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Some Rational Perspectives on COVID-19


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John Hinderaker

April 13, 2020

Currently our economy is being decimated, not by a disease but by a series of governmental shutdown orders that have closed most businesses and resulted in millions of layoffs. These orders were based not on experience, but on models that we now know were wrong.

It is critical to remember that the shutdown strategy was never intended to stop people from getting sick. When we all emerge from hibernation, the virus will still be there, and some of us (more or less the same number) will still get sick. The idea was to “flatten the curve” by prolonging the epidemic, so that hospital resources would not be overwhelmed at any one time. We now know that projections of hospital and ICU use were wildly inaccurate. That means that the “flatten the curve” rationale has ceased to exist (unless you think there will be a vaccine or a cure within the next month or two, which won’t happen). So why are our governments persisting in devastating the lives of tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions, of Americans?

A reader from the New York area writes:

(Snip)

She notes this article by Stanford epidemiologist John Ioannidis in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation, titled “Coronavirus disease 2019: The harms of exaggerated information and non‐evidence‐based measures.” It is well worth your time. A couple of excerpts:

(Snip)

Finally, this one doesn’t come from our reader, but if you want to see what an old-fashioned epidemiologist from Germany thinks about social distancing, it is worth reading for entertainment value alone.

Quote

DR. WITTKOWSKI: With all respiratory diseases, the only thing that stops the disease is herd immunity. About 80% of the people need to have had contact with the virus, and the majority of them won’t even have recognized that they were infected, or they had very, very mild symptoms, especially if they are children. So, it’s very important to keep the schools open and kids mingling to spread the virus to get herd immunity as fast as possible, and then the elderly people, who should be separated, and the nursing homes should be closed during that time, can come back and meet their children and grandchildren after about 4 weeks when the virus has been exterminated.

Interviewer: And so, what do you make of the policy that was enacted in the United States and England and most places throughout the world, this policy of containment, shelter-in-place, etc.? What’s your opinion of it?

DR. WITTKOWSKI: Well, what people are trying to do is flatten the curve. I don’t really know why. But, what happens is if you flatten the curve, you also prolong, to widen it, and it takes more time. And I don’t see a good reason for a respiratory disease to stay in the population longer than necessary.

 

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It Appears That Panic Is Not The Correct Option. Particularly with a disease who's death rate amounts top a Rounding Error.

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From The Comments..................

Cicero

History will look back on this bizarre period as a hysterical reaction to what should have been a manageable threat. It will really be ironic if the gratuitous shutdown of our booming economy results in a depression from which it takes us years to recover.

Let this be a cautionary tale to future generations who may be inclined to reflexively bow before "experts" who have no track record of any kind of practical expertise. Unfortunately, it's probably too late for us.

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