Saturday, March 21, 2020

News Update-Day 10 | Lefsetz Letter

Are you at home?

You should be.

I feel bad for all those who live alone. We need each other. I once had a shrink who told me all we need are food and water, and then he moved away. I believed him, he was wrong, we need human contact, which the internet provides, but only as a facsimile. Then again, I’ve seen my present shrink via Facetime, but unlike at the beginning of the week, I’m having problems with Zoom and Facetime, I believe it is a bandwidth issue, even though I constantly go to to check my speed and it always shows 300 down, which is what I am paying for. Then again, the other night the cable and internet went down, which upset Felice’s viewing plans, our safety and sanity hangs by a thread. Speaking of which, there’s the food crisis. Today we will run out of food. I’m loath to go to the grocery store, because of the infection rate and the lack of product on the shelves, but we ordered on Instacart yesterday and they said delivery would not take place until Wednesday. I guess we’ll use UberEats in the meantime, and last week Instacart delivered a couple of days earlier than they said they would, then again, who is delivering all this food? It’s not only medical personnel who are risking their health for us, but average everyday citizens.

The story of today in the papers and on Twitter is how the media should stop showing Trump’s press conferences live, as they are glorified press rallies riddled with disinformation. This is best laid out by Margaret Sullivan in the “Washington Post”:

“The media must stop live-broadcasting Trump’s dangerous, destructive coronavirus briefings”

Trump used the media to get elected, and he’s trying to use it to get re-elected. Since he’s the president, everything he says is newsworthy, but is it?

Speaking of Trump, the “New York Times” has an ongoing story about the president’s reluctance to employ the Defense Production Act to mobilize production of needed medical supplies. Yesterday’s article was the most interesting, because it featured a war in the White House with conservatives saying they do not want to see the federal government expanded. Yes, even in this time of crisis, ideology is triumphing over practicality. Trump keeps saying it’s the responsibility of the states, which is like refusing to have a coach on your football team and allowing all eleven players to come up with their own individual game plan. After blowback yesterday, Trump said it was a non-issue, because companies were starting production of materials upon their own initiative, even though there are no facts supporting this. You can read today’s report here:

“Trump Resists Pressure to Use Wartime Law to Mobilize Industry in Virus Response – The president insisted he has used the Defense Production Act, but said at a briefing that ‘we are literally being besieged’ by companies ‘that want to do the work and help our country.'”

You’re also probably watching the story about a “cure”:

“Trump’s Embrace of Unproven Drugs to Treat Coronavirus Defies Science – Doctors and patients also worry that the president’s rosy outlook for the treatments will exacerbate shortages of old malaria drugs relied on by patients with lupus and other debilitating conditions”

Know someone with untreatable cancer? Many go wackadoodle, oftentimes implored by their loved ones, who believe the sick want to live when the truth is they’ve made peace with their demise. (Once again, don’t hassle me, I have personal experience with this, unfortunately.) Science goes out the window as people try ANYTHING! Science has got such a bad rap, these people have so beaten up the FDA that the concept of thorough testing has gone out the window. The “cure” might not only not work, it might hurt people, this happens with drugs all the time, ever heard of thalidomide?

And speaking of shortages, aren’t we trying to protect the most vulnerable? While you hoard at home, satiated with supplies you’ll end up throwing out, there are people who actually need those items to survive.

Now if you’ve been following this closely, if we had enough tests, not only would we be aware of who had Covid-19 and who did not, but this would aid us in isolating those who had it, to stanch the spread of the disease. But we do not have those tests. Still, if you’ve got symptoms, and not everyone infected with Covid-19 does, you want to believe you can get a test, but in most cases you cannot:

“L.A. County gives up on containing coronavirus, tells doctors to skip testing of some patients”

This story broke almost a day ago, now we’re finding the same situation elsewhere. We’re giving up on one line of defense while we retreat to the next.

Which brings us to the big story:

“Coronavirus Could Overwhelm U.S. Without Urgent Action, Estimates Say”

You absolutely MUST go to this page and at least look at the graphics if you don’t read the text.

You can see the benefit of control measures right in front of your very eyes.

As you scroll down they go through each and every state in the nation. Bottom line, you may think you’re immune but you are not. The only difference is cases are going to spike later than they are in the states that you’re reading about now. So, if unlike the Administration you want to prepare, you want to institute severe control measures NOW! Just look at the pictures. If we enact severe control measures, which is basically about shutting down the economy and making all but essential workers be housebound, we drastically reduce the rate of infection, I mean DRASTICALLY! If you doubt me, load the above page and scroll down to the graph entitled “How Control Measures Could Slow the Outbreak.”

But according to officials and residents in yet to be heavily infected areas, they have to allow people to leave their houses in the name of freedom, and they don’t want to hurt the economy. First and foremost, if there are no shoppers because they died, this is going to hurt the economy. Second, we’ve learned this lesson already, industry must be allowed to function unfettered, for economic reasons, while the public suffers. I.e. we can’t tell people smoking kills you, or fossil fuel consumption kills the environment or… You not only want government, you want regulations. That does not mean you do not want red tape to get in the way of solutions in a crisis, but presently that’s not an issue because the Administration is doing little.

And to exercise a little optimism, in today’s “L.A. Times”:

“Is Newsom right? Could California see 25.5 million coronavirus cases in two months?”

Bottom line, it appears Newsom was using an old metric, as in Wednesday, before Newsom cracked down and told everybody to self-quarantine, showing that self-quarantining works. However, if you read to the end you will find no one really knows, we are in uncharted territory.

I leave you with an e-mail from Wayne Forte, of Entourage Talent:

“The blind leading the deaf and dumb!

Seriously, it feels like we have a bunch of elderly frat boys running the country.

I spent time with 2 people last week and the week before last who now have it! I’m Counting the days here in self-quarantine. Got tested yesterday but it’s 4-6 days for the results. Seriously!?!?”


No comments: