Covid-19 – Assessments, Reactions, Strategies, and Solutions

A “headline” on Feb 24, 2020. Minneapolis St Paul Business Journal. U of M disease expert: Coronavirus won’t be contained, so here’s what to do With vaccines still months away, Osterholm — who before his U of M job was chief epidemiologist for the state of Minnesota — says a broader outbreak is likely. So he and Olshaker have some advice for coping:

Coronavirus: The Hammer and the Dance. Medium. What the Next 18 Months Can Look Like, if Leaders Buy Us Time by Tomas Pueyo

This may be the most comprehensive article on the issues that provide the insights on strategies and expected results.

  • “If you agree with this article and want the US Government to take action, please sign the White House petition to implement a Hammer-and-Dance Suppression strategy.”
  • “If you are an expert in the field and want to criticize or endorse the article or some of its parts, feel free to leave a private note here or contextually and I will respond or address.”

Mar 24, 2020.  Inside Hook. How South Korea Flattened the Curve – Can the United States follow suit? BY BONNIE STIERNBERG

Mar 25, 2020.  Atlantic.  How the Pandemic Will End The U.S. may end up with the worst COVID-19 outbreak in the industrialized world … and  One could easily conceive of a world in which most of the nation believes that America defeated COVID-19. This is how it’s going to play out by Ed Yong

  • A global pandemic of this scale was inevitable.
  • Veterans of past epidemics have long warned that American society is trapped in a cycle of panic and neglect. After every crisis — anthrax, SARS, flu, Ebola — attention is paid and investments are made. But after short periods of peacetime, memories fade and budgets dwindle. This trend transcends red and blue administrations. When a new normal sets in, the abnormal once again becomes unimaginable. But there is reason to think that COVID-19 might be a disaster that leads to more radical and lasting change.
  • One could easily conceive of a world in which most of the nation believes that America defeated COVID-19
  • The 2020 Presidential Elections will be a signficant indicator regarding the future direction of the U.S. 

Sources of Guidance and Data:

Assessments:

History:

TIMELINE:

Mar 29, 2020. The Daily Wire – Ben Shapiro.  Coronavirus with VP Mike Pence and Dr. Deborah Birx | The Ben Shapiro Show Sunday Special Ep. 88

Mar 28, 2020. VisualCapitalist.com The Math Behind Social Distancing.

 Mar 28, 2020. American Greatness. It’s Not a Choice Between Lives or the Economy by Roger Kimball.  President Trump has shown great leadership during this manufactured crisis. Let’s hope he continues to ponder his observation that we do not want to get ourselves into a situation in which the cure is worse than the disease.
  • That said, I continue to believe that shutting down the U.S. economy was insane (also herehere, and here). I maintain, in retrospect, this episode will furnish ample material for an addendum to Charles Mackay’s Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.
  •  Unfortunately, there is no arguing with insanity. As one friend of mine likes to note, arguing with such madness is like arguing with a hurricane. It is completely ineffective, indeed counterproductive, because making arguments at such a time is likely to distract one from taking precautions and making preparations.

Mar 26, 2020Mises Institute.    Why Taiwan Hasn’t Shut Down Its Economy by Javier Caramés Sanchez

  • As the Austrian school of economics demonstrates in the calculation theory of socialism, no central planning body has the capacity to organize society based on coercive mandates …
  • To conclude, with transparency and diligence the Taiwanese government has avoided many problems. The key is that the Taiwanese government and the Taiwanese people understand that the individual’s own responsibility and actions are essential to suppressing the coronavirus pandemic, not a mandatory massive shutdown. This is what the world needs to learn.

Mar 26, 2020. US News and World Report.   America Is Approaching a Deadly Tipping Point in the Coronavirus Pandemic, U.S. News Analysis Shows.  An examination of daily coronavirus deaths by country shows the U.S. is on a dangerous path that’s poised to worsen. By Steve Sternberg and Gaby Galvin

  • Includes a control chart.  Viewing the data in its entirety and over time offers a clearer window into the trajectory of the outbreak, one that isn’t clouded by noise and can detect meaningful differences in patterns that can inform official public guidance and decision-making.

    “With all the talk of ‘flattening the curve,’ we think the approach we used and our analysis sheds light on early signals of when the increase in new deaths peaks and the curve begins to flatten,” Perla and Provost say.

Mar 26, 2020. Breitbart.  Fed Reserve Chair Powell Downplays Inflation Threat — ‘We Don’t Really See That’.  During a Thursday interview on NBC’s “Today,” Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell discussed the risks taken to help the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Mar 26, 2020.  RealClear Politics. Dr. Birx: Coronavirus Data Doesn’t Match The Doomsday Media Predictions Posted By Ian Schwartz

  • Breitbart. Dr. Deborah Birx Steers Away from Doomsday Coronavirus Predictions
      • “The predictions of the models don’t match the reality on the ground on either China, South Korea, or Italy,” she said. … Birx also addressed reports that raised the alarm of New York City hospitals running out of ICU beds, ventilators, and creating “Do Not Resuscitate” (DNR) policies for patients. … She revealed that she spoke with health officials in New York, that there were still ICU beds and 1000-2000 ventilators available, and that there were no DNR policies enacted. … “We don’t have evidence of that right now,” she said.
  • Rebuttal by Neil Gerguson on Twitter
  • British scientist Neil Ferguson ignited the world’s drastic response to the novel Wuhan coronavirus when he published the bombshell report predicting 2.2 million Americans and more than half a million Brits would be killed. After both the U.S. and U.K. governments effectively shut down their citizens and economies, Ferguson is walking back his doomsday scenarios.
  • Ferguson’s report from Imperial College, which White House and other officials took seriously, said that if the U.S. and U.K. did not shut down for 18 months, and isolation measures were not taken, “we would expect a peak in mortality (daily deaths) to occur after approximately 3 months.” His “models” showed overflowing hospitals and ICU beds.

Mar 26, 2020. Atlantic. The Four Possible Timelines for Life Returning to Normal by Joe Pinsker

  • TIMELINE ONE: ONE TO TWO MONTHS I should note that the experts I spoke with think this timeline is highly unlikely
  • TIMELINE TWO: THREE TO FOUR MONTHS – In this timeline, Hanage speculated, “we learn some things about the virus that make us much more confident about being able to resume various activities.
  • TIMELINE THREE: FOUR TO 12 MONTHS. One big unresolved question about COVID-19 is whether, like the flu, its spread will slow substantially during the summer.
  • TIMELINE FOUR: 12 TO 18 MONTHS (OR LONGER). researchers around the world will have been scrambling to develop a vaccine. Spring 2021 is about the earliest anyone expects one to be available.

Mar 26, 2020Coronavirus Threat Downgraded by UK Government

Mar 26, 2020. USAToday. ICU doctor: Coronavirus frightens me. It’s severe, unpredictable and it has no cure. This disease is terrifying. I’m scared for my patients, my colleagues, my family, and my own health. Please don’t stop trying to ‘flatten the curve.’ By  Philip A. Verhoef

Mar 26, 2020Hospital Capacity Crosses Tipping Point in U.S. Coronavirus Hot Spots Epicenters resort to patient transfers and a makeshift morgue to cope as coronavirus infections mount

Mar 26, 2020. AFP/Yahoo News.  Coronavirus could become seasonal: top US scientist Anthony Fauci, who leads research into infectious diseases at the National Institutes of Health, told a briefing the virus was beginning to take root in the southern hemisphere, where winter is on its way.

Mar 25, 2020Why the World’s Doing a Double-Take on China’s No-New-Infections Claim By Richard Bernstein, RealClearInvestigations

  • We have to open up the economy by mid-April or the consequences will be a lost generation. It will be harder to do so when the news is counting deaths in the thousands, and possibly tens of thousands. There are steps we can and must take to re-open our economy in a careful and deliberate manner.
  • Looking at data from Italy, the average age of patients who have succumbed to the virus is 78.5, not the age of the American workforce. A full 99 percent of those who have perished in Italy have a major pre-existing condition. We know exactly who the most vulnerable are, and we need to protect them.  
  • First, we must quarantine and support the old and at risk. 
  • Second, we ensure we have the capability to institute mass testing. This involves not only test kits but the temperature guns that are so ubiquitous to East Asia.  
  • Third, if you are sick, stay home. If you are not sick, you can return to the labor force. Businesses should support flexibility for employees to work from home and care for sick family members.
  • We will not be perfect in our steps to restart our economy. In fact, doing so will evoke the painful memories of a wartime economy. A vaccine for COVID-19 and a policy solution to our long-term growth and debt issues will come in time. But first, we must take the right steps to restart an American engine of prosperity that will make fighting present and future viruses exponentially more manageable.  
 Mar 25, 2020.  Atlantic. This Is Just the Beginning.  by Yascha Moun.  People who now advocate that we “choose the economy” are not being honest about the consequences of that decision.
  • In Germany, the government assumes that six or seven out of every 10 citizens could get it.
  • The World Health Organization has estimated the case fatality rate to be 3.4 percent, meaning that about one in every 33 patients will die.
  • Let us further assume that the true fatality rate turns out to be much lower than the current figures suggest—say, about one in 100—and that our hospitals somehow figure out a way to manage the flood of patients that would stream through their doors in need of lifesaving treatment. 
    • In that implausibly sanguine scenario, more than 1 million Americans would succumb to COVID-19 in the next few months. That is about as many people as the country lost in the Civil War, World War I, and World War II—combined.
  • First, we need to ramp up testing dramatically.
  • Second, we need to expand hospital capacity.
  • Third, we need to research treatment options.

Mar 25, 2020. Quality Digest. The One Huge Mistake Quality Professionals Make in Preparing for Covid-19. Businesses need to think pessimistically in order to survive

  • The current guidance assumes a highly optimistic scenario, where we get very lucky. That’s not good advice, at all. We need to prepare for a moderately pessimistic scenario if we want to protect quality in our organizations.

Mar 25, 2020. 12 Experts Question The COVID-19 Panic by Tyler Durden

Mar 24, 2020An Easter rebirth for our economy? Hallelujah: Goodwin By Michael Goodwin

Mar 24, 2020. AFP/Yahoo News.  Pentagon sees coronavirus crisis lasting several months

  • Washington (AFP) – The Pentagon is assuming the coronavirus epidemic in the United States will last at least several months, and that some countries are at risk of “political chaos,” its top officials said Tuesday.

Mar 24, 2020. InsideHook, Ford Is Already Working With 3M and GE to Build Medical Equipment. Ventilators, respirators and personal protective equipment are on the way

The Regulations—and Regulators—That Delayed Coronavirus Testing There have been three major regulatory barriers so far. By Alec Stapp   Mar 24, 2020, Audio of the key points – Tony Katz.

  • The first coronavirus case in the U.S. and South Korea was detected on January 21. Since then, South Korea has effectively contained the coronavirus without shutting down its economy or quarantining tens of millions of people. Instead, the Korean government has pursued a “trace, test, and treat” strategy that identifies and isolates those infected with the coronavirus while allowing healthy people to go about their normal lives. Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan have also managed to contain the virus via a combination of travel restrictions, social distancing, and heightened hygiene.

Mar 24, 2020. Financial Times – UK.  Coronavirus may have infected half of UK population — Oxford study.  New epidemiological model suggests the vast majority of people suffer little or no illness

  • If the results are confirmed, they imply that fewer than one in a thousand of those infected with Covid-19 become ill enough to need hospital treatment, said Sunetra Gupta, professor of theoretical epidemiology, who led the study. The vast majority develop very mild symptoms or none at all. “We need immediately to begin large-scale serological surveys — antibody testing — to assess what stage of the epidemic we are in now,” she said.
  • The research presents a very different view of the epidemic to the modelling at Imperial College London, which has strongly influenced government policy. “I am surprised that there has been such unqualified acceptance of the Imperial model,” said Prof Gupta. 

Mar 24, 2020. RealClearPolitics.  Must We Kill the Economy to Kill the Virus? by Patrick Buchanan.

  • Clearly, America was unprepared for this pandemic. …  And there will be time enough to assess responsibility for the lack of surgical masks, medical gowns, rubber gloves, respirators, ventilators and hospital beds.  The immediate imperative is to produce those beds and that equipment and get it delivered to doctors, nurses and hospital staff, the front-line troops in the battle to control the virus.
Mar 24, 2020. American Conservative. The Coronavirus’s Spread Is The Federal Bureaucracy’s Failure.  As a deadly pandemic made its way to American shores, our government was mummified in its own red tape.

Mar 24, 2020.  RealClearPolitics.com Commentary.  COVID-19 and the Unintended Consequences of Economic Shutdown.  By Rob Arnott

  • The bipartisan answer to the coronavirus pandemic seems to be: shutter the economy, then bail out everyone who is suffering economic pain. 
  • The unintended consequences of current policies are vast, in both human and economic terms.

Mar 23, 2020. Bulleting of the Atomic Scientists. Experts know the new coronavirus is not a bioweapon. They disagree on whether it could have leaked from a research lab  By Matt Field

Mar 23, 2020. These Companies Are Switching Gears to Help Address Coronavirus Shortages By 

Mar 22, 2020.  RealClearPolitics.com.  Naftali Bennet/Israeli Defense Minister : Most Important Thing To Stop Coronavirus Is Separate Young People From Old People

  • NAFTALI BENNET: I want to share with you the single most important insight of the entire corona epidemic. The most important thing — more than social distancing, more than testing, testing, testing, more than anything else — is to separate old people from younger people.

March 22, 2020, American Thinker. Coronavirus Lunacy: Take a Deep Breath, Society By David Scott Strain … This is simply a classic case of the so-called “cure” being worse than the disease.

  • 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. … “What we need is to control the panic,” he said. In the grand scheme, “we’re going to be fine.”
Mar 22, 2020. USA Today. ‘Who lives and who dies’: In worst-case coronavirus scenario, ethics guide choices on who gets care by Ken Alltucker

Mar 22, 2020. WSJ. Jails Release Prisoners, Fearing Coronavirus Outbreak.  Experts say virus could spread quickly in crowded correctional facilities, which are also banning visitors and restricting inmates’ movements

  • Jails in California, New York, Ohio, Texas and at least a dozen other states are sending low-level offenders and elderly or sickly inmates home early due to coronavirus fears. At other jails and prisons around the country, officials are banning visitors, restricting inmates’ movement and screening staff.

Mar 22, 2020. Jerusalem Post.  Israeli doctor in Italy: We no longer help those over 60

May 21, 2020. American Greatness.  COVID-19, the Elephant, and the House Cat The really scary thing about this latest health scare is not the disease but the unexpected depths of passivity it revealed. 

Mar 21, 2020. DailyWire. FDA Greenlights Accelerated COVID-19 Test: ‘Results Within Hours Rather Than Days’ By  Frank Camp

Mar 21, 2020. AP. NY airports, hospitals under pressure as virus cases mount 

Mar 20, 2020. Huffington Post.  I’m A Doctor. The U.S. Response To Coronavirus Has Been Nothing Short Of Criminal.  “With every crucial delay, with every blunder and misstep, the toll is going to be measured in lives lost.” by  

Mar 20, 2020. Breitbart. Coronavirus Report that Prompted Stronger U.S. Action: 1M Deaths Even with Extreme Prevention Steps

  • The novel coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. will last at least 18 months and “could include multiple waves of illness,” prompting “significant shortages” for consumers and overwhelming the healthcare system, a federal government contingency plan leaked to the media this week warned.

  • President Donald Trump’s anti-coronavirus plan, dated March 13 and delivered to policymakers, echoed the findings of a March 16 report by the U.K.’s Imperial College, which also found that the outbreak could “potentially” last “18 month or more” in the U.S. and strain the healthcare system “many times over.”

Mar 20, 2020. Daily Signal.  An Alarming Study Shows We Need to Be Vigilant to Beat Coronavirus by Kevin Pham  … A recent study by Imperial College London paints a truly frightening picture of what could be.

Mar 20, 2020. VOX. Why we’re not overreacting to the coronavirus, in one chart. Italy tried to stem its outbreak, belatedly. We’re on the same course. 

Mar 19, 2020. Military.com  ‘Tens of Thousands’ of Guard Personnel to Be Called Up in Coronavirus Response

  • Governors in 27 states have activated parts of their National Guard units to counter the effects of the contagious virus, known as COVID-19, with medical testing, transportation, logistics support and, potentially, law enforcement responsibilities, he said.
  • If the situation requires it, governors can order the Guard to assist with police patrols and enforce laws — “anything that the law enforcement capacity normally does, they could be augmented with National Guard troops,” he explained.
  • “Do I see it happening now? I don’t see any demand signal that’s demanding that we are going to use the National Guard in that kind of scenario, but they could,” Lengyel said. “Governors could under the command and control of law enforcement in their states, they could use their National Guard.”

Mar 19, 2020. Medium.  Coronavirus: The Hammer and the Dance. What the Next 18 Months Can Look Like, if Leaders Buy Us Time by Tomas Pueyo

Mar 19, 2020.  HAARETZ., Israel News. Trump Is Right About the Coronavirus. The WHO Is Wrong,’ Says Israeli Expert Dr. Dan Yamin has developed models for predicting the spread of infectious diseases, and helped curb the Ebola epidemic. He says the coronavirus could take some 13,000 lives in Israel – but there’s cause for optimism By  Oded Carmeli

Mar 18. 2020.  DailyWire.com Stanford Professor: Data Indicates We’re Severely Overreacting To Coronavirus By  James Barrett

Mar 16, 2020. NYT / Upshot.  Could Coronavirus Cause as Many Deaths as Cancer in the U.S.? Putting Estimates in Context  By Josh KatzMargot Sanger-Katz and 

  • Although it’s impossible to say how many Americans will die because of the new coronavirus, under a reasonable set of assumptions the number of fatalities could be high — potentially in the hundreds of thousands or more.
  • We’ve started with an estimate from a University of Nebraska public health researcher, Dr. James Lawler, that was recently presented to hospital executives: 480,000 American deaths over the course of the illness known as Covid-19.
  • Leading causes of death in U.S.
    • Heart disease 655,381;  Cancer 599,274;  Coronavirus (estimate) 480,00
    • Extensive pandemic preparation plans exist on paper, but Indianapolis has not had to put them to the test — yet.
    • “The key thing is that there is ongoing modeling of this sort of thing and simulation so these are scenarios that have been contemplated,” Doehring said. “They just haven’t been reality.”

Example – Community Model and Simulation – Bozeman Montana

Mar 13, 2020.  nymag.com CDC’s Worst-Case Coronavirus Model: 214 Million Infected, 1.7 Million Dead

    • A recent CDC projection estimated that the U.S. coronavirus epidemic could infect between 160 million and 214 million people over a period of more than a year — and kill anywhere from 200,000 to 1.7 million people in the country. A top CDC disease modeler presented the estimates to CDC officials and epidemic experts during a conference call last month, the New York Times revealed on Friday. The scenario did not factor in the efforts now underway to address the epidemic, but rather what could happen if no action was taken to slow the spread of the disease.

Mar 12, 2020. AIER. South Korea Preserved the Open Society and Now Infection Rates are Falling

Mar 12, 2020Opinion _ Is the Coronavirus Outbreak a Pandemic Yet_ – The New York Times By Michael T. Osterholm and Mark Olshaker.  Mr. Osterholm is an infectious disease expert. Mark Olshaker is a writer and documentary filmmaker. They co-wrote the book Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs.

Mar 11, 2020.  Michigan Health. Flattening the Curve for COVID-19: What Does It Mean and How Can You Help?  By Kara Gavin

History shows that taking strong steps now to slow the spread of coronavirus will help communities and individuals.

March 10, 2020.  Could Coronavirus Kill a Million Americans? By by Tom Frieden

Mar 10, 2020.  YouTube. How Serious is the Coronavirus? Infectious Disease Expert Michael Osterholm Explains | Joe Rogan

Mar 10, 2020. VOX. How canceled events and self-quarantines save lives, in one chart This is how we all help slow the spread of coronavirus. 

Mar 5, 2020. Indianapolis Star. Coronavirus in Indiana: How Hoosiers should prepare, what to expect, what’s affected

IndyStar Live Updates Coronavirus live updates

COVID-19: Things to keep in mind

  • Most Americans have a low risk of being exposed, health experts say.
  • Most who get sick will have a mild or moderate case.
  • High-risk groups include the elderly or people with underlying conditions such as hypertension or diabetes.
  • The Indiana State Department of Health hotline is 317-233-7125 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and 317-233-1325 afterward.
  • Symptoms are fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the CDC. Call your health provider before going to a clinic so health workers can prepare.
Feb 29, 2020. Realclear Politics.  Dr. Drew Pinsky: Threat Of Coronavirus “An Overblown Press-Created Hysteria”  Posted By Ian Schwartz
Feb 24, 2019. Minneoplis St Paul Business Journal. U of M disease expert: Coronavirus won’t be contained, so here’s what to do With vaccines still months away, Osterholm — who before his U of M job was chief epidemiologist for the state of Minnesota — says a broader outbreak is likely. So he and Olshaker have some advice for coping:
  • Protect health workers first: Supplies of masks and other protective gear are already running low in places, so health providers should get priority on the theory that if doctors and nurses get sick, it’ll put all patients — including those suffering from ailments other than Covid-19 — at risk.
  • Don’t cut off trade: Many ingredients for important medicines come from China, and it doesn’t help anybody if, in seeking to prevent coronavirus infections, you run out of drugs to treat cardiac arrest.
  • Don’t hoard medicines: It creates shortages
  • Cross-train your employees so that an illness of a key worker doesn’t sideline your business.
  • Oh, and wash your hands, but you should be doing that anyway

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