Yesterday when Connecticut saw its 12th straight day of hospitalization drops as well as a continuing trend of lower deaths, the University of Washington COVID-19 model raised its forecast death toll for the state from 3,315 to 4,047. The reason was the state is beginning to relax its social distancing policies and open up more of its economy. Nationwide, the model forecast a huge leap in deaths (from 72,433 to 134,475) for the same reasons.
An article on the STAT web page discusses three possible scenarios for COVID in the future:
Three potential futures for Covid-19: recurring small outbreaks, a monster wave, or a persistent crisis
An article on the STAT web page discusses three possible scenarios for us and COVID in the future:
1. This current wave is followed by many smaller subsequent waves until finally after many years enough people have been infected or a vaccine is developed so there is enough immunity in the world to top the virus.
2. We are hit with a Monster wave in the fall/winter, twice as high and twice as long as what we have experienced. This devastation wave that is followed by small blips in the future.
3. What we are going through now becomes the norm that lasts until half the world has been infected.
Here is the conflict we face according to the article:
Society must referee what Leung calls “a three-way tug of war” among a trio of competing needs: to keep cases and deaths low, to preserve jobs and economic activity, and to preserve people’s emotional well-being. “It’s a battle between what we need to do for public health and what we need to do for the economy and for social and emotional well-being,” he said. If the public health part of the tug-of-war weakens, then the waves will keep on coming through the end of 2022.
No easy choice. How do you value a human life? People go to war and risk life to fight for a way of life? When is the cost too high?
I come to work at the hospital and every morning check the isolation list to see who has been newly admitted and tested positive for COVID so I can notify the EMS service of the potential exposure. The numbers are way down. Not zero, but only one or two a day, down from five times that amount.
When I go to work on the ambulance, I am still putting on my PPE, gowning, gloving and masking up because even though the numbers are coming down, we can’t assume a fever is just a fever.
Still we’ll see when the waves are coming. We’ll see it in the fear in our patients eyes as they struggle to breathe. We’ll see it the sudden increase in the cardiac arrests. It will wake us in the middle of the night. Is this chill, this body pain, this headache, this night sweat the real deal or just another taunt?
Here in the northeast we have been hit hard. I know some in other parts of the country feel they have been largely spared, but the germ is coming for you. Until a good many of us have it or we have a vaccine, COVID is not going to disappear. A few months ago, COVID was living in a bat or an anteater in some Chinese market. Since then it traveled half way across the world to march into a nursing home in Windsor, Connecticut and slaughter over 40 elderly people within one building’s walls. It has already killed 2,556 in our state and 68,934 nationwide. I don’t think it is going to decide it doesn’t like America until it has visited every city and town in all 50 states (blue and red), and most projections say its visa won’t expire until at least 2022.