Reflections on the Corvid 19 Virus by a Prime Target

corona virus

Someday I am sure we will look back on this time with wonder and amazement.  Each of us no doubt has strong feelings about what is happening now and how it is happening.  For some it is fear and dread while for others it is a time for retreat and reflection.  Millions buy out every roll of toilet paper, face masks, gloves, hand sanitizers, white flour, bottled water and handy wipes.  Scalpers take advantage of a dire situation and a dearth of moral inhibitions to make a profit while health care officials try to “flatten the curve” so that the worst cases can get the medical treatment they need.

The media and other “experts” regale us alternately with paradoxical entreaties.  “Don’t panic, it won’t be that bad!”  “It will be the worst epidemic in history since the Spanish Flu or maybe even the Black Plague.”  “The death rate is 20 or thirty times that of a regular flu.”  “We don’t really know much about this flu.”  “It may take years to develop an effective vaccine.”  “We may have a vaccine very soon.”

the corona virus

Wash your hands!  Wash your hands!  Wash your hands! 

I have many conflicting feelings myself.  I am seventy-three years of age and have lived a good life.  I can hear John the Baptist saying “Repent, Repent.  The end is near.”  Am I ready for the end?  Is my immortal soul as important as my physical body?  I see people hoarding food and I think people are more afraid of starving to death than dying of the flu.  Everything seems to be closing.  Schools, churches, sporting events, concerts, libraries, meetings and much more.  We are exhorted to continue spending but to keep going to work by politicians worried about the economy crashing while health care officials tell us to practice “social distancing” and stay home.  We are repeatedly told that we must flatten the curve.  The unknown is what this will mean for each of us personally in terms of combating this hidden menace.  Who will get the virus in a flatter curve and who will die in a flatter curve are unanswered questions.

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Stay home!  Stay home!  Stay Home!  Stay Home!  Stay Home!

Yet, I cannot help but think how amazing viruses are!  Can you imagine something that is barely visible under a microscope and that has no brain or ability to reproduce on its own, but it can reduce a human being to death and dust.  The pain and misery that this little thing can create is beyond belief.  The greatest science fiction writers in history could not come up with anything as insidious and menacing to the human race as a virus.  The movies are full of superheroes defeating the likes of mega villains like:  Galactus, Thanos, Ultron and the Dark Phoenix.  Yet, we have yet to come up with a superhero who can destroy a single lowly virus.  What is more exciting, watching Spider Man beat the Green Goblin or watching a nerdy scientist working in a laboratory trying to find a vaccine that will paralyze a virus?

Virus:  An infective agent that typically consists of a nucleic acid molecule in a protein coat that is too small to be seen by light microscopy and is able to multiply only within the living cells of a host.

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On the political scene, everyone is trying to blame everyone else for the state of affairs that exists.  Paranoia seems to reign in Congress particularly with an election fast approaching.  The Commander in Chief of the largest most powerful military force in the world is powerless to stop the Corvid 19 virus from spreading.  Yet he has the temerity or stupidity to suggest that his “Border Wall” might help staunch the spread of Corvid 19.  His stooge in waiting Mitch McConnell can block every bill in the Senate, but he can’t block the virus.  Other Trumpists like Representative Gaetz of Florida vote against a bill to provide paid sick leave but then take paid sick leave himself.  It has been noted by the opposition that President Trump did not do much to help our medical research capabilities during his reign of horror:

“President Trump’s third budget request, released Monday, again seeks cuts to a number of scientific and medical research enterprises, including a 13% cut to the National Science Foundation, a 12% cut at the National Institutes of Health and the termination of an Energy Department program that funds speculative technologies deemed too risky for private investors.” — March 12, 2019 – Washington Post

A friend of mine likes to remind me that we catch more flies with sugar than vinegar.  People want to hear positive things during a time of crisis.  We need to have hope and inspiration.  Yet to put out shmaltzy homilies when the reality does not support such optimism may simply be a case of too rosy colored glasses.  I wonder if I am an optimist or a pessimist?  I like to think that I am a realist.  Whether the glass is half empty or half full depends to me on whether the glass is filling up or going down.

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I look at some statistics that say perhaps 40 to 70 percent of Americans will get this virus.  The statistics are based on estimates from the Center for Disease Control.  Their estimates are based on some modeling methods.  For instance,  if the population of the US is approximately 330 million people and the death rate of this virus is estimated at 2 percent it will mean that between 200,000 and 1.7 million people will die from this virus.  Calculations based on the C.D.C.’s scenarios suggest an additional 2.4 million to 21 million people in the United States could require hospitalization, potentially crushing the nation’s medical system, which has only about 925,000 staffed hospital beds.

On the other hand, current data from China shows the rate of viral infection declining in China and the total number of deaths to be 3,199.  This suggests a death rate per capita that is considerably lower than estimates given by many experts.  If you figure that there are 1.4 billion people in China and that there were 3,200 deaths to date, this is a death rate of 1 per 438,000 people.  Extrapolating to the USA, this would mean a total of 750 deaths.  This is a death rate that is considerably lower than most pundits are predicting.  Keep in mind that China is where the disease started and where it took some time to identify the virus.  On the other hand, China also reacted very rapidly to containing and isolating cases of the virus.

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The figures I present are incredible.  The range of deaths vary between 750 and 1.7 million.  Who is right?  Why are the ranges so great?  Are we seeing a battle between optimists and pessimists or is it simply another case of the media hyping worst case scenarios to sell advertising?  Very large gaps between 1. 7 million deaths and 750 deaths suggest a lack of accurate facts and evidence.  Which will prove to be true?  What should the average citizen do?  As a wise person once said, “Pray to the lord but row for the shore.”  This means that we should hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

Say your prayers for others and wash your hands as frequently as you can.  I think this is the best than anyone can do.  I wish I had better advice.

 

 

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jennygirl1278
    Mar 17, 2020 @ 11:39:29

    I do not think I will ever shake hands again. 🙏🏻 I so like Namaste better. Lol Heel to heel works for me too! After this is over I hope I never live to hear of another virus like this one again. Is two weeks of shutting everything down going to be enough to flatten the curve? How many people will end up dying, and will there be some I know? These are the questions I, but unfortunately it is a wait and see. Take all the precautions suggested and most of all pray!

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    • Dr. John Persico Jr.
      Mar 17, 2020 @ 16:29:20

      I think Namaste sounds like a good idea. If we live through this one is the operative question. Repent! Repent! Only you may have to confess your sins online. 🙂

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  2. Diana Wehr
    May 05, 2020 @ 05:13:42

    I live in Largo Senior community. We’ve looked all over are area for free testing. Did not see any in Clearwater, Seminole, Largo. This area is known for Senior Citizens, a lot of people can not drive to Tampa, Sarasota, St. Petersburg most stay very close to home. I live in a 700 mobile home park. 700 people that are all over 55. We need a testing area local. Please help the small cities, Senior area. We can die too. Seminole large amount of elderly people pass away then a working nurse. Me personally had a very sick flu a mth ago and feel the need to be tested for the worlds sake and my friends and family, driving to TPA, Sarasota, larger areas is not an option. There maybe a testing area however have not heard on news. If you can assist us it would be great fully appreciated
    Diana Wehr

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    • Dr. John Persico Jr.
      May 05, 2020 @ 10:25:29

      Hi Diana, I am posting your comment. I hope maybe that will help. Do you have any chat groups locally that you could reach out to in your community? BTY, I checked and starting yesterday Community Health Centers of Pinellas is offering COVID-19 testing at no cost to you. You do not need to be a CHCP patient, however a condensed electronic registration will be required prior to testing. The testing sites will provide same day walk-ups and drive ups, but appointments are recommended to decrease wait times. Make an appointment by calling 727-824-8181 and selecting option. I am guessing this would be about 12 miles or less from you Diana? Hope this helps.

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