Opinion/Editorial

WHAT PIPER ARE WE FOLLOWING?

Here they come.

With the help of Apple and Google, the Washington Post reports that the government might finally have a partial solution to the spread of the virus. Governmental leaders want to designate certain people, those testing positive for the virus, and then have them tracked (they would be required to have a cell phone and keep it charged and on to be released) to make sure that they do not come into contact with others who may not have the disease. This would also assure that the person, or “a carrier” as named in the Post, would follow all rules regarding home quarantine, travel, etc.

Where is this all leading? Is America going to surrender every freedom in its headlong pursuit of stamping out a disease that is likely to be eventually stamped out, but at the cost of what we have all come to know as the American way of life? If a person is tested for the virus, then who is the tester, and who or what is the entity designating that person to be a “carrier?” The “carrier” has no say and nowhere to go to check the results independently, or the ability to be taken off the list when cured of the virus?  The “carrier” becomes the new communist of old, the new terrorist of only a few months back. Yes, the ramifications of this whole thing are simply frightening. Frightening, that is unless you are continuing to pay strict attention to the ever more dire news coming out of your television set. This is all going somewhere and it’s not now seemingly going to a place of simple disease control.

Some people feel that this reaction to the advent of this “novel” virus is quite appropriate.  Where is that kind of reaction socially, medically, nationally or even internationally to Cholera, Malaria, Dengue Fever, and so many more diseases that kill so many more every year around the world? Why is this particular virus labeled “novel” and think about that word when you use it…interesting.

How about the flu? Last year, according to the CDC itself, 80,000 Americans died in the US during six winter months in 2018-2019 November to April (42.9 million people in the U.S. got the flu in that span) and also this is .018% of all flu cases in the US.  Worldwide that was 700,000 deaths. Where the hell is this all going when the current virus numbers are way too low to justify any reaction like what we are seeing and trying to live through? In a four-month period of time this year, the virus has claimed 23,604 which is 4% of all cases in the US. (All data obtained directly from the CDC website).  Are we just supposed to ignore the fact that not only did nobody social-distance during the devastating attack of the flu last season?  I am betting that almost nobody heard about or paid any attention to those numbers, and you are probably reading them for the first time right here.

There appears to be a loosening of the social fabric. Go out there and check it for yourself, among the people you see still out in public and moving around. In my own city the other day, I was looking at a lot of people walking their dogs downtown. There are only sidewalks, as they’ve roped off the parks, and everything else, except roadways and sidewalks. People are picking up the mess their dogs leave behind a whole lot less than before. A whole lot less.

I noticed the town full of cars parking in all the stalls that point toward the lake and staying in those cars to do whatever inside. I noticed that they were not respecting the white lines nearly as much as normal when parking. They just pull in and sit there, parked illegally, but there’s no police around to do anything, and the parking maids have been furloughed.  Road rage is up too, and driving frequency and distance is way down.  Cars are, however, going too fast or too slow or failing to maintain lanes, and if beeped or yelled at the drivers simply give the finger back. What in the hell is that?  I noted that many people, on the other hand, particularly those walking around, wave and say hello. Much more than before the beginning of whatever the hell this is. And what is this hospital stuff everyone is talking about as if everyone who gets this virus has to go to the hospital?  Some symptom sufferers do need to be hospitalized, but there is no cure or real treatment for this virus, once you get it.  And, no matter what you hear or see on television, you won’t get this virus a second time if you get it once.  Our systems make antibodies.  In order to get the virus again the virus itself would have to substantially adapt and change to something else.

~James Strauss

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