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But you know what, I'm almost sorry I gave those examples, because now you're going to give examples that prove the opposite. As I said, what matters to me is the OVERALL effect I feel from exposure to the sources I trust. And if you knew what was in my heart and how I live, I think you would see that I'm not panicking.

Cautious, yes. Dealing with issues of fear, absolutely. But panicking, no.

At least not today. :)


I don't watch TV any more either Michael.

Americans are becoming a population of obsessive compulsive hypochondriacs. Once that way of thinking gets ingrained into the human group psychic it will take a great deal of effort (and maybe medications) to stop thinking that way.

Are we becoming a generation of anxiety ridden mentally-ill people? Pity the poor little kid who doesn't know any better and is following the fear and trepidation examples of his or her parents. It is like when I was a kid having to hide under my desk at school for an atomic bomb blast drill (as if that would save me in a real attack) and being afraid that the sun was going to explode after seeing a Superman movie.

That has made me the class-A hypochondriac I am today! - AOD


Don’t worry, Bruce. I’m not going to give any counter-examples. I just think it’s obvious that the media are trying to exaggerate the risks and intensify public fear. It’s not even a left-right thing. It’s the sensationalistic tendency of the popular press, which is baked into the cake and always has been.

The strange thing is that people say they distrust the media, yet they keep tuning in and falling for every new scare story. No, not everyone is panicking, but too many people are. I find this "madness of crowds" far more depressing than any virus.

Bruce
That "overall effect' that you speak of is exactly what most propaganda sites wish to leave with their readers. Never mind about the specifics, never mind about presenting the whole picture just leave the reader with an emotion. Motivate them with fear, anger or other activating feelings; present the story in a way that engages the reader's emotions. Leave an "overall effect' of fear, in this case. Generate enough fear and maybe people will be so irresistibly emotional that they will be driven by fear to throw President Trump out of office. Never mind what Trump has actually done for good during his presidency just leave people with an overall effect that "Orange Man Bad!"

Bruce friend, remember the frog in a pot water being heated on the stove. The frog doesn't know what is happening to him and can actually withstand hotter and hotter water at a slowly increasing temperature .

What I mean to say, is that propaganda is insidious like slowing increasing hot water. You don't know that you are being affected by it until you are boiled to death. Take care Bruce. - AOD

Michael:

"I just think it’s obvious that the media are trying to exaggerate the risks and intensify public fear. It’s not even a left-right thing. It’s the sensationalistic tendency of the popular press, which is baked into the cake and always has been."

Again, I'm not seeing that with either CNN or NYT. I see balance there.

Am I filtering out this sensationalistic tendency by dint of the specific articles I choose to focus on? Am I immune to it because I've become so accustomed to it? I can't absolutely guarantee that neither is true. I'll think about it as I continue to read.

In an earlier comment you said:

“it's obvious that the media are doing their best to get their audience worked up into a state of sheer panic. It's really despicable. There is just no sense of responsibility whatsoever on the part of these "purveyors of the truth."

I’m glad that I’m not as put off by journalists in general, as you seem to be. I’m grateful that I can turn to certain sources I trust and find support, insight, and reasons for optimism.

AOD:

The overall effect *I* speak of is what I described in the previous sentence. It's the opposite of what you're talking about.

IMO the motive of the media in featuring these cases of the young dying or nearly dying is to encourage them to quarantine themselves and not to gather on beaches, etc.

Here's an article posted today on why some of the young are dying: https://elemental.medium.com/why-coronavirus-is-making-young-americans-really-sick-9f27cae25a51

It blames obesity and genetics, mostly.

"Ηοw Sweden’s Coronavirus Strategy Makes Sense: And why it may not be applicable in other countries — a Swedish doctor’s perspective."

The article is too long—a 12-minute read. But it can be skimmed.

https://medium.com/@yannis_freddy13/how-swedens-coronavirus-strategy-makes-sense-2f07f69df2f2

Though I've tried to avoid taking partisan positions in this post, I'll indulge myself a little bit here. But my partisan position may not be what you expect …

Right now, I think the November elections are the Democrats' to lose. It's very difficult for an incumbent president to get reelected if the economy is in the toilet. And the only defense Trump can use – "it's not my fault" – is not a strong campaign slogan.

Nor is it necessarily true, since, in my opinion, we could have avoided much of this shutdown without any significant increase in deaths. In this respect, it's interesting to compare the numbers in Sweden, which did not shut down its economy, with the numbers in the US. You can find them here:

https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2020/04/swedens-numbers-vs-americas.php

The one caveat is that I don't think Joe Biden can win the election, because I think he is simply too cognitively impaired. It should be obvious to anyone who's paying attention that the man no longer has the ability to think. It's not too late for the Democrats to replace him, and I hope they will. I don't really care who they replace him with, as long as it's somebody with a working brain. That shouldn't be too high a bar to clear.

Assuming they're able to find a nominee who can speak in complete sentences and articulate coherent thoughts, they should be able to defeat Trump in November.

As for my personal opinion of Trump, I think he did a good job of managing the economy when it was fairly easy to do. But he has not done a good job of handling this crisis – he has overreacted and cost us very dearly.

I agree with you Michael. I think that President Trump over-reacted. But really what choice did he have. Had he not followed the advice of Fauci and Brix and other academics advising him he would have suffered unbearable criticism from all sides, sure to doom his re-election. It seemed obvious to me that Trump did not agree with the advice he was given but went ahead with it e.g. wearing masks. And, if managing the economy was “fairly easy” then why did it take President Trump to do it? Why did it take Trump to look at tariffs and trade agreements? Why did it take Trump to make an effort to bring business back to America. Presidents before him had a chance to address those issues but apparently it was not easy for them because they ignored them for years. I am out of my depth here but I don’t think that Trump has had an easy time of it the past three years trying to do a good job for America with constant serious threats and criticisms against his administration from the leaders of the House of Representatives, Democrats generally and the media almost entirely.

My guess is that it didn’t really matter who was in the presidency at the time of the Corona Virus outbreak. It would have progressed more or less as it has considering that human nature is such that people, especially Americans are independent cusses, more or less unhealthy and are used to following their own bliss. Not unless the president enforced a shutdown of all flights and cruise ships into the country back at the beginning of the year would it have made any difference. And you know the Democrats and other liberals would never have let him get by with that!

It is difficult to know how COVID-19 compares with other epidemics and the response or lack of it by other presidents. So far the numbers are less than outbreaks of influenza in the past. Since the other epidemics weren’t covered, minute by minute by the media and the media and the population did not become so obsessional about them, the current epidemic stands alone, I think, not comparable with any other in terms of response from the President. Hindsight is always twenty twenty. – AOD

Fair points, AOD, but I think when the dust settles, Trump will have a hard time winning a second term ... if the Dems wise up and choose someone other than an obviously senile no-hoper.

If they stick with Biden, then probably Trump will win by default. But in that case, they will have no one to blame but themselves.

Interesting article on the Swedish approach to the coronavirus outbreak.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/120805778/coronavirus-to-swedes-its-the-rest-of-the-world-engaging-in-a-reckless-experiment

Now, I might be able to sketch out what makes my view on this crisis... a conspiratorial view.
It finds its basis in what is widely agreed: It's widely believed, for many years back, that the world is headed toward an 'inevitable' economic collapse. Among those who think so, a small proportion keep that fact in their consciousness for much of their waking hours. Of that number of people, there is only a small minority that are able to notably act upon it: those are people of great power & influence. That set of people are also highly motivated to act, as their situation is like ...
that of myself put on a pedestal - when only I knew how badly that pedestal was shaking ... and that of a driver of a car that is severely malfunctioning ... and that of a storyteller who, in front of the largest audience in the world, has lost the plot.
And just as the storyteller will seek what you writers of fiction call a prop,, so will do many of our elites. The only things I did was to put myself in their shoes, and, then, to look for signs of a prop. And those signs appeared. Among them, the most salient might be that there are way too many eminent public health experts that challenge the mainstream narrative’s twist, and do so in a laid-back manner, to be dismissed like most other conspiracy theories.

As a reality check, let's assume that all I’ve just theorised is plain wrong. Wrong, wrong wrong. The excesses of the media are like excesses of a house dog that barks too much, while the UN’s WHO is pretty balanced, professional. That places me in front of a puzzle bigger than those embedded in the conspiracy theory : what on earth are those financial elites thinking, twiddling thumbs while faced with a crash?

And, as I pretty much did what I said I would do at the beginning, I might finish with a reference: Knut Wittkowski. So phenomenally refreshing, the video with him...

||Interesting article on the Swedish approach to the coronavirus outbreak.|| - MP

From the link:
"Sweden is also updating its statistics to say if someone died from Covid, or of something else – but with Covid. This might reduce the "death" figure by two thirds."

I think it is smart of the Swedish govt to maintain perspective by creating separate buckets for 1. killed by covid 2. died and was also covid positive. As the article notes, that should, quite appropriately, lower the "covid death rate" and should help alleviate some of the potential panic. I think it is simply more scientific as well.

In the US there are not two buckets. It's all lumped into the covid mortality count.

Has anyone seen this graphic yet? Coronavirus is now the #1 daily cause of death in the US:

https://public.flourish.studio/visualisation/1712761/?fbclid=IwAR3BoZnOC6vYwJGM3Ag6JMC9p0frUhYWCVbCbbdBMk-0-BNhq1aHgILUZaA

How are we feeling about the contrarian position at this point? It seems that the following claims need to be addressed:

1. That ultimately the disease isn't a big deal in the first place and mortality figures will ultimately not seem that high.

-->This would seem to be incorrect at this point. The latest figure I've heard is 60k estimate deaths, which will (if it happens) be more than a blip, and it will be roughly double the number of deaths of the other pandemics discussed here (we're already over 20k).

2. The cost of the economy-affecting measures isn't worth it.

--> The key argument against this claim seems to me to be this: Things would be so chaotic anyway with the number of people dying and trying to avoid getting it that the economy would be significantly damaged anyway. What would that difference be? Hard to say. Then we would have to get into the value of lives saved. It would take some serious spreadsheet work to make the argument either way. My gut take is that things are better the way we're doing them. Plus, in the current scenario, we have the benefit of doing a test run of the measures that we would need to take in the event of a pandemic that *unambiguously* required them.

A couple other data points for you: My girlfriend in Indianapolis definitely has it, and it's scary and not fun, though it seems that she is going to be OK. She also knows some people whose 25-year-old daughter just died of the disease (no word on any comorbidities, etc.).

That also means that what I got from her back in March (seems so long ago!) wasn't Corona but something else that put me on my behind for a few weeks. So I can still get the Big One--yay!

This thing's a bastard.

"How are we feeling about the contrarian position at this point?"

Rather than give a long answer, I’ll just recommend Alex Berenson's Twitter feed.

https://twitter.com/AlexBerenson

I think the points he’s making and the questions he’s asking are basically correct.


Help me out here. The graph Matt linked indicates a period of time of 39 days i.e., March 1 – April 8, 2020. It concludes that the average number of COVID-19 deaths per day over that period of time in the United States is 1940. But 1940 deaths per day times 39 days is 75,560 deaths in 39 days. So far the number of deaths since the epidemic began i.e. January, February, March April in the U.S. is a little over 20,000. What don’t I understand here? (I had to drop statistics in college)- AOD

Michael,

I think his (interesting) Twitter thread deals with my point #2 above but doesn't really deal with point #1.

I think this blog post also deals with the same questions in an interesting way:

https://www.joshuakennon.com/what-price-should-we-pay-to-fight-covid-19/

Eric was/seemed to be of the opinion that the disease itself is no big deal; I wonder if he's changed his mind on that.

Eric?

Matt,
As the data comes in, I become stronger in my "contrarian" position. It is clear that the vast majority of deaths are the elderly and infirm. The deaths are occurring in nursing homes and similar environments. Many of those who die would have died this year anyhow. The deaths are just clustering in the first months of the year instead of spreading out across all 12. It is also clear that a large number of people have contracted the virus and have gotten over it with nothing more than an unpleasant flu like experience at worst.

The right policy would be to open the economy and to place the most vulnerable in FEMA healthcare camps for their protection. The nursing homes are not regulated enough.

I do admit that my estimate of 21K +/- 4K deaths was too low (Obviously). The reason for that is that I did not realize that airplanes were stilling flying people into the US from COVID infected countries, including China. Isn't that something? We're all on house arrest and our economy is being shattered, but chain immigration from disease vectors is still occurring. Thank you Uncle Sam.

That said, my estimate is going to turn out to be much closer to the ultimate number than the hysterical figures presented by The Who and CDC. I also still say that at the end of the year, flu/covid deaths will not be extraordinary. It will look like a bad flu year of the type we get every so often. It just isn't 1918.

Also, Matt, IMO, the Chinese have deliberately infected us and are continuing to do so. It's revenge for supporting Honk Kong rebels and for Trump's fighting back with regards to China's control of our economy. There's a wider objective as well. I note that the socialists out there are salivating over the destruction of capitalism and have amped up their propaganda touting the virtues of socialism. They do it under the guise of virus concern trolling, but they are obvious in their true intentions. These agitprop personalities are in our own govt too. Obama holdovers.

Was re-reading Dannion Brinkley’s prophecies, if you disregard the dates the prophesies are very worrisome, especially now.

"I think his (interesting) Twitter thread deals with my point #2 above but doesn't really deal with point #1."

He does deal with point #1, though you may have to scroll down a bit. I wrote such a long response on this point that I decided to make it a separate post! See the homepage for my screed.

Incidentally, why assume 60,000 deaths? There were 22,000 the last time I looked, and rates of death and infection are stable or falling. The only source for 60,000 that I’m aware of is the constantly revised and never-accurate computer models — the ones that initially forecast two million US deaths even with widespread mitigation efforts.

AOD, the animated graph shows day-by-day death totals, with 1940 being the total only for the most recent day in the database. You can see the totals climb as the animation plays.

I’m not surprised that coronavirus is the leading cause of death now, for two reasons: 1) the outbreak appears to be peaking, even in NYC, so deaths will be at their height, and 2) it appears that COVID-19 is listed as the cause of death in many borderline cases - i.e, cases in which the patient suffered from multiple comorbidities and death could be attributed to any of them. I’ve even read that some hospice patients were listed as COVID deaths because they picked up the virus while in hospice! (Can’t confirm that – it could be fake news, but at this point nothing would surprise me.)

Matt,
I'm having a slow day for once. So please allow me to better summarize my current position.

1. people are confusing what are colloquially known as "the flu" and "a cold". There's a big difference. The flu is always a bad thing to "catch". I caught whatever variety was going around 10 or 11 years and it hammered me for about a week. A bad version of the flu can - and does - kill.

2. The flu kills the elderly and the infirm. Pneumonia (viral and bacterial) is a leading cause of death every year for the elderly and infirm.

3. I am not seeing how this new coronavirus is so very different from what a bad flu strain does. The statistics on who is being severely impacted and how supports my position. Yes, it is more aggressive in its attack on the respiratory system for vulnerable individuals, but for most it is no worse than any other flu that attacks the respiratory system.

4. It is entirely possible - even likely - that any other bad flu that attacks the respiratory system would have the same impact on our society. In fact, we can see that is the case simply by looking at years when such a flu moved through our society.

5. It is media hype and political agendas that is driving the perception that CV is significantly worse the other bad respiratory flu years.

6. The correct statistic to look at is deaths due to infectious disease and the correct time to look at 2020 data will be in September, before the next flu season starts. You want to look at Oct 2019 - Oct 2020 compared to the same months of previous years - and you need to look at previous years going back to 2000. I predict (take a note) that infectious disease deaths for the Oct 2019 - Sept 2020 will not be significantly greater than same months for two or three of the previous years beginning in 2000 (as rate per 100,000 - not as a raw number because our population has grown).

7. One of the reasons I make that prediction is that, from what I can see, most of the people dying due to CV would have been dying due to any bad respiratory flu.

8. I really don't like to be wrong. So I'm sticking my neck out a little here because I am fairly confident in the data I'm seeing.

9. Of course, I could be wrong. New data might come in that shows me I am wrong. if and when that happens, I will say so.

10. Regardless of whether or not I'm right or wrong, I am 100% positive that the response policy is totally misguided. The economy should not be destroyed and it doesn't have to be. We have a few months of data from the US and from other countries that shows us who is at risk. Those people, most of whom are not contributing to the economy, could be placed in protective settings while the rest of us remain productive. Nursing homes and hospitals are not protective settings. Nor is sheltering at home. The vulnerable are still contracting the virus and I suspect strongly it is from low level care givers that are bringing it to them. These people need to in a safer environment and FEMA camps should be established for that purpose.

For the record, I don't support moving people to FEMA camps. Nursing homes can be pretty safe if they're well-run. I know somebody who is on lockdown in a nursing home right now, confined to her room for two weeks. The staff is taking every possible precaution – possibly excessive precautions, given the toll that such isolation takes on fragile elderly people. No doubt there are some nursing homes that are poorly managed, but moving everyone into FEMA facilities would only make things worse, in my opinion. I have no confidence in the government's ability to maintain such facilities better than the operators of the average privately run nursing home or long-term care facility.

However, the whole issue of nursing homes does raise an interesting point (which I owe to Alex Berenson's Twitter feed): What if the main routes of coronavirus transmission are nosocomial and interfamilial? (I admit I had to look up the word "nocosomial" – it means "transmitted in a hospital or hospital-like setting.") If you think about it, the worst hotspots seem to be nursing homes (and similar facilities) or multigenerational households. If this is true, then locking people down in their homes with their family members 24 hours a day may be the worst possible strategy.

Eric!
Apparently you have no idea what Federal and State Long-Term Care Facility ('Nursing Home') licensing and certification regulations are! In my opinion after more than 20 years as a State administrator of Long-term Care Facilities I think that nursing homes, regulated by laws and supplemented by sometimes arbitrary regulations written by lifer bureaucrats and enforced by overly-demanding individual inspectors during a minimum yearly inspection, endure enough regulation. These facilities are sometimes mercilessly harassed and fined for foolish reasons. e.g., serving red Jello instead of green Jello, toilet paper rolled the wrong way against the wall.

Amos,
I didn't "regulated" that way. I meant they are allowing infected staff to come and go and work with the residents.

Staff should be tested daily. If that is not logistically possible, then the residents need to be moved into quarantine away from the city.

Eric:
Think for a moment about what you have said.

"The right policy would be to open the economy and to place the most vulnerable in FEMA healthcare camps for their protection."

Really? Eric?

How would you do that Eric? Who would decide who is "most vulnerable". What criteria would be used to determine vulnerability? Would you just rip these people out of their home away from their family and transport them to a " FEMA Camp" somewhere ---in the desert, perhaps?

Apparently humans have not changed much since the Japanese relocation Camps of the 1940s.

My disillusionment with human beings increases on a daily basis! Apparently they have learned nothing from history.- AOD

Michael,
Yes, I think the virus is nosocomial and is moving around in multi-generational homes. I do not think that the lockdown on nursing homes is effective because the staff still go in and they are the carriers that getting the residents killed.

The residents either get moved to a real and effective quarantine or they will keep dying. Also, the hands-on care givers tend to be immigrants and other lower socio-economic types that tend to live in multi-generational homes. So there's a vicious circle occurring. That is what the data shows is happening.

Military hospitals are amazingly effective. When I imagine FEMA facilities that's what I am imaging.

I think it is interesting that at a time of crisis, some people who present themselves as believers in a spirit reality and high-minded principles of love are quick to throw all of those principles and beliefs to the wind and start criticizing everybody and everything that is contrary to their way of understanding reality. Whatever happened to beliefs in the goodness and equality of all people, that all are one, that love is what holds everything together. What happened to positive beliefs and attitudes when a crisis hits. What ever happened to acceptance that everything happens for good. Without that spiritual support, one could believe that “Everything tends toward chaos”. That is a materialist belief system. That has been my belief system in the past and occasionally that is my belief today, especially when reading about the current reactions of some people to the current epidemic.

I am tired of these doomsday, ‘Ain’t It Awful’ scenarios.

Someone once said---I remember that Norman Vincent Peale said it--- that “if you expect the worst you will get the worst but if you expect the best you will get the best. “ If one is ill with any disease a belief that one will recover is a major part of the treatment. And if that belief is supported by other people around the patient, a positive outcome is strengthened. It is kind of like a group prayer. A positive belief reduces fear and without that belief in fear, the immune system will resist infections; if fear is allowed to run amuck then the immune system shuts down and the virus wins!

Bruce Lipton PhD, biologist wrote a book titled “The Biology of Belief” which addresses the importance of one’s beliefs in influencing reality.

https://www.brucelipton.com/books/biology-of-belief

The world is caught in a system of mass negative beliefs, seemingly about everything. Nobody, especially the U.S. president, can do anything right. All outcomes seem to be predicted to be bad. These beliefs only ensure that the outcome will be bad. To some extent some people actually will themselves to die based upon their belief that the will die if they are diagnosed with the Corona Virus. And a country sometimes wills itself to fail if enough people have a belief that it will fail. - AOD

OK Michael,I guess I don't understand English. The graph that came up on my computer was titled "Covid VS Daily Average Cause of Death" - AOD

Amos,
As it is, almost everyone has been "ripped" from their jobs and placed on house arrest. It's illegal to go to church or even congregate in groups of three, anywhere.

Everyone gets so emotional about a FEMA quarantine camp, but barely concerned over shutting down an entire economy and passing $trillions in money printing laws.

How would you do it? It's something that's been planned since 9/11. The national Guard and relevant units of the regular military are mobilized. Residents are gently removed from nursing homes and nicely driven to the FEMA camps, where they are cared for and protected.

How is a safe FEMA facility different from the nursing home?

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-data/covidview/index.html#mortality

The graphs at the above link (which is the CDC) are informative and confirm everything I have said about this panic.

The graph that shows visits to ERs for covid like symptoms versus influenza like symptoms (I do not feel good about how they use the word "like") shows little difference between the two. You could argue that more people contract influenza like symptoms than covid like sysmptoms and thus covid is more likely to send you to the ER. However, that defeats the narrative that covid is super contagious. Why don't we all have it? or maybe we do all have it and it isn't that bad for most of us. We don't know - and that's why the hysteria is unwarranted.

One of the graphs, Total Death and Percent of Deaths due to COVID-19, Pneumonia or Influenza October 15 through April 4, 2020, cannot be accurate. The red line shooting upward (covid) at the far right of the graph says % of total deaths due to COVID is around 7% and the total number of deaths is around 45K. No one anywhere else is reporting 45K US covid deaths. The cumulative figure reported everywhere else today is half that number.

The next graph shows that at the end of 2017/beginning of 2018 flu and pneumonia accounted for around 11% of all death and, same period 2019/2020, around 10% of all deaths.

Anyhow - covid is clearly not the "leading cause of death" even when compared to common flu/pneumonia, let alone when you add in cancer, heart disease, accidents, etc.

My final word on this is that the CDC data sucks. No private company could run a business with such lousy data - I've spent the evening downloading their data and trying to make sense of it.

This is reflected in one of the charts in the link in my other post- the CDC is identifying "covid like" emergency dept visits beginning Oct 1, 2019 - then every week since to present. Was covid here that early? I think not. Rather, I think that there is flu that produces covid like symptoms (duh. anyone who hasn't lost his mind knows that). So how many hospitalizations and deaths are being attributed to covid because the symptoms suggest it (are "like" it), but it really wasn't?

You can't do year over year comparison of ED visits, inpatient stays due to flu/pneumonia because the CDC has radically different numbers of hospitals reporting each year. How do they arrive at their final figures? Extrapolate? Again, these guys suck. Their data sucks.

I really wanted to compare total ED visits in the data below (CLI + ILI) to influenza prior years, especially 2017 because that was a bad flu year. However, the CDC doesn't permit that due to their crappy tax payer funded data. That would have revealed some important points and would have help us understand if a bad flu year is equivalent to this year covid + flu. I wanted to do the same for ICU and for deaths. I threw up my hands. I know what my big data says, but people won't believe me. They trust the government more. Big mistake.

Week = year and week number (example; first row is 2019 and week 40 (oct 1)...
ED visits is the total for all reasons, CLI = covid like, ILI = influenza like

week ED visits CLI ILI
201940 2,146,776 17,639 19,503
201941 2,106,999 18,693 20,457
201942 2,101,358 20,798 22,515
201943 2,122,427 21,682 23,776
201944 2,087,335 22,936 25,466
201945 2,137,854 26,708 29,948
201946 2,122,363 28,570 32,425
201947 2,209,698 31,142 36,073
201948 2,097,933 34,353 39,613
201949 2,224,300 32,847 37,569
201950 2,240,477 34,824 42,485
201951 2,225,537 39,550 50,914
201952 2,332,296 51,679 68,616
202001 2,408,019 46,491 57,566
202002 2,291,586 33,703 42,550
202003 2,262,316 32,874 44,605
202004 2,259,759 35,862 49,574
202005 2,352,055 42,505 59,657
202006 2,340,858 41,559 58,961
202007 2,274,585 36,932 50,814
202008 2,256,684 34,182 45,846
202009 2,219,732 31,438 41,632
202010 2,250,329 38,817 49,686
202011 2,235,333 62,435 71,219
202012 1,794,020 86,088 84,208
202013 1,438,725 72,058 62,139
202014 1,245,869 54,531 43,457
Total 57,785,223 1,030,896 1,211,274

Eric:
“How is a safe FEMA facility different from the nursing home?”

Well it is difficult to generalize about the quality of “nursing homes” Depending on funding sources and physical location. Long-term care facilities dependent upon federal or state funding generally are of lower quality while those receiving most of their money from private-pay people are generally of much higher quality. My experience with long-term care facilities run by the state or federal governments is that they tend to be on the lower end of the quality scale.

As people grow older and must seek residence in a care facility they usually have lost much of the control over their lives in addition to loss of body functions, Having control becomes very important to an older person. To be “nicely” told by the government that one must leave one’s home, be it a care facility or other residence and “gently” transported to a government–run facility often located a great distance from their family is additional evidence that the person has lost total control over their life. In a situation like that, people often die just as a result of the relocation.

Those of us that are older remember the state-run mental health facilities and that is the last place we wanted to go.

The important difference between your plan and leaving people where they are is ‘choice’. Having the freedom to choose is what America is all about. “Gently” and “nicely” forcing people to be transported to distant government relocation camps is reminiscent of times in world history that most of us would like to forget. - AOD

Eric,
I can’t imagine how I would have reacted when my 101 year-old mother was in a nursing home a few years ago if the typical Federal or State 'we-are-here-to-help-you' bureaucrat inspector, an obese middle aged woman with a diploma from a nursing school, came into my mother’s room and told her and me that, according to State and Federal Regulations, she had to be relocated to a government FEMA facility 150 miles away from where my sister and I lived. I just don’t know how I would have responded. I surmise that I would have reverted to my earlier days and let my temper get the best of me. My mother was in daily pain at the time and generally miserable with life. I don’t think she could have withstood the move. I don’t think that I could have withstood it either. - AOD

Eric,
All licensed and certified long-term care facilities in the U.S. are required by regulation to have procedures to isolate a resident in their room if they have a communicable disease. Most facilities do a good job following those procedures. Unfortunately they do not always do a good job of preventing one of their employees with a communicable disease from working with patients. That is the problem. And I suppose that in a FEMA facility most likely staffed by local care givers, there would be no difference. The local care givers, even though they might work in a Federal facility, would still come to work when they were not feeling well. Most of the direct care staff in nursing homes, especially the nursing aides are at the low end of the pay scale and live pay check to pay check and they are the ones who do most of the direct contact work with patients. - AOD

Eric,
I should have added that it is very difficult to prevent relatives of nursing home residents from visiting their loved ones when the family members might have a communicable disease. Most people in Long-term care facilities today are very compromised and often have little time left on earth. Many people are reluctant to abandon their mother or father at the end of their life and want to remain close to them for their last moments. - AOD

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