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comment by b_b
b_b  ·  429 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: April 6, 2022

    All that said, the root pathogen remains COrona VIrus Disease, Variant 2019. Influenza varies in its nastiness every year, too, and there are three or four dominant strains per season.

And therein lies the folly of the China 0 Covid strategy. We can probably expect the same seasonal variation with covid over time basically in perpetuity at this point. It will be annoying but manageable, as flu season is. Are they planning on locking down Shanghai for like 30 years? Just until Xi dies? What's the endgame?

I can't access your FT link, but my basic point about confounders was there are so many things that go into the ultimate death rate, that at this point, it's probably impossible to account for all of them precisely. In the end it doesn't matter, because a low death rate is a low death rate, and hopefully on balance it will continue to wane. I also don't wear a mask unless it's mandatory at this point, and I can honestly say that the BA.2 variant is the first one that doesn't make me at all nervous. I think we've officially entered the endemic state and we'll just have to deal from now on.

kleinbl00  ·  429 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I finished rewatching Chernobyl last night. I figured it would be poignant in light of certain genocidal campaigns in and around the Near Abroad and I was correct. It is fundamentally a study in the tragedy of cronyism, in which a fundamentally unfair system rewards those who work the system best, not those who are best for the system.

The most natural approach to disaster within a command economy is "do whatever you can RIGHT NOW to solve the problem RIGHT NOW." The whole of the structure is reactive. COVID zero gave China a PR win after a PR disaster; no apparatchik in their right mind is going to alter the flight plan. So what's going to happen is a lot of old people are going to die, which from a demographic standpoint is exactly what China needs to be competitive long-term. Not the sort of calculus you get to do in a free society but when you've normalized concentration camps?

Yearly Fluvid shots at the local CVS makes a lot of sense in a capitalist economy. When you've got totalitarianism and Sinovac? You do whatever doesn't get you sent to a work camp.

b_b  ·  429 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I try not to blame the foot soldiers for how they act. Would I have the guts to tell Putin or Xi that their new clothes aren't what everyone says they are? We all like to think we'd be the hero, but let's face it: By definition the overwhelming majority of us are not.

On a related topic, seems more and more like Putin's strategy from the beginning has been "get the gas; get the oil; get the coal; get the warn water ports," and his tactic was going to be to replace the Kyiv government to get what he wanted. But not he's decided that a better tactic is just to level everything he needs to level to force Ukraine to sue for peace. Biden's claim of a strategic loss for the Russians just looks wrong. A tactical loss for sure, because even Putin would rather accomplish his theft with killing as few people as possible. Who wouldn't? But his strategy seems very much intact. It's up to our government and our allies to make sure the strategic loss takes place, which can only happen when Russia tries to sell its ill-gotten gains. To give that groups of officers the space they need to show Vlad he's got no clothes is going to take a hell of a lot of encouragement from the West. Otherwise, he'll come away vindicated and even stronger than before.