Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Haste Makes Waste

The decision to do this lockdown/quarantine was done without thought, careful planning and analysis and largely some half assed duplication of Wuhan that is a city within an oppressive country that in its own way mishandled and was somewhat deceptive as to the extent of the virus spread and danger to the larger world's health. In turn WHO failed to grasp the demands of what this meant despite a history of similar virus outbreaks in the last decade, H1N1, SARS, Zika and of course Ebola.  There were already vaccines in development and tossed aside a decade ago as not profitable and of course then we have the United States own issues with bureaucracy, the CDC and the Trump Administration that I will go to the grave believing that they saw this as a great opportunity for political gain, not fully grasping the reality of what this virus was and its aggressive persistence.  So in the haste to figure this shit out the lack of centralized competent professionals and guidance the States had to rely on their own to contain the spread and manage the chaos from the demands it would cause on the health system.  So whoever came up with the lockdown was the person who saw this in Wuhan and said, you do it too.  There was no debate, no discussion and no actual analysis done to show how this would work, for how long it would need to be done and what that it would do to the bigger picture across the board.   And lockdown it was. The histrionic daily broadcast with the lottery readings were done to somehow raise fear and encourage compliance, no Scientists were working in tandem in fact many of the models used were competing if not contradictory further adding to the confusion. Then we have the contradictions and confusion by the White House and the two Doctors whose handprints are all over some of the most egregious decisions that enabled further chaos.

Many did not agree and they were dismissed as contrarians, curmudgeons or crazy as each day another restriction, another executive order, another retraction, contradiction were added to the never ending list.  No mask, mask, no parks, open parks, curfew, no curfew, cut bus transport and then cut the amount allowed, testing, tracking and tracing, only limited to those who met a narrow criteria to then opening the floodgates to have testing.  Then the stage phased opening that was quickly retracted when other states started to have case count rises. Schools open then not and on and on and on.

I never understood any of it.  I took the personal responsibility plan which was keep the fuck out of closed in spaces, wear gloves when out (it stops you from touching your face as a great reminder), wearing masks, limiting time in grocery stores, public transport and monitoring my health daily.  As for washing hands I always did so why did I need to do it more often and longer, who knows but it is about personal hygiene that I suspect has long been an issue and is why we have had many food borne illness outbreaks of late.  Again we are nasty filthy people clearly.

But shutting doors, designating businesses as essential or not, with little planning or involvement as to why and finding alternative ways for these businesses to remain open or coming up with everything from what we currently have, curbside delivery to appointments with limited entry numbers.  This would have enabled many small vendors to accommodate this and in turn make the decisions themselves what they should and could do.  But nope the reality was this was about the lack of available testing, no clear plan for the long haul and of course the crush of hospital patients so they took over conference centers, brought in ships and tents and simply setting up a centralized communication and access to patient data and needs to move those in critical care to those not in need  to one facility over another never happened.  The lack of clear organization and well established channels to track and trace the origin of the virus spread further leant to the confusion and does to this day.   Not one Governor or Mayor clearly communicated with each other and in the case of New York literally negated each other, personal vendettas, scores and other issues were settled over the lack of actual facts and numbers plagued (pun intended) state after state with many health care leaders of States since leaving their jobs at the same rate and level as Police Chiefs.

We have no real idea of the true numbers of Covid patients, deaths and of course overall Covid positivity in any community.  We only know of them if they are tested, if they are in turn treated and the overall outcome if it is death. We have no way of knowing if they contracted the disease, from whom, how long from exposure to actually displaying symptoms to how long they carried the virus from day one to day 14.  As that seems to be the time frame but that has little to do with those who don't have the virus and why they would quarantine for any time frame other than 72 hours when they should be tested to see if they are in fact positive but asymptomatic.  The reality being that if they are pos and then the average run is 14 days that would mean in actuality only 11 days of quarantine following that as that includes the three days prior.  But nope the endless cycle of news had one day it was waiting in a bush to catch you, another in lurked inside for hours to it can travel 16 feet. It is one fucking amazing virus.  It is blood borne, aka in the body fluids and transmits like a virus in the air under close contact where air droplets or breath are extensively exchanged for a long period. That was 30 minutes it now seems to have been cut in half with no reasoning or explanation as to why.  Now we have the single case in Hong Kong of one who has contracted Covid again.  This should be fun as the daily does it or doesn't it game the media played for months announcing cures, treatments, histrionic fear stories.  Yes we are heading into the second wave.

I am not bothering to discuss the endless "cures" and "treatments" as that list is endless, but again the excessive need to ventilate was a panic button switch that likely ended lives sooner than necessary and that the medical community has admitted; Yet,  I have read of lung transplants and of course other drugs and treatments that have led to serious issues as having to lose limbs in which to survive that course of action.   Really are you using these people as guinea pigs as that it was it seems.   So far no single orderly process and protocol has been established so this is just throw the shit against the wall see what sticks plan.  The long term issues and problems from the health industries sheer idiocy and panic mode will lead to many many more significant health problems for decades to come. Never underestimate the incompetency of the medical industrial complex.

But what is the most egregious of it all was the sheer idiocy of the local Governments both States and Municipalities to do this shit on their own with their own posse of morons who have since left their jobs and in their wake a mass of shit.  The Wall Street Journal did an excellent article about this issue that closing it all down, not actually attempting to find a structured way of quarantining the most at risk, being aggressive with testing ALL those in work places that were the essential front liners regardless of them being in China, knowing someone in China, touching China or even eating Chinese food would have been the first thing to do. By limiting the access to testing you opened the door to spreading the virus as it did untethered and unbothered by the man made caveats to finding the disease.  The lack of coordination between the private and public sector to come up with a manageable plan regarding their workforce and how to stop or reduce the spread by altering commute times, RIFF's that would be covered by Unemployment while trying to again to reduce pressure on public transportation and means of travel that contribute to the spread.  Immediately stopping mass gatherings but allowing facilities to cut their occupancy rates to allow them to remain functioning but with clear mandates and enabling them to work on ventilation and other issues relating to spreading a virus, such as hygiene theater and mask requirements.  And of course rapid testing.  Funny how that with months closed that no one tried a temporary school concept during this time, such as staggered days, offsite learning and  the other ways mentioned above to educate the kids, but nope, wait til the start of the school year to fuck that one up.

One of the many issues the Journal discusses is how the lockdown was an overtly blunt and economically costly too.. They are near to impossible to do long enough to actually stamp out a virus and in turn the confusion about what ultimately it was to accomplish. The words "mitigation" "suppression" and "containment" were used interchangeably and in fact they are all three different concepts.  The favorite was and still is "flatten the curve" and that really only applied to hospitals and their admissions not the virus spread itself.  If you were to lockdown the country to actually mitigate a virus we would still very much be in Stage 1 right now.  But as we have seen across the country the bending, and flattening has been largely non-existent if not impossible.  And despite the rise in numbers in California a slight decline has begun by simply limiting public gatherings and indoor contacts.    Surgeries and other "non essential" health care has resumed and of course the mask mandate has been in existence now since July.  Funny that being outdoors rather than indoors the current state of health and human services director of California, Dr. Ghaly,  has noted. And he and other epidemiologists and economists have also noted this, as we all have learned a great deal since April which was a month into lockdown.  You know like discouraging masks and yet here were are finding out just how effective they are. So it is now these esteemed intellects  are now realizing that and perhaps it was not a necessary to close and cease all business.  So this proves that in fact had they had time to actually look to other countries and discuss with them their plans, Iceland, New Zealand, South Korea, the United States might be in better shape.  But nope the idea of States doing this on their own may in fact  have lead to more deaths, rising hospitalizations and of course a shattered economy.  Good plan.

To quote James Stock, a Harvard University economist who, with a Harvard epidimiologist, Michael Mina, realized that you can avoid a surge in deaths without a deeply damaging lockdown by simply being disciplined.  Simple policy mandates, simple communication and coordination and yes clear leadership would have offset much of this.  But nope we had to play Good Trump Bad Trump. Again I believe that while Trump is inept much of his staff and the CDC are equally inept and our local Governments are not much better they just play better on TV.   This lockdown bullshit was never part of the pandemic playbook and it was not used in the 1918-19 flu epidemic nor in the one in 1957. It was copied from the Communist playbook, hmm interesting. And even when Italy did it there were few in the European Union that agreed with that and it was only again until the modeling capabilities of another player, the Oxford University, further elevated the fear factor in Britain did Johnson then go into lockdown; however, he had handled it in the beginning like Trump so this is not surprising and his medical committee is one that is secretive in the best of times making Igor and the Bride seem  chatty and honest.  Uh those two are about as ethical as the rest of their community of pols.  We should, coulda, followed SE Asia but the CDC botched the testing kits, the rollout and as a result limited the testing and countless infections went undetected for months.  So we pay the price.  And while we trashed or tried to with regards to Sweden, their death mortality rate rose as it would with a highly infectious disease but not to the point requiring the lockdown and in turn their economy is less damaged. Shocking, I know. Not really. And their current death rates and infections are on par with the rest of Europe so while herd immunity may have been an ideal they were willing to comply and cooperate with a change of behavior. Again that requires a massive amounts of personal discipline.  That is not America nor Americans in the least.  But we are paranoid motherfuckers that much is certain. Just watching the RNC proves my point, scared shitless of black people but a killer virus fuck that we got this. Yeah ask Herman Cain about that.




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