Coronavirus: More than 66,441 dead in U.S., 243,015 have died globally

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Does this look like a good time to lift restrictions?

In a sane world, hells no.

But in Our Darkest Timeline, in which Zaroffs like Trump and Musk et al. want us all playing an epidemiological Most Dangerous Game, well, then, yes!

Open up the country! Stack those bodies like cordwood! Liberate us from mundane life, O Glorious Leaders!!!1!!!


I am not in favor of “open it up” with no regard to safety. However, According to Johns Hopkins data, over the last two weeks the deaths per day nationally have been:

Date Deaths
4/19/2020 1,997
4/20/2020 1,433
4/21/2020 2,751
4/22/2020 1,738
4/23/2020 3,371
4/24/2020 1,995
4/25/2020 1,806
4/26/2020 1,126
4/27/2020 1,378
4/28/2020 2,089
4/29/2020 2,619
4/30/2020 2,029
5/1/2020 1,947
5/2/2020 1,426

Chart those numbers and it actually seems pretty flat. The idea is not to shelter until these counts go down to near zero. The idea is to slowly expose people to the virus so that we can develop herd immunity without overwhelming the hospitals.

In the Bay Area, out numbers are much small and we are taking a measured approach to reopening that I think makes sense. Outdoor construction landscaping, etc is now allowed, access to parks is allowed as long as you maintain social distancing guidelines and don’t use high-touch things like playground equipment. I believe phase two is to open up more retail with curbside pickup, masks and limits on people in stores.

Because a viable vaccine is probably at least a year away, I think a slow reopening with restrictions will show us how to be able to live with this virus until we have a cure.


I really wonder if they think COVID19 will weed out people they find undesirable. It’s undeniable the virus is hitting the poorest and victims of systemic racism hardest. I don’t think the politicians in particular realize their voters are going to be seriously impacted too. Those are the people totally disregarding mitigation measures.


Believe it. That, and it will produce a cohort of immunoprivileged Brownshirts to work in the death camps. Fun times!


That was rather my idea, part of my not dying strategy. People aren’t counts, brah. Rewriting John Kerry, how can you ask me to be one of the first people to die for a mistake?

I live in Brooklyn, which the virus has turned into a charnelhouse. I kind of stopped paying attention to you here.


It might calm those resisting lockdown down a bit if state and local governments quantified exactly what metric would permit what levels of reopening. Break it down into gradations and say something like, “When the county reduces to this number of hospitalizations per capita, these specific businesses can reopen with appropriate distancing and protective precautions, but if it goes over this number, they close again.”

I’m sure some will still protest the numbers as inflated, but it might give others a goal to work towards rather than the current ambiguity. Might also turn more people against the protesters who inhibit progress towards those goals.


The problem is that the only way to achieve herd immunity without vaccinations is to let the epidemic run its course through most of the population, killing a fraction of us. As you say, slowing down the spread avoids overwhelming the health system, avoiding additional deaths as people cannot get treatment. It also has the advantage of giving us additional time to produce more equipment to protect health-care and other essential workers and to develop and test treatments. Perhaps we should only strictly isolate those more at risk: the elderly, the immunocompromised and those that take care of them, until herd immunity is developed in the rest of the population, but even that still could mean the death of hundreds of thousands of people.

If we had been better prepared, we could have handled the situation through testing, contact tracing, and selective isolation, with a much smaller number of deaths and less impact to the economy. Because we didn’t do that, the choice that we have now is whether we want to keep a stricter isolation regime until a vaccine is developed or not. Waiting will increase the economic pain, not waiting will kill people that could have been protected by vaccines.


So the numbers say that the US has had 1/4 of the total world deaths.

One thing that tells us for sure, we have fucked this up royally.

And by “we” I mean trump.


Makes sense. Brooklyn has it’s own issues and should set its own rules.

“Flatten the curve” was all about not overwhelming healthcare, full stop. Herd immunity is wishful thinking right now – the human cost is too high, and our knowledge is scant. We do not yet know if exposure to this coronavirus imparts immunities to future mutations. It’s novel and our only defense until we know more is to slow the spread.



“herd immunity” in the us, even assuming we do it without overwhelming the hospitals, would be well over a million people dead.

there is no treatment for this virus. ( though there is now maybe a candidate for partial treatment with remdesivir ) there is only mitigation of symptoms so that maybe you don’t die when it hits you ( in which case, maybe you live with lifelong heart or lung dysfunction. )

the more people are exposed, the more people will die. there’s no way around it.




One problem is that we’re still learning about the virus and even epidemiologists aren’t yet in agreement about what the numbers should look like before we start reopening businesses. (If we even had reliable numbers, which we don’t because there still isn’t any widespread testing.)


True. But they all agree we aren’t ready right now.


Given the spike in deaths during this period, and how even people who clearly died of coronavirus at home without being tested aren’t counted, the more likely death toll in the US exceeds 100K.

Globally, who knows - some states are actively suppressing their death tolls cough Russia cough, so the actual statistics are probably far worse there, too. (In Russia, doctors who are critical of the government’s response to the virus mysteriously fall out windows. Three so far.)

In the US alone, that means millions of deaths.

What I’m reading about remdesivir isn’t all that encouraging, really. Seems like the best treatments we’ve (maybe) got are of the “if you aren’t that sick, it can help a bit” variety. Problem being that very few people are getting treatment until they’re pretty sick.

There are two problems with this, though:
There aren’t travel restrictions within the US. One area’s issues become every area’s issues very quickly.
The huge number of deaths in the NY area is obscuring the fact that the infection and death rates, per capita, are actually higher in a few other parts of the country. Which are now “opening up.” I’m seeing pictures from various parts of the country showing large numbers of people in public, without any masks to be seen. It’s going to be a disaster in a couple weeks.

Good thing we’re not relying on epidemiologists to do the forecasts, then! The White House is relying on hack economist Kevin Hassett to do that.

Oh wait, that’s not a good thing…


Absolutely right. But there has to be some sort of overly-cautious schedule that’s neither all or nothing and that most experts could agree on with what we know now. Widespread testing has low odds of being accomplished anytime during Trump’s remaining term, so throwing out some substantive, quantifiable red meat - even if it means the current state remains stay-at-home and far from relaxing anything - that can be scaled as we learn might relieve some degree of the black & white mindset driving these protests. We’ll need that kind of metric eventually, so why not start building it now?

I agree that we are stuck with two crappy choices: 1) trash the economy or 2) cause more deaths.

But I’m not sure of this argument. “In the US alone, that means millions of deaths.” Can you cite any source that says if we take measured steps to opening the economy there will be millions of deaths? Plus, if the numbers of cases and deaths start rising appreciably, we can tighten things back up again.

Anyway, I’m for each area deciding to reopen in it’s own way. I don’t want Trump making any wholesale decisions about what people should do because they are going to be bad decisions. In San Mateo county we have case rates and death rate lower than in place like Germany. We need to take a sane, measure approach to reopening, but we don’t have to look to the places where things are at there worst and use that as guidance.

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I’d argue that 2) should be “cause more deaths and crash the economy”. There’s no way those deaths and probably even more people who survive but have their health ruined by the virus will not affect the economy.


I think the ‘millions of deaths’ bit refers to the ‘let’s go for herd imminity without a vaccine’ approach. And yes, for a population of 328 million1) that would mean millions of deaths.

1) U.S. Census Bureau / 2019