June 25, 2020

I THINK THIS IS GOOD NEWS: As COVID-19 Infections Rise, Patients Are Getting Younger: The trend, which may reflect growing defiance of social distancing in some age groups, implies a lower death rate. Doesn’t this mean we’re building herd immunity among the people least likely to suffer complications, while protecting those who are the most vulnerable?


If rising infections in states such as Texas, California, Arizona, and Florida (which yesterday saw a record increase in new confirmed cases) represent a new normal rather than a one-time jump tied to social gatherings on Memorial Day weekend, it will be hard to put the genie back in the bottle, regardless of any legal restrictions politicians decide to reimpose. Given the impracticality of mass enforcement, social distancing has always required voluntary compliance, and the willingness to comply seems to be waning, partly because of sheer impatience but also because the experience with ham-handed, economically devastating, and frequently arbitrary lockdowns has left many people bitter and disinclined to follow official recommendations.

Yes, the public health community squandered the trust that is its biggest asset.

Also, have you noticed that the rise in case numbers comes 1-2 incubation periods after those massive protests that public health people encouraged? And among the age groups that were most likely to protest? If you did, it was probably on your own, and not with the help of the media coverage.

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