We evacuated schools but crammed the vulnerable into care facilities. Stupidity kills.
If we gave all the condoms and clean needles to nuns in the aftermath of the AIDS outbreak, then we could cite a precedent. As it stands, our idiocy knows no benchmark. We go for the cathartic over the constructive. Unfortunately, what makes us feel good kills others.
In Massachusetts and Minnesota, a majority of coronavirus deaths have occurred among residents of care facilities. The data in most other states remains sketchy. But given the World Health Organization’s European director admitting that about half of that region’s coronavirus fatalities came in nursing-home residents, projecting the grim results from Massachusetts and Minnesota upon other states withholding data does not seem terribly unreasonable.
Similarly, the very recreational outlets saving people from coronavirus death — gyms, basketball courts, beaches, parks — remain off-limits in many locales. Governments not only encourage the able-bodied to become Price Is Right/Judge Judy shut-ins — the very inactivity that already resulted in so many deaths — but, in many places, dictate this under the penalty of arrest. The Arby’s drive-thru faces no such prohibition.
Park authorities welcomed Tom Brady to Tampa by kicking him out of a public field. Idaho cops arrested a 40-year-old mom in front of her children for the crime of bringing them to a playground. Beautiful San Clemente dumped sand in ugly fashion on a local skate park. From the beginning, tax-funded killjoys removed basketball rims from outdoor courts. Tennis, a sport with social distancing baked into the game, sees its courts closed by order of people who threaten to get up close and personal to ostensibly thwart people who get up close and personal (even though they don’t).
Northwell Health analyzed outcomes for 5,700 coronavirus patients admitted to its New York area hospitals between March 1 and April 4. The resultant study, published online Wednesday at the Journal of the American Medical Association, found chronic conditions in about 19 out of every 20 coronavirus deaths. The most common comorbidities all related, to one degree or another, to obesity.
“The most common comorbidities were hypertension (3,026, 56.6%), obesity (1,737, 41.7%), and diabetes (1,808, 33.8%),” the study reports. “The median score on the Charlson Comorbidity Index was 4 points (IQR, 2-6), which corresponds to a 53% estimated 10-year survival and reflects a significant comorbidity burden for these patients.”
In other words, a large percentage of victims displayed unwellness to such a degree that they likely would have died of something soon in the absence of coronavirus. Yes, one of the fattest countries on the planet registers the most coronavirus deaths.
One size does not fit all.
Geography — South Dakota registers 0.05 percent of coronavirus deaths as New York — dictates this. So, too, do demographics. Coronavirus poses a risk to healthy, young people the way the flu does. Society does not close over the flu.
The wise counsel instructs older people and unhealthy people to isolate from society for weeks to come. It allows younger people far more apt to die by murder, car accident, or heart disease to pursue their own happiness as they wash their hands, keep their distance, and refrain from licking the faces of random passersby. One imagines the ambition of this does not strike as beyond our reach.
This is not the Black Plague. The drones spying on beachgoers, soundtrucks emitting loud propaganda, and governmental orders to wear the very masks this month the government told us not to wear last month suggest that it might be the Black Shirts.
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