Risky weeks ahead and until vaccines arrive. Meanwhile “Texas Attorney General tells county officials they can’t require face masks or issue stay-at-home orders”.
Social distancing didn’t meaningfully reduce the number of deaths from the Spanish flu a century ago because it didn’t last long enough, says a new research paper that has implications for the response to Covid-19.
“The lesson for the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in 2020 is that, to curtail overall deaths, the NPIs [non-pharmaceutical interventions] used have to be maintained for substantially longer than a few weeks. Most likely, 12 weeks work much better than 4-6 weeks,” Robert Barro writes in the National Bureau of Economic Research working paper.
Barro’s calculation doesn’t take into account the economic losses from an extended shutdown. But in an email, he says any decline in gross domestic product has to be weighed against the economic value of saving lives. He uses $10 million for the value of a single life, based on estimates of how much additional money people demand to be paid for jobs that increase the risk of dying. At 12 weeks, he says, the benefits from a shutdown exceed the costs.
A new study shows how the last world #pandemic (the Spanish flu of 1918) actually originated at a US military base in Kansas, and its effects helped create right-wing extremism which led to #nazism…— e.s. piteau (@espiteau) May 5, 2020
Careful! History repeats itself in dissimilar ways.https://t.co/PYJHlKrifS
A new academic paper produced by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York concludes that deaths caused by the 1918 influenza pandemic “profoundly shaped German society” in subsequent years and contributed to the strengthening of the Nazi Party.
The paper, published this month and authored by New York Fed economist Kristian Blickle, examined municipal spending levels and voter extremism in Germany from the time of the initial influenza outbreak until 1933, and shows that “areas which experienced a greater relative population decline” due to the pandemic spent “less, per capita, on their inhabitants in the following decade.”
The paper also shows that “influenza deaths of 1918 are correlated with an increase in the share of votes won by right-wing extremists, such as the National Socialist Workers Party” in Germany’s 1932 and 1933 elections.
By the way, you never needed to learn the name of Dr. Fauci during the Ebola Crisis, because @BarackObama just fucking took his advice.— Bradley Whitford (@BradleyWhitford) May 13, 2020
A virus walks into a bar and orders a drink. The bartenders respond, “Sorry, we don’t serve viruses”. So the virus jumps across the counter, invades their DNA, and turns them into bartenders who do.— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) May 13, 2020
(Geeky Virus joke, told to me years ago by @sciencecomedian)