Either Follow the COVID Data or Don’t: But Stop the Political Cherry-Picking

I find it ironic that the same people advocating to make decisions about COVID-19 based on the data are the same ones now unwilling to follow that same data. What happened? Did the data stop supporting what you want to believe and do? The data was the measuring stick by which we closed America, yet the latest data – which naturally evolves over time based on reality – is now being questioned, minimized, and pushed aside to make way for political rhetoric. 

If the country was shut down so the hospitals wouldn’t be overrun with COVID patients – several million was the projection – and that catastrophe was averted, what would be the reason to force closings now? And if the many unfortunate deaths in the beginning of this onslaught were due to our lack of knowledge about the risks to the elderly, those with comorbidities, and the sick who initially stayed home in bed trying to fight off what they thought was the flu, then why are we still claiming the same possible death rate in light of all the new information?

Firstly, I am by no means minimizing death or the pain it causes. It is felt by us all. I am merely pointing out the data that clearly shows a significantly smaller percentage of people actually experience life-threatening symptoms or death from COVID. That data is somehow being ignored and replaced with sensationalized reporting of spikes in cases in certain hotspots around the nation. Cases, mind you; not deaths. 

Yes, people are still dying from COVID-19 because, like many other things, it is capable of killing our frail human bodies. Yet, not like when it started; when nursing homes were ordered to accept COVID patients, when people were ignoring symptoms and waiting it out, and those with underlying conditions were putting themselves at risk. Almost 110,000 of the around 150,000 of our friends and neighbors succumbed to COVID-19 between March and May while the world was desperately seeking answers, treatments, and options for this mysterious disease. And this tragic number despite massive shutdowns and worldwide quarantines.

Politics in America were front and center, doing all it could to hinder, confuse, and criticize progress toward getting a handle on the virus. The reasonable consensus of slowing down the virus enough for hospitals to prepare was morphed into an unrealistic and controversial demand to permanently rid the world of the scourge before people would be allowed back to their lives. Get rid of COVID? We still have many viruses, diseases, and the flu in all its strains, despite our many vaccinations and treatments. It’s just not realistic in the short term.

Fortunately, Coronavirus deaths are slowing dramatically even as case numbers are rising. We must protect and support our vulnerable as they shelter away from harm. The rest of us must go back to work, to school, to daily routine in order to combat mental health issues, social isolation, financial catastrophe, academic backsliding, and the crumbling of our social constructs. We must move this country forward lest there be nowhere for all of us to go back to.

#NotAfraidToThink  #ReUnifyOurCountry  #ProtectTheVulnerable    #ReBuildAmerica

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