Sunday, March 29, 2020

Bill Crawford: Virus Deaths Should Weigh Heavily on Political Leaders

The notion that Mississippians can return to normal life and work by Easter Sunday is poppycock.

What the coronavirus has brought is a new and challenging normal, at least until a cure or vaccine can be developed.


While Mississippi has few cases compared to many states, the spread has been exponential. Over an eight day period, the number of cases went from 10 to 370. By the time you read this numbers will have escalated and deaths will be accumulating.

Because too many, both leaders and people, are not taking this seriously.

Health experts like Tom Inglesby, Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, warn that irresponsibly ignoring restrictions “could kill potentially millions in the year ahead.”

Philanthropist and Microsoft founder Bill Gates called it “very irresponsible” to suggest America can avoid a shutdown of less than six to eight weeks. We need to shutdown to avoid what has happened in China and Italy, he said, painting a grim paradigm if we don’t - “Hey, keep going to restaurants, go buy new houses, ignore that pile of bodies over in the corner.”

Former Congressman David Bowen recalled stories of a family member hauling bodies on carts out of Old Main at Mississippi State during the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918.

Is this the new normal politicians want for us? It will be if we don’t stick with top health officials’ restrictive guidelines.

Indeed, the new normal we need to safely return to work will adapt these guidelines to the workplace and the schoolhouse. That’s what South Korea has done effectively. That’s what safe nursing homes, retirement homes, and hospitals are doing. That’s what innovative stores and restaurants are doing.

That’s what a major part of the $2 trillion dollar stimulus package should target – providing financial resources for organizations to adapt their functions to the new normal to protect workers and customers.

Much of America can function safely if we adapt. But they need gear, technology, and proven protective methods to do so, particularly for those who produce and deliver goods and services.

Fear and uncertainty over this virus are causing and will cause much fear and pain. I am a case in point.

I write this column early on a Wednesday night, facing serious surgery Thursday morning. The normal fear of invasive surgery with potential blood transfusion is surpassed by fears of contracting the virus as a 72-year-old with an impaired immune system. My wife worries if I should take these risks or hope I could avoid serious complications by deferring surgery for weeks or months. (The doctors say do it.) My children, burdened by their own virus related health and economic issues, wonder when they can count on our help again since we are hunkered down for the duration.

Many must deal with far worse – job losses, financial collapse, despair, but most significantly, the deaths of loved ones.

Deaths are what should weigh heavily on political leaders’ minds. As Bill Gates said, we can bring an economy back but we can’t bring people back to life.

PS - Thumbs up to Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney for prodding insurance companies to adapt to the new normal of telehealth.

"Do not fear for I am with you” – Isaiah 41-10.

Crawford is a syndicated columnist from Jackson.


44 comments:

Anonymous said...

TRUMP DID NOT SAY EVERYTHING WOULD BE OPEN BY EASTER...Another so called journalist misquoting the President. Here is what he actually said:"I would love to have it open by Easter. I would love to have it open by Easter," Trump said. "I would love to have the country opened up and just raring to go by Easter." He did not say it would be.

Anonymous said...

Data and experts will be meaningless by Easter. Deaths will be seen as collateral damage and social distancing will be shamed as "what libs do".

Anonymous said...

Oh God another defender of the lier in Chief. If you listen and looked you would know he meant by to open up by April 12.

Anonymous said...

Wake up folks! Half as many people are killed each year touching power lines (300), lighting (100) & plane crashes (600) than dying from Covid-19.

Covid-19 deaths in US as of 3/29/2020 2000

So my chances of surviving this political & media fed pandemic is from AWESOME to GREAT!

Anonymous said...

Only way to deal with life is to live it.

Anonymous said...

President Trump said each area of the country is different with some areas hit harder than others. He said some areas could see less restrictions possibly by Easter. He has done an exceptional job. He will continue to make adjustments every day as things change.

Anonymous said...

I'm comforted by the medical ramblings of the founder of Microsoft, an 80 year old ex-congressman regarding bodies in Ole Main Dorm and a State Insurance Commissioner who will rake in a virtual fortune in PERS retirement. Oh, and most comforting of all are the Bible verses posted by a Governor and article writer.

Anonymous said...

Lets all chip in and buy Crawford a ticket to Wuhan, tell him to start licking door knobs when he arrives.

Anonymous said...

Trump definitely had the notion things could be open by Easter. Here’s quotes by the Cheeto. “We’re opening up this incredible country. Because we have to do that. I would love to have it open by Easter,” “I would love to have that. It’s such an important day for other reasons, but I’d love to make it an important day for this. I would love to have the country opened up, and rarin’ to go by Easter.” “Wouldn’t it be great to have all the churches full?” “You’ll have packed churches all over our country … I think it’ll be a beautiful time.” “I’m not sure that’s going to be the day,” but “that would be a beautiful thing.”

Your mischaracterization of Crawford’s statement as saying Trump unequivocally said things would be open by Easter is deliberately misleading. Crawford simply said the notion was poppycock, which it is.

Anonymous said...

Even Fauci and Birx are on what’s almost an apology tour at this time, realizing this wasn’t nearly as big of a deal as they scared everyone into thinking it was, especially outside of major cities.

The smart plan from the beginning would have been to tell old/ill people to stay home as much as possible.

Sure, many/most younger people would still catch it, but it doesn’t kill usually. Build herd immunity up this way also.

As is, we’ve wrecked our country and our way of life because we’ve lost ~2,000 people who were already old or ill. Even if severe projections proved accurate, 100,000 deaths is not at all insurmountable. And definitely not reason to destroy the economy, people’s jobs, and their way of life.

Anonymous said...

WHO greatly distorted numbers as did London university. Both have adjusted figures and issued apology. Figures are well below that of a typical flu season. More people die on a weekly basis due to flu than COVID-19. But, hey don't let facts get in the way of your opinions. Also chloroquine has been a proven method of treatment as have a few HIV medications. All antiviral medication.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see a comparison of suicides, abortions, and death due to the flu compared to all of these charts. Perspective is needed here. Like we have all heard before, there a 3 kinds of lies. A white lie, a damned lie, and statistics. You can use these charts and statistics to argue any point you want, on either side of the fence.

Anonymous said...

I think that we, as a society, are going through a grieving process over the loss of life as we knew it. I also believe that everyone grieves at a different pace. Many resist it, and thus prolong the process.

Some are still in denial, clinging to the idea that it's a hoax. Many are angry and taking it out on others. Others are in the depression phase, which seems to manifest as despair, as this loss is occurring on a massive scale. Many seem to have moved into acceptance, asking constructive questions such as "What can I do now?"

Personally, I seem to go up down through the 5 stages of grief. The only non-destructive way I know to grieve is to acknowledge that it is occurring, and experience it as it is. I also try to remember that I don't have to like it. I just have to experience it in order to get through it.

Anonymous said...

At the end of the day, it up to private US citizens to follow competent medical advice. Our "leaders" have failed us in many ways but if we use our common sense, eschew political posturing, and look out for one another, then our country, as whole, will be alright. The economy ultimately will take care of itself. Dollars are replaceable; human lives are not.

Anonymous said...

Someone said that we are burning the house down to kill the spiders­čś│

Anonymous said...

Fauci isn't on an apology tour, he quoted 100 to 200k in U.S. this morning.
On another note, this can't be the anti abortion crowd saying it's just the sick and aged.

Anonymous said...

Too bad we weren't part of the Louisiana Purchase, we would have real leadership right now.

Anonymous said...

9:19 am I'm stunned.
300 people weren't struck by lightening in the entire U.S. in a little less than a month much less nearly half a million people!
If 758 people were struck by lightening every month in MS, everyone would have enough sense to stay inside during a thunderstorm!
Your figures are for the entire U.S. and from a census taken every decade.
I hope you have some areas of knowledge but interpreting statistical data is not one of them.

Anonymous said...

Fauci’s estimate is reasonable. The death rate will lag the infection rate by a couple of weeks, and the infection rate in NY, New Orleans, Los Angeles, etc. is still growing rapidly. Of course some see a quarter million additional Americans dying as being insignificant, so you can either take Fauci’s numbers as a warning or as an excuse to cut loose.

Anonymous said...

I hope that Bill's surgery was successful and that he is recovering. And I do find hope and strength through prayer and Bible verses. I don't always agree with Bill Crawford, but I know him to be a kind person of faith.

Anonymous said...

10:29 am Please read up on how the DNA and RNA of viruses are different. Viruses can evolve and become super viruses. Some live longer on surfaces and are more contagious.
Your stats are for ALL flu viruses in the U.S., not just ONE.
This is an animal to human origination virus and those are different.It is acquired by eating animals that were infected with the virus then being ( unlike like some animal viruses) passed from human to human. 135 different species of animals have been found to have Covid19 so far.
We are in the early days of this virus and just beginning to learn about it.
Please people, if you don't have expertise on the subject or read expert opinions on viruses or pandemics which you are passing along, don't contribute to the misinformation.
It's irresponsible.

Anonymous said...

Even if severe projections proved accurate, 100,000 deaths is not at all insurmountable. And definitely not reason to destroy the economy, people’s jobs, and their way of life.

100,000/329,450,000 = 0.0003035362

200,000/329,450,000 = 0.00060707239

Total over-reaction to the Chinese Wuhan flu virus.

Cynical sam said...

To keep this crisis in perspective, we have a greater chance of being Arkancided than dying of COVID-19.

Anonymous said...

So Say Little Willie Crawford so it be. IS it really a crime to give people hope when the doom and gloomers get on TV and say this will be months before we can get out of our house. What does that accomplish? All Trump said was I would hope things will be better by Easter/ Probably will not happen but A little Hope. Have him hanged at sunrise for giving the masses one thread of hope.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Bill, but you lose your credibility when you say we should follow the advice of our "health professionals" and then use Bill Gates' opinion as to the nation's cure.

Speaking for us in Mississippi, following the advice of our health professionals is exactly what our leaders are doing. Governor Reeves - that individual that you fought from February to November, on behalf of the hospital association - has done nothing but to follow the advice of our MDOH and its leader, Dr. Dobbs. For my money, I'm going to follow Dr. Dobbs' opinion rather than a rich billionaire that made his money in technology, not in epidemology. (you can refer to him as a philanthropist which he certainly is, but that does not make him particularly knowledgeable in this area, despite your (and MSNBC's) wanting to use him as your expert.

P.S. - hope and trust all your surgery goes well; put your faith in the 'experts', your surgeons, on that process as well. Glad you took the advice of your surgeons and doctors on whether to go ahead and do it now, rather than getting Bill Gates' medical opinion. Rest well, and recover soon.

Anonymous said...

I'm disgusted by the political spin from both sides and horrified by the blatant ageism and ableism from commenters. I realize many are trolls or Russian bots trying to divide us but entertaining those extremist attitudes is tearing us apart. Can't we please just be Americans and pull together to survive with the least amount of damage as possible?

Anonymous said...

After reading some of this shit I have totally lost faith in the human race.

Anonymous said...

9:19, you prove the old adage that 'statistics lie and liars use statistics'.

You quote a statistic of how many people die "during a year" as being half the number that have died in the past four or five weeks - and increasing daily. So you want to compare your timeframe of a year to the COVID timeframe of a month.

And - those causes that you name (lightning, power lines and plane crashes don't end up overwhelming the hospitals for extended periods of time. Those that die in plane crashes don't need continued ICU treatment; same as those that touch power lines.

Thanks though for your thoughtful insight. If I could print it out I would use it for toilet paper.

Anonymous said...

You are right, JJ is riddled with Russian bots. LMAO

Anonymous said...

@11:11 you are free to move to Louisiana right now to be under that "real leadership" you refer to.

@11:29 I have been waiting on the "this is much worse than the flu" camp to begin their spin as the numbers are not adding up thankfully to support your position. So now, we need to break deaths down by every strain of the flu and not look at influenza deaths as a whole so the total number will not be as large. Got it. Also, thanks for putting all of us in our place and telling us to be quiet sine we have a different viewpoint.

Sho Nuff said...

What we really need is more fear mongering, and more panicking. We could also use more talking heads blaming ,whoever, for whatever. Don't leave out the sad, sad stories of how someone is suffering some form of discomfort from the disruption of their normally imagined perfect life. All of this will magically make everything better. Because we know the world was a perfect place before this virus came along. Don't we, well don't we? To see supposed educated, supposed intelligent, supposed people of faith, not only talk themselves in to an uproar, but talk their neighbors in to an uproar as well. Someone, always feeding the frenzy of panic, and fear mongering. This column only adds fuel to the fire. I don't have time for a defeated attitude. I'm over 60, I'm diabetic, and I have a history of heart problems. For the guy that seems to feel better about himself by attacking others, I'm diabetic, and I weigh 175. One way or another life goes on. So, suck it up, and go on with it. One other thing, you can quote all the Bible versus you care to, until you have confidence in the power behind those versus, they hold no power, or comfort.

Anonymous said...

Look on the bright side, this just might be the end of the "bro-hug". Good riddance.

Better Than Ever said...

@1:12 Agreed. If you want to see why MS lags the nation in positive things and leads in negative you've got it all right here.

Gates has devoted pretty much his entire life and fortune (after leaving Microsoft) to worldwide issues relating to heath, sanitation, disease, and so on. Also given the fact that he's pretty much the smartest man anyone can name in under 30 seconds I would very much listen to and appreciate what he says.

Sho Nuff said...

I have my hand raised, can I ax a question? What software program do I need, to identify these Russian bots people are always talking about? Signed Curious.

Sho Nuff said...

What you mean to say is, that Gates has lived his life trying to ease his conscious, from guilt that he carries. Bill Gates is far from being as intelligent as you portray. He may be in the running for the biggest thief, but he faces very stiff competition. It is apparent you don't actually know Gates' history.

Anonymous said...

I see if you praise or defend our so called president your comment is approved. Trump has made it clear he doesn’t care about the pain and suffering this has caused thousands of Americans. He was just bragging on Twitter about how many people watch his press briefings. That’s what it’s about to him not how many people are being saved but how many people are watching him as he whines, deflects and lies. He is so shallow and dim witted that he doesn’t realize folks are watching his press briefings because they are afraid mainly because of HIS lack of leadership. It’s sad what is happening in this country right now and anybody that says he has done a good job is either a liar or isn’t paying attention. I’m sure this comment won’t be approved because I dared to criticize the man in the White House

Anonymous said...

100,000 deaths would be a bad flu season. The broadcast networks are still screaming millions will die. Nobody really knows. If millions die, Biden wins in November. If hundreds of thousands die, Trump walks in.
Seems the press is hoping millions die and we go into a depression.

Sho Nuff said...

@4:01, you almost make me laugh. For some people that wouldn't be a problem. For those of us raised by good mothers, we were taught not to make fun of people with disabilities. Please, refrain from posting in the future, so we won't be tempted to displease our mothers. Thank you. Signed Faithful Son.

Better Than Ever said...

@3:42 You are confusing time building microsoft and the 14 years since he left it. Yes, from being in IT 30 years I have a pretty good idea of stuff he/ms has pulled in the business world.

My comment was specifically after that time. And like it or not, the guy's a genius. He's incredibly well informed, well read, and active in helping people where his dollars do the most good.

Anonymous said...

Haha whoever thinks Trump wins probably taught we would be up and rolling for Easter.

Anonymous said...

=< 999,999 die = Trump win

1,000,000+ die = Biden win

Easily as accurate as any BTE swag.

12:51 said...

2:41 - I don't disagree with you that Bill Gates has spent his recent years fighting all those things that you name - and, I'll bet he does it by hiring some damn smart people in those areas and putting his money behind their recommendations; not by taking off on a side trip and doing whatever hits his mind as being appropriate. Has he learned some stuff along the way about famine, sanitation, disease, etc while he supported these efforts? I'm sure he has. But at the same time he hasn't done it based on his own education, knowledge or experience - he's done it with his dollars and the advice of experts in those fields.

So come back again and make your argument considering all the facts, not just where he has spent his money without the how.

Better Than Ever said...

@8:30 Agreed. But then again, that's how one acquires knowledge. You buy books, take classes, pay instructors (experts) to teach you, etc. When he first started he himself admits he was very green to health issues.

But after 15 years I figure he's learned a thing or two. I also figure that he has enough integrity to speak (on what will forever define the lives of everyone alive right now) only after he's made sure he's accurate.

He's a lot sharper that I am, and I could have told you we needed to shutdown a LOT more stuff and do it MUCH more quickly than we did. Can also tell you we will not be opening stuff back up as soon as Trump, Tater Tot, you, or I want to.

On a related note, he reads voraciously and lists recommended books on his personal site: https://www.gatesnotes.com/
I've picked up some very good recommendations from there.



Anonymous said...

Any word on how Bill's surgery went? I hope it went well. I occasionally enjoy his columns.

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