Saturday, March 28, 2020

Prediction at the First Turn

I said very early on that if drastic separation and quarantine measures were successful and we had fewer deaths than expected, a lot of people would conclude we were never in much danger.  See? We got all worked up over nothing!  Why, it wasn't even as bad a a regular flu season! 

This is already occurring. I suppose there is no way around it. We believe we deserve our good fortune and it was destined to happen anyway.  Failures are interruptions, attributed to a few unlucky breaks.



David Foster said...

A related thought: truth, regarding any topic, doesn't generally make itself known at one instant but becomes more clear over time. But decision-makers have to act based on what is known at the moment, realizing it may be partially incorrect or even totally wrong. As an example: if FDR had known with absolute certainty in 1941 that the atomic bomb was going to *work*, the conduct of military operations could have been quite different and much less expensive in human terms. But it would be ridiculous to condemn him for not taking action in 1941 based on what wasn't fully known until 1945.

Application to Coronavirus should be cleaer.

Texan99 said...

I scarcely dare hope that a sufficiently "overblown" lockdown would get us under an R0 of 1 and shut this thing down, but it sure would be nice. Unfortunately I can't even imagine that it would last. The pressure to break quarantine would become irresistible. I suspect, if we're lucky, we'll have a series of favorable curve-bendings followed by flare-ups, as we figure out the right balance between preserving livelihoods and preventing contagion. If we're very lucky indeed, we'll find that some safety measures are worth the cost and others aren't, so we can slowly work out a long-term accommodation.

My household continues to hire landscapers and contractors as long as they want the work. It's outside, and they're not crowding each other. We have the capital; they have the business model and the labor. It works.

james said...

I really liked Get Smart back in the day. I wonder if I still would. Maybe after Lent...