The Wuhan virus—how are we doing? - Page 24 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15112967
Doug64 wrote:Whoever said that the Republicans plan "to put kids back in school like everything was normal"? All the schools reopening I've heard of include precautions, more than really necessary so far as I can tell (at least so far as the kids are concerned--like any other essential workers, the teachers need more).


https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ta ... f=bffbsoml


    A Georgia School District Has To Quarantine More Than 900 People Over Fears Of Coronavirus Exposure

    A week after reopening its schools, the Cherokee County School District mandated a two-week quarantine for 925 students and staff following coronavirus cases.

    Tasneem Nashrulla
    BuzzFeed News Reporter
    Posted on August 11, 2020, at 8:55 p.m. ET

    ...article continues....

And I see that you ignored my point about the increase in cases of slightly less than a million, not including staff and caregivers.

Like you ignored my request my evidence that children would not be affected. We now see that about a million kids would be affected.

And you also ignored my request for this supposed lapse on my part that you use to excuse any burden of proof on your part.

More science:

https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavir ... -1.5030231

    Children over age 10 spread COVID-19 as much as adults, study finds

    TORONTO -- A new study has found that older children transmit the novel coronavirus to others as well as adults do, contradicting the perception that COVID-19 affects all young people less than it does the elderly.

    The study, released Thursday by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reported that children up to age 10 spread COVID-19 much less than adults do. However, children aged 10 to 19 were just as likely as adults to transmit the virus to someone else.

    South Korean researchers identified 5,706 people who were the first in their households to report COVID-19 symptoms between Jan. 20 and March 27, along with 59,073 individuals they had come into contact with. Researchers tested all of the household contacts of each patient, regardless of symptoms, but only tested symptomatic contacts outside the household

    ...article continues...

Here is the link to the study mentioned in the article:
https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/10/20-1315_article
#15113026
Pants-of-dog wrote:https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/tasneemnashrulla/georgia-school-reopening-quarantine-covid?utm_source=dynamic&utm_campaign=bffbsoml&ref=bffbsoml


    A Georgia School District Has To Quarantine More Than 900 People Over Fears Of Coronavirus Exposure

    A week after reopening its schools, the Cherokee County School District mandated a two-week quarantine for 925 students and staff following coronavirus cases.

    Tasneem Nashrulla
    BuzzFeed News Reporter
    Posted on August 11, 2020, at 8:55 p.m. ET

    ...article continues....

And I see that you ignored my point about the increase in cases of slightly less than a million, not including staff and caregivers.

Leaving aside whether the number of new cases you’re talking about is accurate, seeing how the number of new cases includes everyone that tests positive without so much as a sniffle I don’t consider it all that significant. In the case of the 900 quarantined, how many deaths are we talking about? How many hospitalizations? How many even that reported any symptoms? In other words, how many actually got sick? According to your article there were 59 positive tests of students and staff among a school district of 30,000. Breakdowns of ages isn’t provided, and apparently there were no hospitalizations, much less deaths. So, in the absence of a vaccine, how are we supposed to achieve herd immunity?
#15113067
@Doug64

Your opinion on whether or not these cases are significant is irrelevant.

As usual, you ignored the point: opening schools will result in a significant increase in cases and deaths.

If herd immunity is the goal, then you have to wait for a vaccine. Letting people catch it, and letting a number of them get sick and die, is not a solution. Unless you think sacrificing lives for the sake of the economy is a moral thing.
#15113128
@Pants-of-dog Letting people catch it, and letting a number of them get sick and die, is not a solution. Unless you think sacrificing lives for the sake of the economy is a moral thing.


He does think that. He had doubled down on it repeatedly. It is the official policy of the Republican Party.
#15113135
Pants-of-dog wrote:@Doug64

Your opinion on whether or not these cases are significant is irrelevant.

Your opinion is irrelevant.

Pants-of-dog wrote:As usual, you ignored the point: opening schools will result in a significant increase in cases and deaths.

No such evidence. Your opinion is irrelevant.

Pants-of-dog wrote:If herd immunity is the goal, then you have to wait for a vaccine. Letting people catch it, and letting a number of them get sick and die, is not a solution. Unless you think sacrificing lives for the sake of the economy is a moral thing.

Herd immunity has been happening for centuries before anyone even thought of vaccines. The main way of getting herd immunity when I was young was parents deliberately exposing their children to others with a disease during the summer so they would get it and be over it before school started. It had nothing to do with sacrificing lives to get herd immunity.
#15113147
Tell us about the Black Plague and how herd immunity helped them, @Hindsite. (75 to 200 million deaths)

How did herd immunity save people from the Spanish Flu? (I guess it didn't save 50 million)

How did the natives of all the Americas fare with their herd immunity against Smallpox? (Smallpox killed off about 90% of them.)

Herd immunity is not something you can even have with every disease. There's still no evidence that it's possible with Covid-19, as many medical articles have been written, saying this.

The only thing you are actually doing is showing us all how very little you know.
#15113155
Letting people catch it, and letting a number of them get sick and die,

Drlee wrote:It is the official policy of the Republican Party.

That's a filthy lie, show us a link to where that is the official policy of the Republican Party.
#15113198
Herd immunity has been happening for centuries before anyone even thought of vaccines. The main way of getting herd immunity when I was young was parents deliberately exposing their children to others with a disease during the summer so they would get it and be over it before school started. It had nothing to do with sacrificing lives to get herd immunity.


Well. Here is no surprise. You do not know what herd immunity is.
#15113200
These surprisingly relevant vintage ads show how officials tried to convince people to wear masks after many refused during the 1918 flu pandemic
Image'

Mask-wearing was enforced during the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, but many refused, citing the government mandates as threats to their civil liberties.

Men needed more convincing to wear masks than did women.

Men didn't practice proper personal hygiene and also thought wearing masks was too feminine, so public health officials set forth to rebrand personal hygiene as a display of red-blooded patriotism.

Men and boys were primarily depicted in public health advertisements and cartoons during the 1918 pandemic when the Spanish flu swept the nation.
#15113243
More science:

https://nationalpost.com/news/world/nea ... -late-july

    Nearly 100,000 new cases of COVID-19 reported among U.S. children in last two weeks of July

    Though COVID-19 is still surging in much of the country, many parents are eager to get their kids back in classes.

    Author of the article:Bloomberg News

    Coronavirus infections among U.S. children grew 40 per cent in the last half of July, according to a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association, bringing the total number of child infections to 8.8 per cent of all U.S. cases.

    The report, which aggregates data from 49 states, comes amid heated debate over whether schools should re-open in the fall. While the surge of infections contradicts President Donald Trump’s assertion that kids are “virtually immune,” the data also show that child infections make up a disproportionately small share of the overall outbreak in the U.S.

    According to CNN, a recent study conducted in South Korea suggests children between the ages of 10 and 19 can transmit the virus just as much as adults.

    Results from another, smaller study conducted in Illinois suggest that children younger than five carry high viral loads, making them potentially important drivers of transmission.

    Last week, a seven-year-old boy in Georgia became the youngest person to die of COVID-19 in that state. He had no pre-existing conditions. Two Florida teenagers also died earlier this month, bringing that state’s total number of minors who have died in relation to coronavirus to seven.

    Especially vulnerable are Black and Hispanic children, who are impacted more severely and have higher rates of infections, hospitalizations, and COVID-19 related complications, research published recently by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows. Rates of hospitalization were found to be highest among Hispanic children, 16.4 per 100,000 people, followed by Black children at 10.5 per 100,000. The rate of hospitalization for white children was 2.1 per 100,000.

    Though COVID-19 is still surging in much of the country, many parents are eager to get their kids back in classes. Some schools that have already resumed classes have experienced outbreaks amid scenes of kids crowded together without wearing masks, raising fears that a full nationwide re-opening in September will cause a new spike of infection.

    The study by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association said 97,078 new child cases were reported from July 16-30, bringing the total number since the pandemic began to 338,982. The range of ages varied from state to state, with some including an age limit as high as 24.

    California, Florida and Arizona had the highest number of total child cases in the U.S., with more than 20,000 each, the report found. By population, Arizona had the highest count, with more than 1,000 cases per 100,000 children, more than double the national average of 447.

    Deaths among U.S. children from COVID-19 total 86, only 0.06 per cent of total fatalities in the country and 0.03 per cent of infections among children.

...and...

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamape ... le/2768952

    Age-Related Differences in Nasopharyngeal Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Levels in Patients With Mild to Moderate Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

    Taylor Heald-Sargent, MD, PhD1; William J. Muller, MD, PhD1,2; Xiaotian Zheng, MD, PhD1,2; et al Jason Rippe, JD1; Ami B. Patel, MD, MPH1,2; Larry K. Kociolek, MD, MSCI1,2

    Children are susceptible to infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) but generally present with mild symptoms compared with adults.1 Children drive spread of respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses in the population,2 but data on children as sources of SARS-CoV-2 spread are sparse.

    Early reports did not find strong evidence of children as major contributors to SARS-CoV-2 spread,3 but school closures early in pandemic responses thwarted larger-scale investigations of schools as a source of community transmission. As public health systems look to reopen schools and day cares, understanding transmission potential in children will be important to guide public health measures. Here, we report that replication of SARS-CoV-2 in older children leads to similar levels of viral nucleic acid as adults, but significantly greater amounts of viral nucleic acid are detected in children younger than 5 years.

    Methods
    Between March 23 and April 27, 2020, we performed SARS-CoV-2 reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on nasopharyngeal swabs collected at various inpatient, outpatient, emergency department, and drive-through testing sites at a pediatric tertiary medical center in Chicago, Illinois. The Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Institutional Review Board provided an exemption and full waiver of HIPAA authorization and informed consent. A Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments–certified laboratory analyzed samples using a US Food and Drug Administration Emergency Use Authorization PCR assay (Abbot RealTime SARS-CoV-2 Assay performed on the m2000 RealTime System [Abbott Laboratories]). PCR amplification cycle threshold (CT) values were recorded, with lower values indicating higher amounts of viral nucleic acid.

    This cohort included all individuals aged younger than 1 month to 65 years who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Patients with symptoms suggestive of a COVID-19–compatible illness and/or high-risk exposures were tested. We included the first sample tested for patients with multiple samples. Because patients with severe infection have lower CT values,4 we excluded 7 children who required supplemental oxygen support. We also excluded 7 asymptomatic patients, 29 patients with unknown duration of symptoms, and 19 patients whose symptoms started more than 1 week prior to testing. Swabs were collected using a standard bilateral nasopharyngeal sampling procedure. Several controls, including samples with known copy numbers, were included in each PCR run. Median and interquartile ranges for each group were measured and compared using the nonparametric Wilcoxon rank sum test. Two-sided P values less than .05 were considered statistically significant. Analyses were performed using Stata/IC statistical software version 16.0 (StataCorp).

    Results
    Our final cohort included 145 patients with mild to moderate illness within 1 week of symptom onset. We compared 3 groups: young children younger than 5 years (n = 46), older children aged 5 to 17 years (n = 51), and adults aged 18 to 65 years (n = 48). We found similar median (interquartile range) CT values for older children (11.1 [6.3-15.7]) and adults (11.0 [6.9-17.5]). However, young children had significantly lower median (interquartile range) CT values (6.5 [4.8-12.0]), indicating that young children have equivalent or more viral nucleic acid in their upper respiratory tract compared with older children and adults (Figure). The observed differences in median CT values between young children and adults approximate a 10-fold to 100-fold greater amount of SARS-CoV-2 in the upper respiratory tract of young children. We performed a sensitivity analysis and observed a similar statistical difference between groups when including those with unknown symptom duration. Additionally, we identified only a very weak correlation between symptom duration and CT in the overall cohort (Spearman ρ = 0.22) and in each subgroup (young children, Spearman ρ = 0.20; older children, Spearman ρ = 0.19; and adults, Spearman ρ = 0.10).

    ......
#15113344
Godstud wrote:Tell us about the Black Plague and how herd immunity helped them, @Hindsite. (75 to 200 million deaths)

How did herd immunity save people from the Spanish Flu? (I guess it didn't save 50 million)

How did the natives of all the Americas fare with their herd immunity against Smallpox? (Smallpox killed off about 90% of them.)

Herd immunity is not something you can even have with every disease. There's still no evidence that it's possible with Covid-19, as many medical articles have been written, saying this.

The only thing you are actually doing is showing us all how very little you know.

Civilization is still here because of herd immunity.
#15113598
Here's the weekly update. Starting next week, there will be a change--the "New Deaths" and "Death Rate" will be measured in deaths per million, so that they can actually be compared.

Image

Pants-of-dog wrote:@Doug64

As usual, you ignored the point: opening schools will result in a significant increase in cases and deaths.

You ignored my point. Please provide evidence that having children attend school leads to anything close to a significant number of deaths, or even for that matter a significant number of hospitalizations. Your article has a total number of child cases at 338,982, while the CDC reports a total of 49 deaths since the beginning of February for children younger than fifteen, 58 less than the 107 that have died from the flu over the same period.

Not even the MSM(D) can ignore forever the patterns that are emerging:

Covid Spread Can’t Only Be Explained by Who’s Being ‘Bad’

    There are some weird things going on in the coronavirus data. It’s curious that cases dropped so fast, and have stayed pretty low, in the spring hot zones — New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. And why did cases remain so low in Idaho and Hawaii until recently?

    The mainstream narrative is that it’s all about good behavior when cases go down — mask wearing and giving up our social lives for the greater good. And conversely, bad behavior must be what makes them go up. We talk about certain regions having the virus “under control,” as if falling cases are purely a matter of will-power. A sort of moral reasoning is filling in for evidence.

    But why, then, have cases plummeted in Sweden, where mask wearing is a rarity?

    This is the time to use scientific methods to understand what’s happening. The pandemic has gone on long enough to reveal patterns in the way it spreads. If it’s all about behavior, that’s a testable hypothesis. If, as a few speculate, dramatic drops in some places have something to do with growing immunity in the population, we can also turn that into a testable hypothesis.

    “The issue with data is one can manipulate it to show anything you want if you have an agenda,” says YouYang Gu, an independent data scientist. Cherry picking is easy — prediction is much harder, and Gu is getting some attention for the fact that models he’s been creating since April actually forecast what’s happened with the spread of the disease in the U.S.

    He recently took to Twitter to urge public health officials to apply scientific thinking. He pointed to data on Louisiana, where cases were rising earlier in the summer and seemed to level off after various counties issued mask mandates.

    But breaking the data down by county, he says, revealed a different story. Mask mandates varied in their timing, but places that implemented them late saw no more cases or deaths than those that did so early. “I don’t think there’s currently enough evidence to support the fact that recent policy interventions (mask mandates, bar closures) were the main drivers behind the recent decrease in cases,” he wrote.

    That’s not to say that individual behavior doesn’t matter a lot — and the cancellation of big gatherings and other potential super-spreading events is more important than ever — but there may be more factors than we know driving the bigger picture.

    A few scientists are examining the possibility that previously hard-hit areas are now being affected by a buildup of immunity, even if it flies in the face of the widespread understanding that the disease has to run through at least 60% of the population to achieve so-called herd immunity. (So far, antibody tests show only some 10-20% of the U.S. population has had the disease.)

    The term herd immunity is a little vague in this context. It was created to characterize the impact of immunization. It refers to the percentage of the population that must get immunized in order for a pathogen to die out — a quantity that depends on the nature of the virus, the efficacy of the vaccine and the behavior of the hosts. If natural immunity is starting to help in some places, that would suggest herd immunity is a reasonable and worthy goal of an immunization program.

    But scientists have little experience applying herd immunity to a natural infection, and what understanding they have is changing. Scientists have started to investigate the possibility that there’s another critical factor here — heterogeneity in the way humans interact, and in our inherent, biological susceptibility to this disease.

    In a Science paper published in June, University of Stockholm mathematician Tom Britton and colleagues calculated that herd immunity might be reached after as few as 43% of a very heterogenous population becomes infected. People mix unevenly in a way that could lead to little pockets of immunity, slowing the spread of the virus long before the world achieves herd immunity.

    We may also be heterogeneous in our biology. A recent paper in Science suggests that many people who’ve never been infected with SARS-CoV-2 carry a kind of immune cell, called a T-cell, which recognizes this novel virus and may partially mitigate an infection. These cells may be left over from infections with related viruses — the coronaviruses that cause the common cold.

    While scientists who authored the paper warn that it doesn’t imply that people with pre-existing T-cells can’t get infected, they leave open the possibility that it might account for some of the vast variability in symptoms.

    Whatever the source of this heterogeneity, we know it exists. Most people on the contaminated cruise ship Diamond Princess remained uninfected, while others got asymptomatic infections and still others got severely ill.

    Those differences can inform disease models, says statistics professor Gabriela Gomes of the University of Strathclyde in Scotland. “What we see is that infections do not occur at random, but that people who are most susceptible to infection get exposed first,” she says, leaving a pool of ever-less susceptible people behind.

    So far, her predictions of the spread in the U.K., Belgium, Spain and Portugal have aligned well with reality. Her models showed small, shallow second peaks that would concentrate away from the places where the pandemic was most rampant last spring. For example, in Spain, the first outbreak was around Madrid, and now a smaller outbreak is happening around Catalonia.

    She says her models keep predicting declines after the infection reached between 10% and 35% of the population. That doesn’t mean the virus has gone away — only that by her models, it won’t explode in those same places again. Gu’s models, too, predict no big second waves in New York City or Stockholm, but leave open the possibility of new outbreaks in relatively unaffected areas, just as Hawaii is now fighting outbreaks and New Zealand has imposed a new, short lockdown.

    She says she didn’t expect to come up against resistance to her models in the scientific community. While she’s starting to get some attention in the media, she said journal editors told her that her modeling ideas, in preprint, posed the danger of making people feel entitled to relax their vigilance. Maybe the opposite is true, she suggests. Maybe censoring all but the most pessimistic views could discourage action by making the problem seem endless.

    The controversy mirrors one that took place a few years ago when renowned cancer researcher Bert Vogelstein dared to suggest that the very nature of cancer had a random element and therefore some people who did everything right would get cancer through bad luck. He was pilloried for the view, not because it was untrue, but because it was deemed a dangerous invitation for people to be bad.

    Public health in the United States has a tendency toward moralizing against indulgences. We were told obesity was caused by indulgence in high-fat food even though the evidence pointed elsewhere, and it took years to recognize that opioid addiction is a disease and not a sin. That attitude may be ingrained in the culture, but it shouldn’t get in the way of the search for the truth.
Last edited by Doug64 on 16 Aug 2020 04:37, edited 1 time in total.
#15113599
And yet again @Doug64 is demonstrating his killer Republican instinct. Never mind the spread of the disease as long as he can get his Big Mac without a mask and not have to pay the babysitter.

And you ignorant death numbers say nothing about lasting disability and the spread to vulnerable people. Republican death squads.

I hate unfeeling people. I hate killer worse.
#15113608
@Doug64

I provided evidence that you will have about a million new cases.

You ignored it,a s far as I can tell. I also provided evidence that schools are already closing.

I also provided evidence that kids as young as ten are just as contagious as adults.

Do you concede that opening schools like normal will result in about a million more cases in children, and that thisnwould then result in a significant amount of deaths in the families of these children?
#15113686
The Attempted COVID Coup of 2020

What history will record as the great COVID coup of 2020 is based on lies and fear manufactured by America’s ruling class—led by the Democratic Party and aided by the complaisance of most Republican politicians.

In March, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) presented the coronavirus to the Western world as a danger equivalent to the plague. But China’s experience, which its government obfuscated, had already shown that COVID-19 was much less like the plague and more like the flu. All that has happened since followed from falsifying this basic truth.

Americans were led to believe that the virus was unusually contagious, and that it would kill up to one in 20 persons it infected—a 5 percent infection/fatality rate (IFR). Today, we still lack definitive, direct knowledge of COVID-19’s true lethality. The absence of that knowledge allows bureaucrats to continue fearmongering.

By May, a host of studies in the U.S. and around the world showing that the vast majority of COVID cases cause mild symptoms or none, and showing the IFR to be equal to or lower than that for most flus, forced the CDC to conclude that the lethality rate, far from being 5 percent, was 0.26%––double that of a typical flu. Instead of amending their recommendations in the face of this reality, the CDC and the U.S. government tried to hide it by manipulating the definition and number of COVID “cases.”

Federal officials defined “cases” as people sick enough to be hospitalized who also tested positive for the virus—this represented the “curve” that we were urged to sacrifice so much to “flatten,” lest a wave of hospitalizations overwhelm our health-care system. That wave never came. The CDC and feds began labeling mere infections as “cases” and stopped reporting “cases” together with the number of deaths. They did this to frighten the inattentive public about “spiking COVID cases.” They also inflated the number of deaths attributed to COVID by including illnesses such as pneumonia and influenza and others into the death figures.

In reality, those who died with or of COVID-19 nearly always suffered from other diseases as well, such as Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and compromised lungs, in addition to being elderly and infirm. COVID-19’s effect on ordinary healthy persons is considerably milder than those of ordinary respiratory diseases.


COVID-19 is not America’s plague. There was never the slightest evidence that the virus could produce mass casualties; all evidence pointed in the opposite direction. Instead, the ruling class took this opportunity to extort the general public’s compliance with its agendas. Their claim to speak on behalf of “science” is an attempt to avoid being held accountable for the enormous harm that they are doing. They continue doing it because they want to hold on to the power the panic has brought them.

In sum, the lockdowns have been inflicted and perpetuated by people who care more about your subjugation than your health. They want to wreck the U.S. economy and increase the Democratic Party’s chances in the 2020 election. And they might succeed.

The 2016 election raised the possibility that the presidency’s enormous powers might be used to dismantle the ruling class’s network of prestige and privileges. In response, elites launched what has amounted to a “full court press” against the Trump administration, treating anything and everything about the administration as illegitimate. Despite their best efforts, the U.S. economy boomed. Trump’s approval ratings rose. As 2020 dawned and Trump seemed a cinch for reelection, the political left and its allies grasped for ways of damaging him.

COVID-19 was the perfect chance to produce, stoke, and maintain fear in pursuit of power. In short, the ruling class used the coronavirus to collapse American life. We are living through a coup d’état based on the oldest of ploys: declaring emergencies, suspending law and rights, and issuing arbitrary rules of behavior to excuse taking “full powers.”

Truth and clarity about the 2020 COVID coup are necessary for the United States to overcome its effects. Americans are anxious for truth about what happened—and what is still happening. The lies upon which this scam has been based are so substantively thin, and the resources for establishing the truth so abundant, that a few courageous leaders in key places may suffice.

For example, nothing is stopping the Senate from functioning as a truth commission regarding the COVID coup. Since the virus scam is based on lies and misrepresentations by persons of considerable power and prestige, expert questioning under oath before television cameras can let Americans judge for themselves why “medical experts” stigmatized those going to the beach and church—while not objecting, later, to the even greater numbers of Americans rioting in the streets.

State governors, as well, can provide practical leadership to motivate, guide, and legitimize life independent of our dysfunctional ruling class. Several U.S. states never shut down, while others reduced activities far less than the likes of California and New York. Like Sweden’s government, these states’ officials didn’t believe that COVID-19 was the plague and saw individual responsibility as the surest guarantee of safety for all. Indeed, the public would benefit from seeing these states’ governors defend their widely different perspectives on the COVID pandemic—and the results of their policies and decisions.

An honest reckoning, if we can get one, will reveal that the COVID-19 experience in America has only tangentially been about health. It has been, predominantly, a political campaign based on the pretense of health but dedicated to the maintenance of elite control—and it has done far more damage and caused more misery than the coronavirus itself.

Angelo Codevilla is a Senior Fellow of the Claremont Institute and professor emeritus of International Relations at Boston University. A version of this essay first appeared at The American Mind.


#15113693
How Politics Has Shaped Public Policy During Coronavirus

A look at the data

Everyone likes paying homage to “science,” deferring to it as the ultimate authority. The problem is that “science” is often more of an “art.” You frequently can find a “study” to support a point of view—regardless of how crazy it might seem.

This phenomenon interests me as a computational social scientist and strategist. In a study recently undertaken with Jonathan Rothwell at Gallup, we leveraged several months of nationally representative survey data covering 500-1,000 respondents per day who were asked about their beliefs about the pandemic.

Questions ranged from expected economic disruptions to their social distancing behavior. We linked these data with information about the number of COVID-19 infections and the unemployment rate at the county-level, together with a wide array of demographic characteristics about each person. We discovered that political affiliation emerged as the most important predictor of beliefs about the pandemic—more than local infections, age, race, and even whether an individual was unemployed in some cases!

If politics plays such a large role in forming beliefs about the pandemic at an individual-level, then what are the implications at a state and local level? We found that differences in political affiliation at a state-level explained many of the differences in the timing and types of state policy decisions. For example, a percentage point increase in the fraction of voters voting for Trump in the 2016 election is associated with a 1.2 percentage point decline in the probability that the state adopts a stay-at-home order. Moreover, increases in the number of state infections were not correlated with the passage of stay-at-home orders after controlling for the 2016 election vote share.

The problem is that the increasing polarization of the pandemic, and the resulting state and local responses, has led to worse policy decision-making.

Let me explain. Although some governors and mayors might say that they are making “data-driven decisions,” the actual data demonstrates decisions have been far from data-driven. Put bluntly, our results suggest that many of the public health policies, such as stay-at-home orders and non-essential business closures, have had little effect in mitigating the virus over the longer run. They have, however, generated significant economic consequences. Instead, more middle-of-the-road policies, such as mask mandates, appear to have had more success in combating the virus with limited economic damage.

One of the areas in which the increasing politicization of the pandemic response has been particularly problematic has been the reopening of schools. Given that 32% of workers have at least one child under the age of 14, reopening the economy requires a sustainable solution for parents with young children—online learning is not a serious and scalable option at these young ages.

Unfortunately, the adoption of stay-at-home orders has had significant adverse effects on the market for child care. In additional research with Chris Herbst and Umair Ali, we found that the adoption of these recent laws led to a 16% decline in early care and education (ECE) job postings. Moreover, even though job postings for the rest of the economy have recovered to trend, ECE job postings remain depressed at 30% of their trend levels. Although there have been some signs of improvement, the reality is that the market for child care has been hit hard, making it difficult for many parents to maintain their usual hours at work while simultaneously caring for their children.

Increasing evidence has emerged indicating children are at much lower risk of contracting and spreading the virus, according to both the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal. And yet, opposition against school reopening remains vociferous. For example, teacher unions have voiced their opposition to school reopening (they also, in an ironic paradox, are against too much remote teaching). However, even if we keep schools closed, we have to cope with the adverse effects on childhood development and the resulting long-term scarring effects on these children that stems from cutting off their learning pipeline and access to socialization in particularly important developmental years.

Unfortunately, many of the current decisions at state and local levels have been driven by politics, rather than data. The fact that we’re in an election year also does not help. But, by drawing attention to inconsistencies and sub-optimal decision-making, constituents can hold their lawmakers accountable and vote them out of office in the election if they so choose.

The United States has so much potential when its citizens unite and work through challenges together. If we can jettison the partisanship and drill down to the core issues, we can make meaningful steps forward. Even if these steps forward don’t solve all our problems, we’ll be in a better position if they just solve a few problems one-by-one, starting with the looming issue of reopening schools in the fall and integrating students back into the classroom.

Christos A. Makridis is an assistant research professor at Arizona State University, a non-resident fellow at Baylor University, and a senior adviser at Gallup.

#15113723
America should be looking abroad for alternatives in education

Maybe n Sept., October a lot of classes could be given outdoors, but there will come a time when the weather will make that difficult. Alturnatives, eg Scandinavian teaching schedules should be explored.

Remember, covid 19 extends to other issues, eg respiratory complaints that can result in life long problems which could cost societies more than they can afford for health care.
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A max speed of 400 km/h - A Chinese train maker r[…]

Election 2020

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