I don't normally post anything of a political or controversial nature. I try to get along with everyone. After all, we are all doing life together.
That being said, I wanted to share my thoughts and observations related to the Covid19 epidemic.
(Note - The number of cases changes on a daily basis although the resulting calculations remain fairly consistent. This a snapshot in time using the CDC statistical data as a baseline.)
The good and the bad and the ugly:
a) Covid19 is primarily spread through infected droplets.
b) Less than .011% of the US population has contracted Covid19
c) Only 9% of those tested with symptoms actually had Covid19
d) The time it takes cases to double in number continues to go down.
a) The Covid19 virus is very contagious
b) If everyone gets sick at once it could overwhelm the hospitals. (staffing and equipment)
c) There is no cure or vaccine
d) Even one death is tragic
e) Roughly 4% of those who contracted the virus have died
a) The economy is struggling
b) Markets are up and down
c) Small businesses are crippled
d) Large corporations are laying off
e) We have added two trillion to the US debt with the stimulus package
And of course let's not forget that people are dying.
The CDC has indicated Covid19 is primarily passed from one individual to another through infected droplets from a sneeze, cough or saliva.
So what does that mean to all of us?
Mass testing is not the answer.
You can be tested today and get a negative result then come into contact with an infected individual tomorrow. Unless we are going to test people every day it is virtually useless. That is why they are only testing individuals who are showing symptoms of Covid19 or those who have come into contact with an infected individual. The CDC also says that receiving a positive result on an antibody test may indicate that you have Covid19. It can also indicate that you have one of the other coronavirus strains like the one that causes the common cold.
There are tons of resources and data available. Some are legitimate others perhaps not. Sorting through all of the data can be confusing.
This is what I personally believe to be the most relevant.
Droplets can be from:
An infected individual who sneezes on you
An infected individual who coughs on you
Saliva from an infected individual
Something you touch that has an infected droplet on it
If an infected droplet gets into your nose, eyes or mouth you will likely contract the virus.
That is why they recommend that you wash your hands and use hand sanitizer before, during and after every outing. (Grocery store, Pharmacy, Home Improvement store, Restaurant, Farm Supply store, etc.)
If you come into contact with a surface that has an infected droplet on it that doesn't mean you will contract the virus. If you immediately wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before touching your nose, eyes or mouth the germ can be neutralized.
This also keeps you from spreading the germ to others.
According to the CDC and other medical sources a sneeze can travel an average distance of 6 ft. That is why they recommend a safe 6 ft distance between people you encounter. A sneeze can occasionally travel a little further so always be mindful of your surroundings.
If an infected individual works at a store or visits a store that doesn't mean the entire store is contaminated. The only areas impacted are those where the individual left droplets from a sneeze, cough or touch.
A recent study at UAB indicates the Covid19 virus can only remain active for a short period of time. Here is what they found:
In the air - up to 3 hours
Cardboard - 24 hours
Plastic - 72 hours
Stainless Steel -72 hours
It doesn't appear to be an airborne virus. (Excluding cases where one individual sneezed or coughed directly on another.)
That means it isn't floating around in the air. It is unlikely you will get Covid19 by simply going outside.
Again, even if you come into contact with a droplet. If you wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before touching your nose, eyes or mouth you neutralize the germs.
Does this eliminate 100% of the risk? No.
Every time you visit a grocery store and touch the fruit or a package you could encounter a droplet.
Every time you visit a restaurant where employees have prepared and packed your food you could encounter a droplet.
Every time you visit the Pharmacy you could encounter a droplet.
Every time you stop for gas you could encounter a droplet.
Every time you use the ATM at the bank you could encounter a droplet.
Every time you open your mail you could encounter a droplet.
The key is:
Maintain a safe 6 ft distance from others. (further if you wish)
Wearing a mask can help protect your nose and mouth from unexpected droplets. A recent study suggests there is a significant benefit if you are within 2 ft of an infected individual, a moderate benefit at 4 ft and a minimum benefit at 6 ft. We can assume the benefit continues to go down the further you distance yourself from others.
Gloves can help protect you from touching an infected droplet.
Keep in mind that reusing a mask or gloves without properly disinfecting may offer less protection after the first use. You should properly dispose of used masks and gloves. Leaving them in a shopping cart or on the ground increases the likelihood of spread because someone has to pick them up.
Wash your hands and use hand sanitizer before, during and after every visit or encounter.
Do not touch your nose, eyes or mouth until you have washed your hands and used hand sanitizer.
There are also more expensive hand sanitizers on the market that protect you for 24 hours with one application. (Like Goldshield G24 and G75)
Fresh air and sunshine also help boost your immune system. Get out and exercise.
While this is a terrible situation and should be taken seriously - The reality is that most of us will most likely never contract the virus.
As of the writing of this article the CDC has reported:
3,761,362 confirmed Covid19 cases
140,157 Total Reported deaths
48,603,115 individuals tested and 4,500,438 positive tests
This is how the numbers break down:
9% of those tested actually had Covid19
.037% of those who tested positive have died
That means 91% of those tested were not sick with Covid19 and even better 96% of those who had Covid19 have since recovered or are recovering.
The US has a population of roughly 329,450,000 which would indicate that less than .011% of the population has contacted the virus.
Whether this is due to social distancing efforts, the warming weather or our natural immune systems it is a welcomed sight.
We should however continue our individual social distancing and sanitizing efforts to keep our numbers down to the greatest extent possible.
People who fall into the high risk category as defined by the CDC should take additional precautions. This generally includes older adults and those who have underlying medical issues. (Self-isolate, wear a mask if you have to get out and use hand sanitizer)
That does not mean we need to close businesses, churches and entertainment venues. I believe all entities can and should be reopened. At a minimum they should be reopened when they employ social distancing and sanitation protocols. (Seating 6 feet apart, wearing masks, face shields and gloves if they are in immediate contact with customers and sanitizing as needed)
Small business owners do not qualify for unemployment nor did (most) receive any assistance from the stimulus package. They generally operate on a thin margin and don't have a surplus of cash to fall back on. When they are forced to close they have no cash flow. They can no longer afford to feed their family, buy medication or tend to their basic needs. Placing their family at greater risk than that of Covid19.
Some continue to advocate for a total lockdown. Others are calling for mandatory virus tracking. In fact, Google and others have already rolled out tracking apps. (Which entail tracking your movement to ensure you aren't traveling to a known Covid19 hot spot)
These concepts erode constitutional rights and freedoms all in the name of safety.
Anything that entails tracking residents or in any way limits constitutional rights should be of grave concern to everyone.
Churches aren't allowed to hold services but home improvement stores are packed. We have mandatory orders from state officials requiring citizens to wear a mask in public. Beaches are open but churches are fined for holding services. A violation of our constitutional rights? You be the judge.
Lockdown advocates produce model after model citing doom and gloom scenarios. Then a week later (when the numbers aren't there to support their model) they adjust.
Oddly enough the number of influenza and pneumonia deaths are significantly lower than in previous years. Coincidence?
The reality is that most lockdown advocates are in research, healthcare, media or politics. While some are genuinely interested in protecting residents, others are merely trying to make themselves relevant or they are in it for the money. (They are more likely to secure funding if the virus is deemed critical).
As the old adage goes - Just follow the money.
While most of us will survive, it is never good to lose even one! Especially if that one is you or someone you care about. We should always be mindful of our surroundings and do everything possible to maintain a safe distance for our own protection and for that of others without giving up our constitutional rights and freedoms.
We also need to get back to work and crank up the US economy! There is a delicate balance between short term safety and long term security. If we allow the US economy to crash our long term security is jeopardized.
When the stock market crashed an ushered in the great depression people lost their jobs, homes, savings and security. They had to rely on bread lines and soup kitchens to survive. They couldn't afford heat, food, fuel or medicine.
And we thought the great toilet paper shortage of 2020 was bad.
Could that happen today? You be the judge.
While the Covid19 crisis negativity impacts our health and safety a market crash is an equally (if not greater) threat. That is why it is so important for us to get back to work and strengthen the US economy.
Buy products made in the USA when you can
Buy from a small business when possible
Bring manufacturing back to the USA
Elect representatives who want the USA and it's people (you and I) to succeed without being dependent on the government.
We don't need the government to advocate on our behalf. We are in control of what we buy and who we elect.
Always look for products Made in the USA.
A strong US economy is necessary for the long term financial stability of the country.
Forfeiting freedom and constitutional rights so many have died to preserve only serves to further erode our economy and the republic.
Common sense just isn't that common anymore!
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.