Sunday, April 26, 2020

Muh-Muh-Muh My Corona, Part Four: "The Only Thing That Matters Is The Science"

Previously: And Should We Die?

Not long ago I was re-watching the movie Rain Man.  There's a scene in the film where Tom Cruise is driving cross country with his severely autistic brother Raymond, played by Dustin Hoffman. Raymond has spent his entire life in an institution because he is what used to be known as an "idiot savant"- someone who is functionally and socially retarded, yet whose brain displays what Dr. Darold Treffert referred  to as islands of genius. In Raymond's case, Raymond is brilliant at math. Superhumanly brilliant.  But socially and emotionally he's a three-year-old.

Since math is based on logic, you would think that Raymond has a logical mind.  Sometimes, yes, but most of the time no. He may be a super-genius in some respects, but he is more a creature of habit than logic.  At the institution Raymond was raised in, every weekday at four o'clock would find the patients in the common room watching The People's Court.  This is one of the few constants in Raymond's life that absolutely must be met.  If there is even a hint that Raymond will miss his daily fix of Judge Wapner, logic goes right out the window as Raymond's emotions take over and he flies completely out of control.

As the two brothers are driving across the rural midwest, four o'clock nears, and Raymond begins making noises about four o'clock being the time Judge Wapner comes on: "Gotta watch Judge Wapner," he repeats, "Definitely gotta watch Judge Wapner." 

His brother tries using logic on Raymond, pointing out they are in the middle of nowhere, there is no TV in the car, no motels where they can stop to watch TV, and there's just no way it's going to happen. But Raymond is immune to logic. He becomes increasingly agitated, and Charlie has already seen what happens when Raymond loses control. Finally, with a minute to spare, they pull into a farmhouse where Charlie tries to con the woman who answers the door into letting them come in and watch TV:

The question arises: Why would someone so adept at mathematics lose all ability to reason logically in the real world? And the answer is: with Raymond it isn't about logic, Raymond is all about certainty.  Just as mathematics is the science of certainty, Raymond must have some degree of certainty to keep from spiraling out of control. Raymond doesn't do well with surprises; he needs order.  Raymond must be able to depend upon some things in his life that are always constant. Things that do not change. Things like the ability to watch The People's Court every weekday at four, even though it is very doubtful he has any inkling about what those people on the TV screen are even talking about.

As Eugenia Chang, author of The Art of Logic in an Illogical World reminds us, what was true about math two thousand years ago is still true today.  The answers to mathematical questions are always certain, never changing. And this is true, as Dr. Chang points out,  even though math nearly always deals with abstracts, and not with the real world:
"I could consider one apple and another apple, or one bear and another bear, or one opera singer and another opera singer, and all those situations would become '1+1' in the abstract world."
One plus one equals two.  Two plus two equals four.  And four o'clock? In Raymond's world that equals Judge Wapner, which means if there is to be a modicum of certainty in his life, he can't afford to miss The People's Court.

It is that very certainty that we see in mathematics that Raymond requires in order for his life to make sense.  According to Raymond's logic, life must go according to the pattern he is familiar with or everything flies into chaos.

Put that information in your back pocket for a minute, because we will return to it after we talk about science.

Math And Science: Two Different Kinds Of Logic
Math is a set of results that has been proven to be true according to logic. Science is also based on logic, but science relies mostly on evidence. What evidence? The evidence that accumulates as we ask logical questions. As Dr Chang reminds us, although mathematics from 2,000 years ago is still considered true and indeed is still taught, this is different from science, which is continually being refined and updated. There is little in the way of science from 2,000 years ago that is taught as valid today. That's because science, by its very nature, represents the acquisition of additional knowledge. We add more truth while we peel away the falsehoods.  Anyone who tells you that "the science is settled" on any question does not understand what science is.  Science is never settled. There is always more to learn, more changes to observe.

So let's take a moment and recall what we learned back in 9th grade science class about the scientific method. We start with a theory. A "theory" is just a proposed explanation for something.  Emphasis on proposed.  We neither believe nor disbelieve the theory; we don't accept or reject it right off the bat.  We simply start with that hypothesis and then go from there, asking questions in an effort to ascertain whether or not that theory has validity. As we ask questions, we observe, always keeping in mind that for truth to emerge, we must question and observe while being both skeptical and open-minded. While we observe, we peel off that which no longer serves the truth.

We stay skeptical so we don't fall into the trap of coming to false conclusions, and we stay open-minded so we can accept what the evidence is telling us, always keeping in mind that the goal is to get to the truth.

In the example we are currently concerned with, we start with a theory about this new virus that has been given the name COVID-19.  Our theory, based on what we initially observed, is that this virus seems to be highly contagious, and it seems to be deadly.  After stating the hypothesis, we then begin collecting data to find out if the theory holds water.  So is the theory valid?

So far, yes.  It does seem to be highly contagious.  But is it deadly?  Well, kinda-sorta. What we want the data to tell us is precisely how contagious and precisely how deadly this thing is.

Well then. Employing the scientific method of questioning, observing, experimenting, and observing some more, we are finding out that our original expectations regarding the COVID-19 virus were way out of line with reality.

The COVID-19 virus does seem to be highly contagious, and it can turn out to be deadly -but only to a small group of people who fit a certain category, namely the very old and very ill.  For everyone else, it turns out to be far less deadly than originally surmised.  And if this is true (and again the data tells us it is) what does the contagion factor really matter?

Here is how not deadly the COVID-19 virus is: more than 98% of those who contracted this virus simply did not bother to die from it. The overwhelming majority of people who did die turned out to belong to that category of patients who would have died at this stage of their lives anyway, either from old age or from one or more serious illnesses unrelated to the Coronavirus.

Virtually everyone else, with very rare exceptions, recovered -if that's what you want to call it, because it seems a bit odd to list hundreds of thousands of people as having "recovered" from an illness who never knew they were sick in the first place.  Although this particular virus appears to be highly contagious (and that merely means that, like the common cold, it is easy to catch; it doesn't mean it's particularly dangerous), the vast majority of those who caught it never even knew they had it.  And among those who did feel a bit squeamish, a vast majority of those people reported not feeling ill for very long -often for only a day or so with very mild symptoms.   Which tells us that although this virus remains nominally "contagious," that word has little meaning if it means you never really felt sick. And it especially has little meaning if you caught it and you didn't die.

Most significantly, a recent Stanford University Study reveals that between 55 to 85 times more people have been infected with the virus than previously thought, and if you think that's bad news (higher rates of infection must mean a greater catastrophe, right?) you don't understand the math. With hundreds of thousands more people contracting the virus, and the number of deaths remaining the same, what the data is telling us is that this thing is far less deadly than previously assumed. Whole orders of magnitude less.

When assessing the seriousness of any virus, scientists look at the percentage of deaths relative to the number of people who contracted the virus.  When hundreds of thousands more people catch this bug, yet the number of actual dead remains the same, that tells us it is far less dangerous than anyone ever thought.   If the number of dead had increased substantially, then we'd have an epidemic.  But the numbers remained the same, which means the percentages are vastly lower.

What does this mean? Well, looking at New York, believed to be the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, earlier predictions had placed the percentage of dead at 7.4%.  What we are actually seeing is .75%, which is a lot fewer.  So hooray for science.

How do those numbers compare with the flu that just ended this season? Numbers from the CDC indicate possibly 56 million cases of flu in the United States, while COVID-19 accounted for just under 846 thousand confirmed cases.  740,000 people were hospitalized with the flu this year. Want to know how many people were hospitalized with COVID-19? A mere 122,000.  Deaths from the flu this season: 62,000. Deaths from COVID-19: not quite 47,000.

Ignore all those ignorant news comentators who told you "we can't compare the coronavirus with the flu." Of course we can. Researchers do it all the time. It's called science.

Remember those fake stories you heard of hospitals being so overrun with coronavirus patients that bodies were spilling out onto the sidewalks and being stacked in refrigerator trucks?  Makes you wonder how this country's hospitals managed to accommodate  810,000 flu patients that showed up at their doors last year.  That's 688 thousand more people showing up at hospitals because they had the flu last year than showed up this year with the coronavirus, yet we heard nothing in 2018 about hospitals being overrun with flu patients.

How come?

Trust the Science
You'll notice I said trust the science. I didn't say trust the scientists.  Because although most of the time you can heed the words of a scientist, I recommend only doing so when they cite actual science to back up their opinions.

Take Dr. Anthony Fauci, for instance. As I pointed out in part one of this series, when he wrote in the peer-reviewed New England Journal of Medicine, Fauci was careful to only cite the science.  In that journal he said COVID-19 was proving to be no more serious than the Asian or Hong Kong influenzas of years past. But earlier (perhaps because he was dazzled by the TV cameras and forgot himself), Fauci had blurted out that COVID-19 would be ten times more deadly than the flu. He cited no science to back that up, and indeed there had been no research to suggest such a wild prediction might come true.  He just pulled it out of his butt, and the media ran with it as though it were really going to happen.

More recently Fauci opined that in the future when the coronavirus is behind us, "I don't think we should ever shake hands ever again, to be honest with you."

Okay, fair enough. It's his opinion, but whether its an opinion based on scientific research he didn't say.  But then during an interview with Vanity Fair he was asked about the wisdom of a person having sex with a stranger he or she might meet online.
"If you’re willing to take a risk—and you know, everybody has their own tolerance for risks—you could figure out if you want to meet somebody. And it depends on the level of the interaction that you want to have. If you’re looking for a friend, sit in a room and put a mask on, and you know, chat a bit. If you want to go a little bit more intimate, well, then that’s your choice regarding a risk."
Well, he's right of course. People should assess their own risks and make their own choices. But remember, Fauci is being consulted specifically because he has a reputation as the Top Doctor in the country right now.  People want to know about the medical risks to having sex with a stranger, and the same guy who warned against anybody ever shaking hands with anybody else ever again at any future time -well, he sure seemed pretty cavalier about the intimate exchange of bodily fluids with a complete stranger.

A vulnerable young woman could have asked that question of Ted Bundy and got a similar answer: "Sure, why not?"  But whether the ambivalent counsel came from Fauci or Bundy, being naked and alone and at your most vulnerable with a complete stranger doesn't strike me as a particularly wise thing to be doing, virus or no virus.

So don't be fooled into heeding the advice of "experts." I know I keep harping on this, but you don't need the advice of so-called "experts," you want actual science explained to you by competent virologists, immunologists, epidemiologists, microbiologists, and other scientists who are known to engage in actual scientific research.  There are plenty of journalists and politicians who will be happy to give you their opinions, but if those opinions are not backed up by scientific research, what good are they?

Below is a link showing twelve experts in their respective fields in medicine. They have been trying to get the word out almost from the beginning that this over-reaction to COVID-19 was a very bad idea.  And they had the science to back up those opinions -which is to say they were calm and dispassionate and not inclined to set anyone's hair on fire. These actual scientists are well worth listening to again, now that several weeks have passed and we're beginning to realize we've been had.

 12 Experts Questioning The Coronavirus Panic

And speaking of being had, here's Kevin McCullough with a rundown of the recent science proving that we've been snookered big time:

Antibody Testing Proves It: We've Been Had

The Science Behind The Lockdowns
Believe it or not, there is science behind the lockdowns, but none of it supports the current mania that insists the only remedy is to stay home and stay inside.  The country of Sweden refused to join everyone else in the hysteria over COVID-19, and guess what? They are doing far better than citizens in countries that have the most stringent lockdowns.  In fact, as one Swedish writer put it,
"It's Game Over and the Swedish-Belarusian Herd Immunity Model Has Won. One third of Stockholmers have already had Covid-19, shook it off, and are now immune." 
Here's a photo of people in Sweden gathering together and enjoying being outdoors like normal people:

Looks kind of unnatural to those of us being warned about getting too close to each other, don't it?

And below is a graph showing the faulty model predicting how bad things would get if the Swedes failed to stay locked indoors.  This is an excellent case study of how wrong every one of these computer models turned out to be. The blue represents the expected number of deaths per 100,000 in a worse case scenario, that is, if the people of Sweden did not stay home and isolate themselves. Expected deaths from the virus were predicted to be 18 deaths per 100,000.  The yellow section represented the moderate "median" case scenario, predicted to be 9 deaths per 100,000.  That tiny red area at the bottom represented the smaller number of people expected to die if everyone in Sweden stayed home and self isolated themselves for five full months (!)

Guess what? See that tiny, almost imperceptible section in red?  That's the tiny number of people who died without Sweden ever going into lockdown. And that almost imperceptible number turned out to be people well over age 65.  I highly recommend reading this entire piece.

Writes British author Rob Slane,
"It appears quite clear to me that thus far, the figures represented in yellow, which are roughly what we should be seeing in Sweden, according to the Imperial College model, are proving to be a gross overestimate. 
"Instead, the truth appears to be this: Sweden is achieving the kind of numbers that the Imperial College report claims could only be achieved under conditions of 5 months of full lockdown. Meanwhile Britain, which has been put under full lockdown for one month, is actually doing worse than Sweden (26 deaths per 100,000 population, compared to 18 for Sweden).  
"I have a feeling that many people are one day going to wonder whether destroying the economy and trashing civil liberties was a price worth paying for something that could have been dealt with without doing any of these things, but instead pursuing a more moderate course. Is there still time to reverse that course?"
That's a question a lot more Americans should be asking.

A Nation Of Idiot Savant s
Unfortunately, we now seem to have devolved into a country where an untold number of people either don't follow the science or just don't care. I was in Walmart the other day and noticed more shoppers wearing surgical masks and other face coverings than I had seen previously.

For heaven's sake, people, this is small-town, rural Northern Idaho! If you're sick, stay home. If you aren't sick, stop walking around like a paranoid mental patient.  Would you like to know how many cases of the coronavirus have been identified in my entire county?


 Wanna know how many deaths?


If you live in rural America and you go outside wearing a surgical mask, you may as well get out a Sharpie and write the word "GULLIBLE" across the front of it, because that's what you're telegraphing to everyone who sees you.

I got to wondering why it was that after all this time so many people were still falling for the hysteria. One reason, of course, is it's all they hear about on the news.  Naturally the media continues to promote the hoax, because they benefit from scaring people. So do the politicians, because keeping you fearful means keeping you under their control. What neither the media nor the politicians ever consider is how these shutdowns will prove to be infinitely deadlier than the virus.

But why were Joe and Sally Sixpack still worried about something that is not only less harmful than the seasonal flu, but likely to fizzle out with a whimper within a couple of months?

I think I've figured it out.  I think most people haven't been keeping up with the evidence that this is just a whole lotta hot air.  How would they? Those who depend on the legacy media to keep them informed have not been told that the epidemiologist who initially predicted 2.2 million Americans would die from the virus has long since downgraded that prediction, and downgraded it drastically.    The public hasn't been told that these computer models are highly speculative and based on guesstimates fed into a computer.  You know the old adage, "garbage in, garbage out." Few actual scientists would ever bet money on the reliability of a computer model.

Writes author Scott Adams,
"If you have no experience in the field of science, you might think the climate models created by scientists are "science" because scientists make them. But prediction models are not science.  They are an intelligent combination of scientific thinking, math, human judgment, and incomplete data.  That's why there are a lot of different climate models, all different."
Relying on computer models to show you how a particular virus might play out is like using the same method to pick stocks.  You wouldn't want to bet the farm.

The average American simply has not been told that the data reveals that the only category of people who have true reason to be concerned are still the same people who need to be cautious during any flu season, namely the elderly and those suffering from other serious illnesses.  Instead of information they can use, all Joe and Sally Sixpack see day in and day out is some alarmist on their television screen waving his arms and shouting "Boogah Boogah!"

I think what is happening is that these people are still in the "theory" stage of the scientific method, still stuck back there when the coronavirus was widely  presumed to instantly kill anyone who gets near it. These people seem to believe it's going to fly around supermarket corners and sneak into their nostrils. 

That would sure explain why some people become inordinately angry just hearing about those protesters in Michigan who want to know why their governor won't let them plant tomato seeds or buy a car seat for the baby -as if any of that has anything remotely to do with keeping them safe.  I suppose if I lived under the illusion that accidentally breathing the same air as someone who might be carrying the virus -which, in the current mania, would be assumed to be absolutely everybody- I suppose the thought of my being hospitalized with a ventilator down my throat followed by an agonizing death would be enough to get me to cancel my porch tomato plans for the time being, too.

But the science tells us something different. What we are seeing all around us is Rain Man thinking. It isn't logical. Certainly this is not the way of rational, thinking grownups. Like Dustin Hoffman's character Raymond Babbitt, some people just need a sense of certainty in their lives, and if that "certainty" means allowing some tin-pot dictator in the governor's mansion taking over and telling them what they can and cannot do, well by golly I guess that's what they have to have in order to get them through the day.

You may have noticed it's impossible to try and have a rational discussion with someone whose hair is on fire. They simply are not capable of critical thought. Science? Never heard of it. Logic? What's that?  Evidence, reason, and common sense? What are you, some kind of Commie agitator?

Better to be wrapped up safe in their cocoons of certainty like Raymond, where they can be calmed and coddled by the sound of the kindly Judge on the television, secure in the knowledge that Big Brother is on the case and looking out for their well-being.

Don't get me wrong. The virus is real, and if you don't want to get sick from it, you should do what you should be doing at the outset of every flu season: work toward strengthening your immune system so that if you are inadvertently exposed to the virus you will have a better chance of being among that 98 percent whose lives don't become unduly disrupted.

Otherwise, live your life as you always do, taking the usual sensible precautions, because there are always going to be hidden dangers lurking.  That's just the way it is here on planet earth. In case nobody told you, this life ain't no picnic.

But if you want to be alarmed about something, be alarmed at the mass psychosis going on around you. See all those angry, frantic Raymond Babbitts whose emotions keep getting the best of them?  You're going to have to learn to ignore those people. They are not healthy. In fact, they are so unwell that they believe they are the sane ones and you're the one who is crazy for even suggesting we ought to consider a return to normalcy. In their eyes you are not just insane, you're a danger to humanity who should be arrested and possibly shot at dawn for "putting everybody at risk" with your crazy talk about relying on science.

As an example of the kind of people we're dealing with, neighbors pinned this note on a sick, elderly woman’s front door after her daughter dropped off some groceries.

Well, the good news is that a growing number of people are rapidly waking up. Every day more and more of your fellow citizens are stepping outside and testing the waters, putting their toes into the pool and discovering it is not filled with man-eating piranhas after all.  It will be the people who decide when they are finished with the lockdowns, and there is not a damn thing the politicians will be able to do to keep them in check. A return to sanity brings with it a positive side effect: you become immune to propaganda.

A Couple Of Thoughts To Part On
I had intended to close out this piece by including several links to scientific research papers proving the politicians are going about this all wrong. Maybe next time.  There is just so much important stuff appearing all the time that I can't get to most of it.  I already failed in my initial goal to post something on this topic here every couple of days, but happily no one has complained that I haven't assigned them enough to read.

As long as I continue to be obsessed with this topic, I'll probably show up here with another rant every couple of weeks.  I do post a variety of stuff on my Facebook page every day, so if you have only been seeing what the establishment wants you to see about the coronavirus, I urge you to look outside the  mainstream.  There are plenty of reliable sources of information out there. I spend several hours a day keeping up with the medical and legal journals, but there are also sources that translate those findings for the layman, and I try to share them online. Come take a look.

For now, let me finish with two short videos.  The first is related to the information exposed on my last post regarding the way in which the CDC, in collusion with hospitals all over the country, are counting deaths as having been caused by COVID-19 even when it is known COVID-19 had nothing to do with those deaths.  I know it was astonishing enough when Dr Birx admitted it, but here is the Illinois Director of Public Health making no attempt to conceal the perfidy. If you weren't shocked before, you will be now:

Whatever you want to call that folderol, it has nothing to do with science.

And finally, at a time when investigative journalism is almost non-existent within the mainstream media, Tucker Carlson is backed up by a team of the best investigative journalists you could wish for.  I never miss an episode of Tucker Carlson Tonight; I consider it essential viewing. Here is Tucker's report from Wednesday April 22nd, on the grossly mismanaged and unscientific lockdowns:

Okay, I can't resist adding one more report from tucker Carlson, for two reasons:

First, it is titled "Only Science Will Free Us From This Pandemic" and secondly it brilliantly demonstrates how tone-deaf many in the news media are about science and how it is folly to believe anything they tell you that has anything to do with medicine.  You may have heard reports that hydroxychloroquine turned out to be a massive failure for the treatment of patients with COVID-19. The reality is it is anything but a failure. These amateurs just don't know what they're talking about.  (See my previous post in which I explain how the journalism majors I went to school with were among the dumbest people on the planet.)

Related Posts: 
Fear Is A Virus

Science Is Your Friend  

COVID-19 Is Real But The Test Is A Fraud

And Should We Die?                                                   

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Muh-Muh-Muh My Corona, Part Three - "And Should We Die?"

Previously: Muh-Muh-Muh My Corona, Part Two, "The Virus Is Real But The Test Is A Fraud"

"That which does not kill us makes us stronger"
-Fredrick Nietzsche

"Whatever doesn't kill you makes you weaker. And it will probably kill you the next time it comes around."
-Norm Macdonald  

Let's talk about death and dying, shall we?

After all, isn't it the fear of massive numbers of impending deaths that has resulted in Americans shutting off their brains while putting up no resistance to politicians shutting down their livelihoods?

Despite the fear-mongering and the posting of "official" death numbers, the actual number of deaths caused by COVID-19 remains unknown.  What we can gather from the statistics is that the actual number of deaths actually caused by COVID-19 is extraordinarily low, because the Center for Disease Control has admitted they were lying about those estimates, and the number of quarterly deaths caused by other means (old age being chief among them) remains pretty much the same.

Good ol' Doctor Birx also let the cat out of the bag this week when, in answer to a reporter's question, she admitted the numbers were routinely being fudged:
"So, I think in this country we've taken a very liberal approach to mortality. And I think the reporting here has been pretty straightforward over the last five to six weeks. Prior to that when there wasn't testing in January and February that's a very different situation and unknown. 
"There are other countries that if you had a preexisting condition and let's say the virus caused you to go to the ICU and then have a heart or kidney problem some countries are recording as a heart issue or a kidney issue and not a COVID-19 death. Right now we are still recording it and we will I mean the great thing about having forms that come in and a form that has the ability to market as COVID-19 infection the intent is right now that those if someone dies with COVID-19 we are counting that as a COVID-19 death."
Did you get that? It might be easier to understand what she is saying if you watch the video in the link provided above.  Notice she did not say "if someone dies from COVID-19", she said "if someone dies with COVID-19."  In other words, if a patient comes in with, say, a heart or kidney problem and it can also be said they tested positive for COVID-19, they're going to list COVID-19 as the cause of death. Even if the attending physician knows that was not the affliction that person died from.

Never mind that when someone dies from heart failure no one ever says they died with heart failure. They didn't die with heart failure, they died from heart failure.  They died from kidney failure. But suddenly the deal is that if you die with slightly detectable viral traces of any old benign viral shreds in your DNA (aside from that list of afflictions you arrived with that are known to be fatal such as heart failure, kidney failure, diabetes, asthma, or others) -you are going to be listed among those who died from COVID-19. Nothing you can do about it. What are you going to do, argue with the doctor? You can't, you're dead.

The Center for Disease Control is currently instructing hospitals to attribute patient deaths to COVID-19 even if they are not sure that was the cause, or if they are just assuming, or even if they still suspect the patient's underlying illness was the actual cause of death. No laboratory confirmation needed, just write "COVID-19" right in that little box on the form right there, Doc, and you're good. On to the next patient.

Here is that directive from the National Vital Statistics System:

NVSS COVID-19 Alert No. 2

In other words, if I were to go to the hospital as I did last month because I was having severe difficulty breathing, and if I died, the hospital would likely list the cause of my death as COVID-19.  My respiratory ailments could be listed under "Part II" on the form (assuming the doctor felt like going to that bother), which would only mean asthma woulda coulda maybe have been considered secondary. If at all. Because the only thing that matters to those overseeing this fraud is that it was the Coronavirus that killed me, and that's the end of that.

This is insidious. It means that the actual number of people who died from COVID-19 will never be known. There is no way you or I will ever be able to ascertain how many of those reported deaths attributed to COVID-19 were actually triggered by COVID-19.  The truth no longer matters, and science be damned.

But, you insist, clearly there will be regulations in place to help keep medical professionals honest, right?

On the contrary. Free money has a tendency to make the normally conscientious set aside their  integrity. Legislation was recently passed that would provide cash bonuses to every hospital in the country every time they treat a patient who (supposedly) has the coronavirus.  100 Billion dollars has been earmarked to, as the bill puts it, “reimburse … eligible health care providers for health care related expenses or lost revenues that are attributable to coronavirus.”

And this shouldn't surprise you: there are no control measures built into the bill that would require hospital administrators to prove a patient they got reimbursed for actual had the virus.

If that's not a recipe for a free-for-all looting frenzy, I don't know what is.

The little-known secret in the medical community is that the determination of Cause of Death has always been arbitrary enough before the CDC made it official policy that doctors should go ahead and lie outright. Here is Dr. Ann Bukacek:
"Few people know how much individual power and leeway is given to the physician, coroner, or medical examiner, signing the death certificate. How do I know this? I've been filling out death certificates for over 30 years. 
"More often than we want to admit, we don’t know with certainty the cause of death when we fill out death certificates. That is just life. We are doctors, not God. Autopsies are rarely performed and even when an autopsy is done the actual cause of death is not always clear. Physicians make their best guesstimate and fill out the form. Then that listed cause of death … is entered into a vital records data bank to use for statistical analysis, which then gives out inaccurate numbers, as you can imagine. Those inaccurate numbers then become accepted as factual information even though much of it is false.
"So even before we heard of COVID-19, death certificates were based on assumptions and educated guesses that go unquestioned. When it comes to COVID-19 there is the additional data skewer, that is –get this— there is no universal definition of COVID-19 death. The Centers for Disease Control, updated from yesterday, April 4th, still states that mortality, quote unquote, data includes both confirmed and presumptive positive cases of COVID-19. That’s from their website.
"Translation? The CDC counts both true COVID-19 cases and speculative guesses of COVID-19 the same. They call it death by COVID-19. They automatically overestimate the real death numbers, by their own admission. Prior to COVID-19, people were more likely to get an accurate cause of death written on their death certificate if they died in the hospital. Why more accurate when a patient dies in the hospital? Because hospital staff has physical examination findings labs, radiologic studies, et cetera, to make a good educated guess. It is estimated that 60 percent of people die in the hospital. But even [with] those in-hospital deaths, the cause of death is not always clear, especially in someone with multiple health conditions, each of which could cause the death.
You can watch Dr Bukacek explain further by clicking here.

I Ain't 'Fraid O' No Ghost 
The possibility of impending death is always present in our home, although that possibility has never given us cause to fear or reason to worry.  Ever since my wife Connie was diagnosed at age 27 with Avascular Necrosis and the many afflictions that followed in its wake (Ankylosing Spondylitis, Fibromyalgia, Neuralgia, Diabetes, assorted Heart Ailments, and that ever-present bugaboo, Arthritis), for the past 25 years I've expected that one morning I will probably wake up to find my wife no longer breathing. And guess what? I'm fine with that.

Connie will be fine with that, too, if one day she wakes up and finds me gone. Of course we would both prefer she goes first so I don't leave her with no one to take care of her. I think that's how it's going to happen. At 68, I'm eight years older than Connie, but her body is poised to give out sooner, so I'm not worried about being the one who leaves the planet first. The smart money says it's going to be her.

There is no official prognosis for Connie. She is considered a medical anomaly. When they replaced her right shoulder, a chunk of the bone was sent to Cedar's Sinai so the scientists there could study it, and we've been told someone wrote his doctoral thesis centered around Connie and her various maladies. That's how unusual this condition was at that time for a woman her age.  Avascular Necrosis was sometimes seen in deep sea divers who got "the bends," but rarely found in an otherwise healthy young female. It took the specialists a long time to properly diagnose Avascular Necrosis as Connie's problem, because they weren't looking for it. (A salient "tell" in a patient with avascular necrosis is that blood doesn't get properly carried to key locations such as hips and other joints, so sections of those bones tend to atrophy and die. Necrosis=death.)

When, back in the 1990s, I pressed the doctor who was most familiar with Connie's case to tell me how long he thought she might have to live, he finally replied with unusual candor, "I don't know. No one knows. But she'll probably wish she were dead long before she is."

He was definitely right about that. Still, neither of us is afraid of dying. Afraid of what, exactly? Afraid to leave behind these cumbersome prisons of pain and misery and return to a state of complete joy and infinite awareness? Gads, what a nightmare that would be!

I don't understand why anyone would panic at the thought of dying of COVID-19, especially when the statistics are still showing that the overwhelming majority of those who are dying of what are now being disingenuously referred to as "coronavirus related illnesses" continue to be, by an overwhelming majority, the aged and infirm who have as many as two or three underlying afflictions that would have done them in by this time anyway.

In other words, statistically we are looking at the same category of people who would be breathing their last at this stage in their lives whether tiny viral shreds were found in their DNA or not.  Yet by the frantic way some people are reacting, you would think dying is a highly unnatural act and something that can be prevented if only we would all just stay home and watch Netflix. The number of people said to be dying with coronavirus who are younger than me is so small as to be infinitesimal.

Time For A Reality Check
If you favor real statistics over padded numbers, there are few statisticians more competent in providing them for you than David Stockman, former Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Reagan. Here is an excerpt from an article that appeared just this morning. It won't surprise you to learn he scoffs at the ridiculously high number of deaths predicted before the models were adjusted for reality:
What’s needed is isolation and protection of the elderly and already medically afflicted populations and an opening of the spigot for any and all therapeutics and palliatives which could mitigate the illnesses and minimize deaths among those who contract the virus (whether the FDA approves or not), not a freezing of commerce, economic activity and social life among the overwhelming bulk of the population which would otherwise weather this new form of winter flu and develop herd immunity. 
Thus, of the 4,758 deaths in New York state attributed to Covid-19 as of April 6, 63% of the deaths were among those over 69 years of age, while just 7% of the cases were those under 50.
So we will say it again: The death rate per 100,000 population in New York was 70X higher among those over 69 years than among those under 50 years:
  • 3,000 Covid deaths among those over 69 years = 183/100,000;
  • 333 Covid deaths among those under 50 years = 2.6/100,000;
Likewise, 86% or 4,089 of those who died had at least one other chronic disease:
  • The leading underlying illness was hypertension, which showed up in 55% of the deaths.
  • Next was diabetes, which was diagnosed in 1,755 deaths, or about 37% of the cases.
  • Other top illnesses found in those who died from coronavirus were hyperlipidemia; coronary artery disease; renal disease and dementia.
Folks, this isn’t the data for Wyoming or East Jesus. This is the epicenter of the putative plague, where upwards of 13 million New Yorkers under 50 years of age have essentially been put under house arrest by Governor Cuomo. And for what? To protect them from a 2.6 per 100,000 death rate?
Let’s be clear. It is not our choice to trade in the ghoulish data on the death rates of American citizens. But when CNN carries the death rate on a continuous screen crawler, which is apparently updated by the hour, you have no choice but to, well, get the facts straight.
So in the first place, New York’s tiny Covid death rate of 2.6 per 100,000 among those under the age of 50 years needs some context. To wit, in the most recent year, the total New York death rate in that age category was 91 per 100,000 or 35X the Covid rate. Moreover, the under 50 death rate for accidents and suicides alone was 34 per 100,000 or 13X the Covid rate.
So, yes, every death is tragic, but what we are dealing with is marginalia from a societal viewpoint, not a once in a 1000 year plague that requires the virtual shutdown of economic life.
Indeed, if we wished to be politically incorrect, we could slam Governor Cuomo for running the ultimate Nanny State gambit and be done with it. Except except…. there are the old and sick folks allegedly being protected by his sweeping stay-at-home orders.
But exactly how keeping young folks out of restaurants protects the elderly with medical conditions, who would now be well advised to stay away from said venues, is hard to fathom. Besides, even the smoking gun New York state data on the high 183 per 100,000 death rate from Covid-19 for those over 69 itself needs contextual amplification.
In the most recent year, for example, the death rate for the New York State population over 69 years of age (1.642 million) was 6,465 per 100,000 or 35X the current Covid rate.
That is, the grim reaper doth cometh, inexorably. And in the case of the four leading co-morbidity diseases that have been widely present in Covid cases – diabetes, heart disease, pneumonia and lower respiratory illnesses – the death rate is 2,800 per 100,000.
In other words, the leading co-morbidities with Covid have a year-in and year-out mortality rate that is 15X higher than the Covid death rate that has occurred to date among New York’s over 69 population.
Nor are these New York stats some kind of aberrant outlier. If New York is the epicenter of the US corona contagion, then Italy has been ground zero for the Grim Reaper on a worldwide basis.
In fact, as of yesterday (April 8), there had been 18,280 corona deaths reported in Italy. That represented a death rate of 30.5 per 100,000 total population and which was only slightly below New York’s 32.0 per 100,000 rate.
Yet according to the Italian National Health Service’s own numbers and we quote, the aged, infirm and medically vulnerable have borne the overwhelming brunt of the deaths:
“According to the latest data of the Italian National Health Institute ISS, the average age of the positively-tested deceased in Italy is currently about 81 years. 10% of the deceased are over 90 years old. 90% of the deceased are over 70 years old.”
80% of the deceased had suffered from two or more chronic diseases. 50% of the deceased had suffered from three or more chronic diseases. The chronic diseases include in particular cardiovascular problems, diabetes, respiratory problems and cancer.”
“Less than 1% of the deceased were healthy persons, i.e. persons without pre-existing chronic diseases.
Moreover, the Italian government agency attempts to distinguish between those who died from the coronavirus and those who died with the coronavirus. But in many cases it is not yet clear whether the persons died from the virus or from their preexisting chronic diseases or from a combination of both.
 The two Italians deceased [!!] under 40 years of age (both 39 years old) were a cancer patient and a diabetes patient with additional complications. In these cases, too, the exact cause of death was not yet clear (i.e. if from the virus or from their preexisting diseases).”
In short, in some real sense, the Covid-19 is not a fatal pandemic which afflicts the entire population; it’s a highly contagious virus that preys upon a limited, identifiable, isolate-able sub-population that could be generously protected and cared for at a tiny fraction of the cost being imposed by the hysterical shutdowns now in place. 
Once upon a time, there were actually thoughtful conservatives among the GOP ranks who knew their economics and were listened to by the rank and file. Senator Robert Taft in the 1950s, Barry Goldwater in the 1960s, Bill Simon in the 1970s and Senators Pete Domenici and Alan Simpson in the 1980s and 1990s, among others, come to mind. 
But today’s Republicans are simply beltway domiciled fundraising robots, whose philosophy boils down to keeping themselves in office, whatever it takes. So in the face of a statist-instigated hysteria that virtually cries out for repudiation, they simply genuflect to the CNN body counts, or as Ann Coulter sarcastically put it: 
It turns out a person with Stage 4 lung cancer and a bullet through the heart will be counted as a “coronavirus death” if he also tested positive for the disease, OR merely exhibited symptoms associated with it (symptoms that are coextensive with the flu and pneumonia). 
Of course, you wouldn’t necessarily expect a 55-year beltway slug like Mitch McConnell to investigate the case when passing out trillions to the business PACs was the ready alternative. But last we heard, the Donald’s new chief of staff is the tea-party born, big-government hating, former Freedom Caucus Chairman, Rep. Mark Meadows. 
Did he get the Mick Mulvaney Memorial Lobotomy, too, when he got his White House identification badge? 
In fact, you can kick any so-called conservative Republican on Capitol Hill and you will get the same brain-dead eruption of fiscal incontinence, such as this budget buster from one of the recently minted Republican Senators from Missouri: 
“The circumstances are just overtaking us here in terms of the depth and scope of the economic fallout of this public health crisis,” said Sen. Josh Hawley (R., Mo.), who has been pushing a plan to restore workers’ paychecks by having the government cover 80% of employers’ payroll costs, up to the national median wage, at all firms affected by the crisis, and provide incentives for rehiring workers laid off last month. Is he kidding? 
In the most recent year, there were 84 million US wage earners below the median, who collectively generated $1.3 trillion of payroll. Does the good Senator really mean to underwrite 80% of that ($1.1 trillion) or does he plan to set up a government tribunal to determine which firms were “affected by the crisis” and therefore entitled to Free Stuff from Washington? 
Here’s the thing. Any conservative Senator worth his salt from the state of Missouri should be waving the bloody shirt about the insanity of the the plenary lock-downs, not pimping for restaurant chains, hotels, airlines and cruise ship companies that have gotten caught in the crossfire. 
Indeed, it was only in the era after the detestable Dick Cheney pronounced that “deficits don’t matter”, and thereby delivered the coup d’ grace on fiscal rectitude, that the business lobbies were transformed into principle-free racketeers and shameless parasites on the public purse. 
Still, here are Missouri’s corona-facts as of April 8. The state has had 3,327 positive cases and 58 deaths to date, which amount to 54 cases per 100,000 and 0.94 deaths per 100,000. 
Yet this compares to annual death rates in Missouri of:
  • All causes: 1,008 per 100,000;
  • Heart diseases: 241 per 100,000;
  • Lung cancer and other lung diseases: 124 per 100,000;
  • Diabetes: 26 per 100,000;
  • Pneumonia & influenza: 20 per 100,000; and
  • Suicides: 19 per 100,000
No matter how you slice it, Missouri is not the subject of a deathly pandemic in any way, shape or form. Yet this pathetic rookie GOP Senator can think of nothing better to do than to thrust his snout deep into the Bailout Trough along with all the rest of the Dem pols and Republican lifers in the Imperial City.
Old People Have No Fear 
I wonder how many of you actually know people near the end of their lives. I've known many, and I've only known one who was actually afraid of dying. By the time the chronically infirm get to the stage where death is imminent, the chance to cross over is usually something they look forward to as a sweet release from all that misery.

I'll tell you what Connie and I don't care for: Pain. Pain and discomfort. Connie is in constant, unremitting pain, despite all the palliatives prescribed to her that are intended to mitigate it. So you can understand why she would prefer a simple, painless passing to anything she is currently going through.

Last Saturday Connie began to get sicker than normal. Vomiting, shaking, and lots of vomiting.

Did I mention vomiting? Twelve times in two days, which would have been enough to alarm a Christian Scientist.  Sunday night I took Connie to the hospital, where she was admitted and found to have a bowel obstruction. They kept her there three days and three nights while they tried to figure out how to uncork her without surgery. They fed a tube through her nose and down into her stomach with which they extracted quart after quart of bile.

Eventually they dislodged something or did something to fix the problem somewhat, and I brought her home late Wednesday.  She is still in serious condition.  Not doing well at all. So far she is able to eat only a little broth, herbal teas, and ice chips. The only soup she ever liked was Campbell's Chicken & Stars, a comfort food from her childhood, and now she can't eat the stars.  After a few sips of the broth, she's had all she can handle, and that's her meal. I bought a variety of flavors of yogurt since that isn't a solid, but even that makes her feel sick. She can eat part of a jello snack pack cup, but neither of us can think of what else to try feeding her. Considering she still has diabetes, her food choices were limited long before we had to deal with this bowel obstruction. Not even a cracker goes down well.

Anyway, all this is by way of explaining why we are open to the possibility that once again my lovely bride may not be long for this world.  On the other hand, you can add "bowel obstruction" to the long list of maladies that may eventually contribute to Connie's demise, but who knows when that may occur?  The point is that when death finally comes for her, trust me when I tell you she will embrace it. For me it will be a time to mourn, but not a time to grieve.

As for me, what I experience with my respiratory afflictions is mostly discomfort. That beats suffering from chronic pain any day. So I've got the better deal, although during those many times when I've contracted pneumonia I have begged God to take me home.  I'm a bit of a wuss that way.  Asthma I can endure because I have my handy-dandy nebulizer nearby. But there is no relief from pneumonia. You have to wait it out, and that wait can seem interminable, mainly because there is no sleep to be had when your lungs are filling with fluid and you struggle for each tiny breath.

I don't mind dying either, but I don't want to die of anything related to my lungs. Give me something quick and clean like a car accident.

I become very melodramatic when I get pneumonia.

We're Shutting Down The Country Over THIS? 

Alex Berenson is a former reporter for the New York Times with impeccable liberal credentials, but because he is doing actual research and questioning the narrative of the Ruling Class, he is getting viciously attacked by his peers on the left. For what? For making observations like this:
"In February I was worried about the virus. By mid-March I was more scared about the economy. But now I’m starting to get genuinely nervous. This isn’t complicated. The models don’t work. The hospitals are empty. WHY ARE WE STILL TALKING ABOUT INDEFINITE LOCKDOWNS?"
You can read more of what Berenson has to say here.  But the takeaway from all of this is that when the Ruling Class makes lying the default program, those who attempt to expose the deception can expect to be viciously attacked. Scientific researchers like the guy I quoted from last week are keenly aware that telling the truth is professional suicide, so he writes anonymously to report what every other scientist in his field would affirm if they, too, weren't afraid to do so.

The Lord warned us three times in the Book of Mormon that lies and deceptions would be the order of the day in our time.  I just didn't realize the deception would be so widespread and that so many ordinarily intelligent people would be incapable of seeing through it.

We live in a world gone suddenly mad. Is it any wonder Connie and I aren't going to mind when our time comes to leave it?

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