Until August

The word that appears extremely often in the discussions of COVID is August. IHME is now projecting peak deaths until August. Governor Pritzker’s office has been discussing August as the time before which nobody is planning to reopen. (I don’t have an official attribution because people are uncomfortable with being quoted).

Of course, right after August the Fall flu season will begin and there we go again.

So, yeah… Not optimistic.

8 thoughts on “Until August”

  1. I followed the link and was surprised to see the text so overtly based in social science rather than biological science. It’s public policy advocacy pretty much based on a quite simplistic monocausal analysis: “growing contacts among people will promote transmission of the coronavirus.” Huh?? What medical science has learned during the past few months about the specific biological characteristics of the disease or improvements in COVID treatment seem completely out of the frame here. Am I missing something?

    Here’s a dumb biology-based question – what if the virus has already killed many of its most likely victims in 2020? We know that the greatest number by far of the Wuhan flu deaths are of people over 75 with serious pre-existing medical conditions. Are there lots more of these people around who were saved by “social distancing” and so were able to escape the first wave? How many and where are they? If “social distancing” wasn’t able to spare these vulnerable folks in March/April, then why would the number of deaths increase if the lock-down is now lifted for those of working and school age who wouldn’t have been likely to experience serious illness in any case during the first wave?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “dumb biology-based question”

      You don’t spend 50 years pretending that biology doesn’t exist (for purposes of public policy) and then just…. stop.

      No one in public life wants to raise questions of biology because it’s social constructs all the way down….

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      1. “questions of biology…”

        Call me naive, but I presumed that epidemiology was based in the physical sciences and am taken aback to read a document that’s clearly just public policy advocacy hanging on the absolute thinnest of logical threads – namely, ‘growing contacts will promote growing spread’ – Holy pandemic, Batmaj

        Maybe it’s just as simple as this – at this point, the push to continue the lock-downs is not medical but political. A substantial portion of the public has been deeply frightened and is in fear for their lives. At the beginning, the lock-down policy was all top-down, now much of the pressure is bottom up. The plan of a neighbouring province to begin to open up primary schools has met with stiff resistance from teachers and parents to the point that it’s now estimated that 80% of children won’t attend. The government responded by further delaying opening even though it was already clear that attendance was voluntary and that teachers with serious underlying medical conditions were exempted from classroom duty.

        I found this an interesting read:

        https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2020/05/07/government-has-terrorised-britons-believing-coronavirus-will/

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        1. “I presumed that epidemiology was based in the physical sciences”

          Yes, you are naive.

          “A substantial portion of the public has been deeply frightened and is in fear for their lives”

          Americans are such wusses…. in Poland, people are done with the quarantine (lifting of restrictions by the government is meant to create the illusion that it’s their idea).

          I wrote about this:

          https://cliffarroyo.wordpress.com/2020/05/04/pessimistic-about-optimism/

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          1. “I wrote…”

            Thanks for the link, v. interesting. Other variables here might be real rates of unemployment due to the lock-down, partisan politics (the ‘woke’ in the U.S. and Canada are far more likely to believe in statist solutions to nearly everything, and anyway Orange Man Bad is to blame/can be blamed for all evil), and a nearly monolithic media that acts as the megaphone of the ‘woke’ elite. My bad, I don’t know enough about Poland to say anything intelligent in the way of comparison.

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        2. Britain is really in a mess. I had some recent communications with some people there. The older (and better educated) in the supportive care facilities all know they are being played, and they want out. It’s the younger people – people about 35 or younger, mostly in the Midlands or northern England (south of Scottish border) – hell, they just elected this past December 100 new. completely unqualified Tory MPs – in constituencies that have been solid labour party for 90-100 years. This is the party that’s been taking apart the NHS for 20 years. Back on topic – The one I know is absolutely terrified of covid-19 but has no concept of it, and is not amenable to attempts at logic. He goes on and on about what clinics have how many ventilators and if there will be one “for him” – He seemingly cannot connect the dots between his age group voting Tory, and the sad shape the NHS is in. I don’t know what to make of it.

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  2. What are they smoking? In FL at least, we are definitely over the hump. Current death rate for the whole state is ~20 per day, less than half of peak. It looks like a bit more than that if you’re looking at the covidtracking site, because FDOH is only counting residents– South FL is the docking place for a gazillion cruise ships, and we had to let them disembark eventually: those numbers make the state’s situation look slightly worse than it actually is. In spite of this, our hospitals are not overwhelmed. Not even in S. FL.

    We’ve reopened outdoor stuff: beaches, golf, some state parks, plus restaurants and retail with limited capacity. Obvious stuff like gyms are still closed. A lot of the remaining restrictions are geared to discouraging a massive influx of tourists from NY and NJ, I think: bars are allowed to open, but not to serve alcohol. Entertainment venues and theme parks still closed, no vacation rentals or large gatherings, and people traveling to FL from LA, CT, NY, and NJ are required to self-isolate for 2 weeks after arrival.

    If all goes well, perhaps your leaders in IL will be made to look bad enough that they’ll have to follow suit… before August 🙂

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  3. My guess is that the August thing is stalling. Stall long enough and you get into winter flu season and can use a new flu.

    Partial reopening may be stalling as well. In addition to lifting some of the more ridiculous stuff, allow businesses to reopen under conditions where they can’t possibly be profitable and have to close up shop anyway.

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