An old friend...actually he was my sixth grade boyfriend...commented on one of my Facebook posts. He's worried that we're "overreacting" and giving up civil liberties to defend against a threat he just can't see is that bad. He said that lockdowns would collapse the economy and cost "thousands" of lives.
This was my response:
Do you remember a few days ago
when you were trying to claim that nobody was showing up to hospitals
with Covid-19 symptoms, when in fact hospitals in Atlanta and south
Georgia were already swamped? And when I predicted that we would soon
match Italy's numbers and you shrugged it off?
was right. You were wrong. You're wrong now, too. I know you're not a
stupid person, and I don't understand your emotional resistance to the
facts of the situation. I really don't understand your lack of
intellectual curiosity about it; the information I've been talking about
is easy to find. It's practically everywhere. I even gave you the
information necessary to understand that COVID-19, unchecked, will
spread exponentially. Seventy-five percent of Americans will be
Seventy-five percent of 330 million is 250 million. One
percent of 250 million is 2.5 million...but that's the best case
scenario, with no crowding or external complications and optimal care.
3.5 percent of 250 million is 8.6 million. That's a much more likely
number, if this thing is allowed to run out of control.
we do not act strongly and decisively now, "thousands" won't die.
MILLIONS will die. Over four times as many Americans will die than in
all of our wars combined. And then our economy will collapse anyway.
The difference is that it will be a lot easier to recover if a
significant chunk of the work force are holed up in their houses or
whatever we can pull together to help people survive, than if they're
dead. The difference is between relatively short-term pain
and...something else entirely.
You don't have to
take my word for it; look up the Imperial College epidemiological model
or any of the articles that are out explaining it. The part about the
economy collapsing and recovery is the opinion of my husband, who has an
MBA from Georgia Tech. He saw this stuff coming and pulled his 401k out
of the stock market before it crashed. Argue with him, if you please.
now, we are choosing life or death for millions of Americans. We are
choosing whether they will get a fighting chance or die gasping in a
hallway waiting for a respirator that will never come, and a doctor too
overwhelmed to care for them. By the time we get to that future, it
will already be far too late.
Haven't you watched
the news? Better yet, don't you know anybody who works in a hospital?
They are already overrun. They are already running out of supplies.
Already, now. And this is still just the very beginning.
If that is news to you, then your sources of information are flawed.
don't know how to make you see reason, and I find this conversation
distressing. Especially considering I am in a high risk category and may
very well not live through this. I don't know how to tell you not to
step out in front of a bus that has everyone's grandmother and diabetic
friend on board. I don't know how to make you see life or death in a
mathematical curve, or trust the world's best epidemiologist when he
says we should be taking it much more seriously than we are.
I will just remind you of our conversation a few days ago, and how everything I said has come to pass.