As the current “crisis” surrounding COVID-19 has played out, I’ve seen a number of folks reacting in what I can only count as alarmist ways.
I know there’re some who’re using the virus as a “political weapon.” For these folks a “panic narrative” is beneficial. That being said, I’m far from trying to indicate that all those wringing their hands are doing so as part of some unified political attack.
As a quick note, I actually have zero interest in the politics of COVID-19 past how it’s being used as a tool by those who very obviously care little to nothing about either science, or the wellbeing of others.
I contend that most of this sort of action is occurring in the political class here in the U.S., and that sadly, most of it is occurring among Democrats (some among others, but in my view, not nearly as much).
This article is really not intended to talk about that though. This writing was hatched as a result of folks who appear to be voicing their concern about COVID-19, and seem in the process, to be feeding the narrative that it’s some horribly bad thing.
I know I’ve spent a great deal of time harping on COVID-19 mortality numbers, but I’m going to spend a moment to talk about them just a bit more here. To begin with, looking at the CDC provisional death counts (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/COVID19/index.htm) still leads me to roughly the same conclusion.
Yes it’s true, there has been a slight upward increase in deaths (though frankly, the last “good week” is lower than the one prior) attributable to COVID-19, but honestly, we’re nowhere near the numbers reported in mid April. This should be a surprise to virtually nobody, since it appears that there were a couple of horrible decisions made by leaders of certain parts of the country that will remain unnamed (things like sending COVID-19 positive folks back to nursing homes for them to infect others).
Another important point is that comorbidity and age are both extremely important factors. The fact is, a large majority of those dying are over the age of seventy (and of those, a pretty fair number are over seventy-five), or inflicted with certain other conditions that cause infection to be greatly more serious.
Before anybody tries to scream, “He doesn’t care about old folks!” allow me to clarify. The point is, it should be pretty readily possible to protect most such folks by controlling who has access to facilities like senior centers and nursing homes (most of which house people in that age range).
There’re some who’re more prone to be out and about. Those individuals should be clearly and properly advised that they’re at higher risk than the majority of the community at large. As such, they might want to take a variety of precautions to keep from being affected by the spreading of the virus.
For the rest of us though, short of having comorbidities that are likely to cause a worse outcome, we probably ought to be going about our business much as we normally would.
Should children be going to school at the start of the coming school year? In general, I believe (as people at the top of the CDC have even made clear) they should. If schools decide precautions are advised, I guess that will (and I suppose should) be part of the package.
As a component of this piece though, I wanted to talk about a message I’ve seen in circulation.
The basic tenor of the text, covers the concern of a wife and mother for her husband and children (one of whom was a newborn at the time of its writing). The individual never identifies her family by anything other than name, so determining about whom she’s talking at any moment is not terribly simple to do.
Where I may have misidentified someone, allow me to break down the “outcomes” listed in the writing discussed.
Writer (mother and wife) – Chills, Body Aches, Run Down Feeling. Keep in mind, this individual is the mother of a newborn, that means there’s going to be “ovelap” between the results of giving birth and COVID-19. Also consider that her immune system was likely compromised as a pretty direct result of giving birth. If you’ve ever been in a labor room, I can’t see how you could help but have great compassion for ladies giving birth, it’s no simple thing for most, and they tend to often be exhausted and in pain after all the needed activity.
Husband – Most noted effect was loss of taste and smell. Were there others? Hard to say.
Daughter – Fever (less than 102℉ from what I recall), Nausea. Fever broke overnight, apparently never to return.
Son (Newborn) – Apparently zero effect.
Keep in mind that—as previously stated—the author never verified who anybody was. That being the case, you’re seeing my “best guesses.”
I have no desire to be mean to this individual. I have no intent to belittle her fear. It’s probable she experienced much of this at the beginnings of the “crisis.” That would just make things harder on her, after all, she probably had no idea what to expect.
The point though, is that the family didn’t have a member die. In fact, nobody was more strongly affected than many are by common ‘flu outbreaks.
I get that there are others who’re more severely affected. I also know that such folks can often be identified pretty readily. I haven’t heard of an instance of such where the person wasn’t either older or dealing with certain comorbidities, or both, though I’m sure people like that exist.
As with just about any other such outbreak then, it should be possible for those folks to protect themselves (or be protected if they’re not working on “their own recognizance”). And protect themselves they should.
The alternative that’s currently in practice doesn’t seem to be a good one. An obvious part of the reason is that it’s so invasive on everyday life, that folks are dealing with a variety of stressors that wouldn’t normally be allowed to be so harsh, were it not for being locked away in their homes for an extended period of time. Not forgetting that the original reason for “sheltering in place” was to “flatten the curve” and was supposed to be over in fifteen days.
You may think what’s being done about COVID-19 is reasonable. What you should understand is, many don’t. To top it off, it’s literally unprecedented. We have viral outbreaks, if they’re as serious as the Spanish ‘Flu was, they should be handled in more radical ways. For COVID-19, I’ve yet to see any proof it’s all that serious. And before you point to the death count, keep in mind we have seen worse, and mismanagement was part of the reason for it being so high.
Thanks for reading, and may your time be good.