Why can't people understand this (covid protocols and policies vs reality)

This is something I see frequently in the media eg on Dec 12 (dates made up for example purposes) your local political leader says that you are permitted small gatherings of X people in your backyard; on Dec 14 same political leader states that the situation has gotten worse and that said gatherings are not permitted. Cue the various statements that the citizenry is “confused” by this.

Here’s the deal IMHO: from the start of this thing until herd immunity is achieved the numbers don’t matter in determining what we should or should not do. In my example above, between Dec 12 and 14 nothing actually changed except for the politician’s statements. It’s not difficult actually - wear a damn mask when you’re with other people, try to keep a two metre distance and avoid gatherings. These fundamentals don’t change and covid will always do covid things, regardless of policy.

Why is this so difficult for people?

Because this is 'Murica, and how DARE you tell me what to do!

In all seriousness, you are 100% right. What we should have done is gone into a strict shutdown nationwide for 2 weeks as soon as the virus appeared and then followed the measures you proposed, again nationwide, at all times. When the virus rears its head in a community, that community shuts down again, and in the meantime everyone else follows protocol. We would have very few dead and honestly much less economic damage. But for political reasons, American politicians only think as far as the next poll, especially during election season. So very bad decisions were made so that no one would have to take responsibility and deliver the bad news.

If it makes you feel any better, you folks aren’t alone in this. We’ve got the same thing in Canada, though not as intensely as you folks. In Quebec, several weeks ago, our premier announced a “moral contract” in which “Families can see their loved ones in groups of up to 10 from Dec. 24 to 27 as long as current restrictions are followed and other conditions met.” Nine days later he rescinded the policy because the curve wasn’t flattened enough or some such thing, even though nothing had actually functionally/biologically changed.

Meanwhile the populace doesn’t know how to behave because they’re all confused.

“I take responsibility for telling the nation to do X, Y, and Z which will cause a lot of short term economic damage but provide long term stability and save many lives” is less attractive to politicians than “I do nothing; the situation gets worse overall but I cannot be blamed”. Until we change our democratic institutions to ensure the incentives acting on politicians push them to put the national long term interest first, we will continue dealing with disaster after disaster in the most asinine way possible.

Upon what do you base these assumptions?

A basic understanding of germ theory and exponential growth.

Eta: as well as lots of expert opinions.

I recently heard a term that sums it up: hostile individualism. It’s basically an attitude of ‘I don’t wanna, you can’t make me and fuck you for trying.’

:roll_eyes: A basic understanding of germ theory doesn’t tell you jack about a proper lockdown length or even if a lockdown is required. And New Zealand’s lockdown was a month, not two weeks, so what experts are saying they over did it?

Thank you for confirming that this is indeed difficult for people.

Your statement was ridiculous. Please point to an expert who says a two week lockdown and vigilance would have made this a nothing burger. Please do.

Please point to where I said that, first.

There you go.

But that’s not true. The numbers do matter. One of the factors that influences the probability that various activities will spread the infection—or that local hospitals will become overwhelmed and run out of room—is the number of people who are infected in a given county or region.

Yep, I did say that. There’s a far cry between “very few deaths” compared to our current national disaster, as well as

In other words, I predicted serious economic damage (but less than the current haphazard approach) and very few deaths compared to now. I don’t see how that qualifies as a “nothing burger”.

So are you going to come up with the experts and germ theory basics that back your assertion?

Since you seem to have no idea what my assertion is, no thanks, I won’t play this game with you.

One way to do that is not responding when you have nothing to say. A tip for future conversations.

For everyone who is actually interested in discussion, here is an article from June that looked at the disastrous numbers in the US (100,000! What an unimaginable tragedy!) compared to other countries and at what sort of responses each nation took, and how those correlate to COVID deaths.

Sorry but I should have clarified that. What you’ve stated is absolutely true to the extent that that’s the only way the numbers matter - and that’s absolutely critical. What I meant to focus on, however, is regardless of the numbers, and until we have achieved herd immunity, a politician’s statement about how we should behave is irrelevant - eg if a 2k daily death toll in the US drops to 1k daily, that doesn’t mean that we can suddenly start to party hearty. It only means that things are a bit more manageable for health care workers.

Real-world example: on the news a couple of weeks ago the Ontario gov’t tightened the rules about social gatherings, after which I saw a “man in the street” interview in which the interviewee was complaining about the change in policy. My complaint is that the public should use their brains and behave in accordance with how covid behaves, not what the gov’t says.

So are you of the opinion that with diligence and fast action, the US could posibly have been standing at about 3000 covid deaths at the moment?