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Phased and confused

Apparently the mayor has deigned to allow the city to go to Stage 3, the next “phase” of the Great Reopening.  Well, a “modified” Stage 3.

I hate to tell the mayor, but as far as people around here are concerned, we reopened a couple of weeks ago.  Not that the restaurants and gyms and other restricted places did (and they should have given the finger to Hizzoner and Da Gov and just done it anyway), but the traffic around here is right back up to pre-COVID levels.  There was a time when I could just whip right on out of our neighborhood, but now we’re back to having to wait for traffic to clear to make the left turn onto 79th Street.  So don’t tell me people are paying much attention to the “stay at home” orders.  Up on the Northside of Indianapolis, there’s no reason why we couldn’t have reopened at the same time Hamilton County did.  I mean, literally, you can drive two miles north of where we live, it’s just as densely-packed, and everything’s open.  But down here?  Squat.  Stupid.  You can’t base this shit on arbitrary political lines drawn on a map.  You have to look at where the positive infection reports are coming from — and the last time I looked, it was mostly Center and Warren Townships, and maybe the southern parts of Washington and Lawrence Townships.  That’s not us.  But we’re shut down because we’re all in the same county.  Say, maybe they should have shut down by congressional districts, because we’re in the 5th on the Northside, and the rest of Marion County is in the 7th.  I mean, the lines are arbitrary, right?

Masks also appear to be getting worn haphazardly.  Idiots are still wearing them in cars, along with gloves.  Half the time the masks are riding below noses.  Most of the masks are cloth, meaning they’re absolutely useless for keeping the virus from getting in or out.  I still won’t wear one, and won’t patronize establishments that require them.

Meanwhile we’re seeing reports that the CDC has dropped its estimate of the COVID-19 death rate down to 0.23%, which means that fewer than four people in a thousand will die from contracting it.  So if my entire high school graduating class of just over 1,000 contracted COVID-19, and the revised CDC estimate held true, fewer than four would die from it, probably fewer than three.  And given that we’ve already lost 10 or 15 (or maybe more, I haven’t checked lately) classmates over the last 42 years, that’s kind of small change.  (Yeah, sure, not for the families of the deceased, but I’m trying to look at the overall picture.)

Oh, and if we just look at Indiana?  The total number of COVID-19-related deaths being reported today (as of 11:59 PM May 26) is 1,871, per the ISDH novel coronavirus site.  If we take a nice round number of 7 million as the population of the state of Indiana, we get a per-capita death rate of .00027 (or 0.027%).  If we look only at number of reported cases (32,437) vs. deaths (which is what the CDC estimate is), we get 5.7% — but that’s only the reported cases.  Because there’s another estimate out that suggests 80% of all COVID-19 infections may be asymptomatic (and therefore, unlikely to be reported).  Just google “80 asymptomatic” and you’ll find plenty of references to the new study that came out…yesterday I think.  So if the number of reported cases in Indiana represents only 20% of the total…that drops the likely fatality rate to 1.15%.

Then the question becomes, how much padding is the ISDH adding to the number?  How many deaths attributed to COVID-19 were inevitable already, but simply hurried along by the virus?  How many people had heart attacks or strokes or committed suicide simply because of the overblown media reports and the enforced idle time due to the shutdown?  Or because they lost their jobs and didn’t see getting them back?  Because the longer this thing stretched out, the more anxious a lot of people became, and there’s already an indication that the suicide rate is up as a result.  How many of these deaths are being counted incorrectly (on purpose or not) as COVID-19 related?

Look…this thing was not the original SARS (which didn’t affect the US to much of any extent — a few deaths were attributed to it, but by and large the thing had burned out before it got here) or MERS (which according to the CDC only ever infected 2 people in the entire country).  SARS-CoV-2 is clearly a much stronger strain of the virus, but it’s being dealt with and likely could have been stopped fairly easily without destroying the economy and throwing 20-30 million people out of work.

And it’s apparently fading fast, just like the other CoV’s did — an article yesterday suggested that vaccine development is hampered by a dearth of virus to test against:

https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/low-virus-rate-leaves-oxford-vaccine-trial-with-only-50-percent-chance-20200524-p54vvu.html

https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/stacey-lennox/2020/05/26/vaccine-development-threatened-as-covid-19-infections-decline-n428072

So all you fucking politicians out there saying we can’t possibly open things back up without a working vaccine need to shut the fuck up and get to work opening back up without one.

And if there’s a resurgence?  (Unlikely unless the Chinese inject more into the system.)  Don’t try to shut things down again like you did this time.  Unless you really want to start a boogaloo.  Because we’re not going to stand for it again.