Rely on the professionalsThe pandemic would be high school. We’d still be students. Yet the fact that we’ve entered our third calendar year of full-blown pandemic—yes, technically it started in 2019, but the World Health Organization declared it a pandemic in 2020—feels surreal and almost unbelievable. Although a lot has happened since the beginning of 2020, there are still many depressing things that remain.
Schools remain closing without much warningBoth politics are a problem in the Philippines and logistics. It is still difficult to find COVID-19 testing. It’s still difficult to find COVID-19 tests. The festival and show circuits are being shut down again. The hospitals are overwhelmed. There are a lot of cancellations.
Also, public health officers stillIt’s impossible to get everything together. They are slow to move, have a tendency to change directions, and can be inconsistent with practical behaviour, scientific best practices, or both.
Here’s the most recent from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the CDC has taught a lot about how to mislead the American people. Since long, Americans diagnosed with COVID-19 should be quarantined for at least 10 days.
It is now clear that the most affected people are It is not contagious for that long—here’s a great thread about testing and contagiousnessThis is further explained in the article. Officials have asked many people to make their lives more difficult than they need.
For a long time, we’ve known about this. So, last week—finally—the CDC shifted course from its 10-day recommendation, saying five days of isolation were sufficient.
According to the latest CDC guidance, COVID-19 patients should remain in isolation for at least 5 days. If symptoms persist or they resolve within 24 hours (without fever),) then you can contact the CDC. This change has been motivated by scientific evidence that SARS-CoV-2 transmission is most common in early stages of illness. It occurs in the days 1-2 before symptoms begin and in the days 2-4 after.
Welllllll…kind of. It did not include a COVID-19 negative test in its recommendations. It did however include scientifically questionable (or incomplete) advice.
According to the CDC infected individuals should remain isolated and use a mask for at least five days. This will reduce the chance of them infecting others. Even the most well-fitted cloth masks won’t stop transmission. For effective mitigation of transmission, N95 masks will be required. Common surgical masks won’t do the trick. Officials refuse to give specific advice on what masks should be worn, preferring instead the dangerous but simple message that all masking is safe. This gives people a false sense of security and—if they’ve read much about transmission and masking—makes the agency seem scientifically unreliable.
Meanwhile, something that actually is consequential for determining—and stopping—potential contagiousness is whether a rapid antigen test comes back negative. However, this information was not in the CDC’s last week’s revised advice.
Anthony Fauci is now the top White House COVID-19 adviser and says that the CDC might revise their recommendation for a five-day isolation. A negative rapid result is possibleThese are strongly recommended.
America’s lack of quick tests may be why the CDC hasn’t included that information in its updated guidance. Rapid tests are more difficult and costly here than in Europe. We don’t know why. We can again blame the federal government. It has taken the U.S. Food and Drug Administration a long time to approve rapid tests.
Whatever your situation, Why?Although the CDC recommended that isolation be ended before testing could begin, this result makes the agency seem hesitant and uncertain.
The oversight—and potential correction—marks the latest in a line of questionable CDC guidance, regarding everything from how the virus spreads to masking to what to do if you are infected. Since the beginning of the pandemic the messaging by the CDC, and other government agencies has been confusing and unclear. It seems that the agency has tried to undermine confidence and put politics ahead of clarity at every stage.
It’s not surprising that Americans don’t want to “trust experts.”
Here’s a way to finish on a happier note. The New York TimesThis point is one of the many ways it can be accounted for in the pandemic. It is notThe situation remains the same as in two years past, and there are reasons to believe.
This is the conspiracy theory spiral. Researchers in the journal found in two studies that conspiracy belief increases predicted conspiracy belief growth, creating a self-reinforcing circle. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
The conspiracy theories work against you
Although conspiracy theories are believed to alleviate anxiety symptoms, they only increase anxiety and uncertainty, as well as the fear of being attacked.
This results in a self-reinforcing circle. https://t.co/yroNv5ZGDE pic.twitter.com/p4oitc5DJp
— Jay Van Bavel (@jayvanbavel) January 2, 2022
NO FEES MARKETS
Student loan forgiveness has reopened. In his newsletter, Matthew Yglesias—who formerly supported such action—makes good arguments against this plan:
Instead of focusing on inflation, the Federal Reserve is adjusting to ensure that the economy does not suffer. That means student loan forgiveness in 2022 is a purely distributive issue — one that will shift resources from the majority of Americans with no student loan debt to the minority of Americans who have it.
Although both debtors (and non-debtors) are very diverse groups, it is evident that those who aren’t in the net are more common and are less wealthy on the average.
Although there are many individual situations where debt relief may sound appealing, it is not possible to get broad relief in the current economic climate. This is the only situation where progressives could talk themselves into such an idea. However, this notion is being supported by some bizarre math regarding the disparity in racial wealth.
However, I think the discussion around it is driven largely by the correct perception that the US higher education system’s financial management system is bad and messed-up. The problem is that the form of debt relief that is being contemplated — one with no forward-looking reforms and in which even the most dysfunctional or abusive institutions still get paid in full — won’t fix anything about the system and could make it worse. Last, but certainly not least: I feel that this obsession with the idea is an unhealthy obsession with executive-branch unilateralism. Although it’s essential to fully understand the presidencies and their potential powers, what sane people really want isn’t possible with these tools. You need a legislative coalition to reform the system, probably one that is bipartisan.
You can read more here.
• The “plot” to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is an FBI creation.
• Violence against the government can sometimes be justified, say one-third of Americans polled by The Washington Post. This figure is up 23 percent from the 2015 poll, and 16% in 2010.
• Sixty-two percent of people in a recent CBS News poll say they don’t want Donald Trump to run for president again:
Trump: What next?
One-fifth of Trump’s 2020 voters and twelve percent of the country want Trump fighting to retake his presidency immediately before next year. https://t.co/AtJ0UPvQbz pic.twitter.com/r3vARiENgo
— CBS News Poll (@CBSNewsPoll) January 2, 2022
• This week, minimum wage increases are taking place in all 50 states. CNN notes that 20 states have seen their minimum wages rise starting Saturday. New York’s hike began Friday. See also “How economists learned to love minimum wage hikes.”
• “Copyright doesn’t need 95 years to get the job done,” argues Alan Cole at Full Stack Economy.
• Goodbye “genetically modified” food, hello “bioengineered” food.
• France is banning plastic packaging on produce.
• Dutch protesters stand up against new lockdown measures in the Netherlands.
• Another Hong Kong news outlet—Citizen News—is shutting down among diminishing press freedom. According to the Associated Press, it was shut down “days after seven pro-democracy journalists were raided by police and taken into custody for sedition.” Following pro-democracy news site Stand News, Citizen News has been the third outlet to shut down in recent months.