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What We Don't Know

What We Don't Know

When the pandemic hit the west we were told that the virus had a morbidity rate of under one percent. Then we were told it was more like three and a half percent. Now we're told it is roughly ten times as deadly as the flu. In other words, we don't know. We do know this, however. When the epidemic first hit China that country estab lished a world record by building whole hospitals from the bottom up in a couple of weeks. The viral spread was rapid, and the government's response to it was both rapid and brutal. If someone refused to leave home and be quarantines, the authorities used a blow torch on the doors to trap Chinese home owners in their own houses. Now we're faced with the rapid spread of the corona-virus in the west, and we're seeing extreme actions taken to slow that spread and to protect the vulnerable elderly. The fear is (based on what we've seen in China and Ita The fear is (based on what we've seen in China and Italy) that the number of hospitalizations may soon outstrip our nation's hospital capacity. I just heard New York's governor calling on the federal government to deploy the corps of engineers to build temporary overflow hospitals and to supply them with equipment stored away for times of war. That is assuming, of course, that such equipment is stored away and is the right kind of equipment for dealing with the current health emergency. Meanwhile, of course, there is a push to produce and Meanwhile, of course, there is a push to produce and test a vaccine to prevent the disease. We understand that a prototype has already begun testing (and that humans rather than animals are being used for that testing in order to speed things along). Even while this is happening, the Chinese are attempting to blame the American military for creating the virus and subjecting the Chinese to it. The United States, for its part, is concerned that a Chinese laboratory (one of only six in the world) with the capacity to produce bacteriological weapons is located in the area where the corona-virus originally broke out. As things stand right now the debate on responsibility As things stand right now the debate on responsibility will have to remain on the shelf since both governments are too busy fighting the virus to waste time on recriminations. One thing we ...

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