Author Topic: Coronavirus news  (Read 585424 times)

Dan Fienen

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3210 on: March 08, 2021, 11:51:56 AM »
Seems to me that it is far too early to make pronouncements as to the effects and effectiveness of the lockdowns. A year ago we began to see that this novel coronavirus was a more serious threat to the world health than previous Ebola, Bird Flu, SARS, MERS, Swine Flu, and other epidemics. Especially then at the beginning of this pandemic there was much uncertainty even by experts as to what would be proper, necessary, and effective responses. Mistakes were made early on as scientists, medical experts, and leaders attempted to suggest and enact policies to deal with the building health crisis. Some of those mistakes were acknowledged, some were attempted to be covered up. Both the effectiveness of mitigation efforts, such as masks and isolation (i.e. lockdowns) and the side effects of those efforts were unclear. The results of those efforts are still being analyzed.


The effectiveness of very restrictive lockdowns as compared to less restrictive with other mitigation efforts are not yet clear. As are the side effects of lockdowns. Lockdowns, everyone should agree, did not come without cost. We are only beginning to asses the economic costs of the lockdowns and the economic damage it caused to small business, their employees, and owners. We also will need to examine the psychological costs of the isolation to people in general, and especially the psychological, educational costs, and economic costs of widespread school closures had on the children of our nation and their families. Those costs will need to be compared to the benefit that those closures gave in restricting Covid spread. Especially it will need to be investigated how necessary those closures were.


So Peter, I don't think we can yet say that the lockdowns were unnecessary, although it seems likely that some of the closures were more strict than were necessary and more costly than people thought at the time. And Charles, the science is not yet clear the support the level of closure that some places implemented.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2021, 12:12:07 PM by Dan Fienen »
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James S. Rustad

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3211 on: March 08, 2021, 03:42:21 PM »
Peter writes:
Masks also are increasingly shown to be signals of caring and/or compliance more than actual safety measures.
I comment:
Hogwash. You are going to need a lot of proof for a statement like that. And lockdowns help. But you go your own way.

As I read through the study cited by Peter, I found nothing surprising.
Lock-downs do not totally stem the spread of the virus.
Lock-downs do work in minimizing the spread of the virus.
Lock-downs have an impact on the economy and related factors.
No surprises there.
But behind the lines of this and related reports is a disturbing thought.
If we have to make a decision between more people being sick, more people dying and businesses suffering or closing, we ought to lean towards lessening the impact on businesses.
Guess Who, guess which segments of the populace have been more fervent in protecting (opening up) "the economy" than in protecting the lives of people?

I carefully read the article posted by Peter, the Newsweek article, and the report of the actual study.  The report only touches on the costs of intervention as a reason to carefully consider both costs and benefits.  It does not attempt to measure the costs of various interventions, only the benefits.  It does mention that some of the benefits observed are likely due to individuals making their own choices based on the risk they perceive but does not attempt to measure this either.

The study report compares more restrictive non-pharmaceutical interventions (mrNPI aka lockdowns) to less restrictive non-pharmaceutical interventions (lrNPI including masking, social distancing, etc.).  The report indicates that mrNPI and lrNPI are both effective, but that mrNPI is not more effective than lrNPI.  This is not the first research to reach this conclusion.

The science says that we are NOT making a choice between "more people being sick, more people dying and businesses suffering or closing".  The science says that the choice is between businesses staying open and "businesses suffering or closing" without any improvement in the number of people being sick or dying.  There is an obvious reason to choose lockdowns if we were faced with the first choice, but why would we want to choose lockdowns when we are faced with the second choice?

Charles Austin

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D. Engebretson

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3213 on: March 08, 2021, 05:10:10 PM »
Another study that came to an opposite conclusion.  This one was done by Stanford University.
https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2021/jan/18/stanford-shutdown-study-shows-no-clear-significant/

A peer-reviewed article in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation found “no clear significant beneficial effect” from stay-at-home orders and business closures in eight nations, including the United States, versus voluntary measures adopted by South Korea and Sweden.

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3214 on: March 08, 2021, 05:42:07 PM »
Peter writes:
Masks also are increasingly shown to be signals of caring and/or compliance more than actual safety measures.
I comment:
Hogwash. You are going to need a lot of proof for a statement like that. And lockdowns help. But you go your own way.

Hogwash.  And you are going to need to cite your reasons for believing masks and lockdowns help.  I can cite numerous CASE studies that demonstrate masks not only do no good, but actually can cause more harm than good.  But you go your own way. 

https://fee.org/articles/new-danish-study-finds-masks-don-t-protect-wearers-from-covid-infection/

FWIW, all of the studies done, including the citation above, are then immediately censored by Twit-ter and Fakebook, along with any other so-called 'fact checkers' who offer nothing more than an automatic naysaying of the conclusions drawn, with NO actual proof to the contrary offered.  So until you provide ample evidence to the contrary, you are just bloviating for no apparent reason.
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Charles Austin

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3215 on: March 08, 2021, 06:28:04 PM »
Oh, my dear Pastor Cottingham, I have lots of reasons. But if I  explained some of those reasons, noble as they are, I would probably have to leave this modest forum.
Why do you post here?
Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Now in Minneapolis. One must always ponder both the value and the dangers of poking the bear. Aroused and stimulated, the bear usually shows its true self. Or it might leap to an extreme version of itself. You never know with bears.

Charles Austin

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3216 on: March 08, 2021, 06:33:40 PM »
P. S. On the allegedly “dueling studies.“
If the studies that contend masking and social distancing do no good are wrong, then if we mask and shut some things down (partially), the harm is that we are inconvenienced and put out of sorts and made cranky.
But if the studies that claim masking and social distancing are unnecessary are wrong, and if we follow  those,  people get sick and die.
Your choice.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Now in Minneapolis. One must always ponder both the value and the dangers of poking the bear. Aroused and stimulated, the bear usually shows its true self. Or it might leap to an extreme version of itself. You never know with bears.

Dave Benke

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3217 on: March 08, 2021, 06:56:43 PM »
I've been interested in discovering that many of those who are active on this board, and their spouses (other family members?) have been vaccinated.  Nationally we're told today that just about 10% of the total population has completed vaccination.  I think that's low for the alpb forum online family, so in that sense we're ahead of the curve - what, Lutherans ahead of the curve?  When did that start? 

I have unquestionably hawked our personal vaccine journey to both in person and online churchgoers, to some effect - that is, using my "platform," I've encouraged others to find a place and vaccinate, and to come forward at church and talk about how their experience has gone.  Some are younger health care workers, others are seniors.  But we see this an aspect of our ministry of care and concern.

Do others share this point of view or plan of action?

Dave Benke

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3218 on: March 08, 2021, 08:43:25 PM »
I've been interested in discovering that many of those who are active on this board, and their spouses (other family members?) have been vaccinated.  Nationally we're told today that just about 10% of the total population has completed vaccination.  I think that's low for the alpb forum online family, so in that sense we're ahead of the curve - what, Lutherans ahead of the curve?  When did that start? 

I have unquestionably hawked our personal vaccine journey to both in person and online churchgoers, to some effect - that is, using my "platform," I've encouraged others to find a place and vaccinate, and to come forward at church and talk about how their experience has gone.  Some are younger health care workers, others are seniors.  But we see this an aspect of our ministry of care and concern.

Do others share this point of view or plan of action?

Dave Benke

Certainly share the point of view, though the limited number of people with whom I interact are all either vaccinated or anxiously waiting to be. When we got our first shot, the nurse pleaded with us to talk it up and encourage everyone we knew to get the vaccine. "You're our best ambassadors," she said. "It's the only way we're going to stop this thing." We thanked her for what she was doing; she responded that she was an ER nurse, and has spent so many months on the back end of COVID, watching people come in with the virus, that she was just overjoyed to be able to be working on the front end now, trying to stop it.
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James S. Rustad

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3219 on: March 08, 2021, 09:05:17 PM »
Reuters on the effectiveness of lockdowns:
https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-factcheck-lockdowns/fact-check-studies-show-covid-19-lockdowns-have-saved-lives-idUSKBN2842WS

From that very article:

Quote
Both confirmed that lockdowns do reduce transmission of the SARS-Cov-2 and highlighted that a more “targeted” or “proportional” approach of restrictions can mitigate the risk of infection, while balancing other concerns about the economy and mental health.

And:

Quote
I wouldn’t even call them lockdowns, but more ‘targeted interventions’, that restrict the higher risk activities but allow lower risk activities to precede”, Stuart said.

So even the article you cite indicates that less-restrictive non-pharmaceutical interventions can be effective.  Are lockdowns effective?  Sure.  Are they more effective than less-restrictive interventions?  The experts don't seem to think so.


Dan Fienen

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3220 on: March 08, 2021, 09:20:54 PM »
If it was just about masks, sure go ahead and encourage, even mandate masks, what can it hurt except for some with respiratory problems and that can be accommodated for. But it has not just been about masks, it has been about shutting down large segments of the economy, shutting down schools, and isolating people. That is not without major hardship and potentially major damage to people's lives. Much too costly to casually do on the off chance that it might help. Certainly not something to simply continue because that is what we have been doing, don't be concerned about whether or not it actually helps.


It's a cost/benefit calculation. The cost of masks is relatively low and potential benefits are high. The cost of lockdowns have been very high so it makes sense that people want evidence that it has been worth the cost, especially worth continuing. By cost I do not mean simply the money it costs but the cost in taking away people's livelihoods, the psychological costs of isolating people, the cost of disrupted education (virtual learning has not proven to be as effective for all students as in person) and the psychological toll that it is taking on people, especially children and the elderly.


In view of these costs, yes it is reasonable to ask for evidence that lockdowns have been and continue to be worth the cost. The attitude the dismisses what the lockdowns have done to people as unimportant is disgusting. Demonstrate that the benefit is worth the cost.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2021, 11:29:55 PM by Dan Fienen »
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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3221 on: March 08, 2021, 10:15:36 PM »
and as expected, he fails to address any of what I wrote, predictably, but just resorts to wondering why I post here.

Time to going back to keeping him on ignore.
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Charles Austin

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3222 on: March 09, 2021, 12:00:58 AM »
The concern for Pastor Cottingham and others seems to be with "lockdowns" or "massive lockdowns" and the ensuing effect on the - OMG! NO! - economy.
We have heard this all along, often from that Big House in Washington.
But here we have had again instantaneous polarization. It's all-or-nothing, nobody move "lockdowns" or else. The nature of the reduction in activity (restaurants, theaters, sporting events, bars, etc.) varies from place to place, changes according to infection rate and/or has varying degrees of success because of the difficulty of enforcing it.
So Pr. Cottingham et alia use that as a sledgehammer against all reasonable discussion about what we should do to stop the spread. Tough news: Major League Sports may take some hits. Movie theaters might make less money. Those who congregate in crowded bars might not be able to do so. Big deal.
It strikes me as odd that we Christians should put a concern over "the economy" above concern for human life and health. We can care for people whose jobs or businesses may be reduced or even lost. We cannot restore the dead to their families.
So, unlike some here and some who have been in high office, I'll take the hits to our economy over the death blows delivered to our neighbors if we do not shut down when necessary.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2021, 12:05:43 AM by Charles Austin »
Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Now in Minneapolis. One must always ponder both the value and the dangers of poking the bear. Aroused and stimulated, the bear usually shows its true self. Or it might leap to an extreme version of itself. You never know with bears.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3223 on: March 09, 2021, 12:23:30 AM »
If it was just about masks, sure go ahead and encourage, even mandate masks, what can it hurt except for some with respiratory problems and that can be accommodated for. But it has not just been about masks, it has been about shutting down large segments of the economy, shutting down schools, and isolating people. That is not without major hardship and potentially major damage to people's lives. Much too costly to casually do on the off chance that it might help. Certainly not something to simply continue because that is what we have been doing, don't be concerned about whether or not it actually helps.


It's a cost/benefit calculation. The cost of masks is relatively low and potential benefits are high. The cost of lockdowns have been very high so it makes sense that people want evidence that it has been worth the cost, especially worth continuing. By cost I do not mean simply the money it costs but the cost in taking away people's livelihoods, the psychological costs of isolating people, the cost of disrupted education (virtual learning has not proven to be as effective for all students as in person) and the psychological toll that it is taking on people, especially children and the elderly.


In view of these costs, yes it is reasonable to ask for evidence that lockdowns have been and continue to be worth the cost. The attitude the dismisses what the lockdowns have done to people as unimportant is disgusting. Demonstrate that the benefit is worth the cost.


It's not just about masks, but what types of masks and the materials they are made of. The one study I read talked about "surgical masks." They were never very good at keeping the droplets containing the virus out. They are designed to keep germs from the surgical staff from getting out. As I recall, the wearers of surgical masks are encouraged to wear a second, cloth mask over the top of it for maximum protection.


I don't think any of the steps are 100% effective; but following them reduces the possibility of catching and/or spreading the virus.
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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3224 on: March 09, 2021, 08:40:03 AM »
I've been interested in discovering that many of those who are active on this board, and their spouses (other family members?) have been vaccinated.  Nationally we're told today that just about 10% of the total population has completed vaccination.  I think that's low for the alpb forum online family, so in that sense we're ahead of the curve - what, Lutherans ahead of the curve?  When did that start? 

I have unquestionably hawked our personal vaccine journey to both in person and online churchgoers, to some effect - that is, using my "platform," I've encouraged others to find a place and vaccinate, and to come forward at church and talk about how their experience has gone.  Some are younger health care workers, others are seniors.  But we see this an aspect of our ministry of care and concern.

Do others share this point of view or plan of action?

Dave Benke

I have been vaccinated and have openly shared with congregants not only that fact, but the good that it has done for me, namely, allowing me access to institutionalized shut-ins isolated from me for months. I think that the majority of my members are open, ready and eager to be vaccinated, from what I hear each Sunday. If anything, they may feel a bit frustrated having to wait. A few are hesitant, and surprisingly that included a couple of people who work in the healthcare industry.  One is an elderly woman who seemed to have a bad reaction and is now very hesitant to return for her second shot, although her doctor is encouraging her.  Overall, I think people are open to the vaccine, and in the circles in which I travel I really don't hear any strong push back on refusing them.   
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