Second Wave Worst Than the First?

The CDC director predicts a double whammy when flu season hits.

Just when serious people are saying we’ve flattened the curve and governors are talking about easing stay-at-home restrictions, the nation’s top disease control official is warning of more devastation.

WaPo (“CDC director warns second wave of coronavirus is likely to be even more devastating“):

Even as states move ahead with plans to reopen their economies, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Tuesday that a second wave of the novel coronavirus will be far more dire because it is likely to coincide with the start of flu season.

“There’s a possibility that the assault of the virus on our nation next winter will actually be even more difficult than the one we just went through,” CDC Director Robert Redfield said in an interview with The Washington Post. “And when I’ve said this to others, they kind of put their head back, they don’t understand what I mean.”

“We’re going to have the flu epidemic and the coronavirus epidemic at the same time,” he said.

Having two simultaneous respiratory outbreaks would put unimaginable strain on the health-care system, he said. The first wave of covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, has already killed more than 42,000 people across the country. It has overwhelmed hospitals and revealed gaping shortages in test kits, ventilators and protective equipment for health-care workers.

In a wide-ranging interview, Redfield said federal and state officials need to use the coming months to prepare for what lies ahead. As stay-at-home orders are lifted, officials need to stress the continued importance of social distancing, he said. They also need to massively scale up their ability to identify the infected through testing and find everyone they interact with through contact tracing. Doing so prevents new cases from becoming larger outbreaks.

[…]

In the summer months, U.S. health officials need to persuade Americans to think ahead to the fall and the importance of getting flu shots. That way, public health officials can minimize the number of people hospitalized from flu. Getting a flu vaccination, Redfield said, “may allow there to be a hospital bed available for your mother or grandmother that may get coronavirus.”

Luckily, the arrival of the novel coronavirus in the United States came as the regular flu season was waning, he said. By itself, a severe influenza season can strain hospitals and clinics.

If the first wave of the coronavirus outbreak and flu season had peaked at the same time, he said, “it could have been really, really, really, really difficult in terms of health capacity.”

During the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic, the United States experienced the first wave of cases in the spring, followed by a second, larger wave in the fall and winter, during flu season.

Even in ordinary times, it can be difficult to find flu vaccine available. One suspects that will be even more likely this time.

FILED UNDER: COVID-19, Health
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I read this earlier. It makes me wonder, is this our new normal? Social distancing? Stay at home? Avoid crowds?

    Even in ordinary times, it can be difficult to find flu vaccine available.

    Not just available, but effective. Developing a flu vaccine is akin to a highly educated throwing of darts at a board, due to the ability of the various strains to mutate and adapt. They pick the one they think most likely to be prevalent in the upcoming season. Sometimes they pick wrong.

    7
  2. KM says:

    @OzarkHillby:
    One of my biggest pet peeves about the flu vaccine is that there isn’t a set series for people to go through. There’s no reason to not have all known variants in a shot or series of shots for people to get on the off season and then if the is new active variant, it might get it’s own during the season. Think about it: why are we choosing the greatest hits when you can get them all in a stable set, #1 A-Z, #2 AA-ZZ, etc? It would make production a known manageable cost since they’d be the same and if you had enough people vaxxed, you wouldn’t need to rush production to have huge supplies on hand for the yearly outbreak – chances are you’d already have protection and the steady production throughout the year would be sufficient. The whole “they guessed wrong, we’re screwed” wouldn’t happen but their choices of what’s “in” this year would be more limited and the shot more accurate.

    I know, I know – costs. The reason this doesn’t happen is it’s not “economically feasible” but that was in a pre-COVID-19 world. A sensible government could authorize it’s creation for the good of it’s nation. It would make the vast majority of it’s population *far* less susceptible to the yearly ravages of flu season and help keep economic impacts down. The shot might cost more but I’m willing to bet after this insurance companies would be thrilled to foot a vaccine bill rather then your hospital one. It’s a conversation worth having with the incoming Administration, anyways.

    9
  3. Kingdaddy says:

    Here in Colorado, Sunday is the last day of shelter at home. What comes next is “safe at home,” which introduces some small changes (retail open for pick-up, businesses must take the temperatures of anyone returning to work, etc.). However, when I was out walking the dog yesterday, it felt as though people were already trying to return to the old normal. More people were out than average at that time of day. Some neighbors were talking to each other from what seemed like less than the required distance. Kids were playing together in groups that I suspect were not just family members. No one was wearing a mask.

    I’m very concerned about these re-openings. The state orders to shelter at home had the virtue of simplicity: just stay at home; telecommute if you can; don’t travel anywhere except the grocery store or the pharmacy. Asking people to use their discretion seems like a recipe for disaster.

    23
  4. CSK says:

    If worse times are indeed ahead, and inevitable, I wonder how many people will decide that “this just isn’t worth it”? I’m serious. Will suicide begin to seem like a more and more desirable option, particularly for people who are already old and somewhat debilitated?

    7
  5. SKI says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I read this earlier. It makes me wonder, is this our new normal? Social distancing? Stay at home? Avoid crowds?

    Not exactly but the new normal will have more of these aspects than the old normal did.

    7
  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK:

    Will suicide begin to seem like a more and more desirable option, particularly for people who are already old and somewhat debilitated?

    Speaking as one who has been on *death’s doorstep* because I couldn’t breath and am older with a few debilitations, the thought has crossed my mind.

    ** death’s doorstep- I don’t really know how close I was, iirc my blood ox was at 82%, but I do know what I felt like

    5
  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @SKI: Yeah, the times they are a changing. Whatever things become, they won’t be as they were. I wonder what they will look like. I wonder if I’ll be around to see.

    3
  8. Kingdaddy says:

    Addendum: This morning, while walking the dog, I passed a crew of painters working on a house. None of them were masked, and there was no distancing. I don’t think this is going to be a rare example of what we’ll see in the next few weeks.

    Meanwhile, I’m sick of the broadcast news crowd framing the situation as “economy versus safety.” If the virus spreads again, the economy suffers even more. If the economy tanks, the infrastructure that is sustaining us in quarantine (grocery stores, etc.) will also collapse. Chuck Todd, who is always a wanker, pushed this framing during his interview a couple of days ago with Governors Whitmer and DeWine. (And if you want to see some really cringeworthy boot-licking, listen to DeWine’s part of that interview.)

    7
  9. An Interested Party says:

    Meanwhile, I’m sick of the broadcast news crowd framing the situation as “economy versus safety.” If the virus spreads again, the economy suffers even more. If the economy tanks, the infrastructure that is sustaining us in quarantine (grocery stores, etc.) will also collapse. Chuck Todd, who is always a wanker, pushed this framing during his interview a couple of days ago with Governors Whitmer and DeWine. (And if you want to see some really cringeworthy boot-licking, listen to DeWine’s part of that interview.)

    I’d love to see some person in the media ask a politician or some other guest who makes a ridiculous statement, “What the fuck are you talking about? Do you realize you aren’t making any damn sense?”

    “Liberal” MSM my ass…

    7
  10. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    An anti-lockdown protester was parading around Nashville with a sign that read “Sacrifice the Weak.” I assume that means anyone over 60, or anyone of any age with a pre-existing condition.

    I’m willing to bet that this individual who wants to “sacrifice the weak” is ardently anti-abortion.

    26
  11. gVOR08 says:

    @Kingdaddy: Hey, they’ve been pitching a false narrative of the economy v the environment for decades, you can’t expect them to learn new tricks.

    7
  12. inhumans99 says:

    Another observation from Kevin Drum (James, if you want me to stop pulling/quoting posts from KD into your awesome site please be explicit and tell me to knock it off as it is me being a rude guest, or something like that…I will then stop with this bad behavior), when you reflect back on how our President has handled things he notes that Trump has basically done nothing, and is not even preparing the fed gov response for a potential second wave, not even a little bit.

    Honestly, we are getting to a point where even McConnell needs to ask the President to move away from pwning the libs and actually coming up with a plan. Of what use is power if a good chunk of your constituency start dying off again later in the year? It is hard to nod your head in agreement with the President if you are six feet under. Heck, McConnell and a good chunk of the senate remains in the high-risk category to get the flu/Covid/Pneumonia and this will not magically change 6 months from now. I say this with profound sadness but I think Rand Paul and McConnell need to see more people in their own backyard die before they sober up and listen to the experts on how to minimize the damage from this virus.

    2
  13. 95 South says:

    @CSK: I’m willing to bet it was a troll. $10?

  14. Kathy says:

    I’m hoping a second wave won’t be as bad, given that those who have recovered may have immunity to it.

    Most important, you’d think for the second wave, people would understand the need to isolate and to trace contacts, and hopefully there will be the test availability for all that.

    So I hope enough people have some immunity and that will slow it down.

    1
  15. An Interested Party says:

    I’m willing to bet it was a troll.

    Oh? Is this person a troll? Are these people trolls? Well, they are all conservatives, so…

    11
  16. gVOR08 says:

    Perhaps useful advice from Kevin Drum. Apparently a drop in blood oxygen is an early sign of COVID-19 infection. Finger tip Pulse Oximeters are inexpensive, easy to use, and readily available, at least until the run starts. I bought one last year to take my pulse on the exercise bike. Drum has a follow up post showing the one he bought, same off the shelf, $40, Walgreens model I have.

    2
  17. CSK says:

    @95 South:
    I doubt that person was a troll. I doubt it very much.

    4
  18. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    Asking people to use their discretion seems like a recipe for disaster.

    Of course, the first problem with that type of plan is assuming that people exercise discretion in the first place.

    1
  19. Scott says:

    Second Wave Worst Than the First?

    Bizarrely, I have Herman’s Hermits “I’m Henry VIII, I Am” stuck in my head.

    The mind works in mysterious ways.

    3
  20. 95 South says:
  21. Sleeping Dog says:

    That the second wave is coming is undeniable, that it will be worse than the first maybe more difficult to discern as the new base line for infection and death will be so much higher due to re-opening of the economy.

    As we game out the mid-term future 1-3 years. Let’s assume for the sake of discussion in May 2021, it is announced that an effective vaccine that appears to have acceptable side effects will be available after some quick clinical trials lasting 2-3 months.

    Sept 2021 arrives and the vaccine can go into production, but where? Manufacturing throughout the world is basically capitalist so production capacity reflects anticipated demand and currently that capacity is running close to 100% making existing vaccines and that demand won’t be going away.

    One positive possibility is that distilleries can be converted to vaccine production and that can be done more quickly than new manufacturing facilities. I can’t begin to imagine how quickly the vaccine could be produced, even if all distilleries were mandated to produce the vaccine. Hopefully we’ll have a president who will utilize the Defense Production Act.

    Then there are issues of distribution. There will be some sort of pecking order and of course, this being America, the rich will be inoculated first, followed by a subset of politicians. After that probably the military, national security types and first responders. After that who knows.

    It will probably be 3-5 years before this is under control to the point that the old normal can return.

    3
  22. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    I should add, there is the possibility that the virus mutates to become less deadly or infectious.

    Nor do we know if the vaccine will provide life time immunity or a years.

    1
  23. 95 South says:

    @CSK: Great. $10 then?

  24. CSK says:

    @95 South:
    You appear to misunderstand me.

    4
  25. 95 South says:

    @CSK: OK, what do you mean then?

  26. CSK says:

    @95 South:
    I mean I don’t want to take your bet. I would be robbing you.

    6
  27. Monala says:

    @Kingdaddy: I live in an apartment and have a dog, so I have to take her out daily for walks. I had been going to a small park a few blocks from my home. On Sunday, I was in this park and so were three other sets of people, all of us walking dogs (an older woman, a young man, and a family). We were all walking our dogs as distantly as you could and still be in the same park, with no less than 50 feet between each of us. A police officer came along and yelled at all of us that the park was closed and to leave immediately.

    So yesterday, my daughter wanted to get out of the house and asked to walk the dog. I cautioned her that the police had told me to leave the park near our house. She said that a friend mentioned that a large park in my city is still open, so I said I would drive her and the dog there. I made sure my daughter wore a face mask, and lectured her about not touching anything, staying as far from other people as she could, etc.

    We arrived at the other park, and it was packed with people. Not surprising, since it was a beautiful spring day. But I don’t get it. Why would the cops force four people (or rather 3 people and a family) who are dog walking as far apart from each other as possible, to leave a small park, but allow a large park to stay open and packed with people?

    5
  28. CSK says:

    @Monala:
    All I can think of is that it hasn’t been legally closed.

    1
  29. Matt says:

    @KM: Because there is potentially about 198 subtypes of the Influenza A virus alone. Granted only 131 of those subtypes have been detected in nature so far. Influenza B viruses are classified into two lineages. Both are further broken down into clades and sub-clades. Antigenic properties can vary wildly in those sub groups. Influenza A(H3N2) in particular can often change antigenic properties unexpectedly.

    So to do what you want would require them to whip up like 200 distinct individual batches of viruses to use in a vaccine. I couldn’t even imagine how many shots that would take for just one person.

    3
  30. 95 South says:

    @CSK: I’ll donate $10 to the Nashville Rescue Mission tonight either way. Now, show me you’re right about the person with the sign. If you can’t, why not match my donation. You really thinking you’re right isn’t good enough.

    2
  31. Kurtz says:

    @95 South:

    That is a profound misunderstanding of the nature of trolling, the nature of pandemics, and the type of person who would troll the idiots protesting.

    7
  32. 95 South says:

    @Kurtz: I’m interested if you have proof, or if you’ll donate $10 to the Nashville Rescue Mission if you can’t find any.

  33. An Interested Party says:

    @95 South: Nice try at obfuscation, or should I say bullshitting, but in the links I provided…

    “Don’t sacrifice the country,” Patrick said. “Don’t do that.”

    Patrick said he feared that public health restrictions to prevent coronavirus could end American life as he knows it, and that he is willing to risk death to protect the economy for his grandchildren.

    “You know, Tucker, no one reached out to me and said, ‘As a senior citizen, are you willing to take a chance on your survival in exchange for keeping the America that all America loves for your children and grandchildren?’” Patrick said. “And if that’s the exchange, I’m all in.”

    and

    Comparing the relative value of lives makes for grisly calculus, but one is forced to ask: are we missing the forest for the trees? If the measures we undertake to protect a vulnerable few end up exposing them, along with the rest of society, to even more damaging risks—was it worth the cost?

    Hardly “talking points”, sweetie…

    6
  34. Michael Reynolds says:

    @95 South:
    “I’m willing to bet it was a troll. $10?”

    I’m willing to bet you can’t come up with a meaningful way to differentiate between a Trump supporter and a troll.

    13
  35. 95 South says:

    @An Interested Party: I don’t think someone who believes what Patrick said would say what the sign said. It sounds like a tone-deaf parody to me, which is why I think it’s a troll. If you can’t hear the difference, it makes me even more convinced it’s a troll.

    As I said before, I want to see proof that the person with the sign was serious, and anti-abortion. One of us is wrong.

  36. 95 South says:

    @Michael Reynolds: How many times do I have to say this. Your team hears one thing, I hear another. I could be wrong, or so could you. Until someone finds out if this person holding the sign was serious, we won’t know. Neither of our opinions constitute certitude. CSK started this by saying he was willing to be he’s right. Fine. I accepted, and he turned me down, so I’m donating the money anyway. I didn’t see any proof about the sign either way.

  37. MarkedMan says:

    @95 South: FWIW, I sympathize. More than once I’ve been caught up in this comment section assuming someone was sarcastic or trolling (in the traditional sense) only to gradually realize they are serious. And vice versa.

    1
  38. Kingdaddy says:

    Sorry to keep talking about my dog walks, but I think they have provided some data points worth considering as we discuss the “re-opening.”

    I just got back from my midday walk. Molly and I went to the local park, where we had fun playing fetch. On the way back, I passed eight senior citizens who had set up lawn chairs in a circle, rather close together. Obviously, I didn’t pull out a measuring tape to determine the exact distance, but I’m skeptical it was six feet. Plus, why not err on the side of caution? You can chat just as easily from 15 feet away as 6 feet away. About the best I could say about this gathering is that two participants were wearing masks.

    Seniors are in the high risk category. Our health care system, pre-COVID, was already spending a disproportionate amount of money to prolong and improve the lives of older people. That doesn’t include the extremely large sums spent on the last days or weeks of many older people’s lives.

    Yet today wasn’t the only example of the cavalier attitude I’ve seen from some oldsters. For example, I saw an interview with a resident of a Florida retirement community who said that it was his choice whether to attend a crowded salsa dance class or poker night. The idea that other people don’t get a choice if he infects them seems to have escaped him. Or he doesn’t care. Who knows. It doesn’t really matter, since his assertion isn’t defensible.

    Just to be clear, I’m not saying that senior citizens, as a category, behave or talk in this reckless fashion. What I am saying is that it’s really galling to be upending our lives to protect some percentage of senior citizens who are very willing to be reckless and stupid.

    5
  39. 95 South says:

    @MarkedMan: I’m glad you posted, MarkedMan. Yesterday you were saying that it’d be ironic if Kim was dead, because then Trump would be caught lying, and his fans are too stupid to admit it. It made me realize you were criticizing people for the way they acted in a story in your head. That got me thinking about the commenters on this site. So many just assume that they’re factually right based on the stories they make up. So when CSK complained about the hypocrisy of someone he decided was both serious and pro-life, I wanted to see if he had evidence. And it’s like it doesn’t even occur to people whether their stories are true, as long as they bolster their narratives. I can’t even get people to understand the question. Reality matters more than your opinions.

    1
  40. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @95 South: So what you’re saying is, you want people to die?

    4
  41. Jen says:

    @Kingdaddy: I think many senior citizens are profoundly lonely in the first place, and this period of isolation is starting to be too much, particularly with no end in sight. There’s likely an unconscious calculus taking place: I don’t have much time left, and I don’t want to spend it this way, even more alone and isolated than I already was.

    My MIL is 79 and not in great health, so she’s been completely isolated for more than a month. It’s really starting to get to her.

    I can totally see a “I’ll take my chances” mindset taking hold for some. For now, my MIL is continuing her isolation, and we’re doing all we can (mostly via Facetime) to keep her from being lonely. But honestly, this sucks and I’m guessing many have decided that they don’t want to spend what time they have left that way. It’s a hell of a roulette wheel to spin.

    7
  42. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Monala:

    Why would the cops force four people (or rather 3 people and a family) who are dog walking as far apart from each other as possible, to leave a small park, but allow a large park to stay open and packed with people?

    Because zey ver onlink followink orders!

  43. Monala says:

    @95 South: You are saying that CSK and others don’t have proof that the “Sacrifice the Weak” sign holder isn’t a troll. However, likewise, you don’t have proof that he is. And they have given you direct evidence that Republicans are saying grandparents should be willing to die for their grandchildren. Why grandparents in this situation? Because they are older and therefore more vulnerable to this disease. What is that, except asking people to sacrifice the weak? You just don’t want to admit that someone on your side would state it so explicitly. And note: no of the other protesters around the guy seemed to object to his sign.

    11
  44. Mister Bluster says:

    Reality matters more

    “It’s going to disappear. One day, it’s like a miracle, it will disappear”.
    Trump

    Ha! Ha! Ha!
    What a Joker!

    1
  45. CSK says:

    @95 South:
    My congratulations on spelling “you’re” properly. That seems to be well beyond the capabilities of most Trump fanciers.

    3
  46. Kingdaddy says:

    @Jen: That’s a very humane view of the situation. I can understand why seniors feel especially isolated, and still be very frustrated with the behavior I saw today. But thanks for that additional context about how shelter in place is making life even harder for the already-lonely elderly.

    On a related note, I live a mile or so from my grandchildren. It’s painful not to be able to see them.

    4
  47. MarkedMan says:

    @95 South: @95 South:

    It made me realize you were criticizing people for the way they acted in a story in your head. That got me thinking about the commenters on this site.

    First, I think your basic point is good. I think all of us, most definitely including me, frequently assume we know how this or that group of people is going to react and base our criticism on that.

    That said, I think you are conflating people who say “Trumpers believe X” with “I bet Trumpers believe X”. The first is a statement of fact and would require proof. The second is a tacit acknowledgement that the speaker doesn’t know, but is making a guess. Here’s what CSK actually said:

    I’m willing to bet that this individual who wants to “sacrifice the weak” is ardently anti-abortion.

    He didn’t assert it as fact. And he didn’t make up a story in his head. He merely speculated on a correlation, perhaps an ungenerous one, perhaps not.

    Here’s what you thought I said:

    you were saying that it’d be ironic if Kim was dead, because then Trump would be caught lying, and his fans are too stupid to admit it.

    That’s fairly close to what I said, with one important difference: I didn’t say “(Trump’s) fans” but rather “Trumpers”. I know a fair number of people who voted for Trump and for the most part I don’t consider them Trumpers, which is a special category. A Trumper is someone who insists, loudly and obnoxiously and regardless of personal belief, that everything Trump says is true or, at worst, just an awkward way of stating a broader truth. A Trumper, at least as I use it, is by definition someone who accepts and promotes Trump’s obvious lies as truth. It may be because they are dumb and can’t even recognize the lies. It may because they are rabid fan boys who know their man is lying but can’t allow anyone to say anything against him. Or it may be because they literally stop processing information when it comes to this specific subject, which is a condition that affects lots and lots of people for many different reasons. I lump all of these is into the category of feeble-minded.

    1
  48. 95 South says:

    @CSK: I remember the first comment Darryl made to me was “yo’re an idiot”.

  49. 95 South says:

    @MarkedMan: CSK didn’t say “I bet they’re ardently anti-immigration” or “I bet they’re ardently in favor of tax cuts”. He was playing up a contradiction that only existed in his mind.

  50. Monala says:

    @95 South: you’re not stupid. Those alternate analogies would make no sense. Anti-abortion advocates often claim they are supporting the most vulnerable among us. That they are now turning around and asking vulnerable people to be willing to die highlights their hypocrisy.

    9
  51. Kurtz says:

    @95 South:
    @95 South:

    You’re doing mental contortions here, bud. Why? I don’t know. Enlighten us, please.

    Woman holds a sign in a public protest. Others point out the sign espouses a ludicrous and/or odious belief.

    Public protests are aimed at disseminating a message. Because of this, it is logically sound to assume that anyone holding a sign is espousing a sincere belief, unless they also give evidence to the contrary.

    The burden of proof is on you in this context, not CSK nor Ozark nor me.

    One more thing that is, in some ways, more damning for your position. There is no way to ever verify sincerity. Your process is an infinite regression.

    Let’s say CSK goes and finds the lady with the sign and asks, “did you mean it?” She says, “yes.” What keeps you from saying, “that’s just part of the troll.” If she says, “It was a joke.” Both approaches still fit common patterns of trolling behavior. You are (conciously?) setting a standard by which you can never be wrong.

    Again, I ask, sincerely, why are you playing this game? You’re the kid in the back of the class asking the physics teacher to prove that the Earth isn’t being held up by turtles.

    The only people who find your line of inquiry sound are 4Chan pre-teens and arrested development adults.

    8
  52. 95 South says:

    @Monala: Monala – You’re making the same point I was making, but I can’t tell if you’re disagreeing with me, so sorry if I’m repeating myself.

    MarkedMan said that CSK wasn’t making up a story in his head. In reply, I pointed out that CSK was clearly describing what he saw as potential hypocrisy by contrasting the anti-life message of the sign with the presumed anti-abortion position of the sign holder. Now, I don’t think that anyone who favors a restart would hold a sign that says “Sacrifice the Weak”, so I doubt there’s any real conflict. I don’t imagine there’s any contradiction, but, stating this again, I don’t know. But CSK constructed a story so as to make a contradiction. He said that the sign was sincere and speculated that the sign-holder was opposed to abortion, clearly for the purpose of highlighting a contrast. As far as I can tell, that contrast exists only in his mind.

    Why did he do that? Is it because he feels guilty about beating his children? Almost certainly not. So I wouldn’t accuse him of being motivated by guilt over beating his children. That scenario exists only in my head. So as a rational person I’m not going to accuse him of it, even though it makes a pretty little symmetrical story. Do you see the difference between me and him?

  53. Monala says:

    @95 South:

    He said that the sign was sincere and speculated that the sign-holder was opposed to abortion, clearly for the purpose of highlighting a contrast.

    You’re right, CSK doesn’t know for certain whether the sign-holder opposes abortion. But it’s not an unreasonable assumption to make, given that that is the prevailing conservative position.

    2
  54. MarkedMan says:

    @95 South: I think you are using the No True Scotsman defense, or a variant. Why doesn’t she believe what the sign says? Because no one could believe that. Therefore she is trolling.

    I’m willing to concede she might be trolling, in several different ways. But the statement that no one would sincerely say that doesn’t jibe with the evidence. The Texas Lt Gov has left no doubt that is exactly what he believes.

    6
  55. Barry says:

    @inhumans99: “Of what use is power if a good chunk of your constituency start dying off again later in the year?”

    Cersei. Power is Power. MCConnell would rather rule a country of the dead that merely live as an ordinary citizen in the land of the living.

    2
  56. Barry says:

    @Kurtz: After so many years, WTF are we debating trolls? If this person believes that, they are evil; if they are trolling, then they are evil; if they are being ‘ironic’, they are evil.

    They all deserve the same punishment.

    1
  57. Barry says:

    @Kurtz: ” You’re the kid”in the back of the class asking the physics teacher to prove that the Earth isn’t being held up by turtles. ”

    And when somebody is an adult, that person is a troll.

    1
  58. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @MarkedMan: I think that you and others are probably investing too much effort in explaining things to 95 South that he or she simply doesn’t give a rat’s ass about. Too each their own. (And there may be some advantage to the lurkers, I suppose.)

    1
  59. An Interested Party says:

    Now, I don’t think that anyone who favors a restart would hold a sign that says “Sacrifice the Weak”…

    Which, of course, is bullshit, as there are people stating that they don’t want to sacrifice the economy even if it means more people will die because of exposure to the Coronavirus…I wonder why you and people like you refuse to see that…

    3
  60. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I’m still waiting for an answer to my question:

    @95 South: So what you’re saying is, you want people to die?

    I mean, he could’ve said “Yes.”, he could’ve said, “No.”, he could’ve said, “Depends.” but instead he said nothing.

    Which makes me think he is a whole lot more uncomfortable with the answer than I am with the question. Inquiring minds want to know,

    Why?

    2
  61. Kurtz says:

    @95 South:

    Now, I don’t think that anyone who favors a restart would hold a sign that says “Sacrifice the Weak”, so I doubt there’s any real conflict.

    Is this a typo? Because people in favor of restarting the economy have said it, several times on national TV, and when pressed, doubled down.

    Why did he do that? Is it because he feels guilty about beating his children? Almost certainly not. So I wouldn’t accuse him of being motivated by guilt over beating his children. That scenario exists only in my head. So as a rational person I’m not going to accuse him of it, even though it makes a pretty little symmetrical story. Do you see the difference between me and him?

    You have rarely shown the hallmarks of rationality in the fights you pick around here.

    Does that mean you are never rational? No. You don’t always take unreasonable positions. Also, I can assume, given that your sentences are fully formed, that you are capable of thought.

    However, you do conflate stubbornness and assertiveness by refusing to see holes in your positions after they have been poonted out to you.

    Sometimes, that is appropriate. But much of the time, in your case, you irrationally cling to ideas that have been shown to be incomplete or false.

    Yes, I see the deference between CSK and you, but based on this discussion, you don’t.

    Specifically, the wife-beating analogy is made out of thin air. Unless CSK has made an admission here that I am not aware of, or is someone you know personally, then it doesn’t even make sense.

    Contrast that with the link between Republican party-ID and pro-life stances–77% of Republican/Republican leaners are against legal abortion in all or almost all cases.

    Your analogy is based on something you made up that could be changed to any bad activity. You could have said, “CSK cooks meth,” or “CSK poisons Halloween candy” and it wouldn’t matter, because it isn’t even contrived–it’s fabricated.

    CSK’s point was specific to one aspect of Republicanism, which is well-evidenced and remarkably consistent between polls. That is not the same thing you did.

    So, how about answering the questions that have been asked of you. Prove @Barry wrong that you’re not a troll. Otherwise, I will concede that he is correct, and you’re not worth any attention from anyone here.

    3
  62. 95 South says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I voted thumbs up on the comment. I thought it was funny. If you weren’t joking it’s even funnier.

    Maybe someone would attend a pro-Biden rally with a sign reading “We Love Dead Fetuses”. I wouldn’t believe him though because someone who thought that wouldn’t say it like that. I’m telling you I don’t think a person who supported a restart would carry a “Sacrifice the Weak” sign. Maybe you all understand the pro-restart mind so much better than I do but I doubt it. Thanks for the laugh either way.

    1
  63. An Interested Party says:

    Maybe you all understand the pro-restart mind so much better than I do but I doubt it.

    You really are a troll and are now displaying it for all to see…no one has to understand the pro-restart mind as there are people who are actually saying the economy is more important even if that means more people die of the Coronavirus…no mind reading needed…for a site that was started by a conservative, it would be nice if the conservatives who comment here would make real, actual, legitimate arguments rather than simply trolling…

    6
  64. MarkedMan says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    : I think that you and others are probably investing too much effort in explaining things to 95 South that he or she simply doesn’t give a rat’s ass about.

    You may be right, but as someone who has zero time for Trumpers and trolls you might be surprised to know that I don’t put 95 South in that category, by any stretch. I think they bring up things that demand legitimate debate. I don’t usually agree with them but sometimes they make a good point.

    Maybe I’m wrong and they’re just a troll or a Trumper, but if so they are a hundred times more insightful than, say, the G-Troll. If he’s playing us, and more specifically, me, then so be it. I appreciate the push back.

    3
  65. Kurtz says:

    @95 South:

    I’m telling you I don’t think a person who supported a restart would carry a “Sacrifice the Weak” sign. Maybe you all understand the pro-restart mind so much better than I do but I doubt it. Thanks for the laugh either way.

    And you’re clearly wrong. As my post explained. And as <a href="@An Interested Party: “>explained here by An Interested Party.

    Again, nobody would hold a sign,” I love dead fetuses” because no one pro-choice makes that statement. But people are arguing for re-opening despite acknowledging that it would result in more deaths from COVID. Some have made the sacrifice statement directly, and repeatedly.

    You’re willfully ignoring it. Why?

    4
  66. Michael Reynolds says:

    @95 South:
    No.

    You knowingly, deliberately pretend to believe lies. Or you’re an idiot. You don’t seem like an idiot, but liar is the only other choice. Liar in service to white supremacy, corruption and treason.

    Liar or idiot, don’t compare yourself to me. Or to any decent person.

    7
  67. Gustopher says:

    @95 South:

    Maybe someone would attend a pro-Biden rally with a sign reading “We Love Dead Fetuses”. I wouldn’t believe him though because someone who thought that wouldn’t say it like that. I’m telling you I don’t think a person who supported a restart would carry a “Sacrifice the Weak” sign.

    There’s a segment on the right that would definitely carry the “Sacrifice The Weak” sign — the Milo Yiannopolis crowd that simultaneously wants to advocate for an awful position, and claim that it is just humorously trolling the left, but they totally believe it.

    Now, whether you consider those people trolls or not… they thread a fine line and delight in it. I take them at face value.

    They say horrible things because they believe horrible things, and they put on a smug smirk so they can pretend they were joking if called on it.

    And the reason you don’t see that on the left is that we just don’t do it as a rule. Lefties are a bit more earnest. A year or two ago, there was a “Shout your abortion” thing going on, where women were trying to raise visibility of the normalcy of abortion, and it might have looked like a joke but there was no humor in it.

    1
  68. JKB says:

    Of course, it is coming back in “flu” season. And it isn’t going away over the summer either, but is likely to be low burn. SARS 2.0 has a similar ambient temperature, relative humidity stability profile to that of the general strains of influenza. But, there isn’t an immunity in the population to keep the summer illnesses off the radar.

    And the SARS 2.0 is going to be around as a news item for a couple years at least depending on a vaccine. And a vaccine is still hopeful. Right now the record for a vaccine for a novel virus is 5 years. And there has never been a vaccine for a coronavirus. That said, the SARS 1.0 vaccine was left incomplete just as it was to enter human trials so we don’t know the outcome of that effort. After a vaccine, SARS 2.0 is going to just be one of the annual cold and flu viruses we deal with each year.

    The confusing part so far is that there doesn’t seem to be any surveillance testing of the virus prevalence on surfaces. What’s the odds of that grocery cart having enough virus to fear? Is 72 hrs the best practice for cleaning NYC subway cars? Is virus lingering in the air on subway cars during commutes given the Chinese study that found downwind infections beyond 6 ft in a restaurant from an a/c vent? And how to refine the 6 ft bubble social distancing given that droplets only are possible in a cone centered on the mouth and nose of donor and recipient and very unlikely if they are back to back, even side to back?

    These environmental questions would go a long way to establishing effective prevention using science instead of the suppositions presently proffered. All the more given there have been no documented cases of passer-by, momentary contact transmission, nor surface transmission outside of healthcare settings or homes of someone with the virus.

    6
  69. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @95 South: I was joking, but when you didn’t respond I began to think that maybe you took me serious which made me laugh.

    I’m telling you I don’t think a person who supported a restart would carry a “Sacrifice the Weak” sign.

    2 things: #1: You should meet some of my neighbors. They carry signs just like it every where they go.
    #2: That’s exactly what people say when they vote GOP. Maybe they are too stupid to know it, but the ACA debate should have been instructional, as should the ongoing legislative and legal attempts to gut it, or when just bringing up the idea of universal healthcare results in ridicule by Republicans. ALL of those should be a clue.

    And yet they don’t get it.

    7
  70. 95 South says:

    For those who are interested, Matt Walsh put up a good column about the lockdown yesterday. I don’t agree with every word of it, but it might help you understand the pro-restart perspective.

  71. 95 South says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I didn’t compare myself to you, except to say that neither of us is omniscient.

    1
  72. Michael Reynolds says:

    @95 South:
    That’s not the difference between us. I’m interested in the truth, you are a deliberate liar. You have nothing to offer to an honest discussion.

  73. 95 South says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I didn’t say it’s the difference between us. This is another “hearing what you want to hear” thing, isn’t it? You say I’m comparing us when I’m not, you say I’m contrasting us when I’m not. The difference between us is I can read the words without jumping to conclusions or making up stories. I don’t get so panicked when I read something I disagree with that I have to accuse people of racism and treason. I think if I could put it in one word, I’m balanced. I’m OK with who I am, I’m trying to find the truth, and to help people who have gotten off-track in their thinking.

    Did you read the Matt Walsh column? Did you donate to the Nashville Rescue Mission? Have you broadened your mind or tried to help others today?

  74. Mister Bluster says:

    @95 South: …help people who have gotten off-track in their thinking.

    You might want to offer your guidance to Supreme Leader Kim-Jong Trump.
    He doesn’t seem to know what he is talking about:

    “What provision in the Constitution gives the president the power to open or close state economies?” a reporter asked Trump April 13.
    “Numerous provisions,” Trump replied. “We’ll give you a legal brief if you want.”
    Reporters pressed Trump for details, but he never cited specific provisions in the Constitution or federal law.
    When a reporter asked again, Trump said, “The authority is total, and that’s the way it’s got to be.”
    Politifact

  75. Michael Reynolds says:

    @95 South:
    Trump is a pathological liar. That’s not opinion, that’s demonstrated fact. As a Trump supporter you either honestly deny this fact, in which case you’re an idiot. Or you accept the fact, and don’t care, in which case you have no interest in the truth and are, therefore, a liar.

    There’s no middle ground there. Truth or lies. Simple as that. Idiot or liar, take your pick.

    1
  76. 95 South says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I’ll give $10 more to the Nashville Rescue Mission if you show me where I said I supported Trump. Are you willing to give $10 if you can’t and admit it was all in your head?

  77. 95 South says:

    @Michael Reynolds: No reply yet, Michael? Why not? Maybe you haven’t gotten around to it, or maybe you were deceptive or mistaken (much more polite phrasing than “idiot or liar”). Or maybe you realize you were completely wrong but don’t have $10. If that’s the case, let me know. Write that you were at fault and you’re sorry and contribute $6, and I’ll contribute $4 and accept your apology.

  78. An Interested Party says:

    Did you read the Matt Walsh column?

    Oh, you mean this shit?

    Indeed, there is little reason to think that the lockdowns have directly saved any lives. They aren’t even designed to do that. The goal has always been to slow the spread, not stop it, which means over the long term the same number of people will contract the virus as would have contracted it had we never locked down at all.

    You’ll forgive me if I prefer the evidence provided by legitimate organizations as opposed to the rantings of some random bigot

    Have you broadened your mind or tried to help others today?

    Perhaps that question would be more legitimate if it wasn’t coming from a person who is narrowing his mind (considering the web articles you’d like other people to read) as well as a person who thinks he’s helping others by trolling on this website…

  79. 95 South says:

    @An Interested Party: Good for you. You read something out of your comfort zone. I wanted you to read it for the human side of the pro-restart argument.

    As 22 million people and counting have been left jobless, and countless business owners stand on the brink, or have already crossed over the brink, of losing everything they worked for, localities are seeing a dramatic rise in suicides, and history tells us there will likely be many thousands more. Add those to the spike in drug overdoses that inevitably accompany even slight increases in the unemployment rate — let alone a 15 percent increase in the span of a few weeks — along with the rises in domestic violence and homelessness, and it’s not hard to see that our strategy to “save lives” may kill many more people than it saves….
    It is people we are worried about — people starving, people in despair, people suffering in unimaginable ways. This is not a question of whether we should save lives. Both sides want to do that. The question is how best to achieve that end.

  80. SKI says:

    @95 South:

    Both sides want to do that.

    But do they? I don’t see that. Is Kemp? Trump? If they were, they would actually be doing the work. Sharing accurate information. Listening to experts. etc. They seem, to me at least, to be prioritizing, albeit poorly, ideology, economic growth and personal political fortune over people’s actual lives.

    Overall, what you linked to and quoted appears to be mostly driven by ideology and sophistry. If it were honest, it would take the true things it says and end up in a very different place.

    First, there is no legitimate dispute that reducing the R0, which the shutdowns have done, has saved lives. Fewer people got infected and those that did were more spaced out in time. We didn’t overwhelm the bed capacity, though we certainly taxed it in NYC. We didn’t mimic Lombardy – and that was certainly a possibility.

    As your article notes, the shutdowns serve mostly to flatten the curve and delay infections. While they need to be balanced against the economic and associated harms, their principal focus is to reduce the R0 to prevent exponential growth and to *buy time*. Time that should be used to put the required infrastructure in place to manage the hotspots that will pop-up as we reopen. That effort has been largely abandoned by Trump Administration. Minimal funding for contact-tracing (massive cost to state and local governments that Mitch doesn’t want to fund), no national coordination of ventilators and PPE, no support for a massive increase in testing (both diagnostic and serology).

  81. 95 South says:

    @SKI: I don’t think that each percent of unemployment will result in the deaths of 37,000 people. I suspect the number will be lower, assuming this is a short-term shutdown. You could reduce the number by up to 90%. Howeve,r the number was based on a 1982 study, and the population has grown by 50%. The unemployment rate has gone up 20%. So 111,000-1,111,000 people may die due to the shutdown. If you can’t talk about them without making political accusations, you just might not care about people as much as you think.

  82. SKI says:

    @95 South: If you can’t get your head around the reality that the people you are championing aren’t actually doing the things needed to try to alleviate the situation to allow things to re-open, you aren’t actually being rational or honest.

    This, by the way, isn’t partisan or political. Many Republican Governors are doing the right thing (Hogan, Baker, DeWine, as top of mind examples). That *you* are making it partisan is on you.

    1
  83. SKI says:

    @95 South:BTW, that early work on the impact of unemployment on mortality rate has been called into question:

    Early work on the association between unemployment and mortality suggested that the relationship is causal (Moser et al., 1987). More recent work, however, has called this into question and the issue of causation remains unsettled (Martikainen, 1990; Martikainen et al., 2007). Many studies, for example, have documented that persons with pre-existing health conditions are more likely to become and remain unemployed (Bartley & Owen, 1996; Bockerman & Ilmakunnas, 2009; Bjorgulf Claussen, 1993; Salm, 2009). Browning, MollerDano, and Heinesen (2006) also reported that unemployment did not lead to hospitalization for stress-related diseases.

    Yet many studies continue to find an association between unemployment and mortality even after controlling for pre-existing health status. Whether these provide evidence of a causal link is still uncertain, and much of the debate over causation vs. spurious association has focused on health behavior variables. Unfortunately, the vast majority of individual-level studies of unemployment and health behaviors is cross-sectional and cannot be used to adjudicate between these two hypotheses. Furthermore, many of the macro-level studies of unemployment rates and aggregate health behavior measures cannot be used as they lack individual-level data on health behaviors, health outcomes, and employment status (Catalano & Bellows, 2005).

  84. 95 South says:

    @SKI: I took the estimate of 37,000 per percentage point and divided it by 10 and still came up with 111,000 dead. That’s twice as many as have died from coronavirus so far. The number by itself doesn’t justify a restart, but the issue has to be taken seriously.

  85. SKI says:

    @95 South: The 37,000 number is complete bullshit.

    If that were true, deaths during the Great Recession would have skyrocketed. In reality, they actually fell: Great Recession Led To Fewer Deaths

    We find that in areas where the unemployment rate is growing faster, mortality rates decline faster. So during the Great Recession in the U.S., we saw increases in the unemployment rate of about 4-5 percentage points, so that translates to about 50,000 to 60,000 fewer deaths per year, the same order of magnitude as the number of people who die from influenza and pneumonia every year.

    When you start from bad science that doesn’t match reality, it doesn’t matter how you manipulate it.

    1
  86. jennysailes says:

    We are the richest country in the world and we were warned of a pandemic many years ago…so where are all our resources? How could we be out of masks, gloves, and gowns right off the bat, in week one of the pandemic? Obviously we didn’t heed the warnings and didn’t prepare at all. Now local, state, and federal government has resorted to plan B by telling people to use scarves or pieces of fabric to cover their noses and mouths. How did we get to such a state of lack of preparation?