Posted by martinknox
The coronavirus organism is keeping humans guessing at the microscopic, medical treatment and political levels. Could its behaviour be complex, are situations diverse, or is detection and recording of its presence variable, local, partial and haphazard? Is it possible that behaviour is random, unpredictable, unrepeated, invisible and baffling scientists?
Manifestation could be determined by a stochastic algorithm of processes that is constantly changing and beyond analysis. No-one has the full picture. Is it asking too much that scientists should collaborate? After 6 months, pandemic control is still uncertain, without any definite prospect of a vaccine or any other treatment.
This was once the situation with AIDS, so there is hope.
No-one seems to be interpreting a global data set with authority beyond generic cautionary advice at an unprecedented large scale of economic impact, with catastrophic impacts. Normal scientific caution in establishing causes is being widely interpreted as epistemological deficiency. The causality vacuum is permitting growth of political authority and totalitarian rule.
Posted by martinknox
Normally, with say influenza, the public takes responsibility for vaccinations, seeking diagnosis, treatment, self-distancing and isolation. When there is a dangerous infectious disease like COVID-19, because the public is unable to recognise infected people and avoid dangerous contact, they expect to be protected, with infected people separated and treated. Voluntary control is displaced by public authority.
When a large part of the population is not very vulnerable, for example only 8% of worldwide COVID-19 deaths to March 30th were people aged under 60 years, the social and economic costs from restrictions to young people’s education and careers should be weighed against the small probability of significant health benefits when restrictions are being considered for renewal. If under 60s act as vectors in transmitting the disease to the vulnerable 92% of over 60s, the latter might not regard their own voluntary social distancing and self-isolation as sufficient to protect them. The calculation of what age groups to compulsorily restrict would require more transmission data than I have available. Authorities have usually imposed the same restrictions whatever are peoples’ ages.