News reports and website sources began in January talking about an 80% COVID-19 infection rate with a death rate of 1.5% to 3%. Given the U.S. population of 327 million (2018), our country was headed for a possible 262 million infected.
Governors understood this huge number would overwhelm their medical resources very quickly. By May 4, the U.S. had 1,200,000 infected, far fewer than original predictions. Arguably, closing down the economy and social isolation have repressed the numbers to a degree. However, as of April 17, with just 3.6 million tested, we don’t know much else.
We can argue about whether COVID-19 started in a meat market or a lab. We can rail against the Chinese for not screaming out warnings. We can wail at people who refuse to wear masks. We can pray that when the virus returns, it is less virulent. We can complain, postulate, blame and identify. We can do all of these things.
What we should do is prepare. We should not leave our health care system in the lurch. We should not ask orderlies, nurses, doctors and other health care workers to again put themselves at risk.
We know the dangers of this disease are real. Let’s protect our health care workers and bolster the system so when COVID-19 heats up, there are more than enough beds, N95 masks, patient ventilators and whatever else is necessary to fight like hell against the disease.
We need these people. Let’s not let them down.