Alaska Forges Ahead   6 comments

Lela’s Medium article on Alaska Reopening Its Economy

Posted April 23, 2020 by aurorawatcherak in Alaska

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6 responses to “Alaska Forges Ahead

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  1. I can’t reply on the actual post as it is a bit to complex for me, so I am commenting here. This is very interesting and I agree that the world has very mixed views on how we proceed with this virus. I do note that those economies that want to continue sheltering in place are those that have been the hardest hit by this virus. South Africa and other southern hemisphere countries have not had our turn yet and I think it is still coming. Our winter is ahead of us. I am not part of the stay at home crowd probably because I am in finance and can see how this is destroying our economy. I can also sadly project it forward. I shall watch Alaska with great interest and hope this experiment goes well.

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    • Well, I think that’s part of the problem whenever I talk to people from other countries. They have no concept that Alaska is really a separate country from New York. We’re 5000 miles apart. But it’s more than that. New York City is one of the most densely populated cities in the world. Even rich people live in tiny apartments there, they have to get on elevators with other people to get out of their buildings, and they have to take the subway because parking there makes owning a car ridiculous.

      Alaska, on the other hand, is the least densely populated state in the union. 800,000 people spread over 100 million acres. Even in a community like Anchorage (pop 400,000) or Fairbanks (greater area pop 100,000) we just don’t live on top of one another. We don’t travel in public transportation. We generally keep a distance of an arms-length from friends and more from strangers. We were already physically distancing because that’s a cultural value here. Now we’re sanitizing surfaces and people who are sick are being a lot more careful not to spread their germs. The vulnerable can choose to stay home. Alaska’s economy is already destroyed. With the price of oil in the cellar, I don’t think we’ll be a very good example of what happens when the economy reopens. But we might be an excellent example of what happens when people are allowed to interact in the era of CVD19. I expect an uptick in cases, but still well below the IMHE’s fantasy of 2.6 million dead Americans. Maybe equal to this winter’s seasonal flu death rates.

      I predict, since South Africa has had time to plan for it, that CVD19 won’t be any worse than America’s seasonal flu. We had 40,000 people (in a country of 340 million) die of it between October and February, when they started saying everybody who died of flu-like symptoms died of CVD19. Actually, according to my cousin, a doctor in a major metropolitan area, if you were run over by a car and your corpse tested positive for CVD19, they’d count you as having died of CVD19 — like somehow the virus caused you to get in front of a speeding automobile. He was a bit perplexed by that when the medical director of his hospital tried to justify the procedure based on receiving US Department of Health funding.

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      • Thanks for this comprehensive response. I have been wondering about whether every death of flu or pneumonia is now being called a Covid-19 death. So far the deaths in South Africa are very low – only 79 people and all of them had other health issues. Our economy has also been destroyed by a total shut down for over a month. Millions of our people are also employed in tourism and retail and none of them have been working for weeks. It is a total disaster. Stay well and I hope things start improving soon.

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      • Yeah, so far nothing much has changed in Alaska from hunker down to easing up. Restaurants aren’t reopening dining rooms because they’re currently only allowed 25% capacity (most need 50% to break even). Supposedly, assuming no large uptick in hospitalizations, there’ll be another easing on Friday May 8. Alaska has it fairly easy though because we can close our ports and experiment with a mostly closed system. Hardly anyone is watching us, however. They prefer to freak out over Georgia and South Dakota.

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      • Yes, I read your article about Alaska’s ability to isolate its population. Many of our restaurants aren’t prepared to do takeaway as it doesn’t pay them. They also are not obligated to pay rentals to the shopping centres if their is no foot traffic and they have no customers for circumstances beyond their control.

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  2. We seem to be just past the peak of infections in the UK now, with about 18,000 deaths. Social distancing is making a big difference.

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