COVID-19 seems to be acting differently in the U.S. and other countries than it did in China, where it was detected in December. In an important shift, the virus seems to be affecting young people at higher rates.
In New York, the epicenter of the disease in the U.S., Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently said that people who are between the ages of 18 and 49 represent 53% of the state's cases.
Britain has been taking a different approach from other countries across Europe and around the world by declining to heavily restrict everyday activities or introduce “social distancing” measures. The U.K. strategy is based on the presumption that most people will eventually get the COVID-19 virus and severe measures to contain it are unlikely to work.
I have read an article (which I am looking for but can't find at the moment) which discussed some of the science behind this strategy but I am also seeing articles saying it is controversial among experts.
"on March 12th, the Chief Medical Adviser and the Chief Scientific Adviser received evidence from Imperial College London that their initial estimates were wrong, and that the “herd immunity” strategy would result in over a half a million deaths. "
The Road to Lockdown: How Britain Went From Coronavirus Light-Touch to National House-Arrest
In contrast to other governments, which were banning travel and enforcing social distancing and quarantines, the Johnson administration appeared to be pursuing a strategy of so-called “herd immunity” in which the coronavirus would pass through much of the population, until enough people had gained immunity that it could no longer propogate effectively.
Much was made of how “herd immunity” among younger, healthier people would shield the elderly and other vulnberable from the virus — although no measures were actually put in place to ensure it would not infect them as well.
Then, on March 12th, the Chief Medical Adviser and the Chief Scientific Adviser received evidence from Imperial College London that their initial estimates were wrong, and that the “herd immunity” strategy would result in over a half a million deaths.
It had been indicated on several occasions that the best way to deal with the pandemic would be to “flatten the curve” — that is to say, not try to reduce the total of people infected, but to try to ensure they were infected over a long period of time rather than all at once, so the country National Health Service (NHS) and its Intensive Care Units (ICUs) would not find themselves overcapacity and unable to do anything for people who could otherwise have been saved.
The Imperial College data revealed the existing strategy was emphatically not flattening the curve, causing the government to shift, belatedly, towards containment.
Trump, during Fox News coronavirus townhall, calls for re-opening economy by Easter: ‘We have to get back to work’
Trump on getting America back to work: 'Absolutely possible' by Easter Sunday
"We lose thousands and thousands of people a year to the flu. We don't turn the country off,” Trump said during the interview.
Trump added: “We lose much more than that to automobile accidents. We don't call up the automobile companies and say stop making cars. We have to get back to work.”
“I can tell you that at no point has the White House Coronavirus Task Force discussed what some people call a nationwide lockdown, or as you describe a stay at home order,” Pence said.
The Coronavirus is a global pandemic but some countries have been affected more so than others. Spain is one of the 4 countries that have been hit the hardest by the Coronavirus. Their death toll is roughly over 2,800 as of today, Tuesday March 24th, 2020 and that number is growing hour by hour and day by day. Madrid, the capitol city of Spain has been hit the hardest in the country and has the greatest number of deaths; 1,535 thus far (and growing). To keep up with the number of deaths, the city of Madrid has taken to using one of their main ice rinks in the capitol as a makeshift morgue! It is their Olympic sized ice rink, Palacio de Hielo that has been transformed into said morgue.
The younger test-positive deceased almost always had severe pre-existing conditions. For example, a 21-year-old Spanish soccer coach had died test-positive, making international headlines. However, the doctors diagnosed an unrecognized leukemia, whose typical complications include severe pneumonia.
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar told Breitbart News exclusively that President Donald Trump in the coming days will work with his medical and scientific advisers to make a determination on how and when to reopen the country after wide-scale closure in the effort to stop the spread of the Chinese coronavirus.
“The president will look at the data with his top medical advisers, people like Dr. Debbie Birx, Tony Fauci, Robert Redfield, Steve Hahn at FDA, as well as I’m sure outside advisers, and will make a decision in the next week whether to continue the 15 days or whether there are appropriate modifications he would make to the rest of the country,” Azar told Breitbart News in a phone interview on Tuesday afternoon. “For instance, whether it’s to look, as Dr. Birx I believe said yesterday in the press conference, to look at maybe focusing in localized areas instead of common national recommendations.”
“But that will be from what his advisers are seeing in the data, where the hotspots are, and whether we’re seeing communities that have taken these types of efforts and actually lived up to them, if you’re seeing a bending of the curve from an epidemiological perspective,” he explained.
“Dr. Birx said yesterday at the press conference the most important data point you look at that is essentially irrefutable is mortality data,” Azar said. “How many people are dying from Covid-19? That will be your firmest bit of data in assessing the situation.
Dr. Birx said yesterday at the press conference the most important data point you look at that is essentially irrefutable is mortality data,” Azar said. “How many people are dying from Covid-19? That will be your firmest bit of data in assessing the situation
The United States will see an earlier turning point in the fight against coronavirus, according to Michael Levitt, the Nobel laureate who correctly calculated that China would get through the worst part of its outbreak faster than other health experts believed.
"Numbers are still noisy [in the U.S.], but there are clear signs of slowed growth,” he told the Los Angeles Times.
The scientist was able to predict the decline in cases in China approximately three weeks before it happened by looking at the number of new cases reported daily and plotting a decline in the growth of the virus' spread.
Now, he has analyzed data from 78 countries that reported more than 50 new cases of COVID-19 each day and said he sees “signs of recovery” in many of them. He's reportedly more focused on the number of new cases announced each day in a given country, rather than the total number of cases.
However, Levitt told the Los Angeles Times that he agrees with those calling for strong measures to battle the outbreak, including the social distancing mandates that have been implemented in many countries globally. “This is not the time to go out drinking with your buddies,” he said.
As far as I can tell, he is not saying the precautions are unnecessary. He is saying they will work.
While many epidemiologists are warning of months, or even years, of massive social disruption and millions of deaths, Levitt says the data simply don’t support such a dire scenario — especially in areas where reasonable social distancing measures are in place.
I'm not sure how he determined the growth in new cases is slowing but I think the point is that this the right way to assess the situation. And decisions on what should be done or undone should be based on numbers and understanding what they mean including their limitations.
I agree. Some have went further however and stated that the economy won’t begin to recover until the virus has been completely stopped either way. So they argue that it’s best to shut down and get it over with. I have no idea if there’s any truth to this or not. But I think the biggest key to turning the economy around is by reducing fear and panic. I’m not sure closing things down is the best way to do that. It certainly causes more panic. But does it reduce it long term? It’s impossible for us to know I think. But it’s precisely fear and panic that causes economic collapse, not the virus itself.
Right! Yesterday it was reported that Prince Charles (who is over 70) had got COVID-19. This morning on the news someone reassured us that he had a strong constitution and would almost certainly be OK!
The economic impact has come from the healthy policies implemented by governments. Telling businesses to close and workers to stay home is precisely why economic activity has stalled. Is there some impact from individual's fear and panic? I'm sure, but it pales in comparison to the public policy measures.
This is why most economists see this as a rather unique economic slowdown. In many parts of the world, my home country the U.S. for example, economies came into this COVID-19 scenario quite strong. Strong GDP growth, near record unemployment, etc. Many economists expect a rather rapid expansion post control of COVID-19 (unlike the slow growth we saw coming out of the '08 financial crisis).
You do see your own bias confirmation at work here, right? I mean at least try to be honest with yourself. You found one, long retired scientist espousing a view you were seeking to confirm. Again, he brings no evidence, no study, nothing emperical; just an appeal to his own authority. Meanwhile, the vast majority of the scientific and medical community sees this thing as a threat worthy of countermeasures.