Jon and I have traded some emails back and forth on the subject, and we both agree that even though there’s more action when Friday Firesmith’s subjects are political, it’s just not worth the animosity it creates. People aren’t able to discuss politics without there being a lot of anger involved, and a lot of drama. So in the interest of sanity and civility, we decided to simply not do it anymore.
That said, let’s look at some of the figures provided by the World Health Organization, for what is very likely going to happen in the Unites States in the upcoming months.
The age group with the highest risk of both infection, long term treatment need, and mortality, is those who are over 60. There are sixty million people in this group in America. They represented over 30% of the cases. Given this model, America can predict there being 18,000,000 people requiring hospitalization, from this age group alone.
At any given moment, in the United State, there are about 36 million people hospitalized. This means just in the increase of patients over sixty with Covid-19, there will be a fifty percent increase of people needing a hospital bed.
This is bad news, certainly, but it gets worse as the virus spreads. The people over sixty also require a longer term of hospitalization, and more resources. The sixty and over group’s stay is usually over two weeks, and sometimes as much as eight weeks. This means for that period of time, there are people with the flu, people with injuries, people with cancer, people with addiction issues, people with heart disease, who are not going to be in the hospital.
This is only one age group. This is not a percentage of the entire population.
But it’s even worse than it appears. Right now, there is a critical shortage of testing for the virus. China was testing over one million people a day, and getting back same day results. China shut down entire cities, closed all public transport, and had medical teams going door to door testing people. They were on top of this thing before it got out and got incredibly large. The response in China is something they’ve trained for, are geared up for, and they’re good at it because they don’t want to see a massive loss of production, or a massive loss of human life. China is prepared and they still took one hell of a hit.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has had their budget cut by 20% and they have over 700 vacancies in critical positions. There’s a shortage of testing equipment, and a dearth of people qualified to run and interpret these tests.
The virus itself is named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease is Covid-19. The lethality of the disease is somewhere between 2% and 4%, which isn’t very high, but the high rate of contagiousness is what’s dangerous in this case. Millions of people will require treatment, some of it long term, and quite simply, there hasn’t been any sort of response from the government of this county that provides a sense of confidence that anyone, at any level, understand how serious this will become without a great amount of preventive action, as we saw in China.
My question is quite simple here: Without allowing politics to become an issue in the discussion, other than getting people to wash their hands, what might the citizens of this country discuss to make this situation less dire?
Mike writes regularly at his site: The Hickory Head Hermit.
Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.