"A Pox on all our houses"

Over at smalldeadanimals, Kate McMillan wants to hear solutions about dealing with the Wuhan Flu.

Here’s mine: implement the “work camp” model for manufacturers, distributors and processing facilities of essential goods and services.

Make rapid COVID tests available to these employers: all employees would be tested prior to the commencement of each crew shift, then housed in designated hotels or work trailers (lots of those sitting idle in the oil industry) before being swiitched out for the next crew at the end of their rotation.

Two weeks in, one week out. If it can work for mining, it can work for industry in general.
Now with a certain understanding of the industry I'll note one of the problems with this approach is that it requires industry to have 3/2s as many employees as they currently do. Even if they hired those extra 50% of workers today, it's a generally understood axiom that it takes an employee six months to be productive and therefore the industry will be working well below sustainable levels of production. You may be able to argue that this is made up by the fact that they are open and not sending a third of their employees home for two week self quarantining, but they're open now, and with the exception of automotive plants (which are shut down anyways) most manufacturing (and almost all in Alberta) is made up of relative youngin's under the age of 55. That age, of course, is conveniently the age where with a few heartbreaking exceptions Coronavirus isn't a death sentence and even a hospital stay is unlikely. We'd have "clean" workforces saved from transmitting the China virus, sure, but that same workforce is the group that we "eventually" want to be our antigen-loaded buffer.

Which leads to my suggestion. Anybody remember Pox Parties?

Not all solutions, mind you. McMillan started SDA in the early 2000s with the complaint This is just the voice of an ordinary Canadian yelling back at the radio - "You don't speak for me." but lately when ordinary Canadians yell back into the media landscape that vigorously enforces the party line on this virus being so important we must shut down everything, one of the voices telling them to shut up and only trust the approved message is none other than McMillan, Kate.

"Fully productive" by the way takes two years, but presumably by staggering new and old employees across the rotations can mitigate this.

For those who pre-date the 1998 chicken pox vaccine, the Pox Party was a organized event where children were all deliberately exposed to the chicken pox, because those like me who got it at age 5 suffer no ill effects while those who got it at 28 were probably going to be hospitalized with pneumonia. Once the vaccine was available the parties (mostly) ended, though Swine Flu was similarly the subject of parties in Canada a decade ago, which the same nervous nellies you hear about today argued against it -- and by "argued against" I of course mean "hectored without explanation".
"Unlike chicken pox parties, where typically, the adults have had the infection already, in this case, your kid could get infected and then come home and give it to everybody else in the family," said Gardam.

Gardam added there is no reason to believe that everybody needs to develop immunity to this virus. "Even in a pandemic, the majority of the population isn't going to get sick," he noted.

Infectious disease experts say there is still a lot left to understand about H1N1, such as who it infects, what allows it to spread, and whether it's changing. For now, Canadian officials experts will be watching how the virus reacts with the warmer weather and the end of school.

The focus is now on developing and mass-producing a vaccine, Gardam says. Until then, people should avoid contracting the virus as much as possible.

"We're looking at the end of October when we'll have a vaccine available," he said.

"All of our strategies are based on slowing things down until the vaccine comes. This [flu party trend] is the absolute opposite of what we're trying to do."
As in 2009, the situation now remains: what you are "trying to do" is stupid and evil and destructive and you should be punched in the face for even suggesting it. Since the vaccine for this might still be over a year away, the question is not whether we end this shutdown madness but when. The sooner the better, and the more people who are already recovered from this thing the better the chances that we don't suffer massive spreading. Which is where the pox party comes into play. I'm talking something big in scale. I'm thinking a major concert at Commonwealth Stadium, and I'm thinking the Spirit of 1967. Free love. Kiss your friends and neighbours, [as long as they are a different sex than you, obviously, we're trying to minimize evil remember... -ed], get this COVID into every able bodied person.

Deciding who should be in this party is going to be tricky, and in this I may not have all the answers. Virologists are still working out details about who is at significant risk and who isn't. But the goal will be simple: get as many low risk people together as you can, make sure some active low risk COVID folks are there, and party hardy. Ideally these parties should be across the country and all within a single weekend: May Long comes to mind. Because then for two weeks after that comes the unfortunate part: the mandatory quarantine for everybody who participated. For this same reason the essential workers sadly cannot participate: no hot nurses wanting their mammaries sucked for fun and pleasure will be in the roster. Moderately essential workplaces like Home Depot would have to assign lots for who can go to this (which seems strange at first, but I guarantee the promise of being the only party goers on May Long Weekend will be a massive draw) since they would be on reduced staff over this 2-week period, but similarly over this 2 week period huge numbers of people will be required to stay home and suffer the effects of the Wuhan Flu they presumably just caught. Not everybody sadly will catch it since even on the Diamond Princess cruise ship it rarely seems to transmit by air and still infected a surprisingly small group, but this is a huge start to building up the legendary herd immunity. After this period is over and the infected souls have recovered from their experience, then we're in much better shape. Not just those affected, but others (except sadly the hot nurses wanting their mammaries sucked for fun and pleasure) can start limited socializing again: a large chunk of the people a given person is exposed to don't have the virus and therefore can't give it to him/her (or possibly are being exposed to it but can't get it again). We will still, mind you, be encouraging social distancing for healthcare workers and those in high risk groups such as the elderly and those with underlying conditions...then presumably come the fall (September long weekend? Thanksgiving weekend) we should do the Pox Party concept a second time with the people who didn't get to do it the last time. That would presumably give us a significant immunity going into the flu season. Again, those people would then spend two weeks cooped up at home as penance for their party, with the benefit that when they are out and returning to the world they aren't asymptomatic carriers.

Right now there are paradoxically two groups out there: asymptomatic carriers and secret recoverers. We're shutting our lives down to stop the former, but in order to start our lives back up we demand on the latter. As the post title says implies, most of us need to move from the first category to the second category as quickly as possible. Social distancing ironically makes that worse which in (a short!) time will make us all worse off.

Party on, Garth.