Wats On My Mind: Polling NOL readers about COVID-19

538 has some interesting new polling data. While the vast majority of respondents in the US agreed that social distancing et al is the right thing to do right now, there is a large and rapidly growing split between Democrats and Republicans on the future, and whether the worst is over or not. Their story fits what’s going on on my Facebook feed certainly. But I was curious what Notes on Liberty readers think (wherever in the world you happen to be living). Which of the following best describes your outlook in your country? Please choose only one:

a) There will be a 2nd or even 3rd wave during 2020 that will be far worse than we have had so far. Total deaths in my country will more than triple from where they are today. The highest number of new deaths in a single day is in the future. (For the US, that’s more than 255k deaths total and more than 4000 dead in a single day; for the UK and Italy, that’s more than 100k dead; and so forth)

b) There will be a 2nd or even 3rd wave during 2020 that will be worse than we have had so far. Total deaths in my country will double from where they are today. (For the US, that’s more than 170k deaths total and a return to 2000-3000 dead per day in on average; for the UK and Italy, that’s more than 65k dead; and so forth)

c) Right now is the worst it will be. Total deaths will increase from where they are today, but at a decreasing rate.

d) We have already survived the worst of the infections and death (For the US, total deaths will be less than 170k and average dead per day will not increase above 2000 again; and so forth).

And let me ask you a second polling question about civil liberties that have been constrained during the quarantine in most countries. Which of the following describe(s) your outlook? Feel free to answer more than one:

e) The restriction of my civil liberties will be temporary (less than 6 months).

f) The restriction of my civil liberties will be long lasting, but eventually I’ll get them back (6 months – 3 years)

g) The restriction of my civil liberties will be nearly permanent (3+ years)

h) The restriction of my civil liberties was a deliberate power grab by the state

i) The restrictions on civil liberties successfully prevented many more deaths in the last few months and in the future

j) The restrictions on civil liberties successfully prevented many more deaths in the last few months, but not many in the long run

k) The restrictions on civil liberties may have prevented some deaths in the last few months, but not many in the long run

6 thoughts on “Wats On My Mind: Polling NOL readers about COVID-19

  1. For what it’s worth:
    1. Currently published COVID (and other) statistics do not inspire confidence.
    2. Isn’t it a given that the lockdown is useful for advancing desired politicized trends?

  2. I think that any of the scenarios are possible, depending on what is done. In my non-expert opinion we could gradually reopen safely with masks, mass testing, selective isolation and sensible staging of the process. But I don’t see that being done. I do not believe that there is any interest by any political faction in maintaining restrictions for quarantine beyond necessary. If that is what is meant by restrictions on civil liberties, then they will be lifted. In fact, I think that it can be argued that legitimate public health quarantine procedures do not violate my civil liberties. On the other hand, the long term trends in many areas are definitely pointing to a future of more limited civil liberties and mass surveillance. But all of this was independent of and prior to COVID.

  3. On Question 1: I have no idea. That’s what makes this whole pandemic so strange. I hope it’s C or D, but again just don’t know. I’m ignorant.

    On Question 2: I’m torn between f, k, and j.

    I don’t think either of these questions will be solved in the near future, either. Just think of all the contemporary, heated arguments about the New Deal, or the teachings of guys like Jesus or Buddha.

Please keep it civil

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