Thursday, April 16, 2020

R0 - R naught is not a useful basis for viral spreading or econopolitical decision making

R0 measures the number of people one infected person will infect.  It is somewhat useful from a macro scale ruler and health care empire decision making, including social policy that can hope to reduce R0.  The health care empire's objectives are not in complete alignment with society or the individual, as they will bias decisions towards the health care empire's profits/power/safety.

This paper will first explore a micro virology model, and then discuss economic management.  The most important contribution of this paper is consideration of social apathy and antipathy as a viral spreading factor, and as usual for my papers, UBI is a central component of the solution, though mainly the context of social antipathy is being considered.

A micro viral spreading model
Macro viral models are best represented by summing over micro (individuallistic) models.  The summation can be simplified with averages and distribution of individuals (micro models).  This model measures virus concentrations in an individual as the only factor in health and spreading outcomes.

  • X: Threshold of virus below there is any outgoing infectious spread.  If no further incoming infectious load, it is likely that immune response will bring virus level to 0.
  • Y: Threshold below which there are no symptoms.  
  • Z: Threshold below which symptoms are mild enough to not seek medical (doctor) advice, or where general immune boosting activities (sleep, rest, vitamins, no further virus exposure) can hope to cause recovery. 
  • H:  Threshold below which hospitalization is not necessary/advised/sufficiently helpful.  The healthcare empire may subdivide these thresholds into further ICU, and ventilator therapy thresholds.  The necessary rationing/demand of healthcare further sets the "advised" component of this threshold.
  • D:  Threshold below which patient is still alive, or has hopeful prognosis.  Prognosis is relevant relative to healthcare availability factors.
This virus model is similar to radiation exposure models/limits.

Social apathy:  means general narcissism that shows little concern for others, especially those outside family circle.  Both X and Y thresholds have the same impact on the self.  Y, or the risk of possibly having Y status, makes no difference to the social-apath's behaviour.  Seeking information reinforcing that any spread of the pandemic will affect the self below the Z threshold, is the social-apath's nature, and only external shame/pressure can pressure the social-apath's behaviour within the Y and Z thresholds.

Social antipathy: is the belief that society deserves harm as a result of the oppression and misery inflicted upon the individual by society (structurally) and government.  For countries outside of the US, a cheap minimization of sociopathy is to blame the US for difficulties.  For the US, the only historical policy has been, to paraphrase the song "fortunate son", more cannons will be pointed at you until social antipathy is relieved.  UBI is the most important social cohesion policy tool.  Too much policy relies on favouritism instead.

Sociopathic levels within a society can explain the different rates of spread of a virus.  Respect for, and a lack of hatred for, others can enhance participation to containment and social norms.  Asia may have lower sociopathic levels than the rest of the world.

The line between apathy and antipathy is the one between inconsideration and motivated disrespect.

Is it safe to lick the airport bathroom door?
The viral dosage you will get from touching or licking an airport bathroom door, depends on the amount of breathing, coughing, sneezing, touching of the door since its last disinfection, as well as whether the other people interacting with the door were infected or not.  To estimate the infection dosage deposited by those people, you can consider where they (recent flights) are from,  each person's "social index" (how often they share breath and surfaces with other people), and their "paranoia/self/social preservation index" (how often they wash hands and track/avoid potential dosage transmission.  NY and LA departure bathroom doors may have higher risk than Nebraska departure bathrooms.  The "may qualifier"  is there because NY residents who have a higher presumption of infection may also have a higher paranoia index that makes them have a lower "transmissionable exchange" rate.

Moving away from R0 relevance
R0 is dependent upon social interaction and paranoia indexes.  The proposed "Bayesian model" informs social and individual policy.  The medical and biological community need to calculate the viral dose that is expelled and impelled as a result of all relevant actions and conditions.

Herd and individual immunity
Opening a window, or going outside away from people results in the most minimal imported viral dosage.  Opening a window may even improve the indoor air quality/viral saturation such that viral dosage is reduced for those spending significant time indoors.  For nearly everyone, these activities are certain to keep viral load below threshold X, and produce some antibodies.

The alternative of being bubble people for 14 or 30 days will result in fewer/no antibodies, and greater risk to those individuals after the bubble is escaped.

Any outside social interaction will have a lower breath/cough exchange rate than indoor interaction. 

Outdoor construction/shared touching activities can be made safe with gloves and masks and portable sanitation equipment (hand cleansers in a bottle separate from hand sanitizer).  The combination of gloves and masks makes touching one's own face (with glove) unlikely.

Short shopping excursions or other low exposure activities followed by 2-3 days of isolation and rest is likely to result in antibody production while remaining below the X threshold and raising individual's X thresholds.  While the X threshold is defined as the virus load that results in no shedding/expelling of virus, it can also be considered to be a viral shedding rate that is of no threat to cause others to exceed their X level.

This advice contradicts health care empire ambitions of providing immunity through vaccines.  But without a vaccine, variolation has historical success, and may be a free innoculation method with model guidance.

The power of testing
Testing anyone who is concerned they might have the virus with quick results has significant benefits.
It expands those who are below Y and Z thresholds of virus load from concerned status to certain status.  Those certain of having the virus can be convinced to isolate and rest, and use therapeutics with higher success chance (because early in progress of disease) than if they do not know they have the virus.  Testing removes high virus shedders from social interaction.

Social antipaths vs social apaths may care less about testing or their infectious status.  But even they can be convinced that isolated rest and other treatments will help them.  This is easier if testing and treatment is free to them, and if isolation itself doesn't threaten their survival (through lost income), and so UBI as well as "free" healthcare both improve compliance with advised reaction to test results.

But, another critical benefit of testing is "forced" quarantine.  Can support the quarantined with free delivered food, thermometers, and possibly home entertainment services of their choice.  The cost is minimal, but lower community spread benefits immense.  Simpler support service for the quarantined is an increased UBI amount.

Reopening non essential parts of economy
An important consideration for stores and offices is indoor air quality and air exchange rates.  Air exchange designs balance energy efficiency with air quality in normal-non-pandemic times.  Open windows or filtering systems/upgrades can be helpful in reducing virus concentrations in air.

Stores and offices opening for 1-2 days per week (not all places the same day) at fractional capacity would allow for employee rest periods that can hope to manage employee exposure to below their X threshold.  

This also reduces pressure on transit and nearby food support restaurants/services.

Priority for outdoor economic/social activities, especially for summer, is important.  Closing off car traffic for street festivals every weekend, and/or weekday, with pop ups in front of every retail/restaurant location with limited indoor capacity use.  Heavy increase in food cart licensing.  Public hand sanitizing dispensers.

Renewable energy projects would be a good outdoor employment, or personal home renovation work, opportunity.

Unemployment benefits are economically stupid
Unemployment and welfare benefits are stupid because they incur a 50% income surtax on earnings as one of the many conditions for those benefits.  So, these benefits pay people to refuse work.

UBI, cash not conditional upon income, is bonus pay to essential workers, does not depend on an overloaded application denial process, does not favour only the conditionally deserving, and most importantly does not prevent a partial/part-time reopening of the economy.

Every corporate subsidy as pandemic response is theft from citizenry
Every program, whether pandemic response driven or not, that is not UBI is evil favrouritism.  Bailing out the rich will not create investment in your country.  Only a healthy consumer base will.  Bailouts aimed at employment subsidies are bailouts for the rich because it increases the dependence of employees on those employers.  Society and the economy is better off if those employees are free to pursue useful work opportunities, and the freedom is likely to lead to better re-employment offers when their original work is needed again.  Creating special classes of people, whose work is already the most prone to cutbacks during recessions, to receive tax payer funded incomes close to their past incomes, while others struggle, or are merely forced to bear the future tax/debt burden of these bailouts, is equally misplaced favouritism to ensuring the rich lose as little as possible. 

The risk of lower GDP, and wealth, does not magically make safe government spending unlimited.  One of the perfections of UBI, pandemic or not, is that it is not charitable favouritism.  It is self funded with higher tax rates, or just simple changes in the tax code.  Those whose income/profits are not impaired by the pandemic subsidize the country so that they can keep an economy/civilization that allows them to continue earning income.

The thieving filth that supports bailing out airlines (or generally any other program) is steeling from you.  $60B is $300 that could be paid to each adult American.  If there is no reason to fly very much right now, then parking the planes instead of blowing them up, will keep airlines in a position to resume flight schedules over time.  Market restructuring of the companies/debt would reduce airline fares.  Bailouts do not.  $300 cash would be preferred by anyone not in airline industry, that also allows individuals to buy more air travel.  

Social antipathy and revolt management
The traditional justification for left wing policy such as unemployment insurance is that it prevents revolt.  The unemployed recipient of benefits does not care that he is paid to do nothing-- incentivized to not earn employment income for duration of benefits.  He is just happy to be catered to, or more relevantly, not  motivated to participate in revolt.  Suicidal mass murder rampages are not a political threat, even if sociopathic.

The justification for right wing policy of corporate and rich bailouts is that the upper classes and media can collude to instill more oppression in the economy.  Prevent the rich to fund economically useful opposition to political rulership, by being included in the collusion.  Corporations and the rich are happy to pillage the economy rather than invest in it, because, like the unemployed, they like more free money, rather than the opportunity to work to make more.

Another practical argument for getting pluto-oligarchs to pillage the economy through inflated asset prices, is that inflated asset prices keep the economy afloat for longer with more to pillage.  UBI also supports asset prices, and benefits every oligarch who does not require slavery and oppression to profit.  UBI encourages the oligarchs to invest in a consumer rich economy.  Workers are better paid in a consumer rich economy, making it even more consumer rich, and justifying even more investment.  UBI means genuinely/sustainable higher asset prices, rather than juiced up unsustainable artificially high asset prices.

The problem with traditional revolt management policies, besides their evil or stupidity, is that there is a limited amount of money, and the greater the lie in asset prices, the greater the eventual crash.  The lie can never be unwound.  Every penny not spent on unconditional cash/UBI is a penny wasted.  The waste creates revolt potential after the pandemic has passed, and paying for the waste is through proposals for more tax cuts on the rich and military overspending (and pillaging cuts to safety nets).

UBI means more social cohesion, and less social pathy.  Even the rich do not need to fund revolt if there are consumer spending opportunities, and no matter how stupid and gullible you are, your jealousy, hatred and racism cannot be manipulated into rejecting the freedom dividend you deserve.

Despite revolt prevention, which requires coordination and great effort and risk, structured sociopathy (amplifying anger and discontent) increases virus spread because it is a low effort means to act out on social anger/indifference.  When pandemic response policy does not maximize unconditional cash, it does not maximize social cohesion needed to limit willful/indiferent virus spread and limit anxiety/despair and the potential health consequences thereof. 

Inflation, deflation, and election management
The US federal reserve is primarily, almost exclusively, a pro banking institution.  In September 2019, the Fed began what would become by the end of the year a $1T printed injection in repo operations on top of interest rate cuts.  These actions were pure political pro-Trump hackery designed to interfere with Democratic primaries, with no economic purpose whatsoever, and based on initial lie that it was to help smooth over quaterly tax payments by banking clients.  The actual purpose was to juice financial markets, by replacing lenders who would normally juice financial markets through their loans, who were buying in financial markets instead of lending, with Fed repo loans that the borrowers could also use to cheaply buy into financial markets.  Investigation for criminal indictment of Federal reserve for those actions alone are warranted, but pandemic Fed response as a ploy to delay civilization collapse until after a Trump re-election needs to be guarded against.  There is enough people with power who prefer Trump re-election even if it collapses civilization.  Destroying America was always plan A.

The Fed and its banking constituency always needs to prevent asset deflation above all other concerns.  Banking system loans depends on collateral that remains valued higher than the loan value.  The real money supply is the sum of asset values.  The major problem with juicing up asset values in casual (good) economic times is that the inflated lie becomes the baseline against which deflation must be protected.

When the banking system is not threatened by collapse inducing deflation, they prefer interest rates around 5% for decent profit from loans environment, that includes enough unemployment to make slavery/labour oppression a profitable environment for borrowers to be able to repay those loans.  Asset inflation without wage and goods/services inflation works nicely for banks, except that with high asset inflation they could, if allowed, invest in assets directly rather than lend against them, though asset inflation is never sustainably certain.  For banking system, and general society, it is only relative (changes in) inflation that is of concern.  Any stable inflation rate, no matter how high, provides a good profit framework for banking system.

UBI is no threat to the inflation/deflation balance, or to banking system profits.  Tax funded UBI does not reduce banking system deposits, it does increase loan demand, makes a high growth economy such that those loans are likely to be repaid, and any inflation in assets and labour/prices, enhances sustainable economic growth and asset price inflation, loan values and interest margins.  Stock assets are genuinely and sustainably worth more as a result of higher sales volume, rather than the recent unsustainable pillaging of increasing stock prices through buybacks and cost cutting.

The coming stagflation
Stagflation was a term/phenomenon from the 1970s where high inflation associated with oil shock, led to high interest rates, high unemployment, and recessionary times.  Normally recessions lead to low interest rates.

Businesses that (re)open at 25% capacity need to charge customers enough to earn 4x profit per customer in order to maintain previous full capacity profits.  They need fewer employees at the lower capacity.  They need to increase sanitation/screening/health costs that are passed on to 1/4 of the customer base.  There is likely to be upward pressure on wages as a hazard (and welfare surtax) premium, unless a systematic structured starvation policy is adopted.

The major problem with opportunistic theft of Fed and government spending policy being diverted to propping up asset prices, and the richest's wealth, under the lie that the economy, and those underlying asset prices, will be back to their unsustainable normals in a month, is that the lying pretense is a lie.  Interest rates will have to shoot up to reflect risk of borrowers.  Any money given to airlines is a complete writeoff (the industry goes bankrupt every recession, and not even their employees are special snow flakes deserving more than their fellow citizens), and less ammunition to maintain asset prices at a credible (still higher than sustainable) level in the future.

The travel, entertainment, hospitality sectors may be a relatively modest percentage of economic spending, but they are a high employment percentage, and the human survival of the sector is important to the rest of the economy.  US travel and tourism $1.6T, 7.8M jobs; restaurants $300B 15.1M jobs; Live event and movie box offices $40B.  About 10% of economy in total, but up to 20% of jobs.  This can mean a 10%-20% revenue reduction to businesses that would presumably be unaffected by virus, and 10%-20% employment reduction in those industries.  There are further downward spiraling 10%-20% knock-on effects.

There is no possible Fed fueling/buying of inflated company assets that makes those companies be able to operate at a loss indefinitely.  Grossly inflated Fed asset purchases, as they have done at the beginning of this crisis, necessarily has a limit, and necessarily leads to a collapse in those asset prices when that limit is reached, and transparently absurd pretense of US dollar and assets value becomes clearer.  Fed corruption, prevents the massive amount of available global and US wealth from taking the risks to bail out/restructure these companies at a fair rate, but where the risk is individualized to those willing to take it, rather than a risk of forced collapse that impairs everyone's survival.

UBI is an excellent prevention of this upcoming stagflation collapse.  Higher tax rates can provide partial temporary funding, where, automatically, those successful enough to prosper in the near term economic environment can help subsidize the economic contributions from those who are harmed from near term economic environment, all the while, increasing the economic success of the successful (through spending of UBI).  UBI can mean that people can afford the higher prices that result from lower capacity hospitality/entertainment/travel consumption.  UBI means being able to afford rent/mortgages that prevents banking sector collapse.  It means most companies can maintain previous sales volumes that prevents collapse of their shareholder wealth.  It significantly boosts employment demand so that ordinary workers can thrive, and frees up time/creativity to create own work and opportunities to employ others in adaptation to economic needs.

The benefits of UBI outweigh the benefits of slavery to both the ruling oligarchs and to the slaves.  Military, clergy, and politicians, and to a lesser extent exporters, are the only ones who require perpetual popular misery to thrive.  They can be pressured and outnumbered to relent to freedom.

Health sector information we need clarified
We know that the majority of c19 infections are aymptomatic at time of test.  We don't know whether the asymptomatic are only temporarily so (like HIV), or recover without any symptoms ever occurring , and we don't know if these individuals shed less virus through breath, or touch from breath on hands, than those who are symptomatic.  (suggestion that asymptomatics are as contagious as others and can frequently recover without infection)

For the viral model described at the beginning of this paper, the key parameter needed from biology/health sector is how much virus is shed from aymptomatics through breath through mask.  This number, determines from presumed percentage of infected who cannot be screened out by fever checks will contribute to virus levels in indoor air.

With a universal threshold X intake per day, followed by prescribed isolation days to let the body reduce virus levels, the customer traffic within a space, along with air quality measures (filtering and outside air exchange), safe density policies can be developed for both employees and customers in establishments and vehicles.

Model data can focus indoor air quality measures that increase capacity for a space.  In addition to filters, UV lighting has purported benefits.  It is likely more profitable to install UV lighting than to operate a space at 1/4 capacity.

A phone app can help everyone model safety for many activities, and do so better than a doctor, or at least not consume their time,  if the health sector provides the needed parameters.

Preliminary model input data
High rates of infection among nursing home residents and health care workers who take hygiene advice seriously should strongly point to indoor air "quality" (viral load within indoor space) as a transmission vector.  If correct, high grade masks and better air exchange/filtering would be highly recommended, if rationing were not an issue.  Health advice based on secret (as possible) rationing restrictions harms the policy efforts required to remove the rationing restrictions.

Regardless of whether indoor environments can be classified as dangerous, it seems absurd to have an identical social distancing recommendation (2m) in indoor calm, and outdoor turbulent environments.

The lack of transmissivity-circumstance models leads to simplified advice bias towards being too harsh, or biased to being insufficient where rationing leads to insufficiency.  Propaganda models lead to socialpathy and non-conformance.