A three-time Pulitzer prize winning New York Times columnist had a conversation with the Matrix, that is, Ex POTUS Barack Obama about the Chinese economic miracle, unprecedented growth, infrastructure development and the lifting of three billion people out of extreme poverty and President Obama said “ that used to be us.” We should have gotten a glimpse of this first responder paralysis when our government could not mount an effective response to the Hurricane Katrina misery. We have a fourth of the population of China and we are trance dancing in the face of a PANDEMIC with the COVID virus. Although we have been forewarned, we are not forearmed.
It appears that Mayor Sylvester Turner and County Judge Lina Hidalgo received the memo from the CDC and Houston Health Department. They acted Wednesday by declaring the city and county to be a mass disaster zone. Let’s hope that they acted in time to prevent the actions that have been taken in New Rochelle, NYC. New Rochelle is the epicenter of a cluster of cases. New Rochelle has a quarantine that is backed up by National Guard troops. City leaders have realized that the stage of containment has basically passed and now steps must be taken to slow down the spread. Mayor Turner has said that it was a “painful” and difficult” decision to cancel the rodeo and other mass gatherings for the next week. Mayor Turner and the County Judge deserve extremely high marks by going against the tide and prescribing an approach that makes sense.
At the city county level, we are not ruled by a kakistocracy, that is, government led by the incompetent and unfit. If this spread of the virus is a HOAX, why did Italy, a nation of 60 million people quarantine the entire country. 4500 have died in China and there are 125,000 cases of infection. We are the most advanced industrial country, but disinformation has handcuffed an appropriate response. Distrust of the scientific community will backfire in a big way. We must have information from trusted sources. One fact is greater that a shipload of argument and propaganda. It is a mistake to gather information from those who fudged their grades in high school, those who cheated on tests and did not bother to learn the scientific method. One subject matter expert’s testimony in a court of law is accepted and regarded more highly than the sound and fury of a hundred thousand grandstanders and stable geniuses. When some learn the game, the game will be finished.
Because this virus is somewhat new, information about it is changing quickly.
Our trusted sources are saying that a vaccine will not be ready tomorrow and furthermore it will not be instantly available to the public. It is not likely that the warmer weather will make the virus disappear. However, if you can think critically, problem solve and get ready, you will survive this pandemic. The good news is that symptoms are mild in eight out of 10 affected people. Only about two out of 10 people have serious illness. Older people 65 and 70 + are more likely to get seriously ill, especially if there is pre-existing respiratory illness and a weak immune system. Based on the limited data, pregnant women seem to be at a greater risk. The best recommendation appears to be maintaining social distance, ceasing hand shaking, touching your face and washing your hands.
Let’s be clear, if you are visiting your doctor and you don’t get a timely diagnostic test for a condition such as colorectal cancer, it can be construed as the doctor was negligent and intentionally harmed you. There are people in intensive care units that would not be there if they had been properly diagnosed at first contact with their medical provider.
As of today, we don’t have a mass administered diagnostic test. This virus is tricky and slippery. This virus is asymptomatic, meaning that many will be infected but have no symptoms. Many of these infected will unknowingly infect two to three others.
Thinking critically means that if your communion leaders want you to drink from the chalice, you will have to exercise your power to say ‘NO.’ You have to have the power to back out of your cruise and eat the lost dollars. You realize that you have the power to cancel your airline ticket and re-plan your travel after the dust settles. You have the power to stay at home if you are sick. Plan for 30 days of essential supplies. If you have your supplies, bless a poor household with water and disinfectant wipes. Refuse to hoard so that others can buy essential supplies. Remember, worrying can’t change destiny.
Taxpayers get your pocketbooks out. Stimulus will be required for those who are central to the GIG economy. These service workers often don’t have paid sick leave or health benefits. Uber and Lyft will be starved of riders, pizza joints will be unable to deliver to your front door and workers who have transitioned to work from home will cancel their pet sitters.
According to Rachel Maddow of MSNBC, South Korea has been testing 10,000 people a day since February. Maybe we should shift gears and ask South Korea to kindly lend us some technical expertise.
THAT USED TO BE US