Monday, April 27, 2020

Victor Davis Hanson: COVID-19 and the Lessons of History

HooverInstitution - Recorded April 9, 2020, 11AM PST

Hoover Institution Fellow Victor Davis Hanson on COVID-19 and the Lessons of History.

The Hoover Institution presents an online virtual briefing series on pressing policy issues, including health care, the economy, democratic governance, and national security. Briefings will include thoughtful and informed analysis from our top scholars.


Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution; his focus is classics and military history.

12:05 COVID-19 is the first epidemic where models were developed without knowing the actual number of people that are affected. Models are used to predict potential impact in terms of number of deaths and are used in developing public policy. If the model is not based on good (or no) data, its predictions are off and public policy decisions have the potential to be wrong. If the number of affected people is 10 times higher than predicted, the number of deaths per thousand is 10 times less.

14:20 Models have consequences. Dire warnings make people hysterical and they take drastic measures.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Doctors provide differing opinion on shelter-in-place order, say county ...

Bakersfield, California (April 23, 2020) - DOCTORS DISAGREE WITH SHUTDOWN: Doctors Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi of Accelerated Urgent Care refuse to wear masks outside. They say the longer people stay inside the more their immune system drops. They're calling for Kern to reopen immediately. PART 2 of the interview is HERE: Link to the original article.

Tonight (April 27, 2020) Laura Ingraham interviewed Doctors Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi of Accelerated Urgent Care in Bakersfield, California, who claim that Californians should no longer be required to shelter-in-place because of COVID-19. At the end of Ingraham's show, she indicated that a YouTube video of the doctors which had gone viral had just been removed by YouTube. See the report at my MediaFile blog. Because YouTube might also censor this video of the doctors' interview, I'm providing a summary below. (Any errors in the transcription are my fault.)

0:00 - Dr. Erickson indicated that he and Dr. Massihi are providing findings from their own research and observations of the COVID-19. Their company is the main COVID testing center in Kern County, California. They have done over 5000 tests for COVID-19 in Kern County.

Since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, more data has been gathered including a study in Santa Clara County, California. Their study and the study from Santa Clara show that the number of people with COVID-19 has been under reported, so that in fact the per capita death rate is much lower than feared.

2:30 - Because hospitals in Bakersfield are not seeing patients with other diseases or doing elective surgeries, the hospital floors are shutting down and doctors and nurses are being furloughed. When COVID is over, there may be a backlog of patients, many with serious illnesses. Patients with cancer and hypertension are not coming in because they are afraid they might get COVID at the hospital, Erickson said.

3:20 - Typically in an epidemic, the sick are quarantined, not the healthy. With COVID-19 the land was shut down when not all the facts were known. Now that more data is available the country should be opened up.

In Kern County 5213 people have been tested. There were 340 cases, 6.5% of those tested. These numbers are similar to the ordinary flu. In California over 200,000 people have been tested. Of these 33,865 tested positive, about 12%. If these figures (12%) were used to extrapolate to the larger population of almost 40 million, there would be about 4.7 million cases in California. There have been 1227 deaths in California, 0.03 percent of those infected. No more than the common flu. 

6:13 - As more tests are taken it might show that more people test positive, but the death rate would stay the same. 

New York State has had 256,000 cases. Of those tested 39% were positive. If the figure 39% were used for the population of 25 million, the number of deaths (19,410) in New York would be 0.1% of those infected.  92% have recovered without going to the hospital. 

In the USA of 4 million people tested, 19.6% have been positive (802,590 cases). The numbers are similar to the flu, which kills 20,000 to 50,000 people a year. Business is not shut down for the annual flu. 

11:20 - A flu vaccine is available, but how many people get the vaccine - maybe 50%.

12:34 - In Spain, of a population of 47 million, 930,000 have been tested with 22% positive. The death rate is 0.05% (21,282). 90% recovered without going to the hospital.

16:30 - Sweden has not been quarantined; businesses have stayed open, while the sick have been told to stay home and others have followed social distancing guidelines. Of a population of 10.4 million, there have been 15,200 cases and 1765 deaths. Twenty-one percent have tested positive, suggesting the total with the virus was 2 million cases. In California, where the people have been isolated, there have been fewer deaths (about 1220). The population is almost 4 times greater.

14:04 - In neighboring Norway, where people were quarantined, of 71,000 tested, 4.9 % were positive. Of a  population of 5.4 million, there were 182 deaths (0.03%). Did these figures necessitate a shut down and furloughing doctors?

15:15 - The secondary effects of COVID-19 have been devastating and long-lasting. The amount of child molestation and spousal abuse has increased. Alcoholism and suicides have increased. Education has been dropped and the economy with millions of unemployed has been devastated. And this because of a flu that has been no worse than the common flu. (Numbers of deaths are not over the figures from 2017-2018 when 40,000 to 50,000 people died.)

17:30 - Another effect of the quarantine of healthy people has been the impact on immune systems. When people are not allowed to get out among other people, they do not build up immunity to the virus. Immunity is developed by touching objects and other people and by touching the face.

32:00 - More testing is needed because maybe up to 25% of people will prove to be asymptomatic. Typically, people develop resistance to disease through herd immunity, where people are exposed to the virus and most survive. By locking down people are not protected against opportunistic infections. 

36:00 - Conclusions - We no longer need to shelter in place; we no longer need to keep businesses closed. Measures need to be taken to prevent this kind of closure from happening again. The secondary effects have been devastating. We need to quarantine the sick, not the healthy. We should do more testing of people, so the sick can be isolated. 

43:00 - Testing of workers should start with the food industry. The virus remains for three days on plastic. The virus has been brought into homes on packaging when shopping or fast food pickup. There is no sense behind the decisions to keep big businesses open when small businesses are closed.

Monday, April 06, 2020

Chicago Fire Dept. & The Snorkel (circa 1965)

A special thanks to our first responders who are making a difference during the COVI-19 pandemic. 

Consider a career on the front line. 

Go to UVU Emergency Services Department for more information.

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