Was I "Asymptomatic?"
Updated: Apr 26
On March 9, 2020, I found myself at the local Emergency room with Kidney Stones. They were so painful, I whined about it on the Beacon of Speech Blog. Long story short, while I was at the ER, the staff seemed skittish, my kidney stones were not at the top of their priority list.
About a week after that visit. I woke up soaked in sweat and smelled terrible. Went back to sleep and awoke a few hours later with my heart racing. I looked in the mirror and said to myself "why are my eyes so red?" For the next few days, no daytime fever, but night sweats, random racing heartbeats, headaches, mild shortness of breath and lethargy. But, because I was working from home, I hadn't really had to do too much but to walk from the bedroom to the living room to the kitchen.
Mind you, I have a history of Panic Attacks. Lots of 'em. So every episode was rationalized away as a mixture of unpassed stones and panic attacks. But because I've had kidney stones before, I couldn't shake the feeling that these stones were causing much different symptoms than the last batch. I am not a world traveler and haven't been exposed to any world travelers, yet as I watched the coronavirus numbers in Lorain Country tick up in the past week, I was worried that I could have somehow been a (semi) asymptomatic carrier of the coronavirus.
You know what would have been helpful? If someone with mild symptoms could easily be tested for coronavirus. I never had symptoms bad enough to justify calling a doctor and I wasn't waiting in the 6 hour testing line just to be scolded for being paranoid.
That is where the federal government dropped the ball. Those testing kits should have been fast tracked in January, but everyone was bickering about impeachment.
Once the coronavirus hit Ohio, Governor Mike DeWine did a great job of mobilizing the state government. Then, just as I was, at least, mostly satisfied with the job a public official was doing, Mike DeWine compared kidney stones to abortion and discontinued all "non-essential" surgeries.
The definition of non-essential basically being "pre-planned." Ummm, I have kidney stones and even I know my case is comparatively non-essential. Banning abortions due to coronavirus is strictly a political move....
Woke up on March 23, 2020 and felt really good. The best I've felt in a long time. Had to go back to the hospital for dye-testing on the kidneys. As I moved around the house, I noticed I had lost the hearing in my left ear. I told my Nurse Wife and she said, IT'S WAX! GO TO THE HOSPITAL FOR YOUR DYE TEST.
Met by a different nurse at the front door of the hospital in full protective gear.
She took my temperature, that was fine.
She asked if I had shortness of breath, I said "not today."
She asked if I had diarrhea. I said "nope, just the opposite."
Went and had my x-rays done.
When I came home, stimulus package was in partisan hell. The left was screaming it's Trump's Fault. The right was screaming it's China's Fault. Yeah, you're both right. The reason it got to America was Xi's fault, the reason America will soon pass Italy in coronavirus deaths is Trump's fault. Right now, right this second, Trump is still running the country as a CEO and not a President overseeing a pandemic. He needs to step his game up, I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt at the beginning, but he really is doing a TERRIBLE job.
Let me ask you, the reader, a question:
1. Do you work in the public sector or the private sector?
If you answered private sector, please advance to question 2.
2. Would you want your CEO in charge of the country in a pandemic?
Your perspective on whether you'd want your company's CEO in charge of a pandemic probably reveals how you feel about Donald Trump's handling of this specific crisis.
The attack on the coronavirus, from today forward, should be War Mode.
1. Short Term Stay-at-Home Orders (with renewable expiration dates.)
2. Remdesivir, Hydroxychloroquine, and other anti-viral drugs need to be fast-tracked into production.
3. Resources poured into health care. Not saving corporations and not pet projects of your congressmen. H-E-A-L-T-H C-A-R-E. Ventilators.
More specific blame can be assessed after the crisis.
For the next month, don't listen to Donald Trump or Joe Biden, listen to Michael Bane.
By the way, this is Beacon of Speech's 500th Post.
Will it be Fred's last? Eh....?
That stimulus package ended up passing. On the same day, according to The Blaze, Trump's approval rating had gone up. There's no polite way to say this, if you think Trump is doing a good job YOU ARE ON CRACK!
Let's say that Donald Trump is hypothetically right and America can't afford to shut down (I don't agree, but work with me here,) what can we expect in the near future? Let's crunch some numbers using the Italian Model.
Take that Chinese Model and throw it out the window. That model is pure fiction on every level.
Italy's population is around 60 million.
Yesterday, they passed the 8,000th death milestone and have 80,000 confirmed cases.
Now that death rate is 10%. That is also not accurate, but not for the same reasons that the Chinese numbers are inaccurate. How do I know? I believe the 8,000 number, I don't think the Italians have been doing anything shady with that number, but the Italians admitted they stopped testing when their health care systems were overwhelmed.
If I believe the 8,000 death number, we can do some reverse math there. Let's speculate that the rate of death with coronavirus is .1%. That means if 8,000 are currently dead, 8 million have had the virus and most were asymptomatic. The total dead number would top out, in a worst case scenario, at around 60,000. Which is really bad, but not super bad.
If a 1% death rate is more accurate, that means 800,000 have had the disease, and, again, most were asymptomatic. Let's say, for the sake of argument, that's the true number. That means, in theory, if everyone in Italy got the disease, around 600,000 Italians would die. Now any way you slice it, that's super-duper bad. Assuming social distancing worked at least a little bit, not everyone in Italy would get the disease before it burned out.
The problem is, America is five times bigger, population-wise, as Italy, meaning that a 1% death rate still translates to 3 million dead Americans in a worst case scenario. That would collapse the American health care system, even if you spread the 3 million dead out across the whole calendar year.
If Trump rolls out on Easter day and says "our research shows that the coronavirus only kills at a .1% rate, that means 99.9% of you will live through this." Um, that's still 300,000 dead Americans if everyone gets it, and right now that number is only at 1,195. 300,000 is also about five times the number of total Vietnam War Deaths.
What social distancing needs to accomplish is to buy Americans time to put Plan B into place.
What's Plan B, you ask? Uhhhh....