It's been a few days since I last wrote a post here on #steem.
There was of course this nasty #SteemHostileTakeOver stuff that I tried to keep up with but for the most part I was busy trying to get our #COVID19 ducks in a row and communicating with friends and family in an effort to help where I can.
The informing family and friends, talking, discussing part felt much harder than coming to my own conclusions about what was going on and what will happen #COVID19 wise!
I'm used working through big piles of data, analyzing them, coming to estimations and conclusions as well as structuring and presenting results.
But it's not so easy bringing important points across to people that would rather ignore the facts and just hope for the best.
Especially since the officials imho did a horrible job in communicating transparently what was going on and what they have planned to react to the dynamics of this pandemic.
They more or less based their talking points around a baby step wise escalation of measures in many parts of the world.
I'm by no means an expert in any of the medical, economical, sociological or other aspects of all what I am writing here!
I'm an IT security guy with over 3 decades of IT experience in different IT fields, like software development, IT operations, IT project management, IT infrastructure, IT architecture, data protection, process development/implementation, pen-testing, IT analysis and so on under my belt.
I've been an IT security officer for an insurance company for 6 years. I also work as an IT and IT security consultant.
What I am writing here are my beliefs, estimations and some personal experiences in regard to what is going on with this pandemic, seen through my eyes!
Please, DYOR or ask an expert if you have one handy! ;-)
It’s probably the denial phase for the most part that people are still stuck in. They just can’t get their head around what is going on.
My warnings that things will get ugly soon from back in mid February were dismissed by most of the people I spoke to back then.
Understandable to some degree but with what is happening right now everybody should be able to understand that #COVID19 is "not the flu" and that it'll kill many people around the globe.
Why most people still don't protect themselves and others is still a mystery to me.
The facts are out there so anyone can inform themselves sufficiently but still some seem to be stuck in the whole "It's so massive and big this just can't be" denial.
Just to list some of what I and maybe some others believe:
- case numbers outside China double every 4 days... you can backtest this... and it seems it speeds up even more! This would mean for Germany for instance that the ICU (intensive care units) capacities will be exhausted in 9 days!
even the best equipped health care systems will suffer being overwhelmed shortly just like we've seen this happen in Italy with just around 9k cases 10 days ago!
when this happens triage protocols apply! Many that could survive under normal circumstance s will die. Not only from being infected with #COVID19 but also with other serious health issues. Only those with the best chances of survival will be helped with medical ventilators for instance. Others, if they're lucky, maybe get some palliative care.
transmittance of #COVID19 happens through physical contact with contaminated surfaces and touching face, eyes, lips and so on or by breathing in aerosol particles/viruses.
Social distancing is the most important measure against being infected.
PPE (personal protective equipment) does reduce the likelihood of being infected in situations were social distancing is impossible (needed treatment in doctors offices, hospitals, shopping and so on).
My estimation of the CFR (case fatality rate) lies between 2,5% and 5%.
Long term health issues after being "cured" are possible (lung scar tissue, reduced lung function).
Widespread lock-downs will be very likely for those regions/countries that haven't put them in place already.
Basic supply with essential goods could be compromised soon.
Large/disastrous economic impacts, far beyond what we've seen happening so far are very likely.
The introduction of tested, working Vaccines seems to be far away for the moment.
Public unrest seems to be possible for many regions/countries.
Maybe I should've been even more aggressive in bringing these points to the attention of my family and friends?
Don't get me wrong, I did this, again and again... still, just now they say "you were right all along", at least for the things that have materialized so far. The being right part, believe it or not, I really couldn't care less in terms of ego boosting.
Again, I'm by no means an expert in any of the medical, economical, socialogical or other aspects of all what I am writing here.
But I honestly believed that with the gravity of this, social, personal, economical and much more, the communication from regulators, officials and journalists would become, more clear and direct.
And stuff like this happens too…
I was out today, I practice social distancing as good as possible, to send a few packages out to family in Bavaria with protective gear (respirator masks, nitril gloves, goggles, disinfectant and so on).
I went to a Hermes package shop located in a gas station a few miles away from where we live. As I came into the shop, wearing my N95 FFP3 respirator mask, my gloves and goggles, the guy behind the counter – not wearing any protection – that he won’t be able to serve me because the mask disguises my face!
I replied "Do you really think I would pick your gas station where everyone pays with plastic and the two packages that I brought along... they surely are a dead giveaway of a heist going on, huh?"
I held my breath for a second lifted my mask for a second and that was that.
_I then used the opportunity to talk a little to the guy. He told me that he is waiting for 2 weeks now already that his employer, “the cheap f’..”, will provide him with a respirator mask.
I asked him: “So, you are aware that you would be better off, and everybody that you are in contact with, like literally a few hundred people a day in this shop, your family at home and so on, if you wore protective gear, right?”_
He said: “Of course, but the owner of the shop won’t pay for the masks!”.
I answered: “Hmh, I don’t even have to bring up the concept of perspective in this, right? You are aware of what you are saying here right now, right?”
He blushed, I assume in a mix of anger and shame. But I couldn’t let it go just now.
Before I left, I said: “Sir, now after we have established that you and your employer are cheap f’cks, please give protecting yourself and everyone around you at least a second thought!”.
I added “You basically have my contact info on these package slips of the packages I dropped here, give me a holler if you have a hard time finding protective gear, maybe I can help you out!”.
He blushed a little more even and nodded, I think because he realized that 5 other customers had entered the shop meanwhile and were listening to our little conversation. None of them wore protective gear either.
Outside of the shop he had parked his car. A almost new Ford Raptor with all the bells and whistles. I’ve seen him in this car before, proud as one can be, a few times so I knew it’s his new ride.
Missing perspective maybe?
The mitigation approach that most government have taken, simply because they failed to do the right thing when it was very likely that this thing is “the big one” that epidemiologists and others had warned about for decades, is basically a low-level damage control imho.
They’ve basically tried to balance economics with human suffering and fatalities all while seeing that even the best healthcare systems in the world, Germany surely is right up there, will be overwhelmed rather quickly just like we’ve seen in Italy for instance.
All the essentials to suppress this pandemic sufficiently weren’t done or came just partially and far too late.
Stopping in/outbound transmission of the virus (closing borders), aggressive testing, rigorous infection chain tracking, supplying everyone with protective gear and so on.
While COVID19 ramped up to blow over the whole world, we had to witness countless officials being uninformed, incompetent but still loudly voicing their opinions.
They had other important things to do instead of informing themselves, listening to experts, of course not those who were, who always are, instrumentalized by politics or big economic heavyweights.
Of course such people were harder to find and even the WHO finally declared the COVID19 crisis a pandemic just a few days ago!
So what we saw is this absurd balancing act, not being transparent, lying to people, deflecting responsibility and much more unmoral and unethical behavior:
- “PPE only help healthcare professionals”; PPE = personal protection equipment like respirator masks, gloves, goggles… “use soap”. With this at least the motives seem to be clear and understandable like trying to direct the scarce PPE stuff towards healthcare professionals and other essential or security relevant forces.
- “The flu costs more lifes than this….”
- “Don’t panic it’s all under control…”
- “Supply with everything including toilet paper is ensured…”
- “The Chinese attacked us with COVID19…”
- “The US has attacked China with COVID19…”
- “The EU has dropped the ball….”
- Or like going on in the UK right now “Let it just burn through our society were going to have herd immunity in no time…”
Don’t get me wrong, of course the economics are vital to lessen the impact of this pandemic!
But once the case numbers rack up to millions
- with a unbearable number of deaths!
- with a CFR (case fatality rate) of 3,4%, given that 70% of a population must have been infected to reach "herd immunity") for instance this percentage would result in around 186 million fatalities!
- and up to now unclear long-term health effects of those who are “completely” recovered, there have been a significant number of reports of people suffering from dramatically reduced lung function after they’d recovered,
it’ll be a completely different world to live in for those who’ve survived!
A vaccine seems to be far away in the future at the moment and even complete lock downs may help to slow this down a little, if done early on, but with a very high risk of COVID19 outbreaks again and again.
What this can do to our societies on many levels could be even worse than the consequences of the, “half assed” mitigation efforts we see all over the world with not even a handful of exceptions (Hongkong, Singapore, China… first slow and inconsequent then strict and brutal).
I’m pretty sure that if the initial outbreak would have happened anywhere else than in China things would even be much worse than the catastrophic situation we’re witnessing right now!
I'm by no means a fan of the Chinese government and their totalitarian ways. But they had it by far easier with enforcing what was needed to be done... at least after they had understood that this can't be covered up anymore.
But with things getting worse by the hour, and exponential growth - foreseen months ago by some, that were shushed or ridiculed by most all the time - the situation beyond the health impacts possibly will be unmanageable to say the least.
What we’ve seen in many parts of the world with different movements and agendas is that stability can deteriorate rather quickly.
Once the supply with even the most basic essentials is compromised all bets are off imho.
Such a situation would be the perfect storm to rip through societies all over the world.
Just look at the surreal scenes of people fighting over a bunch of toilet paper rolls right now.
Now imagine there are shortages in food, water, electricity, gas and so on.
People now already are suffering from making no income at the moment, the uncertainty is unbearable to a lot of people, some are more than rattled, some are scared and other still chose to ignore what is going on.
Soon, that "denial thing" won’t work anymore and people will start asking
- how can I put food on the table for my family?
- what could’ve been done better?
- who lied and why?
- who manipulated them?
- who are the opportunists in this?
- in short who is responsible?
and many more thoughts and talk will create even more fear and anger and this will possibly heat up the situation drastically I’m afraid.
Looking at how things could get so bad so fast one surely important factor in all of this is our globalized economy with the “just in time” logistics, were the warehouse in on the ships, the rails, the streets. It seems that stockpiling important stuff like PPE (personal protective equipment) or medicine or ingredients for medicine for instance makes sense but no one was willing the pay the price for this.
The nitpickers, you know the people that make sure that the “socialize losses privatize profits” thing and shareholder value are the highest priority, here also steered us towards the abyss.
A little side note in all this… Can you believe that even the US armed forces buy their PPE in China with contracts that ensure swift delivery – under normal circumstances – in the matter of days.
Well, the normal circumstances went out of the window a few months back already.
Just one of many weird things we all should question and discuss.
Some conclusions but please see Chris Martensons conclusions further down!
At least in this regard, if we make it through this without society destroying turmoil’s, we have the chance to correct some stuff.
The helicopter money being discussed and offered surely makes sense as an ad hoc help for those in urgent need of support.
Tbh… I guess what the FED and other central banks are trying, to keep some stuff a float atm seems to be without other alternatives.
Protect yourself, your family and friends and everybody else as good as possible.
Be nice and try to help each other, without risking of being infected, because it’s going to get much harder before it gets better, for sure!
Maybe boot those officials who clearly showed incompetence and disregard of human life at the latest with upcoming elections! Maybe get rid of them even faster because things will only get more complex and challenging from here on out.
Rallying and stuff like that is a little hard to do with the social distancing requirements that are so essential at the moment to slow things down but, it’s 2020, we have the internet and there are petitions and other means to get at those who are harming us more than they are helping!
Here the conclusions of Chris Martenson with whom I agree 💯%!
His channel can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCD2-QVBQi48RRQTD4Jhxu8w
He does a much better job than me presenting #COVID19 analysis, research results and status of the ongoing pandemic!
So, how are things in your neck of the woods? Let me know down in the comments!
Most importantly, stay safe! Stay healthy!