The Most Fair & Informed COVID-19 Thread You’ll Read All Month

Today I stumbled on what is far and away the most fair, easy to digest, smartest, most intellectually honest and expertly informed analysis to date of America’s experience with and response to COVID-19.

I landed on it because I visit three Twitter accounts throughout the day for news, insight, comedic relief, etc: Sean Davis’s (here), Stephen Miller’s (here), and Mollie Hemingway’s (here). It was at Mollie’s page that I found this thread which is quoted below.

Of course those hellbent on prolonging pain and maximizing fear (ie, media and Democrats) will get stuck on there not being a name behind the thread. But anyone who knows anything about general healthcare and hospitals will be able to read between the lines and discern that this person absolutely knows that world well and isn’t shooting from the hip. And it’s extremely measured and fair with none of the partisan flare that is so commonplace, including admittedly throughout my own writing.

Without further ado, I present what is likely the most fair and informed take you’ll read all month with respect to COVID-19 in America, and our nation’s response to it:

Friends,

Sorry it’s been a while since I last posted. I haven’t had a lot to add to the generally excellent conversation taking place among those I follow.

I do, however, have to get my observations regarding #COVID19 off my chest.

My background:

I am in healthcare.

I’m not in NYC.

I work at a hospital that has the largest number of #COVID19 patients in our county.

My first impressions of the virus came from Twitter, and my reaction was extreme alarm. Aside from the terrifying posts about people collapsing in the streets and being welded into their homes, claxons were being sounded by people I’ve come to respect, including @EpsilonTheory, @ErikSTownsend, and @chrismartenson. I contrasted this to the preparations we were taking – which were, essentially, nothing – and I was very concerned. I worried we’d be overwhelmed to the point of rationing care.

I worried I’d catch the virus and kill a family member or die myself. I read everything about Wuhan, about Lombardy, about Qom, and I feared the absolute worst.

However, with the surge of #COVID19 projected to be a couple of weeks away, our preparation kicked into high gear. Parts of the hospital were designated #COVID19 areas and were emptied. All elective procedures were canceled. PPE that had been lying around for anyone to use was locked away to be parceled out. Eventually the entire state went into lockdown.

And then we waited. We had a fair number of people coming in with flu-like symptoms, but the vast majority didn’t have #COVID19. We did have a handful of confirmed cases, some of whom did end up on the vent. Most of them came off after a few days. Our only deaths have been extremely old patients with multiple co-morbidities.

Far from the war-zone-esque imagery I had seen from abroad, and increasingly, within the United States, what we experienced was unprecedented, eerie quiet. Not only did the surge, perpetually two weeks away, never come, but even the normal emergencies were mysteriously absent. The absence of traumas was maybe understandable since everyone was stuck at home. But where were the heart attacks? Where were the strokes?

Tragically, we learned where they were some time later. They were at home. They didn’t come in either because they thought we were too busy on the “front lines” to care for them, or because they thought the risk of catching the virus in the hospital was a greater threat to their health than their relentless crushing chest pain or the sudden inability to move half their body. By the time they did come in the damage was often irreversible.

And now the traumas have shown up, with a vengeance. We’re seeing broken bones as people go stir crazy and engage in ill-advised home improvement projects on their roofs. Assaults are up, too. Worst of all are the injuries born of despair, such as the guys who have been drinking non-stop since they got laid off, who eventually fall and hurt themselves. Our observed death toll from self-inflicted gunshot wounds alone eclipses that of #COVID19.

I understand the concern regarding the virus, truly. I can’t speak to the experiences in NYC. But there are parts of this country that aren’t NYC, and I suspect that many are seeing what I’ve seen. Beyond the tragedies unfolding in the hospital, the transformation in my community is almost unbearable. As the corona surge fails to materialize week after week, restrictions become more severe and panic worsens by the day. Everyone’s on edge because they’ve been told that everyone else is a bioweapon that’s probably going to kill them. There are no handshakes, no hugs, and if anyone’s smiling it’s hidden by a mask. It would be difficult to accept all this if I thought the virus was a significant threat here. Knowing that the true killer has been isolation and depression makes it intolerable.

I make no assertions about what public policy should be, and I don’t rule out the possibility that the virus eventually sweeps in and fulfills the prophecies of doom. I will suggest, however, that any debate regarding ongoing responses to the virus take the very real costs of forced inactivity into consideration.

And that’s it.

As some of us had written weeks ago and others are starting to catch up to, there is tremendous collateral damage not just socially and economically — but also with respect to health. Some of that collateral damage to America’s health is very clear, but much of it will only be revealed in the months and years to come. We literally told everyone who didn’t have COVID-19 to stay home and suffer and ignore their other health concerns. And it’s not an unfair judgement to say that was stupid.

And it’s just one of the stupid things we did in deference to wildly uninformed fear that started with the media and academia, and made its way swiftly and completely up and down the ranks of our corporate and government landscapes. And eventually it took hold socially. And now it will be a cold day in hell before we ever admit just how wrong and stupid we were, because it would be too humiliating.

So instead we’ll keep doing the dance.

As the nation begins to re-open, the media will terrorize our nation with horror stories about how ill-fated that decision is and how every death that follows lies squarely at the feet of the evil people who decided against keeping us “locked down” indefinitely. And many in our nation will violently gorge on that narrative with fingers and faces drenched in the grease of their sensational feast.

As normalcy emerges at whatever point it does, we’ll pretend that “social distancing worked” and it was the heroism of the American people and those “on the front lines” who saved us all from near-certain extinction.

And we’ll learn nothing.

And Trump will be re-elected in part because he played along and will continue to, and also because even though the virus and the media are protecting Joe Biden from being exposed for the credible sexual assault allegations against him and his clear, rapid cognitive decline — he’s still a complete disaster whose family and party should and eventually will be ashamed for their role in pretending he was ever in any way up to the task of campaigning let alone leading.

And the media will continue not only tolerating American disunity, discord and destruction as part of their normal daily course, but they’ll continue inciting and inspiring each in service to the D.C. swamp they rely on for survival.

As I wrote back on March 14, 2020…

Pretty soon, meaning within 2-3 months at the most, the public will turn its back on the panic and the media will be forced to admit that the death and destruction they promised will not actually come to pass.

But at that point the media won’t admit their culpability in decimating our stock markets and costing communities billions in lost revenue and jobs and the health and livelihoods of so many who lost so much during this panic.

No.

The media will instead take credit and claim that it was their hall monitoring that prevented the mass calamity they always insisted would definitely arrive. And as they did with the Russia and Mueller hoaxes, they will congratulate each other and present awards among themselves for their coverage of a story they created that didn’t turn out to be anything close to what they constantly promised it was or would be.

They won’t be held accountable or pay for even a shred of the division and destruction they foist on our nation.

And that’s exactly what will happen.

The media will congratulate and present themselves with awards. They won’t be held accountable in any way. And they’ll continue doing what they’ve spent the last 4 years doing: everything they can to create as much pain, suffering and disunity as possible in America, because they’re mad at us and threatened by the President we elected to drain the swamp of them and their crony, #AmericaLast friends.


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7 comments

  1. I don’t think there is in shame in the initial cautious response until we knew what we were dealing with however, to prolong this destructive course is despicable. We must get the country up and running and we must turn into super producers, filling the holes that have been discovered. In this way, we will recover and surpass even the most lofty of aspirations.

    Keep getting the word out, people need to stop living in fear, life has never been without risk and it is embarrassing how so many continually try to eliminate chance. We might as well be in the Matrix.

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  2. Great article. The media reminds me of the soothsayers of ancient days. Throwing bones into a bowl and making predictions, mostly to instill fear and retain their validity in the short term, only to reverse course slowly as their predictions turn out to be false, thus steering the dialogue towards the argument in favor of their indispensable services. To anyone who can think independently, if you will, study the art of urban legend. Plausible fear and behavior control, i.e.modern day brain-washing.

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    • Brain-washing? That is exactly what this was and is! What I can’t understand is why so many Americans fell for it hook, line and sinker!

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      • Because to do otherwise means having to act and that is hard. Also, “normalcy bias” is real and understandable for a minute – this can’t be happening, right?

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  3. Think everybody tried to do the best they could with a new and marginally understood virus. Just like the fractious Americans we are , we’ll self righteously construct an other group and label them stupid. Herd immunity now so perfectly understood by previously scientific illiterates. It certainly works when it works, but sometimes it doesn’t. See how well it worked in 1918-1919 or see how well it worked for the various bubonic plagues or cholera pandemics. Stop vaccinating for measles and see how well herd immunity will work for that. Everybody’s a genius with hind site and their particularly self impressive stash of critical thinking, rarely tempered with any intellectual humility

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    • Think everybody tried to do the best they could with a new and marginally understood virus. Just like the fractious Americans we are , we’ll self righteously construct an other group and label them stupid. Herd immunity now so perfectly understood by previously scientific illiterates. It certainly works when it works, but sometimes it doesn’t. See how well it worked in 1918-1919 or see how well it worked for the various bubonic plagues or cholera pandemics. Stop vaccinating for measles and see how well herd immunity will work for that. Everybody’s a genius with hind site and their particularly self impressive stash of critical thinking, rarely tempered with any intellectual humility

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  4. Oh and by the way We too often measure herd immunity against acceptable amounts of morbidity. What’s an acceptable amount of corpses for herd immunity which, by the way is never predictably quantifiable. Also wait and see how many Covid-19 survivors have pulmonary, cardiac, renal and cognitive disabilities and what that will cost our privilege tilted health care system. See if the tenuous herd immunity balances nicely against the coming wave of damaged survivors. It’s always more complicated than it first seems

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