There has to be a middle ground between zero-tolerance COVID policy and 300 deaths per day

China - zero-tolerance COVID policy and people aren’t having it any longer.

USA - 300 deaths daily due to COVID, that’s like 26 9-11s every year. Mostly old or immunocompromised - but don’t our lives matter?

Is there no middle ground where we could reduce deaths but allow people to remain sane and the country open? It irks me that people have to lurch between unsatisfying extremes.

Are there countries which have a lower per capita COVID death rate than us currently? There must be… we’re never the best at anything anymore. Can we not learn from them?


As you may know, Hawaii was able to keep extremely low numbers during covid. They knew from experience how to do this.

(Wikipedia) What percentage of Hawaiians died of disease after Cook’s first arrival in Hawaii?

It is estimated that in the first two years after Cook’s arrival on the islands, 1 in 17 Natives died, resulting in a Hawaiian population decline of nearly 50% within the first 20 years.

This is because Hawaiians didn’t have any of the diseases that the explorers (and later the missionaries) brought. They lived quite old and healthy lives. Then came the measles, mumps, whooping cough, venarial diseases. ( foreign ships brought epidemics in waves: cholera (1804), influenza (1820s), mumps (1839), measles and whooping cough (1848-9) and smallpox (1853).

So fast forward to COVID. We closed the ports and the airports. We wore masks (actually many Japanese visitors always wore masks when visiting away from home). By eliminating new visitors and quarantining arrivals, we were quite lucky. Unfortuantely the mainland U.S. has borders where people keep crossing (and some illegally sneak in and can bring drugs and illnesses).

These epidemics and pandemics happen more now because of the massive numbers of people crossing country borders world-wide. Just one person can be a carrier of an illness and spread it to a country.

Case in point. We here are far removed from the world being thousands of mies from any land mass. We grow coffee but are the only country which imports unroasted coffee and trees from other countries. The imports are SUPPOSED to be fumigated. However someone imported some coffee plants which were not fumigated. They had the coffee-borer beetle in them. Up until then Hawaii was immune from the bug and issues. Those beetles thrived here and took out much crop. (Star Advertiser) CBB beetles are the most economically devastating coffee pest in the world, and in Hawaii are established on Hawaii island, Maui and Oahu. They were first discovered on Big Island in 2010, on Oahu in 2014 and on Maui in 2016, and cost the state over $25.7 million in coffee sales between 2011 and 2013.

So there is a divide. Being isolated is the best action. Opening the borders and letting any and all in is the opposite solution. We here have import restrictions and do our best to protect the citizens. You cannot just ship a dog here withoutr a complete protocol because we don’t have rabies here.

Keeping watch, having protection protocols and using common sense are the three things I believe is the middle ground you ask about.

This interactive map doesn’t show deaths per 100k unfortunately, but I think I can estimate closely enough that there are quite a few Western European countries with much lower current death rates, Germany and France appear to be outliers. In this country, it’s criminal that so many deaths and long-term cases continue to occur even after the prven vaccines came on the scene. After more than a year and a half they’re still resisted by much of the populace due to, mostly politically motivated, fake news reports concerning their safety and effectiveness.

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And I must also add — I see many elderly, frail people in the grocery store who are maskless. It’s not all on them, but just as a thought experiment, if these frail people wore N95s consistently, that 300 dead daily would probably decrease to 100-ish, which is what I’ve heard bandied about as “acceptable” daily death toll for a large country like the US. That would be independent of anyone’s vax status.

But they don’t even hand out wipes at Costco anymore for cleaning the cart handle. You gotta bring your own. We’re back to that, back to when I was masking in international flights a decade ago and getting stared at. Really nothing has been learned it seems, on the patient side. Much learned on the medical side. But people refuse to take responsibility for their own health, they want nurses and docs to fix them if they get Covid / have a narcotics overdose / have an MI or stroke after a lifetime of unhealthy living, whatever it is, then of course declare bankruptcy due to the $100,000+ medical bill …

This whole pandemic and other health and safety issues are just a collection of gigantic social intelligence tests, and as in so many things, “all the children in Lake Wobegon are above average”. - NOT.

I think my rant is over.

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Ours is a free country, as such we are vulnerable to misinformation and bad choices. Here’s the result:
Overall, 224,113,439 people or 68% of the population are considered fully vaccinated. (as of Aug 2022)

People over 50 who are not vaccinated are 10 times more likely to die from COVID. (data from Sept 2022)

It’s the price of freedom, with a little Darwinian effect thrown in.

I think the increased mortality amongst older people is tilting elections. How can it not be? It’s not like the people who are passing on split their vote evenly.

We have a free country and that freedom allows people to make good or bad decision on their own. We are seeing a similar scenario play out in Oregon where they decriminalized hard drugs and the overdose rate is up significantly. There has also been a huge stress to the healthcare system as a result. This is a natural consequence and not surprising to anyone with a brain.

Hawaii Costco, Walmart, Ace Hardware, Lowes and HomeDepot all have hand wipes and alcohol just inside the entrance. I guess we are still taking it seriously.

The Costco we shop at has wipes available as you enter.

My co-worker has a bad case of COVID. I was closely exposed to him a few days before he showed symptoms. I was the only dang fool in the building AFAIK wearing an N95 mask. If my wife gets COVID, she goes to the ICU and maybe dies, as the cancer has destroyed her immune system. It’s like society is saying, “Hurry up and die. We want to go the packed venues with no masks.”

Oh, and long covid… economic impact greater than the Great Recession? CNBC article.
Why long Covid could be ‘the next public health disaster’ (

This is a big country. Is 300 really a startling number compared to other things that people die of daily? ( Just asking, I don’t know. )

That’s a reasonable question to ask. 300 per day = 109,500 annually.

CDC estimates that flu has resulted in 9 million – 41 million illnesses, 140,000 – 710,000 hospitalizations and 12,000 – 52,000 deaths annually between 2010 and 2020. Let’s call it 32,000.

COVID therefore has 3x the mortality associated with regular flu.

If I was a Martian, and I came and imposed an entirely new disease burden on These United States equal to 3x that of the flu, 109,500 people a year, do you think we’d declare war on Mars? I think we would. Trump would, Biden would… they all would.

But we’ve become inured to sickness, suffering, and death. What has really died is a corner of our hearts, in my opinion. Not that I think it’s malicious, I think maybe people just aren’t up to the task. Science is hard. Medicine is hard. Evaluating what to do given a universe of choices and free will is hard.

I also fear because 90% of the deaths are 65+ people, we basically don’t care… hurry up and die Grandma, because I want to inherit your house? Not that anyone says that OUT LOUD, but actions speak louder than words, always.

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…and those stats are for deaths directly from a covid infection.
No telling how many people die of later complications (heart, kidney, etc.) and those deaths aren’t attributed to covid.

I think what shocks me the most is how little science people know/understand and how a number of experts in the field (public health, epidemiology, etc) have bowed to the politics or popular opinion.

I’ve also been surprised at how people respond to having to wear a mask. I worked my 8 hour shift in a mask – it was weird at first, and then I got used to it. But people act like toddlers if they have to wear a mask, or it becomes about “muh freedom”.
I am convinced that if Covid had impacted children more than the elderly/vulnerable, people would be demanding that everyone wear a mask to protect their child!!

I’m also shocked by some people’s thinking – that washing hands will stop an airborne virus, etc. This is a lack of general science education and poor public health education.


Human beings are susceptible to performing acts of symbolic value as a substitute (they think) for acts of actual value. I think the term for it was “pandemic theater”. It may also be a form of “virtue signaling”. It’s a performance. It’s a psychological act, not a scientific / medical act.

I used to not understand how Aztecs / Mayas etc sacrificed their children under razor sharp obsidian knives on stone altars… “WHY?” I always wondered. Who would do that? Would they not rise up against the priesthood?

After COVID… I understand this completely. People are 100% not rational.

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You know those numbers were never real, right?

And what great conspiracy would account for the Guvmint lying about how many folks die of flu?

Is it more similar to ivermectin, flat earth, or Apollo 11 was a hoax?

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Oh please, don’t quash a juicy conspiracy. Those kinda take me back to the bad old days of the Clark board when they were a daily occurrence at least, some much more creative, too. :smile:

It’s not that they were lying. They were just estimating them based other numbers. The first time they really started counting them was in 2020.

Thank you Jerry Tucker… :roll_eyes:

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