Lot’s of us have memories of getting in pretty serious trouble as a kid and Mom or Dad making US go pick the switch with which we were going to the “tar beat out of us!” Which switch do I choose? If I pick one too skinny, they’ll get mad and get a BIG one. If it’s too big, it will hurt too much!”
That fear came knowing the certainty our penalty for making a wrong decision was an “either-or” choice. We’re facing a much different fear today.
Danged if We Do and Danged if we Don’t
“What are the RIGHT things to do about Coronavirus? What are the WRONG things to do for Coronavirus?”
If your answers for those two questions you are certain are the correct answers, please share them with all of us– QUICKLY!
The truth is, we’re getting answers for everything. But we’re not getting CORRECT answers for everything. And our fear comes from not knowing which are true.
If you want to see the most effortless picture of the fear that has engulfed several hundred million Americans over this, take a walk through Central Park on Memorial Day.
Go to the park early. At 5:45 am, it is occupied by maybe 100 runners and cyclists, spread over 843 acres. A large portion of these early-bird exercisers wears masks. Are they trying to protect anyone they might encounter from their unsuspected coronavirus infection? Who knows. But if you run towards an oncoming runner on a path that will keep you at least three yards away when you pass each other, he is likely to lunge sideways in fear if your face is not covered. The masked cyclists must think that there are enough virus particles suspended in the billions of square feet of fresh air circulating across the park to get into their mucous membranes and, “AHA: you’ve got Coronavirus!”
These are probably dead-wrong beliefs, yet they demonstrate the degree of paranoia that has infected the population. Every day the lockdown continues, its message that we are all going to die if we participate in ordinary life is reinforced. Polls show an increasing number of Americans choosing to continue the economic quarantine indefinitely so they won’t die! The longer that belief is reinforced, the less likely it will be that consumers will show up at reopened restaurants or board airplanes in sufficient numbers to bring the economy back to life.
Very few find the facts of outdoor viral transmission. The truth is that the chance of getting infected across a wide-open, windswept space is virtually nil, even if the imaginary carrier were not moving quickly past his potential victim. Closeness to the carrier, prolonged exposure, and being in an enclosed space are the biggest risk factors. Even the New York Times, one of the most aggressive purveyors of virus hysteria, could not avoid acknowledging this commonsensical truth about outdoor transmission. Most viral specialists will agree that outdoors is safe, and there is undoubtedly no cloud of virus-laden droplets hanging around. The key word in that sentence is “Most.” And even then what they tell us is their opinion based on the best information they have. But in the back of our minds we know that all of the COVID-19 views are still mainly minus factual explanations. The bottom line, most doctors THINK, “It is safe to go for a walk and jog and not to worry about the virus in the air.”
Those fearful Central Park bikers would ask, “Are you sure enough of that to base your life on it?”
Scientific studies of how viruses travel usually assume indoor settings. A recent study from China confirmed that the risk of coronavirus infection occurs overwhelmingly indoors. The researchers identified only one outdoor outbreak of disease among over a thousand cases studied. Most transmissions occurred at home.
Japan, with an elderly and highly urban population of 126.5 million, rejected a nationwide economic lockdown and emphasized instead the need to avoid the three Cs: confined spaces, crowded places, and close contact. It has had only 360 deaths at the end of April.
Americans, for the most part, have NOT adopted those opinions of the Japanese. And the American media and the healthcare officials we see everywhere on television are NOT considering that Japanese plan to fight Coronavirus either.
The public health establishment is fighting desperately to maintain the current degree of hysteria in the populace, to prolong its newfound power over almost every aspect of American life. “Death will erupt if the lockdowns are lifted,” the experts warn every few minutes on the cable news networks. “It’s going to backfire,” Dr. Anthony Fauci warns again and again. Even as evidence keeps mounting that the virus is MANY-TIMES less deadly than was advertised, the public health professionals are hardening their economy-killing prescriptions, rather than loosening them.
David Kessler, a former head of the FDA, claims that Americans will need to eliminate two-thirds of their social contacts for a year or more until a vaccine is developed. The federal government should commandeer private factories to produce the millions of test kits that will be required daily before anyone can be “fully free,” he says.
A professor of pediatrics warns that restrictions must not be loosened “anytime soon,” because the models that show a decline in cases after a peak are untrustworthy. Of course, the invariably inaccurate upward slopes of those same models have been endlessly quoted to us to justify the shutdown.
A Harvard epidemiologist predicts the necessity of social distancing through at least 2022. “Employers should not let their employees leave the office for lunch until a vaccine is developed,” said former FDA commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, and a former CDC deputy director. Restaurateurs may not appreciate this recommendation.
For some reason, scientists circulate ancient findings that have little bearing on actual risk but hold great potential to increase anxiety. An infectious aerosols scientist from the University of Maryland told the New York Times for the paper’s social distancing infographic: “It’s not like, oh it’s six feet, the viral particles are all fallen, and there’s nothing.” Translation: “don’t dare to think that you are safe from others at distances over six feet.” The New York Times notes happily, with another scary diagram, MIT researchers have observed particles from a cough traveling 16 feet and those from a sneeze traveling as far as 26 feet. But the dosage at such distances would be incapable of infecting anyone.
The experts’ alarms over a post-lockdown surge in infections may not be necessary, however. A majority of Americans already believe that danger is everywhere at the same time (that’s correctly called “ubiquitous”), and are prepared to sacrifice millions of more livelihoods to feel “safe.” Seventy-three percent of respondents in a recent Wall Street Journal poll were worried that they or someone in their immediate family would become infected — a proposition that would translate to over 300 million infected Americans. Though recent data from New York and California reveal that the virus’s existence in the population has been much greater than previously known (and the death rate much lower than our experts have asserted), it is unlikely that 300 million Americans will become infected. Fifty-eight percent of poll respondents were more worried about relaxing the stay-at-home restrictions than about the economic damage that prolonged restrictions would inflict. Only 32 percent of respondents were more concerned about a failure to lift the quarantine restrictions promptly.
Newspaper reader comment sections and the Twitter-sphere spew righteous anger upon anyone who suggests the most minimal reinstatement of ordinary life. Even blue state politicians are not immune from backlash. New York mayor Bill De Blasio came under fire for announcing that the city’s traditional Fourth of July fireworks celebration would go forward. “We’ll find a way to put on a show that will show how much we love our country,” he said uncharacteristically. A representative Twitter commenter shot back: “is this genuinely what you think people are worried about right now?”
We are in a race between the ideology of “safetyism” (that’s a brand new word — another -ism) and the facts. The future depends on which side wins. The data is clear. The coronavirus danger is narrowly targeted at a particular portion of the national population: the elderly infirm, especially those located in New York City and its surrounding suburbs. It possesses a minimal risk to everyone else. New York State accounted for 42 percent of the national death toll on April 24, with 77 percent of those New York State deaths occurring in New York City.
The average death rate from coronavirus in New York City is 128 per 100,000. In New York State, it is 71 per 100,000. To put those numbers in perspective, the national death rate for all causes was 723.6 per 100,000 in 2018; for heart disease, it was 163.6 per 100,000. New York’s coronavirus death rates bear no resemblance to the country at large, despite New York governor Andrew Cuomo’s recent pronouncement that “an outbreak anywhere is an outbreak everywhere.” California’s coronavirus death rate is four deaths per 100,000; Pennsylvania’s, 13 deaths per 100,000; Utah’s, one death per 100,000; Washington State’s, nine deaths per 100,000; Wisconsin’s, four deaths per 100,000; Georgia’s, which we are supposed to believe is about to unleash a mortal plague upon the country, eight deaths per 100,000 and after several weeks of the “stupidity of reopening their economy slowly” has NOT evidenced those dire predictions; Texas’s, two deaths per 100,000; and Florida’s, four deaths per 100,000, despite its elderly population. An MSNBC pundit gleefully predicted several weeks ago that Missouri would succumb because it had not halted its economy soon enough. Its virus death rate stands at four deaths per 100,000.
For further perspective on those state rates, the death rate of flu and pneumonia in 2018 was 14.4 per 100,000, for kidney disease, it was 13 per 100,000, and for diabetes, it was 21.4 per 100,000. In other words, most of the country has suffered a toll from coronavirus that is markedly lower than the annual deaths from the flu and a host of other ailments.
Nursing homes are ground zero for the disease since their populations are exclusively the elderly infirm. Twenty-three percent of all coronavirus deaths nationwide were in nursing homes, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis. In Minnesota, 73 percent of total deaths were linked to long-term care facilities. In Massachusetts, 55 percent of all deaths were in such facilities.
To cancel most of the country’s economy for a problem, however tragic, that is highly localized was a devastating policy blunder that must be immediately corrected. The lockdowns are setting fires to everything that makes human existence both possible and meaningful. Lives are being lost to the overreaction. Heart attack and stroke victims shrink from calling 911, so they don’t burden hospitals now dedicated exclusively to COVID-19 cases. People with Cancer have had their stem cell transplants put on hold; heart surgeries are being postponed indefinitely. The cancellation of “nonessential” procedures has prevented the diagnosis of life-threatening diseases. Tumors and potentially deadly brain aneurysms are going undetected. Drug abuse deaths from economic despair and isolation are already rising, as data out of Ohio suggests. The United Nations predicts tens of millions more lives globally, stunted by extreme poverty and hundreds of thousands of childhood deaths.
What’s going on in the messaging of Healthcare officials and many politicians? Purposeful creation and perpetuation of FEAR. Think about this: every example of countries throughout history falling to pieces lies prey to someone or some group of people who sow fear in the populace. Why do they do that? Human beings from every country on Earth have one thing in common: fear. Evil people, despots, dictators, and conquering marauders know that seeding a battle, war, or political coup d’état with fear gives the insurgents power over the people they are attacking. Fear most often is used quietly and kept hidden. Details of the unknown keep the fires of fear burning brightly.
But isn’t that what this is all about? Daily we hear the stories that tell us that COVID-19 mortality numbers have been way too high from the beginning, that infections have been low because of the numbers of tests given, and when tests are given in large numbers the cases of COVID-19 drop significantly when put in the context of the number of infections. Those are pretty good things to know when keeping 330 million citizens informed, don’t you think?
Sadly, we may be too late to stop the devastation. More people will certainly die from COVID-19. But the numbers which have been artificially inflated by many healthcare officials to make this pandemic seem a real pandemic are NOT going to increase rapidly. Few will honestly state the truth of this, but I will: when the dust settles, we will know that COVID-19 has been devastating to one demographic of people. You already know who comprises it: elderly with comorbidity. In other words, they have additional serious medical conditions. Remove the numbers from that segment along with all the FAKE numbers added at the advice of the CDC to purposely INFLATE mortality rates, and we’ll all suddenly realize: this has been just a slightly above normal flu season!
And for that to be used to add to fear to weaponize the political climate around the world is a travesty and a fraud against billions of people!
You just can’t make this up!