This week the debate and commentary focused on models. Why were the models so wrong? Why is New York nowhere near capacity? Why are hospitals so empty? Why are the models revised down and down? Why are they changing every day and for the better? This shifted to the open up now versus stay locked down contest. An entertaining faux email exchange as a post was between a staunch re-open now advocate and a Frenchman. They are nuanced individuals but even their post was stuck in the false choice. Ctrl+F “masks”. Never once mentioned. I am fine re-opening in May if the government and big businesses provide the masks. Masks for all, Masks in May.
Every state has three weeks, but really they have had over a month to plan this out. The moment they said two week lockdown, they should have put plans in motion to provide citizens with masks, surgical or not, for when things re-open. This is not hard. Anecdotal evidence shows many businesses switching to PPE production. Find businesses and make the orders. Make masks mandatory. This is the way it is working in Asia. We can replicate that success. The masses are likely re-calibrating their brains from “masks don’t work” to “CDC said masks are good”. This process will take three weeks to complete.
Re-opening can be done on a state by state basis, and can still protect target groups. Does Kentucky or West Virginia have the same risk as New York? No. Does upstate New York have the same risk as the Westchester to Long Island? No. The real risk for Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire are New Yorkers opening up vacation homes and summer cabins early. Those who are high risk and the elderly should remain under stay at home orders. This could even be something the over 65 crowd, if they live at home, can opt out of if they wish. Boomers are going to take risks, and if they do and die, it is their choice. Their kids can be angry with them, but it is only if they elect to go out. Still, everyone should mask up while the storm passes.
In a weird way, this is like the early days of HIV/AIDS. When AIDS was a three year death sentence (pre-’95), there were advocates, even gay ones, who would say “If we all wear condoms and cut back on sex, this will burn out in three years”. If we wear masks, isolate the infected and contact trace, this will burn out. Life will adapt. We will move on. The 2017-2018 flu season killed 60,000 people, caused hospital overloads and no one ever brings it up.
Those models… it plays into the whole media hysteria. This has been horribly mismanaged by our institutions. Besides his silly Boomer obsession with the stock market early on, I cannot fault Trump much. I do fault a media landscape that was obsessed with impeachment and witnesses when our corner of the web was on corona, but flipped to the sky is falling in March. I do fault the medical community screaming “get a flu shot” or “the flu is worse” for months and then at the flip of a switch screamed millions dead. I do fault CDC bureaucrats and FDA administrators creating dangerous hold ups. FDA must go away.
These same experts are behind those high models. They likely padded them so numbers could come in lower, and we would call them heroic geniuses for their efforts. People have rallied around Dr. Fauci despite him saying take a cruise if you want on March 9th. One cannot say social distancing caused the drop in numbers because the models already accounted for lockdowns. They already were factored in. The truth is, no one had a good handle on what this virus would or could do because of the fog of war. The original source for information was China. They’ve been lying about GDP for decades. No one but the most naive Westerner, who lead us, would believe their numbers. For the first month or so Singapore, which had a handful of cases, was a great source for information. Italy’s experience did not help as much because their numbers were in such stark contrast to China’s. Even now as the curve bends, Italy’s CFR is much higher than China’s, even double what Wuhan itself officially had. Let us move past the model failure and work on solutions for re-opening. Masks in May.
On to the links…
Tracing without big surveillance – This is the fight for the surveillance push. These guys lay out why we can do this in a decentralized way and not with the government or Google keeping all of that data in their hands for our every move.
The Kettlebell Shortage – Everyone joined home gym crew but had to resort to push ups and kettlebell workouts. The kettlebells did not come.
Colleges May Go Broke – Colleges face an uncertain future. Keep in mind all those foreign kids who paid full tuition from China may never come back. This will push many colleges to the breaking point. Good riddance.
The euro may die (take 12) – Repeat after me: you cannot make a common currency without free easy movement of labor and a robust fiscal mechanism to make up for regional recessions. The EU tried their best with the euro and some people knew it would fail. The Netherlands looks to be the problem now, I have seen reports of the same with Germany, but these cheap misers do not get that you have to sacrifice a little to help those you supposedly want to ally with. The north destroyed Greece (and others) only to pass bailouts to bondholders in Greenwich, CT. At this point, I would welcome a Med revolt and destruction of the North.
US Companies are leaving China – Corona accelerates this trend, and decoupling will keep going. Quote from Forbes, “Sorry, Davos Man. Your China-led globalization is going out of style like bell bottoms“. That is in Forbes, not here.
State financial blues – Illinois is not prepared for corona fallout. This is not just Illinois. Add in Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey and California. Years of terrible financial trends may be exacerbated by what corona causes. The reckoning approaches.
Systemic Decay – Razib Khan on the state of the American state. It is not pretty.
Globalism Over… No really – The Atlantic has two articles that talk up the current world order being over. They offer a platform to a writer saying that Trump might be right about China. The great pivot that the Pentagon wants against China is happening. Everyone is getting on-board, slowly.
Zero HP on Maps – Zero writes on the world we are creating. He hits every note correctly. It is mentioned in the first line, but I’d advise everyone to stop saying dissident right. Normie right has drifted our way. Most of our ideas and beliefs have been proven correct by corona-chan. She is a harsh mistress, but not to those who know the true laws of nature. Zero is right how we can build a map that will overtake the corrupt old world, and this is undeniable. Cultural trends are stirring that come out of our realm because their world is so dead and empty. Theirs stops being the realm that even they pay attention to, and ours swallows them up. There was an article on some wing of lift bros who are raw egg nationalists. The media paid attention, oh dear, they noticed us! No, you have it the wrong way around. The media was hungry for something, anything new and exciting. They finally caught up to a trend that was real and out there. Stop trying to appease and appeal to them. They do not matter.