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More on COVID-19 Responses – Religion and Politics

This brings me to the point of my piece. Where people may argue that the difference between the death rate in a place like Philadelphia and one like Saint Louis was a result of mask wear, social distancing and lock downs, I’m not inclined to accept that’s as likely as they want you to believe. In finality, Spanish ‘Flu ceased to be a thing as a result of one simple fact, it ran its course. I for one, am not inclined to believe any of the things used to combat it were all that effective. My disbelief is equally strong where COVID-19 is concerned.

I’m genuinely curious, how many people out there truly believe the current response to COVID-19 makes any sense at all? How many folks really concur the current strategy is not actually dangerous, or in the best case, futile?

Allow me to clarify.

The three pillars of COVID-19 response at present can be summed up as:

  1. Mask Wear
  2. Social Distancing
  3. Sheltering in Place

These three sound for all the world like meaningful, reasonable countermeasures.

There’s a sort of fourth component, that will likely have zero effect overall. That piece is the search for and creation of a vaccine. Why do I count it generally ineffective? Because unless COVID-19 comes back after its initial run of infection, no vaccine is likely to be forthcoming prior to the current strain essentially fading into obscurity.

Certain individuals have been mercilessly belittled and impugned for daring to imply that this virus will do just that—cease to be a significant factor in life. Those doing the bashing probably ought to do their due diligence.

There’re arguments for a fifth leg, what are referred to as prophylactics, though other terms have been used to describe them as well. Hydroxychloroquine is an example of this. Where some question its effectiveness, others argue it’s beneficial, particularly where the seriously ill are concerned.

I assume the average person doesn’t take the time to research a lot. Most folks, after all, have a bunch better things to do with their time and effort. Who on earth can blame them? Not I, that’s for sure.

Where I don’t do huge amounts of digging. I spend more than a little time in pursuit of the truth. Below is an example of things I find.

There’s an article on History.com on Spanish Flu

I’m going to make use of three quotes from that writing in this one. Here’s the first:

By the summer of 1919, the flu pandemic came to an end, as those that were infected either died or developed immunity.

In that same article can be found the following information:

The first wave of the 1918 pandemic occurred in the spring and was generally mild. The sick, who experienced such typical flu symptoms as chills, fever and fatigue, usually recovered after several days, and the number of reported deaths was low.

One more quick quote, then we’re back to more or less original content:

Since 1918, there have been several other influenza pandemics, although none as deadly. A flu pandemic from 1957 to 1958 killed around 2 million people worldwide, including some 70,000 people in the United States, and a pandemic from 1968 to 1969 killed approximately 1 million people, including some 34,000 Americans.

Allow me now to explain the reason I selected these three particular extracts from the article.

The first does two things. The initial being to tell when the pandemic ended. In case you missed it, it had run its course by the summer of 1919

The second thing it does, is to indicate how it’s believe the outbreak ended. What does it say? That those infected either died or became immune.

Even more than today, the exact number of people affected by the virus in the 1918 happening is unknown. There are surmises mentioned that talk about the suspected number of humans who were stricken with the illness, but as with the present outbreak, nobody knows for certain. There’s one thing we can almost definitely say. It’s pretty much doubtlessly true more people were afflicted, than are by any means known to have been.

As for the second piece I clipped out, the intent was to show when the pandemic started. As you can see, it’s considered to have started in the Spring of 1918. That means the whole of the pandemic lasted just over a year.

The point of the third is pretty simple, it’s to indicate that such pandemics are not as uncommon as folks would have you believe.

I could’ve added the piece that says the “second wave” was substantially worse than the first as well. The point though is, the first time it came around, the impact was minimal.

Fact is, I don’t think most pandemics even have a subsequent outbreak. It’s a “one and done” type thing, for the most part. Spanish ‘Flu seems to have been an exception in this regard, not the rule. Even if they did though, it’s not typically true that the results of the second wave are any worse than the first. In this again, the 1918 Influenza appears to have been unusual.

I gave you a link to the piece at History.com, so you could read it for yourself. I’m well aware that some of the contentions made in the work, disagree with things I’m saying.

There is, for example a section that talks about the difference between how Saint Louis, Missouri and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania handled the situation.

The claim is that Saint Louis did a much better job. What’s not mentioned in the piece is that Philadelphia had certainly more than twice the population of Saint Louis, probably in as small or smaller a regional area.

Saint Louis is said to have had a population of some 670,000. Philadelphia, is accounted to have had 1.7 million, and this is ignoring another 300,000 of what were referred to as “transient workers.” That makes it likely there were somewhere in the neighborhood of 2 million in Philadelphia at the time this was happening.

With this in mind, the death rate in Philadelphia, where higher than anybody would ever have desired, was still around one and a half percent of their likely population. Again, where this is very undesirable, it’s not nearly as bad as many would like you to believe.

The work at History.com goes on to say, the death rate in Saint Louis was an eighth that of Philadelphia. The contrast though, is much like comparing Little Rock, Arkansas to New York City today. Considering New York state has more than 20,000 COVID-19 fatalities—more than half of those in the city—and Arkansas, still less than 1,000 total for the whole state. The question in both cases is, “Is the comparison valid?” I don’t think so, how about you?

This brings me to the point of my piece. Where people may argue that the difference between the death rate in a place like Philadelphia and one like Saint Louis was a result of mask wear, social distancing and lock downs, I’m not inclined to accept that’s as likely as they want you to believe. In finality, Spanish ‘Flu ceased to be a thing as a result of one simple fact, it ran its course. I for one, am not inclined to believe any of the things used to combat it were all that effective. My disbelief is equally strong where COVID-19 is concerned.

Thanks for reading, and may your time be good.

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