Winning the War, Losing the Battle

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Winning the War, Losing the Battle


COVID-19 cases hit lowest point in U.S. since pandemic began

Source: Axios

 

 

By the time you read this I will be enjoying myself with a book on a beach. This was unimaginable last summer, even 3 months ago many thought it was doubtful.

This past week, the USA had 16,500 new cases/day, down from over 300,000 in January — a 94.5% decline. New cases fell in 43 states and were flat in the rest. Nationwide, new coronavirus infections are at the lowest level since the pandemic began in March 2020.

Life is returning to normal.

But it has not been a normal year: 600,000 Americans have officially died from Covid-19, and its likely the actual mortality statistics are even worse. Indeed, Covid-19 is the worst public health disaster in more than a century, with a higher body count than all the wars the US has fought from World War II forward.

Wait, what? That cannot be!

But it is: More U.S. deaths than World War II + Viet Nam, Iraq, and all other post WW2 conflicts combined. 

Whenever I encounter supporters who cannot imagine how the former President  could have lost the election, I gently share these 3 words: Trump lost Covid. I politely ask where the buck stops — with the President? If America loses a shooting war who gets blamed? One cannot browbeat this crew into recognizing reality, you must lead them so they can figure it out themselves.

The last admin played Neville Chamberlain to the threat, and appeasement worked as well with a virus as it did with Hitler. Next, they botched the public health leadership  aspect every way possible — think Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Waterloo.

To believe anyone with that track record had a credible chance to win is not partisan, its delusional. I have been dealing with dementia first hand, watching as it slowly robs a loved one of their ability to discern reality. They get lots of stuff right, and the long-term memories are fine. But you can see how there are large gaps in what they know, and how they struggle to access certain thoughts that are too difficult to contemplate. Then they drop the bombshell about some wild imagined event, and its heart-breaking. The confabulations are how the brian tries to fill in holes in tis model of the universe. It is unfortunate and sad and you only hope the person is comfortable and happy.

At start of the pandemic, New York was very hard hit. Today, the state of 20 million people averages less than 800 new cases per day. We shut down early – last March 8th. In the beginning, we were hoping it would be weeks or a month or two. But that was on the assumption the adults were in charge and were dealing with a serious threat. The results since reveal they did not.

Vaccines saved us. Scientific innovations in mRNA led to the most rapid vaccine developments in history. Pfizer-BioNTech took one approach, Moderna another, Johnson & Johnson yet another. The US funded some (but not all) vaccine research, as did the German government, and others.

My back of the envelope calculations last November was that things should begin to re-open and return to normal around June. That is what seems to be happening. Vaccines are giving is our lives back, allowing us to return to semi-normal; I suspect full blown normal is still a few months away.

I am looking forward to putting 2020 — one of the worst eras of my lifetime — behind me. I know still have some bad ones ahead.

But today, I am on the beach reading.

 

 

 

Previously:
Sorry, We’re Closed (March 13, 2020)

The Halfway Point (November 20, 2020)

MiB: Michael Lewis on Pandemic Planning (May 8, 2021)

How to Talk to Your FoxNews Loving Relatives at Thanksgiving! (November 28, 2019)

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