COVID Numbers Lie. More Will Die

Most government elites and media talking heads are bullying Americans to be mortally afraid of the COVID-19 virus as they get paid to work, yet millions are not allowed to earn a living. (RealClearPolitics.com)

Is this fair? No.

It appears wealthy political elites and media outlets are gaining power, prestige, and profit by promoting fear, isolation, distrust, and encouraging fearful to bully anyone who questions their shelter in place, don’t leave your homes, always wear a mask, die in a hole admonishments.

The media blames President Trump for this crisis. Partly true. However, which Democrat or Independent party politician, or government bureaucrat had a pandemic response plan?

None.

America should’ve been better prepared. We weren’t.

The pandemic is easing. What now? Follow Costco’s example and start requiring masks or members cannot enter their stores? No!

We must emerge from our holes, return to positively interacting with one another, and get back to work. NOW! (See my earlier post, Let My People Work.)

The rich can stay on lockdown if they want. Commoners don’t have that luxury.

MarketWatch reports 84% of Americans need another stimulus check NOW. Business Insider reports less than 50% of Americans will receive a paycheck in May 2020.

Yes, we should be afraid. But not of the COVID-19 virus.

World Magazine reports “the Congressional Budget Office estimates economic activity will plunge at a 40 percent annual rate from April through June.”

Do the simple math:

40% less economic activity = approximately 40% less tax revenue

States should file bankruptcy, recommended Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. (New York Times) The Federal, State, County, City, and Municipal governments all run on tax revenue. They’ll all be in debt this year.

The $2.2 trillion stimulus bill was just a down payment, committed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. (TPM) She was right. On April 24th President Trump signed a bill providing another $484 billion in stimulus funds. They’re not done. Already there’s talk of providing more funding.

Federal budget deficit will hit $4 trillion. (MarketWatch) Watch for the 2020 Federal deficit to be much higher, especially if you include all the forms of Federal debt.

Jobless claims top 30 million people (MarketWatch). There are millions of other unemployed who haven’t filed — they don’t qualify for unemployment, are undocumented workers scared of deportation, or another reason.

Why do you think your job will continue when a growing number of people cannot pay their bills? Even essential workers in healthcare are at risk if we stay locked up. Many California hospitals and urgent care facilities are so slow they are cutting back on worker hours.

Don’t be deceived by the stock market’s bounce and real estate pricing holding. That’s just bottom fishers. Look at the Dow Jones chart for the last six months (MarketWatch). The market collapsed to a low of 18,591 on March 23. As the market dropped, it established a barrier on the upside at around 25,000.

On April 17, the market recovery extended to 24,272. That’s about a 33% bounce. On April 29 it tried again to break through the barrier of 25,000, but peaked at 24,633. Logic indicates it’s not going to make it through 25,000 this year. The whammy of this coming recession, or depression, will limit market gains into 2021. This is a bear market and too early to buy in. We haven’t seen the bottom yet.

Sorry.

NOTE: There is a recovery out of this decline that’s faster than current political elites and media talking heads want you to believe. I’m an optimist, although you may not sense it in this post. We must face reality head-on. That’s the only way through this muck.

The starting point is to open parks and recreation areas. Allow people to exercise and interact. Allow people to fully return to work. Masks, gloves, and isolation are optional. Significantly increase the availability of testing. Test anyone with symptoms. Isolate anyone testing positive, and whomever they’ve interacted with, for two weeks. Let others continue to work.

To be candid, these total lockdowns are probably unconstitutional. That’s another post… in the meantime…

More Will Die

I am sincerely sorry people have died directly from COVID-19, and for others with pre-existing medical conditions it has led to death.

However, one truth is crystal clear for those willing to consider the facts: More people will die from behaviors caused by fear of the virus, than the virus itself.

Consider the simple math.

The emotions of millions are under attack as media and political messages beat the drums of COVID fear to unrealistic heights. Some major media outlets are blocking messages like this one.

This convinces many people to be afraid to leave their homes, practice traditional courtesies, interact with neighbors, or even visit their doctor. Yet, there is growing evidence the lockdowns are not the best approach.

Here are just a few key indicators the “COVID Fear Virus” will kill millions more than the virus itself:

#1 — Domestic violence is rising. The increase is larger because 50% or more of domestic violence is not reported.

#2 — Suicides are increasing. WSJM Radio reports a Grand Rapids-based mental health organization predicts Michigan suicides will increase 32% due to the pandemic. Scientific American reports unemployment always increases death rates, particularly for low-skilled workers and the poor. Forbes reports the 2008–10 recession caused 10,000 more suicides — it’s reasonable to predict a similar massive jump due to COVID-19 fear.

#3 — Depression is skyrocketing. The Hill reports widespread fear about COVID-19, the way it’s crushing the economy, and the extended self-isolation are driving record numbers of people to depression. One indication is calls to the federal mental health crisis hotline have increased 900 percent than this time last year.

#4 — Avoiding the hospital will kill a lot of people. Wired Magazine reports many hospitals are telling people to stay at home rather than be seen by their doctors.

STAT reports the number of severe heart attacks U.S. hospitals are treating has dropped by almost 40% since COVID-19 fear started being heavily promoted in March.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported on April 21 that California Governor Newson announced he will allow hospitals to “…begin rescheduling surgeries that are ‘foundational to people’s health,’ including tumor removals, heart valve replacements, colonoscopies and operations to treat chronic diseases like diabetes. Purely cosmetic surgeries will not be permitted.”

It should be noted California’s healthcare system never experienced what people feared: a massive surge of coronavirus patients. It did not happen.

Shouldn’t we wonder: Why were surgeries delayed that are “foundational to people’s health”?

The Telegraph reports the 2008–10 recession caused 500,000 more cancer deaths. It’s reasonable to expect the same catastrophic effect, or more, from COVID-19 fear.

#5 — Fraud and cybercrime are attacking the most vulnerable. While violent crimes have dropped due to shelter in place policies, fraud and online scams have skyrocketed. See some of what the FBI is reporting publicly here.

#6 — Divorce rates are rising. Bloomberg reports divorce rates skyrocketed in China after their lockdown. We’re in Week 8 of lockdown in California. America can expect similar problems and more broken families as our politicians restore our Constitutional freedoms.

#7 — Fear is leading to isolation. Vox reports “…many people are experiencing a greater and greater sense of isolation. They’re also dealing with the uncertainty of when and how the pandemic will end, the fear of getting infected, the economic crisis that has cost millions of Americans their jobs, and the inconsistent messaging about the virus from authority figures.”

#8 — Alcohol sales jump big time (and other addictions?). Newsweek reported alcohol sales jumped 55% in early April. Shatterproof reports COVID-19 is the perfect storm in the addiction world.

Our political elites and their minions are promoting fear. The virus of fear is going to kill more than COVID-19.

Let me explain why:

It’s the Math

I’ve provided some simple math that proves Americans must immediately return to work. Without income, individuals, families, businesses, and government cannot function. Furthermore, the horizontal lockdowns are unhealthy to the vast majority of people.

Unfortunately, most Americans don’t do the math. If we did, we wouldn’t have so much debt and make so many unwise decisions.

It’s embarrassing to admit American is ranked 31st of 64 industrialized countries in math. U.S. News reports:

“Most troubling to researchers is that 30 countries scored higher than U.S. students in math and that the performance gap between top-performing and lower-performing students is widening, especially in reading.”

Therefore, let me close this post with an appeal to sanity:

1. Fear alerts us to danger. However, fear is not a wise criteria for ongoing decision making.

2. Isolation destroys community, equal opportunity, and freedom. Isolated, we can be controlled and manipulated. Released to work within the boundaries of our Constitution we can freely give, and more freely receive.

3. Healthy choices: For too long many Americans have disregarded the benefits of a heathy lifestyle. COVID-19 is more dangerous to people who vape, smoke, have a poor diet, are overweight, overuse alcohol, abuse themselves with drugs, and have other self-induced health weaknesses.

This is a wake-up call, America, to be better stewards of our health.

One option is for America to develop a “herd immunity” to COVID-19 and future virus threats. Many writers fear and loath herd immunity, but Sweden is doing it.

Sweden has one of the lowest COVID-19 death rates in the world. The NY Times reports Sweden has trusted “the crowd” to do what is right and gone without a lockdown, which preserved their freedoms. Their model is worth considering.

4. Hope: Why do we suddenly trust our politicians? Because they’re handing out money.

Stop believing the bribes.

However, all is not lost. We can increase accountability for ethical, responsible behavior and wise problem solving by our politicians. We can also encourage a relatively small number of them who are sincerely trying to make things better, such as the House Problem Solvers Caucus and the nonprofit group, No Labels.

How about we stage a demonstration of support for these problem solvers, instead of to complain?

5. Return to work: People without jobs lose good health, positive self-identity, and their ability to contribute to society. Let my people work! Job growth is the engine out of this mess.

Continue to believe in America. Say “NO!” to fear. Avoid falling for partial truths twisted into tempting lies that divide us. Unite around truth. We are our best in a crisis.

Let’s prove we can be our best now.

That’s all for the moment. Blessings to you, your family, and community!

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Manage 2 Win founder, author, executive coach, speaker, patriot, Christian. My posts are my personal views and not that of my company.

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David Russell

Manage 2 Win founder, author, executive coach, speaker, patriot, Christian. My posts are my personal views and not that of my company.