Hinderaker: Courage and Truth are in Short SupplyApril 25, 2020
One can think about it in this simple way: the virus doesn’t disproportionately strike nursing homes relative to other institutions. It’s just that when it reaches a nursing home, it has a devastating effect. But the fact that it’s gotten into so amazingly many nursing homes around the country just means that it has gotten into an amazingly large number of institutions and households all around the country. Most of the time the virus’s spread is very stealthy, because it doesn’t make most of those infected very sick or even sick at all. But it is lethal for particular subgroups, especially for frail elderly in nursing homes.
What this tells me is that the virus cannot be contained via contact tracing, etc., because it’s too widespread already. We don’t (and won’t) have the capacity to test everyone everywhere anytime in the foreseeable future. We must recognize that the idea that the virus can be stamped out entirely is quixotic at this point. The question should be on how to manage the disease. We have to accept that it is here, part of our environment. We have to figure out how to have a functioning society while we live with it. Will the experts and elected officials ever have the courage to tell people the truth about the situation?
Contact tracing works for sexually transmitted diseases because most people can remember the names of those with whom they have had sexual relations. But it is useless to “contact trace” in the context of COVID-19, or any respiratory virus, by asking people whom they rode the subway with, or who else may have been in the grocery store at the same time they were there.
If you read carefully, you can figure out that all the epidemiologists–as far as I know–say that CIVOD-19 will continue to spread, over time, until enough of us have had it to confer herd immunity. The percentages I have seen range from a low of around 25% of the population to a high of 80%. This is true regardless of how long the shutdowns last. The curve no longer needs to be flattened, so the shutdowns no longer have a coherent purpose, but have taken on a life of their own.
Will the “experts” and elected officials ever have the courage to tell people the truth about the situation? No. And the less said about our hopelessly corrupt press, the better.