Slava wrote:I think this is largely culture specific, even in the Nordic countries, where people have a high trust in the government, high education level and common sense, Norway and Denmark have resorted to much tougher measures, including closure of businesses and offices whereas Sweden has been relatively open assuming people will do what's best and its worked out quite well.
So a "high trust in government" is what saves lives? This seems to be what you are implying. Sweden's approach to violent crime against women would seem to imply that they are not very trustworthy... but I digress.
Sweden has an advantage that they have a low population density. I applaud their approach actually. Give the public the information in reasonably manner and give them thoughtful guidelines rather than force compliance with measures that are showing to have minimal effect based on the baselines drawn by previous epidemics. This, of course, will only be evident in a year or two when the data is available.
Slava wrote:Britain also has a flailing NHS that has been struggling with years of budget cuts thanks to the austerity measures of the conservative government so they were particularly vulnerable to an extreme case load. This is one of the main reasons why Ferguson's worst-case scenario was very much a possibility in Britain. Even if people don't die of the virus, the simple overload would mean lesser medical/EMT help for road accidents, heart failures and the regular London crime.
Not sure I follow. Nordic countries are smarter, trust government more and have common sense while the UK has a presumably underfunded healthcare system due to political ideology so Ferguson could be right? Sorry but that seems to be what you're saying.
So, if the UK has an issue with extreme caseloads they need to scare and control the public while the Nordic countries presumably are not having high caseloads because their public is more enlightened and therefore not at the same risk?
The NHS is hardly a model for patient processing and the argument that money is the primary issue seems to ignore how bureaucratic systems have evolved over time. My understanding of the "funding cuts" is that in reality the rate of funding growth has been cut because it is unsustainable. This comes from a data analysis I worked on a decade ago comparing many healthcare delivery systems worldwide. It could be outdated but in my experience most reported government "cuts" are just reductions in the rate of increase. Governments rarely if ever truly spend less on trash cans much less bureaucracy. Yes, I call the NHS a bureaucracy. A significant amount of effort, time and money spent in all government service bureaus is spent self preserving thus creating an inefficiency that grows as time passes. Not an ideological argument rather a statistical reality in most cases.
Slava wrote:The all cause mortality was always going to fall because of the shutdown, in Italy there is a 75% decrease in overall crime, fewer migrant crossings across the mediterranean, fewer road accidents due to lack of traffic and less drug trafficking etc. That's not indicative of the virus or the response alone. There's historical precedent that suggests strict quarantine measures help reboot the economy faster than an entire nation trying to bounce back under the load of medical bills, health stress and so on and so forth. This is especially acute in the US where an entire generation is already struggling with student loans and other debt.
I wasn't debating the mortality rate during the shutdowns, rather the long term rise in mortality rates due to economic recession and potentially depression (could happen in isolated areas). Geopolitical instability, migration etc. all correlate with higher mortality rates. The temporary reduction in crime, driving fatalities etc. is a pretty linear result of the shutdown.
My larger point, and one I would love to have the access to the data to model, would be the actual statistical difference in the death rate attributable to the shutdown (my guess based on previous baselines vs this so far is that it's not going to be significantly different) vs the long term loss of life due to the economic results. I'm not talking about top line economic numbers and theories of "quick" reboots economies rather what actually happens to the people in those economies. You have to remember that fewer people in an economy vs M1 and M2 always equals more economic gain. Post war economies recover relatively fast given a stable post war environment. The people? Not so much.
Anyway, the data to support any of this is anecdotal at the moment. We can attempt to draw parallels with previous similar situations but rarely do 2 of these seemingly similar events ever turn out to be similar when the dust settles.
My larger point is that I think it was scientifically irresponsible for the UK, WHO and CDC to use only the unrealistic worst case scenarios in this study as the basis for governmental action. I also think Ferguson should have redacted those portions of his study that were at the either extreme end of his modeling sequence knowing that it would be publicly released. But then again.... he's essentially part of the government of the UK so I also question his independence in this matter.