COVID-19, The Flu, and The Shutdown

Maryland FlagMaryland is under a stay-at-home mandate from Governor Hogan. It is like those in most states to stop unnecessary travel and avoid groups. Maintain social distancing.

What makes up unnecessary travel? One could look at what businesses are open in Maryland. Based on my trips, the following are open.

Necessary Trips!?

I picked up my prescriptions at the Navy pharmacy and shopped for groceries at the base commissary. The pharmacy and commissary are about twenty-seven miles from our home. There were few others on the road at the time of our trip.

My wife and I took advantage of the curbside service Sam’s store offered seniors. We gave our order to one of their employees, and soon another brought it to us. The number of cars in the parking lot, and the number in line, surprised us.  We filled up with gas at Sam’s gas station on our way home.

My wife required an ingredient for dinner, and  I found it at the local Safeway grocery. The store was swarming with people. The store marked the floor to help shoppers maintain social distancing during checkout. It was a busy store with many shoppers.


My wife and I picked up bulk shelled peanuts for our squirrel friends, grass seed, suit, and onion set from the county co-op. I had trouble finding a place to park the first visit, and a little easier the second time—so many finding going to the co-op an essential trip, including me.

My son-in-law and I made a deposit of branches from a down tree in the county. We filled the bed of my truck with limb debris from a tree recently downed. We were one of the few customers.

I should include the farm where we bought fresh free-range eggs. That was a pleasant drive after leaving the interstate through rolling farms, stands of trees. I remember commenting to my wife I hadn’t noticed a car on the road for miles.

We would like to get out more but there are limited places to go. All of the precautions, with the closures, give us very few choices.

COVID-19 Response Necessary?

I hope there will be a serious conversation regarding whether there were better ways to deal with this virus.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates there were 38 million illnesses, 390,000 hospitalizations, and 23,000 deaths from the latest flu strain as of March 25th  in the United States alone.  These numbers are like every year’s as additional strains of the flu attack. Yet, we don’t shut down America for it.

COVID-19 has not run its course, and the numbers are still going up. I am sure they will have the numbers eventually. But, will they be able to learn the number of deaths caused by the shutdown? How many who lost their businesses or jobs committed suicide or turned to drugs? What was the increase in domestic abuse? There were severe repercussions from shutting down America besides those attributed to the virus.

Your thoughts about the shutdown. Have you been out during this trying time? Share with me using the comment form.






  1. Yes, the shut down is necessary. While you cite numbers on the flu, please remember most of us are vaccinated against it. The flu is NOT a good indicator, regardless of what some news sources say.

    Why? Because NO ONE is vaccinated against COVID-19.

    Here’s why lock down is necessary:

    There are 320,000,000 Americans. *All* susceptible as there is no vaccine and no immunity as its a new virus.

    The death rate of this virus is somewhere between 1-3%.

    If 95% of the population gets the virus, that’s 304,000,000 that get sick. If 1-3% of them die, that is somewhere between 3,000,000 and 9,000,000 people.

    Maybe the death rate is slightly lower and only 2,000,000 die. Maybe it’s higher and 12,000,000 die.

    Think about those numbers. To put them into perspective, 405,000 Americans died in WWII.

    • Dwane

      Hi Elizabeth. I hope you and your family stay safe.

      Thank you for your response. I appreciate your visits. I always look forward to your insightful comments. Thank you.

      I have no disagreement with your numbers since they mirror what Dr Fauci and Dr Birx used to convince President Trump to recommend the shutdown. My question is if there is a better way to have addressed the pandemic.

      My question was predicated on what is being found. Young people face hospitalization in large numbers, but few go into the ICU and a small number die. The highest numbers going into the hospital are in my age group. We also are more likely to go into ICU and more of us die than any age group except +85 year old. The numbers are from

      I saw, today, a study in LA County where they found 4.1% of those tested had antibodies. This was in early April and equated to over 200k persons. If across the country, some 14 million might already have antibodies. I expect there would be more in areas with previously high infection numbers.

      I am not belittling the danger of the virus or those who have died from it. My wife and I worry one of our family would get it. God has been good to us that we are all well. But, the pain many have suffered from job loss, businesses closing that will never reopen, the increase noted in drug use and abuse in some homes. Suicides are statistically shown to increase as the number unemployed increases. The rate has gone up 10% or more in just four weeks.

      All of this caused me to wonder if we could have concentrated on the restricting the elderly and those with health issues the virus attacks without locking everyone down for so long.

      I must say, I feel for the families of those who died from this virus. I feel for the families of those who survived for they lived in fear of a love one dying. And for those, like me and my wife, who feared hearing one our loved ones contacted it.

      Again, be safe and thank you for your comment. It did give me cause for reflection.

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