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Americans won’t sit still for another lockdown

I watched Saturday night as throngs of trick-or-treaters traversed Barnesville’s Thomaston Street corridor. Some residents who had given out candy in the past opted out this year and that is understandable. Several businesses and organizations chipped in to take up the slack and those along the street who did give out candy had massive stockpiles for the kids. I went to a trunk-or-treat event and a drive-thru trick-or-treat activity and both were packed out. Each required police to handle traffic control. Despite COVID-19, there were more adults, young children and teens enjoying these events than in years past. Why? People are tired of being expected to cower in their homes due to a virus. They were ready to get out and get their kids out and they did so. There is no question the original estimates of COVID-19 fatality rates were grossly exaggerated. Enter Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, a medical doctor who also owns a Ph.D in economics and is a seroprevalence expert. He wrote this last week: Seroprevalence is what I worked on in the early days of the epidemic. In April, I ran a series of studies, using antibody tests, to see how many people in California’s Santa Clara County, where I live, had been infected. At the time, there were about 1,000 COVID cases that had been identified in the county, but our antibody tests found that 50,000 people had been infected’”i.e., there were 50 times more infections than identified cases. This was enormously important, because it meant that the fatality rate was not three percent, but closer to 0.2 percent; not three in 100, but two in 1,000. Those who spread fear and demanded we lock ourselves away told us we all would die. That is simply not true. It has never been true. More from the good doctor: It still seems to be a common perception that COVID is equally dangerous to everybody, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. There is a thousand-fold difference between the mortality rate in older people, 70 and up, and the mortality rate in children. In some sense, this is a great blessing. If it was a disease that killed children preferentially, I for one would react very differently. But the fact is that for young children, this disease is less dangerous than the seasonal flu. This year, in the United States, more children have died from the seasonal flu than from COVID by a factor of two or three. As communities have begun to open up, the economy has roared back. But for many who locked themselves away, the damage may have already been done. Dr. Bhattacharya continues: Another result of the lockdowns is that people stopped bringing their children in for immunizations against diseases like diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), and polio, because they had been led to fear COVID more than they feared these more deadly diseases. This wasn’t only true in the U.S. Eighty million children worldwide are now at risk of these diseases. We had made substantial progress in slowing them down, but now they are going to come back. Large numbers of Americans, even though they had cancer and needed chemotherapy, didn’t come in for treatment because they were more afraid of COVID than cancer. Others have skipped recommended cancer screenings. We’re going to see a rise in cancer and cancer death rates as a consequence. Indeed, this is already starting to show up in the data. We’re also going to see a higher number of deaths from diabetes due to people missing their diabetic monitoring. This week’s elections could change the face of our government on many levels. Newcomers taking office and those reelected should tread very lightly around the issue of more shutdowns. Americans have wised up to the fear mongering and are very unlikely to hunker down in their homes and abide another lockdown.

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