Coronavirus is Still With Us

 

April 23, 2020

Last month, Publisher Allan Bassler asked if I was sure that I did not want to write about coronavirus. I said, "No, because I am pretty certain it will still be around in April."

Unfortunately, I was 100 percent correct. Is anyone besides me ready to wring the necks of the Chinese government? Where is PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) when it comes to the "wet markets?" PETA wants to scream, holler, and march over a cow being milked but thinks nothing of Chinese wild, exotic, animals being caged to be eaten.

Please note, I said the Chinese "government," not the Chinese people. It was the government who lied to the rest of the world. The Chinese people could not have told the truth. To do so would be risking their lives.

Task Force Briefings

Speaking of the truth, my one bright spot in each day is the White House Coronavirus Task Force Briefings. I don't think I have missed any of them. They refortify my belief that the mainstream news media not only lies, they stretch the truth and slant everything negatively against Trump or any Republican.


Take hydroxychloroquine as an example. It was first tried in France where it was found to be successful in a relatively small study.* However, other doctors here in the United States have been using it at a fairly successful rate.**

Our president, Donald Trump, suggested it might be a good thing to try. He quickly assured the public that he is not a doctor but perhaps you could talk to your own doctor. If you are at death's door, what have you got to lose?***

The news media screamed that he was trying to sell snake oil. They were sure the Trumps had stock in some pharmaceutical company that offered hydroxychloroquine. In short, they behaved like total morons without even taking the time to look at results being offered.

What percent?

Another example: Dr. Anthony Fauci was asked what percentage of the people he thought might have the virus with no symptoms. He did not like the question because it put him on the spot. However, he stated that maybe 25 percent, maybe 50 percent, but quickly added, "don't quote me on that."

You guessed it, next day headlines: "Dr. Fauci says fifty percent of the nation has undetected corona virus." ****

I am constantly yelling at the radio, "That is not what was said! Would you idiots please pay attention!"

Ventilators

Then there was the question about ventilators. Over and over and over again, every day for weeks, there was the same question, "Will there be enough ventilators?"

Ventilators are the responsibility of each state but in this case, the federal government stepped in to assure there would be plenty to go around.*****

When Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law said "our" stockpile, the news media was certain the Trumps were going into the ventilator business. "Our" simply meant, "us, the citizens of the United States of America, the federal government."


Re-open by Easter?

When President Trump said he would like to see things reopen for Easter, he meant exactly what he said, he would "like" to see things open.

He didn't say he was going to do it, but rather that it would be nice. Is there really anyone in the United States who would not have been happy to see this happen even if we knew it was impossible?

Reporters' questions

As I listen to these snarky reporters thinking they are so smart, asking "gotcha" questions, I can't help but wonder what would happen if this were China.

What would happen if the reporters were seated in front of Xi Jinping and asked him over and over again if he would banish wet markets? What if they kept inquiring as to why the truth was not revealed to the world when this whole unthinkable mess started back in late December?

I have this ominous feeling Xi Jinping would nod to his guards and that reporter would not be there the next day, nor the next. I do not understand why the news media in America wants to constantly show such hatred and hostility as well as negativity.


Condolences

On a more somber note, I am so truly sorry for those who have lost loved ones during this crisis. When I first heard there were two cases in Bedford County and that it was a couple who had just returned from Florida, I thought little of it. I knew a number of "snowbirds" but several of them had already returned healthy.

Then I got a message from an old and dear friend that her son-in-law had passed from the coronavirus. It was he and his wife who had returned from Florida and they were not snowbirds, just on a vacation.

My friend and her friend had gone with them and yet they did not receive the same diagnosis. The trip had taken place just as things were beginning to heat up here.

It is indeed a very peculiar disease that seems to jump from one to the another at will. My deepest sympathies to this very beautiful family.

Meanwhile, somehow, the rest of us locked-down folks are coping. We have found an outlet, bicycling when we have a nice day. Our yard has never been in such good shape this early with leaves raked, weeds being pulled, and some new shrubs planted. I have pots of lettuce growing and pansies blooming. We go to church online and try to dress a little for the occasion.

My freezer is getting cleaned out as we use up food so we don't have to shop. We have used Zoom to keep in touch with our family and our social clubs.

It constantly amazes me how creative folks are at making others feel better and isn't that a really good thing? We will get through it. As Abraham Lincoln said, "This too shall pass."

Meanwhile, we have to rely on another of his famous sayings, "Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be."

Take care, my friends, and stay safe.

Editor's Notes

According to the sources cited, the following information is accurate:

* New York Times (NYT): A study in France of hydroxychloroquine, seemed to help patients. But the study was small and did not use proper control groups - patients carefully selected to match those in the experimental group but who are not given the drug being tested. Research involving few patients and no controls cannot determine whether a drug works.

The French study has since been discredited: The scientific group that oversees the journal where it was published said the study did not meet its standards.

** NYT: Many hospitals are giving hydroxychloroquine to patients because there is no proven treatment, and they hope it will help. Clinical trials with control groups have begun across the world. A nationwide trial began on April 2 in the United States; it is to enroll 510 patients at 44 medical centers.

*** NYT: There is no proof that any drug can cure or prevent infection with the coronavirus. But in the face of an exploding pandemic with a frightening death toll, people are desperate for a bit of hope, a chance to believe there is something that will help.

**** Washington Post (WaPo): According to Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, "somewhere between 25 percent and 50 percent" of people infected with the new coronavirus may never show symptoms or fall ill - but can still transmit the illness to others. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gave NPR a similar estimate on March 31, suggesting that asymptomatic carriers are contributing to the rapid spread of the coronavirus

During a White House briefing on April 5, Fauci cautioned that these percentages are just estimates, and said there is disagreement even among his colleagues as to how many people are asymptomatic. He added that antibody tests – which can confirm whether a person has already had COVID-19 – are needed to answer that question "in a scientifically sound way."


***** WaPo: "It's a challenge for states, local governments and hospital administrators to allocate tens of millions of dollars to something when they don't know if they need it or not," said Chris Kiple, chief executive of Ventec Life Systems, a small ventilator manufacturer in Washington state. "But if they don't do it, they are going to be caught flat-footed, and facilities are going to be faced with not enough ventilators to meet demand."

Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, confirmed that the federal government's emergency stockpile of medical supplies contains nearly 13,000 ventilators. To access those, hospitals are required to ask their state and local governments, which then ask the federal government to release supplies.

 

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