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comment by mk
mk  ·  8 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: What Young, Healthy People Have to Fear From COVID-19

    Above all, I am now happy to socialize in-person with friends. I am happy to let my children play with other kids. I am also willing to not only eat take-out food, but dine in restaurants.

That is his behavior, that if generalized, would have the effect of increasing risk for all.

    Isn't it more important that the response be "effective" rather than "swift and uniform"? Swift and uniform adherence to bad practices won't help.

In the case of a pandemic, the effective response is a a swift and uniform one.





wasoxygen  ·  8 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Fair, given the alternatives of isolating kids at home and letting them socialize, the latter plausibly has the consequence of increasing risk of spreading disease. Isolating kids at home for months has negative consequences as well.

Socializing has always entailed the risk of spreading disease, and we had to find a balance. The risk has graver consequences this year, so we should make adjustments.

There are different ways of letting kids socialize. You can take them to an amusement park and let them run around with strangers, or you can try podding, allowing your kids to play with kids from selected families you trust. Cost-benefit analysis is a way to decide which of these alternatives is the best balance.

Dining in a restaurant might increase risk of spreading disease more than getting take out, at the cost of less enjoyment of life and less employment for restaurant staff. In my few recent experiences, the extraordinary precautions taken in restaurants make me doubt the risk is very high: disposable utensils, seating spread out, all staff wearing masks and maintaining distance, surfaces sanitized between seatings rather than the usual wipedown with a germ rag.

Plenty of restaurant workers are out of a job now. That's a definite risk to their life quality and health. Perhaps the best solution is a stimulus check. That entails a non-zero risk of hastening an economic meltdown caused by unsustainable debt.

These trade-offs are all around, and we have to find balances.

    In the case of a pandemic, the effective response is a a swift an uniform one.

Swift and uniform sounds great if you are doing the right thing. How do you figure that out, if not by carefully weighing the evidence and considering all the pros and cons? Telling everyone to leave the masks to the professionals was a bad call, no matter how swiftly and uniformly the advice was followed.

If there is a shortage of PPE, we should prioritize protecting elderly people. That's not a uniform response, it's tailored to the risk. Cost-effectiveness should be the standard (where costs are not financial, but overall benefit and harm).