Straight Dope Message Board

Straight Dope Message Board (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/index.php)
-   The Quarantine Zone (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/forumdisplay.php?f=41)
-   -   COVID 19 QUARANTINE - Good of the few vs Good of the many? (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=892350)

phxjcc 03-22-2020 09:34 PM

COVID 19 QUARANTINE - Good of the few vs Good of the many?
 
Trying to be objective here.

Just numbers...

If we have 20% unemployment that is 30 million people out of work.
(Cite: DLS)

If we have 60% infected and 1% mortality, that is 1.8 million deaths.
If you go with 40%, obviously reduced by 33%.

Yeah, yeah, yeah--round numbers for now, ok?

So, to be a heartless pragmatist engineer/math geek..WTH are we ruining 30 million lives (probably more like 3x this amount due to families being affected, but let's keep it simple) to save 2 million?

Make your mortality 4%, the numbers still don't work.

...and in case you are about to castigate me for saying this...with my health status I have two strikes against me, and am a slow runner, facing Nolan Ryan in his prime.

'S plain Lucy, please.

Gorsnak 03-22-2020 09:37 PM

Being out of work for a few months or even a year isn't ruining a life.

septimus 03-22-2020 10:14 PM

Funerals have mourners. Most of us have loved ones whose deaths would upset us more than lost wages.

A serious pandemic may prompt us to re-evaluate our personal values, and values of our society.

UDS 03-22-2020 10:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gorsnak (Post 22204713)
Being out of work for a few months or even a year isn't ruining a life.

And it can be made even less serious by spending more public money supporting those out of work during the current crisis.

It's beyond bizarre that anyone seeking to protect people from the hardships of unemployment would think of "let millions die!" as a solution before "provide proper social supports like, e.g. Nordic countries!"

PastTense 03-22-2020 10:50 PM

A big factor in the economy is consumer confidence. When consumer confidence is non-existent--because people are dying all over they are going to do very little spending beyond the essentials. So they are not going to buy a nicer house, nor a new car (unless the old one falls apart).

And people are going to do very few leisure activities from travel to a night out at the restaurant if there is a possibility of getting COVID-19 and dying.

So there will be huge unemployment even if the OP's policy is followed.

As to the 2 million people dying, no one knows if it will include them.

Stranger On A Train 03-22-2020 11:01 PM

This notion that if we just let the virus burn through the population, kill whomever it is going to kill, and then return to life pre-2020 is patent nonsense. There are going to be serious economic consequences regardless of what we do because of impact on the global supply system, and we need to start making the kind of changes to make our economy, medical system, and society in general more robust against this kind of epidemic because it is not a one time event. The only surprise here is that it took this long for a global pandemic to break out, and one caused by an influenza outbreak or viral hemorrhagic fever could easily have a mortality an order of magnitude greater.

Stranger

Aspenglow 03-22-2020 11:07 PM

Oh, good. I was just going to check and see if there is still an available seat on the ice floe.

Stranger On A Train 03-22-2020 11:07 PM

This notion that if we just let the virus burn through the population, kill whomever it is going to kill, and then return to life pre-2020 is patent nonsense. There are going to be serious economic consequences regardless of what we do because of impact on the global supply system, and we need to start making the kind of changes to make our economy, medical system, and society in general more robust against this kind of epidemic because it is not a one time event. The only surprise here is that it took this long for a global pandemic to break out, and one caused by an influenza outbreak or viral hemorrhagic fever could easily have a mortality an order of magnitude greater.

Stranger

panache45 03-22-2020 11:08 PM

My husband and I are both in a high-risk group, and are self-quarantining.

We are doing this, both to protect ourselves and to protect society.

In this case, the good of the few (or the one) is no different from the good of the many. And THE RISK TO THE FEW (OR THE ONE) IS NO DIFFERENT FROM THE RISK TO THE MANY. IT'S EXACTLY THE SAME THING.

RioRico 03-22-2020 11:19 PM

Burning through the population will drastically cut the number of US Senators and the GOP demographic, a benefit for the rest of us. Many trailer parks will be left empty, to be profitably developed; overall rents will fall because housing surplus. Right-wing media outlets will go dark because no audience. Mortuaries will boom. I'll inherit more if I last the year.

RioRico 03-22-2020 11:23 PM

Burning through the population will drastically cut the number of US Senators and the GOP demographic, a benefit for the rest of us. Many trailer parks will be left empty, to be profitably developed; overall rents will fall because housing surplus. Right-wing media outlets will go dark because no audience. Mortuaries will boom. I'll inherit more if I last the year. Send me all your money before you die too.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:19 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2019 STM Reader, LLC.