Guest Commentary: Responsibility in the Age of Covid-19

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County’s decision shifts the responsibility from government to individuals

by Robin Rainwater

I’ve been contemplating the rapidly shifting landscape in Yolo County heavily this week. Not just Yolo County, but in California as a whole. Over the last several months, the Covid-19 pandemic brings me to my data roots and plagues my change management heart. I’ve spent time using data to influence healthcare policy and over the last few months, I have immersed myself in the data on many levels. I have been helping people in my community understand the data and data trends so that they can make informed decisions for themselves, their families, and communities. I’ve felt an increasing need to inform more people as I’ve watched things beginning to unravel because of the balance between economy and preservation of life. A balance that is precariously tipping in a direction that frightens me.

When I appealed for prudence to the Board of Supervisors in today’s meeting, it was my desire that the Board would hold steady to the pressures of those screaming to open up and would take a week to evaluate the most current data available. Yolo County had 198 positive cases while the meeting was held. But data has a lag. It takes a person getting exposed, getting ill, getting tested, and then getting the result read. By the time the data hits the dashboard, it is an indicator of where the community was over a week ago. In the past week, the situation around us changed. Other communities loosened their restrictions and even communities in Yolo County made choices that were questionably within the County ordinance. I personally saw evidence of large gatherings and violations of mandatory masking. As you read this, I am willing to bet that you just thought of your own observations of this. From an organizational perspective, the loosening began last week and against the orders and guidelines in place. So those behaviors will be reflected in short time. In fact, I believe we are already seeing it.

The Public Health Officer notified of a hospitalization in the last three days. On Sunday, we added 4 positive cases. On Monday, we added 4 positive cases. And today, 2 positive cases. That leaves us at 200 total cases and a current hospitalization. Despite the low counts, we cannot dismiss that we also had 22 cases result in deaths. It also reflects that 5% of the positive cases are in the last 3 days. 200 total cases over a span of 3 months. 10 cases over the last 3 days. The data for the next week is vital. The loosening of restrictions will free those who follow the authority of government. And the picture may become frightening quickly. Things look good. Until they don’t. This virus is rapidly replicating. It gets out of hand quickly. On the Royal Princess voyage of less than a month, 20% of those aboard eventually became sick.

California has the potential to be the next New York. We have 38 million people in our state. We are barely managing the outbreak in LA and we were the US model for what is effective. We were too good at curve flattening. People forgot WHY our numbers were good. It was because of the strength of our wills, the belief in the common good, and the leadership we have had to consider others and to stay home. I was pleased that the masking requirement was never up for discussion as to be discontinued. So as we open up, and the responsibility shifts out of governmental control, it shifts to us. I’ve been advocating to my friends, colleagues, and my family to continue on and hold steady.

Now I encourage you to do the same. Lower risk is outdoors. Avoid people. Maintain your space. 6 feet is an arbitrary number. It is best to stay home if possible. We are not in a better place than we were before. Arguably, the virus is more widespread than it was before and that is while we have been stopping its spread with active measures. Personal responsibility is the phrase of the day. Protect yourself and your family and friends and mitigate the spread on your own. The County didn’t fall on the side of health, but you can. We can hope that they will have the strength of will to intervene when we need them to. I fear that this might be sooner, rather than later.

Robin Rainwater is a Woodland resident, lifelong student, and data nerd.


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Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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93 thoughts on “Guest Commentary: Responsibility in the Age of Covid-19”

  1. Tia Will

    Robin,

    I wanted to thank you for your comments before the board and now for this article. I am not statistically oriented but have been very concerned about the way in which worrisome numbers have been spun to appear the risk is low, when in fact, it is not. While it is true that “most people don’t die”, is that really the criteria we should be using?

    At a time when we heard some callers proclaiming the “pandemic is over” and we must go back to normal, and at least a couple of supervisors seeming to be similarly minded, yours was a welcome voice of reason.

  2. Jeff Boone

    If you are over 65 and or a person with doctor-verified health problems that put you in a high-risk category of death from COVID-19, and/or if you are afraid of catching and dying from the disease, then I encourage you to keep sheltering in place and stop considering that we need to keep destroying thousands of small businesses and the livelihoods of millions of workers just so you can go out and party without fear.

    And the senior centers need to be on lock-down until the risk of new outbreak has passed (or until the November election is over).

    We have made a giant mistake in failing to implement targeted risk mitigation and instead allowed our administrators to dictate a sweeping draconian shutdown that we could never afford.

    That is the thing about the human fear processor.  It generally can only handle the immediate crisis and in doing so can create a bigger long-term crisis.  We elect supposedly calm-headed leaders to help prevent disastrous fear-based over-reaction to a crisis.  But in this case our leaders and the media worked to increase the fear.

    Florida got it right.  California got it wrong.  But California can at least stop getting it wrong.

    And why did Solano County open up their economy in Phase-2 before Yolo County?

    1. Keith Olsen

      What Jeff said^^^^^^

      That leaves us at 200 total cases and a current hospitalization. 

      One hospitalization?

      By all means we need to shut down again.

       

    2. David Greenwald

      The first problem is that there are about 8 groups high risk that you are not accounting for

      The second problem is that people are focused on the death rate and not a second group – hospitalization rate and a third group – those who are really sick but don’t end up hospitalized. I was talking to one person who is still sick – 65 days with a fever over 103. That doesn’t show up when people are accounting for it and the person was not even someone who you would consider a high risk.

      Third point, a lot of people who are coming out of this are compromised perhaps permanently. Lung damage. Long term, it’s not clear what the prognosis is.

      We are flailing blind in the dark here. That’s a problem. It’s easy to point fingers. But people have to make decisions based on less than full information and those decisions have life and death implications. You are much too blase about this for my tastes. Irresponsibly so in my opinion.

    3. Tia Will

      “Florida got it right.  California got it wrong.  But California can at least stop getting it wrong.”

      We are months, possibly years from knowing who “got it right and who got it wrong”. But certainly do not let a lack of knowledge and experience stand in the way of your certainty.

      1. David Greenwald

        Also Florida is very complicated. Statewide doesn’t reflect what happened at the county level and what individuals did in response.

      1. Jeff Boone

        Florida never faced the same risk acceleration that California had because it’s not as connected internationally

        HAHAHAHAHA!

        If I did not already know what you do for a living I would guess writing bits for SNL.

        Florida Population is 21 million, CA is 40 million

        20.5% of Florida population is over 65, only 14.3% for CA

        Florida black and Hispanic pop is 43%, CA is 45.5%

        But sure, Florida is NOT as connected internationally.  LOL.

        1. Keith Olsen

          Not to mention that many New Yorkers have fled to Florida in the wake of COVID.

          Gov. DeSantis concentrated on the elderly and nursing homes and kept the numbers under check.

          Now Gov. Cuomo is a whole different story.  He sent the infected to nursing homes and killed thousands.

        2. Ron Glick

          Florida’s doubling time for cases now stands at two months. Californias is at one month. Tia is correct. As Chou En Lai said about the whether he thought the French Revolution was a success he replied “Its still too early to tell.”

  3. Alan Miller

    I was pleased that the masking requirement was never up for discussion as to be discontinued.

    I will not go to a store that doesn’t require mandatory masking.   This isn’t currently a concern, but will be if the requirement is discontinued before there is a significant decrease in spread.  ACE has stated they will continue masking regardless for the foreseeable future, as will, I’m sure, Nugget.

    In a nearby parallel universe of dumbsh*ts, a friend recently went to the Home Depot in Vacaville, where virtually everyone – construction workers, families, etc. – was going around maskless and sans any attempts at distancing.  Solano is one of the few Bay Area counties still without a mandatory mask requirement.

    1. Jeff Boone

      I will not go to a store that doesn’t require mandatory masking.

      AM – I fully support your freedom of choice.  That type of individual freedom is a beautiful thing.  Can you imagine living in a country that would force everyone to wear a mask?!

      1. Richard McCann

        Can you imagine the freedom to walk into your house and take anything there? Failing to wear a mask in a public setting in close proximity is taking away someone else’s health security. An individual has just as much right to their personal space security, which includes avoiding your dispersal of virus on their body and clothing, as you have to protect your property. Just as burglary is illegal, not wearing a mask in at-risk situations similarly should be illegal.

        1. Jeff Boone

          Oh puleeaase.  Before this politicized virus you could be standing next to someone contagiously sick without any mask required.  If you are age 1 -65 and in good health the risk of catching it in Yolo County is about nill, and if you do you have a risk of death that is about what it is with the common flu… that other contagious bug that exists every year without anyone required to wear a mask.

          It seems to me that we have a lot of little bossy dictators jumping on the bandwagon of fun to tell everyone else what they must do or else.

          Did you know that for ONLY 7% of the deaths, COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned?  In other words it is not very deadly to healthy people.  But here is the point… if you are worried then stay home.  Easy peazy lemon squeezy.

          1. Don Shor

            Before this politicized virus you could be standing next to someone contagiously sick without any mask required. If you are age 1 -65 and in good health the risk of catching it in Yolo County is about nill, and if you do you have a risk of death that is about what it is with the common flu… that other contagious bug that exists every year without anyone required to wear a mask.

            It seems to me that we have a lot of little bossy dictators jumping on the bandwagon of fun to tell everyone else what they must do or else.

            Did you know that for ONLY 7% of the deaths, COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned? In other words it is not very deadly to healthy people. But here is the point… if you are worried then stay home. Easy peazy lemon squeezy.

            Jeff Boone’s statements and policy suggestions regarding COVID-19 are dangerous and irresponsible.

        2. Jeff Boone

          Jeff Boone’s statements and policy suggestions regarding COVID-19 are dangerous and irresponsible.

          I imagine that Goebbels said the same thing about anyone challenging the orders of the state at that time.

          However, in my case the facts are lifted straight from the CDC reports.  So I guess the CDC is dangerous and irresponsible too?

          I have another question.  Since you are the moderator how do you square with personal invective of that magnitude without any explanation at all to back it up?   The equivalent would be me being the monitor and posting that you are irresponsible supporting the disastrously harmful and unneeded shutdown of business for political gain.

      2. Robb Davis

        Can you imagine living in a country that would force everyone to wear a mask?!

        Did not realize until just this minute that JB is, apparently, an anti-vaxxer.  One learns something new every day

        1. Keith Olsen

          Did not realize until just this minute that JB is, apparently, an anti-vaxxer.  

          Though I never read where Jeff said he was an anti-vaxxer this poll was just released:

          Less than half of Americans have said that they will definitely get a coronavirus vaccine, according to a new poll conducted amid the ongoing pandemic.
          The poll from the Associated Press-NORC Centre for Public Affairs Research, asked 1056 adults nationally in the US, if they plan on getting vaccinated when one in made available for Covid-19.

          Only 49 per cent of those asked, said that they will get vaccinated to protect against the coronavirus.

          It looks like even if we get a vaccine people are going to be leery about taking it due to not trusting how quickly it would have to be created and produced.

          https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/coronavirus-us-vaccine-anti-vaxxers-cases-deaths-a9534861.html

          1. David Greenwald

            THere are better articles on this. 31 percent aren’t sure and most apparently are saying that because they are concerned in the rush to get a vaccine, corners would be cut.

            “I am not an anti-vaxxer,” said Melanie Dries, 56, of Colorado Springs, Colorado. But, “to get a COVID-19 vaccine within a year or two … causes me to fear that it won’t be widely tested as to side effects.”

            https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/half-americans-would-get-covid-19-vaccine-ap-norc-poll-n1215606

      3. Alan Miller

        JB, Frankly, because you are, you are mistaken.

        I value the values you do – of freedom, of individual responsibility.

        That isn’t how it works in a war.  In a war, we come together to fight the enemy.  You know that.

        For some reason, you can’t see that.  I believe you are mistakenly blinded by your politics – they don’t apply hear.

        Now I’m not necessarily talking about opening up the economy in some ways.  That is at least arguable.

        I’m talking about masks.  Masks protect other people.  That’s how we fight the enemy – we help each other.

        Frankly, if you can’t take that simple step to help others, you’re just a selfish pr*ck.

        1. Alan Miller

          And I don’t mean you specifically, I mean you as in all so-called conservatives who have somehow confused the economic element and individual freedom with the health element and the reality of how the virus spreads.

  4. John Hobbs

    “politicized virus” intentional political characterization/lie.

    ” If you are age 1 -65 and in good health the risk of catching it in Yolo County is about nill, and if you do you have a risk of death that is about what it is with the common flu”

    intentional mischaracterization/lie, potentially deadly medical advice from a money lender.

    (By the way,I have been vaccinated against the common strains of flu and pneumonia, but not CV19, so I guess that makes my chances of catching CV19 a hell of a lot higher than catching the common flu, no?)

    “little bossy dictators jumping on the bandwagon of fun to tell everyone else what they must do or else.”

    Unless he’s referring to the pumpkin headed boob trying to curtail the right of social media platforms to cover his hateful and insipid tweets, I have no clue who he could mean, but banker Boone’s posts have been quote delusional lately.

    Still, do you think it responsible for the Vanguard to publish such mendacious and potentially harmful rubbish?

    1. Alan Miller

      Still, do you think it responsible for the Vanguard to publish such mendacious and potentially harmful rubbish?

      Yes, just as it is responsible for the V to allow you to correctly site it as rubbish.

  5. Jeff Boone

    My mother, God rest her soul, always reminded me that when they resort to name calling, they have lost the argument.

    Don – dangerous and irresponsible

    Robb – anti-vaxxer

    Johnny Boy Hobbs – liar, money lender, delusional.

    Good Job David… you sure cleaned up the Vanguard with your end of anonymous posting.  Seems to me that what I expected came true… your posters have become quite comfortable in their own ideological echo chamber and have not yet developed enough adult qualities to argue their points of disagreement with facts instead of strong feelings that lead them to tantrums of invective.

    Let’s go over some of these facts:

    Based on what we know now, those at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 are:

    People 65 years and older
    People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility

    People of all ages with underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, including:

    People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma

    People who have serious heart conditions

    People who are immunocompromised

    Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications

    People with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher)

    People with diabetes

    People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis

    People with liver disease

    By the way, I have something serious that my Doc says does not put me in a higher-risk category, but I have been extra careful in any case. I don’t go anywhere unless I know it to be a low risk situation.  However, I am opening up because the risk has crashed in the places I go.

    Now, in terms of actual age related risk:

    An analysis of countries and US states or major cities with at least 250 COVID-19 deaths as of 4th  April reports that individuals aged <65 accounts for less than 10% of all COVID-19 deaths.

    People <65 years old had 34- to 73-fold lower risk than those ≥65 years old in the European countries

    People aged  < 65 had 13- to 15-fold lower risk in New York City, Louisiana and Michigan.

    In terms of comparison to the flu:

    The (CDC)  estimated that up to 575,000 people died from (H1N1) pandemic virus infection in the first year of the outbreak.

    H1N1 was considered a pandemic.  However, we did not close down the economy.  We didn’t even close down the schools even though…

    H1N1 pandemic caused most of its severe or fatal disease in younger people, both those with chronic conditions as well as healthy persons, and caused many more cases of viral pneumonia than is normally seen with seasonal influenza.

    I guess we love the children more today.

    You can go here to read the CDC comorbidity tables reported as of today: https://data.cdc.gov/NCHS/Conditions-contributing-to-deaths-involving-corona/hk9y-quqm

    Of course the data lags, but it is what we have to go on today to make optimized decisions for what actions to take.  No “the sky will fall” is not a valid scientific justification for killing the economy.

    All Deaths Reported: 82,404.

    Number for age 1-64: 6,032

    But here is a real cool thing.  34,961 of those COVID-19 deaths are recorded as having influenza as a condition contributing to death.    Hypertension – 17,287.  The list goes on.  The bottom line from this data is only 7% of the deaths have been people without any other contributing health factors.   You can read that here: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid_weekly/index.htm

    Next I will unpack the difference between Florida and California.   But in the meantime, maybe the name-callers have something useful in response to these things I have posted.  I am fine getting facts in opposition.  I am always interested in learning something.  It seems though maybe there are others here that don’t think they can learn anything.  That is a bit sad.

    1. Richard McCann

      “Dangerous and irresponsible” is not “name calling”–it’s a judgement about a specific individual’s behavior. If we are not even allowed to make these kind of assessments, then what’s the point of public commentary, which is centered around these kinds of assessments?

  6. Ron Glick

    “If you are age 1 -65 and in good health the risk of catching it in Yolo County is about nill,”

    About 20% of the virus’ fatalities are in people under 65. That would be a value greater than nil.

    1. Jeff Boone

      About 20% of the virus’ fatalities are in people under 65. That would be a value greater than nil.

      I said the risk for a person in good health under 65 in this area is about nil.

      1. Richard McCann

        Jeff

        You didn’t answer Ron G.’s comment. He pointed out 20% of fatalities isn’t nil. You have no idea of the health state of that 20% and it’s now hitting young children. You claim to be intellectually honest and willing to engage in discussion. That means admitting that your hyperbole might have been wrong. Either follow through on your claims about how others should act, or continue to be dismissed.

  7. Ron Oertel

    Jeff:  “Good Job David… you sure cleaned up the Vanguard with your end of anonymous posting.” 

    This result was already predicted.  Some of the people who always used their full names were/are among the worst offenders.

    However, there seems to be fewer commenters as a result of the change, overall.

    The only way to prevent this is to moderate comments prior to them appearing. But yeah, the moderator lets too many of them remain, regardless.

     

    1. David Greenwald

      Yeah. We moderate more and people complain that we are taking down their posts. Too little, and people complain about that. Don is trying to save his business. I had a family emergency tonight. Sometimes adults are going to have to figure out how to act like adults rather than children.

      1. Ron Oertel

        The problem goes deeper than that, and goes beyond “name-calling”.

        This blog can be read by anyone, including non-participants. This means that you’re only hearing comments from those willing to expose themselves to un-moderated comments/doxing, for example. You’ve already had a problem with that, in regard to a member of your board. Which, for some reason, led the Vanguard to create the current policy – which did nothing to address that.

        You’re likely only hearing from those who (perhaps naively?) think they have “nothing to lose”, by posting on here with their full names.

        [edited]

        1. Ron Oertel

          You’re likely only hearing from those who (perhaps naively?) think they have “nothing to lose”, by posting on here with their full names.

          For example, this group might predominantly include those who have few concerns regarding employment.

          For some reason, this blog is also dominated by males.  Perhaps due to the combative/aggressive environment which is facilitated on here?

          1. David Greenwald

            What’s really become noticeable is how small a percentage of what we actually do is gaining comments right now. Working on a small tweak that may change that a little, but we’ll see.

  8. Ron Glick

    I saw an epidemiologist on the news the other day and she was asked about politics and the pandemic. She said epidemics and politics always go hand in hand. So it seems to me blaming people who disagree with you as playing politics overlooks that there is a political aspect to every position.

    My favorite is when members of one party in Congress blame the other party for playing politics. Politics in Congress! The horror, round up the usual suspects.

    1. Ron Oertel

      My favorite is when members of one party in Congress blame the other party for playing politics.

      I always wonder how effective that is, and whether or not it actually fools anyone.

      Maybe it’s a way of encouraging “identity” with one side, thereby touching on psychology. Maybe we’re not as smart as we think we are (hence, the existence of advertising, etc.).

  9. John Hobbs

    ” My mother, God rest her soul, always reminded me that when they resort to name calling, they have lost the argument.”

    So when you call others names,as you so often do, you’re dishonoring her memory, and you’re a loser right?

     

    1. Jeff Boone

      My gloves come off when attacked personally.  Otherwise I never attack personally.  If you disagree, prove it by quoting me on something I started that was the fist personal attack.

      My mother would never advocate backing down from being attacked personally.  Although she would want me to be quick to make amends if possible.

      This is where I think you asking a very key question… it might provide a learning opportunity.  I think being surrounded by a tribe of groupthinkers can make a person feel overly confident in what he thinks he knows the be the righteous answer for everything, and also feel safe lobbing personal attacks against those from outside the groupthink tribe.

      Diversity of perspective is a beautiful thing.  So is being open-minded.  It is what makes for a more productive society as the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts.  When people lose the ability to debate topics on their merits and instead practice divisive negative labeling of people that disagree with them… then the whole degrades. When a community becomes close-minded in defense of its common politics it will wither and die.  Davis is withering and dying.  Its people are attempting to win all the battles while losing the war.

      When you approach a complex and fluid topic like the COVID-19 response as being all knowing, then you can quickly end up in a position of defending facts not in your favor.  It becomes too personal and thus you start to get personal in attacks against those that disagree.

      Watched the movie on Edison and Westinghouse last night (read Empires of Light… one of my favorite reads).  Edison lost to Westinghouse because his ego of knowing got in the way of his needed vision for the future.  His emotional self got in the way of his logical and practical self.  We learn in business leadership about this risk… highly tuned emotional intelligence is required.  What is the basis for an opinion for which actions to take?  Is ego a driving force?  Or is it a recognized contributor and generating blind-spots that will increase the risk of making mistakes?

      My ego and emotional self get in the way all the time and I am always a work in progress to understand where rears its destructive head so I can rationalize it and make optimized decisions.  But most of what I see in the reaction to my posting of facts and data related to the state and local COVID-19 response is out of control egos and emotive defense.  I think people are digging in their heels noting the indication that we blew it in our overly fearful draconian shutdown of the economy because they too quickly developed their all-knowing groupthink position that was reinforced by their like-minded community friends that they consistently hang with.  Once so committed it is very difficult to admit you were wrong.   The problem is that you double-down on more wrong to maintain your ego.

      The immediate remedy is to admit that the data proves we went too far and now we have to apply urgency to a course correction.    The long-term remedy is to stop with the pursuit of trying to be the smartest guy in the room that leads to defensiveness, and instead approach significant complex and costly topics with a bit of humility and intellectual curiosity for what others think… especially the others that see things differently.

      1. Richard McCann

        Jeff

        When you approach a complex and fluid topic like the COVID-19 response as being all knowing, then you can quickly end up in a position of defending facts not in your favor.

        Ironically, your entire response could describe your behavior on social media. You are always asserting that you are the “smartest guy” in the room, sometimes even explicitly, even though you have no credentials to show us that you know what you claim. Your inability to concede any points to those you are debating with gives everyone the impression that you claim to be “all knowing.” Anything that is contrary to your worldview “must” be wrong simply for the reason that is contrary to what you believe.

        I have repeatedly posted “facts and data” in response to your often unsupported assertions, and you have universally failed to acknowledge their validity. My sources have repeatedly refuted your claim that our actions were “draconian” and in fact evidence such as the study that showed we lost at least an additional 36,000 people shows that we probably have not even acted strongly enough. Why should I bother acknowledging the validity of anything you say (and you should note that I have agreed with you on several other points)?

        You simply have not proven your point that we should reject what the data and analysis tells us that is contrary to your desired outcome. Asserting that your position is true doesn’t make it so.

        On Facebook, you may not have started off by calling individuals commentators names, but you have used stereotyped labels for groups of individuals that you disagree with. That is the same thing.

        1. Jeff Boone

          even though you have no credentials to show us that you know what you claim.

          LOL.  Just keep proving my points.  Thanks McCann – I will pay you and Hobbs later.

          You just ignored all the fact posted and cling tightly to your strongly held political views.

          I am not the smartest guy in the room, but maybe one of the most psychologically and mentally balanced based on the junk I see posted in opposition.   Have some facts to post, or just rants of personal invective?

           

  10. John Hobbs

    Needed the laugh, thanks banker Boone.

    “tribe of groupthinkers”

    You seem mired in tribalism. I don’t have a “tribe.”

    You label everyone else, who doesn’t fit into your “tribe.”

    What a sadly laughable waste of time and energy.

  11. Don Shor

    Marcos Breton nails it.

    Sacramento Bee, May 29 2020

    We’re in the midst of reopening our shuttered society with the COVID-19 menace still present and many of us act as if the menace is somehow gone. Are we nuts? Honestly, do we really think this is over?

    Respected health officials are sounding the alarm that we are moving too fast to get back to “normal.” But our “normal” meant we could be close to each other, talk with each other, cough or sneeze without imperiling each other. That normal doesn’t exist.

    That’s how this thing is passed. Lassen County opened up and guess what happened? It didn’t have any COVID-19 patients and now it does. Sonoma County began opening up and guess what? COVID-19 cases began to spike. Now the county is pumping the breaks on re-opening.

    Nationally, we just passed 100,000 people dead from the coronavirus. How can we go back to “normal” and yet reject wearings masks to slow the spread of a virus that has not gone away? We can’t.

    What are we doing? Do we really want to pretend that we’ve had enough and, therefore, we’re just going to go out there and take our chances? We’re really going to pretend that 100,000 people haven’t died? Or that the first counties to begin re-opening are already sounding the alarm?

    https://www.sacbee.com/opinion/article243077536.html

      1. Alan Miller

        So what’s your plan?  Wait for a vaccine that might take years?

        I think the plan is to give in to economic political pressure, wait a month and watch cases spike, then realize it was a mistake, and semi-panzi-ass lockdown again with much more virus and much less public cooperation, leading to more death.  God Bless America!

        1. Alan Miller

          So what’s your plan Alan?

          Who me?  I love death, most especially I love other people dying!  Especially when the bodies pile up in the streets.  So by all means, when’s that first buzzer, Kings?  Next weekend!  And let’s get Roger Water and Tame Impala back in those 20,000 seaters by July!

          Death!  Death!  Death!  Death!

      2. Hiram Jackson

        Keith Olsen: “Wait for a vaccine that might take years?”

        Seems like Trump aspires to see a vaccine at the end of this year.  Do you think it’s realistic?  Or only an expression of hope?

        1. Hiram Jackson

          Bad link above.  Try again:

          Keith Olsen: “Wait for a vaccine that might take years?”

          Seems like Trump aspires to see a vaccine at the end of this year.  Do you think it’s realistic?  Or only an expression of hope?

        2. Keith Olsen

          I’m reading many experts saying it might take years if ever.

          Another 2 million jobs lost this week.

          Up to 40 million.

          Corporations filing bankruptcies, the latest being Hertz.

          How long can the gov’t support the jobless before we go under?

           

      1. Alan Miller

        “Protect yourself at all times.”

        Except it doesn’t work in this case.  Now it’s protect everyone else at all times.  That means distance and wear masks.  It’s like God gave America the ultimate compassion test, and what did we do?  FAIL FAIL FAIL

        1. Alan Miller

          I didn’t actually agree with all the Davis liberals/progressives about how stupid Trump and his supporters were.  I took him as an entertaining if cold-hearted joke, with some valuable conservative economic policies.  In the era of Covid-19, I see Trump as probably the most dangerous leader we could possibly have at the helm, leading ….  I have never thought so lowly of the human race, and most especially America.  We suck.

        2. Alan Miller

          KO, that mask is terrifying.  That is, the thought of wearing it in public is terrifying.  Please, ask again what the plan is.  Uncle.

        3. Keith Olsen

          Don, I’ve already stated what plan I’ve found to be prudent weeks ago.

          Look it up, you seem good at researching other’s past comments on here.

          1. Don Shor

            Don, I’ve already stated what plan I’ve found to be prudent weeks ago.

            Look it up, you seem good at researching other’s past comments on here.

            I had too, but you asked me. So I answered. So what’s your plan, Keith?

        4. Ron Oertel

          If anything is to be “researched” on here, it’s whether or not that mask is actually supposed to be “Toucan Sam”. 😉

          Also, how do you see or breathe through that thing?

  12. Jeff Boone

    Wow… the Vanguard has proven that we have a critical problem in emotional deficiency.  It is un effing believable that smart people like always reliable practical minded Alan Miller has gone the deep end… unable to answer Keith’s simple questions.

    It is frankly an amazing confirmation that media can and does brainwash people into a zombie state of accepting and then defending the narrative.

    California is going to be a mess.  The reaction to the virus is too extreme and too politically oriented.  Florida and Texas are going to come out ahead.   I am not posting another things about this topic except later to come back and remind those that got it wrong and give them their justified criticism.  Or, if I am wrong and California bounces back fine from an economic catastrophe, I will admit that I was wrong.

    1. Alan Miller

      smart people like always reliable practical minded Alan Miller has gone the deep end…

      True . . . alright, I’ll take a stab at it.

      I don’t think individual freedom is what is valued in a time like this.  Individual sacrifice is.  As in, wearing a mask is a simple sacrifice that may save many.  It is a horror that it has become a political symbol for some so-called conservatives. If anyone should understand the need for common sacrifice against a common enemy, I’d think it would be so-called conservatives.

      Trump is the worst possible leader for these times.  A unified action of any sort with a leader capable of gaining the respect of even those that do not support him was a necessity.

      The CDC / White House first denying masks and then “recommending” universal use was a horror.  Confusing, dividing, nonsensical.

      Governments such as Michigan and for a time even some Yolo policies were total sh*tshows that fanned the flames of discontent, such as not allowing fishing or golfing, not allowing sale of visible items.  People are mixing in plain sight — what are these draconian measures to do?  Of course there was a backlash – there should have been.  However, the protestors shouting and mixing and rebelling without masks – total stupidity.

      Same with people bicycling with masks, or driving, or the new SF ‘too far’ law requiring masks ‘if you go outside’.  No, that’s too much, and it just makes people flaunt the ordinances that do make sense.

      People need to educate themselves.  I started out rebellious, individualistic.  Going to restaurants and cafes to support them right up to the day they all closed; sure this was like the flu and I was strong and healthy.  But I started listening to my smarter friends who had been warning about this pandemic for weeks.  Everything they were saying was happening.  I knew about exponential spread, but it sunk in when  I watched a ten-second loop cartoon from New Zealand that changed my behavior:

      https://tinyurl.com/Covid-19-Transmission-Graphic

      In that moment, I saw my responsibility to my fellows.
      After watching the above link, imagine what this would mean if everyone cooperated, while considering this quote from a recent New York Times article:  “If the United States had begun imposing social distancing measures one week earlier than it did in March, about 36,000 fewer people would have died in the coronavirus outbreak, according to new estimates from Columbia University disease modelers.  And if the country had begun locking down cities and limiting social contact on March 1, two weeks earlier than most people started staying home, the vast majority of the nation’s deaths — about 83 percent — would have been avoided, the researchers estimated.
       
      So, when the CDC flipped on masks I was ready.  I thought everyone was paying close attention – surprise! I was already studying, due to what some had considered a racial dig in the comments section about Asians ‘hoarding’ masks in town, why this was so.  Turns out Asian doctors, with more on-the-ground pandemic experience, almost universally believe in population masking to prevent virus spread in a pandemic.  Turns out, in some Asian countries, like Japan, they put on a mask when they get a cold – out of kindness to others they may encounter.  Turns out those Asians ‘hoarding’ masks in Davis were just being kind to all of us.  How un-American!

      There is some logic to the Swedish model.  But we won’t really know how that worked until a year from now – did it really lead to no more deaths in the long run?  Right now Sweden is at 4350 deaths, Czechia is at 315 deaths with a virtually identical population.  Czechia started masking, cooperatively, very early on:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZtEX2-n2Hc

      So, yeah we should, very, very slowly, open up some businesses.  I don’t think that should include restaurants and hair salons just yet.  If we get this wrong, we put them in even more economic danger should there be a spike.  And then the public isn’t going to be as cooperative going for round 2, and it’ll be even more mushy.

       

      And Newsome really should have made opening up scientific.  But it became political.  And he is going to pay for that in about a month when the case load starts spiking again.

      What we should have done is had a leader we could all respect tell us to lockdown for reals for 4-5 weeks with supplies and home delivery and no travel at all and no work except TRULY essential workers (as in the lights go off without them), let the thing die in place in most cases, then vigilant contract tracing and isolating regions with outbreaks after that, and lock down international travel until each origin point gets down to very low levels.

      That’s my plan – but too late!  So now we’ll stumble around for a couple of years, divided we fall, and die!

      1. Jeff Boone

        Good post.  I get your perspective and I appreciate you taking the time to explain it.

        I think the measure of optimum response needs to factor economic results as well as virus mortality.  It is too simplistic to dismiss the economic impacts.

        1. Alan Miller

          On that we agree.

          And thanks for taking the time to read it – was a bit of a brain dump.

          I recently saw a presentation by a Swedish health expert, a scientist, and one thing he said that made some sense was – that Sweden is not relaxing their Coronavirus precautions because they are not in a lockdown.  That the problem is that most countries that went into lockdown didn’t also have an exit strategy in place for how to get out of the lockdown, and inevitably when you open up your infection rate will increase – so how do you do it?

          I don’t agree with Sweden’s strategy, but the man’s point is well taken.

        2. Bill Marshall

          Jeff… with all due respect, it is not just mortality, but also morbidity rates (which is also ‘scary’)… the imperfect #’s lean toward “the sky is NOT falling”.

          Yes, it is a balance… but like a pendulum, unwise to go to either extreme… we’ve gone near one, but, the notion of ‘it isn’t real’, let’s do what we’ve always done (the other extreme), is unwise… the truth lies between, IMNSHO…

      2. Bill Marshall

        a leader we could all respect tell us to lockdown for reals for 4-5 weeks with supplies and home delivery and no travel at all (home delivery conflicts with the concept of ‘no travel’, and exposes those doing the deliveries) and no work except TRULY essential workers (as in the lights go off without them)[how about having water come out of spigots, making drainage, sewage go bye-bye] let the thing die in place in most cases.

        Sounds a lot like ‘survivalist’ mentality…  OK… but they eschew concerns for others… it is all about THEM… even when they parse it as ‘care for all’… but, me and mine first…

        Risk is real… covid is real… climate change is real… cancer is real… car crashes are real… genetic defects are real… a million ways to get ill and/or die (a certainty)… it’s called life.

        Pretty sure you will ignore this, as we travelled to CO for a week, and you have already said you will not respect anything I post/say, due to that decision… your prerogative… OK by me… no fever, no sneezing/coughing, except due to pollens, etc. (yeah, am mildly allergic)  We do the masking, social distancing thing in public… but at home, no masks (too kinky), no social distancing… we’re 65, but not dead.  There are many reasons why we’ve been together for 45 years… some require lack of masks (again, too ‘kinky’) and/or social distancing…

        Be well, but don’t dare to dictate how I live my life… rest assured, will avoid you like the ‘plague’ you appear to think I am…

        1. Alan Miller

          Oh, Chrissakes and dots, WM . . .      . . .        . . .        . . .      . . .    . . .    . . .

          home delivery conflicts with the concept of ‘no travel’, 

          And yet we’re doing it now, pretty safely.  This would be an absolute necessity so people didn’t starve to death in a true lockdown.  That’s what they did in Wuhan (along with welding people’s gates shut.  I’m talking about individuals traveling for leisure and spreading the virus between cities of regions.

          and exposes those doing the deliveries)

          And no, more and more they are believing this is primarily spread by airborne droplets and less so by packaging – so, no.

          and no work except TRULY essential workers (as in the lights go off without them)[how about having water come out of spigots, making drainage, sewage go bye-bye]

          Uh, yeah, that’s what an example is – so you don’t have to list every one – which you didn’t either.

          Sounds a lot like ‘survivalist’ mentality…

          That’s kinda the idea.

          OK… but they eschew concerns for others… it is all about THEM… even when they parse it as ‘care for all’… but, me and mine first…

          The interesting thing is, the way this thing works, it’s up to all of us to care for all of us – so being ultimately selfish and ultimately compassionate turn out to be the same thing.  As I said earlier, God is testing us.

          Risk is real… covid is real… climate change is real… cancer is real… car crashes are real… genetic defects are real… a million ways to get ill and/or die (a certainty)… it’s called life.

          You know what else is real?  Sarcasm.

          Pretty sure you will ignore this,

          Clearly.

          as we travelled to CO for a week, and you have already said you will not respect anything I post/say, due to that decision…

          I also apologized for that.

          your prerogative… OK by me… no fever, no sneezing/coughing, except due to pollens, etc. (yeah, am mildly allergic)

          Sneezing is not a symptom of Covid-19.  And because you didn’t catch it personally is rather irrelevant to the pandemic as a whole – it’s just a matter of how it spreads and if you happened to run into a carrier in a transmittable way.  The more people that move around, the more ways for the virus to get around.  And speaking of “… it is all about THEM…”  Look at what you just wrote, then look in the mirror.  Everyone is so sure they aren’t going to be that one person who picks it up and moves it – symptomatically or symptomatically.  And a percentage of those people are wrong, and you are not immune to that reality.  And, hang on a few days before you declare a final verdict.  Also real.

          We do the masking, social distancing thing in public…

          Good

          but at home, no masks

          Also good

          (too kinky)

          Not so much.

          no social distancing…

          No reason to at home.  That would be all but impossible, and quite unnecessary, since  you’re breathing the same air.

          we’re 65, but not dead.

          It would be unfortunate if you were both 65 and dead, and quite odd if you were able to write about it.

          There are many reasons why we’ve been together for 45 years…

          Please list all of them, in great detail.

          some require lack of masks

          T.M.I.

          (again, too ‘kinky’)

          Again, not so much

          and/or social distancing…

          Again, T.M.I

          Be well, but don’t dare to dictate how I live my life…

          I sure as heck will dictate how we as a society should have lived our lives the past two months if our goal was to actually stop the virus as much as possible and restart the economy as soon as possible – and it’s not by doing what we did.

          rest assured, will avoid you like the ‘plague’ you appear to think I am…

          Jeez, some people just make it … ” all about THEM…”

          And it’s true what you say:  I only appear to think . . . in reality I channel God.

          And what is your strategy for avoiding the plague?  Does it also involve interstate travel?

  13. Alan Miller

    Actually, Frankly, becuzUR, let’s keep this simple.  Some in Sweden are claiming that, despite Sweden’s high death rate currently, we won’t really know who was right for one year.

    So, howzabout, on June 1st 2021, $50 wager on whomever’s country has the lowest Covid-19 death rate, Czechia or Sweden.  Currently, I have a pretty good head start.  But y’know that herd immunity is going to turn things around!

    If one of us dies of Coronavirus in that year, the estate is liable.  If both of us die of Coronavirus, it’s a tie.

    You in?

    1. Jeff Boone

      Death rate from the virus is your only criteria?  Why now and not for traffic deaths?  If we made people shelter in place for the last five years, do you know how many lives we would have saved!?

      1. Alan Miller

        Do you have an alternative criteria for the bet, or are you just dodging it?  Shall we compare the ratio of GNP for both countries, before and after, and ignore the deaths?

        1. Alan Miller

          Of course I’m being flippant, but one country having a death rate that is a factor of ten larger than the other is a bit hard to pass off.  I’m not sure how to compare one countries economic loss to the other’s, and even less sure how we would compare economic loss and human life loss additively.

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