Joseph R. Anticaglia MD
Medical Advisory Board
According to a June 23, 2020 report by Johns Hopkins University, there were 34,700 new cases of the coronavirus in the U. S. Five days later, that number jumped to 45,000 new cases of the virus.
In short, the U. S. is worse-off today than in April of this year when it experienced the highest number of confirmed, coronavirus cases. As of June 29th, there are 2.6 million confirmed cases in the U. S. and 126,141 deaths! This massive surge of new cases and deaths in the U. S., experts tell us, will increase at an alarming rate in the coming weeks and months.
Some have referred to the response to COVID-19 as a “dereliction of duty” to keep America safe and secure. The United States makes up four percent of the global population; yet, one out five world-wide infections of COVID-19 takes place in this country.
In late June, 2020, twenty seven states have reported an increase in the number of new coronavirus cases. This sobering statistic is a glaring reminder, voiced by critics inside and outside of the country, of the ineptitude of political leadership and the inadequate response by the public health system in the United States.
Also, in June of this year, there was a flare-up of Covid-19 in Beijing, China. In a matter of 11 days, the workers in the Chinese public health system performed 2.2 million tests for COVID-19 on Beijing citizens. They traced — got in touch with those exposed to the virus — and quarantined them. The officials also limited entry and egress to the city and these measures squashed the Beijing outbreak in its infancy.
I’m not sending bouquets to China; rather suggesting that a coordinated program with competent leadership based on scientific studies have, in fact, reduced the spread of this infection. The European Union (with its 27 countries), Canada and Australian have succeeded in “flattening the curve” and preventing deaths.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the virus guilty of causing the present pandemic. In the absence of a vaccine or optimal treatments for COVID-19, the best way to reduce the risk of getting and dying from this disease is to follow the advice of infectious disease experts; learn from the experiences of public health officials in other countries and turn a deaf ear to the nonscientific, nonsensical utterances of certain people in the U. S.
The states, lacking dependable federal leadership and guidance, had to devise their own solutions. New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have achieved more than “flattening the curve,” and on June 24th of this year, mandated that a 14-day quarantine be imposed on travelers from states with high COVID-19 rates.
The European Union is banning most U. S. travelers from entering member countries of the Union due to the high incidence of coronavirus in America. Imagine if the E. U. allows citizens from Algeria, Rwanda and Tunisia (plus other countries) to cross their borders because they’ve done a better job at controlling the virus compared to the U. S.
Risk Management of COVID-19
Since there is no cure or effective therapy for this disease, the recommendations continue to be attempts to reduce the risk of contracting and spreading the virus. What’s shameful are the blundering decisions to combat COVID which have resulted in thousands of preventable deaths Guidelines have been issued by the government and others; some of them are noted below. Many of the suggestions we’re well-acquainted with since we’ve read about them or heard experts talk about them on TV.
Actions vs. Words (8 Steps)
It’s worth emphasizing:
- Wear masks
- Physical — social — distancing (keep 6 feet apart)
- Hygiene: (use hand sanitizers; wash hands with soap and water)
- Testing: If you’re sick with fever, cough and shortness of breath go to the hospital and get tested (more testing).
- Quarantine If you tested positive for the virus, isolate yourself from others for 14 days
- Tracing: If you tested positive for COVID-19, report your contacts to a health care worker (more tracing).
- Incorporate the advice of infectious disease experts into a coordinated, national strategy to combat COVID-19.
- Reopen closed businesses and public gathering in phases.
Currently, we’re fighting an infectious enemy with confusing and contradictory actions as well as unfounded remarks from state and national leaders. The first wave of SARS CoV2 has not faded away; rather it seems to be getting bigger and stronger. Hopefully, this wave will not surge into a medical and economic tsunami.
- Jun Chen, et al; COVID-19 infection: the China and Italy perspectives; Cell Death and Disease; June 8, 2020
- Cohn, Samuel; Pandemics: waves of disease, waves of hate from Plague of Athens to A. I. D. S.
- Joseph R. Anticaglia, MD; The 2019 New Coronavirus Outbreak What You Need to Know What to Do; Doctor’s Column, HC Smart, 2020
This article is intended solely as a learning experience. Please consult your physician for diagnostic and treatment options.