COVID-19 continues to spread and is getting worse
It’s surprising to see that two-plus months after we were told the Coronavirus had been diagnosed on our shores and that it was an epidemic on its way to being a pandemic, there are people that still want to put this disease “in perspective.” No, this isn’t like cancer, it has no relation to motor vehicle deaths, suicide, or even the N1H1 flu. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization told the world leaders of the G20, “You have come together to confront the defining health crisis of our time: We are at war with a virus that threatens to tear us apart — if we let it. This is a global crisis that requires a global response.”
The “defining health crisis of our time.” A deadlier sickness than any flu or pandemic we have faced in more than 100 years. It spreads faster and as of this moment, there is no cure or vaccination. The only guidelines for trying to avoid contracting the disease is washing our hands and staying away from one another. And don’t touch our faces.
“How embarrassing it would be if, after all the stupid shit I’ve done in my lifetime I die from touching my face.” From a random Facebook meme, as I thoroughly rub my face. Well, I did wash my hands first.
On Sunday U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams told Fox News Sunday and Meet the Press COVID-19 would be “catastrophic.” He told Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday, “This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment, Only, it’s not going to be localized, it’s going to be happening all over the country. And I want America to understand that.”
He told Chuck Todd on Meet the Press, “We need you to stay at home. This is going to be a hard week. It’s going to test our resolve. It’s going to be the hardest week of our lives. But I’m confident based on the numbers in Washington and in California and Italy and in Spain, we can get through this, we will get through this. I know the American people will do the right thing and stay at home.”
This was after Dr. Anthony Fauci said this week was going to be the toughest, that this pandemic was going to get worse before it got better. He said this is going to get so bad this week it will be shocking to people.
After President Trump, in one of the most somber press rallies he’s held during this crisis told the small assemblage of reporters this Easter Week would be “one of the toughest weeks,” stating, “There’s going to be a lot of death, unfortunately. There will be a lot of deaths.”
A lot of death, especially in the top three hot spots of New York City, Detroit and Louisiana. All three are predicted to peak some time in the next 6-8 days.
Then Trump being Trump, said we couldn’t let the social distancing and stay-at-home orders continue. After Dr. Fauci said lifting the orders would be a bad idea. “Let’s take this to the bank, that mitigation works.” He told reporters the next two weeks were important, that these two weeks should be the time we don’t go to the grocery stores or pharmacies. That we stay at home and wash our hands.
The economy is tanking, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wanted Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to pump the breaks on another relief package because darn it, the little people got enough of a bailout with those $600-$1,200 payments. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told Margaret Brennan on CBS’s Face the Nation that Americans could survive on that money for five to six weeks.
In contrast, Vermont Independent Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said every American should get $2k per month. Republicans have a lot of Americans believing that helping the citizens financially will be bad for the economy, that it would be one step towards that dreaded word, “Socialism.” Forgetting of course that the money actually belongs to the taxpayers anyway. They paid it to the government, which is supposed to work for them. Minor, somewhat obscured details.
So, somewhere between McConnell’s do-nothing attitude and Bernie’s $2k per month plan the House of Representatives will hammer out a new relief package to carry the U.S. economy into the fall, or at least through most of the summer.
Still, in some states life goes on as if this pandemic doesn’t exist. People are still going to church, attending crowded services as the infection and death numbers rise. When Dr. Fauci says the best thing we can do to fight the coronavirus is stay at home and when we’re not at home, stay at least six feet apart.
On Sunday I was watching a CNN news clip from somewhere in Ohio in which reporters, keeping their six feet of safety, asked parishioners why they were going into a crowded church when the director of infectious diseases (Dr. Fauci) was saying we should not be in crowded social events such as church services. One woman said she was safe because she was “covered in Jesus’ blood.” Because of that the church patron believes she won’t get or spread the disease.
How do we fight stupid?
In defense of the church elders and pastors: having asses in the pews on Sunday brings in the money, especially on a holiday like Easter. Governors all over the U.S. have declared religious services to be essential even though many have been proven to be “super-spreaders” of COVID-19. Church goers have no idea if any of their fellow parishioners are carrying the disease — or who — and if the service is large enough, a few thousand in many cases, how many carriers are attending the service.
That’s how COVID-19 spread in Albany, Georgia, where they have had over 30 deaths in the past three weeks due to the disease.
Avoid churches, beaches, crowded stores — just avoid going anywhere, wash our hands thoroughly and often, wear masks when we do leave home and stay at least six feet apart. One more warning: don’t listen to Trump when he speaks at his daily press rallies. As much as he continues to lie about the disease — like the idea of using a drug Dr. Fauci says does not have any verifiable evidence it works. Hydroxychloroquine is an anti-malaria drug.
Dr. James Phillips, professor of emergency medicine at George Washington University Hospital told CNN a person could be risking their health taking drugs that have no discernable effect on an infectious disease. He said, “It’s a dangerous message for someone without a medical license to get up there and tell people to try it. You need to listen to physicians, people who understand science, before you go willy-nilly into the medicine cabinet.”
Trump also said hospital administrators and doctors are “thrilled with where they are” when it comes to medical supplies. After his boy, Jared Kushner, who is now in charge of the the federal coronavirus response, said the federal stockpile of supplies was theirs (the administration’s) and not for the states.
Trump isn’t just telling lies, he’s spreading dangerous misinformation, like suggesting the stay-at-home orders should end soon and people be allowed to attend Easter church services. Once again it should be noted the president hasn’t issued any stay-at-home orders, it’s been up to the governors and states.
The notion that the cure is worse than the disease has to be put down now, before it kills even more people. We still don’t have adequate testing that would do much to slow the spread and the hospitals in hot spots are drowning in coronavirus cases, working with shortages of PPE and equipment like ventilators.
This is no time to stop or curtail our efforts —all our efforts including stay-at-home and social distancing. Trump is a threat to national security, especially with this disease.
As of Monday morning, April 6, there are 337,309 confirmed cases in the U.S., with 9,643 deaths and 17,528 recoveries. Roughly 5% of the cases have recovered. That’s 120, 904 new cases since my last post on April 2 and 4,507 new deaths, almost 1,127 deaths per day. On March 30 we were only losing just over 100 to the coronavirus. That’s over a 1,000% rise in coronavirus fatalities.
In California we have 13.438 cases, with 319 deaths and 60 recoveries. On March 30 we had 6,366 cases with 129 deaths. More than doubled the cases and not quite double the fatalities. Governor Gavin Newsom has just suspended the state sales tax for 12 months to help small businesses during this crisis. That will save individuals money as well.
That things we are doing right in California we need to continue, and improve, starting with Stay At Home.
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UPDATE: United Kingdom Prime Minister announce on March 27 that he had been diagnosed with COVID-19. Johnson had been convalescing in self isolation at 11 Downing Street, the residence for his office at 10 Downing Street. On Sunday Evening he was admitted to St. Thomas hospital in London for “routine tests” and then was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit earlier today. The British government said his condition had worsened, requiring his change of status. It’s not clear whether he is on a ventilator or not, but being in the ICU makes it likely he will be if he isn’t already.
Foreign secretary Dominic Raab will deputize — stand in — for Johnson when and where appropriate.
The U.K. has one of Europe’s highest death tolls, over 5,373 so far and 51,608 known infected.
Top photo is a YouTube screenshot of a Brooklyn, New York COVID-19 ICU
Tim Forkes started as a writer on a small alternative newspaper in Milwaukee called the Crazy Shepherd. Writing about entertainment, he had the opportunity to speak with many people in show business, from the very famous to the people struggling to find an audience. In 1992 Tim moved to San Diego, CA and pursued other interests, but remained a freelance writer. Upon arrival in Southern California he was struck by how the elected government officials and business were so intertwined, far more so than he had witnessed in Wisconsin. His interest in entertainment began to wane and the business of politics took its place. He had always been interested in politics, his mother had been a Democratic Party official in Milwaukee, WI, so he sat down to dinner with many of Wisconsin’s greatest political names of the 20th Century: William Proxmire and Clem Zablocki chief among them. As a Marine Corps veteran, Tim has a great interest in veteran affairs, primarily as they relate to the men and women serving and their families. As far as Tim is concerned, the military-industrial complex has enough support. How the men and women who serve are treated is reprehensible, while in the military and especially once they become veterans. Tim would like to help change that.