Suppression sounds like a management plan but means rolling waves of infection and isolation, with outbreaks of chaos and a constant higher level of fear and avoidance.
Meanwhile, on the world scene, the two countries whose national leaders were notably dismissive of the virus are number 1 and 2 for infections and deaths. Coincidence?
The US has had 142 thousand deaths (roughly — the death statistics are not well defined or collected), first in the world. The US locked down, but sabotaged their lockdown by leaving the borders largely open to reinfections, thereby rendering it almost pointless. For the power of leaving the borders open, witness the second wave in Melbourne — which had almost no cases until a botched quarantine. Now Melbourne has hundreds of cases per day.
So far the US has had 3.7 million confirmed cases. Unbiased studies (based on random sampling, rather than highly biased sampling as per some studies that are then extrapolated across the nation or world by extreme optimists) show that about 40% of infections are asymptomatic, and about half of the symptomatics have such mild symptoms they often go unconfirmed. So the real number of infections is likely a bit less than four times the confirmed infections. In the US, total infections are thus about 15 million. That’s less than 5% of the US population infected — so far. Years away from herd immunity at this rate (if it is even possible, because immunity in an individual may last less than two years).
Brazil has had 78 thousand deaths, second in the world. Confirmed cases are 2.05 million, so about 8 million Brazilians have been infected. That’s about 4% of the Brazilian population infected — so far. This could go on for quite a while.
I heard on the Tucker Carlson show this week (while Tucker was away), from some rather fact-poor enthusiast, that lockdowns don’t work and that the case of Italy proved this. He cited the death rate per million of population as his only evidence: higher in Italy (579) than the US (429). A gross misunderstanding. Deaths per million of population largely depends on on what percentage of the population has been infected to date. As more and more of the US becomes infected, its death-per-million-of-population statistic will continue to rise, despite improving medical treatment — it can only rise! Meanwhile, in Italy, infections have slowed dramatically because of their lockdown:
Italy has had 35 thousand deaths, currently fifth in the world. But they have slowed to a trickle, because they crushed the curve with a lockdown (which included border closure). Confirmed cases are 0.24 million, so total infections are likely about 1 million so far. That’s about 2% of the Italian population. But increasing only very slowly now.
But wait, he might argue! The infection rate drop in Italy was not due to lockdown! Really? What, else changed? Italy is further from his herd immunity than the US, and neither are remotely close, so it wasn’t that. How come, in every country that increases lockdown measures whilst shutting their borders, 12 days afterwards the infection rates starts to dip — and dips until either it reaches near-zero or until the lockdown is eased? Noting “coincidences” like this are what leads to human knowledge. Incredible.