Virus? What Virus? Ain’t No Virus Here!

Virginia Beach, May 16
Photo credit: Virginian Pilot

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41 responses to “Virus? What Virus? Ain’t No Virus Here!

  1. “Virus? What Virus? Ain’t No Virus Here!”

    Yes, for sure, good for herd immunity and sanity, but also there is a telephoto lens there, for sure. Where is aerial straight down shot.

    • I’d rather be on the beach in warm, humid air than in a more crowded indoor space. There’s not strong evidence of outdoor transmission. The lockdown strategy at best was short term, given simple human nature (and much easier in cold weather.) Anybody who expected to maintain it for 90 days in the nice weather was dreaming. Focus on what makes us safer, and the masks, hand hygiene and distancing do. The next Amazon delivery here will bring the mask family pack :).

    • Why do you think herd immunity can be achieved here or anywhere in the U.S.? Here is what Johns Hopkins epidemologists say about that: “As infectious disease epidemiologists, we wish to state clearly that herd immunity against COVID-19 will not be achieved at a population level in 2020, barring a public health catastrophe.”

      • Hey Dick – a scientist said that, right? I’m sure there is a counter point of view over there at whatsupwiththat… “common sense”, etc…

        and the problem with “herd immunity” is that is has this assumption that all the older folk AND all the 40-50 yrs olds with health problems – whether they work or not or supposed to go hide and let the young and healthy “herd up”.

        I think an awful lot of folks don’t understand that about half of our workforce is over 42 (that’s the median) and half of them have health conditions. So if they apparently supposed to quit their jobs and go hide or… just take their chances with those “herders”….

      • Dick, you know bureaucracies, how they work. What would they do here after the US shut down America and they were wrong, and Sweden was apparently right, and numbers increasing showing that to be the case in ever more places? Indeed the possible that herd immunity is only viable solution, and death rate was far below predictions leading to shutdown. Would they say they were wrong, or claim credit somehow?

    • Herd immunity starts at 70% plus infected. That’s 10x the current best estimate of infected persons… all things being equal, that’s 880,000 dead. Something like that. Which relative are you going to sacrifice?

  2. Where is Kerry Dougherty in this picture?

  3. Well, perhaps call this the Kerry “effect”, eh?

    The problem is that the beach has a certain “carrying capacity” at a 6-foot distancing rule and how do you enforce that as more and more crowd onto that beach?

    And what happens just off the beach on the sidewalks and retail establishments… like ice cream places where lines will form?

    Yes, it’s true, it was and is going to be virtually impossible to maintain some level of “distancing” – just give it up or shut it down or come up with something like they are doing in some of the stores now where they are controlling access by limiting the number of people who can be in the store at any given time.

    Can you do some version of that at the beach, i.e. limit access when the social distancing capacity is reached?

    How is social distancing maintained at the street-side shops if the beach is out of control also?

    So far, neither Florida nor Georgia seem to be suffering higher COVID rates as a result of their relaxing – beaches and otherwise so perhaps this “works”. We’re gonna find out fairly soon.

  4. This is also an example of how difficult it is to calibrate models. There are probably various factors associated with mingling crowds at various venues including beaches. That factor will change if beaches that were closed are now open.

    How much? I don’t think we know. Florida and Georgia, which did open their beaches are not experiencing higher infection rates right now.

    Could it be that for the virus there is no difference at all between no one on the beach and thousands ?

    I guess we’re gonna find out… this is where contact tracing would be valuable if it turned out that new infections were found in beach goers.

    All, after the fact, though.

  5. I’d rather be on the beach than in an nursing home.

  6. The problem is our culture. Social distancing is not yet an institutionalized aspect of America. We love freedom at any cost. I imagined this picture on Thursday when the forecast for the weekend was over 80 degrees, humid, and the reigns were loosened. I hope all will be well for these folks, but hoping is not science.

  7. “but hoping is not science.” Yes, thank God.

    Science here, like the Emperor, has increasing lost its clothes, leaving us with our reason, logic, common sense, human experience, senses, and intuition, and hope.

    • I don’t agree. But we’re intently watching the process with its twists, turns and debates, and those who think science = revealed truth are now disabused of that idiocy. It is just a process, run by humans. A bunch has been learned in the last 60 days.

      • Actually, likely we do agree.

        What I was trying to say is that the problem is not Science, it is instead that scientists in our time, and indeed in every time, are human beings with all the limitations and foibles that being human entails. Paradoxically, here, in this time of apparent or perceived crisis, this includes scientists who lost their capacity to see the world around them as a normal healthy human would in non crisis, say the General Public. Hence, here there was and is now going on an enormous over reaction, initially sparked by wildly over reactive models built by scientists, built while flying in the face of (ignoring) facts emerging on the ground, hence scientists to see and properly consider these facts in their modeling, and in setting up effective protocols. As as result far more harm was and is being done now the good. But, of course, it was not only a failure of scientists, there were many other forces, cultural, political, and socially at pay, like the politicians’ and public’s innate fear of the unknown, making them vulnerable to manipulation, no matter how well intended.

        • Correction to last three sentences above.

          Hence, here there was, and is now, going on an enormous over reaction, that was initially sparked by wildly over reactive models built by scientists, who built them while flying in the face of (and ignoring) facts emerging on the ground, and plain from pass medical knowledge. Hence these scientists failed to see and properly consider all the facts in their modeling that were relevant to their results, and relevant in their setting up of effective protocols. As as result far more harm was, and is being done, now than good.

          But, of course, this was not only a failure of scientists, there were many other forces, cultural, political, and socially at play. Like the politicians’ and public’s innate fear of the unknown, making them vulnerable to manipulation, no matter how well intended.

        • The “problem” is not scientists. The problem is that you are not a scientist. Nevertheless, this does not even give you pause to consider your “common sense” to be its equivalent.

          • Reed Fawell 3rd

            Your comment, so parochial narrow, common, and typical, will prove my point before this is over. I am looking forward to it.

          • Nancy_Naive

            Based solely on your intuition, no doubt.

          • Well that and of course whatsupwiththat – where the un-faux are found……


      • One of the biggest jokes in medicine is the concept of “informed consent”. There is no way a patient can ever truly give informed consent to any treatment unless the patient just happens to be an MD who also happens to specialize in his particular condition, e.g., a urologist with an enlarged prostate.

        In a prescription of hydroxychloroquine box, jammed in, there is a 20 page document reduced in print size to fit, front and back, on a single sheet of 8.5×14 rice paper with a full explanation of why you shouldn’t use the medicine for off label uses, like COV2 and warnings as to the many causes of death to which it will contribute (uncontrollable flatuence followed by death).

        No way in Hell that a layman could ever understand the benefits and risks associated with anything more complicated than a pimple pop.

        It’s the same with ANY STEM subject area nowadays with less than years of study, and study doesn’t mean reading internet documents. So, it’s no wonder so many are skeptical of science. Their professed skepticism is just the outward manifestation of pure unadulterated ignorance, hence their need for religious and mythical explanations, e.g. “common sense”.

        • You have it exactly backwards. Faux Scientists, like maladjusted witch doctors and faux professors, think they are Gods, so rightly can’t be trusted, as they always fail.

  8. science is a body of knowledge that as it is acquired – more is known and some consensus develops.

    Early on – on something we have not encountered to the level we have on this – there is a lot of information flying around and just because one guy who is a scientist says something or one group does a study does not mean that much until others also test it out – and see if they can replicate it or not

    It is more a process than the truth per se but take something like how a vaccine is developed – the process… and argue with it as wrong ….
    There are different ways to do that process but the basic steps are:

    1. – make sure it does not harm people
    2. – see if it has efficacy
    3. – test with a bunch of folks to see how many it works on – and not

    that’s a scientific process… it’s not the dead-on “truth” but its’ good
    enough so that we trust it, when done properly, to save people’s lives.

    It’s just not some pretty thing tied up in a bow that says “truth” but to not see it for what it really is and it’s benefit to us – is… well.. that’s ignorance.. and some of it willful.. we got a certain amount of that these days , maybe always did – look at the anti-vaxxers… those who believe in laetrile, don’t believe in evolution, etc.

  9. Actually heard at my grocery store from a cashier yesterday: “Stand back six feet or they will put you in Food Lion prison!”

  10. Here’s a scientist commenting on March 14.

    “Trump’s decision to close America’s borders makes no scientific sense, even if it looks good to his voting base.”

    Damn Trump. Overreacting to the Coronavius. It must be true. A scientist said so.

    Let me guess – he’s not a scientist that the left considers a scientist (PhD from Stanford notwithstanding). You don’t just need “science” you need the right “science”. And the right “science” comes from the right scientists. Who certifies scientists for the left? Nancy Pelosi?

    Just a couple days ago this scientist said the virus would probably just peter out before a vaccine was developed.

    And none of you better argue with Dr Sikora – you are NOT scientists.

    • I realize you wrote this to show that unconsidered decisions, i.e., panic, produces nothing of value, specifically closing the borders as a defense against the virus, and that a learned man discussed the folly. I found it amusing that halfway down the page was a video of BoJo explaining why U.K. schools would remain open.

      Of course, two things make one want to reconsider the lack of real response by Trump and the position in the article:
      1) the near death of BoJo, and
      2) U.K. schools are still closed.

      BTW, the current record holder for time to develop a vaccine is the Measles Vaccine at four (4) years.

    • Youre confusing what SOME or one or two scientists versus what science is saying which is way more than one or two giving off-the-cuff opinions.

      Even then, anyone who think because they can “read” that they can “fact-check” scientists is missing some cards out of the deck…

      I don’t say science can’t be wrong… it can and it is – and there are charlatans – remember “cold fusion”?

      The problems come when what science says – conflicts with culture and politics. When science says there is a virus that is highly infectious and will kill many – unless we “socially distance” – the trouble starts.

      And clearly, there is a left and a right dimension to it which is a little bit suprising – i.e. who could doubt the scientists? 😉 and then of course, yeah… we got skeptics out the wazoo… I suspect there is a very high correlation between the COVID19 skeptics and the Global Warming skeptics… might be interesting to know how many are a skeptic of one but not the other…

  11. Larry G is correct – it is more a process than truth. The discussion above is delightful. Who we believe comes down to politics? I hope not.

  12. much better… and most are moving… and they got those cool foot bikes!

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