Coronavirus Craziness

For philosophical reflections on the COVID-19 pandemic. How can philosophy help us to understand it, to combat it and to survive it?

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Arising_uk
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Re: Coronavirus Craziness

Post by Arising_uk »

In hindsight wouldn't it have been cheaper and less economically damaging to have told all sixties and overs to totally isolate themselves right at the beginning until the virus had passed through the rest of the population. That's about 20% of the population who would have to register with the state in some manner and the state would provide wages for those still working who can't and medical and food delivery support for all. Most of them won't have young children visiting and elder kids could stay away with little fuss, etc. Rather than this approach where everyone has their lives massively disrupted both socially and economically.
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attofishpi
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Re: Coronavirus Craziness

Post by attofishpi »

Arising_uk wrote: Sat Mar 21, 2020 10:38 pm In hindsight wouldn't it have been cheaper and less economically damaging to have told all sixties and overs to totally isolate themselves right at the beginning until the virus had passed through the rest of the population. That's about 20% of the population who would have to register with the state in some manner and the state would provide wages for those still working who can't and medical and food delivery support for all. Most of them won't have young children visiting and elder kids could stay away with little fuss, etc. Rather than this approach where everyone has their lives massively disrupted both socially and economically.
Thats basically what I said a few days ago. But in watching the scale of those of all ages that end up needing placement on ventilators I have changed my mind!
commonsense
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Re: Coronavirus Craziness

Post by commonsense »

vegetariantaxidermy wrote: Sat Mar 21, 2020 10:34 pm
commonsense wrote: Sat Mar 21, 2020 10:30 pm
vegetariantaxidermy wrote: Fri Mar 20, 2020 11:00 pm It 'might' kill 2.2 million Americans. Since it mostly targets the elderly and those with weak immune systems then how many of those would have died anyway? Is no one capable of simple logic any more?
Is there a hidden meaning here—one that makes a point other than that the elderly and the weak will die anyway if they don’t die from Coronavirus?

Your clear and explicit point is that out of the 2.2 million Americans who might be killed by Coronavirus, there is some portion who die of something else.

However, if someone dies of Coronavirus, they cannot be someone who dies of something other than Coronavirus. :mrgreen:
So? I'm saying that people die all the time. Why are we taking down the entire human race for something that is essentially an 'old person's disease'?
Good point. All the same, though, the percentage of hospitalized younger people (ages 20 - 40) is rising in Europe.
RickLewis
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Re: Coronavirus Craziness

Post by RickLewis »

Arising_uk wrote: Sat Mar 21, 2020 10:38 pm In hindsight wouldn't it have been cheaper and less economically damaging to have told all sixties and overs to totally isolate themselves right at the beginning until the virus had passed through the rest of the population. That's about 20% of the population who would have to register with the state in some manner and the state would provide wages for those still working who can't and medical and food delivery support for all. Most of them won't have young children visiting and elder kids could stay away with little fuss, etc. Rather than this approach where everyone has their lives massively disrupted both socially and economically.
Yes, that sounds like what I understood the British Govt's plan to be up until about a week ago. Among the relatively robust majority of the population it would allow the build up of what the chief scientific officer, Sir Patrick Vallance, called herd immunity, thus preventing recurring waves of the epidemic and thus ultimately protecting older or more vulnerable people so they could emerge from their isolation and we could all go back to normal life.

In principle it does still sound like a plan that makes sense, but unfortunately Imperial College's predictions of 250,000+ deaths - mentioned in the Economist editorial you posted - suggests that it would lead to vastly more deaths than first thought. The predicted mortality rate rules out the plan.

Why would 250,000 plus still die in the UK? Is it because many older people and people in fragile health would fail to isolate themselves sufficiently and still catch it? Or is it because even if "only" younger people caught it, with "only" a 1% mortality rate or less, that still implies a quarter of a million deaths in the UK because 60-70% of 60 million is a very large number of cases? The article doesn't tell us enough about the Imperial College model. But apparently the team behind it is very well regarded. So I suppose the policymakers have no choice but to try to squash the curve completely flat instead. Which will require lockdowns far more total and traumatic and ruinous than we're seeing in the UK so far. :(

The idea of doing that every few months for the next year in response to recurrent waves of infection does indeed sound nightmarish. What if they tried to modulate it by first driving the infection rate down to zero, a la China, and then easing back just a bit on the lockdown, but not all the way? Is there a middle path, at that point, which would result in a low level of disease that doesn't run out of control again, while allowing just enough economic life and personal freedom for it to be tolerable until we're all vaccinated?

However you look at it, this isn't going to be a great year to travel the world.

By the way, I hope you all take care of yourselves and stay healthy.
Walker
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Re: Coronavirus Craziness

Post by Walker »

RickLewis wrote: Sun Mar 22, 2020 12:39 am
By the way, I hope you all take care of yourselves and stay healthy.
Thank you. And you do the same.
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Re: Coronavirus Craziness

Post by Walker »

commonsense wrote: Sat Mar 21, 2020 11:26 pm
vegetariantaxidermy wrote: Sat Mar 21, 2020 10:34 pm
commonsense wrote: Sat Mar 21, 2020 10:30 pm

Is there a hidden meaning here—one that makes a point other than that the elderly and the weak will die anyway if they don’t die from Coronavirus?

Your clear and explicit point is that out of the 2.2 million Americans who might be killed by Coronavirus, there is some portion who die of something else.

However, if someone dies of Coronavirus, they cannot be someone who dies of something other than Coronavirus. :mrgreen:
So? I'm saying that people die all the time. Why are we taking down the entire human race for something that is essentially an 'old person's disease'?
Good point. All the same, though, the percentage of hospitalized younger people (ages 20 - 40) is rising in Europe.
Uh oh.

The old are getting younger and younger.
Maybe they're all smokers?

Perhaps when the statistics hit an age group of self-interest the interest in the let-it-rip-view will abate.

When the age group eventually drops to 17 you’ll hear Greta hissing, How Dare You!
(Why do they call it black humour? Perhaps because the Bubonic plague was called the black death.)

Half of All Coronavirus Cases in New York Are People Under 50 Years Old: Cuomo
https://www.thedailybeast.com/half-of-a ... cuomo-says
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attofishpi
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Re: Coronavirus Craziness

Post by attofishpi »

South Australia is about to close its borders - first time ever.

As far as things go - healthier people MAY survive on ventilators - needless to say - all manufacturers that can, should be making them.
Walker
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Re: Coronavirus Craziness

Post by Walker »

A ventilator is no party but it beats the alternative.
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Re: Coronavirus Craziness

Post by FlashDangerpants »

Arising_uk wrote: Sat Mar 21, 2020 10:38 pm In hindsight wouldn't it have been cheaper and less economically damaging to have told all sixties and overs to totally isolate themselves right at the beginning until the virus had passed through the rest of the population. That's about 20% of the population who would have to register with the state in some manner and the state would provide wages for those still working who can't and medical and food delivery support for all. Most of them won't have young children visiting and elder kids could stay away with little fuss, etc. Rather than this approach where everyone has their lives massively disrupted both socially and economically.
That would be millions of people locked in their own houses and denied social contact for a minimum of 18 months, potentially 3 years. The younger ones being suddenly forced into unplanned but irrevesible retirement. I'd be very suprised if it worked.

The excess mortality among youngsters, who don't have to compete with oldsters for hospital ventilators, would be lower than if we allowed unconstrained spread. But allowing the disease to run its course without intervention among the under 60s would still break every countries health services, even in the rich world.

Excess mortality amon the old may not decline at all in that circumstance. Those millions of isolated housebound not even that old people are going to suffer tremendous psychiatric stresses and quite a lot will die. Social isolation among the old is linkes already to a variety of physical and mental conditions: high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, a weakened immune system, anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease, and even death.
This proposal represents a huge experiment in finding out exactly how bad than can get.

for the economic case, I have doubts too.

The truth is that this is a very nasty disease and a lot of the young are going to suffer very badly. So on top of those millions of old people forced into premature retirement, we now would need to socially isolate millions of youngsters who have, for instance, asthma or some other weakness that makes them susceptible to pneumonia. Maybe we can release them in groups as we judge our hospitals to be ready for a new round of deaths door youngsters. Otherise we lock them up and they all have to become front end web designers who can work entirely from home even if they used to be gardeners.

With oldsters locked away I guess we would have an extra few weeks of spread before it looked so bad we closed the bars - or everyone just gets frightened and stops going anyway. Once a few of your mates have direct experience to relate it's possible that everyone will become less prone to panic. Or it's possible they will panic even more once they have a sense that they are being abandoned to a survivial of the fittest situation. It's never safe to suppose you can predict the behaviour of a crowd that might turn out to be a mob.

The belief that we would carry on regardless as both consumers and producers, going to the same restaurants and watching the same movies etc, as long as the old were locked in germ free cages depends on an assumption about how the younger cohorts would respond to risks we haven't yet got data about. My expectation is that when the disease is really well spread, people would shit their pants on a grand scale as the horror stories pile up. And by then we wouldn't even have a containment option left.

And on top of all that. This talk of the economy as some brittle thing that can fall apart so easily is misplaced. Modern global capitalism can absord tremendous shocks. People are scandalised whenever it needs juicing and lubricating with monetary measures or bail outs, but they are missing the point. We have this system that can feed us and let us earn a living doing weird jobs like dog walking, which is great. And when that system by which many of us earn our living doing rather unproductive work looks rickety, we can fix it with these kind of shit looking tools. If you had a car that smash into a wall and then get fixed with just a pen knife and half a roll of duct tape, would you think of it as rickety or seriously fucking robust?

I have no doubts about our economy, it will be fine overall. If this thing goes on for a long time, we might change though. I am interested in how the people who are speding so much extra time with their families right now will feel about going back to exactly the way things were. It might be harder to employ talented staff in future without letting them work from home more. Going further, the time is nigh already for us to switch to a 4 day working week for most jobs, there is a path here for us to make that transition. One thing that often happens after an economic shock is that a series of ideas whose time had come suddenly all come to the fore at once.

Of course the whole thing could be short anyway. Quick cheap testing kits will make it easy to identify the sick and isolate them. There are hundreds of possible medicinal combos being tested, one of them probably works. 6 months from now we most likely will have it dealt with in the rich world.
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Re: Coronavirus Craziness

Post by Walker »

vegetariantaxidermy wrote: Sat Mar 21, 2020 10:34 pm So? I'm saying that people die all the time. Why are we taking down the entire human race for something that is essentially an 'old person's disease'?
Uh oh.

So much for the theory of women and children to the lifeboats, old folks over the side.

7-month-old baby in S.C. tests positive for COVID-19
https://www.wbtv.com/2020/03/20/month-o ... ve-covid-/
Impenitent
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Re: Coronavirus Craziness

Post by Impenitent »

attofishpi wrote: Sun Mar 22, 2020 5:34 am South Australia is about to close its borders - first time ever. ...
damn Tasmanian devils bringing viruses north...

-Imp
Walker
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Re: Coronavirus Craziness

Post by Walker »

Impenitent wrote: Sun Mar 22, 2020 6:05 pm
attofishpi wrote: Sun Mar 22, 2020 5:34 am South Australia is about to close its borders - first time ever. ...
damn Tasmanian devils bringing viruses north...

-Imp
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vegetariantaxidermy
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Re: Coronavirus Craziness

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Walker wrote: Sun Mar 22, 2020 4:57 pm
vegetariantaxidermy wrote: Sat Mar 21, 2020 10:34 pm So? I'm saying that people die all the time. Why are we taking down the entire human race for something that is essentially an 'old person's disease'?
Uh oh.

So much for the theory of women and children to the lifeboats, old folks over the side.

7-month-old baby in S.C. tests positive for COVID-19
https://www.wbtv.com/2020/03/20/month-o ... ve-covid-/
What a dick. Viruses and 'bugs' are around us all the time. Is one baby all you could come up with? It might only have mild symptoms for all we know. The 1918 Spanish flu epidemic killed MOSTLY children and young people and had up to a 20 percent mortality rate. It killed 50-100 million people!
Walker
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Re: Coronavirus Craziness

Post by Walker »

vegetariantaxidermy wrote: Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:11 pm
Walker wrote: Sun Mar 22, 2020 4:57 pm
vegetariantaxidermy wrote: Sat Mar 21, 2020 10:34 pm So? I'm saying that people die all the time. Why are we taking down the entire human race for something that is essentially an 'old person's disease'?
Uh oh.

So much for the theory of women and children to the lifeboats, old folks over the side.

7-month-old baby in S.C. tests positive for COVID-19
https://www.wbtv.com/2020/03/20/month-o ... ve-covid-/
What a dick. Viruses and 'bugs' are around us all the time. Is one baby all you could come up with? It might only have mild symptoms for all we know. The 1918 Spanish flu epidemic killed MOSTLY children and young people and had up to a 20 percent mortality rate. It killed 50-100 million people!
You must see deeper than a dick you see to understand.

If you put all the infected old people on cruise ships and anchor them too far off shore for anyone to swim the distance to land, then put the young people including asymptomatic corona babies in the lifeboats with the women and wannabes, pretty soon everyone on the lifeboat is going to be infected with unknown effects.

What’s going on now is stalling for time by delaying infections in order to discover treatments that will abate symptoms until a vaccine can be developed, way down the road. The stalling will continue until it cannot.

You are saying that the response is disproportionate to the threat and more damaging than the threat of coronavirus and the current total deaths, however the threat is unknown. A 1.0% death rate applied to the world population would exceed the Spanish Flu of the Dada Era in total deaths.
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vegetariantaxidermy
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Re: Coronavirus Craziness

Post by vegetariantaxidermy »

Walker wrote: Sun Mar 22, 2020 10:22 pm
vegetariantaxidermy wrote: Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:11 pm
Walker wrote: Sun Mar 22, 2020 4:57 pm
Uh oh.

So much for the theory of women and children to the lifeboats, old folks over the side.

7-month-old baby in S.C. tests positive for COVID-19
https://www.wbtv.com/2020/03/20/month-o ... ve-covid-/
What a dick. Viruses and 'bugs' are around us all the time. Is one baby all you could come up with? It might only have mild symptoms for all we know. The 1918 Spanish flu epidemic killed MOSTLY children and young people and had up to a 20 percent mortality rate. It killed 50-100 million people!
You must see deeper than a dick you see to understand.

If you put all the infected old people on cruise ships and anchor them too far off shore for anyone to swim the distance to land, then put the young people including asymptomatic corona babies in the lifeboats with the women and wannabes, pretty soon everyone on the lifeboat is going to be infected with unknown effects.

What’s going on now is stalling for time by delaying infections in order to discover treatments that will abate symptoms until a vaccine can be developed, way down the road. The stalling will continue until it cannot.

You are saying that the response is disproportionate to the threat and more damaging than the threat of coronavirus and the current total deaths, however the threat is unknown. A 1.0% death rate applied to the world population would exceed the Spanish Flu of the Dada Era in total deaths.
And most people who get it only get mild symptoms. Spanish flu targeted mostly children and young people. Fucking old people should all be euthanised anyway.
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