The COVID-19 agenda has swept this globe in great fashion and has changed our lives beyond any other scheme ever created. I am speaking about how COVID is morphing and changing our world from the point of a bystander role, as I watch the craziest event take hold of our population. I am not a doctor, virologist, nor any other high-end degree holder; however, I can apply some common sense and experience to come to some logical assumptions. As COVID-19 was introduced to the world, and the governmental agencies began to lock us all in our houses, I was simply an ordinary citizen caught up in this wave of viral agendas. Now for the last several months, I have been immersed in the operational portion of managing military frontline workers. What I have witnessed is beyond what I thought could ever truly happen on this continent.
I have been part of the planning for the large-scale military response across my State, and now I am central to the operational control of this massive response. I have witnessed the massive amounts of money and time spent setting up mobile testing teams, alternate care hospitals, disinfection teams, and Soldier processing centers. We planned this response for months and now we are managing this massive response, all with large amounts of federal money being pumped into this machine. I have been in briefings which outline our expenditures and the amounts are enormous. Not only did the COVID response push the limits of our troops, add in the civil disturbance response that had to be stood up as well. The military is certainly being asked to do much more than just be a warfighting machine, we are deeply immersed in the civil response of the States. Not to mention that we had to stand up teams to take care of tornado strewn cities.
Beyond any of the response pieces of what the COVID-19 agenda started, is the massive undertaking and management of testing and quarantine. Starting out, there was not much testing being done for our troops and support personnel, because the cases across the State and the nation started to drop. However, for whatever reason, the case counts, and deaths reported have skyrocketed and now we are testing and quarantining at an enormous rate. My operation center has morphed into a mini quarantine tracking, testing management, tracing operation, all while maintaining the response operational piece. My duty logs and actions have grown immensely as I watch this whole event explode in front of my eyes, at a pace that I could not have ever imagined. We have been testing every Soldier and support people over and over, using a variety of testing types. This dilemma seems to be taking on a life of its own; I watch everyone scramble and run in the face of some virus that I am not sure actually exists, at least in the form that they say it does.
Do not mistake what I am saying, I am not trying to insinuate that testing should not be done, but it is maddening to watch this testing cycle change into a situation similar to a dog chasing its tail. In other words, where does this begin and where does it end? I truly do not see any good way to end this crazy ride we have started. Additionally, every agency seems to have a different idea of testing and quarantine criteria, and I cannot seem to keep up with what standard I am supposed to follow and enforce. The amount of money that has been spent just on testing is outrageous and it seems like we just keep repeating the testing cycle without any clear ending. There also does not seem to be any clear and absolute decision point that someone is clear of having COVID-19. One of our doctors stated that even if you test negative on the antibody test and negative on the swab test, it does not mean that you do not have COVID-19. My question then is, why are we testing in the first place? Even if we come up negative on every test, it still does not seem to rule out having this virus. If there was any definition of madness, this circular argument certainly fits the bill!
Another true source of madness is the lack of clear and definable guidelines for quarantine and isolation. We are quarantining people simply based on symptoms that are much the same as symptoms for common everyday sicknesses. Recently we quarantined a Soldier for several days simply because he had a fever, tested them, and they turned out negative for COVID-19. We put this Soldier aside from their family, their mission and spent government money to house and feed them. We even quarantined an entire security team based on the positive outcome of the finger stick antibody test; they were isolated for 10 days while waiting on test results which all came back negative. The sad part of all this is that this is not our junior military members who are reacting to this event, this is our senior leaders and medical personnel who seem to be generating great fear among the troops.
I suppose I understand how this can and has gotten out of control, but where will this cycle ever end? Even if COVID-19 fades away, those who have been identified with any symptoms or positive test results will certainly be wearing a Scarlet Letter. Now we are spinning back up at a maddening rate and moving back into government and state shutdowns and mandatory wearing of masks and social distancing. We have been told that we may be able to stand down our military operations soon, I doubt this will happen in the near future.