What can we expect
or might expect?
A Coronavirus Worldometer, with up to the hour figures.
The following should be considered very important.
Slowing down, containment, reversal, the safety net showing that it has been working for the rest of us who did not catch it, will be the name of the game for the next few weeks and months. Disseminating and administering tests will be our hot topic for a while before any green light will be given to the majority of the American people that the war against coronavirus has been won.
However powerful the enemy is, it harkens one back to WW II, namely to the start of 1944, when there was a war that the people were fighting and when there were millions still shackled to the dictates of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. Many believed “someday, we will be victorious.” As the months of 1944 ticked away, and America and her Allies slowly won more battles, more and more people began to feel again what it meant to be free and win against the enemy. December was very different from January, but the road was long and hard as you can see if you take a look at the menu and see 1944 on the web page found on this site.
Times changed. Freedom was felt, the fear of dying are themes felt both in 1944 and 2020 on a worldwide scale. Things brightened somewhat by December akin to victory but, actually, the battles did not really end until the following year and there were many nasty battles fought in Dec of ’44 that developed. It took some atomic bomb to bring the war to an end. Will we have some miracle weapon akin to an atomic bomb?
The turning point was 1944. That idea of a turning point can be repeated, in 2020. Repeated for a new set of repressed, frightened people. Repeated for Americans. Repeated for non-Americans. A feeling of changing climate repeated just like what the past generation of 1944 felt.
2020 thus far is historic, and unfortunately, for now contains more unpleasant news than good news and victory seems so far away. But, thats the way it was in early 1944. You are living a historic time more than you realize, far above politics and the art of imagination. The early months of 2020 is not like 1943 or 1940, the other war years. We are in a unique space of time. And, the enemy is still very powerful. It seems powerful and deadly everywhere. Italy, Spain, England, Germany, the Philippines, Japan on and on. It is not just an American thing.
The passage of weeks recalls the past histories of SARS 2003 and the Swine flu of 2009 when people panicked in terms of epidemics when so-called hysteria-like warnings were ushered by WHO, and historically they were also not past epidemic killers like the Spanish Influenza of 1919. You cannot argue much about that. One of the most serious and common risks for patients now involves being on a ventilator where being on a ventilator may result in pneumonia, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health. They warn the “breathing tube that’s put in your airway can allow bacteria to enter your lungs. As a result, you may develop ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP).” Moreover, when a patient is already sick, it becomes a major concern as pneumonia may make it harder to treat their other disease or condition. The U.S. National Institutes of Health stated, “…Using a ventilator also can put you at risk for other problems, such as: Pneumothorax (noo-mo-THOR-aks). This is a condition in which air leaks out of the lungs and into the space between the lungs and the chest wall. This can cause pain and shortness of breath, and it may cause one or both lungs to collapse. Lung damage. Pushing air into the lungs with too much pressure can harm the lungs.
A cousin of the enemy COVINE-19, named the flu, is deadly, too, but not as an attacker. Both bring about nasty coughing, but the flu holds the status of being less contagious with less permeating speed as its cousin. Like it or not, the people are at war. You are witnessing something that will be remembered in the future. A better historic point, or question, is when will victory finally be achieved?
While in some parts of the country the number of people entering the hospitals is increasing, in the big cities of N.Y. and L.A. the rate of hospitalization is encouraging, around April 9 it finally is showing signs of slowing. That is good news. However, that is not to say victory is at hand, for with the number of U.S. cases surpassing 501,000 and deaths reaching 18,693 on Apr 10, the reality is that it would be foolish to say victory is around the corner until hospitals must be able to treat all patients requiring hospitalization, without resorting to crisis standards of care. This pandemic is still growing in the nation’s hot spots.
On April 7, ABC reported 731 deaths in New York, a new high, until surpassed by the so-called deadliest day on Wednesday April 8 (hitting 779 deaths) and that was topped next day with 799 dead, as this NBC Nightly News related. Actually, we saw a succession of 3 consecutive days of deadly numbers growing before reaching the deadliest height in N.Y. That is a lot of families that were sadly affected. This battle is brutal and in the trenches, namely in the hospitals, it is rough. As of April 10, roughly 7,067 have been lost in the state of N.Y. where the battle against COVID-19 is at its harshest. In comparison, 2,753 people were killed on 9/11. New York city’s medical examiner’s were holding bodies in refrigerated trailers outside of hospitals in April. Overall across America, U.S. deaths topped 18,000 with nearly 460,00 cases by April 10.
The next week or two or three will provide a better picture after April 10. Furthermore, in regards to the three states Michigan, Louisiana, and California most hit by this unseen enemy, any talk of leveling off “for the country” and “getting a lot of people back to work” and re-open parts of the country—note, one never said a blanket opening up everywhere—will depend on A) The national rate. B) A set of diagrams showing positive downturns on all categories on a continous time-frame, and C) The relationship of new “potential coronavirus hotspots” emerging outside of those three states when the timing of better, warmer weather develops. That is the battle plan that this nation’s generals who are leading the war will face.
1) How great will the number of people getting hit in those “new hotspots” be? wherever those hotspots may be. 2) How is the strength of the hospitals within those hotspots able to handle and contain the infections so that the rate of hospitalization and deaths stay at a relatively low number? And, will the entrance of the coming future downward slope be wonderfully steep? If we see a stable plateau that lasts into the weeks, that is not good and it will prolong recovery.
3) How big will those hotspots be in relation to states not considered hotspots? (by virtue of how populated or not; in other words, the denser the population the more critical it becomes compared to some places less dense.) And, how closely related are they in terms of commerce and industry to affect the Economic recovery? Commerce, industry of the nation as a whole will be depended on the geographic miles separating the number of non-affected areas to and from the so-called hot-spots. America is a huge nation, much bigger than Italy or Germany. Does Congress and/or the President have the power to isolate those areas deemed hot spots when the march of time comes? Remember, WW II in certain areas had someone with overall power to size up the situation when a time came, a power to do and undo, such as Eisenhower in Europe or miles away in the Pacific like MacArthur. Congress was not running the shots. This time it is different. The situation is not of a purely military nature, yet, someone with the power must make the calls in April, May, June etc. Big battles, indeed, are fluid, never the same.
If one or two of those hotspots turn up avidly dangerous, can their importance to health or commerce or industrial recovery be lessened or even replaced by other geographic zones of populace that are safer? Think in terms of WW II. How the Home Front changed. How millions of people packed their bags and moved for the temporary duration. In our modern world, can certain segments of society or industry change and rise to the occasion? Remember, time is of the essence. National recovery on a scale so gigantic will be accomplished only if one thinks big. Civic leaders must think big and convey ideas now, not next week or later.
As it is said today, we are in this thing together, and we the people got to get even more serious than we thought possible. The next couple of weeks and months will tell if we are able to handle this together, and if neighborhoods of cities in America are able to function while certain “important” parts of America will remain under quarantine. You think every city and neighborhood will look the same? The idea of togetherness is one thing, and it is valuable, but we are so big, the spaces of America is so varied and wide, it will be impossible to look and respond the same way for the entire nation. Imagination and how we respond within each state will be the determining factor. The rate of hospitalization will be primary, and if you read between the lines, there must be a sustained reduction in cases for at least 14 days. The rate of economic recovery follows. That is what makes 2020 different from 1944. A suggestion to tell if we are on the right track will be the comparison charts between March and say the summer months of July or August. How will they differ? DO the good numbers far outweigh the bad?
4) The weather factor will come into great consideration. Florida and the Carolinas are not California. The weather that will, note I did not say might, adversely come into play must be expected. A plan must be started, now. It must be created and implemented; be it floods or tornadoes or hurricanes that will enter the picture and affect people battling COVID-19. 2020 is not 2019. Whether we can put a meaningful number of people back to work—compared to todays 17 million who are unemployed—most assuredly, will depend on four factors: one will be not so nice, while the other 3 will comparatively sound nice.
The still acute shortage of medical equipment and the safety of staff in hospitals and non-hospitals ( like nursing homes and health centers) must be nipped in the bud and must be all a thing of the past by mid to late May. The speed of improvement must be up, the death rates must be considerably down. A rush to the utmost to save lives is important and yet, if all the aforementioned is still not licked by the American people and civic governments by early-summer (or some prescribed time by the medical professional) will spell one thing, a different time clock will unfortunately exist. You will see people running on different time clocks in summer, compared to today’s April time clock where everything seems the same and the hospital-health battle is the main issue that is pulling us together. Moreover, most likely in relation to how many Americans will be emancipated from the stay-at-home mandate is a clue to the time-clock disparity. The road to economic recovery and jobs will be on a different time-clock. The sad part that will emenate, is that the elderly and how they are cared for will be on a different time-clock. That is the factor that is not nice. The time-frame of March-April is one thing. The time frame of mid-summer is another, and I hope the power of medicine to come to the rescue will be attained so that even though we will be on different time-clocks, those who are most weak and vulnerable can be safer. This summer you will see hurricane season stick its ugly nose, and if the experts are right, hurricane activity will show no mercy in 2020.
5) The nature of a flu-season operates best when an environment is not nice and warm and sunny. And, only medicine and the task force in Washington DC, who will act like our Eisenhowers and MacArthurs, the ones to create “back to work” actions and activity can provide—with the assistance of journalists and the news media—can bring a helpful road to what the future will term a positiveness, a structure that things are working for a “victory” both in and outside the world of jobs and the economy. However, all the people forming the task force will be depended on the race against time and the weather, just like that D-Day in June in 1944. It will run concurrent with the speed, timing and power of medicine, remember this is 2020 not 1944.
Will the promise and power of medicine arrive on time, will its power be fulfilled and be available in enough quantities to fight off the oncoming walls of obstacles due to bad weather? Will the promise and power of medicine reach people in time. That will depend on those in the labs and the doctors and medical specialists. The promise and power of medicine also may have deadlines, which few see or talk about in April. Easter Day. Mother’s Day. Father’s Day. Memorial Day. It will not be good if due to circumstance beyond their control, beyond normal control, some medical wonder with the potential to be 90% to 100% safe and successful will not be ready by most of the above dates. On the other hand, if it is clinically ready and properly handled, with enough for everybody by some Herculean effort, then that would be a most wonderful set of news. If a scenario plays out that by July 4th, or near there, something sounds promising but, is in reality not 90 or 100% safe, that is not too bad either. Most probably, that will be up to the individual doctors to administer what they think will be safe and helpful; they being in some big city hospital or in some unknown, mystery place on a map. They will have one thing in common. To save the lives of their patients. How many in this country will be back to work by July is anybody’s guess. How high will the number of dead due to COVID-19 is also anybody’s guess, but obviously, the closer to zero the better. For this nation to receive the best scenario, the best future news would be that some lab receives the FDA approval for some medicine before the wave of bad weather plays havoc, and have it administered to patients with real-time results.
6) All the above will go haywire especially in the southern states if the hurricane season becomes ever so active and mean. Will a southern state or two hit by hurricane winds be allowed to scatter their population to non-affected areas? Will the airlines, assuming they will be running, allow anybody to fly in and out? The front-lines of Summer will look very different to both southern states and non-southern states. The worst possible scenario is that during the time from now until say September, people who did not take COVID-19 seriously, they will beg others to come to their rescue. And, what will be the response if there is no drug yet found by the labs? The distance between the affected and the non-affected may prove a high mountain to traverse. The word “invasion” may even creep up as a negative connotation. If people in places like Florida still refuse stay-at-home orders—and Florida is considered a hot spot—when August and September rolls around and is critically hit by one or a series of hurricanes, who will offer help and rush in their first-responders if the miracle of some drug is no where ready by September? It matters whether all the components will come together now, next month, or summer. Just like what made 1944 so special. Each of us in a sense becomes a Rosie the Riveter. All kinds of components came together in a positive manner to overcome the enemy, which in January had seemed unstoppable. All kinds of components must work together and come together in 2020, and as Chris Cuomo who was hit by the coronavirus says, it depends on us to get better. And, finally, if nations which are in our southern hemisphere or from the Caribbean all fall to the tempest of hurricanes, remember this: will normal channels of assistance rush to their aid when the possible scenario that those countries will be experiencing ensue, namely a rise of infected cases, similar to what the northern hemisphere countries experienced and felt in March and April. Just what might we expect is a rhetorical question—from a future that is not that far away, and is marching faster to us than we can realize, but we must work together.