The last thing I thought I would be writing about after my previous post was a new basis for lockdowns. We don’t have to wait for a Biden Administration. No, we’ll be in the soup before the end of the year. I pointed out our hard lockdowns were a result of a startling report from the Royal College. Based on its model, it predicted 2.2 million deaths in the U.S. if we didn’t act fast. While many people immediately questioned the study on both the science and methodology, I wrote it didn’t pass muster based on common sense. How was this pandemic worse than the 1918 Influenza epidemic? The data even then showed the coronavirus was fatal to a much smaller segment of the population. Ignored were our medical advances over the last hundred years. Still, it spawned panic and the crushing lockdowns.
Here we go again. A new study by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington predicts 410,000 likely deaths in the U.S. by year-end. The cooler weather will explode cases and fatalities higher than experienced in March and April. The worst-case would be over 610,000 deaths. Less publicized is its best-case scenario of 288,000. To date, we have recorded about 190,000 deaths. Right now, we are running at under 1,000 deaths a day.
For us to arrive at the 410 figure, our daily rate would have to be running at least triple today’s rate by year-end. How likely is that? The IHME points to flu type diseases always being worse in the fall and winter. People will be forced inside where it would spread easier. Colder, drier weather can help viruses stay viable longer and proliferate more quickly. The start of school always increases the spread.
Let’s take a close look at this prediction. When we recorded our highest daily average death toll in April, we never averaged 3,000 daily deaths. This was when we were unprepared. Our treatments for those infected were hit or miss. A big part of the deaths occurred in nursing homes forced to take in those with the disease. Mask wearing was discouraged, and in any case, masks weren’t readily available. In a good part of the country, April isn’t outdoor weather.
Since then, we have greatly improved our Ccovid-19 treatments. We now have Remdesivir and steroids available. Other promising therapies are in the pipeline. “AeroNabs” sounds very promising. Hospital procedures are much improved. Even though there is still much room for improvement, we are doing better protecting the most vulnerable. This is illustrated by Florida’s better safeguards for the elderly than New York or New Jersey. The result was about a third of the deaths recorded in New York. Even with a larger population and a much larger elderly population, Florida did much better.. Masks are widely available and used. Schools haven’t been shown anywhere to be big spreaders of this particular disease. In any case, schools have much more significant health and sanitary procedures than ever before.
I know the concept of “Herd Immunity” is much maligned by the left’s Great Narrative Machine. Still, as I’ve pointed out, it’s the only way pandemics end. With sharp drops in infections and deaths in some places, something is going on. It’s just logical, we’re closer to some sort of “Herd Immunity” effect now than last spring.
Unless this virus suddenly mutates into something with deadly new characteristics, the same facts govern. More than 9 out of ten deaths will be among those over 65 and/or have a co-morbidity. If those peddling the high death predictions were really serious, they would double down on high-risk people’s protections. Something like the direct Doctor-Patient communication and survey I recommended.
That we haven’t done anything like this is made clear by a young lady appearing at the Democratic Convention. She blamed her Father’s death from Covid-19 on the President. Her parents had gone out for a night of Karaoke at a crowded bar. Her Dad was 65. A picture of the couple suggested obesity may also have been in play. Though they met the widely published criteria for people that shouldn’t go anywhere near a crowded karaoke Bar, there they were. The convention was only a few weeks ago. Yet no one questioned the foolish risk taken. It shows many are still unaware of who is in danger and what to do about it. Maybe a direct communication from their Doctor might’ve brought this home.
So why has this 4000,000 death prediction been spread so widely by the Great Narrative Machine? Why pick this study rather than others showing a milder fall outcome? With Trump still President, a hard lockdown from a national level isn’t the cards before Inauguration Day. However, the alarm over a wildly spreading disease will keep and maybe expand the blue state lockdowns. Fewer schools will fully open, travel, and restaurants will continue to be avoided. All will contribute to a slower economic recovery. Now, who does that favor in the election? There must be a special place in hell for people keeping kids out of school and people out of work for political gain.