July 14, 2020

Bastille Day

Alas, I made a Thai curry for dinner tonight instead of cassoulet, because I needed to use up extra vegetables from our CSA, which is delivering a boxful of more veggies tomorrow. It was tasty but some nice French food and wine would have been nice.

We heard today about an outbreak in Cowlitz County, Washington tied to two different 4th of July events. Along with other news, our governor has postponed further openings until cases start to slow down again. A wise move, I think.

The journal Nature has a good analysis estimating how many cases were prevented by countries using the measures of lockdowns, enforcing social distancing and mask wearing, and other measures. They estimate at least 530 million cases prevented or delayed worldwide. They note countries had a rise in their curve, a plateau, and then a fall in number of cases (all except the US where cases are still rising). The economic cost of shutting things down was huge, but analyzing the cost of the suffering and death and cost of health care may add up to more financial losses than those of the shutdown.

Our CDC director is still hopeful we can flatten the curve again if everyone wears masks. Maybe now that COVID-19 has reached other areas people will be less resistant to wearing masks. This is not just the flu and doesn't just attack old people. The difference in hospitalization based in age is narrowing. Some analysis shows 1 in 3 younger adults at risk because of smoking, obesity, and other risk factors. Smoking, including vaping, was particularly related to severe disease. As if I need another reason to counsel my patients to finally quit. Also new confirmation that a baby was infected in the womb. Scary for pregnant women. We need to be adherent with wearing masks around others. We are getting more and more evidence that shows wearing masks prevents transmission. I wear my mask for you and you wear your mask for me.

Wash your hands, cover your nose, keep safe six. Have a toast to Liberté, égalité, fraternité for me. Especially the fraternité. That is what the world needs more of.

And finally, my caveat is that this is my experience and my opinions, which are subject to change as more information is available, and not related to the organization I work for. Thanks for reading.