Wednesday Writs: Mandatory Vaccination Edition

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Em Carpenter

Em was one of those argumentative children who was sarcastically encouraged to become a lawyer, so she did. She is a proud life-long West Virginian, and, paradoxically, a liberal. In addition to writing about society, politics and culture, she enjoys cooking, podcasts, reading, and pretending to be a runner. She will correct your grammar. You can find her on Twitter.

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105 Responses

  1. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    L1: This is in a hobby horse of mine during the current pandemic but I’m still astonished at the number of people who believe “we can and will maintain social distancing until scientists create a Covid-19 vaccine/treatment.” Nearly every discussion on dealing with opening up the economy and society assumes that people are simply going to be virtuous and there will be no Covid-19 speakeasies. There have been two Covid-19 speakeasies that have been busted up already, one in New York and one In San Francisco. These are going to increase as long as the regulations are in place. The assumption seems to be people won’t chafe and rebel.

    As people on this blog know, I do partner dancing as a hobby. Every partner dance violates Covid-19 protocols because it involves touching other people. The weekly or monthly social dances can attract dozens or even a hundred people in a small space. According to what I’ve seen, healthcare experts want no sports or concerts until Autumn 2021 at earliest. Sports and concerts are bigger money makers than social dancing, so we are even less likely to get official sympathy and sanction. Yet, when I try to join this out people in my community can’t seem to imagine themselves going scofflaw or anybody they know going scofflaw.

    Nearly every opening up plan I’ve seen as been patently unrealistic in this regard because it assumes that you can get hundreds of millions of people to put their lives on hold for a year or longer while our magician scientists work on a vaccine. From what I know the shortest time it took to develop a vaccine in modern times is five years. A Covid-19 vaccine might not even come. Yet, people get angry when this is pointed out and even more pissy when I say that people
    are just going to learn to live with risk again. I’m really not sure what is driving this psychologically. It seems to be a combination of people not quite getting the full impact yet, seeing themselves as good and virtuous, and politics.Report

    • Avatar greginak in reply to LeeEsq says:

      As feedback comes in the from of infections, vent time and deaths that will modulate peoples ability to stay semi locked down. Staying locked down like we are now isn’t going to stay until 2021. We are going to slowly reopen until infections start spiking again. But large mass gatherings are the most obvious super spreader events and will be the last thing to come back.

      I race marathons and ultras in the summer and fall. Everything is pretty cancelled into the summer and i’m not even betting on any fall races. Maybe if we are lucky but very possibly no races this year at all. Which sucks, but is also how we should be coping with a pandemic. Living to race or dance for many years is better then being on a vent.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to greginak says:

        The articles I’ve seen basically stated that experts are predicting no sports or concerts until Fall 2021 at earliest. I assume this includes a lot of other large social events like conventions, etc. The experts and their introverted allies online are also assuming infinite patience with this but I’m not seeing it. Like I’m sorry, but I don’t see people people dealing with a very slow roll out well.Report

        • Avatar greginak in reply to LeeEsq says:

          I think some will grumble about no sports or concerts until next year i think that is possible and likely wise. There is a lot of social interaction we can have that doesn’t include tens of thousands of people crammed together. Conventions, meh. Like how many businesses or their insurers want to be on the hook for gathering a few thousand people in a hotel and crowded rooms for days. Not many.

          Lets see when they do say movie theaters and restaurants open up. Some people will go but won’t be a huge amount. Some places may barely have enough customers to stay open. They won’t be hiring all their staff back because there won’t be enough work for them.Report

          • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to greginak says:

            Dance events like clubs involve a lot of touching and dozens or hundreds of people in a small or medium sized space. Less alcohol though. The big dance events can have thousand or so people at a hotel over the weekend. There is no way this is going to meet Covid-19 protocols.Report

            • Avatar greginak in reply to LeeEsq says:

              Yup. That sucks. You are not alone in having your activity hampered though. Still sucks.Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to greginak says:

                Or as somebody put it on Facebook, it is like being at an airport where your flight keeps getting delayed two hours at time. You know that it might get cancelled but the people in control aren’t making any definite decisions.

                The politics of the moment is possibly making things worse. A lot of people on my side are adopting hardcore social distancing stances because I guess they see any criticism of the measures or the plans to reopen the economy as being Trumpian in nature. The model that they seem to be going for, even though this is impossible, is that we will have the world in lock down in perpetuity to save a single life.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to LeeEsq says:

                I’ve seen a few plans on how to reopen things based on The Science and stuff. I’m not seeing keep everyting locked down in pertituity.

                We can’t really set a date to start the great re-open. Metrics about infections etc should be our guide. Waiting sucks especially w/o any action that can be taken. I”m not sure what other guidelines we can use that make sense.Report

              • Avatar Swami in reply to greginak says:

                Did you guys see California’s Governor Newsom discuss his reopening plans? I am not tying to be partisan (because I am not and won’t be), but it was exactly this type of evidence and measurement based approach which you are suggesting.Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to greginak says:

                I’ve seen the same thing but there are things missing. Besides assuming perfect compliance, they are assuming that there will be businesses to open when it comes to their time because by then a lot of businesses would have failed badly. That means that X date might be a theoretic reopening time but there is nothing to reopen. From what I’ve read 43% of all small businesses believe that they will close unless they get help now.

                The reopening is also seems strictly limited to formal commercial activities; I’ve seen no talk about when informal hobbies and groups on this timeline. I guess they will decide based on formal reopening times for commercial events but again that is assuming we will have a venue or something. So again, even if reopening is permitted it doesn’t mean that it can happen because everything got destroyed.Report

    • Avatar Swami in reply to LeeEsq says:

      Lee,

      Are you saying that people will always imperfectly conform whether we are in lock down or in partial opening? I am just asking for clarification. If so, I certainly agree.

      My thoughts are that addressing an infectious agent is about the law of large numbers. There are some big things we can do that make a big difference. To the extent we shut down crowded fairs and concerts and nightclubs we will probably see huge benefits. And these are not critical activities to most people outside of these professions.

      Other areas of huge bang for the buck are retail interactions. Masks, gloves, shield barriers, disinfectant, and hand washing all do wonders here. I just went to Costco yesterday and I think the likelihood of catching anything from the masked man behind the 6 foot plexiglass barrier with gloves was close enough to zero. It was orders of magnitude safer than the drive to the store.

      Add in businesses agreeing to limit or eliminate in person meetings, measuring employees temperatures, requiring masks, disinfecting doors and services, encouraging work from home, replacing handles and buttons with automatic smart devices and getting rid of those disgusting hand dryer blowers which spread virus everywhere.

      Honestly I think these and hundreds of other partial solutions will add up to not just suppress and contain the CV (though not eliminating it), but also reduce the spread of other diseases and cold which kill 100s of thousands of people annually in the US. I would be willing to be the ten year running average of infectious deaths will be dropping in the US, in good part due to our learning, imperfect though it will be.

      Nothing reasonable will eliminate all scofflaws and rebels. But we don’t have to eliminate them longer term. We just have to contain the virus enough so that it doesn’t reproduce faster than our immune systems learn to fight it. And we have time on our side with more people getting some form of immunity each month (the scofflaws will develop immunity sooner or pay the consequences).

      Side note, I just read a study of women giving birth where 15% already tested positive for CV even though none knew they had it. This is after two months.

      I also agree with your comment on politics. Some people assume they are arguing with the other evil tribe and the discussion collapses into virtue signaling and propaganda.Report

      • Avatar veronica d in reply to Swami says:

        Side note, I just read a study of women giving birth where 15% already tested positive for CV even though none knew they had it. This is after two months.

        Also, there is this: https://www.wbur.org/commonhealth/2020/04/14/coronavirus-boston-homeless-testing

        The virus has spread more than we think.Report

        • Avatar Swami in reply to veronica d says:

          One more reason to avoid Starbucks restrooms.

          On a more serious note, that was the one thing I actually feared before I quit surfing last week*. The beach restrooms are favorite sleeping spots for California’s homeless people of the true derelict variety (known from personal interaction). Since I am caring for a 95 year old, I had to avoid going into beach bathrooms.

          * At first they just strongly encouraged surfers to stay home. Last weekend they cordoned off even remote cliff side beaches with police tape and set out a small army of cops with masks and ticket books to send a message. Perhaps they are worried we will spread the disease to sea lions.Report

          • Avatar veronica d in reply to Swami says:

            We could also perhaps worry about the fate of the homeless themselves, and not just how their suffering effects the more fortunate.

            Not that I will blame anyone for avoiding places where the homeless congregate. I certainly have no plans to lick subway seats. On the other hand, “out of sight, out of mind” is pretty fucking monstrous when you actually think about it.

            We treat some people as literally disposable.Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to veronica d says:

              Here in the People’s Republic, the city has installed a few public restrooms on sidewalks. The one by Pershing Square has a full time attendant to keep it clean and make sure it isn’t used for illicit activities.

              Of course, a hundred more are needed. People whine and snivel about homeless people crapping on the sidewalks, but also whine and snivel about them using the Starbucks bathrooms.Report

            • Avatar Swami in reply to veronica d says:

              Nobody is disposable, but unfortunately I fear many of them treated themselves that way.

              How much I worry about them won’t really matter, as their fate is not in my hands, nor am I planning on making it so. My 95 year old mother in law, on the other hand, is my responsibility.

              My take on the critically homeless (We are talking derelicts, not people who couldn’t pay their rent) is that they should be given access to public housing. My understanding is that this is more than amply available in Ca. If I am wrong, I heartedly recommend making it so (using the millions — or billions? – set aside in the budgets of the state and cities for this very purpose). The problem is that they choose to avoid it for whatever reason (too many rules, surrounded by fellow criminals, can’t drink there, etc).

              If they refuse public housing (and those sleeping in beach restrooms every night certainly have), then I recommend they be arrested for vagrancy after a series of reasonable and compassionate warnings (the cops take their pictures to monitor them).

              The problem with derelicts is that there is effectively a race to the bottom on which city gets them. The cities with mild weather and easy access to food and shelter and lax policing become magnets for the derelicts of the entire country, indeed the entire continent. I would like to see derelicts go to someone else’s city. I believe food and shelter and enforcing vagrancy would accomplish this.

              Out of sight? Yeah, I definitely don’t need to see naked homeless people taking “showers” in the sinks at La Jolla. And yes I have seen it.

              Out of mind? Yeah, I really wish I could get that homelsss guy who sleeps in the Beach bathroom above Pipes and has all day arguments with himself on the toilet out of my mind. I understand he is probably unstable and needs serious help. I compassionately hope he gets it. What he shouldn’t be allowed to do is sleep on the public toilet all night.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Swami says:

                Where are you getting this notion that there is ample public housing available?

                Like, you think there are open rooms just sitting empty?Report

              • Avatar Swami in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                San Diego city has about 1300 shelter spots available per night in normal times with close to double that for emergencies. But my full comment was that there either is enough capacity or would/should be if the state responsibly used the billion dollars budgeted for this very purpose.

                https://www.gov.ca.gov/2020/01/08/governor-newsom-previews-1-billion-in-budget-proposal-to-jump-start-new-homeless-fund-and-provide-behavioral-health-services-signs-order-to-accelerate-state-action-to-fight-homelessness/

                My full comment implies that I recommend requiring derelicts to go to approved shelters. Failures to do so will result in firm and loving nudges to do so. Further repeated failure to comply will result in compassionate incarceration, though I would also support shipping them to your county, if you prefer to throw out your welcome mat.

                It seems kind of odd that the same people who support fining people for going to work or fishing during a pandemic (for the supposed good of the at risk) are so forgiving about IV drug users with hepatitis and God knows what else living and shitting in the streets and canyons.

                There is a line somewhere between compassion and enabling. I am obviously way to the other side of that line than many others in Ca.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Swami says:

                if the state responsibly used the billion dollars budgeted for this very purpose.

                With red tape and whatnot it’s like $500k-700k a unit. (Just looked it up).

                That Billion dollars will house about 2k people.Report

              • Avatar Swami in reply to Dark Matter says:

                A bed in a shelter can be funded for thousands of dollars a year. The idea that the solution to winos and drug addicts sleeping in the streets and canyons is solved by building $500,000 houses is so absurd as to almost defy belief. The question becomes how could someone actually believe that they are even addressing the problem with that silly solution?

                This is like thinking the appropriate response to the virus is prayer and sacrificing virgins.

                Alcoholics, drug addicts and the mentally unbalanced don’t need half million dollar houses. And building free houses for those temporarily misplaced will only attract twice as many people to come get the free housing.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Swami says:

                A bed in a shelter can be funded for thousands of dollars a year. The idea that the solution to winos and drug addicts sleeping in the streets and canyons is solved by building $500,000 houses is so absurd as to almost defy belief. The question becomes how could someone actually believe that they are even addressing the problem with that silly solution?

                Well there’s this: “The most painful thing was to watch women leave the shelter to go back to the streets because they thought it was better,” Fonseca said. “In the shelter, I was subjected to violence, threats, harassment, discrimination. That is what we feared we would face in the streets, but we still experienced it at the shelter, just with more rules and expired milk.”

                https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/v74y3j/this-is-why-homeless-people-dont-go-to-sheltersReport

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Swami says:

                Actually I am in favor of the main thrust of your proposals, that we fund, build, and encourage homeless people to use available housing.

                One of the main problems we run into is that it is insanely expensive.

                It is more expensive per unit than it needs to be right now, but even in the most optimistic scenarios providing enough housing for the population that needs it will be expensive on the order of Iraq War expensive.

                And in our current political climate that is a nonstarter.

                We, meaning politically active people like you and me, can change this by constantly advocating for a robust and effective government program, but we have to get a majority of our fellow Californians and Americans to hear the words “robust and effective government program” and not sneer.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                The gov’s efforts at building housing would be way more effective if they didn’t have serious legal machinery which prevents the creation of housing.

                I think it’s pretty clear that, absent that machinery, there would still be a problem with homelessness. The problem still exists in parts of the country that aren’t able or willing to prevent the creation of housing.

                However I also think the issue stops being “Iraq war expensive”.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter says:

                The reason homelessness is so persistent is that a solution isn’t blocked by one single political faction, or interest group, party or ideology.

                There are all sorts of overlapping interests which would need to be damaged or compromised in order to do something as simple as constructing housing even for the easiest cases of high functioning working poor people.

                The people we normally see, the street transients and addicts and mentally ill, would require a vastly more intensive and expensive and politically damaging solution.

                None of which is to say it is not possible.

                Just that to make it happen, we all, every one of us, would need to be willing to make hard sacrifices.

                And I would toss out the assertion that the cost of not solving it is also not zero; I think it is actually more expensive than even the most robust solution.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Just that to make it happen, we all, every one of us, would need to be willing to make hard sacrifices.

                My local community just built a (renovated) structure for something like 1/500th the per bed cost of your housing costs. If well spent, California’s billion dollars for 2k people is enough to house every homeless person in the nation.

                The “hard sacrifice” that needs to happen is California needs to dismantle the legal machinery which prevents the creation of housing and makes it so expensive… and there are serious political interests (local communities, unions) who don’t want that to happen. Without that this is just a boondoggle. Money being spent at less than 1% efficiency is just virtue signalling.

                If we really did spend Iraq War level money on this without upsetting the unions and NIMBY’s then I think we’d STILL fail for the same reason California’s current Billion is going to fail to do anything useful.

                The people we normally see, the street transients and addicts and mentally ill, would require a vastly more intensive and expensive and politically damaging solution.

                Yes and No. Make housing exist with a magic wand or legal reform, and about half the homeless problem disappears overnight.

                As for the rest, we think just being on the street is pretty damaging, give them all housing and imho we’d find the “low hanging fruit” goes a lot higher than we currently realize. Call it half of the remainder.

                California’s homeless population is roughly 150k, a quarter of that is about 38k, That Billion dollars would buy $25k per person in mental health services.

                My expectation is that this isn’t enough to help everyone, but it would deal with the vast bulk of the problem.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter says:

                Liberals Are Furious Over This One Weird Trick To Solve Homelessness.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Part of it is the problem of The Flophouse.

                The idea of San Francisco’s $1000/month bunkbed pods was great! I mean, there were a handful of killjoys who said “PEOPLE HAVE A RIGHT TO PRIVACY!” and other such things but, for the most part, people are cool with dorm rooms for certain categories of people. “College kids” is probably the best descriptor.

                But the idea of The Flophouse, a minimalist room with a minimalist counter and a minimalist space to put minimalist things but it has a toilet and the ability to lock the door before you get rip-roaring blackout drunk is probably a great solution to combat the worst effects of sleeping rough.

                There are several arguments against flophouses, though.

                “It’s inhumane to cage a person in a mere 200 square feet!” is how I’d sell it if I didn’t want one in my back yard.

                College kids sleeping in bunk beds? Hell yeah. If they can follow noise ordinances, we want them sleeping there, scuttling off to work, spending cash at the local restaurants, then coming back to crash for 5 maybe 6 hours before scuttling away again.

                Hey, we could put up a Soylent truck and they can grab a quick breakfast to drink as they scuttle away to work!Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                Wouldn’t it be cheaper just to hand out tents and let them self-house wherever they wish?

                Problem solved!Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                That would allow us to have law enforcement get involved more often and would allow them easier access to other predators…

                Sold!Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                The liberal alternative to changing the laws is to create housing at $600k a pop.

                There are 150k homeless in California, so it will cost roughly $90 Trillion dollars to house them.

                The “robust and effective government program” you want needs to START with changing the housing laws or it deserves ridicule.Report

              • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Dark Matter says:

                There are 150k homeless in California, so it will cost roughly $90 Trillion dollars to house them.

                $90 billion. Are you angling for a spot on the New York Times editorial board?Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Brandon Berg says:

                Ouch. My bad.Report

              • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Dark Matter says:

                Yeah, you need to be off by at least five orders of magnitude to qualify for the NYT. Three might get you a spot on the Washington Post, though.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter says:

                I agree, changing the restrictions on housing is a very good idea.
                But lets be honest that NIMBY objections come from all across the political spectrum, which gives them a tremendous amount of power.

                We even see it right here on this site, where there is a desperate search for some solution which will make homeless people just go away somehow, just disappear to some other city or state where we no longer have to see them or deal with them.

                Lifting the restrictions on the ability to create housing for the homeless will mean that you and me and everyone on this blog may wake up one morning to see a halfway house for homeless addicts being built next door.

                Not very many people will clap and say “Yes, please!”Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                NIMBY objections come from all across the political spectrum, which gives them a tremendous amount of power.

                Yes. Probably what is needed is a state law which takes this power away from localities.

                I dislike this solution, it smacks of taking people’s choices away from them where they should have volition, but we’ve seen local housing regulation abused so consistently that maybe we need to.

                Lifting the restrictions on the ability to create housing for the homeless will mean that you and me and everyone on this blog may wake up one morning to see a halfway house for homeless addicts being built next door.

                I live far enough away from anything useful that this seems unlikely.

                on this site, where there is a desperate search for some solution which will make homeless people just go away somehow,

                I must have missed that.

                I’m in favour of making dysfunctional people functional, but on a budget and without side effects. If that can’t be done without spending unlimited resources or without creating easily abused legal machinery to shield people from their own bad choices, then we do what we can with the tools and budget we have.

                This issue hits the radar as something that can’t be perfectly addressed, which means we’re going to be stepping over people for a long time because the alternatives are worse.Report

              • Avatar Swami in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Shelters are not expensive. All you need is an older building and some retrofitting of facilities combined with beds (I am ignoring the current temporary virus issues of course)

                For those with cars (my experience is a not insignificant portion own a car and use that as a residence), what is needed is a safe place to park it and a place for a hot meal and sanitary bathrooms.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Swami says:

                Yes, that’s true for the low hanging fruit of the high functioning working poor.

                Sal Lake City is doing a fine job of housing along those lines.

                But those aren’t the people you see at the beach, or I see on the street.

                One of the things I chide my fellow liberals about is our tendency to act out the old adage about how there are no poor people, only “temporarily embarrassed millionaire”.

                That is, the type of homelessness that is of the most pressing concern isn’t the type of person who is in between gigs and just needs a job offer to get back on his feet.

                The most pressing concern is the category of people who are mentally ill, addicted, or with some other severe issue that makes them unable to function.

                And they take a lot of very intensive intervention by very expensive type of personnel.Report

              • Avatar Swami in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Agreed, the real problems are addiction and mental illness, not the absence of silly half million dollar government housing.

                As such, we can address it compassionately and responsibly by offering shelter to those able to conform. The rest (most) won’t conform. They need to be policed out of the county. Let them go to San Francisco and Berkeley. I am even fine with them going to prison for illegal activity. But the very act of policing better than neighboring counties will effectively move the problem to the progressive enclaves, which will never learn until they face the foolishness of their enabling.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Swami says:

                And suppose they did, “learn the lesson of their enabling”, and started arresting people by the hundreds, or thousands?

                Where would we put them? Now we would not only have to house them, but feed, clothe and treat them with expensive medical professionals.

                See, I’m not even opposed to arresting homeless people since then they would be getting Cadillac level of socialized services.Report

              • Avatar Swami in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Again, let me stress that the initial reaction to conservative-leaning counties getting tough on derelicts would be to push derelicts to liberal leaning counties.

                This places the burden where it needs to be, as progressives are the ones who need to come to grips with the ramifications of their ideals. They can live with people shitting in their streets and sleeping in their public restrooms and infecting their kids with hepatitis and what not. Or they can fund comfy cells.

                If they choose to get tough too, then you are right, we will be forced to actually incarcerate derelicts or force them to clean up.

                Shorter term, we don’t have to outrun the bear. We just need to outrun SF. And longer term, we will force them to deal with implications of their ideology.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Swami says:

                First of all, how would conservative counties “push” homeless people?

                Wouldn’t that involve arresting them,jailing them, trying them, convicting them, and transporting them?
                How would they even begin to pay for this?

                Secondly, what is the connection between addiction and mental illness, and liberal ideology?
                Are you thinking that like somehow rural Republicans don’t become drunks or suffer mental illness?

                See, what you’re proposing is the “free lunch” approach, where you think there is some magic solution that makes it all disappear by becoming someone else’s cost.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Think of a high pressure-low pressure system. If some areas are much more stingy with benefits, along with enforcing vagrancy laws strictly, then the population of homeless will naturally gravitate towards areas that have higher levels of benefits and less troublesome laws.

                The cost these enforcement measuress is covered by having less benefits, shelters and enforcement overhead as there are now fewer homeless.

                And homelessness can be looked at as a zero-sum factor (the poor will be with us always – JC) or it can be looked at as something that the amounts of will be determined by specific actions being fostered. While I have my own thoughts on this issue, it is clear that specific actions have increaded the load that the state carries, without lessing the numbers of homeless.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Aaron David says:

                We don’t have to think of it, this is what we have now.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                Wow, a free lunch scheme!

                And all these years I was told those didn’t exist.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                You asked “How would they even begin to pay for this?”

                I just googled the cost of a bus ticket from Colorado Springs to San Francisco.

                Looks like it’s $108.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                This doesn’t have anything to do with the question I asked, which was how cities can “push” people.

                This isn’t “pushing”, this is “giving away free bus rides”.
                What if the person says “Uh uh, I don’t wanna go”?

                And ultimately this is an attempt at a free lunch, where the hope is that rural areas can enjoy the benefits of a vibrant dynamic economy and highly individualized social culture, yet somehow never have to pay for any of the costs associated.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                This isn’t “pushing”, this is “giving away free bus rides”.
                What if the person says “Uh uh, I don’t wanna go”?

                Police harassment. Serious lack of benefits.

                If they had strong social support from relatives then there’s a good chance they wouldn’t be in the pickle they’re in.

                You can even put things like bad weather in there too. Alaska’s homeless situation looks very different from Hawaii’s.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Dark Matter says:

                Yeah the Alaskan homeless freeze to death in the winter. Not so much in Hawaii. Was that what you were going for?Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Dark Matter says:

                Huh? I’m not seeing many answers here.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to greginak says:

                This isn’t “pushing”, this is “giving away free bus rides”.
                What if the person says “Uh uh, I don’t wanna go”?

                How much leverage do you think homeless people have?

                Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Dark Matter says:

                Well that clarifies….something i guess. Can’t tell if you are on the ” good get rid of them, what leverage do they have” side though.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to greginak says:

                This is what’s wacky.

                “Acceleration on Earth is, more or less, 9.8 meters per second per second.”

                “I can’t tell if you’re on the ‘I’m glad people fall to their death’ side or not.”Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird says:

                Umm yeah…..well….urrr….ummmm

                Again the clarity is so clear i can barely cope.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to greginak says:

                On that thread I was simply pointing out (agreeing with JB) that they don’t have leverage.

                If you’re asking what do I think should be done, then the answer is I think we shouldn’t be wasting human capital. So functional-but-between-jobs homeless should be given the opportunity to be functional.

                That is NOT an answer for the hardcore homeless, and I suspect strongly not only do I not have an answer but there is no answer.

                1) I oppose restructuring the economy to shield people from their own bad choices. That would help the homeless a lot but the larger price would be too high.

                2) I oppose giving the gov the ability to lock people up on a whim. That doesn’t end well, we got rid of that sort of thing for good reason.

                3) Chip is correct in what the hardcore homeless need are seriously expensive social services. I’d add to that not-yet-invented sanity-pills and cure-addiction pills.

                With more economic growth we’ll have more money to throw at problems like this. With more technology we’ll have cures for things that today are incurable.

                Not every problem needs to be solved in my lifetime.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Dark Matter says:

                FWIW i worked with homeless people for about 12 years. I know how little many people care about them. Work programs, MH/ Sub Ab trt, medical care, supported housing for some are all part of the solution.

                I have no idea what number 1 means in sense that it relates to the homeless.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                What if the person says “Uh uh, I don’t wanna go”?

                How much leverage do you think homeless people have?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                A lot, unless the city spends a lot more money.

                Continue your line of thought, and imagine what happens next and how much that costs the taxpayer.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Given the article I posted already, here’s what I think happens: “Homeless guy gets on the bus, bus leaves town”.

                But I’m basing that on the evidence I’ve offered.

                What conclusion do your gut feelings think I ought to reach instead?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                Continue your line of thought where the guy says “No I don’t wanna go, I wanna just camp here in the park” and get back to me.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                “Okay, we’re going to detain you overnight and release you without charges in the morning. I hope your camping stuff is still here tomorrow and that other homeless folks don’t steal it all!”

                (tomorrow comes)

                “Bus ticket offer still stands.”

                Where does your line of thought take you?

                “Gee, this guy said ‘no!’, he’s a sovereign citizen with a lot of rights that have been enumerated in the Constitution… I guess that means we have to leave him alone” or something like that?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                OK, lets keep going.
                After arresting and incarcerating him overnight, then releasing him the next morning, what is the cost to the city so far?

                Now multiply it by a few hundred, or thousand.

                Now repeat the process a dozen more times.

                How much is this costing now?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Now repeat the process a dozen more times.

                In my thought process, the guy agreed to the bus ticket after the first or second time this happened.

                I base that on stuff like the story I linked to.

                What conclusion do your gut feelings think I ought to reach instead?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                No point in talking about our gut, when simple empirical observation will do.

                What you’re describing is the status quo of what police departments all over the country are doing, and have been doing for years now.

                Not always with bus tickets, but always an attempt to move them along, shoo them to some other jurisdiction or neighborhood.

                Then when they arrive at whatever new riverbed or alleyway or vacant lot they find, the process starts all over again with a new police force.

                How’s that workin’ out for us?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Okay, good. I was hoping to get to “you’re just describing what happens!”

                “How’s that working out for us?”

                What’s our goal?

                If our goal is to move all of the homeless to either California or New York, looks like we’re about 40ish percent of our way to our goal.

                If our goal is housing them, well, we’re going to have to build housing. Oh, our goal isn’t housing them?

                Carry on.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                So your intention was to demonstrate the self-defeating logic of why homelessness is so intractable?

                Well done, I guess.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                There *IS* a solution for homelessness.

                “Bunks for drunks” was what it was called under Dumbya. The basic idea was something similar to a college dorm.

                If you don’t like the idea, I suppose you could suggest handing out tents or something.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                I love the idea. How much would it cost?Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                “I love the idea. How much would it cost?”

                How much are we spending now?

                Because, somehow, we’ve found a way to afford spending that much.

                Pretending to take the Conservative Asshole Position just to be argumentative doesn’t actually work when the Conservative Assholes are actually okay with the position you’re taking!Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to DensityDuck says:

                I am being perfectly serious.
                I like the idea of some simple way of housing homeless people. Missions actually do this.

                How much will it cost to scale this up? I don’t know but would love to hear proposals.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                How’s that workin’ out for us?

                What are our alternatives?

                Because if “deal with the problem” is too expensive or too politically painful, then the current “solution” has the advantage of being relatively cheap and something we can do.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter says:

                Which is why the status quo is the status quo.
                It doesn’t please anybody, but serves the short term interests of the stakeholders.

                I can’t prove it, but am convinced that the long term interests of all the stakeholders would be better served by a short term expense, but the citizens are themselves a bit like the homeless- they prefer immediate gratification over long term health.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                I can’t prove it, but am convinced that the long term interests of all the stakeholders would be better served by a short term expense,

                I doubt “short term” describes the expense of a total solution. The hard core homeless are seriously dysfunctional, treat them for a year and they’ll still be seriously dysfunctional and still need treatment.

                Much worse, for some “treat them for a year” means “treat them against their will for a year”. We’re DEEP into “society wants to tell you how to live your life” territory. Do we pass laws saying they don’t get to make choices? These large shelters have rules for good reasons, what do we do with people who won’t, or can’t, follow those rules?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter says:

                “Judge Thatcher said that maybe you could reform a drunk with a shotgun, but he didn’t know no other way.”

                Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn

                You’re right, once we get past the easy low hanging fruit of the high functioning homeless, and the moderately difficult dysfunctional people who just need help, we are left with the very hardest cases.

                What makes homelessness so intractable is that there are stakeholders on all sides.

                The loudest voices crying out to “DO SOMETHING” aren’t from the sob sisters of the left, but the shopkeepers of the right.

                Acknowledging we can’t solve this means telling the shopkeepers that they have to just live with shooing the drunks away by themselves since society won’t spend the resources to do it.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                …telling the shopkeepers that they have to just live with shooing the drunks away by themselves since society won’t spend the resources to do it.

                I think we pretty much have already done this. Occasionally the shopkeepers will put enough pressure on the police that they do something.

                But there won’t be long term total solutions soon. Now maybe when we get a UBI, and we get more wonder pills, all that changes.

                BTW I’m seriously not kidding about the pills. Effectively all village idiots became normal citizens when we cured the underlying disorder.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Swami says:

                “All you need is an older building and some retrofitting of facilities combined with beds.”

                yeah, right.

                can I drink or use drugs there?
                can convicted felons go there? (and if they can, will you do something to stop the cops coming in to troll through it looking for convicted felons?)
                are these facilities ADA-compliant — hallways at the correct width, grab rails of correct configuration in all the bathrooms, elevators and ramps for wheelchair accessibility to all parts of the building?

                this isn’t me being a nitpicky asshole, these are reasons why people don’t already do the thing you’re saying is easy. Please do not make the mistake of thinking that everyone who looked at this problem before you came along was dumb or lazy.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to DensityDuck says:

                You folks are using the wrong line of reasoning. Instead of thinking of ways to ease the homeless crisis, you need to think of ways you can bill for it. The people who have turned it into a reliable revenue stream are going have seats at the table when it comes to deciding what policies to pursue, whereas some of your suggestions don’t generate money for any charity, department, or organization.Report

    • Avatar James K in reply to LeeEsq says:

      I think you’re being too binary. Maintaining full lock-down isn’t sustainable for long, but lesser lockdown will be sustainable for longer. This is the strategy New Zealand is running. Our current lockdown rules are very harsh, but the government will be relaxing them soon – perhaps a soon as next week. Then we’ll be under a less-restrictive lockdown. And then a while after that the rules well be relaxed again, so long as the disease remains under control.

      Yes it may be some time before all restrictions can be lifted, but so long as the harshest measures aren’t in place for too long the whole thing may be sustainable for long enough to do the job.Report

  2. Avatar PD Shaw says:

    L.1: This seems to me to be a rather mild example of police powers — he was fined five dollars for not getting a free immunization, an amount equivalent to $140 today. There does not appear to be any authority to imprison anyone directly for the violation, but the judge ordered him to be held in jail until the fine was paid.Report

  3. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    L6: Nothing like a good crisis to push through legislation when people can not assemble to protest (because it’s a non-essential activity, natch).Report

    • Avatar veronica d in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

      The police routinely arrest protestors and always have. This isn’t new. It’s just happening to white people this time.

      Honestly, it’s probably justified during a period of global pandemic. Public health is a real thing and it matters.

      Will the state continue with these tactics after the crisis? Probably. They’ll certain want to. However, I doubt they’ll apply it evenly. For example, white conservative protestors will continue to enjoy “warm” relationships with the police, while leftist and minority protestors will not. Likewise, the courts will almost certainly side with the state during a period of medical crisis. They will be less likely to after this passes — again, for white conservative protestors.Report

    • Avatar PD Shaw in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

      How ya gonna keep the kids in lock-down once they’ve seen this loophole?Report

    • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

      Yeah… sign it on a Friday (check), Holiday Weekend (check), Good Friday to boot (check, check) and a Pandemic where you’ve declared everyone must stay in their homes (check)… that’s maybe a once in a century trifecta for bold leadership.

      Hard to say if there will be any blow-back… the problem with signing this particular set of gun control regulations is that I’m not sure anyone will notice… so one way to look at it is: “Hey, we can pass gun control measures and no one will notice” but the other way to look at it is: “Hey, if we pass gun control measures and no one notices, have we passed any measures that change how we control guns?”Report

  4. Avatar veronica d says:

    Regarding social isolation, we already have netsex. Now we have net dating: https://www.polygon.com/2020/4/15/21220911/animal-crossing-date-tinder-dating-app-trend-coronavirus

    Now I want to try Dark Souls dating. Few things will bring a couple closer than fighting a boss together.

    The way she cut down the second gargoyle just as it was about to flame me — that was when I knew she was the one for me.

    Report

  5. I don’t know if this was true of the vaccine that Jacobson wanted to refuse, but early smallpox inoculations weren’t something we’d necessarily want today and with the advantage of hindsight, I probably wouldn’t endorse forcing people to submit to them.

    My understanding is they too pus from the open sores of someone already afflicted and introduced it to the inoculee (by, I think, scratching it into their skin). And while (apparently) people’s chances of surviving the resulting infection were much better than surviving an actual case of smallpox, people still died from it, and probably ran the risk of other infections.Report

    • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to gabriel conroy says:

      My understanding is they too pus from the open sores of someone already afflicted and introduced it to the inoculee (by, I think, scratching it into their skin).

      I’m pretty sure that variolation (the process you describe above) had been universally replaced by vaccination with cowpox by that time, at least in rich (for the time) countries.

      That aside, it seems to me that the more dangerous a vaccine is, the stronger the case for compulsory vaccination. It’s a classic collective action problem: Everyone wants to benefit from herd immunity without having to risk side effects from the vaccine. If the perceived probability of severe side effects is high, then trying to free-ride on herd immunity becomes very attractive, and there’s a risk of not achieving herd immunity. E.g. the recent measles outbreaks. Conversely, if the perceived risk of side effects is very low, trying to free-ride isn’t very attractive, and there’s no need to make them compulsory.Report

  6. Avatar Stillwater says:

    Some polling on the “reopen the economy” issue.

    Morning Consult: 89% Dems, 72% GOP say social distancing should continue as needed.

    Gallup: 89% Dems, 69% GOP say they won’t return to normal life even if restrictions lifted.

    Monmouth: 3% Dems, 11% GOP say Gov’t went too far.

    This loud “reopen” crowd is an extremist minority.

    The Gallup poll is the one I found most interesting. If we assume that Independents split the difference between Rs and Ds on the issue, fully 79% of the American people say they won’t go back to normal wrt their money-spending habits. Very hard for me to see how increasing the risk of higher spread and death rates is justified given those numbers. Seems like we’ll be in the worst of both worlds at that point.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

      If we have an official “WE’RE BACK IN BUSINESS!” proclamation, what would *I* do differently?

      Well, if my work would let me work from home still, I’d still work from home. Maybe just for a few weeks. It’s got a two week incubation period, right? I’d try to wait a month and then see what happens. If work made me come in, well, social distancing, right? Demand hand sanitizer stations and that sort of thing.

      I might consider switching from having grocery stores deliver groceries and wander back toward going grocery shopping myself (with a mask, gloves, Lysol wipes, and social distancing).

      What would be the signal, to me that it’d be okay to come back and things were back to normal?

      I dunno, but grocery stores no longer looking wiped out would be near the top of the list (specifically the hand sanitizer section). That would tell me “okay… you can go to Chipotle again.”Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

        Since things got tight for me (about ten days before the official shutdown), I’ve ordered takeout from Chipotle once, ordered carryout from Pinocchio’s once, ordered carryout from China Gourmet twice. My wife and I both said we’d do our best to order carry out more than we normally do to keep our favorite local restaurants afloat. We haven’t. (Human beings are within 6 feet of that food when they make it.) I can’t see myself freely (ie., normally) engaging in restaurant/leisure economic life until the last mask is off.Report

        • Avatar Swami in reply to Stillwater says:

          I am no expert, but I have always doubted that respiratory viruses are spread much if at all in food.Report

        • My spouse and I order a lot. Ostensibly, it’s because we want to support local businesses. In reality, it’s because we both like ordering takeout and I like having the night off from cooking. (Needless to say, we’re fortunate to have the resources to order in the first place.)

          I’m not too worried about getting the virus. But I guess I am worried a little.Report

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