A lack of any specifics on the Phase 3 opening criteria and guidelines for conducting activities suggests that the Carney team is making them up as they go, just as the CDC was doing in the beginning of the pandemic.
That was acceptable then when little was known about the novel coronavirus, but unacceptable now that a great deal is known regarding how to measure the pandemic and provide both protection and treatment.
Not one of the epidemiologists’ forecasts has been even close to accurate…some off by a factor of ten times. The panicked focus on spikes in infection misses the most important marker to watch: outcomes and their trends.
On TV, a couple of times, you said you were “puzzled by a big spike in cases in Georgetown but with no increase in hospitalizations.”
Had the Delaware Dept. of Health and Social Services paid closer attention to real-time data, they should have told you that a large swath of the population is either asymptomatic, or if they have symptoms, they are mild or those that have stronger symptoms can recover at home with no need to be hospitalized.
Let’s look at the data:
- COVID -19 is not fatal to 99.9% of the population.
- Fewer than 5 people in 10,000 have died with mention of the coronavirus on their death certificate. Since the FEDS promised more reimbursement for [the] coronavirus treatment, the probability that “possibly COVID related” on death certificates was overstated on cases with extreme underlying conditions prevailing.
- The pandemic peaked and the “curve was flattened” about two months ago.
- Recent report from the Division of Public Health had only 56 infected people in hospitals compared to a peak of over 300 many weeks ago. Only 15 “critical.”
- The calculated risk of death from COVID-19 is the same as the seasonal flu.
- Both the FEDS and Delaware have been making policy decisions based on data often weeks old. Like driving with the rear-view mirror. The KINSA data, that daily measures abnormal fevers in thousands of counties throughout the U.S., revealed that Delaware and the immediate surrounding counties in Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey are the lowest in the entire country. One case on Thursday, June 17th and one case on Friday, June 18th. Delmarva is a cold spot…not a hot spot.
- Delaware’s data says 64% died in nursing homes (nationally it was 40%), 80% were over 64 years old and 90% had preexisting conditions.
A politician’s worst problem is to have to balance risk between two bad outcomes, namely more people sick and dying and severe economic downturn, jobs destroyed, tax revenues down, government layoffs, etc.
Delaware made the Wall Street Journal’s June 22nd: Delaware ranks #7 in highest unemployment rate in the U.S. 15.8% compared to national average of 13.3%. All other states with higher than average unemployment rates had longer than average “lock-downs.”
The Carney team policy of very cautious steps to protect folks has now reached the point of severe social unrest and economic and psychological harm. The above facts tell us that you must proceed aggressively to stop the harm to the economy, jobs and persons’ well-being.
The public understands what it must do: protect old people, social distance as a general rule, get everybody back to work, and by all means get the kids back in school now. We recommend starting summer school classes now so the schools can get used to the idea and procedures for re-opening classes at the usual time in September.
The CDC’s published school procedures appear overly strict. Why? Because young children have an infinitesimal chance of getting the virus and if so, it’s a mild reaction. If teachers over 64 years old feel unsafe, get substitute teachers. Children with underlying conditions like asthma don’t go to school. If parents are too afraid to send their children, then don’t. Checking temperatures daily takes five seconds per student.
The children require socialization as part of their upbringing, part of understanding who they are, and how to react to others and vice versa. The reports on virtual classes are fairly negative: lack of student attendance, poor concentration, no incentive since no grades or tests, cheating on assignments, etc. Virtual learning is not a short-term or long-term solution for K-12 students.
The massive lock-down, huge instant unemployment, uncertainty about the future, absolutely no religious attendance, media’s incessant scare tactics about the virus and lack of knowledge about the virus by people that we pay and trust to know about these things all add up to a severe social disruption.
Throw in the recent riots, looting and property destruction in the name of civil disobedience and we are moving toward social disease and chaos.
The cure for this condition is simple. Return to social norms: back to work, to school, and to churches, NOW.