More young people are being infected and being affected by the virus than originally believed. Instead of the age range being 60+ as it appeared to be initially, we are seeing the age range widening now including 18-44 year old patients.
This week and next week will be critical junctures. If testing continues and the trends continue, there will be a continued rise in both the number of tested and confirmed individuals, as well as the continued spread of the virus into unaffected populations.
Especially those populations which have not practiced any social distancing protocols, as a number of states are still not doing. Texas and Florida are finally realizing the error and making corrections.
Those populations that are not engaged in rigorous and continual testing, and are determined to bring their economic engines back online MUST establishing protocols for effective contact tracing and infection confirmation. At this point, it is unclear how robust the contact tracing element of the US pandemic response is.
As long as testing cannot be made ubiquitously available and free, there will be the continued spread of the virus.
As long as people cannot afford the testing, as long as no reliable and fast testing process exists, the pandemic will continue.
Most importantly: If populations cannot be reliably tested, then there is literally NO CHANCE of stopping the spread of the virus in the United States. It will continue to spread and attack vulnerable populations, made worse if social distancing norms cannot be established or maintained.
Two weeks from now, even with social distancing, I expect to see the need for respirators in counties without social distancing beginning to become problematic.
States with the highest mobile populations and the greatest infection delta will likely be the same states having to make serious choices regarding their populations.
Three weeks at the beginning of this could have made all the difference. All that’s left to do is to clean up the aftermath and chase the brushfires as outbreaks spread into rural communities without medical facilities.
Without effective leadership,
Without empathic populations,
Without a viable vaccine,
Without significant effective treatments with repeatable results,
without economic protocols to stem the damage to the economy focused on supporting people not corporate,
without social distancing becoming a societal norm,
without effective and affordable (free) testing,
without effective contact tracing,
without effective PPE,
development and manufacturing,
without support for first contact workers and medical staff,
All we can expect to do is to care for the injured who will likely bear pulmonary and organ damage for the rest of their lives and to bury the dead.
If all you can see is the damage to the economy, you aren’t looking hard enough.
Without a population who does not live in fear of infection or worse, reinfection, you have nothing.
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