Ground Zero, Recent Shows
3/20/20: THE EDGE OF THE CORONAREVERSE W/ DAVID OATES

MONOLOGUE WRITTEN BY CLYDE LEWIS

Illinois joined New York and California in lockdowns to curb coronavirus spread, as the Governor announced a “shelter in place” order on Friday. The order, limiting all residents to stay in their homes unless absolutely essential, goes into effect at 5pm on Saturday and will last until April 7, Governor J.B. Pritzker said.

As COVID-19 cases continue to climb, Illinois is the latest U.S. state to take strict steps to help tackle the deadly virus.

Between New York, California and Illinois, more than 70 million residents are now being ordered to stay home amid the pandemic.

This accounts for more than 20 percent of the U.S. that is now under lockdown.

With more than 14,600 cases and 210 deaths confirmed in America, different state governments have taken varying levels of action ordering people to stay at home or to limit gatherings.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Friday ordered all “non-essential” workers to remain home.

The “essential” places allowed to remain open include grocery stores, hospitals, and pharmacies.

We are told that this will go on for weeks – maybe months,

People of course are conforming because what choice do they have?

As I said weeks ago, the logic of consequence is what we always have to conform to.

According to the logic of consequence, we choose our actions like a good economist: weighing up the costs and benefits of the alternative options in the light of our personal objectives. This is how we get what we want.

But there is also a second logic, the logic of appropriateness. According to this, outcomes, good or bad, are often of secondary importance – we often choose what to do by asking “What is a person like me supposed to do in a situation like this”?

The idea is backed up by psychological research. Human social interactions depend on our tendency to conform to unwritten rules of appropriate behavior. Most of us are truthful, polite, don’t cheat when playing board games and follow etiquette. We are happy to let judges or football referees enforce rules. A recent study showed we even conform to arbitrary norms.

The logic of appropriateness is self-enforcing – we disapprove of, ostracize or report people who lie or cheat. Research has shown that even in anonymous, experimental “games”, people will pay a monetary cost to punish other people for being uncooperative.

In an extreme example, multiple police departments in Southern California say they have been receiving more 911 calls from residents concerned that their coughing neighbor may have the coronavirus.

Residents there think that the authorities should check on the welfare of those that are coughing as if they are criminals.

Given the circumstances, authorities have been treating each call seriously. In most cases, paramedics are dispatched to the area to provide necessary medical attention before transporting the person to a hospital.

While many of us have decided to do the responsible thing by keeping our distance in social settings and staying home in order to slow the spread of COVID-19, the media now I believe has a responsibility not only to relay information about the virus  but they need to tone down the fear mongering and the political digging in the middle of the press conferences that re meant to give valuable information to the public.

When people are hunkered down in their homes and are needing to know what is next we seem to have a few reporters that wish to ask loaded questions to the President or even reporters that ask softball questions that are obviously there to prop up the political agendas that are immune to the pandemic – leaving us wishing that there was a virus that was available to get these embarrassing journalists to learn ethics.

It is quite hollow for reporters to ask questions about what the President has to say to bring calm to the country when they really don’t care what he says and are just waiting to find something they can exploit for the benefit of their own interests.

The American people deserve better and anyone that can still hold on to their political arrogance in this moment in time is an even bigger threat to the country than the virus we are supposed to be fighting.

Fear is contagious: Fear is more contagious than any virus could ever be, and the media has really fed the fear factor when it comes to the coronavirus.

The media is also demonstrating how stupidity is contagious especially the younger less seasoned journalists that think that Americans care either way over whether or not addressing the flu as the Chinese of Wuhan virus is racist or not.

Maybe the reporters can start a Facebook poll and ask the cancel culture on the beaches if we should rename the Spanish Flu?  I am sure that would certainly give Americans the peace of mind they need as they remain in their homes, out of work and hungry.

My sarcasm may not be appropriate for some but I just can’t take the petty nature of the media in this crisis.

Adding to the problem, the Center for Disease Control allowed the virus to spread in the United States out of an act of pure stupidity. The CDC refused to allow testing of those with coronavirus symptoms unless they had visited certain areas of China. And what about those who were exposed at airports, restaurants and stores? People died of the coronavirus in the United States before the CDC diagnosed a single case.

Because most of those infected are asymptomatic the scope of the spread of COVID-19 could only have been accurately measured by random testing. But months after the first actual warning from China there were not even enough test kits produced in the United States to test those with symptoms. Random testing still is impossible. Even citizens returning from hotspots in the first half of March were not tested at airports.

The headlines about seven dead in Seattle the first week of March emptied out stores and brought commerce to a standstill in that city. Shops and restaurants emptied out. With no guidance from federal, state of local officials the panic buying spread throughout the United States endangering the lives of millions of people as they coughed, sneezed and fought each other over toilet paper in Costco stores nationwide.

When the CDC began to test those with symptoms who had not been to China, the numbers exploded. As President Trump pointed out in his announcement most of those coronavirus cases came from Europe. But the CDC did not test anyone coming from Europe with the symptoms of the coronavirus despite the headline news of the virus outbreak there. Why?

Two days ago I reported on Ground Zero that there were some promising remedies available to treat COVID-19. 

The antiviral drug, called Favipiravir or Avigan, showed positive outcomes in clinical trials involving 340 individuals in Japan and China. The drug also seemed to shorten the duration of a patient’s fever from an average of 4.2 days to 2.5 days, according to Pharmaceutical Technology.

Meanwhile, Remdesivir, which was created by Gilead Sciences, has been reported as the most promising possible treatment for the virus because it is a “broad spectrum” drug that has shown effectiveness against various viral targets in lab testing.

President Trump mentioned in a press conference yesterday that he was briefed about another promising drug that also is used to treat Malaria. Trump said that the use of hydroxychloroquine, looked promising to him as a drug that might help.

With the spread of the coronavirus across the world and increasing numbers of infected people, there’s now an international race to develop effective treatments for Covid-19.

But of course this was met with all sorts of derision.

What is the deal with hydroxychloroquine, you ask?

Hydroxychloroquine, a less-toxic derivative of chloroquine, another malaria drug, has emerged as one of the frontrunners. Chloroquine itself is related to quinine, an ingredient in tonic water.

Hydroxychloroquine, the less toxic version, is an appealing option mainly because it’s an off-the-shelf drug. Companies know how to make it, there are low-cost generic versions available, and the drug has already been tested and approved for use against malaria and to treat inflammation in conditions like arthritis.

While authorities are arguing over whether or not acetaminophen or Ibuprophen helps eases symptoms you can see that the only option is Lockdown rather than distribution or prescription of drugs that have already been approved for use and safety.

Does this make any sense – do we have to prolong this shelter in place when there are other options?

I must be missing something, somewhere.

Back during the Anthrax scare of 2001, postal workers were required to take Cipro which has nasty side effects as it was a very potent antibiotic that creates stomach distress. It also would affect some patients ability to make bone marrow.

Then government health officials began to recommend doxycycline, believed equally effective in treating anthrax, because they feared some common bacteria could become resistant to Cipro if it were overprescribed. It’s also cheaper and more available than Cipro.

Cipro’s manufacturer, Bayer Corporation said  that the drug’s safety was chronicled in 32,000 publications, and that it was proven effective not only against anthrax, but in alleviating a host of urinary tract infections – especially acute cystitis in women – and against inflammation of the prostate gland in men. Unlike other antibiotics, Bayer said that Cipro also remains effective against E. coli, even after 13 years of treating the bug.

The Physician’s Desk Reference reports that of 2,799 patients who took Cipro during clinical investigations, 16.5 percent had adverse reactions that were possibly or probably related to the drug. The most frequently reported reactions: nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal discomfort, headache, restlessness and rashes.

More serious but much rarer effects include hallucinations, depression, gastrointestinal bleeding, kidney failure, joint problems or heart attacks, occurring in less than 1 percent of patients.

And yet after the initial anthrax scare about 19% of more than 3,000 postal workers who took ciprofloxacin to prevent complications from anthrax exposure reported having “severe” gastrointestinal side effects, but only 2% sought medical attention for them, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Even with the known side effects the government issued the mandate. There were no lockdowns or shelter in place threats – people had the choice to take an antibiotic with severe side effects in order to avoid getting worse.

All the bureaucrats think they are far smarter and superior to those they serve, and as a result they come to very intellectually stupid conclusions.

The American people need to realize that while we should heed the warnings about the virus, we must also question appropriateness of the measures to suspend civil rights.

Again to be clear I am not saying that we should defy orders – it is important to stop the spread – I am just curious as to when these elites will actually do something productive and the media will stop their petty political agendas to ask the right questions instead of softball political ass kissing and poisonous verbal traps in order to get a story that is the equivalent of shoddy click bait.

This country is not only suffering because of COVID-19 but they are also suffering from the Hubris-Nemesis complex.

This complex involves a combination of hubris which is a pretension toward an arrogant form of godliness and nemesis a vengeful desire to confront, defeat, humiliate, and punish an adversary, especially one that can be accused of hubris.

The combination has strange dynamics that may lead to destructive, high-risk behavior.

It is also expressed as pride goeth before the fall.

The ancient Greek version of pride goes before a fall, was hubris begets nemesis. Hubris is broader than pride, including arrogance, overconfidence, and overreaching. Nemesis was a goddess whose name meant “giving what is due” 

Over the past decade or so, there has been a vast increase in movies and TV shows that revolve around super, magical, extraordinary, and special powers — indeed, around scripts and roles filled with hubris and nemesis dynamics. Some of these shows are fun entertainment. But there is so much of this now, it may not only reflect something amiss in our society but also be serving to tilt people in less rational directions, away from preferences for ordinary narratives and explanations.

We know to be wary of demagoguery, but “plutogoguery” also has perils. Especially if it promotes elite psychological patterns that history warns against.

We need to remember Memento Mori and that men are not Gods or external saviors.

When the people grab their torches and pitchforks they need to remember who created the virus. It was a result of bioweapons research. It originated in China and if China can’t get their proverbial fecal matter in check then perhaps it is time to embrace populism in the face of this virus.

America needs to stop relying on the global plantation to fill its supply chain especially with a country whose government has abused its position and has told us that it’s government model will be the norm for the world.

The virus came from Wujan and for some reason, perhaps out of respect we are calling it COVID-19 and now we are questioning if this is appropriate—does this help anyone?

Following a media narrative that President Trump is “racist” for calling COVID-19 the ‘Chinese virus’, the New York Times has now deleted the word ‘Wuhan’ from its coronavirus tracking map.

The media in its hubris is now elevating Chinese propaganda.

Meanwhile editors over at Wikipedia are desperately trying to change the name of the 1918 Spanish influenza article to remove the word ‘Spanish’ despite it being commonly known as that for over a hundred years.

By removing the word ‘Spanish’, editors obviously hope they can convince the public that naming viral outbreaks after the region in which they originated is not normal, even though it has been the case since records began.

I have warned people about Wikipedia, saying that it is not objective. You can understand how inaccurate they are as they list me as a gold medal swimmer.

In May of 2018, I was fed up with all of the lies that it said about me that I demanded my listeners to attempt to make changes – my detractors called it vandalism and Wikipedia deleted me. For at least a year my photo was associated with an Australian Olympic gold medalist from Australia.

The fact that Wikipedia and the New York Times is doing this shows their politically correct virtue signaling which is the newly accepted form of hubris.

It was China’s hubris that brought us COVID-19 and it is our hubris that may destroy us.

Virtue signaling pronouncements lack any recognition of the moral, political, social and financial crises facing the American people, and are devoid of any practical, politically/financially painful first-aid measures to the decline we are witnessing.

Can someone please answer as to what are those “kicking at Trump” proposing as solutions to the profound problems that are now afflicting us because of COVID-19?

They all must think that they will have a supportive guild of sheep that will support them when the smoke clears.

If they do, then you know the fix is in. They know that the more they tighten their grip in the time of crisis that they will reluctantly let go of all of the power that they have gained.

We will not only have to beat the COVID-19 attack but we will also have to take back our constitutional rights because they are not going to be handed back to us once this is over – that is, if it ever ends.

It all depends on the state of the state in our new virus political economy.

Virtue signaling doesn’t signal virtue it signals decline and collapse. When I spoke of the Ides of march and the fall of Rome the other day I explained that we may want to pay attention to the tragedy of Caesar and the effects of divide and decimation.

Just as in 5th century Rome, we can now see that we are an empire careening toward collapse – those reaping the gains are complacently confident in their moral superiority while their hubris-soaked intellectual sclerosis blinds them to the systemic plethora of consequences that will soon choke their precious self-serving status quo.

Millions around the country are just realizing how serious this is. Some have already realized that the future is not going to be pleasant.

People now are feeling the pain of jobs and incomes that have suddenly disappeared. Many well-known businesses that barely could keep up appearances are now staring into the abyss. Retirements vaporizing.

Everyone is now being told to stay in their homes with nothing to think about but going broke and hungry. And the final indignity: the possibility of death if you stray outside to get something you need or even look up into the blue skies of spring.

The officials are giving us platitudes and the media creates spats with the authorities for their own selfish notches on their belts and President Trump either gets angry or stares through his non tanned eyes like a deer in the headlights.

In the face of the COVID-19 virus it seems that the media and social media has launched into some arrogant adolescent rebellion. There is no time for folding, or quitting, or losing our minds.

It is a time for strength in the face of this adolescent hubris.