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“How many people dying are we willing to accept to open the economy?”

Wednesday, May 13, 2020 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Illinois has somewhere around a thousand miles of borders with surrounding states. And communities near those borders are always antsy whenever Illinois does something that makes it less competitive with our neighbors. The COVID-19 response and the reopening of states all around Illinois is no different except in scale. Molly Parker took a look at this issue in southern Illinois and as part of her story talked to the governor’s chief of staff

Anne Caprara, Pritzker’s chief of staff, told The Southern on Friday that the governor’s office understands some of the challenges presented with neighboring states outlining reopening plans that, in some cases, are starkly different than Illinois’.

She said that some states aren’t slowly reopening, but have rather taken an approach of “just throw the doors open, and see what happens.” Caprara said that’s not a risk Pritzker is willing to take. But she said that the reality is that Illinois’ government can only control what happens inside its borders to protect citizens of the state. “If we had a federal response, we wouldn’t have to worry about these things. We’re dealing the best we can with the situation we’ve been handed,” she said. […]

Caprara said that Illinois’ efforts have been successful to date in slowing the rate of transmission, and ensuring that hospitals are not overrun. As the state moves toward reopening, the virus is “not gone,” she said.

“There’s nothing the governor can do about that. There’s nothing anybody else can do about that,” she said. “So really, the question at the end of the day is: How many people dying are we willing to accept to open the economy? And that’s a tough question.” […]

“No one is saying never open up,” she said. “But what we are saying is that the difference between opening up on Tuesday and opening up at the end of May, or the end of June, might be 6,000 people dead. What am I supposed to say to those people, the people who that’s your mother or father, or that’s your sister or brother, that your life is expendable?” […]

Caprara acknowledged that the challenges presented by the variants in reopening are difficult ones. She said the state is choosing to err on the side of caution.

Discuss.

       

85 Comments
  1. - Rich Hill - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 12:53 pm:

    Can’t quite imagine the CoS of the last guy expressing such concerns.


  2. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 12:53 pm:

    The questions should be posed directly to Blaine Wilhour, Darren Bailey, Jim Durkin, and Bill Brady, as well as the Metro East Dems.

    For what it’s worth, the statistical dollar value of a human life in the United States is $10 million. Will Bailey be providing the estates those funds in cash or check?

    https://www.npr.org/2020/04/15/835571843/episode-991-lives-vs-the-economy


  3. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 12:58 pm:

    To the post,

    === “No one is saying never open up,” she said. “But what we are saying is that the difference between opening up on Tuesday and opening up at the end of May, or the end of June, might be 6,000 people dead. What am I supposed to say to those people, the people who that’s your mother or father, or that’s your sister or brother, that your life is expendable?”===

    That’s the ball game.

    If you don’t think it’s the ball game and you’re *still* clamoring to open, i can’t grasp what that rationale could be outside human life.

    Myself?

    “Same”… but I look at it this way too;

    How’s many more nurses, doctors, hospital personnel, first responders need to unneedingly sacrifice surges of infections to appease you to open “Chili’s” to dine in?


  4. - Grateful1 - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 1:01 pm:

    Rep. Hoffman lost his seat in Madison County. Made a lot of phone calls for him and heard from teachers. I knew it was the end of the line for him then. Why anyone would want to take this position is beyond me. Won’t make any of those calls this time around.


  5. - JB13 - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 1:05 pm:

    This is a serious question Ms. Capara is asking.
    The response, “Not one life” is an unserious answer.


  6. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 1:06 pm:

    === The response, “Not one life” is an unserious answer.===

    - JB13 -

    What’s your number?


  7. - flavius217 - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 1:07 pm:

    If the murder of two dozen kids at Sandy Hook wasn’t enough to do anything about guns, then surely the Reopen folks are perfectly fine with potentially thousands dying just so they can get their hair did.


  8. - Hamlet's Ghost - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 1:10 pm:

    How many deaths are “we” willing to accept?

    That depends on which “we” we ask and whether the “we” who are dying are the “we” who are being asked.


  9. - Flat Bed Ford - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 1:10 pm:

    =If you don’t think it’s the ball game and you’re *still* clamoring to open, i can’t grasp what that rationale could be outside human life.=

    What’s an acceptable number OW? Zero? 100? 5,999? We face risk every day living our lives. Having zero risk each day is impossible. So provide what your acceptable number is. Balance that with the loss of life due to the depression we are entering.


  10. - Last Bull Moose - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 1:11 pm:

    Please quit using the $10 million per life number. That is far more than the US government pays for combat deaths. It far exceeds the estimated economic value for most of us.


  11. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 1:16 pm:

    === estimated economic value for most of us===

    Actuaries are less cold.

    There are two types of measure here;

    We can go, dollar to dollar on a life, “balance sheet it”, sure… but if you’re asking me to choose 2 or more family members to needlessly get infected or worse solely so “Dave and Busters” can open… my measure is… you first, and you choose first too.


  12. - Lynn S. - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 1:16 pm:

    @JB13,

    Are you volunteering yourself, or one of your family members?

    Does this family member have sufficient health insurance to pay for their hospitalization and possible rehab?

    Have you notified this family member, so that they can have their affairs in order before you sacrifice them?

    I mean, if you’re going to sacrifice someone, shouldn’t you give them a heads up?

    P.S. I’ve got family members and neighbors I’m not so fond of. Doesn’t mean I put dollars over their lives.


  13. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 1:16 pm:

    ===So provide what your acceptable number is===

    No. You’re the one pressing to reopen. That’s on you, bub.


  14. - Give us Barabbas - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 1:16 pm:

    I’m afraid Flavius nailed it.


  15. - Skeptic - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 1:20 pm:

    I waded into a FB discussion just yesterday with a bunch of folks clamouring for Pritzker’s (metaphroical, not literal) head. I had to explain Blaine’s TRO. I’d ask them this question, but it’s clear I wasn’t going to change anyone’s mind. Not even the mother of a 3 week old baby who started the thread. Go figure.


  16. - ArchPundit - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 1:23 pm:

    ===Balance that with the loss of life due to the depression we are entering.

    Do you understand that if there is a pandemic going on that regardless of whether you open up or not, we will be facing a bad economy. A pandemic effects on the economy will be worse than what we are facing now.

    The reality is we need testing that is reasonably accurate–remember that a big reason why Illinois was slow on testing is the Governor insisted on accuracy–and contact tracing. To get to that we have to at least see a decline in cases and we are seeing a plateau right now. Without testing and tracing at a manageable level no pronouncement of an open economy is going to lead to economic growth.


  17. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 1:23 pm:

    === The response, “Not one life” is an unserious answer.===

    Interesting, because that is the answer of many conservatives on the abortion question.

    ==Please quit using the $10 million per life number. ==

    I strongly recommend listening to this story: https://www.npr.org/2020/04/15/835571843/episode-991-lives-vs-the-economy


  18. - Just asking - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 1:23 pm:

    Just as valid of a question…

    How Many Lives Will Politicians Sacrifice in the Name of Fighting COVID-19?

    https://mises.org/wire/how-many-lives-will-politicians-sacrifice-name-fighting-covid-19


  19. - Ron - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 1:25 pm:

    Its not just about getting your haircut tomorrow or going to chilis.

    Never has this type of economic stoppage occurred. Now many companies (restaurants are the first) are talking about closing numerous sites. Steak n shake.. closing 57 locations. So those folks, many already laid off will be without work even if we open everything in 2 weeks.

    And now its starting to hit tech companies (my sector). It started with simple stuff like no 401k matching, then pay freeze, and now layoffs. Both consumer tech and companies like Nutanix (infrastructure, just layed off 1500) are being hit.

    If you ask about the 6000 deaths. You also have to ask how many state services, saftey net programs etc are you willing to cut, because with a potential recession coming worse than 2008 how do you think our state will fare? Your neighbors, your family?

    The longer a basic economic freeze is on the more consequences we will see. And right now politicians (who are not good with guessing long term consequences and very rarely even think about them) arent putting much thought into that. Peoples, lives, families, savings, housing all are going to be at risk. Not to mention crushing the local tax base. You thought Illinois’ budget was bad yesterday…

    I’m sorry but acting as if there isnt and argument for opening or being one of those “Openers just want grandma to die” is silly.

    The mortality rate is high for those with risk conditions and older folks. SO we should focus on them and begin to figure out how to get people back to work.


  20. - Shytown - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 1:25 pm:

    Anne’s 100% spot on. And the Gov’s job #1 is to protect residents and keep them safe. I don’t know about any of you, the lives of those I know who are older or have more compromised health conditions are not worth losing so we can open up the lakefront so privileged Zers and Millennials can run along the path or for anyone as far south as Cairo to return to what they think should be a state of normal. We’re not ready yet.


  21. - Bruce( no not him) - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 1:26 pm:

    Only time will tell which method of opening is correct. And even then, there really is more than one way to solve a problem.


  22. - Cheryl44 - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 1:27 pm:

    But don’t you see? It’s not them. They won’t die or live with a disability or with crushing debt from hospital bills. According to their magical thinking, that will happen to someone else and they can live with that.


  23. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 1:27 pm:

    === Interesting, because that is the answer of many conservatives on the abortion question.===

    Whew. Wow. Nicely done.

    How *can* someone be pro-life, no exceptions, and then clamor for an opening that will undoubtedly lead to more infections, and those could lead to more deaths?


  24. - Dozer - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 1:27 pm:

    I know this seems like years ago, but remember the compacts neighboring states were entering to, among other things, phase in reopening? I think the NE states kicked things off, then some southern states, IL entered in with WI, IN, MI, maybe IA. What’s the status of IL’s compact? Is the state following or ignoring these previously entered into arrangements?


  25. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 1:29 pm:

    While I agree with Caprara here, unfortunately at some point the gov and this administration are going to have to answer their own question here. Barring a breakthrough, they are going to be the ones making a decision on this. Following her logic, once you get to June, maybe the difference between opening up June 1 and July 1 is 4,000 deaths. Maybe the difference between opening July 1 and September 1 is 2,000 deaths. So on and so on. I’m glad I am not in their shoes, because they will be the ones determining what number is actually “acceptable”.


  26. - illinifan - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 1:29 pm:

    Many drug companies use this cost of human life review when putting drugs onto the market. They will weigh how many lives a drug saves vs. potential lawsuits due to damage or loss of life. If they feel they will make more money by marketing the drug than what they would lose on lawsuits, the drug is put out there. Maybe we can get some of those bean counters at the table to help do this type of cost benefit analysis on reopening and they can tell us how many lives we can afford to lose vs. cost of remaining closed. (Snark intended).


  27. - Candy Dogood - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 1:32 pm:

    I wish it was the nature of this virus that the consequences of the virus could be placed solely on those that are advocating for increased risk.

    It is unfortunate that for many of the people making this argument they are fully engaged in a moral hazard. It is likely that someone else will die. Not themselves, not their immediate family, and they know that. So demand they will and they will deny any relationship between their position and the consequences of their position — because they know their denial will not fail them.


  28. - ArchPundit - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 1:36 pm:

    ===So on and so on. I’m glad I am not in their shoes, because they will be the ones determining what number is actually “acceptable”.

    Other countries are mitigating this far better. There are solutions that reduce the deaths and let people return to work and other activities with limits. It’s not a binary choice of everything closed or everything open if you can get the tools in place. The problem is we aren’t getting the cases down to the point where testing and contact tracing can work.


  29. - Nuke The Whales - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 1:44 pm:

    I’m just going to leave this here and hopefully this false either/or scenario can finally take a rest.

    https://www.chicagobusiness.com/health-care/uchicago-prof-qa-social-distancing-will-save-trillions-dollars


  30. - Decaturland - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 1:48 pm:

    From today’s WSJ: Our incoherent lockdowns plainly lacked a scientific rationale for how to reopen when most of the public remains uninflected. An MIT group calculates that the desired benefits in terms of hospitals and the elderly could have been achieved far more cheaply by isolating the vulnerable rather than everybody…”.


  31. - Blue Dog Dem - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 1:55 pm:

    ‘Might be’. Or, might not be.

    My number. .05%.


  32. - Earl the Pearl - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 1:56 pm:

    I throw this out there for thought - if the economy continues to go bad, how many people will not have access to quality health insurance or food (let alone a good diet), adequate sanitary supplies or even good sanitization? Will this then increase abject poverty that can lead to shorter life span? Will this increase the death toll by creating a group of people who are now high risk? Are there better ways to keep high risk people from exposure other than what we are doing?

    Some random thoughts that I am trying to answer. But I think what I am really asking, especially myself, is what matters most; how much is enough; and for the sake of what?


  33. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 1:56 pm:

    - Blue Dog Dem -

    You first… you first.

    And after the Chemotherapy and striving to tackle cancer, you, personally, having any number is… wow.


  34. - Comma Chameleon - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 1:57 pm:

    It is true that lots of regular folks are being squeezed between a rock and hard place, but those who want to Reopen Now need to come up with a response that is more productive than “Return with us now to the days of polio.”

    Here’s an idea: clothing that permits ordinary interactions while serving as barriers to contagious diseases. One option would look a lot like an ankle-length hooded robe with a high neckline, fitted long sleeves, and a concealed zipper up the front. Easy on / easy off, and nothing gets under the fabric. A facemask may, ironically, make it look like a combination djellaba/niqab, but such are the ironies of history. And djellabas are unisex anyway.

    For those in jobs where a robe would be unworkable, solutions might include a more fitted version of a beekeeper’s protective outerwear, or weather resistant two-piece jogger’s suit, or some version of the traditional coveralls.

    Establish a regulation that everyone can go about their business as usual, as long as they are dressed in the appropriate clothing and mask, and we could in fact set goods and services in motion again without a lot of excess deaths from COVID-19.

    And to Reopen Now agitators who don’t like my idea , I invite you to come up with a solution that reopens the streets and stores while recognizing the real potential for a lot of people needlessly dying. Mere denial, no matter how vociferously repeated, is not persuasive.


  35. - ArchPundit - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 1:57 pm:

    ====The mortality rate is high for those with risk conditions and older folks. SO we should focus on them and begin to figure out how to get people back to work.

    Or, you know, we could do what worked in South Korea and test and contact tracing. Isolating those with risks is a huge group of people first, and second, still involves them being in contact with people who are interacting with the world.

    The false choice being put forward is we either keep everything closed or we open everything up. We have strategies and procedures to reopen many places of work, but first you have to have the testing and contact tracing in place. No one is saying stay closed forever, they are trying to get the infection rate down, increase testing, and build up capacity for contact tracing. We are paying for failures from March and will continue until we can reduce the infection rate.

    Opening up and allowing the virus to run its course will be far more expensive than using actual public health tactics, but the shiny ball has people insisting on opening immediately because something.


  36. - Jibba - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 1:58 pm:

    ===An MIT group calculates that the desired benefits in terms of hospitals and the elderly could have been achieved far more cheaply by isolating the vulnerable rather than everybody…”.”’

    Do they say how you do it? Because that has been the failure in the US, UK, Sweden, and every other place that did not have a hard lockdown. You can keep the old folks in the home, but how do you keep the virus from coming in with the staff?


  37. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 1:59 pm:

    This discussion also reveals the problem with an effective prevention program: people don’t get sick and then ask “Why are we doing this? Nobody got sick?” and suggestions for ==isolating the vulnerable rather than everybody==

    Who, exactly, is not “vulnerable”? When we look around the world, we see that everyone is vulnerable, people of all ages and demographics end up in ICU.

    There is no good answer to the reopen question, but the governor’s slow, steady, measured approach seems to be more responsible than the throw open the doors approach many are advocating. In addition, using large areas that include cities and rural and suburbs seems to be much more responsible than pretending that folks in rural areas don’t rely on more populated places for hospital and ICU care.


  38. - ArchPundit - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 1:59 pm:

    ===But I think what I am really asking, especially myself, is what matters most; how much is enough; and for the sake of what?

    This is a false choice created by those who have some weird belief opening up will save the economy. It won’t–it will kill the economy along with a lot of people. The only way to address this is to use public health strategies and procedures to reduce the infection rate and control the spread.


  39. - Funtimes - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 2:02 pm:

    The converse is also true. Economic hardship can increase many different causes of death, let alone non-lethal but heinous things like child abuse and spousal abuse. Ugly to say, but the longer the economy is closed down, the deeper the recession, and the deeper the economic hardship. There is a cost in lives of that too. At some point, that economic cost in lives may outweigh the cost in covid-19 lives.


  40. - Demoralized - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 2:05 pm:

    ==The response, “Not one life” is an unserious answer.==

    Then you must have an answer in mind. Those of you complaining keep saying stuff like that but you won’t tell anyone how many lives you want to risk to open. Have the guts to say what an acceptable death number is. Go on record.


  41. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 2:07 pm:

    === There is a cost in lives of that too. At some point, that economic cost in lives may outweigh the cost in covid-19 lives.===

    The virus is causing the economic problems.

    To help the economy, to open things where confidence can measure economic growth… the battle is the virus.

    The economic costs are those refusing to see defeating the virus to a point of confidence to resume some new normal is the battle.


  42. - Blue Dog Dem - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 2:08 pm:

    arch pundent. You are the one presenting a false choice. People will forever die because of this new strain..to think otherwise is quite frankly,’unscientific ‘.


  43. - Demoralized - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 2:10 pm:

    I think some of you are under the false impression that everything will be fine and dandy once we open everything back up again. Do you know what the economic costs will be if we open back up again too soon and the numbers spike out of control again and we have to shut everything down again. That scenario is worse than anything we are experiencing now. It’s a balancing act and the balance has not yet tipped to opening everything back up right this second. Other countries have locked everything down tight before. You think it’s bad here? You weren’t able to go out to Walmart or wherever else you wanted to go in some other countries. And guess what? They were able to stem the tide faster. But not here. By golly “I have rights.” Fishing is a constitutional right according to one brilliant judge in Illinois. Americans are arrogant. And it’s that arrogance that has caused the numbers of cases and deaths to spiral out of control.


  44. - Blue Dog Dem - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 2:12 pm:

    fishing is a fundamental right. Just like going to the pot dispensary or liquor store. Or having that bathroom remodeled. Or having your shrubs trimmed. Right.


  45. - ArchPundit - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 2:13 pm:

    ====eople will forever die because of this new strain..to think otherwise is quite frankly,’unscientific ‘.

    This is entirely unresponsive to what I wrote so I have no idea why you posted it. Are you suggesting that testing and contact tracing aren’t effective tools? Without a vaccine there is no way to control the disease besides those measures so what is the objection? That it isn’t 100 percent perfect? I guess that’s true, but why not use the tools that are the most effective?

    I’m baffled by this weird belief that an economy will thrive in the middle of an uncontrolled pandemic.


  46. - Demoralized - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 2:17 pm:

    ==Right.==

    You’re beyond help.


  47. - Blue Dog Dem - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 2:17 pm:

    only 37% of American adults get the flu vaccine. Ya think those numbers are going to go up for a covid vaccine?


  48. - Donnie Elgin - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 2:19 pm:

    JB’s Chief of Staff is quite talented. Her statement points blame at the Trump Administration, a deflection. Then she reminds us that their plan is not a “Never Open” plan. Clever use of false equivalence. Capped off with a nice appeal to our emotions with “How many people dying are we willing to accept to open the economy?”. When unfortunately we know that people are dying from the virus now under the EO, and they will die from the virus after June 1st no matter what JB does.


  49. - ArchPundit - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 2:21 pm:

    ===only 37% of American adults get the flu vaccine. Ya think those numbers are going to go up for a covid vaccine?

    When it’s mandated to work or go to school, yes. We have quite high rates for measles at 98 percent. It can simply be mandated for participation in jobs, school, other activities.


  50. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 2:22 pm:

    - Blue Dog Dem -

    You are the oddest cancer survivor, especially in the first year of finishing Chemo… that I’ve ever met. That’s not a compliment.

    Those like you I’ve met?

    They become (rightly so) germaphobic, they worry for others and their health, they’re grateful to medical, all medical, personnel, and look at science and medicine and facts towards health as critical, and have a passion for life, reminding those around them… how deeply precious life is.

    Friend, you exhibit not one of those post chemo qualities.

    I mean… there’s not one thing in your view of life or others’ lives that shows their own plight made life more precious.

    You can’t be helped.


  51. - Demoralized - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 2:24 pm:

    ==When unfortunately we know that people are dying from the virus now under the EO,==

    Yes, they are. But we also know that there would likely be exponentially more dying without it.


  52. - njt - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 2:24 pm:

    ===The economic costs are those refusing to see defeating the virus to a point of confidence to resume some new normal is the battle. ===

    These costs are not a given either. The feds can continue to support citizens, more stimulus checks will be needed. Just takes legislation and leadership. But as always OW succinctly captures the ball game.


  53. - BluegrassBoy - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 2:24 pm:

    Death is inevitable to all, but our goal in life it to postpone it as long as possible. To just open up, flies in the face to our principals as a developed nation. Risk is ever present in everything we do, but when risk elevates we take extra measures to reduce it (Think - go to basement for potential tornadoes); however this risk has a temporal scale that we have never dealt with. As risk decreases, people will still die unfortunately, but its deemed acceptable because we took all steps possible to reduce risk and avoid deaths. If we don’t do this and lots of folks wind up 6 feet deep the state will suffer for even longer. Stay safe folks and Be kind to each other.


  54. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 2:32 pm:

    ===…unfortunately we know that people are dying from the virus now under the EO, and they will die from the virus after June 1st no matter what JB does.===

    The goal is to continue to have the saving lives as first and foremost in choices. You do realize lives have been saved, correct?

    (Hat tip, humbly, to - njt -)


  55. - Overlord - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 2:38 pm:

    She’s right. The Governor is right. And he is taking some significant political heat for doing what he is doing. But he’s right. What is astonishing today is the democrats in the Metro-East are now following Darrin Bailey’s lead.


  56. - Nick Name - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 2:39 pm:

    ===How *can* someone be pro-life, no exceptions, and then clamor for an opening that will undoubtedly lead to more infections===

    For pro-lifers, “pro-life” is very narrowly defined as referring only to overturning Roe v Wade. Nothing else really matters to them, except re-electing Trump,


  57. - Candy Dogood - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 2:48 pm:

    Reading the comments on this specific post has convinced me that we need to make a ethics course a mandatory requirement to graduate from high school in this state.

    It’s also driven the point home that the typical person doesn’t understand the magic of a fiat currency.


  58. - @misterjayem - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 2:49 pm:

    My response to so many of the comments is: I’m sorry this global pandemic refuses to conform with your business model.

    I genuinely wish it did.

    But it don’t.

    – MrJM


  59. - Red Ranger - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 2:54 pm:

    The answer is zero, given the way she frames the argument, the answer is zero. We need to go to a Paris-style system on steroids to near total lock-down; grocery stores and doctors appointments only. No more drive-thrus, no more walks in the parks, no more curbside pick ups. The answer is zero lives are acceptable. We cannot risk any lives until this virus is eradicated. Why is 1000 lives acceptable or 500 or 200? What is she supposed to tell those families?


  60. - Graduated College Student - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 2:56 pm:

    ===Balance that with the loss of life due to the depression we are entering.===

    I will say it has been flat out comical to watch variants of this line of thought come out from the financial and ownership class (implicitly suggesting that many of these deaths will be deaths of “despair” due to livelihood loss) when they have spent the last two decades figuring out ways to maximize profits by depriving people of jobs and livelihoods.


  61. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 3:02 pm:

    Texas has seen 1,000 or more cases in each of the last five days. Florida’s and Georgia’s case numbers are jumping up and down every other day lately. The national trend indicates we have not descended down far from the peak. This is the middle of the pandemic caused by a novel virus.

    All or most of us have elderly and vulnerable family members, friends, colleagues, neighbors, etc. We have a moral obligation to them and they must be foremost in our actions and decisions.


  62. - Pundent - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 3:08 pm:

    I think the answer is the least number possible WITH adequate testing and contact tracing. We aren’t there yet.

    Opening up right now is tantamount to deliberating restarting the fire and not having any hoses.


  63. - levivotedforjudy - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 3:16 pm:

    This regional open - don’t open fight really does come down to a simple question, “how many COVID-19 deaths a week is acceptable?” No matter what other arguments that come up, like people being depressed, small businesses closing, the need to go to a house of faith, whatever. It still comes down to that one question. I hope that is asked in every meeting and forum where this argument comes up to the person whose motive is to open significantly earlier than the science based suggestions. I hope the answer isn’t driven by whether the deaths occur in Chicago or not, but that might be a good follow-up question.


  64. - TinyDancer(FKASue) - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 3:18 pm:

    So, the plan is:
    open up
    save the economy
    the old will die, but hey, they’re gonna die anyway
    peace and prosperity return

    Please. The virus gonna do what the virus gonna do.
    It’s already mutated at least once.
    We’re not running this show.


  65. - bailbond - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 3:32 pm:

    Seems like a great Question of the Day, if we can require people to actually give a number. Really curious how many folks would say zero.
    I do not envy the policymakers who actually have to make that choice, and I don’t blame Ms. Caprara for not wanting to state her answer. But however gradually they open, there will be deaths that continue to happen as a result. We normally don’t think of policy decisions in such terms, but we as a society do accept a certain number of deaths for various activities rather than taking any measure to reduce deaths to zero.


  66. - Joe Bidenopolous - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 3:48 pm:

    =For pro-lifers, “pro-life” is very narrowly defined as referring only to overturning Roe v Wade.=

    Further evidence: nearly all of them are quite ardently in the pro-death penalty camp as well


  67. - XDNR - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 4:09 pm:

    ===Fishing is a fundamental right===. No it’s not, it’s a privilege and just like driving your required to have a license. Most state and public lakes have fishing regulations, size and catch limits, you violate those and you will be fined just like speeding and depending on the number of violations and severity you may lose your fundamental right to fish.


  68. - Sue - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 4:14 pm:

    How about the nearly 100,000 cancer cases going undetected nationally every month. At a minimum all health services need to be restored immediately or the health system will collapse on its own not due to the virus


  69. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 4:18 pm:

    === if we can require people to actually give a number. Really curious how many folks would say zero.===

    Again. Please, keep up.

    Here’s how this works;

    If it’s *your* intent to argue that we need to open either outside what the Governor has in his plan, or plain ignore the plan… give your number.

    Those foolish enough then to argue “well, no, you give your number if you you want to folks to follow the plan”… is trying to deflect the idea that there *is* an acceptable number, period.

    Nope. Sorry. No.

    It’s tiring seeing this old trick to try to seem that *any* number is acceptable.

    You want things open, you want to ignore the Governor, give a different plan… *you* find that number.

    (Sigh)

    These are actual people… our friends, family, neighbors…


  70. - lake county democrat - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 4:23 pm:

    Per Demoralized’s comment - as long as the longterm economy will be worse by opening now, we don’t need to answer the question of “how many would you sacrifice.” But look, we all know that at some point we are almost surely going to be forced to make that choice absent some terrible mutation of the virus. In the interim, we will have bought time 1) to increase hospital capacity to treat, 2) develop treatments (we have at least one modest one, and the Mayo Clinic study whispers are promising), 3) addressed the paucity of PPE and 4) moved closer to a vaccine.


  71. - SIUEalum - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 4:38 pm:

    Way too many people seem to be seeing this as a crisis that will soon be abating in the next 1-2 months, not something we’re going to have to live with and adapt to for the foreseeable future. A business that might struggle under the current shutdown will likely fare much worse if a shutdown is reimplemented in a couple months due to a flare up.

    It’s not been perfect, but it seems like Pritzker is doing a good job in implementing a reopening plan for the long haul, not just rush to quickly open up and worry about the future consequences later.

    Unfortunately, politicians making sound plans beyond the current news cycle is becoming a rare sight.


  72. - Jibba - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 4:43 pm:

    LCD and others are right about how much better we can respond now as compared to a few weeks ago, and how much better we will be as weeks pass.

    I would add that hospitals now know a lot more about treatment so that fewer are put on ventilators (and for shorter time), and additional recovered folks can contribute blood serum for treatment. We are better equipped now to help folks survive and that will continue, so delaying is extremely helpful.


  73. - ArchPundit - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 4:51 pm:

    —-In the interim, we will have bought time 1) to increase hospital capacity to treat, 2) develop treatments (we have at least one modest one, and the Mayo Clinic study whispers are promising), 3) addressed the paucity of PPE and 4) moved closer to a vaccine.

    The way to address it is testing and contact tracing. Those have to be in place for to contain the disease, but also requires a manageable caseload. That’s the goal and that’s the way to partially reopen. These other goals aren’t going to make reopening work any better.


  74. - BMC - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 5:12 pm:

    How many people will die because we killed the economy? Suicides, Murders, Hospital Failures, Poverty.
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-children-un/u-n-warns-economic-downturn-could-kill-hundreds-of-thousands-of-children-in-2020-idUSKBN21Y2X7


  75. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 5:14 pm:

    === How many people will die because we killed the economy? Suicides, Murders, Hospital Failures, Poverty.===

    If that’s your honest beef…

    Then you should be angered by the feds not looking at this with 50 states as disaster areas and not looking to help the people by aiding them as we fight the virus that is decimating the economy.


  76. - Earl the Pearl - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 5:44 pm:

    St. Louis Post Dispatch headline from September 26, 2019:

    The gap between the haves and have-nots in the U.S. grew last year to its highest level in more than 50 years of tracking income inequality, according to Census Bureau figures.

    Will this get worse? And if so, what are the consequences? Still trying to figure this all out. And yes it cannot be all one way or all the other - there needs to be a medium.


  77. - Ano - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 5:48 pm:

    Some aren’t thinking clearly on what opening up the economy means and the results. It you’re thinking of being able to get a haircut or go to a restaurant, those things aren’t what makes the world go round. Since we’ve become such a globalized economy, who will buy Boeings planes, Caterpillars construction equipment? Given that the entire world economy has been affected by this, the customers for the Big businesses might not be there. Hair salons won’t save us.


  78. - Pundent - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 5:58 pm:

    =Hair salons won’t save us.=

    And it’s that global economy that allows us to have a first world problem like having to go a few weeks without a haircut.

    When did our “patriots” become so soft?


  79. - Jibba - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 6:30 pm:

    ===How many people will die because we killed the economy?===

    70 thousand actual people have died of COVID in 2 months so far. That beats a long-term potential of increased deaths from poverty and abuse, which can be fought against unlike the virus.


  80. - Contrarian - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 7:13 pm:

    The better question is: how many people are going to die if we don’t open up the economy and that number grows by the day. Where is the tipping point.


  81. - Michael Westen - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 7:13 pm:

    There is federal guidance, with 14 day intervals. Pritzker rejected it, so not sure what his chief of staff is talking about.


  82. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 7:29 pm:

    === There is federal guidance, with 14 day intervals. Pritzker rejected it, so not sure what his chief of staff is talking about.===

    (Sigh)

    There’s also federal guidance to wait 14 days for downward infections and deaths.

    So there’s that too.

    No state, not one state, has met that 1st threshold.

    Anything else?


  83. - Captain Obvious - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 8:48 pm:

    To those of you who can’t understand why pro lifers would advocate for opening the economy at the risk of POSSIBLY causing more deaths than are being experienced presently, you might consider that pro life is a slightly inaccurate description of our beliefs. Many of us are more accurately described as anti-abortion. Just as pro choicers
    are far more accurately described as pro abortion.


  84. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 13, 20 @ 8:56 pm:

    === To those of you who can’t understand why pro lifers would advocate for opening the economy at the risk of POSSIBLY causing more deaths than are being experienced presently, you might consider that pro life is a slightly inaccurate description of our beliefs. Many of us are more accurately described as anti-abortion. Just as pro choicers
    are far more accurately described as pro abortion.===

    This is what’s called … an alternative fact.

    LOL

    For the love of Pete, the movement itself is called “Pro-Life”

    This is truly a phony’s way to pretend they are “pro-life” but can’t stand looking at themselves in the mirror, faced with this reality… money over life is who they are… and it’s against the pro-life ideal… so… let’s change how we define the abortion issue so they can live with… people dying, for money, I can stand for that.

    My hope was that was snark.

    I know that this is rationalizing a moment’s own identity.

    Whew.


  85. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Thursday, May 14, 20 @ 8:54 am:

    === The mortality rate is high for those with risk conditions and older folks. SO we should focus on them and begin to figure out how to get people back to work.===

    70% of Americans are overweight (one of the high risk categories for Covid-19) 15% of Americans are over 65, 18% have diabetes, and 45% have hypertension. Some of these groups overlap, but when you’re talking about who is vulnerable the answer is most people.


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