Tomorrow we resume flash fiction for the confined. Today, however, you get one of my patented posts designed to make the stupid uncomfortable, the brilliant cheer, and no matter what else, the time pass before all the snow melts and I can plant the garden.
Now, let us tackle these items in no particular order.
I preface the whole rant with the fact that I am in a vulnerable group, and I don’t want the China virus. I know it’s horrible for the patients who get it with major symptoms. It takes people in the weakest groups first, perhaps never even showing major symptoms in healthy people – but not always. I am not scoffing at the fact it is killing people. But there are historical problems with this panic. I have friends who have family members ill with the China virus, and I pray for them. But to let it bring down democracy, subvert your liberties, and destroy the economy when other measures are available strikes me as insane.
First, the majority of the popular press has debased itself with fear-mongering in a most spectacular manner, and lost almost all of the small smattering of credibility it had retained in the wake of the last three years. Each headline, each banner from AOL/MSNBC and the rest, is designed to make you feel even worse, more fearful, and more likely to panic.
These people can’t even tell you how much it’s going to snow tonight when the snow is falling and the radar shows the speed of the band of snow moving through the area. In Minnesota, that’s a big deal. They almost always grossly over predict the amount. Same here. “Now we bring you Trixie and Luther from the side of the freeway where there is no snow falling yet, but it’s bound to get really awful soon, hopefully before we start the syndicated game show coming up next.”
This virus, for which the worldwide modeling is incomplete, is beyond anything but their wildest guesses. People will get sick. But predicting the crash of the hospital system of one of the 10 largest cities in the United States’ before even 5% of their population is ill is evil.
More testing will mean more people diagnosed. More people will die, and thus the death toll will rise – you can see it on the right hand side of the screen if you watch cable news. What they aren’t saying is that as the numbers become more accurate, the mortality rate is dropping like a stone. The first people tested were either postmortem, or were ill with COVID-19. That made the mortality rate 100% for the first diagnosed cases. It dropped a bit when the rest of the elderly, infirm people in the facility were tested. And the number continues to drop. But they forget to mention that in the daily panic.
Instead, they blame the President for the virus. This applies to many politicians as well. Sadly, it applies to some of the Christians I know who are blaming this on Donald J. Trump because he was bragging about the economy, or how great America is, or will be, if his vision is followed. To them, this is a warning from a jealous God who is angry with us in America for not following his ways, not being humble, not being good Christians.
Newsflash: the whole world has this. I’m guessing, because I don’t have the numbers to prove it, that Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and atheists are all having similar survival/infection rates by region. There is no blood on the lintel telling the angel of death to pass over this house because we read the King James Version. Only the NIV version can cause death from COVID-19.
The God I worship isn’t sitting in Heaven with a tablet watching the afternoon White House briefing and taking notes. “Well, I’ve got to smite Atlanta now, they just had a rally for Trump. Thursday I’ll be letting New York have some ventilators fail because Governor Cuomo didn’t seem to be pious enough during his briefing on Sunday. Doesn’t he know it’s a day of rest?”
Me? I’m blaming the leader of Germany for the virus. And Brazil. And, I’ll even throw in Morocco, Belize, Lithuania, France, and Senegal. Why? Because none of them were ready to test all the citizens the first week, nor did they have a ventilator on each hip waiting for a crest of sick people that you can’t predict ahead of the emergence of the disease.
No healthcare system in the world is geared to handle peak levels without some ramp up to the situation. Nobody can afford to have piles of surplus equipment/beds/supplies waiting for something that may not happen for years. It ages and has to be thrown out which means constantly buying more to replenish stocks. See the link in the next paragraph. Secondly, you can’t make test kits in advance to rapidly detect a specific virus/bacteria until you know what it is. You can have some kits available to detect a variety of things, but you can’t make and store enough to test everyone for everything. This is doubly true for a new and emergent virus – like COVID-19.
If I’m a conservative loon, I need point no farther than the Los Angeles Times. They are not a paper I read with enjoyment – they loathe me and my principles. But they occasionally stumble across the truth. Read this article if you wonder how a little balance might reach into the world of journalism.
Ignore the press, and those who preach to you about being judged for your sins when you read a secular book. You will feel better. They bring you nothing useful.
The second item for today’s rant is China. The China Virus – yeah, that’s what it is – should make it obvious to us all that off-shoring our lives is bad for us.
We need, by statute, to bring vital industries home to the United States. All pharmaceuticals consumed in this country must be made here, with all the ingredients possible sourced within our borders. If it exists here, we use it. Same for medical equipment and supplies. I’ll throw in manufacture of computer chips and telecommunications equipment as well.
“But, Joe, you’re being extreme!”
Yes. But we’ve outsourced our lives, and now we’re paying for it. If you think this stinks, wait until the Communist dictatorship in China (for that is what it is) sells us all our communications gear for 5-G. Then they get to tell us what goes on it, and if they have back-doors into the network – which they will – they can shut it down as they see fit. How do I know this – The United States has tried to do the same thing with back door access to encryption, computer chips, and a host of other items. I don’t blame China – that’s what nations do.
As to the magnificent Chinese government, they are thugs who kill their own people for dissenting, harvest the organs of political prisoners, and force people to abort their children. Now, the last one dropped off the list five years ago, but it’s still on the table where we can see it. But my point is, that while the people of China are fine folks, and they make neat things and have an ancient culture, their government would destroy all of the surrounding nations in the blink of an eye, and they would love to see us submit to their will.
The President may have a friendship with China’s leaders, but it is the polite crap that makes for diplomacy. What he really sees, but can’t say, is a foe armed with nuclear weapons, genocidal tendencies (ask the Uighurs), and a social justice system that takes away your right to leave your city if you are a nuisance to the government. Not the people we want to have control over our economy, medical, or industrial base.
Now, if you’re angry, and don’t want to read any more, I’ve met my goal.
But I’m right. And there is little to dispute this. If you are honest with yourself, and all I ask is that you go back 60 days and read the news from your favorite source (they were wrong, no matter who they were), you will have to agree with me.
I don’t want a victory, I want a discussion of where we go in the future. And out from under China’s thumb is my goal.