A Slow Return to Normal?

First off, work is progressing. I am still having stern discussions with the lead character in Rogue’s Magic because she is, well, difficult. It’s not that she’s being silent about her story. Far from it. The story is flowing. But she’s not giving me the head’s up before something happens. It’s been a long time since I’ve pantsed a story this much and it is kind of unnerving. Work is also almost done on the updated version of Stalked (originally published as Hunter’s Home). This one has been slow going because I’m trying not to be drawn back into a series I’ve ended. Then there’s the book I’m finishing up edits on for a friend. Jason’s an excellent SF writer, one of the best new ones I’ve come across in a long time. And that’s the problem. I keep wanting to just read the book instead of look at it with my editor’s hat on. But it will be done and out the door this weekend because I’m late on it as is. (But it is all his fault for writing such a damned good story.)

No, the slow return to normal is the world around us, at least here in Texas. There are signs of common sense once again taking hold. The governor is slowly reopening the state. Sure, lots of us would like to see it happen quicker. Then we see the images of overcrowded bars and realize why he’s not just throwing everything open. Some folks simply aren’t going to use common sense. Then, to be honest, they never did.

Yesterday, the state supreme court put the brakes on plans in some parts of the state to allow wholesale mail-in voting. All someone had to say was they were afraid of getting Covid-19 and they would qualify. For the moment, at least until the federal courts weigh in, that has been stopped. All I can say about that is good. We have a lengthy time frame in which to vote in person. That keeps the number of people voting at any one time down. Multiple places to vote also help. In a state where you must have ID to vote, how were they going to enforce that with mail-in votes?

The area where we aren’t seeing more common sense, however, is in the reporting of the numbers of new Covid-19 cases. I finally found a daily breakdown of the number of tests administered, number of confirmed cases and number of deaths per day for the state. That’s a step forward. But what isn’t being shown in the numbers is still worrisome because it can–and probably does–lead to manipulation by politicians and the media.

Of the number of tests performed on any given day, how many were of people showing symptoms of Covid and how many were of those without any symptoms?

Of the number of positive tests, how many were from tests given that day or were from tests that take several days to get a report back? This is important because when you look at the graph, there is a pattern of an increase in positive tests every six or seven days and then the positive results go back down. What is causing the pattern? My guess is that the pattern comes from those tests given over the weekend, starting with Fridays, that require several days to process. That means, those results very well may be lumped together which would account for the jump and then decline.

On the number of deaths being reported each day, how long was each patient ill and did they have underlying medical conditions. The former is important because the death toll is being used to frighten us into compliance. If the deaths are coming from patients who have had Covid for a lengthy period of time, it is harder to argue those deaths should be used to keep the country locked down. That is especially true if the patients had underlying medical conditions and if, as in NY, they were in extended care facilities and nursing homes that were ordered by the state to accept positive Covid patients (talk about signing potential death warrants for innocent folks, Gov. Cuomo).

Doing the percentages with the numbers shown yesterday (which were through the 14th), the highest percent of persons tested to those found to actually have Covid-19 was a little over 4%. But that case was a outlier. Most days, the percentage is in the 2% range. Which, if my suspicions are right and the majority of those being tested are those showing symptoms of the virus, is pretty damned low.

What gets me is why more people aren’t demanding to know what the hard numbers are. Not just the number of cases reported and the number of deaths, but how many people are being tested, the breakdown of those who are tested because they are showing signs of having Covid, etc. How are we supposed to get a clear picture of what the virus can and has done without that information.

Once upon a time, we could rely on at least some of our journalists to demand this information. No longer. They are more worried about pressing their own agendas or making their own names in the business than to actually do the job of reporting. So it is up to us to demand answers. This is especially true for those in states like Michigan, New York, California, Colorado and others where their governors are on power trips, giddy with the ability to use executive orders to close down their states.

Demand the answers to your questions about the actual numbers relating to Covid in your state. Then demand answers to why they responded to the crisis as they did. If you aren’t happy with their answers–or, more likely, the lack thereof, then make sure to let them know when you vote in November. Do not let them steal the country from us through a manufactured crisis (which is what it has become).

 

Featured image: First Naval Jack Flag (public domain)

4 Comments

  1. It seems to me that they are beating us up all over Texas because of the massive number of positives in the meat plants in the Panhandle. Those are specific locations with known causes that we in the rest of Texas don’t need to have personal concern for catching it. Yet the State’s positive numbers go up and we suffer. Other states probably have some similar situations. Frustrating.

    1. Agreed. At least the latest from Gov. Abbott seems to recognize that and instead of punishing the entire state, he is leaving certain rules in effect for Amarillo and one other area and loosening them in others.

  2. Good news, and yes, the numbers are…confusing at best, obfuscating at worst. The ‘true’ count of deaths is probably 2/3 of what is being published if the actual death certificates could be checked. Take a look at what Colorado did when they actually looked at root causes of death.

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