COVID-19

a global pandemic

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This web page is written as a special addition, a public service.  This reflects an update, over last year’s post-Easter written piece.

 

     Question.  Which is better, Hand Sanitizer or Hand Washing at Disinfecting?  

      Let us thank DoctorOz for the answer.  

      This site has a Coronavirus Worldometer, with up to the hour figures.

       Various aspects of lockdown being lifted early March 2021; European riots.

       Chronology of COVID-19, from NBC.

      I had written Easter Sunday 2020 will long be remembered by every American as the Easter that was not normal.  It was a world of unbelieving as it was struck—as the whole world was—with a disease—with the name of COVID-19.  I wrote about a  Dr. Tim Schacker who was studying a drug that might actually slow COVID-19, about a report from ABC World News Tonight that as early as March 16 the demand for testing far outweighed many states capacity.  To read that, see this former link.  I noted that at the close of May 2020 the number of unemployed was 26 million people.  

 

      On May 8, the number of people who had recovered/discharged were 223,603 out of 1,019,567 infected cases, with 16,978 considered critical.  Those in mild condition some 701,000.  Total tests in the U.S. at the end of last May 8 was 8,636,435.  Total tests in America at the end of Jun 9 was 22,140,676.  Total tests in America on March 8, 2021 was 370,637,295.  As of January 14, 2021, 30,628,175 vaccine doses had been distributed however, the figure for actual inoculation was 11,148,991.   Total number of cases stood at 23,848,410 and 14,112,119  is the number of people discharged from a hospital Jan. 14, 2021.   Disheartening news was expressed when Lester Holt  of NBC reported on Jan. 14 that COVID-19 could kill as many as 92,000 more Americans in the next three weeks.  

 

      I love my country very much and her people, but was torn by what happened early January of 2021.  Yet, I do not like to dwell on the negativity as a form of lifestyle.  I also remember this tiny headline; I bet most of you totally missed. It happened in Germany.  As you can tell, I like sports, and the Super Bowl was the strangest Super Bowl of all time.  An extra note on health.

       Early 2021 will be remembered as the year in sports with no avid fans in the bleachers. March of 2021 will be remembered when the vaccines of Johnson & Johnson were released  and shipped to the American public, courtesy of Today.  Early 2020 people were debating all over the place, Coronavirus-19 is not as bad compared to the flu,  (my gratitude to VOX for this excellent example explaining the gravity).  However, people were truly suffering as a result of COVID-19. And, remember it did not just affect the old and weak, as this story demonstrates.  The strong and the healthy are just as vulnerable.  And, this link makes one think. This also makes one to think; oh,I know, but I thought I spice up things just a bit.  

 

 

      The First 12 Days of 2021

     

      Abnormal measures is the new normal as one American reporter said it on TV.

      On Nov. 19, 2020 as the good news was spreading across the land that the new drug Pfizer was promising (with 90% effectiveness) and was being released, L.A. County reported hospitals saw the percent of hospitalizations and also those testing positive increasing with 2,000 new cases for 4 days in a row in Los Angeles County, numbers not seen since Aug.  The total cases in America that Nov. 19 stood at 9.9 million with some 200,000 Coronavirus deaths. 

       Experts said there was still time to prevent another wave in America even though it was beginning to climb here in California.  Our weather here was not even that cold, yet.  So, people let down their guard.   L.A. County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said on Nov. 19, “This is now a surge in our cases, and if it continues, it will be quite alarming."  Does anyone remember that in October, the numbers were below 3000 new cases per day?  I have relatives in El Paso, Texas and these two videos caught my heart.   El Paso report Nov. 10 and from a frontline responder.

       A spike in cases, circa the immediate post-Thanksgiving seemed to alarm too few people, however, the march to critical was beginning, when sections of California started noticing their ICU bed capacity was filling up.  When bed capacity falls below 15%, a so-called STAY AT HOME order goes into effect.  The large state of California had these on Dec. 5, Greater Sacramento area: 21.4%  Bay Area: 21.2%  San Joaquin Valley: 14.1%  Southern California 13.1%.  Two days earlier, there were 2,769 hospitalized in L.A. County, yet the unthinkable on Dec 5: 8,860 were admitted.  Around this time, I recorded this 3 min KTLA 5 News item, but it was nothing compared to what was coming.  As of December 19, next door neighbor Arizona had only 10% ICU beds available and nationally, a person was dying every 30 seconds due to the despicable COVID-19.  On Dec. 19, 3,124 U.S.lives were lost in just one day (source for all three, ABC World News Tonight Dec. 19, 2020).  

         December 31, NBC reporter Steve Patterson, the last day of 2020.  Morgues and funeral homes were getting so full, they were forced to turn away grieving families in Los Angeles.  Then, came the news of some newer cases of a NEW strain of COVID-19, a more contagious strain.  But, to tell you the truth, it’s news was sketchy at first and sounded to be coming from Great Britain, a country so far, far away.

          The ones most feeling it at first were the front line workers of Los Angeles County and the families with a relative struck by a sad death.  Just how many people outside Los Angeles cared about the news? especially when reporters told you this chilling statement, “One person dying every 10 minutes in Los Angeles County.”  “Ah, baloney, there are always people dying, that is news exaggeration,” some of my friends were so bold to tell me.  That was early January.  Back on March 12, 2020, CBS reported that COVID-19 can live in your body for up to 37 days, and according to my research that early March COVID-19 impacted 12 states in America with only 2 deaths.  But by March 16, it had spread to 49 states and had killed 69.   Wednesday Mar 24 was when things began to get critical as it jumped from 808 deaths near 830 am to 944 at 7 pm reaching 999 about 9 pm,  and then I recorded 1,032 to surpass the one thousand mark at 10 pm and that was national.  At that point in time, over 40,000 American retirees came out of retirement, hit the highways, and went to the-then critical New York.  That was memorable news in a sea of despair.  

      Memorial Day: 99,805 deaths across the country.   It had killed 157,265 by 10 am Aug first.  September 1, 1015 pm: 188,900.  Oct 1 midnight: 212,694.  November 1, 9 pm: 236,471.  Jan. 9: 378,149 at 2 am. CNN Sunday January 10, 2021 (credit to CNN).  

      Going back to WW II,  I remember in early 1942, the state of the union addressed the fact that America was producing tens of thousands more planes and tanks than ever in the history of the world, but if you look at 1942 in retrospect, all the Allies, and that included the U.S., were getting kicked in the teeth by the Axis as German and Japanese victories seemed unstoppable.   As the United States people are getting hit by a new enemy, the dreaded COVID-19, I see a similar situation.

 

 

       At the close of 2020, even though America is not down and out,— President Trump stated that we had launched the greatest mobilization since World War II  and nobody thought that it could be done—  “our operation” is not yet victorious; we are far from it; I see a repeat of 1942, with the ardent exception of the unemployment rate, courtesy of CBS. All other factors parallel 1942.   New Years Eve video courtesy of The Sun.  

       The enemy we have today is not an army the size of a human being but an enemy in microscopic form that is as deadly as any armored division of the SS in WW II.  Moreover, it gained speed in early Jan invading bodies left and right in an unprecedented rate, that many hospital “generals” ie. directors sounded the alarm, “We do not have the upper hand, yet.”  Historians acquainted with history of the Second World War can easily tell you when the American populations of that era were seeing U.S. ships being hunted and sunk right off our shores in alarming numbers—THAT WAS 1942.  The times were very dire. 

       Our images are just as disturbing. On January 8, 2021, ABC reported hospitals, morgues and funeral homes were overflowing in Los Angeles.   Also, circa  Jan. 6, a 2 min NBC report with unfolding news amidst the current state.   Yet, 1942 is also noted for the way people still thought in WW I terms, “Oh, in World War One we won that war in just a year.”   There were many in early 1942 who thought the war situation could be repeated because it was not that serious, especially for those in the Home Front.  This is today.  What were we seeing?

       Fun parties in many parts of Florida, where some wore masks, others in the crowd had a who cares mentality and didn’t. An unbelievable situation of events here in Los Angeles just recently.   Here is a story of downtown Pleasanton, California, as in many other downtowns, that faced the crisis and tried to survive on their own (credit to KPIX CBS SF Bay Area).  One thing for certain, life in America is not the same, however, that statement is not enough too, for a greater piece of information is this, as this historian sees it: the impact of this novel war is not hitting enough Americans uniformly consequently, our American response is still like in the 1942 mode [ed. note: although in March seems to be alleviating].  We think we are hitting back with enough strength.  We think we are doing something about it.   As of early January 2021, for example, we have had about 8 months to be ready for vaccine distribution, but what was seen across many communities was the lack of proper logistics and that lead to inadequacies.  It is not that the vaccines are not there.  It is the distribution and the logistics that reminds historians of 1942.  Take California, for example.  Governor Newsom went on the air on NBC and told the reporter "there are different protocols, procedures, processsings.  There's different relationships, local health officers, counties, direct providers, and sales clinics, hospitals, and so it's all of those nuances, that make it more complex...."  You think operations were not that complex in WW II?  However, the word in California as of mid-Jan. was that California had received 2.8 million doses of the vaccine but, only 900,000 had been distributed across the entire state, or in other words, fewer than 1/3 of what was available.  Moreover, those in certain parts of the country saw it differently than in other parts.  Right in front of our noses a new strain of Covid—from England—showed up with its partner that seemed a stronger killer.  Furthermore, the news became complicated with yet another new strain, from South. Africa.  The hospital establishment in California wass inundated by the enemy and they warned it would hit harder b February.  That’s all we needed!  

       The Second World War was more than just “a battle”.  In 1942, we were barely planning myriad invasions, that would carry an infinite host of concurrences and logistics.  There are the military plans, and there are the logistics that needed the people to run them AND there were the things that needed to be worked out so that something  good was shown to come out of all that.  In short, to whip the enemy, you had to go through the first stage of battles.   In short, read what Americans did on their Home Fronts in 1943-1944.  That forms the first stage.  Then, read about 1944, when the logistics came together in an ad infinitum way that boggles a mind.  You mean to tell me with all our current brains and current super computers and better logistic capabilities we cannot achieve victory?  Would you like 1942 to be repeated or a 1944?

       Remember this theme:  America is not divided by a people.  It is really divided by the mountains and rivers and deserts and valleys that those in Des Moines or on the opposite spectrum like Florida may not be feeling what us in California are feeling and going through, except to see it as something on the news. The people in the 1940s took it upon themselves to not let division get the best of them.  Thats #1.  Get the people to act and think and help each other much more than it is doing right now.  We acted too much like in the 1942 mentality.   It means sacrificing.  Granted, to some it looks like we are feeling sacrifices, but they are not enough.  

       Secondly, the government has to respond a million times more strongly in the help department, because as in 1942, you first had to see results that STOPPED the enemy’s advances.  All we did in 2020 were puny stopgaps—mainly because we did not begin to get the heavy ammunition; the antidote inoculation.  Sure, we also had talk of acting unified, but that falls in the social mental part of the picture.  Which comes to my third point.  You need some national strategy that pulls people together mentally.  Talk is cheap.  Results is what you want but on the national level, not the California level, or the Midwest or the Texan or the Republican or the Democrat or the white or the black level.  You got to get a new mentality that includes everybody on a scope that befits the era of 1944 NOT 1942.  And, finally, before you reached the levels of all kinds of cool victories in 1944, you had a national unity of purpose, you had people trying to work together, you had the news media talking about it, you had words and actions speaking for themselves, and you had a common goal.  And, that means more than the stupid chump line, that sounds nice: "if we work together we can win."  That by itself is as empty as a bottle full of air unless you have a national scope of people really working together.  

 

 

       You got to create the idea of working together by telling people what the dam goal is, in black and white terms with all sorts of figures.  The public today tends to forget that before Pearl Harbor was even bombed, the United States Government had people working in Washington DC with scores of people working in OPA, OPM,  the Office of Facts and Figures (forerunner to OWI), the Committee of Medical Research and under the Defense Public Works Act.  The Revenue Act of 1941 was created to impose new or heavier taxes.  People in Civilian Defense were in every coastal city, all cities and towns, from coast to coast with the people doing their part.  Business people rolled up their sleeves, too, and participated in ways that makes todays participation look dorky.  And, within twelve days after Dec. 7, the Office of Defense Transportation and Office of Censorship were created.  One thing for sure, we don’t have an enemy with a network of spies, granted, but something else is cropping up.  Dissension of the highest caliber.  Between early January and Inauguration Day you saw abnormal preparations; a prime example was Washington DC, with a deployment of troops at the capital not seen since the war between the States, namely the Civil War.   America has to be better than this. Worrying about putting  the logistics in working order and get the people to think, and act and work as one and produce results is paramount.  It may mean arguments.  But there has to be a common goal spelled out against a problem that this world has never really seen before.             

 

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it will be in your hands

       Remember this, about 100 years ago, we were hit by a similar killer influenza.  it showed no mercy.  Millions more died.  But, remember, our society is much more populated now, and we have cities that make the cities of the 1920s look crummy small in terms of population. Our enemy is one that is starting to speed up in January of 2021, as this Jan. 10 ABC short report shows, with growing mountains of headaches.  Our urban concentrations are much more crowded than 100 years ago, and because our lifestyles are more cosmopolitantly linked, the consequences are more dangerous…if we do not act together.  But, pay heed to the lessons of 2020.  Do not repeat the mistakes that were performed in 2020 namely, we try to act cool and helpful toward one another for a couple of weeks, talk of sacrifices, remember the quarantines, the rationing, hand out money thinking it will solve everything, then, let our guard down and return to our life that “seems” normal, when the crisis is not licked.  For many, many people, the modern dilemma is how to survive in a mandatory lockdown while you have little or no paycheck. In certain respects, this world is seeing a problem the world has not viewed before, and whether it is like this video, I leave it up to you to think (credit to Jack Chapel).  AH, that differentiates 1942 and 2021; plus 2022 and the tomorrows of the future.  Our civic leaders, our state and federal leaders have to figure that one out, in a novel way undreamed of in 2020.  What a dilemma.  So put your creative thinking caps on, and good luck.  And, think positive so that our wonderful news media can report on the results for next spring and summer that better results were indeed produced than in 2020.  Medically, sociologically, economically people are riding on that.  London, Rome, Sao Paulo, Madrid, Bruxelles, Paris, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Sydney, Mexico City, Moscow, Buenos Aires everybody and anybody has to see America get their act together, and it will take time.

       Senator Kim Schrier from Washington recently stated, “This will require all of us to step up and do our part….Even if you yourself may be at low risk, because of your age and your health, we know that you can pass this disease to others.  And, unless we take this on as a whole community,  we are going to see a very big spike, and people needing to access hospitals, ICUs, ventilators, and our hospitals cannot accommodate that kind of spike.  So, please follow the guidance.”  Senator Schrier is also a physician.

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