Masks don’t help you much. They help other people, but not you.
The numbers on wearing a mask to protect yourself aren’t very good, unless it’s a fitted N95 surgical ventilator. Plain cotton or paper? Maybe 10%. What protects you is goggles (30%), and washing your hands (25%), and not touching your face (20%). Notice how people aren’t wearing goggles? Strange, isn’t it?
It’s happened again: We’ve had yet another mass shooting. Just between us, as more and more people start coming out of their year-long lockdowns, I predict we’re going to have a fair number more. We got a year off from them, but that just means we’ve had people become crazy at the normal rate… but they didn’t have obvious targets and so kept right on stewing in their basements.
Plus, every time there’s one of these shown on CNN, it seems other nuts see the television coverage and get inspired to do one of their own — as though being a copycat nut-job is somehow better than the first one, who might have been honestly acting out his own selfish frustrations on innocents rather than pretending to for the free press.
Don’t get me wrong: They’re both foul and almost inhumanly selfish. But the copycat is at least partly after the attention, which is worse — people’s lives are more valuable than that.
In early July, we released an exhaustive article on COVID-19 trends. It was meticulously researched, with dozens of subordinate links to data sources. In it, we cited our earlier prediction that, unless Americans were to act with unprecedented foresight and responsibility, we were looking at between one and six million deaths by the end of autumn. Our tracking gave us cause for cautious optimism.
Winter officially begins in one week, and the official COVID-19 death count just passed 300,000. Given the standard two to six week lag time in reports combined with a 3000+ person daily increase, the final numbers will be closer to 400,000 by that point. Advances in hospital treatment protocols combined with local lockdowns and responsible behavior in much of the country have prevented, at great cost, the loss of millions of American lives. Our optimism has proven justified.
Recently, the CDC began releasing comorbidity data for use in hospital tracking and differential diagnosis. Social media seized on this as yet another excuse to declare COVID-19 a hoax. It’s not a hoax, people; COVID-19 can kill you.
There’s a great deal of information available on protective gear and its recommended use during the present pandemic. In a healthcare environment, full gowns, face shields, masks, and gloves are frequently used when there’s any great chance of exposure. The general public, on the other hand, is advised to wear cloth masks, wash their hands, and stay away from people.
But there a lot of essential workers out there who have no choice but to deal with the outside world and (more…)
Today is the fourth of July, 2020. As of this writing, the CDC reports 128,648 cumulative deaths due to COVID-19 in the United States, with over 2.7 million total cases reported. The present trend is rising numbers diagnosed, presently in excess of 50,000 new patients per day and increasing — this compared to 500 in mid-March. Some take comfort in the fact that COVID deaths per day are trending down. This would be a grievous error.
First, let us deal with the more optimistic myths. Remember, there’s (more…)
It’s social media; I should just let it go. People hear something that supports their biases so they Share it without checking, and it becomes common wisdom. Sometimes it’s gets to a point where everyone knows is true so it’s no longer even discussed, and if you argue you’re nuts.
I am NOT a medical expert. I’m not a doctor, an immunologist; I’m not even a licensed ambulance attendant any more. So when I tell you things about a viral outbreak, you should take them with a grain of salt. (So to speak. I’m also not a pharmacist.)
But when I talk about panic, you should listen to me. When I tell you about history, you should listen. And when anyone else who is not an immunologist (more…)
Note: I’m a commentator, not a doctor. There’s a reason I don’t work in a hospital, and it’s not just because I’m squeamish. When in doubt, consult a doctor; this article is just general information.
Yesterday, the CDC released a guidance document on the COVID-19 outbreak. It tells us… well, honestly it tells us that they really don’t know much. It’s deadlier than the normal flu outbreak by at least a factor of 10; up to one case in five may require hospitalization. If you’re old and chronically ill, you’re much more likely to die. Oh, and those masks? Probably won’t keep you from catching it, but if used properly might keep you from spreading it.
And that’s about it.
So… yeah. Not exactly the most informative press release (more…)
Heroin and its analogues can be deadly. Heroin overdoses have more than tripled over the past couple of decades. The supply has ballooned; the price has plummeted. And, since 2013, dangerous synthetics have hit the streets in truly vast quantities. These are facts, beyond dispute.
Despite this, it has become apparent to me that there is in fact no such thing as an “Opioid Epidemic”. Despite massive reporting and editorializing on the subject, hearings in Congress, and now even a potential military deployment (more…)