If you focused more on a constructive discussion than an immediate kneejerk reaction to anyone with a view that differs from yours, you would notice that I never said the current measures were wrong or should be removed. The furthest I went in definitive claims was that we couldn't keep restrictions this tough going all the way until we have a vaccine in 18 months. And I wholly stand by that statement.
1) "it isn't necessarily right to aim for the minimum possible amount of lives lost, depending on what that entails for the economy." - Teeqoz
What you are pointing out isn't a counter argument to what I'm saying.. I just said that the economic impact can't be totally ignored. Do you seriously disagree with that statement? Take Norway - we have a $1Tn sovereign wealth fund. If we threw all economic considerations out the window, we could use all those 1000 billion dollars for medical research and purchasing medical supplies. But no one would suggest that, because it's ridiculous.
I didn't say exactly where I'd draw the line, but we can look at some other cases to get an idea.
(You are danish so this should be perfectly readable)
Anyway, what that article shows is that in the Norwegian public health system, if a treatment costs more than about $100k per "good year of life" it saves, it likely won't cover treatment - the amount of good you could do with that money elsewhere outweigh the benefits. That is a rather on the nose case because it puts a very concrete monetary value to something that is very hard to value. It does however illustrate that we already weighed economic considerations against human lives before Covid-19. But $100k per good year of life is probably a good measuring stick for acceptable economic damage, though it feels wrong to put such a concrete economic figure on something like that.
2) "That isn't how society operates when it comes to any cause of death, be it influenza, traffic or anything else." - Teeqoz
^ virus deaths 500+ (today(USA)) > homicides + suicides + motor vehicle accidents + all drug and alcohol overdoses combined (daily avg).
To give you a concrete answer, heart disease and cancer do. Though that's not really the important part.
This pandemic will very likely kill many times more people than traffic, suicides etc. this year. Consequently, the acceptable economic damage to fight this pandemic is much higher than the acceptable economic damage for fighting those causes of death. That still doesn't mean that everything goes and economic considerations are out the window.
3) "Restrictions to reduce death rates from anything have to take into account the economic effects of those restrictions - Covid19 is no different."
No country will maintain a full lockdown til we have a vaccine. If you remember, I don't disagree with these restrictions for now because we need to buy time for the health system to temporarily increase capacity for when the inevitable peak arrives. But we can't lock down society completely for the many months or even year(s) it will take to get complete control of this virus.
As for slowing the spread - you can do that without a complete lockdown. You can have more preventative measures for risk groups. You can still maintain social distancing, just to a lower degree. People will still have to be more vigilant with personal hygiene. These are all effective measures for flattening the curve. Which is what we are trying to do.
4) "The current widespread lockdown is a stop-gap to give health services more time to prepare, both by finding possible treatment methods (there are already some promising therapeutics), gathering supplies like ventilators and PPE, acquiring temporary emergency hospital beds and planning for the eventual peak. We can't shut down to this degree until we have a vaccine which, according to the Imperial College study, would be the only way we could avoid a majority of the population getting infected. Social distancing and extra hygiene will be continued for months, but not the countrywide business shutdowns and extreme social distancing we are doing right now." - Teeqoz
I don't understand what part of my logic you find erroneous. We are buying extra time for health services to prepare for a huge influx of Covid-19 patients that will arrive when the pandemic peaks. That's what we should be doing right now - and it's what we are doing. Which part do you feel is wrong?Last edited by Teeqoz - on 29 March 2020