March 1, 2020

Coronavirus Is a Hoax


Truth and reality have finally hit bottom. As of this writing, this disease that has affected close to 50 countries, killed thousands and sickened hundreds of thousands worldwide. It is spreading more quickly than can be accurately reported.

Economies worldwide are reacting to the effects of disrupted supply lines, the need to close businesses, stores, schools, and public places. The Dow Jones fell more in one week in late February than at any time since the 2008 near depression. A world-wide recession is suddenly not such an impossibility.

The response from the U.S. government is almost impossible to accept with a straight face: this out-of-control, worldwide disease is being given prominent media attention as a way to harm the current administration and affect the fall elections. It is being used by the Democrats and liberal media for political reasons. The actual virus is no worse than a cold, and will one day just magically disappear. Its effects will be no big deal. It is a hoax according to Mr. Trump in remarks Friday. 

One prominent senator decided that the virus was actually developed in a laboratory in China and then used to terrorize its own citizens and the rest of the world. A certain news organization known for its disconnect from truth found that a reasonable point for discussion and speculation. 

If these incredibly self-serving, ludicrous explanations were matched with an aggressive, well-coordinated response from those who understand it is not to be taken lightly, one could almost laugh at the silliness of the attempt to "sell" the political spin, knowing that steps were being taken to do everything possible to limit the virus's spread and dangers.

Unfortunately, that is not the case. Because of budget cuts, the CDC in Atlanta and the various health centers around the country are woefully ill-prepared. The medical people sent to meet the first group of Americans coming home from the infected cruise ship, Diamond Princess, were given no training or procedures to follow. They did not wear proper hazmat suits; some who met the passengers weren't even wearing masks or taking any of the bare minimum precautions to not become infected themselves and then spread the illness to others. Closer to my home, the virus test kits sent to Arizona were defective.

Why? The administration had no serious plan in place, no system established to respond. Of course, if the whole thing is deemed to be much ado about nothing then that makes perfect sense. Mike Pence is now on the case and insists that all updates on the virus must run through his office before being released. How better to insure all information is unbiased and accurate.

I have no great insight on how to respond to this health issue. Betty and I are using hand sanitizer, steering clear of anyone who is coughing or seems ill, and adding some extra items to the pantry in case shipment problems become worse. Face masks don't seem to provide much protection but they are in short supply anyway so I guess that is a good thing. We are hoping for the best, apparently the same plan as Washington.

But, more importantly, I just cannot believe there are people in leadership, the media, and the general public, who are accepting this pure BS without outrage. Even if Coronavirus never blossoms into a pandemic it has exposed the problem of people who cry wolf over pretend emergencies. Then, when believability is essential there is zero credibility at a time when we must depend on leaders to do what is best for our country, and the world's well being. 

There is a hoax at play but it has nothing to do with Coronavirus.


51 comments:

  1. Thanks for always being a voice of clarity & sensibility.

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    1. Thank you. It requires having a sense of humor and seeing the absurd in what passes for normal behavior in our society today.

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  2. according to NPR the flu is much bigger risk.

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    1. The flu will affect more people, but it is not as dangerous. There are treatments for the flu but not for coronavirus. BTW, make sure you have received your flu shot this year. They are different each year to cover new strains of flu.

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  3. You know you will get some very interesting comments today. No matter, the truth is the truth and we should never turn away from it.

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    1. Denying reality because it is inconvenient or scary has become a national sport. But it is still the truth, regardless of how much some might wish it not be so.

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  4. There are starting to be some more helpful articles from the media on how to recognize the symptoms, when to seek medical care and how to prepare. Food and other home supplies are obvious. Less obvious is what you need to care for someone who is infected or yourself. So far I have purchased a small supply of disposable gloves, read up on how to take care of a person with an infectious disease at home, asked my husband what he likes to eat when he is sick, etc. Really what we should have been doing all along but then we are never seriously sick with an infection so far in our adult lives so aren't prepared. Don't forget pet food and supplies! Btw, cdc.gov is the best source for accurate info on the current cases.

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    1. All good suggestions, Juhli. I just read of someone who became infected after taking a neighbor to the hospital. An act of kindness doesn't protect us from this disease. Basic preparation and gathering unbiased information are our best options. And, yes, I will trust the CDC people long before the clueless people who work at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

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  5. Nice work on hitting the talking points. You did miss the one about the administration being racist for closing off travel early last month.
    Go Bernie! Opps forgot, GoJoe! The 160 million of us left, after others being killed by guns in the US, need your quick and clear thinking. I think his slogan should be, "Have a cuppa with Joe".

    Snopes, "Although it’s true that Trump’s fiscal year 2021 budget proposal does propose a funding cut to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), that budget has not been enacted."
    Science magazine, "The rollout of a CDC-designed test kit to state and local labs has become a fiasco because it contained a faulty reagent."
    Last, officers have been reporting for years that the animals that live through testing at the Wuhan bio unit are sold in the open market to supplement wages. It was a concern. Maybe it is something that we should be aware of whether this came from those animals or not.

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    1. Finally, to this list of incompetence, let's add the appointment of Mr. Pence as the government point person in all this. A man who says smoking doesn't cause cancer, condoms don't work, HIV is the person's own fault, and climate change is unproven is just the science-driven, forward-thinking person I want to help protect us all.

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  6. Mike Pence doesn't believe in science. That alone makes this whole thing laughable that he was put in charge of the messaging. I hate that we can't trust our own government to give us unbiased information.

    At the beginning of every flu season I always stock up on over-the-counter cold, flu, coughing and diarrhea meds and I always have have masks, rubber gloves and Gatorade on hand but when I went to the store yesterday I stocked up on frozen dinners and stayed away from the salad bar and deli. All the hand sanitizers wipes where gone. Judging by the cars in the parking lot there were 200 people shopping---it's a huge store with 30 cashier and 15 self-checking stations---and there was one guy walking around that couldn't seem to stop coughing. Why don't people who are obviously sick stay home, especially in this era when grocery stores deliver?

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    1. I am reading of some shortages of certain supplies in our area. I have added some of the items you list to our next shopping trip. Staying away from open food sections like salad bar is probably a wise move, too. There are just too many ways that can become a breeding ground.

      Yes, Mike Pence is an intellectual dud who believes little that doesn't appear in the Bible as literal facts, and certainly nothing that his boss doesn't support. The wolf guarding the hen house comes to mind, but that is an insult to wolves.

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  7. I read that yesterday the Costco isn our area is out of toilet paper, paper towels, water ad hand sanitizer! I had already stocked up on essentials and extra groceries early on Monday morning .

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    1. Our next shopping list has had some additions based on these last two comments.

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  8. While the number of cases in the U.S. are small right now, we have a trifecta of issues that make the spread of the coronavirus potentially explosive in the U.S.:

    We have a too-large population who, for a variety of reasons, do not have healthcare insurance, or who have inadequate insurance, and will put off being tested because they either can't afford the test or because they can't afford to be quarantined or hospitalized if they do test positive.

    Many service- or hourly-wage jobs in the U.S. do not provide sick days, or they do maybe only 2-3 per year. Employees fear losing these jobs if they call in sick, and will come to work even if they have coronavirus symptoms. These are people who work in restaurants and other food service jobs, stores, hospitals, and childcare, and all sorts of businesses and environments that we interact with every day. Also, some of these workers have two or three jobs, with the potential to infect far more people if they are positive for the virus.

    Immigrants, legal or otherwise, may avoid being tested for fear of being targeted by ICE. Again, these people work and are part of our communities. People may think they have no connection to immigrants but probably have far less than six degrees of separation to more than one.

    Add to the above a leader "joking" that this virus is a hoax at one of his rallies, saying that the opposing political party is pushing it just to destroy him, when in reality it has the potential to do so much harm and incapacitate our country is deplorable.

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    1. Laura, you have identified a few important considerations that have escaped my attention: the health insurance mess in this country and how it affects testing, plus the immigrant situation and the amount of interaction we all have with each other.

      I have a question for you (respond my email and I will post): I assume you are still in Japan. How is all of this affecting that country, its people and economy? How is it affecting you and Brett? Do you have extra worries being so close to the center of the problem?

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    2. Bob,

      Things are definitely different here and people have made changes based on the government's recommendations. Japan has a lot at stake in this situation, especially because of the 2020 Olympics. It's been a factor driving what's been going on here and the changes that have been made. It will be very disappointing if the games have to be postponed because of all the effort that's gone into the undertaking so far, but I trust Japan to make the right call and err on the side of caution.

      While telecommuting is not a big thing in Japan, companies are now asking employees to work from home if possible (our son began today) to lessen the number of people being together in close quarters, and crowded onto trains and buses during the morning and evening commutes. As most people know, schools throughout the country are closed for the rest of the winter term and will reopen for the new year in April (the Japanese school year begins in April versus September). It was a very unexpected and disruptive move, especially for two-income families, and not everyone is happy about it. Schools had already been closed though up on the northern island of Hokkaido, where the largest outbreak of the virus has occurred.

      Things are already starting to disappear off of shelves. Masks, hand sanitizer, disinfecting soap and wipes, and so forth disappeared the week before last; these days there are no paper products in stores, including toilet paper, tissues, feminine hygiene products. I'm not sure if that's because people expect things to get worse, or for supply chains to be disrupted. Around 60% of Japan's food supply is imported, so if things get worse worldwide that may affect things. For now, there appears to be plenty on the shelves but that could change quickly. We have about three weeks worth of food on hand and should be OK.

      Lots of people are wearing masks, but in our own unscientific observation, that seems to be tapering off. We don't know if that's because people are less concerned, because the mask supply has dwindled, or whether people are now hoarding masks in case things really get worse. Our DIL wears one, but only when she has to ride the train to work. Japanese people have been using masks for a long time though, so many are wearing them as they would normally even if the coronavirus were not a threat.

      We are seeing fewer people out and about, especially during the workweek, although it was heartening to see lots of families at a local park or out shopping this past weekend, enjoying the good weather. The government has asked people not to make unnecessary trips though, especially through crowded train stations. Japan has a large number of elderly in relation to its population, the most vulnerable to the virus, so this is a big concern. It's hard to avoid crowds though - it's just crowded here, especially in urban areas.

      Janette asked about undocumented immigrants here - they exist, but there's not a lot of them and they mostly stay in the shadows, and of course, are not registered in the national health service. Immigrants, undocumented or otherwise, make up less than 2% of the population. Being an immigrant in Japan is not easy, in spite of your status.

      The thing I am most grateful for here is that unlike in the U.S., Japan was on this outbreak early, doing testing, looking for connections, updating its citizens, and working to prevent the spread. The quarantine of the Island Princess though was a disaster, and many lessons were learned. Four people who were quarantined there have died. So far everything else seems to be working, but everyone knows it could change quickly. We're not afraid to be here, but we are cautious.

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    3. Laura, I am so appreciative of your followup and sharing what things are like in Japan. My very best to you, Brett, and your family. May everyone be safe and healthy.

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  9. Laura, the idea of the undocumented and lack of health care are both excellent points.
    How does Japan handle their undocumented? If they have no undocumented, how do they do that?
    What does Japan do for their medicine if their supply chain is broken as well? Will they encourage China to reopen for medicine?
    I am all for universal health care. We, like you, have been living socialized medicine through military health for 40 years. If it is good enough for an E-1, it is good enough for everyone. Generic meds, Physician Assistants for non serious looks, DO for the gaps of MD. I have been happy with the moves. The East Coast military/VA here is moving to John Hopkins Health as they close their military hospitals for lack of money to pay specialists. I think putting everyone on the system would be good for the whole.
    It is a good time to really have a conversation about these things.

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    1. Interesting observation, Janette. I wonder if the less-than-robust response from Washington will make health care even more a factor in the upcoming elections than it already is. Most polls I see suggest that is the #1 topic on most people's minds. Wouldn't it be something if a major breakout of this virus, coupled with an anemic response from Washington, became the deciding factor in November.

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  10. Bob, I think it is too early to know what the real impact of Covid-19 will be. Because the early reports of the number of cases and their severity were censored by the Chinese government we are only now, as the infection spreads outside of China, getting accurate information. This may turn into a pandemic, as the World Health Organization predicts, or it may turn out to be much less severe. In an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine, Anthony Fauci (immunologist and current head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases) and two other authors, give their estimates on the likely impact of the disease.

    See: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMe2002387?query=featured_home

    My understanding of their thoughts are:
    1. It’s still too early to know what the impact will be.
    2. The disease will continue to spread due to a high reproduction number (infection ratio) of
    2.2.
    3. The overall clinical consequences will probably be similar to that of a severe seasonal influenza.

    Note: saying that something will be similar to a severe seasonal influenza is not saying “don’t worry, be happy”, the seasonal influenza that we go through every year is a really bad and really under-reported phenomena.

    What I do think is that the reporting on the Covid-19 disease has been significantly over-hyped compared to the scant attention given to the yearly flu season. This is partly due to the fact that Covid-19 is new and sexy, flu is old and boring, and partly due to this being an election year and political ‘team sports’ drive the news cycles.

    But let’s look at what we do know so far.
    Based on the data from the CDC (updated 29 Feb) the Covid-19 cases inside the United States are:

    Travel Related: 13
    Community Spread: 9
    Total Cases: 22
    Total Deaths: 1

    Total Cases among persons repatriated to the United States:
    From Wuhan, China: 3
    From Diamond Princess Cruise Ship: 44
    See: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-in-us.html

    Compare this to the seasonal influenza just looking at the current season Oct 2019 – 22 Feb 2020 (still in progress):

    Estimated cases: 32,000,000 – 45,000,000
    Estimated deaths: 18,000 – 46,000

    It the last 10 years the best flu season we had in the United States killed 12,000 people, the worst killed 61,000.

    See: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/index.html


    I will withhold judgement on the severity of Covid-19 for a few more weeks until we get better information, but for now I am much more concerned about the impact of influenza on my personal situation than I am about Covid-19.

    My personal opinion:
    1. Get your flu shot….every year.
    2. Wash your hands….properly and frequently.
    3. Forget the face masks. Surgical masks don’t really work and N95 respirators need to be
    properly fitted.
    4. If you are sick, stay home. Don’t go to work, or the gym or the movies. Stay home.
    5. Stop hoarding toilet paper and canned goods. The U.S. supply chain is not broken for those
    items.
    6. If you have a chronic illness or a compromised immune system, talk to your doctor about
    what precautions you should take.

    Of course, your mileage may vary.

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    1. Your list of things to do is spot on.

      I do disagree with your comparison of "normal" flu with Covid-19. In my mind the significant difference is the lack of any vaccine or treatment for Coronavirus. The yearly flu outbreaks we see are actually various types of flu, not just one, specific ailment. But, there are flu shots available to significantly increase one's immunity. Such is not the case with Covid-19.

      Plus, focusing just on the impact on America is missing an important point: we are part of a worldwide economic system. We suffer if other parts of the world suffer. While the human cost should be our primary concern, it is true that a serious disruption of the economies in other countries will seriously impact us. The yearly normal flu outbreaks don't have that impact.

      We are in unknown territory. The end of this story is yet to be written.

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  11. Spot on, Bob. Like you, I can't imagine how there aren't marches in the streets over the B.S. coming from D.C. But I suppose large gatherings aren't a good response to a virus. It seems everyone is waiting for November for relief. I only hope and pray it comes.

    As for supply chains, we're in a world of hurt with so much of our manufacturing off shored to China. We had a supply chain disruption in my previous industry in the mid-00's, and it was a real struggle to recreate a closer supply chain in our hemisphere. And that was one fairly small industry. Politicizing it is really just ridiculous and petty. But it's what I've come to expect from this administration. It's all about HIM. I'm convinced he named Pence to that position so he can be the scapegoat.

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    1. The various tariffs and trade battles are making supply things worse than they might be. Even if the virus turns out to be not very serious here, the fear effect will cause some panic buying and hoarding....not helpful but human nature.

      My first thought about naming Pence was the same...someone to be blamed. This may be a way to change the VP candidate, too. We'll see what happens (has someone we know likes to say).

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  12. Part 1 of post...

    Bob, I appreciate the concerns you have voiced. I also appreciate the comments and data facts that Rick Longbrake commented on. I feel the "unknown" is what is driving all the FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) right now across the globe with respects to this virus. My personal analysis of the situation is as follows (will take 2 posts):
    FEAR - Few if any governments/people trust the data coming out of China. Many "fear" the information is tainted and is inaccurate which leads to potential panic. Our own CDC does not fully understand the virus yet as we have had few cases to date compared to China and China has not allowed our CDC folks in to their country to help. The leading officials in the CDC continue to tell us that the risk of acquiring the virus inside of the USA is still very low. Yet we have some people not in the leadership of the CDC stating more alarmist sentiments to the ever present media who are continuing with their practice of "if it bleeds, it leads" in their continued quest for ratings. The political parties are definitely leveraging this "fear" to attack their political opponents. I do not care what side of the political spectrum one resides on, if one cannot take a step back and examine the rhetoric coming out of Washington objectively, then I feel one has succumbed to the "fear" factor. The global stock markets are also reacting to "fear of the unknown". I have read numerous articles on various finance sites all pointing to this topic. Many cannot find a reason other than "fear of the unknown" as driving the selloff of equities. I could go on and on and on here with what this fear is doing to people around the globe.

    Uncertainty - This one is tied closely to fear. We don't know what the end result of this virus will be. Some speculate a global pandemic. Others speculate that this virus will quietly go into the background once we get into Spring as the season for respiratory virus infections in the Northern Hemisphere winds down. We just don't know, hence the uncertainty. Same uncertainty with the global economy and stock markets. I fully expect the global stock markets to stabilize over the next week or so and time will tell if we stay in correction territory, go into a bear market, or return to a bull market. No one is certain. Worrying about it is doing no one any good as no one can predict the markets.

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    1. The economic expansion has lasted longer than most. It is quite possible that everything was set up for a correction at some point this year; the virus scare was simply the trigger. It will get the blame even if other factors are playing a part.

      As you well know, Dan, stocks can't go up endlessly. When things get overheated, there are dips. But, last week's was quite dramatic in its rapidity. Like you, I expect the buyers to take advantage of the large dip. But, for many, the message is not of opportunity but of uncertainty.

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  13. Willful ignorance has to be one of the greatest sins. A person cannot be educated that refuses to listen to experts, reads nothing, is completely self absorbed and has zero attention span.
    I will have to go with Forrest Gump on this one. "Stupid is as stupid does".

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    1. I was thinking of that Forrest Gump quote when i wrote this post!

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  14. part 2 of post

    Doubt - People all over the world are doubting information coming from the various sources, and interestingly enough, the doubt in the USA is following political ideologies. Most liberals do not believe any information coming from the Whitehouse on this virus. Most conservatives from what I have seen and heard do not believe most of what the media and liberal politicians are presenting as their beliefs on this virus. Hence we have a culture of doubt that spans the entire populace. It's difficult to know what are all the facts when the media has historically only presented part of the facts to conform to whatever political ideology they align with. Chicken Little has been used by the media way too many times over the past few decades that their credibility with a wide swath of the populace has been damaged. The WHO and CDC are not perfect organizations either. They have limitations and are both working hard to balance between the needs to prepare for a possible pandemic and to not overstate the seriousness of the virus. They have their own doubt internally of how serious this issue really is and what are "political" ramifications of taking more cautionary steps versus going whole hog with warning of a possible pandemic. These orgs are 100% dependent on funding from their member nations (WHO) or Feds (CDC). So, I feel we would be kidding ourselves if we believed that these orgs are not also managing the message based on their financial needs. I am not stating that either one is presenting false information, but I am stating that they are not presenting scientific/medical information as 100% fact either.

    I am very disappointed in the way people are reacting to this issue. What I observe is a total "point the finger" blame game ongoing based on one's political ideology. Now is a time to pull together as a country and a society to ensure we can support each other and our medical professionals should this virus become a real widespread issue.

    My wife and a very good friend of mine both work in different hospitals in our region owned by different hospital corps. Both hospitals have posted online training to their staffs about Corona Virus and that they should treat it the same way they treat other virus outbreaks minus Ebola (high mortality rate). No one is panicking in most of medicine that I can see, and the only panic is really coming from the general population on the FUD factor.

    I suggest everyone take a step back, explore on your own what the real current known facts are about this virus, and if you have concerns or fears, please call your doctor for consultation. Our doctors we each should have a good relationship with are best suited in my humble opinion to guide us in what our risks are of acquiring this virus and what steps we should take for prevention, not the politicians and DEFINITELY NOT the media or God forbid, social media.

    Thanks again for an open forum to share ideas!

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    1. The continuous lies and untruths coming from Washington have created this trust gap. You are absolutely correct, though: each side is using this situation for their own purposes, and that is ad to see.

      The problem I see is when someone has been fed a line of bull over and over, why would one believe this time everything is on the up and up? Additionally, a president should not be the one pointing fingers at the opposition or media. His role is to be a steady hand on the public tiller and avoid political point scoring when what we need is calm reassurance.

      The hoarding and panic buying is over the top at this point. All that will do is make any supply shortfalls worse.

      Thanks for the insider info on how hospital professionals are dealing with this issue. That should help give people some comfort.

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  15. Thank you Dan P, for this reasonable response and spot on thinking in regards to this issue. Well said.

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    1. I can always depend on Dan for a well thought out response that deals with facts and not rhetoric.

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  16. My husband said last night, wouldn't it be interesting if all the attention to this virus caused so much caution (hand-washing and sanitizing, reduced touching of the face, staying home to work, reduced travel, etc. etc.) that we wound up having the lowest regular flu transmission and deaths ever this year? Sometimes it takes something sensational like this to get us to do what we should already be doing. Always looking for that silver lining . . .

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    1. Good point, Syd. Sometimes a scare, even if overblown, can prompt better habits to emerge. Will they last? Well, we are human beings so I wouldn't bet the farm on it but it will be good while it lasts.

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  17. Now, Bob.....at OUR age, we need to watch our blood pressure! (I'm 72 on 4/11) Since you've expanded your blog subject matter, you've exposed yourself to a pretty stressful adventure as you field responses from all of us out here. Maybe you need to rethink the future and return to the mundane retirement subjects. We'll all STILL love you!

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    1. Actually, I am much more engaged when I tackle something that does generate a strong response. The readership is higher, generally there are more comment, and I feel the blog is providing a place where different opinions and ideas can be expressed with little fear of the vitriol that is everywhere on the Internet.

      Thanks, Bruce, for your concern. My blood pressure is generally lower than 120/80, so I will probably be around for awhile!

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    2. Bruce - I am not sure how stressful it is when 100% of the replies are in total agreement with ones original contention. If you read all the prior replies to yours you will see that everyone agrees with Bob on the subject. Either all those who are not totally in the anti-Trump camp have already exited this blog site, or have stopped responding to any of the topics raised. If that is the intention of the change in topics then it has been successful, but if that is the direction I might suggest a change in the title of the blog (I could suggest something snarky like "TDS Sufferers of the World Unite", but I won't :)). Personally I still read it but find myself commenting less and less as the "anti-Trump theme 100% of the time" becomes more commonplace. Sorry if this offends anyone but it is just the way it is for those of us who are not looking to criticize the current administration for every single thing they do.

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    3. I agree wholeheartedly with ChuckY.

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  18. I'm generally with Dan. it's time to stand back and take a breath. Everyone SHOULD have at least fourteen days of food, medicines and home supplies (and entertainment), and pet food. This is not new news and is not "prepping" as such.. I'm not as concerned about water as much as I would be in a hurricane area. My general philosophy is if the schools close to prevent transmission then I will stay home. Other than that, well......... It shouldnt wait for a virus such as this to have people realizinng they need to stock up or stay home if you are ill. Stay home if you are sick, use some caution if you are immune compromised, contact someone if you are ill and use good habits like hndwashing (its a lost cause for me to keep hands away from face and i know it). other than taht, live your life and use common sense and pay attention to the information that is out there, because much of it is actually good and correct.

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    1. All good advice. We have let our pantry get a little thin, so this is a good excuse to fill in some of the blank spots.

      Everyone take common sense precautions until where this is going becomes clear.

      I have faith in science and those who know what they are talking about. Those are the people I listen to.

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  19. Bob, you may want to walk back your comments about funding cuts to the CDC, in the interest of truthfulness. I realize that Biden and Bloomberg are pushing it, but just like many of the claims those two are making it is just plain false. No less a group than the Associated Press has already stated they are lying when they and their followers profess that - https://www.foxnews.com/media/biden-bloomberg-both-wrong-about-trump-cutting-cdc-nih-funding-ap-fact-check-says.amp?__twitter_impression=true

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    1. My readings says Trump has proposed CDC cuts in each of his yearly budget propsals, including the one for 2021 that was just released. Each time Congress has ignored that request to cut funding.

      The result is the funding has not been reduced but only because the Legislative branch refused to do so.

      So, in that sense you are correct...the funding has not been, though not for lack of trying.

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  20. My wife met a friend she hadn't seen in a while we were out shopping the other day. This person believes that the corona virus was developed and released by the World Health Organization in order to reduce the world's population. We just shook our heads. Why they would think that is beyond me and what could anyone say to make any difference to that person's point of view?

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    1. We are in a time of fantasy passing for reality. Absolutely terrifying.

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  21. Relying on people getting tested to prevent outbreaks here in USA is not gonna happen.Since in most cases, the symptoms are mild and look and feel like "a cold".. not everyone with symptoms that are mild will go for testing. So they may transmit the virus unless they stay home!!

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    1. You are probably right on the money. A lot of folks simply can't afford to miss work so mild symptoms will be ignored.

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  22. I'm a liberal from NY NY who will always believe that this is the greatest country on earth--just don't make me believe in god or a few other things--everyone else is welcome to. From the first day that I heard about this virus just over two months ago I have been incredibly scared--and depressed (something I'm not used to being). I couldn't believe the disinformation, how our government has been acting--and well we can't trust China or the Koreas for truth (never thought we would fall into that category).
    For some reason this morning I woke up in a great mood. Still don't trust the stock market which I'm way too dependent on, but, still not sure about the virus or anything connected to it. Don't want my 25 year old niece to go to France and Roumania in two weeks but she's 25, paying for the trip, speaks fluent French and as I told her mother, Paris is her second city, and she's 25 and high on life. I'm selfishly hoping that planes will be grounded but we have an economy that's based on many tangible and intangible parts.
    I read this article and am looking for Fauci's full article. as I'm from NY I was in the epicenter of the AIDS battle. Fauci did more to publicize and contain the virus than just about anybody. Read it as it's a bit more hopeful than I am while being realistic
    https://www.kiro7.com/news/trending/comparing-coronavirus-flu/E4NZVS6BO5AABPCVVWDS222H7I/

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    1. I did look at the article you suggested. There is good information there, but the one fact is no one really knows at the moment how this flu is going to spread and how it will end. The mortality rate is predicted to be very small; your chance of being shot with a gun is probably higher.

      That doesn't mean we shouldn't take precautions and stay on top of trusted sources for information. But, overreacting is probably not helpful at this point, either.

      Thanks, Pia.

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  23. You don't have to be totally anti Trump to know his comment was totally stupid and that Pence needs to go back and take science classes again since he must have failed them the first time (if he even took them). Dumb and dumber on the medical/science side!

    We have done some stocking up. We tend to buy some in bulk anyway and at the start of the month, so it was only a few things that we added (powdered milk before it was really needed and more canned milk etc). We do need to stock up a bit on dog food, just in-case we decide we don't want to have to leave home later (if things get worse).

    We did cancel a flying trip, and airport and plane just did not seem like wise places to be right now. We do have a car trip coming up, and think that should be fine.

    Please remember, there are other reasons for a cough than being sick. I was sick almost 4 weeks ago, it triggered my asthma, and if past history plays out the same, I will probably cough for 2 to 3 months (even with meds). I am not sick or contagious, I am asthmatic and don't need to stay home!

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  24. Bob, reading this three weeks later, it strikes me how much time was lost in responding to this pandemic in North America because of the lies and misinformation spread by your president and his administration. Time lost equates with overwhelmed hospitals and far more deaths. It has made a terrible health crisis even worse than it might have been.

    Jude

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    1. And now, he is attempting to rewrite history by claiming he was always on top of things, knew it was a pandemic before the WHO declared it as such, and is using racism to name it after China. He never fails to find new ways to prove he is even less of a man than already thought.

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