Sign in to follow this  
snowfarmer

Food for thought

Recommended Posts

Thought I would share this . Read it tonight , interesting view . Right or wrong.

 

On Covid-19 And Our Immediate Future

Written by Brad J. Lamb

 

 

Like most Canadians and citizens of the world, I am accepting our government’s current version of the best response to COVID-19. I am, however, becoming less satisfied as I watch the world melt away in an unprecedented loss of wealth, business, and employment. The damage to our world as a result of these forced measures will be devastating. Alcoholism, drug addiction, spousal abuse, child abuse, suicide, depression and other mental health issues are massively on the rise. Poverty and an inability to pay monthly bills is also soaring. The stress on everyone is becoming unmanageable. It is possible that the toll that the government exacts from its citizens to fight this virus will exceed the damage caused by the virus itself. In effect, we have two pandemics: COVID-19 and an economic depression (along with the deaths and misery that come with the latter). We will need to deal with both.

 

New American models put the United States at a revised estimate of up to 60,000 COVID-19 deaths. The Canadian model currently estimates 11,000-22,000 deaths. The estimate for Canada appears to be high based upon the assumption that both countries are in approximate lock step with the maturity of the virus. The U.S. is tracking 23,000 deaths currently and Canada is at 767 (as of April 14). I wouldn’t be surprised if in a week the Canadian estimate of 11,000-22,000 gets reduced substantially as new models arise as a result of new data.

 

Keep in mind, we were all told that the objective of the extreme emergency measures being imposed (i.e. - almost complete commercial shutdown and home quarantining) was to ‘flatten the curve.’ This was clearly communicated as the only way to keep the medical system (specifically our hospitals) from being overloaded and allowing people to get the necessary treatment in order to survive. The goal was NOT to reduce our infection rate to ZERO before lifting the personal and economic restrictions.

 

By all accounts, in both the U.S. and Canada, the use of intensive care facilities and ventilator usage is well below the doomsday scenario of 30 days ago. In fact, in most regions, we are through the surge and hospitalizations are falling. My understanding is that hospitals here in Canada and, in the U.S., have more capacity than they need for beds and ventilators. According to a Globe and Mail article published on April 13, in Alberta, as of April 11, only 13 patients were in hospital intensive care for the treatment of Covid-19. Even in Ontario, which has struggled with low testing rates and outbreaks at long term care homes, hospitals are not being overrun with Covid-19 cases. As of April 11, official Ontario statistics show that nearly 80% of the Ontario ventilators are not being used. In other words, there is plenty of patient capacity. It looks like we have accomplished what we have been asked to do. We pushed the infections and admissions down the road, so the hospitals did not get overloaded. We know and have been told that hiding from COVID-19 isn’t a medium or long-term solution. It is going to run its course. We will have to gain herd immunity as a community. Waiting in isolation for the infection rate to hit zero or for a miracle vaccine or cure was not the plan 30 days ago. This is a new narrative. We were told we just need to flatten the curve. This was to allow the most vulnerable an opportunity to be treated in hospital. This has been accomplished. Comparing COVID-19 impacts on mortality with other deadly causes in Canada is displayed below (as deaths per year).

 

CAUSE OF DEATH         DEATHS PER YEAR

 

Suicide                                           4,200

Flu                                                  8,500

Accidental Deaths                         13,300

Accidental Drug Overdoses          14,500

Heart Disease                               50,000

Cancer                                          83,000

Alcohol-related Deaths                 88,000

 

Every cause of death should be treated with equal importance, and if 5,000 people die from COVID-19 this year, it will be tragic. It is also tragic that 14,000 people die from drug overdoses as well. We do not quarantine the country to prevent opioid overdoses. 88,000 people die from alcohol-related incidents. Interestingly, the LCBO is an ‘essential service’ in this time of quarantine and pandemic. We absolutely need to be better at protecting the ‘at risk’ population, but this is not everyone; it is possibly 1-2% of the population.

 

If we had an option to self-isolate for many months, we could look at that, but we do not. More people may die in Canada due to the quarantine that due to the virus. On average, Canadians save $160/month. One third of Canadians have no savings. Many millions in Canada literally live paycheque to paycheque. Deaths from the 7 causes above will definitely increase as a result of the quarantine. Every week of quarantine will carry a cost.

 

The Federal budget deficit is going from a bloated $16B in 2019 to an astounding, unbelievable number of $180B in 2020. This is a just an early estimate and the final tally will likely be much higher. The deficit during the ‘great recession’ of 2009 was approximately $50B to put this in perspective. Our cumulative debt as a 153-year-old nation is about $750B pre-COVID-19 (in one year we will add another $180B). Who exactly is being helped by this monster deficit? Well, I can tell you my companies are not being helped. I have talked to dozens of other small and medium sized business owners and they aren’t getting any meaningful help either. Getting any answers from any level of government is impossible. I am dubious that any of the largesse will really help people. I am sure that abuses from fraudulent claims will occur in large numbers. Are unemployed workers really getting the help they need, and if so, for how long? It seems to me that a better path might have been advisable. For instance, if the elderly and infirm had self- isolated starting in January and masks had been issued to everyone else with an instruction to maintain a reasonable physical distance, could we have avoided the shut down?

 

Well, Taiwan and Sweden did just that and they avoided an economic shutdown and personal quarantine. Obviously, trusting people to stay at a safe distance and using masks work. Why did the government not trust us to do it this way? Were we lied to about this? $180B buys a lot of masks and ventilators. Why wasn’t the quarantining of compromised individuals initiated when we knew about the risk for these people? Why did all levels of government and experts sit on this until the only response was a world-wide depression initiated by a coordinated shutdown and quarantine? For those who do not know, in the 1930’s we had what was is known as the “Great Depression.” It was a horrendous time – just ask your grandparents and they will shudder at the memory of the misery. Violence, murder, lawlessness, and suicide was epidemic. Unemployment peaked at 25%, GDP declined by 30%. On a world-wide basis, very few are now working. It is very likely that Canada and the U.S. will see unemployment at levels higher than 25% and GDP will likely fall more than 30%. This happened overnight. The Great Depression rolled on for years to hit those numbers. The misery from this will be epic. The tax base for government spending is going to be greatly reduced, likely to 50% of a typical year. Where will they get all this helicopter money?

 

So, what do we do? We must demand honesty from our leaders. For instance, why are they comfortable publishing death/mortality models but they won’t publish honest infection models? Why aren’t the statistics of infection and death not published by age category and whether the person had an underlying illness? Is it because we would learn that the infection is not deadly for the vast majority of those infected and this would undermine the government’s message that the only solution is totally economic shutdown and self-isolation for EVERYONE? They seem content to scare the shit out of the population with ‘honest’ death rates (which by all accounts are proving to be less than initially thought). Why will they not release the TRUE infection models? No one can believe that just 26,000 people have been infected in Canada. This number is absurd.

 

In a random test, it has been reported that as much as 70% of the Lombardy province of Italy has been infected with COVID-19. There are 10 million people in Lombardy. So, 7 million people by way of this study could reasonably be infected in Lombardy, with perhaps 9,000 fatalities. Admittedly, 7 million is probably too high, but it does create food for thought. The fact is we do not know because no one will tell us.

 

The Italian government’s tests confirm 160,000 people are infected and sadly, 21,000 are dead. This is for the whole of Italy. Is it possible that tens of millions of Italians are infected with 21,000 dead? Do we want to know this? I think we do. A significantly lower death rate will likely change our response. Already the models in the U.S. are being adjusted down. World-wide mortality rates range from 1% to 10% based on tested individuals. What if the mortality rate is 1/10th1/20th, or 1/100th of the published mortality rates? What if COVID-19 is similar to the seasonal flu based on mortality rates and overall expected deaths?

 

I think we need to demand to see the truth about the models of those infected. We need to see an estimate at how many Canadians have this virus NOW! We must quickly test millions of people without symptoms to understand the real model. It could be that several million Canadians are already infected and cured. Many people that become infected have none or very slight symptoms. Many millions of people may be immune. Why are the immune in quarantine? We should isolate those at high risk and allow all immune and low-risk people back to work and re-open our economy. Before you ask me to continue to help drive our civilization to ruin, I want answers, I want the truth, and I want it now.

 

If you like this, please share it. We need our government to take action now before it is too late. All our lives are at stake.

 

Brad J. Lamb

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are also looking at huge spending deficits here in the US. The loan money for small business' was basically gone in a flash, word is they ran out of allocated money, basically overnight, who got it?? Then they have this 1200 dollar per person stimulus check plus 500$ additional for each child. One of my employees got a 2900$ check this week, he cannot understand what is going on, he is still here working full time, even logged some overtime hours last week, and his wife works in the probate court and is getting full pay for 1/2 the hours. He thinks only people out of work should get help, so do I, but somehow this instant money is flowing, who the hell figured this thing out, and who is going to pay for it??In the mean time I drive by the food bank and see lots of locals in the food line who really need help, yes, some one needs to answer some questions here. I have spent my entire life working for myself, on my own dime and I have always said OPM is easy to spend, and nobody is better at it than the government...OTHER PEOPLES MONEY, until you have sweated and earned it on your own, seems there is no respect for OPM!! This is a really great article you have written here Snowfarmer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Snowfarmer did not write the above op ed, Brad Lamb did. Lamb, a millionaire,  is obviously worried about losing his millions if businesses are not re opened. He thinks there is a chance most people have been infected and are now safe to go back to work. His main theme is to ask why the gov't hasn't tested everybody. Maybe he hasn't heard there isn't enough testing equipment. Maybe he needs to volunteer at a hospital and see how hard the doctors and nurses are working, and he needs to know that 20% of the C-19 cases are health care workers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see that it was written by someone else...do not know him or of him, yes this is a disaster, just know that all though the government here is trying to quickly send out help, it appears that it is going to many, who are still working...I do not get that part, my employees who are not only still working but getting overtime pay, they do not get it either...they are keeping the money...but they do not feel it is right. You are right about testing, everyone needs to be able to get a test...should become mandatory..so we can move forward knowing what the real numbers are. I do not see how we can go back full time without knowing that, my response was we should only be sending tax payer money to those who actually are out of work, currently it is going to anyone who filed taxes in 2018, regardless of their current situation and even to some who have not worked in years. I am not getting any money or loans, just doing what I always do, going to work every day, hoping this will pass sooner than later. Our numbers are down considerably, but after 5 decades we will weather this storm, even if it lasts all year, but most cannot do this, I hope we can find a test so we can get the healthy people back to work, before it is too late for them to economically recover from this, but we need a lot more answers before this can happen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the most part its the people who want to put money above human lives who are bitching the most. Yes there's a lot of average people being hurt and would like to get back to work. I think most understand the situation. Lamb forgets that we are doing this so the rate is not spiking and significantly more numbers dying. Yes I don;t like this as much as anyone else but like a lot of things in life put your time in and you will get rewarded. Hold the line folks.

Trump lost about a billion i understand.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am retired and have a decent pension, and thus am not losing  any money/income due to the virus. I am bewildered why the government is sending me a check instead of someone who really could use it.

mike

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with most of what has been said.  The money being handed out is just to put money in circulation they say. It is strange that one might you are getting 400 a week on unemployment and the next check you get 1000. More than you made when you are working.  

  As for giving money to small businesses to pay their help and bills to stay afloat if they don't stay in business then no one has a job to come back to.  The government would just put them on some sort of program with no income to the government from wages. 

  One other thing is I do wonder about waste full spending.  We have New York's finest and it's all about money.  He ran the state in the gutter and now he wants the government to bail him out.  That's the hole country. Sorry for venting.  

  Bob I as well worked for myself all my life and I truly believe I would have gotten through this without government help. Of course now that I am retired so to speak I don't think about what is going on like I would of. I ask my dad one time what it was like to go through the depression.  He said it ment nothing to him because his life never changed.  He also only worked for himself. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, quebec bob said:

We are also looking at huge spending deficits here in the US. The loan money for small business' was basically gone in a flash, word is they ran out of allocated money, basically overnight, who got it?? Then they have this 1200 dollar per person stimulus check plus 500$ additional for each child. One of my employees got a 2900$ check this week, he cannot understand what is going on, he is still here working full time, even logged some overtime hours last week, and his wife works in the probate court and is getting full pay for 1/2 the hours. He thinks only people out of work should get help, so do I, but somehow this instant money is flowing, who the hell figured this thing out, and who is going to pay for it??In the mean time I drive by the food bank and see lots of locals in the food line who really need help, yes, some one needs to answer some questions here. I have spent my entire life working for myself, on my own dime and I have always said OPM is easy to spend, and nobody is better at it than the government...OTHER PEOPLES MONEY, until you have sweated and earned it on your own, seems there is no respect for OPM!! This is a really great article you have written here Snowfarmer.

 OPM, you got that right, they sure no how to spend it. Bob I was in the same business as you and recently sold it and retired, worked hard, and never took a hand out. I dont have a problem with helping people out that need it, but a little common sense would go a long way. Tell your employee that got that big check to put in in the bank. He will need it and more when the the taxes go way way up to pay for all of this.

Edited by 800steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this