Random Thoughts

Majority of patients not recovering after being put on ventilators

Reported yesterday by NPR. Why haven’t we seen this all over the news? I’m not quite sure what to make of this and why it’s not bigger news.

Most coronavirus patients who end up on ventilators go on to die, according to several small studies from the U.S., China and Europe.

And many of the patients who continue to live can’t be taken off the mechanical breathing machines.

“It’s very concerning to see how many patients who require ventilation do not make it out of the hospital,” says Dr. Tiffany Osborn, a critical care specialist at Washington University in St. Louis who has been caring for coronavirus patients at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.
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Influenza vs. COVID-19 vs. Abortion

All information I’m citing is from the CDC’s web site.

# of Cases39,000,00085,356
# of Deaths24,0001,246623,471 (2016)

39 million vs. 85 thousand? 24,000 vs. 1,200? What the fuck are we doing to ourselves? We’re losing our shit over NOTHING.

Why are we all of a sudden concerned about people dying from COVID-19 and we’re not concerned, AT ALL, about people dying from the flu? How does this make any sense to anyone?

Both viruses are transmitted in a similar way. What is really behind the shutting down of the world over this?

I’m also curious as to why the massive concern over old life when we have such a cavalier attitude over new life? I’m not an anti-abortionist by any means. I understand the necessity for it in some cases. But, why are we so quick to treat fetuses like an infection that needs to be eradicated instead of treating them like the human beings they are.

If we must make sacrifices to “save lives,” as so many now claim, why is there no rush to save the life of unborn babies?

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Troops on the streets of the United States

Chicago Tribune

Take a good look at the picture above. Do we really want this? Why are National Guard troops walking around NYC with automatic weapons dangling from their chests? Do they plan on shooting the Coronavirus? What are the guns for?

Bringing in the National Guard to help out with the medical response or keeping supply chains flowing for food, medicine, and other supplies is fine. But walking around packing the big guns only says to me that they are there to control the public.

The Mayor of Chicago has already has issued a warning that she will start fining people and possibly arrest people if they don’t comply with the government dictate of “social distancing.” What does the government expect people to do when they can’t go to work? The city of Chicago has about 3 million people. It’s a dense city. How do you expect 3 million people with nothing to do to not go out and run into each other. I don’t think there is enough geographic space to have even 1/4 of those people out on the street at the mandated 6′ distance.

Furthermore, if most of the population is at low risk of not only getting the Coronavirus but also at low risk of dying from the Coronavirus, how can you demand that people cower in place? Perhaps if the government guidelines made more sense and advised the restriction of movement of those most at risk compliance would be much easier.

With the National Guard now deployed in many of our nation’s largest cities what is their actual role going to be? Until they are walking around sans automatic weapons I’m of the belief that they are there to suppress the public. They can’t shoot a virus but they can shoot a person.

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2020-03-25 Chicago

As promised I went to downtown Chicago just to walk around. Turns out it wasn’t much of an act of defiance as there were plenty of people doing the same thing. Sure, the crowds of tourists are gone and there is little traffic because all the businesses are closed. But, people who live in the area were all out and about enjoying a beautiful early spring day.

Here are a few pics.

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Regulations kill

For all those people who think we don’t have enough regulations watch this video by veteran journalist John Stossel. He shows how dumb state and federal regulations are responsible for the slow roll out of testing, the unavailability of hospital beds, and the shortage of doctors and nurses in some cities and states.

The regulations here only pertain to the current “crisis” of the Coronavirus. Just think, there are thousands and thousands more regulations that are unnecessary and stupid that prevent people from gaining employment when they move to a new state or want to switch professions.

I’m not saying that all regulations are unnecessary. I’m saying that probably most are unnecessary and most likely are put in place in order to keep competition in certain industries at a minimum. Regulations raise the barrier to entry in almost all sectors of the economy.

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Homeless have more liberty than your average taxpayer (assuming some homeless pay taxes)

Governor J.B. Pritzker’s illustrious Executive Order fantastically exempts homeless people from “sheltering in place.” So they’re free to spread the dreaded Coronavirus to anyone they come in contact with. But rest easy. They are “strongly” urged to obtain shelter.

What stupid ass nonsense is this? In addition, these “shelter in place” orders aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on. There are all kinds of exemptions. For example, I can go out and walk my dog. I can go out for a run or a walk. But, I have to “try” to maintain the mandated 6′ distance from my fellow man.

What bullshit. I plan on going into downtown Chicago for a walk after this order takes effect. Why? Because walks are exempt and I feel the need for some air.

Fuck this bullshit.

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Joe Biden is not qualified to handle COVID-19

I’m not a fan of President Trump. I didn’t vote for him in 2016. I don’t want to vote for him this year either. But, I don’t think there will be any other choice. Does anyone honestly think that Joe Biden is equipped to handle anything of this magnitude? What if there was an actual war?

If there is one thing Trump showed during this so-called pandemic is that he knows how to delegate. If you believe that COVID-19 is a big threat to the American people there is little to argue that President Trump brought in the right people at the right time to take the right steps.

Let’s also put this pandemic in perspective. There are more than 7.6 billion people in the world. Only a little more than 250,000 (0.0033%) of the world population) have been confirmed to have COVID-19 and only 10,415 (0.00014% of the world population) deaths have been attributed to COVID-19. There are almost 330 million people in the United States. Only 14,322 (0.004% of the US population) have been confirmed to have COVID-19 and only 205 (0.00006% of the US population) deaths have been attributed to COVID-19.

More people have died from, car accidents, general accidents, suicides, and other diseases.

According to the CDC, in 2018, these are the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States.

1Heart Disease655,381
2Malignant Neoplasms599,274
3Unintentional Injury167,127
4Chronic Low Respiratory Disease159,486
6Alzheimer’s Disease122,019
7Diabetes Mellitus84,946
8Influenza & Pneumonia59,120

The questions going forward are, how much of our freedoms are we willing to give up and for how long? How much of the world economy will be destroyed by this? How quickly can we get back to normal?

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Letter to the editor of the Chicago Tribune

I just fired off this letter to the editor. Hopefully it gets printed and people don’t try to string me up for having lack of compassion for my fellow man. I just think that everything the American people and the federal government are doing is far in excess of what was required. Here is the letter.

Just about every step the federal government and the American people have taken to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak has been an unnecessary over reaction and will be more damaging to a greater number of people than those steps are meant to protect. Furthermore, the rush to cast aside free market principals in favor of central government control is disturbing in the speed in which it’s taking place as well as in the lack of resistance from the public and across well known pundits.

From all the reporting to date, about 80% of people that get infected experience little to mild symptoms. So mild in many cases that they don’t even know they have it. 15% get more serious symptoms that are the equivalent of a bad flu. The remaining 5% may need hospitalization but less than half of that are serious enough where they may die. The high risk group are those over 60 and those with compromised immune systems.

The advice for the majority of the population to stop their lives and hide will not do anything to stop the virus. In fact, this behavior may only stretch it out over a longer period of time. The proper advice is to have those in high risk groups take necessary precautions to protect themselves. 

Unless there is more than the public is being told with this virus it does not appear to be lethal enough for the government to shut down the US economy. I don’t want people to die. But I also don’t want to see businesses die and lives destroyed all across the country. Lives that otherwise would not have been tremendously affected by this virus. Instead of concentrating the response where it needs to be we’re spreading out the misery across all sectors of life. 

Our panic reaction is like amputating both legs in order to stop gangrene on one foot from advancing to the rest of the body. Will it fix the problem? Yes, but at what cost?

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World Governments are attacking the COVID-19 pandemic in the wrong way

When this all started the mixed messages didn’t make sense to me. The media was screaming like Chicken Little that the sky was falling while at the same time, and most times in the same story, telling us that more than 80% of the infected will have little to mild symptoms with only the elderly and those with compromised immune systems at serious risk. In other words, there really isn’t much to worry about for most of the population of the world.

The virus was most likely in circulation way before December of 2019 when news reports started talking about deaths from this virus in China. That’s the earliest we know about this virus and that information depends on China being open an honest about what happened in their country. People from Wuhan have traveled all over the globe and most likely spread the virus far and wide. It’s out there and it can’t be stopped.

But can COVID-19 really be contained? COVID-19 stopped following the SARS script weeks ago and appears similar to many respiratory viruses. COVID-19, along with the four “common cold” coronaviruses, spread easily from person to person with mild disease, and sometimes from people before they develop symptoms. It is practically impossible to contain a virus that readily spreads early in the course of infection and circulates in the community. The highest concentration, and therefore transmissibility, of COVID-19 in nasal secretions peaks in the first few days of infection. SARS was different: it was transmitted most efficiently in the late stages of the infection. Therefore, using the SARS model to identify patients with the symptoms of COVID-19 is bound to fail. Moreover, it’s hard to pick out COVID-19 cases from those caused by other respiratory viruses also seen at this time of year. Testing and tracking down contacts is ultimately futile for this virus, as it devotes enormous resources to finding cases that are largely mild and spontaneously resolving.

The logical thing to do if we are looking to minimize harm to the largest part of the population it makes sense for those at most risk to practice great care to minimize their exposure. Not those that most likely won’t die.

We should instead be targeting significant resources toward the protection of those at highest risk (the elderly, those with underlying chronic diseases and those with immune-compromising conditions) and maintaining a healthy, robust, responsive health-care system that can handle a potential surge. The economic and social costs of pursuing quarantine are staggering and actually counter-productive.

We are doing more harm than good. We are ruining economic lives over a virus that isn’t all that lethal. More people die every day by other causes that are just as virulent or that happen through accidents yet we have never taken such drastic measures to protect lives of the “vulnerable”. None of this makes logical sense and we’re giving up too much of our personal liberty and property.

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We’re watching a live experiment in socialism versus capitalism

Toilet paper, paper towels, and hand sanitizer for some stupid reason are being bought up like tomorrow will never come. In a socialist society supply can’t meet demand because government controls the means of production and prices. In this case the government, in cahoots with large corporations, is applying implied price control and are also controlling the rate of consumption. What is the result? Shortages all across the country.

Some people saw an opportunity as soon as the nuttiness began to purchase large quantities of the goods that were being hoarded. The most prevalent example is this poor gentleman in Tennessee who saw an opportunity and tried to exploit it.

On March 1, the day after the first coronavirus death in the United States was announced, brothers Matt and Noah Colvin set out in a silver S.U.V. to pick up some hand sanitizer. Driving around Chattanooga, Tenn., they hit a Dollar Tree, then a Walmart, a Staples and a Home Depot. At each store, they cleaned out the shelves.

Over the next three days, Noah Colvin took a 1,300-mile road trip across Tennessee and into Kentucky, filling a U-Haul truck with thousands of bottles of hand sanitizer and thousands of packs of antibacterial wipes, mostly from “little hole-in-the-wall dollar stores in the backwoods,” his brother said. “The major metro areas were cleaned out.”

Matt Colvin stayed home near Chattanooga, preparing for pallets of even more wipes and sanitizer he had ordered, and starting to list them on Amazon. Mr. Colvin said he had posted 300 bottles of hand sanitizer and immediately sold them all for between $8 and $70 each, multiples higher than what he had bought them for. To him, “it was crazy money.” To many others, it was profiteering from a pandemic.

New York Times

Amazon and EBay discovered what he was doing and suspended his account thereby cutting him off from their customers. Who benefits from this? Amazon? EBay? Matt Colvin? The public that wants the products Mr. Colvin has in inventory? The answer is NO ONE. The products sit there on shelves instead of benefiting anyone.

Granted the government did not force Amazon or EBay to take the actions they did. Instead they took pre-emptive action before the public pressured government to step in accusing the companies of gouging.

The public is poorly educated on how markets should work and the simple laws of supply, demand, and scarcity. What should have happened once retailers noticed that people were hoarding certain products is to immediately start raising prices. The act of raising prices ensures that people only buy what they need. Thereby leaving more product available for everyone. That’s why stores are full of more products than we can buy in normal times.

But, because prices were held low and limits were placed on the number of items allowed for purchase items sold out all over the country. There was nothing stopping multiple people from one family to come into a store and purchase their limit. If you had the funds you could make the purchase. The most ludicrous example is the run on toilet paper. It’s difficult to explain the brainless action of hoarding toilet paper.

Anti-gouging sentiment only benefits the rich. They are the ones that can easily go out and purchase more than what they need leaving nothing left for people with fewer means. Imagine if a pack of toilet paper skyrocketed to $60.00. How many packs would people then buy? At least there would be product left on the shelf for the next guy with a dirty ass.

The basic lesson is that if you control prices and they are held artificially low due to government decree or anti-gouging pressure we end up with shortages where if prices were allowed to float there would be plenty of ass wipes purchase in the store rather than ass-wipes buying them up and keep them at home.