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Patience Will Run Out

By April 24, 2020Commentary

An article at Real Clear Politics notes that the American public, never known for its patience, is unlikely to tolerate the current business shutdowns and stay-at-home orders for long.  (RCP Article)  I suspect this is particularly true because sooner or later most people will figure out that 1) they were fed a bunch of misinformation about the risks to them of contracting the disease (which for healthy, working age people are negligible) and that 2) policymakers completely ignored the likely impacts of these shutdown orders.  There is really no reason for the vast majority of the public not to go about their lives as they did before.  There is no “danger”, as our Governor is fond of threatening us with, unless you consider getting a mild cold dangerous, in returning to work sites or public places.  Sweden’s approach looks more and more attractive, get yourself to natural immunity with as little damage as possible.  We, on the other hand, seemed determined to destroy our economy, to modestly delay the ultimate spread of the virus.  We are completely undermining our health system, putting governments that we depend on for health in a very dangerous financial position and ruining the future for out students by interrupting their studies.  All for no good reason.  But don’t expect policymakers to change quickly; they are not going to admit they made a mistake.

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  • Harley says:

    Only a fool makes an initial model or forecast and doesn’t change it later to incorporate new data of what actually happened. Financial forecasts, weather forecasts, crop forecasts, all are adjusted over time based on new data, changes in key assumptions, and unexpected developments.

    I don’t expect the people in DHS in St. Paul to ever get things right or to be confident enough to acknowledge a mistake, but I expected better from the School of Public Health at the U of M. I didn’t realize they are that stubborn or that political. Or just not that bright.

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