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These Doctors Urge Don't Panic Over a Supposed Second Wave

06-20-2020
A patient is given a COVID-19 test by a medical worker outside Brooklyn Hospital Center (AP Photo)
A patient is given a COVID-19 test by a medical worker outside Brooklyn Hospital Center (AP Photo)

A group of doctors who believe the lockdowns are more harmful to health than the coronavirus are backing up Vice President Mike Pence’s assertion that there won’t be a horrifying second wave of COVID-19 as the mainstream media keep insisting there will be.

The news organizations speak of soaring numbers of cases in many states as if that’s proof the coronavirus is about to bludgeon the nation again.

Here’s what Pence recently wrote in the Wall Street Journal: “The media has tried to scare the American people every step of the way, and these grim predictions of a second wave are no different.”

Media ‘Ginning Up the Concept of a Second Wave’

Emergency physician Simone Gold said she’s watched the media get it wrong over and over again the last few months of the pandemic.

“The disconnect between the media and the reality on the ground was a huge problem throughout this,” Gold commented.  “And I’m very concerned that we’re about to see the same thing again, where the media is really ginning up the concept of a second wave, but yet the data doesn’t support it.”

Soaring COVID case numbers can be explained by the simple fact that so many more Americans are getting tested now than were at the start of the pandemic.

From 8,000 Tests to 500,000 a Day

As Pence put it in his op-ed, “At the end of February, between Centers for Disease Control and Prevention labs and state public health facilities, the U.S. had performed only about 8,000 coronavirus tests. As of this week, we are performing roughly 500,000 tests a day.”

Gold stated, “There are so many people being tested every day, of course, they’re going to have more positive cases.”

She added, “I need the media to understand that most of the increased numbers are because of increased testing and increased access to testing.”

And the facts on the ground are showing the virus isn’t nearly as deadly as people first feared.  Yes, multitudes of new positive cases are being found, but in the vast majority, the carriers don’t get sick enough to require hospitalization, or even turn out to be asymptomatic altogether.   

Gold pointed to the example of a family of 11 she recently had tested on a Native American reservation, saying, “All 11 came in to get tested.  It turns out 10 of the 11 were positive. One of the 11 had symptoms. So those are all going to go down as positive cases.  One had symptoms.  Even that one person who had symptoms wasn’t nearly sick enough to require hospitalization.”

Fear Can Lead to Drastic Actions that do More Harm

And that’s the problem with the fear created by talk of a second wave as case numbers go up.  Drastic actions that might end up doing more harm than good could be taken to combat such a wave for fear it will bring many more coronavirus deaths or severe illnesses.

But, as Gold explains, “Increasing numbers of cases that don’t result in hospitalizations or ICU admissions is not a public health catastrophe.”   

And most of the cases now being discovered won’t need hospitalization.

Family physician David Williams backed this up with numbers he’s seen in his state of Alabama. For instance, among college football teams.

“Every single campus is testing every single player,” he explained. “So we’ve tested in Auburn. You’re talking 100 players plus per squad with backups and walk-ons and that sort of thing.  And we’ve had a total of eight or nine positive, none of which knew they had it.”

Williams added, “If you’re going to have surgery in Alabama, you have to have a test ahead of time.  So you’re testing every single person who’s going to have outpatient surgery.  The vast majority of course test negative.  But even those who do test positive, don’t know they have it.”

With Coronavirus, ‘You Almost have to be Ill to Become Ill’

Now he was quick to say this virus is real and has caused much real suffering.  He points to the many elderly in nursing homes already ill with other maladies who’ve been cut down by the virus.

But that led him to point out, “You almost have to be ill to become ill with this disease.”   

Gold chimed in that a publication in the Los Angeles area reported about coronavirus victims, “93 percent of people who died had underlying health conditions.”

She quoted CDC stats on COVID-19 victims that show, “Two-thirds of patients who died – among females are age 75 and over and in males are age 65 and over.”

She concluded, “We should not be scaring the general population.”

Those who are aren’t elderly, who don’t have pre-existing conditions that could make them vulnerable to becoming very sick from this virus, aren’t likely to have serious trouble if they catch it.  And indeed may never know they had it.

Which makes it so sad that mostly unfounded fears of a deadly encounter with the virus have caused so much other real suffering.

Stroke & Heart Attack Victims Risking Their Lives All Over Again

Gold quoted staggering numbers of people with other dangerous conditions being so afraid of catching the virus, they won’t go to hospitals or even their doctor’s office.

She mentioned, “The New England Journal of Medicine commented in May that about 40 percent of stroke patients went missing.  Another comment in the Journal of Cardiology said about 40 percent of heart attack victims went missing.”

These doctors blame the media for much of this fear that’s keeping people from getting desperately needed medical attention or even keeping doctors from opening their offices.  

Blindness & Amputations that Didn’t Have to Happen

A group allied with these doctors is Tea Party Patriots.  Its honorary chair Jenny Beth Martin said, “In the last week, I’ve seen this talk of a second wave.  And I’m concerned that people across the country will begin to be afraid again.  And it may cause them to have other non-COVID related medical issues.” 

Meanwhile, Martin has been furious over, "The very real-life consequences that the lockdowns were creating that the media was not reporting, such as permanent blindness because people were afraid to go get treatment when they had sudden vision loss or because their doctor's office was not open.  And a larger number than usual of amputations because people with diabetic wounds were not getting those treated.”

The constant fear plus the loneliness from lockdown-caused isolation and the economic despair from so many businesses shuttered or destroyed has sent suicidal impulses soaring.

Calls Soar from 80 to 1,800 at a Suicide Hotline

Child and adolescent psychiatrist Mark McDonald spoke of what he’d heard from the director of a suicide hotline located about a mile from his Los Angeles practice.

He said, “In the month of February, she had received 80 phone calls to her center.  In the month of March, she had received 1,800. That scared me because I knew that the people that I treat are the people who make those phone calls.”

McDonald added, “I’ve been incredibly concerned, particularly on the impact to children, by the fear that is still here with us, and that continues as long as we don’t fully reopen our society.”

'They are Scared. They are So Afraid of Dying’

The psychiatrist gave an example involving a dad he knows who recently proposed to his children they all go to the beach.   

He said the man’s eight-year-old daughter began crying and gripped on to him, saying, “‘Daddy, we can’t go to the beach.’  And he said, ‘Why?’  She said, ‘Because, Daddy, there are people at the beach.’  That really struck me, and it struck me not because it was an outlier. It struck me because I hear this from my children in my practice and their parents every single day. They are scared. They are so afraid of dying.”

All that fear is so ironic when stacked up against the actual facts.  McDonald said statistics from the CDC show, “Not a single child in the state of California has died from coronavirus. Zero. We also know that children are essentially immune from this with very, very rare exceptions.  And they also don’t transmit it to other people, particularly to adults.”

Coming for Kids: Huge Increase in Mental Illness

The real harm that’s coming to children is caused by the lockdowns, according to McDonald.

He said of the nation’s children, “We are keeping them locked down or under a very short leash, which is leading to terrible, terrible emotional disorders, panic disorders, social anxiety disorders, social phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorders.  And we are going to pay the price the longer that we do not reopen in a huge increase in mental illness in children.”

Jenny Beth Martin returned to the harm fear is causing in this pandemic.  She spoke of a 48-year-old father of three who refused to go early in this pandemic to the hospital after he got a nasty cut on his hand.

Fear Turns a Cut on a Hand Into a Death

She recounted, “Eventually the cut became so infected that he did seek medical treatment in the hospital.  He was admitted into the ICU, and 12 hours after being admitted into the ICU, he died from an infection from that cut on his hand.  And the doctor who wrote about this said he would never forget the look on this patient’s wife’s face and what she said: ‘I don’t understand. It was just a cut on his hand. I don’t understand. How can this be happening?’  And the doctor said, ‘It should not be happening. Fear is what prevented him from initially seeking medical treatment when he needed it.’”

She concluded, “I don’t think that most of the mainstream media understands the problems that the fear is creating.”

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