To be completely honest, I’m not sure what to write about this week.
The whole world is still currently in times of turbulence, and it seems that we’re not at the peak yet. Almost all of the people that I know are now quarantining inside their homes, contributing their part to help bend the virus growth. I can always write about the latest information on COVID-19, but I feel that most people are collectively tired with all of the news coming from the white house and other mainstream media.
Alas, I’ll be sharing some updates that I curated and deemed worthy to be shared at the bottom of this piece. Feel free to check them out if you’re interested!
With that said, I want to use this week’s issue to share some things which personally helped me make this quarantine just a tad bit more positive. We’re all in this together.
The Late… Vlog Show!
In the spirit of social distancing and abundance of caution, the late show hosts are all creating vlog style content that they’ve been publishing on Youtube in the past week — and I absolutely love it! Our dear late night/daily/late show hosts have literally become Youtubers over night. I’m not sure how many people reading this are going to relate, but personally, these hosts have always been a great source of thoughtful news and entertainment. The simple fact that they can still play their part as the voice of reasons and provide content to comfort their quarantined viewers are truly fascinating.
My personal favorite is Stephen Colbert’s great rant from home accompanied by Jon Batiste’s fabulous piano skills. Honestly, Jon needs more airtime.
Balancing Quarantine & Mass Testing
Currently, the most widely used strategy by multiple countries and cities around the world affected by COVID-19 is to enforce a lock down or to promote the practice of social distancing. This strategy works and it can help reduce the active number of cases which will help the overall health care system capacity as shown below. However, it is not practical in the long run and with it comes huge economic downside that will almost certainly get us into a recession (if we’re not already are in one).
The key here is to conduct proper mass testing and get the most accurate data so we can properly measure and implement the right policies, balancing the upside and the downside.
There are reports that the number of asymptomatic carriers are a lot higher simply because there’s just not enough tests and some individuals are fortunate enough to have strong immune systems to think that it was just a bad flu. However, this also means that the actual mortality rate is a lot lower, and we can potentially study these recovered patients’ antibodies. The primary concern here is that the impact of the economic shutdown, might be more severe than COVID-19 itself. In “The Big Short”, the character Ben Rickert played by Brad Pitt stated that “every 1% unemployment goes up, 40,000 people die”. Whilst this data is not fact checked, multiple source indicate that every 1% increase in unemployment will very likely results in a few thousand excess deaths. A basic mental math shows that; in the 2008 recession, unemployment rate increased by ~5%, which will result in more than 5,000 deaths, higher than COVID-19’s current number of death in the U.S.
See you next week and stay home.
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