No Idea What Government Good For

Many problems in modern societies happen because people confuse political government for something it isn’t. They expect it to do things it can’t do and isn’t suited for. To do things right you need to use the correct tools.

A hammer is the proper tool for driving nails. A feather isn’t a hammer; neither is a shotgun. Even though you might be able to use a coffee cup to drive a small nail — don’t try this with your favorite cup — it’s not a hammer either. Using things for purposes they aren’t well-suited for will cause problems.

Even if something looks like a hammer, feels like a hammer, and can be wielded like a hammer, if it is made out of the wrong material it’s not going to work well as a hammer.

After decades of observation I have yet to find any situation that requires government, or where government would be the best tool for the job. It doesn’t seem to be the correct tool for doing anything helpful.

You probably disagree, so I’ll stay out of your search for the proper use of political government and instead focus on what I know government isn’t the right tool for.

Government is not your doctor. It is not a scientist. It’s not an expert on anything other than how to push people around and steal their life, liberty, and property.

Government is not your parent. It is not your educator. It is not your moral guide. It is not your savior. It is not your friend.

Government is not your spouse, nor is it your provider. It is not your leader or your protector.

Government is not a genie from a magic lamp, granting your wishes. It is not your ATM. Anything it gives you has been stolen from someone — often from your future self. Can future-you afford to support present-you?

Thinking of government as something it isn’t won’t turn out well for society. It’s not healthy to treat it as though it is any of those things.

Even if you get away with using government as a tool, when you mix anything with politics you end up with only politics. It’s like mixing poison with food.

As I say, I can’t tell you what government is good for; I’ll let you ponder the answer to that puzzle for yourself. For me, political government — which is everything people usually call “the government” — is an unnecessary evil. It’s not a tool I would use even if I had no other.

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What I’m Doing

1. The U.S. political system is deeply dysfunctional, especially during this crisis.  Power-hunger reigns in the name of Social Desirability Bias.  Fear of punishment aside, I don’t care what authorities say.  They should heed my words, not the other way around.

2. Few private individuals are using quantitative risk analysis to guide their personal behavior.  Fear of personally antagonizing such people aside, I don’t care what they say either.

3. I am extremely interested in listening to the rare individuals who do use quantitative risk analysis to guide personal behavior.  Keep up the good work, life-coach quants – with a special shout-out to Rob Wiblin.

4. After listening, though, I shall keep my own counsel.  As long as I maintain my normal intellectual hygiene, my betting record shows that my own counsel is highly reliable.

5. What does my own counsel say?  While I wish better information were available, I now know enough to justify my return to 90%-normal life.  The rest of my immediate family agrees.  What does this entail?  Above all, I am now happy to socialize in-person with friends.  I am happy to let my children play with other kids.  I am also willing to not only eat take-out food, but dine in restaurants.  I am pleased to accommodate nervous friends by socializing outdoors and otherwise putting them at ease.  Yet personally, I am at ease either way.

6. I will still take precautions comparable to wearing a seat belt.  I will wear a mask and gloves to shop in high-traffic places, such as grocery stores.  I will continue to keep my distance from nervous and/or high-risk strangers.  Capla-Con 2020 will be delayed until winter at the earliest.  Alas.

7. Tyler suggests that people like me “are worse at intertemporal substitution than I had thought.”  In particular:

It either will continue at that pace or it won’t.  Let’s say that pace continues (unlikely in my view, but this is simply a scenario, at least until the second wave).  That is an ongoing risk higher than other causes of death, unless you are young.  You don’t have to be 77 for it to be your major risk worry.

Death from coronavirus is plausibly my single-highest risk worry.  But it is still only a tiny share of my total risk, and the cost of strict risk reduction is high for me.  Avoiding everyone except my immediate family makes my every day much worse.  And intertemporal substitution is barely helpful.  Doubling my level of socializing in 2022 to compensate for severe isolation in 2020 won’t make me feel better.

Alternatively, let’s say the pace of those deaths will fall soon, and furthermore let’s say it will fall by a lot.  The near future will be a lot safer!  Which is all the more reason to play it very safe right now, because your per week risk currently is fairly high (in many not all parts of America).  Stay at home and wear a mask when you do go out.  If need be, make up for that behavior in the near future by indulging in excess.

Suppose Tyler found out that an accident-free car were coming in 2022.  Would he “intertemporally substitute” by ceasing driving until then?  I doubt it.  In any case, what I really expect is at least six more months of moderately elevated disease risk.  My risk is far from awful now – my best guess is that I’m choosing a 1-in-12,000 marginal increase in the risk of death from coronavirus.  But this risk won’t fall below 1-in-50,000 during the next six months, and moderate second waves are likely.  Bottom line: The risk is mild enough for me to comfortably face, and too durable for me to comfortably avoid.

8. The risk analysis is radically different for people with underlying health conditions.  Many of them are my friends.  To such friends: I fully support your decision to avoid me, but I am happy to flexibly accommodate you if you too detest the isolation.  I also urge you to take advantage of any opportunities you have to reduce your personal risk.   But it’s not my place to nag you to your face.

9. What about high-risk strangers?  I’m happy to take reasonable measures to reduce their risk.  If you’re wearing a mask, I treat that as a request for extra distance, and I honor it.  But I’m not going to isolate myself out of fear of infecting high-risk people who won’t isolate themselves.

10. Most smart people aren’t doing what I’m doing.  Shouldn’t I be worried?  Only slightly.  Even smart people are prone to herding and hysteria.  I’ve now spent three months listening to smart defenders of the conventional view.  Their herding and hysteria are hard to miss.  Granted, non-smart contrarians sound even worse.  But smart contrarians make the most sense of all.

11. Even if I’m right, wouldn’t it be more prudent me to act on my beliefs without publicizing them?  That’s probably what Dale Carnegie would advise, but if Dale were here, I’d tell him, “Candor on touchy topics is my calling and my business.  It’s worked well for me so far, and I shall stay the course.”

12. I’ve long believed a strong version of (a) buy-and-hold is the best investment strategy, and (b) financial market performance is only vaguely related to objective economic conditions.  Conditions in March were so bleak that I set aside both of these beliefs and moved from 100% stocks to 90% bonds.  As a result of my excessive open-mindedness, my family has lost an enormous amount of money.  The situation is so weird that I’m going to wait until January to return to my normal investment strategy.  After that, I will never again deviate from buy-and-hold.  Never!

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What I’m Thinking

1. Getting people to be rational about politics is an uphill battle during the best of times.  During a global hysteria, it’s hopeless.

2. Due to this doleful realization, I refrained from discussing the lockdown when it first emerged.  The best course, I deemed, was to wait for readers to simmer down.

3. Since many have now simmered down, here’s what I was thinking three months ago.

4. I was convinced that coronavirus was a dire threat by early March, but I opposed the lockdown from day 1.

5. Why?  Because per Huemer’s The Problem of Political Authority, I accept a strong presumption in favor of human liberty.  You cannot rightfully shut businesses and order people to “stay at home” out of an “abundance of caution.”  Instead, the burden is on the advocates of these policies to demonstrate that their benefits drastically exceed their costs – by at least 5:1.  Almost no one even tried to discharge this burden.

6. Telling government to “err on the side of caution” is a recipe for severe oppression.  Individuals, in contrast, have every right to personally “err on the side of caution.”  In early weeks of the crisis when risk information was scarce, erring on the side of caution was reasonable.

7. Nevertheless, I was initially moderately optimistic that lockdown policies would, in hindsight, at least pass an ordinary cost-benefit test.  I no longer think so.  Even draconian measures have mostly failed to put R0 far below 1.

8. Due to the absence of Paid Voluntary Human Experimentation, we still lack definitive answers to almost every crucial coronavirus question.  Over the last two months, though, I have raised my best estimate of the Infection Fatality Rate from .3 to .6.

9. During the same time, initial claims about the age and especially the pre-existing health status gradient of mortality have been confirmed even more strongly than I expected.  Near-zero people known to have no underlying conditions have died of coronavirus.  There is a middle category of “underlying conditions unknown” with fairly high mortality.  I wish we knew more about such people, but my best guess that 90% have underlying conditions (versus about 40% for the general population).

10. Roughly 5% of survivors seem to have long-run problems, but risk of serious long-run problems almost certainly correlates highly with risk of death.  (And of course a wide variety of other risks, like car accidents, commonly maim survivors.  Coronavirus is not remotely a sui generis package of dangers).

10. Am I saying that I don’t care if old and sick people die?  No, but I confess that I would care even more if young and healthy people died.  I know this sounds terrible, but my view is not eccentric.  It’s implied by the standard notion of QALYs, and almost everyone I surveyed agrees with me.

11. QALYs aside, the extreme heterogeneity of risk highlights a cheap, humane alternative to the status quo: Healthy people should return to approximately normal life, while people with underlying ailments should maintain elevated to extreme caution.

12. Why “approximately normal” rather than “fully normal”?  Because healthy people should make reasonable efforts to protect vulnerable people.  This obligation should be legally enforceable in extreme cases, like deliberately coughing on others.  Otherwise, we should trust to conscience and social pressure.

13. Why “elevated to extreme caution”?  Because though the data on underlying conditions is binary, the actual severity of conditions like diabetes varies widely.

14. Following this dual path would get us to herd immunity with few deaths, especially when combined with multiple other layers of reasonable precaution.  Hopefully I’m wrong, but waiting around for a vaccine seems like wishful thinking.  Nor should we forget that unemployment is a grave evil.

15. What’s my risk of death if infected?  Being a 49 year-old gives me roughly the average risk; being white and male roughly cancel.  Since I have no underlying conditions, I estimate my risk at about 5.4% of the base risk of 0.6%.  That comes to about 1 in 3000.*  That’s about three times my annual risk of dying in an auto accident.  That gives me pause – I’ve long told my kids that driving is the most dangerous thing we do.  When choosing my behavior, however, I have to remember that I might still contract the disease despite exercising extreme caution, and might avoid the disease despite exercising merely reasonable caution.  I’d put the former probability at about 15%, and the later probability at about 40%.  So the marginal cost of hewing to reasonable (versus extreme) caution is only a 1 in 12,000 risk.

16. Driving, moreover, imposes roughly equal risks on all my family members.  Coronavirus, in contrast, poses near-zero risk to my children.

17. The U.S. has ample state capacity to follow the advice of a few reasonable economists.  But no wise policies will be adopted, because we have bipartisan dysfunctional state priorities.  You might think a crisis would bring demagoguery under control.  Alas, it hasn’t and it won’t.

18. Alex Tabarrok is wrong to state, “Social distancing, closing non-essential firms and working from home protect the vulnerable but these same practices protect workers in critical industries. Thus, the debate between protecting the vulnerable and protecting the economy is moot.” Moot?!  True, there is a mild trade-off between protecting the vulnerable and protecting the economy.  But if we didn’t care about the vulnerable at all, the disease would have already run its course and economic life would already have strongly rebounded.  Wouldn’t self-protection have stymied this?  Not if the government hadn’t expanded unemployment coverage and benefits, because most people don’t save enough money to quit their jobs for a couple of months.  With most of the workforce still on the job, fast exponential growth would have given us herd immunity long ago.  The death toll would have been several times higher, but that’s the essence of the trade-off between protecting the vulnerable and protecting the economy.

* The rough math: In NYC data for my age bracket, (deaths with no underlying conditions + .1*deaths with unknown conditions)/total deaths=3.4%.  40% of the adult population has underlying conditions, so their risk is 1.5*.966/.034=42.6 times as high as mine.  Setting my risk equal to x, we have .6x+.4*42.6x=.006, so x=2940.

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Market Needs Freedom to Flourish

The world’s economy is being damaged by this pandemic, or, more accurately, it’s being damaged by government reactions to the pandemic.

The damage is adding up; getting worse with time. The only questions are: How bad is the damage going to be? And how long will it take to recover?

I don’t know the answers; no one does.

The economy will show scars of this time for years to come. Maybe forever. There are businesses that were forcibly closed and are never coming back. Whole sectors of the economy may die off from the damage. Sure, deadwood and weak branches were pruned away by the event, but there are some previously healthy limbs being torn off as well.

The authoritarian shut-down was just more than some businesses could survive.

The shutdown may turn out to be an economic extinction event, like an asteroid wiping out the dinosaurs, and, if so, there will be lots of vacant economic niches waiting to be filled. Perhaps they are waiting for you to fill them.

So it’s not all bad news.

The automobile may have killed off the buggy-whip market, but look at all the new markets it created. We wouldn’t have rear-view mirror pine tree air fresheners and thousands of other products if cars hadn’t reshaped the market.

Things change. We will recover. We will be different; stronger.

Some economic barriers have fallen away during this pandemic. Mostly bureaucratic nonsense like licensing and such — one example is letting doctors practice across state lines.

Government may try to put the barriers up again when this is over. Don’t let them. Anything that gets in the way during a pandemic also gets in the way during normal times, although it may not be as obvious.

Use your new knowledge to oppose those barriers being restored and notice other barriers that should be removed.

Those who can adapt will do better than those who can’t. Some people may be surprised to discover whether or not they are good at adapting.

There are always opportunities around you. Learn to spot them, and find ways to act on them.

This is something I’m not especially good at — my hope is that you are better at it than I am and that I can learn to do better.

The market will prevail if allowed to flourish in freedom. Only political parasites would try to hold it back. Watch carefully to see which side those with political power choose.

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Technocracy is Evil and Inhumane

The instant, simultaneous, total state takeover of the “civilized” world revealed how dire our situation is.

The battle of this generation is liberty against technocratic control; living, organic order vs. dead, clean chaos.

 

Order is natural, emergent, dynamic, unpredictable, useful, creative, and meaningful. It can’t be wholly contained, but it can be harnessed, guided, played with, adjusted to, and discovered in a continual dance. It is moving into the future. It is an infinite, positive-sum game.

Chaos is stripped down, unnatural, incapable of growth or change, dead or decaying, empty, and devoid of depth. Once natural order is made wholly legible and containable, it has been killed. Life and control are anathema. Chaos is the result of attempting total control. It freezes the present and reverts to stagnate snapshots of the past. It is a finite, zero-sum game.

Chaos is not the result of freedom or the state of nature, order is. Chaos is the result of efforts to defy the freedom of the state of nature. Chaos results when liberty and life are stripped from the world and all that remains are sanitized elements easily countable, reducible, and containable.

Architect and philosopher Christopher Alexander made a life’s work of studying the concept of “aliveness” in footpaths, windowsills, buildings, neighborhoods, and natural and designed systems of all kinds. His books offer many side-by-side photos of homes or other scenes, and ask the reader to, on a gut level, decide which is more “alive”. Every single person agrees easily and quickly. We know the more living from the more dead when we see it, but understanding why is difficult. Alexander made great progress. Living systems are in harmony with natural human tendency. For example, humans are phototropic. We also like to sit after more than a few minutes. So a chair placed near a window harmonizes with these subconscious patterns, while a chair facing a windowless wall does not.

Social architects (who dwell in brutalist buildings that suck all life from the ground where they stand) do not observe and contemplate life. They calculate and scheme control. They want legible, definable utility, based on static definitions and stale answers without questions. They kill the human spirit the way a giant parking lot kills the view.

The Great Sanitizer

The state and the obsessive, maladjusted, soul-dead busybodies who pull its levers are always seeking to remove impurity and unpredictability from the world. That is the same as removing life itself. This is what Ayn Rand meant when she called collectivist, command and control philosophies “anti-life”. That is the essence of what they are. To control is to kill.

The state wants to aggregate, categorize, sort, label, and track. James Scott describes in his several works the driving force of the state to make all persons and property “legible”. If they cannot be defined into conceptual submission and measured until all surprise is extinguished, how can they be controlled? So states set about to kill the creative, generative forces that make life worth living.

C.S. Lewis, in the final installment of his sci-fi space trilogy, That Hideous Strength, describes a scientific institution (called N.I.C.E.) with aims at global domination. The reason isn’t a lust for power per se, but a desire to make the world clean, free of germs and dirt and bugs and unpredictability, and all the shifting variables which make complete legibility impossible. In other words, they want to snuff out that pesky thing fueled by liberty that we call life.

Stranger Than Stories

These ideas used to seem a bit much to me.

Sure, some people are control freaks. Yeah, religious devotion to science is a contradiction to all reason and sometimes gets nasty. Yes, unspeakably awful ideas like eugenics have been a major part of every government in modern history (much as they might now deny it), but total rule by technicians whose greatest foe is unpredictability? Isn’t that the stuff of bad Bond villains?

No.

It is the outlook I see as the greatest present threat to all that is good and true and just and humane.

Total global lockdown – the literal imprisonment of entire populations without even the pretense of wrongdoing by the state’s own absurd and shifting standards – and introduction and embrace of oxymoronic phrases like, “Social distancing” came about not out of fear of some feigned foreign enemy or revolt against some unpopular dictator. They came about in an instant solely because the idea of planned chaos (to quote Ludwig von Mises) has so overcome the notion of spontaneous order.

Devotion to the fiction that men with guns and laws and stolen money can control microscopic pathogens we barely understand animated the acquiescence to complete boot-licking servitude. Anything – anything! – but unpredictable organic nature in all it’s life-giving danger and beauty. We must collectively pretend we can eradicate uncertainty, all physical and spiritual casualties be damned.

When Science Died

The oxymorons in the air are rooted in a deeper one.

“Belief in science”.

That’s a phrase people have been unironically uttering with increased frequency for at least a few decades.

“I believe in science” is a contradiction in concepts. It is meaningless, used only to signal superiority by unthinking people who are scared of unknowns.

Belief means to assume the truth of something and act on that assumption without fail. Science means to assume the fallibility of everything and never stop trying to prove it false. I would like to be charitable and say that people simply mean this in a tongue-in-cheek way, to say they are religiously devoted to questioning everything.

Except the complete opposite is true everywhere you see “belief in science” trotted out, or true skeptics called “deniers of science”. The scientific process is nothing if it is not a perpetual threat to the consensus view. Yet the word has come to mean nothing more than blind defense of the consensus view. Scientism is antithetical to science.

Similarly, those who question mainstream ideas (not merely ideas, but the violent imposition of those ideas) are called “believers”, and those who crouch and lick the hand that whips them are called “skeptics”. If Orwell never seemed relevant before, he surely does now.

A History of Inhumanity

Those with rabid, hateful, desperate, lurching faith in state agents to neatly destroy organic order and replace it with clean chaos are naive about the power of the state to do harm. Even granting stupidly charitable assumptions about the state’s goals being good to begin with, bureaucracies being capable of carrying them out perfectly, and no unintended consequences resulting, there is no instance in the history of the organized crime that calls itself government where states did not venture far beyond what the public knew or desired.

Did you know every single state in the United States had forced sterilization programs at one point? Health departments with an explicit goal of reducing the population of blacks, handicapped persons, poor people, and other “undesirable” individuals surreptitiously injected people to prevent them from procreating. The last state to finally end the practice was North Carolina, and it didn’t end until the 1980s.

Citizens are aghast at the atrocities of Stalin, Mao, and Hitler. We would’ve resisted such horrors! Except most of the time we don’t know they’re happening. Because we trust the scientific central planners.

Liberty is Life

We don’t understand reality.

Hayek famously said the “curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design”.

Not just economics. The task of every thinking person is to discover the limits of our knowledge. To replace answers with questions, arrogance with curiosity, intellectual death with life.

One of the greatest casualties in rule by diktat is experimentation and discovery. We don’t know anything about the human body, virology, epidemiology, or any of the other specialized fields of human health. The absurdity of assuming one small body can accurately surmise and prescribe a single path for all people in all places and times is beyond the pale.

Millions of messy experiments. People with dramatically different risk tolerances, trying dramatically different approaches. Sharing their feedback. Profiting from effectiveness, losing from error. This dynamic churn is the source of all progress. To decree a single plan backed by the threat of murder (as every single government law is) is to destroy humanity’s best hope of flourishing.

Julian Simon famously shot down the doomsdayers who fear human life and liberty above all (excepting of course their own) by winning a bet about the availability of resources as population expands. But his bet was a gimmick compared to the profound insight of his masterful book, The Ultimate Resource. Simon points out that individual humans, free to explore and try and fail and succeed and compete, are the source of progress not only for the human race, but the entire natural world.

We are relentless problem solvers. But we do it in messy ways not fun to watch and even harder to catalog in textbooks. We teach and learn through experience and consequences. We progress when we do the most outlandish things all the smart people thought were pointless. Our glories and triumphs are utterly illegible. Historians and bureaucrats have no choice but to guess, fudge, lie, and misinform, because to accurately chart the true path and nature of progress is impossible.

We don’t know what ingredients matter most or what will work best. That is precisely why we need the free and open contest of liberty to discover it.

It is the same with ideas. John Milton said it is best to let truth and falsehood grapple, because truth is the stronger in the long run. The sycophantic obeisance by every major media outlet and online platform to moronic political power-seekers is the opposite of this dynamic discovery process. Labels and warnings about “fake news”, removing ideas that deviate from those spouted by humanity’s lowest lifeforms (politicians and bureaucrats), and propping up “official” ideas are bad for curiosity, bad for liberty, bad for progress, and bad for life.

The Renegades

Historian Thaddeus Russell (driven from academia by the mindless literatti) documents how the least reputable people tend to expand human freedom, and thereby progress, opportunity, happiness, and meaning. I don’t think you have to be a deviant or a scoundrel in order to enhance liberty, but I do think those who resist the drive for a sanitized world will be labelled as such, and those already labelled as such are less likely to cave to prestige and pressure.

The cold dead hand of Communism could no longer control Poland, not because respectable ideologues educated enough people on the virtues of freedom, but because the illegal underground market became bigger than the respectable above ground one.

Humanity needs gray markets, black markets, shady people, fringey people, all kinds of people running all kinds of experiments. Ideas bumping into ideas and exploding into new ideas. Bad ones. Good ones. Easy ones. Hard ones. Dangerous ones. Safe ones.

Unpredictability, unknowability, dynamism, the organic nature of emergent phenomena, entrepreneurship at the edges, opposition to expert consensus – that is human liberty. That is life.

We don’t need more experts. We don’t need more controls. We don’t need to eradicate variability. We need gritty, dirty, messy, imperfect, unpredictable, wild, untamed, dangerous, beautiful human freedom.

Fuck the cold metallic gloved dead hand of human chess playing technocratic ghouls who want to squelch and contain and document and track and sterilize it to death.

The man who knows freedom will find a way to be free.

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The CDC’s Guidelines for Back-to-School Under COVID Sound Traumatizing

When schools reopen in the US amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, they will be even more restrictive than they already were. Schools have long controlled students’ movements and imposed constraints on where they can go, when, and with whom. With virus concerns, those controls will increase in quantity and intensity.

NPR recently proclaimed that “disruption from the pandemic constitutes an ‘adverse childhood experience’ for every American child.” While many children are sad to be away from their friends and activities, being home with their family members for a prolonged period of time is hardly an “adverse childhood experience” for most American children. Returning to schools with extreme virus control and social distancing measures, however, could very well be traumatic for many kids.

As images emerge from countries around the world that have reopened schools, US parents are getting a glimpse of what extreme social distancing measures could look like here, including the latest from Chinese schools in which social distancing “wings” are strapped onto children’s backs to ensure that they stay far apart from each other. It’s no wonder that a new RealClear opinion poll found that 40 percent of parents intend to choose homeschooling or virtual schooling for their children when the lockdowns end. And many European parents are refusing to send their children back to school.

These strict social distancing efforts at schools arise as more evidence suggests that children are largely spared from the dangers of COVID-19 infection. Even as concerns have risen recently over a Kawasaki-like inflammatory disease related to COVID-19 that has impacted some children, the risk appears miniscule. According to The Wall Street Journal:

A study in the journal Lancet last week reported 10 children with the inflammatory syndrome in Bergamo, Italy—the city with the highest rate of fatalities and infections—about 30 times higher than the normal incidence. Most were older and suffered more severe cardiac symptoms than those typically found with Kawasaki. But the authors also estimated that probably no more than 0.1% of children who had been exposed to the virus were affected. All hospitalized patients had been discharged, and the authors recommend treating patients with steroids to calm their immune system.

The Journal article goes on to state:

During these times parents and doctors need to be especially vigilant. But as a society we also need to keep in mind that the risks to children from the coronavirus are small, especially relative to others. The Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity projects that children under 15 are 6.83 to 20.07 times more likely to die of the flu or pneumonia than coronavirus—assuming 150,000 COVID-19 fatalities in the U.S. this year—and 128 times more likely to die of an accident.

We should care deeply about children’s health and safety, but like much about this pandemic, it’s important to make sure that the response isn’t more damaging than the virus itself. Many parents and educators are rightfully concerned about children’s mental health during these lockdowns, but when lockdowns end and schools reopen, children’s mental health could be worsened with extreme social distancing measures that remove any of the potentially enjoyable pieces of schooling, such as playground time, extracurriculars, and gathering with friends.

Stripped of these accessories that can often compensate for the more oppressive parts of conventional schooling, it’s not surprising that some parents and students would choose to continue with homeschooling or virtual learning until the pandemic ends.

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