Covid might be over before East Lansing’s downtown mask mandate ends. Dr. Marty Makary a surgeon and professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health argued in a recent Wall Street Journal editorial that it will be “mostly gone” by April. City council this week extended the ban to May 16.
I’d planned to log on to the council meeting to object, but why bother. The decision had been made.
If I’d participated, I’d have shared my Covid story; I’m 60 and like about 80% of those my age who contacted it, I’m fully recovered and doing fine. Oddly, for such a dangerous disorder, when we notified our family doctor he advised doing—nothing. Use over the counter medicines and go to the hospital if it gets worse. I doubt he’d have said the same had I been suffering a heart attack; at least I hope so. For me, it was about two weeks of fatigue and coughing in late November. Generally, it was very similar to coughs and colds I’ve had all my life. But, over the past year my wife’s had me taking vitamins B and D along with zinc, just in case. I took it upon myself to up my beer dosage a little.
I’m writing because my suffering from Covid pails in comparison to that of so many small business owners in East Lansing and throughout Michigan. These people are the true, forgotten victims of Covid.
The Ingham County Health Department as of February 26th reported a total of 272 Covid deaths; 57 in the 48823-zip code; that’s all. It’s the highest in the county and comes despite all the efforts to protect and avoid. Most victims were seniors, and with almost the victims over age 80 we know Covid is getting credit for deaths that would have occurred without it.
Age Percent of Ingham County Covid Deaths
Under 40 2.2
40 to 49 1.8
50 to 59 7.0
60 to 69 16.5
70 to 79 31.1
Over 80 41.2
No serious person can look back at the data and believe that the response was proportionate to the threat. The good news is that we can choose to look forward. As Dr. Makary wrote:
“There’s a 76 percent reduction in daily cases over the last six weeks,” Makary said. “You, as a scientist, have to ask why. And we cannot explain that by vaccinated immunity. We can’t explain it by a sudden change in behavior. It’s natural immunity, and it’s now over 50 percent of the population.”
If not now, when will the City Council or the Governor give us clear, precise directions for lifting the curtain and letting the sunshine again? In fact, what is so awful about optimism or at least debate?
When asked about the right reaction to the atomic bomb years ago, C.S. Lewis hit the correct tone.
“It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty…. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes ﬁnd us doing sensible and human things praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds”