What is Really Going on with Coronavirus?

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A Brief History

On March 12, 2020, people all over the globe are wondering about the true origins and the true implications of the “coronavirus” that (as we are told) originated in Wuhan, China.  Drastic measures being taken, including shutting down schools and colleges, draconian quarantines of cruise ships, cancellation public presidential campaign events, ending spectators at school athletic contests and the use of the National Guard to enforce a quarantine of New Rochelle, New York are all the types of measures we would expect in some sort of apocalyptic scenario, such as the Black Plague or the fictional “Captain Tripps” of the Stephen King tale, The Stand.  (See end of article for updates.)

Digging Deeper

Many colleges and universities in the United States have cancelled in class teaching and substituted online class time instead.  Students are told not to return from Spring Break.  All this sounds easy, until you realize the students have important personal effects in their dorm rooms and in some cases are being denied access to those rooms and their property even when no students or faculty at the school is known to have the virus!  Seriously, what is going on?  Professors that have never taught online are being tasked with immediately adapting their classes to an online format.  How does that work for classes that require labs?  What about professors that are not computer savvy?  What about the bajillions of students that are employed at the colleges in various jobs, such as team manager or in the library?

At the University of Dayton, in Ohio, students did not take kindly to the message that the campus was to be closed and students were not to return after Spring Break.  Classes were to resume online, and students were being denied access to their dorms.  When students began to gather in large numbers to protest the measures, the police were called and an escalating series of events led to the use of riot control measures such as using pepper balls fired at the students and clashes with the police!  The university issued the following press release:

“A large disorderly crowd that grew to more than 1,000 people gathered on Lowes Street starting around 11 p.m., throwing objects and bottles in the street and at police, and jumping on cars. Police gave verbal orders to disperse which were ignored. Police initially launched pepper balls, which contain powder with an irritant that disperses quickly, that were unsuccessful in reducing the crowd size. About 2:15 a.m., UD police and additional Dayton police again gave orders to disperse and moved to clear the street, which was effective in dispersing the crowd quickly. At least one person was reportedly injured by a thrown bottle.”

National Guard encircling an American city?  Riot police putting down a student protest?  Prohibiting public assembly?  Is a glorified form of the flu really worthy of such dystopian measures?  Or does the government know something they are not telling us? Can the government really tell people they cannot go to church?  On March 11, 2020, Governor DeWine of Ohio told the people of his state that large gatherings of people are now prohibited.  No spectator sports.  How many people make a “large gathering?”  Does this mean couples planning a wedding get their deposit back for dresses, flowers, halls, limos and whatever?  Or do the vendors eat the costs?  (My head is spinning, give me a minute…)

The public has been partially calmed by President Trump’s blasé attitude and his public comments about the coronavirus, or more technically COVID-19, including totally false statements about the availability of test kits and the lethality of the illness.  Other statements by government entities and health officials have been much more ominous, and the media reporting has done little to calm the public.  Bottled water and toilet paper have become hot commodities at stores as the public stocks up in anticipation of being forced to stay at home for an extended period of time.  Hand sanitizer and face masks have been hoarded by speculators and are being sold at outrageous mark up prices.  Governor Cuomo of New York is countering the hand sanitizer shortage with a novel plan:  Prisoners in New York prisons will manufacture the stuff for the people of New York!  What other panic generated shortages are next?  Gasoline?  Food?  Guns and ammunition?

For perspective on how bad coronavirus has been for the United States so far (as of March 11, 2020), there have been 1016 cases identified with 31 deaths attributed to the illness.  Compared to the number of Americans that have died so far in 2020 because of opioid overdose, probably about 10,000 or so based on statistics from recent years, the coronavirus problem would seem minor.  The NHTSA says about 29 Americans per day are killed by drunk drivers.  Compare that number to coronavirus victims so far.  The CDC reports as many as over 30 million Americans have gotten the flu so far this season (from November 2019 to February 2020) and 12,000 have died.  Wow!  Another 1000 or so people are murdered by the use of firearms every month in the United States.  Nearly double that number shoot themselves each month.  Coronavirus looks pretty mild by comparison!  So why the massive amount of attention and extreme measures taken???

With Italy declaring nearly a total “lockdown” on their country, or at least in large portions of Italy, it would seem no country would take such a measure without serious reason to do so.  The economic cost is staggering.  Chinese restaurants, movie theaters, public transit, airlines, cruise ships, amusement parks and some other industries have been devastated by official and unofficial discouragement from coming into contact with other people.  Will this situation get better, or worse?

On the surface of the coronavirus issue, the illness seems to be deadly mainly to the elderly and the infirm.  Mortality rates are around 3%, but much lower for healthy, young people, and much higher for older, ill people.  (President Trump said he “thinks” the “real” mortality rate is much lower, based on a “hunch” he has and has cited his own alleged “knack” for coronavirus as some sort of special, mystical understanding of the disease!  No kidding.)   We are NOT talking about Ebola or Black Plague.  Or are we?  What is the government not telling us?  Why must our response be so extreme?  The mixed messages sent by President Trump and his own administration are troubling.  When the government says, “Do not panic,” does that mean it IS time to panic?

Another factor involved in the coronavirus “pandemic” and scare are the conspiracy theories circulating about the disease.  Is the virus actually a bioweapon that escaped?  Is it a bioweapon that was used against Chinese protesters and got out of hand?  Is there a more sinister story behind the stuff?  Is it God’s retribution for __________ (fill in the blank)?  Does the Pope have coronavirus?  (He mysteriously got sick right after visiting with coronavirus victims.  What do you think?)  Why are so many of the Iranian government members victims of coronavirus?

The Stock Market has crashed, and the rest of 2020 is virtually guaranteed to be a lousy year for our economy, and the economy of the world.  International trade is suffering greatly.  Spot shortages of various items made in China, including hot commodities as athletic shoes and smart phones are going to hit us hard in the near future.  Combined with a rather severe oil war between Russia and Saudi Arabia that has rocked the oil industry, the American economy is being threatened by our own oil drilling industry, especially the “fracking” of shale oil, being shut down and perhaps forced into bankruptcy.  The possibility of a serious recession or depression is quite real.

We do not have the answers, and in fact, really do not even have any good guesses as to the real situation!  Do you?  On one hand, the whole scenario seems blown way out of proportion based on the information available to us, but we are deeply troubled by official actions of governments and industry that imply a much more serious threat is at work.  Does our government, and the governments of other countries really know what they are doing?  Maybe, but maybe not.  Will there be rioting in the street, such as the University of Dayton may have given us a preview of coming events?  Will the world be driven into a global depression?  Or will this all blow over like SARS did in 2002-2003?  Or will we have a Spanish Influenza scenario as we did in 1918-1920 when 27% of the population of the world came down with the disease, and something between 17 million and 50 million people died of it!  (Almost impossible to calculate the economic impact of such a disaster.)

In other words, What is really going on with Coronavirus?

Breaking News!  At 9 pm on March 11, 2020, President Trump addressed the nation regarding the coronavirus problem, and he actually admitted the problem is a “pandemic.”  He also announced a ban on travel to and from Europe for the next 30 days, the type of intercontinental quarantine we have not seen for 100 years!  The appearance of the President seemed weird, as did his manner of talking.  He seemed like a hostage releasing a prepared statement from the abductors.  If this presentation does not panic the public, nothing will!  The economic factors involved in the shut down of travel to Europe includes the trading of cargo and goods.  Vast amounts of money are going to be lost by numerous companies, possibly enough to drive many of them out of business.  Will mass bankruptcy put a strain on banks?  OMG!  We can hope this is all an overreaction, but…

More Breaking News!  On March 12, 2020, the governor of Ohio and his team including health officials addressed the people of the state, with some momentous information.  “Large” gatherings, either indoors or outdoors, are defined by 100 or more people.  K-12 schools will be placed on an extended “Spring Break” for 3 weeks starting March 16.  Scarier news than that, we were told probably 1% of Ohioans would now test positive for the COVID-19 virus, or in simple terms, 110,000 people!  When the virus peaks later in April or May, 70% of Ohioans are expected to test positive!  This latest information from the Federal and State governments sounds NOTHING like what President Trump was saying just 2 days ago!  If the mortality percentage is indeed in the area of 15% for the elderly and .5 to 1% for the young, the United States can expect as many as a few hundred thousand deaths from coronavirus.  Say it aint so, Joe!

Even more updates:  As things go from bad to worse, the numbers keep going up and predictions are getting ominous.  Hotel/Motels as makeshift hospitals?  Amusement parks and Broadway closed?  Some states have shut down bars and restaurants!  Store shelves are being stripped of essentials, something the author has personally witnessed.  Schools are closing virtually everywhere.  How many people are going to be laid off?  How many of them will become bankrupt?  How many businesses will fold?  Who will be responsible for rent and taxes if businesses such as restaurants and theaters are shut down?  The Federal Reserve cut interest rates to ZERO!  Now they have nowhere to go if things get worse!  This is scary stuff…

Update, March 19, 2020.  Many major school districts have already canceled the rest of the school year, and most colleges acknowledge the end of classroom time before Fall.  Government experts are telling us the pandemic will probably last 18 months, while Congress and the White House try to work on some sort of economic stimulus to keep the economy from collapsing.  Grocery and cleaning necessities are disappearing from store shelves, while guns and ammo are seeing record sales.  Cases of coronavirus are climbing incredibly fast, and the President is blaming the Media for the crisis!  Musicians, arena and stadium workers,barber shops and salons, gyms, bars, restaurants, bowling alleys, some malls, airlines, hotels and motels and now EVEN the Auto Industry is shutting down!  Suppoosedly the auto industry shut down is temporary, but who knows?  Those other businesses are probably down for weeks if not months.  Such an incredible number of people are now out of work or soon to be out of work, while others have seen their hours cut, we have to wonder, who will pay for relief measures?  For all the doubters and conspiracy theorists out there that were “sure” the whole coronavirus thing was a hoax, including YOU, Mr. President, you were WRONG!  the stock market has lost every bit of the gains since President Trump took office and has lost some more.  So much for our “best economy in history.”  Good luck to all of you and please follow the social distance and hygiene guidelines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and protect yourself and your family. 

Update March 22, 2020:  The Senate is supposedly near an agreement regarding an economic stimulus package that would pay each American that made a minimum amount of money a $1200 check and expand the unemployment insurance program.  Democrats have insisted on the unemployment insurance part, and on safeguards against corporate giveaways, while Republicans have likewise been on board with preventing corporate and rich people profiteering from the stimulus package.  We will have to wait to see the final details, perhaps as early as tomorrow.  Meanwhile, some major retailers of guns and ammunition in Ohio have shut their doors, despite no official order to do so.  If you are aware of such closings in other states, please let us know.  The closing of major sources of guns and ammo more or less lends credibility to the concept of being stocked up on guns and ammo BEFORE a crisis instead of waiting for something to happen.  (If of course, you believe that doing so is important.)  On this day Governor DeWine of Ohio announced that Ohio was joining the growing list of states on a state wide mandated lockdown, with people allowed out of their house or yard only for essential tasks.  Those essential tasks include seeking medical attention, buying necessities, and walks outdoors, though playgrounds are now closed.  Day care will remain open, but only with a maximum of 6 children per location.  Non-essential workers and businesses according to the Department of Homeland Security definition are shut down.  Ohio has also shut down abortions not necessary to save the life of the mother, a move seen as a political stunt by pro-choice advocates.

Update March 25, 2020: The following are calls Cincinnati Police will no longer respond to in person until further notice:

Breaking and entering reports where no suspect is present or there is no chance of property recovery.
Menacing reports that don’t involve domestic violence unless a suspect is expected to return.
Theft reports involving less than $5,000 of property where there is no possibility of an apprehension or property recovery, unless the stolen item is a firearm.
Criminal damaging and property damage.
Dog bites.
Lost property, including lost or stolen license plates.
Phone harassment.

We are guessing other major and minor police departments are coming up with similar policies.  Also, while some cities and states have suspended gun and ammunition sales, in Ohio gun stores have been designated among the essential businesses that are allowed to remain open during the lockdown, although some have closed anyway.

We are still waiting for the final passage of the economic stimulus plan.

Update, March 27,2020:  The stimulus package has passed the Senate and now has passed the House of Representatives.  How long it takes for money to reach citizens is not definite at this time.  Deaths in the US have now approached 1400.  The US now has more cases than ANY other country.  Sadly, Republican Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky tried to hold  things up by demanding a roll call vote, which would have unnecessarily delayed the certain passage of the stimulus and forced legislators to return to Washington for the vote.  Luckily, he was denied a second to his motion, as Republicans and Democrats are both furious with him!  President Trump responded to the stunt by Massie by calling him a “third rate Grandstander.”  Trump did sign the stimulus bill into law, but made sure to exclude any Democrats from being present at the signing.  Will he grow up, or what?

Update, March 28, 2020:  After President Trump publicly mused imposing a quarantine on parts of New York, Connecticut and New Jersey, severe backlash from Governor Cuomo of New York and others may have been responsible for the alternate action taken by the President, which was to have the CDC issue a travel advisory for those states.  As with many of the other recent “orders” and recommendations from the Federal, State, and Local governments, there are all sorts of exceptions for necessary people and activities.  Meanwhile, the US number of cases has soared to over 123,000, more than any other country, and our death toll due to coronavirus is now over 2100.  Industry is stepping up in a big way to manufacture respirators, surgical masks and ventilators, and many prominent celebrities are pouring donations into the effort to equip health care professionals with the tools they need.

Update, March 30, 2020:  President Trump announced “social distancing” has been extended until at least April 30, 2020.  He had previously publicly hoped things would be back to normal by Easter (April 12), though anyone with any brains whatsoever would have realized such a hope was ludicrously optimistic.  The death toll in the US is now over 2500 people, and the worldwide toll is now approaching 3/4 of a million cases.  Administration medical expert Dr. Anthony Fauci has stated publicly that estimates of deaths are between 100,000 and 200,000 for the US alone.  President Trump said if we keep the death toll in the US to “only” 100,000 we will have achieved a great victory over COVID-19.  New York City Police are going to start citing people with $500 tickets for violating social distance guidelines, per the mayor.  China remains duplicitous about the outbreak. Not only did our #1 trading partner lie about the start of coronavirus and not warn the rest of the world in a timely manner, they also promulgated a false narrative conspiracy theory that the United States created the coronavirus and is using it against China as a bioweapon.  Finally, they are currently lying their pants off about having turned the tide against the virus, and lying even more about the number of cases and deaths in the country.  How can we say that?  The number of burial urns to hold the cremated ashes of dead people has seen an incredible increase in numbers of the urns sent to Wuhan, the ground zero of the coronavirus outbreak.  Photos of 5000 urns being sent to funeral homes in Wuhan are in stark contrast to the “official” death toll of only 23 people in China over the past week!  The lying is blatant and obvious, and does the world a great disservice.  Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida continues to refuse to issue a lockdown order or “shelter in place” order for Florida, although he buys in to the theory that New Yorkers and others are flocking to Florida to infect his people.

Update, April 2, 2020: Florida finally is telling everyone to stay at home, starting tomorrow.  Only a few states are still holding out by not declaring a “shelter in place” policy and closing non-essential stores.  Yesterday the Federal Government declared gun and ammo stores were “essential,” though states and local authorities could still close them.  (So what is the point???)  US death toll as of 9am today is 5137!  On April 1, 2020, almost 1000 Americans died of coronavirus in a single day!  Each day has been progressively worse.  In California, a train engineer purposely ran his train off the tracks past  the end of the line stop in an effort to ram a hospital ship docked at the pier.  The train stopped 250 yards short of the ship.  The driver, seemingly nutty as a fruitcake, spouted some coronavirus conspiracy theories as his reason for doing “what had to be done.”  We fear this pandemic crisis will bring the mentally ill out in full force, and are dreading what else some deranged person might come up with.  Apparently, US intelligence agencies told the Administration that China had been lying about their numbers, both in new cases and in deaths due to coronavirus.  Meanwhile, President Trump refuses to acknowledge Chinese lying, saying, “I’m not a Chinese accountant.”  Ok…

Update, April 4, 2020:  The Governor of Georgia recently said he “just found out” coronavirus could be spread by people not showing any symptoms (asymptomatic), a fact that has been in the news for weeks.  He is lying or a moron.  Several states still resist lockdown orders, and the CDC has abruptly changed their guidance on wearing masks, and now recommends all people going into public areas wear some sort of face mask or face covering to help minimize spreading the virus.  (Wearing a mask does NOT protect the wearer.)  More celebrities have reported testing positive for coronavirus, and the April 3 death toll in the US hit a new record of 1328 victims in that single day. (Note: I used the number  I found at the time for April 3, though now I see on some sources they claim the death total in the US for that day was 1045.  There are some inconsistencies with sources.)  Today, April 4, the US death toll stands at 839 victims as of 3 pm (pro-rated to an extrapolated number of 1342, which would once again set a new record number of Americans that died of the coronavirus in a single day.  We are obviously still on the rise of cases and deaths in the US.  Unemployed people report horrific experiences online and on the telephone trying to register for unemployment, with hours of being on hold and (literally) thousands of phone calls resulting in busy signals, being cut off, or just failing to get through.

Update April 7, 2020:  After cautious optimism that New York deaths had plateaued, yesterday’s death toll in New York  was an all time high of 731.  Deaths in the US are now around 12,000 total, and yesterdays US death toll was 1255.  Today, at noon the US death total was about 1000, implying that today will probably be the deadliest day so far in the US in the pandemic.  Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the UK, is in the intensive care unit of his local hospital with a serious case of coronavirus.  The other big news of the day is the continued squabbling among Trump administration pandemic team members over whether or not to tout the possible use of anti-malaria drugs for coronavirus patients.  Finally, US citizens are being warned against scammers trying cheat people out of their pandemic stimulus  checks/deposits by asking for banking information over the telephone.  NEVER give your bank account number, passwords, or other financial information over the phone.

Update, April 8, 2020: More record highs for New York and United States deaths.  President Trump continues to barrage the airwaves with inaccurate, mistaken, or totally false statements.  On the brighter side, despite the increasing fatalities, actual scientists claim the social distancing and lockdown efforts across most of the US (several states refuse to join in) are definitely flattening the curve of new cases, thus preventing an even higher death rate.  The Pope says he thinks the coronavirus may be related to global warming.  (Note: He is also not a scientist.)

Update, April 14, 2020:  We have gone a while without updates because every day seems like “groundhog day,” or perhaps SSDD.  Supposedly the ‘curve” of new cases in the US is flattening, but deaths continue to pile up.  Today is a new record for deaths from coronavirus in Ohio, 50 victims, and another new record for corona deaths in the United States with 2216 deaths as of 6 pm EDT, the previous record being  2035 deaths in the US on April 10.  Since April 3, every single day has seen more than 1000 Americans die of coronavirus.  Meanwhile, President Trump reached a new low in throwing a tantrum at his daily corona briefing, playing a propaganda video in an absolutely bizarre attempt to paint his corona response as something good instead of disjointed and ineffective.  He lashed out at reporters, state governors, and repeated many falsehoods and flat out lies, all while making the bold assertion that only the President has the power to open or close the economy of the US and no state or local officials can maintain lockdown procedures if he (Trump) says not to.  Virtually all legal scholars say the President is sadly mistaken.  This is bizarre since Trump has repeatedly said governors and states are the ones responsible for answering the pandemic, not the Federal government or the President.  Meanwhile, New York, which is supposedly getting better, suffered at least 778 deaths from coronavirus today. (Final death count for the US on April 14 was 2405, by far the highest yet.)

Update, April 15, 2020: President Trump now says he is “giving governors the authority to reopen their states,” backing off from his assertion of being the one and only person with the authority to lock down or open up any state, The Donald has apparently been apprised by legal advisers that he is not omnipotent.  More troubling are the recent revelations about the stimulus package that gives away a veritable Santa’s bag of Christmas gifts to the rich people of the US, the first being a relaxing on the limit of real estate depreciation taken as a tax deduction, a mega benefit worth millions to someone like the Trumps and Jared Kushner, and a change in the tax laws that will net the richest 43,000 Americans an average of $1.7 million in the way pass-through businesses are taxed, as if people that make over a million dollars a year desperately need a “stimulus.”  The second scheme is set to cost US taxpayers $90 billion according to Forbes Head Topics!  (A $90 billion give away to the richest Americans.  Thanks a lot Republican Senate, NOT!)  While other scammers are out to cheat citizens out of their stimulus checks, and even more scammers are out to rip off government entities and hospitals with fake sales of protective gear such as face masks, our own GOVERNMENT is ripping off the masses for the benefit of the rich, taking advantage of this pandemic crisis.  Meanwhile, while US job losses and downturn in manufacturing are reaching record proportions, the fallout of the lack of factory work and people driving has resulted in a remarkable reduction in air pollution over much of the US, as much as 30% or more, depending on location.  Sadly, the death toll for Americans this day stands at 2336 at 5 pm EDT, quite possibly another sorry record in progress.  (Final death count for the day is 2618, indeed a new record.)  New York deaths are 752, remaining high even while the new cases count in New York seems to have flattened.

Update, April 21, 2020:  After looking like the death curve had flattened, today we have at least 2782 deaths from cornovirus in the US, with New York (as usual) taking top billing with 764 victims.  While protests mount about stopping the lockdowns and “reopening” the country, including encouragement from President Trump, it is apparent a certain class of morons, largely the same sort that are climate change deniers, are still pooh-poohing the threat from coronavirus.  Rush Limbaugh and Dr. Phil McGraw are among the prominent mouths with no brain that are comparing the death toll from the coronavirus pandemic to other normal fatal diseases and accidents/incidents that take American lives, but in an idiotic context that misses the point.  (Dr. Phil said 360,000 Americans drown in swimming pools each year.  The real number is around 4000.)  Sure, “only” 45,000+ Americans have died from coronavirus so far, roughly about the number that die from auto accidents each year, BUT THE CORONA DEATHS HAVE NOT COME OVER THE COURSE OF A YEAR, BUT RATHER ALMOST ALL WITHIN THE PAST 6 WEEKS!  (The first US death occurred on February 29, 2020.) In fact, lets look at the US death toll from coronavirus over the past 10 days: April 21-2782, April 20-1939, April 19-1561,  April 18-1867, April 17-2528, April 16-2176, April 15-2618, April 14-2553, April 13-1714, April 12-1715.   The is a total of 21,453 in the last 10 daysIt is likely no other cause of death has killed as many Americans in the past 10 days.  Normally, the leading cause of death for Americans is heart disease, which kills about 635,260 Americans annually, a rate of 1740 per day, while coronavirus has killed over 2100 Americans per day over the past 10 days.  See what we mean???  Given the proper perspective, the coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic is a big, big deal.  Please continue to wear a mask in public and observe social distancing, hand washing and general hygiene to prevent the spread of this scourge.  As an added benefit, these measures will also help reduce the spread of the normal influenza virus and the common cold, as well as other diseases.  Good luck and be safe!

Update, April 25, 2020:  On Thursday, April 23, President Trump set off a firestorm that continues to rage in the media by asking, in complete seriousness, if we could inject people with disinfectants (bleach, Lysol, alcohol etc) to kill the coronavirus inside victims.  He also advised his scientific/medical staff to look into trying to get sunlight into coronavirus patients to kill the virus, as they had just stated that the UV rays in sunlight can kill the virus.  Really.  No kidding.  The President of the United States seriously wondered out loud if we could inject sick people with disinfectants and somehow introduce sunlight inside the body of coronavirus patients.  The stunning stupidity of these suggestions both shocked and worried authorities who quickly advised strongly against ingesting any sort of disinfectant, either orally or by injection, as doing so could well kill the person subjected to such a stupid treatment.  While most people were stunned by the idiotic statements of President Trump, and also quite worried about the lack of very basic intelligence his statements implied, the White House staff scrambled to try to downplay those bizarre comments by the Boss, and Trump later lied, saying he was speaking “sarcastically.”  He was not speaking sarcastically.  This latest controversy comes in the wake of the main scientist in charge of developing a coronavirus vaccine being fired for having the temerity to question the advice of President Trump to use anti-malarial drugs (notably hydroxycholorquine) as coronavirus treatment.  In fact, recent studies have indicated no benefit from using those drugs and instead serious life threatening side effects instead, all in the face of the President saying regarding the use of those drugs, “What do you have to lose?”  Your life!  Meanwhile a couple states plan to start reopening various closed businesses, and the nation watches intently to see what happens.  Businesses planning to reopen seem to be taking precautions to avoid coronavirus infection from spreading and we eagerly await the results.  Hopefully reopening with caution will be successful.  We shall see.

Update, April 29, 2020: After 2 days in a row with barely over 1100 new deaths in the US, on April 28 the US experienced a massive jump in coronavirus deaths to over 2500.  Deaths in New Jersey remain particularly high (today as of 5 pm, NJ had 328 deaths to New York’s 330).  Ohio is suffering the worst day in coronavirus deaths so far, with a stunning 138 deaths reported by 5 pm, more than doubling the previous worst days.  These developments, coupled with some other moderately encouraging statistics, give us a mixed picture of whether or not the time is right to start easing up on the lockdown and strict social distancing.  Vice President Mike Pence visited the Mayo Clinic coronavirus ward and defied the rules by refusing to wear a face mask, although everyone else in his party and at the hospital were wearing masks.  Nice example, Mike. NOT!  Total US death toll during this coronavirus pandemic has now exceeded 61,000, far outstripping the total death count for the Vietnam War.

Update, May 5, 2020: We now have over 72,000 dead Americans from coronavirus, and at least half the people I see in stores are not wearing face masks.  Incredibly, not all store employees are wearing face masks either (which is mandatory in Ohio). President Trump has announced his intention of disbanding his Coronavirus Task Force on May 31.  Today 2350 American coronavirus deaths were reported, a sharp increase from the previous days toll of 1324.  Also, the CDC reported the predicted death toll to reach 3000 Americans daily around June 1, 2020.  And this is in spite of many states, even most states, starting to reopen many businesses.  Incidents of violence toward store employees and security personnel by citizens that have been told to wear a mask are being reported all over.  numerous businesses are beginning to report going bankrupt and permanently closing down, especially restaurants.  We still do not even know if a person that recovers from coronavirus is then immune, which is essential to know if a vaccine is to ever work.  The death toll in the United States for the month of April, 2020 only was 58,705, almost exactly the total American dead in the Vietnam War, and that is in just one month!  The Trump administration is making accusations about Chinese cover ups hurting the US and world response to the pandemic, and saying that the virus came from the Wuhan China lab, not from the so called “wet markets.”  No proof has been offered, but seriously, is it a coincidence that a damn biological lab that happens to study coronaviruses that come from bats just happens to be the city where the coronavirus originated?

Update, May 6, 2020: President Trump has rescinded his decision to disband the coronavirus task force on Memorial Day and now says it will stay intact “indefinitely.”  As of 5:20 pm EST, the US has over 1800 new coronavirus deaths and Ohio has 89 so far today, showing a trend of alarming increase in deaths in the Buckeye State.  New Jersey is once again outstripping neighbor New York in coronavirus deaths today, another disturbing trend.  Public backlash against staying home, closed businesses and wearing face masks continues to be a major problem for authorities trying to contain the virus.

Update, May 14, 2020: This will be the last update for a while.  Same old story about people getting into fights over being told to wear a face mask at a public place. Protests against stay at home/close business orders continue, President Trump continues to falsely blame the previous administration, no real info about China germ lab involvement in release of coronavirus, and some states are tentatively reopening, at least in part.  There will be about a 2 week delay in finding out whether or not the partial re-openings of states will result in a coronavirus spike.  Most disturbingly, doctors are finding out children with coronavirus are displaying weird and serious symptoms related to various side effects from the virus, some of which are deadly.  One such symptom is an inflammation of the lining of blood vessels that can result in severe clotting, amputations or death.  Dr. Bright, the head of the coronavirus vaccine project that was fired by President Trump because the doctor did not go along with the enthusiasm for using malaria drugs to fight coronavirus (those drugs have proven to be more dangerous than not taking them), testified before the House of Representatives today.  His testimony was highly critical of the Trump Administration’s coronavirus program (or lack thereof) while the President predictably disparaged Dr. Bright via Twitter.  Deaths in the US have slowed to less than 2000 per day (mostly), but total deaths are now over 85,000 and a death toll of around 147,000 is predicted by August of 2020.

Question for students (and subscribers): Is the world overreacting to coronavirus?  Please let us know in the comments section below this article.

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Historical Evidence

For more information, please see…

Bell, David. When SHTF – CoronaVirus Outbreak Survival Guide: How to survive the 2020 COVID-19 / SARS-CoV Outbreak. Amazon, 2020.

Shors, Teri. Understanding Viruses.  Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2016.

The featured image in this article, a photograph by zhizhou deng of a street in Guangzhou City, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.  This image was originally posted to Flickr by Zhizhou Deng at https://flickr.com/photos/186588517@N05/49477439332. It was reviewed on  by FlickreviewR 2 and was confirmed to be licensed under the terms of the cc-by-2.0.


About Author

Major Dan

Major Dan is a retired veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He served during the Cold War and has traveled to many countries around the world. Prior to his military service, he graduated from Cleveland State University, having majored in sociology. Following his military service, he worked as a police officer eventually earning the rank of captain prior to his retirement.