The COVID virus has been extant for nearly a year (longer if one counts the time that it existed in China unbeknownst to us). Ever since we became aware of it our leaders have been struggling to keep it under control. In the last year we have been subjected to travel bans, quarantines, and dogmatic and arbitrary rules and policies promulgated by our political leaders who often did not follow their own edicts. Each state has handled the pandemic differently, which has resulted in confusion, fear and resentment. In many cases, it seems that the guiding principle has been “rules for thee, but not for me.”
In order to combat the virus we have sacrificed much in our personal lives. For example, we agreed to isolate ourselves from friends and family. We agreed to avoid, or at least curtail, all public gatherings, such as schools, sporting events, and cultural events. Elderly care facilities became virtual petri dishes for the virus. Many of us lost elderly friends and relatives due to the stupidity, arrogance and ignorance of our political leaders, in some cases without a “last visit” to say good-bye. We allowed our schools to be closed. The resulting long-term physical, economic, medical, and social damage to our children is, I believe, incalculable and will manifest itself in various ways prospectively. For all intents and purposes we shut down our economy, which had been, by some measurements, the most robust ever. Many people lost their jobs and businesses.
Know-nothing blowhards on the news constantly fed us contradictory and inaccurate information, which confused and scared us. We were told to wear a mask and social distance. Most, but not all, of us agreed to do so. The mask policy was confusing and contradictory and seemed to change daily. Wear a mask, don’t wear a mask, wear two masks.
We were promised a vaccine was being developed that would eliminate the virus once and for all. But, when the vaccines became available they quickly became politicized. For instance, Pfizer withheld the announcement of its vaccine, which was the first one, until one day after the 2020 election. Why? We know why.
Additionally, many of our leaders (mostly Dems) derided and debunked it in advance as “Trump’s vaccine” and said it was not to be “trusted.” Biden and Harris campaigned vigorously against it. They ignored the fact that three separate vaccines were being developed independently by three different highly reputable pharmaceutical companies. They acted as if Trump had personally concocted a “witches brew” in a cauldron in his basement. Once they got elected they changed their tune. In a startling reversal, they have been pushing a vaccine mandate. Too late. A large portion of Americans, likely influenced by their campaign rhetoric, have elected to eschew the vaccines in some cases at the cost of their jobs and pensions. Even today, some 40% of Americans have not been vaccinated despite the evidence that it it is effective in protecting against the disease or, at least mitigating, its effects. (Some, but not most, of them have valid medical or religious reasons.)
So what is the current status? The following information has been gleaned from a variety of sources, including, among others, the CDC, webmd, the “Our World in Data” website, Johns Hopkins Hospital, and the NY Times
- As I write this, there have been 386,000 COVID-related fatalities in the US in 2021 compared to 377,883 in 2020. This is despite the fact that 70% of Americans are partially vaccinated, and 59% are fully vaccinated.
- New cases have been averaging 94,000 per day. Furthermore, one in six cases have presented with “serious” problems.
- The aforementioned sharp increase in fatalities has occurred despite the fact that over the past year we have learned to detect the virus early and we have developed a variety of effective treatment protocols and drugs, such as remdesivir.
- The recovery rate has been between 97% and 99.75% depending on the age and general health of the patient.
How can that be? It doesn’t make sense. Fatalities should be lower, not higher. I have heard many theories (and you probably have as well), but I have concluded that no one really knows for sure. Most of the “experts” one sees on tv or read in the newspapers don’t have the foggiest notion of what they are talking about. They contradict themselves and each other.
So, below please find my theories, which, despite my lack of a medical degree, I maintain are as good as anyone’s:
- Some people are becoming lackadaisical with respect to wearing masks and social distancing.
- Having been cooped up for the better part of a year many people have been out and about going to malls, eating at restaurants and gathering at parties, weddings, sporting events, concerts and the like. (I don’t blame them. There is evidence that isolation does not protect one against contracting the virus, so people figure they might as well live their lives.)
- The unvaccinated are skewing the statistics. The CDC has reported that unvaccinated persons are twice as likely to require hospitalization and seven times more likely to die from the disease.
- The most significant contributor, however, is the Biden Administration’s policy of permitting illegals to enter the US without being tested for COVID. Then, they are compounding the folly by transporting them all over the country. This makes no sense, except politically, and is among the most inane policies I have ever seen.
Joe Biden was elected, in large part, because the public perceived he would be better equipped to battle COVID than President Trump. By any measurement he has been an abject failure (in addition to his failure in other areas, which I have documented, in detail, in previous blogs). The best proof of that is that his approval rating has remained consistently at an historic low of 41%.
It has been reported that President Biden is planning to institute a travel ban with respect to various African countries to combat the new Omicron Variant. I agree with the concept, but I consider it contradictory with his aforementioned policy regarding migrants. Also, I find it ironic that he called President Trump a racist for doing the same thing. Does this mean that Biden is a racist? Just kidding. Maybe.
In addition, it has been reported that Biden is seeking to reinstitute Trump’s “remain in Mexico” policy for illegals, providing he can get the Mexican government to agree. Good idea. Now, maybe he can also resume building the wall and reopen the Keystone Pipeline. I won’t hold my breath for those, however.
In my view, COVID will be with us for a long time. We may have to learn to live with it, like the flu. Viruses are known for mutating. Indeed, we have already seen several variants in just one year. Furthermore, in the words of Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert based at Vanderbilt University, we “still have much to learn about [the disease].” In my view, the best defense against it is to maintain a robust general health. Don’t be surprised if we end up getting additional booster shots periodically in the future.
Be prudent, and stay safe.