Who do I vote for to end the quarantine?

With all of the Wuhan Flu events and closures and emergency economic spending etc. etc. etc. all over the world, there is one question I'm not entirely sure has been well answered:

What's the endgame?

I'm not talking as any sort of conspiracy theory of this being a practice run for longer-term government control, or even the leftists like Bernie Sanders who (simultaneously) insist this is a reason to increase long-term government power over the economy.

What's the point of all of these closures and shutdowns? Why couldn't I go to O'Byrnes on St. Patrick's Day this year? It was fun on Saturday and everything (even when Martok wore his garish all-green outfit including that stupid foam top hats), but St. Patrick's Day proper is really when you deck yourself out in greenorange and go wild at the bar. Why is it that the iconic St. Patrick's Day in Dublin/Boston/Chicago/NYC also couldn't happen with the pubs all closed? Why didn't we have to see those stupid green Maple Leafs jerseys this year because the entire NHL is shut down? Why can't I go skiing again even though Marmot continues to get good snow? What's the point of all of this? What's it all for?

The answer of course is #FlattenTheCurve. You'd think this is something about the 40th anniversary of The Dukes of Hazzard perhaps, but instead it's about a plan to make the inflection point be reached later so that the cases level off lower so that the outbreak doesn't overwhelm the healthcare system.

They've been repeating this #FlattenTheCurve mantra so often that it's curious I can't find anybody else who has been asking this basic question: how many cases can each healthcare system receive before it is overwhelmed? You can check, but nobody has been answering this (unasked) question either.

Instead what we've seen is that almost every political jurisdiction in the world taking the exact same actions at nearly the exact same times. With a couple exceptions (eg. Canada still letting planeloads of people in from Red China weeks after Trump and Putin "colluded" to both block direct travel) things are progressing everywhere at the same rate. Elections, pace President Monkey, didn't seem to matter after all. It doesn't matter if you elect a conservative (Kenney, Ford, Pallister, Trump, Johnson, Kemp) or a liberal (Rat Bastard 2.0, Newsom, Moon, Legault, Sánchez, Irish Poofter). It doesn't matter if your government is formed by a left-right coalition (Italy, Sweden, Germany, Japan) or if you don't get to choose your government at all (Iran, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia). In late February your government wanted you to self-isolate if you traveled abroad or had flu symptoms. In early March citizens were being repatriated from cruise ships. By March 12 your sports league was cancelled. By March 13th your schools were cancelled. By March 17th your bars and restaurants were closed down. By March 20th your borders were closed to nonessential travel. Sure some areas are more intense (Spain was on lockdown as of March 14th even though Queerbec bars were still serving people almost a week later), but the pattern is pretty consistent.

So are all of these countries, despite some pretty giant discrepancies in the spread of the virus (most nations got their first case roughly the same time), all having their healthcare systems at the same point in the "overwhelmed curve"? The New York Times article about this concept includes a nice pretty graph showing how implementing outbreak mitigation plans will slow the curve and keep the total number of active cases below what the healthcare system can handle.

I've adapted it below. As the question goes, we want to be in the "blue" curve not the "red" curve. But are we at the right spot in the "blue" curve? Are the cases rising in a manner which would indicate that we are going to fill the Canadian healthcare system with patients but not overwhelm it?

That's that question not asked. And it's important. Let's look at another modification to the chart which imagines the healthcare system can handle more cases than the maximum number reached based on the mitigation efforts. In this version, we have mitigated too hard and the caseload is well below what the system can accommodate.

Why is this a problem? Simple: there's a massive economic hit the world economy is taking as a result of pandemic response. It's not just in the stock crash, though that's an impact in wealth to be sure. Every nation is taking a GDP hit, and to give the rest of the post away early it is taking a hit far in excess of the impact of Wuhan Flu itself. Ten (10) deaths in Cameroon has resulted in mitigation efforts directly costing their economy 3.1% of GDP or $1.07B as of March 13th. We haven't even begun to properly calculate what the economic cost to all of this enforced and/or voluntary social distancing will be (where's Thomas Sowell when you need him?). It's not a question of will there be a cost, the question will be what will that cost be? And is it justified.

While it's a comforting platitude to bleat "if it saves even one life its worth it", it really isn't. Let's take one of my favourite subjects, highway speeds. In 2018 there were 1,922 people in Canada killed in traffic collisions, with another 152,847 injuries (9,494 of them were serious). I can bring that number all the way down to zero, effective immediately. I have a single policy proposal that would permanently end all fatalities and serious injuries, with the number of total injuries also approaching zero:

Aren't those 1900 lives worth the price? To quote Leonard Nimoy from The Simpsons: the answer is no. The price in the case of a 1km national speed limit would be the grinding to a halt of commerce, tourism, and industry. You wouldn't even have a run on toilet paper because you'd never see it. Fresh fruits and vegetables would be a thing of the past, grocery stores would be perpetually empty or stocked with expired foods. Medical supplies would never get to where they were needed. The economic impact would be incalculable. In other words, the loss of our standard of living caused by the policies that would save 1,922 dead people is not worth it. This is, of course, why the "renewable energy" crowd is totally out to lunch: even if you accepted their (false) numbers about how many people are "killed" by fossil fuels it pales in comparison to how many people are better off or indeed saved by them.

How many lives are we losing by saving Wuhan Flu patients?

Again no matter which government is in power, the choice seems to have been made: we will sacrifice everybody and everything to minimize the death toll from COVID-19. Should we be doing this? Isn't there, like traffic deaths, an acceptable number of losses for which we will shrug and say it's tragic and we're very very sorry to the families who lost loved ones but admit that the costs of saving these lives is too high and we're willing to cut them loose to keep the economic engine revving? Strangely enough, there's very little talk about this (yet), which means we're still not in a position of making rational judgements.

So far every government with the temporary exception of the UK has been totally deferential to the whims of public health officers. It's why Ontario closed bars the same day the Premier (and indeed his own public health official) insisted they wouldn't. The Prime Minister has been apparently deferring to the judgement of the same Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO) who routinely ignored the advice in her own 2006 report. Not that I'm saying we need to make this useless skank Theresa Tam our new overlord, far from it. Indeed, the very name "prime minister" reflects the reality of any properly run political structure: that there is a number of officials representing different interests and viewpoints all armed with their own facts and projections which then all have to be properly balanced in the interest of good public policy.

So after this pandemic is over, can we have an official with the equivalent role of a CPHO (CPIO?) who makes decisions based 100% on what's best for Canadian industry to balance things out? Shut down all Injun Reserves and mandatory stay-at-home order for anybody who donated money to Greenpeace? Can we obliterate all regulatory restrictions on industrial facilities, pipelines, and energy projects? After all, if it saves even one dollar of GDP than it's worth it to rewrite the COVID mantra.

Yes yes I know, lives can't be replaced (though, one notes, neither can unmanageable public debt or overpriced public sector pension expenses). But what happens when we also start risking people's lives? The Wall Street Journal, of all places, warned that global disruptions to supply chains increases the likelihood of insulin shortages, even as they are ruled "essential" services to stay open. On top of that, medicine and food and other essentials need to be transported by trucks driven by truck drivers which ever increasingly are finding these blanket bunker-in-home pandemic solutions to make their job next to impossible. However much we like to dream that "multinational corporations" are super-powerful, they are many of their subcontractors work with razor-thin margins, and massive disruptions like this mean pretty soon your insulin can't cross the globe fast enough, or your canned goods can't get across Pennsylvania when the drivers can't use the can, and the manufacturers who build the ventilators are discovering that their sub-sub-sub-supplier was not considered an "essential business" by some busibody politician in California or Italy and therefore life saving medical equipment won't get finished after all.

It's worth noting too that this economic disruption comes with its own health impacts. Poor people are less healthy than rich people, and a country's GDP can tie pretty closely to its health (when other factors are corrected for) as indicated below:

So dropping Canada's GDP per capita means there's a corresponding loss in the overall health of the nation: as companies lay off workers and cut hours and both companies and people face bankruptcy and a lower standard of living there will be an increased risk of suicide and family violence (just don't ask ass pirate Dave Beninger). But as user Dark Matter notes on the far-left ordinary-times website...

We lost 650k people to heart disease last year. The big counter for that is excerise, the big way to get lots of bad things is a lack of excerise.

We’re telling everyone to hide at home. We’re closing health clubs. If the number of people we “save” comes at the cost of a tiny increase in sedentaries’ various diseases and side effects, then we’ll be a net loser
He made a good point. Of course, the leftists pounced on him for "not being the adult in the room..."
Clearly in other situations we’d have unlimited resources for healthcare? Or is it that the extremely sick 70+ year olds who are at most risk for dying would be in the peak of health with out this situation? Or is it that what is happening is simply cost free?

These evaluations don’t even attempt to make anything like a cost benefit evaluation.
You realize you aren’t arguing with me, but almost all significant experts in public health and epidemiology in the world?

Why retreat into auto-didactics and barstool expertise instead of accepting the authority of people who actually study and know things?
Go to an expert surgeon and you discover you need surgery. Go to an expert plumber and you discover you need to hire a plumber. Go to an expert in epidemiology and we discover how to shut down the disease.

Is shutting down all public events and the rest of the various prices we’re being asked to pay worth it?
We're risking mass illness due to our "fix" in order to en masse flatten a curve that may not need to be flattened at this particular time, and indeed may never be flattened enough. Meanwhile the very thing that extended our life expectancy to the level where 80+ can have a 85.2% survival rate during a pandemic -- our high starndard of living -- is being systematically destroyed.

Call your politicians. Hold them to account. Ask them these questions.