...lower back was giving me trouble this past week, so last night I took a muscle relaxer.
I'm going to steal bits of Denis Leary's rant about NyQuil here. The thing should say, "Don't make any fuckin' plans." It's like I took it and bam I'm in a coma. Claus von Bulow was standing over me saying, "Fungus, wake up! There's something the matter with Sunny!" Say goodbye to your family, friend, and pets, and say hello to Claus!
I don't remember what time it was when I went to bed last night. After midnight. Woke up this morning, had a PBJ and surfed a bit, then went back to bed. I think that I got up again later on, only to return to bed again, but I don't really remember; what I do remember is at one point realizing that I had briefly fallen asleep at my desk, opening my eyes, and dreaming a bird flying across the background scene on my monitor.
The crap hit me like a freight train and didn't bother to stop. WTF.
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The review of the COVID-19 mortalities is starting and it looks good. Good, that is, if you're not afflicted with an identified co-morbidity.
From NYC, 7,890 deaths. Out of them, 42 of those deaths had no co-morbidities--diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, cancer--basically anything that would make getting the flu a dangerous proposition. Of the rest of the deaths, approximately 2,000 of them haven't been thoroughly reviewed yet, so the numbers will change a little. But even from here it's obvious how 42 deaths compare to 5,891. And this is out of tested and known cases; these are people who have definitely died because they caught coronavirus, after all.
I've been saying it all along, citing the exact same statistic that I heard at the beginning of all this: 80% of the people who catch the thing don't even know they have it because they never show any symptoms. Only 20% of the people who get it show symptoms. That's one of the problems with it, one of the reasons it spreads so easily.
Spain has one of the strictest lockdowns in the world yet their mortality rate is 10%.
So there are three facts we need to bear in mind when making policy about this thing.
1) The number of infected is probably at least forty times higher than we realize. Most of the people--81%--who catch it either experience mild, or no, symptoms and have not been tested for it as a result.
2) The fatality rate among the tested and severely ill population approximates that of the flu.
3) We have a treatment regimen with enough anecdotal evidence for its efficacy that we should be using it wholesale, but particularly in the severe cases.
All this says to me that the current lockdown and shelter-in-place stuff is actually counterproductive. We need herd immunity to the thing, and "flattening the curve" merely extends the time it takes for us to get there. We don't need to be manufacturing ventilators; we need to be manufacturing hydroxychloroquine.
The worst part about this is that regardless of the precautions we take, we simply cannot afford to keep everyone in lockdown until we have a vaccine for the thing. We may never have one; current popular thought says a vaccine is a minimum of 18 months from general availability but that's only if the ones in development now actually work. We cannot afford to shut down our economy for a year and a half; I strongly suspect we can't afford to have shut it down even for as long as we already have.
The left starts to scream "You just want people to die!" when anyone advocates this position, because of course that's exactly right: people who have concerns about the economic impact of a dubious reaction to a disease are rubbing their hands together and cackling gleefully and saying, "Man, how many people can we kill today?" The left always accuses those who oppose it of not caring about people but that's mere projection. What the left wants in this case is for people in free, capitalist countries to get used to draconian government control, rationing, and relying on government handouts. They think that if they can force as many Americans as possible out of work with a manufactured economic depression, it will help them defeat Donald Trump in November, so they'll do it without a moment's thought for the people who will actually suffer.
The problem is, this thing is a disease, and most people don't understand what medical care is. Medical care is not the doctor fixing things for you. When you have an infection, your doctor doesn't prescribe antibiotics because the antibiotics will cure you. What the antibiotics do is to weaken the bacteria, to slow their rate of reproduction to a rate your immune system can handle. The antibiotics contain chemicals which are fatal to bacteria, but in the absence of an immune system they wouldn't do very much good. The antibiotics are not universally effective, even among bacteria of the same strain--some will have more resistance to it than others--which is why you need to take the entire course and not stop after you start feeling better. But by killing the individual bacteria which are most susceptible to the antibiotic, it frees your immune system to clean up the more resistant ones.
Vaccinations and inoculations are virtually the same. They don't cure you of the disease; in fact they give you a low-level infection in order for your body to develop its own immunity to it. That way, when live, potent virus enters your body, your immune system already knows how to handle it. Absent that pre-exposure, your body needs to figure out how to fight the thing, and you could die before that happens.
What's the remedy for a broken bone? Immobilize it so it heals correctly. What do they do when you get cancer? Chemotherapy to weaken the cancer cells so your body can clean them up. (Removal of the affected tissue, radiation, etc.)
We have a vast pharmacopeum of drugs which help your body to work right, but we don't have any cures that fix things permenently. Medicine is almost entirely about helping the patient's body to recover from whatever injury or malady exists in him and it relies on the healing ability of the human body.
* * *
By now you've probably seen the story about the git who wanted to return $10,000 worth of toilet paper to the supermarket, only the manager said "No".
I think there's four levels of buying supplies in this kind of situation.
1) I'm buying what I know I need.
2) I'd better buy a little extra. (This is where I am.)
3) Holy shit its a disaster I need to buy five--no, ten!--times as much!
4) I'm going to CORNER THE MARKET
People who went to #4 are delusional, regardless of what they hoarded--face masks, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, whatever. In this situation, we've seen what happens to them, and usually it ends up being, "Hope you like your lifetime supply of X, pal."
I mean, the hand sanitizer guys--I forget what they spent, something like $17,000 on buying up all the hand sanitizer for miles around...only to be found out and end up sitting on whole cases of the stuff. They won't make their money back on it; they can't return it.
Ditto for this toilet paper goon. WTF, dude, not only did you not make back anything on your "investment" but now you're stuck with enough toilet paper to stock a small town and you made it impossible for anyone else to buy what they need during a shortage which was caused primarily by asshats like you.
All these morons--perhaps when the crisis is over they can sell their excess inventory on eBay or something and get back some of their money, but for the time being they're stuck with it.
I think that's just. Stores actually do not have to accept returns; generally they do it out of courtesy and for good customer relations. And then you also need to look at logistics: the store has restocked itself since Captain Clean Anus bought up all the toilet paper, and taking it back would cause an overstock condition. Not to mention that giving him $10,000 in refunds would probably wipe out their profits for a week.
No, there's nothing but downside here for the store. Heh. Let him enjoy his mountain of toilet paper.
* * *
Anyway, it's Saturday, and I spent most of it asleep, and I can't quite figure out how I feel about that.