WAKE UP AMERICA!
FOR SEVEN MONTHS WE HAVE KNOWN OF THE DANGERS OF THE CORONAVIRUS. FOR FIVE MONTHS SOME AMERICANS WHEN ASKED HAVE VOLUNTEERED TO DISTANCE AND WEAR A MASK. MAYBE IT HAS HELPED, BUT WE STILL DON’T FEEL SAFE TO GO TO WORK OR SEND OUR KIDS TO SCHOOL. WE HAVE LEARNED WHAT WORKS AND TRAGICALLY WHAT DOESN”T WORK.
AMERICA NEEDS A WORKAROUND
A workaround is a bypass of a recognized problem or limitation in a system or policy. A workaround is typically a temporary fix that implies that a genuine solution to the problem is needed. But workarounds are frequently as creative as true solutions, involving outside the box thinking in their creation.
“It’s going away. It’ll go away. Things go away. No question in my mind that it will go away,” President of the United States
Our current president has dismissed the virus as a nuisance in a year he is mostly focusing on his reelection. The latest polls show that he is trusted by only 31% of the country to give them the truth about the pandemic that is uniquely ravishing the USA. We probably will not have him as a partner in our fight to defeat the coronavirus. Meanwhile, according to his task force health experts, America is losing the war with the virus. The tragic reality is that 160,000 Americans have died and the pandemic seems to be spreading unhindered to all parts of our country.
To date, America has had 5 times the cases of COVID-19 as all of Europe, Japan, South Korea and Australia. Yes, that is 5 times.
In an interview with Axios the president stated that he was comfortable with his metric for success. He proudly brought out charts that showed that we have had fewer deaths per cases than some other counties. This is truly scary. We really don’t hand out medals for saving the lives of citizens whom we have failed to protect. America has failed to thwart the virus that has infected almost 5 million Americans.. These are our neighbors, friends, family that are disabled and dying. Each death is a personal tragedy. This is not sustainable. This is chilling. America’s metric should be 0 new infections.The doctors and nurses who have successively risked their lives to save lives don’t want kudos. They would prefer that they were no longer needed.
AMERICA NEEDS A REBOOT
In a response to the growing death toll across the country, more than 1,000 doctors and other health professionals have signed a letter saying, “If we don’t change course and do so quickly, those deaths will only continue.”
The letter is titled “Shut It Down, Start Over, Do It Right.” It recommends targeted closures in certain hot spots, far more testing, better contact tracing, and the need for unified, coherent communication. Citing the successful efforts of other countries, it says:
“We could have prevented 99 percent of America’s COVID-19 deaths. But we didn’t.”
One of the signers Dr. Megan Ranney is an emergency physician, a researcher and director of the Center for Digital Health at Brown University. She was asked on PBS, “Your letter states that, had we done a lot of these things that you are calling for, we could have prevented 99 percent of the COVID-19 deaths. Do you really believe that’s true? I mean, we have seen other parts of the U.S., like California that did many of the things that you’re talking about, and they, too, are really struggling. Do you really think we could have stemmed the deaths that much?”
Megan answered, ” I can talk from my own experience in Rhode Island. We put many of those measures in place here, and we relatively quickly plateaued that number of cases, and then saw a dramatic decline. And for the past couple of months, we have kept our number of new infections and our number of hospitalizations at a very, very low level.
We need mandates to make that happen. We need it to be easy for people to wear masks.
The second thing that we need is, we need a coherent national testing strategy. We have been talking for months about the need for tests. And the reason why is showing up now. For anyone who’s tried to get a COVID-19 test in the last couple of weeks, you know that the delay in test results is growing and growing, making the point of getting that test almost pointless, right?
The third thing that we need is a national strategy for preventive personal protective equipment, things like gloves, masks, gowns. If we don’t have adequate masks, gloves and hand sanitizer, we’re never going to be able to keep us all safe.
So, is it 99 percent? Is it 90 percent? That’s a question of modeling.
But there’s zero doubt that we could have a dramatic decrease in the number of hospitalizations and deaths were we following this strategy from the get-go.
She added.“I agreed to sign on to it is because we continue to lack a coherent national strategy to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.
We’re seeing a rising number of hot spots across the country, including in states that had managed to decrease the number of people who were infected. And it is becoming clearer and clearer that, without a national plan, we are not going to get this virus under control.
The goal is to reopen the economy and to get kids back to school. And that’s precisely why these measures are needed.
I’m the mom of two school-aged kids. I really want my kids to go to school physically in the fall. I’m also a professor here at Brown. I really want the students to come back. And, we’re planning on that. But that is not going to be possible if we don’t have these public health measures in place.
Similarly, I think about all of my friends and colleagues’ businesses. Those are going to go under if people are getting infected by COVID and are scared to go out and spend money. In order to save our economy, in order to save our kids and their schools, we have to have these strategies in place.
America is often reluctant to go to war. This is a good thing. We are also eager to declare war. Remember the sort-of wars on poverty, the war on drugs, the war on terror, the Korean war, the war on dirty movies, the Vietnam war, the many Gulf wars, etc.,etc. When we really commit to going to war and are asked to make the sacrifices to win we are pretty good at finishing the job. This is the time when this is appropriate. What we will need is a trusted leader.
THE DEATH DEALING VIRUS IS REAL. IT SHOULD BE THE ONLY VILLAIN ON OUR RADAR STARTING TODAY. AMERICA’S POLITICIANS STILL HAVEN’T SEEN THE NEED TO UNITE US IN AN OFFENSIVE ACTION TO DEFEAT THE VIRUS.
OUR ECONOMY AND OUR EDUCATIONAL SYSTEMS ARE IN FREE FALL AND CAN NO LONGER WAIT FOR A VACCINE OR AN ELECTION, WE NEED TO ACT NOW. IT IS TIME TO GO TO WAR.
During this pandemic the only defense we have is to protect ourselves is by thinking of others. This virus’ only chance to survive is for it to find a nation that shows a callous indifference for community action.
Dr. Anthony Fauci was asked why Europe has been able to largely contain the virus while the US has seen a rise in new cases.
Fauci said it was a complex question, but described some of the contributing factors. He first pointed out that many European countries locked down more completely than the US.
“If you look at what happened in Europe, when they shut down or locked down or went to shelter in place — however you want to describe it — they really did it to the tune of about 95% plus of the country did that,” Fauci said.
However, “when you actually look at what we did, even though we shut down, even though it created a great deal of difficulty, we really functionally shut down only about 50% in the sense of the totality of the country,” Fauci added that
For five months the moral vacuum in Washington has created only meanness, misery, death and mayhem. We are now facing the worst public health crisis in a century and an economic recession that rivals the Great Depression.
Guys like Dr Fauci with plans to beat the virus are still in line waiting their time.. We will have to create a new line for them as those in front of them won’t get out of the way.
HOW DO WE BEGIN THIS WAR?
First we must convince Americans that we really haven’t yet gone to war on the coronavirus. We haven’t taken the offensive and we must. Maybe America still hasn’t accepted the fact that until we defeat the virus we will not be able to get back to work and to school safely, as much as we all want to. This message must sink in.
I PROPOSE WE START A “WAKE UP AMERICA”CAMPAIGN!
We must make it clear that even while we are facing numerous highly visible threats we must first defeat the spread of the coronavirus. Our noble goals to fix our economy, to get our kids back in school, to correct our inequality, to repair our planet and climate, to put an end to our systemic racism and to do the things a healing and caring country does cannot be addressed until we mount a united effort to eradicate the virus.
This will require a national plan and action. Our current administration has deferred and dithered for 7 months. During this time we have been asked only to mitigate the damage and valiantly heal the inflicted. We have waited for our neglected public health to come up to speed county by county and state by state. Meanwhile the federal government is now throwing billions of dollars at our health industry to hurry up and give us cures and hopefully a vaccine. While we are waiting we have spent trillions of dollars more at moving targets in our economy, just to stay in a defensive position in a losing and unsustainable battle. We will have to repeat this over and over unless we act now.
We are just now coming to the realization that we can not wait until a new vaccine is rolled out or a new administration enters office. Our economy and education system are both in free fall.
We are serving in a volunteer army, maybe we need a call to service.
The virus has been vanquished in countries where all its citizens were drafted into the fight. They weren’t asked to sign up. They didn’t have to be asked when they were convinced that they faced an enemy that wanted to kill them. We were told that it would soon “Just go away”.
As I walk toward you I don’t know if I am carrying the deadly coronavirus, therefore I stay away from you. When I venture out to a store I wear a mask and avoid getting close to anyone. I am a warrior. I am tired of being a warrior. I think we all are. In Michigan we are asked by our Governor to stay vigilant. She wants to win the war with the coronavirus and so do we. So why aren’t we winning? Here is my take.
TO WIN THE WAR WE WILL HAVE TO:
Clearly define the enemy and identify its weaknesses.
We are getting to know a lot about the coronavirus. We know that it can’t exist without our help. It needs us to gather for it to survive.
Select our weapons
We have tried short term and sporadic use testing, separation and masks. Some states have contact tracing workforces and stricter mandates on crowd size. We know the results.
We have to regear. We must start using all the weapons we have. The United States needs not just an adequate pandemic response but an extraordinary one. We need a plan directed by experts who are trained in controlling epidemics; those experts, in turn, require a centralized data-collection center managed by skilled epidemiologists at the C.D.C., capable of ensuring accurate reporting from state and municipal health departments. Across the country, we need to start tracking and tracing new cases on a vast scale and analyze the info to determine which communities are most vulnerable and who is most likely to get sick and die. We need a government that collects information and then makes decisions based on it. Data wins wars.
Commit to defeat the enemy.
We need a fresh start with new competent focused leadership armed with facts, trust and purpose.
Our politics have been divisive, our President and his party are mostly trying to wish this away. This has led to a wide array of Americans who doubt what scientists say and resist public-health mandates. Many countries were quick to self-isolate, put on masks, keep their children out of school, and stay home from work. In the U.S., we’re used to going to work even when we’re sick and to sending our sniffling children off to school. Sometimes angry, leaderless, and misinformed, we haven’t put ourselves in a position to succeed. We are better than that, or maybe we just used to be. I am betting that we can win.
If we use other countries as successful models, a smart two week national lockdown followed by vigilance would be the cheapest fix available.
We will need the things that other countries already have like good shared data, cheap fast rapid testing and national and state workforces for contact tracing with the authority and equipment to enforce mandatory quarantine. If we did this, and if for a few weeks most americans wore masks and stayed six feet away from each other, America could win the war on the virus. As a state that succeeds in containing the virus can be easily reinfected by its less successful neighbors, it must be national and it must be enforceable.
To be continued.
Here is a dead on opinion piece from the New York Times.
Here’s How to Crush the Virus Until Vaccines Arrive
To save lives, and save the economy, we need another lockdown.
By Michael T. Osterholm and Neel Kashkari
Dr. Osterholm is the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. Mr. Kashkari is president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
Here is a source for Reported Cases and Deaths by Country, Territory, or Conveyance
The coronavirus COVID-19 is affecting 213 countries and territories around the world and 2 international conveyances. The day is reset after midnight GMT+0. The list of countries and territories and their continental regional classification is based on the United Nations Geoscheme. Worldometer’s COVID-19 data