Yesterday, I wrote that I was fairly happy with what I had heard of the press conference and the steps that have been taken by President Trump. I stand by that, and in fact will double down on it. I think that if we get through this in good shape, that it will be because of the steps taken by him, by Vice President Pence, by Alex Azar, and others in that team. They, along with a robust public hygiene system and fairly decent personal hygiene, are my hope. My fear is the bureaucracy, as it has already botched things in other countries. In this case, my fears are compounded by the incest and corruption in our own bureaucracy.
Since some seem determined to spread fear and panic, let’s start there. In fact, let’s start with the CDC refusing initially to test the positive case in California because it didn’t meet bureaucratic criteria that was already set in stone. This led, in turn, to a press conference by Nancy Messonnier at the CDC which led to a lot of fear and even panic. There was, at the time, also a strong media push to note that she was not part of the White House response.
Well, there might be a reason for that. One of which is that she is Rod Rosenstein’s sister. If you don’t know who he is, shame on you. Look it up and write his name 50 times on the blackboard. When I say the swamp that is our bureaucracy is incestuous, this is what I mean. I also agree very much with Trent Telenko’s take:
“In hind sight the gloom and doom CDC newsconference Tuesday by Doctor Nancy Messonnier, the Director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease in the CDC seems to be an attempt to distract the public from the CDC’s role in delaying this identification of community spread in California with the uber-flawed CDC testing program and guidelines.“
I would also commend his article as he also notes the CDC is not allowing better testing being used elsewhere because those tests have not been through the full FDA approval. Again, the bureaucracy is our greatest enemy, not coronavirus. Bureaucratium and Administratium are two of the densest materials in the known universe, and if our efforts fail, it will fail because of them.
For all that St. Rod has lit the virtue signal and flounced to the holy fainting couch (his symbol) over Trump (won’t someone note my piety!), he notes that there may be another case almost identical to the refusal to test the patient in California. If so, this needs to be gotten to the White House asap. If you have a patient you think is infected and you get stonewalled, go public and go large. Call the White House (switchboard number is readily available) and leave a message; tweet at Trump, Pence, Azar, etc.; call the media, and they are going to be appreciative as it gives them a chance to go after Trump and create a panic. Just make sure to get the names of the people at the CDC and give them out too. Name and shame, and hold them accountable. Not joking. If this complaint is true, hope someone does here too.
As I’ve noted a time or two before, the CDC is first and foremost a political agency, not a medical. The abandoned that role a few decades ago as they sought to increase their budget and their reach, as such is the way one moves up in the entrenched DC elite. Glenn Reynolds took them to task in 2014, and it is even more relevant today.
So, my greatest fear in the fight is our bureaucracy. So what’s my greatest hope? That comes in two parts.
The first part is that we have a robust and modern public hygiene system. This includes modern and effective (for the most part) sewage transport and treatment. We also have a different cultural “look” at personal hygiene. Both of these are important, as they limit the spread of not just COVID-19, but a number of other diseases. Not eliminate, but limit — often to very small amounts not seen before in human history.
The second part is that the team announced by Trump is solid, and rather pointedly excludes swamp dwellers. Don’t take my word for it, take a look at what a biochemist has to say about that team.
More to come, but that’s some good food for thought to start your day. Meantime, note those who are politicizing this event, from pundits to politicians. They deserve your contempt, your opprobrium, and to be shunned in all things by all good people.
Use the interactive graphic to keep track of things. Is COVID19 an epidemic? Yes. Is it a Pandemic? Not Yet Is there need for panic? No. Should you be paying attention? Yes. Hell yes. Should you be preparing? Yes, better late than never.
Want to avoid catching COVID19 here in the U.S.? Wash your flippin hands frequently, wash them thoroughly every time you use the bathroom, then follow with hand sanitizer after every washing, use hand sanitizer liberally when you can’t wash on a regular basis. Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze, and stay away from those who don’t. Also, keep your bugger hooks out of/away from your eyes, nose, and mouth. Do NOT shake hands with anyone, and avoid touching or being touched by strangers. Or your strange friends.
Avoid travel if at all possible. If you can telecommute, get that set up now. If you have to travel, use lots of hand sanitizer and go to full flu protocols. If you have to use a public restroom, take full precautions including using paper towels and such to handle faucets, doors,etc. Believe it or not, this was highly recommended before now, and major grocery chains have long told employees to use those practices to avoid getting or spreading colds, flu, etc. Not many actually do it, but…
If you own a business, make sure your employees know the above protocols. Have someone who refuses to wash their hands or otherwise follow the protocols? Talk to them, write them up, and if necessary fire them as they now pose a risk of infection to you and your customers. Extreme? Yes, but while the CDC and others are working to slow it down, odds are it is already here and could hit hard and fast. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
I want to reiterate that there is no need for panic, but there is a strong need to be alert, be informed, and be prepared.
Other COVID19/COVID-19/2019-nCoV articles:
COVID-19 A Plea To The Politicians (And Media)
COVID-19 Breaking A Chain?
COVID19 The Situation In China Gets Even Weirder
COVID19 24Feb20 Raising DEFCON
COVID19 21Feb20: Just Look At The Blooms Dear
COVID19 Update 20Feb20
Update & Quick Thoughts On Preparedness
Expansion On A Theme
Well Maybe I Was Wrong
Some Quick Thoughts On Coronavirus 2019-nCoV
Why Should You Be Prepared?
Coronavirus And Practical Preparedness