Beijing 204 people have just been put into isolation. A woman that was at that wholesale market was tested three times before coming back positive. After the second test, she decided there wasn’t much risk, broke isolation, for some reason the police failed to respond when she broke the electric seal on her apartment door. When they test came back positive and she got the news, she was in the middle of a shopping mall. Bubbles and testing protocols are imperfect.

We’ve seen that proven in Melbourne. And pretty much anyone with a brain saw that demo stared at the beginning of this thing when you could only get tested for Covid-19 after testing negative for everything else — as if it was logically impossible to have both flu and Covid.

Before my sister graduated uni, she worked as a tech in a maternity ward. Her old workplace just found out one of the moms is positive. One of the nurses broke down in tears. They hadn’t been wearing adequate PPE. Meanwhile, in the LA Times there is a story about a truck driver that died from this thing because he went to a barbecue where one of the other guests attending knew he had Covid-19.

Whatever the NBA does, players know the season isn’t possible without the support of staff in much more precarious positions than themselves. That hospital my sister worked at still hasn’t decided if the techs and nurses exposed need to self isolate or not. As of yesterday, they were still scheduled for their shifts.

It is burning through you guys and you’re spending your time talking about how to resume professional sports. I see commenters complaining about how schools have to restart. Someone should do a story about how many school children have committed suicide after school resumed here. Naturally there aren’t figures, but practically every other day my wife gets another email from the local education bureau reminding her to keep low pressure, that tests have been banned, that making the kids think their might be a test is banned, etcetera.

Zmp workers. It is a bit of a stretch to think that not having a league, not having competition and fans will increase your value for next year.

Not mentioned is the disincentive of playing out the season while locked down at the most remote of Disney resorts. The Wuhan Flu seems a convenient excuse to avoid what's going to end up being like summer camp for a player base notorious for wining/dining (and more, of course) during the season.

alternate hypothesis: no one give a fuck who wins the NBA title

Crude but mostly true now. If they had opened the season back up in early May people would have cared. The problem is I'm not sure people will care that much in 2021 vaccine or not. This may be behind some of the star's thinking.

todays b.s. from the newwoketimes.con
nobody trusts the government & not a mask in sight?
wakey wakey newwoketimes.con
there is actually a pretty high masked rate around here and
nobody is hunting cops, burning police depts. looting and wreckoning
the local statuary

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/04/us/coronavirus-texas-lubbock.html

WE weren't sure the economy could survive a few weeks of shutdown so now we are more or less powerless to stop the economy from entering a depression that will be at least a year long.

-the shut down was over 2 months not a few weeks
-we are not "powerless" there are actually a lotta people trying
to get the economy going again. the jobs report was a lotta
better than the cnn.con expected.

What a moron.
In June of 2019 157M people were employed. June of this year 142M. But as usual your ilk think it's about 'owning the libs' so you can't see past CNN's expectations....which I doubt you even know.

https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf

alas sociology
its always crooked framing and ad hominems with you peeps
look at the jobs report from Jan 2020 through June2020
look at it from the point where the economy got shut down and then
restarted

My imunno globulin.

It is a loosely rolled up protein string. The string is encoded to comp at a subset of the covid spike patterns.globulin. You snort it, it is a bit big, don't sneeze. Over two weeks it can roll through snagging the occasional shell. Make it the the human destiny, attack the spherical shapes in our systems. You can't go wrong.

Tyler, as a Venture Promoter you may fund the NBA circus to move to China where the pandemic has been contained, at least for the 2020-21 season. The rest of the world, including the U.S., would watch the games on TV. The NBA snowflakes will be safe and fans will enjoy the circus. I'm sure Uncle Xi will be very willing to accept any deal you propose, including a big contribution to your Emergents Venture Fund.

This article is linked on Drudge Report. Thats like an extra 5-10 million directed views.

The fact that these NBA players are little bitches who can't understand government-published scientific statistics (which show a fatality rate for their age group that is considerably lower than the murder rate in the places they grew up) should not be used as an excuse to prevent the rest of us from losing our lives and livelihoods. Let them sit out. Their places can be taken by people who aren't stupid

So these people who are still raking in millions from their endorsements would rather chill at home than play a pseudo-season in empty stadiums with no groupies to entertain them?

I am SHOCKED. And my God, what does this say about the broader workforce?!?

I think the best way to word this question, is "how much of the workforce has the power and inclination to choose not to return to work and what is the economic effect of that? "

Most workers cannot chose not to work, but what about workers over 62? Do a significant chunk of them retire a year or two earlier than planned in order to minimize risk of infection? What about the working disabled? What about retirees working part-time side jobs? What about young people who live off their parents, but have low level jobs? What about other wealthy workers whose work employs many others, like actors or touring musicians? What about migrant workers working high-risk menial jobs, like nurses aids in nursing homes (23.5% of long term care workers are immigrants), deciding that they may be better off returning to their home countries? What about two income families that decide to give up one income because they can afford it and the job is high risk?

I do not know how to estimate what percentage of the workforce this all adds up to but it isn't zero.

ref on immigrants: https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/10.1377/hlthaff.2018.05514

comparing apples and oranges. for those being paid millions... they can actually afford to hunker down and not work until a vaccine or treatment is found. You want to know how millionaire's making that decision reflects on the wider economy, compare them to other millionaire's Most of the rest of us need to work to survive much longer. I love basketball. It's my sport... but I am so sick of most of the antics from the league and these players I am going to turn to as much free streaming sites as possible so they dont get a single ratings point from my love of the game they have corrupted. An objective person can agree withthe basic human truth that black lives matter, and be against police brutality. But I will really know that the likes of LeBron, et.al, really take that seriously when they leverage Nike and the other shoe makers to stop using slave labor in China to make themselves as much $$ as possible, and bring those factories back to places like the South Side of Chicago where black people are killing other black people in record numbers. They need a holistic approach to create community, culture and society... and part of that is good union jobs. I have a list of several other things I would like to see to have much respect for them again. #1 is the excommunication of the black David Duke, Louis FaraKKKhan from all social functions and norms. The guy is a bigot, pure and simple. You cant one minute blame whitey for systemic racism, and welcome that guy with open arms without me calling BS. I could go one for days, but I digress.

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