Reality Check

Time for some real talk.

Regardless of your political viewpoint, regardless of its origin, COVID-19 is real.

We had an opportunity in the early part of this year to minimize its spread and the death toll.   For a variety of reasons it would be counterproductive to list here, we — as a nation — failed to do so.

People are sick and suffering across the country as a result.  Hundreds of thousands have died, and very likely hundreds of thousands more will.  Many of those who survive will have long lasting health issues.

Regardless of the outcome of the current election, we are faced with an important reality check.

We only have a few options to choose from:

Option 1:

Issue a three go four week national stay at home order, limit interaction to deliveries and pickups cleaning things before handling them, and essentially kill off the virus by eliminating its ability to transfer to new hosts.  This will not save those already infected, it will save the largest possible number of us though. This is the fastest path to economic recovery.

Option 2:

Do nothing, reopen everything, allow the the virus to achieve maximum infection and death rate and then those lucky enough to survive without long term health concerns as a result attempt to return to normal.  Our health care system cannot handle the burden of this option
Countless additional people will die due to the lack of available space, resources, and medical staff to save them. Our consumer economy cannot survive the loss of that many consumers.

Option 3:

Continue a half-assed piecemeal approach with varying reactionary steps being taken in different regions while people travel back and forth through them defeating the purpose of such measures.  Our health care system cannot handle the burden of this option
Countless additional people will die due to the lack of available space, resources, and medical staff to save them. Our consumer economy cannot survive the loss of that many consumers.

Where Does That Leave Us:

Both options 2 and 3 result in continued suffering and death, collateral damage, an overburdened health care system, and long term economic devastation that will not begin to reverse until a safe vaccine is developed.

With the combination of our for profit health care system and the anti-vaxxer movement in our nation, that vaccine will still not likely be available to enough people that will take it to effectively achieve the goal of herd immunity without all the suffering and death caused by the illness.

The only viable option available to us, truthfully, is option 1. No other option saves as many lives or saves the economy (not just the stock market values) as quickly. Options 2 and 3 will take years before they have run. their course.

We will need leadership with the courage to make the call and the willingness to enforce it.

If we choose wrong, you or someone you know will suffer direct consequences. Everyone will suffer the indirect consequences.

No Excuses

It is imperative that, this November, you remember that the first reported case of COVID-19 occurred in China in mid-November of 2019. A few months prior the Trump administration had terminated the position of the CDC doctor embedded with China’s version of the CDC to provide us with an early warning of any outbreaks there. This was after disbanding all of the people and protocols that President Obama had put in place to deal with such pandemic outbreaks during the early states of the Ebola epidemic. It was also after cutting funding to the CDC and diverting much of it’s remaining funding toward an idiotic border wall.

U.S. Intelligence officials were aware of the outbreak in China and began briefing Trump in December of last year, but he; himself, admits that he doesn’t give credence to their agencies nor does he read all of their briefing reports.

You can be sure that when Trump was briefed, so were the House and Senate intelligence, foreign affairs, and commerce committees. Yet the Republicans on those committees continued repeating Trump’s lies and dismissals to conservative media audiences.

In January, major American retailers began taking note of the situations developing with their supply chains in China. H.E.B, one of our nation’s leading grocery chains, began preparing then for what they expected to become a national shelter in place order similar to the regional quarantines already starting in Wuhan and other regions of China at that time.

The first case of COVID-19 was reported in the U.S. on January 20, of this year.

Still our government would do nothing.

Trump would spend the following two months downplaying it and decrying it as a hoax and partisan diversion instead of handling it.

As Americans continue to suffer and die due to this illness, and others experience loss of income and economic devestation due to our delays in responding appropriately as well as the malevolent incompetence of our presidential administration, Trump is playing games with their lives, demanding fealty from opposition party governors before helping the citizens of the nation as a whole.

First he told them to get their own medical supplies, then he outbid them for those same supplies with federal funds so he could control which states could and could not get them based on whether their governors openly support or oppose his politics and policies.

Now it is March 29th, and this is where we are at:

Source: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

The fact that New York is home to nearly half of the United States’ reported COVID-19 infections is not so much an indication of them as a “hot spot” of illness but of testing.

Realtime states at: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/

With that lack of testing across the rest of the nation, the U.S. is still averaging 374 infections per million people of population and 7 deaths per million. And those are just with the cases we have tested and reported.

The respective global averages are 86.9 and 4.1.

We are nearly double the global average death rate and quadruple the global average infection rate based on available testing data.

Realtime stats at: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

That is a failure of both a populace that refuses to comply for the common good and a for profit health care system.

Dealing with it doesn’t have to tank our national economy, that is a failure of a system we have accepted despite being based on feudal lords and Robber Barons.

This pandemic, and our response (or lack thereof) to it, is trying to teach us some important #Culturalinertia lessons.

Will we be willing to learn them and change direction as we come out of the stall, or will we just start ourselves right back down the same path, racing blindly and unprepared toward the next preventable crisis?

As a start, if you are still alive in November of this year, you better damn well find a way to vote. Not just for the office of president, but for every position at every level of government. Everyone involved in protecting, enabling, or participating in this malevolent incompetence must be removed from any positions of power over the lives of the rest of us.