Pushing panic and doom?

Two ideas came up today in various essays. One highlights the fact that social distancing has an impact on all communicable diseases and the decrease in flu cases skews Wuhan virus handling capability. Another is comparing the assault on hospital capacity of a disaster like 9/11 to the epidemic and wondering about the ability to handle disasters.

John Podhoretz: Watch out for the Chicken Littles gleefully pushing panic and doom – “For Americans especially prone to that specific fear, there is almost no piece of coronavirus news that doesn’t trigger a renewed sense of panic.” … “There is something peculiar going on in the way certain people are discussing the coronavirus — journalists, pundits and the armies of “influencers” endowed with a blue checkmark for no obvious reason. It’s almost as though they are taking a salacious pleasure in the grimmest and most haunting possibilities.

Ryan Sasscer: Let’s not Swat the Mosquito but get Hit by the Train – “The COVID-19 pandemic is a legitimate crisis we should take seriously, but our response to this virus is putting us on course for a far worse disaster.”

Augusto Zimmermann: Dear PM, a Word to Ponder, ‘Proportion’ – “Dr Katz suggests that governments should depart from the “total war” strategy that your government and others are employing – disrupting businesses and restricting the movement of people with no regards to the variance in the risks of contracting the infection – and start adopting instead a rather more “surgical war” approach to the problem.

Scott Johnson: Coronavirus in one state – “The order is premised on modeling performed by state and University of Minnesota public health experts” … “The implication is that we have been “doing nothing.” We have been “doing something” for the past few weeks.” … “There is reasonable ground to wonder whether the projections on which the governor has relied comport with reality.” … “Current data compiled by the Minnesota Department of Health reflect these numbers: 11,000 tests, 287 positive, one death. The data also reflect a total of 35 cases requiring hospitalization, including 26 hospitalized as of today.

John Hinderaker: COVID-19 Fatalities So Far – “The Diamond Princess experience–virtually a laboratory experiment–suggests that around 80% of the population is naturally immune to COVID-19, that half the people who get the disease will experience no symptoms, and that in an elderly population, something like 1% of those who contract the disease will die. So far I don’t see anything in the reported U.S. or global fatality numbers to contradict the Diamond Princess experience.

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