The response to the coronavirus is wrong, given our history. We have had other pan- or epi-demics in our country and never completely was the country shut down. After the cause of those “demics” was known, procedures were established that everyone needed to follow to avoid getting the disease. It was their choice to follow them or not.

Those who did not follow them and got sick suffered the consequences. They may have infected others, but that would mostly happen if the other people were not following the procedures. Preventive inoculations are a part of the procedures.

The coronavirus brought a shutdown of most of the country even with known procedures to be followed. The initial shutdowns happened at the beginning of the virus. Then our country was beginning to recover. Jobs were returning so families were able to return to more normalcy.

Now the shutdowns are happening again, enforced by some governors, mayors and county executives, as the virus spread worsens. Many of the employees and small business owners in those states, cities and counties who were going back to work are again without a job. Many families, many with children, are again not being properly fed, not able to pay rent or a mortgage. Families are being mentally and physically impacted by the inability to care for their loved ones. The children are being impacted by not going to school — at school.

It seems much of the punishment is being applied by those governors, mayors and county executives with no concern for the effects on the families and others stuck at home watching their loved ones suffer for lack of daily needs.

We read daily about the number of coronavirus cases, the hospitalizations and deaths, but we have never seen any countrywide reporting about the effects of the shutdowns on families. I will take a guess those effects will be larger than those from the coronavirus. Why is this virus treated different from the past “demics” we have experienced?

Could it be this different treatment from the past is because the Constitution was the guidepost it was intended to be and now it is viewed by many as a worthless document?

(24) comments

petersamuel

This is well worth a read: https://www.aier.org/article/lockdowns-do-not-control-the-coronavirus-the-evidence/

MD1756

Cherry picked information especially given the source. "AIER’s Bastiat Society program is a global network of business professionals committed to advancing free trade, individual freedom, and responsible governance." Of course they'd come out with an article that is against any restriction of freedom. Logic would dictate that people make rational decisions that are in their best interest and yet time and again they don't. It's called the real world. If all people were capable of logical thought and good decision making we wouldn't have to be taxed to pay for people who live above their means and have children they can't afford. We need protection from people who think they can do anything and can't believe they might spread the virus (or they just don't care).

petersamuel

Hayduke: It isn't just place versus place comparisons we have, but also time series analysis which takes infections or deaths in a single place and follows them day by day over months. By applying the incubation period of the virus to the data it is possible to look at when a lockdown was implemented and see if there is any indication it affected the trajectory of the infections and deaths. And, Yes, lockdown is a loosely used term but the general idea it is when people are kept in their homes and workplaces are closed. Researchers have developed categories of lockdowns from none through moderate to severe, and numbered scales. Here in MD we've generally been classed as middling or moderate. NY, NJ and CA have been most heavily locked down. SD, WY, NE have been among the most permissive. Good night!

petersamuel

Hi Hayduke: New York has had the earliest and most severe lockdowns. Google search throws up 39,997 c19 deaths, population is 19.45 million so 2,055 deaths per million people. Florida despite being slower to lockdown and more permissive and decentralized in regulation has had 23,612 deaths in a population of 21.45 million for 1,100 deaths per million people.

Greg F

Anyone can bend statistics to their liking. You picked one datapoint out of many. The issue is we have now seen nearly as many in less time than the 1918 pandemic and it is getting worse instead of better and we have an idiot population that can’t do the right thing ever....and that follows crackpot presidents to doomsday at the same time.

Hayduke2

Statistics can be used to prove any point. New York suffered a high mortaility rate early in the pandemic, before an understanding of the disease, treatments refined etc. Think that impacted your statistics?

petersamuel

Yes Hayduke I think it is very likely as you say that one reason for higher mortality in NY was that it got hit earlier than FL when knowledge and treatments were not as developed, and Florida doctors could do better and save more seriously ill people. Agree also that just one statistical comparison like that is not conclusive. But there's a plethora of other data, studies, comparisons etc showing the uselessness of lockdowns. Just a few:

Ethan Yang AIER looking death rates ranked for all 50 states: "One of the first things that jump out is that all seven of these (most permissive) states are amongst the top performers in terms of minimizing deaths per capita. In fact, the most draconian states such as New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Michigan, where the governor even banned the selling of seeds, are the worst performing states. Whereas states like Wyoming, Utah, South Dakota, and North Dakota, which did not lock down are amongst the best overall in terms of deaths per capita. 

Johan Giesecke in The Lancet UK medical journal: "a hard lockdown does not protect old and frail people living in care homes—a population the lockdown was designed to protect. Neither does it decrease mortality from COVID-19, which is evident when comparing the UK's experience with that of other European countries... Everyone will be exposed to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus, and most people will become infected. COVID-19 is spreading like wildfire in all countries, but we do not see it—it almost always spreads from younger people with no or weak symptoms to other people who will also have mild symptoms....I expect that when we count the number of deaths from COVID-19 in each country in one year from now, the figures will be similar, regardless of measures taken.

Lyman Stone, consultant in The Public Discourse after looking at time series data to see if deaths have any tendency to fall after lockdowns: "The timing of death declines simply does not match the timing of lockdowns....We don’t need to have a national debate about whether the economic costs of lockdowns outweigh their public health benefits, because lockdowns do not provide public health benefits...Lockdowns don't work." Stone DOES favor other measures which he says are proven to work: avoid gatherings of over 500 people, quarantine for infected people, restrictions on travel. And he's big on mask wearing.

CHARM study published in New England Journal of Medicine 11/2020 tested lockdowns by comparing infection rates of about 3,000 of this year's Marine recruits, one group subject to severe lockdown with another group of recruits not locked down and found no difference in infection rates between the two.

Given the heavy costs of lockdowns, the onus really is on advocates to produce evidence that they DO work.

Hayduke2

Again, you references point out states with dense populations compared to states with less dense populations. Those states were swamped early, but those states in the first reference had delayed severe outbreaks. I guess we will agree to disagree on the need for lockdowns ( and the fact that lockdown is a rather ambiguous term in itself. ) Wear you mask and socially distance, wash your hands and be safe.

petersamuel

Mr Hayduke: the report you cite simply says there's a nasty resurgence of covid 19 in Florida. Sure! There are nasty resurgences in many states beside Florida -- in those states with severe centrally directed lockdowns as well as in states with more reliance on individual responsibility and local decisions.

MD1756

Why does the FNP allow LTE that clearly include false information. The country nor the state nor the county ever I repeat EVER completely shut down. The LTE writer seems to forget that what shutdowns did happen were an effort to delay the number of cases until adequate steps could be put in place to minimize the spread of the virus. Does the LTE writer actually think that following the guideline will, in all cases, protect someone living in the same home as one with the virus? Anyone struggling now had better prepare for the next unexpected emergency. The general recommendation is that people save up to be able to pay for at least 6 months of expenses if they lose their job for any reason. If you have or plan on having children, you had better take that into account too. I believe the only worthless thing is the LTE, not the U.S. Constitution (which in part is to promote the "general welfare" and that is what they are trying to do).

Greg F

Why does FNP publish these idiotic rants?

mamlukman

Wow. Alternate reality....

[scared]

As Our Great Leader once said, "It's just like the regular flu." Except that it's 10-20 times more deadly. And it's more contagious. And it's not seasonal. And it's now being discovered that thousands of people who have "recovered" in fact have serious lung, heart, and mental problems. Other than all that, "It's just like the regular flu."

Oh yeah, and something else no one is paying attention to. The 1918 flu died down, then came back in a much, much, more deadly form. Viruses mutate. That's what they do. Nothing is stopping this virus from mutating into a much more deadly variant. Then what?

As for the shut downs, as everyone should know by this time, the purpose is to buy some time to prepare--organize, stock up on PPE and tests, and track and quarantine cases. In the case of the US, none of this happened. Instead of a united response, we had almost a total abdication of responsibility by the federal government. Trump: "I'm not responsible." Well, you got that one right. You're not responsible--but not in the way you meant.

The death count in the US is now two 9/11's every day. The US now has more cases in one day than the total number of cases Japan has had in a year. And if you don't like lockdowns, try Taiwan--no lockdowns, but they didn't need to. They took immediate action and stopped the virus cold. So did New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, and many other countries. South Australia got excited a month ago when they had 22 new cases. The US has 275,000 new cases a day and our letter writer doesn't blink an eye.

Remember those months and months when the new cases in Frederick were <10 a day? And now? Sometimes over 200 a day. Almost always over 100. This is NOT normal. Please wake up.

shiftless88

Plus in ten months in the US it has killed more people than live in Frederick county by 1.5x

shiftless88

Actually it is not clear what IS the right response. And I notice that Mr. Bugg offers none. What is clear, however, is that with so many people ignoring the guidance provided we are worse off than we would have been otherwise. Imagine if our President had made it his mission to protect us and lead by example with masking, not having big rallies and so on. I get "freedom", but a virus requires a team effort. We used to be capable of such an effort without the government telling us we had to. It seems those days are past.

mamlukman

Yes. Team effort--exactly. PM Jacinda, after hundreds of days with no new cases, held a news conference where she thanked her "team"--the population of New Zealand. Imagine....a whole country united....

petersamuel

Shiftless: most of the studies of anti-covid measures -- lockdowns etc -- in major countries show no relationship between the timing or rigor of government action and the spread of the disease. Island countries (NZ, Taiwan, Japan) may be different. Elsewhere government restrictions just don't seem to affect the spread of the disease. So Mr Bugg is basically correct as you seem to concede when you state: "Actually it is not clear what IS the right response." I say: wear a mash, keep your distance from others, do lots of handwashing etc. Those are low-cost measures we can take. But be realistic. Don't expect much benefit. Short of vaccination this virus finds ways to get around our counter-measures. And please, let's give up on these silly lockdowns of businesses and public services. They inflict very high-costs (unemployment, loneliness, bankruptcies, suicides) with no proven benefit by way of protection against the virus. Only the vaccines offer that.

Hayduke2

petersamuel - I reject your premise and lack of factual support. There are cases of governmental actions that have been very successful in stoping the infection rate. You are entitled to your OPINION but to try to pass it off as fact is disingenous.

petersamuel

Hayden: from my reading of experts and studies, yes, in more easily isolated places (NZ, Taiwan etc) interventions work, and elsewhere, yes, interventions help if done very early in the pandemic (late 2019, early 2020) when it was still possible to identify and isolate cases. But most countries covid 19 became so widespread through asymptomatic spread that government interventions by and large haven't worked. The most vigorous lockdown places have done no better in controlling the spread than the places with more permissive regulation. There is some indication indeed that places that put the onus on local municipalities and on individuals to protect themselves rather than issuing a slew of orders have fared better. Just one example: this is an old people's disease but Florida with a lot of old people and decentralized policy has done better than New York.

Here are just a few links:

https://fee.org/articles/3-studies-that-show-lockdowns-are-ineffective-at-slowing-covid-19/

https://capx.co/lockdowns-have-become-the-default-covid-policy-but-do-they-actually-work/

https://www.aier.org/article/a-closer-look-at-the-states-that-stayed-open/

https://tomwoods.com/covid

https://www.aier.org/article/lockdowns-do-not-control-the-coronavirus-the-evidence/

email me petersamuel@mac.com and I'll send you others. Let's continue the low-cost measures like mask-wearing, keeping a distance from others, lots of hygiene, but dump the high-cost measures which are doing horrible damage to the economy and to other aspects of our health, driving a lot of people crazy, and have not even helped limit covid.

Hayduke2

petersamuel - this is not Hayden. Your claim about Florida is an example of your flawed claims.. See https://www.wfla.com/community/health/coronavirus/full-covid-19-resurgence-in-florida-white-house-task-force-report-says/

Piedmontgardener

There are multiple examples from the Spanish Influenza pandemic that directly demonstrate the differences in localities during the pandemic and how those localities thrived or alternately suffered greatly from poor public health decisions. I'm not sure what the writer's goal is here, but it's a poorly constructed argument that doesn't hold weight when put up against the historical record.

Dwasserba

Oh! You lived.

Hayduke2

Mr Bugg, NONSENSE!!!! No basis in fact.

bnick467

Mr. Bugg,

Perhaps you should study up on your history. I would concentrate on the U.S. around the time period of 1918-1919. Here is a link to a story about that time period in U.S. History.

https://www.businessinsider.com/spanish-flu-pandemic-1918-precautions-us-cities-2020-4?op=1#cities-mandated-that-residents-wear-masks-at-all-times-a-requirement-that-lasted-well-after-quarantines-ended-in-some-locales-8

Greg F

Bugg will never read that. It’s cognitive dissonance that stops him.

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