2020 September 22

     In yet another version of 2020 March, kind of like the movie "Yesterday," I went online one day and found the United States Geologic Survey (USGS) just released a study that Florida was a dangerous place because snow on the mountains presents a danger of avalanches.

     Warnings were put out for visitors to stay away from Florida and for people living there to be especially careful of falling snow and even falling rocks from the steep mountain slopes. Roads going into Florida were manned by police controlling who would be allowed into the State of Florida with this new, present danger.

     Am I the only person, when presented with a big-scare story, whose first question is, "Is it real?" It doesn't have to be a conspiracy to be wrong. It just takes somebody who doesn't know where Florida is seeing pictures of snowy mountains and getting confused.

     As the lone person who remembers alternative realities with The Beatles, COVID‑19, and the danger moon, I realized that I could use the same sense and logic I used to reject the threats of COVID‑19 and the danger moon.

     As a scientific person I could get data from USGS and see for myself that there were no high-altitude mountains in the State of Florida. In fact, the highest point in the state is Britton Hill, 105 meters, 345 feet, above sea level. As it is only 20 meters, 65 feet, about the surrounding area, the danger of avalanche is low. In case I'm worried anyway, I can check the weather data to find that snowfall is basically non-existent in the Sunshine State.

     As a skeptical person I can recall that I have seen Florida from the southern tip Key West all the way to the panhandle Pensacola and I didn't see any mountains anywhere. If there were a mountain high enough to present danger of avalanche, then I would have seen it from an airplane flying half a mile over it as I have done.

     As a practical person I would realize that Colorado already has big mountains with big snow with the real threat of avalanches, it doesn't stop people from living there, and it doesn't hurt their tourist trade either. The risk of avalanche is real in Colorado and those of us who spend time in Colorado have learned to deal with it. If, somehow, Florida were to find itself with similar geology, similar weather, and similar risk, then we could learn to deal with it there, too.

     Finally, as a politically-astute person I would wonder who thought it was worth the effort to propagate a story about Florida mountains and snow. Whose behavior are they trying to change and for what control are they vying? I have friends and family in the Sunshine State and I'm not anxious to have some story like this keep me from seeing those people.

     To a scientific, skeptical, practical, astute person, the two scenarios of Florida avalanches and COVID‑19 have the same credibility. I know people, even some smart people, who say, "Well, I understand your scientific, skeptical, practical, astute opinion, but I have my own opinion that's different." Fine, but when I ask how many people's liberty, livelihood, and lives they're willing to use government power to sacrifice for that opinion, these people become silent.

     All of these smart people come to the same conclusion. Whatever the true story is about COVID‑19, giving up our freedom and the joy in our lives is clearly the wrong choice, no matter what Greta and Bill Nye are telling us.

The scientific person looks at data from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and notes that the deaths from respiratory disease in 2020 are no higher than in 2019 and 2018 and, in fact, they're slightly lower. (I didn't do this myself, but a mathematically-astute Python-programmer friend went through several states and made this observation.) We have made giant strides in reducing the big, bad diseases like smallpox and polio, but people still get sick. They still get diseases like colds and flu. "It is ebb and flow, tidal gravity. It is ecological balance." The skeptical person does the basic arithmetic. COVID-19 is claimed to have a one-percent mortality rate for those who are actually, visibly sick from it. (I'm not counting people who tested positive but weren't really sick. That one percent applies to people who really got sick like the three people in my office who took a week off from the regular flu in early 2020.) If 150 thousand Americans died of a disease with a one-percent mortality rate, then 15 million Americans were really sick from it. That's one person in twenty-three, more than what any of us have observed by a factor of about one hundred. That means the COVID-19 death count is actually closer to 2000.
The practical person asks the practical question. Three million Americans have died so far in 2020, figuring a population of 330 million in equalibrium with a life expectancy of seventy-five years. As a sixty-three year old asthmatic in otherwise pretty-good health, I face a two-percent (2%) chance of dying in the next year. Even if I believe that 200 thousand people are dying of COVID-19, should I get into a snit because that 2% might go up to 2.1%? More importantly, is it worth sacrificing liberty, livelihoods, and lives in the hope of mitigating that difference by a small amount? The politically-astute person asks several questions: Given that washing hands, staying home, and avoiding sex with strangers makes the chance of getting this disease nearly zero, why the lockdowns? We're told that's because masks that worked for bacteria and regular flu (including the Spanish flu of 1918 and 1919) don't work filtering a dry corona virus. Why did these economically-terrible lockdowns happen just after Democratic-party leaders said it was important to bring the economy down to Obama levels to discredit President Trump's claim of economic gains? After all that, why are they promoting cloth masks after basing an entire national and worldwide lockdown policy on the ineffectiveness of those same masks?

     Here's the interesting part. For the past century and nearly a half, there has been a steady stream of government-promoted science scares including eugenics, an impending global ice age, we're running out of oil, acid rain, mercury in tuna fish, the ozone layer, global warming, climate change, and a COVID‑19 pandemic. (For grins I would add DHMO to the list.) What makes the last unique is that we can see a pandemic.

2020 September 25. I'm hearing advertisements saying that 200 000 Americans have died from COVID-19 and that, somehow, it's Donald Trump's fault. "People are afraid of getting sick," (As two hundred million have died from their own socialist government's tyranny, I'm a lot more afraid of the Constitutional rights sacrificed in the lock-downs than I am of the disease, even if I believe this highly inflated number.) COVID-19 killed nowhere near that many people, Trump didn't cause COVID-19 in any way, state governments were the primary source of action against COVID-19, they didn't do much to affect spread of the disease or its mortality, and the biggest messes were made by Democratic governors. At least LBJ's advertisements against Goldwater were fear-mongering about nuclear war, which was a real political and military threat in 1964.

2020 October 19. New numbers say 217 K have died with 8 M confirmed cases. A 9% positive test rate means 89 M have been tested. I do not believe 2.7% of those testing positive died of COVID-19.

I figure we have 4 M deaths for all causes in the United States so far in 2020. If you still believe COVID-19 added 217 K excess deaths (the jury is still out on the "excess deaths" statistic), then that's far too small an increment to give up our liberty, livelihoods, and lives in lock-downs. For those of us worried about other germs, it's probably too small an increment for cloth masks to be a good idea.
     If ten thousand (10 000) Americans died of a disease with a one-percent mortality rate for those really sick from it, then that means one million (1 000 000) Americans are really sick out of 315 million (315 000 000). We would know if one in three hundred of our acquaintances had a specific, well-publicized disease. Most of us would know a few people missing-work sick of COVID‑19. I think anything above one in a thousand would be visible in that way, people would know sick friends and family, and most of us don't.

     Now we have government folks publishing death numbers in the hundreds of thousands. Two hundred thousand deaths (200 000) means twenty million sick people (20 000 000), 6.3% of the population. I don't know anybody sick from COVID‑19 and I know a few friends of friends who might have had it. If you know fifty people, then there's only a four-percent chance you don't know somebody missing-work sick from COVID‑19. How many people do you know who only have fifty friends and how many people do you know who know COVID‑19-sick people? It just doesn't add up, does it?

     Now some are reporting that CDC admits 94% of reported COVID‑19 deaths are actually from other causes and the real number of American COVID‑19 deaths is 9210. That's closer, but still higher than personal experience would allow. A death count above six thousand (6000) for United States COVID-19 is refuted by the utter lack of observed cases by people we know and people they know.

Here are my assumptions. (This is the fine print.) In 1969 I knew people who were sick with the Hong Kong flu, sick enough to miss days of work or school. In 2020 I knew people who were sick with the regular flu, three of them in my own office. Even with social media I don't know anybody sick from COVID-19. I had a mild case of COVID-19 myself, lost my sense of smell for a few days, but wasn't really sick. I know a few others who had similar experiences with COVID-19.

I understand thep claim is that the mortality of this disease is about one percent (1%), maybe a little less, for those who are really sick from it. If ten thousand (10 000) died from it, then that means one million (1 000 000) got really sick from it.

I figure there are several hundred people I know well enough face-to-face and on Facebook where I would know if they got sick from COVID-19. I'm abreast of cancer, heart disease, and flu through conversation and social media, but not COVID-19. When I ask the question, "Do you know anybody who had COVID-19?" the answer is almost always, "No." I have a friend in England who thinks she had it, a friend in Philadelphia with a friend in New Jersey he thinks had it, a friend in Ottawa with a friend in Montréal he thinks had it, and a friend with five thousand (5000) Facebook friends who has two friends who had it. With my own mathematical and statistical understanding and intuition, I believe a rate of more than one per thousand (1/1000) would generate noticeably more personal experience with COVID-19 than that.

Actually, in mid-May, when the claimed pandemic was bad enough to have serious lock-downs all over the world for a month or more, I had not seen or heard of a case and neither had my own doctor. My first encounter with somebody who had actually seen a case was 2020 May 14 when my own pulmonologist (lung doctor) told me she was treating four or five patients working in the hospital.

I'm not telling people not to be afraid, only to keep the threat in perspective.

     In case you're wondering if, perhaps, somehow, maybe, the misrepresented COVID‑19 deaths are some kind of innocent overzealous reporting from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the tell-tale signal of foul play is the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). In our government lock-downs and business restrictions we have one Constitutional violation after another with not one peep from these alleged-watchdog people. If there were no political pressure involved in the government restrictions from the COVID‑19 death count, then wouldn't there be a reaction from an organization pledged to defend Constitutional rights?




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