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Is the goal FLATTEN THE CURVE or ELIMINATE COVID?


Ottakee
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20 hours ago, Corraleno said:

No one is suggesting that full stay-at-home orders should last 2 years, or even 1 year. But you said the best option is to achieve herd immunity as quickly as possible. This assumes that you can remove all restrictions on the "low risk" people so as many as possible get infected quickly, while still somehow protecting those at high risk.

My question is how do you protect the "high risk" people in a population where 70 million adults are obese, 68 million have high blood pressure, 34 million are diabetic, and 69 million are over the age of 60? How do you decide which high-risk people deserve "protection" (which is basically going to mean financial subsidies) and which are just going to have to take their chances for the greater good? I have read lots of blogs and editorials and op-eds saying the solution is to protect those at high-risk and let everyone else get back to business as usual, but no one ever explains how they would do that. It sounds like a simple, common sense solution, as long as the "high risk" population you imagine protecting is basically little old grandparents who are retired and sitting home anyway. When you look at just how large a percentage of the population is actually high risk, it becomes much more problematic, and I fear we are going to get into a situation where "protection" is limited to those who are considered most "deserving" and the rest — who are likely to be disproportionately poor and brown and employed in low-wage jobs — will be the canon fodder.

I think a gradual reopening, with continued social distancing (bans on large gatherings, limits on the number of people in stores and businesses at one time, continued reliance on working from home and home delivery as much as possible, required mask wearing, etc.) to keep the curve as flat as possible as long as possible, is the best policy in order to protect as many people as possible, not just a small percentage of high-risk people deemed "worthy" of protection. That will not achieve herd immunity ASAP,  but it should lead to fewer deaths overall as we develop more effective treatments, get much better at testing and tracing, and work towards a vaccine.

 

I think there are a few issues here, but the main thing is I think you are looking for a solution that doesn't exist.  Yes, it would be nice if we could keep people with more risk safe and so they would be protected while keeping the virus from spreading and letting people go on about their essential business.  The question is, is that possible at all medically, is it possible from a behavioural perspective, and what would be the trade offs of doing that?  It's possible that the answer is no, no, or the trade offs are worse than what they are preventing.  

Someone having more risk is also not really the same as high risk.  People who are obese, or men, or possibly people who are black, have a higher risk. There probably isn't a lot we can do to level that, they are a result of having different physiological factors, populations always include a profile of people with different risk levels, unhealthy populations will have more.  People that are immunocompromised or very elderly are high risk at another level that goes beyond normal risk differences in the population. There probably isn't a hard line between these two groups but when doctors talk about trying to shield the most vulnerable, it's really the second group they are talking about.

But protecting those people is not just about people avoiding crowds, social isolating, etc. Those things are not meant to stop the spread, because they won't. They will only slow it, people who are moving about in the world will still almost certainly eventually be exposed as long as the virus is in the population.  The really vulnerable, if they want to be protected, have to take much more extreme measures - they really can't go to work, see anyone outside their household, they need to practice social isolation from others in their own household unless they too are completely socially isolated. So potentially not sleeping with their spouse, touching their own small kids. That's the kind of situation that isn't sustainable for any significant amount of time. 

I have an aunt in that position now. Under normal circumstances her life largely revolves around her apartment, she gets out on her scooter somewhat and she attends NA meetings three times a week which is her main social life. She has no spouse, roommate, or kids. She has the VoN in to cook for her, and help her bathe, and deal with her urostomy. Now, she can't go out and there are no NA meetings, and she can't have anyone in. Her VoN nurse is a risk she'd have to take except that she can't get one regularly as they have become seriously short staffed. So she has to manage with fewer visits as best she can. No one should have to live like that long, and she probably can't though I don't know where she's go. It's not impossible she will have a fall or otherwise deteriorate as a result of the situation.

The only way for people like her to get out, unless she chooses to take risks, is when the virus is no longer moving in the population. And barring a few places where they can totally control movement into the country on a long term basis, and maybe not even then, reducing transmission alone won't accomplish that, only vaccination or immunity.  Or at least that's the view of many epidemiologists. Vaccination may or may not happen, so that leaves immunity. So how long should people like my aunt have to isolate completely to wait for that?  The longer we draw out the time to immunity, the longer they wait. No one wants to overwhelm health services, but stretching things out more, for unsure benefits, that has a significant human costs. And that's even with ignoring things like predictions around issues with agriculture and such.

Edited by Bluegoat
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34 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

People are 'at risk' for many reasons, and not all of them are 'lifestyle acquired'. 

It's easy to scoff at high blood pressure, because it's easy to blame people for that - 'they' don't eat right, 'they' don't exercise. 

I don't have a hypertension problem, but anyone suggesting the 'at risk' simply isolate themselves completely until a so-far-hypotherical vaccine, so everyone else can get back to 'normal', really needs to start taking 'at risk' seriously as a population...seriously enough that they don't deal with the problem of elevated risk with a scolding that people 'simply can't face death' or 'have the choice to stay at home' - hint: at risk people need work, and money, and food, and housing, and social connection too - probably more, given that low socio-economic status, where it (often) correlates with over-crowding, is a risk factor in and of itself.

This is a PUBLIC health emergency.

It requires the PUBLIC to change their behaviours, and yes, change them long term. 

That includes young people, and people who are not considered to be at any elevated risk.

 

 

I'm not sure at this point what your real objection is to what I've been saying.  I don't care if people's risk is elevated for reasons beyond their control or because they make an informed and completely free decision to smoke and drink and eat whipped cream all day.  I do care that there are elderly people in homes who have been locked in for weeks and who can't come out, or see their relatives, even if they are dying, and that is how it will be until there is no more COVID around.  Which will also be better for people who are high risk but aren't in a position to totally isolate, or who don't want to do so. 

You said you don't particularly think a vaccine is forthcoming, so what option is there for the first group other than to stay locked up? Or the second other than wait until they get it, even if it takes a year?  Even if we keep up with social isolation to some degree in the long term, we'll have to see many or most go back to work, and kids go back to school. The virus is still spreading now, with current measures in place, and it will spread more once they are relaxed.  Those at risk will still be at risk, having to be locked in.

 

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1 hour ago, Ktgrok said:

But if the owner of the business, who can hide out in the office and not have a lot of contact, technically decides to open, and tells employees to come back and they don't, what then? If they have been offered work, they can't get unemployment, not sure if that changes if owner then doesn't have enough employees to open. 

Unemployment usually requires that you are willing and able to work and actively looking for employment.   Most states have waived the "actively looking" requirement right now (for obvious reasons).   If Georgia opens up again, they can reinstate the requirement to be actively looking for employment.  So even if someone's current employer decides not to open up, if other places are open and hiring, they are expected to be applying for jobs and accepting any reasonable offers.    It's evil and will affect lower income and minorities to a large extent.

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8 minutes ago, mms said:

St Charles Borromeo also led processions through the streets. Our bishop shut down drive in masses, even before the government did. 
 

I’m sorry, but as one of my fellow parishioners quipped: watching church on screen feeds the soul as much as a cooking show feeds the body. 

<shrug> 

Sorry but many people have been prevented from attending church throughout history for all kinds of reasons. It was even happening right before the COVID crisis. 

The bishops had to make their decisions based on what they thought was best for everyone, not because someone feels that watching church livestreams doesn't make them feel good. Masses are full of high risk people, namely the elderly. There were no good options so they had to choose the least bad option. 

I know the response to that is that people should be allowed to make their own risk assessment. Basically, stay home if you are high risk which you determine yourself. Church life continues without you. But we all know that people who are high risk would still come. How does the church deal with that? Like I wrote - no good options. 

To be clear, I don't think that everyone advocating an end to the shutdowns just want the weak to die. But I have observed that every argument made in favor of resuming church services is always based on a personal experience at church. "It does not feel like church." "It doesn't feed my soul." So I think it's selfish. Frequent communion was never common in either the Catholic or Orthodox churches until recently. 

I've also seen lots of bishop bashing over the shutdowns. Always coming from people who didn't have to make the hard choices that could possibly lead to people dying. I suspect that most of the bishops would say that this was the hardest decision they ever had to make as a bishop. 

Obviously public services will resume soon. But there are so many things need to be resolved first. How to impose social distancing? How to protect the most vulnerable? And I think the idea that everyone should just figure it out for themselves is basically the strong scrambling over the backs of the weak. "Let them figure it out - I want to go to church." 

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1 hour ago, Bluegoat said:

 

I think there are a few issues here, but the main thing is I think you are looking for a solution that doesn't exist.  Yes, it would be nice if we could keep people with more risk safe and so they would be protected while keeping the virus from spreading and letting people go on about their essential business.  The question is, is that possible at all medically, is it possible from a behavioural perspective, and what would be the trade offs of doing that?  It's possible that the answer is no, no, or the trade offs are worse than what they are preventing.  

Someone having more risk is also not really the same as high risk.  People who are obese, or men, or possibly people who are black, have a higher risk. There probably isn't a lot we can do to level that, they are a result of having different physiological factors, populations always include a profile of people with different risk levels, unhealthy populations will have more.  People that are immunocompromised or very elderly are high risk at another level that goes beyond normal risk differences in the population. There probably isn't a hard line between these two groups but when doctors talk about trying to shield the most vulnerable, it's really the second group they are talking about.

But protecting those people is not just about people avoiding crowds, social isolating, etc. Those things are not meant to stop the spread, because they won't. They will only slow it, people who are moving about in the world will still almost certainly eventually be exposed as long as the virus is in the population.  The really vulnerable, if they want to be protected, have to take much more extreme measures - they really can't go to work, see anyone outside their household, they need to practice social isolation from others in their own household unless they too are completely socially isolated. So potentially not sleeping with their spouse, touching their own small kids. That's the kind of situation that isn't sustainable for any significant amount of time. 

I have an aunt in that position now. Under normal circumstances her life largely revolves around her apartment, she gets out on her scooter somewhat and she attends NA meetings three times a week which is her main social life. She has no spouse, roommate, or kids. She has the VoN in to cook for her, and help her bathe, and deal with her urostomy. Now, she can't go out and there are no NA meetings, and she can't have anyone in. Her VoN nurse is a risk she'd have to take except that she can't get one regularly as they have become seriously short staffed. So she has to manage with fewer visits as best she can. No one should have to live like that long, and she probably can't though I don't know where she's go. It's not impossible she will have a fall or otherwise deteriorate as a result of the situation.

The only way for people like her to get out, unless she chooses to take risks, is when the virus is no longer moving in the population. And barring a few places where they can totally control movement into the country on a long term basis, and maybe not even then, reducing transmission alone won't accomplish that, only vaccination or immunity.  Or at least that's the view of many epidemiologists. Vaccination may or may not happen, so that leaves immunity. So how long should people like my aunt have to isolate completely to wait for that?  The longer we draw out the time to immunity, the longer they wait. No one wants to overwhelm health services, but stretching things out more, for unsure benefits, that has a significant human costs. And that's even with ignoring things like predictions around issues with agriculture and such.

I have missed some of this thread but which epidemiologists are advocating faster spread and herd immunity?  All the ones I’ve seen are advocating social distancing as long as possible.  The UK were going to do the herd immunity model then did the math and realised the health system would be overwhelmed rapidly.  

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2 hours ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

I had heard that allowing certain businesses to be open even if it is too early to do it safely puts that state's government off the hook on paying unemployment going forward because "they could be in business if they wanted to be".  Don't know if that is true but is sounds reasonable.  And not very ethical.  Or at least not very caring. 

Unemployment is paid to the worker and is not contingent upon why the business is no longer operating.

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32 minutes ago, Where's Toto? said:

Unemployment usually requires that you are willing and able to work and actively looking for employment.   Most states have waived the "actively looking" requirement right now (for obvious reasons).   If Georgia opens up again, they can reinstate the requirement to be actively looking for employment.  So even if someone's current employer decides not to open up, if other places are open and hiring, they are expected to be applying for jobs and accepting any reasonable offers.    It's evil and will affect lower income and minorities to a large extent.

Considering we have roughly 3.5 million newly unemployed in the state, there isn't going to be enough job creation in the near term to justify going back to the "actively looking" requirement.  Even if they do, that requirement is not that difficult to meet.

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8 minutes ago, ChocolateReignRemix said:

Unemployment is paid to the worker and is not contingent upon why the business is no longer operating.

My understanding is that the issue is when the business DOES decide to open back up but employees don't feel inclined to risk their lives for a minimum wage job handing people bowling shoes.

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2 minutes ago, kokotg said:

My understanding is that the issue is when the business DOES decide to open back up but employees don't feel inclined to risk their lives for a minimum wage job handing people bowling shoes.

Considering the current effect on business activity, this argument has been a bit of a red herring.  There will still be mass layoffs and continued business closures until demand returns.

There is unlikely to be a vaccine anytime soon, and eventually most people will be returning to work in a world where covid exists.

Edited by ChocolateReignRemix
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Just now, ChocolateReignRemix said:

Considering the current effect on business activity, this argument has been a bit of a red herring.  There will still be mass layoffs and continued business closures until demand returns.

But if someone who worked at the bowling alley down the street and is collecting unemployment is called back to work (again--the bowling alley by my house is reopened as of today--it's not theoretical) wouldn't they no longer be eligible for unemployment if they didn't feel safe going back? 

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4 minutes ago, kokotg said:

But if someone who worked at the bowling alley down the street and is collecting unemployment is called back to work (again--the bowling alley by my house is reopened as of today--it's not theoretical) wouldn't they no longer be eligible for unemployment if they didn't feel safe going back? 

Possibly. My point is that many won't be recalled, and among those businesses which reopen not every employee will be recalled. 

And even then, if GA doesn't open right now it likely will in the next couple of weeks (as will all states) because they *have* to - if we want to save the economy in the near term we have to start generating business activity where possible.  Is handing out bowling shoes more risky than working the window at McDonald's?

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2 hours ago, ChocolateReignRemix said:

Possibly. My point is that many won't be recalled, and among those businesses which reopen not every employee will be recalled. 

And even then, if GA doesn't open right now it likely will in the next couple of weeks (as will all states) because they *have* to - if we want to save the economy in the near term we have to start generating business activity where possible.  Is handing out bowling shoes more risky than working the window at McDonald's?

 

Probably not, and that's a whole other issue, and I would say that going forward we need to reevaluate who and what we value in our economy. Georgia is not following ANYONE'S idea of when and what it's safe to reopen, though. It has the 12th most cases in the US and is the 14th worst state at testing per capita. It doesn't come anywhere close to meeting the federal guidelines about when to start reopening. And bowling alleys? Movie theaters? Tattoo parlors? It doesn't make any sense and if/when it backfires then we're back to worse than where we started. 

Edited by kokotg
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3 minutes ago, kokotg said:

 

Probably not, and that's a whole other issue, and I would say that going forward we need to reevaluate who and what we value in our economy. Georgia is not following ANYONE'S idea of when and what it's safe to reopen, though. It has the 12th most cases in the US and is the 14th worst state at testing per capita. It doesn't come anywhere close to meeting the federal guidelines about when to start reopening. And bowling alleys? Movie theaters? Tattoo parlors? It doesn't make any sense and if/when it backfires then we're back to worse then where we started. 

If other states aren't doing the same in less than 4 weeks it will be too late. 

The simple reality is that you cannot shut down large segments of the economy for extended periods.  It simply isn't sustainable.  And it isn't like the laughable comparisons to a wartime economy where other production comes into play.

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2 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

When the plague struck Milan in the 1500's, the Archbishop (St. Charles Borromeo) closed the churches for several years. Mass was held outside and people participated from their homes. Churches were closed during the 1918 flu epidemic. It's not like this has never happened before. 

How do you have church and exclude the most vulnerable? Who decides who is most vulnerable? Does the church say don't come if you're over 60? Will the people who are excluded feel like they are getting second best? As you say, it's "not church." 

Is it loving and charitable to exclude people from the community...for their own good? What I see from people who are upset about the church shutdowns is that those who are "vulnerable" can just stay home. Implying that the rest go about their business with no inconvenience. There's something wrong with that mentality from a church, IMHO. 

And I think there is a legitimate fear that people who are vulnerable will still come to church if services are held. Does the priest send them away? Or will we adopt a "buyer beware" mentality? Don't come if you are high risk but if you come, that's on you. Is that charitable and loving? I don't think so. 

The church could mandate social distancing but that's hard to maintain. What about little kids? Will they comply? What is appropriate social distancing in a church building with air conditioning and singing? I don't think 6 feet is enough. 

Do you limit the number of people who can attend so you can maintain social distancing? How do you do that? Does the church turn people away? 

I know that churches can't be closed forever but all of these things must be considered. 

There's also a liability issue. Our church stopped public liturgies in March. One of the reasons cited by the bishops is that insurance wouldn't cover damages arising from a parishioner contacting COVID at a church service. 

Certainly many priests minister to the sick and dying at personal risk but priests didn't sign up to be martyrs. Our priests are married. Don't they have an obligation to their families? 

Churches I am aware of are doing the best they can to figure all of this out in a way that is as loving and as inclusive as possible. You mention church outside...yes, that's what I'm talking about. As for who is included and excluded, I think that is on the pastors and elders to make sure no one falls through the cracks. In every church I've been too, provisions have been made for those too ill or bedridden to attend church. In this case, I think that group would be expanded.

As for your last question, I don't know what obligations priests have in your tradition or what their individual families feel about it. In our tradition, everyone is called to love sacrificially, pastors and elders have callings and obligations to visit the sick and dying specifically. Joining the pastorate is a heavy undertaking because of things like that and what it means for family life.

Finally, I'll just say that much has been made of keeping liquor stores open for alcoholics. I don't think we can discount that despite the dangers, such as they would be going into a liquor store, the balm to the soul provided by the church is very real, especially during times like these. I think we need to be creative in how to meet people's needs, with online services being only one part of that. 

Again, if your church can only meet shoulder to shoulder in a big giant room, please don't think I'm saying that is what should happen. If your church can't innovate outside of that model, then by all means keep it closed. It's also worth considering that corporate worship is worth flexing for and trying to find innovative ways to be together but separate, and some people need more than an online lecture once or twice a week. I know there are people who don't consider corporate worship as essential as a liquor store. I think if that's the case then any attempt to have worship (outside or in cars or distanced in some way) will likely look unnecessary at best. 

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35 minutes ago, mms said:

I know plenty of people who self isolate during flu season.  And they do not need a nanny state making the decisions for them to do so. I am higher risk, DH even more so, I can see us continuing to self isolate. I do not want others to go without the Sacraments to protect me.

You’re the one who brought up the plague. Throughout history the bishops have found ways to feed people’s souls even in times of crisis. I have no experience in other diocese or the Orthodox but our bishop has done nothing.  It has nothing to do with frequent communion, I do not receive as often as most moderns, but I know plenty of people who would be happy to forgo communion, singing, shaking hands, what have you and simply be present. As I said, our bishop shut down drive in masses where no Eucharist was distributed. Yes, he absolutely should be criticized over that when even our governor has encouraged drive in services. 
 

But, whatever, it is simply impossible that people who take the virus and the science seriously can disagree about the best way to approach the common good, they are just being selfish.

Why bring up the "nanny state?" You wrote that your bishop has gone beyond what is allowed by your state. And I don't think he should be criticized for going beyond what is allowed by the governor. The governor isn't responsible before God for the parishioners. The decision should be made by the bishop. 

RE drive in Masses, perhaps someone broke the rules? What about people who don't have cars? I'm not sure but it is his decision to make. You say the bishop has done nothing. Do you know that? There are still Masses being held in your Diocese, correct? The bishop is probably very busy. My parents are Catholic and their priest posts a daily video where he discusses the day's Gospel. My 80 something year old parents look forward to that every day. Our souls can be fed in many different ways. I'm not sure what a bishop could do. Eucharistic processions? Okay - good idea and some priests are doing that. Did your bishop forbid these? Maybe he's overly cautious. But more than likely he is coming from a place of love and concern for the Catholics in his diocese. 

Sorry for the "selfish" label. Some people just want everything to go back to the way it was before. Their answer to the concerns of the high risk is that they can stay home. This is a double standard but I expect more of them than I do people who go to the farm store or the Walmart. 

3 minutes ago, mms said:

It is not essential for you, but no government has the right to decide that it is not essential even if they continue trying to do so.

Again, I am not saying that church goers should not make sacrifices for the common good, I have family members on the front lines in healthcare, you bet I want to keep them safe! But, fact is the standard is being applied unequally. People can go to drive in theaters, play golf, go hang out at the store that happens to have a small grocery section and yet are not given the freedom to find creative ways to continue to worship together. Note, I said “creative.” It is a straw man to claim that services will necessarily involve violating sound social distancing practices.

And it is a double standard to not allow church attendance because the high risk might attend and not make prudent decisions. i was at the farm store getting very necessary feed for our animals and the place was packed with people just socializing. I had so much trouble keeping 6 ft distance. There were elderly who were in the checkout line with nothing but candy or soda in their carts.  The same people who will supposedly attend church despite being high risk are already putting themselves in harm’s way just because the farm store is on the life sustaining list and their usual hangout was closed. Don’t even get me started on how people act at Walmart, all without enforcement, while the police take down license plate numbers of church goers.

I know the term "essential" is a problem. I work for a company with both "essential" and "non-essential" employees. "Non-essential" defined as those of us who were directed to work from home. The company very quickly squashed discussion of "essential" and "non-essential" and made it clear that we were all essential. Some of my co-workers were unconcerned by the "non-essential" tag but who wants their employer to call them "non-essential," KWIM? 

I'm a regular church attendee and also object to the "non-essential" label. But I still see a difference between church and the farm store. Even though people might socialize there, do we shut it down and make it impossible for people to buy animal feed? It seems like common sense that the farm store should be open with an obligation that the store enforce social distancing. 

I can also see a difference between a church and a golf course or drive in theatre. Golf courses and drive in are outdoors. Doesn't your state allow drive in Masses? Then the state isn't applying a double standard. 

And I would hope that the bishop would have more love and concern for the Catholics in his Diocese than the owner of a golf course. 

Like I wrote earlier, these are really hard decisions to make and I'm grateful that I wasn't the one with the obligation to make the decision. There were no good answers. 

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39 minutes ago, mms said:

It is not essential for you, but no government has the right to decide that it is not essential even if they continue trying to do so.

Again, I am not saying that church goers should not make sacrifices for the common good, I have family members on the front lines in healthcare, you bet I want to keep them safe! But, fact is the standard is being applied unequally. People can go to drive in theaters, play golf, go hang out at the store that happens to have a small grocery section and yet are not given the freedom to find creative ways to continue to worship together. Note, I said “creative.” It is a straw man to claim that services will necessarily involve violating sound social distancing practices.

And it is a double standard to not allow church attendance because the high risk might attend and not make prudent decisions. i was at the farm store getting very necessary feed for our animals and the place was packed with people just socializing. I had so much trouble keeping 6 ft distance. There were elderly who were in the checkout line with nothing but candy or soda in their carts.  The same people who will supposedly attend church despite being high risk are already putting themselves in harm’s way just because the farm store is on the life sustaining list and their usual hangout was closed. Don’t even get me started on how people act at Walmart, all without enforcement, while the police take down license plate numbers of church goers.

What you don't seem to be getting is that your description of people engaging in high risk activities at the stores makes it even MORE important to limit other things. We can't shut down groceries, so if people are doing to be getting exposed there, all the more reason not to give them a new venue to spread what they caught. And the elderly person has already had to deal with the exposure risk at walmart, so even more reason to limit the exposure anywhere else that they can. 

And saying you want places to open up cautiously, with social distancing, is not what a lot of people are advocating, both on the news and even in this thread. We have people in this thread saying that instead of social distancing and limiting exposure we should just jump in and expose as many as possible as quickly as possible without totally overwhelming the hospitals. So I honestly don't think you and I have different ideas of what things will or should look like, but I do have a very different opinion than those saying no one should be allowed to shut anything down, or impose regulations like masks or distancing, etc etc. We have mayors saying it isn't their business to help figure out safe ways to open up, just let the companies try and if they spread a bunch of illness well, competition and the free market will eventually shut them down. 

 

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I want to point out that here the Catholic bishops had stopped public Masses before our governor issued the stay in place. Most other churches had also stopped having services. We were still having liturgy because our bishop was allowing priests to decide if the local risk warranted cancelling public liturgies. At our last public liturgy, our priest bragged about how we were still having liturgies unlike the Catholics and the Mormons. Our family was staying home by that time. Our bishops cancelled all public liturgies shortly after this but I don't remember what came first; our state stay in place or the direction from the bishops. 

I believe that the Catholic bishops in Georgia have decided to not resume public Masses yet even though the state would allow it. 

 

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4 hours ago, frogger said:

Well, even though restaurants are allowed to have dine in up here with the limitations and sanitation most from what I can see are sticking with just pick up and delivery. Maybe not. I haven't seen a comprehensive list but even those who don't care about safety (some do) they realize they will lose pick up customers by allowing the dine in customers. 

 I think it's more about not being able to cover costs with the limited amount of seating allowed under AK's current plan.

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8 hours ago, vonfirmath said:

 

Which works for the parishioners with Internets.

The same families and communities having problems with online learning are going to have problems with online church.

 

Aren’t many also broadcast on TV or the radio? Even before this, my mom often had  to watch mass on TV and forego communion due to serious health issues. Are Catholics the only ones who do this sometimes?

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3 hours ago, StellaM said:

 

I would very much like churchgoers to sacrifice to protect health care workers!!

Why should health care workers have to deal with the outcomes of a completely non-essential to life activity?

 

Normally, attending church is associated with better health and longer life.  It provides health benefits that are not readily available elsewhere.

I'm not advocating people going back to church right now, but if they did choose to, I'm not sure it would create a net increase in health care usage.  It's just not that simple.

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56 minutes ago, SKL said:

Normally, attending church is associated with better health and longer life.  It provides health benefits that are not readily available elsewhere.

I'm not advocating people going back to church right now, but if they did choose to, I'm not sure it would create a net increase in health care usage.  It's just not that simple.

But we’re talking attendance over a long period of time. Surely missing a few months is not much in the grand scheme of things. It’s not as though the health benefits drop off immediately. And I’m sure some parts of the benefits still remain even when not attending in person.

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This is an interesting historical collection of news surrounding the Spanish flu http://www.influenzaarchive.org/about.html.  

You can search for key words and find articles, for example on closing of churches, or bars, or pool halls, or schools, and see what people's reactions and arguments were at that time.  It is amazing how much the discourse was 100 years ago to what it is today.  There are also summaries by city, which can be interesting to see what was playing at your local theater, or what the board of health was doing, perhaps how even your local church was responding in the time of that crisis.

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8 hours ago, kdsuomi said:

Also, no, not all places have allowed "drive in" churches. Our county just this week said that they will be allowed, even though most churches here don't have parking lots that would allow for that. If places are going to start saying that people can go bowling, shopping for things that have so far been considered non-essential, etc. then the government has absolutely no legal standing to force churches to stay closed. Now, I'm not actually advocating for "opening" up the country necessarily, but if you open up some of those businesses, they should have to allow churches to open. Churches have actually not been explicitly mentioned in any of the phases for my state that I've heard, so that makes me think they'll open as a last resort. (Our church is not planning on opening anytime soon.)

I'm willing to be that GA is the only place opening up bowling alleys, etc and that they are not going to prohibit church services when movie theaters are open. No one is saying you can go to the movies and get a pedicure but not go to church. 

I just checked, - yes, in person church services are allowed now in GA. (with social distancing)

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1 hour ago, Ktgrok said:

I'm willing to be that GA is the only place opening up bowling alleys, etc and that they are not going to prohibit church services when movie theaters are open. No one is saying you can go to the movies and get a pedicure but not go to church. 

I just checked, - yes, in person church services are allowed now in GA. (with social distancing)

Churches were never required to close. Georgia never had a particularly hardcore shutdown. The state parks have all stayed open; the governor famously ordered the beaches reopened after local officials had shut them down. We refilled (curbside!) our CO2 tank that we use to fizz water a couple of weeks ago, because apparently the home-brew store is an essential business.

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13 hours ago, StellaM said:

 

 

The option is for the general public to behave in ways that lower risk as much as possible, for as long as possible, instead of agitating for a return to 'normal' before such a thing is even possible.

One thing I would like very much to see is compulsory masking on public transit and in public spaces. 

It's actually a relatively low-impact change to ask people to make to their behaviour, and, as we've seen in Taiwan, it can be quite effective in lowering overall risk to the population (especially given the public transit population includes a substantial % of those at-risk for socio-economic reasons).

But people seem to think these type of changes are simply beyond the pale.

Parents were asked to keep children home here for one term (a period of 9 weeks) and have them learn from home, with provision made for parents who could not do this. Also reasonable. 9 weeks is not long, relatively speaking. Again, this was seen as beyond the pale, despite the fact that it bought valuable time to gather more accurate data on actual health risks to students and staff in that environment. Parents were agitating to have schools 'open' (they were, but to essential worker's children and vulnerable children only) after a WEEK. 

I do NOT see the people agitating for things to 'go back to normal' displaying any acceptance that normal will, and should be different. and that while we may have to open up in some ways, its reasonable for the public to expect things to be different, and to be asked to do things they weren't asked to do before, because no part of the population is 'expendable' just because they are elderly, poor, black or ill.

 

 

The things that you are saying will not allow people in care homes, or like my aunt to go out. Not in places like the US, Canada, or the UK.  Because there will still be non-insignificant transmission.  

Taiwan and also places like Australia are not in a similar situation. It's possible they may in fact be able to simply bring the numbers down to zero, though it remains to be seen if that is possible long term, there are epidemiologists who don't think it will be. But in countries where there are far more infected and there are shared borders etc, that is not going to work. At least that seems to be the almost universal assessment of epidemiologists in those countries. The provincial pandemic officer in my province, an epidemiologist, is all about minimising deaths, and he is still of the view that only herd immunity will protect the seriously at risk. So the concern is that in those sorts of populations, the people with that kind of elevated risk need to basically completely remain isolated for quite a long time.

It's not a moral failing to take what seems to be the medical consensus seriously. If you disagree that it's correct, that's a disagreement about the behaviour of the virus, but it's not because you care about people and others are somehow willing to sacrifice them. Given that none of us here are really in a position to argue the medical question at a deep level, it's a bit strange to see people who are otherwise generally pro-science saying that it is wrong to listen to their assessment.

People who are "agitating for back to normal" in most places are not the American protestors of the last weeks who have been on the news, who have been significantly overplayed by the media - their numbers are tiny, and outside of the US they are basically completely irrelevant. They are mainly people concerned with movement restrictions, worried about the survival of small business, how crops are going to get picked. People with parents who they cannot see and who they are no longer even allowed to go to the windows of their rooms to wave to, and who are worried because the homes are short staffed and conditions are deteriorating. Or just people who want some sort of indication how governments are making the decisions to lift restrictions as time goes on.

Which goes back to the OPs question - are people now thinking that the governments strategy to flatten the curve is something else?  Clearly from this thread, a lot of people think so, because government strategy in Europe, the US, the UK, and Canada remains flatten the curve until there is herd immunity, and a lot of people are arguing that it shouldn't be.

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To the original question, here is a public health official in VA saying that business closings (part of Phase 1) will last until they get treatment or vaccine, or around 2 years. But the timing to even go into phase one is still 2 weeks away at least.

https://www.richmond.com/news/virginia/we-cannot-and-will-not-lift-restrictions-like-one-turns-on-a-light-switch-northam/article_cac6c890-386e-5481-b413-98787b12f685.amp.html?__twitter_impression=true

The Twitter thread where I found this: https://mobile.twitter.com/MelLeonor_/status/1253808850777620480

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re what "social distancing" and the pro/con arguments looked like in 1917-18:

3 hours ago, Bootsie said:

This is an interesting historical collection of news surrounding the Spanish flu http://www.influenzaarchive.org/about.html.  

You can search for key words and find articles, for example on closing of churches, or bars, or pool halls, or schools, and see what people's reactions and arguments were at that time.  It is amazing how much the discourse was 100 years ago to what it is today.  There are also summaries by city, which can be interesting to see what was playing at your local theater, or what the board of health was doing, perhaps how even your local church was responding in the time of that crisis.

 

My rabbi did a whole adult ed workshop on this very subject a couple weeks ago, drawing some of those same archives. It was *fascinating.*

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13 hours ago, Ausmumof3 said:

I have missed some of this thread but which epidemiologists are advocating faster spread and herd immunity?  All the ones I’ve seen are advocating social distancing as long as possible.  The UK were going to do the herd immunity model then did the math and realised the health system would be overwhelmed rapidly.  

 

Well, that is not what I've said.

The UK originally planned to use the Swedish plan, which was to let the virus spread normally until herd immunity was reached.  They would protect the immunocompromised and elderly by quarantine and it would be over fairly quickly as herd immunity was reached. At that point things would go back, more or less, to normal, and social costs (including deaths, health, effects on those quarentined, etc) would be minimised.

What put a wrench in that idea is that they realised that the health services would be overwhelmed by having so many people ill at once. So rather than just the expected deaths from the virus, they would get significant additional deaths due to lack of available medical care. 

So the plan became flatten the curve, which means to attempt to slow spread of the virus so health services would not be overwhelmed. That would prevent or at least minimise additional deaths. But the end point is still herd immunity, where the virus stops moving through the population. The downside of this of course is that all the quarantined people have to remain quarantined that much longer, and social costs will be greater.

So the balance is to keep health services functional, without creating more costs for those who are most seriously at risk, or increasing social costs more than is absolutely necessary. And I'll remind you that social costs doesn't mean people having fun at parks, it means the elderly having no contact with their families, it means kids in abusive homes being home with their abusers all day, it means people forgoing care for other illnesses, etc.  

Continuing to suppress as much as possible, rather than basing it on the capacity of health services to cope, simply continues to elevate those costs, but it can't change the endpoint of herd immunity.  Unless you live in a very isolated population, or a vaccine is developed early, which can't be counted on, there isn't any advantage to that.  And you are essentially telling those at highest risk that they need to be in sever quarantines for the foreseeable future, so that the more healthy can maintain the illusion that they can avoid getting sick.

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1 minute ago, Bluegoat said:

 

Well, that is not what I've said.

The UK originally planned to use the Swedish plan, which was to let the virus spread normally until herd immunity was reached.  They would protect the immunocompromised and elderly by quarantine and it would be over fairly quickly as herd immunity was reached. At that point things would go back, more or less, to normal, and social costs (including deaths, health, effects on those quarentined, etc) would be minimised.

What put a wrench in that idea is that they realised that the health services would be overwhelmed by having so many people ill at once. So rather than just the expected deaths from the virus, they would get significant additional deaths due to lack of available medical care. 

So the plan became flatten the curve, which means to attempt to slow spread of the virus so health services would not be overwhelmed. That would prevent or at least minimise additional deaths. But the end point is still herd immunity, where the virus stops moving through the population. The downside of this of course is that all the quarantined people have to remain quarantined that much longer, and social costs will be greater.

So the balance is to keep health services functional, without creating more costs for those who are most seriously at risk, or increasing social costs more than is absolutely necessary. And I'll remind you that social costs doesn't mean people having fun at parks, it means the elderly having no contact with their families, it means kids in abusive homes being home with their abusers all day, it means people forgoing care for other illnesses, etc.  

Continuing to suppress as much as possible, rather than basing it on the capacity of health services to cope, simply continues to elevate those costs, but it can't change the endpoint of herd immunity.  Unless you live in a very isolated population, or a vaccine is developed early, which can't be counted on, there isn't any advantage to that.  And you are essentially telling those at highest risk that they need to be in sever quarantines for the foreseeable future, so that the more healthy can maintain the illusion that they can avoid getting sick.

The issue with the herd immunity theory is we don’t know if we actually get immunity and how long it lasts.  I understand the theory.  We may potentially have the issue of suppressing too well here and accidentally eliminating.  Economists don’t like that idea because it means long term border closures or quarantine to whatever.

 

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7 hours ago, kand said:

Well first, semantics matter, and no one in the US is “locked in”.  If an elderly or high risk person wants to go chat at the feed store, it’s clear no one is stopping them. If they want to walk around the block for exercise or go buy groceries, that’s legal in all states as far as I know. Second, I’m seeing multiple people use their at risk relatives who can’t leave their houses as evidence of why the shut downs are the wrong approach and instead at risk people should protect themselves while the rest of  society goes back to something closer to normal. That doesn’t make sense. Other at risk people will need to stay home and protect themselves as they see fit so the at risk elderly loved ones of people on this thread can finally go out? That’s how I’m reading a number of these posts, and I don’t understand the argument. 

 

 

The US isn't the world. In many places care homes are completely locked down - residents cannot leave, and only workers can come in. Recommendations for the immunocompromised and others with sever risk are to stay in their own homes only, and to socially isolate even there. So if their spouse goes out to do the shopping, or their kids interact with said spouse, they are not meant to touch them or share a bed with them etc. Now, they are not forced to do this, but that is the recommendation of what is required to be sure they are not exposed. That is the level of isolation required to actually prevent transmission rather than just slow it down.  Front line health care workers are also being recommended to socially isolate from their families in a similar way.

There are also many places where there are serious questions around production - in my area for example fish plants are struggling to find workers as they normally depend on non-Canadian workers. The same is true of many farms throughout Canada going into their busy season - most have temporary Jamaican workers coming in now.  It's possible there could be full seasons lost in parts of the fishery or agricultural sectors which is not an abstract cost. (And there are also questions around the ethics in terms of the health of the temporary workers - why should we be relying on them risking their health in this way, living in tight spaces etc?)

People are not necessarily saying shut downs are the wrong approach, I don't think any posters in this thread are saying that. What is being said is that it can't be a long term approach, and that means there will be a herd immunity end point. And that end point is desirable in the sense that it is only then that the really vulnerable will be protected. As long as there is active transmission they won't be.

There is a reason well organised countries who have taken the virus seriously are also taking seriously the need to lift restrictions as soon as it's viable, and aren't trying to totally prevent the spread altogether.

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8 hours ago, kand said:

Well first, semantics matter, and no one in the US is “locked in”.  If an elderly or high risk person wants to go chat at the feed store, it’s clear no one is stopping them. If they want to walk around the block for exercise or go buy groceries, that’s legal in all states as far as I know. Second, I’m seeing multiple people use their at risk relatives who can’t leave their houses as evidence of why the shut downs are the wrong approach and instead at risk people should protect themselves while the rest of  society goes back to something closer to normal. That doesn’t make sense. Other at risk people will need to stay home and protect themselves as they see fit so the at risk elderly loved ones of people on this thread can finally go out? That’s how I’m reading a number of these posts, and I don’t understand the argument. 

I don’t believe liquor stores are open because alcohol is soothing to some people, but because alcoholics going through physical detox cold turkey will use up medical resources. I don’t know if that’s really true, but that’s the argument I hear. I don’t drink at all, so I have zero interest in them being open, personally. I agree that church serves a very real and valuable purpose for people. That doesn’t necessarily mean there’s going to be a safe way to do it yet though. Wanting it isn’t a valid reason to open a church if there’s no way to do it safely. I do think drive in services should be something that can work many places with a lot of space. Likely not going to work in the city, though. 

Right. And I don’t even think that’s possible. Exponential growth means there’s not a way to get to herd immunity quickly without overwhelming the hospitals. It would make what we’ve seen so far look like the calm before the storm. The only way to not overwhelm hospitals is to take this slowly. Sucks, but it’s the nature of the beast. We can’t dictate how it should go.  The models I see of the ideal way to approach this do not actually end up with the same number getting it either way, and the mortality numbers in particular are much different depending on how quickly it spreads. 

 

Agree with your comments. 

8 hours ago, kand said:

Well, surely a few months of online or other alternative church experience is not going to make as big a difference in mortality as having churches meeting right now, resulting in large numbers of people contracting the virus and many inevitably dying from it. I saw a study earlier today on years of life lost due to covid19, and the number of years lost on average Is far greater than the years lost from a period of time with interrupted church attendance could possibly be. It’s not plausible that people would take ten years off their life due to missing church in person for a few months. I say that as a weekly church attender. 

 

Also I know people who are at risk of getting and thus also spreading a respiratory illness who if churches are open feel that they must go unless literally too sick to get there.  But if closed, then they feel they have a dispensation or legitimate justification not to go.  And this would not apply in the same way to feeling like they have an obligation to go to a bowling alley or even to personally go to a grocery store.  Allowing someone else to shop for some people is acceptable, but not going to an open church is a sin (whether or not that is a relevant term in the particular religion) for many believers.  

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The issue with the herd immunity theory is we don’t know if we actually get immunity and how long it lasts.  I understand the theory.  We may potentially have the issue of suppressing too well here and accidentally eliminating.  Economists don’t like that idea because it means long term border closures or quarantine to whatever.

 

Yes, that is a concern, though they seem to think there is a really good chance that there is going to be at least partial immunity. But we can't really control that, it's just a matter of finding out as it becomes clear.  If there is no immunity than none of the strategies being used will work, everyone is going to need to come up with a new plan.  To some extent the economists are right, and the behaviourists - we can shut down some things short term that cannot be shut down long term, so if there is no herd immunity we likely won't be able to prevent it going round altogether.  I actually think one of the benefits potentially of all this is that people might realise that more local sustainability is important, and that we can do fine with less energy and time and money spent on production of consumables. But there are things we do need.

And I don't think people will be willing to do things like never have social gatherings, not have funerals, see local family, etc, in the long term, even if there is a risk they will become ill.

Edited by Bluegoat
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11 minutes ago, Bluegoat said:

People are not necessarily saying shut downs are the wrong approach, I don't think any posters in this thread are saying that. What is being said is that it can't be a long term approach, and that means there will be a herd immunity end point. And that end point is desirable in the sense that it is only then that the really vulnerable will be protected. As long as there is active transmission they won't be.

There is a reason well organised countries who have taken the virus seriously are also taking seriously the need to lift restrictions as soon as it's viable, and aren't trying to totally prevent the spread altogether.

Really glad to see you're back, Bluegoat.

This part of your post seems to sum up the issue well, to me. I've been so frustrated with the idea that there can only be two extremes--long-term shut down of virtually everything and damn the consequences vs. devil-may-care-open-it-all-up-right-now and damn the consequences. Most people don't think like that. I believe that most people (including those who think the shutdown is not sustainable as an ongoing thing) DO, in fact, understand that what's normal will need to be different in the future because the question of how to protect the most vulnerable long-term is important.  And vulnerable covers a whole lot of problems and a whole lot people.

This whole discussion reminds me of every other thread where if you're not in lock-step then it's clearly because you're stupid and/or hate (insert group of people du jour).

Crawling back under my rock now...

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24 minutes ago, Pen said:

 

Agree with your comments. 

 

Also I know people who are at risk of getting and thus also spreading a respiratory illness who if churches are open feel that they must go unless literally too sick to get there.  But if closed, then they feel they have a dispensation or legitimate justification not to go.  And this would not apply in the same way to feeling like they have an obligation to go to a bowling alley or even to personally go to a grocery store.  Allowing someone else to shop for some people is acceptable, but not going to an open church is a sin (whether or not that is a relevant term in the particular religion) for many believers.  

So are you saying churches should remain closed because on individuals from specific faith traditions who feel they can't opt out? Churches should be under stricter restrictions than something like a bowling alley because people might feel obligated to go to church? 

Again, I'm talking about services that are appropriately distanced, not just church as usual.

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50 minutes ago, Bluegoat said:

 

Yes, that is a concern, though they seem to think there is a really good chance that there is going to be at least partial immunity. But we can't really control that, it's just a matter of finding out as it becomes clear.  If there is no immunity than none of the strategies being used will work, everyone is going to need to come up with a new plan.  To some extent the economists are right, and the behaviourists - we can shut down some things short term that cannot be shut down long term, so if there is no herd immunity we likely won't be able to prevent it going round altogether.  I actually think one of the benefits potentially of all this is that people might realise that more local sustainability is important, and that we can do fine with less energy and time and money spent on production of consumables. But there are things we do need.

And I don't think people will be willing to do things like never have social gatherings, not have funerals, see local family, etc, in the long term, even if there is a risk they will become ill.

Ok, so do you not see value in trying to slow spread or minimize it until we have a better understandinf of the biology of the virus? How it is spreading, how best to treat people, how to test for it (current tests are only 70 percent accurate and in many places it takes a week to get results - by then can be too late), knowledge on if treating earlier has any benefit, etc etc etc?

And if you think it is better to get it over faster, and get more people infected more quickly, would that mean you do not think people wearing masks in public, washing hands frequently, curbside pick up and delivery instead where possible, etc is a good idea? Would you advocate for not wearing masks and dropping precautions, so that we can have people catch it faster?

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2 hours ago, EmseB said:

To the original question, here is a public health official in VA saying that business closings (part of Phase 1) will last until they get treatment or vaccine, or around 2 years. But the timing to even go into phase one is still 2 weeks away at least.

https://www.richmond.com/news/virginia/we-cannot-and-will-not-lift-restrictions-like-one-turns-on-a-light-switch-northam/article_cac6c890-386e-5481-b413-98787b12f685.amp.html?__twitter_impression=true

The Twitter thread where I found this: https://mobile.twitter.com/MelLeonor_/status/1253808850777620480

This article has been updated to say that Phase 1 will not actually last two years, or until a treatment or vaccine is available.

https://www.richmond.com/news/virginia/update-governors-office-says-phase-one-of-reopening-virginia-will-not-last-for-two-years/article_434516e1-9f6e-51f5-b30d-d328870cc8bc.html

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Innisfree said:

This article has been updated to say that Phase 1 will not actually last two years, or until a treatment or vaccine is available.

https://www.richmond.com/news/virginia/update-governors-office-says-phase-one-of-reopening-virginia-will-not-last-for-two-years/article_434516e1-9f6e-51f5-b30d-d328870cc8bc.html

 

 

I saw that just now. Kind of hilarious given what the guy actually said, but I do see the need for the governor's office to walk it way back.

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1 minute ago, mms said:

I don’t know what Bluegoat thinks but it seems to me that the rate of infection should be only controlled to the extent that medical facilities are not over taxed. What you are saying here is what the OP was concerned about: moving the goal post. And as a higher risk individual with most of my family high risk too, I cannot imagine asking society to pay the high human cost of learning more about virus biology. Moving in a rational manner to not overwhelm the system, yes, but not for the sake of finding a cure or a vaccine.

And I don’t know about your part of the country but here front line grocery store workers are elderly or in some other way high risk (lots of obesity and heart problems in this area). So, while well off (in the sense that they know about healthy food and can afford a gym membership) healthy people shelter in place till we learn more about the virus, the at risk are delivering their groceries.
 

I don't mean a cure - I mean better treatment, better understanding of how it spread, etc. For example, everyone talks about trying to protect the most vulnerable while opening up, but we can't really do that if we don't have a good grasp on how it spreads best. If we can figure that out, that makes a big difference in deciding which activities, places, etc are riskier than others. And since the at risk depend on the healthy to care for them (doctors, home health aids, grocery delivery, house cleaners, etc) knowing how to have them interact with those people in the safest way would be important. 

Not to mention, I'm back to how on earth do we protect the vulernable if trying to expose and build herd immunity in doctors, home health aids, grocery delivery people, housecleaners, etc?? Wont' those people, if the goal is to expose them, then be spreading it to those they are caring for? 

Same with the grocery store workers you mention. Yes, they are at risk. But they are much less at risk if everyone else is taking precautions to limit spread, wearing masks, staying home, etc compared to if everyone goes back to the stores frequently, and is actively trying to catch the virus and get it over with. To catch it they will be NOT wearing masks, and then spreading it before they develop symptoms to those who do NOT want to catch it. That seems way riskier to that elderly grocery worker you mention - full store of people without masks who are hoping to catch the disease and continuing to go out once they do - compared to stores with limits on number of people, everyone in masks, social distancing, etc.  

Am I missing something?

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5 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

I don't mean a cure - I mean better treatment, better understanding of how it spread, etc. For example, everyone talks about trying to protect the most vulnerable while opening up, but we can't really do that if we don't have a good grasp on how it spreads best. If we can figure that out, that makes a big difference in deciding which activities, places, etc are riskier than others. And since the at risk depend on the healthy to care for them (doctors, home health aids, grocery delivery, house cleaners, etc) knowing how to have them interact with those people in the safest way would be important. 

Not to mention, I'm back to how on earth do we protect the vulernable if trying to expose and build herd immunity in doctors, home health aids, grocery delivery people, housecleaners, etc?? Wont' those people, if the goal is to expose them, then be spreading it to those they are caring for? 

Same with the grocery store workers you mention. Yes, they are at risk. But they are much less at risk if everyone else is taking precautions to limit spread, wearing masks, staying home, etc compared to if everyone goes back to the stores frequently, and is actively trying to catch the virus and get it over with. To catch it they will be NOT wearing masks, and then spreading it before they develop symptoms to those who do NOT want to catch it. That seems way riskier to that elderly grocery worker you mention - full store of people without masks who are hoping to catch the disease and continuing to go out once they do - compared to stores with limits on number of people, everyone in masks, social distancing, etc.  

Am I missing something?

You're missing how long it actually takes to build up that knowledge base and do those studies.

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2 hours ago, Ausmumof3 said:

The issue with the herd immunity theory is we don’t know if we actually get immunity and how long it lasts.  I understand the theory.  We may potentially have the issue of suppressing too well here and accidentally eliminating.  Economists don’t like that idea because it means long term border closures or quarantine to whatever.

 

If you can’t count on herd immunity then what is the point of waiting for a vaccine?  Isn’t the theory that vaccines should provide herd immunity?  Also, even if if covid doesn’t turn out to be a one time deal like say chicken pox, at some point it is no longer “novel” and our bodies should have some means to know how to deal with it.

Edited by Mom2mthj
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9 minutes ago, rebcoola said:

We're churches specifically called out to shutodwn in some places?  My I thought they were just covered in the various stages of no groups larger than x.  I assumed it would be the same on our way back up the steps.

They are, but obviously exceptions are made to that rule based on what cities and states deem as essential. So the legal issue is exempting a business from the gathering limit so they can allow, say, 25% max occupancy in their building while enforcing physical distance and masking requirements, but a church would not be allowed to open under those same parameters because they would not get the same exemption to the gathering rule.

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It was never only about flattening the curve. Not overwhelming our medical professionals includes adequate PPE and I'm pretty sure most places are still struggling there and that's with so much shut down. I honestly don't understand opening back up until we can make sure those we count on to treat us are protected. 

ETA: This week alone I've read at least two stories of first responders losing their children to this virus. We're not doing enough to protect them yet.

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1 hour ago, Ktgrok said:

Ok, so do you not see value in trying to slow spread or minimize it until we have a better understandinf of the biology of the virus? How it is spreading, how best to treat people, how to test for it (current tests are only 70 percent accurate and in many places it takes a week to get results - by then can be too late), knowledge on if treating earlier has any benefit, etc etc etc?

And if you think it is better to get it over faster, and get more people infected more quickly, would that mean you do not think people wearing masks in public, washing hands frequently, curbside pick up and delivery instead where possible, etc is a good idea? Would you advocate for not wearing masks and dropping precautions, so that we can have people catch it faster?

 

Trying to slow spread to better understand the biology of the virus doesn't particularly seem to be a concern for the doctors and scientists making the plan. I know data is a concern - one of my relatives that's involved in covid management is mainly a data person and so that's something she is really concerned with along with projections of different scenarios, and they are adapting as new information becomes available, but my sense is that's just not part of a realistic approach. They are already trying to slow down transmission in order to avoid overwhelming health services. IN any case if people don't become immune slowing the spread more won't change that and there are still limits to how much people can do and for how long.

I'm not sure where you got the idea I want people to get it faster, as what I said was the goal is to keep it at a level that keeps health services viable, which means slowing it - how much that requires will depend on where you live, in some cases it may not be possible to prevent it. What I am questioning is the value (and the possibility frankly) of slowing it beyond that.  You might improve management a little. Vaccination is not likely in the near term and maybe not at all so it's probably not sensible to wait for that. But it also comes with big downsides which you don't seem to be counting as very significant. And a major major one is those who are the most physically at risk will not be able to resume anything like a normal lifestyle as long as you are going for suppression.  Their choice become really significant health risks or personal quarantine at a level far beyond what you or I are having to deal with.  

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1 hour ago, kand said:

Perhaps this is a misunderstanding then, because I’m not advocating for us to stay in this current level of shutdown, nor do I believe many other people are. I’m advocating for following the plans layed out in many models now of careful, phased openings with testing and tracing and all of that, to minimize new spikes after this initial phase is under control. What I’m objecting to is the idea of taking the fastest path to herd immunity being a viable option. I have given the reasons I disagree in several posts above. 

 

The original question in the OP was, is the goal to flatten the curve, or eliminate covid. I think you have to read the answers in that context. Flattening the curve was always meant to get us to herd immunity.  But a lot of people are behaving (in the world, not here) as if the goal now is to eliminate it, or at least stop many people from ever getting it.

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38 minutes ago, mms said:

Unfortunately I only have a minute and cannot respond to your other points but in my mind there is a distinction between actively trying to catch something and resigning one self to the idea that in the process of going about one’s business one gets sick. The later is the principle of double effect. People were told that they were making these sacrifices for the sake of not overwhelming the system. Most rose to the occasion and it would be breaking trust to expect them to continue complying with those measures once the curve has been flattened to the point where everyone who needs care can get it.  I do know some people who are actively trying to catch it, but they are a tiny minority. Most people, I imagine, just want to go back to work and school and church and are willing to be exposed to the virus in the process.

 

Yeah, I don't try and get colds, but they are horribly contagious and there is no vaccine, so I know I will get them from time to time.  People modelling how the common cold behaves are also going to count on everyone getting it eventually because that's just realistic.  

People where I live are really very good about complying, the main group we see not doing it has been teenagers and that's because they are teenagers.  But we've had some problems in the other direction, like people reporting neighbours, or getting angry because people were doing things they thought were wrong even though they were allowed, and a lot seems to be driven because they have the impression that if they just follow the rules carefully, people will not become ill - themselves or others. There have started to be problems with people refusing to provide childcare for health workers or allow them to rent properties. They don't seem to understand that just like with a cold, even taking precautions they are likely to catch the virus in the next six months or so, and that is part of what is making them very reactive.

29 minutes ago, Joker said:

It was never only about flattening the curve. Not overwhelming our medical professionals includes adequate PPE and I'm pretty sure most places are still struggling there and that's with so much shut down. I honestly don't understand opening back up until we can make sure those we count on to treat us are protected. 

ETA: This week alone I've read at least two stories of first responders losing their children to this virus. We're not doing enough to protect them yet.

 

Having enough PPE is part of medical services not being overwhelmed.

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