On Lockdown

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ray_parkhurst
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Re: On Lockdown

Post by ray_parkhurst »

rjlittlefield wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:55 pm
ray_parkhurst wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 6:54 pm
edited to add: an actual law might be that "it is illegal to expel air from your mouth or nose such that it can escape into the surrounding airspace unimpeded."
If the law were written by somebody who was careful about what they were doing, it would specify the functional characteristics of the filtering mechanism, and for convenience of enforcement, would also list some specific examples of mechanisms that, in the absence of other evidence, would be legally presumed to either meet or not meet the requirements. Sleeves, handkerchiefs, and fingers would fall in the latter category. If somebody can demonstrate that their fingers are the functional equivalent of several layers of cotton fabric, and that they were using them consistently in that manner, then of course they should be permitted to do that.
Usually a law is left intentionally vague so that it is difficult to challenge in court. The "details" are left to the unelected bureaucracies to flesh-out in the form of "regulations". It is common for regulations to spell out what businesses must do in order to maintain their licenses, etc, but when it comes to a law directed at individuals, the bureaucrats must be more careful. Thus details of filtering mechanisms, etc as you describe would not be included in the law, but could in theory be included in a regulation. Court challenges would be quick (if the regulations are enforced), and the regulations forced to be changed.

You may have noticed that very few if any of the shutdown orders (including masks, social distancing, etc) are being enforced. Many county Sheriffs are refusing to enforce the orders because they are perceived as unconstitutional, thus much of the compliance has been voluntary, with some amount of "peer pressure" thrown in. The only valid rules are those instituted by stores and other businesses. It's perfectly fine for a business to decide that it will only allow you inside if you are wearing a mask, have a normal temperature, are not coughing, etc.

I've been curious how it would resolve if a law was passed requiring that employees wear masks, and an employee was fired or otherwise reprimanded for not wearing one. I suppose if the company held the position that it's not corporate policy but was only enforced due to the law, the employee would have standing and the law could be challenged. If the company's corporate policy included mask mandates, then I suppose even though the law required it, standing would be questionable.

kaleun96
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Re: On Lockdown

Post by kaleun96 »

ray_parkhurst wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 10:36 am
]
But all the shutdowns were supposed to do was flatten the curve. We did that. We won. Even if the curve goes as high as before, we still won because that is far lower than the many more who would have died had we let the virus peak naturally, completely overloading the system.
I'm curious about your focus on "winning", this is a virus - there is no winning. Even a country like New Zealand with only 20-odd deaths and now close to a fully functioning society (minus intl. travel for now) hasn't "won". They've minimised the impact by following the science and are currently better for it but there is nothing to be won here.

For every country, the battle continues. For countries like NZ, Australia, Taiwan, Vietnam etc, they have primarily bought themselves time by flattening the curve and thus drawing out and minimising the impact of the virus.

Countries like the USA are far from winning anything and there is simply no other way to put regardless of the differences in testing and data collection between countries. While the US hasn't fully capitulated to the virus, it has done so more than most countries (that you'd want to be compared to). You've "won" in the sense things could've been worse, but lost by some margin in the sense that the US should've done, and was expected to have done, much, much better.

If this were the Olympics, I hope you don't think that the US would belong on the podium.
I do not trust any data coming from any source related to this pandemic, or any models or conclusions based on that data. The data has been bad from the very beginning, and whether it's simply incompetence, or malice, or politics, or some combination of factors, we continue to be shown bad data from which bad conclusions are made.
How do you know it is bad data if there is no trustworthy source? Does your distrust extend to all countries collecting data, independently of one another? Does it extend to all forms of data collected by scientific and government agencies?

I'm reminded of the quote "all models are wrong, but some are useful". We don't need the data to be 100% correct, we just need it to be useful.

My day job is in statistics/analytics and is mostly spent helping people interpret data. A lot of the data is incorrect or incomplete in some form but in an expected way and as long as that is the case it's still useful for drawing insights and making conclusions from. This is the basis for how surveys that are to represent millions can still be accurate by only surveying a few thousand (if that).
- Cam

ray_parkhurst
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Re: On Lockdown

Post by ray_parkhurst »

kaleun96 wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 1:25 pm
I'm curious about your focus on "winning", this is a virus - there is no winning. Even a country like New Zealand with only 20-odd deaths and now close to a fully functioning society (minus intl. travel for now) hasn't "won". They've minimised the impact by following the science and are currently better for it but there is nothing to be won here.
The justification for the shutdowns was to "flatten the curve". Per Gov Cuomo from our worst-hit state of New York, we "crushed the curve". In none of the states, even NY, did we exceed the capacity of our hospital system, which was the core concern that "flattening the curve" was supposed to fix. Thus, we not only met the goal, we exceeded it in even the worst-hit state. We won!

Of course the fight continues, but unless the peak in hospitalizations exceeds capacity, there should be no reason to continue shutdowns. We won't know [much in advance] of course, and if the hospitalizations look like they'll go beyond capacity in some locales, those locales may need to be shut down again. We're now presumably paying the price for poor pandemic protocol, but so far the secondary peaks of the first wave look to be under control.
kaleun96 wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 1:25 pm
How do you know it is bad data if there is no trustworthy source? Does your distrust extend to all countries collecting data, independently of one another? Does it extend to all forms of data collected by scientific and government agencies?
We're in weird situation data-wise right now regarding the pandemic. There are so many variables in the data collection that are not being factored into the analysis that even if it was correct, it would still be difficult to make useful conclusions. Layer onto this the incompetence/malice/etc which resulted in the earlier Lancetgate and more recent Postivitygate fiascos. Layer onto this the political climate and potential for politically-motivated data "adjustments". Layer onto this the next fiasco, etc, and it just reinforces the "useless" character of the pandemic data.
kaleun96 wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 1:25 pm
I'm reminded of the quote "all models are wrong, but some are useful". We don't need the data to be 100% correct, we just need it to be useful.
I agree that with enough analysis and interpretation something useful could be made of the data, but I'm not sure enough info about how each data set is skewed is available (at least not to me) to make that analysis. It takes this type of analysis to turn the "data" into "information", and it takes more than just the raw data to do it. This is why I railed against the "data" linked earlier by Lou Jost. On its own, that data is at best useless, and at worst may point in the wrong direction.

ray_parkhurst
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Re: On Lockdown

Post by ray_parkhurst »

We've discussed the "whys" of wearing masks, and consensus seems to be that it is more to protect the public against folks who are contagious for whatever reason, and less to protect the individual mask wearer against infection. So why is it that the mask wearing mandates don't apply to children? In California, children 12 or younger are not required to wear masks. I understand that children are far less likely to go full CoViD-19, but they certainly may exhibit mild symptoms when exposed, and I would presume are contagious. I find it very disconcerting to be in public, especially an enclosed space, with kids not wearing masks and coughing for whatever reason. If kids are so unlikely to get sick that they don't even need to wear masks around potentially vulnerable folks, then why can't they go back to school? I've heard the arguments that teachers are disproportionately in the vulnerable class due to age and for some reason they have a higher incidence of co-morbidities, but if kids don't even need to wear masks, why are we worried about the teachers?

Lou Jost
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Re: On Lockdown

Post by Lou Jost »

Of course the fight continues, but unless the peak in hospitalizations exceeds capacity, there should be no reason to continue shutdowns.
I thought we had dealt with this misconception above. While the immediate goal at the beginning was to flatten the curve, the ultimate goal is to keep total deaths acceptably low. Your goal seems to be to let the disease run through the population, as long as the curve stays level. This means a huge number of unneccesary deaths. Today's covid death rate in the US is around 1000 per day. If we "win" in your sense, 350000 (edited) more people will die of it per year. That's near the number who died in WWII (edited).

As I showed you yesterday, this outcome was not inevitable. Many other countries flattened the curve and then made sure R_0 was low before re-opening. In many cases this seems to have worked, especially in places where leaders did not deny the science and people did their part. Even if your primary concern is economic, this would be the preferable route.

New edit: Want to see how crazy some US leaders are? The governor of Georgia (where case numbers are rising fast) has today forbidden local governments from requiring people to wear masks in public.

ray_parkhurst
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Re: On Lockdown

Post by ray_parkhurst »

Lou Jost wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 5:07 pm
I thought we had dealt with this misconception above. Your goal seems to be to let the disease run through the population, as long as the curve stays level. Do you not care that this means a huge number of unneccesary deaths?
I'm not sure what you mean by "as long as the curve stays level". That is not the case, and I've stated in other posts that if it appears the peak in a certain locale will be higher than the healthcare system can handle, then a shutdown of that locale seems prudent. The natural form of these outbreaks is a peak, and then a decline. There were criteria set after the shutdowns began that said the shutdowns could only be lifted (in stages) after the peaks subsided, and dropped over a 2-week period. So what do you mean by "as long as the curve stays level"?

You also seem to have the mis-perception that "flattening the curve" somehow means fewer deaths. The total number of deaths will most likely be the same no matter what we do. Flattening the curve just spreads them out over time so the health care systems are not overloaded. This virus is extremely contagious and virulent, and most likely everyone on the planet will eventually be exposed, just as they have been for countless millennia to the other coronaviruses.

Flattening the curve gives folks valuable time to boost their immune systems so that they can better survive the inevitable infection. Hopefully they have not wasted this opportunity. Continuing to wear masks, social distance, etc can potentially push the timing out further, but from my understanding, this virus will likely be with us for years and years, and it sounds like antibodies are unfortunately short-lived, making vaccines ineffective. We may be exposed again and again, just as we are to other coronaviruses and influenzas, and hopefully we will survive those infections. Those of us with other problems may be killed, just as we are with influenza.

Edited to add: I see you edited your post while I was writing mine...

The GA governor did the right thing. Freedom is more important than security.

Lou Jost
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Re: On Lockdown

Post by Lou Jost »

I'm trying to use your own definition of "flatten the curve". For example, earlier today you said that the goal of flattening the curve was to keep hospital occupancy from exceeding capacity. You said that as long as the hospitals weren't overloaded, we "won". But this criterion implies a steady death rate.
Of course the fight continues, but unless the peak in hospitalizations exceeds capacity, there should be no reason to continue shutdowns.
The curve doesn't go down by itself, unless you wait until "herd immunity" is reached. You have to reduce R_0 (via masks, partial shutdowns, etc) to get the curve to go down now. The ultimate goal is not just to flatten the curve in your sense, but rather to reduce R_0 substantially so that the total number of deaths are minimized.

Obviously the total number of deaths is different in these two cases. In the latter case, the disease could even disappear.

rjlittlefield
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Re: On Lockdown

Post by rjlittlefield »

ray_parkhurst wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 6:10 pm
Freedom is more important than security.
That's an interesting bit of absolutism.

My grandpa used to say that "One man's freedom to swing his fists around ends at the other man's nose." It's the same principle that supports the widespread prohibitions against smoking in public places. Those rules have been around for a long time, and at least in my state their constitutionality is well established. (Google washington supreme court smoking in public places if you want more details. It's a common question. Google will suggest the query before you've typed very much.)

--Rik

Lou Jost
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Re: On Lockdown

Post by Lou Jost »

The GA governor did the right thing. Freedom is more important than security.
Well, we've now gotten to the core of the issue.

There are some missing pronouns here. Your freedom is more important than our security.

The implication is that your freedom to not wear a mask is more important than the lives of your fellow citizens. Surely you don't mean that. Surely there should be some weighting of these outcomes. The minor inconvenience of wearing a mask versus possibly inflicting a horrible death on an innocent person. Which of these alternatives is really more important?
Last edited by Lou Jost on Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ray_parkhurst
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Re: On Lockdown

Post by ray_parkhurst »

Lou Jost wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 6:32 pm
Obviously the total number of deaths is different in these two cases. In the latter case, the disease could even disappear.
I hope you're right, but it's not going to happen that way in the US. I'm not the only American who values freedom.

Lou Jost
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Re: On Lockdown

Post by Lou Jost »

it's not going to happen that way in the US. I'm not the only American who values freedom.
Yes, I agree with you about that. All you have to do is look at the photos of that Trump rallly in Tulsa. Virtually no one wore a mask, even though masks were handed out at the door. The sad thing is that this block of people intermix with people who do everything they can to protect their friends and loved ones from getting the virus. This latter group will be infected by the maskless freedom fighters no matter what they do.
Last edited by Lou Jost on Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ray_parkhurst
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Re: On Lockdown

Post by ray_parkhurst »

rjlittlefield wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 6:38 pm
ray_parkhurst wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 6:10 pm
Freedom is more important than security.
My grandpa used to say that "One man's freedom to swing his fists around ends at the other man's nose."
I hate strawmen such as this. I'm not advocating freedom to inflict harm. If you know you are contagious, and you go out into the world without a mask, you are liable for any injuries you cause. Let's go back to the core principle of freedom: you can do anything you want as long as it is not illegal or intentionally causes others harm. If you have a fever, or a cough, or have tested positive, or know you have been in contact recently with someone who has tested positive, then if you go out without a mask, you should be held accountable. This is basic stuff, and it's hard for me to imagine why it's so difficult for folks to understand.

Lou Jost
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Re: On Lockdown

Post by Lou Jost »

Ray, it is not a straw man. According to the best information we have today, asymptomatic cases can spread the disease.

ray_parkhurst
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Re: On Lockdown

Post by ray_parkhurst »

Lou Jost wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 6:40 pm
The GA governor did the right thing. Freedom is more important than security.
Well, we've now gotten to the core of the issue.

There are some missing pronouns here. Your freedom is more important than our security.

The implication is that your freedom to not wear a mask is more important than the lives of your fellow citizens. Surely you don't mean that. Surely there should be some weighting of these outcomes. The minor inconvenience of wearing a mask versus possibly inflicting a horrible death on an innocent person. Which of these alternatives is really more important?
You still don't get it Lou. Everyone is eventually going to be exposed to this virus. It's just a matter of time.

I don't believe I am infected/contagious, so I would not intentionally infect anyone by not wearing a mask. If I had any inkling I was infected, I'd self-quarantine. In reality I do wear a mask because it is required by the businesses I frequent that I do so. That is their right, and I respect it since I want to shop there. Those same businesses state that "if you have a fever or cough, or have tested positive for COVID19, do not enter".

ray_parkhurst
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Re: On Lockdown

Post by ray_parkhurst »

Lou Jost wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:09 pm
Ray, it is not a straw man. According to the best information we have today, asymptomatic cases can spread the disease.
That's not the strawman I was referring to.

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