JACKSON — OK. We gave it the old college try. Now it’s time to get back to work and move on. Restaurants need to open. Functions need to resume. We need our normal social lives to return.
Sixty days. That’s how long it takes COVID-19 deaths to start up and then come back down. It’s called Farr’s Law. It’s almost exactly the same in every single country throughout the world. If you don’t realize this, please educate yourself by going to one of the COVID-19 statistical websites. I recommend worldometer.com.
This 60 days is remarkably consistent regardless of public lockdown policy. It was 60 days in Italy with its strict lockdown. It was 60 days in Sweden with its limited social distancing policy.
Here in Mississippi, we’ve had lockdown for 60 days. That’s enough. Time to move on.
I realize we are trying to minimize deaths, but we didn’t shut down the economy because of the swine flu of 2009, nor the AIDS epidemic, nor the measles outbreak in 1991, nor the West Nile virus, nor Lyme disease, nor the Hong Kong flu epidemic of 1968 (which killed millions worldwide), nor polio, nor the Asian flu epidemic of 1957 (which killed millions nationwide) nor even the Spanish flu epidemic (which killed tens of millions worldwide.)
Shutdowns kill. Life expectancy is directly linked to economic prosperity. A strong economy allows for hospitals, health care, good nutrition, mental stability and a thousand other factors that have a direct effect on mortality. Economic collapse is deadly.
Our best defense against viruses is our immune system. Stress is one of the great destroyers of our immune system. Fear, shutdowns and economic collapse are the worse possible ways to fight this virus. It will lead to higher suicide rates, higher drug overdoses, higher divorce rates, more domestic violence and more overall deaths than COVID-19 could cause by itself.
The point of the shutdown was to “flatten the curve,” not to eradicate the virus, which is impossible. By flattening the curve, we spread the deaths out over a longer period, thus insuring our hospitals aren’t overloaded.
We have achieved that goal. There are no shortages of ventilators. Our hospitals have plenty of beds. We never had to use any of the temporary emergency hospitals erected in hotbed areas. The reason for the shutdown no longer exists.
We have now learned that the COVID-19 virus is much less fatal than we thought. It is not Ebola. It is more like a bad flu. It’s infection fatality rate, still being determined, is something on the order of one fatality per 350 infections compared to one out of 1,000 for the flu. It’s a noxious killer, but manageable.
The average age of a COVID-19 victim is 80 years old — which also happens to be the average age of life expectancy. This is because everyone’s immune system declines with age, just like every other part of your body. Older people also die of pneumonia, common colds, the flu and hundreds of other causes. Yet we do not shut down the economy because of this. Just this week, CNN reported that 370 workers at the Triumph Foods pork plant in Buchanan County, Missouri, tested positive for COVID-19. Not a single one had any symptoms.
A virus that causes no symptoms or minor symptoms in 95 percent of the people it infects is not a killer virus. Further, it would be completely impossible to contain a virus such as that.
If COVID-19 were a killer virus, grocery store workers would be dropping like flies since the grocery stores have been busier than ever. Yet this has not happened. COVID-19 death and infection rates for grocery store workers are no higher than the national averages. If COVID-19 were a killer virus, the Swedes would be dropping like flies, since Sweden did not shut down. Yet Sweden is doing just fine, and fatalities are dropping sharply like in all of the other European countries, which are two or three weeks ahead of the U.S.
The epidemic experts got us into the shutdown game. We believed the experts. But come to find out, the experts have been wildly wrong. They predicted 2.4 million American deaths. That’s a big miss.
In reality, there is a huge amount we don’t know about viruses, epidemics and the immune system. Blind trust in the experts is misguided.
Every human body has 500 trillion viruses in it at any given point in time, including 75% of the known species that infect humans. We all have four different coronaviruses in us right now — HKU1, NL63, OC43, 229E. Science discovers dozens of new human viruses every decade. Our immune system is at constant war and does a mighty good job at keeping these invaders at bay — until we get old, then we die.
Viral tests are unreliable when properly vetted by the FDA. Current tests were rushed through. Many of these tests are picking up viral particles from other coronaviruses already in our bodies. Inaccuracy abounds. Positive infections will continue to increase simply as a function of skyrocketing testing. It is the fatalities that matter, and they are dropping rapidly.
Using the CDC’s total all-cause mortality stats, the total death rate in the U.S. so far this year is about the same as the five-year average. It will take years to understand what has really happened. In the meantime, we have lives to live and an economy to rebuild. Never in history have healthy people been quarantined. It massively violates our Bill of Rights and probably won’t stand up to judicial review. Before we leave a suffocating debt burden to our children, let’s regain our confidence, overcome our hypochondria and get back to living normal lives.