COLUMN: Searching for bright spots amid pandemic

COLUMN: Searching for bright spots amid pandemic

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Most of the news last week was bad, but there were some bright spots.

The pandemic doesn’t seem to want to go away, a situation that evidently is seen differently by those on the right and left. Predictably, there appears to be a scramble to take credit for the good news and to blame someone on the other side for the bad. Some even found some humor in the situation last week. That is, if you enjoy irony. Here are some of my favorites.

Forrest Gump is speaking: “And one day, for no apparent reason, the state’s revenue dropped to zero.”

Another said, “Conservatives want to go back to work. Liberals want to stay home. Nothing has changed.”

One picture shared on the internet showed a church trying to camouflage itself as an abortion clinic so it could stay open.

Where I am currently “sheltering,” a person can get an abortion, buy booze, and stand in a crowded line at the pot store, but can’t go fishing. I, along with others, have asked, who in the hell is running this place?

Then, to make matters worse, I discovered that we conservatives have been wrong all along about the benefits of living the good life under the control of very large and powerful governments. According to the pandemic stats, the more dictatorial a government, the smaller the probability of dying from the virus.

China has had only three deaths per million from this plague. Russia had nine, and Saudi Arabia had five per million. Small dictatorships are even better: Vietnam has reported just 288 cases, and North Korea has reported none, although its numbers — like many claims made by Kim Jong-un’s government — are suspect. Match that to the United States, with 210 deaths per million. We are 70 times more likely to die from the virus than someone living in China!

Communism obviously can’t be all that bad.

But the progressive nations haven’t done well. Someone in the UK is two times more likely to die from the virus as an American. So is a person in France, and let us not even mention Belgium, where a person is 3.3 times more likely to succumb.

It appears if you want to go in for a big, powerful government, you have to go all the way to save yourself from a pandemic. Evidently, the whiny little progressive governments just can’t control their data properly.

I don’t know if this will make you feel better or worse, but according to our own CDC, from February 1 to May 4, 5% of all deaths in the U.S. were a result of the virus, and the other 95% were probably from something else. Evidently about 9% were from pneumonia without the virus.

Who knows if these numbers are accurate, but if they are, your chance of dying in the U.S. increased by 0.01% in the last three months, and even less in places like Iowa. Nevertheless, with one-third of a billion people in the U.S., that number is not to be taken lightly.

Dennis Clayson is a marketing professor at the University of Northern Iowa. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect those of the University of Northern Iowa.

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