Four States Announce “Re-Open” Plans

Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website Yonder and Home.

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76 Responses

  1. Saul Degraw says:

    Let’s see what happens when these states get a second wave that overwhelms the health care systems in said states.Report

    • Stillwater in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Alternately, lets hope they don’t.

      I read a terrific thread on the politics surrounding San Francisco’s response to the Spanish Flu which was informative, though. During the initial wave, as death counts started to rise, the mayor imposed a mask requirement as an active measure to contain the spread. And it worked. Deaths and infections declined. But a very vocal cohort protested the measure as unconstitutional and unAmerican and so on, so the ban was lifted, which led – predictably – to a second wave and a re-imposition of the mask requirement. Politics in America is a big ole circle yo.Report

    • Chip Daniels in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      I feel like we’re in some French art movie where people are bargaining with Death, trying to be all sly and clever and thinking they can trap Death in some logic trap.

      “But what if I go to the park, but just don’t sit down, huh? Whattabout if I go to theater, but turn my head to one side! Or if I hang out at a restaurant, but don’t go to the salad bar! Huh, howabout that?”

      All these desperate attempts, yet the virus doesn’t care.

      The virus didn’t get the memo that Georgia is off limits to it. It is still there, sprayed all over handrails, elevator buttons, door knobs, food packages. It’s on every wall and floor.

      And the virus doesn’t care if we are “past the peak”; It will happily make a new peak, and one after that. And remarkably enough, the virus doesn’t even care if someone gets laid off and can’t pay the rent.

      I keep thinking of Richard Dreyfus telling the mayor that by opening the beach, he is ringing the dinner bell. We’re now giving the virus millions of new tasty banquets to feed from.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Chip Daniels says:

        Largely concurred. I don’t think there is anything wrong with going on walks or jogs for fresh air, exercise, and chores. This is necessary for physical and mental health but wear a mask.

        What occurs to me during this pandemic is though:

        1. Negative partisanship is extremely high in the United States and this is driving a lot of the conflict, plus our tendency towards “you are not the boss of me” and knee jerk contrarianism. Other countries have partisanship but also produced a lot of cross party cooperation to deal with COVID.

        2. The reason #1 happens is because the GOP is primed to reeve up the base via owning the libs and nothing else these days. Maybe also tax cuts and killing the regulatory state.

        3. Trump seems to think his only chance at winning reelection is to completely fire up the base at the expense of turning off everyone else. His latest total ban on immigration is not the kind of policy that sits well with country club or suburban moderate types especially because it includes Europe and seems to ban short-term visas/tourist visits as well.

        I think the protests are a lot more about doing the opposite of those libs in California and New York and Washington than anything else.Report

        • LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          Even during the 1918 influenza pandemic, with a population much used to taking. orders and having their lives up-ended because of World War I, there seemed to be a decent amount of people that didn’t like the restrictions being put on them. Enough to protest and cause problems as Stillwater points out. Modern democratic citizens like to see themselves as free, able to do what they want, when they want, and how they want for the most part. When you deal them that they need to obey orders and can’t do these things for a long time, some of them get angry and rebel.Report

        • Urusigh in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          I realize this may be news to libs, but not everything is about you. Other people genuinely have different moral foundations, different personal preferences, and different life situations than yours, all of which means that we often want and value different things than you do. “Conservative” isn’t just “NOT Liberal”.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Chip Daniels says:

        The other big lesson is that reality does not care about ideology or ideological priors but humans have huge cognitive defense mechanisms and protecting our ideological priors is a huge part of protecting mental health.

        There are people I know who think the pandemic is real but since they are libertarian leaning seem sincerely distressed that combating it requires public policy and law and it can’t all be voluntary. Some of these libertarians are smart enough to realize when libertarians use implied consent in the private context as being okay instead of the government context, it is a weakness for libertarianism.

        But the idea of necessary government mandate so hard for them to accept that it leads to a lot of distress seemingly.Report

      • Brandon Berg in reply to Chip Daniels says:

        All these desperate attempts, yet the virus doesn’t care.

        This sounds like magical thinking to me. Of course “limiting the number of customers inside to five people per 1,000 square feet of retail space” will affect transmission rate relative to business as usual. As will wearing masks. Of course going to the park is lower-risk than going to a crowded club. Surface contact transmission, AFAIK, is still largely speculative, and can be mitigated by washing hands.

        Will people do all this, and will it be enough to keep Rt below 1.0? I don’t know. It seems to be working in Japan, which hasn’t shut down nearly to the extent that the US has but has seen the incidence rate peak about ten days ago. There’s are reasonable arguments on both sides, and I think you can reasonably argue that it’s a bad idea to try right now.

        But “Look at those dummy-dumb stupidheads who think that anything short of total shutdown will affect the rate of transmission” isn’t nearly as solid a dunk as you seem to think it is.Report

        • Philip H in reply to Brandon Berg says:

          Will people do all this, and will it be enough to keep Rt below 1.0? I don’t know. It seems to be working in Japan, which hasn’t shut down nearly to the extent that the US has but has seen the incidence rate peak about ten days ago.

          Japan is a poor example – they essentially have a monoculture that prizes conformity to broad social norms above nearly all else. Their government can suggest they wear masks once and get nearly 100% compliance for years because no one wants to risk the social stigma that might come from non-compliance. The US is nearly the polar opposite.Report

  2. greginak says:

    Some of this might work fine as long as people are reasonably responsible. What is just whacked is Georgia which is opening gym/fitness studios. I wonder if the Rona has PAC and is donating to Kemp. They are the most dangerous places to open yet he is going for them early. Just nuts.Report

  3. aaron david says:

    States should have opened back up two weeks ago. The whole point of the cower in place orders was so that the virus wouldn’t overwhelm hospitals. But, given governors a chance to blow a double barrel hole through their economies (and maybe get a bailout!) they took it.

    The models predicted 2 million deaths, which has since been dropped all the way down to 60k, A number we haven’t come close to hitting, even with all the padding NYC is now doing with counting deaths. Europe, even with death tolls much greater than ours, is starting to open up.Report

    • greginak in reply to aaron david says:

      We’re at 43k deaths. We’ll hit 60 by the end of the month or if we’re “lucky” early may. The death toll ain’t stopping in a couple weeks. We’re going far past 60k before we even get to the fall.Report

    • DensityDuck in reply to aaron david says:

      the models predicted that every computer would crash on January 1 2000, and yet that didn’t happen, therefore all those IT people were dumb to make us spend all that money “fixing” the “problem”

      the models predicted we’d all be dead of skin cancer and mutated food crops by now, and yet that didn’t happen, therefore banning CFCs was a useless pointless mistake that did nothing but waste a lot of money

      the models predicted we’d all be dead of lead poisoning in the early 1990s, and yet that didn’t happen, therefore we should never have prohibited the use of tetraethyl lead as an anti-knock additiveReport

      • Aaron David in reply to DensityDuck says:

        Two million deaths. That is what the initial model said. So we took that number and ran with it like it was gold, only to find out after we went batshit crazy that the guy who wrote that has a history of bad numbers. And it ended up being two orders of magnitude higher that what has happened.

        And this has nothing to do with Y2K, CFCs or lead. All of those issues were known for a while as a definate plan for the remediation was put together. Now, we have laid of hospital staff as those institutions cut all other services and bring in no money to pay for people, erect military field hospitals which have since closed with zero COVID patients, and allowed our essential liberties to be treated like trash. And while there were some hot spots, NYC for example, even that was not enough to justify the closing of businesses, the padding numbers, and the cheap political workarounds to pay for past, unrealated mistakes. Yesteday the Mass. gov. released so interesting numbers, mainly that the average age of death from COVID is 80yo and that person has multiple previous morbidities.* In other word, it was another case of the flu. And even with puffery to inflate the numbers, it didn’t hit the levels of the last bad flu season, two years ago.

        No Duck, we panicked.


        • greginak in reply to Aaron David says:

          2 million dead was with no mitigation and high number of infected. That is completely consistent with what we know about probable death rate and doing nothing at all.Report

          • Aaron David in reply to greginak says:

            Not when it is two whole orders of magnitude. We haven’t even come close to a bad flu season (2018, 80k+ with a bad flu shot) with no vaccine.

            Sorry, the 2m was just crappy Malthusianism. If it was as deadly as claimed, we couldn’t just head it off at the pass with a stay at home order that had massive exceptions. No, it becomes clearer and clearer every day that the virus is no big deal, more prevalant but less deadly than reported. Hardly surprising, as that epidemologist was also responsible for bad numbers relating to hoof-and-mouth disease in cattle. He also worked on a possible variant of that disease relating to humans, also with bad numbers.Report

        • DensityDuck in reply to Aaron David says:

          “while there were some hot spots, NYC for example…”

          lol you’re throwing this out there like New York City is some podunk town, some Midlanowhear out in Idaho or something, some dead-end place that nobody ever visits and nobody ever leaves

          you’re really doing that

          “Yesteday the Mass. gov. released so [sic] interesting numbers, mainly that the average age of death from COVID is 80yo and that person has multiple previous morbidities.”

          amusing how you admit that COVID-19 is killing people who wouldn’t otherwise have died and yet somehow you don’t see this as a reason to stop that happening

          “it didn’t hit the levels of the last bad flu season, two years ago.”

          the models predicted we’d all be dead of lead poisoning in the early 1990s, etc.

          protip: intentionally being the fucking dumbass I said you would be doesn’t make you not a fucking dumbass. you can’t no-sell your way out of being a fucking dumbass.Report

          • aaron david in reply to DensityDuck says:

            Yes, it is a hot spot, podunk or imperial capital. And yes, people died. Of course I am admitting that, it is what happened. The question is: are there enough deaths to warrant destroying an economy. My answer is no.

            Now, will you stop being a internet cowboy, or will you grow up. You have really been a child lately, and it is rather sad.Report

            • Philip H in reply to aaron david says:

              There are many ways to have mitigated the economic damage. We as a nation chose the least effective most hurtful way possible. You really need to think hard (And I mean you in terms of larger humanity) about why that is, and who benefits most from that approach.Report

        • DavidTC in reply to Aaron David says:

          And it ended up being two orders of magnitude higher that what has happened.

          Pssst, the estimate would have to be six million to be ‘two orders of magitude higher’.

          And even with puffery to inflate the numbers, it didn’t hit the levels of the last bad flu season, two years ago.


          I’ve fairly busy, so might not have time to reply later. So here’s a post from the future. No one is allowed to read this or respond to this until April 29, 2020, under risk of paradox:

          Well, the number of deaths from COVID-19, in three months of being in the US, has just reached the approximate amount of people dead from the extremely deadly flu season of 2017,~61,000, over seven months.

          And it shows no signs of stopping.

          I guess it’s a good thing no one ever did anything as utterly stupid as comparing the two.Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to DensityDuck says:

        The models predicted that if I smoked all my life, I would get cancer by now.

        I stopped smoking at 23, and 37 years later, still haven’t got cancer.

        I stopped for nuthin’!Report

    • JS in reply to aaron david says:

      “But, given governors a chance to blow a double barrel hole through their economies (and maybe get a bailout!) they took it.”

      I must have misread that. Are you claiming at least 40+ state governors, of both parties, were just chomping at the bit to increase their unemployment to double digits, kill their tax receipts, and otherwise just screw over their own states?Report

  4. LeeEsq says:

    The Justice Department has decided to postpone all non-detained immigration court proceedings until May 15th. They will probably postpone all May hearings. Since this is an area where Donald Trump can directly order things to open and they are deciding not to, this shows how dumb reopening the economy is.Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to LeeEsq says:

      To be slightly fair, California courts keep delaying all non-emergency/essential matters as well.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Trump has no control over the California Courts or the Federal judiciary. He does have control over the Immigration Courts and USCIS because they fall under the Department of Justice and DHS respectively. He can order them open if he wants.Report

  5. J_A says:

    Large cities in Texas (like Houston) had implemented all their lockdown measures (restaurants, gyms, theaters, social distancing) about two weeks (*)before Gov. Abbot was reluctantly shamed into enacting a Texas wide order, (April 2nd) which was not different than the already existing Harris Co. one.

    I expect that even if Gov. Abbot reduces or retracts the Texas wide order, the rest of the large cities will continue doing their own thing.

    As it should be. Big government in Austin shouldn’t be telling us in Houston and other communities what to do. That’s what federalism and subsidiarity means. Cities do their thing, and rural areas do theirs.

    (*) In Houston March 24. Schools had already closed on March 16Report

    • JS in reply to J_A says:

      A cynical man might think of it thusly:

      A politician, faced with a pandemic, has two choices. Do the necessary, but unpopular things to prevent massive spread and death — and then get blamed for the lack of deaths and all the damage those unpopular steps caused. Or do nothing, and let the bodies pile up, and be blamed for that.

      But is third option for those politicians who sadly occupies the “face” of governmental response (Governor, Presidents, and mayors of the largest cities spring to mind)?

      Of course. They could drag their feet, trusting that other politicians would do the right thing. They could avoid committing, at all costs. And once the unpopular measures started to bite, could make token gestures towards repealing them — again trusting that other politicians would, in fact, insist on the unpopular measures remaining in place.

      Sure, more people would die that way due to the mixed messages — but not nearly as many as “do nothing”, and what’s a few bodies compared to being able to walk into November and say “The body count was really light given a major pandemic, and I was against all those unpopular things you hated!”.

      You’d have to be a cynical sack of crap that prioritized your election chances over the lives of American citizens, but I’m guessing there’s a few of those in office.

      They’d be easy to spot. They’d be the ones resisting making lockdown calls until forced into it by others, trying to repeal lockdowns early — without actually forcing anyone underneath them to comply — and generally doing a lot of talking and very little doing.

      A few names do spring to mind. Abbot and Patrick in Texas are among the top. There’s DeSantis in Florida. The Governor of Georgia. I feel like I’m missing some big one, though. The word “orange” comes to mind, but I already mentioned Florida….Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to JS says:

        Lockdowns are actually popular.

        Another motivation for governors to end them is to allow their state to avoid paying unemployment benefits.Report

        • Philip H in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          This exactly. A thousand times. Plus it means the federal plus up of $600 a week won’t get paid either. because actually taking care of people in a down turn is the last thing a nation should do.
          Especially people of color and poor whites who are ALWAYS where they are because of their bad decisions, no matter what the economic struture actually is.Report

    • Philip H in reply to J_A says:

      Your governor (like mine in Mississippi) has already said once he opens things up, cities and counties will not be allowed to issue orders that are more or less restrictive then what he issues. He will liley be ignored, and court battles may well ensue. but he’s already said it.

      Our governor also wrote it in his shelter in place EO. I suspect its been said and written elsewhere. SO yeah that’s a quaint notion you have there, but its not consistent with actual events.Report

  6. LeeEsq says:

    I have two friends in Georgia that own a dance studio. During the Covid-19 pandemic, they have been holding classes online via Facebook. I’m wondering what they will decide to do. Pre-maturely reopening could be deadly but they can only suggest donations for their online classes rather than charge for them like real life classes. I’ve never discussed politics with them but they seem vaguely liberal based on their backgrounds, so I guess they are inclined to see Covid-19 more seriously than Brian Kemp.Report

    • Aaron David in reply to LeeEsq says:

      If states are violating peoples rights, than the DOJ should get involved. This is kind of a no brainer.Report

      • Philip H in reply to Aaron David says:

        I don’t see how creating situations where my right to life is potentially violated by other takes any sort of precedence. There is no right to work (inspite of such a name being applied to anti-union states). There is no right to own a business, and there is no right to make a profit.

        People are not forcibly confined to their homes. They have some restrictions on movement, but otherwise they can do as they please. No one required businesses to fire or furlough or lay off employees.

        All of this is being pushed by billionaires who are preying on fears of ordinary citizens. We are the richest nation on earth (or so conservatives keep telling us) and that being the case there are a whole host of other ways we could address this. Because simple correlational statistics tells us that if we reopen the economy more people will believe they have to leave their homes to work, and t hat will increase infection rates. Which in turn increases hospitalizations. Which in turn increases the likelihood of another lock down.Report

        • Aaron David in reply to Philip H says:

          You have no right to life. Never had, never will.

          While there are no rights that provide for work, there is a right to peaceably assemble. So, if a group of people want to go into a building together, that would be covered. You also have freedom of movement, guarateed by the privleges and immunities clause. There are some states (MI for instance) that violated that.

          And billionaires? Really?Report

          • Philip H in reply to Aaron David says:

            Billionaires: yes – Betsy Devos PAC and at least one of the Koch brothers PACs are funding organizing efforts behind the protests in Kentucky and Michigan. Its been widely reported across many media platforms. (

            As to Right to Life – isn’t that a cross that conservatives die on all the time? Its THE slogan for anti-abortion folks after all.

            Oh and as the peaceable assembly part – I’ll wait to see what happens to a peaceable assembly of heavily armed black men on Michigan’s state capitol steps before i pass judgement though there has been no reporting of any of those folks being arrested – which sort calls your judgement on that issue into question.Report

            • aaron david in reply to Philip H says:

              Pro tip – I am not a conservative. And again, there is no constitutionally recognized right to life. I am pro-abortion.

              And just because a a right has been denied in the past doesn’t mean that it should be denied now. I haven’t heard of armed men of any sort hanging out at Michigan’s state capital, but I have heard of a Michigan state ban on travel. A clear violation of the rights I listed above. So, yes the AG should get involved.

              As far as peacefully assemble goes, a sheriff in NC said that it wasn’t an essential activity. This is clearly wrong, and a gross violation of the enumerated rights. Again, the AG should get involved. Point is, many state and local governments vastly overstepped their bounds and should be called to task on it. The entire point of the enumeration is that there are zero excuses for this, as a gov’t could at anytime claim an emergency. This is why they are recognized.Report

              • Philip H in reply to aaron david says:

                These guys are on the steps of the Michigan State Capitol. They Are heavily armed and are NOT Law enforcement:


                Black men similarly gathered would ost likely be dead before this picture could be taken.Report

              • aaron david in reply to Philip H says:

                Is it legal to open carry in Michigan? I don’t know of the top of my head, but if it is then they are allowed to protest like this. As far a group of black people, like the Huey Newton Gun Club or an event sponsored by Black Guns Matter should get the same treatment.

                But, this is just conjecture, as what you are assuming has not happened as far as I know. Or, wait, do you think the Dem governor, along with being a fascist, is a racist?Report

              • Philip H in reply to aaron david says:

                You live in a very interesting world. Large groups of black men do not protest carrying that kind of fire power – even in open carry states – precisely because they know they will be arrested at the very least, if not shot. Philando Castille was killed by a police office after identifying himself as a lawful concealed carry permit holder, while reaching for said permit after he told the officer he was reaching to get his ID and permit out. All over the internet black men are posting about how scared they are to wear masks – a CDC recommendation – because their lived experience tells them it increases the danger they will be killed because they will be mistaken for criminals.

                But yes, because Michigan is an open carry state we should allow – and not question or push back on or shame – white men for bringing heavy weaponry to a protest. What do you suppose the purpose of that weaponry was?Report

              • Aaron David in reply to Philip H says:

                What the heck are you jibber-jabbering about now?

                You make up some BS about black people protesting, move on to someone killed by police during a traffic stop years ago in another state, and talk masks as if that had something to do with your original line of made up BS, and then try to correlate that with an irrational fear of guns?

                Dude, step away from the bong.


              • Brandon Berg in reply to Philip H says:

                Black men similarly gathered would ost likely be dead before this picture could be taken.

                I get that a lot of people on the left really want this to be true, but black open carry protests are a thing, and to the best of my knowledge have never had an officer-involved shooting:


      • Slade the Leveller in reply to Aaron David says:

        The Founders could have saved themselves a lot of time and just written the Commerce Clause. That’s all anything ever comes down to.Report

  7. North says:

    I’m no Christian but the phrase “Ye shall know them by their fruits.” springs to mind. These governors will reap a harvest of either corpses or of economic improvement with this policy. It’ll be interesting to see how it turns out. Personally, with the state of testing and health infrastructure in the US I’d think they’re more likely to end up with corpses.Report

  8. Chip Daniels says:

    CDC director warns second wave of coronavirus this winter could be worse

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

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

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

    But millions of people calling in sick, hundreds of thousands hospitalized, and tens of thousands dead won’t harm the economy, I’m thinking.Report

    • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      CDC director warns second wave of coronavirus this winter could be worse

      This is the sort of “expert” statement that seems deeply self-interested.

      In the winter a large number of social butterflies (we need a different phrase) will be immune (including the medical community), some of the people most subject to death from this will be dead.

      The vent crisis will be long gone. The Protective Equipment industry will be humming so professional quality PE will be easy to get. We will have a MUCH better idea on how to treat this and what works and what doesn’t.

      So our conclusion should be that we need to spend vastly more money on this expert’s field. You know, because science.Report

      • InMD in reply to Dark Matter says:

        This seems bizarrely optimistic and backwards. The federal bureaucracy has beclowned itself and I’m for accountability. We need to figure out how to do better now that we’ve seen how unprepared we were for a totally foreseeable event, that thankfully, maybe, won’t turn out to be as bad as it could’ve been. So just the opposite of total complacency, assuming the best instead of preparing for the worst, etc.Report

      • Stillwater in reply to Dark Matter says:

        Is it “deeply self-interested” to note that the second wave of the Spanish Flu was more deadly than the first?Report

        • InMD in reply to Stillwater says:

          Redfield is right about that but he still ought to be fired. If he had any character he would resign for the CDC’s role in the testing fiasco.Report

        • Dark Matter in reply to Stillwater says:

          Is it “deeply self-interested” to note that the second wave of the Spanish Flu was more deadly than the first?

          Yes, unless you preface that by explaining how WW1 created that.

          This increased severity has been attributed to the circumstances of the First World War.[104] In civilian life, natural selection favors a mild strain. Those who get very ill stay home, and those mildly ill continue with their lives, preferentially spreading the mild strain. In the trenches, natural selection was reversed. Soldiers with a mild strain stayed where they were, while the severely ill were sent on crowded trains to crowded field hospitals, spreading the deadlier virus.

      • Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter says:

        “In the winter a large number of social butterflies …will be immune…”

        What causes you to say such a thing?Report

        • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          “In the winter a large number of social butterflies …will be immune…”

          What causes you to say such a thing?

          Because all of this virus’ relatives work on a “get it and you’re immune for a few years and strongly resistant for much longer”, and some very high level experts in this field have claimed they think the “get it again” reports are errors in the testing.

          Ergo the huge percentage of NY cops who are out sick with the virus (which doesn’t include the others who got it and never realised it) will be immune in 6 months. Ditto the meat workers, ditto the medical professionals.

          • DensityDuck in reply to Dark Matter says:

            you’re citing “there were errors in testing” as a reason we shouldn’t be worried?


            that’s what I don’t get about so many of these arguments, it’s “well we don’t REALLY know who has it”, “we don’t REALLY know what it does”, “we don’t REALLY KNOW how severe it REALLY IS”…and these are all rolled out as reasons we shouldn’t still be staying inside?

            I mean, they seem more like reasons to nail your goddamn door shut for the next six months…Report

            • Dark Matter in reply to DensityDuck says:

              these are all rolled out as reasons we shouldn’t still be staying inside?

              The original “2.2 million people dead” now looks seriously wrong. We know more than we did then.

              There are known costs for staying inside.

              California Rep. Tom McClintock put it well: “How many of the 1.8 million new cancers each year in the United States will go undetected for months because routine screenings and appointments have been postponed? How many heart, kidney, liver, and pulmonary illnesses will fester while people’s lives are on hold? How many suicides or domestic homicides will occur as families watch their livelihoods evaporate before their eyes? How many drug and alcohol deaths can we expect as Americans stew in their homes under police-enforced indefinite home detention orders? How many new cases of obesity-related diabetes and heart disease will emerge as Americans are banished from outdoor recreation and instead spend their idle days within a few steps of the refrigerator?”

              [From the] the United Nations: “The economic hardship experienced by families as a result of the global economic downturn could result in hundreds of thousands of additional child deaths in 2020, reversing the last 2 to 3 years of progress in reducing infant mortality within a single year.”


              This is not to say that we should do nothing, but the cost of halting the economy are EXTREMELY high and should be evaluated. This virus should be thought of as an extremely bad flu and not “The Stand”.Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to Dark Matter says:

                “The original “2.2 million people dead” now looks seriously wrong.”

                Ah yes, the usual “they said if we didn’t X then we’d all die, and we did X, and we didn’t die, that means we didn’t need to X” reasoning.

                “This is not to say that we should do nothing, but the cost of halting the economy are EXTREMELY high and should be evaluated. ”


                “I’m not saying we should do nothing, I’m just asking whether we’ve considered doing nothing?

                “This virus should be thought of as an extremely bad flu”

                flu doesn’t make otherwise healthy 30-year-olds stroke out, broReport

              • Dark Matter in reply to DensityDuck says:

                flu doesn’t make otherwise healthy 30-year-olds stroke out, bro

                Two years ago the flu killed a healthy 21 year old guy who was winning trophies for his fitness and becoming a professional personal trainer.

                We hear about healthy people dying from illness because it’s so unusual and scary. Effectively it’s a negative lottery ticket. The typical person to die from the flu, or this virus, is old and has multiple serious health problems.

                There are exceptions. They’re tragic. But that’s cherry picking, not the big picture.

                Trying to present winning the lottery as the expected outcome distorts data and makes for bad choices.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter says:

                Cherry picking data is foolish.

                Please stop.Report

  9. DavidTC says:

    Here in Georgia, we’re reopening bowling alleys and tattooist and hair dressers and massage therapists. You know, the things people can’t live without.

    People don’t want to go to work. I know that’s what they’re saying, but it’s not true. What’s actually happening is that people (The very few people who protest this stuff, which is, statistically, no one.) feel inconvenienced from being able to _shop_, so want OTHER PEOPLE to go to work. The actual white collar workers, the people protesting, they’re not going to be back at work. They just want to be able to get a haircut and their nails done, and go see a movie.

    And, of course, you can only get unemployment if you actually can’t work, not if work is extremely risky so you _choose_ not to work.

    Of course…it’s not actually _legal_ for workplaces to make people work in extremely dangerous situations, it wouldn’t be legal to make people work in a setting where they had a 1%, or even a 0.1%, chance of serious injury (1) or death. But…I guess OSHA mysteriously doesn’t govern your workplace directing you to touch the bare skin of people who could be could carrying a contagious disease and not know it. I guess that’s legal now?

    1) For some reason, everyone keeps downplaying the health risks of COVID-19 and _only_ cares about death. This disease does a _lot_ of bad things, permanently. It’s causing lung and heart damage, there’s that Broadway actor who had to have his LEG AMPUTATED, which is kinda weird for something everyone is pretending is just like the flu, and if you recover you’ll be fine. But of course, it’s not like the flu, and you might not be fine. This pandemic is going to cause health problems for decades, people have compared this to the next polio.

    But let’s focus only on the deaths!Report

    • Philip H in reply to DavidTC says:

      Rich people are getting hurt by this pandemic in the most logical and important way – in their wallets. Because we have created a myth in the US that wealth = virtuous/good/leader, they think they deserve the money they are not getting. And so they are driving the economy to a different albeit no less harsh brink by trying to reopen things.

      Just look at Amazon. A company that is still open, still making huge profits is running ads thanking their workers for risking their lives to work – all the while not paying them nearly enough, not giving them health care coverage, and firing them for daring to try to organize and collectively bargain. They could give said healthcare coverage for the price of that ad campaign, but companies view labor as no more then another expendible resource.

      But rather then protest that, semi-rich, well armed white people are allegedly upset about not being able to get a latte while having their nails done in a movie theatre.Report

  10. Saul Degraw says:

    The big problem with the “re-open” the economy thing is it assumes people will come out in mass again as soon as it is business “as usual”. There is nothing that supports this. In fact, restaurant, travel, and hotel bookings seemingly skyrocketed down well before the stay in place orders. What is going to happen when places reopen and no one shows up? Is Trump going to force us to bars at gunpoint?

    • Stillwater in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Iowa strikes me as a good counterexample to some of the “re-open” arguments. No lockdown, no shutdown, no stay-in-place orders, and yet

      Iowa Division of Labor reported Thursday that 67,334 unemployment claims were filed between March 29 and April 4. … Of those claims, 64,187 were initial claims made by residents who also work in IowaReport

  11. JS says:

    Abbot is re-opening Texas and Patrick has decided to double down on “Kill Grandma for the economy”.

    Meanwhile, Harris County (Houston) is issuing a 30-day public mask order today.Report

  12. The only sensible orders would be “We will allow businesses to reopen if these medical thresholds are met. These steps (masking, distancing, disinfecting) must be taken. Violators will face shutdowns, fines, and/or imprisonment.”

    Naturally, the GOP plans include none of this. The party of suicidal stupidity.Report

    • DensityDuck in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      you say “why don’t the plans include mask laws” and I’ll see you and raise “because lots of states made wearing masks in public illegal as an anti-KKK measure, and at least as late as February of this year people thought that was a good idea”Report

      • From the linked piece:

        It’s currently illegal in the city to wear a mask under a number of circumstances, notably to avoid identification while engaging in illegal activities. But the law, which dates back to 1982, also says mask-wearing is prohibited if the wearer intends to intimidate or threaten another person, or if they try to deprive someone of other rights guaranteed by law.

        Neither of which apply. And the piece is about masked white supremnacists marching and not being arrested.Report

        • DensityDuck in reply to Mike Schilling says:

          “And the piece is about…”

          Do you want me to find more pieces? Here’s a nice big list.

          And saying “well THUH ARTUCUL WAS UBBOWT THE KAY KAY KAY” isn’t as trenchant a point as you seem to think, because mask laws being about the KKK is what I wrote, so, congratulations you agree with me?

          And you’ll keep whining that these laws leave plenty of room for discretion about the intent of the mask-wearer, and I’ll respond by pointing to Driving While Black and snickering about your faith in the discretion of police officers.Report