[ 27/3/20 ]
There is only one way Covid-19 is not a major problem for the USA – and that is that someone comes up with a cure, at scale – quickly (not a high probability). Vaccine will not be available for a year or more. On current track it will kill more Americans in the next 3 weeks than the Vietnam war did in total.
Right now there is only one way to stop a virus like this that has a long incubation period, a high transmissibility and a non-trivial death rate – isolation of all non-essential personnel. Zero contact – for at least 4 and probably 6 weeks.
This has always been the only option.
I wrote this piece in 1991 (http://www.fishnet.co.nz/v2020/issues.htm) it was well established then.
I wrote this last year – well before covid (https://tedhowardnz.wordpress.com/2019/10/31/aside-from-climate-change-what-have-you-worried-about-the-future-of-humanity-and-the-planet/).
250 Americans died of this in the last 24 hours – up 35% from the previous day. Unless a cure is found (unlikely) that rate of increase will continue for at least 2 weeks (the infections have already happened, they just take time to show up – taking it past the Vietnam war total).
You want to live – isolate – now.
Do not touch any surface that anyone outside of your immediate group has touched.
Stay home, unless you are involved in an essential service.
It really is that simple, and that harsh.
China took it seriously.
Trump did not.
There will be a cost to that.
We have known something like this was possible for a long time.
This is the first one like this in living memory.
Treat it seriously – it is.
Isolate now, today, this hour.
I am isolated at home – for at least the next month.
[15th April – update – After 18 days, the rate of increase did slow – it is now looking like closer to 5 weeks to pass the Vietnam war total – people had started to take it seriously – a very good thing.]