(Photo: Air New Zealand)
Now before you think I'm crazy, even though I'm sure most of my base agrees with me about COVID-19 not being the boogeyman, I have plenty of science and data to back me up on my stance about this "pandemic."
Which is funny to me, because for years now, it's always been the political Left accusing the political Right of being science-deniers because of the climate change debate. Here in 2020, there's a lot of people on the Left doing that exact same thing they allege in denying science, but more about that later.
At the end of May, I will be embarking on a trip from New Zealand back to my homeland of the United States of America -- mainly to visit family and take trips around the country (Los Angeles, New York City, Miami) despite the coronavirus.
Now I understand that there's a load of travel warnings and advisories out there, I understand that a lot of international (and domestic) flights have been cut, I understand that airports have shut down portions of their facilities, but the plane tickets have been bought, sent and the flights are scheduled. So why wouldn't I take advantage and not go?
Because of something that has the same mortality rate as the flu? Or possibly over something that has a death rate that is much lower than the flu? Again, we'll get to that momentarily.
On this trip, I will be departing on May 28 (May 27 for the United States) through Air New Zealand and departing from Wellington to Auckland, New Zealand. After getting to the international terminal, going through immigration and moving past security, I will then be transiting from Auckland to Los Angeles, California in the beautiful United States of America.
From there, I will then be making the trip to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where I will be re-joined with family. Throughout that trip in America, I will also be visiting the likes of New York City, New York and Miami, Florida. (As well as Los Angeles, of course.)
But wait, I already know what some of you are asking, because I've heard it a number of times already: "Are you even allowed to travel?"
Well, simply put, yes. And that's thanks to international law.
According to Science:
From China's lockdown of the city of Wuhan (1) to U.S. restrictions on travelers from Europe (2) to border closures across a widening range of countries (3), governments are increasingly seeking to limit freedom of movement in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). These travel restrictions have slowed, but not halted, the spread of the pandemic (“The effect of travel restrictions on the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak,” M. Chinazzi et al., Research Articles, published online 6 March, p. eaba9757). However, the necessity and benefits of this public health response are outweighed by its violation of international law. Under the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR), binding on all World Health Organization (WHO) member states, health measures “shall not be more restrictive of international traffic and not more invasive or intrusive to persons than reasonably available alternatives” [(4), art. 43]. Given the effectiveness of community-based public health measures such as social distancing (5) and contact tracing (6), the necessity of travel bans must be weighed against less restrictive alternatives, increased global divisions, and violated IHR obligations (7).
The IHR seeks to govern how states can come together to address collective public health threats, whereas national travel bans drive nations apart through unnecessary economic isolation and rights violations. Although the IHR demands that health measures be implemented “with full respect for the dignity, human rights, and fundamental freedoms of persons” [(4), art. 3], travel restrictions unnecessarily infringe a range of basic rights related to the freedom of movement.
Plain and simple, nobody can legally stop me.
"What about the United States? Can't they stop you with their border restrictions?"
Well, never mind the fact that I'm a born-and-raised American citizen, there's certainly nothing that immigration can do there -- though the government would prefer that their citizens return home during this so-called crisis.
Hypothetically, however, let's say I was a citizen of New Zealand. According to United States law, I am also legally allowed into the country -- this part of the Pacific is no where near to being a hot spot with its whopping 20 deaths (obvious sarcasm), all people aged over 60 by the way. And God bless their souls, but this information needs to be pointed out.
As it stands currently, the parts of the globe that are banned from entering the U.S. are:
From there, you would obviously then go into state laws, but like I said, I'm not leaving for the United States until late this month -- May 28 to be exact. America has already entered phases of re-opening, so by the time I get there, there will be a lot of changes and less restrictions (with both natural progression and pressure on government officials), so it's hard to comment on that at the moment -- though I will most likely have another column, maybe a few, to document my thoughts before the trip.
Plus, I'll still be going everywhere as planned even if it's just for journalistic purposes. Despite the situation, the trip is on, and you'll be profiting from the entertaining content.
However, even with a lot of changes and less restrictions that will most likely take place over the next few weeks, that doesn't mean COVID-19 won't still be around, will it?
That's what makes this adventure fun, and you know I'm going to take advantage.
From the moment I go on a domestic flight in Wellington, New Zealand to an international flight to Los Angeles, California and domestically across the entire United States of America to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, I will be documenting the entire journey.
So that would be halfway across an entire country (New Zealand), halfway across the world, over the vast majority of the Pacific Ocean and across the entirety of the United States that will be documented.
And for what purpose: To show that COVID-19 isn't the boogeyman.
I invite everyone to join me on my journey. Like I said, I will be documenting as much of this experience as humanly possible, whether through videos, social media posts, and of course over here at The Powell Times -- as well as other ways that may become available. I'm also hoping to live blog on my international flight as well with WiFi being obtainable.
Again, my flights across half of the world kick off on May 28 (again, May 27 for the United States), so be sure to pin that on your calendar.
"But you shouldn't do that! You're not being safe! You're going to die and get others killed!"
There's been a lot of fearmongering going on with people, particularly coming from the mainstream media, left-wing politicians and social media warriors who are either actually scared or just don't want to go back to work. And I've seen a lot of the latter with that one.
From the political Left for quite some time now, the political Right has always been accused of being "science-deniers," mainly from the standpoint that conservatives don't believe in climate change. I mean, it's not like the seasons haven't been around or anything since the beginning of the world -- obvious sarcasm there. And they were already wrong about global warming, hence why they had to change the name to climate change, so why be mad when people are skeptical of this man-made doom and gloom?
Regardless though, if you're on the Right, you're a science-denier.
However, 2020 has seemed to change a lot of the Left's thinking when it comes to science, as well as data and numbers, and COVID-19 has proven that with flying colors -- something that is actually real unlike man-made climate change: They're denying the science, and we're the ones embracing it.
Huh, who saw that coming?
Here is some science and data for you that needs to be pointed out with this "deadly" virus, previously reported by The Powell Times.
First, let's start with the University of Miami:
Originally, the Florida health department had a tally of 11,570 cases of COVID-19 in the Miami-Dade area, but according to a new study done by the University of Miami, that number actually skyrockets to 165,000, which makes up 6% of the population that had antibodies that showed a past infection of the coronavirus.
Out of the 11,570 cases originally reported, 302 would result in death, which makes the mortality rate of the virus in Miami-Dade at a level of 2.6%. However, with the cases skyrocketing to 165,000, it actually brings the death rate much lower to 0.1%, which is the same number as the seasonal flu.
Now here's another study from the University of Southern California (USC) and L.A. County Department of Public Health:
As previously reported by The Powell Times, the University of Southern California (USC) and L.A. County Department of Public Health show that the reported cases in the county are much higher.
Officially, L.A. County is listed at 19,528 COVID-19 cases with 913 of them being deaths. Under those current numbers, that means that the death rate is at 4%. However, antibody tests show that the county's actual case number surges much higher, listed anywhere between 221,000-442,000.
If the 442,000 figure is accurate, that would shoot down L.A. County's mortality rate to 0.2%, while the 221,000 figure would be at 0.4%, which once again lines COVID-19 up with the seasonal flu.
You also had Santa Clara, California do the exact same test:
Also in California, Santa Clara County would do the exact same antibody test. As their official reporting stands right now, they have 2,084 cases, and 100 of them are deaths. Percentage wise, that's a death rate of 4%.
However, the antibody study shows that the cases are actually anywhere between 48,000-81,000. For the 81,000 figure, the death rate figure gets dropped down to 0.1%, while the 48,000 figure is at 0.2%.
That's three of the exact same studies done where they've shown that the mortality rate of COVID-19 falls around the same percentage of the seasonal flu. Yes, the seasonal flu. That's actually what we're shut down over right now, according to the science and data.
But that's not all. You also have this little tidbit from a University of Michigan professor:
And let's end it off with a bang:
From The Powell Times:
Doctors out of California, Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi, operate in a Bakersfield urgent care clinic, and would recently do their own COVID-19 study. Citing the mortality statistics in the state of California, the doctors made the case that the coronavirus is no where as deadly as it was expected to be.
“We have 39.5 million people, if we just take a basic calculation and extrapolate that out, that equates to about 4.7 million cases throughout the state of California,” stated Dr. Erickson. “Which means this thing is widespread, that’s the good news. We’ve seen 1,227 deaths in the state of California with a possible incidents or prevalence of 4.7 million. That means you have a 0.03 chance of dying from COVID-19 in the state of California.”
The doctors would present their case in a 50-minute press conference, and would also mention that the extraordinary focus of the Chinese virus is taking up needed medical resources away from other problems of urgency.
“When I talk to E.R. physicians around the country, what’s happening? Well because COVID has become the focus, people with heart disease, people with cancer, hypertension, and various things that are critical are choosing not to come in based on fear. So what that’s doing is forcing the healthcare system to focus on COVID and not focus on a myriad of other things that are critical.”
You can watch the entirety of the doctors' press conference below.
So in total, you have three different antibody tests that are exactly the same showing that COVID-19 has the same mortality rate as the seasonal flu, another study showing that it's actually much lower than the seasonal flu and a university professor saying there's no evidence that the coronavirus is coating the earth.
People want science and data. Well, there's your science and data.
And I'm not claiming to be a doctor, scientist or other medical or science expert, but what I am doing is listening to the doctors, scientists, medical and science experts and so on. And according to them, this virus and the media hype that's came along with it has been vastly overblown.
A recent example of that was when I traveled from Dannevirke, New Zealand to Napier, New Zealand, which is about an hour and a half drive from each other -- three hours total there and back.
Before I get into this brief story, remember that New Zealand just came out of Level 4 lockdown, which meant that everybody needed to stay home. Now me and my family did listen to the lockdown originally, it wasn't until later when we no longer took the COVID-19 threat seriously after we had the proper information at hand. We came out of Level 4 earlier this week on Tuesday and inserted Level 3, which meant a few businesses here and there could open back up, but other than that, there were no major changes to the stay-at-home order. Plain and simple: You still needed to be locked in your house, other than "essential" travel.
Later this week on Friday, we decided to take that trip, and there were people literally everywhere. People in their vehicles, people walking on the sidewalks, people everywhere. It was bananas, everything was completely back to normal -- for the most part. A lot of businesses were still shut down, but it was obvious that the economy was starting to roll again.
And it also showed me something that I already knew: The media will lie to you.
We're all aware of their doom and gloom way of reporting by now, for ratings, revenue and to push agendas, and it really set in on Friday when I saw all of the people out and about. This is especially true when you consider the amount of police everywhere, and I mean, they were everywhere -- and none of them were enforcing these Level 3 guidelines. Reading the media here in this country, you would think it was the complete opposite. It really was a beautiful thing seeing everybody out, and it showed you that not everything is scary as its being portrayed to be. The world is still normal out there.
So in closing, here is what I ask: Don't go by fear, go by facts.
I get that there's 3.43 million cases of COVID-19 worldwide, with 244,000 deaths attached to it -- at least that's what the official reports say, there's a lot of questions surrounding the numbers. But let's say that those numbers are real. Okay, still, why be scared of the coronavirus?
Every single year worldwide, five million people are infected with the seasonal flu throughout its annual cycle, with 650,000 deaths attached to that number. Why isn't anybody scared of that? Why isn't the media hyping it up? It kills and infects more people than COVID-19, why isn't anyone blinking an eye?
Just think about it. I gave you science, data, numbers and so on, all of the evidence is there to provide you the argument that the "deadly coronavirus" isn't really that deadly at all. So now, if you're pro-lockdown, I just need you to think about it.
Sure, you can disagree with me. But technically, it would make you a science-denier.
Facts are facts.
I hope all of my readers -- my base on the Right, my haters on the Left and to everyone else in between -- join me on May 28 (once again, May 27 for the United States) for my journey from Wellington, New Zealand all the way half across the world to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, just so I can show everyone.
COVID-19 isn't the boogeyman.