COVID 19 // In Defense of the Elderly

I keep seeing posts and hearing conversations where people say, “it’s just the media,” or, “this is just an attack on the president,” or, “it’s a hoax.”
 
What are actual scientists saying? Is it different from what think tanks are reporting? Politicians and new outlets are often swayed by these powerful and privately funded organizations so they are a good starting point. The Cato Institute is funded by the Koch bros so you know they aren’t some lefty media puppet. They have a different arm up their sleeve. Let’s start there!
 
Koch’s foundation’s Alan Reynolds (a professional and highly funded climate-science as hoax pundit) argues that the death rate is exaggerated and that there’s no need to worry. Basically, it’s the flu and about 1% fatal, however, while stating that he disagrees with WHO estimates he also agrees with the article by Katarina Zimmer, “Why Some COVID-19 Cases Are Worse than Others” in The Scientist and describes as “excellent” a passage in the article that says, “patients 80 years or older (as the) most at risk, with 14.8 percent of them dying.” 
 
In the Koch article then uses an exnomination technique to get his estimate down to around 1% so it won’t seem so scary and wouldn’t hurt the stock market. In his world it is just like the flu, kind of like the Coke Zero of flu. But, he admits that: “While overall, 2.3 percent of known cases [in China] proved fatal…patients 80 years or older were most at risk, with 14.8 percent of them dying.”
 
He artificially lowered his mortality rate estimate by not counting the elderly who are most at risk. That’s like not counting children who go to daycare if you were getting estimates for chickenpox infection rates, or not counting San Diego County Ecumenial Christians in estimates of California measles outbreaks. That’s not science. He’s exnominating human beings that he believes are not worth of counting.
 
I don’t want to see 14.8% of our nation’s 12 million elderly die. That averages about 35,000 seniors in each of the 50 United States. [Census data] I just lost my grandmother and the last thing a country needs is generational loss on a mass scale. With them go their stories, the threads they wove that bond families and generations, and an actual human life. The great state of Kansas, Ad astra per aspera, has 120,000 elderly over the age of 80. If the morbidity rate stays high the state of Kansas will loose 17,760 elderly adults. And this is a morbidity curve, so if your parents are only in their 70 they don’t have COVID-19-bulletproof-jackets on. The culling of the Greatest Generation will be felt in the Baby Boomers as well.
 
Take Away One: Buckle up. Wash your hands, don’t hoard, and listen to scientists and not their politically motivated interpreters.
 
Take Away Two: Science is Patriotic. We need to shift our decision making back to fact-based-reasoning. It really does work. Our founding fathers used the technique in the Enlightenment-era to map-out the American Constitution and later to abolish slavery. The founders believed it was the only way any real progress is ever made and learning from their example is patriotic and American. Science is also patriotic because it saves lives conservative and liberal ones, young and old, every single day. 
 
// Note for Canadians
 
Sorry for my nationalistic pronouns. Please substitute Canada for USA and Canadian for American and I’ll share my poutine when I see you around the Plateau. If you have any questions check out: CANADA’S COVID-19 RESPONSE for an example of how a government can and should respond to a pandemic.
 
// References
 

Counties in Kansas: https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_counties_in_Kansas

 
Postscript: Dear Roland Barthes, sincere applogy for borrowing and fugging the use of exnomination for statistical purposes wherein there is clearly a more mathematically appropropriate work which for reasons unknown will not come to me. link below.]

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