We heard from our governor today. We’re doing a good job, better than some others, and we need to keep doing it, even better than before.
An MPR article sums it up with more detail, and there’s currently a link to the governor’s address. The gist of it is that the social distancing and staying home that most of us have been doing has been working. Through meta data, they’ve estimated about half of the state has stayed home, but they’d like that number to be 80%.
He clearly cited the reason for the isolation is to avoid illness in such numbers that we overwhelm the 250-odd ICU beds that we have that can handle the worst needs of virus victims. This, along with all of the other reasons people need ICU beds. By spending another two weeks in social distancing, and with just some more people doing it, it’s estimated that the existing beds won’t be overwhelmed (if we do nothing else) for another month. In that month, the state is going to work with suppliers, hospitals, and other facilities to prepare more beds.
I felt this was the first address to come out and say, very clearly, that without a vaccine or other massive change, 2 million (or about 1-in-6) Minnesotans will get this during this outbreak. This will happen now if we break social distancing, or later when we break it. He would like the people to work together to spread out these infections, reduce the health care demand for the worst cases as long as possible, and deal with the inevitable repercussions.
He also gave some guidelines of the illness. Of those infected, about 80% will endure mild symptoms, about 15% will require some hospitalization for their symptoms, and the remaining 5% will need the intensive care. Worldwide, the death rate still seems to be around 3%, so if 2 million are expected to be infected, that’s 60,000 deaths if we can’t do better.
And he was also clear, that’s the expectation for this wave, with this social distancing, and our current understanding of how many are infected, and how the virus spreads.
Most clear, and really puts a little bit of “doesn’t matter what you want to do,” he extended the bar and restaurant, and other gatherings, closures until 4 May, and noted the Department of Education distance learning plan until at least the same time. This means that the kids will be home until then, we can’t go anywhere, really, until then, and even if his “two weeks starting Friday” was the plan (before another few weeks of a little less stringent distancing), we’re kaput until then anyway.
It’s a lot to take in.
The kids have done well today, with just a couple “in my space” quibbles. Our puppy was sick overnight, barfing in both of her kennels (one upstairs for sleeping at night, one downstairs for when we’re out of the house) before settling in. This caused a couple hour disturbance in sleep, starting about 2AM, while cleaning took place. I’ve been the surly one, with that lack of sleep and a bevy of meetings today.
Still, it could be worse.
Everyone’s healthy. All of our temperatures are normal, and no one feels or breathes worse than expected (I, it turns out, seem to be allergic to our dogs, so extended exposure is making me a bit more congested than I like).