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social, health, political imagery through the lens of George J Huba PhD © 2012-2019

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Getting a grasp on the size of the coronavirus pandemic is a hard thing whether you watch TV or read newspapers. Yes, the numbers are large but what does large mean.

Here is a simple comparison. In three weeks we have the number of deaths a nuclear weapon might cause.

 

 

Don’t be a fool. Take COVID-19 seriously. Very seriously. US policy on COVID-19 is very foolish at this time (May 26, 2020).

 

Interesting weekend. Lots of pictures in new stories of Americans jammed into swimming pools and lying on beaches with no concern for social distancing.

And, in most Memorial Day weekend pictures face masks were nowhere to be seen. I guess the celebrations were not very worried about what would happen to their family and friends if they sneezed on them. Or maybe they were just modeling Trump’s childish behavior of not wearing a mask.

Not wearing a mask is so Trumpian.

 

With minor editing and additions, this mind map was developed from information on the CDC website.

I have suggested for years that a lot of the summary information from the CDC and other government websites should be summarized in a visual format.

Click on the images to expand.

or

 

 

Note: The Boss does not approve of any information appearing on CDC.gov pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The information is truthful. The Boss is not.

The United States used to be the leader of the free world. We provided plans, strategies, resources, money, and hope to the rest of the world. We were empathic. We respected the ideas and actions of our partners.

Then we got stuck with the worst president of the United States ever. And the worst pandemic in one hundred years.

We did not deliver as promised and expected by the rest of the world.

Please give us another chance to do what we should have done in the first place.

Click the image to expand it.

 

Had the White House admitted that the COVID-19 epidemic in the United States was inevitable and started to implement strategies to keep the virus well-contained in the United States, 10s of thousands of people in the US, and 100s of thousands of people throughout the world would not have died. Also, if the White House had acted earlier, the US and the World might not be the worst financial depression in history.

Partisanship cannot fight a pandemic. Nor can the worst president in US history.

We can adjust to the new normal that COVID-19 will cause as we deal with the deaths, financial disaster, and general chaos created over 3.5 years by Donald Trump, the President who steals from the poor to pay the rich.

But we need to stopping dreaming of the good old days from two months ago and wake up with our feelings of responsibility to make American work for all of our residents. We can do it, but we do need to take stock of what our strengths are now and proceed instead of mourning for the way things used to be.

We have it within us. Ignore Trump and his merry band of idiot s and let’s forge a revitalized USA that is good for ALL of us.

It’s getting to me. It’s probably getting to you. One day Trump disband the COVID-19 Task Force as the US hit a new national high of virus deaths. The next day he restores the Task Force commenting at the time that its TV ratings we so high he decided we needed it.

In other directions, tomorrow may be a much better day. The South Korean Baseball Organization is starting their season with empty seats and broadcasting to the USA in English (overnight but I will record it).

Gotta find a KBO hat online.

Trump announced today that he would continue the US committee that presumably “advises” him (admittedly a fully impossible task) after announcing its dissolution. Trump’s attempt to silence his critics (many of the scientific-medical members) on the committee was transparent and greeted what can be described as a Twitter excrement storm.

The committee is now back the next day and hopefully, Drs. Fauci and Birx will get the face time that most of the watchers of their televised press briefings see as the only honest information being shared.

Stay vigilant. Trump will try to sneak this past us again in a few days.

 

 

10 STATES are currently ignoring excellent stay-in-place recommendations from Dr. Fauci and Dr. Brix. President Trump is encouraging states to ignore recommendations supported by the vast majority of physicians in current practice.

These actions make it very likely we will be having a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic in the fall and winter.

Most of the states revolting against Public Health standards are already seeing coronavirus flare-ups. Unfortunately, 3 of them border on my state. Fortunately, our Governor just extended the stay-at-home period for North Carolina in spite of the fact that our rate of infection and the number of deaths is relatively low.

Testing and contact tracking are absolutely required before re-opening states. The federal government has totally ignored its responsibility to set up a national COVID-19 test program and provide supplies and staff to all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (Dr. Christopher Murray, Director) has developed perhaps the most useful model for predicting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the 50 US State, the District of Columbia, and US territories. I consider the IMHE model as the most useful (and valid) model available. I was both trained in such models of healthcare needs and outcomes and used them for 35 years until my retirement. I applaud their work and am very grateful they have made this significant scientific contribution. There is no doubt in my mind that IMHE’s work has saved thousands of lives.

In the past week (last week of April 2020) IMHE has made estimates of when each state can gradually start to reduce social distancing restrictions SLOWLY AND GRADUALLY. Their predictions assume that all states maintain severe social distancing restrictions until the stated start dates. And critically their predictions assume that there are adequate COVID-19 testing and tracking materials and human resources available.

Unfortunately, to this date, while the President and Vice President have asserted that such resources for testing and tracking exit now and in the past few months have existed, their assertions are unfortunately lies and there have not been enough testing materials and trackers at any time during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The IMHE estimates are superior, but their presentations on their server are definitely very difficult for those other than scientists to understand as they require manipulations of a large database.

Since I know what they are talking about but am confused and surprised by their data presentations, I made a chart from their own data and analyses to simplify and present their results a less technical way.

The big questions to US citizens in when they can start safely (for themselves and fellow citizens) gradually. Below is a mind map that is a cumulative set of estimates of when the US states can BEGIN to taper social distancing regulations GRADUALLY.

The IMHE Director has appeared on television in the last two days and said that they hope to have revised estimates by the weekend.  I will revise the graphic when they release updated data.

Here is the overall calendar of when each state may start lifting social distancing restrictions and then monitoring results and determining whether restrictions must be restored.

The master calendar derived from the IMHE analyses, data, and conclusions. If states open before the suggested dates, the estimates will need to be moved later.

Click on the image to expand it.

George J. Huba, PhD
4/29/20

Governor Cuomo’s daily briefing is done at approximately 11:30 AM Eastern Time every day. I highly recommend watching this one.

President Trump conducts a daily COVID-19 campaign event every day at approximately 5:30 PM Eastern Time. It is not really a briefing when Trump is speaking but at times another participant will make a statement that has not been censored by the President. If both Drs Birx and Fauci are not presenting, watching is of little value if you wish to hear scientific as opposed to political recommendations. Most days Trump dominates the event and turns it into a political advertisement for his re-election and open criticisms of the world-wide press coverage he receives.

I agree with the recent poll results comparing the information from Governor Cuomo and President Trump conducted among registered New York voters from April 19-23, 2020.

 

 

 

Some people also put a coffee filter inside the centerfolds.

Here’s another one of a different design.

There hundreds of other instruction videos for face masks on Youtube.  Check them out. Most are very simple to make and cost pennies. No sewing required for many designs.

 

From 1990 through 2010 I was the lead evaluator of HIV/AIDS Special Projects of National Significance for the US Department of Health and Human Services as well local projects funded through states, counties, and foundations. In total, I got to visit and know more than 400 health care and social services agencies in 35 states. The HIV/AIDS experience strongly informs a much better approach to the COVID-19 pandemic response and re-opening the economy than is currently being offered by the White House.

The plan briefly outlined here should work well. It answers a number of needs including training more than 100,000 unemployed and underemployed workers and will improve the outcomes of the COVID-19 services. It is also relatively resource-neutral because salaries will be offset by future income tax revenues and decreased unemployment insurance benefits while providing career advancement and job opportunities to a large number of individuals selected to represent the communities from which they originate. It should help cut health disparities.

After hiring, it is my belief that the labor force can be trained to test for COVID-19 and track cases. The testing may require individuals trained and possibly licensed in a relevant healthcare discipline but those requirements could be waived on an interim (or permanent) basis. Training should not take much time as initially a small set of skills need to be developed. See this source for information on the licensure-training waiver for emergencies on a state-by-state basis: waiver rules.

Click on the image below to expand it.

May 21. 2020: it has been 47 days since I wrote this post. It is as true now as it was on April 4, 2020.

Every time I watch one of Donald Trump’s coronavirus briefings it makes me want to cry. We have 100s of thousands of superbly trained, highly competent, deeply committed healthcare workers every day who work on saving people who have contracted COVID-19 infections while not having a clean face mask to put on, a clean protective gown, simple hospital supplies like nasal swabs, and a test to diagnose whether someone has contracted the disease.

The national stockpile of relevant equipment is either empty because the Executive Branch of the federal government forgot to purchase needed items or the federal government is hoarding it. Our non-functional national stockpile of medical supplies and equipment is now being managed by the President’s son-in-law, an individual with no healthcare training, and who has engaged in various shady financial dealings in the past 10 years.

The level of incompetence is so high it is unbelievable. The president announces a new voluntary CDC recommendation to wear a face mask and then states that he will not look good while he is sitting at his Resolute Desk meeting with kings, queens, and dictators so he will not wear one. He tells us megarich individuals who own professional sports teams want us to come out to their mega-stadiums and sit shoulder-to-shoulder.

Trump always fails to explain how special our healthcare workforce is and never expresses the truth that he has asked them to work in very hazardous conditions by not purchasing medical protective clothing and shields.

We need to issue presidential orders to make needed protective and treatment equipment and supplies by a specified deadline or go to jail. Make companies who fail to produce needed supplies and equipment ineligible for any emergency funds or rebuilding assistance. The basic logic is that if a company refused to make need equipment and supplies need to save patients and healthcare workers they are ineligible for financial assistance.

The mind map shown provides a status report on where we are today, April 4, 2020.

My mind can hardly grasp the idea of a $2 trillion and more budget package to help stem the damage from the coronavirus pandemic and pitiful way that federal government failed to use the best medical methods to help control and diminish the outcomes from the outbreak. Among other things, it is also absurd that President Trump insists on having a $500 billion slush fund within the appropriation that he will probably use to buy votes for the 2020 election and reward donors and supporters. Of course, he also demands sole control over the slush fund.

After we get the coronavirus tragedy (and federal fiasco) under control and protect our citizens and their businesses, we will also need to turn our attention to climate change. Why. not also use the coronavirus appropriation to also support the “greening” of America and the continuation of our species.

A lot of money will be spent on creating jobs after the pandemic. Those new jobs should be within “green” projects and tp companies that improve the planet and not those like coal and petrochemical industries that destroy it. The new jobs should be ones that are better in their working conditions and benefits and salaries than the existing ones displaced. A lot of new green companies and job training for green jobs could be provided for displaced workers and those jobs would also make an effect upon stopping climate change.

American ingenuity could take us a long way toward fully recovering from the pandemic and dealing with climate change at the same time. Let’s not do it the same old way the current White House wants. Let’s protect our children’s futures by using the money necessary to recover from the pandemic to also address climate change. We want power plants that are “clean” and not using coal or petroleum as their power sources. So develop green companies. The airlines want to be saved and in the interest of climate improvement, they can be required to cut the emissions from their airplanes (the p.rimary source of air pollution). Automobile manufacturers will want to be helped; that is a lot more valuable for the future US environment if 100%k of the cars manufactured with pandemic recovery funds are fully electric. And so on.

Some suggestions. Click on the mind map to expand it.