The Battle Against Covid

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I expect I’ll get some negative comments here, but that’s never stopped me before.

We are doing far better against this virus than the media and general public believe.

The lock downs might have been necessary early on when science really didn’t know what was going on. It was reasonable back in late February to be pessimistic about the prognosis moving forward. Certainly we were mislead by the Chinese Communist government as to what was going on in the country of origin.

The World Health Organization (WHO) was either woefully ignorant or deliberately vague in their statements on the virus. Maybe both.

What we knew then lead us to believe that this was a very deadly virus that could kill anyone it infected.

We know better now, or should. We know that people seventy and older have elevated risk. The more comorbidities a person has, the more ill and likely to die they are. People eighty five and older, independent of of all other factors have a higher mortality rate.

Children and young adults have a much greater chance of surviving. In fact, many of them don’t een know that they are infected until they are tested. People under 60 share similar results.

Which means that our approach of making everyone quarantine until summer started and then imposing ridiculous and economy crushing restrictions on businesses had done nothing to save lives and in fact has resulted in increased mortality in America.

Between people afraid to go to the hospital when they are sick with other illnesses, people who lost their jobs and couldn’t afford medications, people who became depressed and killed themselves, people driving like maniacs, and other causes, it’s likely that more people died from non Covid causes than from Covid itself.

Here is a pretty good article on why the death toll from Covid appears to be higher than it actually is. Note that this was from May and the over counting continues to this day.

U.S. COVID-19 Death Toll Is Inflated

“The case definition is very simplistic,” Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of Illinois Department of Public Health, explains. “It means, at the time of death, it was a COVID positive diagnosis. That means, that if you were in hospice and had already been given a few weeks to live, and then you also were found to have COVID, that would be counted as a COVID death. It means, technically even if you died of [a] clear alternative cause, but you had COVID at the same time, it’s still listed as a COVID death.”

What this means is that there is a vast difference between dying “of” Covid and dying with “Covid.” The United States uses “dying with” as the standard while the rest of the world uses “dying of” Covid.

Here is an article that outlines the WHO standard versus what is used in the US.

COVID and the CDC

How does one determine the severity, danger, or threat to society that a SARS virus poses? In the past, the CDC determined the severity of a SARS virus by looking at evidence and incidence of pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome. A SARS case was designated to be “severe respiratory illness” if a patient had the following:

  • Temperature higher than 100.4°F (38°C), AND
  • One or more clinical findings of lower respiratory illness (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing) AND
  • Radiographic evidence of pneumoniaOR
  • Acute respiratory distress syndromeOR
  • Autopsy findings consistent with pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome without an identifiable cause

For some reason, the CDC has abandoned their long standing criteria of requiring a death to include pneumonia or ARDS. The rest of the world still requires those components to be present for a death to meet the “died with Covid” criteria.

The numbers are not the issue per se. The issue is that in order for the numbers to be valid, the criteria need to be standardized in order for the results to be valid.

Garbage In, Garbage Out as they say in the computer worlds.

So, an approach that may well have been prudent early on is now shown to be ineffective at preventing deaths while at the same time increasing non Covid deaths.

Another link describing the discrepancy in US versus WHO criteria. This one might be a bit more clear.

Are America’s Wuhan virus death rates lies, damn lies, and statistics?

It’s entirely likely, though, that if the CDC were suddenly to start counting virus deaths in America according to the WHO standard, which would drop the death count from 200,000 (“Trump is going to kill you”) to 86,000 (“it’s just a bad flu season”), the tech giants would scream more loudly than anyone else.

And of course, the number of deaths from the virus would drop even more if we were able to subtract all the other deaths that found their way into the statistics because someone died from another cause entirely, but tested positive for the virus:

If I were a suspicious sort, which you all know I’m not, I might suspect that there is a financial incentive to pad the numbers. As in the government will send money to states and hospitals that have high rates of “Covid deaths.”
I don’t know that that is the case, but I do know that our “Covid death” count is inflated compared to the rest of the world. If you don’t believe me, maybe you’ll believe Doctor Birx.

Dr. Deborah Birx, the response coordinator for the White House coronavirus task force, said the federal government is continuing to count the suspected COVID-19 deaths, despite other nations doing the opposite.

“There are other countries that if you had a pre-existing condition, and let’s say the virus caused you to go to the ICU [intensive care unit] and then have a heart or kidney problem,” she said during a Tuesday news briefing at the White House. “Some countries are recording that as a heart issue or a kidney issue and not a COVID-19 death.

“The intent is … if someone dies with COVID-19 we are counting that,” she added.

Two last points for those who are still reading.

First, there is some very sloppy reporting of the latest “surge” in Covid cases. If you read the reports in the popular media, you would not be wrong in believing that every positive tests results in someone going to the hospital with many dying.

It’s not true. Because of the much wider testing being done today a lot of asymptomatic cases are being discovered. Many of those people would not even know that they were “infected” if not for the test.

Look at some of the “infections” among professional athletes. They test positive not because they don’t feel well, but because it’s policy. They are then required to self quarantine even though they are not the least bit ill. Most professional athletes are very health and fit and fit into the “young” demographic least likely to get sick and die.

Accurate reporting would break the test results down as follows,

Tested positive.

Tested positive and were ill.

Tested positive, were ill, and admitted to the hospital.

Tested positive, were ill, were admitted to the hospital, and went to the ICU.

All of the above and died from Covid 19.

If you’ve seen that, please let me know because I’ve yet to see a story that contains all of that data. Or any beyond “tested positive.”

Finally, there is this.

Great Barrington Declaration.

I won’t be surprised if you’ve never heard of it as it’s received no news of this. For a while over the weekend, Google suppressed it’s search results so that it didn’t show up. It’s since been restored with Google claiming that their ranking algorithms took a while to catch up to the reality.

You can make your own decisions on that, but I don’t use Google as my search engine because I think that they put their thumb on the scale too often.

This is the conclusion of the declaration, but the entire document is not long and you should read it.

Those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal. Simple hygiene measures, such as hand washing and staying home when sick should be practiced by everyone to reduce the herd immunity threshold. Schools and universities should be open for in-person teaching. Extracurricular activities, such as sports, should be resumed. Young low-risk adults should work normally, rather than from home. Restaurants and other businesses should open. Arts, music, sport and other cultural activities should resume. People who are more at risk may participate if they wish, while society as a whole enjoys the protection conferred upon the vulnerable by those who have built up herd immunity.

The list of signatories is diverse representing several nations and several political view points. One thing that they have in common is that the lock downs and restrictions in nations around the world are harming far more people than they are helping.

The science, as some people admonish us, is settled on Covid 19. It was not as bad as was projected and the consequences of the efforts to “fight” it are far worse than the benefits.

If you’re one of my friends with a more widely read blog (that would be all of you), I’d appreciate it if you’d link to this. I’m not patting myself on the back, but I think the information is pretty well laid out.

Thanks.

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After a long career as a field EMS provider, I'm now doing all that back office stuff I used to laugh at. Life is full of ironies, isn't it? I still live in the Northeast corner of the United States, although I hope to change that to another part of the country more in tune with my values and beliefs. I still write about EMS, but I'm adding more and more non EMS subject matter. Thanks for visiting.

2 COMMENTS

  1. My Dad passed in May, just shy of 95 yo, with dementia after 7 years in a nursing home-basically non-communitive for the last couple years. He had just been tested as they had c19 on his floor, & was negative. 36 hours after his last test (negative), he passed away. The floor nurse opined he was just done. COD on the certificate? Yep, c19. I fought it & got the cert changed. So, 1st hand knowledge of the horse feathers that are being passed off as data.
    GIGO…
    dt

    • I didn’t touch on the crap show that went on in nursing homes in some states because it should be well known. The governors of New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts and maybe others sent sick patients into nursing homes while denying them the supplies they needed to keep non infected patients safe.

      The mother of another friend of mine was in one of the few well run nursing homes that established their own procedures and sequestered people with Covid. In her case, they moved her to the Covid floor immediately upon her positive test. She recovered, tested negative, and was moved back to her regular floor after a couple of weeks.

      I think it was just easier to call them “Covid deaths” than to attribute them to something more complicated.

      I expect that there will be years of litigation over these issues.

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