OK so I am changing my position on this Coronavirus thing.
Donny Darko's … 17 Mar 20 09:29
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We are fvcked. This is not going to be OK.  Not because of the virus per se but because of the response.  I am not seeing any real plan to support SMEs fully coming out from governments and it does not look likely business interruption insurance will respond (and anyway the insurers would simply go bust given the scale of the losses).

This level of shutdown is simply not sustainable for any significant length of time.  I don't understand how anyone thinks it can be.

Totally this. I think people have lost their minds in panic.

Let's hope nothing genuinely apocalyptic ever happens.

"This level of shutdown is simply not sustainable for any significant length of time.  I don't understand how anyone thinks it can be."

Agreed... ...it's a tricky judgment call isn't it? My worry is that the government will do something stupid like Macron who has sworn no company will go bankrupt. Really, even the shit ones that were going under before the vuvu...

I suspect some form of tax and debt relief will be the order of the day combined with an emergency fund (funds from which will be released in a totally non-transparent way).

careful m7

u will be told u r a vuvu murderer if u advoc7 concern for anything other than deaths from the vuvu

Multiple governments have announced massive plans to support business. 

I'm going to give ours enough credit to say they're working on it in a hurry and will be announcing it within the next few days. 

Idiots. Le Chiffre has assured us that if you have to downgrade your Amex Centurion to platinum for a bit it won’t hurt anyone. 
NOW LOCK THE PLANET DOWN. 

People are comfortable with a trade off between economic health and deaths from communicable disease. Otherwise there would be a shut down every winter to avoid flu deaths. The only question is what is the appropriate balance given the seriousness of the disease and the impact on the economy. Are we getting the balance right at the moment? It’s very difficult to say but I definitely think we need to be wary of overdoing the response.

Massive over-reaction.  Keep working, keep buying.  

The idea that  there would not be economic meltdown if this carried on unmitigated is extraordinary.

The answer, from an economic point of view is to borrow borrow and borrow some more- we must give ourselves 50 years to pay back the cost of basically closing the economy down for however long it takes.     Major economies - France, German, Scandanavia are already doing this and so will we.  We must collectively not allow business or individuals to fail because of this whatever the cost.

 

If ever there was a rainy day, this is it.

well the thing is, if you are not responding properly then the realist is Lombardy 

Businesses are seeing their cashflows vanish overnight.  Casual workers don't know if they have a job tomorrow.  Nothing this huge or immediate happened during the GFC.

The only saving grace is that although we're coming off a massive equity bull market, the debt markets never got back to their 2006 craziness and (hopefully) the financial system will be more resilient if and when the virus threat passes.

But I was at the epicentre as the crisis unfolded and the debt markets closed in 2007 m9s, and it looked like a kids birthday party compared to this.

Dude have u not seen the wall of cov lite/high yield bollocks out there?

There's a storm coming

of course we’re not going to be OK there is no conceivable way we could be OK given the existence of the virus which virtually mandates an unprecedented response. we also would not be OK if we did not enact this response 

This won’t last 18 months like they are saying. It will scale back within 6 weeks. The last 9 months of it will just be the “wash your hands” direction we had a few weeks ago. Obviously they can’t say this right now as it’s important to keep today’s situation in the forefront of people’s minds, not tomorrow’s.

wot my m7 the goose sed (as usual*)

 

*save for certain specific topics

Sorrydidyousaysomething

I have a health condition which puts me in the categories.  i also live in and am being treated by one of the UK best research NHS hospitals. Ive been treated for the last 6 months or so (faultless) they are now (in the last week) cancelling appointments to free up beds.

My childrens school has also issued multiple emails warning of imminent school closures (both primary and secondary)

But yes.

We will fight them on the beaches etc

It will be more than six weeks.  And less than 18 months.

There are too many unknowns on the medical aspect in particular the immunity period and hence reinfection rate. When will a vaccine become available?

The economy can struggle along for only a few months on tax relief and bank loans.  Some industries will have to be nationalised.  Some like hospitality and travel will just close down. Keeping food supplies and the utilities going will have to be prioritised

 

I predict 1 month to 6 weeks of curtailment and then the onus will be on the at risk to self isolate. In this time they will be preparing hospitals to take care of at risk patients, manufacturing ventilators etc. 
 

There is no point in ultimately protecting the most vulnerable in society if you are then putting the healthy population at risk. 

I predict 1 month to 6 weeks of curtailment and then the onus will be on the at risk to self isolate. In this time they will be preparing hospitals to take care of at risk patients, manufacturing ventilators etc. 

seems likely though like elffi I think the period will be longer than a month and will definitely not be 18 months 

Wang - yeah there are a lot of steaming turds out there.  But many of them are still pinnacles of underwriting prudence in comparison to the giant buckets of faeces we all saw pre-crisis...

Still, I've already seen RMBS markets closing and some corporate loans struggling.

Which banks exactly do people think will be making loans to businesses that have no customers and no idea when they will next have customers?

I mean RBS will be forced to, but I don't see anyone else doing anything material until there is a visible end point.

Which banks exactly do people think will be making loans to businesses that have no customers and no idea when they will next have customers?

The government will make the loans not banks - see what many European economies are already doing - otherwise viable businesses have top be protected.

I really really hope 6 weeks is all that will be necessary, I fear however this is not the case -  but will not pretend to be able to predict how long this will need to last.

The government doesn’t have the infrastructure to make the loans.  It will underwrite them and order the banks to make them.

hth

I fear bubbles that the cure is going to be worse than the disease; I think that's legit concern at this point.

Am genuinely sorry you are in one of the vulnerable categories and I hope you don't get ill and, if you do, you are ok.

By keep working and buying I don't mean ignore the advice, just to be clear.  

The disease is a realistic scenario of 500,000 people dying in tents.

The cure if properly applied is to borrow the bulk of this years gdp and pay it back over the next 50.

 

There is no comparison.

"borrow the bulk of this years gdp"

In this is a pan-global approach, from whom are we to borrow $90 trillion?

 

Guy Crouchback17 Mar 20 10:41

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The disease is a realistic scenario of 500,000 people dying in tents.

that’s the realistic worst case scenario, with no measures

The cure if properly applied is to borrow the bulk of this years gdp and pay it back over the next 50.

yes and of course there r absolutely no human costs, whatsoever, to that process. it really is that simple

There is no comparison.

korrekt. especially when u r comparing one fictional scenario not on the menu with another drastically oversimplified an understated scenario

 

Guy - there is mitigation and then there is total global shutdown. Poverty kills. Stress kills.  We may very well kill more people than we save.  The true impact of the loss of global growth is going to be to allow children to die in developing nations to save the elderly the first world. There is a race at the moment to be the government that has done the most. There needs to be a really careful cost benefit analysis done on each additional measure that is taken and each measure should be reviewed on a practically daily basis to see if it is still necessary/if there is evidence it has worked. I am really not sure that is happening at the moment.

Whatever we do this disease is not going away any time soon and we can't stay locked down forever.  Again there needs to be a cost benefit analysis on slowing its progression e.g. can we meaningfully ramp up ICU bed numbers in the time we are buying ourselves. Do we think there is a realistic prospect of an effective vaccine in that time frame?

 

really the question to be answered is which is “worse”:

1. a massive economic crisis secondary to quarantines and social distancing. might reduce death from infection but increase deaths from economic causes

2. consciously doing comparatively little to prevent spread of the coronavirus. seems likely to cause a large number of deaths (but mainly among less economically active people). likely to also cause economic crisis but perhaps not as bad

 

both options probably result in generational trauma. I don’t believe that anyone intelligent posting here is incapable of seeing why others are arguing the other position. should all stop tearing each other apart imo since nothing any of us say here will make any difference to anything

Looks down back of sofa. 
 

‘Sorry, fluffs. I only found a stale peanut’.

 

FAOD I didn’t taste it. I’m assuming it’s stale because it has been there a while.

 

On the bright side I don’t have an allergy to peanuts

but we shouldn’t try to get ourselves out of the bind by either imagining that the virus isn’t that bad or won’t kill that many - all credible evidence suggests that it is and it will. we also shouldn’t imagine that economic costs will be easily borne with a bit of borrowing as clearly it is more complicated than that

while i agree with ur general division chimp, this is misstating the position:

“consciously doing comparatively little to prevent spread of the coronavirus”

that is absolutely not wot ne1 here, including me, is advocating

i am advocating targeted measures which focus on protecting the high risk, while encouraging every1 else to be precautionary but otherwise to maintain a semblance of normality

it is, frankly, dishonest to suggest this is “comparatively little” and claiming that the aim of this is to allow deaths, just because an authoritarian regime in china is ur comparison

problem is oracle that a quick perusal of the imperial college projection will demonstrate that measures short of those with significant economy harming effects in fact achieve comparatively little. wish it weren’t so.

The Oracle of Delphi17 Mar 20 11:11

i am advocating targeted measures which focus on protecting the high risk, while encouraging every1 else to be precautionary but otherwise to maintain a semblance of normality

Does anyone with epidemiological expertise advocate this?  Q to anyone who might know.  I don't.

I was going to enjoy watching the Coral Snooker Tour on ITV today. It was showing as airing this morning, now it has been postponed, damn!

as i have already point out, while the report is persuasive and largely i agree with it, it remains a matter of opinion (cogently argues, yes) with limited qualifying evidence given the highly unusual nature of this crisis

so it necessarily has to be treated with scepticism

and plenty of experts r saying that we would be better off targeting ring fencing the vulnerable as a better use of resources, so it’s not united

logically, all other things being equal then of course the most stringent measures will have the best results. but all other things r not equal.

this is a balance and suggesting that ne1, imperial college experts or otherwise, knows the tipping point, is dangerous

I know that you don’t intend to advocate letting people die whatsoever. in fact if you recall as recently as a couple of days ago you agreed with a few moderate policies I suggested including encouraging WFH, discouraging unnecessary travel and limiting public gatherings. I have never advocated for closing society to stop the virus

FAOD, I'm as worried as anyone else about the economic consequences of this.  I'm in a precarious position myself. The "YOU ARE INSANE" lot do seem to be basing their views on what they want to happen based on their own fears of how it will affect them rather than what the experts are advising. I would be genuinely interested to see evidence for the alternative strategies, 

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The Oracle of Delphi17 Mar 20 11:11

i am advocating targeted measures which focus on protecting the high risk, while encouraging every1 else to be precautionary but otherwise to maintain a semblance of normality

Does anyone with epidemiological expertise advocate this?  Q to anyone who might know.  I don't.

yes

The Oracle of Delphi17 Mar 20 11:16

and plenty of experts r saying that we would be better off targeting ring fencing the vulnerable as a better use of resources, so it’s not united

Can you provide a few links to some primary sources?  I keep hearing this but haven't seen anything substantial yet.

of course it’s an opinion necessarily so given that it is a model of future events. i take it bloody seriously though given its provenance 

By the way I'm pretty sure most business interruption insurance only pays out on certain triggers (e.g. fire on premises).  Pandemic and other systemic perils are excluded.

So I'm not sure arguing that the government is preventing claims is valid.

If insurance policies don't exclude then certainly plenty of reinsurance treaties do exclude disease/pandemic so insurers will run out of capital pretty quickly.

 rather than what the experts are advising

wot ur chosen experts r advising

u r picking those experts unquestioningly. they r obviously right that the most extreme measures will have the best results.

they cannot possibly be right that the most extreme measures r the best thing for the country - indeed, they r not even arguing that

this is the problem with ppl treating academic studies as supporting their point when actually, if u look at the conclusion, it’s not wot they r saying

Cue BoE introducing pandemic scenarios in the biennial stress tests...

New Chimp_17 Mar 20 11:18

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of course it’s an opinion necessarily so given that it is a model of future events. i take it bloody seriously though given its provenance 

and y don’t u take seriously the provenance of other experts?

Social distancing for everyone plus quarantining the vulnerable seems a reasonable approach in terms of flattening the curve to avoid overloading healthcare resources.

Social distancing in terms of WFH, only essential travel, no large gatherings is disruptive but not as much as a complete lockdown.

Closing schools is a particularly difficult issue.   Don’t know what they should do about that

I'm not picking anything unquestioningly.  That's why I keep asking for links to experts providing alternative strategies.  Do you have any?

try google

alternatively, u could pick the government’s experts

i am not doing ur critical thinking for u given it is quite clear u have no intention of thinking critically even if i do gift u 

NB the imperial college paper is not saying carry out our suggestion to the letter. it is a look at certain public health strategies and their likely outcomes in terms of numbers of deaths. everyone should and I’m sure does take that seriously. we should not indulge in wishful thinking to avoid the choice I have outlined above 

All I am asking is for you to point me to the evidence you are basing your opinions on.  As I said, I haven't found anything from someone with epidemiological expertise, just lots of keyboard warriors, and the government's experts aren't advocating your view.

 

I really struggle with the schools thing.  On the one hand I entirely understand the reasons for keeping them open in terms of allowing key workers to go to work and keeping them away from grandparents.  On the other schools are such a hotbed of cross infection that while these stay open it rather undermines all the other non-socialisation measures.

My prediction in is they will be closed by the end of the week anyway.

If Delphi can't provide it, has anyone else seen a model suggesting confining high risk only would be effective?

There is a seductive logic to confining largely unproductive high risk people to isolation and letting every one else carry on as if nothing was happening.  There are two problems (1) healthy younger people will die, small percentages but multiplied by the whole population still big figures and  the hospitals will not cope with the far higher number who will be seriously ill (half hospital admissions in Italy are under 60 I understand) (2) realistically complete isolation is impossible and if huge numbers of general population carry the virus at the same time, many many vulnerable people will get it.

In the blitz they sent most of the children out of London to be billeted in the countryside with complete strangers.

Something similar.  I dunno. Convert Scotland into an open air boarding school? Homeschooling as many children as possible, but with their, where able, grandparents rather than parents? Requisition boarding schools for children of NHS workers?

Could do some children a world of good to spend six months away from their parents!

Not sure what the evidence for children being effective vectors even though they (generally) don't get seriously sick. That's a question, I just don't know.

Chimp basically sets out the decision I agree. At the moment there seems to be almost no significant thought being given (at least publicly) by governments to the economic impact of the measures and specifically what they are likely to mean in terms of excess deaths (and general misery) and weighing that against doing less (not doing nothing, but doing less).

DD  I think this is probably true - but when there is  a fire you put it out and worry about the water damage afterwards.

i have no doubt at all that governments have indeed looked at economic consequences. would be extraordinarily remiss not to do this. doubt it would ever be voiced publicly though

Yes. Governments are famous for looking at long term consequences and prioritising those over the short term concerns 

 the government's experts aren't advocating your view.

eh? strict isolation for the over 70s and other high risk ppl has literally been their policy for a couple of weeks now. u can even read it on the advice section

https://www.reuters.com/article/health-coronavirus-britain-spokesman/uk-to-discuss-social-distancing-measures-for-elderly-over-coronavirus-idUSL9N27H00U

i know u r going for the classic rof “i need u to provide evidence!!” and then when i do provide an alternative opinion u will unilaterally decide u need “more evidence” cos my “evidence” is “not good enough”, but seeing as u r repeatedly beating the drum of “i cannot google so will some1 else, here u r:

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/06/health/coronavirus-older-people-social-distancing/index.html

https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/publications-data/rapid-risk-assessment-novel-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19-pandemic-increased

some choice quotes for u to disregard:

”Measures taken at this stage should ultimately aim at protecting the most vulnerable population groups”

note that their recommended social distancing measures do not include shutting pubs and restaurants, emphasise care in shutting schools, etc etc 

Guy, sure you try to put out the fire but you don't blow up the local dam, wash away the whole town and then say 'ah well, but you need to appreciate the fire had to be put out'.

Have you got another precedent for moving children en masse from care by their parents?

What Guy sed and wot Mr Coffee sed.  The economy is screwed and will be for a very long time.

Anglo Saxon governments are acting or have just stopped acting incredibly irresponsibly, all things considered.  Schools should have been shut weeks ago and borders should have effectively been closed a month ago.

The 2nd biggest economy in the World shut itself down for a reason two months ago.  Two months ago. Yet it still wasn't taken seriously by anyone until Italy.  Even Iran wasn't a wake up.

‘Have you got another precedent for moving children en masse from care by their parents?’

Harry Potter

it’s amazing that as recently as three months ago everything was normal and now we face a choice between possibly hundreds of thousands dead or completely fucking the economy, and no matter which we choose we’re highly likely to get a hefty dose of the other. jesus. I’m not loving it m7s.

on both those last two posts, chimp m7, we be absolutely ad idem 

What did they do (relatively) right in Shanghai, Japan, Taiwan and HK? Am not aware of any lockdowns and the situation seems somewhat controlled.

Well we could always go with the current BRILLIANT PLAN which appears to be:

1. Minimise measures do we kill a decent number;

2. Next, we go full lockdown slowly to ensure 1, and fuck the economy as well but “save hundreds of thousands”:

3. Who will then die in the November round anyway;

4. Then in January we fuck the rest of the economy with Brexit;

5. And for an elegant coup de grace we kill off the remaining poor and old with newly essential austerity measures. 

 

PerfidiousPorpoise17 Mar 20 12:19 ReplyReport

What did they do (relatively) right in Shanghai, Japan, Taiwan and HK? Am not aware of any lockdowns and the situation seems somewhat controlled.

in line with expert advice that the vuvuzealots don’t want to hear, these countries implemented rigorous testing to understand exactly who was infected and appropriately ringfenced those infected, those impossible to prevent and those at high risk

rather than carpet bombing enforced isolation indiscriminately 

re the economy - of course it will be fucked for 6 months to a year, government has to borrow to make sure the framework is still there once we get through for things to get going quickly.   We have to figure out of way of effectively putting all companies into administration and protecting them temporarily from debts until this is over.  In the meantime the government will have to provide sufficient compensation to keep things ticking over and to stop individual destitution.  Get this right and we could come roaring out of it into a huge boom and the debts can be repaid.

Sorry, I said it wouldn’t last and it hasn’t. I had to come out of suspension for this one (and yes I was looking).

Lockdown measures have a shelf life of 3months max. We can’t, and there’s no way we will, become a society - a world in fact, because that’s what we’re talking about - that never goes outdoors, a population of social animals who never socialise. It’s not happening, for existential reasons. Removing our sociability is more of a long term existential crisis for mankind than a disease that kills only the old and the sick.

The econonic consequences will indeed be disastrous. Borrow a year’s GDP? From who? OK, individuals and business borrow it from the government and the government print it. Maybe. But that’s not going to solve all the economic damage anyway, and the pure economics isn’t all of it.

So, there needs to be an exit strategy after three months. That could be:

- vaccine (that will be tough within 3mths although I don’t think it will take as long as 18mths).

- squash the virus (I don’t see why this isn’t possible within countries - use social distancing to get the R0 below 1 and wait until you’ve had a few weeks with no/minimal new cases, and frankly, where’s it going to come back from?) - but borders might have to remain closed.

- ramp up ICU capacity, buy/manufacture 50,000 ventilators and then let it blow, acquire herd immunity.

3 months. After that we’ll break the world.

don’t think those places adopted a uniform strategy - but generally a mixture of testing, surveillance, quarantine, social distancing. pretty sure shanghai did indeed undergo some kind of lockdown. not sure about the others. cases increasing in Japan and Taiwan though yes generally much more successful in containment than elsewhere

Laz I don't know where you get this restrictions only possible for 3 months from.   We lived under incredible restrictions for years during WW2.  If we can get a vaccine or squash the virus in 3 months fantastic and I agree we should do all to achieve that but if not, we cannot just give up and unleash it.

agree laz. this is only ever going to be a short window of time to attempt to prepare. would be amazed if a vaccine is produced in that time frame. the most practical thing to do is increase ICU capacity as much as humanly possible.

Guy

World war two never involved restriction on seeing people. This is unprecedented in its awfulness.

In this is a pan-global approach, from whom are we to borrow $90 trillion?

I would try hyoo.  Or welly's mum

What's the end result of that, chimp? Thousands of old people with permanent lung damage? Brilliant.

vaccine already prepared and being tested in the us - or at least testing this week i think

trouble is it will take months to be comfortable that the vaccine works and is not otherwise dangerous....

i agree that icu capacity has to be the focus

even small manufacturers like my brother’s startup r being contacted

 

"World war two never involved restriction on seeing people. This is unprecedented in its awfulness."

It involved, literally on pain of imprisonment or even death, removing millions from their homes and sending them abroad to kill and be killed.   I would say that outranked having to stay at home and not socialise for a few months.

In world war 2 the cinemas were open, the shops were open, sports continued etc etc etc. People were encouraged to 'keep calm and carry on' not act like complete melts  

you must have some weird wide on for a completely shite ascetic lifestyle if you honestly think that continuing like this for more than a few weeks is acceptable or tolerable. If so can I suggest you join a monastery or similar and leave the rest of us be. 

i agree with guy that the problem is not the time period 

the problem is enforcement. we r not china with a party official who has power over ur life responsible for ur apartment block.

the reason it won’t work for longer than three months is that we won’t be able to shoot ppl or force them to comply. ppl will therefore do it for a stint, and then they will get bored

i think three months is optimistic tbh

and given that i think there r marginal gains between carpet bomb style quarantine everyone vs mass testing and targeted quarantining, we r much better off going for the latter

sorry clergham, I’ve seen your post but have decided there is literally no point in engaging with you on this stuff as all I succeed in doing is getting annoyed.

(plus there’s a non zero chance we’ll end up calling each other cunts which I doubt either of us particularly enjoys)

While we're carrying on with silly WW2 analogies, how many young men were killed as part of that war?

"In world war 2 the cinemas were open, the shops were open, sports continued etc etc etc. People were encouraged to 'keep calm and carry on' not act like complete melts"  

It wasn't exactly the same but there were huge restrictions - professional sport did not carry on, there were black outs, there was rationing, most people had to do whatever was mandated by government,  there was no travel abroad, there was virtually no consumer goods save for what was critical for sustaining life; manufacturers were told what to make and it lasted SIX YEARS

Yes. And it was shite 

seriously listen to yourself 

In WW2 it was KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON

In the time of coronavuvu it’s STAY INDOORS, DON’T SEE YOUR FRIENDS AND QUIETLY CRY YOJRSELF TO SLEEP EVERY NIGHT FOR AN UNSPECIFIED TIMEFRAME

U can see how the latter is only sustainable a short while. Have a plan for the end of that while. And keep the schools open fgs.

Guy

Weve got three months then it’s exit strategy time

Start making plans

“Only sustainable” in what way? 
 

People might tire of the drama? Have to eat less? Or not eat? Riot? Die of poverty? Shout at the grownups til they open the kitchen door and let them back in?
 

Or just STFU and act responsibly in a time of privation until it is resolved. 

In WW2 it was accepted that a large number of people would die so that life as we knew it could carry on. And off they went. In the meantime daily life was forcibly disrupted to an extent by the hostile actions of a foreign power but people carried on to the extent that they were able to.

I'm not suggesting that a viral epidemic is the same, or that we sacrifice all the oldies, but vuvuzealots trying to somehow say that the approach to WW2 is the same as their position today, is bonkers.

Keeping calm and carrying on might have been the advice, but probably not so easy to follow through rations, shortages, blackouts and the knowledge that there was a good chance your house would be bombed and)or your brother/father/son would get his head blown off abroad somewhere you've never heard of.

What else are you supposed to tell people in those circumstances?  Panicking would have done no good.  Whereas now, staying indoors and not visiting Grandma might actually save a few lives.

If we cant sustain this it is because society has become too spoilt and selfish to do so even though we would still be better off in most respects than most of humanity for most of history - would be a shame

"In world war 2 the cinemas were open, the shops were open, sports continued etc etc etc."

Yes, and if there was an air raid on people would move into bomb shelters

Unlike air raids, Coronavirus is omnipresent at all times, day and night

then we’ve got to accept we can’t dodge itC at some point, and that point is soon. Prepare ICU capacity cos in three months she gonna blow.

If we can’t sustain this - and we can’t - it’s because half of our economy depends on people going out, travelling around, socialising, doing stuff outside the home.

Three months. Maybe, if there’s a reasonable prospect at the end of that that a new vaccine could be on the market in, day, a further six weeks, you might squeeze that further time out. It’s not just about people’s mental health - although it is partially, and denying that is futile. It’s about the survival of our economic and social system.

If we cant sustain this it is because society has become too spoilt and selfish to do so even though we would still be better off in most respects than most of humanity for most of history - would be a shame

Social isolation cannot be sustained because it will lead to massive mental health issues and other health problems.  Economic issues aside.