The question is: Are Plainfield businesses ready to re-open?
The Answer is: Yes
We will dive deep as to how and why yes, but before we do, let’s look at some numbers:
There are currently 772,000 positive confirmed cases in the USA. There are currently ~41,000 deaths attributed to COVID19; ~32,000 of those are confirmed and ~9,000 suspected.
Do the math. What is the percentage of people dying that have tested positive?
But wait, it gets better because those numbers are actually less.
There is a large number of people who have caught COVID19, and fought it off without knowing they ever had it.
Recently in Santa Clara County, California, researchers started testing the public to see how many of them have anti-bodies for COVID19. In this county there were ~950 confirmed positive tests before this research began. What the research showed was between 48,000 and 81,000 people had actually been infected. That is 50 to 80 times more than originally reported! Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, a professor of medicine at Stanford University said:
If 50 times more people have had the infection, the death rate could drop by that same factor, putting it "somewhere between a 'little worse than the flu' to 'twice as bad as the flu' in terms of a fatality rate.”
Remember the news about the US Navy aircraft carrier called the Theodore Roosevelt, and how it fired two Navy Commanders recently from there? Well, they tested the whole crew for the virus, about 4,800 people. 600 sailors tested positive for COVID19, and roughly 60% of that 600 are showing no signs whatsoever.
Right now a large scale study by the University of Southern California and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is showing that a county in LA has between 221,000 - 442,000 people with antibodies, way above the original 7,994 confirmed.
Why is this important?
Because it means a lot more people have this virus than we expect and know of. In fact, with all of the studies I have seen, it seems like 50% is the average low number they are finding that have COVID19 and are completely asymptomatic. This means the current amount of COVID19 carriers is not 772,000, it’s actually 50 - 75% more than the accounted for number.
So let’s go on the low end and say there are more than 1,500,000 suspected cases of COVID19 and there are 41,000 deaths, now what is the percentage of people dying from COVID19?
I know, numbers are fun. And remember school boys and girls, FACTS don’t care about your FEELINGS. Meaning, take an analytic approach to this and check your emotions at the door.
The media is telling you that death awaits outside! Massive amounts of people are dying. It’s an epidemic from hell, stay inside. ETC, Etc, etc.
News Flash: There has not been a safer time to be alive in over four years. Did you know that less people have died so far this year than when compared to last year this time? Or the year before that, or the year before that? Overall mortality rates for Americans are down across the board. Pretty crazy huh? How is that possible that during a pandemic of the death plague called COVID19 that less Americans are dying than usual? The numbers speak for themselves.
Right now less people are dying of heart attacks, strokes and other illnesses. In fact, COVID19 might be getting credit for deaths that aren’t really it’s victims. Did you know 1,300 people die a day from tobacco use? COVID19 has yet to claim more victims in America than tobacco in a single day comparison.
So we have established that the COVID19 virus is not as deadly as we all think. So we should all run outside and start sharing drinks together? NOOOOOO!!!!
While COVID19 is not as deadly as we all thought, it can still have deadly consequences if not taken seriously. Of all the studies I have been reading, one thing is for certain: people over the age of 65 are at a higher risk for a complicated or lethal exposure as well as people with multiple co-morbidities.
What is a co-morbidity? Obesity. High blood pressure. Diabetes. COPD. Being a smoker. Drinking too much. Cancer. These are all examples of a co-morbidity. People that have an uncontrolled co-morbidity have always been at a higher risk for complications when compared to the healthy population for things like infection, surgery, and disease.
The other day I went to Wal-Mart. There was a very obese lady out front, smoking a cigarette and talking to people walking by. She had no mask on, she was talking to multiple people within 6ft, and she was so out of shape she needed a motorized cart to get into the store. So ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I’d like to add stupidity to the co-morbidity list. The woman had a smart phone, she could have easily made her shopping adventure a simple pick up where they bring the groceries and items to you while wearing a mask. This all brings me to my next point, mitigation.
How do we reduce our chances of being exposed to COVID19? The two most common ways people are being infected from COVID19 is via their own hands and breathing. So wash your hands, don’t touch your eyes, ears or mouth. COVID19 can be spread via the exhaled moisture from our breath lingering in the air; so wear a face mask, stay 6 ft. from others, and avoid places without proper ventilation.
ALL BUSINESS ARE ESSENTIAL and all businesses can figure out a way to mitigate COVID19.
We are not to judge if a business is essential or not. What we can judge is if that business can mitigate the spread of COVID19 while staying open. Let’s look at 3 businesses and what I would do if I owned one to help limit the spread.
GYM OWNER - I would reduce the allowed occupancy of the gym according to my square footage of my building. I would increase the amount of sanitation bottles throughout the gym (gyms typically have one bottle per person to use to wipe down machines after use and that was pre-COVID19). I would spread out my treadmills. I would increase my ventilation of my gym by keeping windows and doors open, regardless of the outside temperature.
MOVIE THEATER - I would reduce the occupancy of the theater seating so people stay 7 ft. apart from each other. I would invest in a ventilation system to increase the amount of air flow in the room. I would have employees spray and wipe down seats to clean them after each show. I would have huge signs encouraging customers to wear face masks.
HAIR STYLIST - I would reduce the occupancy of my building. I would have clients wait in their car until it is their turn to come in. I would increase wipe down procedures of commonly touched areas. I would work with a mask and make the clients that don’t wear a mask, purchase one from my salon at whatever the market value is for said mask. I also would keep my windows cracked, and doors cracked for increase air flow.
BUT JUST WAIT TWO MORE WEEKS! StAy InSiDe Or YoU wILl KiLl GrAnDma
What is going to happen in two more weeks? Nothing! Nothing is going to happen in two more weeks. Whatever they predict, it is not going to happen in two more weeks. This virus is not going away in two more weeks. Over and over, everyone keeps pushing the goal posts to two more weeks. You ask them why, and they can’t tell you a damn thing. It’s almost like an echo chamber; stay inside, two more weeks… echo…. echoo… echooo…..
The government and the experts said two more weeks, that’s why! Stay inside, trust us.
The government and the experts have been wrong all along. Remember when the government told you that wearing a face mask was a bad idea? No? Well this is going to be fun! The W.H.O., the surgeon general, the CDC, the FDA, the NIH, and Dr. Fauci all said don’t wear a face mask that it will actually increase your chances of catching COVID19. Guess what, here at Plainfield Spine And Rehab we were wearing face masks to protect our at risk population long before they gave the go ahead to wear face masks. Now states like New York are requiring those out in public to wear masks. I wonder if Jeffery Epstein has any masks?
Let’s also add to the fact that it’s called the novel coronavirus-19. The word novel means new, never been seen before. Can’t be an expert when it’s new. Also, most of the so called experts are part of the at risk population, so are most of the government officials; they have an incentive to overreact. Stay inside because they can’t go outside, lol. Our own leaders aren’t even abiding to this. Watch a news conference, a lot of 6ft encroachments going on. I’m glad the mayor of Chicago can get a haircut but I can’t.
We have to flatten the curve! The graphs, look at my graph! STAY INSIDE my drawing said so
What curve on which model are you using? In the end the answer to my question doesn't matter because all the models are flawed and have been wrong. We still don’t know when the coronavirus actually first landed on American soil, kinda important for timeline graphs. All these graphs are based on theory. It’s not bad science, it’s just not concrete science. Yet people are taking these graphs for face value. The White House coronavirus task force has been using University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation graph. I have been following this graph, and just the other day they reduced the amount predicted dead by 8,000. Mind you, 1st prediction said over a million will die and now we are predicting 60,00 people will die by August. Before you say it’s because everyone is staying home and blah, blah, blah… these graphs already accounted for strict and stringent mitigation in place.
Hospital beds and Ventilators! Stay inside there is not enough.
One argument is the amount of hospital beds or ventilators currently available and apparently in two weeks more will be open. So, let’s take a look at New York City, the epicenter of our worst COVID19 outbreak and death spot. New York City had a pop-up hospital in Central Park as well as the U.S. Comfort, a ship with an additional 1,000 beds. Guess what, they didn’t need it. The hospitals in central park are being torn down and the Comfort wasn’t used. Now on to ventilators. 80% of people who were placed on ventilators died. Why? Probably because it’s not an effective treatment, I do not know. But here is the article: https://www.businessinsider.com/coronavirus-ventilators-some-doctors-try-reduce-use-new-york-death-rate-2020-4
Right now 95% of hospitals are not overflowing, they are empty. They are losing money. This is actually a huge problem. It’s an elephant in the room no one wants to address it. You think this pandemic is bad? Just wait until other emergencies arise and your local hospital isn't equipped with the up to the date stuff you need because they had a shut down.
Vaccines are around the corner! Stay inside and wait for that shot
No they are not. SARS happened in 2002, they tried and tried and eventually just gave up on that vaccine. Haven't heard about SARS since 2004 since it disappeared. MERS outbreak happened in 2012, still no vaccine on that one. MERS is another coronavirus, pretty deadly too. By the time the COVID19 vaccine comes around the virus will have already run its course. Just please, dear God, don’t hold your breath on a vaccine.
The Media and this blog I read said…..! #Stayinside cause it’s trendy
Sorry to break it to you but the mainstream media as we know it died when Walter Cronkite retired. Unfortunately, you are watching pandemic porn with a very biased agenda. Let’s look at CNN for example. CNN is a liberal leaning news broadcast. Since the start of this pandemic they have yet to put on their website headline piece one positive thing about Trump, the federal effort, or the virus itself. Let’s look at Fox news, a conservative news broadcast. Since the start of the pandemic they have yet to hold Trump accountable for any of his misgivings and only painted our federal efforts in a positive outlook.
Most of the blogs I have read are complete bull crap; just click bait written by an author who is supposed to be covering basket weaving but is writing about COVID19 to drive traffic to her website, to increase her search engine performance, or get money from online ads. In fact, most media outlets are doing this too. There is no sports news to compete with, only COVID19 news. Guess what drives clicks, catchy misleading titles. Did you read that article about that healthy dad who did everything correctly like eating and exercise but still died from COV19 due to spring breakers in Florida? I’ll take Things That Never Happened for $500, Alex.
Dude, just watch The Tiger King! Stay inside its not that bad. Stay inside with Netflix.
You want 1 or 50 articles linking the psychological impact of quarantine? I’m not talking about your sister’s blog either, science researched based articles on the negative effects of staying inside. Hell, I can find you triple the amount for the effects of solitary confinement on prisoners. Some of the healthiest activities are linked to outside, and most of the unhealthy activities are linked to sedentary lifestyles that never leave their homes. Nothing to do at home? Probably on social media a lot? It’s okay, we all are. Increase social media usage is also linked to increase negative mental effects. Got cabin fever yet? Don't worry, you do.
The WRAP UP
Okay so before I move on to the end we need to discuss four main groups of people:
GROUP 1: Healthy people under the age of 44
GROUP 2: Healthy people who must interact with the at-risk population
GROUP 3: The at-risk population
GROUP 4: Everyone living in or close proximity to an area where there is a full-blown pandemic
Next thing we must address is exposure. Exposure to any virus or infection for the most part is going to be dependent on the intensity of the exposure and the duration of the exposure. There are many studies on viral load, intensity and duration of exposure, and the outcomes. To save you some reading material I will use two analogies to make this make sense.
Example 1: Tom and Sally both have cuts on their legs, and both are about to go swimming into a dirty swamp. Tom has one cut on his leg, Sally has four cuts on her leg. Sally is getting exposed to bacteria 4 times as much as Tom, so all possible negative outcomes for Sally increase 4-fold.
Example 2: Tom and Sally both have been exposed to the flu. Tom was exposed while walking down the street. Sally was exposed while working all day in the hospital infirmary. When looking at the outcomes, Sally was exposed to high levels of the flu for an extended period of time from very sick people while Tom briefly interacted with someone who had the ability to walk with the flu, the odds say Tom is going to be better off.
So let’s look at some studies:
Of all the COVID19 deaths, in this study less than 5% of the total deaths were between the ages of 0-44 years. Of those 312 deaths, only 25 came from people with no underlying conditions. For the ages of 65+ year old, they accounted for 72% of all of the deaths. Of the 3,561 deaths in this age group, only 53 came from people with no underlying conditions.
If I had to guess, the 25 young people that died with no underlying conditions had a pre-existing condition not found on autopsy or when they were exposed to the virus it was not in a favorable manner.
In this study, of the 828 people in the 0-44 age group, only 4.2% needed an ICU bed (zero patients between the age of 0-19 needed a ICU bed). There was a case fatality rate of less than .2% for the 0-44 age group. So, for the 65 year and older age group, of the 763 patients, 77% needed an ICU bed. This age group also accounted for a majority of the deaths.
What do we know?
Healthy adults under the age of 44? There is very little to worry about. There is no reason why you need to worry about social distancing. In fact, has there been one prominent healthy young adult to die of COVID19, like a famous athlete between the ages of 19-44? Nope. Healthy young adults should worry more about driving to and from work than catching this virus.
Healthy adult who interact with the at-risk population? You need to worry. You can easily become an asymptomatic carrier of this disease and spread it to people who are statistically less likely to have a favorable outcome than others. Practice social distancing, wear a mask, clean your hands, and treat everyone as if they are infected. Someone else’s life may depend on this.
Part of the at-risk population? Stay inside and rely on others. Wear a mask when going out. Order food for pick up versus going into the store. When the government re-opens everything, stay inside for an additional month so you have a better herd immunity.
Living in or close proximity to an area where there is a full blown pandemic? That isn't happening right now, anywhere. No where are we short of hospital beds. But if you are in the future in one of these areas, stay inside for two more weeks :)
Okay before I end this, I want to recap: This virus is not as deadly as the media is portraying it to be. In Plainfield our hospital beds are no where near maximum capacity. With proper mitigation all businesses can figure out a way to ensure public safety while operating. Healthy people under the age of 44 can return back to normal work status and should be allowed to carry on with their lives as normal as they see fit. People will catch this virus, there is no stopping it. Staying inside forever is not a viable answer and will cause serious economic and mental health issues in the long run, everyday we wait it becomes exponentially worse. We have a population of people that are becoming more unhealthy because we aren't open for businesses currently. And lastly, nothing special is coming in two weeks!