134

The short answer to this question is that 2019-nCoV is new. All the other diseases you mentioned are known quantities: epidemiologists have a good idea how they behave, how they spread, what is likely to happen in a variety of different scenarios, etc. But this disease represents a new mutation that behaves differently from other coronaviruses. It's far more ...


92

Herd immunity* is one aspect. Limiting mutations is another. The Covid virus has shown so far a disturbing, and not totally expected, capacity to quickly evolve itself into more infectious variants (and possibly more lethal/harmful ones as well, if the impact of Delta on young people in the UK turns out to be actually worse). Any large scale population ...


80

Many countries are seeking to move to a system of 100% voluntary (unpaid) blood donations, and many others already have; according to the World Health Organization's Global Status Report on Blood Safety and Availability 2016, fifty-seven countries reported collecting 100% (or more than 99%) of their blood supply from voluntary non-remunerated donations. The ...


79

Forced medical treatment is a very sensitive topic and is widely considered a grave violation of medical ethics, and is only applied in extreme cases of mental illness, etc. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Involuntary_treatment https://ps.psychiatryonline.org/doi/full/10.1176/appi.ps.201600066


78

Yes, in Jacobson v. Massachusetts (1905) the United States Supreme Court upheld the right of the state to fiscally target unvaccinated individuals. Massachusetts had enacted the following law in relation to the smallpox vaccine: The board of health of a city or town if, in its opinion, it is necessary for the public health or safety shall require and ...


66

Respectfully, I think complacency is misplaced. Malaria is locale-specific, and doesn't really affect rich first world countries. While it certainly could receive better funding, it is also easy to see why it doesn't affect the average European or American much. HIV/AIDS is partially tied to lifestyle and one is at low risk if not in a risk category. In ...


65

The spread of the pandemic can be reduced by reducing contacts between infected and uninfected people. Since many infected are unaware of their infection, the goal is to reduce contacts between people in general. (Few countries have enough testing capacity to reliably identify the infected part of their population.) The maximum reduction of contacts would be ...


54

In hindsight it's clear that many governments should have taken the risk of a Covid19 pandemic much more seriously, but it's not that easy to anticipate the reach and intensity of the epidemic before it happens. There have been other serious threats before for which the containment strategy proved sufficient, and if a government allocates resources (for ...


54

Arguably, the United States of America has. Sort of. It's confusing. The federal government, or rather the president and some of his cabinet, has largely left the response up to individual states. It's less of a conclusion, and more a result of chaos and denial at the Federal level. It is difficult to write this up in a neutral tone, to find sources with ...


53

Let's separate out two distinct issues... First, the Biden administration is following epidemiological best practices. As more people get vaccinated, the disease spreads more slowly, the incidences of the disease become less severe, and the impact on medical services becomes less pronounced. A viral disease is a lot like a wildfire, and we have the same two ...


49

Theoretically, the Supreme Court has ruled that the federal government is limited in its power to mandate products. In practice... it depends. Your hypothetical about whether the government can mandate healthy eating was actually a major talking point during the debate over the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate (in a brilliant ...


48

The City of Tokyo, and the President of the Japanese Olympic Committee have signed the Host City Contract, section 33 (c) of which states: The final dates for the holding of the Games, including the number of days of competition and the scheduling of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, shall be decided by the IOC in consultation with the OCOG (the ...


47

Future potential For a new disease, it doesn't matter how many infected or dead people there have been as of now, it matters how much infected or dead people can we expect in the future if we don't do anything. It's possible and plausible to stop a new disease before it reaches it's full potential. If we stop a new "malaria-2" before it has the chance to ...


42

Another possibility, ignoring fears of infection, is that the country doesn't want their citizens to become stranded in another country if flights are suspended at a later date. For example, on Monday, March 30th, the UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced a £75m plan to charter flights to repatriate stranded Britons, and also advised any citizens still ...


42

The reason for Sweden's rather hands-off approach compared to other European countries was summed up rather well by lead epidemiologist of the Public Health Agency of Sweden, Anders Tegnell, who said in an interview with CNBC: My view is that basically all European countries are trying to do the same thing — we’re trying to slow down the spread as much ...


40

For one thing, as long as the approval is "experimental" or "provisional" or similar, there are many who will object on that basis, citing problems with other drugs (not necessarily vaccines) which turned out to have problems not discovered in the earliest stages of testing and distribution, like Thalidomide. In addition, generally ...


37

Events like parties, clubbing, concerts, etc happen past curfew. These events have the potential to infect a lot of people. The problem with such superspreader events isn't just the number of people they infect but also that they also serve as additional bridges between different social circles.


37

Whether true or just politically convenient they have blamed the slow ramping of Covid vaccine production on the US banning exports of some necessary equipment and materials: The two main vaccine manufacturers, SII (which makes the local version of AstraZeneca's vaccine called Covishield) and Bharat Biotech (which makes Covaxin), [theoretically] can ...


34

While discussions on lifting restrictions have already been started (here in Germany they were initiated by opposition parties), there is no sane politician that would announce a concrete plan. Even the opposition politicians initiating the debate do not want to name any dates, and would rather use a vague "as early as possible". Nobody knows when the peak ...


33

To add a mostly epidemiological argument: The primary political goal of mass vaccination is to reach herd immunity, i.e., to make so many people immune (be it due to vaccination or having survived the disease) that the virus cannot spread anymore because one person infects less than one person on average. If an infectious disease has a basic reproduction ...


31

For a detailed analysis of the dynamics in Congress see ProPublica's piece, "How Tea Party Budget Battles Left the National Emergency Medical Stockpile Unprepared for Coronavirus". Dire shortages of vital medical equipment in the Strategic National Stockpile that are now hampering the coronavirus response trace back to the budget wars of the Obama ...


31

Even though I have sometimes thought that allowing the unwilling to be vaccinated to sicken and die is just an instance of evolution in action, I still realize that there are practical* reasons to encourage vaccination. In addition to the herd immunity factor that has already been covered, there are problems of limited medical resources and costs. Have you ...


28

The other answers were about general problems with having a market for blood, but the specific context of your question adds even more problems. If viral antibodies being present in blood elevates its market value, what's to prevent someone from attempting to deliberately infect themselves in the hopes of recovering and then selling their now very expensive ...


28

As I noted in a comment above, saying "let's just assume there was a way to do it" can't really be answered because how it's done matters to the question. The U.S. government has restricted food before with the consent of the people, although unsuccessfully (see Prohibition and the 18th Amendment). New York City tried limiting how much soda can be ...


27

Arguably, Russia did. Traditional Russian response to any problem in the last 20 years is to do everything on federal level to be able to praise V. V. Putin. All decision making process is centralized. However, nCoV pandemic with its restrictions of public freedoms and economic activity seems to be too toxic for that, so it's one of very rare cases where ...


26

The epidemiological aspect mentioned in other answers are certainly correct, but on a more fundamental level this is a matter of ethical attitude. As an analogy, consider the case of encountering a suicidal person contemplating to jump from an otherwise deserted bridge. To (hopefully) a vast majority, just shrugging your shoulders and being on your way is ...


25

There can be different motivations for this, ranging from mere bureaucratic "ostrich" cover-up, i.e. hope it goes away, which is probably what happened at city level in Wuhan in the early days, to more "rational" decisions not to do anything (or to implement limited/gradual responses), where "rational" means you have some other ...


25

This is not just about personal choice. There are two things that make you less likely to infect someone else: You are vaccinated. Being vaccinated not only protects you, it protects everyone you come into contact with because you shed less virus particles and hence are less infectious. You wear a facemask where appropriate (indoors / in crowds). Facemasks ...


23

In my country (Bulgaria), paid blood donorship is forbidden. What the donor gets is a pack of food/drinks/snacks and 2 paid days off (days off are at the expense of the employer, as the law is from communist times, but most employers don't oppose). Then again, there is a stable black market of donor blood because voluntary donorship is simply not enough. It'...


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