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Gordo

Just curious, anyone have a plan, or preps for global pandemic?

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A couple of interesting comments about lockdowns (no endorsement implied):

Quote

The Lockdown and Doublethink

This is just a nice display of how modern journalism requires an editorial line that totally disregards internal logic.

In this [Guardian] article, Simon Tisdall documents all the ways in which the lockdown-generated economic crash could destroy the lives of people in the third world. And in this one Polly Toynbee goes into great detail about all the unemployed young people we’re about to create…because of the lockdown. Neither of them argues the lockdown should be ended.

Whilst here, Robert Reich says that Trump ending the lockdown would be terrible and dangerous and kill people, and Lloyd Green blames Trump for surging unemployment in the US, without mentioning the lockdown at all.

You see, ending the Lockdown is bad, because Trump wants to do it. But also, the lockdown is causing massive unemployment – both here and abroad – which could kill millions of people thanks to poverty, famine, and non-Covid diseases.

Keeping the meat-packing plants open is dangerous and irresponsible, but there are fears of panic buying or food shortages if they’re closed. There’s no word on the potential deaths caused by starvation and food shortages, which are discussed at length in other articles.

In summary, we’re told he lockdown’s effect will kill literally 10x more people than the disease has done so far, but if you want to end it you’re a pro-Trump anti-science virus-denier.

Mind-boggling.

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Quote

 

As good as this article is, I still think it suffers from a false dichotomy; to shut down the economy or not. The lockdown was ALWAYS a short-term solution to what was obviously going to be a long and protracted crisis. While the general public is guilty of magical thinking, the same thing can also be said of those insisting that lock down must not be lifted.

Just how long do you expect lock down to persist? Three months? A Year? More than a Year? Just how long do you expect people to not eat, to not have housing, to not have an income of any kind, or even to socialize with their families and friends.

The wealthy can do it because they have huge homes with lots of rooms. Room that contain private gyms, entertainment centers, outdoor patios, fully stocked kitchens, even in-house movie studios with which they can pass the time making you-tube and facebook videos. They have access to lots of technology that allows them to maintain their social networks. They can zoom with their peers in Paris, Tokyo, New York, LA, and other places with ease. For them, the lockdown is more like a stay-cation.

For the rest of us, lockdown is not only just a real burden – but may even be practically impossible. I know families that have ten members living in 2-bedroom 1-bath houses. Their “kitchen” is a hot plate on a TV tray. Little to no AC. Some are considered “essential labor” and must work – often without minimal protection. Friends and family that live within walking distance. Elderly parents that must be attended to on a daily basis. How the hell are they supposed to “socially isolate.”

No, the missing part of the conversation here is called “biosecurity.” This isn’t just protection from virus or other communicable diseases for humans, but for life stock, crops, and even wild-life. Controlling for invasive species such as zebra mussels in our waterways.

This has long been a neglected topic. I remember it being ignored as far back as the Obamacare debates. Testing, contract racing, mandatory quarantines, even temperature screenings are major components of biosecurity.

But the problem then as now is that biosecurity – which is heavily dependent on central networks and public services simply has no place in a neo-liberal free-market world. What we are seeing now are not bugs, but features within a Neoliberal free-market dystopia.

The lockdown was to buy time to install more realistic solutions to Covid. None of which has been implemented. Ding- times up. Gee, just what did you think was going to happen?

 

Edited by Sibiriak

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3 hours ago, Sibiriak said:

Mccoy, I wonder what percentage of the 40-49 group were healthcare workers.

Sibiriak, that's an interesting question, from a quick search I found nothing relevant, I'll try later and see if I can come up with something.

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Millions predicted to develop tuberculosis as result of Covid-19 lockdown

"Up to 6.3 million more people are predicted to develop TB between now and 2025 and 1.4 million more people are expected to die as cases go undiagnosed and untreated during lockdown."
 

Quote

[...] The fact that we’ve rolled back to 2013 figures and we have so many people dying, this for me is sickening,” said Lucica Ditiu, executive director of the Stop TB Partnership. “I am outraged that just by not being able to control what we do … and forgetting about programmes that exist we lose so much, starting with the loss of the lives of people.”

There is currently no TB vaccine for adults, only one for children.

“I have to say we look from the TB community in a sort of puzzled way because TB has been around for thousands of years,” Ditiu said. “For 100 years we have had a vaccine and we have two or three potential vaccines in the pipeline. We need around half a billion [people] to get the vaccine by 2027 and we look in amazement on a disease that … is 120 days old and it has 100 vaccine candidates in the pipeline. So I think this world, sorry for my French, is really fucked up,” she said.

The fear we have in the community is that researchers are heading towards just developing a vaccine for Covid. That’s on the agenda of everyone now and very few remain focused on the others [diseases].

We don’t have a vaccine for TB, we don’t have a vaccine for HIV, we don’t have a vaccine for malaria and out of all this, TB is the oldest. So why this reaction? I think because we are a world of idiots. What can I say?”

 

 

 

Edited by Sibiriak

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3 hours ago, Sibiriak said:

Millions predicted to develop tuberculosis as result of Covid-19 lockdown

"Up to 6.3 million more people are predicted to develop TB between now and 2025 and 1.4 million more people are expected to die as cases go undiagnosed and untreated during lockdown."
 

 

 

 

Unforeseen consequences indeed! Vietnam, Iraq! Hmmm......and now the war against Covid 19! I suspect it may outdo both of those wars in total overall casualties/ suffering and how much of that will be because of our reaction. And by casualties I mean everyone not just the American veterans in Iraq and Vietnam, Laos etc. Many Vietnamese died, soldiers as well as civilians, and also Iraq. So wrt to Covid; the virus will kill many, but how many will die because of how we react to the virus? I cannot help but think of the Taoist philosophy WRT it all. 

Edited by Mike41

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18 hours ago, Sibiriak said:

Man, with shit like that going down,  and the crazy protests,  I can see why martial law has been imposed in so many places.

More FUD about the West, but mostly about the US. 

A curious obsession with all things bad in the West, while the only news from Russia seems to be about skaters and Russia's love for its neighbors and the EU.

From your neck of the woods:


Martial law? Lombardy enlists military to enforce lockdown as Italy’s hardest-hit region continues to reel from Covid-19

_____

16 hours ago, Gordo said:

Well it looks like California is broke already, first state to require a federal government bailout despite having the highest personal income tax rate in the country: ...

Yeah, but what great show of leadership, eh?!!

The Great Leader really showed that Trump idiot what "leadership" means by shutting down one of the largest economies in the world.  Without Newsom, at least 25 million Californians would be dying on the streets right now.  I mean, we have a real Savior above us, just like Cuomo, right?! 

And Newsom just pronounced that California is not going back to normal until there is a vaccine!  Nevermind that the chances of a vaccine are slim, based on our past record (AIDS, common cold (which also includes coronaviruses), and even if we get incredibly lucky, it will be a year from now at the soonest.... 


 

Edited by Ron Put

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17 hours ago, KHashmi317 said:

PSSSST .... it ain't that bad ....

 

So he seems reputable, and his research indicates .25-.36% fatality rates. The range from others they discussed and their data is anywhere from .1 to .9. He does not think a vaccine is likely and feels we are going to have to live with this little bastard. He does admit that only time will give us the solid answers we want.

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19 hours ago, Todd S said:

Ron Put,

Your comments on the COVID-19-related statistics have seemed consistent over time. I previously asked you a couple of simple questions in order to better understand your viewpoint -- and I thank you for the responses that you provided.

The one question I posed to you that went unanswered is one that I'm still interested in your viewpoint on. That is, if you've viewed the previously posted Medcram lectures (with critical care specialist Roger Seheult, MD.) — Coronavirus Pandemic Updates 61, 63, and 65 -- do you still think that COVID-19 is not significantly different from the flu?

Questions is a good technique for learning or debating and I am happy to engage.  What do I think of one "critical care specialist Roger Seheult, MD?"  He has an opinion.

But based on what I know and what I learn from the available data I tend to agree with the experts who have been maintaining that Covid-10 is not significantly different than the flu.

Now, some here have posted at length charts and models which seemed absurd back then, and were just stupidly wrong in hindsight, but it appears that Mark Twain is right that it is much easier to fool someone than to convince them that they've been fooled.

So, perhaps you could answer the same question: Why do you believe that Covid-19 is so dramatically different from a bad flu that politicians crashed the major Western economies?  Have you compared the death toll from the 1957 or 1969 flu pandemics to Covid-19 and after you compare the data, why do you still believe that Covid-19 is so different than the flu?


-----

And I find it so cute that there is a deafening silence about the resignation of Neil Ferguson, who despite his "patchy record" led the charge to lock-down the UK and then the US, while clearly so absurdly wrong in his predictions of millions of deaths.  Instead, we are treated to Sibiriak's regular and oh so pertinent US crime report....

Edited by Ron Put

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52 minutes ago, Ron Put said:

So, perhaps you could answer the same question: Why do you believe that Covid-19 is so dramatically different from a bad flu that politicians crashed the major Western economies?  Have you compared the death toll from the 1957 or 1969 flu pandemics to Covid-19 and after you compare the data, why do you still believe that Covid-19 is so different than the flu?

That's an interesting response -- in that it appears that you and I are focused on different things. You seem more interested in the lockdown decisions and impacts from the lockdowns than you are in the evolving science -- other than just epidemiology -- of how SARS-COV-2 affects the human body. So you tend to redirect conversation in the direction of the former (the politics/impacts).

I'm more interested in the evolving science -- and tend to redirect conversation in that direction. Based on everything I've read so far, I'm concerned about the increased risk from SARS-COV-2 to the life of everyone I know -- and there are things that I can personally do to mitigate some of that risk. On the other hand, there doesn't seem to be anything that I can do about the lockdown-related decisions.

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Lockdowns at their most fundamental level, are supposed to prevent the spread of CV-19. However, what if lockdowns are not successful at that most basic function? Here some odd news out of NY:

Cuomo says it’s ‘shocking’ most new coronavirus hospitalizations are people who had been staying home

I don't think many people saw that coming - fully 2/3 of all CV-19 related hospitalizations are from those who "stay at home". What in the world? How does that impact our thinking about the lockdown in general? Inquiring minds want to know.

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51 minutes ago, TomBAvoider said:

fully 2/3 of all CV-19 related hospitalizations are from those who "stay at home". What in the world?

It doesn't seem shocking to me at all. 66% of people who were infected were those who lived "at home" (or apartment) as opposed to a nursing home, prison or other congregate living facility. This would only be "shocking" if 66% is an overrepresentation of people living in a private home or apartment. I actually think many fewer than 33% of New Yorkers live in a nursing home, assistated living facilities, homeless shelters or prisons. So the fact that it is only 66% of people living in private circumstances who are hospitalized is an indictment of the poor protection we've afforded to those few living in congregate facilities like nursing homes and prisons.  

Here are two plausible hypotheses for how those living in private circumstances became infected, despite mostly staying home: 1) They were vulnerable people who were infected while doing a necessary trip, like buying groceries or going to the pharmacy. Or, even more plausible, 2) they lived with someone who brought the virus home and infected them, sending them to the hospital.

51 minutes ago, TomBAvoider said:

How does that impact our thinking about the lockdown in general? Inquiring minds want to know.

Pretty obvious. We need to do a better job protecting vulnerable people both living at home and those living in congregate living facilities. The problem will only get worse moving forward as states open up, since those at low risk of serious outcomes will be even more likely to get infected out in the world and bring the virus home to a vulnerable person in their household.

I'm not saying I recommend this, but perhaps the most important intervention China did to squash their outbreak was to take infected people out of their private home/apartment and have them stay in a big facility with other infected patients under medical supervision, so they don't pass it on to the rest of their family.

--Dean

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1 hour ago, Todd S said:

That's an interesting response -- in that it appears that you and I are focused on different things. You seem more interested in the lockdown decisions ...

I'm more interested in the evolving science -- and tend to redirect conversation in that direction. ...

Ah, thanks for the explanation, it makes sense from that point of view.

My understanding of Covid-19 is that it is a rather nasty coronavirus, but nothing terribly unusual.  I remember N1N1 well -- at the time some also predicted over a million deaths -- however it was President Obama's honeymoon year and the political climate was very different, as were the media sympathies and priorities.  But the previous coronaviruses became endemic and are rolled in under the catch-all term "flu," as I expect Covid-19 to be as well.

People should do well to remember that while coronaviruses are different than influenza, periodically influenza has the tendency to be deadlier to larger numbers of humans.  Compare the 1957-1958 and 1968-1969 pandemics, which each killed well over 100,000 Americans (adjusted for population, it'd be over 200,000 deaths in today's numbers and you'll see why Covid-19 is not even a really bad flu.

As to the reported complications, similar ones have been reported for virtually every coronavirus in the past (I posted an example earlier).  Which is also the case with other viruses. Most such complications are relatively rare.

I believe that Covid-19 is really not a very significant pandemic, given that worldwide just over 250,000 people have died, which is about one fifth of the 1,200,000 worldwide deaths from the 2017-2018 pandemic which was relatively deadly.  But the political consequences of Covid-19 are incredible compared to the health hazard and will impact our world in ways we can only guess, and fear.  I am afraid that we are exiting the period of political and economic dominance by the Western liberal democracies and entering a much more turbulent, dangerous world.  China did not crash its economy and is poised for faster recovery, while the West is in debt and with few tools left to deal with the likely unprecedented recession the lock-downs unleashed.

Most people in the First World rarely contemplate how lucky we have been to live in what is historically rare time of relative peace and prosperity.  Historically, such periods always end and I am afraid that the political forces which drove us here will continue on their destructive path.  This is why I am much more concerned about what life will be over the next decade and more than about Covid-19, which will likely be largely forgotten in a year or two.

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41 minutes ago, Dean Pomerleau said:

Pretty obvious. We need to do a better job protecting vulnerable people both living at home and those living in congregate living facilities....

Yeah, we do.  We should have done it from the start, instead of locking up the healthy and crashing the economy.

Except that NY seems to be doing the opposite and Pataki just called for an investigation:

Cuomo to blame for COVID spreading through nursing home

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NPR today: Eerie Emptiness Of ERs Worries Doctors: Where Are The Heart Attacks And Strokes?

I still find it hard to believe that the primary explanation for this is that people are suffering and/or dying at home due to avoidance of hospitals for fear of Covid-19. The National mortality statistics for 2020 should be interesting to analyze when this is all over.

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Another 3.17 Million Americans Filed for U.S. Jobless Benefits Last Week

I think many were naively thinking the initial jobs carnage was "it" but this isn't just going to bounce back.  It was initially the blue collar jobs, but white collar is next.

 

Top JPMorgan Investment Officer: It Will Take ’10 to 12 Years’ for U.S. Employment Levels to Return

 

Edited by Gordo

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Quote

Abstract

Background   Effective therapies are urgently needed for the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Chloroquine has been proved to have antiviral effect against coronavirus in vitro. In this study, we aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of chloroquine with different doses in COVID-19. Method In this multicenter prospective observational study, we enrolled patients older than 18 years old with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection excluding critical cases from 12 hospitals in Guangdong and Hubei Provinces.

Eligible patients received chloroquine phosphate 500mg, orally, once (half dose) or twice (full dose) daily. Patients treated with non-chloroquine therapy were included as historical controls. The primary endpoint is the time to undetectable viral RNA. Secondary outcomes include the proportion of patients with undetectable viral RNA by day 10 and 14, hospitalization time, duration of fever, and adverse events.

Results    A total of 197 patients completed chloroquine treatment, and 176 patients were included as historical controls. The median time to achieve an undetectable viral RNA was shorter in chloroquine than in non-chloroquine (absolute difference in medians -6.0 days; 95% CI -6.0 to -4.0). The duration of fever is shorter in chloroquine (geometric mean ratio 0.6; 95% CI 0.5 to 0.8). No serious adverse events were observed in the chloroquine group. Patients treated with half dose experienced lower rate of adverse events than with full dose.

Conclusions   Although randomised trials are needed for further evaluation, this study provides evidence for safety and efficacy of chloroquine in COVID-19 and suggests that chloroquine can be a cost-effective therapy for combating the COVID-19 pandemic.

Edited by Sibiriak

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3 hours ago, Gordo said:

I think many were naively thinking the initial jobs carnage was "it" but this isn't just going to bounce back.  It was initially the blue collar jobs, but white collar is next.

The follow on jobs carnage is opportunities opening for careers in meat packing.

 

Edited by Todd Allen

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14 hours ago, Gordo said:

NPR today: Eerie Emptiness Of ERs Worries Doctors: Where Are The Heart Attacks And Strokes?

I still find it hard to believe that the primary explanation for this is that people are suffering and/or dying at home due to avoidance of hospitals for fear of Covid-19. The National mortality statistics for 2020 should be interesting to analyze when this is all over.

I don’t at all. I have a family with profound heart disease rates due to familial hypercholesteremia. Hesitation and denial are very common when a person feels symptoms. In late 2016 early 2017 I myself had a failing aortic valve due to rheumatic fever at age 3 which left the valve damaged and vulnerable. I ended up getting open heart surgery to replace it in February 2017. I understand denial. Any excuse to face it can coax some people to delay going to an emergency room. I myself experienced the very powerful urge of denial when I went through the whole process. So provide an excuse to everyone and yeah that innate hesitance is then justified. Simple psychology.

Edited by Mike41

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For people clamoring to end the lockdown and reopen businesses to juice the economy, there is some bad news. Allowing businesses to open is not going to make much difference when consumers still view them as risky. OpenTable has a nice table showing restaurant bookings by state over the last week:

Screenshot_20200507-125608_Chrome.jpg

It shows that even in states that have started to reopen and allow dining-in at restaurants (e.g. Georgia, which allowed restaurants to reopen on 4/27 and Oklahoma,  Texas and Utah which did the same on 5/1) the number of restaurants open and the willingness of diners to eat at them remains very low, with numbers of customers served still down by 96% in Georgia, 88% in Oklahoma, 88% in Texas and 95% in Utah from their pre-covid levels a week after the restaurants have been allowed to open. 

Note according to the explanation for this table it isn't just reservations that remain down (which might recover slower than walk-ins) - "This data shows year-over-year seated diners at restaurants on the OpenTable network across all channels: online reservations, phone reservations, and walk-ins."

This suggests it is largely misguided to blame the stay-at-home orders or the mandatory closures of non-essential businesses for the economic harm we're experiencing. People were avoiding risky businesses like dine-in restaurants prior to the lockdowns/closures, and will likely continue to avoid them until they think it is safe to return. This is unlikely to happen until cases are in decline and there is enough testing for people to have confidence the outbreak has been contained regardless of what self-described "cheerleaders" like our President are hoping for.

--Dean

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53 minutes ago, Dean Pomerleau said:

For people clamoring to end the lockdown and reopen businesses

Yes, we saw that in Germany when they reopened.  Article I saw yesterday: Texas back in business? Barely, y'all, as malls, restaurants empty

That's what I've been saying, the economic distress is going to go on for longer than people think.  

And get this, Fed Funds futures just priced in negative rates starting in December, for the first time in US history.

Bond and fed funds markets are more valuable than the stock market when it comes to expectations for the economy over the next 12 months. 

 

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1 hour ago, Dean Pomerleau said:

This suggests it is largely misguided to blame the stay-at-home orders or the mandatory closures of non-essential businesses for the economic harm we're experiencing. People were avoiding risky businesses like dine-in restaurants prior to the lockdowns/closures, and will likely continue to avoid them until they think it is safe to return.

Ah, the spin :)  Blame "the people," not the media and the "Great Leaders"....

Actually, what it means is that the hysteria created by politicizing the pandemic and making the lockdowns a litmus test for "true leadership" had the effect of scaring large segments of the population.  When the mainstream media and populists elevated bad data and characters like Ferguson to be the only "experts" worth listening to, the result was to create widespread fear.  As every despot knows, fear is the most powerful tool in a politician's bag and the fear spread by the warnings of millions dying, aided by the absurd worse-case scenarios model graphics you and others relentlessly spread had a great effect, desired or not. 

To repeat that Mark Twain observation, it's much easier to fool someone than to convince them that they've been fooled.

Edited by Ron Put

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A while back I ran across a rather accurate and telling summary of how the media and politicians in the US reacted to the 2009 N1N1, compared to Covid-19.  I haven't liked the Republicans since the late 1990s and I have not voted Republican since 2000, but I am truly disgusted by the Democrats in this case.  And with much of the media.  The trouble is, just like in the UK during the last election, there are only bad choices -- as Cher recently quipped while endorsing Biden, "vote for the one you hate less."

Tale of the disease tape: Trump vs. Obama
 

Instead of joining together with Donald Trump in a consolidated front democrats continue to politicize the Covid 19 Corona virus outbreak.

New York Times Op-Ed Calls Coronavirus the “Trumpvirus”

Bloomberg Makes Coronavirus into a Campaign Advertisement

Politico: ‘Trump Rallies Base to Treat Coronavirus as a Hoax’

Democrat Presidential Candidates Criticize Trump over Coronavirus

Bloomberg and Biden Falsely Claim Trump Has Cut CDC Funding

NYT Op-ed: ‘Trump Makes Us Ill’

Biden Spreads Debunked Claim CDC’s Anthony Fauci Is Being ‘Muzzled’

There are a couple more at the link.

To be clear I find Sean Hannity to be insufferable at times with his interrupting his guests, steering them to saying what he wants, his repeated litanies about his family and his using 90% of a guest’s time asking a question. But last night he was coherent and made some great points.

As we noted, Donald Trump is being attacked by the left during this outbreak and none of it has any merit.

December 31, 2019 The virus was first reported to the World Health Organization

January 7, 2020: Virus is isolated as SARS CoV-2

January 31, 2020: Trump declares public health emergency. People returning from China place in mandatory quarantine.

February 2, 2020: All non-US citizens who recently visited China barred from entering US. Trump was called xenophobic.

February 11, 2020: WHO names virus COVID 19

As of today the death toll in the US is 9.

MArch 3, 2020: FDA says it may have the capacity to test one million for Corona by the end of the week.

Contrast that with the obama response to the H1N1 virus.

April 2009: H1N1 is detected in the US.

October 26, 2009: Obama declares a national health emergency. By this time 20,000 are infected and 1,000 dead.

I don’t remember the GOP continuously using swine flu as a bludgeon on obama, but I do remember Trump taking prompt action and I do and will remember democrats caring more about the politics than the health of the nation.

If a large number Americans don’t perish of this virus, disappointment will ravage the DNC. It will have been one more crisis gone to waste.

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I agree that what is being said by authorities has some impact. After all, we see it in two contrasting situations - one, Germany, which has had a lockdown, the way back from it is slower; meanwhile in Sweden, by all accounts, the social life in pubs, restaurants and cafes has been fairly robust - although there are advisories in place restricting groups of 50 people or more.

Once you spook people, it takes some time to recover. I see the hospital/emergency situation in a similar light - apparently there's widespread avoidance of emergency services by sick people who fear the virus, or who think the services are likely overwhelmed. I have not read anything regarding Sweden's population being reluctant to use these services.

In other words, we have to be careful about the messages that are being spread, because despite all we are social creatures who respond to social cues and authority messaging, divided as we are politically. Certainly while a lot of the commentariat may regard Trump as totally lacking in credibility wrt. to the CV-19 virus (or anything else for that matter), there is a big part of the population that listens to him and those who amplify his talking points (such as Fox News). 

Bottom line: be careful what you say, because people are listening and may act on it.

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