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My experience in the emergency room

My experience in the emergency room

Please read this commentary to the end or you will not get the point.  I had a visit to the emergency room at Cleveland Clinic’s Florida facility.

It started with a bit of coughing, which I first decided to stick with home care – as I have always done with colds and flu. This one got nastier and nastier with deep convulsive coughs to clear the lungs.  I started feeling very weak.  That is when I decided to head to the emergency room. After all, I am one of those in the high-risk category – over 60 (by a lot) and with a few of those “underlying issues.”

The emergency room was jammed like I had never seen it.  The medical staff was actually starting to deal with patients in the waiting room – interviewing patients, taking temperatures and even drawing blood.  (For clarification, the above photo was not taken during my visit, but is very reflective of what it looked like).

I was eventually called into the emergency room itself.  Every bay was occupied, and the open area was a sea of gurneys.  I had to wait an unusually long time to even get the attention of a doctor or nurse.  In fact, my friend had to go to the desk to inquire when I see someone.

After a brief examination, I was wheeled off to get an x-ray.  The hallway to radiology was lined patients on gurneys.  It was a long time before I saw a doctor with the results.   He determined that I could be sent home.

Two days later, my condition worsened.  I could hardly get out of bed.  I could not recall a time I felt sicker – even endangered.  I had my friend drive me back to the hospital.  It was as crowded as ever.  The doctor said that my numbers were not good – and that I was very lucky to return to the hospital when I did.  I well understood what he intimated.

He said I would have to stay, but they had no available beds in the hospital.  I was attached to three of those intravenous lines and wheeled into a storage room – and there I spent the night with staff occasion dropping in to get supplies.

Now for the important part.


I was sent home the next day – with my body rehydrated and whatever else was in those bottles – and provided with a couple of prescriptions.  I was still coughing a lot but assured that it would subside in a few days– and it did.

According to the reports, last year’s flu hit millions of Americans and thousands died from it – hitting hardest on compromised seniors.  And yet, there was no Draconian shut down of the world economy.  No 24/7 hyperbolic news reports.  For the most part, the world – and the United States—went about its normal business.

I am at a loss to understand – much less explain – why the Coronavirus is being handled so dramatically different.  Yes, it has a little higher death rate than the seasonal flu – currently running around 1.6 percent in America – but not nearly as high as MERS (35%) or SARS (15%).  In the case of SARS, the death rate for seniors was an astounding fifty percent, according to the World Health Organization.  And even then, we did not shut down the entire world economy.  Far from it.

I follow the news very closely — and try to watch every White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing – and yet I have not heard a satisfactory answer to why this time is so dramatically different.  Are we paying too high of a price?  Is the cure worst than the disease?  I really do not have an answer — but I do wonder.

So, there ‘tis.


About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Liberally Disgusted

    We had a similar experience in the ER of a hospital in Charlotte, NC, two years ago (January, 2018). It was during a particularly intense period of flu. Young people were not allowed to visit relatives. My mom was rushed into the hospital by ambulance – BP off the charts, couldn’t breathe. Ultimate diagnosis was congestive heart failure. There were hospital beds lining every inch of the ER. My mother could not be admitted until we had been there over 15 hours – there were no available rooms. The particular strain of flu that year resulted in a lot of cases of pneumonia. Yet the rest of the world kept going. I agree – I truly wonder what we don’t know. Why is this being treated so differently? I’ve heard it said that they’re treating it as a bio-weapon. That would make more sense to me.

  2. Linde Barrera

    Thank you for this insightful article. I too have read that the coronavirus is a tool to manipulate the world’s markets and money supplies. So glad you recovered from your flu ordeal of last summer, 2019, Mr. Horst. Stay safe.

  3. Linde Barrera

    Typo Correction- Mr. Horist.

  4. Bill Powers

    My guess is that it is because it is “new.” I have had similar thoughts. I’ll bet that if we were to track the annual flu’s progress, we would find something similar to what we are seeing with this virus. It would be set off in certain isolated areas of the world and then spread, and in ways very similar to this virus. Someone probably does track the course of flu’s spread, but it isn’t followed in minute detail on every news brief. Is it becasue we “know” what to expect, since it happens every year. We don’t shut down workplaces. But we do warn people to take precautions and, most importantly, we tell them to get vaccinated. The annual vaccination apparently does help, even if it is only about 30% effective. It may be more important as a means of slowing the spread, just what we are talking now about daily. So that’s my guess. It is treated differently because it “new,” we don’t know exactly what to expect, we have no vaccine, and its death rate is “higher” than the flu. Oh, and perhaps one more possibility: we think we can stop its spread.

  5. Mike W

    I agree that something doesn’t seem to be quite right about all of this. I think the virus is real. I think it was manufactured and may very well have been released on purpose to have some sort of detrimental effect on economies, elections, and the general social order. It has succeeded in that regard. I have theories on who was behind this and why, but I’m not certain we’ll ever know the truth. One thing is certain, there are 8 billion people in the world. Less than half a million have been infected so far. The numbers do not support such extreme measures. My feelings are, we are witnessing a global power struggle fueled by a manufactured crisis. Those in control of the markets are battling it out in this struggle and are using the so-called crisis as cover for their actions. Who is behind it all and how it will turn out is up in the air. In the mean time, we the common folks will have to suffer for what they are doing.

  6. Knobby

    Remember back in mid February they were calling this virus nCoV-19 . The n stands for “novel”, as in unique and newly discovered. This is why the hype got to be so prominent.

    I have read elsewhere the following:
    “Studying the virus’ phylogenetic tree, its full genome sequence, Dr. James Lyons-Weiler, founder and CEO of the Institute for Pure and Applied Knowledge, IPAK, identified a long unique sequence of 1,378 nucleotide base pairs not found in other coronaviruses. According to Dr. Lyons-Weiler, the “novel sequence” lacks homology (similarity due to shared ancestry between a pair of structures, or genes) between similar bat coronaviruses. He says the inserted sequences should not be there.

    Dr. Lyons-Weiler points to the presence of a SARS-binding protein sequence in the new coronavirus that allows it to easily infect human cells.”

    The article also cited a microbiologist from India that also concluded that COVID-19 was manufactured in a lab using CRISPER technology.

    I am not qualified to judge the technical accuracy or the likleyhood of such claims, but these conclusions were available to the government well over 30 days ago. But I am pretty sure this is why the hype is so high.

  7. Hambone

    I still wonder if people were getting the Coronavirus well before now and was just passed off as the flu. Prior to this, if you had flu like symptoms then it was assumed you had the flu and was sent home, told to hydrate and get plenty of rest, and yes some unfortunate people did not survive these flu like symptoms. Just a thought.

  8. What, me worry?

    We sit around and jaw about things that seem simple enough to do to get this all under control so we can get back to normal. It does seem to be hurting more than helping and like usual half of the country either doesn’t understand the main points or they don’t care so they aggravate the problem. The problem, as I see it, is threefold.

    1. It is highly contagious. We’re wiping everything down because we don’t know where it is and we’re afraid we’ll touch our faces and somehow transfer it to our lungs. Scary.

    2. We don’t know who’s got it. They say now that carriers are all over the place transporting this highly contagious disease and we could unwitting invite them into our houses, let them touch something that we follow and snap we’re guilty of spreading it.

    3. We live in a highly litigious society. So without a vaccine or cure we can’t invite, much less command, anyone to come to our place of business, school, church… without facing lawsuits for spreading a disease and killing people.

    So what do you do. Until there is something that can be distributed to confront the illness I would avoid going out even if those restrictions were’t mandated. While it appears most of us will get it anyway – I’d rather get it after they have a cure or when there is medical equipment available.

    Good grief.