“COVID” Common Sense.

Another antibody test report:

Takeaway from these results:

Following universal stay-at-home orders only slows the spread of the disease (it cannot make it disappear), and it does this at the expense of preventing protective population immunity (herd immunity) from developing in healthy people, thereby lengthening the duration of risk to those who are vulnerable to poor outcomes if they become infected.

“Strictly Germ-Proof” (1906)

by Arthur Guiterman (1871 – 1943)

The Antiseptic Baby and the Prophylactic Pup
Were playing in the garden when the Bunny gamboled up;
They looked upon the Creature with a loathing undisguised; –
It wasn’t Disinfected and it wasn’t Sterilized.

They said it was a Microbe and a Hotbed of Disease;
They steamed it in a vapor of a thousand-odd degrees;
They froze it in a freezer that was cold as Banished Hope
And washed it in permanganate with carbolated soap.

In sulphurated hydrogen they steeped its wiggly ears;
They trimmed its frisky whiskers with a pair of hard-boiled shears;
They donned their rubber mittens and they took it by the hand
And ‘lected it a member of the Fumigated Band.

There’s not a Micrococcus in the garden where they play;
They bathe in pure iodoform a dozen times a day;
And each imbibes his rations from a Hygienic Cup —
The Bunny and the Baby and the Prophylactic Pup.

Illustration found at http://harmonyinline.blogspot.com/2006/05/poetry-thursday-my-favorite-poem-when.html

Pushed Off the Pyramid.

When the virus panic went viral, the result was the unnecessary and counterproductive lockdown of 90% of the states of the USA. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs illustrates how citizens of those states have been forced from whatever optimal level of function they’d previously achieved, down to the level of mere subsistence, and for many, it’s not sure that they will be able to supply even their most basic physical and psychological needs over the long term.

Juxtaposing the steps of the pyramid with the imposition of virus-inspired hysterical and experimental social engineering and economic policies that are founded on fear, not on facts, shows the extent of the damage.

 

Physical needs.

Food, water, clothing and shelter all have cost that requires steady income for their procurement, which has been the case ever since about 9000 BC, when most humans stopped being hunter-gatherers and embraced agriculture. The invention of the plow enabled the production of excess food that at first could be bartered for other products and services, but it wasn’t long before precious metals struck into coinage took the place of payment in kind.

This change in exchange includes today’s farmers, who long ago abandoned diversified subsistence farming in favor of monoculture, which is why we are now hearing stories about farmers plowing under ripe crops, euthanizing livestock, and pouring milk into drains: they are constrained to throw away their own source of income because supply has begun to outstrip demand, since many unemployed consumers lack sufficient cash to buy groceries along with paying their other bills. So it should come as no surprise that a lengthy state of artificially imposed universal unemployment should dramatically reduce (if not destroy) most people’s standard of living.

Safety.

Millions of people have now been deprived of employment and resources, and as time goes by, they face the risk of losing their property and personal security. Their health is also at risk, although not from the virus, because it’s known that the disease will have negligible or no impact on 99.9% of those who are exposed to it. The cancellation or postponement of medical or surgical procedures, or of preventive health screenings, all in the name of reserving healthcare system resources and capacity for the speculative advent of an avalanche of virus-induced illness (which so far has not materialized, and likely will never do so), may well result in an increase in or prolongation of disability, if not an increase in deaths from a wide variety of causes.

Moreover, in addition to material hardship and neglected physical health issues, there are the mental stress and emotional strain produced by a continual atmosphere of negativity and fear, engendered by sensationalist journalism and what looks and feels more and more like unjust imprisonment, as each day of government-enforced idleness passes. What unrelieved isolation and uncertainty can do to the mind will soon manifest as maladaptive behavior: depression, substance abuse, domestic violence and suicide.

Love & Belonging.

Normal interpersonal bonds are being torn asunder, as “social distancing” divides families and friends, and the inappropriate use of masks obscures much of the intimacy with facial expressions that reinforce communication. The only good reason for adopting these measures is to specifically protect those who are known to be vulnerable to poor outcomes from virus exposure: “flattening the curve” only lengthens the cold-and-flu season; prevents population-based “herd” immunity, increasing the possibility of more cases of severe illness; and postpones deaths that would have happened anyway; but the artificial barriers are being applied indiscriminately, resulting in loss of the connection formerly enjoyed in the home and the community at large. Mistrust and suspicion are also growing, as evidenced by the overreaction of private individuals and public authorities (such as the police) to mistakenly perceived “violations” of the new “rules” that have been decreed for society.

Esteem.

There is a distinct lack of respect in the “stay home” edict. By failing to recognize maturity, it conveys the message that otherwise reasonable adults cannot be trusted to make responsible decisions, and therefore they must give up their freedom. Trading on the assumption that most people don’t know or can’t learn or won’t understand anything about epidemiology, it infantilizes adults, with the result that their self-esteem falters, they lose faith in their own strength, fear rules their reactions, they accept a subordinate status, and may begin to think and act like children.

Self-actualization.

The apex of the pyramid represents the pinnacle of human existence: to thrive, not merely survive. Self-actualization means becoming the best one can be, in whatever field(s) of human human endeavor one aspires to achieve excellence. How this happens varies almost as much as there are individuals on Earth, but it can be roughly generalized to include both physical and mental vocations and avocations. It is the essence of the pursuit of happiness.

A highly unfortunate effect of the economic lockdown, “stay home” decree, and preoccupation with “social distancing” is to prevent people from self-actualizing. Perhaps those who have not yet arrived at the top tier of the motivation pyramid would not feel the lack, but the multitudes who have successfully fulfilled that drive will suffer painful frustration when they can no longer do so. It would be specious to claim that such people should be able to easily shift to finding a substitute, but being abruptly kicked off the top of the pyramid and forcibly limited to engaging in only the activities at its base is a severe shock in itself. What’s more, the simplicity of meeting basic bodily needs does not offer many opportunities for enhancements that satisfy the mind and emotions. This goes beyond simple boredom, as evidenced by the aphorism, “an idle mind is the devil’s workshop.”

One can sew only so many calico face masks before the activity begins to pall and the market for masks is glutted.

Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America establish unalienable rights that are reserved by the people. The founding documents of the USA do not grant these rights to the people: what they do is enumerate the powers that the people delegate to the government, which exists only because the people consent to be governed.

It’s worrying to witness on the nightly local news broadcast man-on-the-street interviews of people who declare their fear that it’s “too early” to unlock the economy and enable people to resume normal social activities. The federal and state governments’ experiment in universally infringing upon unalienable rights has reached the end of its utility, if it ever had any use to begin with: nationwide, people were already voluntarily carrying out selective common-sense measures to limit their exposure to the virus, long before the governments got into the act.

Taking sensible precautions to protect the elderly and those of any age with co-morbidities, to quarantine and care for those who experience severe respiratory symptoms, and taking steps to encourage the development of population-based immunity (such as re-opening K-12 schools and universities) are enough to ensure that the trajectory of this seasonal chest cold virus follows the general pattern of previously silent common cold pandemics throughout the ages, which were frequently followed by opportunistic pneumonia in the vulnerable: It is no coincidence that the traditional advice for the cold-and-flu season was to undertake actions to avoid “catching your death of cold.”

Indefinitely holding hostage Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness in the name of preserving Life is false economy, when the hostage-taking results in loss of human capital resulting from the damage caused by preventing people’s efforts to satisfy their innate needs.

“COVID” Common Sense.

I spent seven weeks in rehab. On the day of my discharge during the second week of March, the administration of the facility called a group meeting of all residents who were not bedbound, to tell them about this year’s viral disease and the lockdown the administration had imposed. Idiotically enough, despite their fear of transmission of a respiratory disease, the administration planned to assemble in one room a dense crowd of at least fifty predominantly elderly people, many of whom already had chronic wet coughs and/or shortness of breath.

I did not attend.

The hysteria over the latest head-and-chest cold to come out of China began shortly before I was about to leave the rehab facility. I had studied epidemiology when I was earning my Bachelor’s degree in Health Education & Community Health, and right away I knew what was wrong with the picture that governments and their “experts” were painting:

The “pandemic” panic is based on incidence (the number of new cases), but incidence means nothing if prevalence (the TOTAL number of cases) is unknown.

Prevalence is found in knowing the number of people in a population who have antibodies to a disease, an indicator of how widespread the disease is. These are the people who “caught” it and recovered, whether or not they ever felt ill. At any particular point in time, prevalence (“old” cases) is a larger number than incidence. Combining the number of old cases with the number of new cases yields the total exposure of a population to a disease.

Much of the terror associated with this virus has to do with what the fatality rate is perceived to be. In the calculation of the mortality associated with a disease, the number of ALL people who have ever had the disease is what should be used as the denominator, with the number of dead in the numerator.

Unfortunately, this is not what the “experts” are doing. They are dividing the number of deaths only by the incidence – the number of new cases. Moreover, even the incidence that they’re reporting is an artificially small number, because only the people who are experiencing sufficiently severe symptoms are coming to be tested for live virus. This is a self-selection bias that leaves out a vast, unknown number of people who also feel sick, but are coping well on their own. The resulting “fatality rate” that is being publicized is far too large, and therefore, wildly inaccurate. This kind of miscalculation is calculated to elicit panic.

A panicky populace desperately looks for protection, and is willing to do whatever someone who appears to be an authority figure will tell it to do. This is what has happened with the economic and social shutdowns that were decreed by authority figures who made their commands on the basis of claims that the rapid growth of active new cases being identified and the number of deaths meant that this virus is horrifically deadly.

Such is not the case. A preliminary antibody test study in California has shown that for every person with a positive test for live virus, there can be approximately 50 to 85 other people who have antibodies to the virus, but no live virus in their bodies: evidence of a past infection that has been overcome. These people may have experienced only routine common head cold or chest cold symptoms, or they may have had no symptoms at all. Multiplying the incidence (people who test positive for live virus) by 50 or 85 yields a large number which when divided into the number of deaths, significantly reduces the mortality rate associated with the virus. Data from antibody tests done elsewhere in the world also support the finding that exposure to this virus has been silently widespread for much longer than estimated, and that far fewer people are likely to die because of the virus, than is feared to be the case.

Sad to say, but it appears that the “experts” are fully aware of this, because they have begun adding to the number of the dead cases of “presumed” virus fatalities (the deaths of people who had respiratory illness symptoms, but were not tested for the presence of the virus in their bodies). This smacks of desperation to keep the body count as high as possible, in the face of the coming disclosure that the true fatality rate is much smaller than reported, exposing their falsified forecasting. Having already lied once with statistics, the “experts” have the brass neck to further artificially inflate the death rate numbers they’re using, keeping people in thrall to their doomsday predictions.

But even the most loudly screaming fear mongers acknowledge that 99.9% of people who contract an infection with this virus are not likely to die because of it, but will manifest only mild symptoms, if any. This is “business as usual” for common cold viruses: only those who are elderly, or who have lung damage caused by smoking, or who are also afflicted with other health problems, or who have weak immune systems, are subject to death (usually from pneumonia) after catching a head and/or chest cold. (Incidentally, the same holds true for influenza: most flu-related deaths are due to pneumonia.) Great ado is made in the media about the virus-associated demise of anyone under the age of 65, but those deaths are exceptionally few (and a thorough autopsy would likely turn up a predisposing other health issue).

Common cold viruses always sweep the world in pandemic proportions, because they’re highly contagious: millions of people catch colds every winter, but relatively few subsequently succumb to an opportunistic pneumonia infection afterwards. It always makes sense for the elderly and vulnerable people of any age to take precautions to avoid exposure during the cold-and-flu season, and for people who come into contact with them to be considerate enough to practice scrupulous hand-washing and to wear a mask.

But never before has it been thought necessary to shut in the entire population of Earth and shut down world trade and travel because of a common cold virus. (Nobody has ever suggested doing so for the seasonal flu, either.) Doing so now has potentially severe consequences for economic viability, as well as an elevated risk of morbidity and mortality from physical neglect and psychological strain.

Nor has it ever been thought necessary to develop a vaccine for common cold viruses, because of their ability to frequently mutate. It has always been sufficient to allow herd immunity to spread among the population at large, to limit the virulence of any particular year’s respiratory virus. To delay the release of quarantined billions of people and the resumption of normal economic activity pending the development of a vaccine that is not likely to have much efficacy or to be effective for very long (the annual flu vaccine is admitted to be only 40 to 60 percent effective), is to guarantee poor personal, political and financial outcomes worldwide.

The very nature of the universal “social distancing” and “shelter in place” tactics that have been enforced will be ineffective for reducing the total morbidity and mortality associated with this year’s virus. In fact, the whole “flatten the curve” strategy will only lengthen the course of the current wave of infection, by postponing the inevitable growth in the numbers of the ill and the dead, preventing herd immunity by preserving a large reservoir of never-exposed people, and making a self-fulfilling prophecy of the warning by the “experts” of a second wave of infections in the autumn. But even if that were to happen, it’s highly unlikely that all 51,121,200 elderly residents of the United States would die.

Observations have been made that viral outbreak “hot spot” or “super-spread events” are associated with activities that are characterized by human behavior which makes more likely the discharge of large body fluid droplets carrying the virus: shouting, screaming, singing, crying. These activities have been identified with particular venues: noisy workplaces (such as meat processing plants and restaurant kitchens), religious services and rock concerts, and funerals. (These are probably the same venues that also enable the dissemination of the seasonal flu and other forms of respiratory system contagion.)

If any special precautions are thought to be necessary for this or any other seasonal respiratory disease, common sense would dictate a targeted approach:

  • Protect only vulnerable populations, by their implementing “shelter in place” and the use of masks by themselves, when they go out, and by their visitors, at home,
  • Quarantine only people with positive tests for live virus and severe symptoms,
  • Implement employee and participant mask wearing and “social distancing” only in the venues or businesses where “super-spread events” can occur,
  • Leave open schools and all other businesses to operate as usual, to facilitate herd immunity.

Public health and government authorities should also use proper epidemiological calculations which include prevalence, to compute statistics and monitor trends, and they should meticulously avoid scare tactics and inflammatory language when making public reports.

This approach limits active interventions to the cases in which they can be genuinely effective, and avoids crippling the economies upon which modern civilization depends.

Accurate mathematics and targeted interventions are what should be used to manage the remaining time of this seasonal common cold event, and should be implemented for all such events in the future.

NB: Lest any of those who read this feel it necessary to remonstrate for what they perceive as a lack of appreciation that “lives are at stake,” please be aware that I am already in one of the groups most vulnerable to respiratory disease (taking drugs that can impair the immune system), and before the end of the year, will be in another of them (aged 65 and older).

Let My Doctors Decide.

Take Control of Your Health!

Don’t let “Step Therapy” hold you hostage.

“Let My Doctors Decide is a national partnership of leaders across health care working in support of a simple goal: treatment decisions should always be made by patients and trusted health care professionals, not insurance companies or pharmacy benefit managers.” (from the website)

Click Here for the Source Site: Let My Doctors Decide

Autoimmune Disease Awareness Month.