October 27, 2020

if wishes ....

The new data of increasing infections in the midwest and Appalachia is dire. The Johns Hopkins data now confirms more than 8.7 million cases and 226,000 US deaths. Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Brett Giroir disagreed yesterday with Mark Meadows, White House Chief of Staff. Admiral Giroir says “the virus can be controlled” and points to how well many people are doing with physical distancing and make wearing. Dr. Fauci spoke honestly at the virtual Infectious Disease conference last week. He said that the push to “Open up America again”, after the initial shutdown flattened the curve, led us down a different path than Europe. Consequently, we have not been able to flatten the curve since and now the epidemic is starting to rage even more.

A report out of Vanderbilt University in Nashville today starkly shows how counties in Tennessee without masking mandates are faring much worse with cases, hospitalizations, and deaths than counties that have masking mandates. In South Dakota, the governor has been staunchly against mask mandates, sending muddled messages to the citizens of her state regarding their effectiveness. Now with the second worse outbreak in the country, medical groups in the state have come out strongly in support of masking. Wisconsin is also in the thick of an outbreak with concerns about hospitals filling to capacity, with concerns about the resilience of the physicians, nurses, and staff.

A friend, Jeff, clued me into the website covidredandblue.com. Their tag line is "The virus is not partisan. Ignoring science can have tragic consequences." Such a true statement. Their website shows in stark red and blue, the difference between states run by Republican vs Democratic legislatures and governors.

It really shouldn’t be that way. As Admiral Giroir says, the virus can be controlled. Most of us have been controlling it since March by keeping physically distant and wearing masks. Hopefully, with good leadership, more people will listen and not fight the obvious and ignore the data.

Lucky for us, science continues on and progress is being made, even when we hear about these failures, including the report from Pfizer. It is stopping its study on a monoclonal antibody that did not show effectiveness. (Different than the combo that the president received). Too bad it didn’t work, but good for science. We can learn more about why it didn’t work and move forward. Ineffective treatments won’t be given or paid for. That is how things are supposed to work.

In the meantime, we have more data that supports the methods we have been using- washing hands, keeping good distance, wearing masks, avoiding crowds, especially indoors.

Wash your hands, cover your nose, keep safe six, at least, outdoors as much as you can, and listen to the public health leaders.

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.