[LMB] OT: Governor’s Orders

Beatrice Otter beatrice_otter at zoho.com
Sun Nov 15 22:32:07 GMT 2020

---- On Sun, 15 Nov 2020 13:58:53 -0800 Damien Sullivan <mailto:phoenix at mindstalk.net> wrote ----

"Everyone wears masks" seems to be the big difference.  Japan has mask
history back to 1918, and East Asia was primed by SARS and MERS, and
there's been a culture of "wear masks if you might be sick, to protect

Doesn't hurt to be keeping out people, or (for Korea) forcing them to
quarantine, but of course that wouldn't stop endemic spread.  Masks and
better contact tracing seem to.

Much of the US has resisted wearing masks or avoiding gatherings.  Some
people think the current huge outbreak, which looks like a bullseye or
bomb explosion centeren the Dakotas, is due to the Sturgis rally.

Lockdowns on restaurants or bars have often been lax or short-lived.
Schools are open this fall and kids are socializing after school,
probaby without masks.

Beatrice Otter:
Yes, from what I can tell with the countries that have much lower infection rates, it's not that they have some radical new special technique that we don't have in the US, it's just that they are actually serious about using the available techniques.

A family friend was in some East Asian nation (Taiwan, I think? Might have been South Korea) for a training course near the beginning of the pandemic. His notes:
1) When they locked down, *they were really locked down*. And it was not up to individual businesses and citizens if they wanted to, and there was enforcement.
2) The lockdown wasn't an end in itself. The lockdown was to give time to get testing and tracing facilities up to snuff and manufacture enough tests, and to give businesses and organizations time to set up procedures for operating during a pandemic. (And they HAD such procedures ready to go, just waiting to be implemented.)
3) When the lockdown ended, there were strict and rigidly enforced guidelines about mask-wearing and social distancing and so on and so forth. Every citizen had a ration of one mask per day (they got theirs from the school, being non-citizens) and you wore your mask whenever you were outside your home and around other people. Every place you went in public where there would be decent sized groups even with social distancing (restaurants, for example) had erected clear plastic barriers to separate out groups of people. So, at a restaurant, there would be a barrier between your group of four and the closest table. These guidelines were almost universally followed and enforced.
4) Testing was quick and readily available from the very beginning, and they put a TON of effort into contact tracing. They were really good (and really quick) at finding everyone you'd come into contact with and requesting them to come in to get tested, and then everyone those people had interacted with, and so forth. Because of this, they knew exactly who needed to be quarantining and who didn't. Sure, some people slipped through, but very very few.

None of these techniques are things that America hasn't been doing, but we've been doing them half-assed instead of full-steam-ahead. If the half-assed version catches or prevents half the possible transmissions, and the full-steam-ahead version catches or prevents 90% of the possible transmissions, that's a big difference.

Beatrice Otter

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