I live in Minnesota. Our Governor has just succumbed to coronavirus panic syndrome and ordered a complete economic lockdown. He claims that if he doesn’t do this, up to 74,000 lives could be lost. That is absurd. I have repeatedly given the real-world experiment conducted on the Diamond Princess cruise ship as the best guide, and a worst case example, of the consequences of widespread exposure to the virus. I will do it again. There were 3711 people on board. There is no question that they all had constant, heavy exposure to the virus. The population skewed far older than the general population. You can see the skewing and the results in analysis on any number of websites. NOW GET THIS–ONLY 20% OF PEOPLE EVEN GOT INFECTED. We have the American population, according to polls, believing that 100% of people are going to get infected. Out of the 20% who got infected, only half had any symptoms. A very small percent were seriously ill. 8 or 10 people, depending on the analysis you read, died. The uncertainty is due to the fact that some of these people would have died anyway and attributing the cause to coronavirus is uncertain. Let’s assume it is 10. The math is straightforward. Only .27% of the population of the ship died. In a worst case scenario. In the real world, the rate will be far lower. And this is consistent with real world experience to date. In the city of Wuhan, the virus ran unchecked for weeks in a dense urban environment, with a population of well over 10 million people. The actual infection rate and the death rate were very low, even if you don’t completely trust Chinese reporting.
People are being panicked by completely unfounded “models” claiming infection rates which simply can’t and won’t occur. Our Governor said up to 50% of people could be infected. That is not supported by any available data. Dr. Birx, the national coronavirus coordinator, specifically said in the daily briefing yesterday that these kinds of numbers are not accurate and are unduly scaring people. (Birx Comments) On the other hand, his orders shutting down the economy have already led to the loss of tens of thousands of jobs in the state. The toll of economic depressions, which is what we are creating, is almost unfathomable. Suicides, health problems, homelessness, food insecurity, domestic and child abuse, divorce, all increase. No stimulus program is going to reverse the lasting effects of the job loss and financial ruin being imposed on the population. I want to see the Governor stop taking credit for saving lives and specifically come out and own the job loss and economic harm he is causing. I want him to go speak to every Minnesotan who is damaged by his actions and explain how he is being so heroic.
We have to stand up and push back. Write your legislators, write your governors, write to your newspapers, call talk shows. Express your opinions. Demand that legislatures, not governors, make these decisions, after hearing evidence and testimony. And insist that the harms of the lockdown be fully taken into account.
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When the Swine flu of 1918 hit it took out mostly younger people in America. They still guess where it came from but said that the reason the older population was spared was mainly because they had lived thru the previous flu pandemic of 1898 and had built up an immunity.
You forgot to add that Dr. Birx stated “if we do nothing.” The number of cases will rise and more people will die if we do nothing. So, it seems that Governor Walz is asking all of us to do something, stay away from other people. Yes, this entire history lesson is scary. But you seem to be in the demographic age of those who die from this disease. Yes, there are the few 100 year olds who recover. No one can take one ship of people and compare it to the US. Covid-19 is a disease, not someone or something you can control.
They put everyone into quarantine on Feb 4th when there were 10 confirmed cases. That number ended up being 700 (during a quarantine–a poor one might I add). You laying out this half-truth logic is really damaging to society right now and can potentially cause more spread. I get your website is the ‘heathy skeptic’ so you need to keep playing Devil’s advocate, but in the case of Corona, it has real world consequences. I’d like to research who your medical client’s are and send them this article. You medical clients are in the front lines right now. If you look at death rates vs. known cases, it’s at about 2%. Retract this irresponsible article.
I am so relieved to finally read other humans using their brains. Thank you very much for your article.
I studied micro & macro economics and I know
there are better options than blocking 100% of population to help less than the 1%.
How come it has been decades of disfunctional health care systems everywhere (in Canada its free but there is not enough doctors so you can die before being even treated!). Governments didn’t have enough money to invest in health care but yet they all choose to loose BILLIONS on the ENTIRE ECONOMY instead of investing this money on long term hospitals and paying nurses & doctors better than lawyers so more people could be attracted of enrolling in health careers for long term.
The real problem of this virus that affect less people than the flu, is the incapacity of hospitals to deal with more shit. Unfortunately, there will always be the need of more health care. Nowadays 1 person out 5 will face a cancer. This is already overwhelming the health care system.
Also, there will always be unfairness in the real world. Personal responsibilities should be back on the front line. Taking care of the minorities is a never ending job drawning everybodydown. #evolution#Darwin
Thank you for your article. I’m so very tired of everyone living in fear, it’s as if death is a new concept we have never encountered. Yet we have cancer, diabetes, heart disease, car accidents, HIV, influenza, and all of these take more lives each year than the coronavirus…
Noone has cared….people only care to find a cure or that people are dying when they think it might be them.
Living in fear of death is not living at all. I respect the right of people who want to live in fear, they can stay home and huddle in their house, but I have a constitutional right to work and to live….or at least I did before the coronavirus.
No one has yet created any estimates of total infected, the way that the influenza virus is merely an estimate.
It’s all hysterical nonsense over the common cold.