Here’s what may lie ahead based on math models, hospital projections and past pandemics
When Jason Christie, chief of pulmonary medicine at Penn Medicine, received a projection on how many patients coronavirus may soon be flocking to the hospital in Philadelphia, he said he felt physically sick.
“My front-line providers – we talked about it in the report situations that night, and their voices crack,” Christie said Wednesday. They see how rapidly the waves will flood the system, forcing doctors to make a choice is not possible – that the patient will get a ventilator and bed, and who will die.
“They are afraid,” Christie said. “And that is the best-case scenario. ‘
Experts across the country have been poking Model after model – marshaling every tool of mathematics, medicine, science, and history – to try to predict the coming of chaos unleashed by a new coronavirus and to make preparations.
At the heart of their algorithm is scary but empowering truth: What happens next depends on us – government, politicians, institutions our health and, in particular, 328 million people in this country – all make small decisions every day with outsize consequences for our future together.
In the worst-case scenario, America is on a trajectory toward 1.1 million deaths. That Vision Model flow to the hospital pain, excessive even makeshift beds in tents parking. Doctors must make painful decisions about who gets the scarce resources. Front-line physician shortage will worsen because they are infected, some patients die with them. Confidence in the government, already tenuous, will erode further.
This bleak scenario does not mean certainty – as shown by countries such as South Korea, which has reduced new cases a day from hundreds to a few scores with aggressive measures to strengthen health systems.
If the American embrace drastic restrictions and school closures, for example, we could see the death toll closer to thousands of national and breathe relieved as we prepare tiring but the road ahead to overcome.
An alarming new model
Doing that will require Americans to “flatten the curve” – slowing down the spread of infectious diseases so as not to overwhelm the health care system with limited resources. phrases that have become ubiquitous in our national conversation. But what the experts are not always made clear is that by applying all the pressure down on the curve – by canceling public gatherings, school closures, quarantine sick and uphold social distance – you are elongated curve, stretching over a longer period of time.
Success means more – though less catastrophic – against coronavirus. And it is not clear whether the Americans – who built this country on the ideals of freedom and individual rights – would be willing to endure such harsh restrictions on their lives for months, let alone for a year or more.
This month begins with US officials recommend measures such as hand washing and social distancing. On Sunday, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s warning against the meeting of the 50-plus people. Monday, President Trump has made a sudden turn of encouraging Americans to continue with their lives, to urge them to work from home and do not meet in groups of more than 10, and called on local officials to close schools, bars, and restaurants. (Getting people to obey been worrying difficult. Excited young fun of Bourbon Street to Miami has ignored the petition, because it has some of the elderly, who are at highest risk.)
Trump’s shift is driven by an alarming new scientific model, which was developed by the British epidemiologist and share with the White House. Scientists bluntly stated coronavirus is the most serious threat of respiratory viruses of pandemic flu since 1918. If no action is taken to limit the spread of the virus, as many as 2.2 million people in the United States could die during a pandemic, according to epidemiologist Neil Ferguson and others The Response Team Imperial College Covid-19.
Adopt some strategy to slow the pandemic – such as isolating those suspected of being infected and social distance from their parents – only cut deaths in half to 1.1 million, although it will also reduce the demand for health services by two-thirds.
Only by imposing a whole series of drastic restriction America could shrink further deaths, the study found. The strategy will require, at a minimum, national practice social distancing, home insulation, and closure of schools and universities. And the limitation must be maintained, at least intermittently, until the vaccine works developed, which could take 12 to 18 months at best.
The report’s conclusion: This is “the only viable strategy.”
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