While we know many are taking this seriously, many people are still slow to react.
Please share the below message with your friends, family, colleagues or anyone else who thinks this is not a big deal.
We all know by now the risks to the older populations and persons with compromised immune systems (and many of us have family, friends, and colleagues in these categories); however, what is not getting enough attention is the coming shock to our health system (Links to an external site.).
The best evidence is that the number of cases is doubling every 5-8 days and that 10% of cases require hospitalization, often for weeks at a time. In China 15% of confirmed cases required hospitalization. Italy has higher populations of older people and has roughly 50% of confirmed cases. Simple math shows what lies ahead unless significant steps are taken to reduce transmission.
Assuming on the conservative side, the virus doubles every 7 days, and 100 people in the Columbus area have the virus today, March 11th but are not yet symptomatic (hopefully this is not the case, but we just don’t know for certain).
- 200 people will have the virus by March 18th
- 400 people will have the virus by March 25th
- 800 people will have the virus by April 1st
- 1,600 people will have the virus by April 8th
- 3,200 people will have the virus by April 15th
- 6,400 people will have the virus by April 22nd
- 12,800 people will have the virus by April 29th
- 25,600 people will have the virus by May 6th with 2,500 hospitalized
- 51,200 people will have the virus by May 13th with 5,100 hospitalized
- 102,400 people will have the virus by May 20th, with 10,240 hospitalized
- 204,800 people will have the virus by May 27th, with 20,480 hospitalized
And so on. This is in Columbus alone. We cannot manage 10,000 people hospitalized in the Columbus area for weeks on end.
This is not alarmism or a worst-case scenario. This is reality. Even if you assume 5% of cases require hospitalization or that only 10 people in Columbus currently have the virus, you still arrive at numbers that will overwhelm the healthcare system by the end of May.
Unless we …… Slow…. The…. Virus…. Down….
In Italy, they are currently turning people away from Intensive Care and rationing ventilators based on the likelihood to survive. (Links to an external site.) In China, they have had to build entire hospitals from scratch to house the scores of sick. (Links to an external site.) Health care workers catch the virus and cannot work leading to shortages of doctors and staff (Links to an external site.).
There is an attorney in New York that single-handedly infected over 50 people (Links to an external site.). In Boston, over 70 people were infected by attending a single conference (Links to an external site.).
Please take care to avoid large gatherings and interacting in tight quarters. Please avoid parties and big gatherings. It sucks. It’s no fun. But our actions now will determine how things play out by the end of May.
Useful Interactive ArchGIS Resource: Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU)