COVID’s Gonna Do What Viruses Do
COVID is the alien in the movie of the same name, or Michael Meyers of Halloween movie fame. You can try to kill them or run away from them, but they have more lives than the average cat and keep coming after you, relentless and persistent, not going away until the movie ends. It has its own plan and life cycle, not through conscious thought, but via evolution.
Viruses do what viruses do, regardless of the pronouncement of pandemic modelers, elected officials, or the all-knowing Dr. Fauci. And this won’t end until the movie ends on November 4. A recent article in Scientific American put it succinctly, “The only job of this virus is to replicate itself. It will make its way through all the susceptibles that it can find.” The Wuhan virus is not racist, sexist, or phobic toward any political identity group, despite claims to the contrary by the left. It is not interested in diversity, tolerance, reparations, or wokeness.
In the early days we heard incessantly about “flattening the curve.” In terms of official policy, the White House set forth a plan in mid-March, “15 days to slow the spread.” President Trump announced this initiative from the podium along with a somber looking Dr. Fauci and other task force members. Interestingly when the virus was at its worst, Dr. Fauci didn’t feel it necessary to don a large mask, unlike now when the pandemic is losing steam.
Masks and social distancing were not in vogue back in March, but instead common-sense virus precautions were stressed, including staying home if sick, elderly, or with medical comorbidities. Handwashing was emphasized and further recommendations were delegated to local or state authorities depending on their varying situations.
These recommendations were announced March 14, along with the President declaring a national emergency, dedicating more than $42 billion in resources to fighting the Chinese flu carnage. This was only three weeks after Nancy Pelosi strutted through San Francisco’s Chinatown declaring, “Everything is fine here.”
Trump’s announcement was only three days after NY Mayor DeBlasio told New Yorkers to hit the restaurants: “If you’re not sick, you should be going about your life.” The President blocked travel from China at the end of January yet Democrats insist he acted too slowly. At the time, Biden called the travel ban “hysterical xenophobia”.
Trump was actually taking the virus seriously while Democrats were ignoring it. Slow Joe Biden piled on in his convention speech last week saying he had a plan since March. Yet Biden’s so-called plan was what Trump had already done, and what Biden condemned at the time. Just another example of Sleepy Joe’s habitual plagiarism.
But none of the initial “15 days to slow the spread” seemed to have an effect. 15 days turned into 50 days, then 100 days, with no end in sight. As the months went by, America had to stay home, couldn’t go out to eat or workout at the gym. We were banned from attending church or funerals (unless the deceased was George Floyd) and everyone was required to hide behind a mask.
The originally proposed two weeks was designed to “flatten the curve,” preventing hospitals and the health system from being overwhelmed with more sick patients than they could handle. It simply delayed illness and death, letting people run but not hide.
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New York City and Italy had steep curves with a deluge of cases over a short period of time. Italy’s healthcare system couldn’t handle the surge, but New York City could as evidenced by their empty makeshift hospitals and a 1000 bed floating hospital.
New Zealand flattened the curve completely, aided by their 1500-mile water border and ability to shut down travel into the country completely, placing any new arrivals into strict quarantine.
New York, inadvertently, didn’t run or hide but faced the plague head on, pushing through, and getting to the other side. Aside from Governor Cuomo’s decision to send infected patients into nursing homes, which reeks of gross incompetence at best or mass murder at worst, New York’s current numbers look good.
New York’s infection rate is now below one percent for two weeks running. Hospitalizations and ICU patients are the lowest levels since March and deaths have virtually dropped to zero.
New Zealand, on the other hand, completely flattened the curve by closing its borders and earned international media praise for going over a 100 days without any community spread of the Chinese virus. The New York Times heaped praise on NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern who, “Sold a drastic lockdown with straight talk and mom jokes.”
The NY Times editorial board must be wishing she were the Democrat Party nominee, a “global progressive icon” as they described her, rather than the old senile white bigot they are currently stuck with.
Pride goeth before a fall. After being the model for the rest of the world, mom jokes and all, virus reality hit hard. New Zealand ran but couldn’t hide and now has over a hundred new cases, now on lockdown once again. A hundred cases may not seem like a lot, but New Zealand is a small country, about the size and population of Colorado.
Sweden is another example of not running or hiding, facing the virus head on, not closing down or mandating masks and they actually fared better than New York.
Viruses do what viruses do. There are only three solutions for getting through a viral pandemic.
One is a vaccine, but despite 170 prospects working their way through clinical trials, an approved and effective vaccine is still 12 to 18 months away. We can’t run or hide for that long, waiting.
Two is a therapeutic, but for viruses these are far and few between. Hydroxychloroquine is a possibility, particularly for symptomatic outpatients not yet sick enough to need hospital care, but media and medical establishment hysteria due to Trump once speaking favorably about it, will ensure it is not allowed to save any lives.
How many Americans died due to the left’s hubris in denying Trump any credit whatsoever? Even if it was a mere suggestion. Trump derangement syndrome has a high fatality rate.
Three is herd immunity, which may be as low as 20 percent when considering both antibody and T-cell immunity, the former easily measured, the latter not. New York, Sweden, and many other parts of the world have hit this this metric, with rapidly dropping hospitalizations and fatalities.
Endless lockdowns, closed businesses, mask mandates, and other restrictions are simply running and hiding from the inevitable. The virus will run through a population, leaving a path of destruction, and eventually burning itself out as evidenced by previous viral outbreaks.
Yet the collateral damage from these running and hiding measures is profound. Economic destruction, deferred medical care, and psycho-social despair are all real, consequencs of a flattened but prolonged curve. The hospitals may not have been overwhelmed but the emotions and souls of so many individuals and families have been decimated.
There is no easy path through a viral pandemic, only a series of policy choices to do the least harm. The virus will run its course and despite assurances of politicians and scientists, you can run but you can’t hide.
Brian C Joondeph, MD, is a Denver based physician and freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in American Thinker, Daily Caller, Rasmussen Reports, and other publications. Follow him on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Parler, and QuodVerum.