What goes around comes around.
As recently as a month ago, the news media suggested we were in a life and death struggle for more ventilators. Now we sit atop the ventilator motherlode of the world and don’t need them. The president won’t stop boasting about them as though they were another “beautiful, huge, and incredible” Trump Tower.
Ventilators are now old news. Today the annoying screech of the media is “More Testing!” I’ve been accused of being overly simplistic about this. (Maybe they said I was half simple, I can’t remember.) I’m not a doctor but I have played one onstage and I don’t need a stethoscope hanging around my neck to notice when common sense flies out the window.
Taking a test to determine if I have the virus is plausible only until somebody sneezes. The best test doesn’t require distance, danger or dollars. Do I have a persistent fever, cough, fatigue, loss of appetite or shortness of breath? If yes, I should call the doctor. If no, I should return to my home and nothing more will be said. Is this overly simplistic? I don’t think so.
Antibody testing is a different critter. The first test was done on a representative sample of the population of Santa Clara County, California. It appears that up to 85 times more people had been infected than reported cases—but they had not been noticeably sick as a result. A larger study on Los Angeles County has now been completed. I’ll bet we can expect the same results. The same studies are being done in New York with similar results.
Opinion writer Brian Giesbrecht wondered aloud about antibody testing: “If it’s confirmed that instead of the estimate that two or three out of 100 infected people die from COVID-19, only two or three out of 1,000 die, it would be a game-changer.”
Again, I’m no doctor or scientist, but I have felt for months that this virus has been around far longer than we thought and that far more people have survived, many without realizing it. I’m not advising readers to hit the streets with no worries. Be careful out there. I’ll probably wait until the science corrects itself. It’s a simple fact that I’m also avoiding the flu, the common cold, Ebola, tuberculosis and the Black Plague. What’s not to like about that?
Is this worldwide economic shutdown the most costly mistake ever made? If the pandemic is shown to be less than what we thought, the lynch-mobbing media will certainly view it that way. A president faced with what appear to be catastrophic consequences is forced to make choices. What should those choices be? If I’m not mistaken, presidents still take that oath promising to faithfully execute the office and protect the Constitution. Time will be the ultimate judge—not the hyperventilating media.