Our editors’ inboxes and comment sections are filled with insightful, sharp, and thought-provoking responses from our readers. So we’ve started a weekly roundup of highlights. Check up on our blog each Friday for more, and send your letters to email@example.com!
Blowing in the Wind
In pursuit of solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic, government-mandated “social-distancing” seems to be the easiest and fastest to implement. Except for that Constitution thing (freedom of speech, religion, and assembly), the bureaucratic consensus, guided by health “experts,” is that we must endure these minor inconveniences until a vaccine can be found.
Unfortunately, in all of human history, only two viruses have been eradicated by massive vaccination programs — smallpox and rinderpest. We probably shouldn’t be holding our breath waiting for ongoing programs targeting poliomyelitis, yaws, dracunculiasis, HIV, the common cold, and malaria.
If we apply the 12th-century theory, proposed by William of Ockham (a Franciscan friar), that, among all possible answers to a complex question, the most likely “correct” answer is probably one which requires the fewest assumptions. CNN and MSNBC confirms that requiring a long-term “six-foot social-distance perimeter” is indeed our last and hope.
However, recent studies have shown that weather may be a bigger factor in the spread of ALL diseases than ever imagined. Occam’s Razor dictates that SIX FEET is only sufficient if the infected person is underground.
Science Magazine (April 2, 2020) reports that normal breathing or talking inside a closed room can aerosolize and expel germs, especially viruses, between three and six feet. If you add a sneeze, cough, air conditioning, heat currents, or an open window, that same ultra-fine mist can be carried to beyond 20 feet. I’d suggest that “social distances” MUST be increased to a safer 25-foot perimeter when inside multi-story, climate-controlled buildings.
Outdoors, even on a gentle breeze, these same virulent diseases can be transmitted from one hacking, phlegmy carrier to hundreds of innocent “breathers” standing 50 or 100 feet away. The National Weather Service (NWS) should be in charge of determining how far apart we should remain from each other, based upon scientific forecasts of projected wind directions and speed.
The NWS already announces alerts for pollen count, air pollution, heat danger, wind-chill indexes, and fire/moisture levels, why not include a daily “social-distance” requirement to mitigate wind-driven viral transmission?
It may cost a few billion dollars to execute and enforce some NWS rules, especially when prefrontal, Sirocco, Santa Ana, Diablo, or Papagayo winds exceed 35 mph and require a mandatory 500-yard “social-distance” perimeter, but if it saves one life, isn’t it worth it?
Cautiously coughing into the wind,
Dale Lowdermilk, Founder, notsafe.org
Dial C for China Coronavirus Cases
One of the major factors slowing and/or halting the return to economic normalcy is the admiration many of our medical practitioners have about the way the PRC has supposedly “contained” the virus with their drastic totalitarian methods. They take the absurdly low official death figures released by the PRC as “proof” that such draconic methods work. The Trump haters are in full support of these policies. If it can be shown that the Chinese figures are HUGE lies, this drive to keep the economy locked down will probably collapse. So far, however, the highest figures I have seen for the probable real amount of Chinese deaths is still only 45,000. But figures like this are obtained from sources which are largely somewhat hazardous guesswork (such as trying to estimate the real number of deaths from satellite views of funeral urns) and are easily dismissed by “experts.”
There is one method, however, if you can obtain the proper numbers, that would give an almost unchallengeable figure for the REAL amount of COVID-19 (I call it the “PRC virus” — and THAT’S not racist) deaths. Here it is:
Everyone in the PRC is REQUIRED to have a cell phone. The government uses these phones to keep track of the movements and activities of ALL of the PRC’s 1.5 billion souls, and to more accurately assess the “social credit” scores of these inhabitants, information it uses to more effectively refine its totalitarian control over its people. When a person dies in the PRC, their cell phone is disconnected and the number retired. According to a source called “China Confidential,” in excess of 20,000,000 cell phones were terminated in the months of January, February, and March of this year. If you can get the number of cell phone shutdowns for comparable months of 2019, this would give you the real number of PRC virus deaths in the PRC. You would obtain this number simply by subtracting the 2019 figure from the 2020 figure. Ditto for the last three months of 2019. My educated guess from my knowledge of Chinese history and society is that the real figure is probably something like 100 times the ridiculously low numbers the PRC has tried to claim are the real figures.
On “Website Changes and Whatnot,” by Melissa Mackenzie
I’m very excited about the new American Spectator format. I love this magazine. I loved it “way back when” when it appeared in my mailbox in paper form!
I depend on it more than ever now to bring forth the truth in matters concerning our body politic that’s under assault by lunatic despoilers.
Having fresh content throughout the day will be a real treat — the difference between opening multiple presents on Christmas day instead of one!
On “Why This Night Is Different From All Other Nights,” by Dov Fischer
Thank you for your Passover article. It describes quite accurately how I am experiencing the pandemic.
I feel that the people who are terrified and are isolating themselves from life are doing so because they have no faith in anything but themselves and science. Death terrifies them. I have one friend who openly states she doesn’t care what happens to anyone as long as she is protected. Too bad for the folks who lose their job or their business. Another friend who is a doctor says it is every person’s responsibility to protect themselves and their family. We are not practicing survival of the fittest and we will pay for that. Cull the herd and create immunity.
God Bless in your effort to spread truth and comfort.
On “Mapping the Mortality Maze: How Deadly Is COVID-19?,” by Jonathan Geach, MD, et. al.
Mapping the Mortality Maze …. is SUPERB. Many TYs.
From Daniel J. Flynn’s Spectator A.M. Newsletter
Dear Mr. Flynn,
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Monday morning’s article about giving up vices is spot on. Years ago, I gave up smoking for Lent only. Had to keep the remaining cigarettes in the house as proof I would go back to it. On Easter Sunday, 37 years ago, I threw them out. Unfortunately, knowing how hard that was, I have downgraded remaining vices to minor eccentricities undeserving of such treatment.