Posts Tagged ‘Covid19’

I figured it was a matter of time before Clay County Public Health Director Gary Zaborac attempted to get his mini-tyrant on. And true to form, the email from the Clay County Covid-19 email popped into my inbox at 7 PM.

Good Citizens! Your public health gestapo demands the following of you:

  • Venues serving food and/or drink indoors must operate at 50% capacity and close by 10 p.m. No groups of more than 10 people are allowed indoors or outdoors.
  • Gyms, fitness, and recreational centers must also remain at 50% capacity or less and masks are required for everyone inside.
  • Masks are now required outdoors when physical distancing (six feet) cannot be maintained from anyone outside your household.
  • The age exemption for wearing a mask is lowered to those 5 years of age and younger.
  • Indoor gatherings are limited to a maximum of 10 people. (Gatherings = groups of individuals, who are not members of the same household, congregated together for a common or coordinated social, community, or leisure purpose.)
    • Gatherings of 10 or fewer are allowed, with use of physical distancing between members of different households.
    • Prohibited gatherings do not include non-event-based regular commercial, nonprofit, or educational activity by workers, students, or customers of businesses.
    • Exceptions for gatherings over 10 people can be approved by public health. A submission form will be available at clayhealth.com by noon on Wednesday (11/18).

I want to say this is funny, but it’s incredibly tragic. Any person with any common sense would look at this order and see that much of it is simply an attempt to look like they’re doing something.

The virus doesn’t care one bit about the capacity of your building or gym. It could easily be spread among masked people in an establishment that is at 50% capacity.

Why?

Because viruses, virus. It’s what they do.

I’m in the process of trying to read through some of the mask studies that the CDC refers to. So far the actual science is pretty disappointing on masks. It’s presented as a miracle panacea by many people, but even the best mask worn correctly is useless once a person picks up the virus off an unsanitized surface and touches their nose or mouth. People never, ever, never touch surfaces in gyms or restaurants.

Sorry Gary, I’m not wearing a mask outside. I’ll continue to respect the wishes of private property owners who want me to wear them inside.

The worst part of this order is the attempt to place limitations on a person’s private home. Aside from being incredibly offensive and antithetical to any principle that founded this nation, it’s functionally useless from the standpoint of “stopping the spread”.

Let’s think critically for a minute shall we?

As it stands with this order, I could have a party at my house with 9 strangers. Now if I have 10, oh man, that’s a bridge too far! One of those 9 could have the virus and be asymptomatic and spread it to everyone at the party. Thankfully my party was only 10 people in size and we successfully stopped the spread. Just forget that everyone got the virus.

The permission form that you fill out to have a larger gathering is a nice touch. Hey, guys, if you want to use your personal home for purposes you deem appropriate, you have to fill out your permission form and ask Uncle Gary if it’s okay.

If you’re not laughing and admiring the foolishness of this, there’s literally something wrong with you. There can be no other explanation.

I’m yet to get a straight answer on how these goofy orders that Zaborac issues are even enforceable. I could see it on the restaurants because they effectively regulate them, but I can’t fathom how they have any say so on what I do on my private property. I am going to call and ask that question and see what the health department says because I’m thinking about having some 11 person gatherings at my home for the fun of it to see what happens.

I get it. We’ve got a highly contagious respiratory virus that is currently spreading. People are dying. Tragic? Absolutely, but, that’s not a new development in human history. This happens every so often.

Huh, look at that, almost like we’ve dealt with this stuff before.

This is simply part of the human experience. Science tells us so. What’s new and so peculiar about this is that for some strange reason we think we can stop the virus if we just act or behave a certain way.

Sorry, virus gonna virus and no amount of effort will change that scientific fact.

This latest foolish order is happening just as it appears that the virus is starting to peak again. And considering this order doesn’t even take effect until next Monday, this seems even more futile, unless the virus reads the Clay County Covid-19 email and got scared.

By the numbers: Most American counties — 58% of them — have seen the peak of their coronavirus infections this month, and 76% of counties have peaked at some point in the fall.”

Clay County peaked, ironically, on November 14.

https://www.axios.com/coronavirus-cases-peak-infections-pandemic-outbreak-f6d315f2-9052-401a-95e4-bbfe99e2771f.html

And there’s growing evidence that one may gain immunity for months, if not years after infection.

“How long might immunity to the coronavirus last? Years, maybe even decades, according to a new study — the most hopeful answer yet to a question that has shadowed plans for widespread vaccination.

Eight months after infection, most people who have recovered still have enough immune cells to fend off the virus and prevent illness, the new data show. A slow rate of decline in the short term suggests, happily, that these cells may persist in the body for a very, very long time to come.

“That amount of memory would likely prevent the vast majority of people from getting hospitalized disease, severe disease, for many years,” said Shane Crotty, a virologist at the La Jolla Institute of Immunology who co-led the new study.”

https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/immunity-to-the-coronavirus-may-last-years-new-data-hint/ar-BB1b6dwt

In other words, herd immunity IS theoretically possible with Covid-19 no matter what our public health gestapos try to tell us. It’s what the science is starting to indicate.

What we should be doing is protecting the most vulnerable, encouraging high risk people to stay home, supporting our frontline health care workers (I made my second donation to the Liberty Hospital Foundation last week. Have you donated any of our tax dollars you call salary, Gary?), and continuing to live our lives as we INDIVIDUALLY see appropriate.

I saw last night that some restaurants in St. Louis are starting to fight back and refuse their latest lockdown order. Good for them.

Some are going as far as posting signs that say that the St. Louis County Executive Sam Page is no longer welcome in their establishments. While I’m thankful that Zaborac didn’t go that far, and at least these restaurants and businesses in our area have a chance to fight to survive under this new order. I do think local business owners should consider the same for Gary Zaborac. Furthermore, the incoming Clay County Commissioners should publicly rebuke Zaborac and let him know that when his renewal comes up in February that he can pack up his desk and masks and join the throngs of unemployed across the country.

I came across a video on Twitter tonight of the Kansas City area hospital Chief Medical Officers discussing our current hospital capacity.

I found it shared in the response tweets to a local media panic porn tweet. Of course, it wasn’t shared by said media “professional”. No, he just wanted to make sure you knew that this is a problem. BIG PROBLEM!

Now is it a big problem? Potentially at some point depending on how things go here. Anyone that’s paid attention to this pandemic should be smart enough at this point to see that the virus tends to break out more when people are forced inside.

What do I mean? Think about it for a minute.

Why didn’t it break out here in February/March severely? Because it was a decently warm Spring which allowed people to get outside more. Plus, we were somewhat insulated as the virus entered the country on the coasts and larger metropolitan centers. I’m sure the public health gestapo will tell you the lockdowns worked, but all they did was delay the inevitable. This was always going to happen. Leaving the summer, case counts were present, but largely under control.

Well, guess what? It’s getting colder outside and it was really cold a couple weeks ago. Plus we just hit daylight savings time which ends our days sooner. So, we’re all inside more trading the Vid. Now we have community spread. And that community spread is increasing.

Everybody quickly panic on social media and blame Trump. We’re all going to die!

Just kidding, I’m not a “journalist”.

Are things going to get bad? Perhaps, but they’ll eventually get better. That’s what pandemics do. Viruses, well…virus. Everyone needs to remain calm.

I really encourage you to watch the video below of the Kansas City area Chief Medical Officers discuss hospital bed capacity because the geniuses at the local news agencies are probably busy turning this in to panic porn articles with little context and explanation. And you can rest assured that the geniuses in elected office and our health departments sure aren’t going to explain it to you.

After all, they have to take the day off tomorrow.

You can’t make this stuff up. Government agency that is tasked with dealing with pandemic still gets a damned holiday when case counts are exploding. An absolute failure of leadership.

Here’s the video. It runs about an hour:

https://players.brightcove.net/5434965233001/default_default/index.html?videoId=6207826931001

If you don’t have an hour to consume this, let me hit the high points for you…

-Trying to accurately report hospital bed capacity is a little more complex than it would appear on the surface. Add in government and differing definition of terms by different regulatory bodies you end up with discrepancies. Ah, gubmint, if only we had more of it we might get this stuff right…

-Those discrepancies have led to an over reporting of actual available staffed beds on the Covid-19 dashboards.

-We’re getting lower on beds by the day, and there’s a risk that if the surge in cases keeps up we may have to consider reducing preventative care, triaging patients differently, and field hospitals. None of this is ideal, but it’s challenging.

-We are seeing some hospital staff be diagnosed with the Vid, but it’s not happening in the hospitals, it’s actually happening in the community when they go home.

-Hospital staff are stressed but managing pretty well considering the situation.

-I was really pleased to see that the CMOs shied away from saying that we should lockdown, and one individual on the video went as far to say that it’s important that we still have an economy. (Thankfully, there is sanity!)

-Optimistic but concerned tone, I’m sure you won’t hear that from the news media.

My sense is this thing will spike up and we’ll deal with it, but it begs the question, is there anything else we can do?

I’ve seen little actual guidance other than the obvious stuff (social distance, wear a mask, if you’re sick get tested and stay home, etc). That’s all fine and dandy, but what else can we do (getting on social media and arguing about Trump/Biden and masks is not an answer here, but lots of people seem not to be deterred)?

Would seem to me, that if we’ve got stressed hospital workers that maybe there’s some things we can do to help them out? There are two organizations in our immediate area that are there to support the hospital staff.

For Liberty, you have the Liberty Hospital Foundation.

For North Kansas City Hospital, I found this link that allows you to directly donate to their Covid-19 efforts: https://www.nkch.org/patients-and-guests/coronavirus-information/donations

I thought NKC Hospital had a foundation similar to Liberty, but I can’t find it online.

The Clay County Health Department and Health Board have been an unmitigated disaster through all of this. There’s no leadership. They had a Covid-19 email they were sending out there for awhile. It was mostly useless. You rarely see anything from that anymore.

Their Facebook page is primarily filled with reminders to wear a mask and that Covid-19 is dangerous, but there isn’t much else. (Side note: Filing opens for the health board next month) I searched their Facebook page for anything about the Liberty Hospital Foundation. Hardly nothing, and absolutely nothing in the context of helping frontline workers at the hospitals.

Maybe the needed rest on their vacation day tomorrow will help them refocus… LOL! Right. I’m sure they’ll get a mask post in before Friday and enjoy their weekend. Two more days off, baby! Don’t you wish Covid could take a day or two off?

Virus gonna virus, gubmint workers going to take the day off!

Welcome to my rundown of what I thought was interesting online this week. As I read, watch, listen I add these things to a draft on the WordPress app on my phone, and I present them to you when done. It’s a time of narrative and feelings, but it should be a time of reading and learning.


First the local stuff because that’s why this blog originally started.

Funny things happen when you don’t lock your state down. Your state doesn’t go broke.

I’m no fan of many Republicans and Gov. Parson, but we didn’t lock the state down, and it was the right thing to do.

Net general revenue increased for the 2021 fiscal year by more than 23 percent last month compared to October 2019, according to the October general revenue report.” https://themissouritimes.com/general-revenue-report-shows-high-gains-over-last-fiscal-year/

Former Missouri Democrat state rep. pleads guilty to wire fraud https://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/news/2020/11/09/former-missouri-state-rep-pleads-guilty.html

Occupational licensing reform is one of the more important things we can do at the state level to improve people’s abilities to earn a living for themselves and their families.

https://themissouritimes.com/rep-derek-grier-is-becoming-a-national-expert-on-licensing-reform/

“It’s time to rethink transportation funding. The damage inflicted upon roads is determined by how much drivers drive on them and how much their vehicles weigh, not by how much fuel they consume. A better way to match the damage drivers do to the road with what they pay for its upkeep is to charge by the mile, instead of by the gallon.” https://showmeinstitute.org/blog/state-and-local-government/commentary-funding-roads-by-the-mile-not-the-gallon


Covid-19 has certainly caused some changes. It will be interesting to see the long term effects on cities and how much people actually move versus those that say they want to move.

“An astonishing 14 million to 23 million Americans intend to relocate to a different city or region as a result of telework, according to a new study released by Upwork, a freelancing platform.”

https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/10/30/929667563/now-that-more-americans-can-work-anywhere-many-are-planning-to-move-away

Contrary to popular opinion on the political right, the world didn’t end with the election. And, unfortunately, our drone programs and interference in the Middle East didn’t either. Watched this movie this week. If you never saw it, it’s brilliant and thought provoking.

Progress… Supreme Court Rejects Qualified Immunity Defense for the First Time in Years https://reason.com/volokh/2020/11/02/supreme-court-rejects-qualified-immunity-defense-for-the-first-time-in-years/

Oh, bring on the sweet, salty tears. Partisans pissed that Libertarian candidate spoiled their victory. https://reason.com/2020/11/05/you-are-not-entitled-to-libertarian-votes/

Random, interesting read, eels are weird. https://pocket.co/xhx2b8?cta=1&src=ph

The most important thing you should do through this Covid-19 thing is absolutely embrace the core value of science. That means you may believe the evidence points to an answer, but you’re not afraid to challenge your assumptions. The testing is a major problem.

The 2020 Election Results Look Like a Massive Rebuke of Socialism https://reason.com/2020/11/06/socialism-2020-trump-biden-rebuke-left/

America, the stove was hot, but now you’ve touched it. Enjoy your pain, it couldn’t happen to a worse group of people. Joe Biden’s Endless River of Debt and Regulation https://reason.com/video/2020/11/06/joe-bidens-endless-river-of-debt-and-regulation/

Danielle DiMartino Booth is one of the most brilliant women in all of finance. Booth is a former Federal Reserve insider. Absolute must watch interview on the Hedgeye Investing Summit.

The election could have been a lot worse!

“At virtually every level of contest, I’m happy to report that the results underscore just how out of step the two major parties are with the plurality of Americans who call ourselves independent. The Democrats were favored to win a solid majority in the Senate and expand their control of the House. They still might gain a razor-thin majority in the upper chamber early next year, when a couple of run-offs will be held, but the Dems lost seats in the House and liberals are still waiting for a “Blue Wave That Never Came.” The race for the White House will take a while to fully suss out, but we know enough to conclude that apparent winner Joe Biden could barely eke out a victory against an opponent whose approval rating is a dozen points below the historical average. The upshot is that neither party can pretend it has a mandate, which just might mean people in Washington will trim their ambitions for the next few years.” https://reason.com/2020/11/06/feeling-good-about-the-future-after-an-ugly-election/

Ian Bremmer is a geopolitical analyst who I often find worth listening, too. He’s quite mainstream, but he’s a well read and knowledgeable guy, and once you get past his politics (his Twitter feed was like a Biden love fest this week), he’s quite knowledgeable. This was pre-election, but still worth a listen. Gives you a good idea of how a Biden administration may approach the world. It’s not all bad, and it isn’t all good. https://pca.st/q1ne8wcy