COVID Response Strategies

The Wall Street Journal 8/24/2020 Article “New Thinking on Covid Lockdowns: They’re Overly Blunt and Costly”

This is the most thoughtful, data driven, reflective, and objective considerations of potential strategic responses designed to achieve maximum and balanced health, economic, and social salvation from COVID that I have read. –Kevin Hancock

  • “400 million jobs have been lost world wide.”
  • “We are on the cusp of an economic catastrophe. We can avoid the worst of that catastrophe by being disciplined.” – James Stock. Harvard economist.
  • “The economic pain from the pandemic mostly comes not from sick people but from healthy people trying not to get sick.”
  • “There have been few attempts to truly define the goal.”
  • “Nursing homes account for 0.6% of the population but 45% of Covid fatalities. Better isolating those residents would have saved many lives at little economic cost.”
  • “By contrast, fewer children have died this year from COVID-19 than from flu.”
  • “And studies in Sweden, where most schools stayed open, and the Netherlands, where they reopened in May, found teachers at no greater risk than the overall population.”
  • “If schools don’t reopen until next January, McKinsey & Co. estimates, low-income children will have lost a year of education, which it says translates into 4% lower lifetime earnings.”
  • “Bars, restaurants, and casinos accounted for 32% of infections traced in Louisiana.”
  • “Masks may be the most effective intervention of all.”

The thesis is that more targeted strategies would have saved / and still have the potential to save / more lives AND simultaneously create far less social and economic disruption.

This article was refreshing because, for me, it transcended politics. When was the last time you over-heard or participated in a non-political / calm / rational discussion of potential COVID management strategies with data and balance for all priorities? When I realized a couple months ago that our national Covid response would be the primary campaign debate theme in November I knew it would result in polarized thought limitations. Winning strategies usually reside in the gray middle but our politics live on the extremes and it’s costly.