I Misjudged This Sub And Want To Know More About What The People Here Actually Believe

I am a Trump-hating liberal living in NY. I am not an epidemiologist, however, I have a doctorate in a closely related field, with training in virology, immunology, and biostatistics. I have worked in molecular biology laboratories, used the methods that are being discussed regularly in the news these days (rtPCR, immunoassays, DNA extraction kits, etc.), and built many, many mathematical models. I know their strengths and limitations. I've professionally worn PPE in biological labs.

I am not a virus denier in any form -- in fact, I was following the progression of SARS-Cov19 in China long before it was in the news, and I was worried about it. However, as more data came out and it became clearer that it was not an existential threat on the order of SARS or MERS, I began to relax. That said, as Trump took actions (or didn't), and said various stupid things (or nothing at all), the issue of how to react to the virus began to polarize. Then Cuomo and DeBlasio and Gavin Newsom went from opposing even moderate forms of sensible response to shutting down everything within a few days, and claiming they were using "the science" to justify it, even though prominent epidemiologists (like those at the JHU center for health security) were insisting that there is no prior example of a successful lockdown, nor any previous data to justify the intervention at all.

Soon, I noticed that both CNN and Fox News were spreading polar-opposite propaganda, and I felt that basic facts of science were being lost, which terrified me far more than the virus (and continues to do so). The shutdown goalposts shifted from "flatten the curve" to "prevent deaths", and I watched as Cuomo enacted arbitrary rules that had little/no justification in data or scientific theory (e.g. mandating the use of cloth-based masks) in between chatting up his brother on TV. I no longer trust him to make rational judgments when his obvious political ambitions are tied up in the attention he's getting for prolonging the drama.

Now my friends and neighbors are suffering tremendous financial consequences, and it seems there's no room at all for a rational, fact-based discussion of the trade-offs involved. Otherwise highly intelligent friends and colleagues consistently mis-use and mis-interpret scientific research, cherry-pick data to fit their biases, and involve emotional slogans instead of engaging in rational debate. As more and more evidence emerges that the virus is far less dangerous than originally thought (i.e. the growing number of serology studies that show high undiagnosed infection rates, worldwide), otherwise smart people find brilliant, ever-more-improbable ways to dismiss that same data. Now people are trying to claim that basic facts about immunology aren't facts at all ("people who get Covid won't be immune!"). It's maddening.

Based on caseload, I personally believe that a select few cities in the US (NYC, Chicago, Detroit, and perhaps Miami) need to be locked down right now. Beyond that, there's little rational justification for most of the US being under lockdown. We should obviously be testing, isolating the sick and preparing hospitals for a surge, but most importantly, we should be tailoring our response city-by-city, county-by-county. Even in places like NYC, it's my opinion that we need to bias toward re-opening as quickly as possible. It's terrifying to me that the Governor keeps extending the lockdowns based on models and projections that have historically been utterly wrong.

/r/LockdownSkepticism Thread