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Is the goal FLATTEN THE CURVE or ELIMINATE COVID?


Ottakee
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6 minutes ago, Meriwether said:

I think this is true. My parents are much more...accepting? philosophical? that I am. They are taking the vitamins I sent them and mom listened careful 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. 

I am curious as to why you would be willing to widen your circle after it peaks.  If you are in an area where cases are rising so each day there are 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60 new cases.  It peaks at 60, then you have 58, 56, 54, 52, 50 new cases per day.  There are actually more new cases after the peak than before and a greater total number of people infected.  It just means that each of those people is no infecting, on average, less than one person.   

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1 minute ago, Bootsie said:

I am curious as to why you would be willing to widen your circle after it peaks.  If you are in an area where cases are rising so each day there are 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60 new cases.  It peaks at 60, then you have 58, 56, 54, 52, 50 new cases per day.  There are actually more new cases after the peak than before and a greater total number of people infected.  It just means that each of those people is no infecting, on average, less than one person.   

Because by then we'll have been home for more than two months, maybe three? Once we are clearly on the downhill side, I think we will get together with one other family who has kids my kids are friends with, so it isn't like we'll be going crazy with it. It will be summer and we can have them over for a cookout.

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4 hours ago, Mom2mthj said:

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.

From what I understand the other coronaviruses give short term immunity but it fades after a year or two.  So it may be like flu vax where you have to have it every year.  But this is one of the things they discuss 

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17 minutes ago, SKL said:

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.

I think here they are working on trying to change procedures around death/dying for this reason.  One family when through a similar thing.  I put this in a whole different league to going bowling or to the movies though.

There is also some nursing homes that have gone beyond requirements to lock visitors out completely.  Scomo (pm) Basically said if they don’t open up there will be a requirement put in place for them to allow visitors.  They will be able to make a request for a short term lockdown if necessary.  This comes in light of the elder abuse royal commission into nursing homes.

I don’t have a problem at all with relaxing measures like that or trying to achieve work arounds for them.   I also think some of our restrictions are kind of silly.  Relies who got married could only have themselves, 2 witnesses and a celebrant.  They couldn’t have their own immediate families that they live under the same roof with.  That’s where I feel like the arbitrary numbers are kind of a dumb.  A rule limiting funerals to parents and siblings and spouse or whatever would make more sense.  

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I can’t find the post to quote but the reason we can’t have visitors in hospital is not because of the lock down but is because of the virus. So getting rid of the lock down isn’t going to change the visiting situation if the virus is still around.

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2 hours 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.

Aren't you Canadian? Here in the USA, we have no safety net. That should make us more cautious about getting a virus that might have long term complications. 

1 hour 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. 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.

I get what you are trying to say here and I agree. I think that we don't appreciate the danger of a virus because vaccines and improvements in sanitation have significantly reduced the incidence of the diseases that always lurked in the background of human life. Most of us don't appreciate the work that was done to protect us. It wasn't something that just happened. Because we don't appreciate how we are protected we naively assume that we're safe from all viruses. 

But there's something about this that rubs me the wrong way. I know you're not saying that we just have to accept it and move on but some of the criticisms of the shutdown were essentially that. I'm thinking of the articles in First Things in particular. 

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6 minutes ago, kand said:

Right! And that drives home the point that a few weeks is a long time in the span of this disease. With how much we are learning every week, I have much optimism that people who contract this in the later stages of the pandemic will have better outcomes than those unfortunate to contract it early on.

You don't see doubling that as a HUGE deal? I don't think any of us can really even fathom what that scale of excess death every day would even look like. It would be totally out of control and we couldn't manage it whatsoever. There would be nowhere to put the deceased, much less the ill.

I agree it's true that most of us living now have not had to face widespread death. What I think is an even bigger factor is that many people haven't had to experience significant sacrifice and hardship, and they don't want to begin now. I still think it's best to think of this as a war. In wartime, you make sacrifices and it sucks, and you want it to be over. That doesn't mean that after a couple months you can just decide, "I'm done with this. It's too much to expect us to go on like this" and resume normal life while bombs are dropping all around. We don't have the luxury of deciding to be done on our own timetable, unfortunately. I'm on team science though, and I really have high hopes the smart people of this world are going to get us out of this eventually.

But there are about 54,000 people in the US who do not have the luxury of waiting even eight more weeks, hoping for team science to have a breakthrough, to hug their grandchild, or be with their sister, or many other things because they will be dead from other causes by then.   They know that they have today to live--they have no idea if they will have tomorrow.   

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My sister is a physician. She works in a hospital and was allowed to do most of her patient consults via telemedicine. She's been told to return to the hospital and is very close to leaving her job because they do not have N95 masks. Her hospital only tests patients with symptoms. The results are not immediately available so my sister will see the patient before she knows whether the patient is actually positive. 

I doubt most Americans understand how this crisis has affected physicians and nurses, especially younger ones in the first decade of their career. They are extremely disillusioned. They believe that they are being asked to risk their lives by seeing patients without adequate protection. That their employers (hospital systems) are willing to sacrifice them for profit and to prevent bad press. There are many stories of physicians and nurses who were disciplined for speaking to the press about the actual conditions in their hospitals or for wearing their own masks. 

Many of these younger physicians and nurses (perhaps I should say most) have huge student debt. No one is talking about forgiving that debt. Some of these doctors chose to work for hospital systems so they could qualify for the loan forgiveness that was enacted under the Obama administration. Now we (or rather they) know that no one is actually qualifying for forgiveness. 

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9 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

Polio is withing the living memory of plenty of us, and it's within the 'I met people who suffered with polio as a child and got post-polio syndrome as adults' memory of more of us.

It's totally over-stated that 'we' have forgotten the 20th C, which brings with it a collective memory of incredible suffering, from war, genocide and disease.

Many of us have been dealing with the threat of antibiotic resistance for the last decade, and understanding what that means for our health, treatment and life expectancy.

In what world - even the Western world - are people sheltered absolutely from suffering? 

I reject this growing narrative that anyone who does't accept the inevitability of severe illness, disability and death from this virus is somehow spoiled, and out of touch with life's realities.

It's really so offensive (and it comes straight from Murdoch press).

 

 

 

Yes, those that have been paying attention have been waiting for something like this, or a bacterial strain we can't fight. But my money is on science, not just accepting it. 

5 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

My sister is a physician. She works in a hospital and was allowed to do most of her patient consults via telemedicine. She's been told to return to the hospital and is very close to leaving her job because they do not have N95 masks. Her hospital only tests patients with symptoms. The results are not immediately available so my sister will see the patient before she knows whether the patient is actually positive. 

I doubt most Americans understand how this crisis has affected physicians and nurses, especially younger ones in the first decade of their career. They are extremely disillusioned. They believe that they are being asked to risk their lives by seeing patients without adequate protection. That their employers (hospital systems) are willing to sacrifice them for profit and to prevent bad press. There are many stories of physicians and nurses who were disciplined for speaking to the press about the actual conditions in their hospitals or for wearing their own masks. 

Many of these younger physicians and nurses (perhaps I should say most) have huge student debt. No one is talking about forgiving that debt. Some of these doctors chose to work for hospital systems so they could qualify for the loan forgiveness that was enacted under the Obama administration. Now we (or rather they) know that no one is actually qualifying for forgiveness. 

My friend in a large university hospital is saying the same. I just sent her a mask as she gets one a week. They said since she's not down in the ER or on a Covid floor she doesn't need a mask - she only got that one a week from begging. She has asthma! She also was in a room with desks elbow to elbow, no social distancing, no masks, until she kicked up enough of a fit with HR - they moved her to a separate office due to her asthma and gave her her one a week mask, but the others are still in that room between patients, elbow to elbow. 

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4 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

Polio is withing the living memory of plenty of us, and it's within the 'I met people who suffered with polio as a child and got post-polio syndrome as adults' memory of more of us.

It's totally over-stated that 'we' have forgotten the 20th C, which brings with it a collective memory of incredible suffering, from war, genocide and disease.

Many of us have been dealing with the threat of antibiotic resistance for the last decade, and understanding what that means for our health, treatment and life expectancy.

In what world - even the Western world - are people sheltered absolutely from suffering? 

I reject this growing narrative that anyone who does't accept the inevitability of severe illness, disability and death from this virus is somehow spoiled, and out of touch with life's realities.

It's really so offensive (and it comes straight from Murdoch press).

 

 

 

Yes, it's dishonest. No one is asking Rupert Murdock to accept death. It's always someone else who is asked to accept that. This is usually delivered with a lecture about how we're soft and spoiled. 

My priest gave a homily where he claimed that this was no worse than the flu (and ABORTION ABORTION ABORTION) and who cares anyway because all that matters if eternal life anyway. It was SO offensive. Being concerned about your physical life does not mean that you are unconcerned about eternal life. 

 

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7 minutes ago, StellaM said:

I'm really tired of the 'well, we just don't know how to handle death' trope people keep trotting out.

Is that the best the 21st C has to offer?

"Well, people were more stoic in 1919?' 

Do people want the at-risk and vulnerable to just shut up?

(I mean, a fair % of the at-risk are not heard anyway - the poor, the black, the elderly - it's not as if their voices are somehow dominating, what a laugh!)

What a tragic indictment on humanity and its 'progress'. 

 

 

I am so confused...I could have sworn just yesterday you were talking about people accepting the hardship of life and getting over it because we have no choice? Like, young people need to buck up and deal and whatever they are enduring isn't that bad? I mean, I agree with you, but then I read this and can't reconcile what you're talking about. Weren't you saying that people (in general) should just shut up and deal?

I mean, we can't do anymore than we can do, science-wise. We can't progress beyond a virus that seems to spread insidiously or beyond basic needs that require some form of production? 

I have been sheltering in place since early March. I have gone nowhere in almost two months except to have groceries dropped in my trunk and to the emergency dentist. I'm solo parenting for at least the next 2 months if not longer, including a breastfed infant, so I am largely doing this out of self protection. My kids play only in our yard. I'm not complaining; I am genuinely thankful I am able to do this with so much food and safety. I don't in any way think that what I am doing is sustainable for most people, nor would I require it of them to keep me from getting sick. The only reason I can do this is because I still have an income and a livelihood to live on. How can I demand other people go without their means to support their family to keep me safe?? The only thing I can ask is that they keep their distance. That's really the only thing I can control.

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3 hours 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 am not sure on the 5 year old girl.  My question. (and I am NOT a doctor) is that she was showing signs of meningitis that seemed to be missed early on....severe headache, etc.  It was a few days later she was tested for covid because her father had symptoms.  My question is.....did she have meningitis FIRST and had covid later/maybe even asymptomatic. 

Not properly treated meningitis can cause the headache, seizure and even death.

So was covid the cause of the meningitis....or did she have meningitis that ended up being fatal but also covid?

Again, I am not a doctor and not sure what tests and medications were used from the first er visit with the severe headache. 

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4 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

Yes, those that have been paying attention have been waiting for something like this, or a bacterial strain we can't fight. But my money is on science, not just accepting it. 

My friend in a large university hospital is saying the same. I just sent her a mask as she gets one a week. They said since she's not down in the ER or on a Covid floor she doesn't need a mask - she only got that one a week from begging. She has asthma! She also was in a room with desks elbow to elbow, no social distancing, no masks, until she kicked up enough of a fit with HR - they moved her to a separate office due to her asthma and gave her her one a week mask, but the others are still in that room between patients, elbow to elbow. 

Did you notice how doctors and nurses that vented on social media have been doxxed and harassed? 

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4 hours 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.  

 

That and GoodGrief added, rightly so, that because they had to space out customers and only fill to 25% capacity the cost/benefit just didn't pan out. One restaurant mentioned not having the right PPE and of course it would add to their sanitation costs. 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Ottakee said:

I am not sure on the 5 year old girl.  My question. (and I am NOT a doctor) is that she was showing signs of meningitis that seemed to be missed early on....severe headache, etc.  It was a few days later she was tested for covid because her father had symptoms.  My question is.....did she have meningitis FIRST and had covid later/maybe even asymptomatic. 

Not properly treated meningitis can cause the headache, seizure and even death.

So was covid the cause of the meningitis....or did she have meningitis that ended up being fatal but also covid?

Again, I am not a doctor and not sure what tests and medications were used from the first er visit with the severe headache. 

I've read that meningitis can be caused by COVID. There are documented cases where this happened before this little girl died. I'm sorry I don't have a citation. 

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2 minutes ago, EmseB said:

I am so confused...I could have sworn just yesterday you were talking about people accepting the hardship of life and getting over it because we have no choice? Like, young people need to buck up and deal and whatever they are enduring isn't that bad? I mean, I agree with you, but then I read this and can't reconcile what you're talking about. Weren't you saying that people (in general) should just shut up and deal?

I mean, we can't do anymore than we can do, science-wise. We can't progress beyond a virus that seems to spread insidiously or beyond basic needs that require some form of production? 

I have been sheltering in place since early March. I have gone nowhere in almost two months except to have groceries dropped in my trunk and to the emergency dentist. I'm solo parenting for at least the next 2 months if not longer, including a breastfed infant, so I am largely doing this out of self protection. My kids play only in our yard. I'm not complaining; I am genuinely thankful I am able to do this with so much food and safety. I don't in any way think that what I am doing is sustainable for most people, nor would I require it of them to keep me from getting sick. The only reason I can do this is because I still have an income and a livelihood to live on. How can I demand other people go without their means to support their family to keep me safe?? The only thing I can ask is that they keep their distance. That's really the only thing I can control.

I think if we can produce enough food to feed people and manage clothing and electricity it’s only a distribution problem.  But there has to be political will to solve that.  In a country with enough food no one should starve because of lockdown as long as food producing and distribution stays strong and active.  If they are starving it’s because we lack the political will to make sure they don’t.  
it doesn’t even have to be a long term thing.

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4 hours 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.

 

 

In USA quite a few churches have refused to close in the first place.

 I would expect that yes, quite a few would reopen if they can.  And I would expect that there would be situations like with the North Korean megachurch where spread goes quickly through a huge church—as with meat packing plants or cruise ships.  

Jewish religion afaik considers Saving a Life to be important. I believe that people are exempted from Minyan or whatever if it is to save a life.

A lot of other religions (or denominations) are more oriented to the hereafter.  Preparing the soul for eternal heavenly life idea is more important than life on earth. 

 

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43 minutes ago, square_25 said:

That's a sad reflection :-(. Are those people forbidden from quarantining with their family, though? What do you suggest for them? 

Some people are in situations where they are not able to quarantine with their family members.  But, my point was not so much that there are people on their death bed who cannot say goodbye to their loved ones.   My point was more that none of us knows which of us will not be here in eight weeks or by the end of the summer, not only because of COVID-19, but for many other reasons.  So, the reality is that when we say we should just wait until we have a vaccine, we are also saying that all of the people who are going to die between now and then will miss out on the things we are waiting to do.

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1 minute ago, square_25 said:

 

Is anyone saying not to visit family members until we have a vaccine? I have heard pretty much no one say this. 

Also, those of us not at risk of death are also missing out on things, and not because of the lockdown. My in-laws are in their seventies. I'm literally terrified of visiting them or having them visit us, because I don't know how I'd live with myself if we gave this to them. I really don't. I don't know what we're going to do if they don't make testing easily accessible for everyone, because I just can't imagine having this on my conscience. 

That is where I am at. It is TERRIBLE to think of my mom not getting to spend time with her grandkids...especially as we never know how long she is here. But it also is equally, if not more terrible, to think of us giving this to her. Not only my guilt, but if my kids had that thought for one moment, that they had killed their grandma? How badly would that warp them?

And then there is my mother, who would never be able to live with herself if somehow she gave it to one of us. She has anxiety and an overactive sense of guilt as it is! 

So yeah...I hope they figure out more about how to best protect each other. Because none of those scenarios is working for me. 

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49 minutes ago, StellaM said:

Also, I've made no demands that people go without their livlihoods to 'keep me safe'.

I've talked about changing public behaviours to keep as many people as possible from death and disability.

How the f*&^ does 'it would be good if we were like Taiwan and made wearing masks on transit and public spaces the done thing' translate into 'people must starve for me'?!

But the problem is that there are many people going without their livelihoods right now in order to keep society safe. And with the shitty social safety network in this country they don't have time until we have a vaccine. That is the fundamental conundrum which makes this so difficult, because there really is no good solution. I don't think anybody sensible is arguing that masks in public spaces are bad. But that won't be enough. And stricter measures mean many people won't be able to pay rent or eat. It means exactly that they give up their livelihood to keep others safe. 

Edited by regentrude
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22 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

There is a difference between experiencing temporary life hardship, and death or disability.

Is that not patently obvious?

Can't go to church for a few months - temporary life hardship.

Lung function so poor past-virus that you can no longer work - life changing disability.

Is this not very, very clear?

Also, I've made no demands that people go without their livlihoods to 'keep me safe'.

I've talked about changing public behaviours to keep as many people as possible from death and disability.

How the f*&^ does 'it would be good if we were like Taiwan and made wearing masks on transit and public spaces the done thing' translate into 'people must starve for me'?!

 

 

Uh. I don't know. I'm not against asking people to stay home for some weeks or wear masks. When we start talking about staying in for months or having businesses closed for months, you're asking people to give up their livelihoods. In some cases I think it's a trade off that has to be made. The guy who just had to shut down the local theater that he ran for the last 40 years? He probably had no choice given the nature of the virus. He'll have to find some other way to support himself and many of us have sent him $$$ to help.

I think where we disagree and where the gray area is is what's truly possible to prevent with this virus while still having any kind of economy of goods and services to anyone, including especially those who are vulnerable. Most of the problem in the US is that even the things that look like fantastic luxury are run with just-in-time supply chains and thousands of blue collar jobs. I just read an article about 200,000 hogs being culled in Minnesota and that just sends chills down my spine. It's happening all over with just a few weeks of restrictions in place. I have a sense of doom about a lot of people going hungry and it's dismissed as me not wanting masks on public transport or to be slightly inconvenienced by staying home?

But I think all of us are talking about trying to keep people from death and disability to the extent we think that's possible with a virus like this

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7 minutes ago, EmseB said:

I think where we disagree and where the gray area is is what's truly possible to prevent with this virus while still having any kind of economy of goods and services to anyone, including especially those who are vulnerable. Most of the problem in the US is that even the things that look like fantastic luxury are run with just-in-time supply chains and thousands of blue collar jobs. I just read an article about 200,000 hogs being culled in Minnesota and that just sends chills down my spine. It's happening all over with just a few weeks of restrictions in place. I have a sense of doom about a lot of people going hungry and it's dismissed as me not wanting masks on public transport or to be slightly inconvenienced by staying home?

 

 

It is important to seperate those who have legitimate concerns from people who are calling others pansies for wearing masks. I have seen both. 

So focusing on the practical question, weren't they culling hogs because meat packing plants were shut down due to COVID outbreaks? Or was this a different situation? I thought Trump even mentioned sending extra tests to meat packing plants to try to help them stay open.  

Could you link an article because maybe the situation you were reading about wasa different one then what I was reading about.

 

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35 minutes ago, square_25 said:

Is anyone saying not to visit family members until we have a vaccine? I have heard pretty much no one say this. 

 I'm literally terrified of visiting them or having them visit us, because I don't know how I'd live with myself if we gave this to them. I really don't. I don't know what we're going to do if they don't make testing easily accessible for everyone, because I just can't imagine having this on my conscience. 

But how is testing alone going to help? You can't get tested every time before heading to grandma's.  It's either having the virus eradicated, or having a vaccine.

I won't be able to see my parents for two years 😞  Big suck. I hope it's ONLY two years and I will be able to go next summer.

 

Edited by regentrude
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We received a letter from our bishop today. 

Quote

While the governors of several states in our territory have made headlines by "opening things up", I am afraid they are not the ones who closed our churches nor are they going to be the ones to open them up again. That burden falls to me as your bishop. 

Quote

No matter what, we have a duty to protect the most vulnerable among us, both laity and even clergy. 

I knew so many people who griped about the church closures. So much armchair quarterbacking. 

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9 minutes ago, frogger said:

 

It is important to seperate those who have legitimate concerns from people who are calling others pansies for wearing masks. I have seen both. 

So focusing on the practical question, weren't they culling hogs because meat packing plants were shut down due to COVID outbreaks? Or was this a different situation? I thought Trump even mentioned sending extra tests to meat packing plants to try to help them stay open.  

Could you link an article because maybe the situation you were reading about wasa different one then what I was reading about.

 

It's both, to an extent. But lack of demand is the root. Some factories closed, but the problem is not just where infections are popping up in a factory. It's the same with milk being dumped, potatoes left in massive mountains to rot. It is what happened with oil and why it went negative. If there is no demand there is no room or accounting for how to store what's been grown. It goes to waste. The farmers lose all that income. Can they get a loan to plant again? Can they afford to take that loan? Are they already leveraged?

There's no supply chain for just giving the food away away because it costs money to bag or process and transport. That is how much of the US, if not global, food system works. And I fear it is going to contract really badly.

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40 minutes ago, Bootsie said:

Some people are in situations where they are not able to quarantine with their family members.  But, my point was not so much that there are people on their death bed who cannot say goodbye to their loved ones.   My point was more that none of us knows which of us will not be here in eight weeks or by the end of the summer, not only because of COVID-19, but for many other reasons.  So, the reality is that when we say we should just wait until we have a vaccine, we are also saying that all of the people who are going to die between now and then will miss out on the things we are waiting to do.

Well since no one is arguing for a full lockdown until there's a vaccine, I assume you're arguing for an end to most mitigation measures? Which will mean hundreds of thousands more deaths and more lockdowns in the future. How does increasing the number of people who die help the dying? How does increasing the risk to healthcare providers help the dying? If all you're arguing for is that hospitals should allow people to visit dying relatives, then that will happen as soon as there is adequate PPE to make that possible. Removing other social distancing restrictions, like opening bars & restaurants and concert hall and sports venues, is not going to help people who are currently dying, it just means a lot more dead people — and if hospitals are overwhelmed and large numbers of HCPs are out sick or dead or quit rather than continue risking their (and their families') lives, then they may be dying in hallways and parking lots with no care at all, let alone visitors.

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3 minutes ago, EmseB said:

It's both, to an extent. But lack of demand is the root. Some factories closed, but the problem is not just where infections are popping up in a factory. It's the same with milk being dumped, potatoes left in massive mountains to rot. It is what happened with oil and why it went negative. If there is no demand there is no room or accounting for how to store what's been grown. It goes to waste. The farmers lose all that income. Can they get a loan to plant again? Can they afford to take that loan? Are they already leveraged?

There's no supply chain for just giving the food away away because it costs money to bag or process and transport. That is how much of the US, if not global, food system works. And I fear it is going to contract really badly.

 

Well, since grocers are struggling getting enough pork and plants are shut I don't think it is demand in that case.  It doesn't matter if it's restaurants or stores if the plant is closed. 

I do think the restaurant supply chain being moved to stores has caused difficulties. There has been some adaptation already but not enough.

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23 minutes ago, regentrude said:

But how is testing alone going to help? You can't get tested every time before heading to grandma's.  It's either having the virus eradicated, or having a vaccine.

I won't be able to see my parents for two years 😞  Big suck. I hope it's ONLY two years and I will be able to go next summer

 

So if you test early and self isolate early it’s going to slow it down.  But it needs to be test and trace.  Test then contact trace so that anyone who may have potentially been infected self isolates for two weeks so they aren’t spreading it.  At least that’s what they are doing here.  It’s more effective before you have a massive outbreak but even in NSW where things were getting going they have majorly reduced cases.  R is less than 0.  As far as international travel I think it’s probably going to have to involve some quarantine period for a while.  Sucks about not being able to see your parents for that long!

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Nothing here is easy. Unfortunately, we have made such bad decisions through the years and the ramifications are finally catching up with us. I use the word "we" because we live in democracies. 

The economy or the vulnerable people. It doesn't have to be either/or. Things could be done to support people who are unable to work and they are not impossible. 

I think what annoys me the most about this discussion is that so many seem to seem that it's either/or. That the only way to help the unemployed is to open up the golf courses, movie theatres, etc. It's frustrating because it's not true. 

It's almost like the reason that this has made everyone so crazy is that it is literally smacking over the head with the reality that we live in a society and our actions affect others and it's to our benefit to help others. It's completely the opposite of how we've been conditioned to think. It proves the emptiness of the pull yourself up by your own bootstraps narrative that most of us live by, at least subconsciously. 

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3 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

Nothing here is easy. Unfortunately, we have made such bad decisions through the years and the ramifications are finally catching up with us. I use the word "we" because we live in democracies. 

The economy or the vulnerable people. It doesn't have to be either/or. Things could be done to support people who are unable to work and they are not impossible. 

I think what annoys me the most about this discussion is that so many seem to seem that it's either/or. That the only way to help the unemployed is to open up the golf courses, movie theatres, etc. It's frustrating because it's not true. 

It's almost like the reason that this has made everyone so crazy is that it is literally smacking over the head with the reality that we live in a society and our actions affect others and it's to our benefit to help others. It's completely the opposite of how we've been conditioned to think. It proves the emptiness of the pull yourself up by your own bootstraps narrative that most of us live by, at least subconsciously. 

So what has been done here is they have doubled the usual Centrelink payment I think and they have introduced a job keeper payment. I think this gets payed to employers where they have had a 30 per cent downturn or more and they pay it to the staff.  The requirement is that they keep all employees on.  The idea is that it’s going to be much easier for business to start up again if employees are still attached to businesses than if they have all moved on.  It definitely has some weird features (some who were only working a little bit now getting more etc).  And of course the long term debt cost could be scary.  But it’s one kind of attempt to deal with this stuff.  There are still huge problems around casuals etc.

unemployment is also slightly less scary when you’re health care isn’t dependent on your employment status.

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I agree Ordinary Shoes. We need to keep the least painful to most productive measures the longest.

That is why the eating in the restaurant thing bothered me. Restaurants could still do pick up. They charge me just as much and I left a big tip. I wore a mask, the other guy wore a mask and I grabbed my food and ate at home. But I do hear people arguing for normalcy and I hear people complaining (not on this board) about masks (the cheapest of all measures even if they aren't perfect).

The never seeing family if you live in a nursing home IS a big thing. That has huge mental health ramifications. 

The job losses also have huge costs. Even if you gave them a paycheck there would be mental health issues.

 

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2 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

My sister is a physician. She works in a hospital and was allowed to do most of her patient consults via telemedicine. She's been told to return to the hospital and is very close to leaving her job because they do not have N95 masks. Her hospital only tests patients with symptoms. The results are not immediately available so my sister will see the patient before she knows whether the patient is actually positive. 

I doubt most Americans understand how this crisis has affected physicians and nurses, especially younger ones in the first decade of their career. They are extremely disillusioned. They believe that they are being asked to risk their lives by seeing patients without adequate protection. That their employers (hospital systems) are willing to sacrifice them for profit and to prevent bad press. There are many stories of physicians and nurses who were disciplined for speaking to the press about the actual conditions in their hospitals or for wearing their own masks. 

Many of these younger physicians and nurses (perhaps I should say most) have huge student debt. No one is talking about forgiving that debt. Some of these doctors chose to work for hospital systems so they could qualify for the loan forgiveness that was enacted under the Obama administration. Now we (or rather they) know that no one is actually qualifying for forgiveness. 

I think this pandemic has added another terrible piece to the major changes that have affected healthcare workers in the US over the last ten or so years. Even before this, I knew many older doctors who were completely disillusioned because insurance companies and hospital administrators had completely ruined the love they once had for their profession and strongly urged any young person who would listen to not go to medical school. And nurses who are so stressed out because their hospitals try to staff as lean as possible, and they feel they are constantly shortchanging patients. And pharmacists who work for some of the major national chains and face similar lean staffing and corporate mandates, making their jobs stress filled pressure cookers. And since pharmacy is one of the few healthcare professions we actually produce enough of in the US, they know if they complain they can be easily replaced. 
 

And now we add on top of all that the reality that their employers can’t even provide them with adequate protective gear. Despite all of this and the enormous debt many incur to enter these careers, I actually don’t see a decline going forward in these careers. There is so little job security in the US and so many jobs with no or few benefits, that I think the relative security and generally good benefits of these jobs will continue to attract young people. I just wish they could also be treated better and not as one doctor close to retirement said to me recently, like disposable cogs in a big, money making machine.

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30 minutes ago, StellaM said:

I don't think the alternative to the bolded is that you shrug at 2 million Covid deaths because (as yet unproven) 'herd immunity.

I never said I shrug at 2 million death. I merely responded to your words "I've made no demands that people go without their livlihoods to 'keep me safe'."
Yes, we are asking people to do exactly that. Right now. There may not be another choice. I never argued to open now or anything. But we need to acknowledge that this is asking people to forgo their  livelihood for the greater good.

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19 minutes ago, square_25 said:

But we might very well endanger people's livelihoods MORE if we open up now. The less safe people feel when things open, the fewer things will be able to operate. Think about how restaurants/tourist places/theaters are going to do if everyone's frightened. 

Oh I completely agree. I am not in favor of opening up anytime soon - but I also am in the very privileged position of still being employed and working from home. It's much easier for me to say let's wait than for many other people.

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29 minutes ago, frogger said:

The never seeing family if you live in a nursing home IS a big thing. That has huge mental health ramifications. 

The job losses also have huge costs. Even if you gave them a paycheck there would be mental health issues.

The mental health fallout from this pandemic is going to be disastrous.

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5 hours 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.

 

 

Missionary friends of mine in Honduras -- this is what they are doing. They don't trust the health care there so the one who is most in danger is completely quarantined from everyone, even her husband is living and sleeping apart from her. she CAN NOT get it there.

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31 minutes ago, square_25 said:

By the way, from my perspective, the worst thing we did for the economy is make people apply for unemployment. It would have been far better to very liberally pay money to employers so they can keep their staff, or even just directly compensate people for their wages. Right now, many more people are out of work than needed to be if we had attempted to "freeze" where our economy was before shut down. Breaking relationships between companies and employees isn't a reversible process. 

But shake shack took one of those PPP loans to keep paying their employees and were vilified because they weren't a small business or supposedly had enough money without the loan. Giving money to owners is seen as bailing out the rich. It's all very political.

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1 hour ago, frogger said:

I agree Ordinary Shoes. We need to keep the least painful to most productive measures the longest.

That is why the eating in the restaurant thing bothered me. Restaurants could still do pick up. They charge me just as much and I left a big tip. I wore a mask, the other guy wore a mask and I grabbed my food and ate at home. But I do hear people arguing for normalcy and I hear people complaining (not on this board) about masks (the cheapest of all measures even if they aren't perfect).

The never seeing family if you live in a nursing home IS a big thing. That has huge mental health ramifications. 

The job losses also have huge costs. Even if you gave them a paycheck there would be mental health issues.

 

I think that’s the point of having a job keeper payment instead of a dole.  You haven’t lost your job.  You’re temporarily at reduced capacity and your income is still “coming” from the employer and when this is all over you still have your job.

there are also initiatives to offer discounted and reduced cost training to help people up skill for when things re open.

im assuming is Australia can afford this US probably can too.  

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1 hour ago, square_25 said:

And to be fair, if you want to make a bit of money right now, you really could go work as a delivery person or in a grocery store. At least in NYC, they are hiring. 

Now, I really don't think that's the right solution for those people, because they'll bring the virus home with them and they may very well live with someone vulnerable. That's why I'd much rather they get government money for now.... 

But if they just stay home and get government money then who is going to drop off groceries to enable you to stay home?  That is one big problem with stay at home orders is they massively favor those with options, but we can’t actually all stay home if some people don’t go out and run the grocery stores or deliver your food.  So if we are honest, we might be saving our grandma, but  as you say, what about the grandma who lives with the grocery worker?  It isn’t straightforward which is why some of the quick judgement I hear here about others not caring about death seem rather simplistic.

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31 minutes ago, kdsuomi said:

No, it doesn't mean that. The government can require employers to allow "vulnerable" people to continue to work from home or go on protected leave. If the government did that, it could also have a program for anyone on unpaid,  but protected, leave to continue to collect an unemployment type thing. San Francisco has passed a measure that is basically that, and I can definitely see CA making it a statewide thing. 

Literally what’s happening here with schools (which are staying open).  Officially vulnerable teachers can negotiate to work from home or take leave.  Only they aren’t being given that option by employers.  Similarly landlords were being asked to be nice/reasonable with their tenants.  When gov stays out of agreements between a party with power and one without guess who wins out every time.  Are there decent human beings who do the right thing by their tenants and employees?  Absolutely.  If everyone was like them this wouldn’t be a conversation.

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59 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

The same people who can't wait are the same people who are at increased risk.

Please square this circle.

It's not a fight between the privileged who want to stay home, and the low income workers who wants to go out and be exposed. 

Low income/older/black/health compromised people want to protect their health, and the health of their loved ones as much as anyone else. 

If we live in societies where we force them to choose between exposure and homelessness, our societies are broken.

And that's the normal we want to get back to. 

Cannon fodder is the phrase that comes to mind. 

The better off can work from home or live on savings for a while. The least of these will be sacrificed for the good of the economy, and because they recognize that they never were treated as full persons in the first place. 

Cannon fodder. 

51 minutes ago, regentrude said:

The mental health fallout from this pandemic is going to be disastrous.

Both for those without work, but also for those dealing with the deaths. The doctors, those who lose loved ones, those who deal with the survivors guilt of knowing they may have caused their loved one's death, etc. 

33 minutes ago, kdsuomi said:

No, it doesn't mean that. The government can require employers to allow "vulnerable" people to continue to work from home or go on protected leave. If the government did that, it could also have a program for anyone on unpaid,  but protected, leave to continue to collect an unemployment type thing. San Francisco has passed a measure that is basically that, and I can definitely see CA making it a statewide thing. 

Who do we define as vulnerable? 

17 minutes ago, kdsuomi said:

There will not be pressure here because all it'll be super easy to find a doctor to say you fit into one of the groups, if necessary.

Ha!!!!!! yes, low income people have such easy access to doctors in the first place, they definitely will be able to go to multiple ones to find someone who will, at no or low cost, write what they want them to write! Sure!

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3 minutes ago, Mom2mthj said:

But if they just stay home and get government money then who is going to drop off groceries to enable you to stay home?  That is one big problem with stay at home orders is they massively favor those with options, but we can’t actually all stay home if some people don’t go out and run the grocery stores or deliver your food.  So if we are honest, we might be saving our grandma, but  as you say, what about the grandma who lives with the grocery worker?  It isn’t straightforward which is why some of the quick judgement I hear here about others not caring about death seem rather simplistic.

So anyone involved in food production or distribution is deemed an essential worker and continues doing their job.  Because there are less people out and about the risk is reduced even to the people who have to be out and about.  And because there’s less people working there’s hopefully enough PPE to go around for those who are.  No one is advocating for shutting down essential services.

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5 minutes ago, Mom2mthj said:

But if they just stay home and get government money then who is going to drop off groceries to enable you to stay home?  That is one big problem with stay at home orders is they massively favor those with options, but we can’t actually all stay home if some people don’t go out and run the grocery stores or deliver your food.  So if we are honest, we might be saving our grandma, but  as you say, what about the grandma who lives with the grocery worker?  It isn’t straightforward which is why some of the quick judgement I hear here about others not caring about death seem rather simplistic.

 

3 minutes ago, square_25 said:

Well, the fewer people are out and about, the less spread there actually is. I agree that the grandma of the person delivering groceries is at risk, but does opening things up make her less at risk?

Exactly.

Grocery store guy is way way less at risk if 1. there is less infection in the population at large, and 2. most people stay home, and only the workers, in PPE, are in the aisles. 

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1 minute ago, kdsuomi said:

It's not what's happening there if it's not actually happening. It's a requirement. Look, people are going to have to be ok with different options because what's going on now is not sustainable for very much longer. 

Ok.  It’s what the teachers working the jobs are saying is happening.  But I don’t think I understand what you’re saying.

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14 minutes ago, kdsuomi said:

There will not be pressure here because all it'll be super easy to find a doctor to say you fit into one of the groups, if necessary. I'm not saying everything should open now, but all of you guys being so hyperbolic about this are going to seriously damage your argument. 

By the way, you're the one arguing for the government just paying everyone anyway. If more things would open up, the government would get more money in taxes, and they'd be  more able to pay the people who need to stay home. 

This thread was about if the goalposts have moved from flattening the curve, and it's obvious that they have. 

You think the government is going to be willing to pay millions of people with diabetes, heart disease, obesity, etc., to stay home, as long as they have a doctor's note (and that these notes will be easy to get)?

Nope. Everyone will be on board with protecting grandpa and the mom who just finished cancer treatment, but the 40 yr old African American bus driver with diabetes and hypertension is gonna be told to get back to work and take one for the team. When people talk about "protecting the vulnerable" they're not talking about bus drivers and hotel maids and dish washers, no matter how high risk they are.

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I think as we argue around this on all sides I think many people are closer to each other’s actual view on what opens and doesn’t. 
 

I don’t think there’s anyone that’s arguing to shut down agriculture, food production, essential manufacturing, food distribution or stores . I think allowing take away for restaurants is a good balance.  Opening in areas with 0 cases with social distancing is probably ok provided systems is in place to change quickly if cases take off.  Indoor cinemas is going to be off the cards for a while.  Even if they open they will struggle because people won’t go.  Massive sports games and conventions are off.  
 

public transport and schools is harder.  Personally I like the approach of making them available for doctors, nurses and essential workers and vulnerable to abuse kids but asking everyone who can to keep kids home.  Hopefully this reduces numbers enough to allow for better social distancing and hygiene and still staff the schools without needing vulnerable teachers in the schools. 
 

retail should be aiming for online and kerbside pick up as much as possible.  

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6 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

I have a feeling that here, some Qantas employees who were stood down have been retrained in contact tracing ? Don't quote me on that.

But it's an opportunity, for sure.

 

They have definitely taken on more people in Adelaide they were encouraging people to apply. 
 

and our local fruit orchard has started a two day a week box service that’s employing more people In their fam because people are avoiding town shops.  And the post office normally has two part timers who were both in there.  There is some absolute job loss for sure but there’s also some restructuring.

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14 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

 

People will BLAME these people for making themselves high risk, because they refuse to understand that health is not just a personal responsibility, but also a status directly connected to how we treat people systemically.

 

 

Some just didn't get a lucky roll of the genetic dice either.

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1 hour ago, square_25 said:

By the way, I hope everyone who is worried about people making money supports the contact tracing efforts! That's going to be a LOT of jobs, and I think they will pay decently per hour... 

And depending on the state, they may also provide good benefits, including health insurance. It also seems like a job that could be done from home by phone in many cases. I know my state is already planning to use some of the contact tracers to assist families with members in quarantine by connecting them with resources and help.

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