Pandemic blog 30: opening day

I have been generally feeling: it is OK to start relaxing restrictions on in-person contact, because there seems some decent chance that barring the most infectiogenic scenarios might be enough to keep outbreaks small and manageable. And that still might be true, in some contexts; in Dane County, we had a big spike of cases when the bars re-opened, and when the bars shut down again, the case spike went away, and hasn’t come back, though people are certainly out and about. But statewide, cases are growing and growing, and the situation is much worse in the South. I would fight back if you said this was a predictable consequence; nothing about this disease is predictable with any confidence. It could have worked. But I wouldn’t fight you if you said it was an expectable consequence, the consequence you thought most likely.

Similarly, if you rigorously jettison everyone with a demonstrated ability to play baseball from your team, and sign a collection of promising young players but keep them off the roster in order to avoid starting their service time, and then put that team on the field against major league competition, you might find that the nobodies and never-weres and used-to-bes find it within themselves to go on a scrappy “Why not?” run of success; or you might, as an expectable consequence, give up eight doubles and get beat 13-2.

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2 thoughts on “Pandemic blog 30: opening day

  1. Martin Karel says:

    Your reasoning and use of language are generally impeccable, but here, not so much. The word “expectable” is not much used in the parts of the world where I live, and I think that it’s not used much for good reason. When folks speak of prediction, it seems to be about belief, which involves degrees of certainty. What’s wrong with the weatherman predicting a 40% chance of rain? So, I claim that I predicted that relaxing the standards for social distancing (which means, I think, physical distancing), would lead to outbreaks.

  2. […] (though never back down to the levels we’d seen in March, April, and May.) At the end of July I wrote “statewide, cases are growing and growing, and the situation is much worse in the South. I […]

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