Notes on the Pandemic

Everyone and his brother seems to have a “take” on this pandemic, and many of the “experts” seem to reverse themselves frequently. I respect these words of a relative of mine.. —Frank Becker

Endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights that are superior to the Constitution itself: life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.

I love that business owners are re-opening, even in defiance of indeterminate decrees (which are themselves often in conflict with the 14th and 10th amendments, to say nothing of 1st and often 2nd amendments). Businesses without customers are not, so I’m also glad people are out there in force to patronize these businesses — everyone is doing what they wish, and, when everyone is looking out for their own interest first, this is how capitalism works best, even if I’m not one of those who has to or chooses to partake. (even though I want to see small restaurants survive, it’s not exactly like I’ve been sending $20 weekly to each of my favorite little restaurants, because I know no one else is, and so it would be a lost cause. Altruism doesn’t really work unless it’s backed up by faith.)

Little restaurants that are in all of our respective communities were on death row. Their margins were slim-to-nil to begin with, so an extended coastal-style shutdown would destroy a lot of little businesses — and, next year, I really want to be able to return to my favorite little restaurants and have a fresh, non-frozen pizza.

Americans are optimistic and we tend to build the future we want to see, or at least we do once we get over the initial shock of whatever the latest disaster is. (We also love to argue, and I love that we have the First Amendment to protect that essential liberty!)

So, I’m personally really excited about the future, even as it’s shown cracks (to me, and hopefully to most people!) in our personal and corporate supply chains. It’s shown where we need to create more resiliency and redundancy (waste isn’t always bad!) It’s shown that we all need to try to make more money to protect our families. It’s demonstrated that Americans really can rise to the moment.

The success of Trump’s blockades with China and EU has proven, not that he’s racist or evil, but — if anything — that he should have implemented those travel bans much sooner, and that America First is not just good military strategy, but good strategy as we interface with the world. That we should not rely on foreign powers for our survival.

And, if people want to get in their cars and drive to their nearest home supply store, more power to them, and I support their essential exercise of freedom! (And when eventually a sizeable percentage of those get sick and do not die, they are another brick in the wall protecting us all from getting sick!)

Good news, too: what happened in the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic is NOT happening now. What happened then, and it’s conjectured that this is because of the unique way of dealing with diseases in WWI trenches, is that the most lethal strains survived and actually killed more people.

BUT, what appears to be happening NOW is that the most sick people with the worst strains are going to the hospital, and many of them are actually dying there. (40% of people sick enough to go to the hospital die.)

So, today, the most prevalent strains seem to actually be the less dangerous strains, and that the more lethal strains are actually fading out and are being crowded out by the weaker strains.

If this keeps going, it will still be far more contagious than the flu, but probably with a death rate (case fatality rate, or, eventually, morbidity rate once we have more data) that is eventually similar to the common flu. Still nothing to sneeze at (uh..) but this is great news any way you slice it.