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Tue Mar 24, 2020, 03:18 PM

Dir., Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security: Millions of US deaths if we end social distancing

HuffPo article about this "warning from Tom Inglesby, the director of the Center for Health Security at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health":

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/public-health-expert-coronavirus-restrictions_n_5e79f2dfc5b6f5b7c54b0b26


Inglesby's 24 tweets about this, starting here (full text below):







In last 24 hrs there've been prominent US voices calling for a stop to social distancing, citing rationale that they're worse than impact of COVID itself. It’s worth looking very closely at that claim, where we are in US COVID epidemic and what happens if we stop. 1/x


COVID has been spreading w/ exponential growth in US for some time, and we're just beginning to get an understanding of how extensively. There are nearly 40,000 cases recognized in the US as of today, w/ ~100 deaths today. A few weeks ago, we had recognized 70 cases total. 2/x


Some hospitals have said publicly that within a week they will not have ventilators to treat everyone with COVID anymore. 3/x


There continue to be big diagnostic limitations. Shortages in reagents, swabs. Don’t have rapid diagnostics in many hospitals yet, so it can be days before doctors and nurses can find out if a pt in front of them has COVID. 4/x


We don’t have capacity to diagnose many of the COVID cases that are not sick enough to be in the hospital, so those numbers aren’t counted in our national totals. 5/x


There continues to be terrible shortages in the masks that health care workers need to keep from getting sick with this disease. 6/x


How do we gain time to let hosps get more supplies & prepare for high number of pts? How do we lower the speed of spread of COVID in US? How do we lower odds that ICUs will run out of vents, hospitals run out of space? The answer for now is large scale social distancing.7/x


In Asia, we've seen these interventions work to lower pace of the epidemic, lower numbers of critically ill, lower the number of people who get COVID. In Asia where big social distancing measures have been in place for two months, they have had very strong impact. 8/x


In Asia they've slowed the disease by slowing social interaction. Left to its own, this disease spreads from 1 person to about 2.5 people, and then they do the same, and so on. For this disease to stop, we need to make it so that the avg person spreads it to <1 other person. 9/x


These big social distancing measures take time to work. The impact of big interventions in Wuhan China took about 3 wks to start to reverse things. And then everyday after the situation got better. In the US, we're about 7 to 10 days into this, depending on the state.10/x


To drop all these measures now would be to accept that COVID pts will get sick in extraordinary numbers all over the country, far beyond what the US health care system could bear. 11/x


Many models report that health care systems will be completely overwhelmed/collapse by the peak of cases if major social distancing is not put in place. 12/x


If a health care system in a given community stops working, can no longer provide care to the ill, the case fatality rate for COVID will be far higher than 1% - we would not be able to care for some or all of the expected 5% of recognized cases that get critically ill. 13/x


Beyond that, if hospitals were completely overwhelmed, they may struggle to provide even oxygen for some or many of the 15% of recognized cases expected to be “severely ill”. let alone provide care for other life threatening conditions. 14/x


Anyone advising the end of social distancing now, needs to fully understand what the country will look like if we do that. COVID would spread widely, rapidly, terribly, could kill potentially millions in the yr ahead with huge social and economic impact across the country. 15/x


Before considering big changes to social distancing measures now, we should as quickly as possible get to strongest possible position for COVID response – we're no where near that now. We'll need rapid Dxs in place almost every location where a pt can be seen for ca re.16/x


We'll need extraordinary quantity, reserve+production lines of masks, PPE so that shortages at hosps and clinical sites around country are no longer possible. We'lll need to have more vents on the way. We'll need capacity to provide med care to many more that we can now.17/x


We'll need to reduce the # of cases to such a low level that we could again do contact tracing & isolation of cases aroundthe country (as they can in many countries in Asia now). 18/x


We will need system of screening at airports so that no person comes into the country with the disease without being diagnosed and isolated. 19/x


We'll need a serology test that can be used to identify those that have been infected and recovered already, and to know how prevalent disease is in the US. We would hopefully have therapies developed and in a quantity that we can treat at least the sickest pt w COVID. 20/x


Once we have those things in place, it would be a far less risky time to take stock of social distancing measures in place and consider what might gradually be reduced with trial and error. We would have learned more about the experience in Asia as they try to do that.21/x


For now we need to keep production running, doctors offices working, groceries, pharmacies, banks open. It is ok to have science informed dialogue about which businesses need to be closed vs what can stay open in some way if social distancing can be put in place in them.22/x


But we need to press ahead for now w closed schools, mass telecommuting, no gatherings, strong advisory to stay home unless you need to go out – all are needed to slow this epidemic. 23/x


We also need to put every conceivable econ program in place to help those being hurt by these social distancing measures. And move ahead rapidly to get our country far better prepared to cope w COVID before people recommend we abandon our efforts to slow this virus. 24/x

17 replies, 1626 views

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Tue Mar 24, 2020, 03:25 PM

1. K&R for visibility. nt

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Response to tblue37 (Reply #1)

Tue Mar 24, 2020, 03:33 PM

2. Thanks!

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Tue Mar 24, 2020, 03:34 PM

3. US case load doubling 2 1/2 days, 10x in 8 days, 1000x in 24 days. Easter is 19 days away.

At 19 days (Easter Sunday) we might reasonably expect to see 250x the number of cases today (yesterday): 50 K.

50,000 x 250 = 12,500,000.

Twelve million five hundred thousand.

It will be somewhat lower, because of California and 11 states with distancing / closure orders.

But expect about a million cases in about 12 to 14 days.



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Response to Bernardo de La Paz (Reply #3)

Tue Mar 24, 2020, 05:57 PM

11. Wow, look at how South Korea changed their curve! That's the way to make a difference.

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Response to Hermit-The-Prog (Reply #11)

Tue Mar 24, 2020, 06:03 PM

14. SKorea tested EARLY, traced rigorously, has excellent compliance, & excellent healthcare system


They have tested less than 1 % of their population.

US is late, has spotty compliance, and a weak healthcare system (in terms of quality care available to average person).



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Response to Bernardo de La Paz (Reply #14)

Tue Mar 24, 2020, 06:06 PM

15. Wish more people would embrace this math and science thingy. It seems to work.

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Tue Mar 24, 2020, 03:46 PM

4. We feared Trump would start a nuclear war, whether intentional or by bumbling. So we had

some sense that his presidency could kill millions. Now the nightmare scenario is upon us.

However, things will look very different in coming weeks, even to Republican governors.

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Tue Mar 24, 2020, 03:48 PM

5. It's going to take an "all-in" from the medical profession to get his attention

His sociopath wall needs a huge blast of reality warnings to penetrate it.

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Response to eleny (Reply #5)

Tue Mar 24, 2020, 05:47 PM

10. I'm curious -

what makes you think there is such a thing as a dose of reality big enough to penetrate it at all?

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Response to soldierant (Reply #10)

Tue Mar 24, 2020, 05:59 PM

13. One huge blast would be his coming down with it

Other than that it's a fingers crossed deal.

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Tue Mar 24, 2020, 04:37 PM

6. Trump logic; Crashed economy would've been worse than allowing CV19 to spread?

...

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Response to uponit7771 (Reply #6)

Tue Mar 24, 2020, 05:39 PM

8. trump is a greedy assed narcissist.

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Response to iluvtennis (Reply #8)

Tue Mar 24, 2020, 05:46 PM

9. Perfect

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Tue Mar 24, 2020, 04:39 PM

7. Doesn't he know that the Con knows more than he does- his uncle was

the greatest MIT professor in history.

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Tue Mar 24, 2020, 05:59 PM

12. Wish that term would change to the more accurate "PHYSICAL" distancing.

The virus doesn't notice how much people socialize if that is done at a proper distance apart.

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Response to Hermit-The-Prog (Reply #12)

Tue Mar 24, 2020, 08:21 PM

16. Exactly!

Thanks!

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Tue Mar 24, 2020, 08:40 PM

17. K&R

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