Great News–But It Was Not An Easy Trip

Yesterday The U.K. Daily Mail reported that the Amish community in New Holland Borough, Pennsylvania, has achieved herd immunity to the coronavirus.

The article reports:

The administrator of a medical center in the heart of the Amish community in New Holland Borough estimates as many as 90 per cent of Plain families have since had at least one family member infected, and that this religious enclave achieved what no other community in the country has: herd immunity. 

‘So, you would think if COVID was as contagious as they say, it would go through like a tsunami; and it did,’ said Allen Hoover, an Old Order Mennonite and administrator of the Parochial Medical Center, a clinic that primarily serves the Plain community.

The article also notes:

By late April, when Pennsylvania was still under stay-at-home orders, the Plain community had resumed worship services, where they shared communion cups and holy kisses, a church greeting among believers.

Infections quickly followed.

‘It was bad here in the spring; one patient right after another,’ said Pam Cooper, a physician’s assistant at the Parochial Medical Center.

Just how deep into the community the infections spread is impossible to know. Hoover speculated that among those displaying symptoms, fewer than 10% consented to be tested.

In late April and early May, when Hoover said the virus ran unimpeded through the Plain community, the county’s positivity rate — the percent of positive tests — exceeded 20%, its highest of the pandemic, according to Covid Act Now, a nonprofit that provides local disease data. (Last year, the World Health Organization recommended governments use a rate of 5% or lower for two weeks as the threshold for reopening.)

If Hoover’s assessment is accurate, and if more Plain patients had been tested, the positivity rate could very well have been higher.

While so few were tested, many exhibited all the symptoms that have become so emblematic of the disease.

Cooper estimated the medical center saw — on average — nearly a dozen infections a day, or roughly 15% of the patients it serves daily.

The disease, as has been true in the wider community, knew no boundaries. Hoover became infected in November; at least one of his children was infected twice.

‘It really went through pretty quick, in a few weeks,’ Cooper said.

The number of patients ebbed in the summer before picking up again in the fall, although not at nearly the rate as was seen in the spring.

Cases now are rare. Hoover said Tuesday that the center hasn’t had a patient present with COVID-19 symptoms in roughly six weeks.

Please note how reluctant the medical types in the article are to admit that this community might actually be done with the coronavirus. The article also fails to note how many people died from the coronavirus during the time it was going through the community.

Why Many Of Us Don’t Trust The Government Or The News

Just the News posted an article (updated today) about the comments made by Dr. Fauci about the coronavirus.

The article reports:

Dr. Anthony Fauci appeared to admit last week that he has deliberately misled the public regarding the coronavirus — for the second time since the pandemic began.

In a Christmas Eve interview with the New York Times, Fauci acknowledged he had offered a lower estimate of the level of herd immunity necessary to stop the COVID-19 pandemic because he thought Americans would be discouraged by hearing his true thoughts on the issue. 

He recently raised his estimate on the herd immunity threshold “partly based on new science,” the newspaper reported, “and partly on his gut feeling that the country is finally ready to hear what he really thinks.”

Fauci himself told the paper that he had withheld the higher estimates because polling results made him think such estimates would be viewed unfavorably.

Read that last sentence again. That is totally unacceptable. No one elected him. He is a paid public official. His job is to report the truth, he is not supposed to be changing numbers to assuage public opinion.

The article concludes:

Fauci, the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been at the forefront of the country’s response to the coronavirus since the beginning of the year. A member of the White House coronavirus task force, he was a regular fixture at press conferences throughout the spring and has made countless media appearances since then.

Fauci was observed to have something of a falling-out with President Trump over the course of the year, with Trump calling for a more rapid return to something resembling normal life. At times, the president has openly criticized Fauci, who has warned that Americans may have to abide by masks and “social distancing” rules until as late as 2022.

In spite of the tension between the two, Fauci has retained broad popular support in public polls, with most Americans trusting him to accurately and effectively promulgate information on the pandemic.

It is becoming obvious that putting our trust in this man was a mistake. He was so enamored with being a media darling, he chose to hide the truth of what was and is happening.

Meanwhile, just for the record, Breitbart is reporting the following today:

The United States on Sunday saw significant decreases in COVID-19 cases and deaths — marks that were two of the lowest in weeks, according to updated data from Johns Hopkins University.

The data shows 150,100 new coronavirus cases and about 1,200 related deaths nationwide. The case count, apart from Christmas Day, is the lowest since late November and the death toll is just the second this month that’s been 1,200 or lower.

That is good news.

Did Sweden Get It Right?

Hot Air posted an article today about the way that Sweden dealt with the coronavirus. From the start, they followed a different path than much of the world.

The article reports:

In the global battle against the pandemic, few countries drew as much scrutiny and frequent criticism as Sweden during the early days. While the United States and most of Europe shut down their economies and put everyone on lockdown, the Swedes largely went about their business with no mandates for the wearing of masks or prohibitions on public gatherings. Sweden initially experienced a surge of novel coronavirus cases as compared to its neighbors. And then it felt like we stopped hearing about them quite so much. So what’s been going on?

As this report from the Associated Press indicates, what’s been going on has largely been… not much, at least in terms of the virus. Sweden only made slight modifications to its policies after the initial surge, but largely stuck with the herd immunity strategy. And now, just as much of Europe is experiencing a second surge in cases, Sweden has some of the lowest numbers in all of Europe. So did their herd immunity strategy actually work?

The Associated Press reports:

Now, as infection numbers surge again in much of Europe, the country of 10 million people has some of the lowest numbers of new coronavirus cases — and only 14 virus patients in intensive care.

Whether Sweden’s strategy is succeeding, however, is still very uncertain.

Its health authorities, and in particular chief epidemiologist Dr. Anders Tegnell, keep repeating a familiar warning: It’s too early to tell, and all countries are in a different phase of the pandemic.

The article at Hot Air continues:

Among Sweden’s population of ten million, they currently have a total of 14 people in ICU beds fighting COVID. In the past two weeks, they have reported 30.3 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people. By comparison, Spain is at 292.2 and France reports 172.1. That’s a rather startling difference.

The article concludes with some interesting speculation:

This should leave us to wonder if that wasn’t the ideal solution from the beginning. If we had locked down the nursing homes and provided relief to everyone over the age of 55 so they could stay home, along with anyone with a doctor’s note saying they had underlying respiratory or immune system issues, could we have just left the rest of the economy running? The idea of requiring a doctor’s note wouldn’t be any big deal. Most employers do that already for many Human Resources functions, including the use of sick time for more than a day or two. Further, the death toll in New York City wouldn’t have been anywhere near what we saw were it not for Governor Andrew Cuomo’s disastrous order forcing nursing homes to take in COVID-19 patients and forbidding the screening of new residents.

What would our current death toll be today if we had followed that path? The vast, vast majority of healthy people under the age of 55 who contract the virus still come out the other side alive and without any serious, permanent health issues. There are some who are hit very hard to be sure, but the same can be said for other diseases that we live with (or, in some cases, don’t) every year. We’ll have to wait until the second wave has finished washing over Europe to be sure, but it’s starting to look as if the Swedes were onto something all along.

We can’t turn back the clock, but we can keep this in mind in dealing with future diseases.

Another Way To Handle The Coronavirus

Yesterday Just the News posted an article about how the coronavirus has impacted Sweden.

The article reports:

After months without lockdowns, school closures and other mitigation measures widely imposed across the world, Sweden’s coronavirus cases and deaths have fallen to such minimal levels as to revive the debate over its so-called herd immunity strategy.

Some Swedish officials are far from declaring victory, warning there could be a second wave and that too many elderly died in the country during its comparatively lax pandemic restrictions. The country’s population-adjusted death rate, meanwhile, is in the top 10 worldwide, but lower than the rates for Italy, Spain and even New York, where heavy lockdowns prevailed.

…Throughout March, as much of the Western world was shutting down large swaths of its economies and strictly limiting individual mobility with stay-at-home orders, Sweden opted for a much lighter touch, refusing to close down service industries, leaving schools largely open, and allowing its borders to remain open. It did restrict large gatherings for a time, while some schools were closed.

The article concludes:

Throughout the pandemic, Swedish authorities have insisted that their country’s approach was one rooted in years of epidemiological research and that much of the rest of the world abandoned that data in favor of panic and hysteria.

“It was as if the whole world had gone mad,” Tegnell said several weeks ago, citing the worldwide rush to lock down and quarantine. “The cases became too many, and the political pressure got too strong. And then Sweden stood there rather alone.”

The epidemiologist has several times argued that the true results of various countries’ approaches to the coronavirus pandemic will only become clear after several years’ worth of study.

I think it may be time to reevaluate our response to the coronavirus. Please follow the link to the article to read the entire story.

Ignoring The Backbone Of The American Economy

The Democrat party used to be the party of the working man. I am not sure they ever represented the American entrepreneur, but some recent statements by Marie Harf suggest that the small businessmen in America have been willingly thrown under the bus by today’s Democrat party.

BizPac Review posted an article yesterday about some recent comments by Marie Harf on Fox News Sunday.

The article reports:

In response to a statement from host Chris Wallace that, while 66,000 people have died from coronavirus tens of millions have lost their jobs, Harf appeared to suggest that reopening small businesses wasn’t going to produce much in terms of bolstering the economy.

“We are about to embark on a situation where we’ll see if people can, on their own, social distance, if people independent of government regulations or stay-at-home orders, can act responsibly,” she began.

“And if they can’t, and if we see spikes in some of these places, will these governors be willing to change course in midstream? That’s something we will all see together in real-time,” Harf continued.

In fact, some experts have predicted there will be “spikes” on coronavirus infections because they maintain that keeping Americans at home prevented the formation of “herd immunity” that is necessary to prevent recurrences of the outbreak.

In any event, Harf continued with Left-wing talking points, claiming the country needs “more testing” and “contact tracing” of people who are infected, — the latter of which is code for ‘invading privacy’ with a government-mandated tracking app.

“So, the economy, even if we open nail salons, hair salons Chris, the economy isn’t really going to get going again until we can travel, until we can move around the country,” she claimed. “It will not get going in a really meaningful way by opening small businesses in certain places, and so we have to get all of those things I just mentioned to eventually get to a place where the economy really can open back up.

“That is not happening anytime soon,” Harf said.

Just for the record, Inc. posted an article that illustrates how many Americans are employed by small businesses.

The article reports:

As of the 2010 Census, there were 27.9 million small businesses registered in the United States, compared to just 18,500 companies of 500 employees or more. Included in that total figure are sole proprietorships (73.2 percent), corporations (19.5 percent), and franchises (2 percent). 52 percent of small businesses are home-based. The most important thing to note? 99.7 percent of U.S. employer firms are small businesses.

I am not convinced that anyone in the Democrat party has studied either economics or the American economy.

Social Distancing Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up To Be

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today detailing how the country of Sweden has handled the coronavirus outbreak. Sweden tried a totally different path than most of the world, and the results are astonishing.

The article reports:

Reporter Johan Norberg joined Laura Ingraham on Thursday to discuss the Sweden’s ‘controversial’ policies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unlike other Western countries progressive Sweden, of all places, decided to leave their economy running and let the disease run its course while the population reached herd immunity.

The Swedish plan appears to be working.
Sweden, a country of 10 million, now has 2,152 reported coronavirus related deaths.
New York, a state of 19.85 million, now has 20,861 reported coronavirus related deaths.

Sweden is actually seeing better results than several of its European neighbors.

On Thursday Sweden’s chief epidemiologist announced the Swedish strategy appears to be working and that “herd immunity” could be reached in the capital Stockholm in a matter of weeks.

The article concludes with a portion of the transcript of the conversation:

Laura Ingraham: We found out that herd immunity will be reached in about 2-3 weeks in Sweden. I mean, then they’re kind of done.

Johan Norberg: That’s why we shouldn’t make too many comparisons to cases and deaths right now. Because almost every other country except Sweden has just postponed deaths. They won’t avoid them because there is still no argument that has been made that suddenly this disease will go away after their lockdowns are over. I mean if they’re waiting for a vaccine that could take over a year if we’re lucky. It could take several years. And no society can be shut down completely and shut down the economy for more than a year without ruining society and the economy entirely. And that will kill many more people than the virus does.

Herd immunity is the best solution to this virus. It seems that because of our lockdown, we may have delayed reaching that point. However, because we are being told that the virus does not like heat or humidity, the virus may exit the southern United States before the south faces the long term health consequences of the lockdown.