Please Don’t Say It Is Just The Flu

The retired teacher was practicing proper social distancing while she cleaned her golf clubs and talked with her neighbors.  She was excitedly preparing for the beginning of her golf league, an opportunity to both play the game she loved and to experience a bit of normalcy.  There will, of course, be concessions to the illness.  Each golfer will have her own cart and the flags will be sitting on top of the greens.  She was also hoping that some of her golf friends, unlike her neighbors, will agree that this whole COVID 19 thing might be overblown and that President Trump is doing a great job.

There is a vast array of opinions on TV and online.  Some in the medical field express real fears about the Coronavirus.  Some, mostly those getting their medical information from political pundits, may not be nearly as concerned.  They are ready to tell you that xxxxx kills far more Americans.  At the very least, they will tell you that it is no worse than the flu.  That comparison doesn’t fly with the doctors and nurses working in the hospitals.  One of my friends, after a difficult shift, was clear that he didn’t want to hear, “this is just like the flu”.

I tend to read books and articles about government, insurance, and politics.  I don’t subscribe to Scientific American and wouldn’t have seen this article had a doctor friend not shared it on Facebook.  Comparing COVID-19 Deaths to Flu Deaths Is like Comparing Apples to Oranges  makes a clear case about the differences.  For one, when was the last time you saw refrigerated trucks used to remove the deceased from a hospital?  When was the last time we saw so many health care workers fall victim to an illness?  Minimizing the condition puts you, the first responders, and our medical providers at risk.

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One of the things I noticed this year during my annual trip to Washington DC this past February was the high level of security.  Heavily armed, some on horseback, they were on street corners and at the entrance to many of the buildings.  I told a friend that it reminded me of a trip to Paris in 1999 during a time of unrest.  I have been going to the US Senate and House of Representatives offices for years.  I visit the Ohio Statehouse annually.  Regardless of the weather, you stand in line until you access the checkpoint.  There you empty your pockets, remove your coat, and walk through a metal detector while your personal items are run through a scanner.  Pat downs are not uncommon.  So I have to express my shock of seeing armed terrorists threatening Michigan lawmakers in their Senate chambers.  How does that happen?  Who let them in?  The internet and TV news have identified some of the participants as known provocateurs from other states.  Here’s a few questions:

  • The pictures showing them threatening law enforcement officers and the elected officials. Why were they not arrested?
  • Who paid for the people from as far away as California to attend? What organization has “terrorism” as a line item on its budget?
  • Was anyone surprised that these protests in various state capitols included Confederate flags and anti-Semitic signs?

There is a sickness infecting our country.  It has resulted in the deaths of over 70,000 Americans.  It has manifested itself in armed thugs storming our statehouses.  Please don’t say it is just the flu.


Picture – The Hospital Parking Lot Is Full – David L Cunix