What’s In A Number?

Numbers can be misleading. Statisticians can make numbers reflect or tell any story they want. We hear and see so many numbers in today’s society that we become inured to them. They tend to lose all meaning, especially large numbers. There is a saying by Everett M. Dirksen an American politician when referring to governmental spending.  “A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money.” This saying helps to elucidate this concept and proclivity or predisposition towards desensitization. The more people hear a fact the less meaning it tends to have. Numbers like millions, billions and trillions are so large that they overwhelm the imagination.

This photo is a million dollars worth of pennies or a 100 million pennies. Pretty impressive. Would you like to count them? I would not want to do it. It is estimated that it would take 11 days and 14 hours to count just one million pennies, now multiply that times 100. So, I think you get the idea that these are really big numbers. Now imagine a billion dollars or a 1oo billion dollars, what could you do with this money. Well there are people that rich today, and in history there were people that were actually worth several Trillion dollars. Joseph Stalin was worth an estimated $7.5 trillion dollars. The richest man in history was Akbar the Great with an estimated worth of over $21 trillion dollars. That amounted to 25% of the global GDP.

Now that I have made your head swim with crazy numbers, let us come back to reality a little. I am writing this article to illustrate the effect that the covid pandemic is having on the America people. I  believe we are becoming desensitized by the numbers, they are becoming too large to comprehend. I hear doctors say that it only affects 0.1% of the population. People say that is not too bad. Well do you have any idea how many people that is. We have as I have shown earlier in this article 331,000,000 people in the U.S. 0.1% of that is 331,000 people. So is that an insignificant number? I don’t think so. In my estimation any number of deaths is significant, especially if it is one of your loved ones that falls in these statistics.

I am an ICU registered nurse, who cares for these covid patients. I have been a nurse for 20 years. In the last year I have seen more patients die from this virus or associated complications than in my previous 19 years. It is  taking a toll on me and all my colleagues. It seems all overwhelming and yes sometimes futile. We have had up to 5 deaths from covid in one day. My hospital is just an average sized hospital, it is not one of the 1,000 bed hospitals that are in some of the northern cities.

Instead of politicians and scientists and even people with PHD’s in education spouting and waxing prophetic on the news, we need real answers and solutions to combat this pandemic. One of the solutions is the concept of herd immunity, the other is the use of vaccines. Isolating people in their houses does nothing but cause the virus to spread faster. It is estimated that over 70% of the spread is from family members in closed quarters. There is only a 1 to 1.5% spread from restaurants and bars. The chance of catching the virus from an incidental contact is minimal, especially with people wearing masks. By the way I have discussed masks and their effectiveness in previous articles. I will include links to them at the end of this article. Unless you are wearing an N95 mask, you are not stopping the spread, you are simply reducing the spread of the virus. There has been no study on  the spread of the virus on Restaurants that have outside dining instead of inside dining. I am sure that the spread would by much less than 1%.

I have also shown that younger people truly have little to fear from the virus. In this I am talking of numbers that are much smaller than 0.1%. They are so small that they are truly insignificant, like 0.001%, unless of course it is your loved one. We are, however causing the deaths of thousands of otherwise healthy people due to depression and drug over doses, by these incessant lockdowns. Children and spouses are being abused and even killed in increasingly greater numbers of domestic violence cases. Many people are dying from undiagnosed cancers and heart diseases. Thousands of businesses are being closed down forever due to these lockdowns.

The problem with this virus and the pandemic is that it has given too many people unimaginable power. This power has become truly intoxicating. These individuals do not want to give up their newly acquired power. That is why they keep trumpeting numbers and percentages to instill ever spiraling levels of fear and perpetuate  the process by repeating worthless isolation techniques.  Politicians like Governor Andrew Cuomo and Gavin Newsom are the problem and not the solution. They have power and they want to keep it. If Governor Cuomo cared about his constituents, he would never have sent thousands of infected patients into nursing homes. By doing this he sentenced thousands of elderly to painful death sentences. And now he is standing in the way of the timely administration of life saving vaccines. The care givers need to be kept healthy so that they can care for the sick, then the  elderly need to be vaccinated. After that the rest of the population can be taken care of. According to recent reports from the White House over 50,000,000 vaccines have been distributed to the 50 states. So, why have only a few million vaccinations been administered? The answer is that the politicians are playing games. People that are at low risk are getting the vaccinations first, as favors are being curried by these unscrupulous politicians.

There is still hope for our country. States like South Dakota and Florida are staying open and are still keeping the numbers of covid cases manageable. How are they doing this you may ask? They are actually following the science. Because numbers and statistics can actually be used for the benefit of mankind, instead of the detriment of the general population. When studies are done ethically and by scrupulous individuals, they can actually provide valuable tools in the fight against covid. Unfortunately too many studies have been performed simply to further liberal agendas.

So the next time you hear a scientist or politician spouting numbers, take the time and reflect what they really mean. It may help guide you down the appropriate pathway in life.

covid-19 and Healthcare Postings