We must slow down.
There is no reason for collective panic.
There is reason for calm reasoned collective action and coordination.
It is not the problem that is the problem it is how we deal with the problem.
The COVID19 Virus has a long incubation period. That means from the time of infection until the time of symptoms occurring. Some research points to it being up to 27 days [ref]. It definitely can have an incubation period of over 14 days.
The data we have today about how many active cases is at least 14 days behind likely 24 days behind because only people who are symptomatic are counted. In the mean time when they have not been symptomatic they have been going around and infecting other people unknowingly.
The virus is spreading throughout the world via community transmission.
Community transmission is where a person picks up the virus from their interactions in everyday life and they do not know who gave it to them.
This means that every single person you interact with could have this virus. I does not know any ethnicity.
This means that some time in the next year you are very likely to get COVID19. Current epidemiological projections predict that 40-70% of Americans will get it.
The virus is transmitted via droplets. That is if you are in the immediate vicinity of someone who is coughing or sneezing a droplet could fall on you.
It is also transmitted via surfaces. If someone who is sick touches a surface and then you touch it and then you touch your face you can get sick.
This is the reason they are telling everyone to wash their hands and don’t touch your face.
The death rate for the disease is low. It affects older people more than younger people. However it does affect more young people than the typical flu.
What is the most concerning thing about this disease and will cause the most trouble if it is not addressed is the number of people who have acute symptoms and need medical treatment in a facility is 15-20% of patients – they need respirators etc.
We don’t have enough facilities to accommodate all the people who need treatment. This is especially true if we don’t slow the spread of the disease down.
There is no stopping the spread of COVID19 there is only slowing down its spread – slow enough so our health systems can cope with all the people who need treatment.
The Solution – how we deal with the problem
Slowing Down the Spread of COVID is critical.
To do this we also need to slow everything down so that we can achieve the social distancing need to slow the spread down we have to stop public gatherings.
- We must close schools.
- We must stop all large gatherings.
- We must get people home and then stop most air travel.
- We need to support people who are sick staying inside.
- We need to keep essential businesses operating so that supplies and things still move.
A whole bunch of people will be affected.
Many people’s jobs will be affected.
We need to figure out how to slow down the economy enough that people can pay less for rent and mortgages and debt on credit cards and student loans. Can we put it all on pause for many months. If we don’t things will collapse.
We need to figure out how people who have their incomes interrupted are supported.
There are many things we need to do.
But right now…we need to slow down.
This provides us an opportunity to rethink our systems
This provides an opportunity to rewire our systems and economy
This provides an opportunity re-root in our local communities.