COVID-19 — cue “It’s the End of the World” by R.E.M. I wonder if they get sick of hearing or reading of their song being used for every crisis that comes down the pike. But of course the Coronavirus is the most devastating pandemic to hit the planet since the Spanish Flu of 1918.
I started this on March 18, and it’s amazing how fast the stats have changed in less than 48 hours.
On March 18 Italy recorded 475 fatalities — in one day. Almost 3,000 deaths in total since the pandemic hit that country. They have over 35,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, over 4,000 have successfully recovered. That leaves 28.000 who have tested positive and are suffering or are asymptomatic. The governor of Lombardy, in northern Italy, said the day is soon coming when their hospitals will no longer be able to treat the sick.
On March 20: 47.021 cases, 4. 032 deaths and over 600 deaths in one day, a new record. Of course the numbers are up all over Europe and the U.S.
Just three years ago the World Health Organization said Italy has one of the best health care systems in the world and in Northern Italy, the “Long Island Village” of Italy (the wealthiest), the place with the best hospitals and doctors was declared one of the best medical systems in the world.
Why is Italy the example to look at? Because experts that study infectious diseases say New York City, and possibly the entire nation, is on the same trajectory. What we need is an entire revamping of the country, converting empty buildings, abandoned hospitals, sports arena, abandoned schools, dorms, etc. into hospitals just to treat patients that have tested positive for COVID-19. The buildings would be set up with different wards separating those who have mild or no symptoms, one for those with medium symptoms and one for the most severe cases. And of course the medical personnel going into those facilities would have all the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE — #GetMePPE on Twitter).
That brings up the two biggest failings of this nation’s response to the pandemic: Not enough testing for everyone and a lack of PPE. How in the hell are we still unable to test everyone who is sick, let alone everyone that wants to be tested? Jeez, there are people like me that check all the high risk boxes, yet we can’t get tested. I found this out when my doctor’s nurse called to say my blood test results were normal. So I asked him how I could go about getting a COVID-19 test. He said I can’t unless I’m showing symptoms. And then only if a flu test came back with a positive result.
But, if everyone is a potential carrier of the disease wouldn’t it make sense to test everyone, whether they show symptoms or came into contact with someone identified as a carrier? Sure, testing 350 million would be extremely difficult, especially considering there are so many that believe what Trump spewed just a week ago, that this is a hoax. Plus, the ones who just don’t like government and believe there is some grand conspiracy to control everyone under the heel of a One World Order. So test as many as possible, at least in the highest density areas, like Washington, California, New York
Let’s not forget Florida.
We already know the Republicans that control the Sunshine State are science deniers. When Rick Scott was governor they tried to ban the use of the terms “climate change” and “global warming” from all official documents. Even as communities like Miami Beach were having to deal with the effects of global warming in the form of sea level rise.
So, while COVID-19 was escalating at a high rate of speed the business community and state government let generation z’ers hang out at the bars, nightclubs and beaches during Spring Break. What state or local government would allow that to happen during a national health emergency — a pandemic? But you know, there were millions of dollars to be made …
As for the dipshit young people, like the one who boasted, “If I get corona, I get corona. At the end of the day, I’m not gonna let it stop me from partying.” Good luck. Those were the words of Brady Sluter of Ohio who was in Miami. Just to make a couple three things clear for those that don’t know: 1: COVID-doesn’t need anyone’s permission to stop them from partying. It will just hit and if the symptoms get very bad, which they do for young people as well as old people, it is terrifying. 2: Researchers are finding that COVID-19 is affecting large numbers of young people between the ages of 18-49, so no one — NO ONE — is immune. 3: even if as a young partier on Spring Break, you could be an asymptomatic carrier and pass that shit on to someone that is at high risk. So it’s not just about you and your spring breaking buddies, Brady.
The coronavirus, COVID-19, is a respiratory infection. That means, Brady, it attacks your lungs primarily. If you get it count yourself lucky if all you get is a high fever and dry cough. If the symptoms get so severe you have to be on a ventilator (if one is available), that means your lungs are filling up with fluid. So much so you can’t breathe on your own. You’re not even choking, you’re suffocating. Then mercifully you pass out before you die. You don’t even get a last gasp because your breath is taken from you by the disease.
Oh yeah, Brady, if you get it you get it and then you’re fucked. Even if it doesn’t get extreme you suffer. Gotta wonder about his parents.
But then, people wondered about my generation’s parents because we wore our hair long, wore bell bottoms, listen to crazy guitar music, smoked weed and dropped acid. And look at how I turned out … Okay, bad example, but, you get my point.
Boy, this went off the rails fast.
Anyway, we’re going to need 3 billion masks, and figure that many gowns and pairs of surgical gloves — PPE’s. Hundreds of thousands more hospital beds, many, many more respirators and other essential equipment. Trump claims he’s a wartime president. No, he’s a peacetime putz. You want to be a wartime president, Donald Trump? Use the Defense Production Act of 1950 and order these stalled industries to retool and make the equipment and tests we will need to fight this pandemic. No, Mr. Trump, you’re not a shipping clerk. You’re the fucking president of the United States. Act like it.
Just saw on TV, a doctor said, after listening to Trump’s latest press conference, “Don’t listen to the president.” I’ve heard experts criticize presidents before on account of their disaster responses. but I have never heard experts tell people to not listen to the president. That should scare the shit out of the average person. We do not have a centralized response to this pandemic so state governors are left to respond on their own. Hospital administrators are having to get on Twitter and ask for people to help make masks and gowns, if they know how to sew or have 3-D printers ( #GetMePPE ).
As of right now 292 people in Los Angeles County have been diagnosed with COVID-19. The median age is 47. Dr. Barbara Ferrer of the county’s Public Health Department told the Los Angeles Times the risk is spread across every demographic: age, gender, ethnicity. No one is immune. Statewide: over 1,040 cases with 19 deaths. Nationally, there are 19,106 cases, 246 deaths, 39 new today. Ten days ago I wrote that over 700 people in the United States had been afflicted by COVID-19. Twelve thousand cases later … doing the math — and I’m no mathematician so correct me if I’m wrong — but doing the math: in another 10 days we will have 228,000 cases in the U.S. Ten days after that: 3,876,000. Ten days later: 65,892,000. That’s mid-April. It won’t eve be done spreading by then. If only 1% of those 65-plus million die, that’s 650k. Almost 2 million if the fatality rate is 3%. I guess the not so bleak lining on that … extrapolation … is that 25.1 million will be in the Golden State.
When Governor Gavin Newsom called for his “stay at home” order he said he fully expects 56% of the state’s population will be infected. That’s over 25 million. Let’s say only 10% need hospitalization. That’s 2.5 million people that are at least feeling median symptoms and many that are severe. If only 1% of the afflicted die, that’s 250k. Just in California.
As for Senator Feinstein selling off a chunk of her portfolio, well, she’s covered by a blind trust and has no control over it, plus the stocks in question were unrelated to the coronavirus and belonged to her husband. Yeah, well, it looks suspicious Senator.
Perception is everything, but on the other hand, if you’ve been following the news, including economic/financial news, since November, there were a lot of indicators this was going to get very bad, very quickly once it reached our shores. So I do not begrudge anyone selling off their stocks before the market started to crash. It didn’t take insider knowledge to know the shit was hitting the fan.
Stay at home. This is only going to get worse and it will be with us for at least a year.
Stay at home.
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UPDATE: I’ve changed my mind. Every senator, representative and legislative aid that dumped stock or bought Coronavirus-related stock before — or while (in some cases) — they were telling us not to worry about the pandemic that was showing up in our communities, investigate them. Every one of them and then prosecute every one possible. Democrat, Republican or Independent. Doesn’t matter. And if they can’t be prosecuted, then we should consider voting them out of office. Here in California we can find a suitable candidate to primary Diane Feinstein. Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez-Flethcer of San Diego, for instance. Or Katie Porter of Orange County or Karen Bass of Los Angeles. We were betrayed and it should not stand.
Top photo courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control
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.