Some States Reopening Too Soon

We're putting people in an impossible position.

WaPo (“States rushing to reopen are likely making a deadly error, coronavirus models and experts warn“):

By the end of the week, residents in Georgia will be able to get their hair permed and nails done. By Monday, they will be cleared for action flicks at the cineplex and burgers at their favorite greasy spoon.

And it will almost certainly lead to more novel coronavirus infections and deaths.

As several states — including South Carolina, Tennessee and Florida — rush to reopen businesses, the sudden relaxation of restrictions will supply new targets for the coronavirus that has kept the United States largely closed down, according to experts, math models and the basic rules that govern infectious diseases.

“The math is unfortunately pretty simple. It’s not a matter of whether infections will increase but by how much,” said Jeffrey Shaman, a leading epidemiologist at Columbia University.

Closing America was hard. But it came with one simple instruction: Everyone stay at home.

There are no easy answers for the phase that comes next, especially with a continued lack of testing, contact tracing and detailed guidance from federal health agencies, disease experts said. Instead, every state will conduct its own improvised experiment with thousands of lives in the balance.

Many of the earliest reopenings will probably be confusing, chaotic, risky affairs — especially for states restarting their economies before most infectious-disease experts and some mayors and residents believe it’s safe to do so.

South Carolina’s governor issued an executive order this week reopening department stores and retailers previously regarded as not essential. Tennessee’s governor said he plans to allow most businesses to reopen once his “safer-at-home” order expires next week. Governors in Mississippi and Ohio have said the same. And Colorado’s Gov. Jared Polis (D) said some businesses could reopen on Friday.

Some of those same states are, however, still struggling to contain outbreaks.

In Ohio, where businesses are expected to reopen by next week, a prison has become one of the most worrisome outbreaks in the country, with more than 2,000 inmates testing positive. In South Dakota, more than 700 infections have shut down a Smithfield Foods meatpacking plant. And because South Dakota remains one of the few states without a stay-at-home order, one business said it plans to go forward on Saturday with a car race drawing 700 spectators.

Georgia, according to some models, is one of the last states that should be reopening. The state has had more than 830 covid-19 deaths. It has tested less than 1 percent of its residents — low compared with other states and the national rate. And the limited amount of testing so far shows a high rate of positives at 23 percent.

[…]

In recent days, other governors have defended their decisions to reopen quickly as an economic necessity, an exercise in states’ rights and a matter of freedom.

“What I’ve seen across the country is so many people give up their liberties for just a little bit of security, and they don’t have to do that,” South Dakota Gov. Kristi L. Noem (R).

“We can’t wait until there’s a cure to this,” said Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R), who plans to reopen some businesses after a stay-at-home order expires Monday. “We can’t wait until every single person can get tested every single day to open up our economy.”

But even states proceeding more slowly, such as Massachusetts and California, will have to walk their residents through the coming experiment with competing pressures and voices threatening to drown out public health instructions.

Some of this is ideological bullshit. But most of it is differential impact: it’s simply easier for states where most residents can continue to get paid by working remotely to do what’s necessary than those where that’s not the case.

Northern Virginia, where I live, is among the wealthiest parts of the country. Mostly, that’s a function of our proximity to Washington, DC. Large numbers of us are employed directly by the Federal government or have jobs that exist because of the Federal government. That’s also helped drive a huge tech sector, lots of colleges and universities, and all manner of other white-collar jobs that can be done via email, Zoom, and other workarounds.

That’s a hell of a lot less true in Mississippi or South Dakota and the pressures on the government—and the citizens—there are simply different.

The initial plan seemed to be for the Federal government to pay people whose public-facing jobs weren’t “essential” to stay at home. We’ve passed multi-trillion-dollar stimulus packages but seemingly haven’t alleviated the economic pressures on ordinary workers, who are in turn pressuring their government to let them go earn a living.

Obviously, the Fox Newses and Rush Limbaughs of the world haven’t helped. Nor, especially, has President Trump. They’ve undermined the message as to how serious all of this is.

But, at its core, we’re giving people the impossible choice between risking our health and their’s by going out and about and not being able to pay their mortgages, feed their families, and otherwise survive economically.

FILED UNDER: COVID-19, Economics and Business, 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. An Interested Party says:

    Some of this is ideological bullshit.

    What, specifically, is the bullshit to which you refer?

    But, at its core, we’re giving people the impossible choice between risking our health and their’s by going out and about and not being able to pay their mortgages, feed their families, and otherwise survive economically.

    This could easily be fixed if we didn’t have President Dumbass in the White House and we had more members of Congress who were more worried about making sure people were financially protected while isolating themselves from this pandemic…

    13
  2. KM says:

    They’re killing their citizens AND their economy. A second shutdown so close to the first would be the death knell for business. They can survive a prolonged shutdown with government help but open/crash/shut again in a month or two? You lose that help, conditions on loans kick in and any protections the state may have passes for shutdown business no longer apply. It offers false hope as companies will see workers and customers not come back; they’ll either have to fire workers who won’t risk their lives and waste money/ time on training or have to function with less staff. Unemployment will still be insanely high as people choose life over work. Foot traffic in stores will be way down – can a restaurant survive with only 30~50% of their customers coming back to eat in?

    Think of it like chemo: it’s super unpleasant and you want to make it stop as it is hurting you. However, it’s hurting you to save you and stopping before the goal is achieved renders all previous suffering meaningless. The cancer will come roaring back and you’d need to do it AGAIN, only now you’ve accumulated all the negatives of the previous session with the benefits blown away. You’ve literally poisoned yourself for nothing and unless you want to die, you’re going to need to poison yourself again.

    14
  3. James Joyner says:

    @An Interested Party:

    What, specifically, is the bullshit to which you refer?“

    Mostly, this nonsense:

    What I’ve seen across the country is so many people give up their liberties for just a little bit of security, and they don’t have to do that,” South Dakota Gov. Kristi L. Noem (R).

    8
  4. Scott says:

    @James Joyner: Just what liberties are people giving up? Other than being super cautious, I’ve pretty much given up very little. What people confuse is the term liberty which they mean is the right to be irresponsible. And what does Noem mean by security? The entire sentence is nonsensical.

    7
  5. mattbernius says:

    I’m particularly impressed with how PoTUS seems to be entering into a quantum state where he at once (a) encourages the populations of States should revolt against governor’s closures small businesses, and (b) “strongly disagrees” with Governor’s efforts to reopen said small businesses in places like Georgia, but not enough to encourage people to revolt against said orders.

    13
  6. mattbernius says:

    @Scott:

    Just what liberties are people giving up?

    I’m pretty sure there’s reason why James specifically refered to the “liberties” talk as “ideological bullshit.”

    6
  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    On Monday, Georgia’s governor, Brian Kemp, announced his decision to reopen the state for business. Non-essential businesses, including tattoo parlors, hair salons, movie theaters and bowling alleys, will be authorized to reopen from Friday, if they follow social distancing orders.

    In a state where African Americans make up more than 32% of the population but account for an estimated 54% of known coronavirus deaths, the decision pitted a white Republican governor against mostly black Democratic mayors and critics.

    “By trying to push a false opening of the economy, we risk putting more lives in danger,” Stacey Abrams, the Democrat who lost to Kemp in a controversial election in 2018, told MSNBC.

    Citing the close contact needed for grooming services, Abrams said: “There is nothing about [the measure] that makes sense.”

    Abrams also said the governor “did not consult with [the mayors] before making this decision”.
    …………………………..
    The mayors of Savannah, Augusta and Atlanta confirmed they were not contacted before the governor’s announcement.

    Bo Dorough, who is white, is the mayor of Albany, a small city with a cluster of confirmed Covid-19 cases that has ravaged its mostly black community. Dorough said he only learned of the Kemp’s announcement after an aide caught the press conference on TV.

    “I’m flabbergasted that the governor would say we can’t take additional precautions to protect our citizens,” Dorough told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “This isn’t a mixed signal. It’s a U-turn.”

    It makes perfect sense if your goal is to further suppress the black vote.

    9
  8. inhumans99 says:

    I just want to say that the South needs to experience more of the negative effects of this pandemic before things change. James, when you say the citizens of places like GA, KY, FL, etc. feel like they have to go back to work well that is patently untrue. They have politicians who have an inordinate amount of influence with our President and they could put bills in front of the President making it easier for them to get paid while not working.

    The South for a good chunk of my lifetime (I turn 49 this year) has had this seemingly un-breakable grip on D.C. that effects the majority of the country but I still say that things like the Covid Pandemic get us closer to a bloodless way to slightly tamp down their (Southern Politicians) influence in these modern times. There is no need for liberals to “fight” the South when we are happy to let them secede.

    Instead of working to suppress the minority vote, and get anti-abortion judges on the bench all of these “noble” groups like Judicial Watch, the orgs set-up by the Koch Brothers, and others could pivot and work to create policies that make it possible for the folks in non-liberal hellholes (aka folks not in CA/NY) to still be able to put food on their table and keep a roof over their head during these calamitous times. All of this conservative billionaire money sloshing around and most of it goes to eff over the very people these folks claim to represent (plenty of conservatives get straight up screwed by the very folks who claim to be doing right by them).

    4
  9. Jen says:

    Non-essential businesses, including tattoo parlors, hair salons, movie theaters and bowling alleys, will be authorized to reopen from Friday, if they follow social distancing orders.

    How on earth are tattoo parlors and hair salons going to be able to follow social distancing orders? Don’t both of those lines of work require close proximity between the service provider and customer–far less than 6′–to do the job?

    I can see shutting down every three rows in movie theaters (although I don’t understand how it makes sense to open while limiting the number of people, as that has to affect profitability in a way that makes it sub-optimal to open), or only having every other lane open in a bowling alley (although again, what is the break-even point to opening versus remaining closed?).

    This makes no sense at all.

    5
  10. Kathy says:

    I’m convinced it’s not so much what you know as who you know.

    You know there’s a pandemic, over 2.5 million people worldwide have been infected and over 180 thousand have died of it. That’s what you know.

    You also very likely don’t know anyone who’s been infected, not someone you know personally like a friend or relative.

    So the pandemic seems like a distant thing that doesn’t affect you (I expect this is different in large cities, especially New York)

    On the other hand you’re very likely to know people who are out of work, or who have closed their business. You also know you’re cooped up inside the house, and you are running out of toilet paper.

    Those who act on what they know, are more likely to want to extend the preventive measures. Most won’t go out freely even if their states open up wide for business. All too many people who act on who they know, are ready to burst out and take risks, because they don’t think of it as risk.

    5
  11. Neil Hudelson says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Don’t forget f*cking over The Poors. Say a restaurant owner decides the risk to his/her staff, family, and community is too great and decides not to open for business, despite it being allowed in Georgia. Well now that business owner doesn’t qualify for the help coming from the feds, since he’s not actually in a position where the lock down is technically affecting his business. Workers he’s furloughed have to either come back to work or he has to let them go–they can’t be on UI if they are technically able to go back to their job. So he fires them so they can go on UI, but he’s picking up the UI tab without a functioning business. Now, there’s help from the government to cover his , but again, this business won’t qualify because he fired them voluntarily–his business was allowed to operate. So here comes bankruptcy.

    And his staff that are now on UI? They aren’t going to be able to stay on if the state can make a truthful claim that there are serving jobs available–after all, restaurants can open. If you choose not to apply for work, even because of the pandemic, you can’t stay on UI. Work or Die, bitch.

    15
  12. Barry says:

    @Neil Hudelson: It’s so much worse than that, I’m afraid. If they are fired for not showing up, they don’t qualify for UI. If the business owner brings them back for a week or two, but then has to lay most (or all) of them off due to lack of business, then they have to reapply for UI, meaning a month or so to get a check, at the very best.

    Whatever relief the business owner qualified for is gone, because they are now free to reopen. If they go out of business because most people are staying home, then they go bankrupt.

    5
  13. MarkedMan says:

    @inhumans99:

    I just want to say that the South needs to experience more of the negative effects of this pandemic before things change.

    I wish I could agree with you, but I’m afraid this is just a variation of “once everything is in ruins, then they will realize we were right all along.” In my six decades I’ve never seen that work. Failed states like Mississippi and Alabama and, well, most of the Trump states, never, ever, ever, ever learn from their mistakes. After each catastrophe the young people with sense and ambition give up and move to a decent state, and the remainder vote in more people whose main skill is in telling off all those outsiders who think they are so perfect. And the cycle repeats.

    9
  14. dazedandconfused says:

    @Jen:

    I makes sense in a certain way: Many of these nail, tattoo ilk are sole proprietorship or pretty close to it. Their employees (if any) are eligible for unemployment but the owner isn’t.

  15. gVOR08 says:

    @inhumans99: There is indeed a contradiction between being the party of plutocrats and the faux populism they rely on to attract their voters. Republicans have managed to live with that contradiction for decades.

    2
  16. gVOR08 says:

    @dazedandconfused: I’ve seen speculation that this reopening is designed to cut down the drain on GA’s unemployment funds. The GOPs are planning to make partisan issues of reopening and fiscal profligacy by D governors. Kemp, and my own beloved/s governor DeSantis in FL, are getting lined up to support this program.

    I saw a piece in Slate this morning wondering what McConnell’s up to by posturing about states declaring bankruptcy when he knows he’ll have to bail them out. He knows no such thing. It was obvious after 2008 that the country needed more stimulus, did that sway McConnell? He and his billionaire backers saw a chance to hurt Obama, country be damned, and they took it.

    4
  17. Jen says:

    @dazedandconfused: That part I get. What is not understandable is how they can serve customers while maintaining social distance. It’s literally impossible for my hair stylist to cut and color my hair from six feet away.

    2
  18. Teve says:

    @An Interested Party: Indeed Mitch McTurtle is saying out loud the states should go bankrupt.

    3
  19. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Scott:

    Saw this recently and it nicely sums up the whole freedom discussion.

    3
  20. Modulo Myself says:

    Keep in mind none of what is happening now is popular. Nobody wants to be in a lockdown–even though, unless you’re a moron, the basics of the lockdown are essentially self-imposed–but there’s really no other solution. Normal people get this. The emphasis should be on getting through six months of this and then seeing what the situation is.

    Instead, it’s been a total clusterfuck. PPP, EIDL, unemployment–these are all not working for anybody. Part of me wants to believe that this is intentional and the die-hard lefties are right–They would rather have people suffer in chaos than show how arbitrary the system by paying non-essential people to sit at home and do squat. Another part of me thinks that this is late empire America and idiot barbarians with names like Scipio and Romulus are have the money and the power.

    1
  21. Moosebreath says:

    @inhumans99:

    “Instead of working to suppress the minority vote, and get anti-abortion judges on the bench all of these “noble” groups like Judicial Watch, the orgs set-up by the Koch Brothers, and others could pivot and work to create policies that make it possible for the folks in non-liberal hellholes (aka folks not in CA/NY) to still be able to put food on their table and keep a roof over their head during these calamitous times.”

    If you think for a minute that conservative groups would spend any of their money doing that, then you simply don’t understand their motivations. Their entire reason for being is to aid the people who are already rich and who contribute to these groups, whether it is by lowering the taxes they pay or removing limits on what they can do, either in the form governmental regulation or private legal actions. The people who vote to support their policies, but do not benefit from their actions are replaceable dupes, not supporters to be cared for in times of trouble.

    TL:DR — Yes, but where’s the profit in doing that?

    1
  22. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Moosebreath:

    The current social vision of this groups is a society where a block of low population rural states has enough electoral power to control the Senate and Presidency (thereby blocking any capability to federal level reform) and syphoning money enough money to them from high productivity states to keep them loyal to the Republican party.

    We can see this in it’s purest form right now with the federal government robbing medical supplies from blue states and giving them to red states, serving three purposes: 1) maximizing death in blue states to reduce blue voters, 2) buying loyalty in red states, 3) giving connected people the ability to profit as the middlemen between the seizure and the distribution, essentially creating US tolkachi.

    4
  23. James Joyner says:

    @Scott:

    Just what liberties are people giving up?

    Most states have ordered people to stay home other than for activities the state has deemed “essential.” Most businesses are shuttered. We’re not allowed to gather in groups of more than 10. These would be unconstitutional violations of our basic human rights other than for the emergency.

    4
  24. Michael Reynolds says:

    @MarkedMan:

    this is just a variation of “once everything is in ruins, then they will realize we were right all along.” In my six decades I’ve never seen that work.

    This is true and it is crucially important to understanding politics in this country. As WC Fields said (but someone else wrote) You can’t cheat an honest man. Virtually every con in the books involves exploiting the sucker’s cupidity and dishonesty.

    Similarly, you can’t lie to an honest man, not for long anyway. People who believe lies generally choose to pretend to believe a lie, despite knowing it’s a lie. For example no one actually believes in life after death, it’s a comforting lie they choose to pretend to believe. People don’t sift facts and reach conclusions, they decide what they want to believe, what they wish they believed, what is profitable for them to believe, and then they pretend to believe it, often quite belligerently.

    The percentage of people who will change a belief in light of that evidence is disappearingly small. So the Trumpaloons won’t ever admit they were wrong, they’ll shift to a new set of lies to rationalize when they decide support for Trump is no longer in their interests. He was a good man who tried but with those damn libs hating on him he couldn’t accomplish his laudable goals.

    Before one can admit error one has to care about the truth. Very few people care about the truth because that path leads inevitably to awareness of one’s own mortality and people are weak. No one is free to be honest until they face and accept the reality that they will die, perhaps miserably, perhaps horribly, and so will everyone they know and love, and the world will go right on without them.

    3
  25. Scott says:

    @James Joyner: What really irritates me about these politicians is that they play to the crowd with cries of freedom and liberty and yet will never ask anything of people. I have yet to hear a politician ask people to be responsible for their actions saying something like, “I know these actions are a burden but I ask you to do the right thing and be responsible, to do your duty so we can, as a people beat this thing”. The vast majority of people, I believe, understand this and are doing their part but the malcontents get all the attention. We need more talk about duty and less about personal freedoms. Like Robert E. Lee may have said:

    Duty then is the sublimest word in the English language. You should do your duty in all things. You can never do more, you should never wish to do less

    1
  26. Kurtz says:

    @James Joyner:

    Most states have ordered people to stay home other than for activities the state has deemed “essential.” Most businesses are shuttered. We’re not allowed to gather in groups of more than 10. These would be unconstitutional violations of our basic human rights other than for the emergency.

    This. I’m sympathetic to the argument being made by some of these people, just as you are. One of the problems that I’ve always had with how the Right has deployed these objections has been that it often seems contingent.

    But in a public health emergency, the calculus changes–how we behave can affect other people. A few irresponsible people can put people behaving responsibly at risk.

    3
  27. Blue Galangal says:

    @An Interested Party:

    This could easily be fixed if we didn’t have President Dumbass in the White House and we had more members of Congress who were more worried about making sure people were financially protected while isolating themselves from this pandemic…

    Or let those blue states declare bankruptcy, because McConnell says we shouldn’t mortgage future taxpayers to bail out the blue states’ pension obligations. (What a bizarre hill to die on, btw.) It was, of course, okay to mortgage future taxpayers to give billionaires a tax cut. Because FREE MARKET. I guess.

    1
  28. dazedandconfused says:

    @gVOR08:

    It’s grossly unfair to tell anyone they can’t do business and offer them no relief, but I’m even more cynical than yourself on motive for the Gov of Georgia. It’s possible to create a special program for these workers who are falling through a gap in the safety net but most of these sorts of businesses are in low-income areas, and in Georgia, we all know what that means.

    There is definitely Astroturf in this but there are also people who are really hurting. IMO the docs have about another month to find effective therapies or a lot of people, and of all political ilks, will start demanding restrictions be eased.

  29. gVOR08 says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    1) maximizing death in blue states to reduce blue voters

    Realistically, not enough people are going to die to significantly affect voting. But the GOPs are hoping to damage the D governors politically.

    1
  30. Stormy Dragon says:

    @gVOR08:

    I’m not saying it was a well thought out plan, but in the Republican mind, every dead urban Democrat is a win. This is the party obsessed with “owning the libs”, and what owns them more than killing their friends and family with an infectious disease?

  31. dazedandconfused says:

    @Jen:

    Quite. Clearly some view the 6-ft rule as a rough guideline and not a mandate. We must hope a combination of gloves, masks, and a lot of sanitizer does the trick.

  32. grumpy realist says:

    @James Joyner: This morning when I went out for my 10,000 steps in the neighborhood I must have seen 10 trucks from different landscaping services.

    I realize that HOAs get really miffed if you let your grass grow beyond a certain height, but “essential businesses”? Really?

    (I suspect the state of Illinois’ feeling is that since all these people are working outside away from other people and they’re small/locally owned businesses who really do depend on their cash flow, might as well label them “essential”.)

    1
  33. JKB says:

    @Jen:

    Where’s the science behind the six foot distance? Their reasoning is that people spittle into each others mouth and nose. Their reasoning is that the large droplets fall to the floor in about 6 ft. Of course, that distance is supposition, not science. Not an unreasonable guess, but not tested in a scientific manner.

    Now, a masked hair dresser/tattoo artist working on a masked client, is going to have a more difficult time spitting in each other’s mouths and noses. They can even watch where they point that thing that spittles to further decrease the risk. I have other concerns, but they are concerns that the “experts” directly deny so, they aren’t in the official mitigation.

    BTW, for added protection, a simple fan blowing spittle away, either to dilute it or into a towel on the wall which will not reflect the virus, will decrease any risk of transmission.

    Now, will these precautions be used? Probably, these are business owners so they have to deal with reality and know their risk if this doesn’t work.

  34. Gustopher says:

    @James Joyner: Thank you for being clear on this — far too many people are saying we aren’t giving up liberties when that’s clearly not the case.

    The government has long had powers to quarantine people during health crises (either pandemic or individual), and I support that, but we shouldn’t be pretending that it’s a minor thing. It should be challenged in court, but it will withstand that challenge.

    And for the restart retards I would say this: it’s a health crisis with civil liberty implications, not a civil liberty crisis with health implications.

    1
  35. Gustopher says:

    @JKB: You don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re not a epidemiologist specializing in respiratory illnesses, are you?

    Neither am I.

    Those are the people who should be making these decisions, not governors who apparently have a fondness for bowling and tattoo parlors and owning the libs.

    1
  36. KM says:

    @JKB:

    Of course, that distance is supposition, not science. Not an unreasonable guess, but not tested in a scientific manner.

    Well then, I take it you’re volunteering to test this? Let’s put you next to an actively infectious person and give you only a cloth mask to wear (most won’t have N95 or proper protection). As a hair stylist is often *right next to your face* while working, we’ll place you about 6in away for 30 min (women’s haircuts take far longer btw). We will do this repeatedly over the course of a week – lets say 10 times per day to simulate customer flow – and then see if you’re infected or not. Do it for science, @JKB! If not that, do it to own all us scared cat libs!

    Armchair scientists like you are trying very, *very* hard to get around this recommendation because it’s cramping your style. Multiple health and government orgs have approved this distance and there’s evidence it’s not enough. I’ve been in a hospital on droplet protocol for someone with TB and let me tell you, 6ft seems awful close when you see that hacking start and notice you got droplets on you. That’s the spittle you can SEE, now think about the more numerous ones you can’t! There’s been plenty of demonstrations on Youtube as to why 6ft is recommened – granted they’re for children but I’m sure you can follow.

    People thinking they’re smarter then scientists and trying to rationalize why you can be all up in there and not get sick wearing a mask somebody on Etsy made out of a towel are why this is going to be killing our economy far longer then it needs to.

    2
  37. Stormy Dragon says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I realize that HOAs get really miffed if you let your grass grow beyond a certain height, but “essential businesses”?

    It’s not just HOAs, it’s often local ordnance requiring it too. Overgrown landscaping creates fire hazards and encourages vermin.

    1
  38. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    They aren’t going to be able to stay on if the state can make a truthful claim that there are serving jobs available–after all, restaurants can open. If you choose not to apply for work, even because of the pandemic, you can’t stay on UI.

    As a gypsy union carpenter I have experience with unemployment. All one has to do to qualify is apply for a set number of jobs. Doesn’t have to be a restaurant. If nobody hires you, you’re qualified. Doesn’t matter whether the state says restaurants can operate or not. They have NOTHING to say about who they hire, or when, or for how long or for… Anything at all.

    Kemp can huff and he can puff all he wants but he can’t inflate the employment #s, only a good economy can.

    1
  39. MarkedMan says:

    @JKB: I don’t think this comment deserves its down votes. We will have to restart businesses as soon as is feasible, and there will still be risk when we do so we will have to mitigate that risk as best we can. And whether your suggestions turn out to be the best way forward or not, there will be a lot of discussion along these lines.

    I suspect the reaction is more to the history of your comments rather than this specific one.

  40. MarkedMan says:

    I think NYC is going to be the test case for reopening. According to a study out today, 21% of NYC residents have been or are infected (14% state wide). And the fatality rate appears to be around 1% (with fairly large error bars), so the risk of infection is pretty substantial – if 1% of the US population died, that would be more than 3M people.

    But 21% are now presumed immune and that number is growing. Will they be content to observe quarantine when they have no personal risk and have little risk of spreading to others? At this point the question is theoretical because most of them don’t know they had Covid. They had minor symptoms or none at all. But once a reliable anti-body test is out they will know. At that point the pressure to gradually reopen will be immense and, in my opinion, justified. We will have to put in place policies that accept a) people working and going out in public, and b) a certain level of continuous death that can be handled by our health care industry (I won’t call it a health care system because that implies a level of developed nation organization that the US is unable to achieve. But hey, we are keeping trannies from using the wrong bathroom, amirite?).

  41. JKB says:

    @KM:

    Well, the first step is to not let in people snotting and coughing. Risk is asymptomatic people who will only expel via talking. Then you stay out of droplet range. You create air movement to avoid sharing much air.

    And the N95 respirators are only recommended for when conducting procedures likely to make a known or suspected COVID patient expel heavily. Just entering the room for common practices over a short period, then surgical style masks.

    Below that, are the cloth face coverings of various capabilities, but mostly to capture spittle from the wearer and stop spittle from others. However, there is a woman in Texas who has devised a “homemade” mask that has better filtering than N95 at N99 (tested by a lab) using cloth and OTC filter material.

    There was just a briefing by DHS on virus stability at ambient temps and relative humidities. Not much new if you had followed the preliminary studies, except massive effect of sunlight in reducing the half-life of the virus on surfaces and in the air. Apparently, UV-c is being investigated but UV-c damages live skin, eyes, etc so it is not for the foolish.

  42. KM says:

    @JKB :
    You are contagious for days before you show symptoms so not letting in the coughers won’t keep out the virus. Also, the protesters will tell you that you are violating the liberties of the ill and asymptotic to go out and get their hair done. If you agree that “not letting them in” is acceptable for sick people, you are admitting lockdown is effective…. and since we don’t know who’s sick or asymptotic, that’s presumably everyone. “A known or suspected COVID patient” is everyone who has not tested negative for this latest exposure aka the whole population. In other words, in order to be effective you must make the assumption that a person is infected and act accordingly which as we’ve seen is something people are decidedly not doing. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of ventilators but common sense ain’t common.

    A cloth mask is better then nothing but it isn’t as effective as you seem to think. It’s like knitting a seatbelt instead of using industrial standards. Can you create a better seatbelt? Maybe if you got some serious materials and engineered the hell out of it but most folks will make theirs from floss and call it good. Again, I go out and see people with masks not covering noses (“can’t breathe” “glasses fogging up”), paper thin covers that get wet when you exhale or just refusing to wear them at all. Mask etiquette is not something America takes seriously to their detriment. The mask protects others from you….. so who’s protecting you when their masks ain’t cutting it?

    As for the org example – a hair stylist- they will be in extreme close contact with the mouth and nose of several clients for hours at a time. The client can’t wear a mask while getting their hair cut, btw – too great a risk of it being damaged. So now you have several maskless potential vectors in extremely close contact with one person who, if they get infected, could serve as a super-spreader quite easily. A fan would just stir up the air and push any particles all over the area which would need a through disinfection before the next risk -er, customer came in. Now….. be honest, who’s going to wipe down the entire shop completely inbetween customer every time? If they clean, it will be only where they think exposure happened (the chair and immediate area) thus leaving yet another vector of dirty surfaces in play. All of this adds to a 99.99% certainty somebody catching this and spreading it around from getting their haircut. You simply cannot do it safely at this time without both people being tested as negative beforehand.

  43. Gustopher says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I suspect the reaction is more to the history of your comments rather than this specific one.

    I’m pretty sure the negative reaction to him is that he is ill-informed and parroting things he doesn’t understand to try to back up his political goals.

    If he said “The CDC guidelines as of such-and-such recommend X”, with a link to the guidelines, the reaction would not be negative.

    I know just enough about viral epidemiology to know I don’t know enough to suggest things. I know more than him.

    2
  44. Mister Bluster says:

    Today Illinois Governor Pritzker extended the stay home order until the end of May. A few days over 5 weeks.
    Modifications have been made to allow additional essential businesses.
    eg. Animal grooming services may also re-open.
    But I still can’t get a haircut.
    Gotta’ go look for that cat costume I Trick or Treated in when I was a kid.