Skip to main content


Showing posts from July, 2020

COVID-19 - Lessons for the Next Pandemic

The first case of COVID-19 in the United States was reported on January 20 th .    Of course, this is akin to finding one termite in your garage and thinking that there are no others.   Of course, by January 20 th there were an unknown number of infected Americans who were silently and efficiently transmitting the virus to others.   It’s easy to say now what we all should have done then.   The rapidity of the explosion of worldwide infections has been staggering and humbling.   Compare the known infections and mortality in America today with the state of affairs on January 20 th , only 3 months ago.   Just prior to posting this, the known number of U.S. fatalities to COVID-19 is 150,000. For some perspective, our country lost over 58,000 individuals in the Vietnam War, but this horrible tragedy was the result of 8 bloody years, not just several months.   The current diabolical enemy is a merciless adversary.   Like a terrorist, it scares those who have not been infe

Do I Have to Wear a Mask?

“I have my rights!” “Don’t tell me what to do!” “This is a freedom issue!” All of us have rights.   Often, one person’s right to do or say something may collide with some else’s right.   One of our courts’ primary roles is to decide in these disputes whose has the better argument. These issues are not scored 100-0 in favor of the winner.   The decisions are nuanced as often both sides have a reasonable claim to argue. That's why the issue ended up in court.    And, as we know, the same set of facts might have led to a different result if a different judge or a different court had heard the case. I have heard and read about individuals who have refused to wear a mask because they argue it encroaches on their personal freedom.   They have a right to determine their own dress code and the government has no right to impose its will on individual citizens. We’ve heard similar arguments offered by businesses who wish to open up faster than the government or public health o

Is Coronavirus Different from the 'Flu'?

Early on, when the first coronavirus infections starting springing up in the U.S, I wondered if these infections and the threat they posed were truly qualitatively different from seasonal influenza.   As I became more informed, I recognized that the health experts were correct; this is not the flu. I was not persuaded, however, by the high mortality rates which were initially quoted.   Even today, we will hear and read that mortality rate for COVID-19 may be 10 times higher than that of seasonal flu, which is in the range of 0.1%.  We simply cannot make such an assertion authoritatively. The truth is that may be grossly overestimating COVID-19 mortality for a simple mathematical reason – we simply don’t know the extent of infected Americans who have mild disease or remain asymptomatic.  With widespread testing, we will likely verify that the percentage of COVID-19 fatalities is much lower than originally thought.  In simple terms, the larger the population segment there is with m

Independence Day 2020

This Independence Day is different from all others that I have experienced. We are so bitterly divided. We face the fury of a resurgent pandemic. We cannot even agree if wearing a face mask is the right thing to do. Tens of millions of Americans have been thrown out of work. Our politics is increasingly poisonous.  Anger and frustration over racial injustice has erupted. How do we move forward? Will we be able to celebrate the day with the 'bonfires and illuminations' that John Adams forecast? The Whistleblower ”I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with   Shews , Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.” John Adams