“One of the scariest things in the world is called ‘the unknown.’”

That’s how Scott Adams, creator of DILBERT and an expert on the science of persuasion, started a recent podcast. He noted that this is especially true if your enemy is something you literally can’t even see. I’ve been thinking about that in light of recent conflicting reports on the Wuhan virus (COVID-19) and promising therapies.

Adams decided to go on record, based on a lifetime of experience, with what he thinks the next several weeks are going to be like. Later we’ll know how close he got.

We’re seeing a huge conflict between two schools of thought. Some think that closing down the economy and all self-quarantining is much too extreme, that people need to get back to work now even if the virus spreads and some lose their lives (as happens with the flu every year). Adams says this is a very “adult” opinion that he respects; at least it shows an understanding of the costs and benefits, though we can only speculate how large or small either of those are. Others say we need a complete shut-down to get the virus under control and only then can we let people go back to work. Again, we can only speculate how long that will be.

It occurs to me that many Americans get their underwear in a bunch at the thought of a GOVERNMENT shut-down, during which “non-essential” government employees stay home for maybe a few weeks. For this, some are talking cavalierly about a TOTAL economic shut-down, for maybe a few months or even longer. That would inevitably lead to a crashed economy, perhaps the very soul of our nation in ruins and, yes, much death (suicide). That “cure” is unacceptable, worse than this disease.

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Anyway, Adams predicts that neither of these extreme scenarios will play out. (It’s not, to use “progressive” terminology, a binary choice.) To anticipate how it will go, he first consults the medical professionals. But he keeps in mind that they’re concerned not just with treating the patient but with availability of supplies and also with “crowd psychology,” what I’d call managing expectations and fears. Normally, Adams says, we can trust doctors and scientists to give us “a straight fact,” but in this situation, we might not.

They have good intentions and the best information, he says, but we may need to look through what is being said to know what’s really going on.

Adams cites the studies we’ve been discussing on the use of hydroxychlorophine and the “Z-pack” to treat COVID-19. Adams finds himself, like me, “more optimistic” than Dr. Fauci and the Centers for Disease Control have been, at least publicly, about the usefulness of these therapies. He thinks doctors are downplaying our hopes as a way to help keep us home, at least for now, and because they don’t yet have a large enough supply to meet the incredible demand there will be.

If there were a panic over getting the drugs, some people would stop at nothing. (Look at what they do to have toilet paper.) They also might be too optimistic about the difference the drugs will make. But Adams’ hunch, based on all he knows, is that doctors think this treatment is better than they’re currently letting on. “All of the evidence so far is that it’s a pretty good kill shot,” he says.

He predicts, based on studies going on now around the world, that we’ll find out in a week or two that with these treatments, we can take the death rate for healthy people under, say, 60, very close to zero. (I would add that this would be comparable to that of the usual seasonal flu.) They might get sick and miserable with the virus, but they’re highly unlikely to end up in the ICU. That will be the time to let many people go back to work, but not older and otherwise high-risk people, of course.

We’ll be able to turn the economy back on, he says, but “not like a light switch.” It’ll be more like a “dimmer.” But first, the health care system can’t be overloaded (as it currently is in New York), and there has to be a good supply of the medications.

Adams also asked some healthcare professionals how practical it would be to give drugs to those who were non-critical or even just presenting early symptoms that might or might not be coronavirus. Would they bother testing first, knowing that doing so would use up the supply of tests, which are probably more time-consuming to make and administer than just giving meds?

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Based on what they told him, he thinks medical professionals will be dispensing the medication fairly soon –- in places such as California, with nice weather, even in “pop-up tents” outside hospitals --- to people who aren’t sick enough that they need to be admitted. “Our ability to deliver it to people who are not critically ill will be very high,” he says. (I disagree on the advisability of “pop-up tents” if it means doctors will just be handing out drugs; hydroxychloroquine occasionally has serious side effects.)

Adams uses the restaurant business as an example of how the “dimmer” might be gradually turned up. Restaurants in a particular city may open for business, it might be determined, but only if nobody under 60 goes inside them. That would still cut out a lot of business, but it might get the restaurant back to covering salaries and rent. (I would assume people OVER 60 would still at least be able to get take-out!) He envisions a fairly rapid phase-in, assessing results as we go.

What we need to know now from our media: 1) What is the survival rate of people who have received these drugs?, and 2) What is the availability pipeline for the drugs? The media are letting us down here. The answers are likely encouraging.

Adams laments how the media ARE talking about this, vilifying Trump for telling “fairy tales.” Here’s what Rachel Maddow said: “But the President loves saying things like, you know, ‘There’s a drug we’ve got and it’s very effective. It’s approved already. Everybody’s gonna get it.’ He loves saying things like that, because that would be a lovely thing to tell people –- unless, of course, THAT’S NOT TRUE!” Maddow accuses the President of lying, when Adams can personally confirm through the experience of a friend of his with the virus –- sorry for the “anecdotal evidence” –- that medical professionals are giving patients this therapy. “Do you think they’re giving it to people because they don’t think it works?” he asks. Doctors are giving these drugs, FDA-approved but used off-label, because they believe them to be effective and not harmful, at least not harmful enough to outweigh the benefits.

In other words, it’s Maddow who is lying. (Talk about deplorable.) The President talks to all the experts and knows what he’s saying is true, and he’s working to get this treatment out as soon as possible.

Check out Scott Adams’ podcast, Episode 863, “PART 1: LET ME TELL YOU HOW WE BEAT THE VIRUS AND GET BACK TO WORK SOON.”


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Comments 26-50 of 97

  • Lisa Ford

    03/23/2020 04:40 PM

    I am totally on overload on all the news, I very much limit who I listen to. I can shelter in place & have been. I pray. But we cannot forget to Praise. Maybe think of it this way. Faith vs fear. God vs the devil. Then pray that the dems stop being so selfish. Start caring about people. We have to give the money to business to keep payrolls going, I'd rather see the companies pay their employees, than Washington dumping loads of money. Keep the companies afloat, keeps employees employed & paid. Pelosi & whinning Chuck need to be fired. And Biden as we all know is a puppet, like Castro. He's not a real man. He has to have others pull his strings. Anyone seeing him as a marionette doll in their head? That would make a pretty funny commercial.

  • Clara Herrin

    03/23/2020 04:27 PM

    My heart breaks for all the students who were supposed to compete in athletic competitions which might have allowed them to be champions of their sport. Instead, they have been short-changed by the cancellation of all athletic events. Equally, as a musician, I'm upset by the cancellation of concerts for which we have been rehearsing for months. I know some of you will count this as being frivolous, but it really isn't. Music has always been a way to counter the hardships of life. Then there are those who minister to their flocks, but now their churches are closed and they cannot bring solace to breaking hearts. Small businesses, which cannot overcome long closures, will go out of business, bringing more pain to their owners. And just a few minutes ago, I was notified that Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi turned their backs on a bill our President wanted passed that would have helped in this situation. How they think this is going to garner MORE votes for them is beyond my comprehension. This is the downside. However, the upside is a surge of people who will see these actions as an attack on the American way of life. They will come to realize that the Democratic party has absolutely no interest in anything that doesn't put money and power into their hands. They don't care who they hurt, or how many people die from neglect, or how many children are left alone or in the hands of others, just so long as they get whatever they want for themselves. It's my thought that these selfish actions will open the eyes of those who have been blindly following the Leftist propaganda. They will see that our wonderful President is doing all he can, within the law, to bring us back to sanity. Nothing like this ever happened when SARS hit this country, or Ebola, or Swine Flu, or even the flu that happens every year. No one panicked during those times, so why should they panic now? The cure is out there, and as soon as it has been brought up to speed, it will be just as available as the regular flu shot is now. Panic and hoarding never solved anything. It only brings more unhappiness and division. I find it interesting that this country can come together during a hurricane or a tornado and provide whatever supplies are necessary for the victims; but now that we have this emergency, people are trying to gather to themselves as much as their pocketbooks and arms can handle forgetting that there are those behind them that need those things just as much they do. What happened to that Samaritan attitude? Why have so many people decided to 'loot' the stores for their own interest? Isn't it enough to buy only what they need for the next week or two and allow others to do the same? For me...I'm staying home, minding my own business, buying only what I need for the present, and praying to God for the peace of mind to survive this pandemic. PLEASE, EVERYONE, CALM DOWN, TAKE IT EASY, BUY ONLY WHAT YOU NEED FOR NOW!!!! The stores are open. As truckers are able to make deliveries, there will be enough for everyone. Be thoughtful of others as you would want them to be thoughtful of you. AND...in Novemeber vote for the only man who really cares about this country, our President, Donald J. Trump.

  • Dave Clarke

    03/23/2020 04:12 PM

    Familiar Scenario – Familiar Test – Familiar Unrest and Anxieties – Familiar Questions
    Deuteronomy chapter 8 is as applicable today – as the days of Moses and the Hebrew families. The God of Promise – clearly stated the direction and provision of Promise – to the people of Promise - for a land/destination of Promise.
    Yet…. His children struggled with the outward and inward dynamics of relationship – Father’s loving provision – the children’s loving, unselfish faith and obedience.
    Take a minute to review how that wilderness experience resembles today’s health, financial, security….. uncertainties.
    The loving Father, sovereign and intimate, allowed critical needs in the lives of His children – as a test [Hebrew ‘nacah’] to reveal the depth and authenticity of their love/faith relationship with the Father.
    Today – we face circumstances that we had never dreamed of in past days. Our faith – love relationship is being tested. It’s a good day for personal inventory.
    We have been relying on personal performance, working hard to achieve and prosper. God orchestrates/allows testing and trials to remind us – that He alone is the Source of everything worthwhile in life. He is our Way, Truth and Life.
    Let today be day #1 of personal revival.
    “And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.”
    Deut 30:6

    Choose Life!

  • Paul Kern

    03/23/2020 03:57 PM

    I understand that the high risk group is no the 20 to mid fifties. Interesting. Is it a bioengineered virus designed to deliberately mutate? I see that the CCP is likely pulling the strings of many as the Marxists in Congress and the RINO'S are in George Soros pockets. All they want is to cause chaos, hatred, and destruction.
    Recently it was reported that the Border Patrol allowing hundreds driving cats coming from Sonoma on the border of they say they are shopping or have medical appointments. Ordered to do so by higher ups. These same people continue driving past the border town's. Another deep State ploy to bring in new illegals to vote and live off real citizens.

  • Jo Carol Arnold

    03/23/2020 03:41 PM

    Thank you, for this very encouraging news, Gov. Huckabee and Scott Adams! I think you guys are on to something that could be an answer to prayer. It certainly makes sense to me, with the only downer being that people over 60 can't go to restaurants as quickly as younger people! But, that's a small price to avoid the economic collapse of our economy.

  • Debra Schmidt

    03/23/2020 03:40 PM

    Thanks again! I cannot see the scott Adams piece when I click the link. I have also tried to find it through a search. Did they take it down? It must be truth !!

  • LeAnn K. Kathman

    03/23/2020 03:38 PM

    What we need shut down is MSM.

  • Barb Suits

    03/23/2020 03:34 PM

    I agree with getting back to living, work, play, and all the amenities that go with a healthy life style. Any first year history student (from the old school)can tell you this is not the worst flu or near the highest deaths as in previous ones, including the 2008. The difference, the media has taken over the diagnosing, numbers, and all else they can to convince people this is the worst ever and it is, in coverage of the event. They have literally demonized it, making it a political football and handing out false information and numbers to gain better ratings. The solution is simple. Start with prayer or good though to Whomever you worship, cover all the good things happening due to this problem, stop talking about the bad and seek out the good. It is there just need more people to be aware of it. Tnx for the opportunity to "soap box"

  • Vernon R Freeck

    03/23/2020 03:31 PM

    It was said one time the only thing to fear is fear its self, If we have GOD in our lifes we should have no fear, I mean really in our lifes, in our lifes on this earth. The thing I read that the regular flu has killed 3 times as many people so why are we not jumping all over this, oh yes this is common and not from China.


    03/23/2020 03:27 PM

    "Stimulus Money" isn't the answer as I have lived for some time on $600 a month after paying into Social Security 4 over 30yrs, got sick from "allowed but not approved" by FDA medical device; I learned to adapt, to deal w/bull crap hand I have 2 deal with. 3 Autoimmune disorders later, thanks fda, I take vitamins/minerals-like prescribed (Zpac or ZINC) & plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine} & I am okay, POTUS says to squash corona virus that same might work, I say, "Go for it, hasn't hurt me, but kept me going." And the Stimulus- I would like to be able to get a few things like brand new underclothes at a store, but medications, food, housing & dr bills come first, oh & that electric bill/water/gasHeat don't pay themselves. Forgive me please, glad to see others afraid of not being able to pay their bills, welcome to my life, no fun is it. Bottom line- I don't trust Govt, but I do trust Trump POTUS-1st person 2Give me hope in a long time. I Trust Jesus & Father God won't put anything on us we can't handle, just wish this burden could be off me for a while. So count your blessings you "get to" pay your bills, buy new underclothes, & VOTE, VOTE like your life depends on it. Be Kind 2the sick, you don't know how they got there & maybe God is knocking rough edges off you by allowing them to cross your path. BE WELL & give some grace 2 others and Thanks Huck, like the motorbike in your commercial, bet it's fun

  • Kay DeWitt

    03/23/2020 03:22 PM

    Someone told me that there have NOW been no more new cases of the coronavirus in China because the militia made sure that people didn't leave their homes...I don't know if that is true, but, whether it is, or it isn't, matters not to me because I do not believe that the quarantine agenda is an overreaction to this pandemic for a number of reasons.....AND....

    I do not see any validity in comparing the death toll of flu victims with the death toll of the victims of the coronavirus because most Americans are pretty conscientious about getting a yearly flu shot so they don't worry about catching the flu....AND the flu is not as contagious AS the coronavirus...which is why the flu is not considered to be a PANDEMIC like the coronavirus is!

    I will state it again....I believe God ALLOWED our country to be inflicted WITH this coronavirus because it is His judgment on our SIN...ya know like killing HIS babies
    ....calling HIM a liar for stating in HIS "constitution"...HIS rule of law known as the Bible...that homosexuality...therefore, same-sex marriage....is a sin!

    Christians who happen to believe that God IS the author of the Bible KNOW that He does NOT lie and, therefore, He honors EVERY promise He makes TO us..like when He says, "seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all these 'other things ' will be added unto you." ....And those "other things" are our daily necessities !

    Our Democrat friends...and their fellow Trump haters...are, obviously, not seeing this pandemic AS God's judgment on SIN because they don't have a clue as to what it means to see this life FROM God's perspective!.....THEREFORE...

    Their perspective ON this pandemic IS going to be in conflict with those who are seeing it AS God sees it and I pray that those who ARE seeing it as God sees it are willing to, FINALLY, take a stand FOR how God sees not only IT, but everything else that has become so godless in America! .And little do those who are supporting killing HIS babies know that, as bad as this pandemic "judgment" is, it could be a lot worse...which it will BE in the future if these abominable sins are not repented OF...and stood AGAINST by those of us whom weep WITH our Man of Sorrows over the slaughter of HIS unborn children...and every other sin that makes a mockery of Who He is and what HIS values are!!!!

  • Ladd Moravek

    03/23/2020 03:07 PM

    OFF Topic: the Republican Senators in quarantine need to be able to vote NOW... Crazy thought what is they showed up in hazmat suite to vote(just kidding). But we need to figure out something!!!

  • Mark Mittelstaedt

    03/23/2020 02:57 PM

    Time for Americans to sack up. Old people / high riskers - stay home as much as possible. Sterilize everything - all the time - forever forward - because it makes sense. Sprays / UV lights / get in the sun / live & eat healthy - good policy in any situation. Being faithful about doing this is...patriotic ! Start using the aforementioned drugs, and give people their lives - and futures ! back.

  • Thala J Susag

    03/23/2020 02:53 PM

    The Democrats are using this crisis as another tool to
    defeat President Trump. They have very little concern
    for Americans who are suffering loss of jobs, fear of
    the virus, and loss of loved ones.
    The headlines should shout THIS IS ABOUT THE 2020
    ELECTIONS! Does the communist Chinese government
    want President Trump re-elected? Not hardly. He has
    torn apart their carefully-laid plans to take over the
    United States; controlling government, citizens and
    a vast wealth of assets, technology and trade secrets.
    I think they didn't suspect President Trump had
    already uncovered their secret plan of using the
    gullible and hate-drenched media to help them
    interfere, successfully, in the 2020 elections. Did
    the communist party bosses deliberately unleash
    the Chinese coronavirus? Their hope may have been
    to cripple the U.S. economy so badly that President
    Trump would not be re-elected. I think they do not
    understand the American people at all.
    Some day the long-suffering Chinese people will rise
    up and restore the government of China as it was for
    hundreds (thousands?) of years before the 1949
    communist takeover by the brutal dictator Mao.
    Bernie voters, take note.

  • Debra Mitan

    03/23/2020 02:50 PM

    Let the republicans out on hazmat gear and come to work to defeat the rotten dems. They all need to be fired!

  • Susan Kay scism

    03/23/2020 02:33 PM

    I am horrified! I believe I am in shock! So saddened to find out that the American public means absolutely nothing to the Democratic party. To the point that they don't care if we die! how can they do this to people that voted them in to help us. and instead they turn their back on us can't they hear our cries of help us please! Will Nancy Pelosi we'll have a lot of blood on her hands. may God forgive you Nancy for your uncaring nature.

  • Susan Turk

    03/23/2020 02:30 PM

    I have read many articles and believe that the hydroxychloroquine coupled with a Z-pak can kill the coronavirus. I am proud of President Trump is doing the best that he possibly can to get our Americans protected and well again.
    On a different note I think that Pelosi, Schummer and Schiff all need to be censured. Their actions have been despicable. All they are about is their agendas and not what is good for the American people. How can we get these so called politicians removed from office? The sooner the better for all of us.

  • Pat J Green

    03/23/2020 02:30 PM

    My dad is 93 and I am 71, my dad was in the Navy during WW2 and I served in the Navy in Vietnam. I tell you this because I keep hearing younger people who just don't care about seniors they say just let them die and just get out of the way. I am sickened by there attitude towards the greatest generation , this are folks who put it all on the line for future generations. And as far as I am concerned if we need to stay home and not have are fun then that is the way it is

  • Ellen Klapperich

    03/23/2020 02:12 PM

    Well don't worry cause Uncle Joe is gonna get the truth out to us from his Delaware home, as you may have guessed, he's the only one who's in the know. Smh!

  • Paul Perkins

    03/23/2020 02:04 PM

    There is a quote: "History repeats itself" and "Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it." The nation of Israel was on "lockdown" or quarantined in the book of Exodus, chapter 12, the first Passover. The Black Plague survivors of the 1300's were also attributed in part to a quarantine and this very Black Plague was reported to have begun in China. Food for thought: the dictionary has a definition for the word "Corona" and in part, it is: "crown". The 24 Elders in the book of Revelation "cast crowns" at Jesus feet (Revelation 4:10-11 KJV and Philippians 2:10-11 KJV: "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
    And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." The believer can also earn at least 5 crowns found in scripture. Amazingly Jesus is quoted as saying in Luke 17: 26-29 KJV : "And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all."
    A review of the scriptures that Jesus was referencing indicate that the "days of Noe" were: evil and the "days of Lot" filled with immortality.

  • Floyd A Unger

    03/23/2020 01:58 PM

    As a retired banker who has dealt with many doctors I learned that being a “Doctor” does not make one correct or sensible. We must be careful about the wholesale advice of everyone. We must make our decisions with studied good sense not panic. Good sense brings good results. Decisions made in panic bring disaster and even death.

  • Cheryl Lindsey

    03/23/2020 01:54 PM

    Thank you for your uplifting messages and words of hope when there is so little of that right now.

    My scary thought this morning was why would our nation’s young adults behave in such a reckless manner knowing that their behavior could cost the lives of some of our older Americans. Is there an end game to this?

  • Donald Cummins

    03/23/2020 01:46 PM

    That you for your thoughts on this and the upbeat opinion on what our President is doing. We do not need people accusing the President of lying. dispicable.

  • Gail Denham

    03/23/2020 01:38 PM

    The dems need to get their heads on straight - to stop the care package because they can't do the "green new deal" or some such - when most of them scoot around the countries endlessless - on our dollar - leaaving all kinds of little footprints - is so ridiculous - I can't even think of it - cuz I want to hit something.

  • Linda Phillips

    03/23/2020 01:38 PM

    Interesting and useful article.