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Archive for the ‘Pandemic’ Category

Liberate Posts by Trump

I wonder what Trump means by these posts?

I know there have been protests by thousands of people in Michigan to stop the “stay at home” orders. See some of it here:

But Trump’s mentioning of the 2nd Amendment in his tweet yesterday is pretty scary. He is goading people to defy the local stay at home orders.

Ok, they can go out. What does he want them to do with weapons? Hold up the local AMC-16 movie theater and force them to play movies? Drive up to the Olive Garden take-out counter, hold up a gun, and force them to serve them in the restaurant?

This shows the curve of infections in the United States. We’re now at 732,000 infected people. That’s more than the next six countries COMBINED. Does this curve look like we should go about our lives as we always have? In Italy, over 10% of the people infected have died. In the United States, about 5% have died. That’s a pretty scary, high death rate. It’s close to that of the Black Plagues in medieval times.

I have a hard time understanding how our president can look at this situation and goad people into “liberating” themselves by defying stay at home orders. Does he have a death wish? Is he really trying to make the health care system collapse?

I agree, people have a right to their “freedom.” But people do not have a right to get others killed. If Michigan wants to put itself on a death track, go ahead. But what about those in Michigan who want to keep themselves healthy and get through this as quickly as possible? Once it gets bad, neighbors will avoid the state, food supplies will dwindle, the medical system will collapse and those with a death wish, I guess, get to die.

Call me a fear monger. But looking at the curve above does not give me any comfort and security. It does not make me think that we have this thing under control.

These are tough times, and it does not look like we can shoot ourselves out of them.

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In Dr. I Trust

Dr. Oz

 

Dr. Phil

 

Dr. Scholl

 

Dr. Seuss

 

Dr. Pepper

 

I think Trump should get advice on constitutional law from Judge Judy.

 

 

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“Two-hundred fifty people a year die from poverty. And the poverty line is getting such that more and more people are going to fall below that, because the economy is crashing around us. And they’re doing that, because people are dying from the coronavirus. I get that,” McGraw said. “But, look, the fact that the matter is we have people dying — 45,000 people a year die from automobile accidents, 480,000 from cigarettes, 360,000 a year from swimming pools — but we don’t shut the country down for that. But, yet, we’re doing it for this? And the fallout is going to last for years, because people’s lives are being destroyed.”

— Dr. Phil McGraw on Fox News with Laura Ingraham on April 17.

Ah, there is more dumbing down of America going on every day.

Dr. Phil McGraw (better known simply as “Dr. Phil”) has a doctorate in psychology, but is not a licensed psychologist. And he hasn’t been licensed since his Texas license expired in 2006. But Fox News apparently thinks he is qualified to give second opinions about Dr. Fauci’s advice. The above shows some of the drivel he spouted.

Let’s just pick swimming pools. I don’t know where he comes from with 360,000 deaths a year from “swimming pools”. That would be about a thousand deaths a day. If that were going on, yes, I think we’d need to outlaw swimming pools.

A quick Google check indicates that from 2005 through 2014, there were an average of 3,536 fatal unintentional drownings annually in the United States (boating accidents excluded). So he is about a factor of a hundred off, but who cares about math and facts, right?

The important point that McGraw might be missing, however, is that swimming pools don’t procreate exponentially (I am avoiding the word “viral” here on purpose). Swimming pools don’t double in count every night and attack unsuspecting citizens and kill them. Viruses do. Obviously, McGraw hasn’t got an inkling about what he is talking about, but Fox News puts him up there next to Dr. Fauci and asks us to take him seriously.

And that is what I mean when I talk about the dumbing down of America.

 

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Western Europe’s last major outbreak of medieval plague began in 1720, when a “mortal distemper” seized the French port city of Marseille. The disease arrived on a merchant ship called the Grand Saint Antoine, which had picked up infected passengers during a journey to the Middle East. The vessel was quarantined, but its owner—who also happened to be Marseille’s deputy mayor—convinced health officials to let him unload its cargo. Plague-carrying rat fleas soon spread across the city, sparking an epidemic. People died by the thousands, and the piles of bodies on the streets grew so large that convicts were conscripted to dispose of them. In nearby Provence, “plague walls” were even built to try to and contain the infection, but it still spilled over into southern France before finally disappearing in 1722. By then, it had killed roughly 100,000 people.

Credit to: History.com

This is what happens when people “assert their rights” in face of a threat they do not understand and for some reason ignore, reject or actually aid and abet.

One man, for financial gain, was allowed to unload his cargo – and the rats. Once the rats had the run of the city, it was all over. 100,000 people died.

Once the health care system is overwhelmed, bodies start piling up on the sidewalks. There are now first reports in the United States where care facilities for elderly are running out of room and are having to pile up bodies next to sheds.

Rats you could see. Fleas you could feel. Viruses are a million times smaller.

We are about to overwhelm our healthcare system. Books will be written in the coming years about what happened in this country in the spring of 2020, and the books will not be kind to our government and leadership. So much was wrong, so many people erred, and so much unnecessary damage was done due to ignorance, greed, and ego.

Do I have an urge to exercise my constitutional right to assemble, go to church or the movies?

I think not!

 

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As of this moment, 641,919 people are confirmed infected with COVID-19 in the United States, and 28,399 have died from the disease. Our government does not act like that is a huge deal. So far, the death toll has been like eight 9/11 catastrophes in a row, or over ten Pearl Harbors. I have not yet heard Trump utter any type of sorrow, remorse or empathy with the victims. Tens of thousands of Americans dying on his watch does not seem to faze him very much, other than it’s inconvenient, since the crash of the economy may affect his re-election.

28,399 dead people, so far, is a pretty big deal to me.

Remember when Benghazi happened? For a year after that, night after night, Hannity was droning on about “4 Americans dead, and Hillary Clinton is responsible!” Hannity got a lot of mileage out of the “4 Americans dead” phrase, and the “Lock Her Up” chant came out of that propaganda.

Our Pro-Life government seems to have a lot of interest in protecting unborn life, but once the life walks the streets of American cities, it does not seem so important to them anymore. And once the life is old enough to be in nursing homes, they seem to opt to not even count them amongst the dead anymore. I hear more and more talk about “they would have died soon anyway….” Remember the outrage we had about the “Obama death sentences for grandma?”

Pro-Life? Call me confused.

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As Trump always said: “I’ll hire only the best to run this country.”

 

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This is a very brilliant enemy. You know, it’s a brilliant enemy. They develop drugs like the antibiotics. You see it. Antibiotics used to solve every problem. Now one of the biggest problems the world has is the germ has gotten so brilliant that the antibiotic can’t keep up with it.

And they’re constantly trying to come up with a new – people go to a hospital and they catch – they go for a heart operation – that’s no problem, but they end up dying from – from problems. You know the problems I’m talking about. There’s a whole genius to it.”
— Donald Trump, April 11, 2020
This seriously scares me. The man so many people look up to for guidance and leadership does obviously not understand the difference between a bacterial infection and a virus. But he is holding press conferences spouting drivel like the above.
Could somebody please do something about this!

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Last week, my grandson was eight months old.

He is settling nicely into the Corona Generation.

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I don’t know who Bill Mitchell is, and from the looks of this tweet, I don’t think I want to know.

There are so many things wrong with the statement above:

“losin it” who retweeted this with profanity is right. Who is “we” in this context? And who is Bill Mitchell?

Comparing the systematic, organized, planned murder of 6 million, per the Nazis “undesirable” people, mostly Jews, over several years during World War II with a viral pandemic in 2020 is entirely ludicrous. Despicable even.

Again, who is “we?” And to get the record straight, the Germans did shut down their economy, whether by plan or by default. Perhaps Bill Mitchell should read Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by Shirer – my review here – and see what happened to the German economy during and after the war. It’s 1143 pages though, so it’ll take a bit longer than reading his tweet.

Perhaps Bill Mitchell should read Hungerwinter by Häusser and Maugg – my review here – which describes what happened to the German people after the war, when there was no economy, after their fearless leader first blamed the German people for the loss of the war (they didn’t have the will to win) and then blew his own brains out. That book is only available in German. Not sure if Bill Mitchell could read that.

So his claim about shutting the economy down is wrong, notwithstanding being an outlandish and inappropriate comparison.

Finally, COVID-19 is a virus, not a rogue government. In first world, modern and industrialized countries like Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, the virus seems to kill about 10% of those verified to come ill with it (understanding that many are probably unreported). That’s a huge percentage of fatality. In the United States, we have now 340,000 verified cases, that would mean we should expect about 30,000 to 40,000 of those to die, if we follow the same trajectory as Italy.

And here is the kicker: These are the death rates with a still functioning and moderately coping healthcare system.

What does Bill Mitchell think will happen in any country once the sick have no more place to go, when the hospitals simply can’t accept any more patients? Obviously, the death rate will go up. People will just perish in their homes.

Uncounted.

Does Bill Mitchell want an economy, or does he want to live?

I can answer for myself:

I can live without restaurant food, without movies, and without malls for a few weeks, or even a few months, as long as I get to live afterwards.

I am not likely to go to Hobby Lobby when I am dead.

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More than ever now, when I watch Trump, he looks completely clueless. I watch him stand next to people at the microphone, eyes shifting back and forth, empty of empathy, bereft of any visible emotion, other than “what do I look like”? When he talks, he says nothing. Gibberish. No encouragement, no consolation, no trace of any plan, no utterance of compassion. He now counts the dead.

It’s a celebration of ignorance.

In 1995, Carl Sagan published The Demon-Haunted World. What a visionary he was. Here is an excerpt:

I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time – when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agenda or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness. The dumbing down of America is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30-second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance.

— Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World

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One of my brothers lives in Germany. He is in his mid forties. He is recently posting diatribes on Facebook about not allowing himself to be ordered into quarantine by his government. He says that people have always died. There have been plagues before, there will be purges in the future. He thinks this is nature asserting itself. He should not be subjected to limitations of his freedom. He calls it his imprisonment.

So I made some comments back, stating that the death rate of this bug is way beyond anything we have seen in our lifetimes.

He responds people will always have to die.

I said, tell that to the 61 emergency room doctors who died in Italy just in the last couple of weeks.

He said that some people are just not in good physical shape. Some doctors were chain smokers.

He said that the average age of Germans who died of the virus is over 80.

I am not sure if that’s true, but even if it is, I am over 60, so I am definitely in the lower end of the death range.

Brother, if I had lived 150 years ago I would have died at age 22 on Good Friday in 1979 when my appendix was about to burst. I am still here, more than 40 years later, because the military surgeon at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona knew what he was doing. Just because people always have died does not mean they should die right now, just because some of us can’t handle simple human cooperation and go along with the other seven billion people in the world with common-sense measures.

Sorry, Brother, I don’t Intend to Die.

I am staying home.

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When the Black Plague ravaged the world in the 1600s, doctors adopted head to toe protective gear. They didn’t know how the plague was transmitted, but they thought is was from evil fumes. The beak had two small holes in the front and was filled with perfume, masking the smell. The costume was completed by the wide brimmed leather hat, a sign of the profession of doctor, and a full waxed gown, including leather leggings and gloves.

The doctors also carried a cane, which was used to keep people at a distance. They used the canes to remove clothing from sick people and even to check their pulse.

People were terrified of the costume since it often was associated with imminent death.

 

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John Prine is one of my favorite singers and songwriters.

He is 72, and a lung cancer survivor. I so hope he makes it through!

https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/29/entertainment/john-prine-coronavirus/index.html

Hello in There – it’s so very appropriate right now:

After posting this, I found Joan Baez sending well wishes to John Prine, using the same song:

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First in the world! Today the United States surpassed China and Italy with the most people infected in the world.

I am getting seriously pissed off at the vapid drivel of some of our political right in the United States that still, to this day, calls this epidemic “blown out of proportion by the leftist media” to hurt Trump.

Tell that to the 46 emergency room doctors dead so far in Italy. Do we really think that people dying in Italy has one hoot to do with the political sentiment in the United States? This virus kills. Period.

Let’s put some numbers into perspective, shall we?

There are now 104,000 confirmed cases in the U.S. That has DOUBLED from three days ago. This means that there were as many cases confirmed since Tuesday in the U.S. as there were in all the months since January. DOUBLE in three days.

1,500 people in the U.S. have died from this so far. That means a mortality rate of 1.5%. And – let’s not forget – this is while the hospitals are still staffed, we still have enough beds and doctors and nurses. How many think will die when there won’t be any ventilators for the sick? Simple arithmetic tells us it will be a lot more, perhaps approaching three or four percent as we have seen in other countries.

I guess we won’t have to wait long. It’s still Friday, March 27th as I write this. Five days from now will be April 1st. If the rate of increase stays where it is now, we’ll have 250,000 sick by then, which is likely going to be above the capacity of the major city hospitals. That’s when the bodies will start piling up. Just five days from now.

The numbers do not lie and the rates of increase do not coincide with the wishes of our incompetent national leadership, and the truth will not set us free. Praying is not helping.

I can only do what makes sense to protect myself and those I come in contact with.

But I can say that I am very tired of people in leadership positions acting like this is a hoax or a hype. People are dying by the hundreds, and we’re just getting started.

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