Northam’s lockdown is working: And will work for a long time

Virginia covid-19

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Ralph Northam opened his Friday presser answering the question that is on a few people’s minds regarding his lockdown.

On the one hand, he’s telling us that we’re still weeks away from a peak on demand for hospital resources, which he seems to be suggesting is the rough time frame for when he might begin to start thinking about maybe beginning to possibly slowly open things up a teensy bit.

But if that’s the case, that we’re weeks away from our peak, doesn’t that mean his lockdown isn’t working?

“I want to remind Virginians that even though we are seeing cases go up, that doesn’t mean social distancing is not working, because it is. The point of social distancing is to slow the spread, not eliminate it entirely,” Northam said.

Aha.

The Virginia Department of Health is reporting 7,491 total COVID-19 cases, dating back to the first confirmed case reported on March 13, with 231 COVID deaths.

The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association dashboard shows 809 current hospitalizations for COVID-19 patients, in line with modeling from the University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Evalution, which forecasts peak usage coming on April 23, when roughly a sixth of the state’s open hospital beds will be needed for COVID-19 care.

But modeling from the UVA Biocomplexity Institute paints a far grimmer picture, suggesting peak resource demand in the summer, though that modeling also seems to suggest, by assuming seven actual COVID-19 cases for every confirmed case, that the lethality of COVID is actually more in line with the seasonal flu.

Northam isn’t even entertaining taking steps toward reopening the state economy yet, even as Gretchen Whitmer, the governor of Michigan, which is sitting at more than 30,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 2,200 deaths, announced today her intention to begin reopening her state’s economy beginning May 1, following a similar announcement on Thursday from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, whose state is at 9,110 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 418 deaths.

Anyway, social distancing is slowing the spread in Virginia, says Northam, though we’re weeks away from a peak, and, remember, according to Northam, all we’re doing is slowing the spread, not eliminating COVID entirely.

This guy is governor through January 2022, which might be the over/under on when we can expect his executive orders to finally expire.

Story by Chris Graham


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