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Wayne D Holt

And now for a reality check from US News and World Reports dated Feb 21 of this year:

It's been overshadowed by the new coronavirus outbreak in China, but this year's flu season could be near its peak. At least 14,000 people have died and 250,000 have already been hospitalized during the 2019-2020 flu season, according to estimates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 26 million Americans have fallen ill with flu-like symptoms. "There is a deadly respiratory virus that is circulating throughout the United States, and it is at its peak. It is not novel coronavirus," said Dr. Pritish Tosh, an infectious disease specialist with the Mayo Clinic. This flu season ... started early, in October, with an unusual wave of influenza B virus. Influenza B is less likely than other strains to mutate and become more virulent. That means it poses a greater threat to young people than to older folks, who may have gained immunity because they encountered the strain before. There have been 105 flu-related deaths among children this season, a higher total at this point of the year than any season in the past decade. Two-thirds of these deaths were associated with influenza B viruses, the CDC noted. More recently, a second wave of influenza A viruses featuring the H1N1 strain has hit the United States, Tosh noted. "This has been an extended season, and we've certainly been seeing a lot of hospitalizations and bad outcomes from it," Tosh said. "We will likely continue to see high influenza activity for several weeks. We are probably at its peak right now. I sure hope it doesn't get much worse."

Note: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now estimates that between 390,000 and 710,000 hospitalizations and between 23,000 and 59,000 deaths have resulted from seasonal flu so far this season. That's between 150 and 300 deaths every day in the U.S. from the regular flu...not Covid-19.

What's that you say? You didn't come down with it or had mild flu symptoms if you did? But by all means, let's encourage Covid-19 medical martial law to become so embedded in the fabric of American life we'll never be rid of it. See you all at the beach in the sun and on my community cat route each night. I'm not going to hide under my couch because "leaders" at every level can't figure out how to meet this challenge without collapsing the economy, inflating the dollar to infinity and making the Patriot Act look like the Bill of Rights.

Charlotte O'rourke

Thank you, city and county local leaders, for following expert advice to flatten the trajectory and trying to limit the number of deaths and serious hospitalizations requiring respiratory support.

This can allow time to address critical shortages of tests, ventilators and PPE and hopefully prevent healthcare personnel from having to choose who to help and who to let go because of inadequate facilities and supplies.

I know it was a tough decision, but you made the right call.

The state also made the right call by allowing these decisions to be made at the local level. I will be forever grateful that you had the courage to stand up for human life.

Wayne D Holt

Two diametrically opposed opinions appearing side by side for a free people to consider, offered by a free press. May it every be so in America.

Charlotte O'rourke

While I respect your opinion and the absolute right to express it, I think the comparisons with the death rate of the flu, automobile accidents, etc. show a lack of understanding of the issue. I was a respiratory therapist for many years, and I know it is difficult to comprehend where a large number of people need ventilators at the same time, and having to choose which one gets the last chance to live.

But equally incomprehensible to me is why anyone thinks any unnecessary deaths and an excessive burden on the healthcare system will improve the economy? Put life before economics. Then work on the economy.

Stay home, follow the expert’s advice, and stay safe. Reassess and reopen areas when the data indicates to help businesses and families recover.

Free press ... I agree .... may it always be so.

Wayne D Holt

But equally incomprehensible to me is why anyone thinks any unnecessary deaths and an excessive burden on the healthcare system will improve the economy? Put life before economics. Then work on the economy.

With all due respect and I mean that sincerely: Your unspoken assumption is that life will continue on as normal if we just attack this crisis and isolate it as a medical issue.

My point is we will have orders of magnitude greater health issues if food and fuel supply chains begin to break down; the question of civil insurrection is a real possibility. How could that happen? Easy. We have centralized our distribution systems and are at the end of the limb when it comes to dependency on technology to keep things going normally. It takes one weak link in a supply chain to stop production; factories in South Korea had to stop auto production lines because one critical part was unavailable from China.

Now apply that to the USA and our just in time delivery of every conceivable good and service. A few critical workers in a distribution system either come down with it or perhaps just had a contact with a carrier. They are sent home. Even if they can work from home the process is interrupted.

Scale that up by a few thousand percent and you will begin to understand the probabilities of where our real peril lies at the moment. We are seeing the leading edge of COVID-19 with a fatality rate that doesn't exceed normal seasonal flu rates currently. Yet 40,000 people were thrown out of work from one employer in one day.

Again, with all due respect, the idea that we will have an economy to work on later is an assumption that I don't think our present course permits as likely.

Charlotte O'rourke

Wayne, I do believe we will return to a normal environment. China has started to return to their normal ..... we will too.

And Americans will do it by showing our humanitarian side instead of sacrificing granny et al for the stock market and the almighty dollar.

Wayne D Holt

Hey, I'm 70. I'm rootin' for you to be right on this, believe me!

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