A tale of two areas

Michael Smith:

There sure seems to be an undercurrent of worry that the more sparsely populated areas of this country might advance economically while the more densely populated cities languish as a result of the physical reality of disease transmission.Cities have a transmission modality that simply cannot be overcome absent a vaccine for this virus. The reality is that the only reason any “curve flattening” is happening today is that the virus is being deprived of fresh victims, that solution provides little more than a temporary respite and a false sense of security – because the underlying condition promoting spread – the population density – has not changed.

National policy is being driven by a fear that originated in our major population centers.

I get it. Nobody wants to spread this disease – but the fact is that New York state’s 2900 deaths would have to increase by 27 times to equal the 79,000 annual deaths due to heart disease and cancer the CDC reported for the state in 2017 (the latest I could find at the CDC website).

At 7900 deaths nationwide so far, this pandemic doesn’t crack the top 50 for mortality classifications in the nation.

I understand the pandemic deaths are concentrated in a short period of time and when things happen over a short period, they have more impact – but I still question the need for Kansas or Utah to be driven by situations in New York.

The real pandemic is not the SARS-CoV-2 virus, it’s fear.

Wisconsin is a perfect example of what Smith is talking about. As of Friday out of Wisconsin’s 1,916 cases, 955 are in Milwaukee County and 244 are in Dane County. Some counties have not had a single case, and other counties’ measure in the single digits. Yet state government is stupidly treating every part of Wisconsin the same, mandating, for instance, statewide school closings when school administrators could have told you that was a really bad idea.

If politicians weren’t being profiles in cowardice maybe after this ends they could figure out that the state should not treat, for instance, Milwaukee and Marathon the same. And perhaps small towns could market themselves as superior places to live over crime-plagued and now disease-riddled urban areas.

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