For the Record: The Coronovirus Update: March 23, 2020

The United States as of March 23, 2020, has 35,345 39,032, 41,200 cases and 473 501 deaths relating to coronavirus. The day before it had 30,788 and 390 deaths.

Worldwide the number of cases for the top five countries are: China 81,496; Italy 59,138, Spain 33,089 and Germany 27.289. The United States has climbed into third place.

Fortunately when it comes to deaths, we are not nearly as bad as five other countries: Italy, 5476; China 3,274; Spain 2,206;  Iran 1,812; France 676; and U.S. 473.

As shown in my post earlier today, the U.S. government is not taking the virus seriously. It plans just like the old smoothies to sail through the pandemic. There are some suggestion coming from the top that happy days will be here after 15 days.

Fortunately not all see the dawn coming so soon. Charlie Baker the governor of Massachusetts has just ordered all non-essential businesses in the state to close. It’s late but better late as they say. It is still not enough since people will be out and about. Other states have done the same thing: California, New York, Illinois, Ohio, New Jersey, Connecticut, Louisiana and Delaware. The total number of people affected by these orders is over 115 million people.

One-fifth of our national governors believe the best way to address the coronavirus is  for people to stay in their homes and shut down all the normal economic activity in their states. That leaves four-fifths who think things can pretty much go on as usual. There’s a disconnect somewhere.

Louisiana on March 22 with its stay home order had 837 cases and 20 deaths; on the same day Florida without the order had 830 cases and 13 deaths. On March 23 the statistics show Lousiana has 837 cases and 20 deaths while Florida has 1,007 cases and 13 deaths. Although the deaths remained the same, the increase in Florida was 300 more than Louisiana.

On March 22 Illinois had 753 cases and Michigan 809. The former has a stay at home order. On March 23 Illinois had 1,050 cases and Michigan 1,039 cases. Here there seems little change unless one looks at the testing. Michigan has tested on 3,104 people and Illinois has tested 8,329.

The Lone Star State of Texas is going it alone with no restrictions at all. I suppose it looks upon the other states, especially those in the northeast, as sort of wimpish. It is the second largest state in the nation. Texas has tested 8,756 people. On March 22 Texas had 304 cases and the following day 670 days.

How do we expect this coronavirus to be stopped when four-fifths of the nation are not responding by imposing the minimum restrictions to it? Are we so different from Italy which took drastic steps yet still suffered and is suffering a significant number of deaths?

The laissez-faire attitude of our Government to this pandemic to me is astonishing. A British study comparing the “potential impact of the COVID-19 disease epidemic with the devastating flu outbreak of 1918, Ferguson’s team said that with no mitigating measures at all, the outbreak could have caused more than half a million deaths in Britain and 2.2 million in the United States.”

Am I overreacting, I hope so. But isn’t it better to do that than to pretend that there is some time period such as 15 days when the sun is going to come up again. Every time a stay at home order issues businesses close down and people are put out of work. These small businesses and hard-working people will no longer have income. What is to be done about that?

The British have guaranteed that people will still receive 80% of their income. Have we done anything like that? If we are to survive we need to keep our people healthy and that is by getting them money and food. There are lots of things to consider but foremost among them is to help the people adversely affected by this pandemic.

13 thoughts on “For the Record: The Coronovirus Update: March 23, 2020

  1. Trump doesn’t get it. He has only his re-election to think about. He is terrified that if things stay the same as we trudge through the summer people will turn to another leader. This is totally about him, not about the citizenry staying safe. About doing what every doctor on the planet has advised, he said yesterday, “The cure shouldn’t be worse than the disease.” Go into a chronic ward, Mister President, and French kiss a 90 year old American, one that voted for you, on the mouth. Send him/her to The Glorious Kingdom then go back to the White House and take care of those nasty bone spurs.

    1. Honnest:

      “The cure shouldn’t be worse than the disease” is translated that “it is more important that the stock market go back up than people vulnerable to die from the virus should live.” It is about what you would expect from a narcissist.

  2. Matt, some public health officials have been negligent:

    New York City Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot mocked the fears of coronavirus and told New Yorkers to attend the annual Lunar New Year Parade in Chinatown back on February 9, when the coronavirus was already ravaging Hubei Province in China.

    Here is what she posted on Twitter:

    “Today our city is celebrating the #LunarNewYear parade in Chinatown, a beautiful cultural tradition with a rich history in our city. I want to remind everyone to enjoy the parade and not change any plans due to misinformation spreading about #coronavirus. https://on.nyc.gov/377LlcH”

    The was AFTER President Trump banned air travel from China.

    Her cavalier attitude perhaps led to the New York City area becoming one of the hot spots for Coronavirus. Doctor Deborah Bixy, M.D., a White House Expert, said tonight, “The New York City region is now an epicenter of the pandemic. . . nearly 1 in 1,000 people in the region had contracted the virus, five times the number in other areas.”

    1. Willaim:

      Stop the nonsense. Trump throughout February as you know was telling the people he had things under control and there was nothing to worry about. Trump held rallies on February 10 in Nashua, NH, February 19, in Phoenix, Arisona, Thursday, February 20 in Colorodo Springs, February 21 in Las Vegas, February 26 in North Charlestown , South Carolina, and March 2 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

      You are all exorcised over a February 9 New Year’s Parade in New York while ignoring all of Trump’s assurances before and since then and all his rallies.

      On March 7 it was reported: “President Trump has been repeatedly downplaying the threat of the coronavirus, including at the CDC on Friday when he insisted he was not worried about the risk the virus could pose at his political rallies or any other large public gatherings. He then reaffirmed that on Saturday — after the American Conservative Union (ACU) announced that an attendee of the organization’s recent CPAC event had tested positive for COVID-19. President Trump, Vice-President Pence, and numerous other senior Trump administration officials and Trump-orbiting celebrities went to the multi-day event, which was attended by thousands of conservatives from around the country.”

  3. The Federal and State Governments are taking this very seriously and are implementing unprecedented measures to slow down the spread of this virus, to develop treatments and vaccines, and to distribute life-saving masks, respirators and potentially useful medicines. The Private Sector is pitching in voluntarily, making masks, hand sanitizers, etc.

    Vice President’s Pence Task Force (about a week ago) implanted a 15 day stay at home program. Most Americans are complying. President Trump just said at the end of 15 days, we will review our progress and decide then what further steps are needed.
    Remember, too, that Governor Baker’s Order today to close unessential businesses is effective through April 7. That’s another 14 days. He, too, of course will re-assess on April 7, and decide then how to proceed.

    Incidentally, the President issued an order today to criminalize the hording of needed health and medical resources or the selling of them in excess of reasonable prices.

    2. Bravo to the doctors, nurses, EMTs, public health professionals, and police and fire who assist them, who are courageously responding to this crisis.

    3. Remember, too, as the President said today, that we want to make sure the Cure is not worse than the Disease. All public health people are aware of the adverse psychological and physical impacts of social isolation, lost jobs, lost income, lost savings. So, the Administration and Governors have their eyes on many factors: mitigating the spread of the disease, finding treatments and vaccines, testing and treating the most vulnerable, and mitigating the socio-economic impacts.

    4. Boston College as you know sent home about 15,000 students, while about 600 remained on campus. (For personal reasons, ex. Unable to travel internationally, or for professional reasons, ex. Work related.) However, just today we learned one student of the 600 tested positive. After consultation with the Public Health Authorities (think of all the medical-public health geniuses in the Boston Area) B.C. decided that people who have been in close contact with that person for more than 15 minutes in the last week would be required to socially isolate and would be contacted by public health authorities. B.C. did not require everyone who touched a doorknob the student touched in the last two weeks to report for testing. Why not? Probably because the risk of transmission from doorknobs is low. The average infected Coronavirus Person infects 2 to 3 others, not 1,000 others, and 90% of those infected are from close contacts. I assure you, B.C., with its excellent nursing school and faculty which includes imminent biological scientists and physicians, is taking every reasonable precaution to prevent transmissions and protect students, faculty and staff, visitors and the community (neighbors).

    But I ask you. What would you do, having found that one student tested positive? Find out every place she went in the last two weeks and test everyone who went to those places in the hopes that you’d find the two or three persons she’ll infect on average? Theoretically, would you track down and test the five thousand visitors who visited the Prudential Center she walked through two weeks ago?

    5. Finally, governors react differently because their geographies are different, the cases per population are different, they may or may not have hot spots, they have different public health experts who may have different approaches. Different countries are reacting differently. All are taking this seriously. All have the same data we have, and the experts have much more current and historical, comprehensive data.

    6. Even If we tested every American this week; we’d have to retest them all next week to find out how many did or did not get infected. Focusing on the infected and those in close contact with them is a good, rational approach, for now,

  4. A follow up to what I wrote earlier.

    “In journals like the Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine, scientists use both “Covid-19” and “SARS-CoV-2” to refer to the disease and virus respectively, but never the WHO’s term “Covid-19 virus.””

    https://qz.com/1820422/coronavirus-why-wont-who-use-the-name-sars-cov-2/

    This contains embedded links to more detailed information:

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/summary.html

    Today, http://www.genomeweb.com has the following report:

    “NEW YORK – Heat Biologics, a Durham, North Carolina developer of therapeutic and prophylactic vaccines, said on Monday that it is collaborating with the University of Miami to develop a point-of-care diagnostic test for COVID-19.
    The test is expected to require a pharyngeal throat swab to deliver diagnostic results on a paper strip in under 30 minutes. A spokesperson for Heat Biologics said in an email that the assay will use isothermal amplification technology to detect viral nucleic acids.
    Heat Biologics said that preliminary research suggests that the test is specific to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, with no cross-reactivity to previous coronavirus subtypes. It requires no expensive instrumentation to run and is amenable to cost-effective manufacturing and mass production, the company said.
    “Our lab has tremendous experience developing accurate and easily usable tests for infectious diseases such as [human papillomavirus] and Zika,” test codeveloper Sylvia Daunert, chair of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, said in a statement. “Unlike tests that detect antibodies (IgG and IgM method), which can take weeks to manifest, our test is being developed to utilize molecular recognition and amplification of the target virus. This should allow for much earlier detection — within a couple days of exposure — providing critical and time-sensitive information to help curb the spread of the disease.”
    Other collaborating scientists at the Miller School of Medicine include Sapna Deo and Jean-Marc Zingg.
    In parallel, Heat Biologics and the University of Miami have partnered to develop a vaccine to protect against SARS-CoV-2 infection.”

    1. Ed:

      Thanks again. I’m hoping in the days of artificial intelligence that we will be able to come up with better tests, better remedies and better vaccines than we have been able to to prior to this time. Perhaps from this episode we will be inclined to pump tons of money into science and medicine to be better prepared for these events. 1918 was a long time ago so it was easy to think it could never happen again.

  5. In many places such as Florida, the limited number of test kits available has limited the number of people tested (supply has not yet ramped up to meet demand for this new virus). People showing very little symptoms (low grade fever, body aches, bronchitis, etc.) or who are asymptomatic are not being tested, even when there is knowledge that they may have been in proximity to those who are tested positive.

    An increase in the supply of available tests will increase the number of people tested and lower the threshold of testing eligibility, giving more accurate numbers.

    As time goes on and this pandemic wanes, it will be interesting to see what percentage of the surviving population has developed antibodies to this virus, indicating exposure in the past, and whether they exhibited any symptoms and the extent and severity of symptoms.

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