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135 votes
Accepted

Why is COVID-19 prompting such wide scale action versus other infectious diseases?

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 ...
Ted Wrigley's user avatar
95 votes

Why are Democrats fighting so hard to vaccinate the reluctant?

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 (...
Italian Philosophers 4 Monica's user avatar
79 votes
Accepted

Why do many countries ban the sale of one's own blood?

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 ...
CDJB's user avatar
  • 108k
79 votes
Accepted

Prior to COVID-19, had any country fiscally targeted unvaccinated individuals?

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 ...
CDJB's user avatar
  • 108k
78 votes

Why is there so much reluctance to make the COVID vaccine mandatory for adults?

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....
Jacob3's user avatar
  • 5,650
68 votes

Why is COVID-19 prompting such wide scale action versus other infectious diseases?

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 ...
Italian Philosophers 4 Monica's user avatar
65 votes

What is the reasoning behind nighttime restrictions during pandemic?

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 ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 111k
54 votes

Why do governments downplay or cover-up pandemics in their early stages?

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 ...
Erwan's user avatar
  • 17.9k
54 votes

Has any country's government concluded they need more decentralization to fight Covid-19 or future pandemics?

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'...
Schwern's user avatar
  • 5,244
54 votes

Why are Democrats fighting so hard to vaccinate the reluctant?

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 ...
Ted Wrigley's user avatar
51 votes

Can the US government mandate what people are allowed to eat?

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 ...
TenthJustice's user avatar
  • 10.8k
47 votes

Why is COVID-19 prompting such wide scale action versus other infectious diseases?

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 ...
Peteris's user avatar
  • 5,636
47 votes
Accepted

Does the Japanese government not have the authority to cancel the Olympics?

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 ...
CDJB's user avatar
  • 108k
42 votes

Why have some governments banned outbound international flights in response to COVID-19?

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,...
CDJB's user avatar
  • 108k
41 votes
Accepted

What political and social factors underlie Sweden's controversial response to COVID-19?

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 ...
CDJB's user avatar
  • 108k
39 votes

Why is there so much reluctance to make the COVID vaccine mandatory for adults?

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 ...
manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact's user avatar
37 votes

What is the reasoning behind nighttime restrictions during pandemic?

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 ...
Peter's user avatar
  • 13.5k
37 votes
Accepted

Why doesn't India mass-produce COVID-19 vaccines?

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 ...
got trolled too much this week's user avatar
34 votes

Have any countries that are currently in lockdown published a detailed long-term exit plan?

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 ...
Manziel's user avatar
  • 2,595
34 votes
Accepted

Have any governments attempted to provide dosing guidelines for illegal drugs?

Offering generic advice of the form up to xxx mg are generally a safe dosage is very hard to give for illegal drugs because one doesn't know the exact quantities of the various ingredients. It is also ...
quarague's user avatar
  • 8,828
33 votes
Accepted

Why is there so much reluctance to make the COVID vaccine mandatory for adults?

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 ...
Wrzlprmft's user avatar
  • 1,173
32 votes
Accepted

Why didn't the US replenish its strategic stockpile of face masks after the 2009 pandemic?

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 ...
Brian Z's user avatar
  • 18.3k
32 votes

Why are Democrats fighting so hard to vaccinate the reluctant?

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 ...
jamesqf's user avatar
  • 12.5k
31 votes

Can the US government mandate what people are allowed to eat?

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 ...
RWW's user avatar
  • 2,369
28 votes

Why do many countries ban the sale of one's own blood?

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 ...
Teleka's user avatar
  • 5,425
27 votes

Has any country's government concluded they need more decentralization to fight Covid-19 or future pandemics?

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 ...
alamar's user avatar
  • 17.4k
26 votes

Why are Democrats fighting so hard to vaccinate the reluctant?

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 ...
Arno's user avatar
  • 13.9k
26 votes

Why are Democrats fighting so hard to vaccinate the reluctant?

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 ...
Paul Johnson's user avatar
25 votes

Why do governments downplay or cover-up pandemics in their early stages?

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 ...
got trolled too much this week's user avatar

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