Covid – the danger point

With a number of US states (including my own state of Texas) starting to re-open, we are at what will probably be seen, looking back, at a point of inflection.

The states opening up are desperate to re-start many economic activities that almost ceased during initial lockdown, since many of the activities most affected are ones that employ a LOT of people.

The fundamental issue, which the political leaders, in their usual fashion, have avoided discussing where possible, is that increasing activities relying on personal interaction is bound to lead to an increase in Covid contagion, unless a significant percentage of the population has already been infected by the virus. My blunt question would be whether they have actually performed any mathematical analysis about how many extra deaths they are prepared to accept. That would be regarded as a taboo subjects, but that really is one fundamental question.

The other fundamental question is: how far down the contagion path is the region of the USA that a governor controls?

The problem is that nobody knows the general level of infection in any local population anywhere in the USA. This is because testing has been a severely constrained resource, only used for individuals who are regarded as highly essential or important, or people who are suspected of having contracted Covid-19. So the population for testing, instead of being random, is highly pre-selected, making it useless for any statistically valid estimation of overall infection rates.

Absent useful information on overall infection rates, opening up high-social interactions within the economy is an uninformed gamble, not a sensible, measured decision. Everybody needs to realize this.

We will know by the end of next week whether the decision in Texas was a wise one.

Personally, I would rather be accused of being cautious rather than excoriated after the fact for being reckless.

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