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OUR BLOG

COVID-19: Is it time to start opening up?

By Todd Seabaugh | In Blog, Health & Wellness | on April 28, 2020

Today I want to share some resources that provide interesting insights into the pandemic. Some are supportive of continued lock downs, some indicate that the lockdowns have served their purpose, and then a site that has some great analytics on this and other pandemics, for the analytically minded among us.

First, the argument for continuing to shelter in place. “As governors begin to ease the restrictions, the outbreak could take more than to 74,000 lives by August, compared with an earlier forecast of 67,000.” Presently, we have surpassed 57,o00 deaths, so we could expect another 17,000 deaths over the next 4 months with eased restrictions, perhaps worse.

The elephant in the room? Chronic conditions play an unbelievably skewed factor in COVID-19 outcomes. Studies are revealing that obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome greatly accentuate the risk.

On the other hand, Dr. Daniel Murphy, Chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, has an entirely different perspective. He has worked one of the hardest hit areas in the states, with lower income families, primarily working service industry jobs that do not allow for social distancing. In a Washington Post opinion piece, he says it is time to start opening up.

Some of Dr. Murphy’s key points:

  • Cases crested in this high impact area on April 7
  • The natural course of the outbreak in the Bronx has little to do with social distancing orders
  • Non-coronavirus care is suffering because patients needing care are afraid to come to the ER
  • There are growing numbers of non-Covid sufferers dying at home during the crisis out of hospital fear
  • Pediatric volume has dried up, with kids not getting scheduled vaccines and treatments that will lead to other negative outcomes

His final point: “COVID-19 is more prevalent than we think. Over 43% of all tested in the Bronx were positive, with most having no symptoms. We are developing a significant degree of natural herd immunity. Distancing works, but I am skeptical that it is playing as predominant a role as many think.”

So in a short 500-word or less post, you have the point-counterpoint.

Finally, here is a sight that I find immensely helpful and interesting, but hey, I’m a data-driven person. Emotionally driven folks won’t find this much more than a yawner, but here goes.  Go into the “healthcare” tab and you will find many graphics that help put proper perspective on COVID-19, what countries are actually doing the best job (based on their “per 100,000 population” results, not their total cases which tells a false story.

 

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