Thursday, March 12, 2020

USA Completely Botches the Corona Virus Reponse

In a moment I'd like to mention the importance of latex or nitrile gloves.

I would like to give you a little background on today's post. I think you'll find that my training and experience qualify me in a few areas to talk about the completely botched corona virus response by the United States Government and perhaps more importantly, the airline industry. This is a response that has been planned for 3 decades for potential bird flu mutations- so what actually happened is a little shocking. Please bear in mind that all pandemic responses boil down to local governance.

I spent most of my work history in some sort of command structure in a small city police department. A lot of that training included running a command post and yearly incident command schools for various maladies and tragedies, swine flu, bird flu, airplane crashes. These table top discussions and live fire drills were often put on by FEMA with their littany of acronyms. I had additional training through the state for 20 of my 24 years in law enforcement. I also spent several years on the local ambulance service where I gained a healthy respect for the duties performed by EMT's, paramedics, nurses and doctors back in the early days of AIDS. In short I understand a command and control structure and response. We used to drill this regularly in staged incidents although we had a few real incidents- most of them involving property damage caused by floods and fires with no associated loss of life. 

Let's review the normalcy bias. 

Normalcy bias, or normality bias, is a tendency for people to believe that things will always function the way they normally have functioned and therefore to underestimate both the likelihood of a disaster and its possible effects.

People do not like change. They don't want to believe that any event could substantially disrupt their lives. Unfortunately most people have been subjected to scares and panics before- so in addition to the normalcy bias which helps cause inaction, we have an aged cynical group of people who have heard the cry of "wolf" one too many times. So that's the ruling demographic here- a bunch of somewhat cynical people with a normalcy bias.

It was that belief system which I believe has completely botched the US response to the corona virus.

The first known case of CV occurred on Dec. 1 in China. China being China meant that they didn't report too much publicly. Some say they covered it up.  https://www.theepochtimes.com/national-security-adviser-china-covered-up-outbreak-of-new-coronavirus_3268168.html By the time I started paying attention to CV it was late January.

There are only two ways for the CV to get to the United States. By ship or airplane. There is no other realistic way.

Thus we needed a coordinated response. We needed a response between airlines, cruise lines, the government, the CDC, and epidemiologists. We didn't get that. People were released without quarantine from ships and airplanes. There was no testing initially. More importantly, airlines refused to give the government information regarding passengers, phone numbers, addresses, and email. Cruise lines were only a little better.

That's where it went bad. The virus isn't going to wait for test kits. It's not going to wait for all of those stakeholders to agree on a response. It's going to walk off ships and planes. Now even if you didn't have a proper test available- you could still quarantine people until you did. Other countries had tests- why not us? Aren't we supposed to be this great nation? Couldn't we locate these people, interview them for the people they contacted, the places they'd been? South Korea did and they are looking pretty well contained right now.

So it's here. Your leaders failed, your corporations failed, the CDC and Public Health agencies failed. If they had gotten out in front of this- I believe the numbers would prove out with far less fatalities, hospitalizations, and drains on our health care systems and economy as a whole.

So now all they can do is watch these numbers soar exponentially and try to mitigate this. That's their plan. President Trump dropped the ball in his public address Wednesday night and markets reeled limit down. Why? He had no credible response for slowing this down. He knew that ship had sailed. And today on ZeroHedge is a picture of Trump next to a man who tested positive for CV. Trump said he is not worried.

Of course he said that. He hasn't cared about this since the beginning. The only coordinated response he has had was talking the FED into cutting rates and throwing a few trillion at the repo markets and trying to slow down the great sell off in world equity and bond markets. What wealthy politicians care about is appearances, material wealth, and getting re-elected. Calm people down. Normalcy bias.

A few weeks ago on my facebook page- I asked people if they were doing anything to prepare for the CV. I had a few responses, most if not all minimizing CV, comparing it to the flu. I on the other hand had done a little prepping including buying a new freezer and stocking up on food. I have enough to last 3 months. I am looking at the big picture and trying to find ways to mitigate exposure because lord knows- if we had to rely on government we'd all be dead.

Which brings me to latex gloves. If I gave you a choice between face masks and rubber gloves- which would you choose?

Unfortunately there are many portals from which the virus can enter your body- but the easiest way is on your hands. CV carriers leave the virus on money, on counter tops, on buffet utensils, on bar tops and glasses, on elevator buttons, door knobs, handrails, and gas pumps.

Social distancing beyond 6 feet would probably work far better than any face mask but the real method of transmission I am worried about is getting the virus on my hands and touching my face, eyes, or mouth, and rubbing it in. With gloves on- the virus is prevented from getting on my hands and when I come home from an outing- I simply pull the gloves off and then wash my hands. If I inadvertently touch my face after that, I'll be ok.

In a responsible sense, we need to take steps to prevent transmitting this to others. I was shocked when I heard that Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz was diagnosed with CV and during a press event- he purposefully touched every networks microphone. I suppose that's the under developed frontal lobe of a 27 year old basketball player. Last night, a man tested positive for CV prior to boarding a JetBlue flight and boarded the plane anyway- disrupting the lives of 100's and potentially infecting them. I noted that today the story changed to say that the man did not get the test results until after he boarded the plane. Whether that's the truth, or some self centered asshole who knew before he boarded- that's what you are up against.

Normalcy bias, complacency, and a self centered public that wants what it wants. These folks are out there.

My wife and I just returned from Las Vegas to find out that a woman from New York had CV and was staying at the Mirage across from our hotel on the strip. Although Las Vegas had no reported cases at the time- I feel a little foolish because I know better. I've seen the poor performance of government first hand and Las Vegas hasn't uttered a peep although millions of tourists from around the globe fly there. They wanted to keep the cloak of plausible deniability intact. (We didn't know the CV was here!)

I am going to socially distance myself and spend time at home. Thankfully I am retired with an income stream. Down below you'l find an excellent, must read link that goes into great detail about the CV. Please take care of yourselves.

https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coronavirus-act-today-or-people-will-die-f4d3d9cd99ca