Saturday, June 27, 2020

Here's how to stop the virus from winning



By Nsikan Akpan

Humans can beat COVID-19 because viruses are simplistic. They can’t move anywhere without assistance. Leave them outside in the open air for very long, and many will disintegrate. All they know is how to multiply. The problem, of course, is that the coronavirus is adept at this singular task, and as countries such as the United States have tried to loosen lockdowns and other restrictions, they’ve been jarred by the pandemic’s latest swells.

After months of plateauing at 20,000 to 30,000 new cases per day nationwide, U.S. numbers are rising sharply in 30 states, and overrun medical centers are scrambling to free up beds. In Houston, Texas, where daily cases have surged from 300 to 1,300 in two weeks, health-care workers are moving adult patients to children’s hospitals in a desperate bid to keep up with the surges. Other states are facing similar challenges.

“We are quickly reaching that critical level of capacity in ICU beds and ventilators in hospitals in the worst-hit areas,” says Purnima Madhivanan, an infectious disease epidemiologist and associate professor at the University of Arizona in Tucson. “Right now, I think the only thing we can think about is at least starting with harm reduction.”  Read more >>