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A recurring theme through all of this is how we really, really need to re-center the "flatten the curve" messaging from March 2020 in all COVID policy discussions. We lost that thread through 2020 and shifted to "crush the virus" once the vaccines hit, which was never realistic.

Every public policy should be aimed at keeping hospitals at reasonable capacity, and we should be normalizing the perception of COVID non-severity for the vaccinated, especially the under-50 vaccinated crowd.

Love the idea of making a show of stockpiling key supplies for the next wave, especially therapeutics like paxlovid. Demonstrating that we are getting ready will give people a sense of security as the next wave emerges, which should blunt the bad feels and keep things humming longer.

Good post as always!

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Flattening the curve and chilling out are completely different strategies. The omicron curve was the pointiest yet, flattening it would have required wuhan level lockdowns

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It's hard though. I have a colleague (much older, very immunocompromised family member) who will go back to normal when it's "safe," which I interpret to mean "respiratory risk to immonocompromised older person is more or less the same as 2019." And we're never going to get there. A lot of folks are not willing to just take the "L" on containment and move on, and that's understandable.

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More to the point, the "new normal" messaging that our host and a lot of like-minded people are trying to work out absolutely is tapdancing around this: we can hem and haw about cost-benefit analysis, but at the end of the day the message here is that we're simply going to accept a higher rate of deaths among the elderly and immunocompromised in order to keep restaurant owners in business.

Even if you are bloody-minded enough to think that's the correct trade-off for society in _general_, very few individuals are going to make choices that feel like they're deliberately endangering their own families in order to perform an entirely discretionary activity.

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I mean, we make those choices all the time. If I drove to a restaurant in 2019 I'm taking some car accident risk to do a discretionary activity. If I put my kids in the car I'm deliberately endangering my own family.

In 2019 we had gotten so used to this risk it's easy to internalize the trade-off and be ok with it. As long as Covid-19 doesn't feel "normal" it's hard to make that same decision here.

We're always accepting a higher rate of death among some groups to partake in activities that aren't 100% as safe as the alternate activity/non-activity that we were doing.

Is the risk higher now than it was in 2019? Yes. We haven't eliminated 2019 risks AFAIK but now we've added Covid.

When vaccines/vaccinations etc were on the horizon, on the way - when I had hopes that Delta would encourage higher vaccine uptake, I kept waiting.

What specific goalpost are we waiting for that's worth achieving? It can't be "same risk as 2019" because as much as I _hoped_ that was coming with the vaccines, it's clearly not coming. But we're also not in 2020 or even 2021 anymore.

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Again, it's really really easy to make these arguments _in the aggregate_. I even basically agree!

But my mother-in-law is 90 years old and diabetic, and I see her regularly. So I'm masking in situations where the risk to me personally is minimal (honestly effectively zero), and will not be regularly going to indoor restaurants or bars in the foreseeable future. And there are a _lot_ of people with older relatives in this country having to make similar calculations.

You can't solve the problem of low-margin businesses being at risk from marginal risk-tolerance changes by just shouting "everyone back in the pool!" There may not _be_ a solution for this.

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I think the difference is that people are now more aware of those risks than before and can make more informed decisions - which is good! To wit - now that you are (presumably) aware that masking reduces the spread of airborne disease, would you wear a mask during flu season to mitigate the risk for your mother-in-law? I would expect for many people the answer is YES! which is perfectly fine and reasonable. The difference is when you move that private/personal choice and make it some type of societal/legal requirement. At which point, you are enforcing your risk mitigation strategy on everyone else which

1) won't work unless enough people are willing to heavily enforce it;

2) will generate a lot of ill will among those who don't support it but have to endure it anyway.

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I don't think this is, any longer, a discussion of people making their own evidence-based judgments to suit their personal circumstances.

Rather, it's a discussion of two things:

1. To what extent does the rest of society owe folks like your MIL or an immunocompromised person a duty to, frankly, constrain everything about our collective behavior to protect them, now that the threat will never really recede? And can/should we enforce this by regulation?

2. What to do about the droves of people who don't have rational reasons for making these judgments and are driven by mostly baseless fears stemming from really, profoundly shitty journalism surrounding the topic?

To me the answer to number 1 is, at this point, obvious but brutal. It is not a reasonable imposition to permanently constrain people's lives, profoundly harm the well-being of many people, and throw many more into poverty to keep a small minority of the population safe, and even if it were reasonable, it is simply not possible, as we've seen for months.

Regarding problem number 2, I have no idea how to pull a host of 20- and 30-somethings with no medical or family reasons for hiding back from the brink. Reason does nothing; they think whatever stupid, quixotic course of action they're set on is noble and virtuous, and nothing will convince them otherwise.

Burning CNN, The Atlantic, and MSNBC to the ground would be *cathartic* but wouldn't solve the problem.

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It doesn't matter what other people think they might owe my mother-in-law, because in the vast majority of cases they aren't going to even think about her, and I would not expect them to.

The problem is that enough (really rather a lot) of people have elderly relatives _of their own_ that they are likely to err on the side of greater caution for a very long time, and reminding them that their direct personal risk is low is very beside the point.

This is not going to suddenly change if Biden (or any administration) makes some reverse in policy about mask mandates. Nor is some new editorial line at a grab-bag of news sources of varying levels of influence going to change it.

(I feel like I should not have to remind people on this blog about emergent behavior from massed individual choices, but here we are.)

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The more direct trade off is that we are either going to accept a higher rate of death in order to not legally constrain public and private life OR we are going to legally constrain public and private life to avoid a higher rate of death.

Right now we're doing the worst of both - pretending to legally constrain public and private life but with limited enforcement and negligible impact while also accepting higher death rates.

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I'd really be interested in finding out if the public would accept restrictions that are subject to change in response to risk, or would prefer restrictions be consistent.

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deletedFeb 8, 2022·edited Feb 8, 2022
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Feb 8, 2022·edited Feb 8, 2022

The best decision our management ever made was bringing us back to the office in June 2020. Honest to goodness, the isolation broke some folks. I don't know if we're going to get them all the way back.

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I dunno, June 2020 seems like a pretty irresponsible time for a company to require people to be back in the office, if it wasn't strictly necessary for some reason.

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Well, the purpose of us going to work is to get work done effectively so the company makes money and we keep our jobs. I was actually kind of a fan!

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Isn't that a bit like saying "the purpose of police is to prevent crime"? Most everybody who works knows that the reason you go into the office isn't to get anything done.

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Agree. For us personally, we've found that the folks that were willing to let their kids socialize with our kids pre-vaccine (pre adult vaccine) are not the ones that are in the "mask forever" crowd. But it's sad. Once our kids were able to start socializing at all again (summer 2020), they got more distant from the zoom-only ones.

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The Biden administration ought to do what it can to get CDC to shift its messaging to giving recommendations to both individuals and policy makers that are localizable depending on the state of vaccinations, and the new cases, and varying over time. Likewise, CDC should be recommending test to stay and test to return for schools.

Every mention of “mask” ought to be answered with “vaccine.”

Also, it’s not too soon to start an autopsy of why FDA and CDC performed so poorly.

The message about getting the world vaccinated needs to be integrated. Whatever degree of “alert” needed (and actual preparations for) for the next wave should be put in the context of the still low vaccination rates worldwide (including the US which is down at around rank 55.

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Feb 8, 2022·edited Feb 8, 2022

I live in a super blue area and can’t get anyone to go out to eat with us without paying extreme lip service to Covid (“yup! They have a mask policy if you’re not vaccinated. We can go at 5:30 to avoid crowds, etc). The social calendar is robust but is mostly driven by parents desire for play dates to which adult fun is proxy’d into.

Now, not to absolutely inflame the senses of slow boring’s overeducated community of well to do liberals. But I did find a hack for this.

When Covid came on I needed stuff to do and joined a country club. I gotta say. It is awesome. You all have go out to the bar/restaurant pretty often to hit the minimums and it’s like you walk into a restaurant/bar that’s always packed. No masks. Everyone fist bumpin and everyone is pumped to see you. Country clubs are the ultimate Covid hack.

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"Country clubs are the ultimate Covid hack" might be the whitest sentence ever uttered on this side of an episode of Happy Days.

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lol, you're not wrong....

... but tbh, I do see how this could work. Have a friend with a membership, and the experience is something that I could see people wanting to buy into.

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why do you frame a person pursuing fun and sociability in racial terms?

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I think he was just cracking a joke. I don't know what the truth is, but I do feel that the general perception of country clubs is that they are, indeed, pretty white!

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I dunno - there are some in New Jersey that let Italians join.

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I am, indeed, cracking a joke. Im just saying...the area where I live is like 67% non-white and the median household income is 51k...I see lots of people out and about having fun, but country clubs aren't part of it around here.

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Feb 8, 2022·edited Feb 8, 2022

Country clubs are not free. White families are wealthier than average and more likely to be able to afford the fees. In addition, some clubs' admission practices inhibit non-white people from joining.

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2020/02/27/examining-the-black-white-wealth-gap/

https://www.si.com/golf-archives/2019/07/01/private-golf-clubs-muirfield-augusta-women-discrimination

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Yeah. Definitely been a slower uptake to diversify than most. Now, that said all clubs exist in 2021 where diversity and inclusion are paramount. If a club chooses to stay with a bigoted policy they are handily punished. For instance Muirfield, quoted in your article was removed from the UK’s British open rota as a result of this sexist policy. Augusta in the US has, albeit more slowly than most would like taken up efforts to diversity their membership and image.

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This hack requires acknowledging the existence of golf, and I'm afraid that's beyond the pale for me.

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California is looking at converting some of our golf courses into affordable housing, which is far more SlowBoring approach.

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That's progress! But would the SlowBoring approach affordable housing or market rate housing?

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Once you see it as an excuse to get drunk outdoors in the daytime with other white people it makes more sense.

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Ehh, there are better ways to do this, including hiking, beer gardens, cornhole, tailgating, cook-outs, camping, lake swimming with floating cooler…

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Love how cornhole is having a moment

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Is getting drunk outdoors with friends fun? Yeah. Is golf mostly white? Yeah. But is it taking up efforts to diversity? You bet. All one needs to do is check out what the APGA is doing, HV3 winning in the spotlight over the weekend. It’s slow but it’s undoubtedly in the right direction.

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Feb 9, 2022·edited Feb 9, 2022

Non-golfers don't know that there are really two kinds of golf (especially on the coasts and in big metro areas): muni and country club. Completely different things.

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Been out plenty. Was at a very crowded restaurant during the local peak of omicron. Gone to a few other spaces too. Museum, restaurant, bar on Saturday. Everywhere we go has been packed. All to say, our personal experiences are not representative and should not be generalized. But… what good are these vaccines and boosters if we can’t use them?

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founding

We can use them 90% of the year even if not during peaks of waves.

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Or we can use them 100% of the time and take our chances! :p

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"What good are these vaccines and boosters if we can't use them?"

Totally agree! But being in NY with a state mask mandate still in place, the only indoor "going out" option that doesn't entail wearing a mask is a restaurant/bar. Being one of those SBers who hates, and complains about, wearing a mask, I have been choosing to avoid museums, the theatre, etc because the NY state mandate interferes with my enjoyment of these activities. I already have to wear one all day, every day, in my office (as well as to walk through the lobby of my building or do laundry there). This phase can't be over soon enough.

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whenever I manage to get people out, I see crowds too. Totally with ya on vax/boosters. You kind of just shrug and it’s like an “if not now, when?” Type of thing.

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If you are comfortable going out, the non-sport cultural events that skew old (symphonies, musicals, etc.) have insanely good seats available, at short notice. Stuff that wouldn't be available after years of donations in the before times.

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my hack has been pickleball. same dynamic

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I think it depends on the jurisdiction. I'm in a super blue area (Los Angeles) and folks are still going out.

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I'm also in a super blue area (NYC with many friends in DC) and I see a lot of what Quinn describes above. Among 50-something friends, some of it might be age-related; most 30- and 40-somethings seem generally OK with going out. But there are enough outliers that it's noticeable, and quite a lot of people I know seem to be in a different place on the risk-aversion spectrum depending on the day and how much doomscrolling they've engaged in.

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I've been wondering how the baby boomers retiring is affecting employment. It's a huge cohort and most are at or near retirement age. Did a lot of them decide to finally retire when covid hit? Has that affected the labor market? Haven't seen any data about this.

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I suspect it's played a substantial role, especially in view of things like the stock and housing market run-ups; more darkly, more spaces in mature housing communities than usual opened up during the pandemic (related: I wouldn't be surprised to see some dramatic mispricings of things like annuities over the next few years due to actuarial mishandling of recent death stats).

Of course, interest rates dramatically affect the decision to retire (having a major impact on the safe withdrawal rate); I think there's at least something on the margin to a hypothesis that from about 2011 (when boomers started hitting 65...), low interest rates were deflationary by preventing retirements.

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Oooo, I should buy a couple of annuities once they process the mortality stats for the last two years.

In my 30's. Lol.

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To Matt's point about "how robust American society will prove to be against future waves of the virus", it seems like we're not talking hardly at all about a population that I suspect is fairly large--fully vaccinated and even boosted in 11/2020 but still kind of cautious of the unknown, and has now gotten what amounts to an omicron-sourced cold.

I might propose that now that these folks have hit for the cycle, so to speak, and seen that it was no big deal, they may be substantially *less* cautious, not more.

I know there's at least one of us out there!

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My friends are vaxxed and boosted. The ones that nevertheless got covid got pretty sick; not so sick that anyone was worried they'd die, but certainly sick enough that it's worth it to me to avoid getting sick like that. Is it worth it to go to a restaurant and risk being pretty sick for a week and a half? Not to me, which is why I'll wait until omicron wanes more before eating out again.

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founding

My friend who got delta in Provincetown in July tells us about this.

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'preparing a message of “it’s good and appropriate to keep traveling and dining with friends and family and living life”': Biden has been doing that to some extent, tweeting how vaccinated people should feel free to live their lives. More of that would be good.

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Restaurants in Boise are Booming. My brother-in-law opened up a burger joint in the middle of the pandemic summer of 2020. Making money hand over fist. Last Friday he had record sales. Every week is growing. I took my wife out to some expensive place that was pretty packed a couple of weeks ago.

Besides for employees being temporarily out, we really didn’t see a reduction in customers.

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founding

Is it a bad thing if restaurants have an annual lull in January? (I suspect they already do, but this would be a bigger one going forward.)

Is it bad for Los Angeles that no one goes out on rain days? It certainly makes it hard for a lot of businesses to plan.

I worry that asking people to go out to restaurants to help the economy when they’d rather not gets a bit broken-windows-y.

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But maybe we could remove some of the institutional discouragement?

As Matt says, one reason people don't go out is they don't want to be forced to quarantine or have their kid quarantine.

We promised our kids when they got vaccinated we'd take them to something like Chuck E. Cheese as a reward. We didn't do that in January because Omicron. Now we're planning to do it first thing on their 2 week spring break so that if we catch it then at least they don't miss school from quarantine (not really worried about any of our health - I mean risk isn't ZERO but nothing is)

Maybe it's still a good idea to do something like that on spring break for the benefit of other kids/teachers, but it's not clear it is, or that we need the quarantines.

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One of the biggest problems if you are boosted and not at high risk is that getting covid will impact your activity schedule much more than a normal flu, to say nothing of a cold. I know many people who have missed planned trips because of a positive test. And this carries pretty high cost, even if you bought trip insurance. I don't know what the answer here is, but I think it's going to be a hindrance to achieving normal levels of entertainment activities as long as we continue to have periodic huge covid waves.

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This will not be a popular opinion, but I think the virus restrictions only end when there is a Republican in office.

That doesn’t mean I’m voting R because ‘removing COVID restrictions’ isn’t my primary policy issue. But I’d be amazed if I took a flight unmasked before 2025.

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Has anyone else followed the Covid situation in Israel? The death rate this winter was even worse than last winter. The problem seems to be that boosters were given to people last August, and few people got a fourth dose (reporting that it was not effective appears to be erroneous). The implication is that people constantly need to have antibodies topped up every few months to remain protected - hopes that other parts of one’s immune system would be effective with covid have been dashed. This is not a sustainable strategy for all but the very old or impaired.

This suggests ‘going back to normal’ is not workable while covid is still around. The hope is that it becomes less virulent over time, but this is not guaranteed.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/israels-rise-covid-deaths-important-lesson-uk-vaccines/

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Is it really unsustainable? I mean, we get a flu shot every year. I don't mind getting a covid shot biannually for however long is necessary, as long as there aren't NPIs constraining my life otherwise.

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Feb 8, 2022·edited Feb 8, 2022

Dec to 1st week of Feb last year there were 2,200 covid deaths in Israel. Over the same period this year there's only been 1,000 and the daily totals are already plunging. So i don't think the rate of death has been worse than last winter, although the peak was sharper as Omicron cases shot up before plummeting again.

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/israel/

"The problem seems to be that boosters were given to people last August"

That doesn't really seem to have been the big problem. According to a google search that turned out OurWorldInData charts, they are still only 73% vaccinated with at least 1 dose. That still leaves a fair amount of unvaccinated people to have severe disease.

And the more proximate problem seems to be Omicron, which is obviously a new variant. Maybe a new variant will arise next year, maybe it won't, but Omicron has triggered a massive wave of infections everywhere it struck because of immune escape. It's killed very few vaccinated people.

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"massive wave of infections"

This is an understatement. I'm trying to dig up the old model I was looking at to estimate infections based on a stepwise function using testing data and positivity rates as the input, and failing, but the last time we had positivity rates like this, at the very beginning, we likely missed 9 in 10 cases. If the same holds true, and it almost certainly does, then we saw as many infections in the last two months in the US as in the previous two years.

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I know just on a confirmed-test basis in my little ol' office of ~100, we had four confirmed cases pre-Thanksgiving 2021 and seven since (none of the eleven worse than a flu, thankfully).

For whatever that's worth.

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My office of 14 went from me alone catching COVID in 2020 to add another 2 coworkers during Delta in 2021 to *all of us except one* in January.

My friend groups are pretty much in the same boat, as are the families at preschool.

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Actually reading the article shows it’s mostly population effects and the waning of immunity is quite limited in all but the oldest and sickest.

Stupid clickbait headline, though.

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The death rate is particularly striking, and not at all what one would expect after a vaccination drive. ‘The oldest and sickest’ is precisely who covid killed before vaccines.

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It's exactly what one would expect! Omicron is very likely, based on testing and positivity rates, to have infected as many people in 8 WEEKS as had been infected in the previous 2 YEARS.

If that only caused a slightly higher peak of death than in previous waves, great, the vaccines are working extraordinarily well. Without them there would have been piles of corpses in the damned streets!

In Philadelphia, for instance, there were *90,000* recorded positive tests in the months of December and January, with a peak positivity rate of over 45%. That, compared to a previous *total* since February 2020 of 210,000 and an average positivity rate in the single digits.

I lack the statistical acumen to build a model around those data points, but given positivity rates, home testing, and the lack of testing appointments, 90,000 is likely to be something around an *order of magnitude* understatement. The last time we had positivity rates like this was the very beginning of the pandemic, when folks brighter than I estimated we only "confirmed" less than 10% of those infected from February-May 2020.

Virtually everyone I know had COVID or COVID-like symptoms in the last two months, and even the elderly among them didn't, mostly, die.

This is a profound victory and should be understood as such.

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To first order, 'the oldest and sickest' is precisely what everything kills.

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Feb 8, 2022·edited Feb 8, 2022

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Going 90% back to normal has already happened in most places and for most people. Just a few theater bits around the edges.

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I think a lot of people here have kids. That seems like the biggest source of forced disruption. As someone without kids, I can't say that I really feel the bite of Covid restrictions, even though I'm in a blue area. There are mask mandates, but I'm not worked up about it.

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There are definitely many areas in which families with children are facing overwhelmingly more disruption than everyone else. Since most people I know live in left-leaning urban areas, I am leery to try to guess what fraction of children are in quarantine-close-contacts districts versus let-'er-rip districts.

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Feb 8, 2022·edited Feb 8, 2022

So this only looks at if kids were in person or not (nothing on masks that I see), but it's a nifty dataset about when school closures happened across the country.

https://www.covidschooldatahub.com/

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I think based on the loud twitter arguments there is a perception that masking and other NPIs are an issue that splits Democrats. But my supposition would be that there is a large quantity of people who just want to go along-to-get-along, and they will be happy to follow whatever lead political leadership gives. So standing pat with a policy that doesn't really have a coherent rationale and kind of makes everybody mad is the worst option because the people who don't have strong feelings just see everybody fighting about it.

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It seems like every month, when the jobs report hits, it's accompanied by a small herd of identical "takes" reminding everyone that the report isn't accurate and always gets revised later. Is the Department of Labor obligated to provide the raw, unrevised monthly jobs report, or would it be possible to move to a system where we stop putting info we know is bad into the economy and instead accept accurate but slightly stale numbers a few weeks later?

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The administration isn’t in the driver’s seat on this one, the media is.

And y’all haven’t, present company excepted, covered yourselves in glory here.

We need more of this: https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2022/02/07/1057245449/the-future-of-the-pandemic-is-looking-clearer-as-we-learn-more-about-infection

And less of this: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2021/12/omicron-pandemic-giving-up/621004/

And the only way to get there is for outlets to start exercising responsibility and dictating closer editorial control over their idiot young staffers.

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I'm all for editors having more control over their loose cannons, but the Atlantic author is 45 and the NPR writer appears to be in her late 30's (per her bio).

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Fair enough. I blithely assumed the Atlantic writer to be a young, angsty millennial in my age cohort because he sounds like one.

Fine, no ageism, just fire everyone and start over. :p

Also, people have got to stop delaying child-bearing. You're never ready, period, just do it. What kind of 7 year-old wants a 45 year-old, angsty, whiny dad?

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Does Matt not believe the daily covid death statistics or has he just stopped caring?According to the Times, the 14-day average is 2,598 per day and still increasing. John’s Hopkins says the 7-day average is 2,329, off slightly from the recent peak.

These are huge numbers, bigger than during the first wave, bigger than during the summer 2020 wave, almost as big as early winter 2020-21.

A third of Matt’s article was about Omicron, yet, even as America cruises towards its 1 millionth covid death, he never mentions these figures. Instead, he wants to focus on the economy over caution. This is the opposite of his position throughout 2020.

A society that is willing to tolerate 1 million covid deaths never needed to lock down, never needed to close schools and certainly had no business closing parks. All we needed to do was help old people shelter in place and develop vaccines. Focused protection would have worked better: 1) give subsidies to help senior members of multigenerational families rent hotel rooms; 2) hire teachers aids to supervise kids while older teachers led zoom classes; and 3) given generous unemployment for older workers. This would have cost much less than the $7 trillion we spent.

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Feb 8, 2022·edited Feb 8, 2022

The obvious answer is that the current death statistics are a result of a wave of infections that likely rivaled the *combined total cases* of all prior waves in the United States, and we're still ticking along ok.

That's a pretty powerful data point in favor of "we can move on now".

Whereas even Delta was still crippling with far fewer infections in all.

EDIT: This was rather roundabout, let me be clearer:

Omicron infected as many people in 2 MONTHS as all prior variants combined had in 2 YEARS, and deaths increased only mildly.

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To your first question: I think it may be that he's stopped caring. Not out of callousness, but out of a sense of futility. Current daily deaths occur almost exclusively among the unvaccinated -- what are you supposed to do about that cohort at this point? With that as background, each individual needs to decide for themselves when it's right and proper to chart a path toward normalcy, and Matt has decided that that time is post-Omicron.

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I love the idea that each person should decide for themselves when to disinhibit. However, Matt was for coercive masking even after vaccines were available, so that can’t have been his position.

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I distinctly remember a series of tweets (?) that was basically "I follow the local population behavior and/or masking ordinance if there is one, and otherwise don't" in the 4th of July sort of timeframe.

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The very first paragraph in this August 27th article was along the same lines:

https://www.slowboring.com/p/flexible-health

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That's probably the text I was thinking of--thanks for the link.

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Being indifferent to the mask debate is much different than thinking masks are an affront to freedom. Being indifferent to my priorities isn’t the same as having them

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I don’t read all the tweets, but I don’t recall any real advocacy for ending coercive masking in schools, for service workers or on airplanes before this year.

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He was definitely in favor of opening schools/keeping them open before this, might have still supported school masking while kids didn't have the vaccine yet(and therefore the potential efficacy was higher)

Also, masks potentially did more vs. Delta than Omicron, so that can change things.

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Morally, one might reasonably have stopped caring about covid deaths once vaccines were available to the most at risk people. However, a person who thinks this way would have changed his tune in April of 2021, not January 2022,

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You might also want them available to everyone, not just the most at-risk. So that could be ... June by the time everyone who wanted one had two doses?

But maybe you feel teenagers should be able to get one, so September.

But maybe he felt that it was important that kids have them to prevent community spread.

Just because someone changes their position on a somewhat different goalpost than you doesn't mean you aren't both being reasonable. I think his big argument now is "what potential other goalpost are we waiting for that will ever come? And if there isn't one, the administration should change course"

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I would have said that MY did change his tune once widespread vaccines were available, when the nerds were all joking about "moderna mafia" or "pfizer pham" on Twitter, but that there was a period of six or ten weeks in Nov/Dec when it genuinely was uncertain if omicron would turn out to be less severe on average.

I'm pretty glad it was!

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What is up with mining and logging? Why would these industries see a drop in employment? any idea of size/percent of labor force this segment is?

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founding

Coal is still dying.

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the biden administration is not a big fan of fracking and likes protecting forests

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You forgot the /s

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