We know more about COVID-19 than we did six weeks ago: This is good news
A survey of 3,277 inmates at prisons in Virginia and three other states shows that 96 percent of inmates testing positive for COVID-19 didn’t show symptoms.
This is bad news. Because it means that more people have COVID. And not good news. Because it means that the death rate from COVID isn’t significantly lower than we’d thought six weeks ago.
This is the new narrative, confounding as it is, a move of the goalposts from, we need to keep the hospitals from overflowing with COVID patients to, well, honestly, it’s hard to tell what the strategy is now.
It’s not just this one study that is putting the lockdown strategy in a new light. A University of Miami study is showing that up to 20 times more people in Miami-Dade County have had a COVID infection than the official statistics indicate, tracking with numbers from studies in New York, Southern California and Silicon Valley.
For some reason, the official response to these studies is, we need to see more studies, which would be fine, except that this wasn’t the official response to the models that were used to justify the lockdowns in place across the country and much of the West.
Those models, which indicated death rates from COVID at a rate of 2 to 3 percent of all cases, projected as many as 2.2 million deaths in the U.S.
Without question, it was prudent, after seeing those early numbers, based on what had been seen in China, to take action to try to prevent the spread of COVID.
But now that we’re seeing death rates based on the studies in California, New York, Florida, the study of the four prison systems, including the one in Virginia, it would seem just as prudent to move a little more quickly than we are now toward easing the lockdowns, which aren’t without myriad consequences outside slowing the spread of a virus that we thought a few weeks ago was much more deadly than we know it to be now.
More than 26 million Americans have lost their jobs in the last six weeks. Congress and President Trump have authorized more than $3 trillion in deficit spending to try to forestall an economic recession that is coming anyway, and now we’re hearing that we might be nowhere near done borrowing against our future to try to bail ourselves out.
Hospitals are facing unprecedented fiscal challenges with elective surgeries and routine medical appointments shuttered to keep hospitals focused on a surge of COVID patients that, outside the New York City metro area, haven’t materialized.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans are missing cancer treatments, consultations on their programs to deal with heart disease, diabetes, mental-health issues.
The damage to our health, to our healthcare system, to our economic well-being, it’s all increasing exponentially.
This would also be the case, of course, if we were dealing with the public health emergency that had been forecast six weeks ago.
It’s good news that the forecasts were way off in the other direction.
It’s time to accept the good news and get serious about confronting the crises that we’ve created for ourselves with the response to COVID.
Story by Chris Graham