Time to calm down about coronavirus (Opinion)
Governor Murphy would have us believe that unless he enacts severe limits on public interactions and commerce, we are all going to suffer from COVID-19. It's a classic over-reaction from an incompetent and ignorant man.
The complicit media from cable to broadcast continues to scare the general population with reports of new tests confirming new infections and deaths from the deadly virus. The problem is they are either overlooking or willfully ignoring the fact that most people have very mild symptoms and recover fully. The reports of mild cases and the fact that a majority of deaths are among elderly people, many with serious health conditions, is not from a political source with an agenda, it's straight from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And in case you don't want to read the entire CDC report, here's the pull quote:
While information so far suggests that most COVID-19 illness is mild, a report out of China suggests serious illness occurs in 16% of cases. Older people and people of all ages with severe chronic medical conditions — like heart disease, lung disease and diabetes, for example — seem to be at higher risk of developing serious COVID-19 illness. A CDC Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report that looked at severity of disease among COVID-19 cases in the United States by age group found that 80% of deaths were among adults 65 years and older with the highest percentage of severe outcomes occurring in people 85 years and older. - cdc.gov
As I've written before, the World Health Organization also reaffirms this point adding that it's older people who are likely infecting young people and not the other way around. So the millennials on the beach in Florida and hanging out drinking with friends are most likely harming no one.
It's obvious of course that when you look at the smart advice from the CDC, it's the vulnerable people in our country who need to stay away from crowds, self-quarantine and practice social distancing at home, especially if they have a person at home who may be potentially infected with no symptoms.
All that said, there is no compelling reason for the draconian shut down of our economy. A professor at Stanford, arguably smarter and more educated than many of us, published an analysis Tuesday that we are WAY over-reacting to the virus.
Again, for those of you who don't want to read the whole article, here's the pull quote:
The woefully inadequate data we have so far, the meta-research specialist argues, indicates that the extreme measures taken by many countries are likely way out of line and may result in ultimately unnecessary and catastrophic consequences. Due to extremely limited testing, we are likely missing “the vast majority of infections” from COVID-19, he states, thus making reported fatality rates from the World Health Organization “meaningless.” “Patients who have been tested for SARS-CoV-2 are disproportionately those with severe symptoms and bad outcomes,” Ioannidis explains. With very limited testing in many health systems, he suggests, that “selection bias” may only get worse going forward. - James Barrett on DailyWire.com
The translation from my perspective is that we have inadequate numbers and the mortality rate is clearly much lower than the original estimates from the World Health Organization. Part of the continuing problem is the irresponsible media headlines intended to drive clicks instead of educating and informing a weary population who are facing the very real danger of losing their jobs and livelihood.
Here's an example of an egregious web title and first line, which could easily scare, but when you read the article you realize the exaggeration.
Writing a headline like this is dangerous and irresponsible, the only thing worse than the headline is the way the article was promoted...
"Current data show 42% of Vermont counties have at least one COVID-19 case."
Tripling cases, nearly half the counties, wow, you'd think Vermont is on the verge of collapse. Then you read the article and find out there are a total of 12 cases in the entire state. Yup, 12.
Anne Galloway and the rest of the media doing the same thing should be ashamed of themselves. The bottom line is that 'social distancing', general hygiene and separating the vulnerable, who we can easily identify, would accomplish the goal of slowing the spread and 'flattening the curve'. The CDC and WHO have been discussing this since the beginning of the outbreak.
Another Stanford professor weighed in saying that we are nearing the end of the outbreak. And it wasn't necessarily 'self-isolation' that did the trick.
Somewhere along the way, people got scared and political elites like Phil Murphy preyed on their fears grabbing power and hurting people in the name of 'protecting the public'. The reality is social distancing and maintaining a healthy economy are not mutually exclusive. Stick to the facts, turn off the news and wash your hands.
The question we have to start asking is how to we put the economy back together when this crisis ends? Do we make a decision to replace the weak and dangerous politicians on both sides of the aisle in Trenton in 2021? Can we replace these irresponsible hacks so that when the next virus hits, and it will, we don't go through the economic terror we're currently hurting under? It's up to you. The election is not that far away.
Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015. Tweet him @NJ1015 or @BillSpadea. The opinions expressed here are solely those of Bill Spadea.
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