Hot, soapy water: Can it fix a broken system?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), each year there are three-to-five million cases of various types of influenza that kill 290,000, to 650,000 people world-wide. Each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), various forms of influenza from Asia: bird and swine flu, and reassortments thereof kill 12,000 to 56,000 Americans. That raises the question: Why have ten previous U.S. governments allowed these flu epidemics to proceed without invoking the preventive steps being imposed now in 2020?
We could have been doing early contact tracing, selective quarantines, extra hand washing, Clorox-wiping, mask-wearing, social distancing, prophylactic use of chloroquine (invented in 1945), and selective movement restrictions without waiting for science to invent the absolutely perfect anti-flu vaccine. Something not likely to happen any time soon. Why do we have these stringent restrictions now, and not back then when millions of lives could have been saved?
Two of todays most important prescriptions for avoiding the Red Chinese Coronavirus, AKA Kung Flu, are repeated hand-washing with hot, soapy water and not touching the face which, given the need to wipe the nose and brush and floss teeth, is almost impossible to do.
That fact makes hand-washing with hot, soapy water the more essential of the two prescriptions. But what about the millions of people on this planet who do not have access to hot, soapy water? Or, if they do, absent the knowledge to use it?
If the Red Chinese Coronavirus is as rampant as some projections suggest, we might end up with a planet divided into two kinds of people: those with access to hot, soapy water and the knowledge to use it and those who do not have access to hot, soapy water. For the great unwashed, this could be the dreaded End of Days. Almost certainly, within the group without access to hot, soapy water are the ten-percent or more who never get the word and wont even know to take the most basic precautions. Consequently, all of humankind is at risk.
On a lighter note, something else we are learning during the Red Chinese Coronovirus pandemic is that a number of public officials suffer from Hoplophobia. (No, Hoplophobia is not a fear of Hopalong Cassidy films.) Hoplophobia is the fear of weapons.
In ancient Greece, the Hoplites were a band of poor farmers and artisans who figured out how to make their own swords and shields. They broke the Greek rulers monopoly on power. Suddenly, people power!
During this Kung Flu pandemic the sales of guns and ammunition are going through the roof. This phenomenon is a mystery to a number of elected officials who opine that guns cannot kill a virus. That these Hoplophobic officials do not understand the motivation behind the rush to buy guns for family protection during a time when law and order might break down, speaks volumes about their disconnect from the thinking of work-a-day Americans.
Meanwhile, President Trumps suggested use of hydroxychloraquine (Plaquenil) in conjunction with azithromycin and zinc sulfate is saving so many lives in test groups that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the off-label use of hydroxychloraquine against the Kung Flu.
Stay calm, carry on, wash your hands, wear a mask, and stay away!
©2020. William Hamilton.
William Hamilton is a laureate of the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, the Nebraska Aviation Hall of Fame, the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame, and the Oklahoma University Army ROTC Wall of Fame. Dr. Hamiltons latest book: Formula for Failure in Vietnam: The Folly of Limited Warfare can be ordered toll free at: (800) 253-2187 Or, go to Amazon.com.