Why is the Police not enforcing social distancing at the parks and beaches?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by Lerner, May 26, 2020.

  1. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

  2. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    No, I don't.
  3. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

    My expectation is that while multiple new vaccines will appear in the coming months, they won't be 100% effective. It might be more like flu vaccines, only effective against particular strains of a constantly mutating virus. So we might have to recognize that this thing isn't going to entirely go away.

    The question is what to do then. We seem to be tilting towards one extreme at the moment, what some characterize as "coronafascism": placing whole populations under something approaching house-arrest, public parks closed, no more restaurants or entertainment, gatherings of people outlawed, shutting down all mainstreet business while shifting everything to Jeff Bezos and Amazon, schools and universities closed perhaps permanently... all in pursuit of zero new cases.

    The other extreme is what China seems to be doing, essentially ignoring covid after earlier draconian disease suppression attempts failed. I'm sure that Beijing has little concern for the rights and liberties of its people, but it cares a lot about the damage that never-ending shutdowns would do to the Chinese economy. So better to sweep it all under the rug and ignore it.

    The problem is that even if a country (the US, Canada, the EU) is able to squeeze the disease down to zero by authoritarian means, the zealous countries are still going to be continually reinfected by the shrug-it-off countries. So borders will have to close and international travel largely banned without lengthy quarantines.

    I don't expect that to happen. Instead we will see a gradual movement of the total-suppression countries towards shrug-it-off.

    So what we are likely to see is the addition of a serious new endemic disease like the world used to face in the early 19th century before any vaccines existed. Lots of people got sick and died back then, it was what was expected.

    In covid's case, something like 90% of fatalities are elderly individuals with pre-existing cardiovascular or pulmonary problems that were already life-threatening. It isn't so much that covid is killing all these people all by itself, it's just piling on and pushing people already nearing death through that door.

    So societies might find it more practical to shelter these vulnerable nursing-home populations in protected 'bubbles' so to speak (just the opposite of how the disease was initially addressed) than dismissing individual rights and shutting down entire economies to halt-the-spread.

    That's how I expect to see things evolving.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2020
  4. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    While the vaccines may appear in the coming months, first vaccinations may be available in limited numbers.
    They most likely will be administered to first response, medical workers, and other high-risk persons, etc.
    For the general public, I heard CDC rep saying the availability will be Q2 or Q3 of 2021.
    Meanwhile, India to purchase 100 mill vaccines from Russia,
  5. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    Thing is, when you dismantle the infrastructure that helps to identify, trace and contain virus outbreaks that infrastructure doesn't exist for any virus outbreaks, not just the current one.

    So even if everything you just said is as it is, what do you expect will happen when the next time it's Ebola? Aside, of course, from getting on TV and assuring everyone that Ebola isn't really that bad.

    I lost two former shipmates to COVID. One was still on active duty. If he had an underlying health condition it was undetected and not serious enough to exclude him from active duty. The other was obese, for sure, but was by no means "nearing death."

    So I would encourage you to not blather on with your Facebook derived bullet points about how it's OK that millions of people die as long as they were, in your estimation, going to die anyway. Though I strongly suspect that tone would change should someone you know be affected.
    Johann and SteveFoerster like this.
  6. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Neuhaus, I'm sorry for your loss. I wonder how many people, if told they had six months to live, would say, "Oh, well in that case, I'll just die now because it doesn't matter."

    Because I'm pretty sure that number would be about as close to zero as anything involving human preferences can get.
    Neuhaus likes this.
  7. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

    True. The limiting variable is going to be existing pharmaceutical manufacturing capability and how quickly it can be ramped up.

    It will take months, that's for certain.

    Does Russia really have a pharmaceutical industry able to meet Russia's needs and India's as well?

    It looks to me like the US and Europe (Britain and Switzerland in particular) are the world leaders in pharmaceutical R&D. But once a company invents a new drug, where will it be manufactured? Domestically, or overseas in someplace like China? Until the last few decades, the US has had a massive pharmaceutical manufacturing capability, but I sense that's been shrinking. I don't know how fast. So if the US has difficulty meeting even its own domestic demand for new vaccines, most other countries will be in a far worse place. And the leading pharmaceutical countries will not only have to vaccinate their own people, they will have to supply vaccines to the whole rest of the planet as well.

    In fact India might have the ability to manufacture vaccines of their own if enough of the US/European manufacturing capacity has been off-shored there.
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  8. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Given that India is one of the world centers for manufacturing generic pharmaceuticals, this surprised me too.
  9. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    I agree.

    Also, people treat "underlying health conditions" as if everyone affected has leukemia. Some of the "underlying health conditions" that have contributed to death have been hypertension and asthma.

    The callousness that people have been dismissing human life with has been staggering.
    Johann likes this.
  10. SpoonyNix

    SpoonyNix Active Member

    Maybe there was an issue with heirophant making some Covid-related responses elsewhere? If your response was to what he stated in Post #23, you REALLY have gone off the rails. And that callousness you referred to in Post #29, you might consider that it's ALSO only in your head.

    Seriously, I'm sorry you have been hurt, and I don't mean to come off as insensitive, but I don't think people should always get a free pass when they say something stupid.
  11. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Why not? I think you just did. Or expected to, at least.

    I'm 77 and the wonders of medicine have given me years of life by getting me through open heart and cancer surgeries with complete recovery. If I'm careful, I won't be taken out by some doof who doesn't wear a mask etc. I refuse to be a "collateral damage" statistic. I matter. My life matters. I'll die at some point - but hopefully not through this. I like to think great doctors saved me for some better reason than to end up as virus-fodder.

    I'm with Neuhaus on this - totally. Re: Post 29 - well said, Neuhaus!
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2020
    SpoonyNix likes this.
  12. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    ...and post 25, of course!
    SpoonyNix likes this.
  13. SpoonyNix

    SpoonyNix Active Member

    Yeah. #25 was a good one. That's the one where he said heirophant said it was ok that millions of people die cuz they were going to die anyway. That's a pretty reasonable summary of what heirophant said.

    #29 was spot on, too. The People really do think 90% of the people dying with Covid-19 also had leukemia.
  14. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Not having any, thanks. Try reading for comprehension next time.
    SpoonyNix likes this.
  15. SpoonyNix

    SpoonyNix Active Member

    You are welcome.
  16. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

  17. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Sacré bleu!
  18. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

    Where did I ever write anything even remotely like that? Can you quote me where I did?

    I merely pointed out that coronavirus vaccines are apt to be as ineffective as flu vaccines are, and that the coronavirus is apt to remain with us long term just as influenza is. There's nothing there about what I would like to happen. I would much prefer that a new magic-bullet vaccine eliminate this thing entirely. But what if it doesn't happen?
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2020
  19. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Which would be very good. Flu vaccine effectiveness varies each year, but it typically covers about 2/3 of people getting it. If we had that level of coverage for the novel coronavirus, we would have herd immunity. We should be so lucky.
  20. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

    Most years new influenza strains appear that older influenza vaccine formulations are ineffective against. Medicine is always playing catch up. So there's always going to be some amount of influenza circulating out in the community. I speculate that covid might evolve in the same way. New strains will be appearing periodically. Coronaviruses are notorious for doing that. Common cold viruses are coronaviruses.

    Countries have a choice of options in how they respond to disease. They can shut down their whole countries in hopes of preventing the new strains from spreading and accept the economic and social costs associated with doing that. That seems to be the course that some Western countries are taking with regards to covid.

    Or they can, whether as a matter of policy or as the result of third-world health standards, let the new strains spread more freely in their populations and accept the increased mortality that brings. That's what China seems to have consciously opted to do in order to get their economy running again and it's what we are seeing in places like Africa that lack the kind of resources and social organization that complete lockdowns require.

    I speculated in my earlier post that even if, regardless of economic and social cost, countries are successful in locking themselves down so tight that the new strains can't replicate and spread, these scrupulous countries are still going to be continually reinfected from less scrupulous parts of the world, unless borders can be hermetically sealed against all potentially infected crossings that threaten to introduce new strains. Given countries' proven inability/unwillingness to do that, the lockdowns will have to be pretty much permanent and continuous.

    Given the costs of doing that, I don't really see it happening. So I speculated that whether we like it or not, policy will almost inevitably evolve in the direction of greater tolerance of the disease, despite the additional mortality burden that it represents.

    That's not an argument that it would be a good thing or that it's morally ok. I never addressed ethics. It's just an attempt to look at how this thing is likely to evolve and how government leaders internationally are most likely to respond to it.

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