What We’ve Learned About the Coronavirus

I happened to catch a bit of this episode of The Daily, entitled What We’ve Learned About the Coronavirus.

It’s an interesting summary of where things are, now that we’ve many months into the whole pandemic. It seems like we’re in this in-between place, where we’ve recognized the threat of Coronavirus… and what we’re now doing about it, several months in.

There are some fascinating points in this podcast, which I’d like to share:

…there was a Nobel Prize-winning economist at N.Y.U. who proposed that, if we had 30 million tests a day, we could literally use this as a way to completely reopen the economy. And that would mean everybody who’s in contact with other people in an office would have to be tested every day, and we’d need rapid results. And it would cost, he figured, about 1.5 billion dollars per week.

But he said, you know what, that’s a whole lot less than lockdown has been costing us. We could completely reopen the economy if we could test 30 million people a day. And we’d save money by having the old economy going again. Now, the logistics of doing that is wildly unimaginable.

The proposal from the N.Y.U. economist has been put in the crazy ideas box for now. And yet, people who have really studied this stuff think of it as, wow — crazy, but good.

When host Michael Barbaro is told that we are seeing 1,000 deaths a day and 20,000 new infections a day… Barbaro asks: “is that a good number, or a bad number?”

That’s a terrible number. I mean, 1,000 deaths a day from this? 20,000 new infections a day? I mean, that’s not an epidemic you have under control. You know, we don’t talk about it that way, but that’s a rapidly spreading epidemic. Now, we may become complacent about that, we may sort of accept that as the new norm. And that may lull us into a sense of complacency when fall arrives. And that’s a worry. And that’s why I’m so eager for treatment or vaccine to hurry up, hurry up, hurry up.

You can listen to this episode online.

[photo credit: Misha Friedman]

I Have No Idea How We’re Doing Anymore

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