Deconstructing Covid Fear
There is a huge disconnect between the reality of Covid, and our beliefs about it. We can’t just comply in order to “get along, and not make other people uncomfortable.” The stakes are too high.
I’m going to reflect on the recurring feeling I have of impending doom…Right now I’m scared…I’m speaking today not…only as your CDC Director, but as a wife, as a mother, as a daughter to ask you to just please hold on a little while longer. I so badly want to be done. I know you all so badly want to be done. We are almost there, but not quite yet, and so I’m asking you to just hold on a little longer to get vaccinated when you can so that all of those people that we all love will still be here when this pandemic ends.
-CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, March 29, 2021
We hope that we don’t have to keep coming back every eight months to a year or so to get people boosts, it is conceivable that that might be the case.
-Dr. Anthony Fauci, Morning Joe on MSNBC September 28, 2021
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky insisted back in March that she “so badly wants to be done” with the pandemic. Wouldn’t we all love to see her walk that walk, because all of her talk suggests otherwise. The same goes for Chief Medical Advisor to the President Dr. Anthony Fauci, and a host of others. They hold the carrot in front of our masked faces, and we submissively keep walking toward it, with the hope that if we’re just good enough, the pandemic will end.
In football, moving the goal posts is entirely against the rules, not to mention impractical. But it appears to be the main point of the game for those in charge of the pandemic response. Fear has been a consistent factor in the government and public health messaging about COVID-19. In addition to fear of the disease, fear of being shamed and ostracized if you don’t obediently go along with the official narrative, has been relentless.
There is a huge disconnect between the reality of Covid, and our beliefs about it. For example, of those who contract Covid, just 1.6% of unvaccinated and 0.2% of vaccinated people end up in the hospital. Yet a recent Gallup poll of 3,000 U.S. adults found that 92% overstated the risk that unvaccinated people will be hospitalized, and 62% overstated the risk for vaccinated people. https://news.gallup.com/opinion/gallup/354938/adults-estimates-covid-hospitalization-risk.aspx
Our failure to understand the actual risks of Covid, how it is spread, what prevents it, and how to treat it, reflects a huge failure on the part of many public health, government, and media sources to honestly convey information about the pandemic.
On September 28, 2021 Utah Senator Mike Lee presented several bills to Congress, designed to counter Pres. Biden’s recent draconian vaccine mandates. The bills would allow for vaccine exemptions based on personal beliefs or health concerns, would prevent the military and federal government from mandating vaccinations, and provide full disclosure of possible side-effects caused by COVID-19 vaccines. Sen. Lee’s concern is not with the Covid vaccines, which he supports, but with the vaccine mandates.
In objecting to the bills, Senator Patty Murray of the State of Washington repeated much of the official mantra. Her remarks emphasize the death toll, the contagious nature of Covid, the idea that variants are spreading because of the unvaccinated, and the fear the pandemic is causing. She accuses those who question the Covid mandates of being selfish (because they’re apparently not “doing the right thing”), and says those people “create political division,” are prolonging the crisis, and causing people to die.
Sen. Murray is in the fear camp. There is much that could be said about her remarks, but let’s tackle nine of her points and see if we can deconstruct some COVID-19 fear.
1) The “high” death toll of COVID-19:
As of October 2, 2021, Johns Hopkins shows that 700,329 people have died of COVID-19 in the U.S., and that 4,793,858 people have died of Covid worldwide (including the U.S. deaths).
It’s important not to just look at numbers. We must remember that every Covid death brings sadness, and is often a tragedy, for those who have lost loved ones. But it is essential that we put Covid deaths in perspective with other deaths, and other times, in order to understand its true impact.
Although we’ve labeled Ebola, MERS, the first SARS, and the swine flu as pandemics, COVID-19 is the first truly worldwide pandemic we have had since the Spanish flu of 1918.
Following is a comparison of deaths due to the Spanish flu of 1918 to COVID-19 deaths:
Deaths due to Spanish flu 1918 Deaths due to COVID-19 as of 10-02-21
U.S. 675,000 U.S. 700,329
World 50,000,000 World 4,793,858
Now let's look at the Spanish flu in today's population numbers:
Deaths from Spanish flu 1918 What those deaths would be in 2021
U.S. (pop. 105 mill) 675,000 U.S. (pop. 330 mill) 2.12 mill deaths
World (pop. 1.8 bill) 50,000,000 World (pop. 7.75 bill) 216 mill deaths
The Spanish flu targeted those under age 5, 20-40 years old, and 65 years and older, and there were no antibiotics or treatments for it, yet we didn’t shut down the world. COVID-19 is not on par with the Spanish flu.
Here are some telling aspects of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S.:
COVID-19 was responsible for just 12% of all deaths in the U.S. from January 1, 2020 to the present. This means 88% of all deaths in the U.S. during this time were due to other causes.
77% of all Covid deaths in the U.S have been in the 65+ age group, with the largest number in the 85+ age group. https://data.cdc.gov/NCHS/Provisional-COVID-19-Deaths-by-Sex-and-Age/9bhg-hcku
The recovery rate for those who contract COVID-19 is 99.98%.
2) We are fighting a highly contagious virus:
The flu and the common cold are highly contagious viruses. That does not mean they are highly serious for the majority of people. As countries like Norway and Sweden have declared, while recently removing almost all COVID-19 restrictions, Covid is no longer an emergency. We must learn to live with Covid the way we do with other seasonal viruses. The fact that the virus spreads is not the point; the relevant point is the severity of symptoms.
3) If people don’t get vaccinated, variants will spread:
Vaccination does not prevent the spread of COVID-19. This has been declared by Pres. Biden, CDC Director Walensky, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, among others. Although vaccination appears to reduce the severity of Covid illness, variants develop regardless of vaccination. Coronaviruses are known to mutate rapidly. That’s why we’ve never been able to eradicate the common cold, which is caused by a coronavirus.
Influenza, also an airborne virus that mutates rapidly, returns every year. The flu shot is based on the influenza strain from the previous year, and is 30-50% effective, depending on the year. The swine flu of 2009 was caused by a “descendent” of the H1N1 virus that caused the Spanish flu in 1918. Coronaviruses and influenza viruses mutate and return seasonally.
4) Everyone has to get vaccinated so our economy can recover:
Our economy has been hurt, not by the Covid virus, but by the continual restrictions on normal commerce and behavior that have been imposed throughout the Covid response. For example, there is a record-breaking backlog in the global supply chain. Ordinarily ports in California would have one cargo ship waiting to unload, but currently at two ports in Los Angeles, there are 62 cargo ships waiting to unload goods. The backlog is due to labor shortages and COVID-19 precautions. Many businesses are lobbying for looser Covid protocols at ports.
An examination of the American Association of Port Authorities’ protocols shows they are still focused on PPE, social distancing, modified work schedules, restricted access to ports, and obsessive sanitizing. They have protocols based on the pandemic in March 2020, when we knew nothing about it, that are outdated, unnecessary, and hampering the economy. The disrupted supply chain is leading to a delay in receipt of ordered items, and an increase in consumer prices. These types of outdated Covid protocols, that hamper commerce and interfere with employment, can be seen everywhere.
5) Getting people vaccinated will stop COVID-19:
We cannot stop COVID-19; it has spread too far and infected too many people. In January 2021, Nature magazine asked more than 100 virologists, infectious-disease researchers, and immunologists if they believe that SARS-CoV-2 can be eradicated. “Almost 90% of respondents answered that the virus will become endemic, meaning that it will continue to circulate in pockets of the global population for years to come.” The expectation is that with more people having immunity, due to prior exposure through infection or vaccination, COVID-19 will manifest more like a cold or mild flu for most. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-00396-2
The Mayo Clinic reports that as of October 2, 2021, over 60% of the eligible U.S. population is fully vaccinated. Millions of others have recovered from Covid infection. https://www.mayoclinic.org/coronavirus-covid-19/vaccine-tracker
6) Immunization requirements are not new in this country:
Maybe not, but Vaccine Passports are an entirely different issue. (See my post of 9-24-21 “It’s Not the Vaccine; It’s the Mandates”)
7) There are already exemptions for religious and medical reasons:
Ask NBA star Patrick Wiggins, people in the military, airline pilots, educators, police officers, and all those doctors and nurses who were just fired in New York how those “exemptions for religious and medical reasons” are working out. The idea of vaccine mandate exemptions are a distraction from the real issue, which is: It's a violation of individual rights guaranteed by the Constitution, to force people to receive an unwanted medical treatment, or provide medical information to others, in order to participate in daily life.
8) COVID-19 deaths are unnecessary and preventable, if people would just behave:
Yes, all these COVID-19 deaths were unnecessary and preventable, if the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) hadn’t hid the fact of the virus until the international community was infected. Once they couldn’t hide the reality of the virus, the CCP lied about how Covid is spread. The COVID-19 pandemic was an attack by the Chinese Communist Party on all the other countries in the world.
Attributing the spread of COVID-19 to regular citizens not being clean, careful, or considerate of others, has been an emotionally abusive travesty, unsupported by data. The continual blame and shame on the heads of people who have questioned the efficacy of face masks, lockdowns and restrictions, and who have legitimate reservations about the vaccines, is just wrong.
If you want to talk about “unnecessary and preventable deaths,” think about the thousands of people who could have been kept from severe illness, hospitalization, and maybe even death, if we had focused on treatment of Covid, instead of on vaccines. Throughout the pandemic doctors who have repurposed existing drugs as treatment for Covid have been ostracized, silenced, and even disciplined. The FDA will not approve emergency use authorization for a vaccine if there is an effective treatment for the disease. Literally hundreds of thousands have been allowed to suffer and die, instead of utilizing available effective treatments, because of the money, power, and reputation tied up in the official Covid response, and the Covid vaccines.
9) The unvaccinated are prolonging the crisis:
We’ll finish for today with this one. The only thing prolonging the “crisis” of the COVID-19 pandemic, is the political machine that pumps out fear and fails to provide perspective. The machine pushing the pandemic is full of power-grabbing government and public health leaders who enjoy controlling others. They have little or no regard for the people they say they are trying to keep “Safe.”
Some of our government leaders and public health professionals may be deceived, and think they are doing the right thing. Many of our fellow citizens are genuinely afraid. But the truth of the matter is, we could have sympathy for people who were afraid a year ago, but to be afraid now is to be uninformed.
What’s at stake now, and actually has been from almost the beginning of the pandemic, is our freedom and our civil liberties. That’s why we can’t just comply in order to “get along, and not make other people uncomfortable.” The stakes are too high.