The Sky is Falling
The Flu Season is in its 12th week, ending in March 21, 2020., and the number of places in the US experiencing high ILI (influenza like illnesses) decreased from 40 to 37 last week, with the percentage of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza at 7.4% which is above the epidemic threshold of 7.3%. The seasonal flu season is monitored yearly, starting in October and usually ends in March or April. Even with the vaccine, which is about 45-50% effective, people do die from influenza and pneumonia like illnesses each year- usually about 55,000 deaths each year.
Younger children, older adults, pregnant woman, and patients who also have lung problems, diabetes, cardiac disease, hypertension, and are obese (overweight) of immune-compromised (Cancer, HIV, others) have a higher chance of death. So, speaking of numbers only, 55,000 deaths due to ILI is about 4,600 deaths each month in the US, or if weighted for the Flu Season months, about as high as 9,200 deaths/month nationwide to influenza and pneumonia.
Today, at the time of writing this article there have been 6,069 deaths attributable to the COVID-19 Coronavirus. Most of them occurring more recently as the US is still on an upward slope in the number of new cases and deaths attributed to the COVID-19 Coronavirus. Based on what we do know from global monitoring, this virus appears to be 5 times more contagious than the flu virus, and 10 times more deadly. But, as we have been witnessing from many sources, state and local agencies are attributing many and non-Covid19 related deaths to this virus for both political and monetary reasons, so it may be difficult to get accurate numbers until after the election.
It has also been asserted that this virus can have an unusually long incubation period, so that someone maybe exposed to it but not show symptoms or even get sick for several days afterwards, and can therefore spread the virus to many other people thinking they are virus free.
One only has to observe what happened in Italy to see what can be the result of not practicing good hygiene: washing frequently and especially before handling food and eating. All common sense precautions. At the time of this post, we were not mandated to wearing masks, but that changed, and there was never any sound scientific proof that it prevented the spread of the virus. We also now know that there are different strains of the virus, some much less virulent.
Expensive N95 grade masks have been pushed in our media as the coveted item for protecting oneself, but we need only look to the past even with plagues going back centuries: simply covering the face against larger droplets which carry the virus is what is for the most part, what is needed to protect us… as for the aerosols and fine viral particles, such masks offer no help, but an apparent example that we are all doing everything we need to do to show solidarity and more importantly, be very, very afraid.
These masks in reality, do help by keeping your fingers away from your mouth, but otherwise, do not help stop the fine viral particles in the air from entering your lungs. We know this as we witness workers who are employed in research centers, are wearing much more than cloth masks as we see below.
Some people are donning surgical gloves; but as lessons from the past have shown, we might be better protected with cotton cloth gloves, as this would better prevent the spread of the virus from one surface to another.
Studies have shown that when tested in the hospitals, about 20% of practitioners’ surgical gloves tested positive for the virus, and the virus was also found on the pump handles of the cleansing dispensers, and printers in the same hospitals- most if not all of these practitioners were wearing surgical gloves.
Americans are getting a quick learning on how to clean and protect against contagious diseases. Is this all necessary?
Again, if we don’t wish to end up like Italy, this may be necessary. But we should be smart about it, and use our knowledge in sensible and realistic manner. Yes, even if we were to dispense an N95 mask, surgical gowns, gloves, and other protective gear to everyone in the US, some people despite all efforts are going to contract this disease and die, but only because these patients were not getting the treatment they needed in a timely matter. This treatment was being with-held due to ignorance, greed, and political gain and malfeasance due in total to the motives of our politicians.
But people die, year after year with the flu virus, and we as a nation are okay with this, in a manner of speaking, so why are we so afraid of the current COVID-19 Virus pandemic? Probably, simply because we don’t really know how bad this will end up in the end. Will we follow in the wake of what happened in Italy? Or will we be able to end up much better, and if so, what can we do to keep our deaths down?
Even as I write this, the media and the politicians are busy trying to figure out how to sell to the American people that this is the worst most possible assault on our nation and everyone appears to be running around like chicken little, crying the sky is falling…
Fact 1. Practicing good hygiene does work. Washing hands, and refraining from touching your face will greatly improve your chances of staying healthy.
Fact 2. Social distancing also helps, but by this, I mean doing everything you can do to reduce your risk of become exposed to the virus: staying at home and restricting travel if you are ill. The virus doesn’t just fall to the ground after traveling through the air six feet. This six feet rule is utter nonsense, and is not supported by any scientific study except when someone around you is visibly sick and happens to sneeze large amounts of sputum and respiratory phlegm towards you.
We don’t have to go overboard about this, though. I still go out to go shopping and work (I am a health care provider) and as these activities are now considered high risk, it’s a matter of mitigating that risk be adhering to good common sense hygiene. We don’t have to lock ourselves in bunkers. The experience shared by our friends in Sweden show that the lock-downs were useless. There are ways we can come into contact with the virus than don’t include actually inhaling it, and this brings me to our next point, the lock-downs were only supposed to last 2-3 weeks to allow the hospitals from getting overloaded. But the politicians saw is as a way to help them make us very afraid.
Fact 3. The virus can be ingested. The virus can be found on food items, and as we have heard from the experts, we don’t want to touch our face or mouth, or we can get sick. The virus can and does enter our bodies through an oral route as well as through the airway. So we must be careful when handling food items, and the way we prepare our food. Again, good hygiene, and common sense. But to be frank, the writer of this post, got the virus via this route, and only had a couple of days of a minor GI upset, and no further symptoms.
Fact 4. Even with our best efforts, we may still get sick. But looking on the bright side, most of us who do get exposed to and get the virus, will either have little to no symptoms, or will have what we think of as another cold or mild flu; some recent reports of this virus actually having a second strain (Type S as apposed to Type L) as being described as less virulent and less deadly.
Fact 5. There is a lot of fear mongering and doomsday preachers out there, trying to get us to think the worst. For the most part, again, common sense thinking and good hygiene will help everyone through this. But as an example of people thinking the worst: I saw in a recent post that somehow the southern states have something sinister happening because of an image that has gone viral (no pun intended) that appears to show that somehow the south is not more of a risk than our heavily populated cities, like NYC.
This is from the Article in The Atlantic: Titled:
The Coronavirus’s Unique Threat to the South
More young people in the South seem to be dying from COVID-19. Why?
This is yet another media source trying to earn a buck, trying to get you to their site over someone else, like watching a car wreck on the side of road… taking advantage of the great unknown again. We are afraid of the unknown and are quick and eager to click to another site that may seemingly help “me” from getting sick. There is nothing sinister happening in the south that hasn’t happened anywhere else. Going back to facts above, when people travel when they think they are not sick, and drive into gas stations, bathrooms, restaurants, hotels, etc… they are spreading the virus unknowingly, mostly because they are not practicing good hygiene.
Then more people get the virus and spread it to others. Nothing new here. This virus is more contagious that the average cold viruses (rhinovirus, influenza, and the annual common non-virulent coronavirus strains) which we catch year after year. Let me show you an example: a beach in Florida where a bunch of kids enjoying there spring break this year. After enjoying time in the sun, in pools, and on the beach, they all went back to their homes.
As you can see in the picture above, spring break is often accompanied with close social interaction, drinking (with the possibility of sharing drink-ware) and sharing items such as bongs, pipes, and joints, if the spring-breakers also engage in the social activity of marijuana smoking, which is becoming more the norm as many states either have legalized marijuana or have become very lenient with prohibition laws.
Also, note, as this virus is shed from both coughing & sneezing, it is also shed in fecal material and urine (in pools and hot tubs) and practicing poor hygiene in the bathroom, so these spring breakers, were highly likely to be in contact, get infected with the virus, and then travel back home through the southern states, shedding the virus, thinking they were all virus free. This video will help you realize that a single beach in Florida can be a tremendous source of viral spread:
Fact 6. This virus is going to run its course. Many hundreds or millions of people will contract this virus, and sadly people may die; but for the most part, most people will never even know they have or had the virus. When they tested the vacationers on one of the cruise lines in San Fransisco early in the course, of the 750 people who tested positive, 85% had no symptoms whatsoever. Of those who do get COVID-19 and get sick, most will have a good chance in surviving this virus, if treated appropriately and promptly with appropriate medications that have been used around the world for decades.
Unfortunately, we are seeing many people die, and from what I can gather from many of the reports, both anecdotal and scientific, it is being suggested that many of these patients would have survived if pharmaceutical (drugs-medications) were started a lot sooner than they were; and in fact, many patients received only supportive care, with no antiviral, or other directed medications to treat the immune response or the inflammatory assault on their body.
Many reports are coming out that medications are being started only after the patients are observed “taking a turn for the worst” after their lungs are already filled with fluid, and most likely to late for any drug to work. Drugs need to be started when they enter the hospital.
Fact 7. Americans will survive this virus, and the economy will recover. We will have learned a lot from our experiences, and will undoubtedly have many things to say about it for years. We will mourn our losses. Some will suffer more than others. But we must be realistic, and not succumb to draconian actions, when good common sense and prompt and appropriate medications be used and administered in a timely manner.
At the present, many are still predicting a massive increase in new cases and deaths. Common sense rules apple here. We have a good health care system, and we are using it wisely in some instances, but we are unfortunately wondering in the dark when we don’t take common sense actions and treat our patients with timely intervention when it will do the most good.
Recent studies and anecdotal reports show, again, in order to be effective, medications used alone or in combination with antiviral therapy, but these need to be started before the disease results in the lungs being “flooded” with inflammation and fluid.
At this stage, the disease is not as much as virus attack on the body, but rather the bodies own response to the illness, or what doctors are referring to a “cytokine storm.” The following video reveals that when the immune response has reached this stage, anti interleukin-6 agents (interleukin-6 (IL-6) receptor antagonist) can be used to treat the results of this problem in the lungs. In this example, a drug called Actemra (tocilizumab) was used to treat the patient:
Interleukin-6 (IL-6) inhibitors ameliorate severe damage to lung tissue caused by cytokine release in patients with serious COVID-19 infections. Several studies have indicated a “cytokine storm” with release of IL-6, IL-1, IL-12, and IL-18, along with tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) and other inflammatory mediators. The increased pulmonary inflammatory response may result in increased alveolar-capillary gas exchange, making oxygenation difficult in patients with severe illness. So a drug that prevents this problem is very helpful as it was in this doctors situation.
Presently, it appears that NYC (40% of deaths nationwide) has been hit the hardest in the US. Recent innovative technology has revealed how the disease has spread. By using the same technology used to track the spring break cell phones, we are able to monitor cell phones and see how a virus may be spread throughout a nation.
Tracking data released recently suggest New Yorkers are less likely to avoid public places and stay home than residents of hard-hit coronavirus hotspots in Europe. Reports revealed data that the location data allowed authorities to “make critical decisions to combat COVID-19, but rules demanding isolation was not really helpful- the largest increases were not found with people who were out and about, but those in nursing homes, and those who self quarantined in their own homes. So social isolation played no role in helping to stem the spread.
On May 6, 2020 Zack Fink Albany published an article regarding the statistics of the people who were observed being hospitalized and the numbers were not what was suspected; it was predicted that the people who were out traveling in mass transit, or those coming into close contact with COVID19 patients, such as doctors and nurses, who be the majority of new cases and that this fact would support the continued social isolation and continued lock-down of our businesses and institutions. Governor Cuomo explained: “We were thinking that maybe we were going to find a higher percentage of essential employees who were getting sick because they were going to work, that these may be nurses, doctors, transit workers,” Cuomo said. “That’s not the case, and they were predominantly at home.
The survey of 1,300 patients at 113 hospitals around New York state revealed that 66 percent of all new hospitalizations were people who are sheltering at home. 18 percent of new hospitalizations are from nursing homes, where there have also been close to 5,000 deaths. And less than 1 percent are coming from jails and prisons, despite warnings from advocates that prisons would be disproportionately affected.
It is obvious from these statistics, that 84% of patients who were essentially adhering to self quarantine and social isolation (those staying at home, and in nursing homes) are the majority of patients getting sick, and despite the advice and directives from our state and federal governments, they are still getting sick.
Also, regardless of whether or not people in the streets were attending political crowds or rioting, the virus was not seen to be any more or less contagious one way or the other.
Stay safe, wash, but don’t forget to live, smile, and sleep. Stress can serve to only add to the body’s burden of staying alive, and not taking care to get enough sleep, eating healthy, and enjoying your family and neighbors will only serve to hasten your bodies immune system to become more susceptible to illness and suffering.
Lastly I encourage self awareness of body and mind to limit and reduce stresses in your lives by looking for the good in people even as our media and politicians want you to think the sky has fallen. It hasn’t. We have seen novel coronaviruses in this country twice before since 2006, and both had a case fatality rate of about 10% or more- yet demanding we don masks, close schools, close businesses, restaurants and gyms, was not required then, so why are we demanding such draconian measures with this third less dangerous novel coronavirus?
The enforcement of small business closures is very troubling. I challenge anyone with legal or medical evidence that will show you have a greater risk of getting COVID19 in any business, no matter how small, in any way more than you would experience in Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, Costco, etc…
There is no evidence that proves small business establishments present a greater risk of contagious spread than larger box stores. So why did we accept this as both legal and rational? Its like our leaders are playing Lord of the Flies… and in the end the little “piggy” stores were killed… all the while the leaders telling us we need to be very afraid.
Presently we have engaged in the largest drive in the world to get everyone tested. We have seen positive tests increase, and we are told that this is very bad, and we must be very afraid. But we are not being told, that for the most part, these positive tests are NOT resulting in skyrocketing increases in case fatalities. Remember, appropriate and timely treatment has shown to keep deaths down or even prevented.
I suspect, your response to be that everything was closed to keep us safe, except for the “essential establishments” in order to stop the virus spread in order to keep what happened in Italy from happening here. But a closer look at Italy will reveal that had they followed appropriate hygiene and actions to “social distance” (including border closures; especially from China) their mortality rate would have been far reduced. China allowed for it’s infected citizens to travel not-stop from Wuhan, China (ground zero) to Milan, Italy, during the Fashion Week, and this resulted in many people getting sick when this could have and should have been stopped by closing their borders.
Allowing larger stores to remain open, and closing the smaller stores was possible only due to the fact that the smaller stores have no one in their corner with the courage and political power to stop draconian politicians who wanted us all very afraid. Could this have been a ploy only to support and give a stronger argument for mail in balloting, which most will agree is fraught with fraud and abuse?
Regarding a good discussion as to the mortality rate in Italy, consider reading this article:
Agian, allowing for larger stores to remain open, and closing the smaller stores was possible only due to the fact that the smaller stores have no one in their corner with the courage and political power to stop draconian politicians who wanted us all very afraid. Could this have been a ploy only to support and give a stronger argument for mail in balloting, which most will agree is fraught with fraud and abuse?
The correct path would appear to be to re-open our businesses, schools, and institutions, as the virus is not just resulting in the deaths of our elderly population, it is also causing the deaths of our businesses, both young and old.
We need to reverse course and re-open all our businesses… there is no medical evidence what-so-ever that supports that there is a higher risk of COVID19 contagiousness in smaller companies verses the larger box stores which were allowed to stay open… In Europe, where states and countries stayed open, we see that this behavior resulted in no increase is case fatality rates; in fact, most of the countries are seeing rates that are similar to just a bad flu season.
Doctors treating patients with COVID19 disease from the SARS2 coronavirus in their offices, outside of the control of the government controlled settings, are getting good results with 0% mortality when treating with medications that have been used and available for decades.
It should seem obvious why our politicians have resulted in these draconian lock-downs, and to be frank, living in the DC area allows people to hear words that slip from a staffers mouth and one only has to imagine the rest, but the rest is usually forth-coming with little or no effort in doing nothing but listening to the swampers.
The real question that should be on everyone’s mind, is why Italy had to suffer; why did they have the many deaths that were so inhumanly much higher.
Even with the report mentioned by Breitbart url post above, the real answer is not revealed. To get this, you need to know the real motive that was the root of the Wanton release of the virus from Wuhan to Milan; The POX Connection. This was not unintentional.
Did you know Arthur Conan Doyle was an ophthalmologist before he retired as a practicing physician and became one of the most well known mystery writers the world has ever been blessed with.