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FitTips for One and All - Vol. XVIII, No. 3
FitTips for One and All
Volume XVIII, Number 3
Fitness for One and All
Director: Gary F. Zeolla
In This Issue
Revised Coronavirus Numbers
(Healthy Habits are Your Best Defense)
New Coronavirus Section on Politics Website
New on my Fitness, Christian, and Politics Websites
Creationist Diet: Second Edition; A Comprehensive Guide to Bible and Science Based Nutrition -This Second Edition is 2-1/2 times as long and presents a different perspective on diet than the First Edition. The First Edition mostly advocated a vegan diet, while this Second Edition also advocates for a diet that includes animal foods. But, and this is very important, those animal foods are to be what are called “old-fashioned” meats, dairy, and eggs, not the “factory farm” products that most people eat. What is meant by these two terms and the incredible difference between them is explained in this book. In addition, this book covers a wide range of diet related topics to help the reader to understand how to live a healthier lifestyle according to God’s design.
Once again, I am delaying Part Three of my four-part article “Supplement Proponents’ Claims” so as to run another article on the Coronavirus crisis. I am also once again publishing this issue of FitTips for One and All a bit early, as we just passed a grim milestone here in the USA, and the main article ties into that milestone.
The article is a bit on the long side. But given the timely nature of the information, I didn’t want to split it into two parts, waiting until the next issue of FitTips to publish a Part Two. I will be posting it in two parts on the website, but I hope the reader takes the time to read it all now, as I believe the information it presents will be helpful to the reader in dealing with this ongoing crisis.
Revised Coronavirus Numbers
(Healthy Habits are Your Best Defense)
By Gary F. Zeolla
In my four-part article My Multi-Group Plan for Overcoming the Coronavirus Crisis, I used the number of Coronavirus (CV) deaths of 100,000 in the USA for most of my calculations. That article was written the last week of April 2020. At that time, the death toll had just passed 50,000 in the United States, so I thought I’d double it, and that would cover future CV deaths for the next few months. But sadly, I was wrong in my projection, as we passed the 100,000 mark within just one month, on May 27, 2020. But if I had used my own numbers otherwise, I should have known that not only would we hit 100,000 rather quickly, but we could easily progress far beyond that. At least if what we have been told by the authorities is accurate.
In this article, I am assuming the reader has a basic knowledge of the CV crisis and the various issues involved. It would also help if you read at least some of my previous writings on the CV. They are listed at: Coronavirus Articles and Commentaries. When I say I said something “previously” or “elsewhere,” I am referring to an article or commentary on those pages. Those pages also provide documentation for many of the points to be mentioned in this article. There are additional references at the end of this article.
Note also, by “authorities” I mean the various levels of federal, state, and local governments, and the health professionals they are getting advice from as to what policies to institute.
Also, this article will focus primarily on the health aspects of the CV crisis, since I am publishing it in my FitTips for One and All newsletter and posting it on my Fitness for One and All website, though it will also address some political and economic aspects of the CV crisis, as I am also posting it on my politics website. That differs from the rest of the material on the CV section of my politics website. It mostly addresses the political and economic aspects of the CV crisis, though the health aspects are also addressed. That CV section also addresses the Biblical and Constitutional aspects of this crisis, given that the name of my politics website is Biblical and Constitutional Politics.
But here, I will begin with some math. I know such can get a bit boring, but bear with me, as this is important stuff. It will show how we were scared into accepting the draconian measures we were subjected to over the past several weeks and many are still being subjected to.
In my previous writings, I have said the CV death rate, that is the number of CV deaths divided by the number of CV cases, was originally projected to be 3-4%. But that was quickly rejected as being too high, though some of the draconian measures we have been subjected to were based on models that used that number.
But then in early March, Dr. Anthony Fauci estimated the death rate would be 1%. Dr. Deborah Brix then lowered that to 0.7% in late March. Then by late April, other authorities were predicting it would be 0.5%. I heard one medical expert in mid-May predicting it would be as low as 0.1-0.2%. That later number is interesting, as that is the seasonal flu death rate.
I have no way of knowing which of these numbers will prove to be the most accurate. In fact, no one does, not until we get a better idea of the denominator, the total number of cases. And that won’t happen until we do much more testing than we have been doing. But let me go with the middle number of the 0.1-1.0% range, that of a 0.5% death rate.
The next question is the denominator. How many people are likely to get infected? It has been said by the authorities that the CV is three times as contagious as the seasonal flu. I have expressed doubts elsewhere about that contagion rate. But accepting it as accurate, the CDC estimates there were “39,000,000 – 56,000,000 flu illnesses” for the 2019-20 flu season.
That is for “October 1, 2019, through April 4, 2020.” I have no idea why the CDC stopped counting flu illnesses at April 4, when elsewhere on the CDC’s site, it states, “The Weekly U.S. Influenza Summary Update is updated each week from October through May.”
Could it be that after April 4, the CDC began to count all “respiratory illnesses” as CV cases and deaths rather than being from the flu? Dr. Birx made it sound like that was the case in one of the task force briefings back in April, as I reported previously. If that is so, then the seasonal flu numbers for this season are depressed, while the CV numbers are inflated. I have expressed previously other ways in which the CV death rate could be inflated.
Be that as it may, let me go with these numbers as is. The average of 39,000,000 and 56,000,000 is 47,500,000 flu cases. If the CV is three times as contagious, then we can expect 142,500,000 Americans to get infected with the CV. With a population of 331,000,000, that would mean 43% of the US population would eventually get infected. That is along the lines of one estimate various authors cited back in March that 40-60% of the US population eventually would get infected. Again, some of the draconian measures we have been subjected to were based on models that used that percentage.
If there is a 0.5% death rate, and in fact 43% of Americans get infected, then we can expect 712,500 Americans to die from the CV. If that number takes you back, don’t forget that at one time we were told 2,200,000 Americans would die from the CV. This number is about one-third of that number.
If we were to go with the 1% death rate and 60% of the population getting infected, that would mean 198,600,000 Americans would get infected and 1,986,000 would die. That 2.2 million number is not too far off from my calculation. And my math here shows you how that somewhat higher number might have been arrived at.
In any case, if we go with a 50% infection rate and a 0.5% death rate, then the number of cases and deaths would be 165,500,000 cases and 827,500 deaths. That is a staggering number of deaths. It also means, the CV is far worse than the seasonal flu. That corrects another mistake on my part, thinking the CV would end up being only about as serious as the flu.
However, that greater seriousness is only for those who are older. For those under 25, the flu is still far deadlier. For those under five years old, the flu is 17 times deadlier than the CV (Ben Shapiro). See my writings elsewhere for much more on how the CV affects different people groups differently.
Also, that 50% infection rate for the CV is important, as that is the lower end of what is considered to be needed for herd immunity. I have talked much about that concept elsewhere, so I won’t explain it here. Suffice it to say, once we get to that percentage infected, that would effectively end the CV crisis.
These numbers assume no vaccine. But what if there is a vaccine? That will bring us to herd immunity before 827,500 deaths occur. But how much before? That would depend on when the vaccine becomes available, how many Americans receive the vaccine, and how effective the vaccine is.
We know only about half of Americans get the seasonal flu shot. With all of drama over the CV, you would think once a vaccine is available, more than 50% of Americans would get it. But not necessarily. The antivaxxers have been working full force for months, trying to scare Americans away from a CV vaccine when it is available. As I have stated previously, normally I disagree with the antivaxxers, but this time they might have a point. With the rush to develop a vaccine, I can see that many would be concerned it will not have been thoroughly tested for safety and efficacy when it is rolled out.
However, I have seen and heard doctors on TV and radio say that what is being rushed is not the testing for safety and efficacy but just the production aspects of the vaccine. That is the point of the President’s “Operation Warp Speed.” Once a vaccine passes the initial testing stage, the federal government will bankroll the production of doses en masse. In that way, if the vaccine proves worthwhile, there will already be millions of doses available. If it does not prove effective, then the government, not the company, will take the financial hit for producing millions of doses of a worthless product.
There is also more than one vaccine in the works. In fact, as many as a dozen or more are being tested and produced. It is hoped that such a shotgun approach will quickly produce at least one if not more than one vaccine that is both safe and effective.
But still, a survey by the Associated Press found the following:
Only about half of Americans say they would get a COVID-19 vaccine if the scientists working furiously to create one succeed, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
That’s surprisingly low considering the effort going into the global race for a vaccine against the coronavirus that has sparked a pandemic since first emerging from China late last year. But more people might eventually roll up their sleeves: The poll, released Wednesday, found 31% simply weren’t sure if they’d get vaccinated. Another 1 in 5 said they’d refuse.
On the latter point, the effectiveness of a CV vaccine, the seasonal flu shot is usually only about 40-60% effective. Between only half of Americans getting the flu shot and it only being about half effective, that is why we always have tens of thousands of flu deaths every year, despite there being a flu vaccine. What is unknown is if that situation will be the case with the CV vaccine. With more than one vaccine candidate, maybe we can target the best vaccine for each people group, say one for children and a different one for adults. That might make it safer and more effective for each group and thus the combination more effective overall.
But that is all theoretical. Let’s go with what we know about the seasonal flu shot, that being only half of Americans will get it and it will only be about 50% effective. In that case, a vaccine would cut future cases and deaths from the point it is widely available by 50% x 50% or just 25%. But how many of those 825,000 deaths would have occurred before the vaccine is available? There is no way of knowing that.
But let’s say the vaccine is available at the same time as we double the current number of 100,000 deaths to 200,000. The vaccine would reduce the remaining 625,000 deaths by 1/4, down to 468,750. Add back in the 200,000 deaths that already occurred, and yes, even with a vaccine, we could still be looking at 668,750 deaths from the CV.
What About Mitigation?
But what about mitigation? All of the social distancing, staying at home, business closures, and wearing of masks we have been doing, won’t that reduce that number of deaths even more? If you think that, you seriously misunderstood what these mitigation measures were all about.
There was only one purpose to all of these mitigation efforts—to flatten the curve, so that our healthcare system was not overwhelmed. That was it. In no way was mitigation meant to reduce the number of cases overall and only indirectly to reduce the number of deaths. The latter would be because, with our healthcare system not overwhelmed, hospitals would not have to ration care. In no way was mitigation meant to reduce the final number of cases and deaths overall, except again, a reduction in the latter due to not having to ration care.
This diagram illustrates these points. Notice that the first curve (in reddish) spikes up then down. In doing so, that spike overwhelms our health care system. The second curve (in orange) is flatter, but it extends along the graph for a longer period of time. If you were to do the geometry, you would find the area underneath each curve is the same, indicating the number of cases would be same with both scenarios.
However, there is one problem with this diagram. The flatter curve has only one gradual spike then drop. But in reality, we were told from the start that with mitigation, once we stopped the mitigation, the number of cases and thus deaths would spike again. But the hope as always been that second spike would also represent a flattened curve that does not overwhelm our medical system.
However, even that has not happened in Florida and Georgia. When they mostly reopened a few weeks ago, the media was screaming that it was dangerous, that their governors were killing their citizens, but that never happened. The number of cases has been dropping not rising since their reopenings. The same is true for 18 other states that have already reopened. There has been no second spike. It could be that the virus has just run its course in those areas. However, a new spike after reopening is still a concern for other areas. It is also possible that this downturn is due to the summer pause that was predicted from the start.
I reported the latter point previously. It was always hoped that the CV would be like they seasonal flu and just naturally dissipate come warmer weather. And we now know that the virus is not likely to spread outdoors, especially in the heat and sunshine. However, it was also predicted from the start that there might be another spike in autumn. But whether that happens or not remains to be seen.
That is why most models have only given projections for the number of CV cases and deaths up until August. But what we really need to know is the total number of cases and deaths throughout the entirety of this pandemic. But making counting those numbers more difficult will be, come autumn, is CV cases and deaths could once again be confounded with seasonal flu cases and deaths.
The only way to ensure these post-mitigation and autumn spikes do not occur would be to lockdown indefinitely, or, as some would say, at least until a vaccine is available. However, I just demonstrated a vaccine would only mildly reduce the number of cases and deaths, due to its 50% usage rate and 50% effectiveness rate leading to just a 25% reduction rate. And staying locked down indefinitely is not an option, as such would case incalculable economic and mental and physical heath disasters, as I have explained elsewhere and will so again here shortly.
The point of the preceding section is mitigation cannot and never was intended to reduce the number of cases and deaths from the CV. I know the media is trying to portray it that way now, as states begin to reopen, but that simply was never the case. That means, as long as we do not overwhelm the healthcare system, it matters little if we use or do not use mitigation. The same number of people will eventually get infected and the same number of people will eventually die. Mitigation only delays the inevitable. The only end point is herd immunity, with or without a vaccine.
That is why I have advocated a middle of the road approach between those who said we should do nothing and shoot for herd immunity as quickly as possible and the draconian measures that were utilized. The problem with the former is our healthcare system could have gotten overwhelmed, leading to needless deaths, while the latter has destroyed our economy and caused untold mental and physical health damage. That destroyed economy and mental and physical health problems have led to far more suffering than we would have ever experienced due to the CV, as I have detailed elsewhere.
My middle of the road approach would have prevented our healthcare system from being overwhelmed while only mildly affecting the economy and people’s mental and physical health. In fact, seven states sort of followed my approach, and the overall infections and deaths rates in those seven states is statistically the same or even lower than in the 43 states that utilized statewide lockdown.
For instance, South Dakota did not have a statewide lockdown, and it has only seen five deaths per 100,000, while California had a statewide lockdown, and it has experienced 8.4 deaths per 100,000 (Tucker Carlson). Meanwhile Sweden, Taiwan, and Ethiopia, which did not utilize nationwide lockdowns, saw fewer cases and deaths per capita than the United States and other countries which utilized nationwide or near nationwide lockdowns (Trib Live. Joe Nocera). As such, all of our mitigation efforts did not reduce the number of cases and deaths Meanwhile, the economy of these non-lockdown states and countries did not take nearly the hit that the overall US economy did.
Finally, a statistic that is missing in most news reports is the number of “recovered” in each country or state. But reporting that number is important, as the growing number of people who recover from a CV infection would give confidence to people that a CV infection is not a death sentence, as the media seems to be trying to make it out to be.
Note: The definition of “recovered” varies. Some authorities use the standard of a person who had CV symptoms of whatever seriousness but has been symptom-free for at least three days, but others say they must be symptom-free for a month or more. Either way, the number of recovered is rapidly growing, and new outlets should be reporting that fact.
All of that said, the thought of an additional over half a million Americans dying from the CV is horrifying. However, that projection is based on several assumptions. The first is that the CV is in fact three times as infectious as the flu. The second is that the ultimate death rate will be about 0.5%. The third is the CV death counts are accurate. But none of these assumptions are certain.
If the CV is less than triple as infectious as the flu, say only double, then you could cut those deaths by a third. If the death rate is less, then it will be proportionally less. However, since we have already surpassed the normal seasonal flu death number, one or the other or both of these points have to be true. Either the CV is more infectious than the flu and/ or it has a higher death rate. The only uncertainty is how much greater. But that is assuming the CV death counts are accurate. I have my doubts, as I express elsewhere. But if they are, then an additional half a million deaths over the next couple of years, until we reach herd immunity, seems plausible.
A fourth assumption is we keep adding future CV cases and deaths to the current number. That differs from what is done with the seasonal flu. For the latter, as stated, a new “season” starts each October. Therefore, the first flu death in October of this year will not be added to the flu deaths count for the 2019-20 flu season. The new death will be the first death of the 2020-2021 flu season.
That is how things are done for most other causes of death. The number of deaths from heart attacks, stroke, cancer, vehicle accidents, and many more are usually cited per year. Several years are not accumulated together. However, as I said previously, I will bet the number of CV deaths will just keep on being added up year after year. But if it takes three years as is being predicted by some authorities until we reach herd immunity, then my number of 643,750 CV deaths would be for three years. Per year, it would “only” be about 215,000. That is important, as that will put CV deaths into perspective as compared to other causes of deaths.
That number would make the CV 4.5 times as deadly as the season flu, but only about one-third as lethal as the 647,457 deaths from heart disease and 599,108 deaths from cancer in 2017. However, it would be more lethal than the deaths from the next eight causes of death in the USA in that year (Medical News). That means, the CV could become the third leading cause of death in the USA, at least over the next three years.
The fifth assumption in my number of 668,750 CV deaths is that we will reach herd immunity when 50% of the population is infected. But some authorities put the needed percentage as high as 95%. If that is the case, you could almost double that number to 1,304,062 deaths. But more likely, it will probably be somewhere in-between these two percentages and hence between these two numbers. The average of the two would be 986,406 or just under one million deaths total from the CV. That is absolutely horrifying.
However, the average of 328,802 CV deaths per year would still be about half the number of deaths from heart disease and from cancer each year. In addition, if a reliable therapeutic becomes available, that could greatly reduce the number of CV deaths, as many who are infected and might have died otherwise might recover.
Also, again, do not miss that this number is based on the preceding assumptions by the authorities. If any of them are off by a significant degree, then this projection will be way off as well. They may have been overestimated, just to scare people into accepting the draconian mitigation measures that were instituted. In that case, the final death count could be way lower. I hope and pray that will be the case. However, I have no idea if that will be so or not. It all depends on if what the authorities have been telling us is accurate or not.
Let me be clear, in doing this math based on the assumptions of the authorities, I am not trying to scare you.
First, note that even one million CV deaths, as terrible as that thought is, would be just 0.3% of the US population. That means, even if that horrific number turns out to be true, there is a 99.7% chance you will not die from the CV.
Second, no matter the exact number, there is still a risk, and no one wants to die or even suffer serious consequences from a CV infection. With these numbers, I'm trying to encourage you to take steps to lessen your risk of such.
But first, note that by “serious CV consequences” I mean the symptoms from an CV infection, such as difficulty breathing, are serious enough to put you into the hospital or even lead to your death. This phrase does not refer to more common symptoms, such a cough and fever, which can be home treated, with or without a doctor’s prescription. Those would be “moderate CV consequences.” Then those with little or no symptoms, just a general sense of not feeling well, would be said to have “mild CV consequences.”
That said, the preceding comparison to heart disease and cancer is appropriate, as all three, CV deaths, heart disease deaths, and cancer deaths, very often have two things in common—all three are more common in the elderly, and all three are most often lifestyle related.
There is nothing you can do about getting older, but there is much you can do about your risk factors otherwise. The main risk factors for a CV infection causing serious consequences in order of frequency are: increasing age, being overweight or obese, having high blood pressure (hypertension), having high blood sugar (diabetes), having high cholesterol levels (hypercholesterolemia) , having heart disease, and having chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
After increasing age, the next four are all related to diet and/ or exercise. Then those four are related to the sixth, as each of these factors are risk factors for heart disease. That means, if you improve the preceding four, you will not only lessen your risk of heart disease but also of serious CV consequences.
The way to deal with the first is most obvious—lose weight. The best way to do so is to limit your consumption of processed carbohydrates (carbs) and processed oils, as documented in my book Creationist Diet: Second Edition. These two ingredients, processed carbs and processed oils, are in just about all processed foods. More than anything else, an overcompensation of processed foods are the reason two-thirds of Americans are overweight and one-third obesely so. And that fact in turn is the reason the CV has hit America so hard.
An overconsumption of processed carbs, along with being overweight, are then major risk factors in leading to someone being diabetic. And an overconsumption of processed foods in general, with their high salt content, along with again being overweight, are the major risk factors for hypertension.
What all of this means is, if you eliminate processed foods from your diet and replace them with whole natural foods, you will go a long ways towards losing weight, reducing your blood pressure, lowering your blood sugar, and thus reducing your risk of heart disease and serious CV consequences.
The most important whole natural foods to consume are fruits and vegetables. The vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in these foods will improve blood pressure and decrease your risk of heart disease. They will also boast your immune system, which will decrease your risk of serious CV consequences.
Exercise will also help with all of these points. Exercise will make losing weight easier. It will lower your blood pressure and blood sugar, and it will strengthen your heart, all of which will reduce your risk of heart disease and serious CV consequences. Exercise also boasts the immune system, making you less likely to suffer serious CV consequences.
Though there is some controversy, high blood cholesterol levels are caused by an overconsumption of saturated fat and cholesterol. I know some disagree with this idea, but I detail in my Creationist Diet book why these two points, especially saturated fats consumption, are indeed related to blood cholesterol levels. Lowering your intake of high saturated fatty foods will reduce your blood cholesterol and thus heart diseases and serious CV consequences risk.
Moving to COPD, the primary cause of it is smoking. Smoking is also the primary cause of lung cancer. Thus, stopping smoking will reduce your risk of both lung cancer and serious CV consequences.
The cause of other forms of cancer are not so easy to pinpoint. But what is certain is a high consumption of fruits of vegetables will reduce your risk of many forms of cancer. Again, that is due to boasting the immune system. That immune system boast will in turn reduce your risk of serious CV consequences.
Also involved is stress. Stress can increase blood pressure and heart disease risk. Stress also depresses the immune system, increasing the risk of cancer and of serious CV consequences. The corollary to this is taking steps to reduce stress will decrease your risk of cancer and of serious CV consequences. There are many methods of doing so, though I have found prayer and other spiritual practices, along with exercise, to be the best methods.
The last factor is adequate sleep. Getting enough sleep boasts the immune system, while inadequate sleep depresses the immune system. If you find yourself needing caffeine to get through the day, then you are probably not getting enough sleep. Rather than double down on the caffeine, it would be much better to get sufficient sleep. If you improve your diet, start to exercise, and engage in stress control practices, that will make for easier and more productive sleep. That then will reduce your need for caffeine. But most of all, it will reduce your risk of cancer and of serious CV consequences.
You can see how each of these four steps, diet, exercise, stress control, and sleep, are interrelated. And each step and especially all together will reduce your risk of the three biggest killers of Americans: heart disease, cancer, and now the CV.
Finally, alcohol use, especially excessive alcohol consumption, depresses the immune system. Alcohol might seem to help you to sleep, but in reality, an alcohol-induced sleep is not a sound sleep. That will further weaken your immune system. If you must drink, do so in moderation, through you would be better off not dinking at all. With the stress of this current crisis, it is too easy to overdo it.
Does this all of this mean mitigation efforts are not necessary? That depends on which mitigation efforts you have in mind.
First off, some mitigation efforts are designed to reduce your risk of being infected by the CV. That is important, as even if you are at lower risk of suffering serious CV consequences, you still could have moderate CV consequences. Those would be equivalent to having a bad case of the flu. Though you will probably recover without hospitalization, it still is not pleasant to be sick for one to two weeks.
Second, some mitigation efforts are designed not so much to protect you but to protect others, some of whom might be at high risk of serious CV consequences. As such, it is a fulfilling of the Golden Rule (“all things, whatever you* shall be wanting that the people shall be doing to you*, in the same manner also you* be doing to them) or the Second Greatest Commandment (“You will love your neighbor as yourself”) to take precautions to protect others (Matt 7:12; 22:39).
Third, it must be mentioned, if you follow all of the preceding recommendations, you will greatly reduce your risk of serious CV consequences, but you will not eliminate your risk. In the same way, these steps will greatly reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer, but they will not eliminate the risk. You can do everything “right” and still suffer serious CV consequences, suffer a heart attack, or contract cancer. Conversely, someone might ignore all of these recommendations, do everything “wrong,” and not suffer any of these maladies. However, statistically, those who follow these steps are much less likely to suffer these problems, while those who ignore them are much more likely to do so. There are always outliers. But those outliers should not dictate your personal habits.
Fourth, simple personal hygiene habits like washing your hands frequently and thoroughly, not touching your face, and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces are helpful not only to reduce your risk of a CV infection but also of contracting the seasonal flu or even the common cold. Just don’t get obsessive about it. And even though if you are healthy, you are likely to recover from being sick, it still is not pleasant to suffer such. Also, if you are sick with any of these infections, then you should self-isolate to protect others from your infection. Again, the Golden Rule and the Second Greatest Commandment apply here.
Fifth. as for social distancing and wearing masks, these practices while in public will reduce your risk of being infected with the CV, the seasonal flu, or the common cold. And again, they are more designed to protect others than yourself, just in case you are infected but are asymptomatic. As such, if you might be near someone who could experience serious CV consequences, then it would be good to practice these measures.
As I articulate elsewhere, there is some debate as to if wearing masks really do any good. I think that is still an open question. It probably depends of the type of mask and if you are talking about it protecting the wearer or others. Also, some are making a big deal about wearing or not wearing masks. Personally, I don’t think it is that big of a deal either way. My plan is, I will wear one as long as my area is in the “caution” phase. And I will continue to do so if I am entering a business that requests its customers do so. I just don’t think it is worth fighting over. But it would be good if we could get some good science on how effective they are.
In addition, Dr. Deborah Birx has said that if you are out of your home, “If you cannot socially distance, wear a mask.” In other words, it is either/ or. You don’t need to wear a mask if you are going to be more than six feet away from other people. You only need to wear one if you are closer than that. As such, it would be good to keep one handy, like in your pocket or car, just in case the situation changes, and you need to wear one.
Business Closures and Stay at Home Orders
However, the business closures and the orders for even the healthy to stay at home and to self-isolate are potentially more destructive than the CV. Such orders have always been wrongheaded, for two reasons.
First off, they do not work at preventing the spread of the CV. That point is detailed in my article Stay at Home Orders and Business Closures Do NOT Work. To add a couple of points heard that I heard since writing that article, a survey found that 47% of women and 22% of men have reported gaining weight since the lockdowns started (NBC). But, as indicted, being overweight is a primary risk factor for serious CV consequences. Thus, the lockdowns have increased the risk of almost half of women and a quarter of men of experiencing serious CV consequences.
Moreover, adding up ten red (Republican) states and ten blue (Democrat) states, each set of ten with a total of a little over 100 million citizens, the ten red states have had just 9,000 CV deaths, while the ten blue states have had 70,000 CV deaths (Dana). Moreover, “The Coronavirus Is Deadliest Where Democrats Live” (New York Times). These statistics are relevant here, as those ten red states and red areas in general tend to have used less severe restrictions and opened up sooner than the ten blue states and blue areas in general.
I know that is true, as one of the states included in those ten blue states is my state of PA. Our “red phase” utilized severe restrictions statewide. And even now, with most counties such as mine in the “yellow” phase, many businesses are still closed, such as gyms, and gatherings are limited to 25 or fewer. Even once we move to the “green” phase, there will still be some restrictions. There are no plans to fully open up.
Second, the economic destruction and mental and physical health problems caused by these stay at home and business closure orders override any possible benefit of CV mitigation. Simply put, in these cases, the “cure” is worse than the disease, as I detail elsewhere and will do so more here in a moment. But here, given these problems, these orders should never have been given and should all be immediately rescinded. Businesses should follow the safe practices I detail elsewhere, but they need to reopen now. I have been saying that for weeks, but sadly few have been listening to me.
Here, at the end of May 2020, finally, all 50 states are easing these restrictions to one degree or another. But I fear the economic destruction they have caused may last far beyond the lifting of these draconian measures, and millions will suffer as a result. Similarly, the mental health problems caused by these measures will also sadly continue long after these restrictions are lifted, especially for those who have lost jobs and businesses permanently.
To illustrate, on the day the USA passed 100,000 DV deaths, Erin Burnett on CNN had a former coroner on her show. He said that for every 1% increase in unemployment, there is an 1% increase in suicides and a 3% increase in deaths from alcoholism and drug addiction. He then commented on these figures that more people might die from these causes than from the CV. Then the next day, with the jobs report on May 28, 2020, the number of jobs lost since the beginning of this pandemic reached 41 million. That’s one out of four working Americans. That percentage makes these numbers the former coroner cited even more horrific.
However, I need to give a caveat to this prediction that CNN did not. The prediction is based on what happens when jobs are lost during a normal recession. The coroner even referred to the economic downturn of 2008. But what we are experiencing now is not a normal recession. In a normal recession, lost jobs are slow to come back. But now, as states reopen, we will probably see most of these lost jobs come back rather quickly. It will only be a few months from now when we find out how many of those lost jobs are not coming back that these numbers will become relevant.
That said; on that same CNN show, it was reported that 80% of the 100,000 deaths occurred in those over 65 years of age, 42% occurred in nursing homes, while just 2.7% occurred in those under 45. Those numbers will be important in a moment.
But first, due to the lockdown, many have put off basic health screenings, like mammograms and pap smears for women and prostate exams for men, and no one is getting a colonoscopy. As a result, we could see a surge in breast, ovarian, prostate, and colon cancer.
Some have had cancer treatments or needed transplants delayed, which could lead to tragically unnecessary deaths. Others have put off “elective” surgeries (like knee replacements) and have been suffering needlessly as a result. Parents have delayed basic checkups and vaccinations for their children, putting them at risk.
Even delayed dental checkups and cleanings could have long-lasting results. I am concerned my delayed dental cleaning could cause my borderline periodontal disease to worsen, leading to tooth loss.
But most of all, millions who were not in poverty just a few weeks ago now are, and poverty kills in a myriad of ways.
These unintended consequences of missed health care amount to more than 500,000 lost years of life per month, not including all the other known skipped care.
If we only consider unemployment-related fatalities from the economic shutdown, that would total at least an additional 7,200 lives per month. Assuming these deaths occur proportionally across the ages of current U.S. mortality data, and equally among men and women, this amounts to more than 200,000 lost years of life for each month of the economic shutdown.
In comparison, COVID-19 fatalities have fallen disproportionately on the elderly, particularly in nursing homes, and those with co-morbidities. Based on the expected remaining lifetimes of these COVID-19 patients, and given that 40 percent of deaths are in nursing homes, the disease has been responsible for 800,000 lost years of life so far.
Considering only the losses of life from missed health care and unemployment due solely to the lockdown policy, we conservatively estimate that the national lockdown is responsible for at least 700,000 lost years of life every month, or about 1.5 million so far — already far surpassing the COVID-19 total (The Hill).
All we can do at this point is hope and pray the current recession is not too steep and long-lasting, that those who are suffering mental health issues recover without too much ado, and those who have delayed basic health screenings and other procedures do not suffer serious difficulties as a result.
None of these potential problems seemed to have been in the minds of those who instituted these draconian orders in the first place. And it all has to stop now! Businesses, churches, and gyms all need to reopen immediately.
The loss of basic freedoms and civil liberties and the ignoring of the US Constitution are other serious matters that I address at length elsewhere.
As indicated, the purpose of this article is not to scare people but to encourage the reader to do what you should have been doing all along—following healthy habits in regard to diet, exercise, stress control, sleep, and not smoking and not drinking alcohol to excess if at all. If you follow these simple steps, it will go a long way in keeping you from being one of the statistics added to the number of people who suffer serious CV consequences or even die from a CV infection, along with reducing your risk of other maladies, like heart disease and cancer.
Otherwise, I hope this article shows the reader how the numbers and projections we have been scared with were arrived at and that there are many assumptions behind them, all of which are questionable.
I also hope and pray our country overcomes this virus in the not too distant future and it recovers quickly from the effects of the unnecessary draconian measures that have been instituted. But I fear neither will be the case, and we will be dealing with the CV and the aftermath of those measures for some time to come.
Finally, see my books Creationist Diet: Second Edition and God-Given Foods Eating Plan for much greater detail on what constitutes a healthy diet. And for more of my thoughts on the Coronavirus crisis, see my Coronavirus Articles and Commentaries on Biblical and Constitutional Politics. If I didn’t address a CV-related issue in this article that you think is important, most likely, I have already addressed it somewhere on those pages.
Scripture quotes from: Analytical-Literal Translation of the New Testament: Third Edition. Copyright © 1999-2020 Gary F. Zeolla (www.Zeolla.org).
Seasonal Flu Numbers and Vaccine:
CDC. 2019-2020 U.S. Flu Season: Preliminary Burden Estimates.
CDC. Vaccine Effectiveness: How Well Do the Flu Vaccines Work?
CDC. Flu Vaccination Coverage, United States, 2018–19 Influenza Season.
CDC. The Flu Season.
CNN. Only half of Americans plan to get a flu shot this year. Here’s why that’s a problem.
AP. American virus deaths at 100,000: What does a number mean?
AP. AP-NORC poll: Half of Americans would get a COVID-19 vaccine.
Fox News. Coronavirus fatalities in Italy largely among elderly, underlying conditions.
CNN. Erin Burnett. May 27, 2020.
Fox News. US coronavirus death toll crosses 100,000 in harrowing milestone.
Trib Live. As Pennsylvania clarifies coronavirus reporting, health experts call process into question.
Trib Live. ‘Last responders’ seek to expand postmortem COVID-19 testing in unexplained deaths.
Trib Live. Pennsylvania’s covid-19 cases ‘trend downward,’ but health official says social distancing still critical.
World O Meter. Coronavirus. United States.
World O Meter. Population. United States.
Healthline. What Is Herd Immunity and Could It Help Prevent COVID-19?
WebMD. What Is Herd Immunity?
Causes of Death in the USA:
Hannity.com. REPORT: Coronavirus Shutdown Will ‘Cost Americans Millions of Years of Life.’
Hill, The. The COVID-19 shutdown will cost Americans millions of years of life.
Medical News Today. What are the leading causes of death in the US?
Money Nation. 7 Ways Being Poor Can Kill You.
New York Times. Researchers Link Deaths to Social Ills.
Soapboxie. Poverty Kills More People Every Year Than Either of the Top Killers -- Heart Disease or Cancer.
Ben Shapiro podcast. Episode 1015, 5/20/20.
Dana Loesch radio show. 5/21/20.
NBC Radio News report on May 20, 2020.
New York Times. The Coronavirus Is Deadliest Where Democrats Live.
New York Times. ‘Still Catching Up’: Jobless Numbers May Not Tell Full Story.
Trib Live. 41 million Americans have lost jobs since coronavirus hit, but layoffs slow.
Trib Live. Joe Nocera: Lockdowns haven’t proved they’re worth the havoc.
Trib Live. Mask fogging your glasses? 10 tips for keeping lenses clear.
Tucker Carlson Show, 5/21/20.
New Coronavirus Section on Politics Website
Coronavirus Articles and Commentaries is a new section on my Biblical and Constitutional Politics website.
At this date (5/29/20), this section now contains 14 articles (with one being in two parts and one in four parts) and six pages of commentaries. These were mostly posted since the last issue of this newsletter was published. As such, rather than listing each page separately, I am just linking to the main page. But be sure to check back on that page occasionally, as I am readily adding new material.
The header to this section reads:
It is my hope and prayer that the information in this section helps the reader to wade your way through the misinformation being put out. I have done my best to be as accurate as possible in this section. Most of this information is based on having listened to various health and financial experts during news reports and their appearances on various talk shows and especially during the President’s daily Coronavirus task force press briefings, of which I am trying to watched just about every minute. Thus, though I word some of the information as my opinion, those opinions are formed based upon the opinions expressed by these various experts. If you see any details you think are inaccurate, please contact me, and I will check into it and make corrections as needed.
New on Fitness for One and All Website
Below are new articles on my fitness website that have been posted since the last issue of this newsletter was published.
Sports Roundtable Podcast - May 26, 2020 is a new podcast.
I was a guest on a Sports
Roundtable podcast. I talked about my sport of powerlifting, its basics, and my
background in it. We then talked about the importance of fitness in general in
the wake of the Coronavirus crisis.
2020 Tetra-Trinity #2 Powerlifting Training Plan: Rotations I and II of VI has been completed with all of my workouts this time period.
2020 Tetra-Trinity #2 Powerlifting Training Plan: Rotations III and IV of VI will
record my next two months of workouts.
“404 Page Not Found”
If you tried to order one of my books through Lulu Publishing and got the above error message, please try again. Lulu recently updated their website. In the process, they messed up all of the links from my websites to their website for all of my books. I just spent the last two days fixing all of the links.
A couple of versions of a couple of books I could not fix. Those are marked as “Not currently available.” I will redo them sometime in they future. In the meantime, there are dozens of books, all available in multiple formats. Please use the links from my site to Lulu to order the books, as my links reflect the best priced and most recently updated versions of the books.
My Christian Books
My Fitness Books
My Politics Books
If you come
across any broken links I might have missed, please let me know. Thank you.
2020 Tetra-Trinity #2 Powerlifting Training Plan: Rotations I and II of VI is
a new page.
Imaginary Contest and Future Plans is a new page.
2019-20 Tetra-Trinity #1 Powerlifting Training Plan: Peaking Week is a new
page. It records my final week of workouts for my current Training Plan. These
should have been my workouts leading up to my contest. But of course, due to the
Coronavirus, the contest was canceled.
New on Darkness to Light Website
Below are new articles on my Christian website that have been posted since the last issue of this newsletter was published.
Don’t Blame God for the Coronavirus Outbreak is a new article.
Vol. XVIII, No. 3 is a new issue of Darkness to Light Newsletter.
Alternatives to Watching Sin for Entertainment is a new article.
New on Biblical and Constitutional Politics Website
Below are new articles on my politics website that have been posted since the last issue of this newsletter was published.
The following are new non-Coronavirus-related pages on my politics website.
Coronavirus General Commentaries: May 2020
Commentaries is a new page.
Starting and Progressing in Powerlifting:
A Comprehensive Guide to the World's Strongest Sport
350 page book by Gary F. Zeolla
For the beginner to intermediate powerlifter
Sound training, competition, dietary, and supplement advice
Also by Gary F. Zeolla:
is the personal website for Gary F. Zeolla.
Author of Christian and of fitness books, Web sites, and newsletters,
and a top ranked and multi-record holding powerlifter.
Darkness to Light website and
Darkness to Light newsletter.
“Explaining and defending the Christian faith”
Christian Theology, Apologetics, Cults, Ethics, Bible Versions, and much more.
Biblical and Constitutional Politics
“Political articles and commentary from a conservative Christian and politically conservative perspective”
All material in this newsletter is copyrighted © 2020 by Gary F. Zeolla or as indicated otherwise.