OWN VOICE. ~ InPerspective by Gregg Dieguez
We’ve been saying for weeks that the U.S. wasn’t ready to re-open schools. The virus isn’t controlled. Rapid testing isn’t widely available – and what good are test results a week later? Testing in the U.S. is a bad joke – finding a week-old case of the virus does almost no good at all in stopping the spread, and our inflated test counts are meaningless. We explained that most of the U.S. was still out of control in July, and called it slow motion manslaughter. Then we detailed the evidence from six (6) countries which detailed the outbreaks caused by schools being opened. Part of that last article was an analysis from researchers at University of Texas at Austin , which forecast that over 80% of the counties in the U.S. would have at least one infected person show up in a school of 500 students.
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Guess what? It happened just as predicted. This is one case where you really hate to say: “I told you so”.
1. Outbreaks hit newly reopened school districts across the South. Thousands of children and teachers are already quarantined.
2. And even in countries, like Germany, where the virus appeared well under control, schools have had to close just days after opening.
In the most recent data, Germany had 0.8% of tests return positive (sounds pretty good, right?), while the U.S. is at 7.6% of tests positive nationwide and at 8.4% in Louisiana, 11.8% in Georgia, and 12.3% in Texas.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but simple compound probability tells us that the chance of NOT having a positive test among even a small school of 200 is 0.000000000706% when 10% of those tested are positive. In other words, it is ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE to not run into an infected person. Now, we know the damage to children exists, and is much lower than adults, but it may surprise some to know that children hang around with adults, who can catch COVID.
So, we’re right back where we started, with no national emphasis and priority on controlling the virus. The emphasis is on opening up the schools and playing college football so things will get back to normal and the President will look good for re-election. Look at the ethics of spending thousands of fast-response tests per day on professional athletes, instead of focusing on normal people.
And, by the way, new evidence is that we’re badly under-counting the excess deaths from CV-19. The True Coronavirus Toll in the U.S. Has Already Surpassed 200,000, if you compare this year’s deaths to a normal year. Those excess deaths include people whose health care needs could not be met because the hospitals were clogged with urgent CV-19 cases and health care workers themselves were sick and dying from the virus, further undermining our treatment capacity.
At what point do you get REALLY ANGRY about this? In my case, I found out I have skin cancer. It took 24 days from the biopsy until I was notified. Now, I’m going to be fine, it’s not Melanoma. But that gives you a real-world feel for the backlog in our health care system, and the potential ‘collateral damage’ from not suppressing this virus.
And about all those people who are frustrated with masks and distancing and shutdowns? I get it. But right now you are being outwitted by a virus. Look at all the regulations school children have to obey in schools, and you can’t wear a mask? Our civilization is getting what it deserves.
Mr. Dieguez is a semi-successful, semi-retired MIT entrepreneur who causes occasional controversy on the Coastside, and is now a candidate for the MCC. He lives in Montara. He loves to respond to comments.