COVID-19 in America

colorful speech bubbles. COVID-19 in America by Jill Grunewald | Healthful Elements

We Need to Talk More About COVID-19 in America

As much as I try to ignore the mainstream media, I find myself scouring the internet for news far too often. (And believe me, the mainstream media isn’t the only source of news.)

Like you, after­ almost nine months of being inundated with news about coronavirus, I’m trying to make sense of what’s going on with COVID-19 in America.

I’m wondering when we as a society will stop flinching away from each other in fear. When we’ll stop ratting out businesses, arresting medically compromised people, and attacking couples with mace (for not wearing a mask). When hugs will replace masks. And when our children can go back to school without having their temperatures taken, their faces obscured, and their souls filled with anxiety

I’m a highly introverted health coach. I help people reverse autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto’s and alopecia (two I’ve lived with). Full disclosure: I’m not someone who likes controversy—but I don’t back down from it. Overall, I’m someone who likes to listen more than I speak.

Listening hard

I’ve been listening hard about COVID-19 in America. (Go here to read my article, 7 Reasons to Think Critically about COVID-19.)

What I’m coming to realize is both controversial and contradictory. It’s becoming increasingly clear that, however well intentioned, our public health authorities—both on the federal and the state level—are failing us.

We were supposed to spend two weeks in a global quarantine that would help “flatten the curve” so hospitals and healthcare workers wouldn’t be overwhelmed.

Two weeks became two months, two months became four, then five, then six. We’re now nearly nine months into this “crisis.” And nearly nine months into COVID-19 in America.

And it’s time to admit that our country has been making mistakes.

Misrepresenting and overcounting COVID-19 in America deaths

At the end of August, a city commissioner in Michigan, Kim Gibbs, died. Gibbs passed away from complications due to diabetes. She suffered brain damage caused by a diabetic coma.

Commissioner Gibbs, who was also a real estate attorney, was living in such extreme poverty that she had to choose between buying food and paying for insulin, the drug that kept her alive.

Her untimely death is a tragedy that shows how our response to COVID-19 has become as deadly—or perhaps deadlier—than the virus itself. But instead of using her death as an opportunity to talk about how Americans are having to choose between food and medicine, and how the coronavirus response has itself created a crisis, Michigan newspapers instead reported that Commissioner Gibbs, who “downplayed” the threat, tested positive for COVID-19 before she died.

What really killed Commissioner Gibbs?

Let’s unpack this. Medical staff tested Kim Gibbs while she was lying unconscious in a diabetic coma. The autopsy showed no signs of coronavirus playing a part in her tragic and untimely demise. Her death had nothing to do with COVID-19 and everything to do with the dangerous mismanagement of COVID-19 in America. Yet the Detroit Metro Times used her death to posthumously cast aspersions and shame.

We still don’t know how deadly coronavirus is. As I’ve written about before, it’s very difficult to have accurate statistics about the acuteness of a disease when we don’t know how many people are infected with it. But what we do know, according to the CDC, is that 94 percent of the people who have “died from coronavirus” had other acute and underlying conditions that contributed to their deaths. It takes quite a bit of digging and these numbers are always changing, but the coronavirus recovery rates should help allay people’s fears.

According to CDC data:

COVID-19 survival rates by age group

  • Age 0-19: 99.997%
  • 20-49: 99.98%
  • 50-69: 99.5%
  • 70+: 94.6%

More cases? Or simply more flawed tests? 

Here we are, just before Thanksgiving, and the mainstream media is telling us that COVID cases are skyrocketing. The governor of California has asked people to wear masks in between bites of food. The governor of Oregon has threatened Oregonians with jail time and fines if they have more than six people from two different families at their Thanksgiving dinners. PCR testing is what is driving these COVID-19 mandates, as well as the lockdowns, shutdowns, and school closures.

But the majority of those testing positive for COVID-19 report having no symptoms. No fever. No headaches. No loss of sense of smell.

Which is why a panel of Portuguese judges reviewed all of the existing scientific evidence about coronavirus testing. They found something shocking: that 97% of people testing positive may be getting false readings.

A positive RT-PCR test does not necessarily mean that a person has COVID-19 or is able to spread it.

Their ruling, issued November 11, insists that “this test shows itself to be unable to determine beyond reasonable doubt that such positivity corresponds to … infection.”

To read a news article about the ruling, click here. To read the judges’ 34-page ruling in its entirety, click here.

Are hospitals really full? Why are so many healthcare workers still laid off?

As my friend, Sarah Copeland, RN, said, “As someone who has worked in critical care and ICU, I can attest that ICUs are always full. That’s just the nature of ICU. As one patient moves out, another is lined up to come in. It’s a very rare event that we have more than one or two beds open in ICU at any given time. In fact, the majority of the time, every single bed is full. I’m not surprised in the least that the ICUs are filling up. We’ve put off so-called ‘elective’ surgeries for months. Many of these procedures have turned into critical emergent procedures. A patient who would once recover on the regular medical/surgical floor may now need a critical ICU bed due to the further damage caused to their body by waiting on a procedure or surgery.

“Fall and winter are historically the busiest times of the year for hospitals. Respiratory viruses increase, and many people wait to have surgery until November/December after they have reached their insurance deductibles. Now add an increase of inpatient population due to Covid, and it’s no wonder headlines are saying hospitals are full.” 

Huge push for flu vaccine? Why it’s the wrong approach

Fact: people tend to get sick more often in the winter. Which has left public health officials and educators worried that we will see more infections, more acute reactions, and more deaths from coronavirus this winter.

One of the ways public health officials are responding to this fear is by stockpiling flu vaccines and starting overly aggressive campaigns, like this one, and this one, and this one, to get every American vaccinated against the flu. This is another example of a short-sighted and misguided public health initiative.

I was at Walgreens last week. People were lined up waiting for their flu shots. Most of the people in line looked like they were over 65.

We know, from the peer-reviewed science, that vaccination against the flu actually makes people more susceptible to getting coronavirus. In a study of the influenza vaccination status of 6,120 Department of Defense personnel, researchers identified a phenomenon known as “virus interference.” Virus interference is when vaccination against one virus (like the flu) increases the risk of getting other viruses, especially respiratory viruses. Researchers in Ohio compared the health outcomes of vaccinated versus unvaccinated personnel. They found that those who got the influenza vaccine were at higher risk of contracting coronavirus and metapneumovirus. “Examining virus interference by specific respiratory viruses showed mixed results,” the study’s author, Gregory Wolff, an epidemiologist and biostatistician, explains. “Vaccine derived virus interference was significantly associated with coronavirus and human metapneumovirus…” (source).

Other research has led to similar concerns. A team of scientists investigating the link between vaccination coverage in those over 65 years old and COVID-19 infection and severity, found a strong correlation between the flu vaccine and fatalities in Europe, but not in the United States.

“Our analysis indicates that receiving seasonal influenza vaccination(s) in the past might be an additional risk factor for the elderly in terms of enhanced susceptibility to infection with SARS-CoV-2 and higher likelihood of lethal outcomes in case of infection,” the researchers explain (source).

Sweden: A better model

Sweden asked people to avoid public transportation and work from home if they were able. They never mandated a mask-wearing policy. Unlike Italy, Sweden did not force quarantines. Most importantly, perhaps, Sweden never closed their elementary schools. So Swedish children have not been living in fear.

Despite worldwide concerns that Sweden was mishandling COVID-19, this Scandinavian country has had much better outcomes than America. In fact, Sweden now has one of the lowest rates of new cases of any country in Europe, according to the New York Times. According to Sebastian Rushmore, MD, coronavirus is basically over in Sweden. Rushmore, an emergency room doctor based in Stockholm, explains:

I haven’t seen a single covid patient in the Emergency Room in over two and a half months. People have continued to become ever more relaxed in their behaviour, which is noticeable in increasing volumes in the Emergency Room. At the peak of the pandemic in April, I was seeing about half as many patients per shift as usual, probably because lots of people were afraid to go the ER for fear of catching covid. Now volumes are back to normal.

When I sit in the tube on the way to and from work, it is packed with people. Maybe one in a hundred people is choosing to wear a face mask in public. In Stockholm, life is largely back to normal. If you look at the front pages of the tabloids, on many days there isn’t a single mention of covid anywhere. As I write this (19th September 2020) the front pages of the two main tabloids have big spreads about arthritis and pensions. Apparently arthritis and pensions are currently more exciting than covid-19 in Sweden.

Shattering our children’s mental health

Asking the most vulnerable to self-quarantine makes sense. Shutting down entire countries—and continuing school shut downs, mask mandates, and social distancing—does not.

Many parents are scared to let their children have play dates or even participate in sports. Schools in many states are distance/online only. I know someone who only allowed the family to drive by and wave after his baby was born.

The recovery rate for coronavirus among infants and teenagers is close to 100 percent, as you can see from the COVID-19 statistics above. But how will our children recover from not seeing their grandparents, not celebrating birthdays and other milestones, spending all day every day in front of computer screens, and living with constant anxiety and fear?

I know a gifted, energetic, and award-winning third grade teacher on Long Island who is required to teach most of the day online. She’s so upset by how her students are suffering that, for the first time in her life, she wants to quit her job.

My colleague’s motivated and brilliant daughter, who just turned 21 and attends an Ivy League college, has decided to drop out.

My friend’s 16-year-old son spends all day in his room on his computer. He’s become so sedentary that he’s now having neck problems.

Loneliness and depression matter

Teenagers are feeling so lonely, isolated, and fearful that they’re contemplating self-harm and suicide. Adults are too.

Americans are erupting with negative emotions. They’re reporting each other to the police and beating each other up over non-compliance with mandated virus mitigation measures. The airports are ghost towns. Small mom and pop shops have had to close their doors. And so many people seem to be okay with accepting it all.

COVID-19 in America is indeed a crisis. But not because of the virus. Because of our response.

Comments

Excellent comprehensive article and I hope that many people read it and start to understand what's been happening and that the public health authorities, especially in some states, are harming everyone by trying to continue lockdowns when the actual illness statistics DO NOT WARRANT IT!!!  Thanks for this big dose of truth, Jill. 

Thank you for this well sourced wonderful article! Such great information packed into this quick read! 

Finally a brave holistic doctors speaks the truth.
It is supprising that so many holistic doctors keep quiet and dont raise this topic at all.

 

Hi Bart, I’m not a doctor. Maybe you were referring to some of the quoted content? :)

You are a great functional nutrition and hormone coach that recognized the situation and was not afraid to speak the truth.  That what mattters for me the most. Doctor or no doctor is not important to me.  What is the most important is your knowledge and experience in helping others to heal.

 

Thank you!!!

Your article is brilliant!  Thank you for such wonderful and thoughtful insights.  You posses a common sense that is rare in many.  I absolutely agree with your position!  I wish that more people would stop listening to mainstream media.  Thank you!!!

Oh Bravo darling!  Thank you for being brave and speaking out in this way!  I have been stunned at how little people seem to want to do their own research - research that will easily back up everything you are saying. Instead, those of us who are questioning this very thing are ridiculed, shamed, and worse.  You go girl!  Keep calling it like it is and thank you again for being on the front lines. Your courage is inspirational!!

Thanks for yet another impeccably researched article loaded with uncomfortable truths!  Every head that is pulled out of the sand counts.  You are making a difference.  

Thank you for this article - more people need to be exposed to these truths.  We are being duped!

Amen! Carlson Tucker on Fox News said from the beginning that Sweden would be an example to the world because their approach was not one that crippled the economy and they let the human body do what it was created to do. Go post!

I always find it interesting that when encouraging others to do research, most that I follow still present their own opinions. This is a confusing message. "Do your own research: here is what I think and my research which supports."

My opinion is that intelectual honesty means giving the best: meaning most comprhensive and charitable, views on either side of any issue. An intelectualy honest way to urge folks to do their own research is to present logical views on either side. 

You bring up some good points, but in the way that the mainstream media often does, fail to represent any facts other than those which support your (very clearly well researched) opinion. 

Thank you for offering all the resources and references, Jill. It's certainly a complicated situation and getting accurate data from which to make our own decisions is a challenge as we are relying on other sources, that are also relying on other sources. I just wanted to point out that as I was reading through the refernces you link to, I noticed that one of the references you pointed to has issued an update. Dr. Rushmore is revising his stance from the statement you pulled the quote from and says that the virus is NOT over in Sweden. " UPDATE 14th November 2020: In light of the recent increase in hospitalizations and deaths during October and November in Sweden, I no longer believe that Sweden reached a state of herd immunity during spring. The text below represents my thinking on the 19th of September, when I wrote the article, and doesn’t represent my current thinking. It is clear that a significant level of population immunity did build up during spring and summer, since the rise in hospitalizations has been much slower during the autumn than it was during the spring, and also seems to be stabilizing at a much lower level. However, the level of population immunity is clearly not as high as I previously thought. The reason I made this mistake is that the early evidence on covid suggested that it was not behaving in a seasonal manner. This caused me to underestimate the seasonal effect of summer to push down infections, which caused me to overestimate the level of population immunity that had built up during spring. It is now clear that covid is a highly seasonal virus."

Since I see patients and see what is happening in Southern California, let me add few aspects:

Swden has been changing their policies to tougher measures recently. Their infection and survival rates are much worse compared to countries with comparable demographics, such as Norway, Finland, etc. This is important since genetics (such as blood type) seems to play a major role in COVID transmission.  https://www.deseret.com/opinion/2020/11/18/21574166/sweden-covid-19-coronavirus-restrictions-stefan-lofven-vaccine 

ICU can be neraly full (about 80 %) depending on the time of the year, but not exclusively with COVID patients. In a typical flu season ICUs are nearly full. But what we are seeing now (and back in April/May) is very different, not a typical season. Almost all are COVID patients. 

About  “virus interference" that influenza vaccine will make one to get corona virus, the Department of Defense study says that it is not true (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7126676/, it is a complicated paper). But there are recent studies that suggest that flu vaccine actually reduces COVID infection. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/a-flu-shot-might-reduce-coronavirus-infections-early-research-suggests/ 

It is true that the psychological and economic impact of isolation is real. We have to find ways to deal with it. This was also true back in 1918 when the Spanish Flu was taking its rounds, and they didn't have Internet or cell phones to stay in touch, nor any economic help from the government. We are in much better shape than those people. 

Just to give another side of the issue. 

Grateful to read this from you, Jill. You are most often a quiet advocate for wellness, and will not actively solicit followers like alot of successful teachers and leaders in the field, today. We have this in common along with many other facets in our journey to understand, practice and share the ways and benefits of wellness in the physical. Your piece is timely and necessary, with the sea of hyperbole we are all being tossed into. You set us back on our feet, firmly on the ground. We need this to find balance and seek truth, now more than ever. I woke with this moment of confusion one morning last week - a simple thought. "What if I am wrong about everything?" But after having tea and a bit of clarity, I scaled it down and thought "What if i am wrong about 50% of everything?" Time will tell but then again, time is fleeting and decisions that will dictate the future of many. My hope is that many will read your piece and share and then read it again. As I wait for the local Dr who comes on to be the spokesperson for my local community to share advice on how to stay out of the hospital, with productive messages of common sense prevention and hope, I get nothing but numbers, masked isolation and ultimately fear and dread. I look to the healers. The helpers. The truth tellers. Thank you Jill for being here for us, at a time when we really need more like you!! BE WELL <3

Thank you so much for sharing this and speaking your truth! Any time I try to say the response to COVID is over board, people act like I'm a monster; they won't even listen. If more health professionals would speak out, I think we would be in much better shape. Thank you for this!

What is also not being mentioned that hospitals NORMALLY run full.  That is when they are profitable.  They WANT to be FULL.  (my wife was a nurse in MI for 18+ years)  Being FULL is acceptable, sustainable and good business practice - not to be used by alarmists!

Excellent blog! It's baffling to me that all the "experts" who want to mandate masks don't seem to look at any stats about mask usage and the fact they don't protect anyone from anything. All they do is virtue signal. In fact, if mask wearing lessened the spread, you'd see that in  reality since most people are masked up. However, you don't see Covid cases diminish despite nearly all people wearing masks. On the contrary - cases have never been higher. Of course, more tests means more cases, but the point here is that masks have done nothing to curb cases, and only the tyrants and their minions demand compliance to nonsensical measures. 

America needs to rise up and stop adhering to illegal mandates (no governor can make a law!). Our country needs to find its backbone again - no cowering to "officials" and certainly not being intimidated by a virus nearly all people recover from. Life needs to be lived, but what we are offered now isn't living. I say enough is enough. 

This article echoes many points I've heard over the past several months, and repeats what I have found in my own research. My problem is that we can write these things until we're blue in the face but the people who are making the rules could care less. They have an agenda and I would love to know where to go and what to do that will change the mind of anyone who is making these decisions. 

Here is an example of a respected Canadian doctor saying this more emphatically:

https://www.bitchute.com/video/hWPjDdXOWkOo/

Dear Jill,

You are fabulous! I appreciate all you are doing in the world and for the world.

I admire your courage to speak up; to provide another point of view based on well-documented research, facts and just plain common sense. 

Thank you for your commitment to health and to health freedom. We should all have the right to choose how we heal and care for our bodies. 

With love and appreciation,

Connie Early

The reality is that none of us, right now, can give a full accounting of how this virus works or say anything with great authority. We will likely not be able to do that for a few years down the road. I appreciate that we should have a full discourse on the matter and do our own research. While I have no problem with you questioning the conventional, mainstream wisdom currently at play regarding COVID-19, I find it irresponsible of you to boast, "I'm not paying one iota of attention to any governor's rule of limiting the number of family members at the holidays." You are not just talking to a friend privately, you have a public voice here and you do not know enough to be so sure to promote this attitude. In my opinion, this is precisely the type of attitude that will keep the virus spreading. 

Having lost a family member to COVID back in the early months of the pandemic and more recently supporting a dear friend's family through her brother's recovery after being on a vent for 32 days, I find your post without compassion and dismissive to the grief many around the world are feeling. As you unceremoniously suggest in your post for folks to unfollow you who may be offended, I shall do just that. The main quality I look for in any health practitioner is kindness and empathy. I find that sorely lacking in your approach to the pandemic.

 

Wow, I don't even know where to begin. I used to have a lot of respect for Ms. Grunewald's posts on this site but not anymore. I agree with the commenter above who feels that this post lacks compassion. I would even argue that Ms. Grunewald is contemptuous of those who do follow mask mandates and are deciding not to gather in person for the holidays. She tells us to "think critically" and "question everything." So I followed her advice and read through this post and the previous one, "7 Reasons to Think Critically about Covid-19." What I found is that several of the articles she links are either opinion pieces (one by Scott Atlas, Trump's Covid Advisor, who is a radiologist, not an epidemiologist; another one is a blog by Jennifer Margulis PHD, whose PHD is in English) or articles that are 5-11 months out-of-date. She says, Sweden is doing it correctly. Well, she could have checked more recent sources on that before she posted this blog article from Nov. 22. An article from the Washington Post on Nov. 17 titled "Has Sweden's Coronavirus Strategy Failed?" quotes a Swedish virologist saying, "So far Sweden's strategy has proved to be a dramatic failure." It's easy to cherry-pick data to fit your beliefs: people do it all the time. We're all susceptible to confirmation bias--the idea is to be aware that you might be engaging in it. She says that there are other news sources other than "mainstream media." To Ms. Grunewald and her followers: What are the news sources you consider to be credible? Would you post them here so we can see what news you're looking at? You might see where your sources fall on the spectrum: https://guides.lib.umich.edu/c.php?g=637508&p=4462444 and https://nscc.libguides.com/fakenews/news  

I agree with her that our federal and state authorities have mishandled the Covid crisis: They haven't done enough to stop the spread or help healthcare workers have the proper amount of PPE or tests. Bars, restaurants, and gyms were allowed to open for indoor service even though those places have been shown to spread the virus. She says that we're "still in quarantine." Aparently we're living in two different universes because we never were in a full-on quarantine. In MN we had a stay-at-home order for slightly less than 2 months but we still had the freedom to go outside, grocery shop, and not wear a mask (that mandate came in July). Honestly, a lot of us are waiting for the rest of you to just wear a freaking mask already (apparently some of you think that 100% of people are wearing masks. They're not. Or they'll wear a mask below their noses. Maybe if there was close to 100% compliance the virus spread wouldn't be as bad as it is now). Masks do suck---they are uncomfortable and are hard to breathe through. But you don't have to wear them 24/7 (more like in 15-min. spurts during your run through the grocery store. Unless you're a healthcare worker. Ask them if anyone's passed out from wearing a mask for 16 hours). She quotes Jennifer Margulis PHD (in English) that by wearing a mask the moisture builds up in your mask and is a "perfect breeding ground for bacteria." Yet in the same blog post Ms. Grunewald says that viruses and bacteria are natural and we cohabitate with them and therefore we should not fear them. So it's okay to get the Covid virus but not to breathe in the bacteria from your own breath inside your mask? This does not scream "critical thinking" to me. Science research changes all the time--it's difficult to keep up on the most recent, peer-reviewed data. I'm sure journalists struggle with providing the most up-to-date information (and journalists can over-simplify data, taking it out of context). But if you read "mainstream media": i.e. sources with high journalistic standards (please check the links I provided above) and balance it with whatever right or left-leaning sources and compare the two, I think you'll be able to find a larger consensus of: masks do help prevent virus spread. Is it 100%? No. But if I can prevent just one person's death by me wearing a mask then I think it's worth it. If you think that's virtue signaling then so be it. My mask is a sign of respect to you. It says, "I care about you. I care about vulnerable people." When you don't wear a mask it says to me that you only care about yourself, and that you're too insecure to wear a mask, and that your freedom is more important than my freedom and my right (and my family's freedom) to not get Covid. We don't yet know the long-term effects of Covid (and what we do know, is not pretty). Sure, a small percentage die of it. But a small percentage of the earth's population is thousands of people. She purports to care about black and brown people but offers no suggestions as to how to help this population through her anti-mask, anti-vaccine beliefs. Her immune system may be stellar but most of ours aren't. Will she give a discount for her integrative health services to these disadvantaged people? What insider health information are you privy to through your "Health Freedom Movement" (in which the John Birch society is an advocate) that you can share with us? What are we missing? I believe you were trying to tell us through your post but it got majorly lost in your own privilege and biased "critical thinking."

As for her friend, the RN who says that the ICU is "always full this time of year, it's no big deal." Well, the testimony of one nurse friend is not going to change my mind. Ask 200 nurses working in a Covid ward what they think. That would get my attention. 

I think I'll listen to the epidemiologists on this one, and the healthcare workers on the Covid front lines. As my husband tends to ask, "What the worst that will happen?" In this case, what's the worst that will happen if you wear a mask and social-distance? Maybe you'll prevent someone from getting this unpredictable disease, maybe even prevent someone from dying from it. What's the worst that will happen if you don't wear a mask? Well, I'm afraid you'll have to read "mainstream media" to find out the answer to that question.

Well Siobhann, without attempting to respond to every one of your remarks, I'll just ask you this... do both people have to wear a mask if the things actually work? Are they one-way only, in that they block the teeny little virus particles when you breathe out but don't work when you breathe in? The obvious answer is "of course not". So if they work when you breathe in, why do I have to wear one to protect you? Where is the logic, and the science here? If you're afraid by all means wear one, but don't make me live my life based on your fears.

The response is typically, like yours, "If I can make a difference to just one person...", but how does that change the science? It's an emotional response, not a scientific or logical one. Unfortunately, those emotional (and I submit, political) responses are shutting down the world economy, depriving us of sufficient oxgen intake, and leading us one step closer to total submission. I don't know what your governor is commanding these days but some folks are being told they have to eat Thanksgiving meals outside, and may use the bathroom indoors briefly and only if it's totally purified after every use.  Make sense to you? What's next...have to wear a mask while mowing my lawn? 

Please follow the link I provided in my earlier post - a 6 minute remark made by a highly regarded Canadian professional who knows what he's talking about. He's calling the entire covid event a worldwide hoax. And did you know there is a lawyer in Germany who is suing the WHO for crimes against humanity? Use a search engine other than Google.....and don't try to post any of this on Twitter or Facebook because they won't do it. While you're at it, you might ask why our "free speech" is being so compromised on social media. There's more to this mask wearing than meets the eye.

I hope I don't have to remind you, that you need to get your information from somewhere other than PBS, CNN, New York Times, etc. 

Best of luck on re-educating yourself,

Bill K

"I hope I don't have to remind you, that you need to get your information from somewhere other than PBS, CNN, New York Times, etc." So other than reputable news sources? What do you recommend - a local yoga instructor? Breitbart? A strongly worded Facebook post?

Whatever happened to sacrifice in this country? People grew their own food in victory gardens during WWII. Died in wars. And you're put out by being asked to make the very minor inconvenience of wearing a mask during a pandemic. It is so selfish. Just read accounts of overwhelmed doctors and nurses at hospitals across the country and put it in perspective. Some of them don't even want to stay in their homes for some time for fear of bringing the virus home to their families.

And there's more on the Hodkinson story. https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/dr-roger-hodkinson-covid-hoax/

thank you. I agree 100%

Sorry, I wasn't clear! My "thank you" is not to Jill (or commenter Bill) but to another commenter. Jill, I  believe you are cherry picking facts to serve your already strong feelings. I agree with other commenters here who have shared other facts.

Corinna, I'm not cherry-picking anything. If I were, then I wouldn't have published any of the comments that disagree with me. Your comment didn't initially come through (along with some others). Everything in my list of comments to approve/disapprove is now published. The only things I reject are spam, slander, or profanity. 

I agree with what you said, Siobhann. I just heard on NPR *THIS MORNING* a piece about how the Swedish government is rethinking its COVID strategy. I'm also listening to the epidemiologists on this one. The dismissive stance our country has adopted to people with expertise is what is holding us back from containing this virus (which is past the point of containment now thanks to those who don't believe in science).

It does stink to wear a mask, but it's better than being on a ventilator. There are people who wore masks for many hours a day prior to COVID (and who are masked up at higher levels now), like dental hygienists, and they somehow survive. Many of the articles linked to are old (in science terms), especially the ones on the efficacy of masks. I happen to live in Vermont, a state where the upper majority of people adhere to mask mandate (in effect statewide in August, though many towns/cities had them before that) - we also happen to be among the lowest in COVID infections. Yes, we're rural, but so is South Dakota - which never had a statewide mask mandate.

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