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Tuesday, April 7, 2020
The Missing Links
Friends, today I bring you a very interesting analysis of the pandemic conundrum. Check it out:
If the author is right, then many of our extreme measures in dealing with the coronavirus were, if not exactly unnecessary, at least disproportional to the risk that most people bear. Along those lines, note the graph above, which clearly demonstrates that, if you want to people to live (rather than die), making them poor is a very bad way to go about it! And make no mistake -- the effect many of these extreme measures will be a rise in poverty, unemployment, bankruptcy, and despair.
It strikes me that we're making enormous decisions about shutting down the country, and spending and borrowing vast sums of money, based on very incomplete data. What will the excess mortality of this pandemic be? That is, how many of its victims would have died anyway, and at roughly the same time? How deadly is the disease, i.e. what is its true mortality rate? And, to figure that out, we'd have to know how many people already have it -- and, months into the pandemic, we still haven't made much progress answering that simple question!
In the final analysis, the rosier analyses like the one above may turn out to be correct, or they may be incorrect, but the fact is that much of our pandemic strategy is just...a stab in the dark. We deserve better than that.