Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Let's Not Take Counsel From Our Fears

We’re finally beginning to look past the virus. Some expect “things” will eventually be back to normal but I’m not one of them, not after what we’ve been through. It’s been unprecedented. The world and the United States have been through many epidemics but this one will have changed us the most by far. Why? It’s not the virus itself so much as the response to it and foremost is damage our response has inflicted on our economy. Ultimately that may kill more people than the virus does.

Do whatever he tells you. What can go wrong?
Americans are ambivalent. The “We’re all in this together” feeling has been nice. We all pulled together to defeat a common enemy much as we did in World War II, but that’s changing. We’re trying to get to herd immunity and that’s a good thing too, but if we also get herd mentality that’s not, and we're seeing two herd mentalities divided along political lines. The blue herd believes we need to be guided by government and the red herd believes we need to think and act for ourselves.

Last month our very-blue Governor Janet Mills closed Maine’s golf courses and beaches because that’s what they did in Massachusetts and those people might come here. Today she said her shutdown will continue through May for most things. Restaurants must stay closed until June — hotels and campgrounds until July. She won’t open northern Maine counties with few if any cases though federal guidelines would allow that. 

Governor Janet Mills telling us what to do last Tuesday
Maine mirrors the nation with an urban/rural political divide both politically and virally. Our two southern counties of York and Cumberland contain nearly half the population but almost all virus cases. Southern Maine is overwhelmingly leftist. Rural northern Maine is largely conservative. A rhetorical question someone asked me: If Montana had half of all the Covid 19 deaths, would we shut down New York City? Similarly, if Maine’s rural Aroostook County had 95% of Maine’s virus deaths, would Governor Mills shut down Portland?
Virus response was handled from Washington at first. President Trump listened to his medical advisors — not soon enough for his chronic critics — but he eventually followed their recommendations. The USA did what most other countries did: we shut down. Then we learned the models used by those medical advisors were faulty. Only then did authority devolve to the governors. Now governors are taking different courses and that’s good, but it begs the question: should we be allowing the decision-making process to take place at an even lower level? 

As I mentioned in a last week’s column, that’s what Sweden has done. Ordinary Swedes make their own decisions about how to react, and it appears to be working. According to NPR, Sweden’s Ambassador to the USA recently announced: “We could reach herd immunity in the capital as early as next month.” That’s the goal, right? We cannot rely on getting a vaccine. That will take over a year at best and there’s little likelihood our economy would survive that long a ahutdown.

Doctor Murphy
Writing Monday in the New York Post, Covid-positive, Bronx ER Doctor Daniel Murphy advises: “I’ve worked the coronavirus front line — and I say it’s time to start opening up.” He was swamped with Covid-19 patients early on, and then noticed the virus peaked at 1:00 pm on April 7th when “the number of arriving COVID-19 patients dropped below the number discharged, transferred or deceased.” He was that specific.

“This was striking,” he continued, “because the community I serve is poor. Some are homeless. Most work in ‘essential,’ low-paying jobs, where distancing isn’t easy. Nevertheless, the wave passed over us, peaked and subsided. The way this transpired tells me the ebb and flow had more to do with the natural course of the outbreak than it did with the lockdown.” This scenario supports the Israeli mathematician I mentioned in last week’s column who said the virus goes through an 8-week cycle regardless of whether there’s a shutdown or not.

Israeli Mathematician Yitzhak Ben-Israel
Our president, governors, and mayors may discover very soon that they’re not in charge of what people do. A tailor in NYC today defied orders and reopened his shop. Nearby businesses admire his courage and declared they will open too. After Governor Mills announcements today, Maine businesses may follow suit. That would be very American. Early in this process we all took counsel from our fears, which many Americans historically warned against including Andrew Jackson, Stonewall Jackson, and George Patton. Let’s remember that as we restart our economy.


Uber_Fritz said...


As you noted Trump took action quickly based upon the medical experts who are truly stellar in the infectious disease field.

I just listened to a partial plan of opening for the Granite State. In Carroll County, there are only 31 infections and no deaths. It makes sense considering the lack of population density. However, Massachusetts ( my place of birth ) has serious problems, and, once again, it's based upon population density. The Governor quickly referred to an influx of MA residents temporarily migrating to NH. Not good! Many, but not all, locals seem to have followed prevention measures For guys of our age, it is imperative.

Interesting to note that when Trump passed the ball to the governors, then complained about more Federal guidance. Why are they serving in such positions if they're not prepared to assume responsibility? Oh, I know, we can blame Trump for something else.

Brian said...

Right now it is the progressives who are very anti-listening and obeying Big Government, especially when that government is claiming it is one man that has all the authority. Scary stuff when that same one-man government has been making outright, undeniable lies:

Feb. 24: “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA." -Trump lies

Feb.26: "within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that’s a pretty good job we’ve done.” - Trump lies

March 6: “Anybody that wants a test can get a test. That’s what the bottom line is.” -Trump lies

March 25: "Nobody could have ever seen something like this coming" -Trump lies

Far too many people, like your linked poster say, are blindly trusting this BS instead of thinking for themselves. "Do whatever he Trump tells you. What can go wrong?"

When you can't argue the fact that your almighty leader is lying to you and follow anyway, then you have become nothing more than a sheep.

Jared James Bristol said...

Just wanting to say that your last 2 posts have been stellar. Well said. Brian: it is your Blue-blood Governess who has locked down Maine. Not Trump. And the great Fauci, a known Hillary fan and big financial supporter (enough said). I will fault Trump for keeping that little Hitler on the team. He should be publicly fired. I will also say that Trump could stand to get away from the mic a lot more (shut up). He puts his foot in his mouth way too much, but don't confuse that with lying.

Nick Peace said...

Agree that maintaining a functioning economy is important.

Agree that there is no reason to treat all states the same, or all counties within a state.

Kafir said...

Yesterday, my wife and I were walking as we do everyday on the sidewalk without masks. We’re only required to wear them in stores in Fort Lauderdale, FL. I noticed some much younger guy with a black tee shirt picking up his mini-dog’s poop that read, “F**k You. That means you. F***k you.” I was taken aback at someone who would wear something so crass in public.

He noticed me staring at him and said, “Yeah, that means you for not wearing a mask in public”. I told him he must be a Democrat and that he was acting in a pusillanimous manner. We exchanged the usual F’ yous as he walked away. I guess he didn’t expect a pot-bellied, 70 year old, white dude to confront someone who resembled an Antifa type.

Later, when we turned around to head back he showed up again. After he crossed the street to avoid me, I yelled at him again that he was again being pusillanimous. He charged across the street yelling like girl, got in my face and said, “What are you going to do hit me?” Actually, I was as he pulled out his cell phone. He then decided to scamper away like a coward.

The point of my bringing this up is that there are always people who think they can push other people around. That believe they are smarter than us all and that individuals can’t make decisions and be responsible for their own lives or well being.

Janet Mills and her henchwoman, Sara Gideon, on the state level and “Antoinette” Pelosi on the national level are those very people who don’t understand they are working for the citizens, not the other way around. This is not the former Soviet Union or Communist China... yet.

I haven't corroborated the latest story out of Washington state, but I just heard their governor has set up coronavirus detention camps. There are volunteers who spy on their neighbors and then are rounded up for non-compliance with whatever draconian measures have been put in place. That’s not a state or country I want to live in.

Btw, there will be another open-up rally in Augusta this Saturday. Brain, Steve, etc. should go. They could then see first hand real patriots in action.

Brian said...

"Nobody could have ever seen something like this coming"

How was that not a Trump lie? He had many warnings that something like this was likely.

“Anybody that wants a test can get a test. That’s what the bottom line is.”

I guess you are just claiming he was ignorant, and not lying.

"within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that’s a pretty good job we’ve done"

Still not lying? That's a LOT of ignorance for a leader to have.

“The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA."

Somebody that lies this much, or is that ignorant, should not be in charge of anything.

Funny how not too long ago you people were singing the praises of Trump for having such a strong team. Now they are little Hitlers, and the doctors should not be listened to in how the public should handle the virus.

Jared James Bristol said...

Nobody said his team was bad. I simply stated Fauci should go. And I do fault Trump for keeping him on, or had he vetted him, ever bringing him on. So how many times are you going to run through your little litany of supposed lies? You're sounding a bit like Hannity with the list of whatever, over and over. Pa...leeeze. You actually think that when somebody uses a little exageration like "Nobody could have see something like this coming" that he was being totally literal and thus lying? We know who's being literal and/or interpreting a statement in a way that benefits their bias and goal of ridiculing.

CaptDMO said...

I've already come across two establishments that do not accept cash transactions (for the duration) . A YUGE stick n my craw, but understandable.
I go out of my way to decline "electronic payment" for local trade, and go out of my way to personally drop off a check in an envelope in the "mail slots", and wave to folks inside the locked door lobbies and offices. Most know me.
I go out of my way to patronize those who continue to serve, especially those with a HISTORY of serving (IMHO)common sense through the years.
SURE I'd be happier if my furnace replacement hadn't been "pushed back" due to an abundance of caution, and a need for techs to remain healthy and ensure "NO HEAT" folk could be tended to. (Been a pretty long,cold, snowy year for global warming)
I'll go out of my way to park my unmistakably unique car in front of the "No Touch" coffee joint, to BE SEEN BY ALL passing by, when I go to sit at the outdoor sidewalk table and wait for my "token gesture" daily cup of coffee, and MAYBE the Daily Sun.
Because if I wait for it, I can wave/ yell "THANKS" (from a distance) to the human in my sphere of influence.
ALL without a mask/ gloves. (I have them at my immediate disposal) MOST without "cashless society" (I don't count checks in that), NONE without SOME sort of human interaction, and hopefully the tacit accolade of "You have purpose"- beyond a 'puter/ 4G "smart" phone keypad.

Brian said...

Fauci is a main player on the team. A good doctor who you and the far right have turned against for political reasons, which is nonsense. Trying to tie him to Hillary? Pathetic how obsessed you are with her.

How long will I repeat Trump's lies? Until they are acknowledged. Nobody could have ever seen something like this coming" was A "little exaggeration"? That's absurd, and you know it. It is an outright, bald-faced lie he made trying to avoid blame. A little exaggeration would have been him saying "I was only informed of this possibility once or twice and was told it was quite unlikely".

For the rest of the statements are you claiming ignorance on Trump's part or more "slight exaggeration"?

"within a couple of days it will be close to zero". That was said just before it skyrocketed. No "slight exaggeration".

"Anybody that wants a test can get a test". I guess Obama just made a "slight exaggeration" when he said that people could keep their provider if they wanted. You can't have it both ways.

Unknown said...

It does not hurt to see how Chinese government officially views our of current situations. The article was linked to Drudge Report a couple of days ago.

Kafir said...

I watched the two-hour virtual town hall with Trump on Fox last night. I checked what was airing on the other networks: ABC, America’s Funniest Videos; NBC, Little Bigshots; CBS, 60 Minutes; CNN, Wolf Ditzer. No wonder much of the general public, with the aid of the elite media, has TDS.

Brian said...

Why waste time at the Kool-Aid drinking event?

When Trump is speaking it is "America's Funniest Videos"...or maybe most pathetic. Why keep watching the lies? At this one Trump made more false or misleading claims about hydroxychloroquine. He implied the drug was safe, even though the Food and Drug Administration now says there are deadly side effects. And he falsely suggested it was harmless to tout the drug so aggressively, even though his past promotion led to shortages for Americans with pre-existing conditions.

Plus there are all the previous lies that nobody here or anywhere can defend...

Feb. 24: “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA." -Trump lies

Feb.26: "within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that’s a pretty good job we’ve done.” - Trump lies

March 6: “Anybody that wants a test can get a test. That’s what the bottom line is.” -Trump lies

March 25: "Nobody could have ever seen something like this coming" -Trump lies

Kafir said...

The cut and paste response.

Brian said...

kafir's brain is in 'shut and waste' mode.