This is a post on the often vastly-different opinions about reopening economies even while Coronavirus statistics show the threats from it have a “down slope“ (even with the dreadfully inaccurate models being used so far).
Following the Covid Tracking Project and depending on the accuracy of its figures, much information can be gained to question various public statements by officials and the media.
So, for what it’s worth, here are some summations made from my personal analysis of the figures I am seeing. Note that all figures can be checked from the constantly updated website of the Covid Tracking Project itself.
What they tell us about the emergency needs as constantly shown in media.
New York has been in the news constantly, often, it seems to me, because it highlights the media wish for President Donald Trump to be (negatively?) compared to the future media favourite, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York. In truth, Trump and the federal government gave overwhelming assistance to New York and just as well, too, because these statistics for New York (from anywhere and everywhere you look) showed that New York was the bottomless pit of bad statistics – and still is. Massive infection numbers, deaths, ICU and ventilator use and, by its statistics being over-emphasised in the terrible IMHE virus model used to drive federal policy, these terrible NY stats actually led to poor policy responses in many other states.
Looking at the actual statistics, New York is still badly hit, with 758 dying overnight and a total of 9,385 deaths so far. However, while its hospitalisation is extremely high at 18,707, the broken/useless IMHE model had predicted that it would have needed over 60,000 nearly a week ago! Going on the Cuomo-claimed demand for “40,000” extra ventilators, NY has 5,198 people in ICU now, far less ventilators required, even if every single patient in ICU needed them. In other words, if every hospital in New York was full (and they are not) probably just the stored ventilators plus the ones Trump and the government sent would easily cover that.
Comparable US States of Note re virus
California is the largest state in America by population and it has over 12,000 homeless on the streets, with typhus and other diseases prevalent among them. It seemed ready to be badly affected by this virus. Washington (and Seattle) had also been affected early, both states having a large Chinese working and university population with many travel links to China. Washington and California were both hit as early as New York yet their statistics have never been anything like New York and are flat-lining while NY is still aiming for the stars. Note that California has more than twice the population of New York,
Hospitalisation ICU Deaths
New York 18,707 5,198 9,385
New Jersey 7,604 1,914 2,350
California 5,234 1,539 651
Washington 642 191 491
Other major industrial states had relatively high figures also, such as Michigan 1487 deaths (1582 ICU), Illinois 3680 in hospital (1166 in ICU). In all of these other states, they have not only enough equipment but some are offloading it to other States (California, Washington).
Special Case Florida
Florida is the 3rd largest state in the USA and has a conservative governor Ron DeSantis. He kept the state open for a long time, defying all the experts, official and unofficial (ie media) . I am not sure if he was trying for “herd immunity” whereby you protect the extremely vulnerable but allow a virus to go through a society. This entails “accepting” casualties at the start until a joint immunity comes into the population and operations get back to normal without an economy having to be closed or a people generally isolated. At this “end”, total casualties are assumed to be far less and time taken much less than with the shut-down policy. Sweden is one of the only nations trying this and it is keenly watched.
Florida Governor DeSantis only ordered a state-wide shutdown from April 2 and the test of this in his state will come within days. At the moment deaths and statistics are relatively low, wit 465 deaths and a cumulative total of hospitalisations of a comparative few of 2,772.
States, statistics and the possibility of reopening of the economy
It isn’t only the USA where controversy around reopening the economy is sometimes about politics. The US election on November 3 is a vital date and many people have said openly they would wish for a recession if it would stop Trump, Bill Maher for one. With the flimsy impeachment and the travesty of the Russiagate enquiry for two years, anything is possible. The Cloward-Piven strategy to destroy the US economy prior to its rebuilding under the new plan is still in evidence everywhere, but controversy about reopening isn’t confined to the USA so there are legitimate grounds for disagreement on if/when economies can restart.
As always “too early” could mean a flare up of the virus and horrendous figures are passed around, often from models which, while they might have been discredited on their total predictions, some still show a creditable direction of a possible revival of the virus. I note how most negative surveys allow for a complete reopening with no restrictions of anyone or no restrictions of the vulnerable segment of the population, neither of which are proposed in any of the touted reopening plans.
Naming US states to look at
Considering losses caused to States through the mere closure of numerous small businesses and also consider that a number of states are virtually virus-free anyway. Taking the no- shutdown states (and I am still curious why the media and some politicos demanded Pres Trump order them to shut down – unless it was to blame him *for* the shutdowns), but they seem to be relatively unaffected. Utah, Nebraska, Arkansas, North and South Dakota and zero-deaths Wyoming might not be the heavy industry heartland, but with multiples of other states with under 30 fatalities and virtually minuscule hospitalisations, surely that will allow consideration of a careful, targeted reopening of parts of their economies. Other States such as West Virginia, Alaska, Hawaii, Vermont, Nebraska, Idaho, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire and even New Mexico, having very low deaths and hospitalisations, many businesses of varying sizes could get a start. If these states and various cities within them carefully protected the vulnerable elderly or those with co-morbidities that, added to increased testing, especially antibody testing allowing authorities to be able to name “safe” workers, there seems no need to shut down and possibly kill parts of the economies of many states.Follow