Keltner: The Pandemic
by Steve Keltner, PA
t’s peculiar how a misconception can dramatically alter the way facts are perceived. Virtually every child growing up in America believes, “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue” and discovered America. The fact is, Norse explorers set foot on the continent approximately 500 years earlier with help of explorer Leif Erikson.
Recently, America has fallen prey to a similar misconception. The first “official” case of CoVID-19 in the United States was confirmed on January 21, 2020. But CoVID-19 actually arrived months earlier. Authors of a study published in Clinical Infectious Disease(https://doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciaa1785 ) tested samples of blood donated to the American Red Cross between December 13, 2019 – January 19, 2020. Their findings showed positive antibodies for CoVID-19 in 1.43% of the samples they tested. This would be impossible if the first case of CoVID-19 arrived on January 21, 2020.
The only way antibodies could be found in these sample is if people contracted the disease before donating blood. Since CoVID-19 antibodies develop in roughly 1-3 weeks, it is reasonable to presume CoVID-19 was in the United States by November 2019 (or earlier). Therefore, by the time the CDC confirmed its first case, CoVID-19 had actually infected millions of Americans.
Determining the exact number of people infected before January 21, 2020 would be impossible. Blood donation does not accurately represent the general population for many reasons. For example, people under the age of 17 are not allowed to donate blood. Minorities and people in lower socio-economic groups tend to donate blood at a lower rate. However, using the published infection rate of 1.43% would indicate approximately 4.7 million people had been infected at the time the CDC reporting America’s first case.
This means the virus was actively spreading for months before government officials suggested lock-downs or a mask mandate. In that time, Americans traveled extensively to celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, birthdays, anniversaries, and the 2020 new year. Everyone remained at work. Children and teachers remained in school, health clubs remained open, and sporting events were attended without fear. On February 2, 2020, roughly 62,000 spectators packed into one stadium to watch Super Bowl LIX, and millions of people attended Super Bowl parties. All of these activities occurred without social distancing or masking.
Prior to the arrival of the first “official” case, the CDC did not identify a perceptible spike in mortality in any portion of the population to reasonably justify lock-downs or other measures. America went on about its business and kept passing along the virus–quietly working toward herd immunity.
The scientific community mistakenly tracked and contact-traced emerging cases from their incorrectly identified index (first) case which they “discovered” on January 21, 2020. This dramatically altered the way facts were gathered. Health officials were left marveling at the speed with which the virus spread into what they believed was a completely “virgin” population. The virus appeared to be “popping up” everywhere. But in reality, CoVID-19 was simply spreading from the 4.7 million people already infected with the virus. This mistaken identification led health officials to grossly miscalculate the speed of transmission and virility of CoVID-19 and the need for their containment measures.
CoVID-19 really became a problem when the American public “discovered” it. Watching daily death tolls and tracing the spread of the virus across the nation became an obsessive compulsion. Media outlets experienced high ratings and increased profits while feeding the disorder, picking and choosing the opinions that drove their ratings, while ignoring or discrediting anyone who might quell their stranglehold on the American fear factor.
But, since the very beginning of the pandemic there have been medical professionals urging a measured and methodical approach to the pandemic. The path they outlined was based on decades of virology and epidemiology practice and data. Against their advice, and bending to growing public opinion, America was forced into sequestration. The pandemic was well under way, and under control before public opinion trumped medical science.
Although a majority of Americans believe Columbus discovered America, it doesn’t mean it’s true. Fortunately, this misconception has had little impact on the nation. Likewise, an overwhelming majority of Americans believe CoVID-19 arrived on January 21, 2020. This misconception however, has had a major impact on our nation. Therefore, it’s time to set the record straight…
Because of inaccurately gathered data, America suffers from a terrible misconception regarding CoVID-19 that has altered the way the facts have been presented and perceived. There is clear evidence that CoVID-19 was entrenched in the United States prior to reports of its official arrival. There was no evidence to suggest that the months prior to January 21, 2020 were rife with deaths due to CoVID-19. With this in mind, it is apparent that our now heavily vaccinated and naturally immune population, can safely return to its pre-CoVID-19 lifestyle.
Steven Keltner, PA, has practiced in one of Indiana’s medically underserved and busiest emergency departments for 20 years. He also served ten years as an adjunct faculty member in the Health Sciences Department at of one Indiana’s premier private universities, as well as serving twelve years on its Board of Visitors.