Is it just me, or are the people who are still most afraid of Covid-19 the same ones who are double-vaccinated, boosted and masked? One could argue their fears were justified early in the pandemic; before we had vaccines, knowledge of the most potentially vulnerable or any courses of treatment. Now that we have all of these things, why do they continue to foster anxiety in their souls and make demands that everyone’s level of risk tolerance be as low as theirs? I’m starting to ask myself if there are any levels of defense against this coronavirus that might assuage their terror. What is it that has kept their apprehension uneased for nearly two years and what might the rest of us do to console their panic?
Where is there evidence of panic? Well, panic lives in the state of Vermont, which has the highest vaccination rate in the country, and where hospital E.R.’s were recently being overrun by asymptomatic vaccinated people who are testing positive for Covid. These are asymptomatic and vaccinated people! The same thing happened in heavily vaccinated New York City. At Georgetown University, in Washington D.C., in-person classes to start the spring semester have been cancelled even though all of its faculty is vaccinated, as are 99% of its students. Of course, the dorms and the union buildings are open. How students can’t catch Covid from contact in dorms but could in class is a question the university administration does not answer. (Perhaps, it has something to with not losing money on boarding and bursar fees.) Also last week, a fully vaccinated woman in Houston placed her asymptomatic Covid-positive 13 year old in the trunk of her car (as if he would not be fine at home alone) to keep him isolated from her while she went into a Covid testing center for herself. Rightfully, she was charged with child endangerment. This isn’t some philistine. It turns out she was a school teacher. There’s no word yet if her name was Karen.
One need not look far to learn who set such irrational fear ablaze and who works tirelessly to keep it well stoked. Opportunistic corporations and unions, through their crony politicians, have always known never to let a good crisis go to waste. (Just think of George W. Bush’s wars after 9/11.) Crony politicians will always take advantage if we allow them. Our best weapon to call out their shenanigan’s is our knowledge of it in the first place. But what happens when the media we rely on for knowledge feeds us a narrative that specializes in spewing verbatim the same very narrative espoused by politicians and their unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats? That the mainstream media is in the bag for this government and certain corporations is evident, not only in what they report, but, more importantly, in what they fail to report. If the media were not enablers, then they might dare to ask the glaring questions that remain forever, and ever so frustratingly, un-asked for fear it might cull the public panic.
Please, follow me as I play ‘Ask the Tough Questions’ in proxy for our not-so-intrepid journalist class.
Have 800,000+ people died from Covid-19?
Maybe. I have not personally seen all the death certificates. What I do know is that the Federal government through the CARES Act, signed by Donald Trump, is giving hospitals, on average, an extra $13,000 per Covid-19 positive patient (triple that monetary figure if the patient needed a ventilator). If that isn’t motivation for having people test positive for Covid-19, I don’t know what is. You can couple this payout with the CDC changing protocol for labeling ’cause of death’ away from traditional standards that would accompany less novel bugs like the seasonal flu. This means, if you die from terminal cancer and test positive for the flu, your cause of death is cancer, but if you die of cancer and test positive for Covid-19, your cause of death is Covid-19. It’s a double standard meant, for some reason (could it be instilling fear), to make things seem worse.
I’m not saying no one has died specifically from Covid-19. I’m just saying the number 800,000+ is greatly inflated. The best way to determine if the numbers were inflated is to examine the nation’s death rate. Per the CDC, the percentage of people per 1000 that died from all causes in 2020 was 8.8, which was up 1.1% from the death rate in 2019. 2019 also had a higher growth rate over 2018, but no one freaked out. 2021 had a death rate of 8.9, which was the same growth of 1.1% over the previous two years. So, rounding up 2021 or 2021 to a 9.0 death rate and applying it to a U.S. population of 330,000,000, shows that roughly 2,970,000 Americans died in an average recent year. A 1.1% uptick in this death total in 2020 & 2021 would be roughly 32,670 extra people dead each of these two years over death totals per year from recent decades. This number falls in line with the seasonal flu. If the other 750,000 did not die from something other than Covid-19, then we would have had nearly a 12% drop in deaths from all causes over each of the last two years. This would be a better than 1000% improvement in the death rate over any other year in recorded U.S. history.
If we trace the CDC death rate back 70 years, generally within the life-memories of the oldest people who might read this blog, we find that 44 of those 70 years had an equal or higher death rate than 2020 or 2021! What caused these “increased” deaths in previous years? Where was the media hysteria in all those years? Did you even notice the “carnage” in past years without the media blasting it into your eyes and ears?
Do case numbers matter?
Case numbers are pushed, especially when rising, as reason for lockdowns and restrictions of liberties. Because of contact tracing, negative work-test requirements, negative travel-test requirements, negative tests to enter entertainment venues and the like, legions of people without any symptoms at all add positive tests to overall case numbers. How much would all this additional testing of asymptomatic people increase influenza numbers on a seasonal basis if we used the same standards in decades past? I would wager that if we tested for cold and flu each year the way we test for Covid-19 then we would have millions of “cases” of cold and flu beset upon us. How did we ever survive previous decades without lockdowns, masks and social distancing?
What about people with natural immunity?
Natural immunity, that is immunity that came from contracting the virus and then beating it, has been grossly ignored. The anti-bodies created by the body are at least as effective as any vaccine. Why were those with natural immunity not offered verification cards for entering restricted venues, as were vaccinated people?
I suppose Big-Pharma might have had something to say about squelching any idea that millions of Americans did not need to be purchased a shot at American taxpayers expense. 64 million Americans recovered naturally from Covid-19 cases in 2020, and at $40 per administered shot, it totals over $3 billion which would have been lost if naturally immune Americans were not asked to get a shot.
What’s up with the double standard on treatments?
Early treatment options were vehemently mocked. Therapies using Ivermectin, Hydroxychloroquine, Zinc cycles, monoclonal antibodies were all ridiculed, seemingly for no other reason than because the former President seemed to be a fan of them. Is it wise to disregard any and all information that comes out of someone’s mouth simply because they are a buffoon? I could almost envision a bunch of anti-Trump progressives and ‘Never-Trumpers’ jumping off a bridge because he said it would be a good idea not to do it.
Do these treatments work? I don’t know. What I do know is that many are contributing some combination of these treatments to countries like India going from ranking worst in Covid-19 health outcomes to one of best in the world.
The quick disregard for these therapies and their declaration as unproven in efficacy, stands in stark hypocrisy to the arguments that people who do not trust vaccines are science-challenged Neanderthals for not wanting to take a shot tested for less than a year. These disregarded therapies have been around for decades and their side-effects are well known. I don’t see why their attempted use should be any more dangerous or ill-conceived than the new vaccines. I suppose that these older therapeutics costing mere pennies might have something to do with it. Big Pharma has developed, or has in the pipeline, their own therapeutic treatments that will be much more lucrative than decades old generics. The media will never risk the advertising dollars spent by Big-Pharma to point this out.
Do lockdowns work?
Panic over positive cases and Covid-19 deaths caused seemingly everywhere to lockdown in early 2020. This can be excused by our early lack of knowledge of the novel virus. Almost two years later, we have gained massive amounts of information on the subject, like the fact that it is not the Bubonic Plague. Some states and cities quickly moved away from lockdowns, while others continue to embrace these strategies. Both practices have seen their fair share of waves of infection cases, in what seems at this point like equal numbers over the due course of time. If equal infections occur regardless of lockdowns status, why would anyone continue the practice? How can we continue to justify closed schools, closed restaurants, cancelled flights, broken supply chains, closed factories and deteriorating psyches, in light of the knowledge that shutdowns do not change the long-term numbers in any way? Think of the how much we could have spared the children’s socializing setbacks and educations, of how much we could have spared our economic well-being and how much we could have decreased our political divisions?
Where is President Biden’s plan?
In 2020, news broadcasts held up running death totals (likely bogus; see above) on the edge of our T.V. screens. It made then President Trump look bad, as if he needed any help from others. Then, in 2021, a President of which the media approved came to office and the death totals on the side of our television screens disappeared. This happened despite the fact that more people died (bogus; see above) during the new President’s pandemic year than during the previous President’s year. You can’t glibly tell one leader they are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands, then not hold another responsible by the same standards.
Joe Biden stated, on no less than a dozen recorded occasions, that he had a plan to shut down the virus, as if anyone could. I’m the last person surprised that a politician’s campaign promise turned out to be a lie, but considering the new President had a vaccine and one more year of knowledge to reference, shouldn’t his optics in the press be made to look worse given his more deaths? The media’s allegiance is clearly in the bag.
Could there be unintended consequences of a vaccine mandate by executive order?
I feel it necessary to again state that I am for vaccinations (especially for the vulnerable) and persuading others to vaccinate. Forcing vaccines on others is another matter all together. I don’t care if it would work, pragmatically speaking, in slowing the spread of Covid-19. Unlike power hungry politicians and their media parrots, I think about the precedent it sets for future issues. For instance, if it’s held now that a President can mandate that all employees get vaccinated to protect society, would it not hold that some future President, who in his opinion thinks the environment, and therefore society, is in danger from over-population, would have the statutory power to mandate forced-sterilization of employees for the good of all people?
We must always be vigilant in understanding what powers we give to our government. In regards to your pet issue, it might seem like a good idea at one given moment, but you must think of what type of power it would give at a later date to an idea you might abhor. (Filibuster anyone?)
While we’re on the subject of vaccine mandates, can anyone explain to me how hospitals are firing health care workers over their non-vaccinated status, when we have hospital staffing shortages everywhere? These were the workers who were called heroes for risking their lives in hospitals before vaccines came along. If they choose now to work unvaccinated (or more likely naturally immune) should they be rewarded with walking papers?
Is Omicron even Covid-19?
Life evolves. Animals, plants, viruses. When does enough genetic mutation change an entity until it is no longer what it evolved from? What letter of the Greek alphabet are we for on for influenza variants? How about the common cold? If a virus strain is labeled by the year it is discovered shouldn’t Delta instead have been named Covid-21?
How different is Omicron from Covid-19, or from the Delta variant? The spike protein on the Delta variant had only two genetic differences from the original Covid-19 spike protein that was responsible for the horrendous respiratory symptoms we saw in 2020. In Omicron, there are over thirty differences in the genetic expression of that spike protein. This is why even unvaccinated people are having less respiratory issues with Omicron. When a virus mutates this much, is it still the same virus? Remember, the common cold is a Coronavirus. How long will we continue to panic at variations on Coronaviruses? In the past, we never panicked over flu variants that left our yearly flu shots at only roughly 55% effective.
Do you want to know why I think our Covid-19 tests are so unreliable? Do you want to know why I think we are having so many breakthrough infections among the fully vaccinated and boosted? It’s because what these things were created for is no longer the prevalent virus we are dealing with? When was the last time someone got the original Covid-19 variant, as opposed to Delta or Omicron? Is the original Covid-19 still out there? You must be made to believe it or the party is over for Big-Pharma, the media and politicians.
If we are waiting for the end of variants of Coronaviruses, we will be locking down our cultures from now until the Sun expands into a red giant and swallows up the Earth. We will never get to a world without some scary-sounding virus in our midst. At any given point in your life you will test asymptomatically positive for a dozen viruses which you might spread to others who might experience it symptomatically. Welcome to Earth. This is the state of nature, but fear not, the world is still a beautiful place. It’s all how you look at things. Even Omicron is a blessing. Nature has sent us a quickly spreading, mild health-outcome vaccine that no one need mandate and no one can refuse. Let it rip through us all, as if anyone could stop it.
Wake up to the lies you’ve been believing. This pandemic is over! Let us now act like it. All that remains for us now is to have the courage to admit it in the face those who would keep us forever in fear.