cover-19: economy vs. health?

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cover-19: economy vs. health?


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Old 24th March 2020, 06:55 PM
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Default cover-19: economy vs. health?

CAVEAT: The title of this thread is probably a bit unfair. But, read on...

The new discussion, pushed by the Cheeto and others, including some well-regarded economists suggests there needs to be a discussion about the balance between doing everything to save lives and protecting the economy.

My view is that there can be no higher priority than the health and safety of the people. However, I also do not believe holding that priority must necessitate driving the world into a global depression in which far more people die than will die from COVID-19.

First off, the major cheerleader for this save the economy view, The Cheeto in Chief, is also personally responsible the miserable position his country finds itself in right now, Going back to the start of his term in office he has cut spending when and where ever he could. Not just public health, but all kinds of safety net programs designed for a situation like this. Then, when faced with the actuality of a pandemic, he not only failed to react, he denied it - contributing directly to the spread of the disease. Further, he has propped up the US economy to make it look good, while many have said it was headed for a recession with, or without, the pandemic. To now use the tragedy of the situation in the US as the basis for claiming we need to pay more attention to the economy is the height of arrogance and selfishness.

But, regardless of how we got here, does concentrating on reducing the impact of the pandemic really mean an economic meltdown in which many thousands die? No, absolutely not. The world is infinitely wealthier now than it has ever been. There is still food being grown and produced. If an economic collapse threatens food supplies then the government can step in and take over the production and delivery of food and other essential materials. And, that is exactly why the Cheeto and his friends do not want to happen. That is the threat they fear most. And, protecting the corporations that actually run the US today is the real reason we are being told we have to weigh lives against the economy.

However, there is a more practical side to placing public health as priority #1. If we do not, the health care infrastructure, already very broken in the US, will collapse completely. The COVID-19 death rate is as low as it is right now because we are treating as many people as we can. When the caseload explodes and we can no longer treat even the curable cases, the death rate will explode. This will not just affect people with COVID-19, it will affect anyone who needs any kind of advanced medical care. Maybe we won't lose workers to COVID-19, but we will lose them to a myriad of other ailments we will not be able to address.

As Smeg might say... what think you?

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Old 24th March 2020, 07:31 PM
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This pertains more to the U.S., perhaps, than elsewhere...

The U.S. Constitution states that one of the roles of the government is to "provide for the common defense." In today's world, I think any reasonable person would agree that that means defense against a nation-state biological warfare attack.

So question #1: If the U.S. were under attack from another country via a biological warfare agent, would we try to balance saving the economy with saving lives? (Was there any other war where we did that?)

Question #2: How do we know the coronavirus is not a biological warfare experiment that got out of the lab by accident? And if that be the case, aren't we just as much under a biological warfare attack?

Question #3: How would we distinguish something like the coronovirus from a subtle, cleverly-designed biological warfare attack?

I worked in a government research lab once, in the field of wireless networking. I managed a program to see if the U.S. could defend wireless networks from a nation-state worm, or virus, attacks.

One of the guidelines was that the cure could not be worse than the disease. So I am familiar with that line of thinking and I don't necessarily fault it.

Nonetheless, I ask again: How is the coronavirus distinguishable from a well-designed nation state biological warfare attack? And if we knew for sure it was a nation-state biological warfare attack, would we be trying to balance saving the economy with saving lives?

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Old 24th March 2020, 07:45 PM
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If financial institutions did not require payments, if rent and mortgage were not collected, if interest was neither accrued nor paid, then much of the economic pain would vanish. Considering how much public money was used to bail out the banks, you would think they could be prevailed upon to suspend all transactions, without penalty to anyone, for the good of the world economy.

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Old 24th March 2020, 08:10 PM
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As for how is this different from a bioattack, I don't know, but in a sense, it doesn't really matter, because it is what it is and we just have to deal with it. The horse has bolted the barn and is way beyond the pastures now.

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Old 24th March 2020, 08:14 PM
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What's the point of saving businesses and the economy (which is of course very important) if there are no workers or consumers left?

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Old 24th March 2020, 08:22 PM
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But most people will recover.

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Old 24th March 2020, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChezCheese:) View Post
But most people will recover.
As far as is known for the moment. Viruses mutate, CVD19 has already mutated to jump from animals to humans. It is a novel virus and not much is known about it. How do we know it won't mutate several times more and become more aggressive?


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Old 24th March 2020, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChezCheese:) View Post
But most people will recover.
Are you sure? And even so, who will they be? Think about it.

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Old 24th March 2020, 09:01 PM
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And even without/before mutation, we don't know how many waves there might be, we don't know if those recovered will be immune, let alone to mutated strains.

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Old 24th March 2020, 09:01 PM
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They will be younger people with stronger immune systems.

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