One brisk and foggy April night in the North Atlantic Ocean, people came on deck and threw ice chips at each other, just minutes after R.M.S. Titanic struck an iceberg a blow just glancing enough to be mortal. They weren't absolute morons, they simply didn't understand the
Keep your finger in that spot; we will circle around back to it presently.
It takes two years, minimum, to train a respiratory therapist. I asked them at work to insure I gave you the right information. They can only run and oversee about 4 ventilators at a time. (By law, hereabouts.)
A decent RN takes 3 years, minimum, to just license, and another year or so to know WTF they're doing.
I mention this because some soopergenius with FedGov was yakking about buying and paying for 100,000 ventilators.
Okay, fine, Sparky. You do that.
So say they whistle up $200M, because for Uncle, that's chump change.
But it takes a year or two to make them.
And 10-20 years to try to pull 25,000 RTs, 100,000 doctors, and another million nurses out of somebody's ass, from a system that couldn't ramp up to make a tenth that many extra, in two decades, even if you shoveled money at the problem 24/7/365 from now until then.
Nineteen years after this is history.
It took 2 1/2 years with total mobilization, just to put 100,000 guys on the beaches of Normandy one June morning.
With this outbreak, the war is over before they get out of basic training.
"But South Korea is doing fine, with no massive lockdown!"
Yeah. And they also have 22 hospital beds for every 1000 citizens there.
Italy has 3.2.
The U.S. has 2.8.
Let me know when the penny drops.
You've got what you've got now for this thing, and from here on out, it gets worse, not better, for at least the next year.
Whether that's only a few thousand dead, or a few million, it's still too late, "you go to war with the army you have, not with the army you wish you had."
Currently, ER visits are drastically reduced, because nobody's bringing their usual 30% b.s. complaints in, because nobody wants Kung Flu.
Last night, no cops, no criminals, no crazies.
Literally zero. On a Friday night. Unheard of.
Everyone's hunkered down, watching reruns, eating their toilet paper, and drinking their bottled water.
But we had several potential cases of Kung Flu, and we're testing them now. NOW.
In March, two months after the horse got out of the barn. That will end well.
I will be shocked (and properly ecstatic to be wrong) if this doesn't explode presently, owing to the likelihood of tens to hundreds of thousands of unsuspected cases wandering about the country, probably going back to January.
As it is, testing is going to reveal it's two to three orders of magnitude worse than suspected.
And for 80+%, it's probably "just the flu".
Just like for the people in the lifeboats, the Titanic had "just a wee mishap, and a small inconvenience to their travel plans".
The problem, as always, is those people in the water.
And there's liable to be an awful lot of them this time, too.