“I want America to understand - this week it’s going to get bad,” said United States Surgeon General Jerome Adams on Monday. “Everyone needs to act as if they have the virus right now, test or no test. We need you to understand you could be spreading it to someone else or you could be getting it from someone else. Stay at home.”
It has been obvious for several weeks that the best way to contain the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic is to isolate from each other as much as possible.
And yet – I heard stories on Monday morning of parties in several neighborhoods over the weekend. At least one was very well attended.
Maybe some people just haven’t gotten the word – maybe they’re so disconnected from reality that they missed the wall-to-wall news - but we’re in the midst of a pandemic that is going to kill a lot of people.
As of Monday, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the United States had a total of 33,404 cases and 400 deaths.
Worldwide, the virus has sickened more than 350,000 and killed more than 15,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Those numbers will undoubtedly be higher by the time you read this.
“Social distancing” is just about the only tool we have available at this point to fight COVID-19.
There is no vaccine and no effective treatment exists at present.
Every single contact an individual has with another individual is a potential opportunity for the virus to spread.
Packing a bunch of people into a house raises the risk of many individuals being exposed at the same time.
Those people then take the virus back to their homes and infect their families, friends and coworkers and all those people spread it to others.
A party with 30 or 40 people and one infected individual has the potential to spread the virus to hundreds of people.
So it’s foolish at this point to be having parties with even two or three people and parties with 20 or 30 or 40 people are INCREDIBLY STUPID.
Even one death caused by ignoring prevention measures is too many.
COVID-19 is not the flu.
Seasonal influenza has a mortality rate of around .1 percent.
According to the CDC, of the United States citizens who are known to have contracted COVID-19, the mortality rate is 1.8 to 3.4 percent (in averages of age groups) - meaning it is roughly 18 to 34 times more deadly than the flu.
Mortality rises with each age group, but young people are by no means safe from the virus.
The CDC says .1 to .2 percent of the infected in the 20 to 44 age group have died (so far) from the virus.
But here’s the problem – the infected individuals who don’t immediately fall dead on the floor (which is all of them) then carry the virus to their families and their friends and their coworkers, many of whom will be in the higher-risk categories.
Individuals who are infected might not know for days or weeks that they are carrying the virus.
Some people have very mild symptoms – and yet they can still spread it to others.
That’s why we all need to limit our interactions with others as much as possible.
If you don’t need to interact with someone face to face, DON’T.
Every single personal contact is another chance to spread the disease.
Close contact at a party is foolish and will get people killed.
Act as if you have the virus, which means you need to do your very best to try not to cause other people to die.
Don’t be an idiot.