Taking another look at COVID-19
America appears to be over the hump in terms of COVID-19, but you would not know that if you follow the national media spin. You need to look at the numbers that they do not report.
First of all, they currently and constantly talk about 6.5 million cases – often using the present tense. In fact, at the time of this writing, there are approximately 2.5 million ACTIVE cases according to WorldMeters, one of the most reliable sources of statistical information. That’s right. Less than half of the number of cases bandied about in the news media are active – presumably spreadable.
Several weeks ago, the number of total cases was approximately 5 million and the number of active cases was about 2.5 million, with recovered cases at approximately 2.2 million at that time. In the interim period, the number of active cases has consistently held to approximately 2.5 million (largely due to increased testing), but the recovered case count has risen to more than 3.7 million. This would suggest that we are over the hump.
Of those 2.5 million active cases, there are a total of 14,464 cases (as of 09-09-2020) considered to be serious/critical throughout the entire United States – and that number has been dropping for several weeks. In the past day or so, the daily death numbers have dropped to approximately 500, or one half of the 1000 daily death rate reported just days ago. As the numbers drop, so has the never-good-news media reporting.
Despite the Draconian reporting, we have never run short of critical medical equipment and protective clothing apart from some isolated examples in the earliest days when the number of cases soared locally. Think back to New York City where the makeshift Javits Center medical facility, the special tent facility erected in Central Park and the hospital ship USNS Comfort all went virtually unused at the peak of the virus in the Big Apple. Despite the speculative fears, we have never run out of ventilators and now have such an abundance that we are shipping some to hard hit nations around the world.
Nowhere have the statistics been more greatly politicized than in the death toll. The partisan narratives are based on two theories – that there are many more deaths from Covid-19 than reported (and they are the fault of President Trump) or that a lot of people with co-morbidity are not dying FROM Covid-19, but WITH it.
We also know that the number of deaths includes a significant percentage of cases where Covid-19 is “assumed” to have been the cause even though there is no medical evidence that the deceased even had the virus. How do we know that? The government figures list the assumed cases separately. By way of example, those highly reported deaths in New York City nursing homes had an assumed rate of 60 percent.
For reasons of professional sensationalism – with a bit of political bias – the major media tends to report as if the national numbers are surging. They do this by myopically attributing the increase in cases to spread when much of the rise is due to increased testing. They also issued panic-style reports when numbers increased as the economy opened. That was predicted. No surprise there. Just as it was predicted that more younger people would get the virus when schools opened to in-class learning.
As the national picture begins to improve, the media focuses on localized spikes – suggesting that they are indicators that Covid-19 is escaping the corral. Again, these localized spikes were predicted. As one leading medical authority noted, Covid-19 is more like a series of local epidemics – popping up here and there until we reach herd immunity or get an effective vaccine.
The spread of Covid-19 in America – or the world – has less to do with the success or failure of political leaders and medical experts and more to do with the unwillingness of the American people to take the extreme measures that would stop the spread and at the same time crash the nation into a major Depression.
Many say that we cannot have economic recovery as long as the virus spreads, but it is equally true that we cannot have economic recovery if we do what is necessary to stop the virus. We must suffer a bit of both. And keep in mind that the most pessimistic projections have Covid-19 being controlled within a year. A second Great Depression will create suffering and death for a generation. We must fight the virus and restore the economy at the same time. That means that neither the economy nor the pandemic can be unilaterally addressed except to the detriment of the other.
So, there ‘tis.