In our interactions with our neighbor, and a brief conversation with some work peeps, it became clear that not everyone gets that this brief interruption in our every day isn’t going to stop the virus from spreading.
In my Day Seven post, I noted some interesting finds in showing how social distancing helps slow the spread. I think I even commented on how it’s buying time to develop a vaccine or find a cure or solid treatment.
Maybe it’s hyperbole or snake oil, but I’m buying it. I get the numbers we know are enough to crush our current intensive care infrastructure. Even the regular care infrastructure is having problems keeping up with the “personal protective equipment’ and lack of tests. Social distancing and the various stay-at-home orders are to help ease that by slowing infection.
It is not going to lead directly to a cure, though.
I gotta find where it was said. I wish it was in a White House briefing, but you know that isn’t going to happen. This virus will not be stopped until everyone has been exposed to it, or we develop a vaccine and everyone is exposed to that instead. This is likely to be like the flu, hopefully one strain, and linger forever. Over time we’ll develop immunity as a society, but this herd immunity will take a lot of time, and has a lot of risk.
The first worst part of this virus is that if you’re inflicted, you become contagious before you become symptomatic. While in many conversational regards, it’s similar to the flu in symptoms and spread, it’s different in that you don’t know you’re sick until days or weeks after you’re infected and contagious. This means you’re likely to spread it before you know you have it.
The next worst part of this is that if you’re showing symptoms, they’re common and often mild, with fatigue, fever and coughing. It’s a dry cough, which some might not get as a difference. I’ve got a cough, but it’s due to post nasal drip and that irritation. This cough is because of respiratory distress. That’s the bad symptom, is severe respiratory distress.
Because of this, if you only get mild symptoms, you might not get tested. You might have the Coronavirus, but not the COVID-19 disease. You will feel better, but still be contagious. This is the worst worst part in my opinion.
If you get the disease, which brings on the severe respiratory distress, this is where the health system is overwhelmed. You need help breathing. You need to be intubated and receive help breathing from a ventilator. Air filters and pressure controls, in accurate, clean, and precise machines. These we don’t have enough of. It’s been said, if you need one and can’t get one, you die.
It’s also true we don’t know if you recover if you won’t get sick again. Nor do we know for sure that if you’re infected, you won’t get sick at all. There are tests for the virus antibodies, which means your body can fight the virus. But the Novel Coronavirus leads to the COVID-19 disease. You can have the first without getting the second.
I got off on a tangent. But with all of that, it works out that unless you get it, your body can’t fight it. Once you get it, even if you don’t suffer much or at all, even if you recover, you might still carry it and be contagious for those who haven’t had it.
This won’t go away until everyone has it. And then everyone who survives it needs to not be able to get it again, or at least, like a flu, could survive it again.
That’s the sobering part. it isn’t IF you’re going to get it, but WHEN. We hope it’s through a vaccine and you end up with the antibodies and never the symptoms.
So we’re trying to get that through the kids’ heads. We’re sharing that with our (maybe just more than is safe) optimistic friends. We’re also trying to hold off on getting it until the health system can handle it, or we know treatments will help us if we get into the danger zones.
Not if, but when.