Friday, April 24, 2020
So You Want Out Of Lockdown?
First, a few points:
Ending lockdowns isn't going to jumpstart the economy, nor end massive unemployment.
1) Airline and cruise travel, tourism, pro sports, amusement parks, hotels, etc. - oh, and the entire oil industry - are all going to be in the sh*tter for the rest of this year, and well beyond.
2) I seem to recall this wee $11.5T stock market massive flaming nosedive ending in a smoking hole, that may have just a tad to do with how the economy performs going forward, even if your Fairy Godmother whisked this pandemic away with a flick of her wand, right now.
3) I'm not impressed by the whinging and hyperventilating about the horrors of a seven-week shutdown. There are no bloat-bellied orange-haired children with flies in their eyes walking the streets of anyone's city, town, suburb, or dirt road, neither in Big City, nor Hootenholler. So quit with the panic attacks.
4) Let's also recall the situation in the Great Depression, where it was far worse, and everyone ate their babies, committed suicide, and the whole country starved to death because...oh, wait, never mind, none of that happened because of the Great Depression. So let's tone down the "OMG! Economic Catastrophe" what-ifs for a minute.
The economy is currently shit. The lockdown being lifted isn't going to turn that into ice cream, and certainly not overnight. But stupidly lifting it unilaterally has a damned good chance of showing you what 49 more NYFCs look like, where you live.
So let's not do that, shall we?
We've flattened the curve. In some places, flatter than whale turds at the bottom of the Marianas Trench. Everyplace else, much flatter than NYFC.
They are now the poster child for how not to deal with this pandemic.
How about doing and trying everything other than stay-at-home/shelter-in-place?
1) Latest word from WH briefings and the CDC (caveat emptor) is that summer sunlight and temperatures kill this thing on surfaces and in air in less time than a commercial. So a priority ought to be lifting the jackassical lockdowns on outdoor recreation areas and beaches. The bathrooms there, and any indoor air-conditioned venues, not so much.
2) Ordinary isopropyl alcohol apparently kills this bitch deader than canned tuna in half a minute too. So how's about we all agree to decon the f**k out of everything not moving, especially in public, over and over again, with every anti-viral cleansing agent known to man?
3) There will always be the 10% Gilligans in any population (Stout cudgel. Cranium. Assembly required.) , but people should be required to wear and use properly appropriate PPE, like masks and gloves, and given the opportunity to take responsibility for their own protection, and get out and about. I've taken care of 1-2 dozen Kung Flu patients already, at close range, using nothing more complicated than that. It works, and if I can do it, you darned sure can, if you have access to enough of the PPE to do it. Let's require its use in public, universally, and crank that stuff out by the metric f**kton.
4) We're going to have to test, and universally. First to find out who doesn't have it, and who does. So we need gajillions of rapid tests, that are accurate, and specific to SARS-CoV-2, not just any coronavirus including ones that cause a cold. We should start by testing the populations of lesser inhabited states first, and turning them loose, both because they'll be easier to clear faster, and if mistakes are made, they endanger fewer people. Besides, it's time North Dakota and Wyoming were at the head of the line for something. IL, FL, NY, TX, and CA should be dead last. Suck it up, buttercups. By the time we get to them, we should have a lot more tests, equipment, etc., so we'll be better prepared to open them as well, and fast enough to get it done.
5) And BTW, start by testing the actual essential workers, to clear them. Transportation/drivers, freight handlers, farmers, grocery clerks, water/gas/power engineers and workers, garbage collectors, cops, firefighters, EMS, and medical personnel. Then, everybody else, household by household.
6) Actual no-shit quarantines of infected/contagious people, with full lockdown "stay your @$$ at home" quarantine rules, posted signs, public health monitoring, and draconian enforcement for any violations, until they're cleared. Instead of locking up the healthy people.
None of that requires waiting on treatments nor vaccines made of vaporware. It isn't stupid, and it's all doable starting tomorrow. And none of it, done right, is liable to contribute a single new infection or death. It simply takes hospital and public health common sense from a century ago, and demands that we use it now.
Let's do this by hemming this bitch virus in, instead of stupidly doing unilateral lifting of lockdowns, which will just spread it around, and guarantee that we spread this to everyone, create 49 or 100 more NYFCs, and kill people off by the bushel for the rest of the year.
That, I can get behind unreservedly, and other than the contagious infected, requires just about Jack and Squat Big Brother nannyism, or any more jackassical overreach by local petty tyrants and our would-be clipboard commando overlords. It also requires not one single bit of dubious surveys, magical models, calculating unknowable percentages of exposed, sick, hospitalized, dead, nor any other wild thing.
That doesn't mean they, and sheltering in place, never served any useful purpose, but their utility is largely over (unless TPTB/Idiots In Charge cock this up by the numbers, and get us back to Square One).We know what we need to know about things, and pushing decimal points back and forth solves nothing.
It will require hordes of testing materials, and PPE and decon supplies in small and large mountains. Okay, so let's get on that.
Wash your damned hands, wear your mask, and gloves - and change them! - decon the hell out of everything not moving, and lock up the infected people, and we can get through this without killing off worst case estimates.
Or, slow-roll an idiotic unilateral lockdown lift, and spend the whole year killing great gobs more people slowly, with a dull rusty saw.
You pays your nickel, and you takes your chances.