Gosh, your whole article is one laugh after another.

Out for a morning troll, I see.

That statement I quoted was particularly funny, given that well over a million people a year die of cigarette smoking, many horribly. In fact, some 40% of American deaths are due to lifestyle choices, and many of those deaths could be delayed a long time with fairly minor life changes.

Yes, thank you for that. People start these behaviors when young, when the ability to make risk-adjusted decisions is not developed. There are no shortage of articles written about how these sorts of lifestyle choices are inculcated in people in their early years, causing an addiction (in the case of cigarettes and alcohol) or a habit (which can be just as difficult to break.)

So, although your example of bad decision making” is not entirely without merit, it does not take into account the fact that people do not get up every morning and “make a decision to smoke”; the decision was made years earlier before full adulthood, and thus is in an entirely different category from the decision a family with two laid-off breadwinners and two children might make while staring at their utility bills and an empty bank account.

You also don’t seem to realize that the people deciding not to quarantine are not the same people who bear the brunt of the risks. Someone might rationally argue, “I’m perfectly healthy, so why should I care about the hundred million Americans with a pre-existing condition?”

This is of course a more interesting argument than the previous; it was very relevant in the days of the Spanish Flu. Today…….it’s much weaker, since a person with a pre-existing condition has no need to leave their homes whatsoever, what with the existence of Amazon and Instacart and all. Thus, people engaging in commerce outside their homes presents only a nominal risk to those with co-morbidities.

I would also support, as part of this “new normal”, investment in local government programs which insures that this new class of “shut ins” is not egregiously put upon by the additional costs of their groceries and the like.

You should try to look at what you wrote from the perspective of someone who is not yourself.

In that I’m 65, I have a fair regard for that perspective. I also have close friends who have Lupus and other complicating medical issues, so I hear their perspectives loud and clear. So, with that in mind, let’s get to the core of the matter:

The debate here is actually between two groups. The first group believes we should stay shut down until risk levels from COVID19 are negligible;’ the second group believes that most, if not all, commerce can resume relatively safely, as long as mass congregation events (concerts, sporting events, festivals, crowded church services, etc) continue to be banned, AND commercial organizations and customers engage in sterile behaviors, social distancing, etc.

The problem with the views of the first group is that the antiviral victory it envisions may be complete, but it is shortsighted — — the victory would be at the cost of a functioning economy. The term “Pyrrhic Victory” comes to mind. The proponents of such strategies are not “peeling the onion” deeply enough; they’re thinking about the virus only, and ignoring the economic repercussions of their policies. It’s the same sort of thinking that (for example) causes a jurisdiction to raise taxes over the objection of businesses, and then act surprised when the businesses move outside of that taxing jurisdiction. Or, similarly, in the case of Maryland, who implemented a millionaires tax, then was shocked to find out that many of their millionaires moved out of state.

Personally, I would prefer that the results of our anti-COVID policies not lead to Thunderdome, if you can appreciate that cultural reference. And the vast sums of money the government has expended over the last six weeks should be a good indication that “Thunderdome” is not hyperbole, as possible outcomes go.

The views of the second group I find more pragmatic and persuasive. Open businesses at a set capacity level; Texas is using 25% of the capacities set by the fire codes, I believe, AND insure that social distance is maintained between customers, AND that employees are protected. (I think there’s room here for OSHA to hop in and create new standards about what defines a “safe” workplace, to be sure.)

The second group, to be sure, is VERY interested in data which indicates that for those who lack comorbidities……very few people are even hospitalized, much less die, because this bolsters the case that a phased and rational re-opening does not substantially increase public health risk.

(Conversely, the first group seems willing to ignore the data such as that linked above, which indicates the extent to which this has become a politically-infused matter which is not based on data or reason.)

In particular, you don’t argue many of your points

Just did.

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Data Driven Econophile. Muslim, USA born. Been “woke” 2x: 1st, when I realized the world isn’t fair; 2nd, when I realized the “woke” people are full of shit.

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