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DAN SCHINHOFEN: The bottom line

Updated July 9, 2020 - 2:43 pm

Can we get just one honest politician to stand up and say, “I think we may have overreacted to this whole COVID-19 thing”?

Without having to pull up all of the studies that show masks and social distancing will only prolong this “flu”, all one would have to do is to look at the seasonal flu records put out by the CDC. In the 2017-18 season they estimated up to 95,000 people died from the flu. Flu season typically runs for about five months and I think we have passed that mark with this COVID-19 thing.

Deaths from COVID-19 are about 130,000 as of the writing of this column. (I will concede that number even though it may have been padded with “death with” COVID.) So, for all the protestations early on that this was not just a flu, it seems they were partially right, as it is a STRONG flu. About 30% more people have died from COVID-19 than die in a strong flu season.

By locking us down and making us fear for our lives, this virus has been able to hold on a bit longer. Yes, cases are on the rise as we are testing just about anyone who wants a test, and more are being found with COVID-19 or flu symptoms. (Yes, they are counting people with flu-like symptoms as being infected with COVID-19.) The fatality rate, however, is falling to about 1 to 1.5% which again, makes this just a strong flu.

I am no math whiz by any means, but I do like to look at the bottom line… a lot. It is something that drove some of my colleagues nuts. While they wanted more studies and meetings to discuss stuff, I was always asking, “What is the bottom line here?” In other words, what is it you want and what will it cost?

It seems to me that the cost we have paid for all of this is not worth the “lives saved.” Don’t you be getting all worked up thinking I am heartless. I feel for anyone who has lost a loved one, but these deaths were going to happen anyway, we just slowed it down a bit. Until we get to a herd immunity threshold, (HIT) this thing will linger on.

Now the politicians are looking for cover and as long as they get the news to report the cases are rising, they can still justify, or try to, the taking of inalienable rights, like worship. While they tell churches they cannot have more than “x” amount of people in their churches and they cannot sing, the “protesters,” who quickly turned into riots, looting and insurrection, were not harassed by liberal governors that seem to treat the right to “peaceably assemble” as something that only applies to “protesters,” not religious groups.

And in the middle of the “crisis” we only heard from reporters about these “peaceful protesters,” while the footage behind them showed stores on fire and looters running out with carts full of stolen goods.

Funny how the masks and social distancing weren’t brought up by the press or politicians. Now that those crimes are slowing down, we are treated to another round of fear and loathing over a strong flu. The sad thing is this could have been over at the end of April, (like it was in South Korea) but instead the governors took the “recommendations” from the CDC and made them mandatory, just so we all understood how dangerous this “novel virus” is.

While the media and governors continue to hype the fear, the reality is that this will soon fall below the “pandemic” threshold ratings and then what will they say to convince us to all stay huddled at home in fear? There is no need to worry about money or jobs because Nancy and the gang are not afraid of putting your great-grandchildren in debt, just as long they get re-elected, they don’t care what the cost is.

Deaths of despair were predicted to be as high as 150,000. How many lives could we have saved if we had just carried on with life and maybe helped the elderly and those with preexisting conditions to stay home and cover up when they went out?

We may still have had 130,000 die from this strong flu, but we could’ve saved a lot from deaths of despair.

So we all gave in to the first two weeks because they said that was all we needed, and then they said we needed to “flatten the curve” and that could take some time, but we got that done and now it’s “we might get a second wave…”

Just one brave federal politician needs to stand up and say, “I think we overreacted, and we need to get back to our lives.” This person would be right up there with George Washington and Benjamin Franklin as a hero of mine.

It is just the bottom line I wanted, and I think when we weigh the deaths we have suffered against the needless deaths of despair we suffered, it is past time to move on. We did learn how quickly some of our country’s governors disregarded our inalienable rights and fell right into dictator mode. Sad, but true.

The bottom line on all of this is 130K died with or from COVID-19 while we may lose 150K due to despair from being kept from our social support groups like church and from being able to support our families by working at their job or running a business. We have simply traded deaths by virus for deaths of despair. No lives were “saved,” we are just being kept in fear of a strong flu virus. The figures do not lie, but liars sure do figure.

Just one politician, please stand up and say, “We overreacted. Everyone back to your lives now.” At least this way we can save some from deaths of despair. The cure has been worse than the disease.

Dan Schinhofen is a former Nye County commissioner and Pahrump resident.

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