Boots & Sabers

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2040, 20 Apr 20

Badger Bounce Back Plan

After much pressure, Governor Evers collaborated with his staff and a couple of Democratic mega-donors to announce a vague reopening plan that is subject to changes. Great.

Taking the plan at face value, it has a few good elements. More testing, better tracking, etc. These are good things that should continue to be done even if the economy is completely open again. With all of that, here are the criteria by which we will allegedly begin to reopen the economy:

SYMPTOMS: Downward trajectory of influenza-like illnesses (ILI) reported within a 14-day period AND downward trajectory of COVID-19-like syndromic cases reported within a 14-day period

CASES: Downward trajectory of positive tests as a percent of total tests within a 14-day period

HOSPITALS: Treat all patients without crisis care AND Robust testing programs in place for at-risk healthcare workers, with decreasing numbers of infected healthcare workers

Here are the problems with these criteria: first, they are subject to manipulation and interpretation. For example, the criteria that we reach a “Downward trajectory of positive tests as a percent of total tests.” That is very dependent on the who, and how many, are being tested. For example, if we do random testing or test an entire city (as some others have done), then the percentage of positive tests might be driven down. If we restrict testing to just those who are already showing symptoms, then the percentage might rise. Without a uniform testing criteria, longitudinal data is irrelevant.

Second, notice that Evers moved the goal post. Originally, we had to shut down the economy to “flatten the curve” so as not to overwhelm our healthcare system. Our system is not overwhelmed, thankfully. It’s not even close. If the goal is to avoid overwhelming our healthcare system, then we’ve accomplished that. Hooray. So when it comes to reopening the economy, we could do that as long as we continue to manage to our healthcare system’s capacity. In other words, the number of infected could remain unchanged or even increase and our healthcare system would still be able to handle it. By setting the benchmark at a sustained decrease of cases, Evers is proposing to just keep the lockdown going indefinitely even when our healthcare system is perfectly capable of handling the case load. Which brings us to the third problem…

Evers’ plan does not give any certainty. As designed, he would reopen the economy in stages, but might wrench it back to lockdown if the trend changes. This kind of uncertainty makes it virtually impossible for businesses to actually reopen. What business is going to buy inventory, hire workers, sign contracts, etc. when they could be shut down again next week? What restaurant is going to risk buying a cooler full of fresh food if they might have to let it rot again? What manufacturing facility is going to sign delivery contracts with customers when they don’t know if they will be able to deliver product? Business owners need some degree of certainty that the reopening will be sustained before they stick their necks out again.

Then there are the phases. They are ridiculous and vague. They are still subject to massive interpretation that will undoubtedly be “clarified” by the governor as he sees fit. Essential? Maybe. It depends on how Tony is feeling today. He didn’t make any distinction between a barber shop, for example, and a manufacturing plant that may have 100 people who are all much more than 6 feet away from each other.

Finally, one of the fundamental flaws of this plan is that it continues to be a one-size-fits-all. He even addresses it in the first part:

These metrics will be applied on a statewide basis as this highly infectious virus knows no county boundaries and can easily spread from regions with high prevalence to regions with low prevalence.

True, but the plan also means that if there is an outbreak in a prison or a single neighborhood, for example, Evers might revert back to a more stringent lockdown throughout the state. It doesn’t make any sense to shut down restaurants in Hudson when there is an outbreak in Racine. Evers continues to view the state through his Madison lens where every town is just like the next one.

Evers issued a plan. Sort of. No dates. No certainty. Subject to manipulation. And still guided by the arbitrary decisions of a tyrant in Madison. In other words… nothing has changed.


2040, 20 April 2020


  1. Merlin

    You can’t really call anything this fluid a plan. Nebulous metrics triggering even more nebulous events. They couldn’t have proven themselves any more useless had they simply thrown their hands in the air and walked away.

  2. dad29

    There’s an election at stake in November.  Killing the economy is a great way to elect the opposition party, and guess what?  Evers belongs to that one.

  3. jjf

    Golly, first the WisGOP majority says someone else has to make a plan, and of course they claim Evers isn’t even working on one, and then he releases one, and I’m shocked to see they don’t get right behind it.

    Vos and Fitz have a better plan?  One that delivers the certainty you’d like?

    Here’s an example plan from some WisGOP Assembly legislators, just days before Evers.  What’s similar, what’s not?  Is it more vague?  Science-based, or just some of that common-sense gut-level I’m-a-smart-guy sort of decision-making?  Walk-in barber shops stay closed (dog whistle), but fancy appointment-based ones can stay open?

    Is it really a plan if it doesn’t have a plan to handle going backwards if infections again rise?

  4. Pat

    The Assembly’s plan isn’t too bad. How does that one sound to everybody?

  5. Jason

    I think the Assembly plan is too nebulous too.  However, I do like that it’s managed at a county level and not a state level.  Now that we’re finding out that this disease isn’t as deadly as everyone projected, it’s time to account for that and manage it just like outbreaks of other diseases – localized reactions.

  6. jjf

    Jason, it also might make sense to look at groups of counties and not just counties.  Rural northern counties are different from the Fox Valley, Madison, and Milwaukee metro areas.  Commuting makes a difference.

  7. dad29

    Yup.  For example, ALL the Chinese Communist Party Virus cases in Waukesha County are EAST of Hy. 164.  So the western half should be done with all this crap already.

  8. Mar

    More evidence that liberals want more people to die. From the NY Post: New York state just issued a drastic new guideline urging emergency-services workers not to bother trying to revive anyone without a pulse when they get to a scene, amid an overload of coronavirus patients.
    While paramedics were previously told to spend up to 20 minutes trying to revive people found in cardiac arrest, the change is “necessary during the COVID-19 response to protect the health and safety of EMS providers by limiting their exposure, conserve resources, and ensure optimal use of equipment to save the greatest number of lives,’’ according to a state Health Department memo issued last week.
    Just awful. Very awful.

  9. jjf

    Mar, keep reading.  Read all about what’s happening in the NY hospitals.  Imagine it happening here, too.

  10. Le Roi du Nord

    And for those of you unaware, today is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Thanks to Gaylord Nelson and all those that have contributed to making our earth a safer place over the past 50 years.

  11. Jason

    >Thanks to Gaylord Nelson and all those that have contributed to making our earth a safer place over the past 50 years.


    Thanks Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Scott Walker, Donald Trump, we all salute you.

  12. Mar

    So, jjf, how is not trying to save a persons life out in the field affecting the hospital?
    And tell me, jjf, what is going on in NYC hospitals? Seems like the hospitals are doing a really good job.

  13. jjf

    You’re the medical genius, step right up.  Did you read the reasoning in the article you linked?  Read other articles about what’s happened in NYC hospitals.  Why would medical professionals make this recommendation?  You think they had some other choice?  Don’t you think that those medical experts found this a difficult decision to make?  Or is your medical expertise somehow better than theirs?

  14. Jason

    >You’re the medical genius, step right up.

    More gaslighting.

  15. Mar

    Well, jjf, you have always sai, “if it saves one person”, right? Well, then they aren’t even trying.
    I am coming at this as a first responder.
    By the way, I heard that the medical ship and The Javits Center are filled up with patients.
    Too bad you just cannot admit that you were wrong by listening to all the so called experts.
    But you still are hoping that you will be right someday, and more people will die, just so you can be right.

  16. Mar

    By the way, jjf, the FDNY is disregarding that order. I guess they are pretty stupid as well.

  17. jjf

    Mar, you think the experts were wrong, and that the lockdowns were unnecessary…  so again, if no lockdowns had been in place, do you think there would’ve been more cases?  In your medical opinion.

  18. Mar

    jjf, Yes, a total lockdown was not neccessary. There are always parts of states that did not need to be lockdowned. If they only 1% of the population or less cases of the virus, why should the county be under a total lockdown?
    And some restrictions were just stupid. In Michigan, for example, you can take a canoe out into a lake but not a motor boat? Why put construction people out of business? Why put restaurants out of business when they could have closed and reopened with proper social distancing in place?
    Iowa and South Dakota have not fallen off the face of the earth and they did not put the whole state on lockdown. But Wisconsin has to be in total lockdown until May 26?
    And if there was no lockdown, yes, there might have been a few more cases but the hospitals would have handled it.
    And a total lockdown in NYC is doing so well, isn’t it?

  19. dad29

    today is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

    By NO coincidence, it’s also Lenin’s birthday.

  20. jjf

    There’s Dad29, latching on to his fave conspiracy theories.  From the Earth Day web site:

    They recruited Denis Hayes, a young activist, to organize the campus teach-ins and they choose April 22, a weekday falling between Spring Break and Final Exams, to maximize the greatest student participation.

    Or Snopes covered it, too.

    But that’s what they’d want you to believe, they’re so sneaky!

    WTF does Earth Day gain by doing it on Lenin’s birthday?

    Oh noes!  It’s also Muhammed’s birthday!  And Pope Alexander VIII’s birthday!  And Nabokov’s birthday!  And Eddie Albert’s birthday!  And Charlotte Rae’s birthday!  I knew there would be a Wisconsin connection!

  21. Pat

    I’ll be celebrating Eddie Albert day by watching Green Acre reruns all day.

  22. Mar

    To celebrate Earth Day, in Phoenix, a Smart Car led the police on a chase down I-10.
    The Phoenix police bike squad and pursuing foot patrol officers were able to stop the Smart car. After a few miles.

  23. Le Roi du Nord

    Fron Ch 42:

    “After some time during the pursuit, the driver continued heading west at a high speed. Eventually, the Arizona Department of Public Safety and Police called off the pursuit. and the driver got away.

    No one was injured during the chase.”

    Now who is lying?  You are no better than trump.

  24. Mar

    Obviously, Le Roi, you still have no sense of humour.
    What a shame.

  25. Le Roi du Nord


    Certainly a more sophisticated and educated one than you, for sure.

  26. Mar

    Yes, Le Roi, I am sure it is. You probably believe the comedians on NPR are funny.

  27. Le Roi du Nord


    You sound jealous again.

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