This is the third in a series of posts describing the damage caused by shutting down the economy. First post discussed recent news on economic damage. Second post described ongoing health damage.
Some things are *not* going wrong
Just under half a million people attended the motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota from August 7 through 16.
Half a million. Official tally is 462,000.
In one small town.
Check out any of the pictures from the rally and you will notice a distinct lack of masks and social distancing.
Expectations in most media sources were for this event to produce massive amounts of infection.
Half a million people. In one town.
The tracking results are in from the massive numbers of people who were infected and the resulting fatalities from this massive event.
It is shocking. Amazing. Head-shaking. Astounding.
Best info available is that:
- 196 people tested positive for COVID with results linked to attending Sturgis.
- 4 people died.
To put that in context, 5 people died of motorcycle accidents in Sturgis during the rally.
Growing awareness something is wrong with lockdowns
8/24/20 – Wall Street Journal – New Thinking on COVID Lockdowns: They are Overly Blunt and Costly – Article has a massive amount of information on the course of the pandemic, wide range of strategies by national and state governments, and large volume of statistics. The story is told basically scrambled egg style with no pattern or trends or storylines that I can easily summarize.
One thing that runs through the article is the hard shutdowns have come at a severe price financially, economically and in terms of mental health. Information cited and the article itself does find any particular correlation between strength of the shutdown and restrictive measures and the outcomes.
Health decision-makers have changed their minds several times. For a couple months shutdowns were not on the table and then there was the way to go. Masks were not important and now they are the major way to hold and spread.
Cultural and geographic issues seem to enter into the national results.
Taiwan, South Korea, and Hong Kong responded quickly without has harsh responses as else in the world. Their outcomes appear to be dramatically better than most countries.
Sweden decided to take a far less severe approach. There infection and death rates are about the same as the rest of Europe. One graph shows their death rate is dramatically higher than Denmark however it is between the high rates of the UK and US. Sweden has not had the devastating economic damage.
Amusingly, even though California has changed its strategy multiple times that I can see, one official says there has been no change in strategy at all.
Impact on children from COVID is minimal but the devastation from lack of school will be severe. Article says there have been less children die from COVID this year than from flu. Sweden and Netherlands saw minimal caseloads when they open their schools.
One consulting firm said that if schools stay closes until January poor children will have lost an entire year of education which in turn translates to a drop of lifetime earnings in the amount of 4%. So losing 10 months of school will cost 1/25th of their lifetime earnings.
Why are we doing that to poor people?