Author Topic: Coronavirus Outbreak  (Read 28647 times)

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Trump's Bolsenaro North tbh. Bolsenaro always seems to take it a step further.

 

Offline Su-tehp

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Trump's Bolsenaro North tbh. Bolsenaro always seems to take it a step further.

Don't tempt fate like that. Now I'm worried that Trump will effectively one-up Bolsenaro by firing Dr. Fauci. FFS, Trump was twitter-threatening to do just that a few days ago.
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Offline Kiloku

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The main difference between them both in the pandemic is that while Trump was doing nothing to help, Bolsonaro was actively attempting to hinder the ones who were doing something.
Potato!

 

Offline Su-tehp

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The main difference between them both in the pandemic is that while Trump was doing nothing to help, Bolsonaro was actively attempting to hinder the ones who were doing something.

With Trump cutting funding for the World Health Organization, I'd beg to differ about Trump not actively hindering people trying to alleviate the pandemic.
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Offline Stealth

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Going to respond to each of the replies.  Please know that I am not saying any of this to be argumentative - in fact we are all on the same page, I assure you, but I have to play devil's advocate here:


This. 1,000 times this. I find those Republican politicians saying that it's better to let older Covid victims die rather than allow social distancing to run the economy into the ground to be utterly sociopathic and stupid. I find them sociopathic because, duh, they want a bunch of people to die and I find them stupid because if tens of thousands of people die, then the economy is going to crater anyway just because so many people who had been contributing to the economy can't contribute anymore because they're frickin' dead. Just as MP-Ryan said, the economic damage from the coronavirus is locked in, no matter what we do. All that can be done now is to mitigate the damage as best we can. Republicans can either help Democrats do just that, or get out of the way. If they don't get out of the way, then they'll have to face angry voters in November.
I don't know that I've heard anyone suggest one of those two extremes.  I think the Texas governor several weeks ago mentioned there would be a point where older individuals or those more at risk (underlying health conditions, etc) would, at some point, be responsible for their own safety, in that they'd need to be the ones staying home, and avoiding exposure.

But there's something else I want to mention here.  Whether we like it or not, there is a point where we do put a price on life.  Let me illustrate:

If I were to tell you that unless every non-essential American (of which there are tens and tens of millions) stays home from work, 100,000 people would likely die each day - it would be a complete no-brainer.  Obviously everyone would stay home.

What if the number of people that would die each day were 50,000?  Probably everyone would still stay home.

But there's a point where the cost of the cure is more expensive... if I said that unless every one of the tens of millions of Americans stays home, 10 people would die each day?  Or 5?  Would you still do it?  Of course not.  Human life has a price - sorry to say - but that's just the reality.  And while many of us are fortunate to not have to worry about being able to work from home, there is a large percentage of the workforce that "stay home" means "i don't get to feed my family".  Remember they aren't going to get stimulus checks every month indefinitely.  $1200 only goes so far when your income is zero.

Also one more thing you mentioned - "if tens of thousands of people die, then the economy is going to crater anyway just because so many people who had been contributing to the economy can't contribute anymore because they're frickin' dead".
While that may make sense on paper, statistically, the majority of those that are dying (by FAR) are actually not contributing to the economy at all.   They're on social security and medicare.  They're our older fathers, mothers, those with serious underlying health conditions, etc.   Most have actually been a drain on the economy.  Again - I take no joy in saying that, but playing devil's advocate, we aren't losing a high percentage of younger, healthy, working Americans, that are contributing to the economy.  So while I will argue the ethics side of it in your favor any day, the pure economic side, which you alluded to, is not valid.


This isn't actually true.  The choices currently are:
1.  Measures that are designed to prevent healthcare system collapse, but an economic collapse, or
2.  Healthcare collapse AND economic collapse.

There is no magic third option where we mitigate economic damage.  The economic damage comes with us either way.
True, but I'm sure you'll agree that "economic damage" is not binary.  There are certainly differing levels.

Example:  Shutting down the economy for a week vs. shutting down the economy for 6 months.  Both "economic damage", but exponentially different.


Plus, you know, losing your job isn't a disaster in the same way that permanent lung damage is. All these problems with unemployment can be solved, just not in ways that appeal to Republican politicians.
Spoken like someone that is not struggling to put food on the table.  "All these problems with unemployment can be solved" is (if I may, respectfully) a very, very nonchalant way of looking at a situation where countless millions (keywords) of people are reaching a point (if they haven't already reached it) where they are unable to pay their rent, buy medicine, put food on the table, etc.  Often they have children.  It's very important to step back and look at a situation like this from every vantage point.  Not all are as fortunate as we may be.  I've had some of the guys I know that work blue-collar warehouse jobs already call asking if I have any food in my freezer that they can have, promising me they'll pay me back some day.  It's absolutely devastating.  Don't for a second dismiss "these problems with unemployment".  99.9% of married men with young children who have to watch their family do without would take the risk of permanent lung damage in a heartbeat to put food on the table.

« Last Edit: April 16, 2020, 07:58:48 pm by Stealth »

 

Offline Stealth

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I think it's noteworthy that this is not really about "the left bashing the right" and the "right bashing the left", it's that people are bashing the US federal government for not doing what other countries are doing. If you look at whose party is governing the states that have issued "stay-at-home" orders, you'll find that this is hardly a partisan issue. As an outsider, the unique amount of partisanry wrt the Trump administration doesn't shock me at all, it's a natural result of how out-of-place the Trump administration is acting compared to the rest of the world*. There's a massive difference in "not wanting to die from a virus" and "putting your name on congress's grants". Pointing out that the US response has been lacking compared to the rest of the world isn't partisan.

I agree with you that it shouldn't be a partisan issue, but it appears to be.
Each evening I'll watch the white house briefing, and then a few minutes of each 'side' argue (Fox/CNN).  Being completely objective, both have valid points.  But there's a level of petty that i don't think i've ever seen reached before.  And some of (most of?) those white house press briefings are absolutely painful to watch.

 

Offline Goober5000

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Hol' up. Are you saying it's fine to willingly risk yourselves and all your friends by going to a large gathering where you're going to be close together, breathing and touching and (hopefully not, but probably) coughing on each other?

Have you forgotten social distancing protocols?  It's perfectly possible to wear masks and remain six feet apart from one another while in church.

Quote
And why couldn't you do church from home? Basically my entire organization has switched to Zoom, and it's working and nobody's risking infection from it.

That's also an option.


Goober are you seriously citing Trump's own campaign propaganda machine as an objective assessment of his administration's response?

Have you actually looked at the timeline?  It's literally a list of dates and events.  Which of the events are you saying did not happen?


I remember, a long time ago, believing that political differences were the result of fundamentally different ways of processing the world

Well, your post certainly seems to be processing what I said in a fundamentally different way.


Basically: If the only sources you can find that, in your opinion, are fair to Trump are Trump's PR people and shining examples of human decency like self-admitted rapist Mike Cernovich.... Why isn't that raising any questions for you?

For goodness's sake, this is the genetic fallacy.  Why, when I post an article containing mathematical calculations, do you completely ignore the calculations and talk about the author?  Math is math no matter who does it.


Hey remember when I said that the New York death toll was likely higher?

It's higher.

This isn't scientific at all.  "The city has added more than 3,700 additional people who were presumed to have died of the coronavirus but had never tested positive."  They are literally just making up numbers at this point.


How can anyone defend this kind of behaviour? Even if you don't think Trump made mistakes, surely this isn't the time for this? If he did it after the pandemic was dealt with it would still be petty and stupid but during the pandemic? How can anyone believe that this was the right thing to do?

The first rule of a crisis is "avoid making things worse".  Given that the W.H.O. has been shown to be not only ineffective but also criminally negligent, it should be of paramount importance to prevent them from causing further damage.

 

Offline DefCynodont119

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The first rule of a crisis is "avoid making things worse".  Given that the W.H.O. has been shown to be not only ineffective but also criminally negligent, it should be of paramount importance to prevent them from causing further damage.

GIVE ONE example of how the World Health Organization has been "criminally negligent" ONE.

Also enplane why the USA is getting hit hardest by the virus if the W.H.O.'s "ineffectiveness" is to blame.


EDIT: Oh and:


Math is math no matter who does it.

They are literally just making up numbers at this point.


And without a tinge of Irony.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2020, 10:00:42 pm by DefCynodont119 »
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Offline mjn.mixael

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Meh. Just like the world ending thread... Goober is literally spewing conspiracy theories at this point. Leave him be. He was wrong then and he's wrong now. His perception of the truth doesn't change the facts.
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Offline The E

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Basically: If the only sources you can find that, in your opinion, are fair to Trump are Trump's PR people and shining examples of human decency like self-admitted rapist Mike Cernovich.... Why isn't that raising any questions for you?

For goodness's sake, this is the genetic fallacy.  Why, when I post an article containing mathematical calculations, do you completely ignore the calculations and talk about the author?  Math is math no matter who does it.

I didn't ignore them. I looked up the claims Cernovich made and found several more reputable sources that agreed with him.
You misunderstood the question, basically: If, as you say, it's all just simple math, why is the first source you quote the blog of someone who can be charitably described as a grifter? Why is it a blog in the first place? There's the message and the medium, and it is sometimes useful to examine both in isolation; the basic fact that, in your search to find "truth", you ended up at a Trump PR campaign post and the writings of someone known to be a habitual peddler of conspiracy theories is raising some interesting questions for me. As I said in the post you snipped that quote from:
You citing as evidence talking points prepared by the Donald J Trump For God-EmperorPresident campaign while in the same breath decrying partisanship and bias is a level of hypocrisy I have seldom seen.
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Spoken like someone that is not struggling to put food on the table.  "All these problems with unemployment can be solved" is (if I may, respectfully) a very, very nonchalant way of looking at a situation where countless millions (keywords) of people are reaching a point (if they haven't already reached it) where they are unable to pay their rent, buy medicine, put food on the table, etc.  Often they have children.  It's very important to step back and look at a situation like this from every vantage point.  Not all are as fortunate as we may be.  I've had some of the guys I know that work blue-collar warehouse jobs already call asking if I have any food in my freezer that they can have, promising me they'll pay me back some day.  It's absolutely devastating.  Don't for a second dismiss "these problems with unemployment".  99.9% of married men with young children who have to watch their family do without would take the risk of permanent lung damage in a heartbeat to put food on the table.

I live on disability benefits.

It's called social security. Unemployment benefits, minimum wage guarantees, wage guarantees in general, the government stepping in to protect companies so that they can continue to pay their employees. All these are measures taken by countries outside from the US. It's that the republican politicians aren't willing to take these measures.

Every other country in the world that is taking quarantine measures is also ensuring that people who undergo them don't have to choose between feeding their family and risking death, illness and injury. The US is not uniquely incapable of doing the same.

 

Offline The E

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Spoken like someone that is not struggling to put food on the table.  "All these problems with unemployment can be solved" is (if I may, respectfully) a very, very nonchalant way of looking at a situation where countless millions (keywords) of people are reaching a point (if they haven't already reached it) where they are unable to pay their rent, buy medicine, put food on the table, etc.  Often they have children.  It's very important to step back and look at a situation like this from every vantage point.  Not all are as fortunate as we may be.  I've had some of the guys I know that work blue-collar warehouse jobs already call asking if I have any food in my freezer that they can have, promising me they'll pay me back some day.  It's absolutely devastating.  Don't for a second dismiss "these problems with unemployment".  99.9% of married men with young children who have to watch their family do without would take the risk of permanent lung damage in a heartbeat to put food on the table.

To offer a concrete example of how this works around where I live (which, in case you are unaware, is Germany): We have an instrument called "Kurzarbeit", "short work", which allows an employer to reduce the hours his people are working by whatever amount is necessary (my current employer, for example, has sent our sales, marketing and content management teams into 10-20% Kurzarbeit). Pay is reduced in equal measure, but our social security system will pay each worker a percentage of the difference between the normal and current net wage. In extreme cases, i.e. where people's hours are reduced to zero, this comes out to about 67% of regular pay, which is certainly painful. However, since employment doesn't stop, there's a guarantee that once conditions improve, people can return to their jobs with a minimal amount of friction.

That isn't to say that companies haven't gone out of business here. But, even in those cases, workers are protected and have, through the aforementioned social security net, at least some income.

The point isn't to claim that this is inexpensive or easy to implement from scratch, especially when a crisis is actually happening. The point is that this is ultimately a price worth paying, as it ensures that people retain stability and that companies aren't disrupted as much as they are in the US right now (It also makes people the main recipients of welfare, instead of corporations).

You are absolutely correct that the consequences of losing a job, especially in low-income sectors of the economy, are horrifying. But they don't need to be; That they are is a consequence of decades of social and fiscal policy that prioritized welfare for corporations and people who are already rich over the quote-unquote normal people.
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The first rule of a crisis is "avoid making things worse".  Given that the W.H.O. has been shown to be not only ineffective but also criminally negligent, it should be of paramount importance to prevent them from causing further damage.

Right so the US federal government has made absolutely no mistakes here but the WHO is actively making things worse? Your only priority in all of this is to deflect any and all blame from Trump, to try to cast doubt on any suggestion he made literally any mistake at any stage of this crisis, and it's pathetic and evil.
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Offline karajorma

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but the WHO will probably already have any money for at least part of this year from America anyway. So how is defunding them going to stop them from doing anything?

What it will do is add political pressure to do what Trump wants to regain their funding.
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Offline Kiloku

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but the WHO will probably already have any money for at least part of this year from America anyway. So how is defunding them going to stop them from doing anything?

What it will do is add political pressure to do what Trump wants to regain their funding.

The situation might last longer than we expect. This Harvard study published in Science Magazine estimates we may need to maintain social distancing intermittently up to until 2022, and heightened health monitoring levels up to 2024. During this time, the WHO and each country's national health authorities will presumably need resources.
Potato!

 

Offline theperfectdrugsk

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Man, I'm far behind. Couple things I just wanted to add. Stealth, I think makes some very good points worth keeping in mind. The thing about the German Kurzarbeit, similar models, even the cash stimulus payouts here in the us...these measures geared towards mitigating economic damage, saving the economy, however you want to put it... They're untested. They're essentially experimental for the kind of long-term shutdowns that seem to be necessary here. They also carry a hefty financial butcher's bill of their own, and at some point aaaallll that money our govts have spent trying to save the economy needs to be paid back in some form. Thats a scary unknown for policy makers, hence the push for the return to "business as normal" because at least we all sort of understand how that functions. I'm not arguing for or against anything here... Just positing some food for thought.

Republicans can either help Democrats do just that, or get out of the way. If they don't get out of the way, then they'll have to face angry voters in November.

Here's my overly simplified, pessimistic prediction for how this plays out in November. Democrats want to continue the lockdown and save lives. Republicans want to open the country back up, and try to salvage the economy.

Scenario A: Democrats get their way. Further massive economic damage, but fewer deaths, mostly in big cities. Outside of the hardest hit big cities, folks say to themselves "See? Dems overreacted as usual. This wasn't a big deal, but now my retirement is wiped out."  Maybe the cities go blue, everywhere else goes red, not much changes politically speaking.

Scenario B. Republicans get their way. Country opens up. Economic damage is less, but still significant. Lots more people die, but again... Mostly in cities. Outside the cities, folks see their retirement accounts start to recover and think, "well it's too bad about Mary Lou and Jim down the way, but at least I'm working. Plus DT sent me that check." And not much changes.

We haven't really seen the smaller, rural healthcare systems collapse yet... And I don't know that we will soon enough to affect things in November. Dems are stuck being the ones saying "no" here... Which means they'll get blamed for the economic damage if they push strong lockdowns, but they won't get any credit if they back a return to business as usual that results in economic recovery. They're screwed either way.

 

Offline 666maslo666

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GIVE ONE example of how the World Health Organization has been "criminally negligent" ONE.

1. WHO erroneously said that healthy general population did not need to wear masks.

2. WHO erroneously said that travel restrictions are ineffective.

Not sure about criminally negligent, but WHO recommendations were very much questionable at best, and in these cases did more damage than good, even when the WHO as a whole most definitely does more good than harm. Still, defunding it is very stupid, but there needs to be some reform.
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Quote from: Stealth
I agree with you that it shouldn't be a partisan issue, but it appears to be.
Each evening I'll watch the white house briefing, and then a few minutes of each 'side' argue (Fox/CNN).

Sorry for overlooking this before, but if you're watching Fox, CNN and the white house press briefings you're treating yourself to a small subset of the US's political spectrum, let alone the world's.  I'm not saying that means you should watch *more* stuff, but Trump (as an election strategy), Fox (through their political affiliation) and CNN (through their revenue model) have an active interest in polarising.

What it will do is add political pressure to do what Trump wants to regain their funding.

I mean, what can they do? the WHO recommended states to go for early detection, testing, tracing and social distancing according to risk from february onwards, advice which the Trump administration completely ignored but is now praising itself for implementing. They can't exactly pressure the WHO to err, go back in time and not give the advice the US refused to listen to? What's the end goal here if you're already doing the opposite of what the WHO says you should do?

And why would the WHO be interested in regaining US funding specifically when they can get those funds elsewhere? Fine for Trump if he doesn't want to pay for an organization that he's not using, bu the EU and China can and will just jump in to fill the gap. There's no greater strategy here, or atleast not one that's going to end up in the US's favour. It just contributes to them losing more and more face.

Quote
2. WHO erroneously said that travel restrictions are ineffective.

the US and Italy both implemented travel restrictions from China. These are the hardest hit nations in the world right now. South Korea has only waived it's Visa-free travel agreement with China, and was able to get the outbreak under control through extensive testing and social distancing measures.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2020, 07:14:38 am by -Joshua- »

 

Offline The E

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The thing about the German Kurzarbeit, similar models, even the cash stimulus payouts here in the us...these measures geared towards mitigating economic damage, saving the economy, however you want to put it... They're untested. They're essentially experimental for the kind of long-term shutdowns that seem to be necessary here. They also carry a hefty financial butcher's bill of their own, and at some point aaaallll that money our govts have spent trying to save the economy needs to be paid back in some form. Thats a scary unknown for policy makers, hence the push for the return to "business as normal" because at least we all sort of understand how that functions. I'm not arguing for or against anything here... Just positing some food for thought.

What are you talking about, social security is far from "untested". The scale of this crisis is unprecedented, but the basic mechanisms behind our social security do not care; We know that there's going to be a bit of deficit spending in the medium term, but here's the thing: That's not catastrophic either. Instead of seeing it as a debt, see it as an investment (which it is): By spending money now to keep people's lives and jobs as intact as possible, we're banking on a return on investment in a few years or decades.

Plus, always keep in mind that the US was at its most dynamic and prosperous at a time when the top marginal tax rate was in the high 70s and 80s.
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Offline 666maslo666

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the US and Italy both implemented travel restrictions. They were ineffective.

No, they were effective, even if they came too little and too late. Situation would be worse without them and they do slow down the curve. And that is why most of the world has corona-related travel restricitions implemented as of right now.
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