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Thread: Pandemic Ethics

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Pandemic Ethics

    Quote Originally Posted by Saab2000 View Post
    Tell him to stick his head up front and in his best deadpan Leslie Nielsen say, “I just want to tell you both good luck; we’re all counting on you.”
    The best line from that movie, atmo. My wife and I say it to each other all the time.


    I forgot to add:

    To all the points about the bathrooms being an inflection point in the OP's plan ... good point, though I see workarounds. You can get portapots for camper vans that don't have a head and a tank, nbd. She wouldn't care, so I'll tell: after our second was born this year, my madre, godblessher, peed by the side of a road in WV on her way down here to see the new baby.*

    And if a campout in the driveway is too much to stomach, you can also split the baby by counting out an agreed-upon number of days in the driveway since their last honest to goodness time being near another person (which could well be avoided on their trip - we just pulled off a 1,900 mile round trip to Michigan for my mom's 60th in my bigass Ford Econoline a couple weeks ago and managed not to make actual contact with anybody outside of our intended family contacts). I.e., your Dad goes to the eye doctor on the first of the month, they leave the third and it takes three days... voila they're on your doorstep five days (the median onset of symptons) after last contact, or two weeks or whatever you decide sounds like a safe span to become close contacts.

    *babies are hard; kids are hard; families need family. That should be enough to close the risk vs. reward shop, now that I think of it... almost every family I know with a child under three traveled to be with family for an extended time just to get some help. One family left to do a month in FL; another a month in TX (that's a helluva story); another a month in IA; another had a sister come to town from NY for a month. It's bloody hard when parents are supposed to work whilst handling home duties, too. I do a mix of stay at home dad and work from home/work out in the world, irrespective of pandemics. Shite's a lot to handle! If it were ebola and tanks were in the streets that's one thing, but with most people's obligations continuing, in spite of the childcare rug swept out from under them (or just the fact of having a new baby), that would seal the deal for moi, ymmv, etc.
    Last edited by zambenini; 4 Weeks Ago at 08:21 PM.
     

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Pandemic Ethics

    Quote Originally Posted by guido View Post
    ... Cases are out of control because everyone thinks their actions will have no effect, but everyone's actions are the collective action. And that is going the wrong way...
    Undeniable.
    Take care of yourself in this time of crisis and realize sadness, anger and grief are part of the process Brian Clare

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    Default Re: Pandemic Ethics

    Just to add - you aren't reducing risk for your family by creating hardship for your parents. Several times in NYS, asymptomatic children have been the initial spreaders. So if you ask your parents not to come, it is just as much (if not more) about their health and wellbeing as it is any risk they will bring anything into your house. You are reducing risk for everyone concerned.

    At least 16 sick after coronavirus exposure at DeWitt in-home day care: ‘Take this seriously ... stay home if sick at all''' - syracuse.com

    Earlier in the epidemic, a friend went to retrieve her daughter from college after it shut due to covid19. Her parents live in the same town, so she stayed in their house while helping her daughter pack. A week later her father developed symptoms for covid19 and died shortly afterwards. She was asymptomatic.

    Just trying to say this stuff happens.
    Last edited by j44ke; 4 Weeks Ago at 09:44 PM.
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    Default Re: Pandemic Ethics

    The fact that there is a two page debate about pandemic ethics is a testament to a lack of leadership throughout. While I hesitate to make this into a political thread, the ins and outs of cross-border travel during a pandemic really shouldn't be up for debate. Faced with a spike in cases, cross-border travel should be stopped until such time as the numbers are brought back under control. That doesn't seem to be the case in the US at the moment. Regrettably there does not seem to be any credible leadership in the US to enable such steps to be taken. Instead there is I hope it will go away or we are leading the world and it's 99% harmless. In other words, complete tripe.

    I get people want to see family and that lockdowns are hard. But, unfortunately this is the price that will have to be paid until the thing is brought under control. It's not presently under control in the US. The graph in this thread illustrates this well.

    We are presently under a second lockdown and while it is not a great deal of fun, it is for the best in the long run.

    I'm not so sure it is a question of ethics, but more one of common sense (noting there is no common sense coming out of Washington). With the numbers of cases rising, cross-border travel to see grandkids should be put on hold. IMO of course.
     

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    Default Re: Pandemic Ethics

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Polack View Post
    And once the alcohol flows and people start acting stupid (I apologize for the redundancy)...
    ^^^This^^^ Face it, my fellow Americans are selfish, undisciplined, and in all too many cased downright stupid. We've had several COVID spikes here in CNY directly linked to graduation parties and July 4th parties. Last week, my wife and I went out to dinner for only the second time since late February. Both meals were at open air restaurants with masked wait staff and what appeared to be good adherence to virus safety rules (tables ~10' or more apart, masks required for guests when they came/went or got up from their tables, etc...). We watched a group of young (20-ish) persons at a table about 15' away great each other with hugs and handshakes and then spend the evening drinking, talking and hanging out very close to one another. Won't be surprised if some of their group are the next to get sick or spread the virus. And I don't plan on eating out again for the foreseeable future. The risks are just too great for my liking.

    Greg
     

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    Default Re: Pandemic Ethics

    I would not. There's too many variables you cannot control.
     

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    Default Re: Pandemic Ethics

    Lots to think about here. Thanks to everyone for the input and not jumping down my throat for what is undeniably a fairly fraught idea.

    To clarify the plan, their camper has its own bathroom; assuming everything goes according to plan the whole trip will be completely in their own bubble. We've asked them to truly lock it down before the trip for long enough that they'll come in with fourteen days of no outside contact.

    We're hoping to do much the same-- we'll likely need to get supplies once we get there. We've settled into a "don't do shit with anybody" lifestyle since this hit and will resume as soon as we have the house set up. We'll make lists so the five trips you make to the hardware store when you move to a new house become one consolidated trip. Same with a single enormous grocery shop. Humboldt county is the size of several New England states and has 165 active cases as of today. We bought a chest freezer and will be loaded to the gills with food to cook at home.

    The house is too small to distance or mitigate. You have to be assured it's OK to be in close contact. They will be holding the kids in their arms, that's the point.

    The whole prospect of this trip scares us shitless. We know it's a bad decision if you look at it objectively. But I'm also pretty well convinced this virus could just be the rest of our natural lives, let alone theirs. No guarantees of a vaccine, no guarantees you wait it out for a year and it's better. Anecdotal evidence suggests reinfection is possible, and humanity doesn't have effective vaccines for the more benign coronaviruses that are this thing's cousin (or HIV, or ebola), so what supports a better chance of a vaccine here? My point is: There's no guarantee we'll look back on this trip in wonderment that we chose to bear the risk. On the contrary, we might look back and say we're glad we did it before the big wave hit. More lockdowns are coming (if they're not, god help us all).

    We were pretty scared about the baby early on. She seems healthy and well established, and the MIS-C cases are relatively rare. Our attitude now is that no one in the family should get this disease, period. Without help, we don't really have the time or energy to catch a bad cold, let alone something that knocks you down for two weeks in a best-case scenario. Even if we all made it without going to the hospital, it could be really rough to have to keep the kids going while parents recovered. So we're just trying to be safe, safe, safe. Yes, we need help too, very badly.

    Hot take: this pandemic sucks.
     

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    Default Re: Pandemic Ethics

    Quote Originally Posted by Saab2000 View Post
    Tell him to stick his head up front and in his best deadpan Leslie Nielsen say, I just want to tell you both good luck; were all counting on you.
    I bought these tickets in March and paid the extra for earlybird boarding to make sure he got a window or aisle. Everyone gets a window or aisle. Maybe his military status will get an exit row.
    Weight Doper

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    Default Re: Pandemic Ethics

    Quote Originally Posted by doomridesout View Post

    The whole prospect of this trip scares us shitless.
    Dont be.

    This many months into the pandemic, expanding your circle of trust to include close immediate family members is very much reasonable. It is particularly reasonable if the two parties that are joining have been especially diligent about social distancing and minimizing outside contact and interactions.

    your risk in this scenario is absolutely minimal. if you look at the big picture, there are millions of americans who are going to work every day, who have to work at hospitals, grocery stores, public transportation workers, etc. These people are exposed to the general public every day and come home to their respective families with whatever they picked up out in the wild. In a few months millions of children will go back to school, and the young ones can not be counted on to diligently wear masks and appropriately social distance, they are not mature enough to make that work. Add in the millions of americans who think this is a giant hoax and are carrying on as if life were normal.

    Those are the people who will spread and contract covid, two small groups of people who have been taking the best of precautions should definitely not be scared shitless.

    this is probably an unpopular opinion, but realistic as i see it.

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Pandemic Ethics

    Quote Originally Posted by AngryScientist View Post
    Dont be.

    This many months into the pandemic, expanding your circle of trust to include close immediate family members is very much reasonable. It is particularly reasonable if the two parties that are joining have been especially diligent about social distancing and minimizing outside contact and interactions.
    Angry ftw with his characteristic demurkifying of the characteristic overthinking that makes forums fun but also forums.

    I, too, in no way want to minimize the grave experiences cataloged here and elsewhere, which ought to ultimately rule our judgments, but for the fact of effective measures to prevent contact with, or the spread of, the disease, such as physical distancing, masks, hand-washing, and so forth. Which we think work.
     

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    Default Re: Pandemic Ethics

    Its kinda like Russian roulette only the revolver holds more than 6; and there are bound to be many many clicks prior to discharge; and it might be a blank. You pays your money you takes your chances. I personally don't see a problem with your plan, OP.
    Tim Campen

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    Default Re: Pandemic Ethics

    Tough spot to be in, @doomridesout

    There's no law against long distance pleasure travel. Looking at my Instagram feed, any norm against it also evaporated around June 1st. Once again it now appears to be cool to jump on a budget carrier to play on the beach.

    Without laws or clear norms, we're left with a giant collective action problem where everyone has an incentive to free ride on the abatement efforts of others, and nobody has an individual incentive to bear the costs of abatement. Under those circumstances, is there an ethical obligation not to be a free rider and instead internalize the costs of abatement even as few others do? I don't really think so.

    The only way to align incentives and resolve a collective action problem is with policy, and as @BBB mentions that's not happening.


    Quote Originally Posted by doomridesout View Post
    The whole prospect of this trip scares us shitless. We know it's a bad decision if you look at it objectively.
    Since there are no laws or norms to guide us, what we're all left with individually is the simple question of whether or not we think travel is a good idea. @AngryScientist makes a case that it's likely fine, but you explicitly say you think it's a bad idea. After looking at the evidence, if you still think it's a bad idea, then you're entirely right to tell your parents to stay away. You're a grownass adult who should do what he thinks is best for his child. If you think it compromises your child's safety to have your parents visit, you certainly shouldn't allow the visit just because they want it.
     

  13. #33
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    Default Re: Pandemic Ethics

    Setting aside our own personal calculus of risk, the question in the abstract parallels a debate about climate change: Is public policy the only real answer, or do the actions of individuals matter too? Since about the 1990s, many climate activists have shied away from ascribing the problem to individual choices and focused on the biggest polluters- corporations. Shaming individuals for consumption seemed too likely to make people write off the movement as a bunch of luddites with lentils in their beards. But corporations aren't producing stuff for no one- they're producing stuff like energy and consumer goods for a mass culture of individuals.

    As an analogy, I'm increasingly against non-essential air travel (and trying to get better about buying stuff I don't need, but damn is that hard in this culture). To some extent the same ethical quandary without the immediacy of the virus.
     

  14. #34
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    Default Re: Pandemic Ethics

    Quote Originally Posted by AngryScientist View Post
    Dont be.

    This many months into the pandemic, expanding your circle of trust to include close immediate family members is very much reasonable. It is particularly reasonable if the two parties that are joining have been especially diligent about social distancing and minimizing outside contact and interactions.

    your risk in this scenario is absolutely minimal. if you look at the big picture, there are millions of americans who are going to work every day, who have to work at hospitals, grocery stores, public transportation workers, etc. These people are exposed to the general public every day and come home to their respective families with whatever they picked up out in the wild. In a few months millions of children will go back to school, and the young ones can not be counted on to diligently wear masks and appropriately social distance, they are not mature enough to make that work. Add in the millions of americans who think this is a giant hoax and are carrying on as if life were normal.

    Those are the people who will spread and contract covid, two small groups of people who have been taking the best of precautions should definitely not be scared shitless.

    this is probably an unpopular opinion, but realistic as i see it.
    I’m kinda with Angry on this, but I’m no scientist. However I manage a city with 600 employees. HR told me yesterday we have had 11 positives of city employees, but half of them were due to their personal life and Not traced back to their work at city hall. Eight of them were in the PD. We did shut down from March until mid-June, but we have been open to the public for four weeks now. We have been diligent with face masks, hand sanitizer, plexi glass dividers, temp checks and we shut down for 2 hours mid day for cleaning of common areas.

    So I think with the right protocols the visit could be done.
     

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    Default Re: Pandemic Ethics

    I decided to travel to France and am currently working from my parent's place. My parents should be considered as vulnerable given their age. They were eager to see their grand daughters so we decided to take the plunge but the real russian roulette comes from the kids. I can trust an adult if I know his own behaviour and opinion on how to manage that crisis. Kids ? Either you lock them in your property for 6 yearsm either you have to take into account the inherent risk. They just cannot process being outside, in a public park without playing with other kids, touching things, putting their hands to the mask, face or worse their mouth before they get the chance to clean their hands.

    So I left the decision to my parents before coming in. They are serious with wearing a mask for themselves, cleaning hands regularly and avoid hugs and kisses but on the other hand they accept that inherent risk. It is either they had stayed alone for 1 and a half year at the minimum (I cannot see covid disappear completelybefore next sumnmer) and rely on videocalls or they accept that risk to spend some precious time with our kids. Their idea is that as much as they are precautious with covid, any one of us could die from an heart attack, a road accident or something else.
    Last edited by sk_tle; 4 Weeks Ago at 10:10 AM.
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    Default Re: Pandemic Ethics

    Quote Originally Posted by doomridesout View Post
    Is public policy the only real answer, or do the actions of individuals matter too?
    There's been a bunch of ink spilled since the late 90s on the development and spread of norms. Cass Sunstein made the case (and has spent the last decades elaborating it) that change to norms is usually rooted in a new consensus about facts.


    The most prominent explanation for how new norms emerge from a new consensus about the facts is that interested parties ally themselves with legitimate institutions to spread their message.

    We have at least two problems with creating new norms in the US. First, we don't agree on the facts. Second, since Vietnam we've been delegitimizing our institutions. We no longer have a factual or institutional basis for the creation of new norms.
     

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    Default Re: Pandemic Ethics

    At the risk of being on-topic, Phil's latest toilet-paper chat was quite good:



    His take on "just because we can doesn't mean we should" is spot on, imho.
    Dan in Oregon

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