March 19th, 2020


The Puzzle

I think the pieces to the puzzle are finally starting to come together. My thoughts from the very beginning of this crisis have been "some very smart people know the score, and we should take this seriously." The more little tidbits I have been picking up, the more the picture starts to become clearer. It's not about people dropping dead on the street, but it's about a tsunami where the goal is to slowly get people off of the beach and somehow reducing the size of the wave. This all has to be balanced by saying and doing the right things at the right time to not cause a panic which then opens up a whole new series of problems.

The disease seems to be largely innocuous to most people. That's why people are treating it lightly. But the fact that the disease can hide so well in some people, it causes multiple spreading vectors. You're fine, but you just gave it to a 60-year old heart attack survivor who will need to go to the hospital in a few days. The disease aggressively attacks the lungs, so he will have to be put on a ventilator. The mortality rate for folks not getting on a ventilator is 100%. So if there are X number of ventilators, and you are patient #X+1, you're screwed. The messaging of "flattening the curve" was a good one. It graphically explained that the goal is to keep our medical facilities functioning. The higher the spike, the more deaths. I think the message should be little stronger. If we all practice social distancing and hunker down for a couple of weeks, the death toll could be in the low thousands. If we just go about life like nothing is wrong, the death toll quickly climbs to millions. The big question will be "how high will the wave break, and when."