Thursday, March 19, 2020

Four of 7 infected family members are dead. If you socialize unnecessarily you could kill people you don't even know and never had contact with.

In the period of a COVID-19 pandemic if looking out for the welfare of others includes you stopping by to visit with family or close friends you don't live with, you must understand that you may kill them. It's that simple.

If you don't believe that then you either aren't aware of, or choose to ignore, the sad story Coronavirus Ravages 7 Members of a Single Family, Killing 4 about a New Jersey family. In this particular case the 19 spouses and children of the hospitalized victims who were in contact since March 10 have been tested for COVID-19 with results pending. Beyond family members, members of the community came in contact with all of them.

How this happened is relatively simple. One family member days earlier came in contact with someone who was infected but didn't know he was infected. Though tentative warnings have been out there, today we know that initial studies out of China such as Substantial undocumented infection facilitates the rapid dissemination of novel coronavirus indicate that prior to the institution of tight restrictions on the general population 86% of all infections were undocumented which ultimately led to a high number of cases.

In other words, most people who have the infection have no symptoms or have mild cold-like symptoms.

“If we have 3,500 confirmed cases in the U.S., you might be looking at 35,000 in reality,” explained Jeffrey Shaman, a Columbia University epidemiologist and senior author of that study published March 13. 2020.

“Just because you get the disease from someone with mild symptoms does not mean yours are going to be mild,” Dr. Shaman said. “You could still end up in the I.C.U.”

Of course this morning the U.S. had 10,822 confirmed cases across all 50 states. And this writer's hunch is that we probably have more like 1,0822,000 cases most of which will never be confirmed. One of those cases could be you.

The Governor of New Jersey expressed his frustration:

    Gov. Phil Murphy promised more aggressive steps — including closing all schools statewide and a possible curfew — to slow the spread of coronavirus Sunday, as the number of cases in New Jersey shot up to almost 100. What had seemed unthinkable 10 days ago, when the first case was identified, is coming closer.
    "Not enough is being done," Murphy said Sunday. "It's too much business as usual." He rued the videos he said he had seen of weekend crowds packed into Asbury Park's bars and restaurants, stressing that everyone is responsible to protect not only themselves but others.

The news stories are overwhelming which may be why many people have had trouble understanding that "stay home" is a mantra for all of us. Some think because they are under 65 years of age, it really isn't a problem for them.

As explained in a New York Times story Younger Adults Make Up Big Portion of Coronavirus Hospitalizations in U.S.:

    American adults of all ages — not just those in their 70s, 80s and 90s — are being seriously sickened by the coronavirus, according to a report on nearly 2,500 of the first recorded cases in the United States.
    The report, issued Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found that — as in other countries — the oldest patients had the greatest likelihood of dying and of being hospitalized. But of the 508 patients known to have been hospitalized, 38 percent were notably younger — between 20 and 54. And nearly half of the 121 patients who were admitted to intensive care units were adults under 65, the C.D.C. reported.
    “I think everyone should be paying attention to this,” said Stephen S. Morse, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “It’s not just going to be the elderly. There will be people age 20 and up. They do have to be careful, even if they think that they’re young and healthy.”

In other words, while it is true the elderly if hospitalized are more likely to die, far more people between the ages of 20-65 are hospitalized than most members of the public understand.

And so far we have been unable to test more than a small portion of possible infected persons. This is frustrating for those who have worked to protect community health and safety.

This is a headline over a January 26, 2020, story CDC confirms 5th case of new coronavirus in U.S. Clearly we have been aware of the probable pandemic in the U.S. for nearly three months. We knew that the outbreak was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei, China, in December 2019.

Even though we had plenty of time to prepare, our President had eliminated that portion of "the swamp", the bureaucracy, that was to prevent the spread of a pandemic. Of course with his focus on making deals related to money by isolating China, Trump essentially prevented the kind of international cooperation that limited the spread of Ebola (so far) and the 2002-03 SARS Coronavirus outbreak.

The story ‘If I get corona, I get corona’: Miami spring breakers say covid-19 hasn’t stopped them from partying makes it clear that the message is not getting across. With its extra-long spring break from college, this pandemic does not create different kinds of social opportunities. It is an anti-social environment meaning don't associate with more people than absolutely necessary. If you socialize unnecessarily you could kill someone you don't even know and never had contact with. Or it could be your family....

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