Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Open Up Rural America, NOW!

First, thank you so much to all of the new readers that joined us for the coverage of the weekend storms. Hope you've enjoyed yourself and will stick around. For those who are new, you might not be award that I have been making several points about the coronavirus (CV) lockdowns.


  • Lockdowns were smart when the 'experts' thought there was the potential for two million deaths.
  • With the above, "flattening the curve" (delaying the deluge of patients until hospitals and public health officials could prepare) was necessary and, to accomplish that, the lockdowns were necessary. Remember: the purpose of the lockdowns was to delay the cases, not to significantly lower them. That could only be done with a vaccine which is more than a year away.
  • The models upon which the lockdowns were based were of terrible quality. Even the more recent versions of the models overestimated the need for hospital beds by a factor of four (top).
  • Now that we know 1) the virus is not 10-20 times more lethal than flu (it is 4 times based on the most recent reports), 2) that it is not "much more" contagious than flu, and 3) that the actual hospital admissions and deaths are far, far lower than forecast (with, perhaps, the exception of NYC), the economic damage to people and the human psyche of the lockdown is far worse (for low risk people) than the risk posed by the disease. This is especially true if masks and gloves, as appropriate, are provided. 
  • More and more, it has become evident that national policy has been made with only NYC and DC in mind -- cities with extreme population density and where many take mass transit daily -- conditions that have nothing to do with rural America. Last time I checked, half of Kansas' counties didn't have a single case of CV, let alone deaths. 
  • Continuing the lockdown is stupid and counterproductive beyond belief. Take a look at this news story from this afternoon.
Folks, this is serious! As stated above, there appeared to be good, valid reasons for the lockdown when it occurred. But, with all of the new information that has become available in the last three weeks, it is utterly absurd to continue this (and, I haven't even mentioned all of the First Amendment violations). High-risk individuals can continue lock-down as long as necessary with the necessary support from medicine and government. 

We must -- must! -- open up rural areas FAST. Literally tomorrow, if possible. Suburban areas should be opened next week. Urban areas of medium size (like Wichita*) could wait until May 1. Giant cities (the top 10) may need to take more time, but not much. 

Let's get going!!


*The 51st largest city in the U.S. has so few patients (with no non-essential surgeries) that one of our full-service hospitals has temporarily closed. Sedgwick Co. (population 513,000) has had just three deaths. 


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