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(111,605 posts)
Wed May 13, 2020, 07:01 AM May 2020

A response to an article by Paul Krugman in NYTimes

St. Paul
May 11
Times Pick

What happens to the millions of poorer Americans who can no longer put food on the table or pay their rent? There is a large segment of the population that absolutely cannot stay at home and social distance for months. They must go back to work in order to live. And we have no answers for them other than a measly $1200 pay check and a few weeks of unemployment, if the state unemployment office can get its act together.

Believe me, I realize the best thing to do is continue social distancing and working from home (if you still have a job) until there is a vaccine, but there are millions of people in truly dire straits. We cannot ignore this fact. I am absolutely no fan of Trump, but social distancing is slowly emerging as a privilege that can be exercised only by the wealthy. This is a complicated problem.


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(13,931 posts)
1. I totally agree with the response. Is it by Annie??????
Wed May 13, 2020, 07:27 AM
May 2020

EVERYONE who is projected to get the virus under a peaky curve is ALSO expected to get it under a flat curve. A flat curve just LENGTHENS the time when you have to deal with it. If you overwhelm your health system, more people will die, true. But more people, INCLUDING CHILDREN, die with a speed limit of 55 than a speed limit of 40.

Poorer people can't survive this. One study (on Smerconish - no link) predicts that as many people will die from suicide and drug overdoses as from the virus.

Please don't accuse me of voicing a right wing talking point. The government of Sweden isn't right wing. Thomas Friedman isn't right wing. This should be a point we can discuss, not politicize.

Is there a link to the responder's publication? I gather it's not from kentuck his/her self?


Not yelling, emphasizing. Too tedioius to underline.


(45,344 posts)
7. here in Sweden, one of the biggest reasons the policy of keeping the schools open was because
Wed May 13, 2020, 08:16 AM
May 2020

the health experts and the government (and there is a big separation of powers here, it is quite unique, the Government lacks a lot of powers that all the other Nordics and most other nations have for unilateral actions) BOTH agreed that due to our very large refugee and immigrant population, that closing the schools and going into lockdown would seriously damage those groups, especially the children, as so many of them only have school and daycare for stability in their lives. This occured from the very beginning, back in January and February.

That of course immediately sent the RW nationalists (like Sverigedemokraterna ie. the Sweden Democrats, the main RW white nationalist party) into a spasm of immigrant bashing. The main groups here who want stricter lockdowns are majority from the RW, NOT the LW, albeit, of course, with some exceptions. It is so frustrating to see us constantly framed through US Trumpian/RWNJs versus LW/Democratic Party dichotomous lenses.


(13,931 posts)
12. Fascinating! I hope you post more info about the experience in Sweden. One thing...
Wed May 13, 2020, 10:29 AM
May 2020

... I'm curious about is I've heard Sweden thinks it was too late in protecting elderly and otherwise vulnerable. Has there been much talk about that? I'm particularly curious about how a society would manage things if only those groups were encouraged to stay at home. I guess one way to think about it is the decision to stay at home becomes more of a personal choice than a social responsibility. Thoughts?



(45,344 posts)
13. I delved into the nursing home issue here (fair extensively) at this link
Wed May 13, 2020, 01:28 PM
May 2020

that link is a decent explanation

Now, in terms of self isolating, I think if you are in a high risk group, (60yo and up in general, 70yo and up for sure) and/or have comorbidities, then stay home. These cohorts need to be protected, especially the 70 year olds and up.

It gets far more complicated (in terms of self-isolating and shutdowns/lockdowns) once you are talking under 50 years of age, and especially under 40 years old as a group. The death rates are staggeringly low, but we also do not know the percentage who survived it but has issues still (I assume it is also very low, but it will increase the numbers of affected people) All that said, nations simply cannot keep the under 50, and even moreso, under 40yo cohorts locked down until/if a vaccine comes (unless it comes by this winter, and even then, you more than like cannot cannot do it, as the global economy will collapse, and the poorest people will starve or riot and then starve, especially in the US under the murderous Trump/McConnell regime.)

so, here are the numbers:

Here in Sweden, we have kept all the under high school level schools opened, have never went into total lockdown, and yet we have a total of 21 deaths from COVID-19 under 40 years of age, 7 under 30yo, zero deaths under 20yo. Even in the 40 to 49yo cohort, there have only been a total of 33 deaths.

Almost 99% of the deaths are OVER 50 years of age, yet that under 50yo cohort is roughly TWO THIRDS of our entire population. In other words, amongst a group of 6.7 million people here (out of 10.1 million total pops) we have had a total of 54 deaths, and most of those had comorbidity factors.

The youngest half of the population in Sweden has had a grand total of 21 deaths, with zero deaths under 20 years of age, and again, that is with almost all the middle schools (and under) wide open the whole time, and no true lockdowns anywhere.

95% of the COVID-19 deaths here are over 60yo, 88% over 70 years of age. 66% have been over 80 years old.

see the reports (updated daily) from Folkhälsomyndigheten (Public Health Agency of Sweden) here:


The USA shows similar percentages for the younger cohorts

99% of all US CDC documented COVID deaths have come from the 35 years of age and over cohort

97% of all US CDC documented COVID deaths have come from the 45 years of age and over cohort

92% of all US CDC documented COVID deaths have from the 55 years of age and over cohort

The actual numbers (raw death totals) have not been updated lately by the CDC, which is pissing me off (and worrying me)


the raw US numbers (multiple these numbers times 1.9 atm (I did it for you this time, and the next go round, they will need to be adjusted again, unless the CDC gets off its arse and updates) to make the total death count in the US match with the numbers as of today, and the lower cohorts may have not went up at a rate that multiplying by 1.9 accurately equals, but it is as close as we can get atm and the percentages will be very close still)


Under 15 years of age (61 million people in the US), 10 total documented deaths in that cohort. (adjusted to 19 to match todays death count en toto, and again with the caveat I stated above about simply multiplying by 1.9)

Under 25 years of age (over 104 million people), 58 total documented COVID-19 deaths (48 plus 10) (adjusted to 110)

Under 35 years of age (over 150 million people) 375 total deaths (58 plus 317) (adjusted to 713)

Under 45 years of age (over 191 million people) 1171 total documented deaths (375 + 796) (adjusted to 2225)


(2,095 posts)
8. I agree that social distancing is in great part an option of privilege
Wed May 13, 2020, 08:27 AM
May 2020

especially work from home.

But, I disagree that the pressure should be around placing extra risk on individuals and society. It should be directed at the incompetent and incomplete response of our government. Instead of marching to open gyms, march for the federal government to do its job.

All of the money we've thrown at employers and the supply-side of the economy would have been better spent providing a basic income to everyone impacted by the virus until we can safely open things up again. Take economics off the table and the vast majority of the country would follow the science. I think that's proven by the polling on social distancing.

It's Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. If you're on the bottom rung, you can't think about others. I get it 100% and am aware of my advantages.

I also think we're making the same mistake as 2016 to some degree: ascribing economic anxiety to a smallish group of hateful and bigoted assholes and giving them way too much attention and credibility.


(111,605 posts)
10. I agree...
Wed May 13, 2020, 08:39 AM
May 2020

...and I believe we should prepare ourselves for a larger crisis. When there are no jobs and people are hungry, it is a situation that can lead to violence in our streets.

We need a government that works for the people. If the capitalist system collapses on itself, all hunkered down on Wall Street, what are the people supposed to do?

We cannot resort to anarchy. An eye for an eye and all that misery. We need to unite as a nation that will provide useful jobs for those that need them and be eager to work with small businesses to help re-build this country.

To have a government that works, you have to put people in charge that believe in government. If you believe that government is bad, then government will be bad. We do not need that.


(13,326 posts)
2. It's less complicated.
Wed May 13, 2020, 07:27 AM
May 2020

Everyone should be masking and using common sense sterile procedures around others.
If the assholes would have provided masks, sanitizer and guidance to EVERYONE from the get go instead of macho bullshit the virus would have been and would remain at a lower rate.

Then we could have mostly continued to get about our business while waiting for science to catch up.

Instead we’re stupid and fucked every which way.
You can’t beat a virus with just a bad attitude.


(111,605 posts)
3. "You can't beat a virus with just a bad attitude."
Wed May 13, 2020, 07:35 AM
May 2020

It's quite an incentive for people to work together.


(14,118 posts)
4. What I see is that you, kentuck, and I have that incentive. tRUMP, reTHUGS and cultists,
Wed May 13, 2020, 07:48 AM
May 2020

not so much. They're gonna kill us all, and our good intentions with us...


(13,326 posts)
6. Well I won't be going around unmasked people unless it unavoidable
Wed May 13, 2020, 08:16 AM
May 2020

They can kill themselves at a higher rate.


(111,605 posts)
9. Unfortunately, united we stand and divided we fall.
Wed May 13, 2020, 08:29 AM
May 2020

This virus doesn't care if you are a Democrat or a Republican. It could give a big shit about Donald Trump. We are all in this together, whether we like it or not.

We need a leader that can unite the country at this time, in my opinion. But, it is not in the nature of Donald Trump. They knew he was a snake when they brought him home.


(15,859 posts)
5. +1
Wed May 13, 2020, 07:58 AM
May 2020

I'm still amazed at how the so-called richest country on earth has empty store shelves where you cannot find proper masks/hand sanitizer/alchohol for everyone in the country. And don't get me started on how lax the hygiene of many people has become over the decades.


(35,698 posts)
11. There's that false choice...
Wed May 13, 2020, 10:17 AM
May 2020

The economy vs lives

The pandemic is going to ravage the economy either way

We can try to control how we deal with it and come out of it

Or we can ignore the virus and have the economy drop through a sinkhole

We can afford to carry everybody through this

We are being obstructed from doing so

And we know by who


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