A tense conversation about COVID among friends (Opinion)
Our #SpeakingPodcast with me, Jessica Gibson and Jay Black is typically the lighter side of most every issue, until COVID. Fear of coronavirus has driven a wedge between some of the tightest friendship and family bonds.
There are essentially three groups of people as I see it. The first believes that we saw a health crisis that never materialized and as sad as it is for those lost, we have essentially had a repeat of the bad flu season we experienced in 1967-68.
Then there’s the group that isn’t that worked up, they’re just moving on and dealing with the changes in lifestyle caused by all the ridiculous social distancing and mask mandates.
Then there’s the group of the truly panicked. Panicked over a disease which will likely not even make you sick let alone. Panicked over the lack of a vaccine despite that fact that we have a solid treatment and for many, a cure after they get sick. Panicked despite the fact that we know who the vulnerable people are in our community and they can be protected. We saw this with the colossal mishandling of our nursing home patients which accounted half the deaths among COVID patients in New Jersey.
One of the things the panickers point to is the rise in overall deaths in the US year over year. Although that is true, the statement misses two key points. First, the death toll in the US has been rising since the Swine Flu (H1N1) pandemic in 2009. A disease which mainly impacted younger people and was a direct threat to kids, yet we had no lockdown and most schools remained open.
The second point missed by the panickers who are running scared from a rising death toll is that many of the people losing their lives this year are dying from something other than COVID. Heart disease, diabetes and other ailments impacting people who are unable or unwilling to meet with their regular doctors. There’s a tricky third point as well, which is almost al of the COVID deaths (other than the probable cases which many local governments used to pad the numbers) had co-morbidities so it’s unclear whether they died from or simply with coronavirus.
Even with the death toll from COVID, if you look at history, the death rate in the US had been declining year over year from 1950 through 2009. One glaring exception? 1967-68 where the “Hong Kong” flu claimed the lives of 100,000 Americans. And the national death rate went up. To put that in perspective, the US population at that time was approximately 198 million. That’s a death rate of 0.05%. And that disease, like COVID, had the highest impact on vulnerable older people. Over the age of 65 for most.
In 2019-20 the US has an estimated population of 328 million. According to the CDC, we’ve lost 158,000 to COVID. That of course also accounts for deaths added as "probable", but let’s keep it conservative and include them all. The death rate? 0.048%. Yup, almost identical. And the same vulnerable group, older with comorbidities.
The overall increase in deaths is a combination of a pandemic that seems to hit us every few decades and people missing their regular health and wellness appointments. This includes those missing holistic healing visits, yoga, acupuncture and the regular gym workout.
The plan in March when the President announced “15 days to stop the spread” on March 16th was to make sure we never overwhelmed our medical facilities and staff. As a result, mobile hospitals popped up in all the hot spots, ventilators, medicine and personnel. All at the ready for the flood of what some “sky is falling” politicians claimed would be millions of victims. It never happened.
Yes, people died. Yes, half of them as a result of a policy forcing sick people to integrate with vulnerable, compromised patients at NJ nursing homes. The hospitals packed up and went home because they were mostly empty. Nurses were furloughed. And the virus peaked and declined as rapidly as it struck in mid-April. The "metrics/science" that the arrogant, corrupt, elite pols used at first was hospitalizations. Then it was deaths. But as those numbers began to collapse because people got better and many simply developed an immunity, the pols changed the goal posts. And, at least in the case of NJ, the minority opposition party let them.
Instead of following the smart goal to protect the vulnerable and provide care to the sick, the goal became preventing positive cases. This despite the flawed and inaccurate testing. This despite that nearly all who get a positive test aren’t actually showing any symptoms. Another word for "asymptomatic"? Yup, you guessed it, healthy.
So here we are. Day 164 of the 15 days. A Governor who continues to fan the flames of panic among the weak-minded, scared adults who are so convinced that this virus can only be handled if we have a vaccine, despite the fact that the pandemic ended months ago are seeming to be the justification for the never-ending government lockdown on your civil and economic liberty.
The really sick thing is not the virus, but Governor Murphy pretending we’re still in a health crisis and refusing to let business go back to normal. His solution? More stimulus money from the tax payers. Why? Nearly a quarter million restaurant workers are out of work right now. Instead of extending unemployment and throwing tax money at people, how about we try the radical approach of just opening the restaurants?
Then there’s the absurdity of not fully reopening schools. Teachers are not vulnerable as we’ve seen play out in places like Sweden where schools never closed for younger kids. Kids are not vulnerable as we saw the infection rate was actually lower in Sweden compared to Finland which closed their schools. Bottom line is a kids with a positive test is most likely not even showing one sign of being sick, let alone at a risk of dying.
Beyond all of these facts, there’s the inconvenient truth for the pharma industry, which stands to make billions on a mandatory vaccine, that we already have a highly effective treatment and life saving medicine. It’s called Hydroxychloroquine and it seems big parma and the rest of the medical establishment wants to fights it despite the evidence.
An epidemiologist at Yale School of Public Health praised the proven benefits of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) in fighting COVID-19, emphasizing at the same time that opponents of HCQ have no science to back them up.
“I conclude the evidence is overwhelming,” Harvey A. Risch told host Mark Levin during the latter’s Fox News show last Sunday: “There’s no question that in the people who need to be treated, and are treated early, [hydroxychloroquine] has a very substantial benefit in reducing risk of hospitalization or mortality.” - Martin Bürger
So mask mandates which are crushing our social norms and turning Americans on one another, despite the overwhelming evidence that they simply do nothing to protect you or anyone else. And it’s not just a medical group representing thousands of Docs who say this. It’s the CDC as well.
First the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, an organization which has been around since the 1940s and currently has approximately 5,000 members, has been very factual about mask effectiveness and concluded that they simply do nothing to stop the spread of coronavirus. One reason, the virus is too small to be blocked by masks. The COVID-19 particle measures 0.124 micrometers. Surgical masks are designed to protect from particles measuring 100 micrometers or greater.
N95 – A properly fitted N95 will block 95% of tiny air particles down to 0.3 μm from reaching the wearer’s face. https://www.honeywell.com/en-us/newsroom/news/2020/03/n95-masks-explained.
But even these have problems: many have exhalation valve for easier breathing and less moisture inside the mask.
Surgical masks are designed to protect patients from a surgeon’s respiratory droplets, aren’t effective at blocking particles smaller than 100 μm. https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:VLXWeZBll7YJ:https://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media/957730O/respirators-and-surgical-masks-contrast-technical-bulletin.pdf+&cd=13&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us - AAPSONLINE.ORG
The CDC buried the bold conclusion that patients exposed to COVID were exposed whether or not either party was wearing a mask. Say what? The CDC doesn’t think the mask makes a difference? I thought the mask was the end all to stop the spread? Yup, more government and big medicine propaganda. Of course medical experts have been saying the same thing for months. Yet, despite the evidence, we’re living through a “masks on for safety”, “stay away from me” lockdown. The so-called safety protocols serve zero purpose to protect pubic health. They do however give the government an unprecedented power over your life and livelihood.
So the bottom line is reopen. Reopen 100%. And my advice is to have those uncomfortable conversations with friends and family. The panicked cowards will continue to rule your life unless you decide to fight back.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Spadea. Any opinions expressed are Bill's own. Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015.