Outside Looking In

I have watched my retirement accounts get blasted by stock market gyrations caused by the coronavirus panic and watched endless minutes of news describing the disease in almost apocalyptic terms.

I have listened to NBA executives warn players to fist bump instead of shake hands with fans to ward off coronavirus. I’ve seen completely unaffected people wearing masks when every local, national and world health expert says wearing a mask won’t help you not catch the virus.

Then I watched two things Tuesday night that sent me near the cliff of depression—the Iowa Hawkeyes laying an egg against Purdue in their last home game and the coverage of Super Tuesday… Joe vs the Sanders.

So I moved over to my trusty MacIntosh computer (made in part in China) and looked up some statistics.

So far there have been 94,175 reported coronavirus cases worldwide. That compares to 180,000 people in the U.S. hospitalized by Type B Influenza. That doesn’t include the total infected. That total (to date) is 18 million.

So far 3,219 people worldwide have died from coronavirus (which is awful), that is if you believe the reporting from China, don’t believe the disease is being used to machine gun down citizens and aren’t those who line the inside of baseball caps with aluminum foil.

In the U.S. so far in the 2019-2020 flu season, over 10,000 deaths have been reported from Type B Influenza, including 20 pediatric deaths.

I’m not exactly sure what this means, but there is a 6.9 percent death rate attributable to Type B Influenza. The rate of death in the case of the coronavirus worldwide is thought to be around 3.7 percent. In the U.S. it is under one percent.

Another fact that is virtually unreported is that of the 94,175 reported cases of coronavirus, just under 50,000 people have fully recovered.

I’m thinking that perhaps the greater panic, particularly on Wall Street, is the fact that the virus is striking Third World countries harder(if indeed China is still Third World), thus making it more difficult to get the slave labor used there to pump out products demanded by U.S. factories and retail consumers.

As far as the fist bump instead of the handshake issue with NBA players, I don’t have a problem with that as long as they do the “finger splay” and say “Ahhhhh” after the fist bump.

Here’s another interesting, if not frightening, factoid. Nine people in the U.S. have died from coronavirus over the course of about three weeks, almost all in ill-health and connected to a care facility in Washington State. Twenty-five Americans were killed in about five minutes from tornadoes striking Tennessee.

Life is one grand challenge of perspective.

Chris Matthews “retired” from MSNBC after 20 or so years of being stupid. I’m not sure how many times he compared Republican presidents and political leaders to Hitler and got a pass, but got his butt run out of town when he made a totally illiterate comment comparing Bernie Sanders’ campaign to the invasion of the Nazis into France at the beginning of WWII.

Chris Matthews is a snotty, smug, pretty much deranged former journalist. Now he is unemployed. I don’t feel sad.

As a non-Catholic, I’m not under the no meat Friday dietary guidelines observed by the faithful for years during lent. Actually there was a time that Catholics didn’t eat meat the entire period between Ash Wednesday and Easter, but that was eased to Fridays only.

Now the question arises with the increased popularity of fake meat, is it okay to plow down a plant-based fake burger from Burger King on Friday? Reading some direction from a Catholic priest in South Carolina, is appears going the fake burger route instead of eating a fish sandwich at McDonalds is circumventing the true meaning of “meatless Fridays” which is doing penitence, finding spiritual renewal and foregoing meat as an act of self-discipline.

Read the March 5, 2020 edition of the Chariton Herald-Patriot for the rest of the story.