COVID-19 . . . To Open or Not to Open
Columbia University Professor Emeritus, Dr. David Figurski
Donna O’Donnell Figurski
(Disclaimer: The World Health Organization <WHO> has officially named the new coronavirus as SARS-CoV-2 and the disease it causes as COVID-19. Because the majority of people, including much of the press, commonly refer to the virus as “COVID-19,” to avoid confusion, I use COVID-19 as the name of the virus in these posts.)
Some governors say “Open.” Scientists say “Don’t open.” Whom do you believe?
I’m a scientist. I know where I stand.
Below are some facts to help you decide.
For those of you in the west, the coronavirus infections have just begun. You can see from the map of May 19 (see below) that infections are still moving westward.
Many people, particularly those in the west, don’t seem to understand that the US is still in the early stages of this pandemic. They are lulled by the low number of cases in their state. The numbers are misleading for two reasons.
(1) Only seriously symptomatic (mostly hospitalized) people and celebrities are being tested because the US is seriously in need of more testing. (2) The virus has not reached you yet. (That’s the especially true in the western half of the US.)
New York City is still very bad, but strict social-distancing guidelines have produced a significant drop in new cases.
Washington State had the potential to become a major hot spot, but they acted quickly and aggressively.
In contrast, several states are opening up and relaxing guidelines, despite a continued rise in new cases. (That’s the case here in Arizona, where Governor Ducey allowed restaurants to open this week. This decision is particularly horrifying because the pandemic hasn’t really reached us yet.)
Reported cases in the United States
(Every red dot represents a cluster of infections – probably started by an infected asymptomatic traveler. Right now, most cases are in the east, but every day you see more red dots in the western half of the US.)
Stay Safe and Healthy!
Clip Art compliments of Bing.)
(Photos compliments of contributor.)
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