Why a 2nd shutdown over coronavirus might be worse

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16 Jun 2020, 1:01 am

Why a 2nd shutdown over coronavirus might be worse than the 1st

It's an outcome no one wants, but could become a "harsh reality": a second wave of shutdowns.
Weeks after lifting stay-at-home orders, some states are seeing record numbers of hospitalizations from Covid-19 as thousands more Americans get infected every day.

"We're going to have to face the harsh reality in some states that we may need to shut down again," said Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a professor at George Washington University School of Medicine.
And the second wave of state shutdowns could be more damaging than the first.

"Because of quarantine fatigue, because of the economic effects of quarantine, another round of shutdowns might have even larger effects on businesses that may be on the edge of not being able to stay solvent," said Dr. Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

The economic toll from one round of shutdowns has been staggering. More than 44 million people in the United States have filed for initial unemployment benefits since mid-March.

And the consequences of another shutdown would be wide-ranging, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.
"We can't shut down the economy again," Mnuchin told CNBC. "I think we've learned that if you shut down the economy, you're going to create more damage. And not just economic damage, but ... medical problems and everything else that get put on hold."

But the federal government hasn't been in control of shutdowns and reopenings. Those have been at the discretion of each state.

"If you run out of hospital beds, and you run out of ICU beds ... (states would) have to shut down," said Reiner.

It's happened before
Second shutdowns aren't just possible -- they've already happened in some parts of the world during this pandemic.
Hong Kong and Singapore seemed to have coronavirus under control and started easing restrictions -- only to have major resurgences that led to stricter rules.

Japan's second-largest island, Hokkaido, also shut down to control the spread of coronavirus. "But they opened too quickly," Reiner said, leading to a Covid-19 comeback.

"They shut down again. And that's how they extinguished the virus."

I don't think a second shutdown can be enforced. If you are a business person who was shuttered for months then maybe looted blind you are going to say you let and encouraged all these protests and your telling me shutdown again, screw you.

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Blue Jay
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19 Jun 2020, 4:58 pm

It could be enforced if/where the government was willing to be somewhat or outright brutal about it. I think eventually the populace could be gotten to agree to it - as a whole, people eventually agree to even the stupidest things as long as it appears enough authority or peer pressure is pushing it.

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19 Jun 2020, 11:27 pm

people forget that pandemics last years. not weeks or months. this was never going to go away just in time for summer regardless of what we did.

people also forget that the whole point of shutdowns was not to quash the virus outright, but keep spread to a low enough level that healthcare infrastructure wouldn't be overwhelmed.

you can be a dictator in your own country's response to COVID but as long as travel is unrestricted there will still be transmission.

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