Biblical and Constitutional Politics

Coronavirus Trib Live News Articles Commentaries

April 2020

By Gary F. Zeolla

 

These Commentaries are continued from Coronavirus News Articles Commentaries: March 2020.

 


    These commentaries are only about the ongoing Coronavirus crisis. For my commentaries on other news events, see Commentaries on Biblical and Constitutional Politics. Opposite of that page, the comments are posted here in chronological order. Oldest on top, newest at the bottom. For additional Coronavirus Commentaries, see  Coronavirus Articles and Commentaries on Biblical and Constitutional Politics.

    This page only contains short comments I’ve posted about news articles on Trib Live, which is the website for three Pittsburgh area newspapers, including my hometown newspaper. I read their website every day. Trib Live is left leaning in its perspective across all three of its newspapers and on its website. The comments at the end of articles are also mostly left leaning, being posted mostly by people from the very blue city of Pittsburgh. As such, my voice is rather unique. That is why I decided to start posting comments, to counter the liberal perspective.  There is a 750-character limit to comments, so I need to be concise in my comments, which is not always easy for me to do. The title links open in a new window.


Pittsburgh professors see flaws in coronavirus modeling, predict more grim outlook

    The key line here is, “as long as a large majority of the population remains uninfected.” Once we start widespread antibody testing, I would bet we will find out that millions of Americans have already had the Coronavirus but never even knew it, as they only had minor symptoms. Once those numbers are added to the denominator, the CV death rate will turn out to be relatively low, close to that of the seasonal flu. And these dire predictions and our current draconian restrictions will be shown to be unwarranted.

    However, a part of this article I agree with is the idea of a second wave. On 3/20, I wrote, “my fear about the current approach of everyone sheltering in place and avoiding gatherings is the population as a whole is not getting exposed to the virus. Thus, when people get tired of the isolation and emerge and begin to congregate again, the CV will flare-up again, as our population as whole will not have developed herd immunity” (Sadness, Predictions, and More on the Coronavirus).

    But since then we have learned a significant percentage of people with the CV are asymptomatic. As such, it is possible some degree of a herd immunity has developed. That might be what happened in CA. It did not see the spike NY did, possibly because many had the virus before the first case was identified in the US on 1/20.


4/3/20


    Someone on Trib Live consistently refers to the Coronavirus as “Trump Pox.” I responded to her as follows:

     Every time you use the term “Trump pox” you expose you do not know what you are talking about. If you at least used the term “Trump virus” you would be half right. But as is, you are wrong on both counts, as there is no “pox” associated with Coronavirus.

    “Pox. Noun. any of several viral diseases producing a rash of pimples that become pus-filled and leave pockmarks on healing.” (Oxford Dictionary). Such is not a mark of the Coronavirus.
4/3/20


How to make facemasks from household items

      On the video, I'm a guy. I don’t have hair bands. I'll just make a bandana and tie it behind my neck. But now that we are all wearing masks, that should be a great boast to the criminals. They can cover their faces before they go into a place to rob it, and no one will think anything of it.

      Moreover, the problem with masks is people tend to fiddle with them, which is to say, they cause them to touch their faces more often. And if you reach under the mask to scratch your nose, you defeat the whole purpose.

      And if you’re using a bandana, be sure you don’t just take it off and set it down then put it back on again. If you do, you have no way of knowing which side was in and which was out, and if you mix it up, you again have defeated the whole purpose. It is best to wash it between each use. The problem is, most people don’t follow these steps.

      But then, the recommendation to wear masks is more for those who are infected to keep them from infecting others. But for such people it, it would be best to not go out in the first place. I know many are asymptomatic, but still, a blanket recommendation seems unwarranted. But as long as it is just that, a recommendation and not a requirement, I’m okay with it.
4/4/20


State police cite Pa. woman for ‘going for a drive’ amid stay-at-home order

     Frightening, very frightening. She was just going for a drive in her own car all alone. We are on our way to a police state. I just posted extended comments that end with a list of such occurrences across the country (See Nursing Home Deaths).
4/4/20


Giant Eagle to limit number of people allowed in stores

    Back on March 20, I wrote, “Places of business, churches, and the like should operate at half-capacity. Stay open, but only allow at best half the normal capacity into their doors” (Sadness, Predictions, and More on the Coronavirus).

    If a grocery store can safely operate at half-capacity, why can’t other business, like say a Mom and Pop shoe shore? I know, buying groceries is essential, while buying new shoes is not—for the consumer. But it is essential for Mom and Pop. 

    I know financial help is on the way for small business from the bloated relief package, but what if Mom and Pop commit suicide before then due to fears their business will never reopen? That is a legitimate fear, as people might get so used to buying shoes online, that they never return to buying them at their store.
4/7/20


Pennsylvania reports 12 more deaths, 1,470 new coronavirus cases

      I fear some here on Trib Live have mistaken my opinions on the Coronavirus (CV) outbreak. The problem is, I find it difficult to adequately express myself in 750 characters. But to clarify, I have never denied the CV outbreak is serious. However, I disagree with the draconian approach the authorities have chosen to address this crisis. There was a better way to address it that not only would have worked just as well if not better at controlling the outbreak, but which would not have completely trashed our once booming economy, trampled on our First Amendment and other rights, and caused financial, spiritual, mental, and physical harm to Americans. I detail that more moderate way in my extended comments. Click on my pic for those comments.
4/7/20


Record 16.8 million have sought U.S. jobless aid since virus

     Heartbreaking. Breathtaking. Devastating. It is hard to come up with the appropriate word to describe what has happened to our country’s economy. Of course, this is not surprising. Once the various levels of government all decided to use draconian measures to address the Coronavirus (CV) crisis, this was inevitable. But that does not lessen its impact. It is truly dreadful. So many lives ruined.

     A local talk show host calculated that 3,500 Pennsylvanians have lost their jobs for every life lost to the CV, and that was before today’s report. But what a 3,500: 1 ratio means is beyond me. Of course, many would say far more lives would be lost without those measures. But at what cost?

     And don’t forget to add in the lives lost to suicide, drug addiction, alcoholism, eating disorders, and domestic violence that are sure to be increased among those out of work. There’s also increased rates of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes due to inactivity, with gyms and many parks closed. Add in poor eating habits due to boredom or inability to afford or to go to the grocery store to get fresh produce, and many more lives will be lost over the coming months and years, as those bad habits will not suddenly go away when things get back to normal. And even then, many of these jobs will not come back, as many businesses will be forced to close permanently.
4/9/20


Religion Digest: Online worship services in the Alle-Kiski Valley

    This is so good to hear. But it still does not substitute for person-to-person contact of a church service or a home group Bible study. I do hope and pray those can come back soon. But in the meantime, online worship services will have to do.
4/9/20


How Western Pa. religious leaders are altering Easter sermons during coronavirus pandemic

 In whatever manner it is presented, the Gospel remains the same:

      1Now I make known to you*, brothers [and sisters], the Gospel, which I myself proclaimed to you*, which also you* received, in which also you* have stood, 2through which also you* are saved, if you* hold fast to which word [or, that word which] I myself proclaimed to you*, unless you* believed thoughtlessly [or, without reason].

            3For I handed down [or, delivered] to you* first what also I received, that Christ died on behalf of our sins according to the Scriptures 4and that He was buried and that He had been raised on the third day according to the Scriptures 5and that He appeared to Cephas [i.e., Peter], then to the twelve. 6Afterwards, He appeared to over five hundred brothers [and sisters] at once, of whom the greater part remain until now, but some also fell asleep [fig., have died]. 7Afterwards, He appeared to James, then to all the apostles (1Cor 15:1-7; ALT3).
4/11/20


Harmar closes township parks, soccer complex because of coronavirus

    Close the gyms, close the parks. Make it so no one can get any exercise, making them less healthy and more at risk for adverse consequences from the Coronavirus. That’s the dumb response we get from our authorities. Did it ever cross their minds that those people who are not social distancing while in the parks live in the same home together? As such, what difference does it make if they socially distance outside?
4/11/20


Harvard scientists: Some in U.S. will have to continue social distancing measures until 2022

    This is exactly what I warned about in an article I just posted this weekend, declaring, Come May One, I’m Done. Sorry, but this is just not going to happen. In fact, if it did., it would case far more harm than it would prevent.
4/15/20


5.2 million more seek unemployment aid as U.S. layoffs spread

     I can only repeat what I said about last week’s unemployment numbers, “Heartbreaking. Breathtaking. Devastating.” This just cannot continue much longer.
4/16/20


Pennsylvania orders businesses to turn away customers who don’t wear masks

      I had no problems with the recommendation to wear a mask. But I do have a problem with it becoming a requirement. Compare the government’s recommendations as to what constitutes a healthy diet. I am fine with the government making such recommendations, but I would be outraged if the government forced me to eat in the manner it thinks is best. “But it’s for your health.” That is same reasoning being used here.

      Moreover, since real medical grade masks are in short supply, is there any evidence homemade masks even work? And if they do, then why not open up all businesses with this requirement? But no, Gov. Wolfe vetoed that bill.
4/16/20


At-home workouts: Flatten your tummy as you flatten the curve

       People jumping around in their living rooms will last like one week, and that will be it. People will get bored with it. The gyms and parks need to be reopened now, before we end up with an even more unhealthy population that is more susceptible to adverse consequences from the Coronavirus.

       The authorities have it all wrong. Rather than trying to keep people from getting infected, they should be opening the parks and gyms and encouraging people to get out and exercise, to build up their immune systems, so that they are less likely to have adverse consequences if they do get infected.
4/16/20


Gov. Wolf: No specific date for ending covid-19 shutdown, getting ‘back to life as we once knew it’

    “Wolf said that uncertainty persists over just how well the first few weeks of mitigation efforts have been working, with the highly contagious coronavirus disease confirmed in all 67 counties and the statewide death toll topping 700.”

    If I am reading this correctly, Wolf is saying, “We are not sure if our draconian measures worked, but let’s continue them anyway.” What we do know is 100,000s of Pennsylvanians have lost their jobs due to these draconian measures. That is 100,000s of ruined lives, yet Wolf is not sure if it has been worth it, but he wants to continue it anyway. It just makes no sense.
4/17/20


Pro-Trump protesters push back on stay-at-home orders

     Back on March 18, I wrote:

    “To make a few predictions, yes, a two-week shutdown of the country will slow the spread of CV. But the two weeks will probably become four weeks, then six weeks, then eight weeks. At that point, Americans won’t be able to handle the isolation anymore, and the bans will have to be lifted.”

    I was right in that the initial two-week shutdown was extended, but I was wrong on the timetable on how long it would take for people to rebel. It only took four weeks not eight weeks to reach this point.
4/17/20


Quarantine 15: Stop the weight gain with a few painless steps

    “Quarantine 15” I hadn’t heard that before, but it is a good way to describe what I have been fearing is happening to Americans since the start of stay at home restrictions. Americans were by and large unhealthy to begin with, but then to close the gyms and parks and to cause mass unemployment was a surefire way to make them even more unhealthy. Too much time on our hands with little in the way of activity to engage in. That boredom is sure to lead to overeating and the resultant weigh gain.

     That said, this article is correct that the “Quarantine 15” is not inevitable. There are steps that can be taken to avoid it, and the recommendations here are very good. I especially like the “Control your portions” line. I’ve been saying that for years.
4/17/20


Coronavirus infections could be much more widespread than believed, California study suggests

    “Based on their results, the Stanford researchers estimated the mortality rate in Santa Clara County to be between 0.12% and 0.2%. By comparison, the average death rate of the seasonal flu is 0.1%.”

    This is exactly the point I have been trying to make all along. The number of people who have been infected but did not have adverse consequences will prove to be much higher than currently believed. As a result, the denominator (the number of cases) will increased dramatically. Consequently, the death rate (deaths/ cases) will plummet, and the Coronavirus will probably prove to be not much more lethal than the seasonal flu.
4/18/20


In nod to governors, Trump walks back total authority claim

    Amendment I (1791) Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

     Amendment X (1791) The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people (US Constitution).

    Trump had it right the first time when he said did not have the authority to force all states to institute stay at home orders. He was wrong when he said he had “total authority” to force all states to reopen. He is now right to delegate that decision to the states.

     However, note the phrase in Amendment X: “nor prohibited by it to the States.” NJ Gov Phil Murphy was on Tucker Carlson’s show on 4/15. Tucker asked him who gave him the authority to abridge the 1st Amendment, and Murphy responded, “I did not think of the Bill of Rights. That’s over my pay grade.” Unbelievable that a governor would be unconcerned about the Bill of Rights.
4/18/20


Donora widow recounts husband’s sudden health decline, death from covid-19

    My heart and prayers go out to Rebecca and the rest of Devin’s family. His death is tragic. But it is an outlier. The fast remains, the vast majority of people who die or have serious consequences from the Coronavirus (CV) are elderly and/ or have underlying heath conditions. Moreover, 10,000s of people die from the seasonal flu each year. Those deaths are just as tragic as CV deaths.

     However, we do not shut down our country, destroying people’s lives every flu season. But I fear we might start doing so, now that we have accepted such measures for the CV. I also wonder if we will see such articles when the suicide deaths begin to mount up.

     For my own recent experience with either the CV or the flu, see my two-part article Different Perspective in Dealing with the Coronavirus (Had Either COVID-19 or the Flu and Mostly Recovered in 35 Hours).


      I got a couple of critical comments to the above post on Trib Live. Below are my responses. I cannot reproduce their comments here, but I expanded my comments, so that you should get the gist of their comments from my reposes.

_________________________

      Actually, the time period for the flu and the CV is about the same. We now know the first CV deaths occurred by at least early February. With more testing, we would probably find it was here before that, in January or even December. That makes the time period more like four to five months. Similar to the flu. As more testing is done, we will probably find the death rate and the contagion rate of the CV are somewhat higher than the seasonal flu, hence the probable eventual somewhat higher death numbers. But those numbers need to be weighed against the tens of millions of unemployed and resultant deaths from suicides and other factors.

      I mentioned about most deaths from the CV being among the elderly and those with preexisting conditions here, not out disrespect to Devin, but to respond to people like you are trying to use this one outlier death to say, “See, I told you so. It affects the young and healthy also.” It was you who was showing disrespect by misusing it in that way. I did my best to respect Devin and this wife while correcting that misuse of his death. I document and explain all of this carefully in my extended comments, which I am sure you have never read.

      Moreover, you’re the one who is spreading disinformation by your continual use of the false name for this virus of “Trump pox.” As long as you insistent on using that term, you render all of your comments suspect.

_________________________

      If by “loyalty” you mean I am loyal to Trump, you are incorrect. If you read my most recent extended documents, you would see I am critical of the lack of testing and of other aspects of his approach to this crisis. You would also see my comments are well reasoned and documented. But it is hard to reproduce that exactness here given the 750 character limit and inability it link to webpages other than on Trib Live. But as I say on the main page, if you see something you think is inaccurate, please contact me. I will check it out and make corrections as need be.
4/22/20


Gov. Wolf: Northcentral, northwestern Pa. to be among first to reopen for business

     “gyms… will stay closed, according to the plan.”

       A recent study found the vast majority of people in New York who were hospitalized with complications from Coronavirus (CV) were obese, had hypertension, and/ or diabetes. The vast majority of people who died had diabetes.

      This is why I have been saying for weeks that the closing of gyms is idiotic. If you are someone with diabetes or hyperextension but who was keeping your blood sugar or blood pressure under control via exercise, then all of the sudden, you were forced to stop that exercise, it is inevitable that your blood sugar or pressure would skyrocket to dangerous levels very quickly. That would then put you in the hospital or worst the morgue if you contract the CV. Shame on Gov. Wolf.
4/23/20


‘Sassiness,’ ‘true grit’ help 2 elderly patients survive covid-19 at Excela Frick Hospital

     Finally, some good news in the midst of this crisis.
4/23/20


Gov. Wolf: Mental health resources available for pandemic stress, anxiety

    “Many of our typical ways of dealing with anxiety have been eliminated,” he said, citing gym closures, disrupted sleep and eating patterns and forced isolation.”

    Open the gyms and churches! Exercise and getting help in establishing or deepening one’s relationship with the LORD with other like-minded individuals will do far more for the mental health of Pennsylvanians than all of this gobbledygook.
4/27/20


Trump disinfectant remarks led to hundreds of hotline calls

       No, it wasn’t Trump’s actual remarks that caused this problem. It was the media’s misrepresentation of his remarks, claiming he was telling people to drink or inject bleach. Trump said nothing of the sort. But at least the AP got it half right, “Donald Trump wondered aloud.” That is what he was doing. He wasn’t telling people to do anything.

            See my article on this subject for further details: Did Trump Tell People to Drink Bleach?
4/27/20

10th resident dies from coronavirus at Kane’s Glen Hazel nursing home

 

    The ten deaths are tragic, and my prayers go out to their families. But I am encouraged by the fact that there have been 22 residents who have recovered from a Coronavirus (CV) infection. That means, just because a nursing home resident gets infected with the CV, that is not death sentence. That should be an encouragement to those with loved ones in a nursing home.
4/28/30


30 million have sought U.S. unemployment aid since virus hit.

 

      These latest jobs numbers have left me speechless and heartbroken. But at least this is the last day of Trump’s “45 days to slow the spread.” But Gov. Tom Wolf is only going to begin to reopen PA on May 8, and then only slowly and in phases.

      As such, even more jobs will be lost, many of them permanently. But even with these ongoing measures, more lives will be lost. I predicted that COVID-19 resurges would happen weeks ago when the shadows were eventually lifted and that the shutdowns would prove to have been unnecessary. But we will see how right I was in the days and weeks to come. I hope I am wrong, but I fear I will be right.
4/30/20


 

 

These commentaries are continued at: Coronavirus Trib Live News Articles Commentaries: May 2020.

Coronavirus Trib Live News Article Commentaries: April 2020 . Copyright 2020 by Gary F. Zeolla.

The above commentaries were posted in April 2020.

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