SkyscraperPage Forum

SkyscraperPage Forum (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/index.php)
-   City Discussions (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=24)
-   -   How Is Covid-19 Impacting Life in Your City? (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=242036)

JManc Dec 23, 2021 12:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by someone123 (Post 9484533)
In any case, we have now been ordered not to have gatherings of more than 2 households for the second Christmas period in a row (I think last Christmas may have been no gatherings except with at-risk grandparents or something).

Here, any such 'order' would be interpreted as a mere suggestion. No one is going to tell the average American they cannot celebrate the holidays with family and friends. Perhaps a few of those in favor of all the mandates who brow beat others for not complying might sit home on Christmas wearing masks but that's about it.

pdxtex Dec 23, 2021 12:48 AM

I just think its insane that we shuttered society from the get go. The residual damage to society has been infinitely worse. No more is this more apparent than America's emotional basket case, Portland. They should have just made everyone wear a mask from the beginning and just kept on trucking. Apparently the entire state of Utah and I agree.

iheartthed Dec 23, 2021 12:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by someone123 (Post 9484533)
Even if you think we should be directed by technocrats, they should be transparent about their level of uncertainty. How many of them predicted the drop off in cases that's happening now in South Africa?

When you point this out usually people say that it's OK because we only care about the worst case. Actually the worst case is that an asteroid destroys the planet 2 seconds from now and none of the epidemiology matters. Merely constructing possible worst-case hypotheticals of unknown probability is not useful for directing rational policy decisions.

In any case, we have now been ordered not to have gatherings of more than 2 households for the second Christmas period in a row (I think last Christmas may have been no gatherings except with at-risk grandparents or something).

Health and safety policies are always designed around the worst case. You don't want to get on a plane that hasn't been tested for the worst case scenario, or fly with a flight crew that doesn't prepare for worst case scenarios.

SIGSEGV Dec 23, 2021 1:46 AM

Well, looks like my wife and I timed our expected due date (Jan 20) with the likely omicron peak lol. After today, I'm no longer allowed to go to outpatient OB visits (was lucky to have one this morning, including an ultrasound, though the usual ultrasound tech was out sick...), though we're assured I'll still be allowed in labor and delivery.

We were considering inducing at 39 weeks, but it may not be possible due to hospital staffing constraints.

In other news, my employer is now, fortunately, requiring boosters:

Quote:

Our goal for this Winter Quarter is to fully return to in-person research and instruction on January 3, 2022 while maintaining robust COVID-19 protocols. To help meet this goal and continue protecting the health and safety of our campus and neighboring communities, the following changes will be implemented:

* COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shots: The University will require students and employees to receive a COVID-19 booster shot once they are eligible. By January 31, 2022, students and employees will need to submit proof of receiving a booster shot or apply for an approved exemption. More information about this new requirement will be shared soon, including where to submit proof of vaccination and exemption requests. In the meantime, we strongly encourage members of the University community to receive a COVID-19 booster shot as soon as they are eligible: six months after completing the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine series or two months after receiving Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine. Everyone ages 16 and over is now eligible to get a booster shot. Those who are eligible for a booster shot but have not yet received one should obtain one prior to returning to campus for the Winter quarter.



* Gatherings: Non-mission critical gatherings on campus, such as holiday parties, should be suspended. While away from campus, avoid gatherings where public health compliance, importantly including masking requirements, or the prevalence of vaccination are unknown to you. If you attend a large gathering where you do not know the general rate of vaccination or where there may be loose adherence to health and safety protocols, testing before and/or after attendance is encouraged. Please note that fully vaccinated individuals can still contract and spread COVID-19.

* Masking: Face coverings are required at all times, with limited exceptions, for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals while in University buildings. Lowering masks while speaking in class is no longer permitted. When eating and drinking, remove your mask for the shortest time possible, and do so with at least 6 feet of distance if you are not fully vaccinated. Masks are an essential precaution to prevent outbreaks of the Omicron variant, which is currently thought to be more contagious than the Delta variant.


* Testing: Before traveling, get tested, and follow City of Chicago and CDC guidance for testing and quarantining after travel based on your vaccination status. We urge students get a PCR or antigen COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to returning to campus. We anticipate a period of mandatory weekly testing for students living in on-campus housing and will be communicating details soon.

SIGSEGV Dec 23, 2021 1:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by someone123 (Post 9484533)
When you point this out usually people say that it's OK because we only care about the worst case. Actually the worst case is that an asteroid destroys the planet 2 seconds from now and none of the epidemiology matters. Merely constructing possible worst-case hypotheticals of unknown probability is not useful for directing rational policy decisions.

The problem is tail risk is highly asymmetric, and if you only have to lose once for it to be a big problem. How many cylinders would it take before you would be comfortable playing Russian Roulette for $100?

someone123 Dec 23, 2021 2:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SIGSEGV (Post 9484653)
The problem is tail risk is highly asymmetric, and if you only have to lose once for it to be a big problem. How many cylinders would it take before you would be comfortable playing Russian Roulette for $100?

We're not really talking about tail risk (known distribution), we're talking about uncertainty (random things happen). Few to nobody seem able to quantify much or look at the balance of probabilities and nobody has a good track record of prediction. And there's all this pushback against arguing that nobody understands what's going on beyond a few basics (e.g. get vaccinated). I think this tail risk idea (somewhat more colloquially presented as "what if it all goes off the rails" scenarios) is just bias toward random sets of actions we did in the past.

The goalposts have moved too. Here in Canada 80%+ of people are vaccinated but we're implementing a bunch of preemptive measures.

someone123 Dec 23, 2021 2:28 AM

Another point is that the cost of the interventions matters. For trivial costs we usually don't care much but the bar should be higher if the costs are significant. Many people seem to argue that trivial interventions implemented without much evidence are proof we should implement expensive interventions without much evidence.

Adding a scenario to flight crew training doesn't have a very high cost and there's data on the incidents that do occur. Seatbelts are similar. So were preparations for pandemics like the acquisition of PPE.

Once you start talking about broad measures that impact society, like closing down schools or businesses, or telling people not to visit friends and family, the costs are orders of magnitude higher and the evidence bar or expected payoff should be higher. It shouldn't be enough just to say "tail risk".

It's telling that for a segment of society, at least around here, the availability of highly effective vaccines made practically no difference to what measures they think make sense. I believe they have a political impact and have shifted the response so that it is out of proportion with the threat.

SIGSEGV Dec 23, 2021 2:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by someone123 (Post 9484665)
We're not really talking about tail risk (known distribution), we're talking about uncertainty (random things happen). Few to nobody seem able to quantify much or look at the balance of probabilities and nobody has a good track record of prediction. And there's all this pushback against arguing that nobody understands what's going on beyond a few basics (e.g. get vaccinated). I think this tail risk idea (somewhat more colloquially presented as "what if it all goes off the rails" scenarios) is just bias toward random sets of actions we did in the past.

The goalposts have moved too. Here in Canada 80%+ of people are vaccinated but we're implementing a bunch of preemptive measures.

I'm not following your distinction between tail risk and uncertainty. An unknown distribution effectively just makes the tail risk worse, since you can't bound it as well and have to integrate over your ignorance when looking at the "balance of probabilities."

The tricky thing though is most of the time when you optimize for avoiding tail risk, you'll have appeared to have taken ultimately unnecessary precautions in hindsight, but that doesn't mean you made the wrong decision.

someone123 Dec 23, 2021 3:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SIGSEGV (Post 9484678)
I'm not following your distinction between tail risk and uncertainty. An unknown distribution effectively just makes the tail risk worse, since you can't bound it as well and have to integrate over your ignorance when looking at the "balance of probabilities."

If you know the distribution you calculate expected value for cost-benefit (assign what cost you want to the tail risk). If you don't you can't do this. Maybe you will implement countermeasures anyway if they are cheap. If they're not cheap and you keep doing that for every low probability threat you will run out of resources and cause more harms eventually. The "odds don't matter, do everything you can" scenario doesn't work well in the real world with many different goals and scarce resources. Obviously there's a lot more to covid and the omicron scenarios but that's one basic intuition to have.

SIGSEGV Dec 23, 2021 3:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by someone123 (Post 9484687)
If you know the distribution you calculate expected value for cost-benefit (assign what cost you want to the tail risk). If you don't you can't do this.

You never know the real distribution except in toy examples or physics (and even then, you often don't really...). You always have to marginalize over uncertainties. If they are large, then yes, your tail risk blows up and that sucks....
Quote:

Maybe you will implement countermeasures anyway if they are cheap. If they're not cheap and you keep doing that for every low probability threat you will run out of resources and cause more harms eventually. The "odds don't matter, do everything you can" scenario doesn't work well in the real world with many different goals and scarce resources. Obviously there's a lot more to covid and the omicron scenarios but that's one basic intuition to have.
And if you ignore every low probability threat eventually (for some value of eventually...) we all die. I agree you should consider catastrophic economic impacts in decision making if they are potentially ruinous (and this calculus differs between societies), but we don't always have good choices. In many interesting ways, this mirrors climate change mitigations, though there we are further complicated that the majority of the risk is in the indeterminate future...

Anyway, at least around here, nobody is proposing any particularly expensive countermeasures for omicron (except perhaps for those who refuse to vaccinate). I don't see the Christmas gathering mandate as particularly economically onerous either (though it is inconvenient, no doubt... this will be my third Christmas away from family in a row, the first because I was at the South Pole, the second because of 2020, and now because of omicron + having a baby due soon).

someone123 Dec 23, 2021 4:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SIGSEGV (Post 9484715)
You never know the real distribution except in toy examples or physics (and even then, you often don't really...). You always have to marginalize over uncertainties. If they are large, then yes, your tail risk blows up and that sucks....

Sure. I think we are basically in agreement but you need some kind of factor to weight your decision making. You cannot just say there is a tail risk of unknown likelihood (that maybe will kill us all) so you will invest an unbounded amount of resources. You will go broke.

Quote:

And if you ignore every low probability threat eventually (for some value of eventually...) we all die.
I am not sure this really makes sense as a government's perspective. Humanity has persisted for a long time despite a lack of tail risk planning. Maybe governments can help, maybe they can't. For covid, the scenario never was "we all die", it was maybe that the outcome would be 2x or 3x worse and 0.5% would die instead of 0.1% or 0.05%. Perhaps very early on we might have said the worst case was 1% dead. Today with vaccines the non-laughable worst case for omicron is lower than that. People will say this is a lot of deaths, which is true, but it is pretty easy to piss away 0.05% of your population's quality of life in other ways (as we have done). And the normal baseline rate of death that we don't manage to prevent is about 1% per year.

The actual death rate due to covid where I live is 0.05% during the entire pandemic while the CFR is 1%.

Quote:

Anyway, at least around here, nobody is proposing any particularly expensive countermeasures for omicron (except perhaps for those who refuse to vaccinate).
I think the more laissez-faire parts of the US are better than we are for countermeasures but people in those places often made worse decisions by not getting vaccinated. Around here we have high vaccination rates but lots of countermeasures.

10023 Dec 23, 2021 8:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by someone123 (Post 9484533)
Even if you think we should be directed by technocrats, they should be transparent about their level of uncertainty. How many of them predicted the drop off in cases that's happening now in South Africa?

When you point this out usually people say that it's OK because we only care about the worst case. Actually the worst case is that an asteroid destroys the planet 2 seconds from now and none of the epidemiology matters. Merely constructing possible worst-case hypotheticals of unknown probability is not useful for directing rational policy decisions.

In any case, we have now been ordered not to have gatherings of more than 2 households for the second Christmas period in a row (I think last Christmas may have been no gatherings except with at-risk grandparents or something).

Wait, no gatherings except with at-risk grandparents? Surely it would be the opposite - no gatherings with at-risk grandparents.

10023 Dec 23, 2021 8:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SIGSEGV (Post 9484653)
The problem is tail risk is highly asymmetric, and if you only have to lose once for it to be a big problem. How many cylinders would it take before you would be comfortable playing Russian Roulette for $100?

For $100 there’s no point. But for a billion dollars I’d be comfortable with six. How do you value leading a normal life?

But it’s a bad analogy anyway. The lockdowns and restrictions were guaranteed downside, and pretty significant ones. For me the actual virus posed an infinitely tiny risk of a more severe downside. I’ve had it twice and it was nothing.

someone123 Dec 23, 2021 4:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 10023 (Post 9484802)
Wait, no gatherings except with at-risk grandparents? Surely it would be the opposite - no gatherings with at-risk grandparents.

That was a joke but as I said earlier there was at one point (during one of the worst phases of the pandemic) an exception for grandparents to visit their grandkids. Our current social gathering rule is "max 10 or 2 households, only if vaccinated, and keep the group consistent". Probably about what we had in June 2020 when nobody was vaccinated. On paper, if you are eligible but not vaccinated, regardless of your age or whether you had covid already, you are never supposed to visit anybody and cannot go to non-essential businesses. This is in place because we are worried that omicron will hypothetically overwhelm the healthcare system, which like the UK is permanently in shambles. Over 18's are something like 91% vaccinated and over 65 are probably more like 95%+.

I guess you could argue that these restrictions may not be so harmful because people won't follow them but I am not sure that's a good defense of them as public policy.

Back in the spring there was an attitude that the vaccination drive would be the end of the pandemic and if people would get vaccinated (I think the made up number back then was 60-80%) we would go back to normal. With our current approach to hypothesizing about variants and preemptively implementing measures we may never return to normal because there will always be a possibly serious variant and there will be spikes in cases every so often.

sopas ej Dec 23, 2021 5:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SteveD (Post 9484454)
My little pocket of Atlanta, East Atlanta Village, EAV, apparently is suddenly awash in the Vid. Dozens of my friends are posting today they've got it; I'm going for a test at 6:10. Nearly all of our bars and restaurants are shut down due to outbreaks of the Vid and the need to test everyone before things can open back up. I've got all the classic Omicron symtoms that arrived out of the blue yesterday. Very frustrating after I've been so damn careful these last two years. I guess I'll find out in a couple hours now.

Yikes...

According to this Los Angeles Times article, https://www.latimes.com/california/s...-and-questions, Omicron is "sweeping" through California, but somehow we still have "one of the lowest coronavirus case rates in the nation, [and] will be better equipped to handle an Omicron surge than other states that were still reeling from the Delta surge when Omicron started spreading."

No lockdowns are being talked about either in California. I hope there won't be any anymore, at least not in the near future... for selfish reasons, admittedly. My partner and I have the day off tomorrow and already made reservations for our December 24th tapas feast at La Paella. :P

https://www.usalapaella.com/

I'm gonna go tapas crazy if all goes well. :P

iheartthed Dec 23, 2021 6:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sopas ej (Post 9485072)
Yikes...

According to this Los Angeles Times article, https://www.latimes.com/california/s...-and-questions, Omicron is "sweeping" through California, but somehow we still have "one of the lowest coronavirus case rates in the nation, [and] will be better equipped to handle an Omicron surge than other states that were still reeling from the Delta surge when Omicron started spreading."

No lockdowns are being talked about either in California. I hope there won't be any anymore, at least not in the near future... for selfish reasons, admittedly. My partner and I have the day off tomorrow and already made reservations for our December 24th tapas feast at La Paella. :P

https://www.usalapaella.com/

I'm gonna go tapas crazy if all goes well. :P

I'm surprised that it hasn't happened in California already, but the wave is certainly heading there. A lot of bars and restaurants in NYC have closed this week because so many workers have tested positive.

ETA: Just got an email from a venue in Brooklyn that I hang out at sometime. They are going to hold their NYE party outdoors and then shut down for two weeks after that.

chris08876 Dec 23, 2021 10:07 PM

^^^^

Yeah the NYC NYE celebration will also be reduced in its magnitude. I was actually going to go to the city this Sunday with my girl but will postpone, just because it will be wack with all of these restrictions. Fuckin Covid and the panic! :(

I just hope this panic doesn't ruin my Atlanta, GA trip at the end of January.

SteveD Dec 23, 2021 11:07 PM

I had a negative COVID test yesterday and they also tested for Flu A and B and I was negative, but here in the last 30 minutes I've received word that a neice, a newphew, and my sister, have all tested positive for COVID on re-tests. I'm receiving new at home tests via overnight delivery tomorrow and will re-test. I think I have it and now I'm second guessing my negative test yesterday.

We were all at my family's annual holiday party on Sunday evening out in the Atlanta burbs. A condition of entry was same day negative testing which we all did.

the urban politician Dec 24, 2021 3:18 AM

^ You’re joking, right?

C. Dec 24, 2021 4:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chris08876 (Post 9485415)
I just hope this panic doesn't ruin my Atlanta, GA trip at the end of January.

Don't worry - you're not going to miss much unless you're into strip clubs.


All times are GMT. The time now is 4:03 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.