We are doing all of this for nothing. Seriously.
ASTORIA, New York- I’m trying to play nice and just sit in my NYC apartment and finish up a book so that when this quarantine is over I’ll be ready to roll. I’m trying to make this into a good thing. I try to ignore the fearmongering MSM and I attempt to reports from “experts” with agendas. I do my best to avoid the moral mob on Twitter who are bullying people who express takes on the pandemic that are different than their own. I try not to react when I see the damage that’s being done by the lockdown far exceeding that of the virus itself … a virus that, according to Stanford University, is proving to not really be any more deadly than the seasonal flu.
But then I start writing … because that’s just what I do.
When we first began this lockdown in New York City it was touted to be for the purpose of giving the medical system time to prepare. That made sense — we’d shut down for a week or two and allow our hospitals to prepare. But then two weeks became a month. Then a month became two months … which became three months.
Meanwhile, hospitals were never overburdened, there were more than enough ICU beds, and more than enough ventilators. At the height of the crisis in NYC, thousands of ventilators were sitting unused in a warehouse. Some weeks ago Washington State, who had the most cases early on in the crisis, has returned 400 non-Covid-19 ventilators to the national stockpile as they were no longer needed. Covid-19 wards and emergency rooms in hospitals all over the country are reportedly sitting half-empty and doctors, nurses, and other medical staff are being laid off. Some hospitals are actually shutting down.
These are all ultimately good things. We engaged in draconian lockdown measures to buy ourselves time to organize and prepare for the Covid-19 pandemic, and it worked. The USA has WAY more ICU beds and ventilators per capita than any other country on the planet (3x that of Italy). We got this. Now let us get back to our lives.
But they said no.
And then they shifted the narrative.
I am not alone in stating that I am unwilling to sit inside for a year or two on the hope that some pharmaceutical company is going to produce a miracle.
All of a sudden we’re no longer being told to stay home so that the hospitals don’t get overburdened but to avoid transmitting the virus altogether. It’s as though we believe that if we tuck ourselves away in our rooms long enough with our blankets over our heads that the virus will magically just go away. But it doesn’t work like this. According to pretty much any epidemiologist there’s only three ways out of this:
1) We find a cure. This would probably mean new drugs, which means that it will take a long time.
2) We develop a vaccine. Scientists have been trying to come up with a vaccine for coronaviruses since the before first SARS outbreak in 2002. They haven’t been successful yet — and some have actually killed people — and, while over 90 vaccines are being rushed into developement around the world, we may have to conclude that an effective vaccine may never be available. But even if one is, the amount of time to get it approved and out to market is going to take more time than we can lockdown for.
3) We acquire herd immunity, which means that roughly 60% of the population acquires the infection and recovers, thus giving them a certain degree of protection from it and the ability to limit its transmission.
I am not alone in stating that I am unwilling to sit inside for a year or two on the hope that some pharmaceutical company is going to produce a miracle. It seems as if #3 is our only option.
Hiding inside your home doesn’t make a coronavirus outbreak go away. Whenever we re-emerge, Covid-19 will inevitably be there. The question is how long do we want this to last?
According to most epidemiologists, social distancing does not lower the number of cases, it just spreads them out over a longer period of time to keep the hospitals from being overwhelmed. When we say “stay home, save a life” what we mean is “stay home and reduce social contact so as not to send too many people to the hospital at once.” The lives that are saved are the ones that would have access to medical care who theoretically wouldn’t otherwise. But now that we’ve clearly seen that our hospitals in the USA are more than equipped to handle this pandemic, it’s not clear to me whose lives are being saved by staying home.
Regardless if we re-open tomorrow or six months from now, there is going to be a resurgence in cases. We’re not looking at a situation where we can say, “If we just wait a little longer nobody will die from this.” Hiding inside your home doesn’t make a coronavirus outbreak go away. Whenever we re-emerge, Covid-19 will inevitably be there. The question is how long do we want this to last?
We took draconian action to curb the spread of a virus and harmed way more people than the virus ever could.
In the USA, most states made a decision to lockdown, destroying local businesses and livelihoods, violating the constitutional rights of its residents, mortgaging all of our futures. Governors said things about how their states were “paused,” denying millions their right to earn a living but oddly still permitting landlords to collect their dues. It was a scorched earth policy that put a virus that impacts a relatively small portion of the population above everything else.
In this fray, nobody gave a shit about the people living in discomfort or potentially dying for want of surgeries that they cannot receive because hospitals were ordered to make more room for Covid-19 patients. Nobody gave a shit about all of the people who will die sooner as a result of not being able to be properly screened for cancer or have tumors biopsied (we have already created a “catastrophic cancer crisis“ due to all resources pivoting to Covid-19). Nobody gave a shit about the mentally ill, the physically handicap, the drug addicts, the homeless, or the poor who struggle to pay rent even in the best of times. Nobody gave a shit about all of the additional heart attacks, suicides, victims of domestic violence, families torn apart by divorce, and mass unemployment that a one size fits all lockdown would bring.
While we vilified millennials for going on spring break here in the USA, Sweden turned them into viral shields.
At that time it wasn’t completely clear how many people Covid was going to kill, but we knew very well that for every one percentage point that unemployment increases 37,000 people die, we knew that isolation, fear, and stress can compromise the immune system and lead to premature death, and since the 1800s we’ve known that a lack of sunlight increases our susceptibility to viral infections. We took draconian action to curb the spread of a virus and harmed way more people than the virus ever could.
Think about that for a moment: more people are going to die because of the lockdown than Covid-19. Your fathers, mothers, and grandparents are not receiving the medical care that they need because we’ve been brainwashed by coronavirus hysteria. The fallout from this will be magnitudes worse than anything this virus can do. Hospitals will be backed up for years and our loved ones will suffer tomorrow because of our stupidity today.
Meanwhile, Sweden took another route. They looked at the situation, did their own math, and decided not to play follow the leader — or, in this case, follow China (since when does Beijing inform how we do things in the West?). They came to terms with the reality that locking everyone down and tanking their economy would be more of a health threat than the virus itself and enacted a strategy to shelter and protect at risk individuals while allowing the virus to rapidly spread through the strong and healthy sects of their society.
While we vilified millennials for going on spring break here in the USA, Sweden turned them into viral shields. Perhaps we should have been applauding the young people on the beaches of Florida doing jello shots off each other’s stomachs rather than attacking them. They were spreading the virus fast and subsequently developing the immunities, rapidly moving us closer to the herd immunity that we inevitably need for everybody to be able to go out into society safely.
And it wasn’t as if Sweden was especially equipped to deal with a crisis like this, as the country has the second-lowest number of ICU beds per capita in Europe and six times less ICU beds per capita than the USA.
As of now, a little over 2,500 people have died of Covid-19 in Sweden, which is significantly higher than in other Scandinavian countries who chose to lockdown. However, we cannot yet make a like-for-like comparison, as Sweden opted to sprint through a pandemic that its neighbors decided to wallow in. While Norway, Finland, and Denmark have a fight ahead of them that’s going to last for months, if not years, Stockholm is mere weeks away from herd immunity:
“In major parts of Sweden, around Stockholm, we have reached a plateau (in new cases), and we already see the effect of herd immunity, and in a few weeks, we’ll see even more of the effects of that. And in the rest of the country, the situation is stable,” Dr. Anders Tegnell, chief epidemiologist at Sweden’s Public Health Agency, said in a statement.
In the end, the per-capital number of Covid-19 deaths in all of Scandinavia will more or less equal out, regardless of strategy, but Sweden’s economy will remain in-tact and the country won’t experience the collateral damage of lockdown-related illnesses and fatalities.
Most of us didn’t even know we had it because Covid-19 isn’t nearly the deadly disease that it was touted to be. Standford University’s recent antibody study showed that the actual infection fatality rate of Covid-19 is between 0.1 an 0.2%. That’s in the ballpark of the death rate of the seasonal flu.
While China claimed an early victory over Covid-19, they are now dealing with fresh outbreaks — such as the one that happened last month in Guangzhou and the one that is happening right now in Manzhouli — and will be long into the future. Their extreme lockdown methods didn’t allow the virus to adequately spread, and now most of the population is still susceptible. Don’t be fooled, China’s fight has just begun.
The countries that will emerge as the true early victors of this pandemic will be those like Sweden and Belarus, who didn’t lockdown and are getting close to being finished with the crisis. They will be able to maintain open borders without fear, their tourism industries can full function, and people can hang out and socialize with each other without hesitation. They will emerge from this mess far ahead of most of the planet who will eventually come to similar conclusions and concede to a herd immunity strategy … but only after the damage of this short-sighted, foolish lockdown has already been wrought.
However, I am hopeful that the USA is farther along than we think. We discovered from antibody tests that around 25% of the people in NYC have already been infected with Covid-19. That’s around two million people in this city alone who had it and have fully recovered and now have some degree of immunity. Most of us didn’t even know we had it.
Most of us didn’t even know we had it because Covid-19 isn’t nearly the deadly disease that it was touted to be. Standford University’s recent antibody study showed that the actual infection fatality rate of Covid-19 is between 0.1 an 0.2%. That’s in the ballpark of the death rate of the seasonal flu. What’s more is that in NYC the death rate for people between the ages of 18 and 45 who get infected is one in 10,000. For those under 18, the death rate is a statistical 0. If we dig deeper we will find that out of the 6,570 confirmed Covid-19 deaths in NYC that had been properly investigated, 99.2% had an underlying illness. This isn’t an illness that’s wiping out large amounts of young, healthy people.
However, it is an illness that is dangerous for the elderly, with people over 60 years old having a 4.25% infection fatality rate. Sweden realized this and took a targeted approach, understanding that isolating those who are at risk and allowing everybody else to rapidly spread and recover from the virus was key to actually protect vulnerable populations. We don’t get this concept in the USA. Instead, we purposefully stave off the natural process of herd immunity to the detriment of those who are vulnerable to this infection.
We are not saving lives here, we are risking them.
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