Wednesday, May 13, 2020

SO, YOU THINK YOU’RE FREE


I am amused by all the people fighting, crying, and whining about how the ‘stay-at-home’ orders are a violation of their freedoms. Why am I amused? Because what you call freedom is and has been an illusion since the time of Abraham Lincoln. Let me cite a few examples for you.

The United States Gold Reserve Act of January 30, 1934. With the stroke of a pen, it became illegal for US citizens to own gold coins and bullion. FDR’s administration instituted this, and it didn’t change back until Richard Nixon was President. YOU WERE NOT FREE TO OWN GOLD. Read more about it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_Reserve_Act

During the Civil War, the federal government was responsible for the greatest amount of newspaper suppression in the nation’s history. More than 300 newspapers were shut down. About half-way through the war, Lincoln changed his mind about violating the first amendment so aggressively. Yup, FREEDOM OF THE PRESS WENT RIGHT OUT THE WINDOW. Read more about that here: http://ocean.otr.usm.edu/~w304644/ajha/americanjournalism/fall09.pdf

Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus in the first year of the Civil War. He even ignored a Supreme Court justice's decision overturning his order. He allowed people to be held indefinitely without trial. Doesn’t look like a lot of freedom there, does it? BASIC RIGHTS IN THE CONSTITUTION WERE RESCINDED. Read more about it here: https://www.usnews.com/news/history/articles/2009/02/10/revoking-civil-liberties-lincolns-constitutional-dilemma

How about all the rationing and price ceilings during World War II? How free were you to have a closet full of butter or sugar? Read about that here: https://www.nps.gov/articles/rationing-in-wwii.htm

As most of you who are regular readers know, I am a strong Constitutionalist. That means I believe the Constitution is the ruling document for the United States of America, our LAW OF THE LAND. Here’s the catch, the Constitution establishes the three branches of government. And, the Supreme Court has, since 1824, stated that the states have the right to impose quarantines and reasonable restrictions on travel…AS LONG AS THEY ARE NOT POLITICALLY MOTIVATED OR DISCRIMINATORY. Yes, I have heard the conspiracy theories about how certain political affiliations want the lock-down orders and want them to continue to destroy the President. I won’t comment on the merits of that theory except to say, cutting off your nose to spite your face is a long-standing tradition in American politics (please note, there is also a theory that the whole thing was just to keep Joe Biden home so he wouldn’t make any more huge blunders.)

Do I think that there are violations of the first and fourteenth amendment happening? Yes. Do I think that the whole thing has been some kind of hoax to usurp our freedoms? No. I believe for some power-hungry politicians, that was an unexpected benefit, one they are loathe to relinquish. I also believe that rushing to get everyone back to ‘normal’ can be dangerous. Herd immunity is a great idea, but it requires the thinking that there are acceptable losses.

The more laws that are passed and not challenged in front of the Supreme Court, the more Executive Orders issued without any restraint, the less FREEDOM we ALL have. We aren’t free, we haven’t been free for more than 150 years.

KM

Saturday, March 28, 2020

PLEASE STAND BY


Unlike the slew of authors and self-styled survivalists writing, giving advice, and attempting to stir fear and panic in people, I make no claim to being an expert about disasters manmade or natural. I am simply someone who has seen a lot, been through a lot, read a lot and thought a lot about our possible futures. I’ve tried to plan as best I could and think I’ve done a fair job.

For many years my children teased me and even derided me a bit for stocking up on enough basics to get my family through a short-term crisis. I tried to patiently explain that it was part of my job as a husband and a father. My job is, and always has been, to protect my family in every way as best I can. Interestingly, now most are checking their own stocks for how long they can last without having to try to find things at the store. We still want and are able to get fresh foods, perishables, but we can live without them for a time.

I read this morning about Rhode Island hunting down New Yorkers (not in a literal sense.) They want them to self-quarantine for fourteen days if they are coming into their state. The governor of Rhode Island is going to activate the National Guard to go door-to-door to see if any New Yorkers are in a particular household. I’m pretty sure she can expect to face lawsuits for violation of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution and she will lose. She might even face jail time regardless of what her lawyers are telling her right now. While her motives might be pure, her actions are still questionable. An emergency request to the Supreme Court could stop her in her tracks and, possibly, have her arrested for her actions. Her emergency powers do not suspend the Constitution. No governor can legally do that. If she is declaring martial law, she will need to show cause. She might even face a worse situation if the President of The United States decides to federalize her state’s National Guard to stop her. He can do that. It’s been done before. What concerns me, even more, is what happens if people in those homes resist?

If the governor of Georgia was to decide that all people over sixty must be one hundred percent confined to their homes (no taking walks, no going into your own backyard, etc.) and enforce it with the National Guard, I’m pretty sure there’d be an uprising. While I know he’d be doing it for ‘our own good,’ I would still join that uprising. He doesn’t have the right to suspend the Constitution, even for my own good. If I am not sick and state health officials have not quarantined me for being sick, there is no just cause for the confinement. Can he call for social distancing and a limit on the size of gatherings? Barely. He isn’t denying people the right of assembly, just limiting the size of that assembly. Can he close restaurants and other businesses? This should really be reserved for local government since in many cases they operate under their permission, but many states also have a state requirement for operation, so yes. The government, under emergency powers, is skating a very thin line Constitutionally. They know it and most are being pretty careful in their actions. In my opinion, the governor of Rhode Island is acting a little rashly and may live to regret her actions, regardless of how noble they are.

The phrase, ‘we are all in this together’ is truer than most people know. The infection rate from this virus is crazy-high. The people who defy the common sense request for social distancing, etc. are putting others at risk. Worse are the ones who purposely do things that are meant to spread or give the appearance of spreading this disease. So, can a person who purposely tries to spread the virus be arrested and tried? The answer is an unequivocal yes. Their actions may constitute anything from reckless endangerment to terrorism. The key is in the word purposely.

I know that there are a lot of people out there that will criticize President Trump no matter what he does. If the man could magically make every person in the country healthy, someone would complain that he should have done it for all countries. I wonder if anyone realizes what his administration has done? How many understand that in less than a month he essentially put this country on a war-footing and started getting much-needed supplies, no matter how few or how many, into the hands of those people needing them? Do you know how long it took to start gearing up for WWII after we were attacked at Peral Harbor? And to be perfectly honest, if you look at history, we had started even before that attack. Months, it took months!

He stopped flights from China and was called a racist. He started forming partnerships with industry to produce more supplies and was called weak for not immediately imposing the Defense Production Act (if I were him, I’d say have said I couldn’t it do that without declaring this a war which has to be approved by Congress.) He brought in real experts to help figure out the proper way to fight this and was chided for not bringing in politicians. A few governors criticized him for not getting them the equipment they want or need when it is their job to have ordered it and had it ready, not the federal government’s. The states cry, ‘save us, save us’ but then they will scream, ‘don’t you dare interfere with the way we do things’ right after that. Let me explain something, the federal government doesn’t have to respond by getting medical equipment to the states or building them hospitals. Read the Constitution. The job of the feds is to promote the general welfare and provide for the national defense. Promoting the general welfare doesn’t mean holding your hand and taking your temperature. So, either look at this as war and quit bellyaching or don’t and quit demanding things from the federal government at all.

The media keeps hammering at the man, “do you take responsibility?” Let me clarify something for those morons. This President has given a personal briefing to the press every single day including the weekends since this crisis. For me, actions speak louder than words. No other President that I can remember in any crisis, has given a daily briefing to the press to help the American people get through, not.a.single.one.ever. The cynics say he is just trying to score political points. If that were true, wouldn’t it be easier just to make televised statements from the Oval Office without all the reporters? I don’t think the man has done a perfect job. I do think he’s done better than any of his critics could have ever possibly done.

This is not the end of our world or our country. We will survive and we will recover. But that will only happen if we have people who love and care about this nation. We will falter and vanish as a people if we let those who secretly and not-so-secretly hate who we are and what we stand for win. I am talking about the ones who say we should be taking care of the whole world and not just our own in this time our country’s need. I mean the ones who want to see the system crash so they can replace it with one they think is more ‘equitable,’ regardless of who has to suffer or even die so that can happen. The ones who want to play games with legislation while people in need reel and stagger from the economic blow this has caused.

This isn’t over unfortunately. There will be more hospitalizations, more deaths, and more economic fallout. I am praying for our country.

Please stand by.

KM

Thursday, March 19, 2020

THE CORONAVIRUS CONSPIRACY


I purposely titled this post the way I did because I wanted to draw the people who deny COVID-19 is real and poses a real health threat. In this post, I want to examine what is being said and why they are saying it. Then, I want to walk people through the logic or illogic of their thinking.

Let’s start by talking about the biggest celebrity saying that this is all a conspiracy to bring down Donald Trump, Rush Limbaugh. I used to listen to Rush every day on my way home from work. I didn’t always agree with what he said, but I didn’t always disagree either. I don’t blindly follow any personality. So, let’s examine a couple of things that Rush is saying.

1.  COVID-19 is just the common cold. In fact, it’s named COVID-19 because it’s the nineteenth one.
Unfortunately, this is patentably false. The 19 in COVID-19 comes from the fact that it was ‘discovered’ in 2019. It’s easy to see where his confusion comes from since the full breakdown of COVID-19 is Corona Virus Disease 19. It also does not have the same viral structure that the cold or flu viruses have. It is related to SARS and MERS. In fact, it is so closely related to SARS that its actual ‘name’ is severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, or SARS-CoV-2. By the way, the corona in coronavirus comes from the fact that the virus has spikes that look like a crown on it.
In this same vein, the disease is at least twice as communicable as the cold or flu.

2.  It’s only affecting two percent (2%) of the population.
The truth is, we don’t know how much of the population it is affecting yet. The numbers are still rising. What we do know is that around 2% of those infected die from it. We also know that seniors and those with underlying health conditions seem to be the most affected by it. Here, in America, between thirty thousand and sixty thousand people die every year from the flu. This is a shocking number for the Chinese. I know because I have a handful of friends there whom I trust, and they told me that they had no idea. The number of people in China who have been sickened by and died from COVID-19 is also shocking to them. While they know diseases have ravaged China in the past, they have never had to experience it first-hand. And, even they know that their government has suppressed the real number, it is much, much higher.

3.  This is all about bringing down Donald Trump.
This is the only thing about the virus that Rush has said that appears plausible on its face. The effect on our economy and way of life has been dramatically affected by the coronavirus. Panic-buying seems to be the new reality. Jobs are in jeopardy. Stores, restaurants, in fact virtually every type of business have shut down. All of the economic gains of the Trump administration have been wiped out. Make no mistake, President Trump’s political rivals (enemies if you like) will use the economy, large unemployment numbers that will surely follow, and the way he has handled this emergency against him in every way possible.
The media did, certainly, help create a sense of panic and fear in the public. I happen to think that for the first time in his administration, they did exactly what the President needed them to do. Donald Trump can and may emerge from this one of this nation’s greatest heroes. His quick and decisive action and those yet to come may just have saved hundreds of thousands of lives.

I am going to leave it right there because if one or two statements are false, the entire argument becomes questionable. Instead, let’s look at why the thought that this is a hoax is being said by numerous people. The top three I hear are:

1.  ‘They’ want to bring President Trump down and destroy his chances for reelection.
2.  The government wants to control us more.
3.  The ‘fat-cats’ on Wall Street just want to manipulate the market.

Rather than take these one at a time, let’s look at the entire concept of a conspiracy of this magnitude. I have tracked the coronavirus since before it hit US soil. I did this because I have some very dear friends living in China. Make no mistake, the disease originated in China and spread from there. I will not rule out the possibility that COVID-19 was an accidental release of a poorly designed bio-weapon, just because of the proximity of one of China’s top research labs next to the market is supposedly came from. It doesn’t matter at this point. It’s out and it infected, at a MINIMUM over 80,000 people in China. It killed at a MINIMUM over 3,000 people. Why do I say at a minimum? The Chinese central government has no problem lying to its own people and the world to try to make itself look better. Just this morning, China has reported no new locally transmitted coronavirus cases which is IMPOSSIBLE since there is no vaccine or cure. China is lying to save Face. Face is a huge issue for the Chinese government. They want their own people and the world to believe that the central government is completely in control of the situation. It isn’t and it never has been.

So, we have a disease in China that the Chinese declined to share any information about for two weeks to a month. The disease spread in a predictable pattern for these things. All of Asia was first affected, then the Middle East and Australia, followed by Europe, and, eventually, the United States of America. South America appears to have been infected at the same time or after the US was.

When the disease hit the US, I noticed an odd pattern and even asked some of the people on my Facebook page about it. The disease was confined primarily to the coasts. Someone pointed out that these were where the ports and large international airports with flights from Europe and Asia were. As I tracked the disease, it slowly spread until, eventually, every state seemed to have at least one verified case.

Every Asian, Middle Eastern and European country is being affected. Some of these are totalitarian governments like China, North Korea, Vietnam, Iran, etc. Some are constitutional monarchies like the UK. Some are democratic socialist, some are socialist, some are democratic republics, etc. The ‘Coronavirus Conspiracy’ would somehow have to get all of these governments to go along and say yes to something that wasn’t really happening. Iran who openly hates the United States of America in every possible way would have to agree to lie for ‘Them’ in order to bring Trump down, help our government control us more, and/or allow the guys on Wall Street to take advantage of the rest of us. How would you compel India, who actually like Donald Trump, to go along? How would anyone be able to get every country that has been affected by this to help in the ‘Coronavirus Conspiracy?’

I understand or think I understand, part of what drives the conspiracy talk. The question of how a virus can be completely absent one day and a couple of weeks later have the entire country worried? That’s easy to answer when you look at what has actually happened and don’t work from a single snapshot in time. This hasn’t been a couple of weeks. The media has been reporting on the virus long before it hit US shores. When it finally did hit, they went into overdrive (look at the number of articles on it on FOX alone.) This caused people to panic-buy because the word ‘quarantine’ was already being used. Panic-buying has led to greater fear which the conspiracy theorists have viewed as something generated by ‘the government.’

In some places, the state and local officials have given orders for restaurants and bars to close and banned gatherings over a certain size. Believe it or not, if you really wanted to, you could take them to court for this. You would probably lose because the court is going to put public safety ahead of the Constitution. But it is an option because under the Constitution you cannot be denied liberty without due process. Like I said, you would probably lose because most courts will look at what the health officials have said or mandated for the public good over your personal rights. This is what many of the people who believe in the ‘Coronavirus Conspiracy’ think is one of ‘their’ ultimate aims, denying the American people their Constitutional rights. My question is, when does your personal liberty infringe on my right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness? Especially life (which is before Liberty.)

Another thought that the ‘Coronavirus Conspiracy’ believers have is that this is how socialism gets into America. I admit, it sure looks that way when Washington is talking about interfering with businesses and sending money out to every American. Kind of like what President Bush did in 2008. I didn’t agree with the Stimulus Package then and I don’t really agree with it now. The next election put a President in who really was a socialist in many respects. But the one after that made Donald Trump President. I’m still waiting to see how the stimulus packages have turned us socialist? Fueling recessions, yes, making us socialists, I doubt it.

I think if ALL Americans would calm down and just follow the recommendations of EVERY MAJOR HEALTH ORGANIZATION ON THE PLANET we would be okay. People should calm down. The CEOs of some of the largest food chains in the United States have said, there is and will be plenty, just like always. Truck drivers don’t have ten people in the cab with them, and they can keep their distance while pallets are loaded and unloaded on their trucks. The farmers, warehouse workers, and inspection authorities can all take precautions to protect themselves.

For those of you who still don’t believe that the coronavirus is real, nothing will convince you until you’ve caught it. My daughter has friends that have been diagnosed with it. Sandy Patty, a gospel singer, a Christian, says that she has it. People from all walks of life are sharing their stories of what their quarantines are like as they have been diagnosed with it. Why would they lie? What possible motivation could they have? Do you really believe that Sandy Patti is a government stooge or a liar?

Let me put it to you another way that may be more palatable for you. Yes, it is like a really, really contagious flu that is twenty to thirty times more lethal. Does that help? Will you please stay away from others who might be vulnerable to it now? If for no other reason, do it out of respect for the other person, simple courtesy. You can make your own decisions about washing your hands or going into a crowd, but don’t force what your choice may bring onto others.

KM

Monday, March 16, 2020

CORONAVIRUS AND TOILET PAPER


I read a lot of news. I’m retired, I have the time, and if I find something interesting I can research it deeper and possibly use it in one of my novels. But I discovered something today. As our two crises deepen, the coronavirus and our reaction to it, there are just some things I don’t care about. Let’s face it, the virus is a pandemic that  MAY wind up affecting millions in this country (the numbers are already starting to exceed my projections.) People’s reaction to it has caused critical shortages that are already affecting millions. So, I don’t care about Megan and Harry’s summer plans. I couldn’t possibly care less who does or doesn’t want to become a politician or even who won a debate that came with a foregone conclusion. We have bigger things to think about, not worry about, think about.

Toilet paper seems to be the new currency or is about to be. This is as stupid as anything I’ve ever encountered. Joseph Gayetty invented toilet paper in 1857, what do you think people did before that? How many of you have ever been camping and not had any? The nice thing about toilet paper in the United States is most people flush it away after use. A lot of you may not realize that in many other countries, China included, it’s usually THROWN AWAY like refuse? Not very sanitary and a possible vector for some pretty serious diseases, but that’s how it’s done. For those of you still worried about it, here’s an article for you:

There are more serious problems than toilet paper shortages starting to appear right now. I have been informed that in some areas food in the stores has already become an issue. Produce, milk, meat, fish, bread, noodles, and processed foods are gone from the shelves. Why? Because you might have to ‘hunker down’ for a month? Again, stop being stupid.

Social distancing does not mean you can’t go to the store. It means, wipe the handle of the cart if you can. Be mindful to not touch your face while shopping. When you get home wash your hands because, in most cases, you probably handled some change and money is one of the dirtiest things there is. Wash your face because you probably touched it too. This is just because we still don’t know for sure how long the coronavirus lives on surfaces.

We need to all keep in mind, nothing has killed off our food sources. If people would stop getting crazy in the stores they could restock as usual. Do you really want the government to go back to a World War II footing and start forced rationing? That’s the point we are rapidly getting to. I didn’t have to live through that, but I know people who did, and they didn’t like it one little bit. For those of you too young to even know what rationing is, it’s when the government takes complete control of certain basic items and tells you exactly how much of what you can have every week or month. Sort of like Socialism or Communism or a Dictatorship. Is that what you really want?

STOP.ACTING.STUPID. You know who you are, you know that you are STILL planning on going out and buying up whatever you can because you are scared. But all you are doing is feeding that fear and making it worse.

We should all be able to go to the store and buy our monthly supply of toilet paper and tissues. Every single one of us should be able to walk in and buy fresh lettuce and a loaf of bread. No one should be forced to walk out without their gallon of milk. But the STUPIDS out there are making it so.

Let me put it in perspective. So far, 69 people have died in the United States from the coronavirus. More than 90 people die EVERY DAY in car accidents. Almost 40,000 people were killed in automobile accidents last year. It’s an epidemic! Run for the hills! The sky is falling! 

Stop being one of the STUPIDS. We can flatten the curve on COVID-19 to the point where our healthcare system is able to keep up. But we need to follow the recommendations and flat-out orders of our Federal, State, and local government officials because they are (finally) listening to the doctors. But we can’t flatten the curve if all the necessities are missing. Get enough food and medicine to last you one month. Non-perishable items. You are not going through two 24 packs of toilet paper in a month unless there is something medically wrong with you already.

For those of you who are out there panic buying with your credit cards, at some point you will need to pay that bill. I don’t think any of the bills in Congress talk about forgiving that debt or reducing your interest payments. You will have to find a way to pay the piper in the end.

I doubt this post will have much effect on the STUPIDS out there, but I have to try.

Stay safe. Learn what social distancing really means. Flatten the curve.

KM

Sunday, March 15, 2020

SANITY AMONGST THE HYSTERIA



I am fully aware that many of you are following the table I previously provided with projections of the infected by date for the United States. Yes, the numbers are still tracking very closely to those projections. While the mortality rate among those infected is much higher than the common flu (between twenty and thirty times higher,) there are still some numbers that I think we all need to keep in mind.

I am going to use round numbers here to make it easier. There are about 330,000,000 (that’s three hundred and thirty million) people in the United States. Right now, the numbers of infected are about 3,000 (three thousand.) The number that have died from the coronavirus is about 60 (sixty.) So, let’s do a little math:

(3000 / 330,000,000) X 100 = .00091% of the population infected with COVID-19, that we are aware of.
(60 /330,000,000) X 100 = .000018% of the population that have died due to COVID-19 that we are aware of.

I am in no way saying that we should take this disease lightly. I’m saying that reasonable precautions as outlined by Federal, State, and local governments need to be followed. If we do not begin to ‘flatten the curve’ it will become much worse in short order.

I am also trying to convey that panic buying is stupid. Exactly how long do you believe you will need to be isolated? Long enough to use up a pallet of toilet paper? I sincerely doubt it. This isn’t about a breakdown of our society, no matter what you might be hearing from other sources. Congress just passed and the President signed a bill to help people to still get paid, for the poorest in our communities to still get food, and for everyone that needs it, to get the coronavirus test for free.

I am not going to repeat all the instructions on how to prevent contracting the coronavirus. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you have probably heard them at least a few dozen times. What I’m going to say is FOLLOW those instructions.

To all the naysayers out that that still believe COVID-19 is no worse than the common cold or the flu, you are wrong. I hope you don’t wind up dead wrong.

Stay calm. Stay safe. Flatten the curve.

KM

Friday, March 13, 2020

THE CHINESE CORONAVIRUS


Please keep in mind, what follows is essentially a ‘conspiracy theory.’ I have no evidence that any of this has actually happened this way, and you may want to consider it an ‘opinion piece.’

No one has ever accused me of being politically correct, hence the title for this post. Having spent time in China, I think it’s a good idea for me to try to explain the mentality that leads Chairman Xi to accuse the US military of being responsible for COVID-19.

As long-time followers have read in past posts, the Chinese do not have the same value system that the West does. Here, in the West, right and wrong are primarily defined by the Judeo/Christian ethic. Part of that ethic is that lying is wrong. That ethic has never been a part of Chinese culture or history. So, when confronted with an uncomfortable truth, the Chinese will deflect with a lie, as they don’t see it as being wrong or evil. I have seen this happen more than once during my long-term stays in China. This leads to the obvious question, why does Chairman Xi need to lie about the coronavirus?

The coronavirus was first detected in Wuhan which is roughly the equivalent of Chicago in the United States to the Chinese. It is a big city with industry, colleges, markets, and a fairly modern bio-research center. All I can do is speculate from this point forward. IF, and it’s a big IF, the Chinese military wanted to test a bioweapon, or, if one were to accidentally escape, Wuhan would be where it would likely happen. The next question this leads to is why would the Chinese government want to test a bioweapon on their own people?

Let’s look at the numbers for a moment. China has about 1.4 BILLION citizens. If we accept the numbers provided by WHO and the CDC, around 81,000 people have been infected with the virus in China. That is .006% of their population. Infinitesimal to a totalitarian regime. If you wanted to test the transmission rate and lethality of a bioweapon, this would be a good proving ground. It would also allow the Chinese government to stress test their healthcare system and containment plans. It also helps them determine, in some cases, who they can deem loyal to the central government and who they cannot.

There is one more important factor. When was the last time you heard about the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong? Diversion is one of the most used tactics of the Chinese communist regime. In fact, I have found it ingrained in most of the Chinese culture, including business. But, it would take a very large diversion to pull the world’s attention away from the protests and reactions to them in Hong Kong.

Still, Chairman Xi cannot afford to have the handling of the coronavirus reflect badly on him. So, he has to blame someone else. Face, what we might call stature, is very important to the Chinese and vital to the Chairman of the communist party. By deflecting the blame, he is able to save Face, and attempt to lower the stature of the United States in the process.

As an aside, for those of you who read my post of 3/10/2020 (WHAT YOU AREN’T BEING TOLD,) the projected numbers of infected in the United States listed in the table have been very close. 

If you are wondering, I am the author of a six-book series on Amazon. You can find the books here:  The Senses Novels K M Aul

Have a safe weekend.

KM

Thursday, March 12, 2020

ADULTING WITH THE CORONAVIRUS


On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization announced that COVID-19, the coronavirus, is classified as a pandemic. Boiled down, all this means is there are enough countries and enough people affected that WHO can claim it is a worldwide disease outbreak. It doesn’t talk to the severity of the disease. The last time WHO called a disease a pandemic was in 2009 when H1N1, swine flu, was spreading. Interestingly, H1N1 had an Ro (rate of transmission, or how many people on person infects on average, of about 1.73. All indications are COVID-19 has an Ro of about 3.

In the US, the President announced some measures on March 11, 2020, that are designed to help slow the disease in the country. On Friday, March 13, 2020, at 11:59pm, air travel from Europe will be restricted. Congress is working on a package to help the country through the pandemic including financial aid to those who cannot work because of it.

Unfortunately, none of this will have any effect on slowing the rate at which the disease is already moving in the United States of America.

If you read my last post, you know that the projected numbers are being hit and sometimes surpassed, daily. I have concluded that the only way to ‘beat’ this, slow the virus, is for people to take personal responsibility. Adults are going to need to act like adults.

There is a lot of talk about something called ‘social distancing.’ This is a fancy term for staying away from others. I really wish people wouldn’t try to find special terms to use for simple things as it just helps to confuse. What we hear is, if you are sick or think you have been exposed, stay home. I think we may need to take this a bit further. I think that at some point we all just need to stay home for a couple of weeks. If we all did that at the same time, the disease would probably die out in the US.

I am not saying it will be easy. If you live paycheck-to-paycheck, it may very well be, or at least feel, impossible. Many people will need to go out and get food because they did not or could not stock up, this is especially true for things like fresh vegetables. Essential services will still need to run. People who operate the grocery stores and truckers may have to work.

For those who are not in an essential service, what will you do if your business is told to shut down for a period of time? You need to think it through now. How will you handle going to the grocery store? What are you going to do if your schools close and the kids have to stay home? It’s time to adult. Think these things through now, before they happen.

I don’t want the statistics in my previous post to happen. WE CAN PREVENT THEM. The only way to do that is to consciously NOT infect others. You may catch COVID-19 and it be very mild, that still makes you contagious and it can kill someone else. Being an adult means thinking about that and taking responsibility for it.

There are still people out there who believe that the coronavirus is just like a cold or the flu. I’d like all of you that believe that to remember, neither of those has a mortality rate of three percent or higher. The coronavirus is thirty (30) times more lethal than the flu.

It’s time to be a grownup now.

KM