Starting with a bit of humor today, as the vast majority of people in the U.S. have not been paying attention and for them the world turned upside down yesterday. Beloved celebrities, sports, music, movies, and more. For the majority, many of whom who reacted with anger and more, the Game Of Loads And Vectors just got real.
For me, I just wish this one had been real. Fake news, outstanding troll, and really well done. Sadly, it’s not and what follows is all too real and all too frequent
There really isn’t a lot to say right now. This never has been (and never could have been because of the Chinese) about prevention. It is about slowing the rate of infection so as not to overwhelm the medical system. It is about slowing the rate of infection to allow time to ramp up resources, do research, and develop both treatments and vaccine(s). It is about protecting as many lives as possible, along with the economic health of the Republic and its Citizens.
Sadly, we are behind the curve. Not because of the Administration or Trump or Pence, etc. No, the failure rests squarely on the shoulders of the elite, the pros, the deep bureaucracy/deep state. Don’t believe me? Well, here’s this in the New York Times and here’s this in Reason. Then, go read this about a different aspect of the failure of the CDC to prepare to perform their basic and fundamental mission.
Why does it matter? Well, immediately it matters because that lack of preparation and failure to do the job not only spreads infections, but results in needless deaths. This comparison of the difference in outcomes between Italy and South Korea puts it in black and white. It also matters in a few months, when we vote not just for candidates, but between freedom or an expanded inflexible incompetent bureaucracy (a la China, Iran, and several other countries). Seriously, use the interactive graphic to compare outcomes between those with robust systems and competition to those that are state monopolies. Interesting difference, no?
As for why those now braying that it is no worse than the flu are wrong, this is just one point but it is a good one. Those saying it’s just the flu are idiots on par with those claiming it doesn’t exist and those claiming we’re all gonna die. Ultimately, there is no real difference between them.
Is it going to get worse? Yes. The infection will spread. Potentially to millions of Citizens. What matters is the rate of spread. The more it is slowed down now, the better the outcomes on every level. The spread is not a failure on anyone’s part. The rate of spread, however, may well be a massive failure on the part of the bureaucracy if it is anything but slow.
Again, there is no need to panic. In some ways, it is worse than the flu, and in others (for others) it is not. What is needed is rational thought, rational preparedness and response, and just general rationality. To get the latter (or most any of the rest) turn off the media. Then, try turning on your brain. Read, study, listen, learn.
But, hey, don’t listen to me. I’ve only been a science writer (former journalist) for more than 30 years covering medical/biomedical research during much of that time; been involved with medical/biomedical research to varying degrees for more than 10 years; and earned my basic Military Emergency Management Systems certification and badge. Obviously, by the standards of the politico/media elite, I have no clue what I’m talking about.
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…
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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