Will you return to taprooms, bars, restaurants, and beer gardens or wait?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Todd, May 13, 2020.

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Will you return or wait?

Poll closed Aug 11, 2020.
  1. Return

    795 vote(s)
    43.0%
  2. Wait

    1,053 vote(s)
    57.0%
  1. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (2,109) Mar 12, 2013 California
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    https://www.statistikdatabasen.scb....0101__BE0101I/Dodstal/table/tableViewLayout1/

    I didn't know where else to post this but Sweden released their preliminary mortality stats for the year. 2020 was the worst year since 2010 for the 90+ crowd, otherwise every other cohort has had deadlier years in the last decade. Seems like their approach has worked pretty good. Seems like its time to open up and let people make more of their own choices about what level of risk is appropriate for them
     
  2. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (3,102) Mar 12, 2009 New York
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    "By late January 2021, more than 11,500 people in Sweden had died, or 113 per 100,000 of its population. That was above the EU average, triple Denmark’s death rate and 10 times Norway’s. "
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/arti...ghtened-its-light-touch-covid-rules-quicktake
     
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  3. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (2,109) Mar 12, 2013 California
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    And yet they did not have increased all cause mortality. Almost as if the method of assigning death to this virus is flawed. Or maybe this virus provides some sort of protection against other causes of mortality equal to the death it causes? They certainly didn't suffer any apocalyptic death toll from following a much lighter approach to social control
     
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  4. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (2,109) Mar 12, 2013 California
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    Norway and Finland haven't released 2020 mortality stats yet and Denmark's stats page isn't nearly as user friendly and only seems to offer total death numbers but the trends look very similar to Sweden for all cause mortality.
     
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  5. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (3,102) Mar 12, 2009 New York
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    I'm actually okay with a Sweden-esque "keep the old and sick segregated and try to develop herd immunity" strategy, if it works. Even if this strategy didn't work to keep the most vulnerable safe from disease (it doesn't), and they had high mortality, I would be okay with it, if it worked to help overall health of the population, and produced less severe economic results. Even though I, personally, am in that most vulnerable group, I would be okay with the strategy if it had clear benefit for the country as a whole. What I've read indicates that this strategy doesn't work. This is why Sweden rethought their strategy.

    There is no evidence to indicate that any strategy to deal with the disease from a public health standpoint is better than any other from an economic standpoint. Death is an instant measure of success, no matter how you try to massage statistics of death to make a point, but economy is something longer term, judged in hindsight. So the idea that having a strategy that allows a certain sector and percentage of the population to take the health/other consequences more severely, so that the health/economy as a whole will have less severe consequences, isn't borne out as successful strategy in any reading I've done. I am sure in future we will look back at this, and compare it in all ways to the other similar, past disasters we look to now for guidance on how best to deal with this one.
     
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  6. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (2,109) Mar 12, 2013 California
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    Swedens elderly did not suffer higher mortality rates than usual this year, outside of the 90+ age group. This age group had a statistically significantly low mortality in 2019 as well that was balanced by their higher mortality in 2020

    This is.true and we won't be able to ascertain the broad economic impacts of different approaches for a few more years now. However, given that the only real control we have (Sweden) for this unprecedented public health experiment has shown to not have suffered any excess mortality as a result of their less aggressive (and more traditional) approach to this health concern, its pretty unreasonable to continue to insist that our very extreme and experimental approach is the only sensible approach.

    It also raises serious questions about how we are assigning deaths to.this disease
     
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  7. EmperorBatman

    EmperorBatman Initiate (165) Mar 16, 2018 Tennessee

    I have often pondered if the practice of enforced mass-lockdowns simply extended and attenuated human suffering to a broader group of people than who would have been otherwise affected, and if it has extended that suffering to a notable degree beyond the timeline of the actual pandemic itself. In other words; millions more people will certainly suffer from joblessness than from contracting the virus itself, and while the pandemic will eventually abate, the aftermath of economic damage wrought by the anti-pandemic measures will certainly persist for years afterwards.

    One problem is that these teams of medical advisors employed by these governments are comprised entirely of medical advisors, particularly epidemiologists. Their only goal is to end the pandemic, and they see the solution only through the most direct means possible. Their training is clinical and in the laboratory, where they can cleanly filter out variables; conversely, human behavior is unpredictable. On paper, a lockdown should end most travel, but then you when applied to reality you see all the countless little acts of rebellion against the lockdown; sneaking out, the propagation of speakeasies and underground parties, public protests, all of which defeat the point of lockdown. Those who propose lockdowns also assume that the public only has one single priority, to end the pandemic, and that other personal priorities like making a livelihood and maintaining good mental health don't matter.

    In the future, I hope we learn that pandemic response teams need more than just epidemiologists. They need historians, social psychologists, economists, and sociologists to join them to decide the best middle road: an effective means of ending the pandemic quickly, without trampling on people's sense of rights and freedoms, and through a means that does not destroy countless human livelihoods.
     
  8. mhucker28

    mhucker28 Initiate (81) Apr 24, 2020 California
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    I think looking at this virus through the lens of death being the only factor is severely flawed. The virus in of itself is not a very deadly virus to the normal, healthy person. A person can get Covid and be in the ICU for 2 weeks, survive, and this would never show up on a death statistic. The ICU capacity in December and January was at or close 0% in parts of California, which overstressed our already stressed hospitals and staff. No ICU beds means other matters requiring ICU beds were not a priority a lot of the time. Perhaps if people could follow simple orders like wear a mask and maintain social distancing, things could have opened up more, but sadly our leadership made mask wearing a political issue where there wasn't one. When the population at large acts like a bunch of children and stomps their feet refusing to abide by simple guidelines, more drastic measures have to be put in place.
     
  9. rozzom

    rozzom Meyvn (1,059) Jan 22, 2011 New York
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    If “otherwise” means no lockdown / restriction at all, I don’t agree. I would say the overall impact would have been far greater. If you mean what you get at later on in your post - other experts beside just medical professionals driving the policy - then yeah I’m with you there.
     
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  10. stairway2heavn

    stairway2heavn Initiate (132) Aug 17, 2017 New Jersey

    If you think our hospitals could handle even more cases, there's a bridge I'd love to sell you.
    Once masking and avoiding large indoor gatherings when possible became a clear solution we had an inroad to reopened schools.
    The federal government could've paid businesses and employees to stay home as needed. The federal government could've bought more vaccine and delivery material (glass/syringes/ etc) but opted to save money.
    It's not actually as complicated as it all seems, if you push aside the incompetent decision making (anti maskers, and well, the entire federal government for nearly a year) we could probably have much lower cases rates and better allowance for schools to reopen, and reopened, (given they're less important) even more safely reopened restaurants. People didn't need to lose all this income or their jobs, especially in the service industry, but the administration balked at spending what was needed. Coupled with broken public health infrastructure and maskless culture warriors and it's no wonder we're here. I'm hoping to get back to outdoor dining with the vaccination uptick by April. Guess we'll see how the variants play out (which is another risk, by the way, of unrestrained transmission).
     
  11. EmperorBatman

    EmperorBatman Initiate (165) Mar 16, 2018 Tennessee

    The actual worthwhile impact of long-term lockdowns remains dubious. They would have worked if we had called for a two-week holiday in February and closed all borders to international travel (which itself would have been a tough proposition at the time for the business-minded United States) before getting back to ordinary life. By March, the virus had too many hosts and was out of control -- no lockdown would be able to get that under control.

    Similarly, I follow the Austrian news fairly closely; they have had a lockdown in effect since the day after Christmas, and it will run through Easter. 600,000 people in a country of 8 million are out of work, their cultural economy is absolutely destroyed (and that was one of the primary industries they had), and the cases have not fallen to any appreciable degree since January. Literally, the bar graph has been stable over the past three weeks. If I were them, I would say that any further lockdown won't make any difference to case numbers, and will only continue eroding their economy.

    [​IMG]
    Active Cases: 16,923 (+487)
    Hospitalized Patients: 1,362 (+53)
    ICU Patients: 271 (+16)

    Recoveries: 423,014 (+1,203)
    Deaths: 8,434 (+37)

    PCR Tests: 5,162,574 (42,385)
    Vaccinations: 519,338 (+11,252)

    Does this look like the lockdown is successful in the long-term? Cases initially plummeted, but it isn't doing anything helpful anymore. And now they're slightly going up! Maybe it'll spike if they let off the restrictions, but they can do this slowly and tentatively to at least try to find a decent way out of this.

    I was ill with COVID back in January 2020 and had repeated flare-ups through to March, at the time when everyone believed it was only a flu. But I will likely be living through a jobless economy for the next five years, right when I was supposed to finally join the workforce. I was bedridden for a week and it was the worst illness I've had since childhood, but I will still be left with no job security during what are meant to be my best years for career advancement.

    As I saw with Austria, the economy is still in shambles despite having one of the most robust welfare systems in the world -- their government is running out of money to pay unemployment benefits. The economic and social suffering is still immense in Europe.

    A fully open economy and social life may not be the best answer, but lockdowns are ultimately severely damaging. They must be either a proactive early measure, or when there is absolutely no other recourse. Both must be short-term, they cannot persist for months, as long-term (or, worse, endless) lockdowns are both ineffective and create even bigger problems. Social restrictions cannot possibly get cases down to absolute zero in most cases, especially once the pandemic has taken full course within a given country or region.

    I'm all for masks and social-distancing, these measures bring us closer to the middle road in terms of handling the pandemic. They are a bitter reminder of the times, and people are resentful of that, but I can live with that until the pandemic is over.
     
    #931 EmperorBatman, Feb 23, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
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  12. jakecattleco

    jakecattleco Poo-Bah (2,829) Sep 3, 2008 California
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    Thank you for highlighting this often overlooked aspect to unrestricted transmission!
     
  13. mhucker28

    mhucker28 Initiate (81) Apr 24, 2020 California
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    People's health and reducing transmission have to be the most important factor when determining courses of action. The ultimate failure of this entire pandemic was not in locking everything down, but in not providing adequate stimulus to the people most affected by the economic impacts of a lock down. At some point people were forced to choose between staying home and being safe and putting food on the table and a roof over their head. You say you are losing years of career development, and yes that is not something to take lightly, but I lost years of career development in 2008 too and somehow I have made it just fine. The economy will bounce back and then there will be another recession, rinse and repeat. What you can't recover from is losing your life or a loved one's life due to this virus. 500,000 people have died in the US alone with supposed lock downs. If you look at the initial numbers of estimated deaths if no measures were implemented, it could be in the millions by now. And again, death is not the only measure of how bad a pandemic is. The stress on our healthcare system if no lock down measures would have been astronomical. The entire point of locking down was not to get to absolute zero cases but to limit the impact on our healthcare systems.
     
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  14. jakecattleco

    jakecattleco Poo-Bah (2,829) Sep 3, 2008 California
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    I think this aspect is under emphasized too. I have tremendous empathy for those that find themselves or loved ones/friends dealing with long- haulers symptoms.

    Many of their symptoms are similar to what my wife has managed the past 8 years. Which took her from someone that wanted to complete the John Muir Trail for our honeymoon to someone that many days can't get out of bed without assistance and can only work professionally (veterinarian) in an extremely limited capacity due to brain fog and physical fatigue/exhaustion. I wouldn't wish the symptoms of long-haulers and chronic fatigue on my worst enemy.

    My only hope is that all the long-haulers lead to FAR greater research dollars being spent on chronic illness for both greater causal understanding and therapies.
     
  15. ManBearPat

    ManBearPat Zealot (530) Dec 2, 2014 Colorado

    I’ve overlooked this a few times this week already smdh
     
  16. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (2,109) Mar 12, 2013 California
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    So there's still no one addressing the fact that a traditional approach (i.e. minimal interruption to normal commerce, targeted restrictions around vulnerable populations, focus on dissemination of best practices to the general public) to this epidemic has proven to be anything but a death sentence for a modern western nation. Although Sweden's official covid numbers appear much worse than their neighbors, the overall rate of mortality for 2020 was very typical for the country and matched with their neighbors in Denmark. Why is that? Does the virus confer some sort of immunity against other illnesses? Do lockdown measures produce a commensurate rise in other causes of mortality that offset any gains against this virus? Or maybe there are real problems with the way we are identifying "deaths" from this virus? How does one country have 3x the covid deaths than its neighbor (per @cavedave s article above) and not see a commensurate rise in all cause mortality? Especially when the higher covid death country also should have seen more automobile and workplace accident deaths compared to the more shut down neighbor?

    That's the elephant in the room here, if that issue can't be resolved then we are left with a pandemic of fear driven by computer models and sloppy cause of death reporting.
     
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  17. mhucker28

    mhucker28 Initiate (81) Apr 24, 2020 California
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    Why is death the only statistic you are judging this pandemic on? Would hospital capacity not be an important factor too? I feel like you are glossing over a very critical reason the lockdowns went into effect in the first place.
     
  18. ManBearPat

    ManBearPat Zealot (530) Dec 2, 2014 Colorado

    I appreciate your efforts to thoughtfully articulate the crux of this elephant in the room. I tend to agree with most of what you’ve said here.

    I think a huge motivator for humans is the sanctity of life.. however one chooses to value it. Once people start dying, we naturally want to do our best to combat the problem. With something this complicated, its no surprise there’s a lot of opinions.

    One thing is certain though:
    We haven’t been told the truth.
     
  19. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (2,109) Mar 12, 2013 California
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    Hospital capacity is only relevant to localities. Statewide orders aren't a reasonable response to local hospital capacity issues. Our bars and restaurants have been largely shuttered or greatly curtailed for a year now, our kids have missed a year of school, our local hospital capacity has never been stretched thin (other than because it is always stretched thin because we are a relatively low income, low density, rural population).

    Short term local lockdowns to address local hospital capacity issues might make some sense. But that is not the policy that has been pursued by and large in response to this pandemic. Hospital capacity is also an issue not of a single viral pathogen, but of a society wide approach to health, well being, and disease management.

    I am blessed that my life circumstances have made me largely immune to the worst social effects of this pandemic but i see my community full of school age children who are being psychologically terrorized. Taught to fear other children. Submerged in this isolated, mediated digital and masked world for a year now. And people are talking about continuing it for months more. That is a nontrivial time frame during critical periods of psycho social development for these children. These people who are the future of my, our, society. And all of that stress and low grade persistent trauma apparently doesn't even produce a significant return in lives saved. At least that's what the evidence we can see a year into this indicates.

    I really wish we could muster this kind of social and political fervor over something like cancer, childhood obesity, the epidemic of infertility, or childhood neurological disease. Instead we (guided by an uncritical media) ignore obvious sources for those intergenerational tragedies that threaten our society as a whole, like unregulated/under regulated toxic chemical industries, a agricultural system that poisons the land, air, and water to produce nutritionally deficient "food", and a for profit symptom management system we call health care that appears focused on maximizing nation wide pharmaceutical intake, and focus on emptying the coffers to go full nuclear against a novel example of a ubiquitous family of viruses that will likely run its course within 24 months before becoming just another member of the seasonal suite of respiratory illness we have lived with for generations.
     
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  20. jakecattleco

    jakecattleco Poo-Bah (2,829) Sep 3, 2008 California
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    And what thoughts of wisdom were bouncing through your head instead?
     
  21. DogbiteWilliams

    DogbiteWilliams Initiate (72) Mar 28, 2015 California

    The USA has about 4.25% of the world's population but has suffered roughly 20% of the COVID-19 fatalities. That is the direct result of a sociopath who publicly declared the pandemic a "hoax" and actively discouraged millions of people from wearing masks.

    I will wait at least several days more after the CDC declares bars and restaurants safe.
     
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  22. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (2,109) Mar 12, 2013 California
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    And that strikes you as a realistic statistic? Why do you think that Sweden (who didn't close schools, bars, restaurants, etc... and didn't have universal masking) didn't suffer that same fate? Are we that uniquely unhealthy? Or are these statistics largely worthless numbers?
     
  23. DogbiteWilliams

    DogbiteWilliams Initiate (72) Mar 28, 2015 California

    From The Guardian:

    Letting the virus that causes Covid-19 circulate more-or-less freely is dangerous not only because it risks overwhelming hospitals and so endangering lives unnecessarily, but also because it could delay the evolution of the virus to a more benign form and potentially even make it more lethal.

    Though the data is still sketchy and the measures crude, this effect may already be influencing the difference in death rates between Sweden – which took a relaxed approach to containment until recently – and Norway, whose measures have been much stricter. Sweden has more than three times as many deaths per 100 cases as its neighbour.

    https://www.theguardian.com/comment...-deadlier-evidence-social-distancing-covid-19
     
  24. mhucker28

    mhucker28 Initiate (81) Apr 24, 2020 California
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    I'm curious why you believe that statistic is unrealistic but Sweden's numbers are realistic. What gives one set of numbers more validity in your eyes than another? It seems like people have pointed out various counters to your Sweden example and you keep coming back to that one, specific country. Who knows why their numbers are different? Perhaps population density plays a big part in that.
     
  25. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (2,109) Mar 12, 2013 California
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    I trust all cause mortality counts by any country more than "covid death" numbers. By covid death Sweden's approach has been a failure, and yet by all cause mortality they haven't suffered any concerning health disaster this year. It seems to indicate that what is being called a massive and novel cause of death is just a shuffling of assigned causes. And considering that the big number of covid deaths is the primary tool used to motivate drastic curtailment of normal social function that seems relevant.

    I find looking at Sweden useful because it is the.one northern/western European country that followed a traditional approach to epidemic response as opposed to the radical experiment in social disruption that the US and most of Europe have followed (it's really the Chinese model to epidemic management).

    There are other countries that haven't shut down really but people tend to dismiss their ability to collect accurate stats.
     
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  26. stairway2heavn

    stairway2heavn Initiate (132) Aug 17, 2017 New Jersey

    But don't they do a decent job, say.. masking? We have these guidelines and still manage to have motorcycle rallies and megachurches all maskless acting as culture warrior "heroes."
    Sweden if I'm not mistaken as a Nordic culture difference has tons of guns and minimal gun violence. The United States... not so much. I think their approach, to the extent it is viable, would take a degree of responsibility we don't have here. They also have a healthier citizenry, real public health infrastructure, much better social safety net... change all that in America and maybe a different approach works.

    This also brings into contrast who is most likely to die. Namely minorities living in multigenerational homes who are likely less healthy. Open up everything and it still won't be the well to do to suffer. And I imagine the increased case load wouldn't inspire many people to go into bars...
     
  27. rozzom

    rozzom Meyvn (1,059) Jan 22, 2011 New York
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    For (an admitted dumb-dumb like) me, there seems to be something missing/illogical if Sweden - which had minimal restrictions and a huge number of COVID deaths - had a "normal" year as far as total deaths go. Seems a bit simplistic - even without making a lot of the points around hospital capacity, cultural differences, etc, that have already been made - to point to Sweden and say "total deaths the same, they nailed it, open 'er back up". There's clearly something missing/incomplete/biased going on there, as there is everywhere, in terms of their reporting. In a few years time I'm looking forward to seeing each country's handling totally dissected to see who really did get it right/wrong. Overall NZ and Australia have been restriction-heavy and - right now at least - Australians seem to be in decent shape.
     
  28. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (2,109) Mar 12, 2013 California
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    From what I've seen and read their masking habits were very comparable to what I see locally and in my travels within CA. One major difference being that Stockholm didn't close indoor bars and restaurants and I saw a number of stories about how "risky" their approach was exactly because those.establishments were busy at a time when american cities were ghost towns last spring.

    As to the comparison to the US, the differences you site are why I find it interesting and more useful experimentally to compare Sweden to Denmark. They have similar cultures, similar demographics, similar population densities but Denmark followed a very aggressive approach relying on shutdowns while Sweden did not. Both showed a slight uptick in overall mortality over 2019 (which was a notably low mortality year in both countries) in 2020 but neither recorded an unusual mortality rate for the year compared to the last decade.

    To me, that is strong evidence that the major variable between the two countries (strict shutdowns vs. minimal shutdowns) has little to no impact on the risk to the population. I don't see why that would.be the case with records to Scandinavians but not to Americans. I mean clearly we are going to have worse health outcomes no matter what because we are leas healthy has a society, but lockdowns don't change that. If anything they exacerbate those health problems because people have fewer financial resources and an added stress load.

    That's what I'm saying. What's the resolution to that conundrum? How could Sweden have 3x the covid deaths of Denmark and not have an increase in total mortality for the year? Something is definitely missing/illogical there.

    As to Australia and NZ, I haven't seen if they've released mortality figures for the year so I don't have the info I would like to make a judgement for myself. I know they have reported relatively low case counts/deaths. I also know they have implemented some of the strictest lockdowns with people confined to a small radius of their home (I can't remember if it was 1 or 3 km) and Australia is already implementing vaccine requirements to travel in the country. I, for one, have zero interest in ever allowing the government (especially the US gov) to control my movement like that or to mandate any medical procedures for me.

    There are lots of other weird things around the global numbers. Mexico's president was even more dismissive of the virus than ours and they have been wide open (a friend was down there last month and sent me pics of packed beaches and bars with few, if any, masks in sight) and yet they haven't seen anything like our official numbers despite being even more obese than us and having lots of intergenerational households.

    Africa, generally, has seen surprisingly low numbers, as has India and Brazil. If this virus is as virulent as we're being told you would expect the slums in India and Brazil's infamous favellas to have bodies stacking up like cordwood. And yet that hasn't happened. While I find that all telling, and have heard theories about their use of things like hydroxy chloroquine and ivermectin being the reason, I don't have any real idea what to make of those examples and they are too easily dismissed as simply lacking the infrastructure to record and report causes of death.

    That's why I find the natural experiment presented by the Denmark/Sweden situation so instructive.
     
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  29. DogbiteWilliams

    DogbiteWilliams Initiate (72) Mar 28, 2015 California

    The COVID-19 death rate in Brazil (an unfortunate country run by a right-wing climate-change denialist lunatic) has been underreported:

    https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpubh.2020.578645/full

    Bolsonaro never called COVID-19 a "hoax," but he contempuously dismissed it as a "little flu." Not surprisingly, Brazil is one of the hardest-hit countries - of the 152 countries with a population of at least a million, it had the #21 highest death rate per capita. The USA was even worse at #8. The full chart at statista.com:

    https://www.statista.com/statistics/1104709/coronavirus-deaths-worldwide-per-million-inhabitants/
     
  30. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (2,109) Mar 12, 2013 California
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    That's an interesting study but it does show, again, the disparity between an apparently appalling death toll from covid and a relatively typical all cause mortality. Looking at the source for their death numbers (https://transparencia.registrocivil.org.br/registros) we see that the total deaths from all causes has risen every single year they record (since 2015) by an average of 10% year over year. Interestingly there is a mini pattern of deaths rising by percents in the teens one year and then rising by 4-5% the next year. And 2020 fit that pattern. I don't know enough about Brazilian demographics or the specifics of.that data set to know what might explain that pattern.

    Regardless, if we say we would expect another average increase from 2019-2020, then we see that total mortality exceeded that by 60,000 deaths. Not inconsequential at all, but in a country of 211 million people who did little or nothing to combat this epidemic that certainly doesn't look like some world shaking disease out break.

    So we are again looking at a question of how there can be so many deaths from a novel virus, but not a commensurate rise in total mortality
     
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  31. stairway2heavn

    stairway2heavn Initiate (132) Aug 17, 2017 New Jersey

    Well that can vary widely. Flu was non existent relatively speaking in the US anyway. Even in countries taking it less seriously I presume lower rates of travel and infectious exposure as well for the subset that do. Also, yes cause of death isn't always cut and dry. But you seem to be suggesting at the end of the day what? Covid doesn't have a significantly higher death and complication rate than the flu? It does. I mean you can see the case rates. Now, if you want to claim 25 percent capacity bars are less an issue than God knows how many extended families of 12 plus people getting together over the holidays, sure, I'll buy that. But I'm not sure what the answer is to stop those people, of which there are many.
    Suffice it to say, lockdown initially worked well, and had it been coupled with increased testing and proper masking etc I have no doubt schools and bars would be open to a greater degree than now, and reasonable people would be going to bars etc without too much concern. But a small note is that following reasonable guidelines on capacity limits is a real problem for many bars and restaurants and makes them unprofitable, so I'm not sure that solves everything. At the end of the day I'm sure plenty of epidemiologists are going to have plenty to say about the good, bad, and the ugly, but my prediction broadly is that our failure is one of centralized incompetence. We committed to nothing really, and local responses were all over the place, and often poor. Moreover, when your government and health care system have been built to fail under pandemic circumstances/crisis, this is the result.
    It's a shame the most vulnerable workers, that is low wage, service industry, and minorities, got hurt the worst, but this is America, and so really the way every crisis goes.
     
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  32. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (2,109) Mar 12, 2013 California
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    Simply that, again and again, while official covid numbers appear to show one thing the overall mortality doesn't change that much. I don't know the answer to that. Why didn't Sweden have a noticeable increase in all cause mortality if their approach to covid was so dangerous? Why did Brazil (who was certainly positioned to be decimated by covid if it delivered on the horrors we're told it brings) show pretty minor increase in mortality despite a government that didn't do much to counter it?

    I don't know the answer to this question but I do know that it gives me serious pause about the usefulness and validity of the official covid numbers. And if we do accept those numbers then we're only left with the conclusion that the shutdowns must be causing a comparable loss of life to what they are saving since we aren't seeing a large difference in all cause mortality between similar neighbors that pursue different strategies.

    I don't doubt that covid is "real", our roommate had it (lab confirmed and everything) and was very I'll for about 12 days despite being a very healthy woman in her late 20s. I suspect that my wife and I, and probably a lot of our friends had it between November of 19 and February of 20 because we both, as well as a good number of our friends, got extremely sick during that period. I also don't doubt that the US is experiencing some kind of health crisis, all the available data indicates that the US is seeing a significant rise in deaths in 2020. However, the answer to why we are so much more affected isn't nearly as clear.

    Pro lockdown people will always say that it's because there wasn't enough compliance. But countries in western Europe that locked down much harder are among the other hardest hit countries and countries like India that didn't lock down much at all apparently fared much better. There's a big lag before we see national all cause mortality data (many countries, including the US, only have official data up to 2018 currently available) so we can't make full assessments, but what national mortality data that we do have (like that of Brazil, Sweden, and Denmark) doesn't show a direct correlation between lockdown and reduced mortality or between covid deaths and increased mortality. So what are we to make of that?

    From my perspective, we all have to make our own health decisions. The agencies telling us (in the US) what to do to be healthy are the same ones that have delivered us a nation where most people are obese and/or suffer from a chronic health condition. And now, they are saying that isolation, sterilizing yourself and your surroundings, and waiting for pharmaceutical intervention is the only path forward to be "healthy". To me, that's an absurd proposition from people that have failed to deliver health historically so the argument that we just take them at their word is a non starter for me.

    Human contact is essential to human health, our bodies are comprised of more bacterial and viral cells than human cells, full, deep, conscious breathing is one of the pillars of a healthy body, proper mineral levels is another. So I have a hard time taking seriously the proposition that the only way to.be healthy is to avoid humans, slather on the antimicrobials, and inhibit your respiration. And the fact that the people promoting that haven't mentioned any of the essential minerals that we are broadly deficient in, and that are crucial to immune function, is just a final nail in the coffin of their credibility for me.
     
    Bigrock likes this.
  33. DogbiteWilliams

    DogbiteWilliams Initiate (72) Mar 28, 2015 California

    USP is puzzled by the relatively steady overall death toll. I surmise that it's the co-morbidities; i.e. COVID-19 is picking off the low-hanging fruit. Most healthy young people fully recover, but older folks with chronic diseases or compromised immune systems die at a tragically higher rate.

    A 74-year-old guy with diabetes and heart disease is extra vulnerable. If he dies from COVID-19 in February, he won't have a chance to die from diabetes or heart disease later in this or next year and won't be added to those sepcific death tolls.
     
    unlikelyspiderperson likes this.
  34. DogbiteWilliams

    DogbiteWilliams Initiate (72) Mar 28, 2015 California

  35. ManBearPat

    ManBearPat Zealot (530) Dec 2, 2014 Colorado

    “I don't know the answer to this question but I do know that it gives me serious pause about the usefulness and validity of the official covid numbers.”

    Again @unlikelyspiderperson I might be the only one that appreciates your use of critical thinking... seems like many folks feel that if you question the narrative, you’re a loon ball.

    Why can’t the reality of things be different than what we’ve been told?
     
  36. Chipotle

    Chipotle Aspirant (204) Apr 23, 2017 New York

    This is an important question these days. Folks hear and echo or believe different "narratives". @unlikelyspiderperson 's narrative is yet another from which to choose.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/25/health/variants-coronavirus-new-york-city/index.html

    The variants of Covid are becoming increasingly ominous. More variants are a result of more infections. More infections are a result of folks not taking precautions.

    Going out to a bar or restaurant seems to be a long way off for me.
     
    DogbiteWilliams likes this.
  37. stairway2heavn

    stairway2heavn Initiate (132) Aug 17, 2017 New Jersey

    All right, I'm going to walk away from this rabbit hole of "mineral deficiencies" and language one step away from calling out "sheeple." No, a normal American does not have a mineral deficiency (probably a vitamin D deficiency, though the effect on immune function in theory could matter a lot, there is only a lot of bogus health claims made by natural supplement companies to support this, not large randomized clinical trials... unlike its positive effect on bone health). I suppose we'll see where the numbers go but unless you and every close contact you have are vaccinated I don't personally see the appeal of travel/bars/breweries. Not only for myself but due to the risk of infecting essential workers or the elderly. There is no cabal lying to us and I see no reason to assume countries are over- reporting deaths from COVID to "control us." I think some (not all) of the talk around covid and educated decision making too often runs close to other conspiracy laden ideas. If anything Florida shows how it's more likely covid deaths are to be under reported due to political interests. Now that's an interesting case.
    Anyway, for anyone going out, please double mask and don't patronize places that can't follow the rules. And maybe pick up some marked up cans and crowlers from places that can't realistically open safely especially those in cooler climates.
     
  38. rozzom

    rozzom Meyvn (1,059) Jan 22, 2011 New York
    Trader

    With all respect when I see someone plead the need for "critical thinking" these days it sets off huge alarm bells. Not sure who your point was directed at, but I'm skeptical of a lot of reporting/statistics/interpretations, Sweden's included. My take is that @unlikelyspiderperson was putting a lot of stock in Sweden and not much anywhere else.
     
    AlcahueteJ likes this.
  39. mhucker28

    mhucker28 Initiate (81) Apr 24, 2020 California
    Trader

    I don't know how many times I need to harp on this point but it continues to be overlooked. Dying from COVID was not the reason lockdowns were put into place. The reason lockdowns were implemented, in the US at least, was to help flatten the curve of total infected people potentially using up hospital resources and space so the entire healthcare system wasn't so overwhelmed, it failed. Looking at mortality rates makes for an interesting exercise but correlating that to whether things should have been locked down is glossing over the biggest reason lockdowns were implemented in the first place.
     
  40. EmperorBatman

    EmperorBatman Initiate (165) Mar 16, 2018 Tennessee

    But they are related: if there is no hospital space to care the sick (let alone the other factors that require emergency hospitalization like car crashes), death rates do inevitably increase as people can't be cared for.
     
    DogbiteWilliams likes this.