The focus of the debate dominating the discussion of COVID-19 policy is all wrong

covid-19

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COVID isn’t punishing us for leaving our homes, for having dinner out, because some of us aren’t wearing masks in stores.

It’s not dying out in the northeast because New York somehow crushed the curve.

Seriously, that’s laughable.

We’re not in a second wave because some Republican governors were irresponsible.

And anyway, Gavin Newsom, not a Republican.

The places experiencing the jumps in numbers were the ones that did a good job at the outset of the outbreak in instituting social distancing, and had dramatically lower death rates because they were able to better manage the spread in nursing homes.

The actions in those states bought the time that flattening the curve was meant to provide to allow for the best possible deployment of resources.

It was practically inevitable that those areas that didn’t experience what New York did, what the DMV – Washington, D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia – did, would see a spike in cases once things opened back up.

The idea was never to hunker everything and everybody down until COVID went away.

COVID isn’t going to go away.

Doctors have four months of trial and error to give them ideas on how to better treat serious COVID cases.

Indications are that outcomes are improving.

Evidence of that: using numbers from the Virginia Department of Health, the infection fatality rate in the Commonwealth for non-nursing home COVID-19 patients would be right at .1 percent.

Another way to put that: the survival rate there would be 99.9 percent.

And the survival rate for people under 60 is 99.95 percent.

Certain people don’t like it when they see someone make this comparison, but this is in range, actually, under the range, for the seasonal flu.

It’s OK if you don’t want to accept it, but it’s true.

Knowing what we now know – that COVID is far more dangerous for people 80 and older in nursing homes, and is the seasonal flu for the rest of us – it’s clear that it makes no sense to re-institute lockdowns as a response to a flood of new cases.

The trend lines in the New York and D.C. metro areas indicating that the virus has largely burned itself out after hitting a rough 20 percent saturation threshold tells us where this is going to go.

The states that we’re looking at as hot spots now are not at the saturation threshold.

They’re going to get there, sooner or later.

It might make sense to try to get there sooner, honestly.

Do we really want to see some places dealing with a COVID season and a flu season at the same time?

Protect seniors and the others who are vulnerable.

Otherwise, mitigate.

It’s hubris at its worst to think we can crush a virus.

Anybody telling you that they have a plan to that effect is lying – to themselves, and to you.

Story by Chris Graham

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