Skip to main content

Global response to the Covid-19 pandemic can be summarized in panic, quarantine, social distancing, lock down and shutdown. This is objectively stupid. I tell you why, and I’ll explain what would be or would have been a wiser and less costly reaction.

I do not advocate the “let 1% of people die and get it over with”. Even one life matters and if there is anything we can do to save even one person, we should damn well do it. HOWEVER, people and nations are not thinking straight. And those who can and are in power, usually belong to the wealthy echelone of society who can quarantine themselves a month or two in their vacation home. So they wouldn’t even want to take the 1% or less chance (depending on your age). The current measures lead to more death and agony, especially for the poor and unprivileged.

As an extreme example, let’s consider a shit hole country like the US, with no social safety net including universal health care, paid leave or guaranteed unemployment insurance. When you go full lockdown, the majority of poor people either lose their jobs (and possibly insurance), and/or have extra costs to deal with (expensive groceries, medications, etc.). This misery not only leads to more deaths, but also to more criminality, diseases, violence, etc. The costs on the society is enormous.

Now let’s take a look at the fatality statistics (reference):

confirmed cases
all cases
80+ years old21.9%14.8%
70-79 years old8.0%
60-69 years old3.6%
50-59 years old1.3%
40-49 years old0.4%
30-39 years old0.2%
20-29 years old0.2%
10-19 years old0.2%
0-9 years oldno fatalities

As it tellingly demonstrates, the chances of dying for people under 50 is below 0.5%. On average 0.25%, which is 1 in 250. Now let’s compare this with other causes of death (reference):

Opioids: One in 96

Falls: One in 114

Gun shots (in the US): One in 150 (40000 per year, 0.01%)

Pedestrian deaths: One in 556

Even cancer has only four times bigger death tolls than Corona per year, meaning if the pandemic lasts for four years and EVERYBODY gets it, we will have the same fatalities from cancer compared to Corona (10 million per year).

So we have one assumption and one fact:

Assumption: lock downs lead to more death and misery

Fact: Chances of getting the disease is not high compare to other causes of death

Unfortunately, as far as I know there is no study to compare the fatalities of both scenarios (with and without lock down). Anyway, in a few years we will have the numbers.

So now what should we do as an alternative? I believe every country needs to proceed with the following plan:

1- Start building Corona-customized hospitals and training staff specifically to treat Corona patients. I’m sure checking the ventilators and bringing patients their medications and checking up on the is not rocket science and can be learned in a short time.

2- Start building ventilators to help severe cases and reduce death.

3- Have a full quarantine in place for people older than 50.

4- Have strong social programs to help those older people in quarantine.

That’s it! You don’t need to be a genius to see that the cost of this action plans is waaaaay less than the current cost of undiscriminating lock down that leads to economic and social catastrophe.

Anyway, we are leaving in a world where 1% is doing whatever it wants for its own benefit and the rest have to suck it up. For now, they have panicked and are sacrificing everyone else for their own safety. Nothing to be done so far but be disappointed on the level of cruelty from the 1% and level of stupidity and conform from the rest.

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Pujan Ziaie says:

    A relevant conversation I had on facebook:
    Justin >>
    Stay at home.
    This is not a government conspiracy.
    This is not an assault on your freedoms.
    This is us looking out for each other.
    Please don’t let your family, friends, and social circle learn that lesson the hard way like this man did.
    If you still want to defy the *social contract* we are all trying to have with one another, I wish you luck that you get to anecdotally say “I went out and about and myself and my family are just fine” and you get to live in your confirmation bias that you weren’t one of the ones affected and therefore it wasn’t a big deal.
    If you catch it, fine. If you pass it on to someone else, I’ll have no sympathy for you, only for your victims.
    Pujanito >>
    Quarantine old people over 50 and make young people bring them food and train volunteers to take care of Corona patients. THAT is how you take care of each other without fucking normal people’s lives. Putting healthy people in Quarantine for a 0.2% fatality rate is dumb and authoritarian and causes more deaths and misery especially for poor people.
    Justin >>
    But you youngins cant be trusted not to kill grampa!
    Given what we knew about the virus at the time, the quarantine was the right decision, but I partially agree with you that now that we have a reasonable body of statistics we can make some reasonabl… See More
    Naaman >>
    Sweden tried that. Didn’t work. They have the highest death and infection rate of Nordics.

    · Reply · 1d
    Pujanito >>
    Naaman Freden, Thanks for sharing Naaman. There are two faulty points that I see in your example. First is crucial and second is an assumption. First ist, if you compare the cases in Sweden against Finland and Denmark specifically, you need to count in other factors such as percentage of expats, which is 50% higher in Sweden (15%) compared the other two (10&9%). This might be a crucial factor. But the fundamental and more important issue is that what I meant was strict but “targeted” measures, not “light” measures. According to the article you cited, “government’s strategy, which has entailed urging citizens to take personal responsibility for following physical distancing guidelines rather than strictly enforcing mandatory rules”. This is not my recommended approach, which is to go hard on actually endangered population (50+) and go soft on those who are less than 2-3% likely to die if they get it. Moreover, apparently injecting plasma of survived patients helps those with critical conditions. That means, younger people can literally become live vaccines if they get the virus and help those who are less immune. And the economy and social life will go on with less destructive disruption. Hope I made my point clear. 🙂 Cheers

Leave a Reply