How Bad Is it?

There has been a lot of talk about COVID 19.  A lot.  And while the POV is primarily a sports blog, when a pandemic or world events threatens sports, there is a lot of overlap, and that is why I am writing this article.

I have, for some time, been trying to figure out for myself if the hype around COVID-19 is real.  The TV & Print media climate (on both sides I’ll point out) in the United States is not helping.  Neither does social media.  Certainly there are some basic facts that are real – 130,000+ deaths in the US vs ~35,000 for a standard flu season.  But there is also a segment of the population (including some close personal friends of mine outside of this blog) that continue to drive the narrative that COVID 19 is not as bad as some folks would have us believe.

And so I decided to take the politics and media out of it and do my own research, which I am about about to share with you.  Keep in mind, it is EXTREMELY important to take the politics out of this.  In some cases I’ve forced myself to absorb a viewpoint from a media outlet that leans opposite of my own personal political leanings.  This has been difficult, and yet educational.  At the end of the day though, I have avoided quoting or using data from media outlets in, as so to not politicize my findings.  I would ask that you do the same if you are posting and sharing links.

If someone chooses to post a link from a particular outlet, I need two rules to be followed:  1.  The link needs to be fact based.  And any “facts” quoted are fair game to be (civilly) debunked.  And if they are debunked – with facts cited from a credible source – well then you get to suffer the ignominy of that in the eyes of your peers, and I may also choose to delete your comment.   2.  You as a reader need to approach any link posted with an open mind, and comment on the content – and not the politics of the media outlet.  I will be ruthless in striking down comments that stray from these guidelines, and I reserve the right to be the sole arbiter here.  I don’t need to keep writing this blog, after all.

With that being said, lets get onto the original premise of the article.  Just how bad is COVID?  And should “they” really be considering cancelling the college football season because of it?

The first thing I wanted to do was understand how COVID fits into the global context of pandemics throughout history.   If you take the news reports out of it, what is the actual scale of the so-called “pandemic” we are facing today?

This infographic helps (if you can’t see below, just click on this link)

deadliestpandemics-infographic-73

If you are following along at home, you’ll see that COVID-19 has currently accounted for 570,000 deaths so far.  And yes this is a college football blog so yea, the infographic above is a kind of very morbid top 20.  COVID at 570k deaths is just cracking the top 15.  If you throw out the HIV/AIDS “pandemic” (because it’s been spread over forty years which kind of puts it a different context) COVID’s current death toll checks in at #14 overall.  This is not insignificant but there are also orders of magnitude that go up pretty fast once you get into the top 10, and COVID isn’t even close to say, the Spanish Flu or the Black Plague.

I want to stop here for a second to clarify something.  I am by no means attempting to trivialize the Death Toll around COVID 19 by comparing it to a college football top 25 list.  Some of you may have lost a loved one to COVID. Heck, one of our own readers and commentors is in the ICU as we speak.  Were he to (God forbid) succumb to this disease, that would be terrible.  Any death is terrible and my sincere condolences go out to anyone who has lost a friend or loved one to Coronavirus.  That, however, should not prevent us from discussing the facts.  Because if we know the facts you can make informed decisions, and informed decisions can help save future lives (in many different ways).  

The fact is that on the surface, COVID is the 14th deadliest pandemic of all time.   But of course, there is more to the story.  For example, the numbers above do not adjust for world population.  And when you do that, you start to get a sense for just how deadly some of the ancient pandemics were (I removed smallpox because it was spread over many years, and I also removed HIV/AIDS as noted earlier.)

In the table below, I’ve calculated the “death rate” based on estimated world population at the time of a given pandemic.   It is simply the total number of deaths / world population.  Interestingly enough, COVID still checks in at #14.  (Population figures are from this website)

Pandemics Ajusted for World Population

You’ll also see that in order to get a sense of scale, I’ve taken the death rate and applied it to the current 2020 world population.  See the “How Many Would it have Killed in 2020” column.  So for example if the Bubonic plague (Black Death) were to happen today in the same way it happened in the 1300’s, it would kill 4.5 BILLION people, and well that would be pretty bad.  I think you can probably say the same about any of the top seven.  If the 1918 Spanish Flu (#4 all time) showed up today and killed the same percentage of the world population that it did 100 years ago we’d be talking about close to 200 million dead.  That is roughly equal 2/3 the population of the United States, and is about 3x more people than died in all of World War II.  If the “Italian Plague” of 1629 – 1621 (#7 all time) showed up and did the same damage per capita that it did back in the 17th century, that would equate to nearly 15 million people in 2020.  That is a lot.  And it’s a lot more than the 570,000 COVID deaths that are grabbing headlines today.

Well shoot, then, lets turn off the TV, shut down the Twitter and open everything up right?

Ummm….not so fast my friend.  I think we need to take a look at some other things first.

I’d like to start with Sweden.

In case you’ve been living under a rock these last four months, Sweden famously refused to lock down and instead kept businesses and elementary schools open, closed high-schools and colleges and told at-risk people to self isolate.

Predictably they had a lot more deaths then their neighboring Nordic countries (Denmark, Norway, Finland).  A lot more.

Here are the Nordic country death rates per 100,000 population:

Noridcs Covid

As you can see, Sweden’s death rate is 5x to 10x worse than its neighbors.

So how do we use this data?  We extrapolate it into a world scenario.

IE,  If the entire world did what Sweden did, used the same guidelines, and enacted it the same way (unlikely and we’ll get into that later), you can make an assumption that the global death rate per 100,000 people would be right around 54, just like Sweden.  If that’s the case, then the total COVID death toll moves up to roughly 4.2 million people.  4.2 million deaths puts COVID into the top ten as far as worst pandemics of all time, actually moving it to the #6 spot as far as total deaths, and the #9 spot if you adjust for world population at the time of the pandemic.

I would like to think that is what has epidemiologists so concerned.

I think it’s also reasonable to assume that the overall death rate could be higher than 54 per 100,000 because much of the world probably doesn’t have a health system as advanced as Sweden’s.  Also, there is also evidence that the Swedes made a conscious decision to turn certain patients (i.e. older patients) away from their ICU’s in favor of patients that had a higher chance of survival.   While I do not care to speculate on the ethics of turning patients away from ICU’s, I have to ask myself if America would or could do something like this?  What about the rest of the world?

Here is the quote about Sweeden’s ICU’s, which I’ve taken from this excellent and non-biased article:

“Analyzed by categorical age group, older Swedish patients with confirmed COVID-19 were more likely to die than to be admitted to the ICU, suggesting that predicted prognosis may have been a factor in ICU admission. This likely reduced ICU load at the cost of more high-risk patients dying outside the ICU,” the researchers observed.

Heavy stuff, but informative.

So…back to the original qeustion, “how bad is it?”  My personal conclusion is this:  Right now it’s somewhat bad, but left unchecked, it’s top 10 bad, and while we aren’t talking about 40 or 50 million deaths like 1918, or even 15 million deaths like a modern-day “Italian Plague” scenario, we could potentially be talking about four to six million deaths globally, and that I think is pretty serious and relevant.

But there is more here, especially in the context of a college football season and COVID education in general.  And I think its important to dive deeper into the Sweden numbers to illustrate just how much risk there is to certain age groups, and how little there is to others.

I analyzed Sweden’s death rate by age group, and here is what I found:

Sweden Death by AGe

Yes, you are reading this correctly.  Out of a population of 10 million people, with zero lockdown, eight people below the age of 29 died from Coronavirus.

If you were to extrapolate that to the US population, it would look like this:

US Herd model

While this is just a simple calculation, you could estimate that there would be 262 deaths under 29 if the US were to switch to the Swedish Herd Model (keep in mind this includes turning those over 70+ away from the ICU)

Now this is where the slope gets slippery.  I am not a doctor.  I am not an epidemiologist.  I am not advocating going to the Swedish model, and I am not writing this in an effort to convince anyone to go the Swedish model.  I am merely presenting the facts.

The fact is that the Swedish model shows a very low death rate at younger ages.  Still, it is likely that there will be more deaths at every age group under the Swedish model vs the German or Japanese or Korean models which included lockdowns (and a highly compliant and rule-following population, which the US seems to lack).  So that is a decision I would leave to the people in charge, and that is the burden of leadership, hard as though it may be.

Sidebar:  Here is a great article on the Japanese model Note how culture also plays into virus containment. 

I’ve also got the US data, by the way.  Note that the data isn’t fully up to date as we are now north of 130,000 deaths, but I think the percentages are pretty consistent:

US Actual Deaths

In the context of college football, you should note there have been 14 total deaths between ages 15-24.  It is likely that most if not all of them had underlying conditions.  Still, one preventable death is probably too many in the eyes of universities and collegiate sanctioning bodies (and they’d be right, especially as it relates to the student-athlete’s parents and family) but these numbers have to make you ask yourself, where does society in general need to draw the line around risk?  I’m not sure I can answer that question.

Here is some food for thought from the opposite perspective and also some context on underlying conditions and non-fatal COVID side effects.   It’s an older article (i.e from May) but still relevant.

About children:

Separately, a new study of children with Covid-19 admitted to pediatric intensive care units in the United States and Canada concludes that while the overall severity of symptoms in the children was “far less than that documented in adults… Covid-19 can result in a significant disease burden in children.” According to the research, published in JAMA Pediatrics, 40 of the 48 children, ranging in age from four to 16, had underlying medical conditions. Two of them died, and three remain on ventilators.

About younger adults (though I’ll admit that lumping ages 20-44 is a pretty bad look):

Meanwhile, more data is revealing how other age groups are affected. People ages 20 to 44 account for 20% of Covid-19 hospitalizations and 12% of ICU admissions, according to Paul G. Auwaerter, MD, at Johns Hopkins Medicine.

About risk factors that don’t necessarily include death:

But lately he’s seeing more people under age 40 developing severe breathing problems and blood clots related to Covid-19.

“We are really shocked to see younger age groups have similar complications” as older people, Salata tells me, adding, “We’ve seen it in some younger people who had no risk factors.”

One does not have to die from Covid-19 to be severely affected. In Italy, where the outbreak hit hard before it did in the United States, some people who recovered from Covid-19 have been “unable to shake sickness and fatigue” weeks later. It’s too soon to know whether the disease might leave some people with enduring debilitations.

About underlying conditions:

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 71% Covid-19 patients requiring hospitalization had at least one underlying health condition or risk factor, as did 78% of those requiring intensive care. If those figures hold up on further analysis, however, that means 29% of Covid-19 hospitalizations involve otherwise relatively healthy individuals.

About the US being a generally unhealthy society:

“We estimated that 45.4% of U.S. adults are at increased risk for complications from coronavirus disease because of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, hypertension, or cancer,” according to a new analysis from the CDC. Those at elevated risk include 19.8% of people age 18 to 29 and 80.7% for people over age 80.

So again, these stats in a vacuum are concerning.  But if you take a step back and look at the big picture…(per the CDC):

Cumulative COVID-19-associated hospitalization rates since March 1, 2020, are updated weekly. The overall cumulative COVID-19 hospitalization rate is 107.2 per 100,000, with the highest rates in people aged 65 years and older (316.9 per 100,000) and 50-64 years (161.7 per 100,000).

Overall you’ve got a 0.11% change of being hospitalized for COVID today.  That’s roughly one out of every 1000 people.  If we all continue wearing masks and distancing that probably drops.  If we don’t it probably goes up to two out of every thousand, maybe three.  Still not a lot in the grand scheme of things right?  Oh but if you are one of those two or three…

Lets extrapolate the numbers to college football:  Assuming there are 125 scholarship + walk on players and student managers and support staff per team x 130 teams, you get a total population of 16,125.  If they all get infected (not likely), 16 of them would need to be hospitalized.  Of the 16 that get hospitalized…well.

But that’s if they all get infected.  Early data shows top end infection rates (Clemson and UNC) at about 35%.  That reduces your COVID infections to about 5700 and puts only six people in the hospital.  Do they all make it?  One would hope (but can’t guarantee)

Taking it one step further, if you screen for at-risk student athletes you could conceivably reduce the risk to close to zero.  In theory…

At that point you start getting into the world of informed consent (i.e. student athletes signing waivers).  In my mind that would have to be a decision made by both the parent and the student, and of course the facts have to be presented in a non-biased manner.  Would there need to be indemnity insurance to go along with all this?  How much does THAT cost?

An additional consideration:  The numbers above do not include coaching staffs.  And that’s a wildcard.  Randy Bates just beat cancer, which means he has a comprised immune system.  Are you as a Pitt fan ready to deal with the fact that Randy Bates could die from COVID?  I’m not sure I am.  On same side of the coin, how many coaches have heart conditions?  Urban Meyer is one.  (Hold the jokes please, we are talking about a man’s life here.)  What does Nick Saban’s health look like?  Ed Oregon’s?  Which coaches are diabetic?  Which have lung conditions?  They probably ALL have hypertension.

Again, based on the numbers, you probably see low double digit hospitalization among football coaches, and maybe 1-2 deaths.  And believe me, I’m not trying to trivialize this.  That feels like a high human cost to pay for entertainment – although the financial side of CFB maybe forces coaching into a more “high risk” job category now that COVID is around.  (And the truth is that it’s got to be tough for colleges to ignore the financials)

And that’s kind of the wrap up.  Unless (or until) we get a vaccine – COVID is here to stay.  It’s increased the risk in the world by a degree.  People at all levels will have to get their heads around that and learn to manage or accept the risk.  Which sucks, but it’s reality.  We are in the foundling stages of learning about both the risk management and acceptance as a society.  It’s a personal choice on so many levels, and it’s probably both fair and rational to say that it’s going to take more time to figure it all out.  Colleges pushing seasons out or cancelling is an offshoot of that.

Here’s to hoping it all gets figured out, with a minimum of loss of life and in the shortest amount of time possible.

Hail to Pitt

Michaelangelo Monteleone

324 thoughts on “How Bad Is it?

  1. Another factor to be considered is travel. Never has there been more people, business or pleasure, traveling internationally. And this will be a factor from here on in. Just think what the Black Death numbers would be like if travel was like it was today.

    Easter Island (a very remote Pacific island) was first inhabited by the Polynesians circa 1200 BC. The population was estimated to be 2500 when the 1st Europeans landed there in 1722. 150 years later, the population was 111 primarily to the diseases the Europeans brought with them.

    Moving to current times …. there was a graphic on the local news yesterday which as a result of interviews from the new spikes of positive tests of Allegheny County youth showed that many of them had traveled to states like Florida and the Carolina beaches in May and early June,

    I am going to keep my eye on MLB when the season starts up in another week or so. It will be interesting to see how it measures up to the NHL and NBA where they will be playing in an ‘isolated’ environment

    Liked by 2 people

    1. PS – I know some will say that we just fished on the Outer Banks and came away Covid-free … but I question if they had the same interaction on the crowded beaches and bars that the younger people did

      Like

      1. wwb…Fran, Richman, JoeL and myself “We are the People our Parents Warned Us About!”
        Excellent piece of work Maestro !! Will chirp in later- lots to digest….Have a great day peeps.

        Like

  2. Excellent synopsis, MM! And good luck attempting to police the political(ish) comments.

    I especially appreciate the inclusion of the ethics component of the discussion. From my perspective, the argument of blindly following the recommendations of the medical profession ignores the fact that almost universally this industry employs the “if we can just save one life” philosophy. They rarely weigh the cost of lost businesses, retirement plans wiped out, the kid whose NFL dreams are dashed because his school decided to cancel the season or seasons, just the loss of life as we know and enjoy it. Can’t get these months or year back.

    For those who want to argue that the “inconvenience” of turning life upside down if it means saving a life is worth it, I would put forth the following proposal. Every year roughly 40,000 people die in car wrecks. If we were to reduce the speed limit to 25 mph everywhere and put governors in all vehicles to limit speed to 25 or below, we would immediately save almost all of those 40K lives per year. It would be terribly inconvenient. But not as inconvenient as being locked in your house. You could still go everywhere you wanted to go. It would just take longer. Preposterous and stupid, right? We would never do it. Why? Because those individuals, all 40K, are not worth that level of inconvenience. It is not ethically or politically right to say that. But I think it is the truth.

    One other note. I have spoken to several students and have heard from teachers who say that the participation rate for online classes is abysmal. The lowest number I’ve heard of those not even logging in was 25%. I’ve heard a number as high as 70% not even logging in that came from a teacher. Those numbers were not from one class. They were over a couple of months of online classes. From what I have heard, all of the students were passed to the next grade. For sure this is anecdotal and not facts. But I’ve heard it enough to assume there is some truth to it. I would conclude that online learning at the elementary and secondary level does not work. Can’t speak to college. It’s probably a different scenario.

    Numbers and opinions of doctors and epidemiologists are important. But they are just one component of the discussion. Thanks again, MM, for putting together good info and bringing some perspective to this issue.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. The US has 400 deaths per million. Japan only 7. Japan never locked down. Has an old population. They wear masks.

    Recently a bunch of summer camps closed down after covid spread. How is inside classroom learning going to work without proper social distancing, ppe and sanitation. All this requires money, execution and enforcement.

    How can football be played without students on campus and in class. Lou holtz was asking.

    I do believe online learning is not as effective as classroom or person to person. But what’s the alternative if the schools are forced to close given an outbreak

    Tex

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “if schools are forced to close”. Forced by whom? A politician? Epidemiologists? The kids or their parents? The school administrators? Teachers union? Who has the right to take away the child’s education? I think that is the point of the whole discussion. The medical impact must be balanced against the right to live a life we Americans have embraced and expect/demand. These are not black and white issues no matter how much some people want to make them such.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Forced to close because nobody is left to teach. My wife is a teacher. She was told that she will be REQUIRED to quarantine for 14 days EVERY time a someone in her classroom tests positive for COVID. The first time is paid leave. After that it’s on her. She’s not going back to the classroom next year.

        Like

      2. Further Pre-COVID her school district would need 500-700 substitute teachers a day. In the Spring when folks would start taking vacations that number would jump to 1000-1200/day. They would fill about 70% of those with the remainder filled by rotating teachers who are on lunch or on breaks. If teachers have to quarantine that number will skyrocket. Who is going to volunteer to be a sub this year?

        Like

        1. Devils advocate here because I don’t necessarily disagree – but according to the numbers if you are 22 and just coming out of school …

          Liked by 1 person

      3. Who has the right to put kids and teachers in a unsafe environment. My wife isn’t dying to counsel your kiddos.

        Like

    1. “Epidemiologist Jeffrey Shaman of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University”. There’s a degree I wouldn’t want hanging in my office.

      Like

        1. No offense to mailmen. Just don’t think I’d want to be treated by a doctor holding a degree from their school. Cliff Calvin being the exception.

          Like

            1. As usual the uniformed have to comment quit degrading a school just by its name to a little research Yourself which I’m sure by the name you use you are uncalled of doing the one thing that will drive this bus will be the folks on the front line the teachers the health care workers the support staff not the one’s on the sideline making comments about something they have no knowledge of if you aren’t part of the solution you are the damm problem

              Like

  4. It seems that the focus here is on death and not the spread. No doubt that the younger and healthier you are, the odds are certainly in your favor. But the fact that younger people with little or no symptoms can affect others who are more vulnerable has to be considered. (and by the way, I believe there are many more deaths outside the nursing homes these days).

    And if you want to talk about finances …. how about the healthcare costs involved. Many hospitals are now at full or near capacity in many major cities in places like Florida and Texas. Do you think this is not expensive? Do you not think this will greatly affect insurance rates in the very near future? How many millions of dollars are being spent for research? Even our stimulus checks will end up being paid by somebody

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All true. Looking back to Sweden for context … basically all the at risk people died early (to put it very bluntly) and whole cases have shot up recently, total deaths have declined. This doesn’t address long term health issues for non-fatal cases however.

      Really good charts here from the economist that illustrate death and case curves across Europe. (Free article)

      https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2020/07/03/tracking-the-coronavirus-across-europe

      Like

    2. And to be clear I’m not advocating for the Swedish model, just pointing out what happened. I’m more of a Japan model guy myself.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. My wife and I are somewhat anti-vax (we use a modified schedule for our kids and don’t do some of the “secondary” vaxes like norovirus) but I do not find this offensive or political, nor should anyone else. While vaccinations do have some downside risk, when properly tested and administered, vaccinations do much more good than harm.

      Like

      1. Vaccines are like all drugs, there can be serious side effects as we hear daily on all the drug ads on TV.

        Certainly don’t want to return to a time of Polio, Small Pox, Measles etc.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. FYI MM, I would strongly suggest that your children receive the vaccine protecting people from HPV (human papillomavirus) brand name Gardasil. HPV is very prevalent in society & is a STD that carries the danger of malignant transformation of the tissue that the virus infects. I recommend that ALL children be inoculated early in life. I say this since the initial motivation in research to find a viable vaccine against HPV was to reduce the level of cervical cancer in women due to the virus. Therefore, when the vaccine 1st became available the focus was on adolescent girls receiving the vaccine, however now with the prevalence of oral sex oral infections with HPV, with resulting subsequent malignancies, have skyrocketed in both sexes. I’ve had the unfortunate experience of diagnosing multiple oral lesions that turned out to be from HPV. this disease could be eradicated if blanket vaccinations against HPV were embraced by society.

        Liked by 7 people

  5. MM – wow! You have way too much time on your hands! What a GREAT article. Thank you so much 👍👍.

    All along, I have been leaning towards opening college football season, even if it meant without fans in the Yellow Seats.

    But after reading and considering facts brought forth, I think it would be really tragic to lose even 1 young life due to early onset football. At this point in the Covid Circuit, too little is known about potential long-lasting effects.

    Shut it down. No football until an effective vaccine has been administered to the general public. Give all players an extra year of eligibility.

    Let those who can be drafted next spring leave for greener pastures. The rest get a good chance of living another 60 years of life. (I’ll admit that I will really miss seeing what could have been with our D; our ground game; and KP “improvement”.)

    Like

  6. Each virus or plague is different. The science at the time of each outbreak is different. The human culture and activity at the time of each outbreak in different. A lot of unknowns with this virus.

    Hopefully science can solve this virus quicker with the tools it has today. In the mean time pay very close attention to the facts and discoveries in the news and proceed with caution in all activities. H2P

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Wonderfully written and researched. One thing I’ve “researched” goes with the observation that death rates are down – I’m wondering if this is related to the fact that inside activities have been more limited during the summer. Outside, with better ventilation, may lead to less “dosing” of the virus for those infected.

    I will say that my wife is a Pitt instructor and they are really scrambling to figure out how things are going to work academically.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The factors that seem to be the most responsible for the reduced death rate/infected patients are as follows:
      1- A larger # of positive cases are being discovered as America has ramped up it’s testing capability.
      2- a greater % of those positive cases are now in the younger American population currently, who have a much better probability of NOT dying from the disease.
      3- The Public Health community is learning how to treat COVID-19 patients more effectively as experience is gained in treating patients suffering from this disease. Better support therapy spells reduced mortality.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. All true based on my research. I think what most researchers are struggling with now is figuring out the actual infection rates and not just the number of cases that are caught by testing.

        Like

    2. Any teacher or prof will be at high risk of exposure unless they are in a hazmat suit. Small and cramped interior room. Often without windows. Little social distancing. Poor ventilation. Basically all together for 40-90 minutes. Talking and potential coughs, sneezes. The environment is nothing like a delivery driver or a grocery store stocker. Teachers are front lines. If we can’t protect nurses and docs who have all the best ppe and protocols, how can we protect teachers.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Well I’ve told this story before but this Covid is hitting home with personally. Take a peek at the above chart and you’ll see the Asian flu took 1.1 million lives. My Mother was one of those statistics. I was 3 1/2 years old. She died on our living room couch after a long battle with the flu. There were no hospital beds to be had anywhere. She had just come through a rough birthing with my youngest sibling (sister) and had a compromised immune system. It fracture our family for life so you better bet I take this Covid seriously. I’ve already decided to cancel my season tickets for this year and perhaps my last chance to see many of you good folks at the tailgates. I gotta do what I have to do. Stay safe people, wear a mask and keep a safe distance..

    Ike who prays for Russ to get well.

    Liked by 9 people

      1. Someone will come along and steal the dam thing Biggie. 🙂 I don’t live in your neighborhood, people will think I’m giving away a nice cooler. BTW, you talking the 25th?

        Like

    1. My grandfather’s first wife died of the Spanish flu in 1918. Had 4 kids including a newborn, who ended up being raised by another family. Back then there was an article in the newspaper about her because, due to a casket shortage, she could not get buried right away. I think they ended up burying her late at night. Ike, this was Tom’s grandmother. My dad was from the 2nd wife.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh my gosh Annie, the stories huh? The world seems so small at times. Your Aunt Mary was very good to me. Tom’s dad is another story altogether, so sad as well. I’m pretty sure that is an underlying connection we have had all these years. Tom and I never talk politics or religion, we’re like the founding fathers of the POV rule book.

        Like

  9. I think one thing that my article did not sufficiently touch on was lasting non-fatal effects. The jury is still way out on these and the data is not nearly as robust as it is with death rates and case rates.

    What I can tell you is that a co-worker literally just told me 30 mins ago that she and her husband both had COVID in April. She’s early 30’s and otherwise healthy and now has arthritis in both hands and feet. While this could be unrelated to COVID, it cropped up after she had it and again, and could very well BE related to COVID. She was otherwise healthy before she became sick. Her husband has no lingering effects.

    That’s the hidden cost and a big downside of the “swedish model” / not controlling the spread as wwb pointed out above.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I am very sympathetic to anyone who wants to avoid exposure to the coronavirus (including myself). But when I hear these school teachers whining about being uncomfortable going back to the classroom, I think about all the front line workers, including the pharmacy and grocery store workers, who held down the fort in very difficult times, and I realize just how pampered so many of these school teachers are.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Teachers are in small cramped rooms with similar students for 8 hours. No grocery store worker comes close to this length and level of contact. Apples and oranges. Bottom line just like meat plants, there will be outbreaks and deaths. So why open up again. Because your kid needs in class education at my wife’s expense. It’s personal.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. I refuse to comment on this topic, I’d just piss off people that I personally like. I will, however comment on Virginia cancelling HS football. I think this is without a doubt the biggest break Pitt could get. Doubt very many schools will come after commits , they won’t get to see them and then poach. A school like Pitt could really benefit if the scouting is as good as I suspect. No 3* getting bumped up and then gone.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Any insider information regarding refunding of ticket purchases should this season be vastly altered or canceled? Has anyone tried communicating with the University of Pittsburgh taken office since some of the employees are no longer with them?

    Like

    1. Like

  13. MM – you have to factor in coaches, too. Coaches are older and let’s face it … not always the healthiest. Have you seen our OL coach? My concern has always been the coaches. The students will be fine unless they have some undetected underlying conditions … which we’ve seen before on the basketball court. Heck, we’ve seen Pitt scholarship players being put on permanent medical leave for health conditions that Pitt happens to test for that other schools don’t.

    Like

    1. Yep. I was originally going to close the piece with a quip about coaches wearing helmets too. May end up being reality…

      Like

    2. Many coaches are overweight, borderline diabetic, hypertension, smokers, drinkers, onset of health disease, etc, etc

      All underlying conditions due to age, lifestyle and diet

      And have you seen Pitts obese offensive line. They are probably at a higher risk.

      Like

  14. I want to concentrate on the facts here. This entire situation has become politicized in America & therefore, beliefs, opinions, misinformation and outright propaganda have sufficiently muddied the water enough to create this catastrophe that we as Americans are currently dealing with. Which leads to the first fact.
    *The population of the USA is 330,000,000, about 4% of the worlds population, but has 1/4 of all of the COVID-19 + cases on the planet as well as 1/4 of all of the world’s deaths from the pandemic.
    *This virus is NOVEL to the world’s human population. Prior to the fall of 2019. NO ONE on the planet had been diagnosed as being infected by this virus.
    * It seems ludicrous to have to state this fact, but it is a fact non the less, the virus is real, it has become a worldwide Pandemic in the matter of a few short months & it is responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths & countless millions of compromised patients suffering from lingering ailments due to the affects the infection has had on the bodies of COVID-19 victims.
    * There are very effective methods to reduce the potential of becoming infected, this has been proven out by those countries that have successfully dealt with the epidemic in their own country.
    * America is now the epicenter, along with Brazil, in this COVID-19 Pandemic.

    Those are facts. Now on to opinions, it didn’t have to be this way. also, IMO, unfortunately, the genie is out of the bottle here in America now. Therefore I anticipate things only getting worse, not better, as time goes forward here in America. Hopefully an effective vaccine is produced soon, it is America’s only hope going forward. Lastly, I’m super pissed that we’re probably not going to experience anything that resembles “college football” as we know it in 2020.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. No country tests per capita like America and no country rewards ($$$) positive tests like America either. And few countries list COVID deaths like America either.

      twitter.com/Destiny3650/status/1282792638513635333

      Like

  15. Bernie, I have communicated with the ticket office recently and final plans are not in place just yet but by all indications we will have many options for a total refund all the way to forwarding the money for next year. Either way we can keep and reserve our seats and priority points for next year if that’s what we want to do.

    Like

  16. A couple other concerns that are not being adequately appreciated in this pandemic. The morbidity (residual complications) from COVID-19 are substantial for thousands upon thousands of patients dealing with COVID-19 infections. How long it takes to fully recover from such ailments, nobody knows yet because of the short time frame that we’re dealing with here since the virus has been in the human population. Since it is a NOVEL virus. Second, in analyzing this current pandemic against past worldwide pandemics, this COVID-19 pandemic is just a baby. Another commentor mentioned that the virus has undergone mutations since 1st being discovered, which is the normal course with such retroviruses. Heaven forbid, but if such a mutation results in the creation of an even more contagious organism &/or one that is even more virulent towards the body after infection, then my friends, we are in for a very bumpy ride here in the USA. so how bad is it? Nobody f-ing knows yet. Be smart, stay safe & remain healthy.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Peak said a lot of those offers could not be confirmed. The kid’s tape was impressive so it stinks he is no longer a Panther, but I trust this staff to find a three-star defensive end as a replacement.

      Like

  17. MM – wasn’t he one who tweeted he was locked into Pitt forever (something to that effect)? Or am I thinking of someone else?

    Like

  18. He’s a lowly rivals 2* and I saw this coming a mile away. This kid is a stud and late developer. Hate to lose him. Another player that the PITT recruiting staff identified but didn’t have a big enough brown paper bag to put at his back door.

    Like

  19. Khalil Anderson 4 star recruit is 200% committed to the PANTHERS..we shall see my friends….Stevenson was 100% committed after Florida came knocking–but no tweets about PITT after Georgia came sniffing ’round…..Just don’t lose Bill Hillgrove-don’t know if I could take it during these “challenging times.”

    Like

    1. Biggie, unless it was a misprint….. TS said PITT had nothing to worry about and he was 1000% committed. Kids??

      Like

  20. once again, making a judgement on a 2* after his junior year proves to be futile. Pitt will continue to lose

    Like

    1. …… Pitt will continue to lose quality commits from South to the South — it happens yearly. And it only proves how good they are at evaluating player potential

      Like

  21. Another reason I find it hard to be critical of Narduzzi’s recruiting. It ain’t easy to recruit to Pitt., Or even keep them once you have.

    GC

    Like

    1. Well most southern boys like to stay south because of the weather and girls. Both are far better down here. Narduzzi needs to focus on players closer to the region…500 mile radius. Those recruits are used to snow and skank women.

      Tex who married a part hoopie so I know skank.

      Like

      1. So I’m a skank, huh? Tex, you just insulted a bunch of people on the blog who married “skanks”. Better start the apology tour… and no Christmas present for you this year! 🤨

        Liked by 1 person

  22. If school boards and board of trustees were smart, they would offer a hybrid learning environment. 3 days in class at staggered schedules (maybe 20 percent max capacity), 2 days online

    Those who teach in class are young and healthy. Provide them with the best ppe. Those who are older with underlying conditions, teach online

    All this requires money since you’d need to staff up and purchase ppe and sanitation.

    But no money is coming to the schools. That’s why this will end badly. Give it 4 weeks max until outbreaks and deaths. Then the media will somehow get blamed.

    There won’t be much of a football season until next Fall. It’s all hope. And hope isn’t a plan.

    Tex who is type O blood

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tex, my wife is a teacher here in SW Pennsylvania and that is basically the plan. There will be cameras in the classrooms. Half the students come to class each day, while the other half watch the class online..if parents opt to not have their kids in school, the student watches online every day.

      Like

  23. While I appreciate Dr. Tom’s facts he lists, I weigh his 4th bullet point heavier in my opinion calculation at this point. I don’t really worry about about pissing anyone off, including at risk teachers who may decide to avoid performing their jobs through their union positions at the cost of the kids and much, much more.

    I believe we know enough, can control enough, and while there will be additional deaths and for potentially a very long while, there are significant costs being incurred every day due to the educational systems being shut down and the domino effects of that decision both immediately and long term.

    As someone mentioned above, there are many front line workers AND non front liners who are facing this as much as teachers(should) and many even more. Some are taking pay cuts, some are deciding to not work at all whether able to be benefiting from CARES act government assistance or not and of course some are ignorant or maybe stupid enough to believe this is all a “hoax”.

    So, imo, restart schools putting safe protocols in place like masks and gathering restrictions and hold people responsible for their actions that put others at risk. Anyone who doesn’t want to return to work, furlough them with an possibility to return in a year if they are needed at that time at their former jobs. If you are high risk, which for COVID means over 65 along with some younger with comorbidities, I don’t blame you for making the decision to seek work elsewhere. This is not the seasonal flu, but at this point enough is known as to transmission avoidance, at risk populations and therapeutic management to allow near normal resumption of what we are concerned with here which is educational institutions from elementary kids up through college age along with all extra-curricular activities associated.

    Like

    1. You can’t force teachers to teach. If they believe it’s unsafe and a rushed and ill informed political decision, they will strike. Then who will teach your kids. Some substitute who is not remotely qualified. Who will even sign up for teaching in this environment. Teaching is like working in a meat plant. It’s not like working at target.

      Schools reopen. Students spread the virus. Teachers get sick. Teachers die. Schools close. I don’t need a Tardis to see how this will play out

      We are opening up near our apex instead of being at the bottom of hospitalizations. I don’t need to stay at a holiday inn to know the right answer.

      Tex who is not obtuse

      Like

  24. Very well written article and comments.

    What I would like to know is what is the end game for all of this?

    If a cure is or is never developed, two different potential outcomes, how to write move forward?

    Do we stop all work, entertainment, and schooling, and have everyone stay home for the remainder of our lives or until a cure is created?

    Do we move forward and go back to life as normal with covid present now?

    I mean if you were running the country or the world, how would you all have society be today in order to preserve the future?

    Like

    1. Back in March and April we should have done what Europe did and some Asian countries. We did not. Now Europe is banning Americans from travel. It’s still not too late. But basically we’re gonna need to shut down until the curve is near bottom. The first wave curve that is. Then and only then can we open. Thats how other countries did it and japan never had a lockdown. They took it seriously. They had a unified and consistent message. They had national leadership and local. They wore masks and adhered to health protocols. They were responsible citizens willing to sacrifice some freedom and liberty. They respected others.

      Good luck with all that here in Merica. And don’t get your hopes up on a vaccine. There is no cheap and easy way out of this.

      Like

    2. Thx 28. I was talking to my brother about this (he’s a science guy) and he pointed out that some of the bigger pandemics in the past dragged on for years, and that drove a lot of mortality. If that’s the case with covid then some hard decisions will certainly have to be made…

      Like

      1. It’s not Covid I’m concerned about. It’s the idiots who show no respect for others, now lets have a party, masks not required. While we are at it,, give me a big sloppy kiss and hug. No, I’m not paranoid just because there is a disease out to kill me. That’s silly talk. Tell that to my 1 and 1/3 kidney remaining. I’m running out of body organs over here. That said, the Fred update is his statue head is still intact. Long live Fred’s statue.

        Like

  25. Thanks for the post (and all the underlying work!), Maestro.

    Here is an apolitical blog of an immunologist that I read daily. The guy is well-credentialed and provides great interpretation of facts. His latest is in response to some reports that COVID immunity after infection is transient.

    https://pandemicpondering.com/

    Like

  26. Maestro, I mean t to ask … I’m 68 and a cancer survivor. If I was Swedish, would I still be alive?

    Like

  27. So this guy is saying there may be some immunity but nobody really knows at this point? In time, we’ll have our answer as data is collected, and scientifically analyzed and properly interpreted

    But right now 140k Americans have died in a mere 4 months. That’s more than double the deaths in Vietnam that took over ten years to accumulate. Yet to this day we don’t have enough testing, enough ppe, enough hospital beds, enough nurses.

    It’s all political at this point given partisanship, incompetence on the part of leaders and Americans behaving badly.

    Like

  28. Excellent write up MM.

    Many other countries have opened schools.
    NASCAR had fans at its last race.
    We have to keep moving forward.
    Open the schools!
    Play the games!

    Like

  29. There are people dying from coronavirus all across America, with most in nursing homes, over age 70, and hospital workers. Older people with underlying conditions tend to self isolate. Are we to close all of the nursing homes in case one resident gets a visitor who is positive and spreads it to everyone?

    Same with school teachers. I read where 90% of the school teacher profession is under age 50 (Due to those early retirement sweetheart deals? But I digress), so risk of death among teachers is quite small. Teachers should protect their families at home just as nurses do. Exceptions could be made for older teachers with underlying conditions.

    Overall, the best case for moving forward with the virus is to develop additional or better treatments. If the treatments can reduce the number of deaths to a flu-like level, then life will return to normal even if there is no vaccine. For some reason, people will accept thousands of flu deaths each year.

    Americans are catching the virus at much higher levels than other countries around the world because the American spirit defies control by others, and is built around risk taking. Where else have they had COVID-19 parties with known positive attendees? Throw in thousands of party goers, protestors and rioters and you have a real mess. This is not Japan..

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Given that the country was founded by a bunch of guys that were pissed off about paying their taxes and then dumped a bunch of tea in the Boston Harbor to … dare I say it … protest, I agree 100% with you final paragraph. Japan found a model that works for them. It’s highly unlikely that model is going to work in the good ol US of A. For better or worse. Still would be nice if the country could rally around a common cause though.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. It’s based on taking stupid risks and being ignorant. Don’t let science get in the way of school openings. You can’t make this stuff up. That’s why our country is doomed to fail at containing the virus.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Text, get the Indiana county next week I need to get your ass down in the bottom of one of those deep coal mine shaft that our forefathers worked in and have a good heart to heart… You have Totally lost your western Pennsylvania toughness…You seem to be living in fear… Pull yourself up by the bootstraps

        Like

        1. I keep seeing all these dead possums, raccoons and skunks along the side of the road… Must be COVID-19 but no humans yet… One observation-I have never seen a dead crow along the road… Apparently they don’t get Covid Or or just so much smarter than everything else… So tired of this Covid fear that I can’t take it anymore… Toughen up… Mass hysteria from a couple of you every day on here… Deal with it

          Like

          1. Bernie, you and I work in jobs where social distancing is impossible but wearing masks and cleaning equipment we do the best we can and that is okay. But apparently it’s too dangerous for anyone but health care workers….

            Liked by 1 person

  30. @Tex, I missed where it may be interpreted I said teachers should be forced to teach. I’m perfectly ok with them moving on and maybe they can return if they are needed next year.

    Of course some will know it is somewhat unsafe,,,, as is driving to and from school especially at a high school/middle school with the nearest intersection less than 100 yards away and that being a 2 lane 50 mph road.

    I am ok with modifying school schedules for in person teaching if logistics of busing can be addressed. I am ok with modification of plans regionally if needed with outbreaks, there should NOT be a national plan, and not necessarily even statewide in most states.

    Tvax who is obtuse plenty often but is balancing perspective far better than some on CV19

    Liked by 1 person

    1. But who will replace them. If it’s unsafe, who will report to work period. The experiment won’t last long anyway. But if you want to open right, you do it at the low part of the curve. You have a hybrid approach. You have at risk teachers do online. You follow cdc guidelines as if they were mandatory.

      Liked by 1 person

  31. I feel what this country needs more that anything else right now is to remember your family and neighbors and look out after them. Call your family and tell them you love them. This is a time we can’t fathom what is going on in those walls inside of the four insulated walls we can’t see through unless we ask. “Are you OK”? ” Can I help in anyway? Look and try and to walk a mile in others shoes.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEg5hG21FBI

    Liked by 2 people

  32. The Czech Republic, somehow not on the list of European countries, had a very clear and direct aproach to the virus. The leadership described the reality of the virus being very contagious, that the first 4-5 days after contagion the person will have no symptoms and so everyone must be protected so they don’t transmit the virus without knowing it. The result was a nation-wide recognition of the need to wear masks, People across the country bought made and wore mask very early on. The result is that in this country of 10,7 million people only 355 have died to date. That is a rate of 3.31 per 100,000. If we were to do the same it would be effectively stopped in less that a month. The other day a senior person in the health department said thdoing that would save over 30,000 lives.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Last I looked the US has 50 states and likely almost 50 different sets of rules and regulations to follow on a daily basis. Now if we could only control the populace with a system close to Chinese rule then I guess we would be in much better shape in regards to covid-19. Anyone else considering immigrating to China should stand up and raise your hand now.

    Liked by 2 people

  34. What happens if we close everything until the curve is at the low part as suggested, and then reopen everything?

    Won’t that just have the curve go right back up again? As far as I know, people would start to get infected as long as the virus exists.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. Understanding probability and risk is important to put life into perspective. We don’t have to get in a car to go to the movies or get on a plane to go on vacation. We choose to do so taking the risk to live our lives.

    Continuing forced shutdowns of businesses preventing people from making a living serving others that are willing does not seem right. We have to be reasonable about reducing risk without preventing people from living their lives or earning a living. It becomes tricky when involving children or people that are fragile but I think we know enough to open up judiciously and yet be ready to modify based on the best science.

    The only way to not die is to not live, let’s draw the line taking everyone into account and without fear.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Part of the post above was co-opted from something I read recently and wanted to convey to my kids,
      so not all my original.

      Like

    1. Right on… most teachers don’t want to RTW… “fear factor “ watching too much mainstream media or reading the POV…. cut their pay if they don’t want to work – make’m hungry… another bunch li in’ off the tax-payer gravy train or better yet give those $$$ to parents who want school choice… let’s “diversify” educational opportunities…. lots of great minds incorruptible by the NEA out there- try something different- might get better results!!!

      Like

  36. Perhaps the way to get southern states to do what’s reasonable is for the SEC to announce that there will be no football games this fall unless everyone immediately begins wearing a mask in public…

    Liked by 2 people

  37. Get after it Russ

    Being a union guy I’m disgusted by the goings on out in LA. Get rid of them for holding the students hostage.

    Like

  38. Fact is China has had a second wave and maybe a 3rd wave as well. If they can’t control this thing, I doubt the USA can. The sheer size of this country ( like China and Russia who have struggled with containment) and a pesky thing called the 10th Amendment get in the way of a “National Plan” to deal with anything. Throw in the scope of our political landscape and its a pipe dream.

    We crushed the curve and then decided to have a party over Memorial Day and 4th of July. Then, what no one wants to mention, our major population centers decided it was ok to have mass gatherings of 1k, 2k some up to 5k and 10k people a night for about 3 weeks. Hell, some are still having these mass gatherings nightly. There is a limit to how effective masks are in groups of this size, especially if the masks aren’t N95 grade and/or are not worn properly. Some of the gatherers were not wearing masks the right way or at all.

    Remember The virus doesn’t care about age or virtue.

    An ancillary effect of these gatherings is that it makes it a pretty tough sell to the youth ( and younger adults) when you tell them it’s ok to gather on the streets en masse on this block of a city but don’t go a few blocks away to a bar , restaurant or party or you will get the ‘Rona for just hanging out with a few friends. The messages create cognitive dissonance in a portion of the population that doesn’t really require any additional help in that department.

    Our school aged kids are really in trouble. Online learning is a joke…at least in the Pa schools. My sister is a teacher. She literally did nothing for a month, then half a$$ed it for the remainder of the year. I love my sister but I want a refund on my school taxes. The refund should go directly to my wife who taught my two kids on her own with lesson plans she found on a variety of websites. School teachers are essential employees. They have told us this for years, until now, when they no longer wish to be.

    THERE IS NO CURE. I stay away from large crowds and avoid stores unless I have to go in them for something. I wear a mask (N95 and wear it correctly) and gloves. I also carry a bottle of sanitizer with me everywhere I go. BUT….it’s my choice to do so.

    I respect others right to do what they want. Those who don’t take the precautions that I do, won’t get near me because I won’t allow it, I keep my circle tight, with like minded family & select friends.

    TL/dr. I still might get it. If I do, I will know I did everything I could to not get it.

    If I do get it, I will beat it and then I’m a day walker. Look out then world!

    Liked by 2 people

  39. Bottom line…………. I mean the very bottom line…… everyone has control of their lives so… choose wisely or not…. it’s up to us all.. I’m not scared, afraid or trembling in fear but I am taking this plague seriously. It’s not hard to do….. I’ve been self isolating for years….. It’s my way of life and well practiced. 😉 Listen to music, it heals the mind.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. But does everyone have total control as long as others just don’t seem to care about others (or themselves)? Unless you stay home and 24/7 and live in a household that does the same (100% self-sufficient), you are suspect.

      Now, I senior shop, golf, get my haircut, order takeout and occasionally visit relatives. Yesterday, I got my car inspected (Pep Boys). I wear a mask every time I’m inside a public area; i use hand sanitizer if available and clean down my kitchen, bathroom, etc every time I come in from the outside. But still I have been near people who don’t follow protocols … anyone who can be asymptomatic.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. to be clear …. if I appear to be total paranoid, note that I wouldn’t golf or senior shop or visit, etc. But the point is that unless you and yours stay home 24/7, you are not in total control

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Many people not observing social distancing, mask wearing etc. Increasing rate the further you get from the City of Pittsburgh, big jump when you cross the Allegheny County line.

        Like

      3. Yet ultimately we do have control, it’s just what kind of life would we have if we didn’t take a risk or two. I haven’t been outside my tiny compound in nearly 3 months (everything delivered via internet) but I continue to see my three kids and seven grand-kids when they come over to see us. It’s something that I won’t relinquish. Again the Lou Holtz quote

        “Don’t keep me alive by keeping me from living”

        There’s a happy modicum to be found here.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Not every risk is worth dying for. Calculate your risk first.

          Lou is from west virginny isn’t he?

          The man can’t be a millimeter over 5 foot 8 inches. I stood next to him in chapel at Notre Dame.

          Very surprised since he’s such an imposing figure personality wise and attitude wise. He’s a chiwawa. That’s meant as a compliment. he was excellent for the Domers in the late 80’s. I like Lou. Before senility set in.

          Like

          1. The thought Tex is freedom of choices and making the right choice for you and your family and friends. Tomorrow is my oldest grand-daughters birthday party. I choose not to attend but my wife will. My wife will arrive early and sing Happy Birthday and then leave before the other party goer’s get there. There is still a chance to have your cake and eat it to. What can we do… ? Well Benny.. There is something we can do….. Just go home.

            ike…… who regrets bullying Benny.

            Like

            1. I’ll miss hugs though.

              Really it will get to the point that everyone will have a health card. Those that are covid immune will be permitted hugs.

              Tex who isn’t hopping into the Tardis these days because it’s all too easy to figure out. I also read Twain.

              Like

    1. Interesting, Germany also the most effective European Nation in combating the virus.Less than 10,000 deaths. Much less community spread.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Reminds me of a Lufthansa joke…Flight attendant on the PA system:

        “Ladies and gentlemen, in preparation for landing, please make sure your seatbelt is fastened and seat back if forward. At this time, please place your tray tables back in pace….. and we only want to hear one click!”

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Joke or stereotype, it’s close to reality. Very efficient and organized those Germans. Their technical expertise in manufacturing can only be touched by the Japanese.

          Like

      2. But they’re Germans. I’m Germanic American. I’m no German. They are very good at these things. It’s a cultural thing. America is real good at messing things up right now.

        Like

  40. I’ve done a lot of reading on this as I’m sure most here have and am certain to have not seen a better overall compilation of information as well as terrifically written piece.

    thank you MM!!!

    is “terrifically” a word? 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  41. let me be the first to say that these watch lists are to be taken with a grain of salt; for example, I’m sure Twyman and Jones and maybe even Ford weren’t on watch lists a year ago. And it is even more ambiguous with 16 and 17 year olds. But I guess it is still better to be on them than not to be

    Nate Yarnell@NateYarnell·
    12h
    SI All-American Watch List: 12 Pittsburgh commits and 9 Key Pitt targets named https://si.com/college/recruiting/football/watch-list-pitt-panthers-commits-and-targets via

    Like

  42. The season will be all power 5 or none. Could you imagine if the ACC cancelled but the SEC And Big 10 didn’t. Every single recruit would try to jump to the SEC and Big 10.

    Like

    1. They all need to get on the same page. How do you rank teams and get a BCS invite if your scheduling is different. Your practices. Your health protocols. Your conference rules. Well you can’t. At least not fairly. Who wants an asterisk season anyway.

      Like

  43. So if the German study is correct, what is the age cutoff? Pretty obvious that college kids can spread it pretty fast, just ask Clemson.

    Like

  44. As always, I enjoyed your work MM. Not sure what to make of the bottom line.
    Obviously the comparison with previous pandemics is difficult because most came before modern medicine or even science. How would they have done a worldwide count of the Bubonic plague when we are questioning numbers in 2020? A rhetorical question.

    I would like to see a comparison of Brazil and the US, especially the projected economic impact.

    The most important question is why the richest country in the world appears to be doing the poorest job in combating the virus?

    Hopefully we learn something that will improve performance when the next pandemic comes along.

    Like

    1. Economic impact was something I also wanted to include, but I just couldn’t justify staying up another hour (until 4 am) to work it in.

      At the end of the day the irony is that Sweden’s policy did not necessarily protect their economy. Someone will need to fact check but I believe they are now forecast to shrink -4.1%. This is based on the fact the people voluntarily changed their buying g habits even without a government shutdown. Now there are longer term implications that may be positive economically for sweeden vs a “lockdown” country. On the other hand some economists predict the US economy to shrink -7% this years so -4% would be an improvement…

      Like

      1. I saw 6% for the US and also Brazil, but the US Government has stopped doing projections so who really knows.The impact of the loss of tourism and travel, bars and restaurants has to be devastating. Also the impact on real estate with many unable to pay rent for commercial and housing is off the charts. The losses to the entertainment industry including sports is also massive.

        In any case probably impossible to get reliable numbers at this point for any of this.

        Like

        1. Well they call it the “dismal science” for a reason. Agree though, we just don’t know the real impact of all of this until after the fact

          Like

    2. You know that answer. And over 60 percent of Americans. And 90 percent of Europeans.

      Like

  45. Europe is effectively open. We know how they did it. We aren’t following that path. And won’t given this political environment.

    Their schools are open but operate far differently under the new normal. And they are also watching things closely and preparing for a second wave. They have no problem immediately shutting down again if outbreaks happen. They have plans and don’t rely on hope. They rely on science.

    So the world is mainly able to coexist except us Americans. Didn’t the French once call us stupid Americans. Well our inability to contain the virus proves it.

    The old normal doesn’t exist anymore and never will. We all need to adapt to the new normal. You can still live well by not dying. My life has not changed since the virus except for mask wearing. I wasn’t a big bar or restaurant guy. Ordering out is just fine. I just gave myself a haircut. Was complimented by many. My kids did the online thing and it wasn’t perfect but just fine for what was at the time a hastily put together stop gap program. I’ve personally learned to adapt and embrace the new normal just like a euro.

    If there is anyone who is soft and scared, it’s those that complain about today’s guidelines and long for the pre covid days. Make excuses for personal responsibility with fear mongering about freedoms and liberties being taken away. I think that’s a small price to pay for an open society.

    Tex who’s with over 60 percent of the country thinking that opening schools is a bad idea

    I’m not in the minority on this guys like I am on most Pitt things

    Like

  46. It is very hard to feel sorry for yourself when so many people have lost their income, may lose their house, or be evicted from their home. The long lines at food banks are heart breaking.

    My desire to watch Pitt Football, travel or eat in a good restaurant pales in comparison.

    I do miss spending time with my kids and grand kids the most difficult.

    As a former Public Health Professional it is sad to see the US without a National strategy other than “Let each State do their own thing” Sorry if that is too political.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Not political imo. His opinion is that we need a national strategy. Sounds like that’s yours as well. Regardless of who is in charge and whether or not you like them it’s probably a good idea. Pretty much every Country in the world has one.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Lower income and minorities get the double whammy of economic and health adverse impacts

      We Americans brought this upon ourselves by not adhering to cdc guidelines. By not having an effective national strategy. By leaving it up to each individual state where some attacked and mocked the science.

      But it’s still not too late. Follow the lead of the euros.

      That’s about as direct as I can be. But I know we won’t. So we deserve what’s coming.

      Like

    3. Americans think that opening up the economy will kill the virus. It doesn’t work that way. The virus kills the economy.

      You need to attack the virus first and contain it. That’s all you can do is containment until a proven and widely distributed vaccine. You need to accept the new normal.

      Inside dining ain’t coming back for some time. Large gatherings whether inside or outside are off limits. Masks are mandatory. Online learning will be a component of education for all ages.

      When the euros slip up and ease off, they see a reemergence as well. It takes vigilance.

      Frankly it takes leadership and a society united. We don’t have either right now. But all I hear is that I don’t want to live in this new normal. Get used to it. Or the economy will never get back on track and we’ll have far more deaths.

      It unfortunately has become political when it should be strictly science and a health focus first. Cart before the horse is our unfortunate strategy.

      Like

  47. Tex I rarely talk about topics like this but I think you have that wrong. No one is trying to kill the virus by opening up the economy, they are simply trying to save the economy. If the dumb asses would simply follow protocol both can be done at the same time. Oh to be young and stupid again. Now I’m just old and stoopid.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There was political pressure to open up in red states. States where the curve was only flat. Then they ramped up too fast. Even in blue states, enormous pressure from lobbying groups in the leisure, entertainment, hospitality and food industries. I get it. But look at the results. You need to control the virus first and rely on science. And if that means complete lockdown, then do it. You can always leave essential businesses open if strong health protocols exist, enough ppe and hazard pay. Have the government subsidize things until the hospitalizations have bottomed. And then when you re-open, impose criminal penalties on those who don’t adhere to the health mandates. But that will never happen here in the States. So we are all screwed.

      Like

    2. Many dumb people are senior citizens Ike. In my encounters, they can give the millennials a good game.

      Tex whose a slacker and have dumb science deniers in my gen as well

      Like

  48. What do I miss the most right now? When I see family and friends I always gave a hearty handshake and a hello hug. That would go for everyone if appropriate. I’ll most likely will never see many of you people ever again. It sucks but don’t get me wrong, I’m no chicken just trying to stay alive to see my family continue to grow. My middle grand-son (7 years old) is hitting the laces out of the baseball and I haven’t been able to attend one game, that hurts. Thank goodness for iPhone video’s.

    Like

  49. You can cite all the studies you want. Bottom line is the science doesn’t agree with the science. Ask yourself: How many “studies” and “experts” have been not just wrong but dangerously wrong from the beginning?

    The science isn’t settled. All of the studies are anecdotal and restricted in many instances by the region where they are drawing from.

    Non political example: two Italian doctors, Matteo Bassetti and Alberto Zangrillo say the virus has mutated from what they have seen from their 2 regions in Italy (Covid hotspots) and the virus isn’t as deadly as it was. This opinion is shared by UPMC doctors which is limited to where the UPMC doctors practice. Theses opinions have been refuted by WHO and others that say well there could be other explanations.

    These 2 Italian doctors from what I have researched on them and the UPMC doctors have no ulterior motives to say the virus is different and less potent. It’s what they believe based on their experience and observations. They are being refuted by other scientists and the WHO saying well not so fast based on what they think.

    It’s all anecdotal evidence. There is no settled science. There is no cure. Do what you feel is right for you and your family.

    Liked by 4 people

  50. MM, what a fantastic piece of journalism! Really liked your review of the probabilities with the data dive. Excellent job giving a quantitative perspective to this situation. Unfortunately people listen to fear peddling network news and think it credible. It is not. The job of the news media is to sell news media, ….and fear sells. Therefore, the media fabricates fear so it has something to sell. Sucks but this is the world we live in. Great to see you using statistically supported findings.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What media are you calling out. Name names.

      There’s only one right answer to me.

      What’s most important is a free press that keeps our leaders accountable and helps expose fraud, criminality and corruption. So let’s not denigrate the press when our founders made it a priority to place them on a pedestal and valued the importance of their work.

      They are not the enemy of the people.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I would prefer to not get into a discussion about American media.

        I will say two things and then delete any further comments

        A free press is essential to a properly functioning democracy
        Media on both side of the debate have sensationalized and made in some cases false statements for a long time now. The advent of cable news channels (again on BOTH) sides has exacerbated this
        With that being said … sensationalism and “yellow journalism” (as it was called when it was taught to me in 11th grade civics class) has been around since the advent of the newspaper. It’s just more prevalent today
        We are fortunate to live in a Time when we can have access to research and facts. While this has also led to an overload of information, such access was not available in the 1800’s for example.

        Again – no more discussion about the media on either side. It is a slippery slope that I will not allow us to go down.

        Like

        1. It’s probably best to begin talking about premier league or bundesliga football because American football and college ain’t happening this Fall.

          There is a reason why Europe has the virus generally contained and they are open under a new normal.

          How many posters on this site would wear a mask if it wasn’t mandated. I bet it’s less than half. The problem is staring at you in the mirror

          Liked by 1 person

          1. First off, I would wear a mask if I were to even thing about attending a game… at this point in time

            The NFL will play league games.

            If that happens, so will college football. Although a watered down version.

            Watch the lawsuits to follow. No offense to anyone.

            Like

  51. Some random thoughts from a random brain…

    -leadership is easy when you’re not leading

    -true leaders take responsibility for everything that happens on their watch

    -I’ve yet to find it in the Constitution where it is your right to shop wherever you want

    -I find it interesting that people criticize the medical professionals for adjusting their views as new data is analyzed/synthesized

    -saying that you can die any day for various reasons isn’t the same as trying to control the spread of a virus (me getting hit by a bus in WPA doesn’t cause multiple bus incidents in other parts of the country)

    -I figure I can either be wrong and not sick or wrong and sick. Right now, I’m choosing not sick.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Larry I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt here and make the assumption that your first three statements are in reference to college football and athletics and not veiled political comments. Thank you

      Like

  52. Larry V. “ I’ve yet to find it in the Constitution where it is your right to shop wherever you want.” Explanation please.

    Like

    1. In reference to some responses by some folks when requested to comply with masks etc. I remember the days of no shirt, no shoes, no service.

      Like

      1. And that practice or mandate was put in place for hygienic reasons.

        Hypocrites don’t know the meaning of the word.

        When irrational emotions rule your actions, bad things happen. Our framers knew this. But our framers were also slave holders, white and northern euro, Protestant and didn’t believe in a women’s right to vote.

        They should not be treated like gods. But they did have best intentions. And they didn’t own a Tardis but were right on many future things. Because they understood human nature. Much like Twain.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Are you a strict interpretist of the constitution or one who likes to interpret it and apply to today’s modern society?

      IMO, anything created by man is flawed despite best intentions. And times and technology change. The best thing man does is adapt. That’s been the key to our survival.

      Like

      1. I guess I’m in the camp that the reason there is an amendment process is to be able to update the document as the country matures.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. And so am I to assume you believe any updated amendments will turn out to be a positive and not a negative. By the way why haven’t seen as of yet any state as of yet requiring demonstrations(from whatever side) on the not allowed list during this pandemic?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Some movements are spontaneous and are tough to control. Other events are planned and staged and they know better. Sometimes movements are hyjacked by the xtremme and don’t know the end. We’re seeing it all right now. You won’t be seeing much if any of football this Fall.

            Become a soccer fan instead.

            And don’t nearly 70 percent of states have to approve an amendment. Tough for that many people to be so wrong

            I’d actually leave it in the hands of the senate. I’d also term limit the Supreme Court. Just like every politician. But the founders and framers didn’t have a Tardis. They were good at understanding human nature but couldn’t envision 200 years into the future. Their guide was the past.

            Like

  53. JoeKnew, I don’t necessarily know, with these three exceptions:
    1) Never get into a land was in Asia
    2) Never get into a vendetta with a Sicilian
    3) Never argue with a Flat-Earther.

    Like

  54. pretty good company ….

    CBS Sports HQ@CBSSportsHQ
    Top 4 Players in the ACC:

    Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
    Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina
    Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
    Jaylen Twyman, DL, Pitt

    They named 10 payers plus 5 honorable mention …. Morrisey and Ford made HM, so that’s 3 in Top 15

    Liked by 1 person

  55. I’m a former western PA MD who moved to SC but still work part time in a 300 bed hospital in Harrisburg. During my 3 most recent 10 day rotations the hospital has averaged only 2 Covid patients suggesting that some of the fear is overblown. For the record I am in a high risk group at age 75 with a bit of an immune issue but I am not paranoid about acting on the front lines although some on this site would probably call me crazy. My wife keeps in touch with friends from western PA -Washington and Allegheny counties and knows 6 people who signed up for Covid testing for various reasons such as myalgia, diarrhea and cough but after waiting for over 3 hours (and since symptoms had improved) they left the testing site and all were notified by mail later that their tests were Covid positive!! Makes one wonder about reliability of some of the testing. Best is hand washing and social distancing with masks a distant third according to my infectious disease colleagues. Also thank you MM for the unbiased summary which as usual was well thought out and written. You are a worthy successor to Reed

    Liked by 6 people

  56. Amendment (Noun): a minor change or addition designed to improve a text, piece of legislation, etc..
    “an amendment to existing bail laws”
    synonyms:
    revision · alteration · change · modification · qualification · adaptation · adjustment · edit · editing · rewrite · rewriting · redraft · redrafting · recasting · rephrasing · [more]

    by definition, an amendment is a revision or addition to the existing constitution

    Maybe the question is not whether or not one can shop, it’s the conditions that are applicable FOR ALL. For example, NO SHOES, NO SHIRTS — NO SERVICE should apply to all. The same for masks or whatever else

    Like

  57. They did not test but I do not knowthe testing sites although they were different. Here in SC we have lines 2-3 hours long since the spike which is most likely due to you Yankees coming down to the beaches with no distancing. Went to the beach on Hilton Head last Sun and had to keep moving beach chairs because people would set up too close to us. We like to be prudent about distancing even outdoors but if you maintain enough space between you and others you are probably safe. Hilton Head has now required all who are inside commercial establishment or even out and about to wear masks although I see frequent people in the super markets with license plate fro PA Ohio NJ and NY who don’t follow rules

    Like

    1. I had to take a COVID test last week so my in-laws would allow us to join them on a beach vacation. Line was 2.5 hours in Georgia. Came up negative thankfully (and expectedly). Will be interesting to see how many ppl follow distancing in the Florida Panhandle.

      Very odd indeed that they were diagnosed with COVID without a test. I don’t want this convo to get into politics … nor will I allow it to… but lets just say that we can and should ALL agree that anything pandemic related should be put above politics. All the way around. I know it’s tough to separate int his world and if you want to discuss it there are plenty of other websites out there. Message not directed at you SCDoc. Just a general notification for all POV’ers.

      Like

    2. I believe the scenario of the Yankees coming south and spreading the virus is feasible. And it’s the reason that I brought up travel in the very first post of this spread.

      I think what may worry me the most for the college FB is the travel factor. IMO it is much better to control the spread in a controlled, bubble environment like what they are doing in the NBA and NHL. I hope I am overthinking this

      Like

      1. I’ve also seen studies that suggest the spread was not due to Yankees. In Texas it was due to our own selves. The governor even admitted. Mainly the bars and outdoor activities on Memorial Day weekend. He blamed few but himself. But he still refuses to mandate masks and completely close restaurants dining in. If he had followed cdc guidelines, Texas would not be a hot mess.

        Like

  58. They should just pass a new law……… Called.. “Use your brain for the reason GAAD gave you one”.

    Like

  59. MM didn’t mean to get into politics. Just wanted to give some background on my personal experience and some hearsay from people that my wife knows.

    Like

    1. All good SC Doc. And I welcome more personal experiences . I’ve been following along and I think the case counts are going to be the next explosive new topic and your experience seems to corroborate that. Just tying to head anybody off from sliding down that slippery slope.

      Like

  60. Okie city just mandated wearing face masks under penalty of law. To do so on a national basis, I think, would be unconstitutional.

    Like

    1. Well it would certainly be controversial. And I’m no constitutional lawyer … but let’s see…doesn’t violate free speech, right to assemble, right to bear arms…voting rights … freedoms of religion…search and seizure …quartering of soldiers …double jeopardy …incriminating ones self …Public trial…trial by jury …due process …ahh amendment 10: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

      It’s a grey area for sure. And yet if you look at history the federal government has taken unified action in the face of an epidemic (pandemic) if the threat is deemed serious enough:

      https://www.history.com/.amp/this-day-in-history/yellow-fever-breaks-out-in-philadelphia

      Like

    2. (And to be clear people discussions around a what is constitutional is not politics its civics – as long as you don’t bring political parties or politicians into it )

      Like

  61. Me thinks those calling for a unified National strategy mean only if said strategy follows their ideas of what we should be doing. For example, if the federal government announced today that effective immediately all businesses, schools, bars, restaurants, etc., are to be open without restriction nationwide; States and municipalities cannot impose local restrictions; we are going full speed ahead to achieve herd immunity and get this thing behind us ….. how quickly would the claims of States rights under the constitution be raised?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t even know where to begin. I guess if the consensus among Public Health officials was to go for herd immunity it would be the thing to do. We appear to be the only country without a National Strategy and the Country with the highest rates of cases and deaths. There is never 100% agreement on how to deal with these things and mistakes will inevitably be made but we seem to be the only country with as much division and the only country demonizing or ignoring its Public Health officials. Our lack of a National strategy has Hospitals in Florida and Texas, experiencing the same tragedies as New York three months ago.
      Seven months into the Pandemic, Five months in this country and we are no closer to any kind of solution.

      Like

      1. There is a national strategy. Let each state handle the virus as the governor wishes. That’s what the states wanted, that‘s what they got. The CDC gave them guidelines to follow. The government gave them supplies and tons of money.

        The CDC, which has changed direction several times, is full of not so great career scientist much like our congress that is full of career politicians.

        Can anyone really name a government agency that is run well? National, state, local? Not a one. Sad, but true.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Lyke!!!!

          MM – very well written article and the comments are fair and balanced.

          I’m erring on the side of caution because of Mrs. Erie’s health issues – our business has been open throughout, but it was hard to make it with major supply chain issues and customers closing. The business survived and so have we –

          To Mrs. Erie & myself, COVID-19 was & is a bump in the road – and trust me when I say this, I am not aiming to diminish the China virus that is wreaking havoc on our great country.

          Here’s to better days ahead!

          H2P!

          Like

        2. Since this is a novel virus, the CDC was basing their recommendations on what worked for other viruses. Covid is not acting like other viruses, so adjustments to recommendations are being made as they figure this thing out. They adapt to what they learn. Science is all about trying what you think works, then adapting based on the outcomes.

          Liked by 1 person

    2. It’s a fair point. On the other hand Sweden had a unified national strategy that flew in the Face ID the rest of the world … but at least it was a unified national strategy.

      No matter what strategy a country’s leadership picks, there will be some that don’t agree

      Like

  62. No other country except for Brazil and Russia have come close to America’s mess. There are similarities on how these countries reacted and continue to mismanage the virus. Those two countries are some bad company to keep.

    Like

  63. Just like everything else, states rights are only good if you agree with what is being legislated. Oregon vs Ashcroft – 2002. In a nutshell, Oregon voted on and enacted the right of physician-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients in 2001. While the Republicans have long been strong advocates of states rights, the US Attorney General opposed this and brought a lawsuit against Oregon.

    As I have been advocating …. you can justify or unjustify any point of view depending on your viewpoint.

    Again, for the most part …. there is no right or wrong — only varying viewpoints.

    Like

    1. and for fwiw …. I take no issue whatsoever with mask mandates whether it is a county, a state or a place of business.

      Like

  64. Really difficult to keep the politics out of any public health discussion. This was the case with tobacco and lead in gasoline and paint. Both had hearings in Congress where industry experts claimed there was no harm being done. Both required a National Strategy. Tobacco has been dealt with by Public Health Education and some government intervention, but still kills many. Lead in gasoline and paint has been eliminated by law.
    Both required National strategies.

    Like

    1. You bring up good examples, Gordon. But look at Portland right now. And Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution specifically authorizes the feds to intervene in the event of domestic violence. Yet we are seeing a Mayor and Governor claiming States rights. That is why I’m not convinced that a national edict would fly.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. What domestic violence? There is no insurrection going on. Mostly peaceful protests, with some bad actors taking advantage.

        Like

        1. I’ve seen many instances of mobs attacking police, burning businesses and taking over parts of cities.
          What am I missing here?

          Liked by 3 people

            1. Portland and Minneapolis- yes it is still happening. Just being scantily reported nationally.

              Can you imagine owning a home or business or both in these destructive protest areas?

              Sad to say the least. I feel bad for Americans living in those parts.

              Liked by 3 people

            2. Go watch the person in NY bash the police chief in the head with a bat!
              Again MM most of all of these comments are political.
              Go spend a night in Chaz or by the Wendy’s in Atlanta.
              I dare you.
              No gun for you
              Write us a nice note when you get back.

              Liked by 1 person

            3. You guys have done a nice job of keeping it civil while I’ve been away. Let the dialog continue…

              Like

      2. What worries me is that these feds don’t have badges. They have unmarked vehicles. They look like jack booted thugs. They look like brown shirts. I sure don’t want to live in a country with stormtroopers.

        Like

  65. Tobacco, alcohol, guns, gambling still regulated on a state level. Yes, there are federal laws and guidelines but for it to be enforced on a state level it has to be state law. For example federal law for tobacco purchase is 21 but state and local law enforcement can’t punish anyone if the state law is still 18 which it is in many states. Only The ATF would have powers and there isn’t enough of them and they have bigger issues to deal with.
    The states have lots of power, which they should, and they are more than happy to point it out and show it off.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Do individual states have the resources and abilities to fight a pandemic? Somebody said it was a war. Do states have the ability or the right to fight a war?

      In many cases States rights are a relic of Slavery and then the Civil War.

      The problem with States being in charge of a pandemic is that the virus doesn’t recognize borders or politics.

      Yesterday SCDoc said it was Yankees not wearing masks in SC causing problems. Still fighting the Civil War.

      Like

    1. What goes on in Portland stays in Portland. Why do we care. Every time time I visited that city there was some act of civil disobedience going on. Granola will make you do that.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. One of our church members and his family went to Portland to start a ministry…. from what I hear – a pretty Godless place….. looks that way!!!

        Like

    1. Anyone that breaks the law should be arrested and prosecuted. I have no quarrel with that.
      I hope they arrest and prosecute every violent anarchist to the full extent of the law.
      They should also tell us who they are and publicly name them.

      What I have a problem with is whitewashing peaceful protesters with the criminals.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Gorden, do you have any problem with peaceful protestors that don’t wear masks or social distance while screaming on the “said” issue?

        Like

      2. I can’t protest… too tired at the end a day of working so I get my rest and do it all over again the next day…..

        BigB… who’s Dad told him the best way to handle a bully is to aim 2 ft behind his head and punch through to that spot….

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Fran, I’ve preached to my kids all their lives to stand up and protect their area and don’t let anyone in unless they gave permission. You stand cause you know I’ll always have your back.

      Like

  66. What happened in Portland is totally new. Usually when things get out of hand the Governor requests assistance from the National Guard. Apparently these were DHS what, police, soldiers? Who are these guys and who requested or authorized them? They have no insignias, no ID on their uniform. Is this a secret army, secret police? What about Miranda rights etc.?

    Like

    1. 50 straight days.
      Atlanta
      New York
      Chicago
      Remember Chaz ?
      People killed by armed citizens of Chaz. Seattle?
      Oh ya child murdered in Atlanta by the Wendy’s the rioters burned down.
      Ya just happen yesterday
      Give me a break

      Liked by 1 person

    2. They are undercover police officers in unmarked cars. Remember, Portland DEFUNDED the police.

      At least the police are finding creative ways to DEFEND the innocent against the violent protestors on a tight budget.

      Who pays for uniforms and cop cars when the department is DEFUNDED.

      Coming to a city or town near you…

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Defunding is a loose term. Often misused. To many like myself it means to demilitarize the police. It means to take them away from social work stuff. Focus on criminality. And hold them accountable. I’d bust the police union for starters.

        Like

        1. Definition of defund per Webster Dictionary:

          verb

          de·​fund | \ (ˌ)dē-ˈfənd \
          defunded; defunding; defunds

          transitive verb
          to withdraw funding from

          Pretty clear to me, and I only have a 4 year Business degree from Pitt.

          Liked by 1 person

  67. I didn’t mean to move the discussion to Portland. Just used it as an example. My point is that we shouldn’t be compared to other countries. Our form of government was intentionally designed to limit the federal government to those few instances specifically listed in the Constitution. Most of us would fight a national edict, even if we disagreed with our State’s position. One of the greatest traits of the USA, in my opinion. We are not those other countries. Line em up and kick off!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I don’t know about all of that. We salute and pledge allegiance to the Flag of the USA, not to a state or Commonwealth. Our Federal taxes are significantly more than our state ones. The battle of state vs Fed depends on which issue you are talking about. One problem with government is that we have too many.
      National, State, Municipal, School Districts, Police Departments. Too much overhead.

      Like

      1. In Texas we pledge allegiance to Texas. It’s true. They have some pledge they recite in the classrooms. But I do agree with you Gordon. You and I see eye to eye on politics. Not so much on sports.

        Tex – if he could collect a thousand bucks from everyone who agrees with him, would still be poor.

        Like

        1. Be careful Tex… RE Lee stood up for his state of Va in the days when your state weighed more significantly the the fed govt which was smaller in its importance….. don’t want to see your statute torn down or vandalized….I have you right up there with James Bowie and Davey Crockett…

          Like

  68. For what it’s worth, this refers to a paper published last month in the medical journal Lancet:

    Masks also make a significant difference. Chu and his colleagues found that the risk of transmission went down 85 percent when people wore a mask, and that N95 masks did the best job of reducing virus spread. Those masks, which are fitted tightly to the face and have a respirator, were 96 percent effective, while paper surgical masks were 77 percent effective.

    Liked by 2 people

  69. We can agree on your last point, Gordon. I’m in a patriotic mood today as I’m currently sitting in a VRBO house built in 1776 in Rick and Rachel’s part of the world. I’m with my daughter’s and niece’s families. I am in the at-risk age bracket and, yes, I am aware of the risks I’m taking. But we’re all different. One of the things I really enjoy about this forum. Wish I could look forward to seeing you all in a few weeks. Not appearing likely though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have been taking a few risks to be with family and a few close friends as well.
      Hey if we all had the same POV life would be very boring.

      Liked by 1 person

  70. Protest problem solved by the Israelis no less as they have developed a water spray liquid called skunk. It soaks the demonstrators and leaves them smelling much like a skunk sprayed them. If your in the mood of seeing some destructive protestors scatter quickly just google Israelis Skunk Spray Video.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They were forced to develop this because the plastic bullets they were using were killing people. This is a far more humane tactic of crowd dispersement.

      Like

  71. Hey Tex …the first thing Trevion Stevenson mentions is that he lives only 3 hours from Chapel Hill …. yet, he is 414 miles (7 hr) from Pgh …. firmly inside that 500 mile radius you keep talking about.

    https://northcarolina.rivals.com/news/thi-tv-trevion-stevenson-breaks-down-his-unc-commitment

    As I mentioned last week, this 500 mile radius you have imposed is superficial. Yes, there are plenty of recruits within 500 mi, but what good are they if they are much closer to many other schools?

    Like

    1. It’s a general rule. Not hard and fast. I didn’t say you’d win anyone. I said it’s smart to focus there first before expanding. And Florida is a special exception to the rule. I would have picked NC regardless of where I lived. Better academically. Warmer. Nicer girls. Easier clssses. Money under the table. And I know pitt gets on kids if they don’t do community service, get good grades, attend clsss, behave and graduate. Other schools are more lax. Pitt is run like a military academy.

      Like

  72. MM- just read your article= tremendous! I am not good at research, so perhaps you can do the legwork. I remember reading an article somewhere within the past month about the covid statistics for Vietnam and why they are so good. Would make a nice addition to the narrative.
    Also, i have many friends/coworkers who think this is all overblown. They like to cite the various flu and pandemic outbreaks of the past to strengthen their argument of how “minor” this is. Somehow, they never seem to acknowledge that 2020 medicine is more advanced than previous outbreaks that they bring up. Nor do they seem to appreciate that the measures enacted- that so infringed on their rights- had an impact on keeping some of the numbers down. I would love that they read your article and the subsequent comments, but i have long since realized and accepted that some people will still argue that there is no need to worry about Mount Vesuvius even as the ash falls upon their head.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jamers. That’s exactly why I wanted to do the historical analysis, and it shows that this could be pretty bad (albeit mostly for those over 55). The numbers don’t lie but there are definitely also some people that are just set in their ways.

      Like

      1. Plenty of old dogs who comment. They have a tough time sitting and rolling over. Don’t expect them to come. 🤠

        Like

  73. A national strategy requires laws and regulations passed. If you try to rule by Executive Order you get deemed a tyrant, dictator and/ or fascist. States then sue you in Federal Court. The States pick Circuit Courts that are friendly to their persuasion.

    A law requires a bill to be passed through the House and Senate. If you think that this Congress (sharply divided) can agree on something of this scale with the science “evolving”, it’s a pipe dream. Tobacco legislation took years. Waiting around for a national strategy during a pandemic is not something that makes sense.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is all a fair point and has happened to most of not every administration – left, right and center. See my comment about the 10th amendment in earlier thread and many other comments about state va federal power. And yet … in some cases a national strategy is needed because the situation is so severe. This may or may not be one of them and I guess that’s the crux of the debate.

      More adroit politicians know how to pre-align the key stakeholders though … should they decide a national strategy is warranted. I know this is true within the (large) company in which I work and I am assuming it’s also true in Washington.

      Like

      1. This is a war. You don’t have each individual state fight a war. You need leadership from the top. You need one channel of communication. One message. One strategy and various tactical plans. But you do need a Eisenhower right now. I won’t say who we have.

        Like

        1. That’s what the governors wanted. They have the power unless Congress does something. Being that half of them don’t deem themselves essential enough to be in Washington, it will never happen.

          Like

  74. But in this case key stakeholders are of the most unfriendly variety to the less politically adroit leader…
    Never seen anything like it in my lifetime.
    Good luck developing a national strategy in this climate.

    Liked by 1 person

  75. I once thought of saying goodbye to Latrobe Pa forever and as well as saying goodbye to Fred and Arnie. I’m rethinking that now. I think for now I’m embedded in this hick town. << and glad I am. This country has lost it’s mind. You guys figure out what wrong but I don’t blame…..?? I hold my tongue.

    Liked by 2 people

  76. Having had the flu, measles, mumps, whopping cough and chicken pox and thankfully not gotten polio, you rarely fear something until you get it.

    Like

  77. Why US covid numbers are so high: “A positive test result shows you may have antibodies from an infection with the virus that causes COVID-19. However, there is a chance a positive result means that you have antibodies from an infection with a virus from the same family of viruses (called coronaviruses), such as the one that causes the common cold.”

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/testing/serology-overview.html

    Hospitals get government $$$ (The CARES Act gives HHS wide latitude to administer $100 billion in grants to hospitals and doctors) for every positive test reported and treatment. They have to make up for the $$$ lost for not being able to treat other ailments during the lock-down. For any patient on Medicare or without insurance the hospital gets 20%.

    https://www.aha.org/special-bulletin/2020-03-26-senate-passes-coronavirus-aid-relief-and-economic-security-cares-act

    Positive tests result in you needing 1-2 more tests. “While I have not been able to locate many entities listing a “cash price” for COVID-19 testing, the three hospitals I found listed prices around $150-$200, roughly three times the Medicare rate or what they likely are getting paid in-network from private insurers (lab tests tend to be similarly priced in Medicare and private insurance, unlike most other services).”

    https://www.brookings.edu/blog/usc-brookings-schaeffer-on-health-policy/2020/04/09/how-the-cares-act-affects-covid-19-test-pricing/

    https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/cms-increases-medicare-payment-high-production-coronavirus-lab-tests-0

    Below is a breakdown of how much funding per COVID-19 case each state will receive from the first $30 billion in aid. Kaiser Health News used a state breakdown provided to the House Ways and Means Committee by HHS along with COVID-19 cases tabulated by The New York Times for its analysis.

    https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/finance/state-by-state-breakdown-of-federal-aid-per-covid-19-case.html

    Here are the flu numbers:

    https://www.rochesterregional.org/news/2020/01/flu-season-2020

    Mostly for big $$$ and somewhat political reasons the numbers are being inflated. That’s my view anyway…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. But real hospitalizations are real. Texas hospitals busting at the seams. Has nothing to do with being tested. I get where you’re coming from. But still a death is a death. And our death rate is so much higher than any other country. Look at hospitalizations and deaths. Along with the positive rate. The virus is not contained. Yet we’re still talking about a football season and opening schools. That’s just plain stupid. Haven’t we learned anything from our first ill advised openings.

      Like

      1. A death is not a death….like a young kid dying in a motorcycle wreck that was ruled a COVID death. I agree that COVID is serious, but I don’t believe the US is the worst at this with us having the best doctors & hospitals in the world. And why was the “Hydroxychloroquine isn’t effective” hoax pushed by the media? (because Trump endorsed it)

        Look who’s rated #1 here: https://www.ghsindex.org/

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Heck yeah, now everyone can go to a hospital … no longer segregated to the Wuhan virus….people with hear attacks and strokes can get an ICU BED!!!!

        Like

    2. Keep sending money to hospitals reporting the disease and the will continue to drum up cases….. just like sending that malingerer a monthly check- incentive their total BS “ illness!!!” I see it every day….::

      Like

  78. I don’t think nation legislation is needed at all. What was needed from the start was good communication, science-based explanations (and yes, they would evolve as more is learned and as circumstances change), science-based guidelines, a unified message on the need to follow the guidelines, and example setting….

    Like

    1. And that’s what Europe and Asian countries did. We’ll be the first to experience the zombie apocalypse.

      Tex loading up on ammo as I type.

      Like

      1. Only corpses I am friend past are possums, coins and deer….: maybe the zombies are waiting for Halloween….:

        Like

    1. Once again nobody really knows. As we collect new data, analyze it, we’ll be better informed and can take action. But then again the virus will most likely mutate and each strain will be different. The virus unfortunately is gonna run it’s course but won’t magically disappear after Election Day. We’ll be fine as long as everyone adapts to the new normal. Stubbornness and ignorance are bad Darwin traits.

      Like

  79. I guess no one is breaking the law in Portland? I’m not talking enforcement agents either. OOP’s. Get these scrum bags off the streets at night. I’m out.

    Like

  80. Before I get banned……… why do grown people walk around with backpacks? They should be banned. Get out of here with this crap, you hit a cop on the head with a bat, you should be shot in the head.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Now that is very funny Richard but what did you do before cargo pants? Your man-purse could be worth some money but you don’t strike me as the type to sasha down main street wearing a purse. 🙂

        Like

        1. It was a simpler time then. All shirts (dress, polo & tees) had a shirt pocket for cigarettes & lighter.. Car keys just went on your key ring. Miscellaneous other stuff went in pants pocket, Some on right. Some on left depending on need. (I’m right handed so pocket knife went in left. Keys in right. Cell phones were bulky so they went in left pocket. keys in right. That left some room for overflow of wife’s purse & there was always overflow.

          So not only did I have unsightly butt bulge from my wallet but I had unsightly front pants pocket bulges

          Cargo pants was the answer to my prayers..

          Liked by 1 person

        1. Haven’t really spent much time looking for new ones but I only wear what I do have (short & long) on special occasions. Hopefully they will last another two or three years.

          Like

  81. This thread, more than any other shows why politics is banned on this blog. I’ve read some things that just plain caused me to shake my head. People are,so,dug in on a side that nothing, and I mean nothing is going to change their minds. People,try soooooooo hard to give “ proof” to make their point they become somewhat crazy.
    Mike, it’s time to close this for good. Please get back to sports where we can give “ proof” to make our points and argue like silly adults. This is way too serious.
    JoeKnew.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You said what’s been on my mind all day JoeKnew. It’s simply a matter of finding the time to flip the switch…

      Like

    2. Well this is life and death. Sports is just entertainment

      I don’t need my sports fix or my Pitt habit if results in needless death.

      I’m content with golf and soccer right now

      Pro sports without fans. I have no problem with that. You won’t see some stupid guy streaking or some drunk lass showing her saggy tata’s

      Liked by 1 person

  82. back to the purpose of the blog ….

    getting 10 wins this year just got harder. Pitt’s surest win just cancelled its game (actually it was Richmond’s conference)

    Like

      1. Truth! They should’ve been gray from the start. Cheap Rooneys must have gotten a deal on the ugly yellow seats

        Like

  83. Welp… I think the 322 comments on this thread answered the question it’s pretty bad. Turning off commenting to save us all from ourselves. Have a good weekend ladies and gentlemen and I look forward to resuming sports-only chatter sometime in the future l.

    Liked by 4 people

Comments are closed.