November 4, 2020

Breathe the hope back in

Thanks for all your concerns about my post on Monday night. I appreciate it. It really does help. Yesterday and most of today, I took a media blackout so I could get some needed sleep and went to bed early. I am glad I did and have avoided my usual addiction to political postings today as well. Doom scrolling is not my friend. I feel better and more optimistic for having done that. I am still wrapping my head around the divisions in the country and what if anything can be done. That may be another post another time after things settle down. We have more work to do.

Mostly I am focusing on the number of new COVID-19 infections. At 100,000 new infections a day, more or less, we will hit 10 million infections within a week. True that many are young people and will do OK, but as cases rise in younger people, cases in older people with more risks will follow, especially if they live together. Everyone is hurting, the economy has been hit hard. Many are more worried about the economy than COVID-19, because we are better at preventing deaths now. Sadly, deaths and disabilities will follow whether we open up the economy or not. Even though we are better at preventing deaths, not everyone is saved. Not everyone has access to state of the art care. We are already at 235,000 deaths. If we aren’t careful, we will lose at least 150,000 more by the year’s end.

We know more about superspreader events and how to track them. Some people are better super spreaders than others, it seems. Superspreader events are just about the biggest cause of spread. I am particularly worried about many of the states that Trump campaigned in with rallies attended by many people, including elderly, vulnerable people, most not wearing masks. Many of them bussed too and from events without masks, putting passengers and the bus drivers at risk. I fear we will see an explosion of bad outcomes in those states in the coming weeks. Stanford physicians estimate already a large number of infections and deaths from June to September, that will surely increase from the large number of rallies held the past 2 weeks. If you live in those states, be prepared and stay safe until things quiet down. We know how to do this. Social distancing and masking are your friends.

I know the past day has been rough for so many of us, but as my friend Catherine says, “breathe the hope back in”. We have more work to do. Who said this was going to be easy? Don’t forget what Howard Zinn said about living in times like these:

We don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an endless succession of presents, and to live now as we think humans should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory. (Howard Zinn)

And, oh yes, Germany did an experiment with a concert using techniques to prevent spread. It worked! We can look forward to some creative concert venues and shows. Hang in there.

Wash your hands, cover your nose, keep safe six, keep your focus

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.

https://betsybrownmd.substack.com/p/november-2-2020

https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/covid-19-cases-exceed-100000-a-day-for-the-first-time-even-as-the-nation-is-split-on-the-pandemic-versus-the-economy/

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2020/11/04/world/covid-19-coronavirus-updates?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

https://www.jwatch.org/fw117174/2020/10/27/older-adults-living-with-younger-people-face-increased

https://www.medpagetoday.com/infectiousdisease/covid19/89363

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2020/10/why-people-are-coronavirus-superspreaders-how-body-emits-infectious-particles/

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/11/201102173232.htm superspreader

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3722299

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/31/us/politics/stanford-study-infections-trump-rallies.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/03/world/europe/coronavirus-concert-study-germany.html