Yes, the number of cases in the U.S. has gone up. Yesterday it was 2,952 when I snapped the shot of the graphic. This morning, it is 3,774. BFD.
The number is going to rise, and continue to rise. That’s a given since the Chinese government lied, covered-up, and did all it could — up to refusing to allow CDC and WHO experts to help — to screw up anyone having a truly effective response.
As noted yesterday, what matters now is the rate of rise. We have to flatten the curve to stay ahead of this. Here are some cautionary words as to why. (HT Instapundit) On the heels of that, the CDC has issued new guidelines recommending no gatherings of any type of more than 50 people. Since words alone don’t seem to have the needed impact, let’s try a graphic (also stolen from Instapundit).
As for one of the other reasons for slowing the rate we discussed yesterday, here’s some good news: Moderna Therapeutics has shipped a prototype vaccine for clinical trials. While the article says in April, there are other reports this morning that the trial could start as early as this week in Seattle.
Right now there is a lot of chest thumping and posturing on social media by those who claim that this is all an overreaction, un-American (and they do have some valid points from a civil-liberties/libertarian point of view), unneeded, etc. You know what? I hope that four weeks from now you can still crow that it was all overblown and unneeded, as that is the historical way of your kind. I hope that you did not get it, and worse yet share it with parents, grandparents, friends, and others who might not have the survivability you do. I hope you can posture and strut to your heart’s content, as I will simply be happy that we did get ahead of it even if there is no way to prove that it was the steps taken (hard to prove a negative).
Meantime, for those that can and do think rather than strut and posture, here is some additional food for thought.
First, this pandemic has shown that the CDC and FDA need significant reform and modernization, and to be trimmed back to focus on their core missions. In addition, we need to remove yet more regulations that are blocking healthcare innovation and expansion. Excessive regulation is quite literally killing us.
Second, a couple of weeks ago I said that Europe had already fallen given the commitment to open borders (thank you Merkel). Belatedly, they are doing what they should have done then, well after the horses are gone and out of sight.
Third, given the efforts by the Chinese government to blame us for COVID-19 to deflect from their own abysmal failures and liabilities; and, because of their semi-official threats to cut off our medical supplies, I have a modest proposal for the President. The Trump Doctrine calls for the use of economics for leverage and as a form of warfare. So, as part of the efforts I would encourage you to put forth legislation and executive orders to repeal and remove regulatory roadblocks to bringing as much production, development and exploitation of resources, logistics, and related factors to the U.S. Further, I would urge that tax and other incentives be given to those companies who move production that can’t readily be done in the U.S. out of China and to specially designated countries or zones that have proven their friendship with the U.S. in SE Asia and elsewhere in the world including portions of Eastern Europe. Those companies that refuse to move production and other activities out of China should have to face the loss of tax incentives and other direct costs for not so doing. China was brittle before, and is even more so now. Threaten us? Time to tap hard to see how brittle they are, and even perhaps to smash.
Fourth, while not directly related to COVID-19, I suspect strongly that the EU is done. How soon it comes apart is debatable, but it could happen before the end of this year. Germany has shown that its leadership and commitment to living up to the requirements of the EU, such as helping Italy, just aren’t up to it. Resentment is high in every EU country, particularly within the public. Italy rightly believes that Germany and the EU have abandoned them, and there are already some surprisingly high-level open talk about if staying in the EU is a good idea. On the heels of Brexit, such talk is not to be taken lightly.
If my posts are enjoyable, helpful, or otherwise a benefit, please consider hitting the tip jar. With the levels of stupid out there, really do need to up the strategic alcohol and tobacco reserves…
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If you suspect you have COVID-19 or have been exposed: call your state health department and work with them so that you can be dealt with in a way that minimizes the chance of spreading the virus to those helping you and to the general public. Can’t get them? Call your local department or see if your health service has online/telemedicine screening set up; or see if one who has will let you use it even if you are not in their network. Do not go out in public, and don’t go to an ER or other facility without calling ahead. Be smart.
Use the interactive graphic to keep track of things. Is COVID19 an epidemic? Yes. Is it a Pandemic? Yes. Is there need for panic? NO. HELL NO. Should you be paying attention? Yes. Hell yes. Should you be preparing? Yes, better late than never. And good luck finding/getting stuff.
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. Right now, there is no way I’m going to a trade show, major convention, etc. 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.
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