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COVID-19 ROUNDUP: OFFICES AT WAR IN BLAME GAME, EXACTLY WHAT PITTSFIELD DOES NOT NEED … plus MUCH MORE

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BY DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI NEWS AND COMMENTARY

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, THE WEEKEND EDITION MARCH 20-2, 2020) — As the pandemic continues in what appears to be the end of the beginning and approach its middle phase with more suffering ahead, the local narratives get more strident. It’s ironic that at a time when the localities and its offices need cooperation and communication, Pittsfield citizens are getting too much of a blame game.

That’s THE PLANET‘s impression gets after hearing from various key constituencies, including state officials, city hall, medical personnel, and hospital trustees.

CITY HALL

The mayor Linda Tyer’s defenders insist she has been among the most pro-active in Massachusetts, showing exemplary leadership.

“[Tyer] was the first mayor to set-up a corona virus team,” one supporter said. “A few days after the governor visited, he set up his team.  Other mayors are calling Linda asking what she has done and why so they can take similar actions.  The governor must have been impressed.  We were the first community [to limit the] spread [of COVID-19] in the state.  Linda shut down schools then the governor followed suit for the entire state.  Do you think this is coincidence?  Maybe, but I think not.”

Another from Team Tyer told THE PLANET, “Linda doesn’t get all the credit, but her TEAM does.  Linda listens to what everyone on her team has to say, then makes the call.  Before she shut the schools down, the mayor had a plan in place to feed the school kids whose only meals come from the schools.  She has a plan to isolate the homeless if they become infected  There are so many things that need to be thought through, and she and her team are doing it. What they aren’t doing is going out there and tooting their own horn.  Linda just wants to get the job done and do it well.”

You will recall yesterday that Team Tyer blasted not just BMC but the state Department of Health.

Feel better now, do you?

———- ooo ———-

STATE SOURCES

Beacon Hill sources do not agree. Essentially they agree with the information shared on this board by Police Report, who transmits from an inside position. Police Report says:

Whatever Z Agent fed you the story that the Mayor reached out to the governor is feeding you a line of BS. It’s simply not true.

In the days, weeks, and month prior to the governor showing up, where was the mayor with her concern and expertise? The mayor had no substantive communication with the public prior to the governor’s visit. She was absent and out to lunch as usual. If she was so “on top” of the situation, why wasn’t it a joint conference with both parties speaking at the same single conference? Because Baker didn’t want to associate himself with her piss-poor performance.

Also I do not buy for one second that she was actively unaware of what was going on at BHS/BMC. At no point did she question them, bring any issues up with the public, sound any alarm. In fact, if you look back at her office’s response, all they did was parrot BHS propaganda. First rule of being concerned: You don’t help push out the propaganda.

At any time prior to the governor showing up, Tyer could have had her dog and pony show. She could have brought her A-team in and ignored the social distancing policies in effect at the time, and held that press conference. If she was concerned about the public, she could have initiated policies in advance of the State to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Lastly, where is the competence now? Why doesn’t the website work well? Why isn’t it updated? Where is her leadership and expertise now? You can’t manufacture something you don’t have, and she simply lacks the intelligence to actually do an effective job.

No. The reality is she got her ass handed to her in a number of very terse and direct phone calls from the governor’s office and was forced to act. Think about it this way; when has the mayor been effective at doing anything except giving away money to her cronies? Never. She can’t figure out trash cans. Do you really think she was ahead of the curve on this. Absolutely not.

A state source, Statie, agrees with THE PLANET‘s original reporting, that it took Baker’s office to send fire through the phone to get the mayor to act. Statie refuted the claim that Tyer acted first: “They’re saying that?! Really? Didn’t happen that way. [Tyer] was nowhere to be found. When we heard about the [happenings] at [BMC], we called. What alarmed us most was the lack of knowledge and preparation [from the corner office.] It’s not for her to criticize the [MDH] response. She has no claim on that one.”

This source also picked up on a point made above. Prior to every visit from either the governor of Lt. Gov. Polito, and any cabinet-rank official, the mayor would trumpet it with advance press releases and set up any number of photo-ops. Not this time. Statie says, “Why did we get the governor ‘suddenly’ showing up in Pittsfield. Oh, the mayor knew Baker was coming, but she didn’t want the word out, kind of like sticking your head in the sand and pretending you won’t be seen. She knew Baker was upset and wanted to keep it quiet. It’s funny. It’s almost like she thought if she didn’t say anything, no one would find out.”

MEDICAL SOURCES

This information is from “Joe Pinhead.” We know this source, have long ago vetted him, and know him to be one of the most informed and accurate. He has a top job for the medical division of a multinational corporation.

As a Healthcare Professional that travels both nationally and internationally, I as every other vendor MUST be registered with either Vendor Mate. Reptrax, symplr etc. (https://www.symplr.com/blog/six-reasons-why-hospital-vendor-credentialing-is-on-the-rise ) or any other nationally recognized vendor credentialing service. The purpose of this is to ensure that a healthcare facility can be certain who is gaining access to their facilities and further into the sensitive areas of the facility.

The credentialing agencies perform background checks and other security screening. A key component is they also ensure all who attempt to gain entry are properly vaccinated. It was about 4-6 weeks ago if not longer that all sorts of facilities and healthcare groups started demanding to know about flu-shots, lot numbers types, etc. I do not do business with BHS but I have seen a kiosk there for vendors to sign in, so I am making the assumption that they started getting notice as well (since they are the subscribers to the services).

We were asked each time we need access to patient care areas, even if we showed them proof the day before. We needed differing levels of proof for different items depending upon our business at that time. If I went and spoke to a cardiologist about our newest product yesterday and returned today to demonstrate a device in a patient for clinical trial ,I had a complete different set of required qualifications/ documents.

The credentialing agencies I mentioned above alerted/guided (what ever word you like) not only our company but the facilities that subscribe to them as well. That wold include BHS. We have been hearing about this pandemic for some time. The multitude of organizations and accrediting agencies have been telling us and providing guidance regarding this and other pandemics, which is what makes the action or inaction of Berkshire Health System mind numbing. When this passes, and it shall, they must be held to account. The answer cannot simply be one of funding either.

Certainly there has to be much concern at BHS over the “paper trail” to its handling of the situation. One hospital trustee joked about document destruction: “Forget ventilators. They [the BHS brass] wants to find all the paper shredders it can get.” Gallows humor, we know, but it underlies what appears to be a most troubling situation in the county’s only medical center. To make it more nerve-wracking is how city officials are blaming BHS and the hospital returning serve. Trustee: “Early this month we tried to set up a ‘summit’ of sorts with the mayor’s office. We couldn’t reach her, and she didn’t return our inquiries. The situation just died, faded out. We got no cooperation at all from the city.”

There also have ben reports of incompetent testing at BMC. Hardly the thing we need to calm frayed nerves. And ask yourself: Do you trust any official information coming either from the mayor or her Response Team? That said, a shout out and nod to Brian Andrews, a member of that team. He’s putting in long, workhorse hours — and staying in communication and sharing information. Where are the others? What are they doing? Why are they in hiding? Even after all that’s come down, do they still not get the seriousness of the situation? Brian’s too much of a stout fellow to complain, but how long can he keep going on a team of slackers? Other localities have their leaders holding DAILY press conferences and making their chief medical advisers available. The mayor of Pittsfield have a Response Team assembled as if it were a political action committee, nary a doctor in sight.

FROM JOHNS HOPKINS

JOHNS HOPKINS issued this statement:

Recently, the dissemination of misinformation has become an important global issue. While the spread of misinformation is not a new phenomenon, the emergence of social media platforms that connect networks of people, who often have similar opinions and cultural beliefs, has exacerbated and amplified this problem. Although misinformation is often associated with political campaigns, the public health community has not been exempted from its negative effects. Characterizing the spread of science- or health-related misinformation can allow for a more critical and evidence-based analysis of misinformation and inform risk communication strategies during public health emergencies.

During infectious disease outbreaks, effective communication is critical for efficient response and recovery efforts. Fear, uncertainty, and lack of knowledge may increase opportunities for the propagation of misinformation. Given some of these psychological factors, emergency situations can be particularly ideal for the spread of misinformation because the information seeking behaviors of affected parties are increased. Public health professionals have acknowledged that social media will now play a major role in the communication of future disasters, increasing the need for better understanding of misinformation.

In its advice to localities in dealing with a pandemic, Johns Hopkins makes the following points:

  • Local officials must make a proper and honest assessment of the current situation.
  • Evaluate and muster resources, including an inventory of resources.
  • Ask: What are the capabilities (locally) to cope with the situation.
  • Identify factors that can contribute the most to building local resilience, both medically and otherwise.
  • Ask: How will functioning (government, daily life, commerce) be affected?
  • Ask: What interventions will be needed?
  • Good cross-sector dialog is crucial to create greater understanding of the situation.
  • Regular and honest communication with the general public is vital.

Look at those points then measure Pittsfield government and BHS for their performance. Have they failed the public?

These two paragraphs from Hopkins underline one of the biggest shortcomings in Pittsfield’s response to COVID-19. The communication with the important constituencies, especially the general public, has been atrocious. Communications within and among the mayor’s office, BHS, the state, the mayor’s COVID Response Team, and various city departments has been spotty and contentious. Locally, we have seen a classic “Pittsfield Protocol” whereby the various elements are treating the others as hostile. It’s as if each regards their own piece of “turf” as a fiefdom with their heads as war lords.

God help Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski, who have been virtually ignored. The mayor cars about the homeless, the addicts, and other demographic subsets while telling what’s left of the middle class, “Good luck. You’re on your own.”

One department head, code name Dolphin, told THE PLANET that he/she raised the issue with the mayor in February, only to be ignored. When Dolphin brought up the issue again in a meeting, same result but worse, having ben told not to mention it again, officially or otherwise. Dolphin was also critical of the mayor’s response team, noting something THE PLANET pointed out, that there are no doctors or medical experts — just a collection of “self-serving bureaucrats.” Mudsticks, might be another term for them.

Here’s the problem with Covid-19:

If we do nothing, it goes out of control. There is nearly universal agreement on this point. Every week the number of infected people doubles or triples, according to the best estimates of R0 today. Within about two months, hospitals start to collapse under the pressure (Italy) and can survive only by building emergency new facilities using help from the rest of the country (Wuhan). However, if you really are doing nothing, then two months later the rest of the country falls down and no one can help you. At this point, there are no more ICU beds left and the mortality rate goes from 2% to 5-10% because we run out of respirators.

On the other hand, if we declare a state of emergency … schools shut down, airports virtually close, and the country goes on lockdown. All for what, like 3,000 cases?? Then if the disease is successfully suppressed a few months later, everything opens back up and we look around and say, gee, why did we even do that?! Why did the country shut down when the ordinary flu killed 100x more people this year? Didn’t we way overreact?

But the difference between 5,000 cases and 5 million cases is 10 weeks of inaction. That is why governments around the world are taking severe and enormous action now, because we are at the edge of the precipice.

Will Covid-19 be considered a pandemic in two years? That depends on us. Please, if you have a cough and/or a fever, stay at home and stay away from others. You probably have a cold, but if you’re a minimally symptomatic carrier, you can do your part by making sure your particular Covid-19 ends at you and doesn’t get passed on to another person.

———- 000 ———-

THE PLANET will stay on this story as best we can. Only we will provide you with the INSIDE information you need to help improve your odds of beating this thing. Only THE PLANET allows real-time exchanges via our Comment Line. Other media have taken down this vital function. Other media won’t dig under the propaganda and PR to get it from the bunkers.

Above all, remain positive, be an island universe in taking good care, follow common sense guidelines, keep your cool, and press onward, upward. Our love goes to all of you.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

—————————————————————————-

Marriage without love means love without marriage” — Sir Kenneth Clark.

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

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Chuck Garivaltis
Chuck Garivaltis
8 months ago

One may be disgusted about a lot of things nowadays, but for me, it”s the phony business of college sports nowadays. Just read about a U. of Oklahoma football halfback who prior 3 years gained over 2000 yards for the Okies. Now he has transferred to Ohio State and is eligible to play halfback next year for the Buckeyes. Three years for Oklahoma U. and now transfers to play at Ohio State for his final year of football. What is a college doing? I’d love to see this guys SAT’s and high school grades. You suspect he’s an athletically talented kid who can run and colleges are taking advantage of him to fill stadiums and maximize dollars. Good for him but he should go directly to the pros after high school. Lots of guys do that and nothing wrong with this route. Baseball players have taken this route for over 100 years. That’s what Joe D., Teddy Ballgame, Mickey, and Stan the Man did. It is correct and it is honest. Not like today’s pretense of using a talented kid to fill stadiums and make money for the college. Shame on people who make money exploiting youngsters for their financial gain.

Merguez
Merguez
8 months ago

First death in Berkshire County. A man in his 70’s at BMC. May he RIP.

Johnny99
Johnny99
Reply to  Merguez
8 months ago

Very sad, very sorry to hear that.

Police Report
Police Report
8 months ago

Here’s the stupidity of people in full effect.
Older woman, in her 70’s or 80’s doing speed walking around BJs.
She’s hugging and puffing, zipping around in her walking shoes, nitrile gloves on, no mask.
If you aren’t shopping, stay out of the stores!
Walmart, it seems some of Pittsfield’s most elite SNAP and WIC participants, hanging out at Walmart. Standing in the aisle, chatting away, 6 children between them, running around, riding bikes throwing footballs, running around with a cart bumping into people.
At Market 32, NYrs in droves grabbing up anything they can find. Same at Guidos. It’s only going to get worse.

Wuhan Juan
Wuhan Juan
8 months ago

COVID-19:Important Update from Superintendent McCandless:

“This is Superintendent Jason McCandless calling/writing with critically important information that you need to know. Please listen to this entire message.

We believe that members of our school community are likely positive for Covid-19. We believe that at least one individual has been in contact with students and with staff.

Our immediate concern is for staff and students at Reid Middle School due to potential positive cases. We urge Reid families and staff to be particularly watchful for potential symptoms of Covid-19, including coughing, a fever, and shortness of breath and to contact their healthcare provider if anyone has these symptoms. The Berkshire Medical Center Covid-19 Hotline is available daily at 855-262-5465 from 7 am to 7 pm to answer questions and concerns.

City Health Department Officials will be in touch with your family if you are believed to have an exposure to any individual who has tested positive for Covid-19. We ask you to please cooperate fully and completely with our local health authorities.

Again, the Berkshire Medical Center Covid-19 Hotline is available daily from 7 am to 7 pm to answer questions and concerns.”

Milt Plum
Milt Plum
8 months ago