Your pop quiz for the evening in just one question:
The author’s life is?
- Glitzy and highly glamorous
- Not as astouding as it could be, but still pretty interesting
- Not particularly exciting, but well worth living
The answer is 4. My life is not particularly exciting, but it is still well worth living. As I’ve said in previous posts, I have a Moderately Autistic almost-eight-year-old who is the apple of his daddy’s eye. I have other children, each a great kid in his or her own right, but he’s the one who’s still at home with daddy looking after him.
Being who he is, we eat a pretty limited diet. He—in particular—eats probably no more than fifteen foods in the entire world (with limited exceptions). On top of that fact, taking him somewhere out of the way or where he doesn’t approve, is a recipe for at least difficult times, often much more (potentially including a meltdown, though he’s mostly past that by this point).
He has, as one of his favorite places, a “chain delicatessen” whose name I’ll refrain from using for various reasons.
The one eatery he prefers out of all others in that chain, is sufficiently nearby that, when he expresses a desire to go to it, I seldom complain unless he wants to do so multiple days in a row.
Today, he showed a strong interest in going there, so we did.
I have become a sort of friend of one of the managers there. He’s a good man with a strong work ethic and, from what I can tell, a largely good heart.
I noted that he was wearing a face mask that had obviously been procured by the chain for its workers.
This led to a general conversation surrounding COVID-19—essentially the reason for the mask.
The thing is, I’ve done more than a little research on the virus out of general interest and for pieces I’ve written in past. The work I’ve done has largely led me to the conclusion that responses to the illness are not on the up-and-up.
If you want to look at the primary site where I do my poking around, you can bring up your favorite search engine and use something like “cdc COVID-19” as search terms. When you’ve done that, you should see various data pages whose URLs start with www.cdc.gov.
From there, you’re on your own as to what to look for. I find the Provisional Death Counts page useful. It and a couple of others can be found on my browser as semipermanent tabs (Cases in the U.S., and Weekly Updates by Select Demographic and Geographic Characteristics are the usual suspects).
These aren’t the only pages I can suggest, but they do make a pretty good starting point if you want to look at the information on COVID-19 that the United States Centers for Disease Control present. They’re a nice, simple little dive into what’s being reported in various ways to the CDC.
Using information almost exclusively from these pages, I asked my manager pal to make some guesses as to how the numbers looked in various aspects.
I’ve reported some of this information in a previous article (maybe all of it). The parenthetical information is the actual answers. I didn’t record his guesses as I don’t remember them exactly.
“How many deaths in the U.S. from COVID-19, for people under the age of 14?” (45)
“In how many states has the death count exceeded 10,000?” (2)
“Which states have 10,000 or more deaths?” (New Jersey and New York)
“Which city is the only one to be listed in the numbers and why?” (New York City, 10,000+ deaths)
“What are the total numbers of deceased for New York (city and state) and New Jersey?” (45,000+)
“How many deaths for the past six months in our home state of Arkansas?” (530)
“What’s the population of the state of Arkansas?” (3,000,000+)
I consider this individual to be a smart man. I know he’s got to think about a good many other things. Even so, you would hope he would have guessed somewhere in the range for at least one of the questions asked.
Sadly, that was not the case.
You can be sure he’s heard the total fatality count and maybe once or twice, the total number of infections for the country. Past that, he was at a total loss to answer my simple list of questions.
I want to be clear here, I much doubt any of his staff would’ve fared any better than did he. In fact, I would bet this information would be a thing most people I would likely meet, or folks I know would have in their arsenal if asked.
There may be a few, but I would venture to say, not very many, who would know even one or two of these facts.
It’s also true that more folks than not couldn’t name a person who’s been infected, much less, one who’s died from the virus.
You may wonder why I’m talking about this. Let me try to help you to understand.
The average person is not in a panic about COVID-19, yet to a person they’re likely to tell you that the lockdowns that’re occurring are reasonable. If you remind them that they were initially supposed to be for fifteen days (to “flatten the curve”) they get a look in their eye you might expect to see in the face of a deer as a car speeds toward it at night.
I’ve said before and will repeat here. The highest weekly death toll in the U.S. (by a factor of three at least) was in the week ending the 18th of April, 2020, almost four months ago now. Yet we’re still largely locked down, sheltering in place and masked when we dare to leave our homes.
Many probably think I’m crazy for what I’m saying here, but I’m going to bring this article to its conclusion. You need to ask yourself one simple question. “Why after more than six months of watching this play out, with numbers dropping drastically, are we still treating this like it’s the worst thing on the planet (even though cancer kills almost double the number on an ongoing basis)?” I don’t know but I promise I have my suspicions; and they have more to do with politics than health.
Thanks for reading, and may your time be good.