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Corona Basics

07/05/2020 COVID-19 is a viral respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus.  This new virus was first reported by China to the WHO in late December 2019 although evidence suggests that the first case was November 17, 2019.  Over the last year, the illness spread to virtually every country (213) in the world despite active quarantine measures. 

Active efforts continue to be taken by the CDC and virtually every country to mitigate the global pandemic.  Currently of greatest concern is the a second wave of the epidemic in the USA as the USA has eclipsed other epicenters including Italy, the Republic of Korea,  the UK, Iran, and Japan.   Brazil is quickly growning in numbers and “second waves” are being seen in hot spots in the US.  This fact sheet gives basic information about the illness and what CDC is doing to contain the Corona virus in the USA.

COVID-19 can spread via human-to-human contact by droplets spewed while sneezing and coughing and even breathing and talking.  It can also be transmitted by touching infected surfaces and objects then touching your eyes, nose or mouth.  Although characterized as a respiratory virus, it has been found in the gastrointestinal tract and can cause diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.  

As businesses open up, it is very important to minimize the chances of infection and a second wave, stay at least 6 feet from others (hard to do on a plane? my flight had 3 people seated in a row and another across the isle, and would not let me move but did move 2 others (American Airlines) Masks were mandated),  avoid gatherings, wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, and don’t touch your eyes, mouth, nose.

Wear a good quality mask (N-95 or KN95 preferred) (send email to order… [email protected])

Stay away from others if possible, even asymptomatic individuals can be shedding the virus and infect you.  Plan to do this for months or longer.  It is likely that people will become complacent and with recent protests across the US and the world we may see a second wave.  At least for now, this is our new norma

The Corona outbreak of 2019-2020

The majority of Americans remain on lockdown.   According to Johns Hopkins, there are over 12 Million (7/08/2020)  confirmed cases worldwide.  The number continues to grow daily and will for some time.  The number is just a rough estimate and is certainly much higher (10-100X) as only a fraction have been tested and there are many false negatives.  Many patients with mild symptoms were turned away from testing sites or never pursued a test or sought medical attention.  Now, centers are  open to testing asymptomatic individuals.  Of the confirmed COVID-19 Corona Virus cases,  to date there have been about 550,000*  deaths, (likely more as there is speculation that there is significant underreporting in some countries).   The number climbs by the thousands daily, over 134,000* deaths in the US  and growing daily (visit our live update for current statistics)*.    

 

Good news is hard to come by, but it appears that social distancing is decreasing cases of other diseases like the flu with a decrease in flu related deaths or perhaps all flu deaths are reported as COVID-19.

 In most cases, the infection is generally mild resulting in 

  • fever,
  • cough, 
  • difficulty breathing,
  • sore throat,
  • mild runny nose,
  • loss of the sense of smell (anosmia )
  • loss of taste or
  • appetite (50%)
  • diarrhea  

Some had estimated as many as 2.2 million may die in the US.  The official number was 100,000 from the Trump administration.  Now that we have passed that number with ease, revisions are 150,000-200,000 in just a couple of months.  It is clear that the numbers are largely inaccurate with many unrelated deaths blamed on Covid-19 as hospitals in the US receive a bonus payment for Covid deaths.   This is clear as the number of reported cancer and cardiovascular deaths in this time period have gone down.  We are in either a continuation of the first wave or a second wave with larger numbers and no surprise with super spreader events (mass protests, parties, weddings, rallies etc.)  the easing of lockdown measures.  Cities and states are largely reopened but really nothing has dramatically changed.   We see some masks, plexiglass shields and hand sanitizer but many protective measures are being ignored.   We need testing to accurately determine who is at risk and who may be immune and who needs to be isolated and who they have potentially infected.  We can only hope that the potential death count is a gross overestimate. 

*click here for current numbersr https://coronapandemic.us

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It was magical thinking to think that the US would be spared. The key is taking EVERY precaution to continue to minimize the effect the Corona Virus Pandemic has on our country.  What is the Government doing to mitigate the loss of life? Was the stock market reaction an over reaction?  Is the stock market laughing off  the greatest recession since the great depression?  Are the unemployment numbers meaningless? Are we headed for a second dip in the market?  Will we retest the bottom or are keep soaring to new highs. Contribute funds to educate and disseminate information and help those in need.

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