The Facts:More than 500 German doctors & scientists have signed on as representatives of an organization called the “Corona Extra-Parliamentary Inquiry Committee” to investigate what’s happening on our planet with regards to COVID-19.
Reflect On:Why are so many professionals and experts in the field being censored, ridiculed and shut down by organizations like the WHO? Should we not have the right to examine information openly, freely, and transparently?
Is this article ‘fake news?’ No, because the statement in the title that reads “we have a lot of evidence that it’s a fake story all over the world” is an actual quote from a representative of the group discussed in the article. The statement was said. Whether or not what the quote says is true, on the other hand, is up for you to decide or according to multiple governments, is up for the World Health Organization (WHO) to decide. Is the title misleading or inaccurate? No, again, it’s a direct quote and represents the opinion of multiple health professionals. Are these health professionals implying that COVID-19 is a fake virus? No, they are simply implying that it’s not as dangerous as it’s being made out to be., and I summarize some of that information below that has them coming to that conclusion.
These doctors and scientists are being heavily censored across all social media platforms, and those who write about them are experiencing the same. Many of the claims these doctors make have been ‘debunked’ by mainstream media, federal health regulatory agencies and ‘fact-checkers’ that are patrolling the internet. Any information that does not come from the (WHO) is not considered reliable, truthful or accurate, and that would include the information presented in this article and information shared by these experts in the field. People are being encouraged to visit the WHO’s website for real and accurate information about COVID-19 instead of listening to doctors and scientists who oppose the narrative of these health authorities.
What Happened: More than 500 German doctors & scientists have signed on as representatives of an organization called “Außerparlamentarischer Corona Untersuchungsausschuss.” Außerparlamentarischer Corona Untersuchungsausschuss stands for the “Corona Extra-Parliamentary Inquiry Committee and was established to investigate all things that pertain to the new coronavirus such as the severity of the virus, and whether or not the actions taken by governments around the world, and in this case the German government, are justified and not causing more harm than good.
As the Corona-Extra-Parliamentary Inquiry Committee, we will investigate why these restrictive measures were imposed upon us in our country as part of COVID-19, why people are suffering now and whether there is proportionality of the measures to this disease caused by the SARS-COV-2 virus. We have serious doubts that these measures are proportionate. This needs to be examined, and since the parliaments – neither the opposition parties nor the ruling parties – have not convened a committee and it is not even planned, it is high time that we took this into our own hands. We will invite and hear experts here in the Corona speaker group. These are experts from all areas of life: Medicine, social affairs, law, economics and many more. (source)
This group has been giving multiple conferences in Germany, in one of the most recent, Dr. Heiko Schöning, one of the organizations leaders, stated that “We have a lot of evidence that it (the new coronavirus) is a fake story all over the world.” To put it in context, he wasn’t referring to the virus being fake, but simply that it’s no more dangerous than the seasonal flu (or just as dangerous) and that there is no justification for the measures being taken to combat it.
I also think it’s important to mention that a report published in the British Medical Journal has suggested that quarantine measures in the United Kingdom as a result of the new coronavirus may have already killed more UK seniors than the coronavirus has during the peak of the virus.
Below is a press conference held by representatives of the group that took place last month, you can find more important information below that.
Why This Is Important: It can be confusing for many people to see so many doctors and many of the world’s most renowned scientists and infectious disease experts oppose so much information that is coming from the WHO and global governments.
Many scientists and doctors in North America are also expressing the same sentiments. For example, The Physicians For Informed Consent (PIC) recently published a report titled “Physicians for Informed Consent (PIC) Compares COVID-19 to Previous Seasonal and Pandemic Flu Periods.” According to them, the infection/fatality rate of COVID-19 is 0.26%. You can read more about that and access their resources and reasoning here.
John P. A. Ioannidis, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at Stanford University has said that the infection fatality rate “is close to 0 percent” for people under the age of 45 years old. You can read more about that here. He and several other academics from the Stanford School of Medicine suggest that COVID-19 has a similar infection fatality rate as seasonal influenza, and published their reasoning in a study last month. You can find that study and read more about that story here.
Michael Levitt, a Biophysicist and a professor of structural biology at Stanford University criticized the WHO as well as Facebook for censoring different information and informed perspectives regarding the Coronavirus and has claimed that, with regards to lockdown measures, that “the level of stupidity going on here is amazing.” You can read more about this here.
Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi, a specialist in microbiology and one of the most cited research scientists in German history is also part of Corona Extra-Parliamentary Inquiry Committee mentioned above and has also expressed the same thing, multiple times early on in the pandemic all the way up to today.
Implementation of the current draconian measures that so extremely restrict fundamental rights can only be justified if there is reason to fear that a truly, exceptionally dangerous virus is threatening us. Do any scientifically sound data exist to support this contention for COVID-19? I assert that the answer is simply, no. – Bhakdi. You can read more about him here.
Below are some interesting statistics from Canada. (source)
This look into the future by Max Egan will disturb you to the core. It shows how gruesome life may become in the near future because of a pandemic that does not exist. Everything of value in our lives will be negatively impacted – especially the end of personal freedom and the arrival of a new money system designed to integrate with a social-score system, such as now used in Communist China. Unfortunately, Max does not show us a way out but he makes us realize that, if the masses continue to fall for the pandemic ploy, the rest of us will be swept along with them. The great value of this video, therefore, is to sharpen our vision for a winning strategy. If the masses will drag us into slavery with them, our plan becomes clear. We must apply all of our present efforts and financial resources to those projects and activities that offer the best chance of reaching the masses with the truth. If we fail to do that, nothing else matters. Thank you, Max, for making that point clear. 2020 Aug 3 – Source: #maxigan
Bill Gates, in case you had not yet figured out the character in question, is pushing not just for mandatory vaccination for the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19), but also for “digital certificates” that prove vaccination status.
This is the only way people will be allowed to return to work, assuming Gates gets his way.
But have people forgotten that Gates has spent billions of dollars over the years vaccinating children for other things, all the while inflicting them with permanent injury and even death?
A single vaccine campaign that Gates launched in India for polio ended up causing “non-polio” acute flaccid paralysis (NPAFP), or permanent paralyzation, in nearly half a million children between the years of 2000 and 2017.
After the Indian government demanded that Gates and his cronies leave India following this epidemic of permanent injury, rates of NPAFP dropped precipitously.
But this has not stopped Gates from inflicting similar damage elsewhere, with injury and death tolls that more than likely are in the tens of millions, at this point.
The world has been turned upside down with draconian government orders to “flatten the curve” with what is called Social Distancing. Schools have been closed for months, businesses have been involuntarily shut down and travel restrictions have idled 90 percent of the airlines. The net result is over 36 million American’s are unemployed and the number is rising.
Now we learn the whole social distancing lockdown that has paralyzed the nation comes from a very surprising source. A May 2nd article in the Albuquerque Journal reveals social distancing hysteria is NOT based on scientific evidence or clinical medical trials for that matter. (Emphasis added)
How would you feel if you learned your normal way of life had been completely upended based on a computer model created by a 15 year old Albuquerque New Mexico High School student named Laura Glass?
Glass, along with her Dad Robert (a government scientist then working at Sandia National
Laboratories) cooked up a home brew computer model for a science and engineering fair in May, 2006. Robert Glass had been working on computer models for the National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center at Sandia and often worked from home.
Part of his work entailed computer models showing how people come into contact with each other during everyday life. Laura Glass used that data to project how high school students could possibly transmit infectious diseases. Her “model” suggested high school students could easily infect huge swaths of a population so putting a stop to those contacts would hypothetically “save lives.”
Miss Glass appeared to have no understanding of the benefits of herd immunity. She didn’t seem to know that most healthy people with strong immune systems naturally fight off viruses and build up antibodies against future infections. According to a variety of medical experts herd immunity should be the primary tool to fight off viral infections and only the sick and elderly should be quarantined. But I digress . . .
A call from Homeland Security
Her efforts earned her third place in the Medicine and Health category of the science fair.
That would probably have been the end of it but for Robert Glass’s government connections. While High School sophomore Laura Glass was creating her contagion computer model the George Bush administration was feverishly working on bio-terrorism countermeasures.
Somehow news of Laura Glass’s high school science project wound up in the hands of US Department of Homeland Security. You know those skilled airport security professionals highly trained in the art of patting down wheelchair bound grandmas and creepily fondling their victims’ genitals.
Glass received a call from Homeland Security requesting a brief for Secretary Michael Chertoff. The Bush White House was holding a cabinet level counter bio-terrorism briefing and no idea was too loony to consider. Glass’ briefing suggested that whole segments of society should be shut down based on his daughter’s computer model.
The idea of locking down huge swaths of the nation in the event of a virus outbreak met with considerable push back. But ultimately the Centers for Disease Control made social distancing official policy in February 2007. They call it Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPI) and this is the first time it’s been implemented but will definitely not be the last.
So shutting down the entire nation based on flawed computer models is now official government policy. Robert Glass is now retired and enjoying a generous government pension. He was interviewed for the article by phone while relaxing in his second home in northern Idaho.
Mr. Glass waxed philosophical about the carnage wrought by his and his daughter’s lock down computer model. “Anything new is difficult,” he said. “You have to train people to do this well, without freaking out and calling each other names. . .”
That’s easy to say when you’re pulling down a fat government pension every month. Enjoy a comprehensive health care package, all paid for by the little people freaking out and calling each other names as they struggle to feed their families. Odds are this lockdown is just the beginning of many more power grabs by our increasingly totalitarian overlords – IF we let them.
Contact tracing which is nothing more than constant real time monitoring of citizens every move by government stooges is being implemented right now. Untested, unproven, possibly deadly vaccines are being “warp-speeded” into production. President Trump has assured the nation that he will authorize the military to distribute the vaccine across the land quickly once it becomes available.
Constitutional Lawyer and Jeffrey Epstein guest (who assures us he kept his underwear on during massages on Lolita Island,) Alan Dershowitz, says that the state has full authority to vaccinate any person it deems necessary. This comes from a video interview by Jason Goodman released May 16th on Youtube.
Our inalienable rights of freedom and liberty are under assault by a totalitarian state like never before. The words of Thomas Jefferson come to mind.
When Government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.
Mr. Jefferson also said:
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.
The political class has a choice to make. Either honor the oath they all took to uphold the Constitutional rights of the people or face the consequences. I pray they make the right choice for all our sakes.
* * *
Social Distancing born in ABQ teen’s science project, Albuquerque Journal May 2nd, 2020
Disease Mitigation Measures in the Control of Pandemic Influenza, Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense strategy, Practice and Science. Vol. 4, Number 4 2006
The 2006 Origins Of The “Lockdown” Idea, Jeffrey Tucker via The American Institute for Economic Research May, 18, 2020
Pam Barker | Director of TLB Europe Reloaded Project
Dr. Knut Wittkowski strikes again, giving us a retrospective on where we’re at with this non-event virus scare. He recently gave an interview to Spiked online magazine, which we’ve summarized below.
Wittkowski was head of Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Research Design at The Rockefeller University’s Center for Clinical and Translational Science for 20 years. We remind readers of an article we published on this doctor’s sensible, science-based perspective, titled Epidemiologist: Coronavirus could be ‘exterminated’ if lockdowns were lifted. The video from this article has been removed by Youtube, predictably, so we’re linking to it from a Facebook(!) page below. The transcript to this interview can be found at Perspectives on the Pandemic II by John Kirby, Libby Handros and Lee Davis.
A recurring theme in the interview is that, ‘very early on, we knew from China and we knew from South Korea that this is an epidemic that runs its course, and there was nothing special about it.’
Reiterating the well-known point that covid is only dangerous to those having ‘age-related severe comorbidities’, and that people in nursing homes are very vulnerable, he says that the virus is now over in China and South Korea. Further,
‘It is substantially down in most of Europe and down a bit everywhere, even in the UK. The UK and Belarus are latecomers, so you do not see exactly what you are seeing in continental Europe. But everywhere in Europe, the number of cases is substantially declining.’
Protecting the hospitals was completely misguided. The original reason given for the lockdown, he says, was to ‘prevent hospitals from become overloaded’ but he says that this couldn’t have happened anyway, irrespective of the approach taken. ‘Flattening the curve’, i.e. prolonging the epidemic, was only ever about spreading out the same number of cases ‘over a longer period of time because otherwise the hospitals would not have enough capacity,’ but the vast majority do not end up in hospital:
The ideal approach would [have been] to simply shut the door of the nursing homes and keep the personnel and the elderly locked in for a certain amount of time, and pay the staff overtime to stay there for 24 hours per day.
On herd immunity, studies done so far show ‘that we already have at least 25 per cent of the population who are immune… If 25 per cent of the population are already immune, we are very quickly getting to the 50 per cent that we need to have what is called herd immunity. We will actually get a bit higher than that…’ It wouldn’t actually be a problem to let the infection run its course because ‘we already have enough immune people in the population.’
On the newly-touted second spike by the MSM, he says ‘this is an invention to justify a policy that politicians are afraid of reversing.’
Social distancing? ‘No’:
People need to ask the government for an explanation. The government is restricting freedom. You do not have to ask me for justification. There is no justification.
Fingering our governments for listening to Neil Ferguson, ‘who has a history of coming up with projections that are a bit odd’, ‘the government did not convene a meeting with people who have different ideas, different projections, to discuss his projection. If it had done that, it could have seen where the fundamental flaw was…’, of assuming that one percent of all infected people would die. Neither in Wuhan nor South Korea ‘did one per cent of all people infected die… The South Korean government was extremely proud to have resisted pressure to drop the very basic concepts of democracy.’ He continues:
‘The epidemic in South Korea was over by March, the number of cases was down by 13 March. In Wuhan they also did not shut down the economy…We have seen, then, in Wuhan and South Korea, if you do not do anything, the epidemic is over in three weeks… one per cent of all people infected does not make any sense. And we had that evidence by mid-March.
On the situation in Italy, Wittkowski fingers the policy of shutting schools so that children, who are generally not affected by the virus, didn’t achieve immunity:
But then, Italy did an illogical thing. It closed schools so that the schoolchildren were isolated and did not get infected and did not become immune. Instead, the virus spread almost exclusively among the old, causing more deaths and a higher utilisation of hospitals. And that is mind-boggling.
Very early on, we knew from China and we knew from South Korea that this is an epidemic that runs its course, and there was nothing special about it. But when it hit Italy, we stopped thinking about it as an age-stratified problem, and instead lumped everyone all together. The idea that if we did not shut down the schools, the hospitals would have been overwhelmed does not make any sense. I frankly still cannot fully understand how our governments can be so stupid.
On the topic of certain scientists having the power to dispense strange advice to our governments, he claims the problem lies in scientists being dependent on government funding:
Scientists are in a very strange situation. They now depend on government funding, which is a trend that has developed over the past 40 years. Before that, when you were a professor at a university, you had your salary and you had your freedom. Now, the university gives you a desk and access to the library. And then you have to ask for government money and write grant applications. If you are known to criticise the government, what does that do to your chance of getting funded? It creates a huge conflict of interest. The people who are speaking out in Germany and Switzerland are all independent of government money because they are retired.
Sweden, he continues, generally took the right approach despite the heat they took for it, except for their large nursing homes, which were not closed and where the largest number of deaths took place:
They decided to keep society open and they forgot to close nursing homes. Remarkably, the politicians acknowledged that it was a mistake to extend that open concept to nursing homes. The nursing homes should have been isolated to protect the elderly who are at high risk.
So the US’ first death in a Seattle nursing home in February gave a strong indication of what was to come, plus Italy’s situation of deaths among the elderly, yet New York State recently ‘told the nursing homes that if they did not take in patients from hospitals, they would lose their funding. So they would have to import the virus from the hospitals.’ 20,000 deaths in the United States could have been prevented by just isolating the nursing homes. ‘After three or four weeks, they could have reopened and everybody would be happy.’
That would have been a reasonable strategy. But shutting down schools, driving the economy against the wall – there was no reason for it. The only reason that this nonsense now goes on and on, and people are inventing things like this ‘second wave’, which is going to force us to change society and never live again, is that the politicians are afraid of admitting an error.
And it’s not a matter of hindsight, either. The Wuhan and South Korean epidemics were over by mid-March, and the data had officially been collected and published on it.
to read the rest, go to the source of the article: https://www.europereloaded.com/dr-knut-wittkowski-strikes-again-we-could-open-up-again-and-forget-the-whole-thing/
25% Of US Restaurants Will Never Reopen: Opentable
A quarter of US restaurants will go out of business due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a forecast by OpenTable, which reported that total restaurant reservations and walk-in customers have fallen 95% over the previous year ending May 13.
The company tracks over 54,000 restaurants on its reservation site, which offers the ability to make online, walk-in, and phone reservations – but does not track data for take-out and deliveries, according to Bloomberg.
The company’s data shows that there are growing signs that patrons are willing to dine out again in states like Arizona and Texas where it’s allowed, though the numbers are still far below where they were last year.
Scottsdale showed the greatest improvement. It had zero reservations almost every day since March 21, but on May 13 this eased to a down 72% from reservations on the same day in 2019. The next most significant recoveries were in Houston and Phoenix. –Bloomberg
At the state-level, Florida showed the greatest statewide gain, with foot traffic only down 83% y/y after launching a phased reopening May 4 during which restaurants were allowed to operate at one-quarter capacity.
Indiana, which is now in phase two – allowing restaurants to operate at 50% of capacity – has come in second. The state is planning on a full reopening by the Fourth of July.
“Restaurants are complicated beasts,” said Steve Hafner, CEO of OpenTable parent company, Booking Holdings. “You have to order food and supplies. You have to make sure you’ve prepped the kitchen and service areas to be easily disinfected.”
According to Hafner, state unemployment benefits with the federal booster is one reason why restaurants have struggled to hire help. “A lot of people are making $1,200 a week doing nothing. That’s good pay.”
Meanwhile, restaurateur Danny Meyer – who shut down all of his 19 New York restaurants on March 13, says his dining rooms will stay closed for the foreseeable future, according to Bloomberg.
“We won’t be welcoming guests into our full-service restaurants for a very long time—probably not until there’s a vaccine,” he said, adding “There is no interest or excitement on my part to having a half-full dining room while everyone is getting their temperature taken and wearing masks, for not much money
“It’s very frustrating, but it’s the only safe way to go,” he added.
It’s a caution shared by fellow restaurateur Daniel Humm, who said he may not re-open Eleven Madison Park at all, and by David Chang who just announced the closing of his Chelsea restaurant Nishi and his Washington, DC, Momofuku location.
Meyer, in the meantime, is taking the first steps back into business by opening his café Daily Provisions for take out service as early as next week. The storefront, which is next to Union Square Café on East 19th St., was designed for grab-and-go coffee, breakfast sandwiches, and signature crullers. Initially, it will open for curbside pickup of breakfast items, with an expanded menu expected to follow. –Bloomberg
Meyer will likely open his Flatiron District pizza restaurant, Marta, for takeout – saying “We had been on the cusp of takeout at Daily Provisions, Marta, and Blue Smoke [the company’s barbecue spot] when we closed. It makes sense now.”
“I would think about anything that is safe and profitable. If it’s not safe, we won’t do it, we all lose,” he said, adding “Profitable matters, as well. The only way we can responsibly get back in the business of employing people is to not go out of business. It’s already incredibly hard to survive.”
“We have met the moment and we have prevailed,” said President Donald Trump Monday, as he supported the opening of the U.S. economy before the shutdown plunges us into a deep and lasting depression.
Tuesday, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s leading expert on infectious diseases, made clear to a Senate committee his contradictory views.
“If states reopen their economies too soon, there is a real risk that you may trigger an outbreak that you may not be able to control,” said Fauci.
“My concern is that we will start to see little spikes that might turn into outbreaks of the disease (and) the inevitable return of infections.”
Fauci is talking of the real possibility of a second and even more severe wave of the pandemic this summer and fall, if we open too soon.
There is evidence to justify the fears of Fauci and Dr. Robert Redfield of the Centers for Disease Control, who told the same Senate committee, “We are not out of the woods yet.”
Yet, there is a case to be made for the risks that Trump and red state governors are taking in opening up sooner.
The Washington Post daily graph of new deaths nationally has been showing a curve sloping downward for a month from April’s more than 2,000 a day. On no day yet this week did the U.S. record 2,000 dead from the virus. On some days, there were fewer than 1,000.
The graph for new coronavirus cases, which was showing more than 30,000 a day in April, is now closer to 25,000.
Also, hospitalizations and ICU occupancies are not as high as they were. Hospitals put up in Central Park and the Javits Center seem not to have been needed. There was and is no shortage of ventilators. The Navy hospital ships Comfort and Mercy are returning to their home ports.
Also, not all states are suffering equally, nor are all communities in the hardest-hit states. There have been three times as many COVID-19 cases in New Jersey as in Texas, though New Jersey is a fraction of the size and has a fraction of the population of Texas.
There are twice as many cases in Massachusetts as in Florida, the nation’s third-most populous state with one of its highest percentages of retirees and elderly. There have been five times as many cases in New York as in California.
It is the nursing homes filled with the elderly and ill that have proven to be the real killing fields of this virus.
According to The New York Times, one-third of all deaths from COVID-19 have come among residents and staff of nursing homes. Beyond these are the meatpacking plants and the prisons where social distancing is almost nonexistent.
Moreover, while Fauci and Redfield are specialists in epidemics, Trump’s portfolio goes far beyond that.
He is chief of state, head of government and commander in chief, responsible for the security and defense of the nation. His portfolio is broader and deeper than those of Fauci and Redfield.
In the first hours of the Normandy invasion, General Eisenhower must have been rightly alarmed about the high U.S. casualties on Omaha Beach. But he also had to concern himself with the failure to capture the Port of Caen to bring ashore the armor to stop any German counterattack that might turn D-Day into another Anzio.
Ike could not worry about casualties alone.
According to The Washington Post, economists already project that 100,000 small businesses have shuttered, never to reopen.
“(D)eeper and longer recessions can leave behind lasting damage to the productive capacity of the economy,” warned Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell on Wednesday.
“Avoidable household and business insolvencies can weigh on growth for years to come.”
Ultimately, Fauci is not “The Decider” here. Trump is.
It is he who is accountable to the nation for weighing the losses, both human and material, due to his decisions.
Fauci may be the best at what he does, but he is still only an adviser.
As John F. Kennedy said after the Bay of Pigs, it is the president who ultimately bears responsibility for what he does and fails to do, while “the advisers may move on to new advice.”
Believing he can do no more than his White House is now doing to contain the incidence of cases, hospitalizations and deaths, Trump has decided his primary job is to prevent the nation from a catastrophic economic collapse from which it might take years to recover.
The country is slowly moving in Trump’s direction, slowly opening. And he will be responsible for whether the policy succeeds or opens the floodgates to a second and worse wave, should it come.
As Abraham Lincoln put his situation: “I mean to keep going. If the end brings me out all right, then what is said against me won’t matter. If I’m wrong, ten angels swearing I was right won’t make a difference.”
A counselor takes calls from the Montgomery County Hotline, including from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, from her home office in Chevy Chase, Maryland on March 18, 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a spike in calls to mental health and suicide prevention hotlines. Katherine Frey / The Washington Post via Getty Images
The growing unemployment crisis, the stress of self-isolation and the fear of contracting the novel coronavirus are likely to lead to as many as 75,000 deaths due to drug or alcohol misuse and suicide, according to an analysis conducted by the national public health group Well Being Trust and reported on by CNN.
Not knowing when a sense of normalcy will return may lead to an increase in what the group calls “deaths of despair.” Federal agencies and experts warn that a crisis in mental health problems is on the horizon: depression, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide, according to The Washington Post.
“Unless we get comprehensive federal, state, and local resources behind improving access to high quality mental health treatments and community supports, I worry we’re likely to see things get far worse when it comes to substance misuse and suicide,” Well Being Trust’s chief strategy officer Dr. Benjamin F. Miller told CNN.
Miller emphasized that the numbers are just a projection and could easily change with a bit of intervention.
“We can change the numbers — the deaths have not happened yet. However, it is on us to take action now,” Miller said to CNN.
Already, communities across the country have seen an increase in overdoses. In Jacksonville, Florida, the fire and rescue department reported a 20 percent increase in overdose emergency calls in March. There were similar spikes in Columbus, Ohio and in at least four counties in New York State, according to ABC News.
“I think we need to consider the role that social isolation coupled with non-stop reporting on the pandemic may have on the feelings of desperation and hopelessness among those struggling with substance abuse,” U.S. attorney for the Western District of New York James Kennedy Jr. said in a statement, as ABC News reported. “Amidst the current crisis, we need to remember that substance abuse existed long before COVID-19, and it will likely remain long after we have wiped out the virus.”
Similar to the way hospitals were caught unprepared for a pandemic, the U.S. mental health system, which is underfunded, stigmatized and difficult to access, is less prepared to handle a mounting crisis.
“That’s what is keeping me up at night,” said Susan Borja, who leads the traumatic stress research program at the National Institute of Mental Health, to The Washington Post. “I worry about the people the system just won’t absorb or won’t reach. I worry about the suffering that’s going to go untreated on such a large scale.”
The Well Being Trust looked at the impact unemployment, isolation and uncertainty had in certain areas to create a detailed map of where it expects to see spikes in suicide and overdose-related deaths for the next decade. They used historical data to make their predictions, noting that overdoses and suicides increased in tandem with the unemployment rate during the Great Recession in 2008 and 2009, as CNN reported.
Well Being Trust predicts the most deaths per capita will occur in Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Wyoming, West Virginia, Rhode Island and Delaware, according to CNN.
The group said that federal, state and local authorities should try to find opportunity within the crisis. For instance, people could be hired for contact tracing. They also said that more leeway should be granted to telemedicine for mental health to increase access to services.
“This screams for an opportunity to examine what wasn’t working about mental health delivery prior to COVID and examine new strategies to create a new and more integrated approach to mental health post-COVID,” said Miller, as CNN reported.
More people are seeking help. Talkspace, an online therapy company, has seen a 65 percent increase in clients since mid-February.
“People are really afraid,” Talkspace co-founder and CEO Oren Frank said to The Washington Post. The increasing demand for services, he said, follows almost exactly the geographic march of the virus across the U.S. “What’s shocking to me is how little leaders are talking about this. There are no White House briefings about it. There is no plan.”
Well Being Trust believes the rising issue of mental health issues could be addressed and mitigated.
“The models we have created rely on the way it happened before. When our communities were faced with rising unemployment, social isolation and individual uncertainty the people suffered and that led to increased deaths of despair. It might be different,” they said in their report, according to CNN.
“By taking stock of the current crisis, predicting the potential loss of life, and creatively deploying local community solutions, it may be possible to prevent the impending deaths of despair. We should not sit idly by, waiting for 75,000 more deaths of despair.”
Two local sheriffs say they won’t enforce the Pennsylvania governor’s COVID-19 mitigation measures. Sheriff John Zechman of Snyder County and Ernie Ritter of Union County say they won’t help the governor turn business owners into criminals.
Cumberland County Sheriff Ronny Anderson made a popular Facebook post that assured citizens that the Sheriff office would not enforce any order that violates the Constitution.
Sheriff Anderson said in part:
Our office will stand with the citizens in defense of all our Constitutional Rights! I have no intentions of turning local business owners into criminals.