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    • #46937
      Sly Sylvester

      It’s been really quiet on this site. Maybe I can stir the pot a tad. I know the pandemic is on everyone’s mind but strangely not much has been said about it on this platform. Maybe Arnold will remove this thread since it’s not sports relate but unless we solve the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be no more sports in the foreseeable future. I’m going to share my thoughts below while trying to keep politics out of it although some will interpret it differently particularly if they disagree with my analysis.

      I see the current crisis as having 3 problems as discussed below:

      1. The first problem is that the number of cases are continuing to grow exponentially even with all the shut downs, shelter-in-place, and social distancing directed or suggested by the government. The graphs at this site clearly show the trend is growing exponentially. There may be a slight flattening of the curve over the last few days but it’s still increasing exponentially. Growing exponentially means that the problem is accelerating or getting worse or the rate of change is increasing (for those who passed calculus). As of yesterday, there are about 55K cases in the U.S. If the rate of change stays the same as the charts suggest, there will be about 1 million cases by Easter, less than 3 weeks away. It will tax, if not overwhelm our medical capability sooner rather than later. The numbers are doubling every 3 to 4 days! Still, many are downplaying the numbers compared to the flu and complaining about their ability to freely move about.

      2. The second problem is that every individual is flying blind right now with data that lags by about 2 weeks. How would you like to take a flight on a foggy night with no data from the instruments and no communication with the air traffic controller. This is precisely what happens whenever an individual comes into contact with another person. We don’t know if the other person is already infected because they haven’t yet developed symptoms and haven’t been tested. The bottleneck we face today is that there are not enough testing capacity approved by the CDC/FDA to go around. Therefore, only the sick with symptoms, having traveled to a hot spot, and meeting certain other qualifications can convince a doctor to prescribe a test which is a current requirement. Not everyone who wants a test can get a test, yet. Hopefully that will change as testing capacity increases. Plus the incubation period for the virus may take a week or more before symptoms appear. Thus, a seemingly healthy person may be infecting others without anyone knowing until it’s too late. Additionally, it takes at least 3 days to ship a test sample to a lab to be ran before hearing the results. We can debate whether the data lag is shorter or longer than two weeks but there shouldn’t be a debate that we are flying blind for an unacceptable period of time when we come in contact with a friend, family, or stranger.

      3. The third problem is that our leaders are reactionary. They first see the number of cases continuing to grow exponentially and then impose ever stricter policies or guidelines. They are not shooting ahead of the duck. They need to plan right now for a million to be infected by Easter and 200K of those will be severe cases. Hopefully, it won’t be that bad but they need to be prepared nevertheless. They need to shut down total movement, except for essential functions, for certain locations like New York. They need to put more pressure on additional testing capacity to come online post haste. They need to direct factories to start making items such as masks, gloves, and ventilators. Did I already say they need to shoot ahead of the duck? Have we reached the point in which they should assume or operate as if everyone is already infected? The longer they stay in reactionary mode, the longer the crises will continue.

      I”d love to hear your thoughts.

    • #46940

      Having 100% of people 100% safe 100% of the time is not possible, or desirable, or something to which should be aspired. That would be a prescription for a dismal, non-productive, life negating existence. If this thing was on the order of the Black Death or the Spanish Flu, we would already know. It is not. Millions will not die, so acting as if they will is unhelpful. In the ‘70’s there were oil shocks, now there will be virus shocks? Millions cannot be thrown out of work, and left unable to support their families over something relatively harmless to 90% of people. Cordon off hot spot areas as much as practicable, but gradually lift restrictions on areas that are not hot. Hopefully, baseball could start games with no attendees at first, so at least games will be played, and fans will have something to watch. Once we are on the other side of this thing, stock needs to be taken, and accounts settled, internationally and domestically. There will be much re-tooling, re-building and re-thinking to do. Thanks for the thread.

      • #46947
        Sly Sylvester

        Good post. Locking down 100% of the people is definitely impractical. Even the Wuhan lock down, which many considered to be very restrictive, allowed people to go out to buy food and seek medical attention. However, it prevented people to come in or leave the area. Many experts now attribute that drastic measure and similar lock downs across China’s hot spots as the reason for the country bringing the spread of the virus under control and saved many lives. I don’t know how much of their lives have returned to normal at this time (8 weeks later) or how much of the restrictions have been lifted. Perhaps the better question is whether it just delayed the inevitable of everyone eventually catching the highly contagious virus when restrictions are lifted. I think though it did buy them some time and saved lives. Most experts are confident that a vaccine will be widely available within 18 months. I think there’s a lot of hedging in that number and I predict a vaccine will be available much sooner with the scientists from across the globe working on it and governments cutting red tape to get it out soonest.

        Incidentally, the U.S. has now blown past Italy and China with the most cases to become the new epicenter. Yesterday, the U.S shot up to 17,224 new cases while China has dropped to 55 new cases. In fact, China has had a daily new case count below 100 since March 6. This begs the next question, Should we impose a Wuhan style lock down in NYC which has become the new epicenter? What about other emerging hot spots like Chicago, New Orleans, and others?

        • #46957

          At nearly 30,000 inhabitants per square mile, NYC and other affected urban areas are in for longer and more stringent restrictions. Communist China’s statistical data should be less relied on than South Korea’s in making the US response. During the 1987 NFL strike, some players like Lawrence Taylor got sick of it, and resumed playing. Something similar could develop now, with enough players willing to sign a waiver, and play ball.

    • #46953

      Folks, COVID-19 is a HIGHLY contagious virus. Anywhere people congregate and even one person in the group is infected, others WILL get infected as a result of being in proximity. There is no practical way to resume sporting events and NOT spread this virus. Even if the competitions are held in empty venues, there is no way to keep the athletes, coaches and support personnel from coming in close contact with each other and if even only one of them is infected going in…

      The above means that so long as we don’t modify our “social distancing” rules AND there are even a few cases being reported anywhere in each state, we CAN’T resume sporting events, air travel, bus travel, train travel, eating out at restaurants, drinking at bars, holding parties, reopening schools, etc, etc. Without modification, those rules will absolutely KILL our economy, with all the suffering and death commensurate with THAT outcome. It’s only a matter of when, NOT if.

      So, is America ready to set aside our irrational fear fear of this virus and modify our rules? My guess is that we’re not there YET. And our national media is going to do their even best to put that date off as long as possible. Too many scared eyeballs are tuning in to their breathless on-air reporting, or scared fingers clicking on their websites.

    • #46961

      Sly, you old dog you. I had taken your cue to have a nice sabbatical, come back, and what have you done? Stirred the pot, that’s what!!! Why, if I didn’t know better…….. 😏

      Good job, buddy, and very timely at that. At the present time, I think, everybody has the potential to be right, and everybody has the potential to be wrong. Time will tell, very soon in fact. In the meantime, we follow the advice of the CDC in the form of Presidential Guidelines, we minimize our possible exposure, we pray for protection and at the same time take recommended precautions, and we find alternative ways of getting things done — when possible — and hope we don’t run out of toilet paper. Donna and I have additionally taken steps to ensure that we don’t kill each other while cooped up for days on end.

      I would hate to be in the President’s shoes right now, being sniped at from every angle while trying to keep both eyes on the economy and the virus at the same time. I’m quite confident we’ll get thru this in time, although if it is truly prolonged the way some think it will be and others seem to hope for, SEC football will be the least of our worries. We will survive as a nation, but the Republic may not.

      • #46962

        Our constitutional federal republic (not and never was a “democracy”) must survive, as Western Civilization’s survival, which is not guaranteed, hinges upon it. Count me thankful for a president who actually likes America, and likes Americans.

        • #46965

          You are my hero, bud.

          I was once Chair of the intern selection committee in a family medicine residency; we would have the poor devil come in and sit at a table with 7 or 8 faculty and conduct Round Robin questioning, aka, Murder Board (we already had their transcripts and letters of recommendation). After the necessary questions were asked and answered, it was more or less free style…..I would always ask, “Is the United States a democracy or a republic?”. That was answered correctly way south of 50%. If we selected the resident, over the next 3 years I’d sometimes pop a pretty easy American History and Civics test on then during didactics.
          I’ll just say that, with a few exceptions, I was routinely disappointed. These were 26-30 year olds with a college degree, sometimes a graduate degree too, and an MD or DO.

          Something is wrong with our education system when new citizens can pass and half or more of our best and brightest can’t.

          • #47010

            Thanks G-6. Education system definitely deficient when elementary concepts elude even those with advanced degrees. Hopefully this episode will result in a re-discovery of the education methods that schooled a generation who got us to the moon using slide rules and protactors.

    • #46966

      Fear is not rational. The nation is spooked. And our ruling class doesn’t mean us well (President Trump and a handful of others excluded.) That’s a recipe for some very bad potential outcomes.

      There appears to be all kinds of testing capacity available for a week, maybe longer, yet we have only identified 120,000 positive cases in a nation of 327 million. If this virus is as contagious as demonstrated to be, there should be a million identified cases in NY alone. Why aren’t they doing more testing and reporting results by now? Could it be that more positive test results will lower the scary mortality rate down to something close to the annual flu?

      There appears to be a combination of safe antiviral drugs that both cure and act as prophylaxis against this virus, yet the CDC and FDA are holding back recommending their widespread use to treat the substantial number of serious cases in NY and other hot spots. Why? People are dying! Could it be that more deaths of elderly and other unhealthy people boost the mortality rate and give the media more fodder to keep people scared and the US economy out of commission that much longer?

      The next two weeks will tell the tale on whether the republic recovers from this crisis, or just gets consumed by it.

    • #46972

      ”Yesterday, the U.S shot up to 17,224 new cases while China has dropped to 55 new cases. In fact, China has had a daily new case count below 100 since March 6.” -Sly Sylvester.

      With all due respect Sly, I trust Commie/Socialists like China as far as I could throw ’em. And since my (R) shoulder and (R) knee are acting their age (half a century +), that isn’t very far.

      Anyway, best wishes to all for good health and happiness!

    • #46973

      Amen brother Gator!

      Yesterday, as China reported just 55 new cases, they ordered ALL their movie theaters to close until further notice. Those two actions are not compatible.

    • #46974

      Y’all, even when they were on our side 75-80 years ago, they lied about nearly everything….

      • #46975

        Then, why does our media believe them and publish their propaganda as though it’s gospel? Of course, that question was rhetorical.

        • #46977

          It could be because they will support anything that is the antithesis of POTUS, and/or because they are majority left wing and that is simply where their sympathy/empathy lies. You will recall, of course, that in WWII the NYT — the prototype for left wing media — omitted any negative coverage of Stalin when he was killing millions of Ukranians among other assorted Russian citizens.

          On that note, ain’t it a great day to be a Florida Gator?

          • #46980

            Yes, it is GREAT to be a Florida Gator!!!

    • #47001
      Joe Shiver

      Thanks for starting this thread, Sly. I’m certainly no infectious disease expert, so I’m curious about the actual infection rate, i.e., the likelihood of becoming infected when exposed to another infected person or the virus itself. Unlike the GA governor, I was aware that asymptomatic persons could infect others, however, it seems that they are much less likely to do so, since they are less likely to be coughing, sneezing, or otherwise expelling droplets of saliva or mucous. It seems to me that simply walking past an asymptomatic person is unlikely to result in infection, but an extended face-to-face exposure would certainly be more likely to infect. If washing hands is a deterrent, it would seem that even direct contact with the virus is not certain to produce an infection. Obviously, it would have to be an estimate, but I haven’t been able to find such a statistic.

      I do believe that the MSM has been too eager to propagate the panic. Not saying they want to see anyone die; they just like the story, although they do have an obligation to inform. To this point, the mortality rate is about 1.7%, which is much worse than the flu, but far less than the 3% they were predicting early. I do believe StL is correct when he says that, ultimately, testing and time will reveal far more cases and bring the mortality rate much closer to that of the flu.

      I hope this is correct.

      Go Gators!

      • #47013

        Joe, the “actual” coronavirus infection rate will never be known. There will never be enough testing done to determine that. However, the CDC has a protocol in place to “estimate” the number of infection cases that includes those “probable” cases that never show up at a hospital, or get tested.

        In 2009, according to CDC, the first confirmed case of H1N1 (Swine) Flu was reported on April 15 in California. By April 25, the WHO had declared H1N1 “a public health emergency of international concern.” By April 28, the FDA had approved a CDC test to detect H1N1. By May 4, the CDC shifted from reporting “confirmed” cases of 2009 H1N1 to reporting BOTH “confirmed and probable” cases of 2009 H1N1. The final estimate of “confirmed and probable” cases of H1N1 was over 60 million.

        Coronavirus has already been confirmed to be more infectious than H1N1. On March 13, the FDA approved the Roche test for coronavirus. Today, April 4, we have over 307,000 “confirmed” cases in the US. We are STILL WAITING for CDC to shift from reporting just “confirmed” cases to reporting BOTH “confirmed and probable” cases… WHY???

        Remember, the mortality rate is calculated by dividing the number of “confirmed deaths” by the number of “confirmed and probable” cases. As long as the number of reported “probable” cases remains at ZERO, the mortality rate will remain artificially high.

    • #47026

      The parallels to the 1918 pandemic are striking. We learned many lessons the hard way back then. Making so many of them again seems stupid and especially tragic in this modern age.

      Our rugged individualism and personal independence is a huge detriment in facing what is a public health crisis. This is about humankind. Politics should have nothing to do with our response.

      This would all be behind us if we would have had an immediate national 14-21 day lock down. That’s the most effective and least damaging strategy. A pandemic is like a brush fire that just won’t go out and keeps popping up until you wipe it out or build immunity.

      Stay safe fellow Gators. This too shall pass.

    • #47378

      What the colleagues say is real, and it is alarming. Usually he spent time watching news, sports news in betrebels, and when all this started he saw it as a joke, unimportant, but the figures do not stop rising, people do not stop getting infected and even worse, the number of deaths is costing above.
      To have a future, both economic, sports and social, we must unite, abide by the rules and hope that the best will happen.

    • #47381

      Abiding by rules fashioned by expert elites that change their minds every three weeks or so, is exceedingly tiresome. The virus is relatively harmless to 90% of people. 90% of the reaction to it, the Great Overreaction, was needless. So, there is another danger of which to be aware in life. Time to forge ahead.

      • #47382
        Sly Sylvester

        Overreaction? There’s been over 100,000 deaths and counting in just a few months due to Covid-19. It is more than the Vietnam and Korean conflicts combined. We will surely surpass the WWI tally in short order. New York alone has had 10 times the casualties than 9/11 that the country has vowed to never forget. Almost every day for the past two months, we’ve had a Katrina level of deaths. It has cost the tax payers on average a trillion dollars a month in bailouts that we will pass on to our posterity.

        I apologize to the innumerable suffering families and friends of the deceased for my callous fellow Gator fan’s remarks. There’s nothing that can be said – no logic, no reasoning, no data that can change the minds of those brainwashed by a certain political agenda. Nothing!!! Love is blind.

    • #47387

      Other contagions or calamities have taken thousands or more this year. How many million should be thrown out of work over those? Lots of terrible things could be prevented by ceasing various useful activities and/or banning useful items; no airplane travel, no aircrash casualties, no cars, no traffic fatalities, no cameras, no child pornography. Judgments are made, however, that the benefits of things like planes, cars, and cameras outweigh the risks of accidents and/or misuse by bad actors. Avoiding similar judgment regarding this virus, that has resulted in tens of millions needlessly being thrown out of work, that consequently sucked the human spirit out of them, and millions more, by destroying dreams, savings, legacies and livelihoods, is life a negating act, not life affirming. The nation can far better withstand thousands being lost than it can shutting down the lives of hundreds of millions. It’s not mean, it’s just a fact. Enough of fear. Not time to curl up in a corner. This is just another risk in life to be managed. Time to forge ahead, like men, like always has been.

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