Summary (the Good):
- New studies coming out this week will likely show that Covid-19 has infected between 50-100 times the amount of people currently estimated, with little or no symptoms and with rare or no hospitalization
- Instead of the estimated three in a hundred dying of Coronavirus, the rate is more likely closer to one in a thousand
- Results coming out of Sweden, which had a very limited lock down, is still showing deaths far below Italy, Spain and the UK, who had stringent lock downs
- Data on deaths from Cororavirus are showing that those at-risk for the virus are very easy to identify by contributing factors
- There are Biblical truths that if implemented in our lives address health issues.
Summary (the Bad):
- Political correctness may keep the US from addressing the needed steps to end the lock downs and to isolate the members at risk
- The economic damage created by shutdowns is unprecedented, the worst since the Great Depression, and unemployment perhaps rivaling even the Great Depression
- Indirect deaths as a result of the virus lock down (from poverty, crime, and other economic/social issues) will skyrocket
- Supply chains (food, fuel, health care) are suffering breakdowns as a result of the locks downs and the virus
- Despite data to the contrary, the World Health Organization’s lock down plan will often continue to be promoted and used
Dr. Jay Bhattacharya has the results from his first study (and two more in the works) and in Santa Clara county in California the numbers of cases determined by antibody tests are 50-85 times what was estimated by officials. If this trend carries to nationally the death rate will be much less than 1% instead of the three to five percent predicted by the World Health Organization. This will support relaxing the lock down in areas that have reduced amount of infection. I feel that this data will eventually show that a global lockdown was completely unnecessary. In addition, Sweden’s government mandated no lockdown and is showing a infection rate less than or comparable to Nations that put a strict lockdown in place. For instance, schools were not closed in Sweden and citizens utilizing restaurants and bars were only asked to take reasonable precautions on an individual basis.
In addition, we have reams of data now that show us the groups most impacted by Coronavirus. As we implement a reduction of the lockdown we also need to implement a more targeted quarantine of those people who will be subject to serious effects from Coronavirus. We knew that the Italian deaths were centered on people over the age of 80 with two or more contributing illnesses. In addition to that, however, we have new data on the real epidemic that is driving the coronavirus deaths. The number one factor in younger victims who succumb to Coronavirus is obesity.
We have known in the United States for quite some time that we have an epidemic of obesity. The numbers of deaths from coronavirus are dwarfed by the numbers of deaths attributed to obesity and its accompanying diseases such as heart disease, hypertension, pulmonary disease, and diabetes.
I pointed this out in a blog nearly a month ago and have reiterated it in posts on social media, but one of my chief responses has been that I am “shaming” people and we shouldn’t be shaming people in the midst of this epidemic. I am not attempting to shame people, but attempting to save their lives. I pointed out in that same blog that even just starting on a weight reduction program reduces inflammation to a significant degree, and inflammation is the explosive element in a coronavirus infection.
I shared in another post about how at one point I was just over the line into the obesity range according to the BMI calculations, and that I had never had a doctor suggest weight loss as an option for better health, but rather discounted my concerns about that same weight. Even the doctor that started prescribing a suite of medications to address what he determined was pre-diabetes, slightly elevated cholesterol, and blood pressure never suggested any other option than medication. It didn’t take long for me to find multiple studies comparing weight loss to medication with identical (or better) results. And taking aggressive steps towards health have accomplished significant results.
It would seem that the medical community (and Big Pharm) prefers a nation of fatties; I guess that shouldn’t be surprising, given the billions of dollars expended on treating the effects from obesity.
Multiple efforts to change the SNAP rules (formerly food stamps) to guide participants into healthier choices have been successfully resisted for years.
Efforts to end the lock downs in the US are facing resistance from the American Medical Association and the mainstream media. Hopefully, the new antibody data will convince some states to change to a highly targeted quarantine and allow people at very low risk to return to work.
Behaviors resulting from the lockdown are putting the American population even more at risk for Coronavirus when they come out. “U.S. sales of alcoholic beverages rose 55%in the week ending March 21, according to market research firm Nielsen. Spirits like tequila, gin and pre-mixed cocktails led the way, with sales jumping 75% compared to the same period last year. Wine sales were up 66% while beer sales rose 42%. And online sales far outpaced in-store sales.”
Food consumption has gone up while exercise has gone down. “My clients are calling it the COVID-20,” in reference to fears of gaining that much unwanted weight before this is all over, said registered dietitian Ashley Koff, chief executive of the online resource the Better Nutrition Program, based in Columbus, Ohio. “We’re all in a situation where the gym is shut down, we’re home a lot, we’re stressed, and it’s making it easy to overeat.”
Steps we can take:
- Identify urban hotspots, elder care facilities, and others at risk and put a hard quarantine on them (over half of the deaths in the US are located in the NYC metro area)
- Educate all at-risk people suffering from obesity and other contributing diseases about the extreme risks presented to them by their condition in combination with Coronavirus, and provide services for them to assist them in quarantine
- Recognize that lock downs are not a one-size-fits-all solutions for containing epidemics
- Recognize the human capital wasted through lock downs and the resulting economic effects; the “Great Recession” of 2008 resulted in the first reduction of US life spans since World War Two
- Remember that the Bible has one consistent recommendation for nations faced with epidemics: Seek God, repent, fast and pray.
“Death has come up into our windows, it has entered our palaces, to cut off the children from the streets and the young men from the squares.” (Jeremiah 9:20)
Does this sound like something current? The much-quoted 2 Chronicles 7:14 follows verse 13: “If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, (14) and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
And if there ever was a time to pray, it is now. The International Monetary Fund is just one among dozens predicting the largest recession in US history. Crime rates will soon begin to rise as the lock downs lessen and economic pressures increase, supply chains are on the brink of failing, and experts anticipate significant increase of domestic and child abuse.It is very feasible that deaths from poverty induced by the shutdown of the world economy will eclipse the virus deaths. But the die has been cast. It seems we’re guaranteed at least the new Great Recession, and yet people still want to push the shutdown into next year. Yes, every death is tragic, but so are the deaths by despair, the overdoses, and the deaths by starvation that are already documented in India and many other countries.
We are in the economic calm before the storm. Only God’s intervention can change the long term effects of this unprecedented shut down of industry and nearly all enterprise. Let us call on Him.
As a foot note, some thoughts on food and the Bible:
- While the original sin was disobedience, it was delivered via food
- Without God’s intervention through Joseph, Egypt and Israel would have succumbed to a worldwide famine
- Esau gave up his destiny for food
- Proper handling of food is extensively addressed in the Bible
- Proverbs tells us rich food is like a knife in the heart, and speaks to gluttony many times
- Division in the early church was created over food (and gave us deacons)
- Eating food offered to idols was considered “participation with demons” according to Paul
Gluttony is one of the few sins you cannot easily hide.