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Trusted Social Butterfly

How Will the Coronavirus Pandemic End?

This article is rather long, but well worth reading from start to finish. It is not an easy article to read, but it is important that as many Americans read this as possible. If you read no other articles regarding this coronavirus pandemic, read this one. 

 

The author, Ed Yong is a staff writer for The Atlantic magazine and he covers items related to science. In this article, he outlines several scenarios on how the coronavirus pandemic will end. None look really good. But there is a possible end game that produces good results over a longer time, one that produces horrible results and another that could take a long time for this to actually end. Which one is chosen depends largely on just how the political leaders of the country react to this crisis. Right now, there isn't much reason for optimism.

 

From the article:

 

Three months ago, no one knew that SARS-CoV-2 existed. Now the virus has spread to almost every country, infecting at least 446,000 people whom we know about, and many more whom we do not. It has crashed economies and broken health-care systems, filled hospitals and emptied public spaces. It has separated people from their workplaces and their friends. It has disrupted modern society on a scale that most living people have never witnessed. Soon, most everyone in the United States will know someone who has been infected. Like World War II or the 9/11 attacks, this pandemic has already imprinted itself upon the nation’s psyche.

 

A global pandemic of this scale was inevitable. In recent years, hundreds of health experts have written books, white papers, and op-eds warning of the possibility. Bill Gates has been telling anyone who would listen, including the 18 million viewers of his TED Talk. In 2018, I wrote a story for The Atlantic arguing that America was not ready for the pandemic that would eventually come. In October, the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security war-gamed what might happen if a new coronavirus swept the globe. And then one did. Hypotheticals became reality. “What if?” became “Now what?”

 

So, now what? In the late hours of last Wednesday, which now feels like the distant past, I was talking about the pandemic with a pregnant friend who was days away from her due date. We realized that her child might be one of the first of a new cohort who are born into a society profoundly altered by COVID-19. We decided to call them Generation C.

 

As we’ll see, Gen C’s lives will be shaped by the choices made in the coming weeks, and by the losses we suffer as a result. But first, a brief reckoning. On the Global Health Security Index, a report card that grades every country on its pandemic preparedness, the United States has a score of 83.5—the world’s highest. Rich, strong, developed, America is supposed to be the readiest of nations. That illusion has been shattered. Despite months of advance warning as the virus spread in other countries, when America was finally tested by COVID-19, it failed.

 

“No matter what, a virus [like SARS-CoV-2] was going to test the resilience of even the most well-equipped health systems,” says Nahid Bhadelia, an infectious-diseases physician at the Boston University School of Medicine. More transmissible and fatal than seasonal influenza, the new coronavirus is also stealthier, spreading from one host to another for several days before triggering obvious symptoms. To contain such a pathogen, nations must develop a test and use it to identify infected people, isolate them, and trace those they’ve had contact with. That is what South Korea, Singapore, and Hong Kong did to tremendous effect. It is what the United States did not.

 
As my colleagues Alexis Madrigal and Robinson Meyer have reported, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention developed and distributed a faulty test in February. Independent labs created alternatives, but were mired in bureaucracy from the FDA. In a crucial month when the American caseload shot into the tens of thousands, only hundreds of people were tested. That a biomedical powerhouse like the U.S. should so thoroughly fail to create a very simple diagnostic test was, quite literally, unimaginable. “I’m not aware of any simulations that I or others have run where we [considered] a failure of testing,” says Alexandra Phelan of Georgetown University, who works on legal and policy issues related to infectious diseases.
 
Read the entire article at this link:
 
Honored Social Butterfly

The "aftermath" part was interesting.   I do think we will see a lot of flexibility and innovation continue in different types of work.  And schools.  My youngest is still in school, and his school system is HUGE.   Very diverse, and they are ramping up distance learning now, to begin next week.  That sounds late, but they need to provide for kids with disabilities, special needs, kids with 504s and IEPs, and make those accommodations work remotely.  They are planning to be interactive, so kids can call or skype their teachers and classmates.  That's no small feat with 165,000 kids in the system.  The school distributed 43,000 chromebooks to students in need over the past week.   I am sure that some of this will be used later as a way to provide blended learning to those who want or need it.  

 

My job was extremely intensive with respect to face time and meetings and presentations (too intense).  We've transitioned to remote working and zoom meetings pretty well.   We all have VPNs installed too.  While I don't necessarily want to telework after this is over, it is very nice to see that will be an option for folks who never thought of it before, or for whom employers were willing to extend that option.  

 

Also, most pandemics seem to hit in three waves, each one less severe than the prior one.  So I do think we will have at least some small disruptions in the fall/winter as the virus roars back.  Until we get a vaccine.   So it will be good to have infrastructure in place.  

Trusted Social Butterfly

This is a continuation of the article where I left off on the topic post:

 

With little room to surge during a crisis, America’s health-care system operates on the assumption that unaffected states can help beleaguered ones in an emergency. That ethic works for localized disasters such as hurricanes or wildfires, but not for a pandemic that is now in all 50 states. Cooperation has given way to competition; some worried hospitals have bought out large quantities of supplies, in the way that panicked consumers have bought out toilet paper.

 

Partly, that’s because the White House is a ghost town of scientific expertise. A pandemic-preparedness office that was part of the National Security Council was dissolved in 2018. On January 28, Luciana Borio, who was part of that team, urged the government to “act now to prevent an American epidemic,” and specifically to work with the private sector to develop fast, easy diagnostic tests. But with the office shuttered, those warnings were published in The Wall Street Journal, rather than spoken into the president’s ear. Instead of springing into action, America sat idle.

 

 

Rudderless, blindsided, lethargic, and uncoordinated, America has mishandled the COVID-19 crisis to a substantially worse degree than what every health expert I’ve spoken with had feared. “Much worse,” said Ron Klain, who coordinated the U.S. response to the West African Ebola outbreak in 2014. “Beyond any expectations we had,” said Lauren Sauer, who works on disaster preparedness at Johns Hopkins Medicine. “As an American, I’m horrified,” said Seth Berkley, who heads Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “The U.S. may end up with the worst outbreak in the industrialized world.”

 

I included the link to the other article which I strongly recommend reading. In fact I may post it as well. But the United States couldn't have had a worse President at such a crucial time in history. There has been an absolute dearth of leadership from the White House on this issue. I posted an earlier topic outlining how our president wasted precious time to ramp up for the surge of people in the United States with the coronavirus. As of this date, the United States has surpassed all other countries with the most confirmed cases of the COVID 19 disease assoaicated with this coronavirus. 

 

Now, we have the president saying that he wants to get the economy "roaring back by Easter", within two weeks. I would like to see that happen as well. I would also like to see the Cleveland Indians win the world series this year and the Cleveland Browns win the 2021 Super Bowl too. 

 

But the chances of the Cleveland Indians winning the world series this year and the Browns winning next year's Super Bowl are more realistic than having the economy "roaring back" in two weeks. 

 

Medical experts, who we should be listening to rather than a self centered megalomaniac more interested in his re-election chances than the health of Americans, are recomending that the "social distancing" as well as cancellations of large scale events and that "non essential" business closures remain in place through the middle of May or even until June.

 

As a former high school science teacher, science is not political. Scientific truths are not dependent on political beliefs. The same also applies to medicine. But certain people who are more political will often choose what to believe and our current president is no exception. He has a long history of dismissing the advice from experts and "trusting his gut". 

 

IMHO, Donald Trump has only made this situation much worse. I believe that this will all play out well before the election in November. HIs failure to act early on will be what exacerbated this crisis. This will be the greatest failure of his failed presidency. 

Trusted Social Butterfly

This coronavirus pandemic is a crisis that was predicted and that experts had studied for a long time. With international travel pathogens now have the ability to travel around the world with lightning speed. The flu pandemic of 1918 was spread mostly because there was a major war on and infected Americans (where epidemiologists now believe that the pandemic began) were sent to Europe to fight in the war.

 

The virus spread through both sides in the war and it spread to the civilians in Europe and into Asia. By the time the pandemic ended mysteriously in the late fall of 1918, an estimated 50 million people worldwide died.more than the infamous "black death" plague of the 14th century.

 

That "Black Plague" that raged from 1347 to 1353 began during a time of increased trade with Europe and Asia following the crusades. It is now believed that the plague began when Mongols besieging Constantinople began catapulting over the walls their dead. Those people died from the plague which was endemic among wild rodents in central Asia, the home of the Mongols.

 

European traders in Constantinople (now modern day Istanbul) left with rats on their ships that had fleas which spread the bacteria to humans. The plague spread throughout Europe on the routes used for trade. First it was in the port cities of the Mediterranean, then into the interior and eventually to England.

 

By the time that the plague had subsided around 1353, a third of Europe's population before the plague was dead. As a result of the plague, the old medieval feudal system could no longer be sustained. The rise of nation states and the renaissance that began int he 15th century was a direct result of the black plague of the previous century.

 

The worst case scenario of this coronavirus pandemic could exceed the death toll of the 1918 influenza pandemic and the black plague of the 14th century.

Honored Social Butterfly

@lk152 

Good articles. Most medical professionals know where this is headed. But, as a commoner, I still understand the impact of tests and test kits for the virus...as do most medical professionals.
Due to trump, we do not know exactly where we stand: who has the virus, who has the the virus with no symptoms, who has the virus and is contagious, and who does not have the virus. The only thing that we can determine is who has been infected and needs medical attention...or worse, who has died! That is not preventative medicine. 

 

It is sad that this happening in the United States. That many have followed the lead of a self absorbed, incompetent, child like leader. 

Once again, where are the tests and test kits, and where can people be tested. 
And where are all of the supplies and equipment that Medical Community needs!

Honored Social Butterfly

Re: How Will the Coronavirus Pandemic End?

 

Unfortunately, this will end after thousands of people are infected and die.  This will end after the families of those thousands of lives lost are left devastated, grieving, and ruined.  This will end maybe after our feckless leader stops playing Mob Boss Don ("respect me or else"); choosing "this" very desperate time to make threats of retribution and affecting payback against his imagined enemies. This will end when President Trump fully embraces the reigns of the Office of the Presidency and begins to lead with the decisiveness and urgency that this pandemic demands and with the partisan-less empathy and compassion that the people of this nation are due.

 

And let us not forget Trump's promise early on: 

He said,  “Anybody who wants a test gets a test.”

 

 

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