So what is the end goal of COVID?

First, off I believe it's a serious virus for those most vulnerable and it is certainly not a hoax like many think.

One thing I'm struggling on is, what exactly is the end goal in this pandemic? Cases to zero? Just getting an effective vaccine available? Only a certain number of cases a day? I'm just confused here as to what gives the "green light" to return to normal. There are over 35 million confirmed Flu cases per year. I am not saying it's the flu, but we have a vaccine and we still have that many cases. States continue to threaten shutdowns. Hasn't Europe proved lockdowns do not actually do anything in helping the long term?

I will use NY/NJ as an example. After a rough March/April, people were applauding the job these two states did in getting the virus under control. Look now. Cases are surging just like other states. We wear masks everywhere. Strict restrictions on dining/store or what not. Cases were only at like 200 a day for a while. So what is it? Can you really "stop" a virus? 

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Nov 11, 2020 - 8:58pm

Ironic because I think election is close enough that if Trumps response to covid had been marginally, just slightly better and he had encouraged us to "beat the Chinese virus through mask wearing" he would've been just fine. Biden was a terrible candidate who ran a very weak campaign, trump lost this, Biden did not win this

Nov 11, 2020 - 9:28pm

Lloyd BIankfein

Ironic because I think election is close enough that if Trumps response to covid had been marginally, just slightly better and he had encouraged us to "beat the Chinese virus through mask wearing" he would've been just fine. Biden was a terrible candidate who ran a very weak campaign, trump lost this, Biden did not win this

I agree with this 1000%. Trump was his own worst enemy. If he had done ANYTHING in 2020 marginally better he would have made up the combined 50-60,000 votes in the 4 swing states he lost. His erratic news conferences on Covid just made him look dumb.

I've been saying for YEARS that all Trump had to do was to stop tweeting, and for 3 months leading up to the election, except for the occasional mind f*ck tweet, such as, "Happy birthday to Speaker Pelosi. May it be a blessed day." That would have taken all of the air out of the media's coverage of him, it would have vastly reduced the intensity of the opposition. It would have been the all-time greatest troll job in all of internet history, but he just was so desperate to be talked about ALL the time that he couldn't help himself. 

Array

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Nov 12, 2020 - 3:21pm

Pretty much. I stopped caring about this issue when apparently it's okay to mass gather to burn your city down.

Another lockdown isn't going to happen nationwide though. Assuming Biden gets into office, states like Texas or Florida are just going to ignore it. Blue-collar workers and small businesses though in California or New York are going to get wrecked.

  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
Nov 11, 2020 - 7:25am

I don't think it will be that straightforward. Politicians love making things complicated to give themselves an inflated sense of self importance. 

Nov 11, 2020 - 2:37pm

michaelthomas

Once the vaccines are out and every susceptible/elderly person takes it the pandemics over. Simple as that.

I was listening to a doctor/epidemiologist on a radio program and he said even with the vaccine, physical distancing + masks should continue. I, too, am completely stumped as to what the end game is here. The eradication of disease? The funny thing is, I'm a germaphobe--my apartment is spotless (looks like a model unit). And even I cannot believe the level of derangement we're seeing here. 

When the population is vaccinated, the doctors still want everyone to isolate and wear masks. One cannot help but believe there is an element of power that these doctors love. Power does corrupt. Doctors are not immune (no pun intended) from the corruption of power.

Array

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Nov 11, 2020 - 3:04pm

That's not gonna happen. People don't give a fuck anymore. Did you see the celebrations in the streets after Biden's "win". The same people virtue signaling all day were quick to pack the streets with thousands of people and no social distancing. No one actually cares. It's all political theatre.

Nov 11, 2020 - 6:29am

I wish I knew. When this started, all you heard was flatten the curve, then you heard make sure hospitals aren't overwhelmed because you can't stop a virus, it'll do what nature intended it to do. Now it feels like we're laser focused on rising cases without concurrent spikes in deaths or hospitals being overwhelmed, just OMG CASES to justify current lockdowns. I truly don't get it.

Nov 11, 2020 - 9:25am

thebrofessor

I wish I knew. When this started, all you heard was flatten the curve, then you heard make sure hospitals aren't overwhelmed because you can't stop a virus, it'll do what nature intended it to do. Now it feels like we're laser focused on rising cases without concurrent spikes in deaths or hospitals being overwhelmed, just OMG CASES to justify current lockdowns. I truly don't get it.

Different points in time call for different goals.

Flatten the curve was the initial goal, because the country (and the world, really) wasn't prepared to deal with the case load.  The goal was never "lets have 1,000 people die every day instead of 5,000," the goal was always to get to a point where there is a vaccine and therefore the virus is essentially at it's minimal possible impact.  If you're playing in the NFL Wild Card round, everyone makes noise about playing the game in front of you, and lets just win that.  No one ever then says "hey, that was our goal, we're forfeiting the next round and going home, thanks bye!"  

When there is a viable vaccine that can (and has been) widely distributed, that is the end of the story.  It's pretty straightforward and self-evident.  Anyone who tells you otherwise is politicizing it or being deliberately obtuse.

Nov 11, 2020 - 10:23am

I guess my point is the changing definitions and lack of transparency (and before you say I'm completely uninformed, I get my covid news from my governor, Reuters, and our local NBC affiliate). I realize that you need to pivot if circumstances change. my question is this: why was there a pivot from not overwhelming hospitals to retaining lockdowns after that goal was accomplished? I've not heard that explained.

why did our measurement of success change from flattening the curve? I've not heard that explained. in the absence of eradication a la smallpox, how does one define success?

that is why I'm confused, because I've not heard an explanation as to why the goalpost keeps moving. and yes, this is due to my frustration with my government. I've been wearing a mask since the spring, I see everyone else wearing masks (except for outdoor stuff), staying the fuck away from people, and our state has not seen hospitals overwhelmed at any point in time during this pandemic. our health secretary admitted that rising caseloads are linked to close indoor contact at personal gatherings (not restaurants like everyone's feared), aka things that cannot legally be shut down. and on top of all of that, part of me questions why the fuck we locked down in the first place. if you mandate masks, as my state did, and masks are so fucking effective (the science does prove this), then why can't we go to an open, mask-wearing economy? 

another part of me wonders why some of the most strict mask wearing places in the country (NY, NJ, IL, MA) still having spiking cases? I have friends in these places, mask wearing is everywhere, and yet cases are rising and lockdowns persist. I truly, truly, do not get this. (source: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/09/01/816707182/map-trac…)

Nov 11, 2020 - 7:10am

Gonna try to be serious and not look at it through a political lens, because preventing people from dying matters more than politics. So it is tough to highlight an end goal. I guess obviously no cases, but idk how feasible that is. Current goal is getting more data from Pfizer and Biontech on their vaccine, which if it is 90% effective, or 80%, or even 70%, that is great. A vaccine of 90% efficacy will decimate new cases by eliminating the, I guess you could call them, points of contact between someone infected and someone who would normally get it. Imagine one of those web/string diagrams linking shit to the center. Now cut most of those strings, and the various branch groups off of those also die. A number like 70% seems low, but it would absolutely slash new cases once widely distributed. So current goal is getting this thing approved, which I'm sure Pfizer will be able to do as it seems they really outdid themselves on this one (hopefully I won't have to eat those words!). 

The next goal would be to make sure we have the manufacturing and distribution capabilities to really get this thing out as fast as possible, first as early access for patients who are high risk, but hopefully everyone soon. Baked into this goal is my hope that people will make sure to take the time to get vaccinated, as well as take it in the first place. I won't get into the whole anti-vaxxer debate, but I think that mindset can be dangerous and hurt those around them. Now I really don't see manufacturing being a huge issue, as Pfizer is an enormous company with global reach and vast capabilities, and they can easily contract with CMOs and generic producers who equip their plants to make this instead if need be. When it comes to distribution and accessibility, that is where I could see a problem. Idk how, but we really need to make sure that this reaches everyone and is not prohibitively difficult to obtain in certain areas. I am not worried about coverage or anything like that, and even if there are issues, the vaccine looks like it will be pretty inexpensive. 

So in my POV, that is where we currently stand. Will we get down to zero cases? Who knows. Ever? I hope. There is a big world outside of north america and europe, who I imagine will have first dibs on this vaccine. Plus, in other countries, accessibility becomes a gigantic problem. I imagine governments will need to step in and help in countries where business/pharmaceutical/medical infrastructure is not capable of handling this on their own without state intervention. Long term, SARS-CoV-2 will need to be monitored and the vaccine will need to be adjusted to account for mutations when required, just like the flu. There is a very long road ahead, but I think we are taking steps in the right direction today. 

Edit: Can someone let me know why they're MSing this after they do so? I am curious how you are opposed to focusing on the science of it. OP never mentioned politics in their question.

Dayman?
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  • Intern in S&T - FI
Nov 12, 2020 - 5:03pm

Problem here is the current vaccine doesn't prevent virus transmission and doesn't actually kill the virus, just ensure it won't affect you (w/ 90% effectiveness). You can be vaccinated and still be a carrier basically, and with the logistical barriers to getting this vaccine out (i.e. it has to be stored at ~-80 degrees C), this could still impact the spread of covid.

  • Analyst 1 in S&T - Equities
Nov 11, 2020 - 8:34am

There is no real end goal. I get the sense that the general public is thinking this needs to be entirely "eradicated" before life continues.

On another note, I couldn't help but smile after reading this Washington Post article this morning about a spike in COVID cases in NYC. They reference a Jewish wedding, but forgot to mention the celebrations this weekend with hundreds of thousands gathered.

La

Controversial
Nov 11, 2020 - 9:29am

There is no real end goal. I get the sense that the general public is thinking this needs to be entirely "eradicated" before life continues.

On another note, I couldn't help but smile after reading this Washington Post article this morning about a spike in COVID cases in NYC. They reference a Jewish wedding, but forgot to mention the celebrations this weekend with hundreds of thousands gathered.

La

Why couldn't you help but smile?  First off, the "celebrations" were recent enough that it wouldn't be causing the spike.  And since I'm guessing you don't follow this closely, there was a spike, just like the initial one in March, that was kicked off around the High Holy Days and Sukkot because the Orthodox community is horribly irresponsible when it comes to protective measures.  This was the case long before the election and your crude attempts to make a political point don't really work here.

Besides which, most of these mass "celebrations" are held outside with people in masks.  Its one of the reasons why large Trump rallies are considered super-spreader events and BLM protests weren't.  Outside + mask wearing = much less chance of transmission.  Inside + blowing angry spittle in people's faces = not so much.

  • Analyst 1 in S&T - Equities
Nov 11, 2020 - 9:44am

Shut up. You know that mass gatherings of people shouting are not supposed to be happening right now. If it were ok for people to be outside in large groups then start outdoor concerts and sports again.

Nov 12, 2020 - 6:18am

I don't think anyone disputes the fact that the Orthodox communities have acted like total jackasses this entire time, but are you REALLY giving Black Lives Matter a pass?

Be consistent with your outrage you partisan hack.

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  • Associate 2 in RE - Comm
Nov 11, 2020 - 8:56am

The end goal is to use the crisis to push as much political and social change that the media and democratic party desire. This happens with all crises (9/11 for example, republicans pushing for more intervention and national security). For the record, I am a registered democrat, have been for 12 years. I am not someone who believes the virus is some Chinese hoax, but if you don't think there are political actors that have weaponized and politicized the virus, you are out of your mind. It wasn't some coordinated effort either, but the end result is extremely impressive to me. When the media drums up mass hysteria and the public is scared shitless, there is a ripe opportunity for change.

If Trump had pushed for masks, lockdowns, social distancing early on, I truly believe the narrative and senitment over this virus would have been extremely different. The funny thing is, I don't think the case load or death count would be different, but we would be sitting at a bar getting hammered, socializing, gathering at large events, etc. if the media/democratic party took that narrative to oppose Trump.

  • Analyst 1 in S&T - Equities
Nov 11, 2020 - 9:01am

Couldn't agree more. I find it impressive as well (no sarcasm). It was very well played, not saying it was a hoax, but very well played. If he started tweeting: "we need a total lockdown NOW!" We would have been completely free and open haha.

Nov 11, 2020 - 2:47pm

Couldn't agree more. I find it impressive as well (no sarcasm). It was very well played, not saying it was a hoax, but very well played. If he started tweeting: "we need a total lockdown NOW!" We would have been completely free and open haha.

Oh yeah, the protest against "fascism" would have reached a level never seen before in this country. And, to be fair, I think Trump people would have supported the lockdowns as a necessary evil. We're all hypocrites. 

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Nov 11, 2020 - 8:57am

All viruses have 2 potential paths they can take

1) It dies out because everyone becomes immune more quickly than the virus can mutate. (Usually, this ends up being a quick epidemic like MERS).

2) It goes global and becomes a new disease that we have to live with. (In the case of COVID, this seems to be the case). This type of viruses don't go away, we just learn to control them and to live with them - like how we learned to control different strains of flu, HIV, chickenpox, etc...

With Covid, once people realized that it is not going away, there was only 1 goal to achieve - to develop a vaccine as soon as possible so that Covid becomes one of those diseases that we just get vaccinated for every once in a while. 

In couple years, we'll all be getting our Covid vaccines once a year like we get flu vaccines and what not.

All the mask wearing, social distancing, and other safety measures are there to mitigate the impacts and minimize damage Covid does while we develop a vaccine. 

Nov 11, 2020 - 9:53am

Agree with the above, we'll just get to a point where the vaccine is good enough to control it.

Not to hijack, but am curious: once this mayhem is over (call it 2023), would you all wear a mask when leaving your home if you got sick?

Nov 11, 2020 - 1:53pm

Once it's under control, why would you ever wear masks? I guess more people might become germaphobes and some might continue to wear masks until they get vaccinated.

But by 2023 as you say (It's looking more like the spring of 2021), you'll probably be able to get COVID vaccines from your local CVS. 

Edit: Didn't see the "if you got sick" part. I thought you meant would people wear masks in general

Nov 11, 2020 - 2:49pm

Milton Friedchickenman

Once it's under control, why would you ever wear masks? I guess more people might become germaphobes and some might continue to wear masks until they get vaccinated.

But by 2023 as you say (It's looking more like the spring of 2021), you'll probably be able to get COVID vaccines from your local CVS. 

 "I'm sure that in 1985 plutonium is available in every corner drugstore, but in 1955, it's a little hard to come by."

:0

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Nov 11, 2020 - 7:42pm

Milton Friedchickenman

But by 2023 as you say (It's looking more like the spring of 2021), you'll probably be able to get COVID vaccines from your local CVS. 

 Seems early. Do you have any sort of timeline or month by month breakdown how you expect us to hit that date?

Array

Nov 11, 2020 - 10:24am

There is no coherent goal, or strategy, or implementation plan, or anything really. 

That is the problem. 

Commercial Real Estate Developer

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Nov 11, 2020 - 10:41am

Australia has a population of 25 million. They have only had ~28,000 total cases and only 907 deaths.

Try again. 

Commercial Real Estate Developer

  • Analyst 1 in S&T - Equities
Nov 11, 2020 - 10:52am

That's great. They also have a GDP of ~$1T...The U.S. has significantly more economic activity which lends itself to more movement and interaction...Super glad for them, but would probably rather still be a U.S. citizen as COVID is not the end all be all of success as a nation. Surpised you didn't name Taiwan, they've defeated the virus yaaaass!

Would posit that Europe and the UK are closer to scale...

  • Analyst 1 in S&T - Equities
Nov 11, 2020 - 10:58am

God this is not even CLOSE to a comp...if this were a modeling exercise it would so beyond stupid it would need to be removed from the page.

  • Analyst 1 in S&T - Equities
Nov 11, 2020 - 11:01am

Here is a comp: New York with a population of 22mm or so. They have ~30k deaths and millions infected. NYC politicians are your wet dream and enacted some of the most stringent lockdowns in the country. Florida has a larger population than NY and no lockdowns at all, less deaths. Please explain. 

  • Associate 2 in RE - Comm
Nov 11, 2020 - 11:37am

They've also had one of the most extreme lockdowns of any "free" country. Their economy is fucked, people are miserable, mental health services have surged, etc. Oh, and their cases are spiking again. We can't control COVID unless it is completely eradicated. Why is it that nobody wants to discuss the cost-benefit of  these strategies? "It's about saving lives". Bullshit - we let people die each year from other ifnectious diseases that we do not lock down for. Clearly there is a point where we tolerate risk. We should absolutely analytically approach COVID mitigation strategies in the same vein.

Nov 11, 2020 - 2:52pm

I've noticed that there is an unspoken rule that you shouldn't brag about your country or state in regards to covid. As soon as you do, you'll get whacked with a spike in a month or two.

Nov 11, 2020 - 10:53am

Taiwan.

The fact they haven't been allowed to sit for recent WHO meetings tells you world politicians want to keep this around for as long as possible to control the people as much as possible.

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Nov 11, 2020 - 10:51am

The fact that we are still locked down in certain states is ridiculous. At a certain point you have you allow people to take risks they are willing to take. If you're old/vulnerable then stay inside. If not, live your life. 

  • Analyst 1 in S&T - Equities
Nov 11, 2020 - 10:57am

Ugh G-d...Spoken like a true Trumpist. No thanks..my partner and I have been in lockdown for ~6 months in our lockdown apartment and have been homeschooling our genderless child. We are not planning on emerging from our studio until President Joe is in power. It is not safe out there until mid-Jan.

Nov 11, 2020 - 1:16pm

Speaking of genderlessness, Emily Ratajowski not saying whether their child is going to be a male or female until he/she/they/them/it is 18 could be the most cringeworthy thing of 2020.

Nov 12, 2020 - 4:12pm

I think this whole transgenderism thing is the tipping point where the pendulum on social norms starts swinging in the other direction. I like it somewhere in the middle--left enough to have some fun, right enough that it doesn't turn into nonsense like weirdos trying to "ban" the word bossy or complaining about manspreading.

Nov 11, 2020 - 11:29am

sixshooter69

The fact that we are still locked down in certain states is ridiculous. 

Literally no state is currently in a lockdown. 

In fact, when we were in "lockdown," it failed because it wasn't really a lockdown. 

Commercial Real Estate Developer

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Nov 11, 2020 - 8:51pm

If people wore their freaking masks and social distanced, there would be no need for lockdowns.

Literally, everywhere in the world the shortest lockdowns were in places where people actually cared enough to wear masks and social distance.

Some places never even locked down, just people operating at reduced capacities on their own or via governmental guidelines.

Nov 11, 2020 - 1:18pm

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