This time, it’s not the economy, stupid.

Congress just laid a giant turd of a response to the Coronavirus crisis, offering a measly $1200 per person, 1 time, that’s needs-based on a tax return. First, the size of this offering is pathetic and won’t do a damn thing to alleviate the other issues that are crashing down on people across the country, and two, they are still worried about picking winners and losers in the economy.

The economy doesn’t matter. That’s the part they don’t get.

It won’t be the same economy ever again. Even years after the Coronavirus has been put away, the after effects of this global pandemic will live on for a long time. People won’t just flock back to movie theaters or concert halls. Arts organizations will be starting at ground zero, as people are trying to pick up from the financial carnage that is taking place.

The health care industry is going to try to ask for bailouts, and try their normal attempts to charge $50 for .50 bag of saline and $3000 a day just to come in to die on a cot. Insurance companies will try to pass the buck, saying a pandemic is an act of god and we’re not covering it. Banks are already playing games saying they will let you skip 3 months of mortgage- but then it’s all due lump sum.

But, this is just the part these mental midgets in Congress are thinking about. It hasn’t entered their heads what could happen if people who don’t get checks, the large underbelly of the cash economy, runs out of money to buy groceries or drugs (legal and illegal) or pay their rents. Sure, no one’s getting evicted right now, but if you think foodbanks can feed the hungry during this, you’re on drugs.

Crime will blow through this country like it’s never been seen before. We’re not going to put folks in jails which will soon be full of dying inmates, we won’t enough healthy police to stop the riots. Anarchy will happen- and happen fast. That’s why putting money in peoples hands right away, and realistic amounts is the most important thing Congress could do- and the only caveat is, if you get caught doing something bad- your money stops. $1000 a month per person, no matter what age, or income level, on a card, every month.

As to all the financial markets, rents, mortgages, loans, interest rates, insurance payments, and the like- the giant FIRE industry, Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, needs to just be put on ice. Freeze it all, until we make it though this. If millions die, it could possibly be such a shock to the standard constructs that they will implode anyway. The health care industry/insurance complex is already in for a shock when no one will be willing or able to pay for “Coronavirus care” anyway- at least not at their hyper-inflated prices that they’ve built their model on. The feds (which means us little people- not the corporations who find tax loopholes and ways to become billionaires without paying taxes) will bail them out- and we’ll be paying back that $1200 times 100.

2 weeks ago, I wrote that the only solution is a global siesta. Now, it’s even more obvious that it was the right approach. Unfortunately, congress didn’t read it- or doesn’t care. They are too busy worrying about their donor base instead of the people who ultimately elected them. If you hear anyone call it a “stimulus” package, you know they don’t get it. The correct word is “survival.”

This has to change.

Coronavirus response for communities: Medical segregation

The Coronavirus pandemic is a test of leadership like no other. It calls for hard decisions and unconventional solutions.

The first thing to clearly understand is to not treat those who are infected with the virus as a medical problem. This isn’t what your health care system was built for. Don’t let the mistake of thinking because doctors treat illness, they are equipped or trained or stocked with the tools to manage this. They are not. They need to be here to manage the heart attacks, appendicitis, kidney stones etc that they are trained and practiced at treating.

There is no magic wand a doctor can wave or medicines a doctor can prescribe that will reverse the course of this pandemic. They shouldn’t be at the frontlines- you don’t need them to put people on ventilators or start PIC lines. Others can do that. They don’t need to look at a patient or reassure a patient in person- use telemedicine. After they’ve ruled out all the other possibilities- of regular flu, or other illness- they should admit patients to Covid wards- which are NOT in hospitals- and tended by people who are truly well protected.

Isolate the seriously ill, with others who are seriously ill- because we can’t have it anywhere else if we hope to stop it.

Haz mat suit DuPont Tychem 10000 Level A SuitThese giant wards should be in convention centers, large warehouses, large temporary structures, school gyms, buildings that are easy to clean, and have only 2 points of entry. A clean entrance where food, supplies are prepared for entry- and a dirty exit where the people and things coming out- are sanitized and sterilized. You don’t use standard disposable PPE gear if you can avoid it- you use a full haz mat suit, and it is sanitized and reused for the next person in. We can’t make enough PPE gear to throw it away multiple times a day in addressing the number of patients.

If your local fire department doesn’t have a decontamination station, turn to the National Guard, or build one yourself. Take a look at what one looks like.

Decontamination Station Decontamination Station

Decontamination Station Soldiers participate in simulated decontamination operations with mock casualties during a joint training exercise with Miami-Dade County first responders in Miami, Jan. 11, 2018. The soldiers are assigned to the 414th Chemical Company. Army photo by Spc. P.J. Siquig

Does the entry to your hospital look like this? Does the exit? Again, hospitals are for medical conditions, the Coronavirus is a pandemic condition, do not mix or mistake the two. The key is to keep the coronavirus patients somewhere you can manage large numbers of them- using the same gear, and not risking your care providers lives.

People will survive the virus in these facilities- if you are worried about “cross contamination, erect barriers- with sheets, plastic sheeting- the virus can’t travel up on it’s own, and so cross contamination is only from bed to bed by caregivers, and adequate spacing can solve that. It is much easier to clean a mass facility than it is to do individual rooms, nooks and crannies and all.

Reports have come in that in Spain they are filling ice rinks with bodies. You may not have ice rinks. It will become an issue, so start trying to find cold storage facilities. You’ll also have to find a way to make 02 for all the ventilators- and patients. It’s going to be critical.

If you don’t keep the virus and your hospital separate, you will be prolonging your battle for no good reason. The biggest problem is people who present with both the corona virus and other emergency medical conditions. That’s where the use of single use PPE comes in. You should also build a separate hospital for these cases- or at least wall off parts of yours to make it work. The Chinese are even opening wards run by robots. Seriously.

Do not count on for profit hospital administrators or public health commissioners to know what to do. This isn’t in their wheelhouse. Ideally, your National Guard has people who have trained for chemical warfare, and have a better understanding on how to manage this.

Until testing supplies become readily available, save your tests for regular admissions and for medical staff, and keep your medical teams small, segregated and tracked. That way if someone does get infected, the loss of resources while they quarantine is minimal.

Please realize, that there is no return back to what was before, we will be in a brave new world once this crisis passes. We may be without a lot of people, and some behaviors may forever be changed. How you choose to lead in your community is up to you, but making hard decisions and following through with them is what will make the difference.

And if you are asking where these ideas came from, or wondering do I have a PhD? Sorry, I’m just a former paratrooper who reads a lot and was trained in unconventional warfare. I hope that’s good enough, or at least you understand that you have to “think different” when the rules change.

 

 

Buy our president, please?

Dr Evil offers Trump $50B to resignIt’s pretty obvious that Donald Trump loves money.

He’s more worried about the imploding of the American economy than millions dying.

He reached out to North Korea to offer pandemic help, after blaming their biggest supporters for causing this pandemic. He’s so far out of touch with the science and math of this, that in the aftermath, he may end up being tried for “Crimes against humanity“- the charges that were brought against Nazi War Criminals in the Nuremberg trials.

It’s already apparent that Congress doesn’t have the balls to stand up to him. Generals have departed quietly instead of overruling his distorted views of law and order and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

The only hope may be that the world’s billionaires come together to offer a deal. Trump loves to believe he’s the worlds greatest deal maker in the universe. The deal is simple, Trump can be the “World’s richest man” as long as he abdicates office, and goes to live with one of his buddies, Vladimir Putin or Kim Jong Un.

I don’t have the answer to who should take his place. If we really were going to buy out the President, may as well continue and buy out every member of Congress who has served more than 1 term and start from scratch. It’s pretty obvious, that the person we should have been listening to was the World’s previously richest man, Bill Gates. You know the one who gave a TED talk in 2015 warning us to prepare.

President Gates, Vice President Jeff Bezos, Senate Majority Leader Bloomberg, House Majority leader Mark Cuban? Are you ready to put your money where your mouths are?

Because if Trump is allowed to continue, the world as we know it may be as empty as the space between the orange ones ears.

The Universal Ventilator Solution

In WWII the United States ramped up to build the weapons of war at an incredible pace.

Indeed, Roosevelt’s faith in American industrial productivity and innovation was vindicated. Examples abound. During the war, the Army’s Detroit tank arsenal and other sources produced over 45,000 M-4 medium tanks in fifteen variations. In 1941, German factories produced 3,256 tanks; U.S factories 4,052. In 1942, the numbers were 4,098 and 24,997, respectively, and the Germans — despite efforts which more than doubled production levels — never came close thereafter.34 In 1943 alone, U.S. factories made over 4.4 billion .50 caliber machine gun cartridges.

Source: https://www.history.navy.mil/research/library/online-reading-room/title-list-alphabetically/g/gearing-up-victory.html

In the fight against the Coronavirus, we need to ramp up the production of ventilators at a pace that has never been seen before. The only way to do it is to pick a single ventilator design, and open source the entire plans, and specs- and ask everyone and anyone who can manufacture parts to do so. Starting yesterday.

It doesn’t have to be the most technically advanced ventilator- it probably should be the one that’s easiest to sterilize, the one that can do multiple patients at once. We’ll need supplies for it as well. Those too, have to be open sourced. With the internet, we have the ability to share the plans, and coordinate production in a way that we never imagined in WWII. If we had competent leadership – this would have been happening already.

It’s also clear that we are going to need to ramp up the production of oxygen. We’re going to need to build decontamination stations, to place outside the new Corona camp field hospitals. We’ll also need to make personal protective equipment in the same way. Pick a standard, and start production as fast as possible.

In WWII our ability to build huge numbers of B17’s, Sherman Tanks and M1 rifles, was a big part of the reason we won the war. The bravery of those on the front lines was another. We’ll have people who will bravely fight this battle, but, without the right tools they will not be as effective. We have to mobilize now.

There are people working on an open source ventilator, but, why not just pick something tested and ramp it up? The Brits are already working on this.

Without an exponential build capacity of ventilators, we won’t win. Let’s build the B-17 ventilator, now.

Leadership in times of CoronaCrisis

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) released a sweeping proposal to deal with the economic turmoil caused by the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and ensuing panic.

The plan, in basic form, would “would immediately provide a U.S. Debit Card pre-loaded with $2000 to every person in America. Each card would be recharged with $1,000 monthly until one year after the end of the Coronavirus crisis,” according to a copy of the legislation.

The funds would be distributed in the following way:

a. The pre-paid cards would be distributed as U.S. Debit Cards and would be administered by the U.S. Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service.
b. These pre-paid digital cash cards could be used to withdraw physical currency at regular ATMs or FDIC-insured banks or credit unions or make payments at Point-of-Sale terminals, as well as online. In addition, these cards could be topped-up with additional funds as needed, during and after the crisis.
c. All cardholder and interchange fees associated with use of distributed cards would be waived for the duration of the Coronavirus crisis.
d. The program would establish a common database of recipients identified by name and/or, where available, Employer Identification Numbers (EINs). Identifying information would not be shared with any other federal, state, or local agency…

One of the more interesting aspects of the proposed quick-fix law is the price-tag for the massive expenditure: it’s actually deficit-neutral.

Source: Rep. Rashida Tlaib Proposes $1,000 Monthly Coronavirus Payments | Law & Crime

We also need to get smarter people in charge of health care. Yesterday. For profit hospital execs don’t know how to manage emergency response to a pandemic. In fact very few people really understand the scope and scale of what we’re up against. No hospital should be admitting Coronavirus patients or people who have tested positive. These facilities need to stand and be clean for the everyday heart attacks, kidney stones, construction actions, cuts, burns and cancer care.

We need to build emergency Covid19 “Dirty” hospitals- in close proximity to every health care facility. These would be split into wards of people based on levels of care needed, and the minimum number of people  should be tending to them, wearing haz mat suits- with constant decontamination. For most patients, they need O2 and we should be gearing up how to supply O2 in these buildings en masse. Ventilators need to be rigged to service as many people as possible (people are coming up with ways to do this). The “single room isolation” approach isn’t even remotely practical so we should stop trying. The key here is preserving life- and for that- we still need to be able to birth babies, take out an appendix or treat cancer. The two can’t mix easily.

Don’t take my word for it. This was in the NY Times today:

Instead of a policy that advises the infected to remain at home, as the Centers for Disease and Prevention now does, experts said cities should establish facilities where the mildly and moderately ill can recuperate under the care and observation of nurses.

Wuhan created many such centers, called “temporary hospitals,” each a cross between a dormitory and a first-aid clinic. They had cots and oxygen tanks, but not the advanced machines used in intensive care units.

Source: Coronavirus Can Be Stopped Only by Harsh Steps, Experts Say – The New York Times

Stopping the spread is critical, and for this to work, we’re going to have to work hard to adapt quickly. Picklist grocery shopping should become the norm. If you’re not online- call in the order, have it picked and ready when you come to pick it up. This means Costco down to the small independent grocery. Allowing people to line up, to walk through the same checkout- all day long- is too big of a risk. Workers who have to come into contact with lots of people need to be tested regularly as well.

When it comes to testing, we’re doing it wrong there too. Besides not having enough tests done, we need to concentrate on keeping medical professionals from spreading it. They get first dibs. Always. Everyone else exhibiting any symptoms, needs to go to isolation hospitals. Not stay at home- unless they live alone and can isolate until the symptoms get worse.

Airlines should have stopped flying weeks ago except for cargo, medical supplies and critical care related professionals. The rest of the world just needs to take a siesta.

The ability to trace contacts, which is the normal way to try to stop the spread of infectious disease is overwhelming in this country, where we can barely do it for STDs. The only solution is to just shut everything down as we’re doing now. And, while no one is saying it now- it’s not 2 weeks, or 2 months- we’re looking at a minimum of 90 days and possibly as long as 120 days until science comes up with some better solutions for treatment or immunization.

In the mean time, it may be time to start looking at how do we create better, more efficient government and a more informed electorate. It’s something I’ll be working on with www.reconstructingdayton.org and hope that we have a strong case built for consideration on the other side of this crisis.

There is a reason you should think about electing smart people, not popular people, not hucksters, liars and thieves.

Maybe we all should have listened to Bill Gates back in 2015, when he spelled this whole thing out in a TED talk. There is a reason he’s the world’s richest man (or was)- and maybe someone should have listened.

 

My last words on the subject: Love yourself, love your neighbor, and spread love as much as possible. Because we’re all in this together.

 

 

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