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Is the goal FLATTEN THE CURVE or ELIMINATE COVID?


Ottakee
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18 minutes ago, Danae said:

 

The problem is still exponential growth.  As long as the number of new cases per day is going up the health system will eventually be overwhelmed. So far most areas have just postponed that, not prevented it. 

I'm in Minnesota.  When Governor Walz announced the shutdown in mid-March he said it was already too late to flatten the curve, the goal of the shutdown was to delay the peak while building up ICU capacity, including emergency hospitals in stadiums.  At that point we were on a 2-day doubling curve.  We've pushed that to 12 days and right now we're only using 50% of our original available ICU beds. That sounds wonderful!  But on our current rate of new cases that means we hit our original ICU capacity in 18 days. (The ICU in use doubling is at 18 days, because of the people who either recover or die.)  I haven't been able to find out how many beds we've been able to add, but if we doubled that still means we hit capacity in 36 days at our current growth rate. Sooner if the rate increases.  

 

It depends on where you live - some places have managed and hit peak without overwhelming services or are anticipating that they will.  Others even with very strict care will not manage. A lot depends on the state of the health system to start and how far ahead they were able to plan.  Unfortunately if you are in the sort of place where services will be overwhelmed they will have some hard decisions to make about things like triage, because they won't eliminate transmission.  They can only keep measures in place until the worst is over.

ETA: All that is still an attempt to flatten the curve though, it's just not flat enough to completely solve the problem.

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12 hours ago, Frances said:

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.

This may depend on the age and life situation of the individual.  For older people, church is a much bigger proportion of their social life, and also it is more relevant spiritually as they get into their later years.  I'm very thankful for online church, but it definitely doesn't take the place of in person church.  For one thing, a lot of people take communion very seriously, and that isn't happening.  I have noticed about twice as many people attend communion services than non-communion services in my church.  It matters.

Again, I'm not saying open up TODAY, I'm saying people should not be dismissive of the importance of church (or other communal worship) to many people.

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3 hours ago, EmseB said:

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.

 

 I am hopeful that most churches will gradually figure out safer ways to do things.

 And that the people going to them will.

more distance

masks

perhaps no singing for some time if that’s an issue

no social hugs and kisses... 

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20 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 you're right. Many restaurants in my area had gone to pick up and delivery only even before our governor gave the stay at home order. I have a feeling that if he opens the state back up many will continue to do so at least for a while.  

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11 minutes ago, SKL said:

This may depend on the age and life situation of the individual.  For older people, church is a much bigger proportion of their social life, and also it is more relevant spiritually as they get into their later years.  I'm very thankful for online church, but it definitely doesn't take the place of in person church.  For one thing, a lot of people take communion very seriously, and that isn't happening.  I have noticed about twice as many people attend communion services than non-communion services in my church.  It matters.

Again, I'm not saying open up TODAY, I'm saying people should not be dismissive of the importance of church (or other communal worship) to many people.

My mom is a elderly person for whom church has always been very important. And communion is integral to the Catholic faith. but as I mentioned above, she frequently can’t attend mass due to serious health issues, so watches on TV. She still talks regularly to her church friends. her faith is as strong as ever. she watches mass, prays, and says the rosary daily. sure, she would rather attend in person, but that frequently hasn’t been an option at various times in her life. I certainly am not dismissive of the importance of church inner life, but I also don’t think the long term health benefits of church you cited above have disappeared for her in the last month or will disappear for her if she can’t attend for awhile. Most elderly people I know are coping quite well because they have already weathered so many challenges in their lives. I actually find them quite inspiring.

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1 hour 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.

Ok, but where does social distancing, mask wearing, having easy access to hand sanitizer, working from home, etc fit into that spectrum? I'm truly not getting if people are suggesting we stop wearing masks, stop doing social distancing, etc or?

25 minutes ago, Bluegoat said:

 

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.

 

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

Is that really true? Are those who are staying home, using contactless delivery for groceries or shopping with social distancing and mask wearing, disinfecting what comes into the house or leaving it outside for the appropriate period of time, etc still"likely" to catch it ? If so, what happens to the idea of protecting the most vulnerable - if those are the things we want them to do?

19 minutes ago, SKL said:

This may depend on the age and life situation of the individual.  For older people, church is a much bigger proportion of their social life, and also it is more relevant spiritually as they get into their later years.  I'm very thankful for online church, but it definitely doesn't take the place of in person church.  For one thing, a lot of people take communion very seriously, and that isn't happening.  I have noticed about twice as many people attend communion services than non-communion services in my church.  It matters.

Again, I'm not saying open up TODAY, I'm saying people should not be dismissive of the importance of church (or other communal worship) to many people.

I don't think those saying church needs to wait are being dismissive of the importance of church. 

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1 hour 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.

 

Afaik, that is true for USA.  

Other parts of world have done things differently. For example, Saudi Arabia, iirc, very specifically shut down religious worship sites that attract pilgrims from all over the world. 

I have no idea about Canada approach, or many other places. 

 

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1 hour ago, Joker said:

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.

 

? 2 dead children this week? I haven’t seen that. Or adult children? 

 

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12 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

Is that really true? Are those who are staying home, using contactless delivery for groceries or shopping with social distancing and mask wearing, disinfecting what comes into the house or leaving it outside for the appropriate period of time, etc still"likely" to catch it ? If so, what happens to the idea of protecting the most vulnerable - if those are the things we want them to do?

I would like to know this also.

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49 minutes ago, Bluegoat said:

 

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.  

 

Quote

People modelling how the common cold behaves are also going to count on everyone getting it eventually because that's just realistic.  

 

Analogy of CV19 to common cold seems even even more troubling than to ordinary yearly influenza. 

 

 

Quote

 

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.

 

Same as you cautioned people that USA is not whole world, neither is your local area.  It is really interesting to hear what is going on in other places, and I am sort of shocked that Canadians would be treating health care workers badly .  But your experience is not a given.   Where I am there have been no reports of problems for health care workers with housing, and public schools are providing day care for children of essential workers—with longer time and extending to pre school aged children who would not normally be at school. 

Obviously what is happening where I am no more applies to where you are than vice versa.

But I’d like to see better strategies from one place get adopted by another — instead of a race for bottom. 

Quote

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

 

I agree.  

I wonder if returning to some washable gowns etc would be helpful. Gowns, scrubs, overwear... for the staff...     

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18 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

Ok, but where does social distancing, mask wearing, having easy access to hand sanitizer, working from home, etc fit into that spectrum? I'm truly not getting if people are suggesting we stop wearing masks, stop doing social distancing, etc or?

Is that really true? Are those who are staying home, using contactless delivery for groceries or shopping with social distancing and mask wearing, disinfecting what comes into the house or leaving it outside for the appropriate period of time, etc still"likely" to catch it ? If so, what happens to the idea of protecting the most vulnerable - if those are the things we want them to do?

I don't think those saying church needs to wait are being dismissive of the importance of church. 

 

Well, it's what most jurisdictions are anticipating even with the social distancing measures. They are still expecting to have a herd immunity situation at the end of it, so something like 80% or more who have caught it.

The most vulnerable people, ie people on immuno-suppresent drugs and the very fragile, those in care homes, etc are here not being told to do just those things. They are being told that if they want to avoid infection they need to completely quarantine. For example if their spouse goes out to do the shopping, they need to social distance from their spouse in their own home.  That's not what the public is being told to do, it's what the doctors are telling them privately and how they are managing the care homes. (Although the latter isn't working well because they can't make the workers live in.)

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7 minutes ago, Pen said:

 

 

Analogy of CV19 to common cold seems even even more troubling than to ordinary yearly influenza. 

 

 

 

Same as you cautioned people that USA is not whole world, neither is your local area.  It is really interesting to hear what is going on in other places, and I am sort of shocked that Canadians would be treating health care workers badly .  But your experience is not a given.   Where I am there have been no reports of problems for health care workers with housing, and public schools are providing day care for children of essential workers—with longer time and extending to pre school aged children who would not normally be at school. 

Obviously what is happening where I am no more applies to where you are than vice versa.

But I’d like to see better strategies from one place get adopted by another — instead of a race for bottom. 

 

I agree.  

I wonder if returning to some washable gowns etc would be helpful. Gowns, scrubs, overwear... for the staff...     

 

Sure, I'm not suggesting that it is a given.  Local situation plus what you might call national character plays a role. I was really just saying that here, the impression many people seem to have is that the measures are meant to prevent transmission altogether. When I've talked to people on the US or UK, there seems to be a similar group of people who are understanding it the same way - their response might be different, but that seems to be the impression a lot of people are getting from the way things are being described.

 

ETA: I think your idea about washable stuff is interesting. At the moment their might not be the infrastructure to manage the washing - I'm not sure.  But in general I think there has been a really significant demonstration that global supply lines and dependence on disposable items of all kinds are not as reliable as people have felt.

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53 minutes ago, Bluegoat said:

 

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.

I see your point. This is so much more difficult given the current 'climate' in the world (in the US specifically). Flattening the curve to not overwhelm our healthcare system with a goal of herd immunity requires trust in our institutions, news media, and each other. 

A goal of herd immunity requires the majority of us to go into the world assuming that we'll get it and will be fine. That means that we must trust those (who?) telling us that having COVID will neither kill us nor cause long term complications that might shorten our lives. That's difficult for many of us in the US because we've received such bad information during this crisis from our government and the media. Who do we trust? 

I know that my personal risk is low. I know my daughter's risk is almost zero. My husband is higher risk because he's male and had a very serious case of pneumonia as a child. But his risk is still probably relatively low. Even though I'm relatively sure that our risk is low, I think I'm a bit skeptical because I can't forget everyone who assured me that this was "just like the flu." And most of these people didn't understand that the flu is actually serious and kills people. 

I'm sure some people struggle with the same skepticism based on the models. I didn't pay that much attention to the reporting about the models so I don't know how they were explained. I know that the media generally does a pretty bad job of reporting on medicine and science. Look at heart disease. One day we see a news article with a headline claiming that we should become vegan because of X and Y study. The new day there's a different article claiming that doctors say we should not eat grains because of A and B study. Who do you trust? 

This is not simple to understand and most of us must rely on someone else to interpret the data for us. Who do we trust? That's a partisan decision in the USA. 

We also come to this with preconceived notions. If you want everything to go back to normal, I think you're probably more likely to believe the risk is low because you need to believe that. 

This is the perfect storm for the world today and particularly for the US. It highlights every crack in our system. 

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9 minutes ago, Bluegoat said:

Well, it's what most jurisdictions are anticipating even with the social distancing measures. They are still expecting to have a herd immunity situation at the end of it, so something like 80% or more who have caught it.

80% of the US population is over 260 million people. Even if we somehow manage to "protect the most vulnerable" and bring the fatality rate down to 0.75%, that's 2 million deaths. Even if we could somehow manage to spread out those deaths evenly throughout an entire year (which of course is impossible), that's 5,500 deaths PER DAY in the US for an entire year. No matter how much PPE we have, no matter how many ventilators US hospitals have, there is no way the US healthcare system can handle 2 million pandemic deaths in a single year.

Are people who are advocating the "herd immunity ASAP" approach just not doing the math? I am seriously confused as to how people can advocate a "solution" that results in 2 million deaths in a year and think that will not overwhelm the hospitals, destroy the economy, and totally freak people out???

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I am a little perplexed by the church discussion.  Are churches really going to reopen anytime soon, even if groups are legally permitted?  What are more centralized denominations, like the Catholic Church and the LDS Church doing?

I saw a report today that all synagogues in the United States are legally closed, regardless of what the law in their jurisdiction happens to be.  At this point they are staying closed as a matter of Jewish law more than US law.  All synagogues in Israel are closed on the basis of both secular and Jewish law.  There are other synagogues scattered around the world, of course, but I seriously doubt any are open.  

The general assumption among people I know is that synagogues will stay closed for a very long time, possibly until there is a vaccine or at least a major advance in how this virus is controlled/treated.  It is devastating to Jewish communal life, obviously, and I personally find it extremely painful, as do countless others, but I think we're just in one of those periods of Jewish history when we don't get to be together.  At least this time it's because of a general threat and not because we are being persecuted.

 

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3 minutes ago, Corraleno said:

80% of the US population is over 260 million people. Even if we somehow manage to "protect the most vulnerable" and bring the fatality rate down to 0.75%, that's 2 million deaths. Even if we could somehow manage to spread out those deaths evenly throughout an entire year (which of course is impossible), that's 5,500 deaths PER DAY in the US for an entire year. No matter how much PPE we have, no matter how many ventilators US hospitals have, there is no way the US healthcare system can handle 2 million pandemic deaths in a single year.

Are people who are advocating the "herd immunity ASAP" approach just not doing the math? I am seriously confused as to how people can advocate a "solution" that results in 2 million deaths in a year and think that will not overwhelm the hospitals, destroy the economy, and totally freak people out???

 

It's not really an "even if" discussion though. What's the other option? It's not under our control, it's a virus.  Even with people washing hands, working at home, not travelling, and all the rest, there is still transmission.  

Are you suggesting we go for a complete quarantine until, and if, we manage to find a vaccine?  

It seems to me like you are saying that because this is too many deaths, we can't allow that, but I'm not sure why you think we can control it.  We don't manage to control many illnesses. And how would you plan to manage the problems created by maintaining long term social isolation?  If that is what you are advocating you have to account for that end of it too.

With a larger population their will be a larger number of deaths, that's the math as you say, but do you really think places with a smaller population are in a different situation? They have fewer resources.  

 

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4 hours ago, Valley Girl said:

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...

It makes me laugh a bit when posters say that in a way that throws fuel on the fire. I’m pretty sure it takes 2 to have those kinds of discussions.

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47 minutes ago, Innisfree said:

I would like to know this also.

 

So, I've asked my relative just now what the numbers they are anticipating are.

He said 30% of the population in the next year, 60% in the next apox. 24 months.  

But a lot will depend on whether there is immunity, and that will become clearer as they begin to open things up again.  Also, it's possible a second or third wave of infection might be worse than the first.

If there is total immunity, some of the models say that after the initial group of those who become ill die, there will be a general population immunity, the virus will just be around but most will be immune.

If there is no immunity, or partial immunity like the flu, it will probably come and go, maybe seasonally.  The only option would be measures that can be sustained long term to reduce chance of illness, and hope for some sort of vaccination or other way to control it to emerge. 

But in any case planning needs to watch carefully what happens as they begin to open things up in order to decide what to do next.

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22 minutes ago, JennyD said:

I am a little perplexed by the church discussion.  Are churches really going to reopen anytime soon, even if groups are legally permitted?  What are more centralized denominations, like the Catholic Church and the LDS Church doing?

I saw a report today that all synagogues in the United States are legally closed, regardless of what the law in their jurisdiction happens to be.  At this point they are staying closed as a matter of Jewish law more than US law.  All synagogues in Israel are closed on the basis of both secular and Jewish law.  There are other synagogues scattered around the world, of course, but I seriously doubt any are open.  

The general assumption among people I know is that synagogues will stay closed for a very long time, possibly until there is a vaccine or at least a major advance in how this virus is controlled/treated.  It is devastating to Jewish communal life, obviously, and I personally find it extremely painful, as do countless others, but I think we're just in one of those periods of Jewish history when we don't get to be together.  At least this time it's because of a general threat and not because we are being persecuted.

 

 

Most churches here closed, or as good as closed, before restrictions on meetings. Restrictions are that no groups larger than 5 and two meters apart, some some churches are having tiny services (like, minister and organist or something like that) and broadcasting them, or even just doing them without broadcasting them.

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14 minutes ago, Bluegoat said:

 

It's not really an "even if" discussion though. What's the other option? It's not under our control, it's a virus.  Even with people washing hands, working at home, not travelling, and all the rest, there is still transmission.  

Are you suggesting we go for a complete quarantine until, and if, we manage to find a vaccine?  

It seems to me like you are saying that because this is too many deaths, we can't allow that, but I'm not sure why you think we can control it.  We don't manage to control many illnesses. And how would you plan to manage the problems created by maintaining long term social isolation?  If that is what you are advocating you have to account for that end of it too.

With a larger population their will be a larger number of deaths, that's the math as you say, but do you really think places with a smaller population are in a different situation? They have fewer resources.  

 

Of course there are options besides the extremes of total quarantine and "let it rip."

It seems that lot of people thought "flattening the curve" was a short-term, one-time thing, and then its back to normal. "Back to normal" will very quickly overwhelm the medical system. The lock down was designed to get things under control before we had bodies piled up in the street, but until there is a vaccine or much better treatments, there is going to be some level of "not normal." No it won't be a total lockdown, businesses will gradually reopen with various measures in place to minimize risk, and people will need to continue a certain level of social distancing, mask wearing, etc.  But the idea that the only "real option" is that we sequester the elderly and let everyone else catch it so we can get to herd immunity ASAP is NOT viable. Two million deaths will cause far more economic disruption — not to mention psychological trauma — than continuing some level of social distancing until we get a vaccine or much better treatment options.

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1 hour ago, Lady Florida. said:

I think you're right. Many restaurants in my area had gone to pick up and delivery only even before our governor gave the stay at home order. I have a feeling that if he opens the state back up many will continue to do so at least for a while.  

Locally, many chefs are deciding to close restaurants than to do takeouts because they fear that their employees and themselves (most of whom do not have good health insurance) will catch this virus and die. A few of them even wrote emails to their customers saying that they are only Chefs and not health experts and that they do not understand how this virus works and that they do not want to risk the lives of their employees by staying open.

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1 hour ago, Corraleno said:

Does anyone know how these children contracted Covid? Was it from their parent? It makes me a bit nervous because I thought that if we were really careful and took good precautions we wouldn’t bring it home from work. I realize that if I contract it at work I can pass it on. Were the parents sick? I couldn’t see that it said those kinds of details in the article.

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32 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I see your point. This is so much more difficult given the current 'climate' in the world (in the US specifically). Flattening the curve to not overwhelm our healthcare system with a goal of herd immunity requires trust in our institutions, news media, and each other. 

A goal of herd immunity requires the majority of us to go into the world assuming that we'll get it and will be fine. That means that we must trust those (who?) telling us that having COVID will neither kill us nor cause long term complications that might shorten our lives. That's difficult for many of us in the US because we've received such bad information during this crisis from our government and the media. Who do we trust? 

I know that my personal risk is low. I know my daughter's risk is almost zero. My husband is higher risk because he's male and had a very serious case of pneumonia as a child. But his risk is still probably relatively low. Even though I'm relatively sure that our risk is low, I think I'm a bit skeptical because I can't forget everyone who assured me that this was "just like the flu." And most of these people didn't understand that the flu is actually serious and kills people. 

I'm sure some people struggle with the same skepticism based on the models. I didn't pay that much attention to the reporting about the models so I don't know how they were explained. I know that the media generally does a pretty bad job of reporting on medicine and science. Look at heart disease. One day we see a news article with a headline claiming that we should become vegan because of X and Y study. The new day there's a different article claiming that doctors say we should not eat grains because of A and B study. Who do you trust? 

This is not simple to understand and most of us must rely on someone else to interpret the data for us. Who do we trust? That's a partisan decision in the USA. 

We also come to this with preconceived notions. If you want everything to go back to normal, I think you're probably more likely to believe the risk is low because you need to believe that. 

This is the perfect storm for the world today and particularly for the US. It highlights every crack in our system. 

 

I think you are right about lack of trust in the information. It's become a problem in so many areas.  And lack of trust in government tends to cause elevated reactions and I think contributes toward things like hoarding. If you can't trust the larger social structure it quickly becomes every person for themselves.

I'm not sure it's all about trusting that most will be fine if they get sick though that must help a lot.  But I think the people I know who are most calm see it more in terms of - there are many things I could die from, and this is just one of them, one day, it will be one thing or another.  To some extent that's personality I guess, that's a very phlegmatic response. But it might also depend in part to the larger social attitude about things like healthcare and death, and also the way those things are supported in the larger culture.

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54 minutes ago, Bluegoat said:

 

 

ETA: I think your idea about washable stuff is interesting. At the moment their might not be the infrastructure to manage the washing - I'm not sure.  But in general I think there has been a really significant demonstration that global supply lines and dependence on disposable items of all kinds are not as reliable as people have felt.

We are using washable gowns at work but we still have a manageable caseload. Don’t know how it would work if we had more patients.

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2 minutes ago, TCB said:

Does anyone know how these children contracted Covid? Was it from their parent? It makes me a bit nervous because I thought that if we were really careful and took good precautions we wouldn’t bring it home from work. I realize that if I contract it at work I can pass it on. Were the parents sick? I couldn’t see that it said those kinds of details in the article.

I don't know about the baby, but both parents of the 5 year old may have had it: 

"While it’s still unclear how Skylar contracted the coronavirus, both of her parents have experienced virus symptoms, with her father recently overcoming a fever and pneumonia. Her mother says that she recently lost her sense of taste and smell around March 20, which data suggests is a symptom of the virus."

 

 

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56 minutes ago, Bluegoat said:

 

Well, it's what most jurisdictions are anticipating even with the social distancing measures. They are still expecting to have a herd immunity situation at the end of it, so something like 80% or more who have caught it.

The most vulnerable people, ie people on immuno-suppresent drugs and the very fragile, those in care homes, etc are here not being told to do just those things. They are being told that if they want to avoid infection they need to completely quarantine. For example if their spouse goes out to do the shopping, they need to social distance from their spouse in their own home.  That's not what the public is being told to do, it's what the doctors are telling them privately and how they are managing the care homes. (Although the latter isn't working well because they can't make the workers live in.)

I'm not sure that having husband shop and then distance from him in the house is really that different from what I said, delivery with no contact, and then disinfecting the items. For people staying home, not going to stores at all or interacting with those going to stores, or at minimum wearing masks and social distancing  the few times they must go out, likely to catch it? Because if they are, I don't see how the vulnerable can be protected at all and the entire idea is just lip service. 

And if they are not, then are you saying that people like my family - husband can work from home, we have good grocery delivery services if not perfect, we are doing minimal outside the house things and only if masked and 6 ft or more of distance (say a trip to one store to get items we cant' get elsewhere once a week or less), curbside delivery for needed medication/veterinary treatment, etc - are people like that still likely to get it in the next several months? And if not, are you saying that we should stop doing those things, from a public health standpoint, and go out and shop and socialize in order to get the country to herd immunity so the elderly and immune compromised can go out?

33 minutes ago, Corraleno said:

80% of the US population is over 260 million people. Even if we somehow manage to "protect the most vulnerable" and bring the fatality rate down to 0.75%, that's 2 million deaths. Even if we could somehow manage to spread out those deaths evenly throughout an entire year (which of course is impossible), that's 5,500 deaths PER DAY in the US for an entire year. No matter how much PPE we have, no matter how many ventilators US hospitals have, there is no way the US healthcare system can handle 2 million pandemic deaths in a single year.

Are people who are advocating the "herd immunity ASAP" approach just not doing the math? I am seriously confused as to how people can advocate a "solution" that results in 2 million deaths in a year and think that will not overwhelm the hospitals, destroy the economy, and totally freak people out???

Yes. I've seen the math they did a while back on that, and it wasn't pretty. Which is why we didn't go with that option of just protect the vulnerable from the beginning. If that idea isn't working for other places, and we didn't think it would work here in the beginning of this, why do we think it is a good idea now?

32 minutes ago, JennyD said:

I am a little perplexed by the church discussion.  Are churches really going to reopen anytime soon, even if groups are legally permitted?  What are more centralized denominations, like the Catholic Church and the LDS Church doing?

I saw a report today that all synagogues in the United States are legally closed, regardless of what the law in their jurisdiction happens to be.  At this point they are staying closed as a matter of Jewish law more than US law.  All synagogues in Israel are closed on the basis of both secular and Jewish law.  There are other synagogues scattered around the world, of course, but I seriously doubt any are open.  

The general assumption among people I know is that synagogues will stay closed for a very long time, possibly until there is a vaccine or at least a major advance in how this virus is controlled/treated.  It is devastating to Jewish communal life, obviously, and I personally find it extremely painful, as do countless others, but I think we're just in one of those periods of Jewish history when we don't get to be together.  At least this time it's because of a general threat and not because we are being persecuted.

 

The local Catholic church, my old parish was the very last to shut down, only when it became mandatory. Same with my Episcopal parish. Some churches in the state continued in defiance of the law even afterward. 

17 minutes ago, Bluegoat said:

 

It's not really an "even if" discussion though. What's the other option? It's not under our control, it's a virus.  Even with people washing hands, working at home, not travelling, and all the rest, there is still transmission.  

Are you suggesting we go for a complete quarantine until, and if, we manage to find a vaccine?  

It seems to me like you are saying that because this is too many deaths, we can't allow that, but I'm not sure why you think we can control it.  We don't manage to control many illnesses. And how would you plan to manage the problems created by maintaining long term social isolation?  If that is what you are advocating you have to account for that end of it too.

With a larger population their will be a larger number of deaths, that's the math as you say, but do you really think places with a smaller population are in a different situation? They have fewer resources.  

 

I'm curious would you say this if this had a much much higher fatality rate? Is that rate a factor in this?

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8 minutes ago, mathnerd said:

Locally, many chefs are deciding to close restaurants than to do takeouts because they fear that their employees and themselves (most of whom do not have good health insurance) will catch this virus and die. A few of them even wrote emails to their customers saying that they are only Chefs and not health experts and that they do not understand how this virus works and that they do not want to risk the lives of their employees by staying open.

One more reason I keep thinking that having more data on how this is and is not transmitted and how best to protect against transmission will make a huge difference. In just a matter of weeks we went from thinking that it was mostly transferred via surfaces (door knobs and such) to having most of a choir get it via airborne transmission. That kind of knowledge is important, and has taken weeks not years. 

8 minutes ago, TCB said:

Does anyone know how these children contracted Covid? Was it from their parent? It makes me a bit nervous because I thought that if we were really careful and took good precautions we wouldn’t bring it home from work. I realize that if I contract it at work I can pass it on. Were the parents sick? I couldn’t see that it said those kinds of details in the article.

If you get it, and don't have symptoms, you could pass it on is my understanding. 

8 minutes ago, Bluegoat said:

 

I think you are right about lack of trust in the information. It's become a problem in so many areas.  And lack of trust in government tends to cause elevated reactions and I think contributes toward things like hoarding. If you can't trust the larger social structure it quickly becomes every person for themselves.

I'm not sure it's all about trusting that most will be fine if they get sick though that must help a lot.  But I think the people I know who are most calm see it more in terms of - there are many things I could die from, and this is just one of them, one day, it will be one thing or another.  To some extent that's personality I guess, that's a very phlegmatic response. But it might also depend in part to the larger social attitude about things like healthcare and death, and also the way those things are supported in the larger culture.

Sure....but we take precautions against those things we could die of. We get vaccines, we wear a seatbelt and follow traffic laws, we mandate building code and fire codes, etc. We don't just say, well, I'll probably be hit by a car at some point, so I'm not going to worry about looking both ways before I cross the street. 

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4 minutes ago, Corraleno said:

Of course there are options besides the extremes of total quarantine and "let it rip."

It seems that lot of people thought "flattening the curve" was a short-term, one-time thing, and then its back to normal. "Back to normal" will very quickly overwhelm the medical system. The lock down was designed to get things under control before we had bodies piled up in the street, but until there is a vaccine or much better treatments, there is going to be some level of "not normal." No it won't be a total lockdown, businesses will gradually reopen with various measures in place to minimize risk, and people will need to continue a certain level of social distancing, mask wearing, etc.  But the idea that the only "real option" is that we sequester the elderly and let everyone else catch it so we can get to herd immunity ASAP is NOT viable. Two million deaths will cause far more economic disruption — not to mention psychological trauma — than continuing some level of social distancing until we get a vaccine or much better treatment options.

 

Look, I am not sure what you are arguing here. Herd immunity at a level that doesn't overwhelm health care means not so many dead at once, that's the point. No one is saying that some measures won't carry on, but they are not going to be able to be maintained at the higher level they have been long term. And that means there will still be transmission, more than under current restrictions, until either there is vaccination, or immunity, or maybe we will have to get used to them permannenly. Keep in mind that the most significant restrictions may be the ones it's most difficult to keep up long term.

But you do realise how that impacts those who have been told they need to be sequestered? And what if there is no vaccine, or much better treatment options? Do you want them to come out, knowing that if they catch it they will almost certainly die? Some people have called this the "sacrifice the elderly" approach. It may be that its the only realistic option if it becomes simply a regular yearly infection, but I am struggling how anyone is seeing is as evidence of being kinder.

 

 

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1 minute ago, Ktgrok said:

If you get it, and don't have symptoms, you could pass it on is my understanding. 

That part is bad enough for sure. I suddenly had some horror that they brought it home on themselves or their clothing etc,  despite taking precautions. 

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1 minute ago, Bluegoat said:

 

Look, I am not sure what you are arguing here. Herd immunity at a level that doesn't overwhelm health care means not so many dead at once, that's the point. No one is saying that some measures won't carry on, but they are not going to be able to be maintained at the higher level they have been long term. And that means there will still be transmission, more than under current restrictions, until either there is vaccination, or immunity, or maybe we will have to get used to them permannenly. Keep in mind that the most significant restrictions may be the ones it's most difficult to keep up long term.

But you do realise how that impacts those who have been told they need to be sequestered? And what if there is no vaccine, or much better treatment options? Do you want them to come out, knowing that if they catch it they will almost certainly die? Some people have called this the "sacrifice the elderly" approach. It may be that its the only realistic option if it becomes simply a regular yearly infection, but I am struggling how anyone is seeing is as evidence of being kinder.

This conversation is becoming truly surreal to me. 

You say herd immunity requires 80% infected.
80% infected = 2 million deaths even if we manage to reduce the fatality rate below 1%
2 million deaths spread out over an entire year will STILL overwhelm the health care system and lead to huge economic disruptions.

Are you're saying 2 million deaths and an overwhelmed healthcare system is just the price we have to pay because it's really hard for old people to be shut away for a year, so trying to prevent 2 million deaths and an overwhelmed healthcare system = a "sacrifice the elderly approach"???

So the alternative is to squeeze the 2 million deaths into 6 months, with 11,000 deaths per day (as if that wouldn't result in bodies in the streets), so old people only have to stay sequestered for 6 months, which would be "kinder"???

I am genuinely not following the logic here. 

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8 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

I'm not sure that having husband shop and then distance from him in the house is really that different from what I said, delivery with no contact, and then disinfecting the items. For people staying home, not going to stores at all or interacting with those going to stores, or at minimum wearing masks and social distancing  the few times they must go out, likely to catch it? Because if they are, I don't see how the vulnerable can be protected at all and the entire idea is just lip service. 

 

I don't mean distancing just after he shops, I mean distancing from him altogether.  As in, you don't touch him at all, you don't get closer than six feet from him, you don't sleep in the same bed. Some health care workers here, if they have vulnerable family members, are living separately in airbnbs, not seeing their kids.

Most people who are just higher risk, say with obesity, or asthma, aren't doing that stuff. But for the most vulnerable that's the recommendation.  I don't know if it amounts to lip service, but that level of isolation can really only be maintained for a short time IMO, some may not be willing to do it at all.  I think what gets a little lost sometimes is that those people are already at high risk to die of some infection, but then you essentially are having to tell them you can't do anything for them.

Quote

I'm curious would you say this if this had a much much higher fatality rate? Is that rate a factor in this?

 

I'm not sure fatality rate alone is what is in question. It's more what difference can you make by acting, and what are the trade-offs (like fatalities caused by the measures.).  I suppose we could have a highly contagious virus that kills 50% of us come up next week, if we do the maximum possible (whatever that is) and it prevented most of those deaths, we'd still have to ask how long they would be sustainable, and eventually settle for something less. And that still might be "too many" deaths.  

 

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Even if people mostly shelter at home and only go out when they need to, and to go for walks and such, having that much less contact with people means less people will get it. The less people who have it, the less people they can spread to, and so on. IF Covid can not be gotten twice, then I think our objective should be to flatten the curve. If it can be gotten twice, then our objective should be to get rid of it. 

I think in areas with low rates of infection could lighten up a lot on the restrictions. But I also think the areas with high rates of infection should keep strict restrictions. Meanwhile, Michigan and Vermont...what the heck? That is just over the top what is going on there.  By lighten up restrictions, I do not mean suddenly drop them. I would propose that there be limits to number of people in places. Right now, our community center can be so packed that it is not safe to be there with no diseases. Places should be limited for the number of people to the point where people would generally remain a distance from each other just because of how few people are there. I would think pretty much all retail could open and just limit the number of people inside or at the place. Fire limits are not good enough. I am talking maybe a tenth of the people that fire regulations would allow. It would not be practical to reopen college dorms where people have to share bathrooms or living space. And public schools could most certainly keep classes online but allow kids to come in who need special therapies.  I know some schools have small classrooms and pack the kids in with barely any room to move around. And kids would be counted truant if they did not go, so we need to keep those legally closed. And as far as employers go, those employers should have to prove the person needs to be in person to do the work. My husband's company already announced that everyone will have to come in as soon as the restrictions are lifted. This is nuts because he is a software developer. There is no point to being there in person. I have a neighbor who works in accounting who has been told the same thing, even though he says unless there is a luncheon or something, he never interacts with anyone so not actual need for him to be there.  I just do not think employers or schools or such will be willing to work with people if they want to continue to stay home if they don't have to. It sucks that the government has to do what they have done, but I think it has protected a lot of people. Some people keep saying "but what about mental health?" Well, what about it? Some people are getting depressed from being home, but some people are having less mental health problems. Some people are having less problems due to better air quality. Less people are dying in car accidents. Even the crime rates have dropped. People don't seem to be talking about the side effects of the quarantine, but there are some good things. I know I am going off on a tangent...but I can see families spending time together who never did before, or rarely did before. I can see parents who really thought they would not be able to handle time with their kids all day, and now they have found they can. Also, in addition to not getting Covid, there are other illnesses people are not getting. 

Okay, I was all over the place, sorry about that. But I hope I have managed to communicate what I wanted to. 

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13 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

Sure....but we take precautions against those things we could die of. We get vaccines, we wear a seatbelt and follow traffic laws, we mandate building code and fire codes, etc. We don't just say, well, I'll probably be hit by a car at some point, so I'm not going to worry about looking both ways before I cross the street. 

We take what we deem are reasonable precautions.  Many of us wear seatbelts, but we do not require them on school busses.  We have laws about tailgating, but we do not wait until we research and develop cars that will automatically break and maintain distance before we get into automobiles.  We don't wait for more research on what particular pavement and striping colors could reduce deaths.  We don't wait until we have barriers between lanes and highway entrances too ensure social distancing of automobiles.  We don't even take some precautions, such as forbidding certain color automobiles on the road because it has been shown by safety experts that they are more likely to be in accidents.  

It is not about not taking precautions with COVID-19, or any other illness.  It is a question about what are reasonable precautions with the information we have today.

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20 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

 

Sure....but we take precautions against those things we could die of. We get vaccines, we wear a seatbelt and follow traffic laws, we mandate building code and fire codes, etc. We don't just say, well, I'll probably be hit by a car at some point, so I'm not going to worry about looking both ways before I cross the street. 

 

Yeah, that's not really what I was suggesting, it was a follow on from the post I was responding to which was about how people behave. 

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41 minutes ago, TCB said:

Does anyone know how these children contracted Covid? Was it from their parent? It makes me a bit nervous because I thought that if we were really careful and took good precautions we wouldn’t bring it home from work. I realize that if I contract it at work I can pass it on. Were the parents sick? I couldn’t see that it said those kinds of details in the article.

This Chicago woman caught Covid at the nursing home where she worked and then spread it to her husband and 20 y.o. son. She and the son have both died and the husband was critically ill but is now recovering in a rehab center.

https://abc7chicago.com/coronavirus-chicago-deaths-mother-son-die/6127823/

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12 minutes ago, Corraleno said:

This conversation is becoming truly surreal to me. 

You say herd immunity requires 80% infected.
80% infected = 2 million deaths even if we manage to reduce the fatality rate below 1%
2 million deaths spread out over an entire year will STILL overwhelm the health care system and lead to huge economic disruptions.

Are you're saying 2 million deaths and an overwhelmed healthcare system is just the price we have to pay because it's really hard for old people to be shut away for a year, so trying to prevent 2 million deaths and an overwhelmed healthcare system = a "sacrifice the elderly approach"???

So the alternative is to squeeze the 2 million deaths into 6 months, with 11,000 deaths per day (as if that wouldn't result in bodies in the streets), so old people only have to stay sequestered for 6 months, which would be "kinder"???

I am genuinely not following the logic here. 

 

No, what I've said, from the beginning, and more than once, is that the goal is to flatten the curve in order to not overwhelm health services, until there is herd immunity, and that it is not good for those with serious risk factors, as well as for many other reasons, to try and flatten it beyond that.  And that the goal is herd immunity if it is possible, and that if so the expectation is that about 80% of people will have to have the virus to achieve that.

How long that would mean spreading it out is unclear and will depend on your health services anyway. I suggested a few posts back that the planners here are anticipating 30% exposure this year, and I think they are satisfied they can manage that. However if they couldnt it doesn't necessarily mean that they could keep strict measures in place for longer to compensate.

Again - the OP asked, is the goal herd immunity, or is it elimination, and are people starting to think it is the latter, and are any governments saying that.  Elimination isn't an option in most places, was my answer, and some people do seem to be thinking it is the goal, but governments generally are not saying that.

 

 

 

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The more I read this thread the more I feel like people (myself included) are just not used to death as a part of life. Death is horrible. Most of us now living have not been touched by an event that causes widespread death like this, be it war or disease or other disaster. I think that is unique for human history, and even unique to the developed world to some extent. I feel like most of us want to say we can just do this for a couple more weeks and we'll have a handle on this. Part of that is that many of the restrictions were put in place for 14 days initially and it felt like, "ok! We can do this!" and that is fading into a bleak reality for some that just two more weeks is not every going to fix this. There's also the curve graphs that go back down to zero, coupled with the fact that China started reporting zero new cases at some point. 

Two million people dying is a lot. It is a hard thing to wrap one's mind around, though I think it is drastically more difficult for people around age 50 and younger because we have been sheltered from death and disease like no other generations previous. I don't know. I think any analysis just on the math sounds callous, but it would be a lot worse if this happened even 50 years ago. 100 years ago? 200 years ago? 

I know people will say this is me writing off 2 million deaths without caring. That's not what I'm saying. I'm saying that we have been, as a society, incredibly fortunate and for large parts of history, much worse outcomes than this would be just a part of life and death and grief. And I don't think we can really escape this thing by hunkering down, but I think that was the messaging we started with, so any spike in cases seems like a failure of policy instead of a virus doing what a virus does among people who do need to go out and live in some way, even if severely minimized.

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28 minutes ago, Corraleno said:

Are you're saying 2 million deaths and an overwhelmed healthcare system is just the price we have to pay because it's really hard for old people to be shut away for a year, so trying to prevent 2 million deaths and an overwhelmed healthcare system = a "sacrifice the elderly approach"???

So the alternative is to squeeze the 2 million deaths into 6 months, with 11,000 deaths per day (as if that wouldn't result in bodies in the streets), so old people only have to stay sequestered for 6 months, which would be "kinder"???

Almost 3 million people died in the US in 2019, about 8,000 per day.

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1 hour ago, TCB said:

Does anyone know how these children contracted Covid? Was it from their parent? It makes me a bit nervous because I thought that if we were really careful and took good precautions we wouldn’t bring it home from work. I realize that if I contract it at work I can pass it on. Were the parents sick? I couldn’t see that it said those kinds of details in the article.

I got the impression that the parents may have got it in their line of work as first responders.  The 5-month-old had an existing heart condition that had already been a concern prior to her infection.  The 5-year-old developed meningitis - not much was said about how that happened.

I think that it's important to remember that their exposure had to have happened at least a month ago, and a lot has changed since then in terms of awareness and safety practices.

Edited by SKL
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1 hour ago, Bluegoat said:

 

Look, I am not sure what you are arguing here. Herd immunity at a level that doesn't overwhelm health care means not so many dead at once, that's the point. No one is saying that some measures won't carry on, but they are not going to be able to be maintained at the higher level they have been long term. And that means there will still be transmission, more than under current restrictions, until either there is vaccination, or immunity, or maybe we will have to get used to them permannenly. Keep in mind that the most significant restrictions may be the ones it's most difficult to keep up long term.

But you do realise how that impacts those who have been told they need to be sequestered? And what if there is no vaccine, or much better treatment options? Do you want them to come out, knowing that if they catch it they will almost certainly die? Some people have called this the "sacrifice the elderly" approach. It may be that its the only realistic option if it becomes simply a regular yearly infection, but I am struggling how anyone is seeing is as evidence of being kinder.

 

 

 

41 minutes ago, Bluegoat said:

 

I don't mean distancing just after he shops, I mean distancing from him altogether.  As in, you don't touch him at all, you don't get closer than six feet from him, you don't sleep in the same bed. Some health care workers here, if they have vulnerable family members, are living separately in airbnbs, not seeing their kids.

Most people who are just higher risk, say with obesity, or asthma, aren't doing that stuff. But for the most vulnerable that's the recommendation.  I don't know if it amounts to lip service, but that level of isolation can really only be maintained for a short time IMO, some may not be willing to do it at all.  I think what gets a little lost sometimes is that those people are already at high risk to die of some infection, but then you essentially are having to tell them you can't do anything for them.

 

I'm not sure fatality rate alone is what is in question. It's more what difference can you make by acting, and what are the trade-offs (like fatalities caused by the measures.).  I suppose we could have a highly contagious virus that kills 50% of us come up next week, if we do the maximum possible (whatever that is) and it prevented most of those deaths, we'd still have to ask how long they would be sustainable, and eventually settle for something less. And that still might be "too many" deaths.  

 

Again, I was suggesting delivery of groceries, etc, to avoid him shopping as well. That way she doesn't have to distance from him. 

Not that I guess that matters to the point I was trying to make. 

37 minutes ago, Bootsie said:

 

It is not about not taking precautions with COVID-19, or any other illness.  It is a question about what are reasonable precautions with the information we have today.

I'd say it is reasonable to take a few more weeks to get more data on how it is spread, how spread is best prevented, which social distancing measures are most important, what situations are more or less risky, etc. 

Others don't think so maybe. Or think that there is no way to learn much of use before most people have it. 

16 minutes ago, Bluegoat said:

 

No, what I've said, from the beginning, and more than once, is that the goal is to flatten the curve in order to not overwhelm health services, until there is herd immunity, and that it is not good for those with serious risk factors, as well as for many other reasons, to try and flatten it beyond that.  And that the goal is herd immunity if it is possible, and that if so the expectation is that about 80% of people will have to have the virus to achieve that.

How long that would mean spreading it out is unclear and will depend on your health services anyway. I suggested a few posts back that the planners here are anticipating 30% exposure this year, and I think they are satisfied they can manage that. However if they couldnt it doesn't necessarily mean that they could keep strict measures in place for longer to compensate.

Again - the OP asked, is the goal herd immunity, or is it elimination, and are people starting to think it is the latter, and are any governments saying that.  Elimination isn't an option in most places, was my answer, and some people do seem to be thinking it is the goal, but governments generally are not saying that.

 

 

 

Ok, so 30% this year, 30% next year, that's still below herd immunity, and now we are starting to come up to the point where a vaccine is a possibility. Not to mention that a year from now there may be much better, more targeted treatment guidelines, better testing, etc. 

And to keep it to 30%, do we need to keep up wth social distancing, masks, etc anyway? What measures keep us at 30% versus higher or lower?

(and for the record, I know the internet makes most questions seem snarky, but I'm seriously trying to understand what you are advocating)

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3 hours ago, EmseB said:

The more I read this thread the more I feel like people (myself included) are just not used to death as a part of life.

I think this is true. My parents are much more...accepting? philosophical? than I am. They are taking the vitamins I sent them and mom listened carefully when I told her to use the pulse oximeter that I ordered for them last week. They aren't being stupid, but they also aren't panicking.

We have been careful. We actually started staying home more than a week before it was suggested most places. We've been home for almost 6 weeks and it is just now hitting our area. We will continue at home until it peaks in our area. After that, we will widen our circle a bit. 

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18 minutes ago, Bluegoat said:

 

No, what I've said, from the beginning, and more than once, is that the goal is to flatten the curve in order to not overwhelm health services, until there is herd immunity, and that it is not good for those with serious risk factors, as well as for many other reasons, to try and flatten it beyond that.  And that the goal is herd immunity if it is possible, and that if so the expectation is that about 80% of people will have to have the virus to achieve that.

How long that would mean spreading it out is unclear and will depend on your health services anyway. I suggested a few posts back that the planners here are anticipating 30% exposure this year, and I think they are satisfied they can manage that. However if they couldnt it doesn't necessarily mean that they could keep strict measures in place for longer to compensate.

Again - the OP asked, is the goal herd immunity, or is it elimination, and are people starting to think it is the latter, and are any governments saying that.  Elimination isn't an option in most places, was my answer, and some people do seem to be thinking it is the goal, but governments generally are not saying that.

 So 30% per year means that the most likely way we eventually achieve herd immunity is... with a vaccine! Your repeated suggestions that we need to get to herd immunity "quickly" and not wait for a vaccine means we would have to compress 2 million deaths into less than a year. There is no way to do that without overwhelming the healthcare system. So what you have been arguing for is literally impossible — you cannot get to herd immunity in less than 2 years without overwhelming the healthcare system.

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6 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

Ok, so 30% this year, 30% next year, that's still below herd immunity, and now we are starting to come up to the point where a vaccine is a possibility. Not to mention that a year from now there may be much better, more targeted treatment guidelines, better testing, etc. 

And to keep it to 30%, do we need to keep up wth social distancing, masks, etc anyway? What measures keep us at 30% versus higher or lower?

Nobody knows, since nobody knows how many people have actually been infected, since we haven't had widespread testing yet. It's just starting here that they do some large scale random sampling in several cities in my state.

And the whole idea of herd immunity is based on the assumption that, once infected, people develop immunity. So far, there is no scientific evidence that people will indeed have lasting immunity.

Edited by regentrude
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15 minutes ago, SKL said:

I got the impression that the parents may have got it in their line of work as first responders.  The 5-month-old had an existing heart condition that had already been a concern prior to her infection.  The 5-year-old developed meningitis - not much was said about how that happened.

I think that it's important to remember that their exposure had to have happened at least a month ago, and a lot has changed in the past month.

Here's a harrowing account of a healthy 4 y.o. child who became critically ill from Covid. Mom is a physician and is warning parents to take the virus seriously.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8250707/Doctor-shares-shocking-video-4-year-old-son-struggling-breathe-contracting-coronavirus.html

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(Realized part of my last post got eaten...can't figure out how to get the quote back, so just sticking it here....but basically I was responding to the idea that there is little hope of anything other than herd immunity. )

I guess a lot of this is I have way more hope in the medical advances regarding this than you do? Not being snarky. I just have seen what we are learning just in a few weeks, and the incredibly fast movement toward vaccine ideas, with multiple ideas being tested at once, and advances being made in testing, and even lower tech things like realizing hey, this can cause low oxygen saturation before the patient appears that sick, so maybe if we can get people to test at home we can catch them earlier and treat them better before they are in the hospital, or the realization that we may need to be more vigilant about finding and treating coagulopathies in people that seem to have mild cases, to avoid strokes - we CAN do that - we have that technology - but we aren't looking yet because we are just getting our footing. 

I see a lot of advances happening in less than a year, personally, and am confident we will also develop alternate business ideas, etc as this progresses. Not saying keep everyone shut down, but if we make masks a fashion item, if we have restaurants who learn how to safely do carryout who transition to gourmet carryout, or all sorts of creative things - more outdoor movies, I don't know. Even right now restuarants are being creative and letting you buy not only cooked meals (which in some cases are not as good by the time they travel and cool) but also selling the components of the meal to cook at home. Maybe grocery stores will develop whole delivery schemes, or have more premade just heat and eat meals, etc. I think humans are resourceful little primates and necessity is the mother of invention. 

so yeah, I have a LOT more hope for advances than you do. 

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My best friend's mom is in the dying stage and she's basically drowning to death right now, but it isn't Covid19.  She's had cancer for some time and they didn't really expect her to live this long.  However, it is incredibly sad that she is not able to have her children near her at this time.  They are facetiming, but as her faculties fail one by one, that is not cutting it.  She's not able to die a peaceful death in these circumstances.  Once she passes, the family will not be able to do what families do after their beloved matriarch passes. 

I know this is not avoidable right now, but it's a huge loss that needs to be acknowledged.  This is not an OK situation for an indefinite time period.  When people talk about caring for the vulnerable among us, these considerations need to be part of the discussion.  Extending lockdowns or partial lockdowns will force many more lives to end this way.  Just at least be mindful of that.

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