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TOO LATE NOW, BUT SHOULD WE HAVE LET THE VIRUS RUN ITS COURSE AND KEPT AMERICA AT WORK?

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BY DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI NEWS AND COMMENTARY

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEDNESDAY MARCH 25, 2020) — COVID-19. Would we have been better off doing nothing except let the virus run its course? THE PLANET offers you this scenario for consideration. Before that, we share one of the best informational round-ups we’ve seen, this from USA Today:

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As the coronavirus pandemic continues to shut down daily life across the globe, thousands of our readers across the nation have asked us questions about COVID-19.

And we’re answering them.

For basic facts about the virus – what it is, how it spreads and where it’s located – you can get caught up by reading our in-depth explainer here. We’ve also debunked some viral coronavirus myths

But you’re curious and continue to ask important questions via our newsletter, Coronavirus Watch. (Not a newsletter subscriber? Sign up for it here!)

So below, you can find answers to questions such as: Is it OK to be outside? How old are people who are dying in the U.S.? Is it safe to get carry-out food?

If you don’t see an answer you’re looking for, check out our first batch of answers, addressing things like: Can testing show if someone has had coronavirus and then recovered? Can someone get the coronavirus more than once?

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It’s too late for a “let it runs its course” strategy. The time to do it would have been in January, following the “South Korean Model.” Nonetheless, the object lesson holds great value for the next pandemic. You can be sure more will follow — it’s just a question of when and where.

The COVID-19 virus is unique, but it is not unprecedented. The world and the nation have been through viral crises before. America, however, has never shut down its entire economy to combat a disease. It went on working, even during the Spanish Flu in 1918.

Perhaps we can put this another way: Is America consciously, willingly committing suicide?

Isn’t keep small businesses open, corporations going, and allowing millions of workers to work their jobs better than destroying the economy?

Consider:

  • Few people will GET the virus in the first place.
  • Those who DO get it will likely not get seriously ill. 80% of those infected will experience only mild symptoms and recover. The virus isn’t dangerous for most of the people who get infected. We have lost sight of this.
  • Of the small number for whom it will be serious, 90 percent of this subset will recover without incident.

How do these numbers work? Let’s take a city of 40,000, such as Pittsfield, and run worst case percentages. Of those 40,000, with a 10% infection rate, 4,ooo will get COVID-19. Of the 4,000, 80% will experience mild-to-no-symptoms. That leaves 800 people. Of the 800, 10% will become sick, serious too critical — 80. Of those, 10% will die, almost all of them people with serious underlying health issues, notably those that compromise the immune system.  That’s 8 people who were sick to begin with — from an original population of 40,000.

Aren’t those numbers better than destroying the economy? The medical crisis will pass — in months, a year? Shutting down all “non-essential” stores, shops, manufacturers? Forcing people to spend their life savings? Driving the stock market into free fall? If you employ a hydrogen bomb to kill a house fly, it will work, but was it worth the resulting damage?

Take the flu. Please. The CDC says 38 million Americans got it this year, with 390,000 hospitalized. More than 25,000 have died, and yet we didn’t hear nothing but the usual reminders to get a flu shot and other common-sense advice. The counter is that the COVID-19 virus is novel. Because it’s new, our we haven’t developed antibodies. IT’s a spurious argument. Again, back the the flu. Each year, experts guess what mutation the flu virus will form and develop a flu vaccine to take care of that particular strain. If they guess right, the strain produces the correct antibodies so that when and if you DO get exposed, your body will fight and beat it. If they guess wrong, you get sick. Why? Because each year there’s a new strain. Just like COVID-19, the strains are new. You don’t have antibodies. Same difference, no distinction.

MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) and SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) were and are far more serious and deadly than COVID-19. The world experienced outbreaks and fought them aggressively yet sensibly. Entire economies weren’t taken down.

People have the rapid ascent of COVID-19:

  • It took weeks for the virus to hit 100,000 people, mostly during November in China.
  • The next 100,000 cases took 12 days.
  • The 100,000 after that? Three days.

The virus went from

  • first detected in December
  • a “global health emergency” in January
  • an epidemic in February
  • to a pandemic in March.

This is the behavior of COVID type viruses, including the multitude of flues and colds.

In South Korea, they quickly quarantined those who were sick, but they kept the economy working. Same with China. The Pacific Rim has handed the virus intelligently. Western Europe and America pressed the panic button. Why? Is it a cultural thing, Asians being far more deferential to and trusting of authority? Is it political, proving authoritarian-type government the best able to deal with situations requiring imposition on individual freedom?

Next time in America, let the virus take its course. Sequester the sick and let the rest keep working.

For COVID-19, that nag has long left the barn, but THE PLANET asks: Where will America be economically when the medical problem is behind us? How long will it be before recovery? In that time, will we lose our place at the world’s greatest power? Is this the beginning of Chinese dominance? Have the Chinese now supplanted us as the World’s No. 1 superpower? Can we afford so-called “freedom” any longer in this country?

Provocative questions, indeed.

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“Essere humano” (Be human) — Ghiberti.

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

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Police Report
Police Report
4 months ago

The Chinese government is closing its borders to foreign nationals to prevent a resurgence of the deadly coronavirus pandemic, according to a report.

The move signals an attempt by officials in China, the point of origin of the worldwide coronavirus outbreak, to avoid having foreigners with visas or residency permits reintroduce the deadly bug into the Asian nation, just as cases there wane, Axios.com reported Thursday.

TellitLikeitIs
TellitLikeitIs
Reply to  Police Report
4 months ago

Yea, and we should have completely shut our border down to everyone worldwide too, when we shut out China.