by Tom Luongo
While it looks like the worm is turning against the draconian economic shutdowns decreed by governments, so much damage has already been done it likely won’t matter now.
I began the week hopeful that my home state of Florida would lead the way towards challenging the anti-human and thoroughly intolerable lock down mentality imposed on us by officials at the WHO, NAIAD, Johns Hopkins and the IHME.
That hope continued earlier this week while watching Governor Ron DeSantis give a half-hour presentation of why Florida not only outperformed all of the grossly negligent predictive models but nearly every other state in the union in nearly every metric relevant to COVID-19.
It, however, vanished completely when he finally unveiled his new plan, which was to graciously allow the private economy to get back to 25% capacity, following the same tyrannical guidelines of those now discredited members of President Trump’s Task Force.
I guess I need to remind myself of why hope is the most negative of all emotions.
“Phase One is a baby step,” DeSantis said during a news conference at Tampa General Hospital. “We are deliberately going to be very methodical, slow and data-driven on this because I think people want to have confidence things are going in a good direction.” He said a slow approach would also give the state an opportunity to step in to handle any spikes in the disease that might occur.
But this is typical political double-speak. Because the political pressure on DeSantis, Trump and other ‘Red State’ Governors to not open things back up has been enormous. If it wasn’t he would have shown more spine.
But, the numbers don’t support DeSantis’ decsion at all.
Here’s the data from today. We have an 8.8% infection rate in Florida. 383,592 tests done, 33,690 positives. 1187 deaths. Having tested 1.78% of the population of the state that’s is more than enough to extrapolate a death rate from this disease.
5.52 per 100,000.
Sure, some areas, like Broward and Dade counties are worse than others, but even then, does it truly matter? It’s higher there and none existent where I live.
DeSantis painted a picture of 65 to 70% medical over-capacity this week. I think we can handle any surge in cases due to us daring to shake hands in public.
I know the hospitals would sure like the business. So would the restaurants, printing shops, hobby stores, dry cleaners, coffee shops and mattress stores, but screw them, they aren’t essential.
And yet government workers are? Tax producers losing their jobs by the millions, tax consumers still getting checks.
But I digress. Back to the numbers.
How many of those deaths are in excess of what is normal for the State of Florida in a given year? Because that, in the end, is the only thing that really matters. That’s your best proxy for medical services breakdown.
From the CDC’s statistics, which admittedly, are a couple of days behind the latest data, that number is 134 based on the predicted models, based on the last full week of data.
The actual, observed, unweighted data from the CDC is zero excess deaths.
But, let’s be generous and go with the CDC’s model data, 134 deaths. Because that’s the worst case scenario.
This is the data DeSantis had when he made his decision. By the way his Red State compatriot, Greg Abbott, opened up Texas with similar restrictions and double-speak.
Were these 134 deaths worth this? Did we shut down the economy of Florida in 2018 when excess flu deaths were 1142 between the week of January 3rd and February 17th?
Was there even much, if any, media coverage? Did we declare a state of medical emergency? Did we all run around screaming with our hair on fire about how Orange Man Bad wants us all to die from the Wu Flu?
No we didn’t. In fact, I don’t remember anything like that, but feel free to call me a “Virus Denialist” or some other such epithet in your copious spare time since you no longer have a job thanks to the recommendations of Dr. “Death Dealer” Fauci who should be the one sent the bill for this tragedy, not China.
These were decisions made as a consequence of having to walk back their insane over-reaction to this disease as promulgated by all of these incredibly smart people who are supposed to be the top men in their field.
134 deaths in Florida.
Thousands of businesses destroyed, economic demand destruction of an unprecedented nature. Meanwhile, how many people died from not receiving medical care as the fear of going to the hospital kept them at home.?
I guess that doesn’t matter since the excess deaths were so small, they were offset by the people who died of COVID-19.
This political decision is emblematic of what is functionally wrong with our society today. To quote then Senator Palpatine, “There is no civility, there is only politics.”
Decisions aren’t made by even the best and well-intentioned of our leaders for any other reason then trying to minimize the political backlash from one voting block or another.
It is truly not their job to coddle our fears and expectations. It is their job to lead and show competence. And if some people can’t handle the responsibility of living a fruitful, productive life in psychological balance with the risks of a hostile Universe then so be it.
DeSantis was better than most governors, I give him credit for this, certainly. But this was his opportunity to command the heights, truly lead and call the bluff of the death-dealers and medical-industrial mafiosi surrounding the President, dominating the conversation surrounding COVID-19.
He and Abbott, taking their cues from Trump, have failed as leaders. These were the states with the most to gain from separating themselves from the rest of the herd immune to the facts, caring only about gaining an edge in the polls.
This approach to politics is no different than the approach to medicine of a doctor ordering unnecessary tests or not recommending a change in diet precisely because he fears a malpractice suit.
Judgment has been taken away from the people whose lives are most affected by this policy and the people closest to the problem itself.
We have effective treatments. We have more than enough excess medical capacity. What we need now is leadership willing to trust us to make good decisions. This, more than their measured and careful steps, will disempower the busybodies and the fearful.
This will reverse the insanity. Courage, Ron. You had the chance to show some.
You cucked out.
And because of it we are still held captive by Karen Nation. Remember:
A Karen is a person, usually a woman, who is never satisfied with the service she’s receiving and demands to talk to the manager. It doesn’t matter if Karen’s complaints are valid or not.
This is because Karen has been incentivized by cowardly corporate officers and government officials (but, I repeat myself) to get something she doesn’t deserve simply because they want her to shut up and not disturb everyone else.
It was one thing to indulge Karen her entitled behavior when she was getting a free order of fries or month of cable. It’s quite another when Karens become the State’s target audience for public policy.
And we haven’t really begun to feel the effects of what this lock down has done to the fabric of our society. We’re still in the halo effect of all the Fed’s monetary easing and Washington’s ridiculous stimulus spending.
As I’ve said before these people are just pathetic Boomer grandparents trying to buy our love one last time before the whole system collapses in on itself.
But we can’t blame them, they tried to do something! That’s the problem, though, we don’t need them to do anything other than get the hell out of our way.
Our markets here in the U.S. levitate because of the centrality of the U.S. dollar but with each new data point that comes out, with each new bailout, round of sanctions and tariffs to deflect from our leadership’s lack of strategic vision the day when that is no longer the case draws nearer.
The guys like Trump, DeSantis and Abbott are supposed to understand this. They are supposed to understand that the real fight for our civilization is here at home not against China,Iran, Russia or Venezuela.
And that’s a fight we cannot win locked in our homes cowering in fear of a bug that is slightly more dangerous than the annual flu. It’s pathetic.