The good news is, we know more about COVID-19 in the first six months than we did in the 3rd year of AIDS.
The bad news is, we don’t like what we’re learning.
This novel coronavirus has infected at least one million Americans, but epidemiologists predict that because much of this disease is asymptomatic, the number is probably more like 10 million. And that’s more good and bad news. It means that the mortality rate is probably around .5%, much lower than previously thought. But because it’s so contagious, and because we are fumbling the response, it could now infect 100 to 200 million Americans. That’s around 500,000 to a million dead.
But that’s not what Trump is saying. He’s encouraging people to get back to normal. Instead of our economy adjusting to the new “normal’ and trying to get people back to working in a safe and cautious way, he’s talking about restaurants, movie theaters, beaches, political rallies and stadiums. That’s not safe or realistic.
Fighting a virus requires four steps; sheltering, physical distancing, hopefully a vaccine, and herd immunity. But without adhering to the first two, you might now survive to see the latter. COVID-19 is attacking infants hearts, causing strokes in millennials, sometimes seriously injuring healthy people of middle age, and of course killing seniors. It’s attacking the lungs, the heart, kidneys and livers.
Opening up is inevitable, but not without the truth. And the truth is this; we’re not ready.