By V. Susan Hutchinson
Are you tired of hearing people complain about wearing a mask? Tired of people posting “data” on social media that says 99% recover to make people feel better about surviving if they get it? And are you tired of the claims the media is spouting misinformation that makes it looks worse than it is? Or that it is still no worse than the flu or it will all stop right after the election in November because it is purely political and doesn’t really exist?
Well, join the club!
Every time I see posts like these from one of my friends or family, I feel compelled to educate them. Sometimes it even gets through to them.
And for every person screaming their right to breathe is being violated, there are 100 high risk people desperately wanting them to just shut up and comply so this can be over and we can get back to our lives as well. We have family and friends we want to see in person, places we want to go, trips we want to take and to go grocery shopping without having to do it at the crack of dawn to avoid large crowds.
And we would kill to go out for a meal or a movie with our social groups.
It’s so exhausting! We feel like we are in terminal self-quarantine and prisoners in our own homes. Especially here in Horry county where we have 3 of the top 10 zip codes in the state for cases.
Let’s Talk “Data”
As far as the “data”, it usually has a calculated very low mortality rate and may say it’s from CDC. If you go to the CDC website, they do a weekly update and do not have any of these calculations. Not only that, CDC combines pneumonia, influenza and COVID-19 together in their statistical analysis.
The other huge gap in this “data” is how many of these people who recover did so in a hospital on a ventilator or at home for six or more weeks. And what about those of all ages who recover and have long term lung and heart problems? No one is including that in the recovery “data”. Is seems it’s only important to know people recover, not that their quality of life has been severely impacted.
It’s also important to note that this “data” is representing a national average and is not specific to states where the numbers and rates may be a lot higher than the average.
And they claim the media is spreading misinformation!
The more this type of information is spread, the longer we will be in this situation. The SC DHEC shows that after the mask ordinances all went into effect after July 4, the numbers are slowing coming down; however, this doesn’t mean we should all be getting back to normal now. All it will take are large gatherings with people not wearing masks for it to start spiking again. This week all eyes are on the 2020 motorcycle rally in Sturgis, SD. It’s being called a super spreader event. In a couple of weeks everyone will be closely monitoring for spikes in all states because of it.
What Should We Be Looking At?
To me the exact numbers are not relevant if you want to know where we are in the pandemic. The key take-away should be is the trend going up or down? This indicates whether the spread is increasing or decreasing. The numbers being reported, even if over or under inflated, will show the same trend. The objective is to stop the spread in order to see the upward trend turn into a plateau (i.e. flatten the curve) then see it start dropping. We could be in a plateau for weeks or months.
Although we are starting to see this plateau in national data, we are not on a downward trend and some states may not be plateauing at all. When trying to decide where we stand, always look at your state DHEC website to see what is going on close to home instead of national trend lines. And follow all guidelines to stop the spread – wash your hands, don’t touch your face with unwashed hands, wear a mask any time you are in a public place and keep 6 feet apart from others, even if both of you are wearing a mask.
But what about that mortality rate, you say? Well, yes, it is important, but those numbers do not show what stage of the pandemic we are in. All it tells you is how many deaths could have been prevented if we had a President who cared as much about the American people as he does his re-election. A President who spends time and energy trying to suppress the vote instead of containing a deadly virus.
It’s disheartening to hear Joe Biden talking about his strategy for COVID-19 in January 2021 when he is President. That in and of itself tells you we are in this for at least another 6 months.
I’m tired of the pandemic – the virus and the politics.