COVID-19 and Some Numbers – A Writer’s Perspective

March 29, 2020

This now looks much grimmer than before. Everything about this virus has been bungled since the beginning and that continues to the present minute. Since the Chinese first arrested and then made doctors disappear who initially reported it, to the lack of supplies that face us today, every group and organization has been and is now making up plans and projections as they go along.

This complete lack of preparedness and and an inability to successfully go forward goes hand in hand with a novel situation but that is the reason for my lack of faith. We don’t know what we have, we don’t have the supplies or people to deal with it, we don’t know what people should do or what to tell them. The Chinese are saying their numbers are leveling off yet these are the people that lied to the world from the beginning. Just to save them embarrassment.

This reminds me of the Vietnam War in which the military command made up numbers to make it seem we were winning. Although no one is yet claiming we are winning yet, I suspect the facts on how badly we are losing are being kept hidden. To keep governments from being embarrassed, to avoid panicking us. Above all, to keep information away from us because we are deemed too stupid to judge for ourselves. Revealing these numbers would only reveal how incompetent government is in dealing with this crisis.

We need to leave this crisis to the doctors and get these politicians off the airwaves. Let these presidents and governors and mayors sit in the back, doing their paperwork, while real people of medicine handle things. As long as politicians are speaking, we are truly doomed.

March 27, 2020

The military is taking action on what I wrote about a sad, bureaucratic problem yesterday. They are asking retired soldiers in health care fields to come back to fight COVID-19:

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2020/03/25/army-asks-retired-soldiers-health-care-fields-come-back-covid-19-fight.html

March 26, 2020

How serious are we? I was at a clinic today for my badly wrenched back. Seeing the full protocols in place for the virus, I asked if retired nurses and physicians were being called in to help. My doctor said no. “They’re not licensed anymore.” With that kind of crisis management thinking, we are in trouble. It should be all hands on deck and instead we are selectively picking the deck crew.

March 24, 2020

This is a Time to be Concerned, This is Not a Time for Worry

March 23, 2020

The preventative measures being taken against COVID-19 are like insurance. The problem with insurance is that you’ll never know its worth if a disaster doesn’t happen.

Our economy and way of life is being totally destroyed by the measures we are taking against COVID-19. The insurance policy we have taken out is based on the possibility that tens of thousands of people will die.

Yet, why didn’t we wreck our economy to keep alive the 30,000 people who died of seasonal flu in the last flu season? Why didn’t we go into a recession and throw millions out of work to prevent the deaths of the 61,000 who died in the 2017/2018 flu season?

Those are real numbers, not possibilities, not theoretical targets. Those poor people actually died in the midst of one of the greatest stock market rallies in history, when unemployment dropped below 4%. Where was the panic and upset and destruction and empty shelves back then?

If, God, forbid, we do lose 60,000 people from this virus, we will only match the death toll from 2017/2018. Somehow, we continued back then. Why can’t we continue now?

The NYT says as of today, 458 people in America have died of this virus. (external link) That is tragic and appalling and I pray it doesn’t get worse. I know, though, that the economy will get worse and it will takes years to pay for this insurance policy we have taken out. And I think it is also time to remember those tens of thousands of people who died in past years without the consideration we are giving folks today.

March 23, 2020

Interesting writing from an apparently authoritative if undisciplined writer. The source is variously attributed. I hope everyone understands my anger over the death of accurate research and the need to cite correctly. Wikipedia, for example, is a great resource but it is not a primary authority, at best it may lead to primary authorities. True reporting for publication uses a combination of internet resources, original interviews with subject matter experts, and references to authoritative hardcopy books and magazines. Anything less is not journalism.

This article describes quite well how devastating this virus is and why. It does not describe how the theoretical possibility of tens of thousands of dead is somehow more concerning than the 30,000 people in America who actually died in the last flu season. Or the 60,000 that died in the season before that.

It’s Not “Just The Flu”

Tuesday, March 17, 2020 5:05 a.m. by Tom King (blog owner, not writer?)

Some insight from Kat Storti for those who continue to say…”It’s just the flu”.

“Feeling confused as to why Coronavirus is a bigger deal than Seasonal flu? Here it is in a nutshell. I hope this helps. Feel free to share this to others who don’t understand…

It has to do with RNA sequencing…. I.e. genetics.

Seasonal flu is an “all human virus”. The DNA/RNA chains that make up the virus are recognized by the human immune system. This means that your body has some immunity to it before it comes around each year… you get immunity two ways…through exposure to a virus, or by getting a flu shot.

Novel viruses, come from animals…. the WHO tracks novel viruses in animals, (sometimes for years watching for mutations). Usually these viruses only transfer from animal to animal (pigs in the case of H1N1) (birds in the case of the Spanish flu). But once, one of these animal viruses mutates, and starts to transfer from animals to humans… then it’s a problem, Why? Because we have no natural or acquired immunity.. the RNA sequencing of the genes inside the virus isn’t human, and the human immune system doesn’t recognize it so, we can’t fight it off.

Now…. sometimes, the mutation only allows transfer from animal to human, for years it’s only transmission is from an infected animal to a human before it finally mutates so that it can now transfer human to human… once that happens..we have a new contagion phase. And depending on the fashion of this new mutation, thats what decides how contagious, or how deadly it’s gonna be..

H1N1 was deadly….but it did not mutate in a way that was as deadly as the Spanish flu. It’s RNA was slower to mutate and it attacked its host differently, too.

Fast forward.

Now, here comes this Coronavirus… it existed in animals only, for nobody knows how long…but one day, at an animal market, in Wuhan China, in December 2019, it mutated and made the jump from animal to people. At first, only animals could give it to a person… But here is the scary part…. in just TWO WEEKS it mutated again and gained the ability to jump from human to human. Scientists call this quick ability, “slippery”

This Coronavirus, not being in any form a “human” virus (whereas we would all have some natural or acquired immunity). Took off like a rocket. And this was because, Humans have no known immunity…doctors have no known medicines for it.

And it just so happens that this particular mutated animal virus, changed itself in such a way the way that it causes great damage to human lungs..

That’s why Coronavirus is different from seasonal flu, or H1N1 or any other type of influenza…. this one is slippery AF. And it’s a lung eater…And, it’s already mutated AGAIN, so that we now have two strains to deal with, strain s, and strain L….which makes it twice as hard to develop a vaccine.

We really have no tools in our shed, with this. History has shown that fast and immediate closings of public places has helped in the past pandemics. Philadelphia and Baltimore were reluctant to close events in 1918 and they were the hardest hit in the US during the Spanish Flu.

Factoid: Henry VIII stayed in his room and allowed no one near him, till the Black Plague passed…(honestly…I understand him so much better now). Just like us, he had no tools in his shed, except social isolation…

And let me end by saying….right now it’s hitting older folks harder… but this genome is so slippery…if it mutates again (and it will). Who is to say, what it will do next.

Be smart folks… acting like you’re unafraid is so not sexy right now.

#flattenthecurve . Stay home folks… and share this to those that just are not catching on. 🤓”-Kat Storti

March 21, 2020

Clickbait stories are raging across the internet as media companies profit off of this terrible human tragedy. Despite what this graphic says, the linked article from Accuweather does not say what COVID-19 dislikes.

Blame Trump, blame China, blame incompetent bureaucrats, but blame the media, too. I’ve done local newspaper reporting and my editors would have never approved this crap. On the national stage, media groups advance their political viewpoints to the loss of us all. With reservations, I used to think the Christian Science Monitor was pretty fair and the Wall Street Journal often pens good columns. Still . . .

 

“Weather and its potential impact on how COVID-19 behaves have remained a consistent focus since the outbreak erupted and experts are divided over what impact, if any, warmer weather will have on the spread of the outbreak.”

https://www.accuweather.com/en/health-wellness/whats-the-latest-on-coronavirus/

Hunter Thompson circulated among and covered the national media very well. As he put it, ““So much for Objective Journalism. Don’t bother to look for it here–not under any byline of mine; or anyone else I can think of. With the possible exception of things like box scores, race results, and stock market tabulations, there is no such thing as Objective Journalism. The phrase itself is a pompous contradiction in terms.”

March 20, 2020

CNN showing their editorial depth and wisdom by interviewing medical authority and logistics expert Sean Penn in what they call a global town hall. The sometime actor and activist celebrity calls on the American military to take over the fight against COVID-19. This is what CNN represents to the world as good journalism.

 

March 16, 2020

The death toll stands at 68 in the U.S. according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/cases-in-us.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fcases-in-us.html

Frustratingly, CBSNews.com on the same day was reporting a total of 88 deaths, without citing a source:

https://www.cbsnews.com/live-updates/coronavirus-updates-cases-fears-deaths-us-latest-2020-03-16/

This inexcusably sloppy reporting leads credence to the thought that America’s mainstream media is exaggerating this crisis for ratings,  hiding behind the cover of informing and helping us. It’s the same way with weather or fire disasters, tragedy doubles or triples their numbers.

As noted below at the bottom of this post, the CDC states that the 2017-2018 flu season claimed over 61,000 lives. The COVID-19 virus is said to be much, much deadlier than the seasonal flu. Yet, where was the panic back then for the simple, seasonal flu?

This graphic offers perspective. Double click for the full image.

https://www.visualcapitalist.com/history-of-pandemics-deadliest/

March 12, 2020

41 deaths according to NBC as of today.

March 11, 2020

Update: NBC is reporting today that 29 people have died of COVID-19 in the U.S. That’s seven more since I originally wrote this post. This total still doesn’t seem a reason to panic.

One person said that the panic is being driven by how rapidly it can kill someone. That’s certainly well put. I think, though, that we should be bothered by this only if the numbers of death indicate something to worry about to begin with.

https://www.nbcnews.com/health/coronavirus

This is an interesting post today from The Week:

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told lawmakers during a House Oversight Committee hearing Wednesday that COVID-19 — the disease caused by the novel coronavirus — is probably about 10 times more lethal than the seasonal flu.

President Trump has often compared COVID-19 to the flu, which affects tens of thousands of Americans each year, in an effort to calm people down, but Fauci clearly wasn’t trying to downplay the seriousness of the virus’ spread. Fauci is a member of the White House’s coronavirus task force.

At the same time, he did clarify that 10 times figure actually brings the new coronavirus’ fatality rate lower than official estimates, which hover around 3 percent. The flu has a mortality rate of about 0.1 percent, so, when considering the likelihood that there are many asymptomatic or very mild cases that have gone undiagnosed, Fauci places the new coronavirus’ lethality rate at somewhere around 1 percent. While that’s a good deal lower than the current data suggests, it still would lead to significant numbers of fatalities, and makes the flu comparisons seem pretty questionable. Tim O’Donnell

https://theweek.com/speedreads/901470/coronavirus-10-times-more-lethal-than-seasonal-flu-trumps-task-force-immunologist-says

As you’ll read below, the seasonal flu is quite the killer by itself.

How Many People Have Died of COVID-19 in the United States?

March 9, 2020

The Coronavirus (CoV) or COVID-19 in the States, has come to America and people are panic buying and staying home. The stock market is collapsing. People are flying less and even the casinos here in Las Vegas are worried about fewer tourists.

In 2018, there were 36,560 deaths by vehicle accidents in the United States. In America so far, the New York Times says 22 people have died from COVID-19.

The CDC estimates that 34,200 people died in the 2018-2019 flu season. The 2017-2018 flu season was hard, perhaps claiming 61,099. It may be that COVID-19 has been here for a while, passing as an unidentified flu strain.

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/2018-2019.html

Why all the panic? There is a thing called mass hysteria, an epidemic of the mind. The press may be contributing to it with their need for ratings and a 24 hour news cycle to feed. I wonder.


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About thomasfarley01

Freelance writer specializing in outdoor subjects, particularly rocks, gems and minerals.
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