Is America prepared for what’s coming, or what is already here? A few facts to wake you up this morning. The way COVID-19 cases are multiplying in the U.S. indicates that the virus might have been here for a few weeks, “crypto” spreading before symptoms show up. This would mean that the virus has a head start on CDC’s expanded testing program. It also would mean that the number of reported cases is lower than actual, probably by far.
The Chinese suppressed the actual case count, wanting it to go away. In this, Xi and Trump have the same mindset, except Xi exercises massive control of media, and social media. Eventually, the Chinese had to deal with a giant outbreak, quarantine at least a hundred million people, and do tremendous short-term damage to their economy to handle the influx of sick people. We may not know the extent of the human carnage for a long time, since bodies have been cremated en masse.
The South Koreans had a “typhoid Mary” spread, and were quickly overwhelmed. The Italians are now dealing with a huge problem. NBC New reports this morning: “Italy, which has extended the containment measures already in place in northern regions to the entire country, has confirmed more than 9,000 cases.”
Xi visited Wuhan in a kind of victory lap, but at great cost. The Chinese seem to finally have begun the process of getting ahead of COVID-19. But now the virus is firmly planted in the U.S. What are we prepared to do?
Italy’s plans to restrict movement for 60 million people are unprecedented in the West, and come as investors display alarm about a possible global recession. Italians will be permitted to travel only for essential work, health reasons or other emergencies.Coronavirus lockdown begins in Italy; China touts containment success as Xi visits Wuhan, Washington Post, March 10, 2020
We should not be overconfident in our ability to deal with the massive number of sick people overwhelming our health care facilities. The Chinese set up giant stadiums filled with temporary treatment rooms. In Atlanta, a single confirmed case of COVID-19 has shut down Fulton County’s 99-schools for a day, keeping 94,000 students at home. Parents have to stay home from work to care for their kids while the school district assesses the possible student interactions.
Now multiply that by 100. By 1,000. Schools in China have been closed for a few months. Schools are closed in South Korea. In China, movie theaters have also been closed. People are literally holed up in their homes, waiting for the dark cloud of sickness to pass.
Whatever you might think of the mortality of COVID-19, I think you’ll agree with me that not getting it is better than getting it and not dying from it. If you’re reasonably healthy and under 60, your chances of dying are pretty low. But does that mean you want to take the chance? Does it mean you want to lay at home for two weeks, possibly sicker than any flu bug, and infectious to any who come near you?
Do you want to go out to eat? To travel? Go to church? To work?
This virus is eating whole countries, and now it’s set to eat us in America. Forget about vacations. Forget about social events. And for God’s sake, President Trump should forget about his rallies.
I haven’t even begun to think about how this virus might effect voting in an election year. I, for one, don’t relish going to a public polling place and touching a touch screen that a thousand others have touched. I don’t relish handling pencils, pens, paper, and handing my driver’s license to the volunteers who check voters in.
Heck, I don’t even relish handing a counter server at an ice cream shop my credit card, having him swipe it and hand it back. I actually had that thought buying ice cream for the family last night. What if that person “has it?” What if I just bought my family a few servings of COVID-19? I’m becoming a germaphobe, and I bet you are too.
Folks, this is just the beginning.
You see what the virus has done to other nations. We who are under 60 probably won’t die from it–but be careful with your grandparents, or your parents. And if they do end up in the hospital, be aware that the health care workers are going to be very, very strained. And some people are going to be left to die.
Read this thread:
Maybe some are gilding the lily, but I think the majority of these reports (there are multiple going around) are true. Health care is a service, and it’s got a scarcity level with it. When you hit the scarcity level, then only so much can be done. The Chinese simply let people die and cremated them. The Italians are in tears.
Don’t panic, but in some places in America, this could happen. Be prepared to wait this one out. And if you see me on the street, foot bump me in greeting, please.