02 January 2021

An observation

 It seems painfully clear -- three orders of magnitude clear, measured in corpses -- that the difference between successfully handling COVID-19 and failing horribly in handling COVID-19 is the willingness to enforce a quarantine.

To enforce a quarantine, you have to be willing to both feed and house people.  If you won't, the quarantine can't and won't work.

It seems clear that various mammonite governments in the Anglosphere absolutely will not do that; given a choice between feeding and housing people, or a massive recession brought on by a large increase in excess deaths, they're picking the corpse pile because feeding people is wrong.


Kathmandu from DW said...

That and they're drooling at the prospect of 'plague carrying off lots of unproductive old people, reducing the Social Security budget' and not realizing that the plague is also creating lots of new disabilities in much younger people, who will be on the public-assistance rolls a lot longer.

...That's probably still a naive interpretation. They'll be counting on not letting anyone newly disabled onto the public-assistance rolls.

JReynolds said...

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts about the far-white mob storming the Capitol building in Washington, DC yesterday.

Graydon said...

+Kathmandu from DW --

The mammonite position is that no-one should ever have something the can't immediately pay for, which means they're completely against single-payer healthcare, free-at-the-point-of-service, and so on. It's how the (old school, pro-market-mechanisms, very right wing plan) that became the ACA turned into a heresy; they're not actually right-wing as such, they're mammonites.

So, yeah, I don't think you're wrong. I think _they're_ wrong, both about the affects and the consequences.

Greenfield plagues are hard to study; this is the first one in a long time. That said, the best efforts to analyse the historical ones come up with figures of between a fifth and a quarter of the population dying. (Stuff like actual Yersinia pestis is worse; this is stuff like the Antonine Plague.) If we crash the health care system, in the winter, with many homeless? Summer numbers from Mexico were around 10% mortality; getting to around 20% overall, between direct mortality, morbidity, and the upswing in excess deaths due to no functioning hospitals, seems all too plausible.

(Vaccines only matter if they get to everybody in both a timely way and in time; that's not looking as likely on pure logistical grounds as I would have best preferred.)