Saturday 27th of November 2021

risk assessment...

truthtruth

... but in general, the reason is much simpler and less sinister. It is because we employ a rational framework of cost-benefit analysis, whereby, when making public policy choices, we do not examine only one side of the ledger (number of people who will die if cars are permitted) but also consider the immense costs generated by policies that would prevent those deaths (massive limits on our ability to travel, vastly increased times to get from one place to another, restrictions on what we can experience in our lives, enormous financial costs from returning to the pre-automobile days).

 

By Glenn Greenwald

 

So foundational is the use of this cost-benefit analysis that it is embraced and touted by everyone from right-wing economists to the left-wing European environmental policy group CIVITAS, which defines it this way: 

Social Cost Benefit Analysis [is] a decision support tool that measures and weighs various impacts of a project or policy. It compares project costs (capital and operating expenses) with a broad range of (social) impacts, e.g. travel time savings, travel costs, impacts on other modes, climate, safety, and the environment.

 

This framework, above all else, precludes an absolutist approach to rational policy-making. We never opt for a society-altering policy on the ground that “any lives saved make it imperative to embrace” precisely because such a primitive mindset ignores all the countervailing costs which this life-saving policy would generate (including, oftentimes, loss of life as well: banning planes, for instance, would save lives by preventing deaths from airplane crashes, but would also create its own new deaths by causing more people to drive cars).

While arguments are common about how this framework should be applied and which specific policies are ideal, the use of cost-benefit analysis as the primary formula we use is uncontroversial — at least it was until the COVID pandemic began. It is now extremely common in Western democracies for large factions of citizens to demand that any measuresundertaken to prevent COVID deaths are vital, regardless of the costs imposed by those policies. Thus, this mentality insists, we must keep schools closed to avoid the contracting by children of COVID regardless of the horrific costs which eighteen months or two years of school closures impose on all children.

It is impossible to overstate the costs imposed on children of all ages from the sustained, enduring and severe disruptions to their lives justified in the name of COVID. Entire books could be written, and almost certainly will be, on the multiple levels of damage children are sustaining, some of which — particularly the longer-term ones — are unknowable (long-term harms from virtually every aspect of COVID policies — including COVID itself, the vaccines, and isolation measures, are, by definition, unknown). But what we know for certain is that the harms to children from anti-COVID measures are severe and multi-pronged. One of the best mainstream news accounts documenting those costs was a January, 2021 BBC article headlined “Covid: The devastating toll of the pandemic on children.”

The “devastating toll” referenced by the article is not the death count from COVID for children, which, even in the world of the Delta variant, remains vanishingly small. The latest CDC data reveals that the grand total of children under 18 who have died in the U.S. from COVID since the start of the pandemic sixteen months ago is 361 — in a country of 330 million people, including 74.2 million people under 18. Instead, the “devastating toll” refers to multi-layered harm to children from the various lockdowns, isolation measures, stay-at-home orders, school closures, economic suffering and various other harms that have come from policies enacted to prevent the spread of the virus:

From increasing rates of mental health problems to concerns about rising levels of abuse and neglect and the potential harm being done to the development of babies, the pandemic is threatening to have a devastating legacy on the nation's young. . . . 

The closure of schools is, of course, damaging to children's education. But schools are not just a place for learning. They are places where kids socialize, develop emotionally and, for some, a refuge from troubled family life.

Prof Russell Viner, president of the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health, perhaps put it most clearly when he told MPs on the Education Select Committee earlier this month: "When we close schools we close their lives."

 

The richer you are, the less likely you are to be affected by these harms from COVID restrictions. Wealth allows people to leave their homes, hire private tutors, temporarily live in the countryside or mountains, or enjoy outdoor space at home. It is the poor and the economically deprived who bear the worst of these deprivations, which — along with not having children at all — may be one reason they are assigned little to no weight in mainstream discourse.

 

Read more: https://greenwald.substack.com/p/the-bizarre-refusal-to-apply-cost

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Gus:

So, why can’t we allow the risk assessment in the Covid situation, like we do for car accidents?

 

Whether Covid was an accident waiting to happen or not, management of pandemic had been studied well in advance. Such management had been part of the department of Health in New South Wales for more than 20 years — if I remember correctly. But it did not involve the police, I believe... So what happened?

 

It is more likely that the present models of Covid pandemic management were designed to profit the Vaccine manufacturers — even before Covid — in the last five years, under the supervision of a Gates-inspired profitable philanthropy. Covid-19 provided the ideal grounds for testing this new pandemic management.

 

The present “pandemic situation” has thus to be dealt accordingly with steel-like experimental grip otherwise the Pandemic/vaccination-control result could not be "statistically" assessed. 

 

 

This is why:

 

— the more effective Russian Sputnik-V has to be rejected by Western governments.

 

— the patents for vaccines have to be protected

 

— the Chinese Vaccine has to be bellittled and found defective.

 

— the West has to control the response exclusively according to the Gates-inspired pandemic response which includes severe lockdowns. 

 

— manufacturers of vaccines have no liability for side-effects

 

— vaccines efficiency in measured in vague proportion (60 -70- 80 per cent) in the chance of protection versus infection that could kill you or not. Statistics will officially be accurate but in reality they will be FLIMSY and artificially manufactured to support the Gates-inspired pandemic response

 

— lockdowns are stringent and assessed in artificially declared proportion of vaccination

 

— people are going to die anyway. Public condolences are like rose petals at funerals.

 

— Vaccines are not very available to the “developing countries” nor to the poor people in developed countries. 

 

 

Most of the media plays a big part in disseminating the “facts”. Anti-Russia. Anti-China. The Western vaccines are far superior of course. Some journalists are starting to wake up from the sheep-inspired mono-behaviour. 

 

The truth could be painful... We shall see the results...

 

 

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phobic vaccine...

 Between Sputnik V and BioNTech: Caught in vaccine limbo

 

As Germany begins introducing new restrictions for unvaccinated people, some find themselves in a peculiar situation — being fully vaccinated but not counted as such. DW reporter Natalia Smolentceva is one of them.  

 

Six months ago, while back home in Russia, I did what I thought was the responsible thing: I got vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Russian Sputnik V inoculation. Back in February, Germany did not offer vaccination to my age group, and I wanted to protect myself and those close to me. 

Being vaccinated with Sputnik V was potentially problematic, as the jab was not approved in the EU. But the risk of getting COVID-19 while in Russia, where very few people wore masks or respected social distancing rules, was greater. And it felt good to be at least somewhat protected, both in Russia and back in Germany. 

But it turned out my decision backfired. Sputnik V is still not recognized in the EU. And even fully vaccinated with two jabs and having developed antibodies, I still have to test myself constantly and even — in some circumstances  — go into quarantine.

So what can "unofficially" vaccinated people do in this case?  One possibility, of course, would be to get vaccinated again — this time with an EU-approved jab. But that is not as easy as one might think at first.

 

Will Sputnik V be authorized in the EU? 

Sputnik V is a vector vaccine developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology. It received early approval in Russia — too early, some felt — and the rollout, which was well before that of any vaccines in the West, drew international criticism. Later data proved Sputnik V to be quite effective, however.  

Sputnik V is currently used in over 60 countries, including Hungary and San Marino, but it is not approved by the EU. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) launched a rolling review of the vaccine in early March. According to reports, there have been delays owing to the lack of data from the manufacturer.  

 

Back in spring, as Germany battled to meet the demand for vaccines, several politicians, including the state premier of Saxony, Michael Kretschmer, and the German health minister, Jens Spahn, discussed purchasing Sputnik V vaccine from Russia. Now, though, there is no shortage of vaccines in Germany, and so no rush to authorize Sputnik.  

Earlier this month, the European Commission recognized the COVID-19 certificate of San Marino, where Sputnik V is widely used. That, however, as was later clarified by the Commission, does not mean the authorization of the Russian vaccine in the EU.  

Meanwhile, several hundred — if not thousands — of EU residents like me went to Russia for a jab because of the uncertain vaccine supply in the countries they were living in. Some even took part in special "vaccination tours" to Russia from Germany. Officially, over a million Hungarians are vaccinated with Sputnik. Across the globe, many more who need to travel to the EU were vaccinated with Sputnik V.

 

Read more:

https://www.dw.com/en/between-sputnik-v-and-biontech-caught-in-vaccine-limbo/a-58915981

 

assangeassange

elastic cost-benefit analysis...

 

Jules Dupuit, a French engineer and economist, introduced the concepts behind CBA in the 1840s. It became popular in the 1950s as a simple way of weighing up project costs and benefits, to determine whether to go ahead with a project.

As its name suggests, Cost-Benefit Analysis involves adding up the benefits of a course of action, and then comparing these with the costs associated with it.

The results of the analysis are often expressed as a payback period – this is the time it takes for benefits to repay costs. Many people who use it look for payback in less than a specific period – for example, three years.

You can use the technique in a wide variety of situations. For example, when you are:

  • Deciding whether to hire new team members.
  • Evaluating a new project or change initiative.
  • Determining the feasibility of a capital purchase.

However, bear in mind that it is best for making quick and simple financial decisions. More robust approaches are commonly used for more complex, business-critical or high cost decisions.

How to Use the Tool

Follow these steps to do a Cost-Benefit Analysis.

Step One: Brainstorm Costs and Benefits

First, take time to brainstorm  all of the costs associated with the project, and make a list of these. Then, do the same for all of the benefits of the project. Can you think of any unexpected costs? And are there benefits that you may not initially have anticipated?

When you come up with the costs and benefits, think about the lifetime of the project. What are the costs and benefits likely to be over time?

Step Two: Assign a Monetary Value to the Costs

Costs include the costs of physical resources needed, as well as the cost of the human effort involved in all phases of a project. Costs are often relatively easy to estimate (compared with revenues).

It's important that you think about as many related costs as you can. For example, what will any training cost? Will there be a decrease in productivity while people are learning a new system or technology, and how much will this cost?

Remember to think about costs that will continue to be incurred once the project is finished. For example, consider whether you will need additional staff, if your team will need ongoing training, or if you'll have increased overheads.

Step Three: Assign a Monetary Value to the Benefits

This step is less straightforward than step two! Firstly, it's often very difficult to predict revenues accurately, especially for new products. Secondly, along with the financial benefits that you anticipate, there are often intangible, or soft, benefits that are important outcomes of the project.

For instance, what is the impact on the environment, employee satisfaction, or health and safety? What is the monetary value of that impact?

As an example, is preserving an ancient monument worth $500,000, or is it worth $5,000,000 because of its historical importance? Or, what is the value of stress-free travel to work in the morning? Here, it's important to consult with other stakeholders and decide how you'll value these intangible items.

Step Four: Compare Costs and Benefits

Finally, compare the value of your costs to the value of your benefits, and use this analysis to decide your course of action.

To do this, calculate your total costs and your total benefits, and compare the two values to determine whether your benefits outweigh your costs. At this stage it's important to consider the payback time, to find out how long it will take for you to reach the break even point – the point in time at which the benefits have just repaid the costs.

For simple examples, where the same benefits are received each period, you can calculate the payback period by dividing the projected total cost of the project by the projected total revenues:

Total cost / total revenue (or benefits) = length of time (payback period).

 

Read more:

https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTED_08.htm

 

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MEANWHILE:

 

It is “not safe” to ease major COVID restrictions like lockdowns and border closures at only 70 per cent vaccinations, yet another Labor leader has warned, criticising Scott Morrison’s federal government for “glossing over” the dangers of an early reopening from the virus.

Australian Capital Territory Chief Minister Andrew Barr said Australians should anticipate only “gentle” changes at the 70 per cent mark, and not expect any large updates until the harder-to-reach 80 per cent threshold.

“There’s all this commentary from people who obviously haven’t read the national plan,” Mr Barr said on Monday.

 

“Let’s stop talking about 70 because it’s not safe at 70… there’s this glossing over in the debate of ’70 to 80′, but 80 is the more realistic step.

PM Morrison spent last week in federal Parliament demanding Labor back his “national plan” for reopening. Underpinned by modelling from the Doherty Institute, national cabinet has committed to gradually reopening the nation and winding back public health restrictions at 70 then 80 per cent vaccine rates.

 

The plan was agreed by all state premiers, but each has had different interpretations. While Labor leaders in Queensland and Western Australia have rightly pointed out the modelling sets out no specific prohibitions on border closures and COVID rules even beyond 80 per cent – and have reserved their rights to continue those – Mr Morrison has painted vaccine targets as the milestones to “end lockdowns” for good.

The PM has attempted to frame an argument where he could claim that Labor opposing the plan meant it supported endless COVID restrictions. Labor leader Anthony Albanese has raised concerns about hospital capacity, to deal with the deaths and cases predicted by Doherty’s modelling, claiming the government picked a fight with premiers in an attempt “to distract from their own failures”.

“Last week, was an attempt by the government to change the narrative to talk about what’s happening way, way down the track when there’s a crisis right before us at the moment,” he told Radio National on Monday.

Earlier, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg slammed the “ridiculous situation” where, hypothetically, it may be easier to travel overseas than to travel to Queensland, if premiers retained border closures.

“Australia must bring stringent lockdowns and border closures to an end at vaccination rates of 70 to 80 per cent,” Mr Frydenberg wrote in an opinion piece.

It would be a ridiculous situation if someone in NSW could travel to Canada before they can go to Cairns.

 

We must end stringent lockdowns & border closures when we reach 70-80% vaccination rates, as agreed to at National Cabinet. pic.twitter.com/s2p7m7Q1ck

— Josh Frydenberg (@JoshFrydenberg) August 29, 2021

 

But just three kilometres away, on the other side of Lake Burley Griffin, Mr Barr was joining the growing pushback from state Labor leaders over the Coalition’s roadmap. In a press conference at the ACT’s legislative assembly, Mr Barr all but conceded his own territory would not come out of lockdown as scheduled on Thursday, after 12 new virus infections on Monday.

He flagged possible minor easing of some restrictions, but said further rules could not yet be lifted safely.

“Even the Prime Minister is changing his language, that 70 per cent is not the magic number. It’s a very gentle step forward,” he said.

“The plan is very clear on that.”

 

 

Read more: https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/2021/08/30/andrew-barr-scott-morrison/

 

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assangeassange

infection parties?

Having SARS-CoV-2 once confers much greater immunity than a vaccine—but no infection parties, please

 

 

The natural immune protection that develops after a SARS-CoV-2 infection offers considerably more of a shield against the Delta variant of the pandemic coronavirus than two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, according to a large Israeli study that some scientists wish came with a “Don’t try this at home” label. The newly released data show people who once had a SARS-CoV-2 infection were much less likely than never-infected, vaccinated people to get Delta, develop symptoms from it, or become hospitalized with serious COVID-19.

The study demonstrates the power of the human immune system, but infectious disease experts emphasized that this vaccine and others for COVID-19 nonetheless remain highly protective against severe disease and death. And they caution that intentional infection among unvaccinated people would be extremely risky. “What we don’t want people to say is: ‘All right, I should go out and get infected, I should have an infection party.’” says Michel Nussenzweig, an immunologist at Rockefeller University who researches the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 and was not involved in the study. “Because somebody could die.”

The researchers also found that people who had SARS-CoV-2 previously and received one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine were more highly protected against reinfection than those who once had the virus and were still unvaccinated. The new work could inform discussion of whether previously infected people need to receive both doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine or the similar mRNA vaccine from Moderna. Vaccine mandates don’t necessarily exempt those who had a SARS-CoV-2 infection already and the current U.S. recommendation is that they be fully vaccinated, which means two mRNA doses or one of the J&J adenovirus-based vaccine. Yet one mRNA dose might be enough, some scientists argue. And other countries including Germany, France, Italy, and Israel administer just one vaccine dose to previously infected people.

 

Read more: https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2021/08/having-sars-cov-2-once-confers-much-greater-immunity-vaccine-no-infection-parties

 

 

Long Covid could be bad...

 

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assangeassange

 

not happy, glenn...

 

By Allen Myers

 

Glenn Greenwald is justly known for his journalism exposing the crimes of empire and the establishment, including the liberal establishment. This made all the more surprising and disappointing his recent article titled, “The bizarre refusal to apply cost-benefit analysis to COVID debates”. Greenwald claims that “rational cost-benefit analysis” regarding COVID “has been bizarrely declared off-limits”. He writes that there is a “pervasive and deeply misguided refusal to assign any costs to the harms caused by anti-COVID policies themselves”.

What is rational or otherwise in particular analyses can be a matter of dispute, but it is obviously false to say that there is a paucity of public discussion of the costs of anti-COVID policies. Just to take the United States, on which Greenwald’s article focuses, from the very first lockdowns, there have been a huge number of media and business complaints about the measures destroying “the economy”. Greenwald does not even mention this campaign, let alone its success in forcing the premature easing of public health restrictions, which has resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths.

Instead, he cites only psychological-social harms to children from school closures and other anti-COVID health measures. But it is equally false that the discussion of such harms has been “declared off-limits”. Is Greenwald not aware of the US state governors and legislators who are not only forcing schools to reopen regardless of circumstances but also trying to ban masks because of their supposed harm to children?

Greenwald is here following the economic elites and their political agents. They shifted emphasis from harms to “the economy” to harms to children when it became evident that the former campaign failed to persuade enough working people that they are selfish if they put concern for their own and their children’s health and lives ahead of the profits of their employers.

A meaningful comparison of the costs and benefits of policy choices is possible only if there is a reasonable degree of knowledge about what their sizes will be. Regarding COVID, there can only be speculation on that. Greenwald stresses that deaths of under-18s in the US since the start of the pandemic total only 361. Such a low number, he says makes unjustifiable health measures such as school closures. However, that statistic doesn’t help much, because those deaths were neither a cost nor a benefit of anti-COVID measures.

They are one indicator of the danger that COVID represents for the young. But a calculation of the benefits of anti-COVID measures would have to compare the current death toll with what it would have been if no public health measures, such as school closures, had been adopted. Nobody knows what that would have been, except that it could have been large (and may still be). Children in lockdowns are generally more isolated than adults, many of whom are still working and are involved in a household’s shopping and other external activities. It could be argued that at least some of the reason for fewer COVID cases and deaths among children is due to the effectiveness of anti-COVID policies.

Furthermore, Greenwald limits his argument to the number of child deaths. Yet long COVID is serious problem, even though children may not be as severely affected as adults. 

“Evidence from the first study of long covid in children [in Italy] suggests that more than half of children aged between 6 and 16 years old who contract the virus have at least one symptom lasting more than 120 days, with 42.6 percent impaired by these symptoms during daily activities”, notes a March article (i.e. before the rapid spread of the Delta variant) in New Scientist

“The UK Office for National Statistics’s latest report estimates that 12.9 percent of UK children aged 2 to 11, and 14.5 percent of children aged 12 to 16, still have symptoms five weeks after their first infection. Almost 500,000 UK children have tested positive for covid-19 since March 2020.”

 

Read more:

https://redflag.org.au/article/when-it-comes-covid-glenn-greenwald-sings-ruling-class-songbook

 

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See also: 

the pandemic that changed the course of history...

 

the disease is here to stay... it was here before...

 

gybing towards the unknown...

 

statistical advice...

 

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