COVID-19 Death Count Mounting
As of 7.17.2020 there were 3,555,877 reported cases and 137,864 deaths from COVID-19. Despite all these cases and deaths, I still hear debates in the streets about every aspect of the pandemic that you can think of. Was it manufactured in a lab? Was it purposely released in Black communities? Are the numbers real or inflated? Are Black people really getting it? Will summer burn the virus out of existence?
These are just a few of the things being discussed, dissected, and debated, three and half months after the U.S. shut down due to this treacherous virus. Some people feel this is more of a fairy tale, a conspiracy manufactured for whatever reason. Others believe it is real, a nightmare. What do you believe?
COVID-19 Cloaked in Politics
One thing we can all agree on is that this pandemic certainly has taken on a political cloak. There are accusations that non-compliance or compliance to various aspects of this pandemic can be attributable to the political affiliation of the states’ governor. We have a President who says his mental state and IQ are off the chart, so he doesn’t need to heed the recommendations of Dr. Fauci, a credible physician.
In fact, the President doesn’t have to follow the recommendations of any scientist. He dictates that his doctor prescribe medication that has not been proven to work on this virus. The CDC, is under the thumb of the President and has frequently had to water down their recommendations due to presidential dissatisfaction. He refuses to wear a mask most of the time or practice social distancing despite the fact that people in his circle have tested positive.
What about the Republican Governor in Georgia who is suing Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. This powerful Black woman is following health officials recommendations related to wearing masks.
“[It is] quite interesting” that while cities such as Savannah and Athens issued mask mandates before Atlanta, the Governor had not acted against municipal mask ordinances until it was noticed that the President violated the city mask requirement during a visit to Hartsfield- Jackson Airport…”
“Then suddenly the Governor has taken a formal position on masks in the state of Georgia.”
Mayor Lance Bottoms
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms is governing a city that is disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 virus. It is her duty and responsibility to enact laws to save her citizens. She would know better than anyone if her people have shown that they will voluntarily comply with mask guidelines. If they can‘t comply, then for the good of all, masks need to be mandated! Is the governor trying to squelch her for political or racist reasons? You be the judge.
Summertime and COVID-19 is Still Kicking
Some non-scientist, including the President had predicted that summer’s hot weather would kill this virus. Well we know that hasn’t happened. Some of the hottest states – Florida, Texas, California, and Arizona are surging with COVID-19 cases right now. This contention might have come from reports that in the lab, in a petri dish, this virus doesn’t survive well at higher temperatures. Well this is real life, not a petri dish and people in those hot states are being infected. I don’t know where the President is getting his information, but perhaps he’s been in the basement tweeting while protecting himself and he’s not hearing the news reports.
What Should you Believe?
It is true that we the public, don’t always know what to believe and there are things happening behind the scenes. Even the experts are debating over whether the reported COVID-19 numbers are correct. They can’t agree whether the numbers are over or underreported. So, I understand why people would be suspicious or skeptical.
I remember hearing about an experiment that happened in the 1950’s where the U.S. Navy, as part of “Operation Sea Spray” released Serratia marcescens on the coast of San Francisco. The feeling was that it was a harmless infectious agent that didn’t infect humans. This did not prove to be accurate. So, I understand! But, from what I have witnessed, COVID-19 is out there wreaking havoc.
COVID-19 is REAL
People are entitled to their opinions and beliefs. This post is not about changing anyone’s mind. It is just about telling what I have witnessed. Whether this virus was manufactured or came from a bat, at this point it does not matter. It is here and it is real.
Have you had friends, relatives, co-workers infected or even die?
I have known people that died and their cause of death was no mystery. It was COVID-19. I have taken care of patients that were not sick enough to go to the hospital but were very ill. They reported that they have never experienced an illness like this before. Some I spoke with frequently because I was so concerned about them. They said that the virus just took them over, it was even hard to articulate how or what they felt. The sicker ones often described a breathlessness, the sensation of not being able to get enough air, but no shortness of breath. I breathed a sigh of relief when these patients finally recovered after weeks and weeks. These were real live patients, not storybook characters.
Don’t get Faked out by Fake News
Social media has really expanded our ability to rapidly acquire information about an assortment of news and happenings. This includes local as well as worldwide information. COVID-19 has provided a bounty of topics to fill the social media spaces. However, it has also led to the infodemic of fake news. Fake news tends to be believable on the surface, but is usually super sensational, and no credible source is ever found. Unfortunately, the U.S. President is a frequent contributor to this infodemic. Can someone crash his Twitter account?
“Fake news spreads farther and more easily than this virus [COVID-19], and is just as dangerous.”
Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director General
Social media companies have had a lackluster performance when it comes to identifying and dealing with fake news. So you have to monitor it yourself. This article provides tips to determine if the news is fake. It is important to be able to discern truth from fiction in this pandemic.
Virus Indiscriminately Infecting
I also have heard from friends about relatives, acquaintances and associates that met untimely deaths from COVID-19. I have recently seen a number of older people calling in frantic because their younger relatives, who thought they were fine, are now reporting being COVID-19 positive. After the family outing, they started having symptoms and tested positive. They had no symptoms at the time of the contact. That is how this virus works. It is like a thief in the night. These patients share, that restrictions had been lifted and folks wanted to be free. They felt like COVID-19 was not still lurking. Invariably these people reported get-togethers where masks and social distancing were absent.
The news is replete with real cases, of a variety of people being infected both everyday people and the famous. There is Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and family that reported being positive for COVID-19 last week. Some have questioned if this is real, but I think she has a whole lot more to do than fabricate disease. Did you hear the case that occurred in San Antonio? A 30 year old party goer decided that he would play a little COVID-19 Russian Roulette. He went to party just to see if the virus was real, well on his death bed he said he thought it was a hoax, but he was wrong. SAD. Like I’ve said before, this virus doesn’t play!
Do you Want to Stay Safe?
People have to judge for themselves whether this pandemic is real or just a fairy tale. Let’s get real. Acting like it is a fairy tale will not save you. You should take measures to be safe until there is a vaccine or a cure. We are more likely to get a vaccine before a cure but either one may not happen.
Here is what I would suggest if you want to stay safe:
- Listen to credible news sources. Social media is reviewing some posts because they know these platforms can be easy prey for fake news spreaders, but could be doing better. Even though CDC has limitations, it is a credible source. There are other credible news source like New York Times, Boston Globe, and others.
- Check out https://www.factcheck.org/fake-news/ to root out false information about the pandemic.
- Cover any coughs or sneezes. This should have been the case even before COVID-19 hit.
- Continue practicing social distancing – stay 6 feet or more away from others, even when wearing a mask. Remember certain activities like singing, yelling, may allow COVID-19 droplets to travel even further.
- Wear a mask. This is still a great way to prevent spread when coupled with the other measures that I mention. I personally have had to wear a mask for over 8 hours at work. At first it was a bit difficult, but now it is just like wearing earrings. I do take a couple of brief breaks with the mask off when no one is around.
- Handwashing- not just a quick swish, but should be 20 seconds of a good wash of both hands.
Let me know what you think. I would love some opinions on this topic.