The COVID Pandemic Is Getting Worse

   Cold weather is arriving in the Northern Hemisphere, and with it is a rising tide of COVID cases, especially in the United States. To anyone paying attention to what has been going on, this should come as no surprise.
   Other viruses such as the common cold and flu often seem worse in terms of numbers during colder weather as compared to warmer weather. There are a variety of possible causes for this phenomenon that we won’t delve into here.
   Now, consider how the United States as a whole has done a terrible job in trying to deal with the COVID pandemic. The Trump Administration has grossly mishandled the crisis with confusion, incompetence, false information, and a lack of coordination coming from the White House. States have in many ways been left to their own devices in battling the pandemic far more than they should have been. Their tactics have varied with some being more effective than others. The result has been a kind of ad hoc, patchwork approach instead of a coordinated national strategy. On top of this is the fact many Americans (including Donald Trump) are not taking this pandemic seriously and frequently disregard social distancing and mask wearing guidelines.
   As a result of this confused quagmire of a response, it is no surprise that we are now seeing record numbers of cases throughout the country, and tragically, it will get worse. Many more people are going to die.
   Since Trump is president until Biden’s inauguration on January 20th, we cannot expect much, or any, new help from the federal government for the next couple of months. It will primarily be up to local and state governments to do what they can in addition to every day people.
   Each and every one of us has a responsibility to do our part in combating COVID.
   Practice social distancing and mask wearing whenever you are in public. Educate yourself in what you need to do in fighting the pandemic. Avoid big crowds, especially when indoors. Don’t have big holiday gatherings with people coming from all around because doing so would spread the virus.
   Remember since people can carry the virus without even knowing it, this is more than keeping yourself safe. It’s about keeping everyone you come in contact with safe as well.
   By working together, we can get through this.
   It’s up to all of us!

The White House Event On 9-26-20 Likely Spread COVID To Multiple Attendees

   The event held September 26 at the White House Rose Garden announcing Trump’s Supreme Court nominee is the latest example of how badly the Trump Administration has botched its handling of the COVID pandemic.
   Look at photos of the event and think about what you are seeing.
   Go ahead.
   While in the midst of a pandemic which is costing lives, the majority of attendees, including Trump and Melania, were not wearing masks. On top of that, most were crammed in like sardines, virtually shoulder to shoulder, in the seating area where again the majority were not wearing masks.
   To the COVID 19 virus, this was like an invitation of please come to spread and multiply.
   And the virus did just that.
   Multiple attendees have tested positive for COVID in the week following the event. At the time of writing this piece, Donald Trump, Melania, 3 Republican Senators, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Kellyanne Conway, and Rev John Jenkins have tested positive. Several other White House officials and reporters have tested positive this week as well.
   The way this event was so badly set up and carried out is just the latest in Trump Administration’s gross mishandling of the COVID pandemic. Trump has been dangerously downplaying the seriousness of the COVID pandemic from the beginning. He has lied and exaggerated about it over and over, disregarding the advice of scientists and other experts. Trump has frequently spread false information about COVID and the pandemic that goes against what his own government scientists are saying. The United States has been desperately needing effective leadership that includes national mask wearing/social distancing rules with the President setting a good example. Instead, there has been a serious lack of leadership from the Trump Administration resulting in terrible confusion and disorganization. People don’t know where to turn for reliable information. States have varied in their responses with differing degrees of effectiveness and in an inefficient ad hoc manner devoid of federal leadership or coordination. Add to that the way Trump himself has flagrantly ignored mask wearing and social distancing in his personal activities and you can see how and why the United States’ response to COVID has been so abysmally ineffective.
   Thus, it is of no surprise that Trump, Melania, and others who attended the Rose Garden event now have COVID 19. The gross mishandling by the Trump Administration of the COVID pandemic led to this as well as unnecessary suffering and loss of life for people all across this nation.

Models Are Predicting That States Reopening Too Early Likely To Lead Too More COVID Deaths

   I’m deeply concerned that too many states are pushing the idea of reopening far too soon and that these actions could cost lives tragically and unnecessarily.
   The number of new COVID cases is still rising in the United States instead of flattening out and dropping. While some of this trend in test results could be related to having more tests available than before, many experts are concerned that the actual rate of new infections could still be on the rise instead of falling. States should not reopen if the number of true COVID cases is continuing to increase, yet it appears that multiple places like Georgia and Texas are doing just that. By reopening too quickly, the rate of new infections will increase, not decrease. If too many COVID cases happen at once, the health care systems in those areas could be overwhelmed, which would lead to more needless deaths.
   With multiple states potentially reopening before they are ready or should, several computer models are now predicting a continuing rise of COVID deaths. For example, the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation has increased its projected US deaths by COVID from 72,000+ up to 134,475 by Aug 4. A newer model from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania is predicting 117,000 deaths by June 30 if states don’t reopen and 466,000 if they do.
   Startling, scary news indeed.
   The erratic behavior of Donald Trump and resulting disorganization (with conflicting information) at the federal level has complicated matters and left the states to fight the pandemic more on their own than they should have had to do. The lack of competent leadership from the White House has contributed to the states responding to the pandemic without enough coordinated strategy. While a number of governors are doing a great job under terrible circumstances, it has led to too much of a piecemeal approach in fighting COVID.
   While I hope better coordination will be found, without the White House stepping up to the plate and doing its job properly, that will unfortunately be a difficult prospect to achieve.