While neighbors are out narcing on neighbors for daring to step outside for fresh air and freedom, state and national elected officials continue fueling the fear by grabbing a podium and shouting “FIRE”. Authorities literally arrested a lone surfer for daring to violate a “government mandate” to be fearful and remain indoors.
No serious person is denying that COVID-19 (Wuhan virus) is killing people. Neither, are serious people denying that in the right conditions (crowding) the virus appears to transfer easily.
Unlike other coronavirus strains MERS and SARS, Wuhan is proving more deadly. The National Health Service in the United Kingdom reports MERS killed around 858 globally and SARS around 774 globally. According to the World Health Organization, the Wuhan virus death toll is over 62,000 as of this morning (April 6) and it isn’t finished yet. The virus should be taken seriously, but panic and overreaction are as dangerous as the disease itself.
Hopefully when we come out the other side of this, and we will, those whose job it is to study the data and plan accordingly, will. Not like after the H1N1 (Swine Flu) epidemic where supplies were depleted and never restored. Each county and hospital needs an emergency plan to go to for when this happens in the future. We know it will. We know the next epidemic/pandemic is always out there. The people we elect to make decisions should get busy putting plans together hoping to never use them.
The cynic in me says they haven’t because they aren’t the ones who suffer under the failure of mismanagement. The same cynic also says we rely too heavily on “experts”. Those who have for decades created bad policy and are still collecting pay checks.
Frederick Memorial Hospital should use this opportunity to make certain in the future it has enough personal protective equipment (PPE) to see it through any future influenza or coronavirus epidemic.
For a reality/sanity check; and maybe some perspective:
Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported nationwide from October 1, 2019 through March 21, 2020 there have been 38,000,000 – 54,000,000 flu illnesses. 400,000 – 730,000 have been hospitalized due to flu. 24,000-64,000 have DIED from the FLU. National testing for flu this year starting before the Wuhan virus strain was reported, was already above average.
Last year the CDC reported 180,000 were hospitalized and 34,200 died during the 2018-19 flu season. This year’s flu season is a particularly harsh one in comparison and it’s reflected in the data.
Governor’s didn’t crash their state’s economy, force people into bankruptcy or threaten the lives and livelihoods while simultaneously threatening to incarcerate it’s citizenry over tens of thousands of deaths due to flu. Why is the Wuhan virus, different?
For more perspective, here are some Maryland statistics for this year’s flu.
Per the Maryland Health Department as of the week ending March 28, 2020 H1N1 is still widespread throughout Maryland and the activity level remains “high”. It has been this way since the week ending January 25, 2020 when it first stared moving through Maryland. Outpatient visits have “increased slightly”, but lab specimens testing positive for flu, have decreased. There were 43 flu associated hospitalizations as of the March 28 reporting, 51 deaths associated with flu.
Of the reported 91 Maryland coronavirus deaths, the ones reported all had underlying medical conditions and/or were elderly. How many also had the flu? What’s not reported is 98.62% of those who contract COVID19 survive.
What is also not being reported is the need to create “herd immunity” so that we don’t go through this again in the fall. We need to build immunity like we did with SARS and MERS. There is a better way to survive this current government created panic.
While we are waiting for the tide to turn, 911 isn’t for turning your neighbors in because they are playing basketball in their driveway. Nor is it for when five or six or 10 people are out walking in the park. We are still in America. This isn’t communist China – yet. If you send a drone to spy on me, I will shoot it out of the sky.