This post is just me raging about the insanity of what we are doing to ourselves (or more accurately here in Minnesota, what the Governor is doing to us) with absolutely zero basis in data or science. So don’t read it, if you don’t want to get as worked up as I am.
Our Governor keeps doubling down on economy and people killing actions that are completely unsupported by anything. He refuses to let bars and restaurants open in any reasonable way. He just shut the Minnesota state fair, a tradition in the state for a hundred years. He has mandated every little detail about how businesses are supposed to operate, making it impossible for them to get the revenue they need to pay their bills. At this point he is just acting out of irrational stubbornness, incapable of admitting that he made a mistake listening to so-called experts, believing a completely unrealistic model and doing no analysis of the impact of his orders on the economy or on the health of Minnesotans. I started out trying to be sympathetic to the position he was in, but at this point I have zero respect for him. He has revealed himself to be that dirtiest of dirty words–nothing but a politician. He lies, he misleads, he uses the usual sleazy, devious messaging tactics. That is not leadership, it is a combination of dictatorship and Machiavellian manipulation of the population.
Here are the facts he should be relying on.
Out of 19,845 total cases in the state, 1633 cases are in people aged 80 and over. That is 8.2% of all reported cases. Deaths in that group are 522. That is a 32% case fatality rate and it is 61% of all deaths. 8.2% of cases, 61% of deaths.
At the other end, there are 5158 cases in people 29 and under. That is 26% of all cases. There are zero deaths in that entire group. 26% of cases, zero percent of deaths.
697 of all deaths are among residents of long term care facilities and assisted living settings. 697 out of 852 total deaths is 82% of all deaths. Here is one way to look at that. There are apparently around 80,000 Minnesotans living in these settings. 697 divided by 80,000 is a .87% death rate. Within a week, one percent of Minnesotans living in these settings will have died from coronavirus.
There are 155 deaths in the whole rest of the population, 5,610,000 Minnesotans. That is a .0028% fatality rate. 3 one-thousandths of a percent. Minnesotans who don’t live in a long-term care or assisted living facility are more likely to die from hundreds of other causes.
Meanwhile, 700,000 Minnesotans have lost their jobs, and still rising. Thousands of our businesses have gone under or soon will. Children are being abused at higher rates, aren’t being vaccinated, and are missing well-child visits. Cancer isn’t being diagnosed because people are afraid to go to screenings. Cancer patients are missing treatments, people with heart attack symptoms aren’t going to the emergency room. All because our fear-mongering Governor has decided to terrorize the population so they don’t look behind the curtain and see that he was a panicked buffoon in his response to the epidemic. There is no danger to the general population.
Far more Minnesotans in the general population are going to die from the effects of the shutdown than from coronavirus. We should completely reverse all our mitigation actions now, with the exception of doing something, anything, better than what we have been doing in regard to vulnerable groups.
While the Governor can come up with really detailed orders for how every type of business has to operate, he can’t seem to do a thing to keep long-term care facility residents safe, which is a direct responsibility of the state. It took him over two months to come up with the absurdly titled “battle plan” to protect these people. Since that plan was announced, absolutely no change, 80% plus of all deaths are occurring among these people week after week after week. It is more like a war on those residents than on coronavirus.
I said from the very start, when I first took up the pen about the epidemic, that the course of action being followed was suicidal and unnecessary. Every data point since shows that to be the case. And I am determined that eventually every Minnesota should understand the folly of what the state and the Governor did.