States are starting to open up their economies. Here in Connecticut, hospitalizations have dropped for five days in a row. There is talk of major league baseball planning to play this summer. The stock market is booming again in anticipation that good times will be here again.
Some public health ninnies are warning this is going to be a disaster. Based on the reopening reports, the Washington University COVID-19 model just upgraded its national death forecast to 74,073 from 67,641. In Connecticut, the deaths have been marked up from 3,006 to 3,340.
United States of America
As much as I want the economy and sports to be reopened (in a smart way), I do see where this is heading. I have used the analogy of the shark movie before. A shark is terrorizing a community.
They catch the shark and everyone is thrilled, but the movie is only an half an hour in with another hour to go. The people flood back to the beach and dive in the waters, but the big fish is still out there, and the waters will soon turn blood red.
It is my understanding that in order to do this the right way. You need to not only have the first wave beaten down-I’m not talking about getting past the peak, but two weeks of steady decline in hospitalizations—and you need the ability to test your citizens. You test them regularly and repeatedly and when someone tests positive, they need to be isolated and their contacts traced.
Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Romer says for the US to return to normal by the summer every person must be tested — at a cost of $100 billion
Otherwise this thing is going to come raging back. Think about this. Estimates of how many people have already been infected range from ballpark figures of 2% to 15% to maybe even greater. Let’s say 30% have been infected with many being asymptomatic. If that number produces 60,000 deaths, what is going to happen when the other 70% get infected? This will likely happen if social distancing is dropped and no vaccine is available. And while there have been reports of many vaccines being trialed, to date no one has ever created a vaccine for a corona virus.
Without testing, asymptomatic first responders could easily spread the virus to every house and nursing home they respond to. We should have been among the first people ever tested, yet unless we have had symptoms, most of us haven’t, we do not qualify for testing. In the meantime asymptomatic celebrities and sports stars have easy access to testing.
I know they are working on this, but a few more weeks or months of this quarantine may be the best course. Just think how bad it would be if/when a second wave hits and we have to do this all over again from the beginning.
In addition to the widespread availability of testing, we also have to have adequate PPE. The CDC continues to say that it is okay to use surgical face masks when treating patients with COVID-19 and the only reason it is okay is for issues of supply. Health care workers are asked to sacrifice their individual safety for the greater good of having PPE available for more dangerous procedures. We may all accept that, but the fact remains that many of us are working with masks that do not protect us and the government acknowledges this.
Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Suspected or Confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Healthcare Settings
Face mask shortage prompts CDC to loosen coronavirus guidance
While EMS protocols say we should reserve the N95 for aerosolizing procedures, in the infection control kits we are given each morning there are N95 masks, and if I want to put one on when I have a patient with known COVID-19 or suspected, no one has given me an issue with wearing one.
That apparently is not so everywhere.
Nurses Placed On Paid Leave After Requesting N95 Masks When Treating COVID-19 Patients
Hospitals muzzle doctors and nurses on PPE, COVID-19 cases
Widely Used Surgical Masks Are Putting Health Care Workers At Serious Risk
Before we fully open up the economy, we need to see that our health care workers are adequately protected should a second wave emerge.
Peace to all.