Sign InMy Account

Pandemic + Politics = Death

Posted By: Randy GageMarch 29, 2020

In the case of a worldwide pandemic, lots of people die.  And unfortunately, lots of them die needlessly.  These unnecessary deaths are usually because of politics.

Politics is a smarmy business.  And make no mistake, it is truly a business; a very powerful, for-profit, and dangerous one.  It is a cesspool of corrupt lobbyists, special interests, and inveterate grifters.  Maybe because of that reality, many idealistic, selfless, and honorable people enter the fray, optimistically believing that they can help create a better world.

It’s so damn easy to judge these well-meaning people, question their motives, and project nefarious intentions upon them.  But I honestly believe that there are people across the political spectrum who fervently believe in their philosophy and honestly want or wanted to serve the greater good.  You don’t have to agree with their politics.  But you should recognize that in their hearts they mean well.

I submit the following list, so you can immediately gasp at my ignorance, explain the errors of my selections in the comments below, and ratio me on social media:

  • Liberals such as Eugene McCarthy, Jimmy Carter, and George McGovern.
  • Conservatives such as Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and Mitt Romney.
  • Socialists such as Henri de Saint-Simon, Bernie Sanders, and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez.
  • Libertarians like Albert Camus, Friedrich Hayek, and Harry Browne.

I believe they chose to serve because they have principles they live (lived) by.  Argue about their politics and philosophy all you want.  I'm sure some of the people on the list would argue that the label I assigned them doesn’t accurately describe their philosophy.  Society needs debates like that.  (Provided the debates are on the ideas, not the personalities.)  But if you identify as one of those four labels above, your default, kneejerk reaction is probably to attack the intentions and character of the people on the other three lists.  If you do, I believe you’re making a tragic mistake and unfairly questioning the motives of good people who want or wanted to make the world a better place for their fellow inhabitants.

The current political environment is making us all so partisan, cynical, and judgmental.  We honestly can’t even fathom that people with policy views different than ours could have good intentions in their hearts.  But for the sake of our discussion, I’m asking you to base it on the premise that there are good people of many different political beliefs who enter politics with the express intention of doing good.  A radical concept, I understand.

Here’s where it breaks down…

The political system – the business of politics – is inherently corrupt.  Even well-meaning people with goodwill in their hearts get stymied and neutralized by the big donors, Super PACs, and lobbyists.  By the need to raise millions of dollars to run for Congress, tens of millions of dollars to run for Senate, and a billion dollars or more to run for president.  Then it comes down to a very simple, but very sinister dynamic:  You have one party in power that wants to remain in power, and one party out of power, desperate to regain power. The need to get elected or reelected distorts the system and creates cycles between the parties.  But like a casino, the house (in this case, the business of politics) always holds the upper hand.

If you’re like me, you’re still hopeful, even idealistic.  You believe if your party can just get enough control, the good people will prevail, and we’ll all live happily ever after.  We make concessions, form alliances, and horse trade, hoping to get our policies enacted.  That’s politics.

In a pandemic, politics kill people. 

Politicians can’t help themselves.  In a crisis like a pandemic, politics is all they know, so the try to politic their way out of it. Even well-meaning people believe the solution is to discredit the other parties, to bring more potential control for their own party.  And that gets innocent people killed.

There is no time for politics at the moment.  Not even time for finding blame. We have to stop the spread of the coronavirus before it kills more people unnecessarily. There will be plenty of time for that afterward and many politicians will be remembered for taking actions that were criminal, negligent, and unconscionable.  But making time for that now is a distraction and distractions in a pandemic kill people.

There are four essential actions we must take now to stop the pandemic.  They are:

  • Protect Healthcare Providers
  • Prudent Testing Protocol
  • Shelter-at-Home Measures
  • Fast Track Testing on Current Therapeutics  

Protect Healthcare Providers

When doctors, nurses, and technicians are in quarantine (or dying) the virus takes the upper hand and overwhelms the system.  We need the worldwide equivalent of the Manhattan Project, dedicated to sourcing, producing, and allocating the necessary protective equipment to keep the caregivers giving care.  We’re already very late on this.  Hospitals will be overrun and some of our healthcare heroes will die.  (And already have.)  But we’ve got to jump on this to save as many of those caregivers as possible.

We can’t have states, local municipalities, and different federal departments competing for personal protective gear, ventilators, ECMO machines, and other vital supplies.  The federal government in each country must single source and coordinate this function.  (And what really needs to happen is a global coordination of all countries.)  Every person heroically fighting to protect us – not just the doctors, nurses and techs, but the police, fire, EMTs, and the entire supply chain for delivery of essentials – has to know that they can do their job without taking dangerous and unacceptable risks.

We are in a horrific situation in this area right now.  Foolish decisions have been made and preparation was negligent.  But we don’t have time to discuss that now. We need every available public and private sector resource that can help here to contribute now.

Prudent Testing Protocol

As far as testing, we’ll never catch up here either.  South Korea and a few other nations got it right, but it’s simply too late for the United States and most other countries already.

Don’t be distracted by press conferences touting how Company X will produce X number of tests on X date. There are at least six billion people around the world we need to be testing this week and we can’t do it.  We. Can’t. Do. It.  It will take months to produce those tests, let along distribute and conduct them.  But that doesn’t mean we should give up.  We do however, have to change our testing practices to be more effective and realistic.

The reason this virus is playing out much worse than previous viruses like SARS is the state of transmission.  With SARS, most infection transmissions occurred when the patient was exceedingly (and obviously) sick.  With COVID-19, a huge percentage of the infections are happening from asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic people.  We do need to accelerate testing production as quickly as possible.  But we have to be smart and realistic about what to do with those tests.  We have to deploy them in ways that get the maximum benefits.  First and foremost, protecting healthcare providers.  Then using them in hot spots so we can isolate the infected people to prevent them from infecting others.  There is promising data showing that the antibodies in the blood of recovered patients is helpful mitigating the symptoms of people with COVID-19.  More and faster testing will allow us to know who those potential blood donors are.

Shelter-at-Home Measures

I’ve been self-isolating for 18 days already.  I get it, it sucks.  But it’s the only proven deterrent to stopping more widespread infection right now. When you must go out for necessities or providing essential services, practice social distancing and wear a mask.  Really.

The economic damage from these measures is horrendous.  It has hammered my own income.  But these measures are a hard price we must pay now to prevent worse harm, both financial and health-wise, later.

This is one of the areas where we can’t be a little bit pregnant. If you want to stop the infection from spreading exponentially, you have to employ the stay-at-home measures universally. There are people floating high risk/low risk and red zone/green zone plans that are foolish, unworkable, and dangerous. You do not need to be an epidemiologist to figure this out. All that is required is a smidgeon of common sense and an IQ of room temperature or above. If a red zone state or county that is locked down neighbors a green zone one – one where casinos, restaurants, and nightclubs are open – we know how humans are going to react.  A patchwork approach to this will lengthen both the recession and the required shelter-at-home timeframe.  And the number of people who die needlessly.

Fast Track Testing on Current Therapeutics

If someone created a perfect vaccine this morning, it still wouldn’t impact the chances of stopping the virus for anywhere from six to 18 months.  We have to employ the previous three measures now and investigate the potential of existing drugs to mitigate the severity of the COVID-19 symptoms on the affected patients.

THIS IS NOT A CROWDSOURCING CAMPAIGN FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC.

Politicians are going on talk shows and social media floating the names of individual drugs. Remember our central premise:  Pandemic + Politics = Death.  When irresponsible politicians spread these rumors, talk show hosts and bloggers repeat them, then people start sharing them on social media.  Misinformation and partial information kills people.  Let the trained health professionals perform the necessary tests and wait for their recommendations before you take, prescribe, or recommend any alternate drugs to anyone.  People are literally dying right now because politicians and talk show hosts think they’re qualified to prescribe medicines.

The four actions above are how we can defeat the coronavirus.  We need every person on earth to help further these four actions in any way they are capable of.  And if the only option you have is sheltering at home, then simply do that.  When you watch Town Halls, cable news programs, and your social media feed, please understand that conversation about everything else is a distraction.

Distractions kill people. We have to kill distractions.

  • Debating which ages groups are more susceptible to infection or death is a distraction.
  • Travel advisories are a distraction.
  • Compiling lists of mistakes made is a distraction.
  • Politicians tweeting snarky nicknames for other politicians is a distraction.
  • Assigning blame to other politicians is a distraction.
  • Spreading anecdotal stories of home cures and alternate drugs is a distraction.
  • Politicians assigning ethic names to the virus is a distraction.
  • People expressing their outrage at politicians assigning ethnic names to the virus is a distraction.
  • Politicians doing photo opportunities at labs and hospital ships is a distraction.
  • Politics is a distraction.

I get it.  You’re pissed off and you want the people who have hurt us held accountable.  I’m probably as outraged as you are, probably more so. The lack of preparation, the delays in response, and the level of incompetence displayed by many of our political leaders presents so much malfeasance we’ll be debating it for a decade.  But right now, that debate is a distraction.

I have a mother in her eighties who is terrified she is never going to see her children in person again.  I have a compromised immune system and thousands of people who count on me for their livelihoods.  I can’t afford distractions right now.  And if you’re being honest with yourself, neither can you.  None of us can.

We have to kill the distractions, focus on the four behaviors above, or the virus will keep killing more of us. 

The world community is stepping up. Private enterprise is making huge gains in the areas of manufacturing needed equipment, developing testing, and working on vaccines.  (Along with some brilliant people in the public sector.)  People are sewing masks at home, looking out for their neighbors, shopping for elderly, practicing social distancing, and anything they can to help fight the virus.  We just need to keep everybody focused on the four essential activities right now.  With that focus we can reduce the loss of life, mitigate the worst consequences, and buy us valuable time to develop the vaccine.

We will beat back the virus and win this fight.  But we have to focus and work together.  Please share this message and keep everyone focused on the four essential actions.  When you see me getting seduced by distractions, remind me too.  We got this.

Peace,

- RG

11 comments on “Pandemic + Politics = Death”

  1. Well said Randy,
    I appreciate your clarification of what is happening and much I also just went along with ! but you have opened my eyes and my soul and at 85 nearly 86 (but healthy with a good immune system, thanks to my 16 years of taking pharmaceutical grade nutrition) now understand the politics surrounding the attitudes and the press looking for stories they can turn to Negative talk to sell papers and or opinions on visual media.
    Thank you for your opinion which I always like to hear and follow.
    Ronald

  2. Great post Pookie.

    I wholeheartedly agree with what you wrote, but I am definitely guilty of engaging and calling out Trump and his supporters.

    I would ask.......Do the rules perhaps change a bit when the leader of our Country has not an ounce of empathy towards his fellow Americans.........and literally only cares about his numbers and ratings? The guy freaking talked about his ratings being better than the bachelor yesterday for crying out loud during a PANDEMIC press conference.

    I say this because it seems like the only way that he moves towards any kind of decency or changes his stance is when he is called out and held accountable. He will have cost thousands of lives b/c he would not listen to the doctors on the front line saying we desperately need more supplies and will soon need more ventilators weeks ago.....If we remain quiet and do not call him out it would cost us millions of lives.....but at least now after being called out over and over he has finally ordered companies to start producing such.

    I just wonder if he is such a different kind of beast that calling him out and holding him accountable is perhaps necessary even if it has a strong degree of divisiveness during a time when we certainly need unity.

    I do know that personally having twitter wars and FB battles is something I have to stop doing for my own personal well being and health.......but being quiet is not something I think any of us should be doing.

    Food for thought...Great post.

  3. Okay, let's make some common sense here:

    The regular flu kills 5-600,000 people each year.

    H1N1 had about 570,000 deaths from 60 million cases (nobody can tell the exact numbers).

    About 5% of the confirmed corona cases are critical. We can't measure how much ends up with death, since the number recovered / dead cases are close to each other, which means you die quickly and recover slowly.

    Since most people are asymptomatic, the number of infections are much, much higher than anybody can imagine.

    Probability rate:

    80+ years old: 21.9% of the confirmed cases, 14.8% of all cases.

    70-79: 8% of all cases.

    60-69: 3.6% of all cases.

    50-59: 1.3% of all cases.

    40-49%: 0.4% of all cases.

    Under that: 0.2% of all cases.

    "*Death Rate = (number of deaths / number of cases) = PROBABILITY of dying if infected by the virus (%). This probability differs depending on the age group. The percentages shown below do not have to add up to 100%, as they do NOT represent share of deaths by age group. Rather, it represents, for a person in a given age group, the RISK OF DYING if infected with COVID-19. "

    Source: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/coronavirus-age-sex-demographics/

    Well, enlighten me where is the part when we have to panic about a 0.2-3% CHANCE of die in coronavirus. Is this really higher than the regular flu? Is this really more riskier than driving a car?

    "So overall, which is worse: coronavirus or flu?

    That's not really an easy question to answer, says Dr. Brown. "It depends on what you mean by worse,” he says. “More easily spread? Then it appears to be coronavirus. Causes more cases of serious illness. Then it’s flu.”"

    Source: https://www.health.com/condition/infectious-diseases/coronavirus-worse-than-flu

    It is funny that you guys portray being asymptomatic as something bad. Even if we consider that the virus can spread this way faster, the simple fact that most people are asymptomatic means it at least balance the spreading thing, so it simply can't be worse this way. I mean, they got the virus without having any problems, right? Why is it a bad thing?

    The next thing we should consider is that the pandemic has not started to spread when the media / governments are confirmed that we have a pandemic. Nobody can be that naive to think that. Italy already suspects that they have this since last year autumn.

    http://www.china.org.cn/world/Off_the_Wire/2020-03/22/content_75845579.htm

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-italy-timing/italian-scientists-investigate-possible-earlier-emergence-of-coronavirus-idUSKBN21D2IG

    To add my personal experience:

    Last year late summer I got something which made me cough for 6 weeks. I also got a heavy breathing. They said I had pneumonia.

    When I had recovered, my girlfriend already got the same, though it lasted only for two weeks for her. He had to sleep sitting, during that.

    At the same time, my grandmother got a high fever we had to take him to the ambulance at midnight. They said they found absolutely nothing, and they had no idea why she have a that big fever, so they eventually sent her back home (logical, right?). It lasted for two weeks. She said she has never had anything like this in her life.

    Next was my brother. He had fever, and he said he can’t breath. He used our mother’s asthma spray to lessen the symptoms. Again: for two weeks.

    Next was one of our neighbor, a 6x-year old lady, who has came from the hospital while we smoked in the courtyard. She said the doctors told him that she has pneumonia. She said she could not breathe. She also said that she has never had anything in her life like that. She usually catches the regular influenza, but nothing else beside this (right after she asked cigarette from us).

    Next was my car mechanics, who were unable to speak because of the fever (his voice went away).

    In January when the pandemic was official, smoking in the courtyard again, I met one of my friend who said he has pneumonia.

    Some weeks later, they registered mass fever cases in one of the local kindergarten.

    Next, my ex had fever which forced her to lay in bed, being unable to even drive (she handle stuff like that very easily, but not this one).

    Can they be coincidences? For sure. Maybe not? Of course. Who knows?

    This is of course only educated guessing, using our common sense and the information-salad we have, since nobody provided any sane and valuable explanation besides go and stay home, let the economy to collapse.

    Since this comment is already long enough (as usual), I don't express my opinion about your utter naivety about Bernie Senders and his mass murdered friend: AOC. But I really like to ask what happened with your subconscious programming about being positive and avoiding bad events / solving the flu by not getting so sick, etc.? It seems to me a long way from controlling the reality with your mind to Bernie Sanders.

  4. My comment awaiting moderation because of putting links on it. I just say this because last time it needed weeks to be confirmed, but I guess since you are at home, it may going to be faster.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • Generic selectors
    Exact matches only
    Search in title
    Search in content
    Post Type Selectors
  • Stay Connected

    Subscribe to Randy’s Blog via Email

  • Recent Posts

  • 11 comments on “Pandemic + Politics = Death”

    1. Well said Randy,
      I appreciate your clarification of what is happening and much I also just went along with ! but you have opened my eyes and my soul and at 85 nearly 86 (but healthy with a good immune system, thanks to my 16 years of taking pharmaceutical grade nutrition) now understand the politics surrounding the attitudes and the press looking for stories they can turn to Negative talk to sell papers and or opinions on visual media.
      Thank you for your opinion which I always like to hear and follow.
      Ronald

    2. Great post Pookie.

      I wholeheartedly agree with what you wrote, but I am definitely guilty of engaging and calling out Trump and his supporters.

      I would ask.......Do the rules perhaps change a bit when the leader of our Country has not an ounce of empathy towards his fellow Americans.........and literally only cares about his numbers and ratings? The guy freaking talked about his ratings being better than the bachelor yesterday for crying out loud during a PANDEMIC press conference.

      I say this because it seems like the only way that he moves towards any kind of decency or changes his stance is when he is called out and held accountable. He will have cost thousands of lives b/c he would not listen to the doctors on the front line saying we desperately need more supplies and will soon need more ventilators weeks ago.....If we remain quiet and do not call him out it would cost us millions of lives.....but at least now after being called out over and over he has finally ordered companies to start producing such.

      I just wonder if he is such a different kind of beast that calling him out and holding him accountable is perhaps necessary even if it has a strong degree of divisiveness during a time when we certainly need unity.

      I do know that personally having twitter wars and FB battles is something I have to stop doing for my own personal well being and health.......but being quiet is not something I think any of us should be doing.

      Food for thought...Great post.

    3. Okay, let's make some common sense here:

      The regular flu kills 5-600,000 people each year.

      H1N1 had about 570,000 deaths from 60 million cases (nobody can tell the exact numbers).

      About 5% of the confirmed corona cases are critical. We can't measure how much ends up with death, since the number recovered / dead cases are close to each other, which means you die quickly and recover slowly.

      Since most people are asymptomatic, the number of infections are much, much higher than anybody can imagine.

      Probability rate:

      80+ years old: 21.9% of the confirmed cases, 14.8% of all cases.

      70-79: 8% of all cases.

      60-69: 3.6% of all cases.

      50-59: 1.3% of all cases.

      40-49%: 0.4% of all cases.

      Under that: 0.2% of all cases.

      "*Death Rate = (number of deaths / number of cases) = PROBABILITY of dying if infected by the virus (%). This probability differs depending on the age group. The percentages shown below do not have to add up to 100%, as they do NOT represent share of deaths by age group. Rather, it represents, for a person in a given age group, the RISK OF DYING if infected with COVID-19. "

      Source: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/coronavirus-age-sex-demographics/

      Well, enlighten me where is the part when we have to panic about a 0.2-3% CHANCE of die in coronavirus. Is this really higher than the regular flu? Is this really more riskier than driving a car?

      "So overall, which is worse: coronavirus or flu?

      That's not really an easy question to answer, says Dr. Brown. "It depends on what you mean by worse,” he says. “More easily spread? Then it appears to be coronavirus. Causes more cases of serious illness. Then it’s flu.”"

      Source: https://www.health.com/condition/infectious-diseases/coronavirus-worse-than-flu

      It is funny that you guys portray being asymptomatic as something bad. Even if we consider that the virus can spread this way faster, the simple fact that most people are asymptomatic means it at least balance the spreading thing, so it simply can't be worse this way. I mean, they got the virus without having any problems, right? Why is it a bad thing?

      The next thing we should consider is that the pandemic has not started to spread when the media / governments are confirmed that we have a pandemic. Nobody can be that naive to think that. Italy already suspects that they have this since last year autumn.

      http://www.china.org.cn/world/Off_the_Wire/2020-03/22/content_75845579.htm

      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-italy-timing/italian-scientists-investigate-possible-earlier-emergence-of-coronavirus-idUSKBN21D2IG

      To add my personal experience:

      Last year late summer I got something which made me cough for 6 weeks. I also got a heavy breathing. They said I had pneumonia.

      When I had recovered, my girlfriend already got the same, though it lasted only for two weeks for her. He had to sleep sitting, during that.

      At the same time, my grandmother got a high fever we had to take him to the ambulance at midnight. They said they found absolutely nothing, and they had no idea why she have a that big fever, so they eventually sent her back home (logical, right?). It lasted for two weeks. She said she has never had anything like this in her life.

      Next was my brother. He had fever, and he said he can’t breath. He used our mother’s asthma spray to lessen the symptoms. Again: for two weeks.

      Next was one of our neighbor, a 6x-year old lady, who has came from the hospital while we smoked in the courtyard. She said the doctors told him that she has pneumonia. She said she could not breathe. She also said that she has never had anything in her life like that. She usually catches the regular influenza, but nothing else beside this (right after she asked cigarette from us).

      Next was my car mechanics, who were unable to speak because of the fever (his voice went away).

      In January when the pandemic was official, smoking in the courtyard again, I met one of my friend who said he has pneumonia.

      Some weeks later, they registered mass fever cases in one of the local kindergarten.

      Next, my ex had fever which forced her to lay in bed, being unable to even drive (she handle stuff like that very easily, but not this one).

      Can they be coincidences? For sure. Maybe not? Of course. Who knows?

      This is of course only educated guessing, using our common sense and the information-salad we have, since nobody provided any sane and valuable explanation besides go and stay home, let the economy to collapse.

      Since this comment is already long enough (as usual), I don't express my opinion about your utter naivety about Bernie Senders and his mass murdered friend: AOC. But I really like to ask what happened with your subconscious programming about being positive and avoiding bad events / solving the flu by not getting so sick, etc.? It seems to me a long way from controlling the reality with your mind to Bernie Sanders.

    4. My comment awaiting moderation because of putting links on it. I just say this because last time it needed weeks to be confirmed, but I guess since you are at home, it may going to be faster.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    © 2020 Prosperity Factory, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Legal Information, Sitemap, Site by PrimeConcepts