New Model Exposes The Human Losses From Coronavirus Shutdowns
A new online tool called RestartNOW! charts a pathway to restart the economy in stages, quickly and safely, right down to the county level. It provides myriad information regarding economic, social, and health impacts of the virus and those same impacts accruing from the shutdown. Currently available for 18 of the 50 states, this tool needs to be developed for every state.
As the virus hit the United States, health experts and academics used computer models to predict a rapid spike in hospitalizations in urban areas. To protect those hospitals from being overwhelmed, they called for social shutdowns to “flatten the curve” of hospitalizations. It was not to reduce the total number of eventual infections, but to slow the spread so hospitals would not be overwhelmed.
Now, many weeks later, the data is becoming clear: We had no way of knowing this would happen, but there have been no truly overwhelmed hospitals anywhere in the country beyond a few close to it in New York City. Of course, some of this may have been the result of the shutdown. Still, the effectiveness of this strategy is increasingly being called into question as more and more tests are conducted.
More People Safely Through the Disease than Thought
A recent survey from Stanford University, for example, found that the infection rate in Santa Clara County, California, could be as much as 50-85 times larger than the measured rate. If true, that would bring the U.S. COVID-19 Case Fatality Rate (CFR) into line with a typical influenza season (0.1 percent), as opposed to the current rate, which exceeds five out of every 100 of those diagnosed with the illness.
Chicago’s Roseland Community Hospital conducts 400-600 tests per day and has found that between 30 and 50 percent tested positive, but most had gotten
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