The truth is that the Chinese flu gun isn't loaded and the progressives using it to enforce compliance should be laughed off stage.
The headline "Meth Lab explosion adds two to Corona Death Toll" exaggerates, but there's more than a kernel of truth to it. The truth is that none of the numbers on offer from anybody can be trusted, the case stories on offer from the media appear hand picked to evoke a fear response, and acting on disinformation is generally worse than not acting at all.
Getting trustworthy information about the pandemic is a mug's game: pick just about any widely held opinion and you can find a credible source offering solid looking numbers in support. Meanwhile the reality is that money, politics, haste, and a lack of adult supervision on reporting policies have polluted so many primary sources for information on everything related to this virus that there's no good way to know what you can trust and what you can't.
Several things are, however, pretty much clear enough to be considered, if not known to be true, then at least highly probable:
- from the beginning the virus has been extremely dangerous to people with significant co-morbidities including the simple physiological weaknesses that go with advanced age.
Notice, however, that not all co-morbidities are obvious: it isn't just the 400 pound diabetics or the super seniors; it's the kid who doesn't know he's down to half his normal lung capacity, the functioning addict whose apparent normalcy hides incipient organ failure, and the trendee whose lifestyle and/or dietary choices have slowly starved her body of the resources needed to shrug off a virus.
- almost nobody else is significantly affected.
There's an easy prediction here: one that will let you compare the relative effects of the virus and the political reaction to it. Take the national total morbidity (death from all causes) for the country of your choice for a period ending about three months before you do this (because the numbers are often revised a month or two after they're issued). Then take the average for the same period from the same source for something like the last ten years and look at the net difference. That difference will be due to population growth, demographic change (particularly population aging) and the difference in mortality due to seasonal flus versus the covid-19 virus. Do the comparison and you can expect to see two things: first, excess deaths during the height of the current pandemic won't approach those of a bad flu year, and second, you'll see a clear positive relationship between dependence on socialized medicine and a ramp up in death rates in the months following the pandemic. The reason for both is brutally clear: the virus largely kills people who are within months of death from other causes, and the partial suspension of care during the pandemic combines with the waiting lists socialized medicine relies on the ration services to further shorten the life expectancies of many.
Beyond that, the media tends to present the pandemic as so far beyond human control that it would take a world leader with the progressive stature of a Cuomo to fight it, but this is nonsense - and not because progressive government's stupidities and its leadership's lack of any moral center have led to tens of thousands of premature deaths, but because the pandemic has led to enormous technical and commercial progress whose net effect will be to reduce the next comparable episode to a mere blip most people won't even notice. For example:
- sewage testing technologies now available in relatively crude form but being rapidly improved offer a cheap, easy to implement, socially invisible, and very fast method of spotting and tracking viral outbreaks anywhere there are population centers tied to modern sewer systems.
Barring Biden et al, you can expect that most cities and every major convention center in the United States will have automated sewage testing in place by the end of 2021.
- Human-safe UV lights that deactivate almost all viral particles are available now, but are very expensive. Thus the people working on making these cheap enough and safe enough to install in public places like airplanes, schools, churches, sports stadia, and malls are making an essential component for a national bio-defense that will stop future pandemics of this kind dead in their tracks.
Barring Biden et al, you can expect the public health response to reverse its advice once these lights are widely installed: bad news for Amazon, good news for Malls because they'll be asking you to join crowds in public places.
- there are many very smart, very qualified, people working on understanding the processes through which this type of virus kills its hosts. Once those processes are understood, that knowledge can be applied to evaluate possible prophylactics and treatments quickly, efficiently, and accurately.
Experience shows that HCQ works and there's a widespread community of believers in natural vitamin D, but in neither case are the mechanisms understood. Develop a clear theoretical understanding of how these things work, however, and people will be able to rationally accept or reject the claims being made for these and other possible prophylactics.
- the research that led to this virus was originally justified as a key step toward finding a way to construct a viable vaccine against any viral target directly from the genome for that target. That research has been "back burnered" since about 2014 (at least in the United States) but is now front and center in grant applications from labs around the world - and should, other things being equal and politics not getting in the way, eventually provide this capability and so make local lockdowns a realistic, but very short term, response to a real pandemic.
So what do we know pretty much for sure?
- that if you're already well on your way to death, this virus can push over you over the edge. In response your personal policy should be to avoid exposing grandma to the virus - and to push for public policies protecting the old and and the weak.
- that you can't believe a word the major media offers on this mess. They seem to see prolonging the shutdown and doubling down on panic as their best path toward getting Mr. Trump out - and that perception colors everything they say and do. Read the New York Times or watch CNN and you'll learn that you can't go to a church to worship with your fellow Christians because your irresponsible actions will lead to mass death - but that going to a Mosque is fine, and going along with the mob to burn down or a deface a church or synagogue will qualify you for a tenured position at a major university.
In response your personal policy should be to tell the left and the public officials they've suborned to either live it and prove it, or shove it.
- if you're normal, healthy, and can to go to work; you should.
- right now it's widespread public health practice to issue almost daily counts of new cases. The quality of the input numbers and their applicability vary widely but, so far, none have demonstrated validity and the predictions based on models calibrated using those numbers have been out by factors ranging from ten to over one hundred.
On a personal basis you should ignore all of it while encouraging any politicians or functionaries you encounter to shut up until they can provide trustworthy, genuinely applicable, information.
Bottom line: the truth is that we don't know. On almost any issue relating to covid-19 that's the only justifiable answer: "we don't know." On the other hand it's fairly obvious that the sky isn't falling, that the scare mongers are more full of it than the outhouses at a free beer and sausage festival, and that almost everything covid is getting colored by money, politics, ego, and the near complete inability of experts to admit error.
So what to do? as a practical matter the only thing we can do is ignore the fascists waving wolves to force compliance and try to live as normally as possible - while demanding more reliable information.