Saturday, March 21, 2020

Coronavirus in Perspective, Part II

By Rich Kozlovich

Winston Churchill once observed:
 “Americans can always be trusted to do the right thing, once all other possibilities have been exhausted.” 
Some have felt that was very uncomplimentary to America, especially since Americans were saving the Brits once again from German defeat.  But, I take it as a compliment.  That statement aptly describes how we function emotionally and intellectually.

Most Americans hate confrontation because it interferes with a good time.  So, often times we will try end runs around it to get things done, even when its obvious confrontation is inevitable. But most importantly, ultimately Americans want to do the right thing.

My mother passed last year and used H&R Block to do her taxes.  I wanted to file her final return and was at his office this week........and yes it was still open......and shocker of shockers......we shook hands.

Does this look like America, or Venezuela?
While I was waiting to see him there were two older ladies in the waiting area.  One was the receptionist and another was a customer, both certainly in their sixties or possibly around my age, I'm 73.  We started discussing the insanity surrounding the hysteria surrounding coronavirus.

Both started to laugh, as they both thought the whole thing was ridiculous.  One of the ladies only serious concern was she's running out of toilet paper.

Remember:  First, all three of us are considered at the top of the risk chart, and secondly, normal people don't go out and buy shopping carts full of toilet paper, or get into fights over it.

Most importantly, we all had lived long enough to know pandemics come and pandemics go, and in the last 75 years, most of them weren't that big of a deal.  Most importantly, no one made such a big deal of them that would justify shutting down the nation.

 Don Sucher , in his article, Epidemics and mass panics, then and now, notes:
.......... in my lifetime, I have seen similar viruses simply worked through.  Nineteen fifty-eight's, for instance, and even the H1N1 virus in 2009.  Yes, people got sick, and yes, some died.  But both were accepted as part of human life, thus human life continued. 
Today, everything is "OMG!  It's the end of the world!"  For, seemingly as never before, the supposedly "serious" media have a very clear and well articulated agenda, and that, along with the ever-present social media, has changed the pace of distribution of both accurate information and false rumors.
William Sullivan in his article, Government and Media Responses to Pandemics, Then and Now observes:
The H1N1 virus (colloquially known as swine flu) was "first detected in April of 2009 in the United States, and spread quickly around the world,"……….. The Obama administration had declared it a "public health emergency" in late April, and by June, the World Health Organization declared it the "first flu pandemic in 40 years....
However, remember this.  Because we're going to come back to this:
It wasn't until October of 2009, though, that Obama personally recognized it as a national emergency with the "potential to overburden health care resources in some localities.
Four months before Obama finally declared H1N1 a national emergency.  How many died from it by that time?  Over 1000, and it was estimated "between 151,700 and 575,400 people died worldwide from H1N1 virus infection in the first year that it circulated".  H1N1 mostly impacted children and adults under 65, and was easily transmitted.  He goes on to note that sixty million Americans were infected by H1N1 with 273,304 hospitalizations and 12,469 deaths in the U.S. alone.

You do remember that .....Don't you? 

Did you remember the nation shutting down over that?  No?  Of course you don't, and the reason why is:
Americans generally just went about their lives, with no holistic directives from President Obama or any of the state governors that schools, restaurants, or businesses be closed, or that private gatherings should be limited to a particular size. One can hardly remember it even being news at all, and if one does, it is remembered as casual warnings to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze and stay away from work and others if you feel ill.
It was such a small part of the news, in fact, that one thousand Americans had died, in the first pandemic in 40 years, before Barack Obama was even moved to personally mention it to the public, to say nothing of his being moved to endlessly contemplate sweeping efforts that would grind the economy to a halt and stop Americans' lives in their tracks.
Because of the media hyperbole over this "pandemic" intelligent people have been turned into "panicked, witless, bleating sheep", being led by politicians who are nothing short of boneless wonders, like Governor Mike DeWine of Ohio.

I'll tell you what, we'll come back to that, in the meanwhile, let's look at the numbers.

There are claims 150 million Americans are infected with coronavirus, and "Congress’ in-house doctor told Capitol Hill staffers at a close-door meeting last week", with a "recent projection from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)" that "COVID-19 could infect between up to 214 million people over a period of more than a year — and kill as many as 1.7 million Americans."

Where do they get these numbers?  Computer models, and let's face it, computer models are only as "good as the assumptions that you put into the model … it’s unpredictable."

During the Ebola scare in 2014 computer models predicted there may be as many as one million cases.  You do remember that don't you?  No?  Why?  It turns out there were only eleven cases, two contracted the disease outside the U.S. and died and two contracted the disease in the United States and survived. One million cases predicted with eleven actual cases.

Currently we're hearing all sorts of numbers, including what's going on in Italy, but without context.  Italy's average age is 47 and almost a quarter of Italy's population are over 65, and due to a trade agreement a large number of Chinese coming into Northern Italy.

Coronavirus isn't Italy's problem.  Their problem is that Italy is on the verge of a demographic collapse, and when you have an overly large elderly population that a particular virus attacks, the numbers become askew, and are not representative of the world as a whole, or even another country. 

However,  my favorite account regarding the infections potential of coronavirus is from one of my go-to  writers, Andrea Widburg,  who outlines this issue in her March 19th article, The Diamond Princess, a floating Chinese Virus palace, provides suggestive data, saying:
Writing at Watts Up With That, Willis Eschenbach looked at the Princess Cruise's numbers and discovered some encouraging information:
We had a perfect petri-dish coronavirus disease (COVID-19) experiment with the cruise ship "Diamond Princess". That's the cruise ship that ended up in quarantine for a number of weeks after a number of people tested positive for the coronavirus. I got to wondering what the outcome of the experiment was.
So I dug around and found an analysis of the situation, with the catchy title of Estimating the infection and case fatality ratio for COVID-19 using age-adjusted data from the outbreak on the Diamond Princess cruise ship (PDF), so I could see what the outcomes were.
As you might imagine, before they knew it was a problem, the epidemic raged on the ship, with infected crew members cooking and cleaning for the guests, people all eating together, close living quarters, lots of social interaction, and a generally older population. Seems like a perfect situation for an overwhelming majority of the passengers to become infected.
And despite that, some 83% (82.7% – 83.9%) of the passengers never got the disease at all … why?
She goes on to make this significant point:
It's an especially good question because the majority of passengers were in the 60–79 age group, weighted slightly more heavily toward the 70–79 cohort.  In other words, by the time the ship docked, it should have been a floating morgue, but somehow it wasn't.
How many died?  Eight!

Which brings me back to Governor De Wine and his justification for shutting down the State of Ohio.

In Susan Daniel's March 19, 2020 article, Abortion zealot health director shuts down primaries in Ohio she goes on to describe what I consider the unsavory character of executive director of the Department of Health (DOH), Dr. Amy Acton.

Daniels, after describing what I consider her disreputable abortion business dealings says:
Removing her from that underhanded business, she still comes across as a treacherous tool.  On March 12, 2020, she announced that 100,000 Ohioans were infected with the coronavirus.  On that date, there were five confirmed cases in Ohio and a total of 127,000 in the entire world.
The next day, she walked that back and said she was just "guesstimating" the number based on the population of Ohio. The actual number had soared to thirteen cases. The DOH doubled down. It called Acton "smart, calm, cool and collected" and "a voice of reason."
They could hardly call her the fool she had proven herself to be. Her "guesstimating," as anyone can imagine, caused fear across the state.
And  DeWine didn't fire her?  No, because it was DeWine who picked her, and chose to shut down the state of Ohio based on her "guesstimations".   This is, "Me-To" boneless leadership!

We need to stop pandering to this narrative.  I've gotten an untold number of e-mails from  any number of different sources wanting me to a particpate in webinars about coronavirus and how to survive.  That's not leadership.  Standing on a hill waving a flag that says "I stand for consensus", isn't leadership. 

We're Americans!  Let's do the right thing!  We've just about exhausted the other alternatives. 

Have the courage to be the rock in the current!  Have the courage to say this infectious disease, as all infectious diseases, must be treated seriously, but no more so than we do every year when seasonal flu season comes around.  And that nothing that's happened which justifies all this hysteria, especially compared to so many other infectious diseases that are a much higher risk.  Please see Part I.  

How long will Americans continue to tolerate this nonsence?  What's behind it all?   I will cover that in Part III next week. 

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