Francoflier wrote:Newark727 wrote:TTailedTiger wrote:The worst case scenario numbers have been published for quite some time. But I'll go beyond those. Even if we had 100 million deaths it's still inconsequential in a world of 7.5 billion. Only about 1.3% of the world population.
You really think the world economy would just shrug off losing that many people? It's reasonable to be concerned about the economy, but if every country with COVID-19 cases just ignored it and was still having the exponential increases in infections that Italy and New York were having in mid-March, you can absolutely bet we'd have even more jobless than we do now.
I'll start by saying that I am in no way trying to defend TTailedTiger's inane and tiresome argument, but...
Honestly, and cynically, yes it would shrug it off. Sadly.
Of course, no one would like to see hundreds of thousands or millions dying from a disease... The thing is, all these places started testing quite late and the logarithmic increase we saw initially may very well have been the discovery through testing of a disease that had already taken hold among a larger than expected proportion of the population. The virus didn't wait 3 months to cross Asia into Europe and the Pacific into the US...
Increased and generalized testing is now showing that the virus' prevalence among the population is much higher than initially thought, and extrapolations would start to give credence to the fact that it has already reached seasonal influenza levels of spread, which would largely decrease its morbidity and will likely alter the initial projections.
I am not trying to minimize the increased death rate it has caused, which is a reality. It is still an unknown disease that is meeting little resistance among a non-immunized population, and every life lost is a tragedy and we can't just do nothing. But it is now almost certain that the catastrophic initial predictions, which were based on a very limited set of data, were wrong. The morbidity rate is decreasing by the day, as increased testing finds more and more cases for a similar number of deaths.
On the other hand, while everybody is crunching numbers on Covid, no one seems to bother to quantify the human cost these extreme measures will have.
While some cities/regions' healthcare systems are overwhelmed, in most other places are, on the contrary, hospitals are being deserted. The constant fear mongering and sensationalization is keeping other sick people from hospitals, which will necessarily have an increased morbidity effect... How much? No one knows or cares, apparently.
The massive loss of jobs will lead to millions losing adequate health coverage, resulting in much the same. Then there is the medical toll (both in terms of long term physical and mental health) of high levels of anxiety, stress, depression, increased alcoholism, smoking, drug usage, or even domestic abuse and violence that all of this will engender.
The resulting extraordinary recession this mass panic is causing will result in millions of deaths in the poor and developing nations where countless depend on a daily paycheck for survival. In the developed World, it will mean hardship for millions of families for years.
This new virus is a game of numbers, which as changing by the day. We are happy to weather waves of seasonal flu every year and walk around sneezing or with a runny nose in full knowledge that we might infect a vulnerable person who may die from it, and thousands do. Covid is worse than the seasonal flu, that much is certain from the increased death rate in some places, but we don't know how much worse. Where do we draw the line?
One thing is certain, everybody is painfully aware of it, and not much else.
Shelter in place and shutting down the economy might have been warranted initially when we knew nothing about what we were up against, and to prevent overwhelming the healthcare system in areas of high contagion.
Is it justified now in many places where doctors are being furloughed due to lack of patients and where mortality rates are low?
We can't know the answer to that without analyzing the cost vs. benefit of the measure, and the cost (human and other) is enormous...
Well said. It's just the cold reality of the way the world works.