CORONAVIRUS: WHAT WE ARE LEARNING -- AND IT IS NOT PRETTY
What have we learned so far from the response to the Chinese Coronavirus pandemic? …
One, the government, at the local, state, and federal levels, is not prepared for a large-scale national emergency, be it war, biological threat, or a natural disaster.
Two, the nation's political leadership is unwilling to set aside politics to prioritize expenditures and logistics. One party in particular, the Democrats, have refused to set aside political considerations in the advancement of their normal political agenda.
Three, the mainstream media refuses to set aside their profit and political agenda to report the news without unhelpful commentary. Continuing to sensationalize content to attract an audience as well as present conflicting and contrary content by giving a media platform to celebrities and individuals with credentials that have little or nothing to do with the ongoing event.Sensationalized headlines from a news service which will appear in hundreds of newspapers scream “Coronavirus could kill 81,000 in U.S., subside in June -Washington University analysis” lack context as to assumptions and methodology and the use weasel-words like “could.” Most individuals see “kill",” “81,000,” and “university.” The study is a “pre-print” and has not been peer-reviewed by the journal to which it was submitted. The data comes from the World Health Organization and other sources that may be suspect. The conclusions are based on graphing existing data and then curve-fitting to develop an equation that is then used as a “model” for predictions. While the researcher is well-credentialed and experienced, I am reminded of the old data processing adage “Garbage In – Garbage Out.” All very “scientific,” but considering the increased testing of the population, the original statistics may be irrelevant when newer data is examined. And, we know the World Health Organization accepted falsified data from China, possibly because of a conflict of interest between the WHO Director-General and China who apparently assisted him is securing his position.
The unintended consequences of over-dramatizing potential actions and outcomes appears to be unnecessary anxiety and stess, and the hoarding of essential daily foods and household supplies. This panicked buying puts unnecessary pressure on the supply chain and causes local outages and disruptions. Anxiety and stress make you more prone to disease as they weaken your immune system -- the body's own defense against bacteria and viruses.
Those media outlets who engage in censorship, including partisan "fact checking" and interference in official communications should be identified and shunned by citizens. During an official crisis, media outlets should clearly and unambiguously identify analysis and commentary.
Partisan negativity is created by so-called “news foundations” and then fed to a complicit mainstream media without context.Unlike the Obama Administration, which introduced extreme triage for senior citizens as part of an Obamacare cost containment protocol, was late to respond to the H1N1-flu epidemic, failed to restock critical emergency supplies, and received little or no media criticism during the time, we find the Trump Administration being excoriated by ‘hit-piece” articles such as “Internal Emails Show How Chaos at the CDC Slowed the Early Response to Coronavirus: The CDC fumbled its communication with public health officials and underestimated the threat of the coronavirus even as it gained a foothold in the United States, according to hundreds of pages of documents ProPublica obtained.
Four, those who create models, charts, graphs, and other explanatory information continue to produce dramatic illustrations, sometimes using inappropriate or meaningless statistics and inappropriate scaling. The current evidence points to incorrect and unfounded assumptions in preparing presentations for public information. Just knowing the number of infected among those tested says nothing about the community and is a meaningless metric. As is the number of deaths among those who have tested positive for the virus – another meaningless statistic due to the lack of wide-spread testing in the community. Numbers without context are just numbers.Remember the well-credentialed and widely-quoted epidemiologist, Neil Ferguson, from London's Imperial College whose models suggested that an uncontrolled spread of the virus could cause as many as 510,000 deaths in Britain and up to 2.2 million deaths in the U.S.
He's back – and the new numbers suggest the number of deaths in Britain is unlikely to exceed 20,000 and could be much lower. Another study suggests that half of those might have died anyway within the year due to existing conditions and underlying pathology. To provide perspective, approximately 17,000 individuals in England die from complications related to seasonal flu. <Source>
Five, the American people may not follow the directions of their local, state, and federal leadership due to the posturing and political content of pronouncements over straight news. Especially when instructions, directions, and orders are ambiguous and not uniformly implemented in a region. And, are shocked when more authoritarian measures are introduced to enforce legal orders from duly authorized government agencies.
Six, those who are in the highest risk categories are being placed at risk by thoughtless individuals or the unintended consequences of official instructions. An example, rather than surveying and screening children who naturally act as vectors for many communicable diseases, officials ordered children to be returned to homes where the highest risk individuals reside. Unfortunately, the proper response may demand that the riskiest cohort self-isolate within a home with children for at least a time corresponding to a reasonable incubation period.
Seven, we are seeing the dark underside of politics as a number of politicians have been exposed for insider trading and other self-serving behavior as they pander to their special interests rather than assist their constituents. We also see that beneficial products and services have been or are being curtailed by a lobbyist-driven bureaucracy. Services like the use of telemedicine or the empowerment of nurse practitioners. We are also discovering artificial restrictions on the number of doctors trained, the number of facilities that can be opened, the number of beds per facility, and the number of advanced diagnostic machines.
Eight, it is unconscionable for the government, especially the progressive socialist democrats, to attempt to disarm American citizens during a time when they are faced with the possibility of civil unrest – where police stop responding, but even worse, facing a hoard of criminals who are being released from prisons and jails back into the community. There is a sound reason for the Constitution’s Second Amendment – self-defense against those who would harm you or take away your freedoms with their tyrannical political actions.
The two big questions…
Attorney John Hinderaker (Harvard Law School) wrote:
“I have updated this chart a number of times, based on data from the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control, and will continue to do so. It shows, for one thing, how far COVID-19 has to go before it equals the average seasonal flu mortality, worldwide. If I had to predict, I would guess that it will eventually reach the average level. Will it get to 2x the average number of flu deaths, worldwide? Looking at current trends, I don’t see how that will happen. But time will tell.”
“Likewise in the U.S. You still can’t see the bar for COVID-19, but it is there: 994 deaths so far, per the CDC, compared with 61,000 caused by the flu virus just two years ago. The Wuhan virus might equal or even exceed that total, but it is hard to forecast that at this point. And anyway, the 2017-18 flu deaths barely merited a news story, let alone a radical, economy-destroying shutdown. What has changed?”
“Even if the U.S. death total eventually amounts to, say, three times the toll of the flu just seasons ago–around 180,000 dead–what is the justification for the extraordinary measures our governments have taken, which are in the process of crushing our economy?”
The answers are obvious to me. A non-traditional President, Donald Trump, and the almost complete infiltration of the Democrat Party by un-American progressive socialist democrats who have managed to gain a slim majority in the House of Representatives -- and anointed a queen, Nancy Pelosi, who governs as if the few people who provided the majority amounts to a mandate. Not to forget a corporatized mainstream media that has become hyper-partisan.
And, for the second question, the only justification I can see is “because they can” and are unopposed by the feckless cowards in the GOP who are afraid of the media during an election cycle.
You can’t fully trust most politicians. You can’t fully trust the media. And, you may not be able to fully trust the corporations who field legions of lobbyists to buy politicians. So that leaves you and your common sense. Protect yourself and your family above all. Follow commonsense guidelines but don’t necessarily buy-in to the sensationalism of the media or self-serving pronouncements of the politicians.
You have clearly seen House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her cadre of dirty progressive socialist democrats attempt to capitalize on this national emergency to push her radical agenda and reward the special interests who lobby the government. It is time to hold the Democrats accountable and send them packing in the 2020 election. Perhaps we will see a better crop of candidates in 2022 and 2024 – but don’t count on it.
We are fighting an invisible enemy that attacks mindlessly. We are also fighting against those who want to destroy our American way of life. Neither can be allowed to win the battle.
We are so screwed.
“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!
“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw
“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell “Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar “Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell
“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar
“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS