Law of unintended consequences: Quarantines can kill people

We find that as the county unemployment rate increases by 1 percentage point, the opioid death rate per 100,000 people rises by 0.19

News report say that unemployment claims increased to 3.3 million since the widespread lockdowns.
That number of unemployment claims out of 130 million workers corresponds to a 2.5% increase in unemployment rate. The corresponding increase in annual deaths is:

2.5% x .19deaths/100000 people/% x 300,000,000 people = 7500 deaths

That figure is just from the effect of increased opioid deaths. Other deaths may increase as well.

How do we minimize economic damage while reducing risk of spreading infections?

How do we make sure that quarantines are a net benefit to society?

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Respond better so we don’t have to have as many of them.

The numbers from the study use an annual basis.

Presumably the effect of a few weeks of short-term unemployment is much less, but still the sledge hammer approach is at best only a very short term solution to the epidemic. In the longer term, we can’t afford to shut down the economy for large portions of the country.

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I know.

That’s why I said be better prepared the next pandemic so we don’t have to do this.

What we are doing now is because we frittered away an entire month…hell since we knew Dec 31…maybe two months.

You don’t have to pass a drug test to sit on your ass at home.

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Until January 22 China was claiming that this was passed by animals to humans. The only people allowed on the ground there were WHO, which wasn’t arguing against China and was saying there should be no travel restrictions.
Don;'t look at after the fact and act like everybody was working with perfect knowledge then.


In a situation like this, quarantines and/or social distancing are a benefit to society.

Honestly, I really couldn’t care less about people who use opioids.

We have two choices in life: Deal with it and keep moving forward or don’t.

And governor Cuomo is making sounds like a county by county assessment, as is now being suggested by Trump, might have been a better way to go for NY State than Cuomo’s total lockdown of the entire state.


Still a whole month and a half from that point.

We frittered that time away.

Not blaming one person- the time was frittered away by folks at the local, state and federal governments.

We didn’t do that…it is taken seriously as soon as we had enough knowledge…we recognize the importance of testing and contact tracing right from the start?

And we likely aren’t doing what we are doing right now.

And that’s the answer to the OP. Be better prepared next time.

I had an employee come in the other day wearing a mask complaining of an elevated temperature and sore throat. Went to the doctor and the doctor said he didn’t qualify for testing but to self isolate just in case.

BTW, this employee has historically been a hypochondriac.

We have masks so he made sure he was wearing one

3M started ramping up mask production in late January.
CDC prepared the first tests on Feb 5th. There were technical problems they had to correct and this caused a delay.
“Frittering away” and not having the capability to do everything right immediately to a new situation are not the same things.

It is to the Jackass that only knows how to kick in the door.

Yup. Solar panels vs. respirators.

Stay on top of what is popular not what is necessary.

Really? We knew Dec 31 and congress went ahead with impeachment instead of working on the crisis that WHO hadn’t even declared yet?


Widespread poverty can undoubtedly have negative effects…but then are you also factoring stuff like less pollution, less car accidents during the quarantine, etc? It’s pretty difficult to base everything on just one set of numbers.

Ultimately, the goal of a quarantine should be to end the spread of a disease as quickly as possible. If it lasts too long, that mostly means that either we took too long to act or we aren’t carrying out the quarantine effectively enough.

Patently ridiculous the assertion that the impeachment precluded any preparatory work on mitigating the impact of the coronavirus.

I’m sitting on my ass at home, except when I’m riding my bicycle on the levee. Fortunately, I work from home while I sit on my ass. Other than, my wife and I are isolated at home.

Yes China lied and misled about CV in the early days.

Yes the Trump administration ignored IS intel on CV, ignored it, downplayed it, tried to hand wave it away and is now in the middle of a not so slow rolling face plant trying to catch up.

Both of those are true. Whatever China did or didn’t do is immaterial to the failures of the current administration.


Who cares what they were publicly admitting? Our intelligence knew that wasnt true and informed the President of such. He ignored it

They are.

All the red tape that held up the tests was blasted away in mid-March when the President and his task force were finally paying attention.

Imagine that happened in early Feb?

3M ramped up to meet worldwide demand, not US demand.

EARLY testing and contact tracing are paramount to stopping a pandemic early. Hell all the fed and state officials would have had to do was watch “Contagion”.

No excuses.

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