A forgotten principle of public policy reform: focus on failure and you will get failure, focus on success and you will get success. Looking at the past two months of our state responses to the coronavirus, it is time to revive that idea.
There’s one state in America that has a larger elderly population than New York, that is more ethnically diverse than New York, and that has two million more people than New York. Yet its death rate from COVID-19 is 5 percent that of New York. That state is Florida.
The tale of these two states, New York and Florida, illustrates that perhaps the media should have been less adulatory of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and given Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis more attention. Instead, the facts and statistics reveal the media got this backward.
In March, Florida was projected to be the second-worst state for COVID-19 deaths, with predictions of 174 per day and a total of nearly 7,000 by the end of the summer. Nothing like this has transpired and it will not come to pass.
Meanwhile, Cuomo’s daily press briefings have been covered in full, and he has been lauded as everything from “The Golden Governor” to “The Politician of the Moment.” DeSantis, however, receives headlines such as “Florida Governor Issues Coronavirus Stay at Home Order After Heavy Criticism” and “Florida Governor Keeps Hitting New Lows In the Battle Against Coronavirus.”
Yet while New York kept chalking up bigger and bigger infection rates and deaths, Florida contained its problems early and without the heavy hand so many urged.
While one might be tempted to point out the ways in which New York and Florida are different, and there are differences, a few things of a comparative nature are not well-understood. As is well documented, the most vulnerable population for the coronavirus is in the 65-plus age group.
Only one state has a higher percentage of elder Americans living in it than Florida — Maine. In Florida, that population constitutes over 20 percent of the state. In New York, it’s just over 16 percent. Florida is also more ethnically diverse than New York. While 17 percent of Florida’s population is African-American and New York’s is just under 18 percent, Florida’s Hispanic population is 26 percent to New York’s 19.2. Florida is also a much more populous state than New York with about two million more residents.
But Florida has done well with the coronavirus, as the media is quiet to report, while New York has not. Of the 55,425 COVID-19 deaths in America, New York (with over 22,000 deaths) is responsible for over 40 percent while Florida (with nearly 1,100 deaths) is responsible for just under 2 percent. Yet, Florida shut down its state much later than New York, almost two weeks later. And there was much criticism for its delay. The shutdown in Florida was also much less severe than New York’s. Florida did not close churches and synagogues, nor did it order the shuttering of most of its beaches.
What DeSantis did do was take a much more vertical approach to the virus than others, like Cuomo. In early March, DeSantis put out targeted and preventative messaging to his elder population, advising them to stay at home. In places like The Villages (home to over 125,000 retirees), DeSantis implemented golf-cart drive-through coronavirus testing. He deployed the National Guard to help institute testing in the state’s nursing homes where, unlike New York, older COVID-19 patients were not sent.
Early on, DeSantis suspended visitation and ordered staff screening at long-term care facilities. He also dispatched millions of masks and gloves and hundreds of thousands of face shields and gowns, also known as personal protective equipment, to nursing homes and other centers caring for the elderly. These actions, among others, led Florida to a 93 percent better per capita long-term care facility death rate than New York.
Florida’s worst day was nearly two weeks ago with 72 deaths, and its total deaths are seven times less than predicted. Indeed, Florida has 94 percent less the per capita COVID-19 death rate than New York. Still, DeSantis was being criticized for being late in his “shutdown.” Wrong: It wasn’t late, it was targeted to the vulnerable population, and was less restrictive overall.
We also know the Governor of Florida is not crying to get his ass wiped at every turn.
Most of the Spring Break petri-dish beach-party-goers left Florida for other states shortly after sharing any viruses they were carrying with one another.
And you have hard and fast evidence that those “Spring Break petri-dish beach-party-goers” were not only infected, but infected anyone else where?
At least Ron DeSantis didn’t cause the deaths of seniors citizens like Cuomo did.
From FOX 13, Tampa Bay – Outlook for COVID-19 in Florida’s long-term care facilities worsens as new data emerges
…because Who needs the statistics when a politician tells us we’re doing much better?
How silly to waste your time comparing apples (New York) to oranges (Florida). The two are as different as night and day.
What REALLY matters is the dynamic driving the now upward revisions in the death estimates, which in April progressed first from 60,000 to 65,000 and now to 75,000.
The reason for these changes is our brilliant president, who encouraged our states to speed up their “opening” before it was prudent to do so. The sheep that follow and take as gospel Trump’s every word did exactly as commanded, and infections and deaths are already ticking back up as a result. These additional deaths will be on Trump’s hands.
A curve that has “flattened” doesn’t mean that the war is over, it just means that you have slowed the inevitable, and any relaxation of defensive posture invites more deaths quicker. I was in favor of letting states open as they wanted, confident that some would open too soon and prove what the experts have warned, and now that is exactly what is happening. And it’s not like the experts were guessing – other countries already went through this fatal exercise and we saw what happened to them. It’s not like we weren’t warned.
It’s too soon to know just how many this Trump-inspired relaxation will kill. The number might well end up within the range of the original estimates (100,000 to 240,000), and the deaths likely will not end this summer. Remember that the original estimate was for the pandemic total, not an annual tally.
The problem is that Trump STILL doesn’t see COVID-19 as the really bad, “silent enemy” that he likes to call it. He sees it first and foremost as a threat to his reelection, not because of the deaths it brings to Americans, but because of the damage it can do to the health of the economy that his reelection depends on. That callous calculation will kill tens of thousands of additional innocent Americans, and if DEAR GOD has any say in the matter, Trump won’t get reelected anyway.
@Greg: https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/96dd742462124fa0b38ddedb9b25e429 Its all there look for yourself. A well designed site.
The residence of the elderly were educated many of them would have a relative that died from the Spanish flu.
@Greg: And yet there was no explosion of cases. Hmmm….
I think the difference point more towards the source, not the reaction. NYC is more of a port of entry than Florida and received an heavy dose of the virus from China before they finally admitted it was transmitted between humans.
Notably, Florida seems to have used the Sweden model… and it served them quite well.
All that was garbage, partisan rhetoric, and easily dismissed. I know you can be more objective about this. Sheep? Understand that when a Left-winger says that, all they are saying is “I’m pissed my team didn’t win!!!” That’s it. We got Clinton, then Bush, then Obama. It’s Trump’s turn, and no…his voters aren’t going to concede to silly partisan rhetoric the Left gives for why they get to just pull him from office. No they don’t. They get to compete in an election. That’s how it works. Me not agreeing with silly, childish Left-wingers still upset that the normal balance of Right/Left Presidents is playing itself out doesn’t make me “sheep”.
You got your president….I get mine now. Deal with it.
Is that based on science, or just hope? Is this about the truth, or just making Trump look bad? When you offer a silly statement like that, you can and will pin any further death on Trump, and for your stated predetermined reasons. Trump has to make a decision. That it’s “too soon” is too suspect to partisan motivations. That’s why all us “Trump Cultists” aren’t listening.
I’m watching my community die. Out of work, businesses going out. Is it worth it? The people saying that are all Democrat Politicians and paid Lefty elites. CNN anchors who are ACTUALLY INFECTED AND OUT AROUND OTHER PEOPLE!
People die, George. The government’s job is to help with public safety, but not use that as an excuse for tyranny. It’s real job is ensure our freedoms, and that includes our freedoms to live during a pandemic. What you imply by saying an opening is “too soon” is that only Left-leaning bureaucrats get to decide what “too soon” is and they get to control us in the meantime. No thank you. Trump will go down in history positively for this, because he could have grabbed SO MUCH power from this crisis, and hasn’t. He’s instead upheld out rule of law. That’s what Dems/Leftists are pissed about. This is a good time to make people poor and get them “communized”. It’s true.
Trump’s re-election is already guaranteed, as is the keeping of the Senate by Republicans. Because of the on-going soft coup attempts by Pelosi/Schiff et al, the House will most likely flip as well.
No, he’s just not using it as an excuse to undermine the economy and hand the Democrat party all of his power so they can f*ck us all over. No sh*t.
And we’re still good! Sorry. I’m hearing the same stuff from Leftist news outlets, and I really wonder if Left-leaning people understand how compromised they are, even if they think they are the “smart” ones among us.
Your statement wasn’t your usual thoughtful comment, and I’d respect if you told me why it’s “too soon” while addressing how to prevent a Depression, rather than just calling Trump a poopy-head and all of us Trump supporters “sheep”.
I seem to remember when a certain political party plastered the nation in communist-style propaganda images of their candidate…there entire base being comprised of people who were invited to see what they wanted to see, not what the candidate’s actual policies were. That’s how you make people “sheep”. Not MAGA hats and results. That’s called winning.
@Nathan Blue: Looks like with Trump turning the tide against the virus and the economy, people like George are getting upset over seeing their great opportunity fading away. How can the dire predictions of disaster be forwarded on the same comment thread of a comparison between what happened in Florida compared to how NY was handled? The models were wrong, the predictions were wrong, the fear and panic was wrong and the criticisms of Trump were wrong. This really pisses people like Greg and George off.
That policy New York had of sending covid + cases back into nursing homes devastated the elderly population and their caregivers in those places.
But that policy is not the major difference between NY and FLA.
The overcrowding, the filth, the subway system in NY have each added layer upon layer of high-risk for infections for average New Yorkers.
In FLA trash cans are no more than 30 footsteps apart in much of the state.
Golf carts are safer than subways by far and streets are kept clean.
People who stay at home in NY are shocked by seeing rats IN THEIR HOMES.
Those same rats were also out on the streets eating filth before they came in to rummage thru residences’ food supplies and trash.
Even garbage disposals make a difference.
FLA has them, so standard that no one expects a residence to be without one.
NYCity only rarely have them in wealthy people’s homes.
Remember that brilliant Congresswoman AOC trying to figure out how to run her garbage disposal?
No matter what I say about Trump, it gets labeled “partisan rhetoric.” Every time you applaud what trump says or does, it’s no different from religion, since y’all take him for perfection and nothing less.
It was what trump’s hire – Dr. Anthony Fauci – said of the virus. No he didn’t lay the blame squarely at trump’s feet – I did that. But the numbers were his, and they’re not “partisan rhetoric.”
And I’m happy with that. Because the quicker “Trump Cultists” thin their own herd, the quicker… you know.
No, the NUMBERS tell us that, not the bureaucrats. And the numbers are already tacking back northward, causing Trump Administration projections to increase by an additional 15,000 deaths over the course of April. So what, other than Trump’s pressure to “OPEN,” is causing these spikes? Infected CNN journalists? ROFL!
There you have me. I don’t believe that we can have our cake and eat it too. I am convinced that our economic crisis will worsen as the summer comes and goes, and that in the fall and winter it will get a lot worse. I’m not making a political argument out of that prediction. It’s JUST a prediction. But I am sufficiently convinced to take additional preparatory steps with my own finances to prepare for it getting worse. Just letting you know.
I have no idea why the stock market hasn’t crashed depression-style already. Yeah, I hope I’m wrong, but I’m betting I’m not… And the really bad part is that I see no way to revive the economy over the next nine months WITHOUT killing 100,000 more people. Trump is ORDERING Meat Processors to NOT shut down. Some of them are already 50% sick. What is Trump planning to do, send in the National Guard to butcher pigs? Make sick workers come in to work until they have to go on ventilators? I don’t share your confidence that this virus is retreating and that the economy will rebound quickly. I think it will take years. If you are right, Trump gets reelected. If I’m right, he won’t. We’ll see.
One last point. I don’t listen to CNN and MSN “talk news” and I don’t listen to FOX talk news either. They are ALL ridiculously biased, and at the end of the day have nothing newsworthy to add. I listen to Trump’s “task force” circus (Trump often enough plays the clown, with a supporting cast of reporters suffering from distemper) and I read the statistics from the Administration’s own adjuncts. I don’t appreciate being characterized as a “troll” or a “parrot.” If I arrive at the same conclusion that occurs to someone else, that’s a happy coincidence and nothing more.
I respect that you have some different opinions, and I appreciate your usually civil exchanges. I also occasionally play at creative writing – my #32 “prayer” on a recent threat was such an example – and these aren’t meant so much to be informative as to be an answer to the incessant insulting that seems to carry the day here.
I’m not so sure that there’s much else to thrash out here, until the deaths top 100,000 or until the November election results are in hand. Good luck to us all, as I think we will need it.
” I also occasionally play at creative writing – my #32 “prayer” on a recent threat was such an example”
That post, on another thread, was not “creative,” It was mocking of Christians and those who believe in Christ. It was insulting and hateful. But then, George has little use for straights, conservatives, Trump supporters and Christians with a vileness that is absolute hatred.
Please, don’t respond to his remarks which are meant for only one thing; to pull you in so he can continue his rants against those he hates. He needs to be ignored and shunned.
Look, you hateful old witch, I return exactly what I receive, and you get from me what you deserve, no more and no less.
Here’s your next installment of “I told you so”:
Remember from who you heard of this drug first. From ME
Not from Trump’s clown lawyer.
Bwahahahahaha woo hahaha
Lawyer what lawyer hehehehehe
Our resident arrogant, pretentious, mocker of straights, conservatives and Christians hater seems to forget that I mentioned Remdesivir days ago along with the hydroxycholoroquine, z-pac and zinc protocol.
Maybe we can attribute his memory to his diabetes as he seems to claim that is why he leads such a hermetic lifestyle. Or maybe his personality prevents him from having friends.
Nitwit, I had it weeks ago.
Care to bet which of us posted that drug first?
@retire05: There were articles out on the drug in February before the clinical trials but a narcissist on a social media site alerted the world its hilarious. The good doctor has not mentioned any other trials on other treatments, the results are leaning in a positive way, but its new what will be the long term effects? Will this be the next ambulance chaser commercial we see 1-800-BAD DRUG?
I hope it works and cures everything including male pattern baldness. What will be the cost? when administered when is it most effective? Im sure George is practicing on what he calls creative writing, but wont answer what the hell he meant or was referring to with a lawyer.
No no, you just have to remind me you understand the whole picture here, which you do in the quote below:
Fair enough. My argument is that the deaths and the economic ruins are to be balanced. I don’t agree we wreck the economy to minimize all deaths.
We are losing seniors to isolation. That’s a FACT, and you won’t get it in the numbers. The lockdown is killing people in nursing homes, but at a much lower rate than if the virus got it. This is true. But understand, I really think this is a balancing act. The virus will spread regardless, and we need to test more for antibodies.
Thanks for discussing, George. You’re a good man. Let’s keep being good Americans, together.
I will enjoy your discussion of your statement:
First, this statement suggests that the options are either black or white, which you in other places seem to acknowledge is not the case. That is particularly important from the perspective of considering the dollar value of human life.
Specifically, I reference arguments that we should NEVER stoop to denominating life in dollar terms, yet your reluctance to pay more than a certain amount to save more than a limited number of lives seems to do just that.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m the first to agree that life is NOT sacred (if it is, it must be saved at any cost, true?) and I relish the chance to fix a dollar value on every life – never mind that some people go on to contribute immensely to society while others are worthless from the day they are born.
This is the calculus I am contemplating: If we DID actually manage to completely shut ourselves off from each other, I THINK that this virus could be eradicated – essentially removed from contact with the human genome. The economic cost of such an undertaking would dwarf what we have already paid for the measures we have already taken, but it would basically freeze VIRUS deaths from this source at somewhere short of, say, 80,000 Americans. (Forget the rest of the World – Trumps walls will keep them away, right?) If we just swing open all our doors (keeping the wall in place, of couse) and let ourselves go on as before, I THINK we’d lose as many as a million more, and the number could grow from there, depending on how many waves of the bug we end up enduring. Now, I can’t estimate how many people will die from economic hardship, but if we DON’T dismantle our social safety nets, most of THOSE deaths would be preventable. So you simply have to put a price on those million or so lives and decide how much you are willing to pay to KEEP them alive. If life is truly sacred, isn’t the cost – ANY cost – worth the price?
(I think that the answer should be “NO,” because I don’t BELIEVE in paying upwards of a million dollars to salvage drastically premature babies. But I thought that you’d pick a different answer to that question)
That’s what arrogant haters do
No, Nathan, he’s not a “good” man. Good people do not bash the religious beliefs of others. You need to take note that he never bashes Islam, only Christians.
Not to mention that he is certifiable. He says:
” I THINK that this virus could be eradicated – essentially removed from contact with the human genome. ”
Doing that completely eliminates the possibility of any achievement in herd immunity. The virus would rise again, as I think it will, and seek more low hanging fruit, i.e. the elderly especially. And he says:
” If we just swing open all our doors (keeping the wall in place, of couse) and let ourselves go on as before, I THINK we’d lose as many as a million more, and the number could grow from there, depending on how many waves of the bug we end up enduring.”
What he is saying is that the Chi-Com virus would be worse than the Spanish flu which racked up between 500,000 and 850,000 American deaths, with no mitigation and medical science being what it was then.
He also bases his comments on a person’s economic value. But what about the emotional value? The loss of a job creates residual effects; alcoholism, drug abuse, domestic violence, the list goes on.
We basically eliminated polio, yellow fever, mumps, measles, et al in the U.S. Those diseases didn’t just disappear, we found effective vaccines for each of those diseases. But those diseases still exist.
We need our nation to go back to work. Now. Not when people like George are no longer afraid to get out of their own back yard. Not everyone enjoys the privileges (monetary) that he does. Just ask him. He loves to brag.
Wrong, Darling. I’m an equal opportunity basher. I bash the Jews, I bash the Muslims, and yes, I bash the Christian religions I know well enough to bash. I DON’T bash Japanese or Indian faiths simply because I haven’t studied them thoroughly enough to appreciate their respective evils. Christian religions are another matter – their history is rife with all manner of human mischief undeserving of my respect. Some are better than others, and I have HERE applauded the Catholic Church for taking an informed approach to COVID-19. I can offer no similar accolade to Southern Baptists, who remain remarkably close-minded. Oh, and I certainly grant no safe harbor to athiests, as the logic of their position is fatally flawed. At least they don’t conduct crusades, something evidently ALL GODs require of their flocks.
But how cowardly not to address the value of life that your eagerness to go back to work so callously ignores. What’s the matter, have you no idea how to answer so simple a question?
@George Wells: Atheists certainly conduct crusades there are groups of them that go after anything that has to do with religion in a public place they do it quite religiously.
“Freedom from religion” is just one of theses anti jesus freak groups, they always seem to lose in court.
So you are wrong AGAIN.
Florida government is so much smarter than NY government.
I apologize for not specifying that I was using the term “crusade” in its historical sense, as in conflicts between Christian Europe and Islam. I have never considered legal battles over the various rights of Americans to be “crusades,” but I can see the logic in your rather loose interpretation of that term. Wasn’t it enough, though, that I explained my most serious objection to atheism? Do we ALL have to share exactly the same set of priorities, and must we list them ALL at every opportunity?
And as for whether or not Florida’s government is “smarter” than New York’s, I made no qualitative assertion either way on that question, and I’m not sure that it matters. We are NOT all created equal, no matter that our Founding Fathers claimed otherwise. I CHOOSE to limit pronouncements of that sort to easily quantifiable parameters, such as saying “Florida is WARMER than New York,” realizing even than that you will likely dispute that because I said it.
But why not visit the dilemma presented by the dollar valuation of live? Is that question simply too difficult to rationally address? I can’t BELIEVE that you have no opinion on it, but I CAN believe that your answer conflicts with other positions you hold. I suspect that Nathan Blue has the same problem. Many people who are quick to discount the value of lives lost to reopening the economy are the same people who rue aborting fetuses. I sense you are experiencing this conflict and are accordingly reluctant to discuss the matter.
@George Wells: I say you have no sense of me or my mind set. The lives lost if we open the economy, everyone has their time to cross over could be a bus crash could be a flu or a virus, a slip in the bathtub.
You live in constant fear, as do those that call the police on children playing in a park do. My niece was rammed with a shopping cart by a woman who screamed at her about the items in her cart, crazy bitch deemed them non-essential, it was clothing for her son. People need to be released from the fear, the constant “bring out your dead” body count. The economic ruin, unable to pay the bills that dont stop coming every month in the mail. Be cautious wash hands wear the mask so you dont cough or sneeze on someone else. Let the children play.
Let people work so they can pay bills and save for their old age. Catch the virus you will live or you wont.
These models are made by the same ones that model the weather, there are simply too many variables for them to ever be accurate, to shape policy by them is retarded.
You are evading the question.
@George Wells: Because you evade mine. If they dont work the will die of starvation massive poverty. Death isnt an option, none of us get out of this world alive ,the joke is on you. You have enough money to do what ever you wish, travel what ever and what do you do? Sit in fear, you dont live at all.
@George Wells: Hmmm…. you worry about someone putting a dollar value on a human life, yet you join in the Democrat cacophony of baseless criticism of Trump’s reaction to these crises and those who wish to extend and deepen the misery caused by the epidemic. The Democrat politicizing of this crisis has put lives at risk and probably cost lives. Yet you pretend to worry about “putting a dollar value on lives”. Sorry… simply doesn’t ring true.
Good. Two MORE refusals to address the really relevant question every American of every stripe should be concentrating on. RIGHT NOW!
Nathan Blue touched on the answer when he commented that the solution should be a balanced one. Yet he made no attempt to say where the “balance” should be or with what units it should be measured. Lives? Dollars? If you go into any encyclopedic table of weights and measures, you WON’T find a conversion factor that related lives to dollars or visa-versa. That’s the problem. WE have to buck up and make that call. YOU don’t have the courage to do that. Hell, you can’t even face the question!
I’m not “joining” either side on this question. Neither party wants to address it, BOTH preferring to throw money at it instead and kick the real problem down the road once again. Bravo for your soulless cowardice!
Maybe Nathan will return to shed some light on how he thinks his “balance” should be quantified. At least HE has the personal integrity to answer a question when asked. Not like Retire05, who prefers to obfuscate by lobbing childish insults when she simply can’t put together enough braincells to construct a rational thought. Surely ONE of you can do better.
@George Wells: I dont know if I can insult you better than Retire05 can. Deplorable are you up to this challenge? 😉
It is nice to finally know who I am talking to. People who waste their own time simply repeating their favorite three insults at every opportunity have nothing more than that to contribute and are thus worthless to anyone else. I am looking for people who are both willing and worth conversing with, and you’re not one of them. You clearly can’t or won’t carry your half of this exchange. I’m sorry I let you waste my time.
@George Wells: You still know nothing about me not a thing, you hide behind a single statement in long musings of hatred you are already dead cause you fear to live.
All the good governors opening up their states will do well, those that live in fear and lock their citizens down they will not. Beg for a tax payer bail out there will be such an outcry Trump wont sign it ever.
@kitt: I don’t need a bribe from Trump, and I sure don’t care whether governors open up their states or not – I’ve made that abundantly clear already, as anyone with a working brain will remember. And sorry to disappoint you, but you’re not worth hating. You’re just boring.
Thanks, George! Let me take a stab at that.
Firstly, the Lock-Downs were not to prevent death, but they were to slow the death rate. That is my understanding. Where I feel I differ with more Left-minded people, and this is huge, is that I don’t see the point of this, or of the government, to prevent death, disease, and all-around bad things. My Leftist friends really believe if they work hard enough, protest long enough, shame non-Leftists hard enough, the world will be perfect.
George, I know that’s not you. I’m just saying, the base issue is what people think the goal is.
I’ll not repeat lives vs. wrecking lives point. We all go that.
Metrics. Let’s take a look.
Loss of life first. The delay is buying us time to get better treatments. We here in Colorado “only” have a death a day, or none at all. That’s good.
But we’re losing seniors to isolation (for real), and we’re losing people to suicide, violence, and lack of medical treatment. It’s impossible to parse these out and blame them on the lockout, but they are there.
Now, quality of life…or having a life, I should say. The counties most hit in my state contain the highest populations of the poor, or other “cultures” if you will. The spread is because social distancing and masks are not taken seriously in those communities. So we know not doing these things does spread the disease.
But will it stop it from spreading, ultimately? The idea is that it will spread.
What we’re doing here is state to county to local. Each area is deciding how best to get people working and not spread the disease, excessively. I say that because it’s still spreading, even during the shut down.
The point is each person, family, town, and state has to decide what is best for their community, even if that means breaking the “rules”.
The metrics you seek, George, as we all do, are not possible, because this disease and it’s social effects are overlapping with other things. We don’t know how many people actually have it. We can’t trust the numbers from healthcare, because they have COVID on the brain.
So, we open up as much as possible, and and people get to make their own decisions. That’s the only way.
So, I’m supposed to go on vacation this summer. Things might be open..all that…BUT…I’m visiting family that’s over 70 and over 80. If I can’t get tested before hand, it would be WRONG to visit them in any capacity. But it’s up to me, and even if I don’t go there, I will go other places and spend my money…so our economy keeps working.
I believe in the individual, George. That’s my answer. The WH has been very, very clear about social distancing, masks, and what best to do…as far as our current info is concerned.
They are dumping milk, slaughtering livestock and throwing them away, and letting vegetables rot in the field.
We have to prevent a famine as we prevent outbreaks. It’s case by case, and individually determined.
First let me thank you for your “final take.” I feel guilty to have encouraged you to write so eloquently and at such length. While I am retired and have the time, perhaps you are not in that same boat.
I also am gratified that our respective understandings are essentially the same. Your analysis of why certain communities are more stricken than others is flawless.
One detail seemed to have been abridged, however, and I think that for our OTHER readers, it is worth mentioning. Your:
… is perfect as far as it goes, but needs the qualification that the whole point of leveling the curve is to give researchers enough time to develop treatments, cures and vaccines while they are still of value. If we waited for the elusive herd immunity to arrive, we’d likely lose a million of our most vulnerable.
I am particularly encouraged by the recent positive results of the initial Remdesivir trials. This drug may not cure all that much, but it DOES show significant activity and is a first step in managing a virus that we may never be able to actually kill. I am ALSO encouraged by the promising work being done on vaccines. These positive developments may actually put downward pressure on those statistics that have been spiking of late. This is better news than I’ve seen of late.
I am a bit disappointed with the loss of specialty crops you report. Meat-processing plants are understandably hot-beds of virus contagion, but an open field of beets (or marijuana) is not. Do the farm-hands live dangerously packed, or are they all trapped South of Trump’s wall? Otherwise, their essential jobs could be performed safely, so where are they?
Ultimately, we will see just what the cost of opening up will be. You are right that it is a matter of individual choice – I agree with that whole-heartedly. And I acknowledge that your state may be the perfect candidate for opening immediately. But some states are not, and some of them are opening anyway. I just hope that they don’t kill too many of their citizens in the process of discovering their steps were premature.
Thanks again for your fine discussion. I am honored by your favor. Stay safe, but also enjoy your summer vacation. I used to like going to Hawaii for a month each Winter, but diverted to Mexico when the flight from Honolulu to Virginia Beach became too tiring. Now Hawaii doesn’t want tourists, anyway, so Ppfffttt! to them.
Agreed, unequivocally. Buying time is essential, and that’s what we are doing. The lockout has undoubtedly saved people, but it’s a matter of how long we can sustain it, on that level.
As far as South of the Border, yes…that’s my understanding of the rotting crops; it’s all a matter of cost. No one to process it, and pack it. It’s not the farm hands…its the ones in the packaging plants…closed in the US.
But I digress.
Our state of Colorado isn’t the best to open immediately, I must say. We have real cases, and I know my family is doing what we can to stem the spread…while also living life the best we can.
What’s so horrible is how seemingly nebulous this disease is, and yet not. The “not my problem” attitude is quite vast, and must be resisted. I do believe that people can live through this pandemic due to the efforts of others. It’s not “inevitable”, per se…though I think I’ve said it was before.
As we’ve agreed, it’s up to individuals to much extent.
But as always, it’s an honor to discuss, George. I don’t have the answers. Wish I did.
I think a Summer of camping and mining tourmaline is in order for my family, so we’re safe.
NO SHIT!!!! You’re a ROCKHOUND!!!!
BINGO! I knew there was SOMETHING about you worth saving from the Dark Side of the Force!
Sixty five years ago, my parents took me and my 3-year-old brother to the Cowee Ruby Mines in the vicinity of Franklin, North Carolina, and upon my location of a really tiny bright red grain of corundum I was hooked for life. It was an impressionable age. Now because of my age, I am limited to wandering the many venues of the Tucson Gem and Mineral Shows, where I must pay dearly for what I find.
One of my best finds in Tucson was one of my first there – a black-skin Brazilian agate polished half that weighs about fifty pounds and has some of the nicest natural blues you could dream of. The source was long ago exhausted, but this classic treasure belonged to an old-time dealer/collector who had passed, and his wife was liquidating his personal collection. The fever never breaks… So, Mount Antero? Pikes Peak? What’s your favorite flavor?
On the vegetable front, I have a 1/4-acre veggie garden that I’ve been working for 40 years, so its soil is all black loamy sand of the best character, mulched each fall with a six-inch layer of chopped oak leaves, lightly limed before planting. Our Virginia weather permits lettuce, beets, spinach, turnips, kale and onions all winter, and now we’re pulling those as they bolt, in time to plant late crops like okra. The tomatoes are starting to set little fruits, and the potatoes are growing like gangbusters. So We’ll have plenty of veggies, and fishing is quite good within a few miles, though I haven’t taken the boat out yet. And it’s too early yet for crabs.
This is what I had hoped for here. Some enthusiasm. Some REAL communication. THANKS!
@George Wells: Just rockhounds in training! My daughter has a real interest and passion for it, so we’re getting out for our first real adventures this summer. Covid can’t get us if we’re lost in the mountains.
I’ve a good friend in the Gem and Mineral industry who gets most of his revenue from the “big one” in Tuscan, but this Covid strike is putting him out of business. Hard times for the industry.
We haven’t done much, but our big goal for this year is to stake a claim outside Gunnison…near the Brown Derby Mine. That’s SW of the Pike’s Peak by about 80 miles or so.
At the Denver Gem and Mineral show two years ago, we met a bona-fide miner who gave us lots of info on tourmaline mining. He’s into beryl of all kinds. I enjoy all of it…so much…and hope we can get it back going after we’re all safe.
And that image of Virginia…oh yes. I grew up in PA, so not too different. I can see and smell…all of that!
I also have a connection to that little disconnected part of Va…the Easter Shore, I think it’s called?
Chincoteague island..I did marine biology summer camps at Wallop’s when I was a teen, and know how to go crabbing with the best of them! Indeed, too early. My honeymoon was at the Island Manor House, if you can believe it.
And forgive these hastily written posts. Your fine command of the written language now demands a like response in turn, but this will have to do for now.
The agate sounds gorgeous! Always something that’s called me to the earth above other things. I love the ocean, but I belong among the rocks and peaks!
But back to the virus, I know that we’re having WAY less people die now in the ICUs here in Colorado. I think they just intubate right away, and have some better treatments.
All in all, I think things will be a nice balance of people following the rules and pushing back a little, where there is room too. Not so much a “movement” or anything, but just those little developments that happen when people…live.
A post-final take. Haha.
“Fine command”… don’t make me blush. It is enough that we can be real. Too bad others here can’t find the same path. It’s always been open.
On the Gem & Mineral front, I have two large cabinets that I LED-lit each shelf of, and they present my collection brilliantly. Too bad that the “finds” weren’t my own field discoveries, but sometimes the bought pieces were almost as exciting. Some years back, the Dorris family was mining several Colorado claims for amazonite & smoky quartz, and were frequently featured on one of the cable mining/prospecting shows. I ran into Joe Dorris set up at one of the Tucson shows and managed to buy a few of his modest selections – some of the “better” groupings run in the #25000 – $250000 range! Joe was REAL! I get the impression that the pegmatite veins they were working played out, and because their operation was equipment-costly, they stopped, though you can still find them online as “Pinnacle 5.” Joe was also set up at the main show at the end, and I was astounded at how the fast five-figure minerals were being gobbled up. I think they’re all gone now, kind of like the Sweet Home Mine rhodochrosite – that material is all out of the ground too. You can’t argue about the color, though… it’s the best.
On the virus front, it’s sounding like the death numbers are trending back toward 100,000, and the people pushing for opening up wide are gaining momentum. In Virginia, Tuesday reported 1378 new cases, Wednesday reported 2096, and Thursday reported 2612. Daily deaths are around 30 and now rising. I’m planning to lay low and let the dozers bury the rebels. It WOULD seem to be proving a point.
As for treatments and vaccines, the progress is encouraging, but it will remain to be seen whether or not they arrive fast enough to save the impatient ones. The rush does raise the prospect of attaining herd immunity too soon to test prospective vaccines, similar to the reason Ebola and SARS vaccine developments were halted – the epidemics spent themselves before the vaccines could be brought on line for trials. If there are no stampeding elephants, how can you prove that your elephant repellant works?
I hope Colorado is still as beautiful as it was when I spent several weeks there before college. Such mountains we don’t have here in the East. There are so many worse states to live in.
I would post my email address here if I thought some of the distempered ones wouldn’t abuse it, but you might not receive the same treatment. Otherwise, if you can tell me a way to send you some photos of my favorite minerals, I’d love to share.