Healthcare Costs #

Why is life expectancy in the US lower than in other rich countries?

White House wins ruling on disclosing health care prices (AP)

Drugs #

Most drugs and prostitution should be legal at the age of 18. However, trafficking obviously not, and drugs must be sold by an individual with a license to deal and said license may be revoked if the product is sold with a false label or is tainted.

3 Arguments Why Marijuana Should Stay Illegal Reviewed (great video, includes many studies)

Swords Comic CDXX

Mental Health # link to the above tweet

The Public Health Threat of COVID-19 #

SARS-Cov-2 is likely to become endemic. Rather than “living our lives in fear” as detractors would say – or letting our guard down as many detractors do – we must use our brains to navigate this risk.

Being smart about risk assessment is important in many parts of life. However, if you don’t work in finance, it probably came up rarely if ever – only in extreme situations or activities. And even then, it almost certainly didn’t require math.

The public health threat of COVID-19 should simply make us recognize that we need to start using our mental muscles to assess the risk of common activities as well. Unfortunately, with routine things that carry hidden risk with a large downside, our mental intuition does not work well.

The MicroCovid Project is an excellent website to help think about and assess these risks. Using an intuitive and statistically-grounded model, it has calculators which can model the risk of specific scenarios, and more recently, risks for households or pods.

The data are frequently updated, and the calculator is easy to use. Even if you don’t have a specific scenario in mind, trying out this will also illustrate the statistical basis for public health recommendations (masking, social distancing, etc.).

Since the guidance has changed repeatedly, and likely will continue to do so as the situation and virus evolve, I really only have one specific recommendation:

Get vaccinated. Fully. That includes all boosters recommended by health authorities for whatever vaccine you choose, past and future.

I’m not going to argue. I’m not going to engage with misinformation. Just do it. US residents can find where to get vaccinated here.

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