Most people in the Western World have no clue. About anything. Least of all how dangerous of a world we actually live in. It should be clear to any intelligent person by now just how blind virtually everyone is to what's happening in the world around them. But it's still not clear to most. So many people are pretending this isn't happening, or latching on to a wild conspiracy theory to explain it.
Almost nobody took precautions to prepare for this ahead of time. I'm hearing many angry people over that fact. They're mad at their government. They're mad at their politicians. They're mad at their employers. They're mad at everyone but themselves.
What did YOU do to prepare for a pandemic ahead of time? That's a fair question. People like Bill Gates have been "preaching" the word for years. We collectively mock "doomsday preppers" who spend much of their life energy preparing for such things. But most people are just as unprepared for this as their governments. The governments they elected.
So stop trying to blame everyone and let's focus on the task at hand. Getting through this with the least death and damage.
First and foremost you need to know that this isn't going away in a couple weeks. Or a couple months. Now that we've been hit with a pandemic, if we're not forever preparing for the next one, then we deserve what that inaction brings us.
And preparing the world to live in that reality will require a change of mindset and lifestyle that is beyond most people's ability to grasp. So we won't really discuss that part of the equation except to see how it relates to all the conspiracy theories flying around about this.
The Psychology Of Conspiracy Theories.
These are my thoughts. I have no academic or professional credentials in psychology. But I've been a student of human behavior for 45 years.
First off, we all live in a "collective delusion". And on some level everyone who lives in delusion knows it. Usually on a subconscious level. But there is a "hint" of a bigger picture they're not seeing while conscious. This opens the door for the conscious mind to try to make sense of this "bigger picture" and it is very easy for people to grasp on to anything and everything. The more they suspect that the world they live in is delusion, the bigger and grander the conspiracy theories they may be prone to buy into.
In some ways people prone to conspiracy theories are ahead of the game. That is, they KNOW on some conscious level they're living in a world of delusion. Is this not preferred to people who are completely clueless? In some ways it is. But it is very easy to move from the state of "entertaining possibilities" to full-blown acceptance of conspiracy theories that aren't any more reality than the slumber of the "sheeple" these people despise.
Coronavirus Conspiracy Theories
There are too many to list! Some say China intentionally unleashed this in a plot to take over the world. Some say the U.S. unleashed it in China. Some say it's all a power grab by the Illuminati to steer us to One World Government. Some say it's all a hoax to distract us from the roll out of 5g which is going to kill us all. Some say there is no virus, that it's 5g that is killing people. Did I miss any? Yup. Dozens. Did I miss your favorite? Sorry. I'm not even going mention the religiously toned theories... sheesh, people... if you really BELIEVE that book you talk about, content yourself with this... I've read that book! If you don't understand it, skip to the end. God wins. The End. Nothing to worry about if you REALLY believe that book.
Please set aside the conspiracy theories. They won't help you get through this. They'll only make it worse. Besides, if any of them are true you can't do anything about it anyway. But you can do things to get through this pandemic. Yes, our reality has been shattered. Yes, we all see big changes coming in the world. Yes they're scary. Be brave and do your part.
You need to start thinking about the long-term. No, do not go out and buy all the toilet paper. Save some for others. But in the coming months you do need to start slowly stocking up on things because even if this virus calms down over the summer, it is quite possible we'll get a repeat in the fall. Do your part to prepare for yourself and reduce the burden on the system when and if that comes.
We're not going back to our care-free lifestyle. The economic fallout from this is HUGE. Do you REALLY think that Donald Trump is willing to completely trash the U.S. economy in an election year over a trivial virus no worse than the seasonal flu? No. Me neither. We're headed straight for the biggest economic depression of most of our lives, if not a flat out global depression. I'm not trying to scare you, I'm trying to instill in you the reality that you CAN and SHOULD start preparing yourself and your family for the coming months/years. Anything you do now will put you ahead of the game.
Brace For Impact
Many think that we're in the worst of it. The virus is peaking. Donald Trump seems to say so. I think the truth is more that New York is peaking, but the rest of the United States is most definitely not peaking.
Let's look at some numbers:
(This chart has been updated past the posting date of this article)
U.S. Covid-19 Death Rate
|Date||Confirmed Cases||Confirmed Deaths||Death Rate|
This data is taken from worldometers.info and is mostly accurate. They have added some here and there to back date late coming numbers. But the numbers are accurate enough for our purpose.
In these 4 columns are the date, starting at February 29th, when the U.S. had it's first death, up until yesterday. Next column is Confirmed Cases, then Confirmed Deaths, and finally, the percent of deaths from all known cases. That is, if we divide the number of deaths into the number of cases, we get a percentage of people who die from this virus.
Now, there are clear problems with that "death rate" number. First, it's simply not accurate. It's not accurate because the REAL death rate would be the number of deaths divided by the ACTUAL number of Covid-19 cases, which is a number we do not know.
What we DO know is that if we tested EVERYBODY then we'd know the true number and would have a much more accurate "death rate". We still have a LONG way to go to do that. But logic and common sense says that as time goes on and you test more and more people you'll get a more accurate reflection of the true death rate.
And the chart bears that out... to a point. The first three days there simply isn't enough data to see a "trend" but by day 4, March 3rd, we see the start of an interesting trend. On March 3rd the "death rate" was 7.25%. That is very high, and thankfully, not accurate. And as we test more and more people we can expect that number to come down, which it does. Every single day as more and more people are tested, that percentage dropped. Every day. Without exception. It went down just a bit. Until March 22nd when it hit the lowest point at 1.23% And then the trend reversed. From that point on up until today, every day the death rate climbed up just a little bit. Every day, without exception. From 1.23% up to the current 3.4%.
Why Did The Death Rate Start Going Up?
What does this mean? Did we stop testing people? No. In fact, we're testing more and more people every day. We have faster tests and more of them. So why isn't the death rate continuing to decline, or at least hold steady?
It's because the virus is spreading faster than we can collect data on it. That is the most logical and most likely answer. In other words, this virus is very much out of control.
A study done by disease modelers at the University of Texas at Austin suggests that we may only be testing and reporting only 1 in 10 actual cases.
On one hand, this is good news. It means that the actual death rate from this virus is even lower than anyone is currently guessing. Perhaps as low as the seasonal flu which has a 0.1% death rate.
But on the other hand, this is very bad news. It means that this virus is far more contagious and travels far more widely and easily than anyone currently knows. And that's a scary thought.
My conclusion from those numbers? New York may be peaking, and some areas may be "holding their own" due to social distancing, but this virus is very much on the rise and "out of control".
What's more, any success we have as a result of social distancing will be lost as soon as we start easing up on those measures. This means that more people will be out of work for much longer than they realize and the economic impact of this virus is going to be much more severe than most people can fathom.
Be safe. Stay at home. Don't live in fear, but for goodness sake, don't live in denial. These are interesting and scary times. Be responsible.
So ends the rantings of a mad man. For today.