I was informed, breathlessly, that my county had seen a huge jump in virus cases just last week. Are we experiencing an exponential expansion of the illness here that requires even more stringent measures by the population?
Seems the National Guard had been asked to test everyone in a large nursing home. About sixty percent of the residents tested positive. Add to that staff who were positive and the single location accounts for about half of the county’s entire virus count.
In percentages, the county’s infection rate is about one-tenth of one percent. It’s difficult to arrive at the hospitalization rate but assuming many of the home’s residents were hospitalized, the county rate aside from that might be around three per ten thousand. The risk of contracting the virus at Walmart or the gas station seems very low
It’s a little known fact that I was a pretty fair epidemiologist forty years ago. I had an MDiv and had both read the Crichton book, The Andromeda Strain, and seen the movie. Thankfully for all around me, I’m not as dumb as I was forty years ago. I’m in a high risk group (simply by age, a factor I have never been able to control) and would make these observations:
- I respect the medical experts. I have been fascinated by the explanations and reports of Drs. Fauci and Birx. Dr. Birx is especially adept at explaining and giving guidance to the lay public on the crisis. Occasionally, in our society, technology and expertise have to be consulted for guidance.
- I have no big issue overall with the drastic measures taken. The disease is highly communicable, wily, and lethal. Six weeks ago there wasn’t enough data to isolate the nursing home hotspot. Until the governor gave stay-at-home orders on April 2nd, even the nursing homes couldn’t prevent people from visiting residents, I understand.
- After lots of testing, it looks like the risks were and are very low in my county.
- A free society will not abide, indefinitely and repeatedly, glaring inconsistencies in policies nor laws and orders that are perceived as unfair and arbitrary. The populace has been cooperative and docile here. Everyone is cooperating during a difficult time. I suspect that the next time it will be more difficult.
- Medical experts have little incentive to do anything but maximize the matter. President Trump on more than one occasion has said that you can’t leave all these decisions up to the doctors because they would keep everything shut down. He’s right. It’s not sinister on their part. They see their role as keeping people from being sick.
- Politicians don’t want to be caught making any decisions, certainly not any that might make more people sick. It’s easier to explain that you wrecked the economy and crushed businesses because you were saving lives. Our governor has taken a risk by moving things along towards normalcy. I appreciate the gravity of his decision.
- The sooner there’s some vaccine or reliable treatment regimen The better I’d feel about normalcy.
- My church is set to meet inside with proper social distancing the first Sunday in June. I’m not sure I’ll go that early.
I hope this is the last novel virus I experience but I’m always ready for the next virus novel.
And I truly hate the graphic of the silver ball covered by red push pins.