Opinion writers weigh in on issues surrounding the coronavirus.
The Washington Post: When Coronavirus Is Growing Exponentially, Everything Looks Fine Until It Doesn’t
There’s an old brain teaser that goes like this: You have a pond of a certain size, and upon that pond, a single lilypad. This particular species of lily pad reproduces once a day, so that on day two, you have two lily pads. On day three, you have four, and so on. Now the teaser. “If it takes the lily pads 48 days to cover the pond completely, how long will it take for the pond to be covered halfway?” The answer is 47 days. Moreover, at day 40, you’ll barely know the lily pads are there. (Megan McArdle, 3/10)
The Washington Post: Tom Bossert: It’s Now Or Never For The U.S. If It Hopes To Keep Coronavirus From Burning Out Of Control
The United States needs to take note. This virus is such a threat because it is both highly infectious and lethal, and not enough people are being tested, despite significant recent effort by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By the time cases are confirmed, significant community transmission has likely already occurred. This is a classic tip-of-the-iceberg phenomenon. It’s also akin to looking at a star; the light we see today was emitted some time ago. But the most useful comparison now is to a fire that threatens to burn out of control. It is one we can still contain, even extinguish — if we act. (Tom Bossert, 3/10)
The New York Times: Social Distancing May Be Our Best Weapon To Fight The Coronavirus
“Social distancing” might sound like an emotional phase in early adolescence (it certainly was for me) but in reality, it’s a public health term describing our best defense against the coronavirus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this pathogen can spread “between people who are in close contact with one another (within about six feet).” That close contact has carried the virus across the planet, killing at least 4,000 people and infecting over 110,000 (that we know of). Until a vaccine — or even an effective treatment — can be developed, the best hope for protecting ourselves is slowing the spread of the disease. But how do we do that? (Max Brooks, 3/11)
Boston Globe: How Do We Protect Health Care Workers From The Coronavirus As They Protect Us?
Today, as health care workers on the front lines expect to treat patients with Covid-19, many health care systems and many states are reported to be unprepared. Nurses accept risks as part of their daily work with patients and families, as do ER physicians, nurses’ aides, paramedics, physical and occupational therapists, and other health care workers on the front lines. But what degree of risks should they accept when resources are limited or not available? (Connie M. Ulrich, 3/10)
Fox News: Dr. Robert Siegel: Coronavirus Response Requires Several Hundred Million Test Kits – A Massive Increase
America needs to distribute hundreds of millions of test kits to identify people infected with the coronavirus now spreading around the world – a massive amount that far exceeds the number of test kits now available. Vice President Mike Pence and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Tuesday that over 1.1 million coronavirus test kits have been distributed across the U.S. and over 4 million more will be distributed by the end of the week. Unfortunately, that number is woefully inadequate for the task at hand. (Robert Siegel, 3/11)
CNN: Working From Home Is A Lifesaver — And A Big Danger
As the coronavirus spreads, so do cancellations of conferences, trips, flights, schools, study-abroad programs and other events. In the wake of these axed plans, employers, colleges, employers, conference hosts and attendees are scrambling to find ways to salvage the time and resources spent on the canceled events or the money lost by telling workers to stay home. However incomplete, solutions rely on technology: working remotely via Slack channels or Google hangouts, using Zoom for conference calls, videotaping and uploading lectures, sharing and storing files on Google Drive — and other app-related workarounds. (Joelle Renstrom, 3/10)
Los Angeles Times: Panic Is Making Coronavirus Worse For Everyone
With the coronavirus spreading throughout the U.S., Americans are reacting in a variety of ways. Some of them are smart, others … not so much. Staying away from big crowds, stocking up on prescription medication and food in case of in-home isolation and washing hands frequently are all wise in the face of a pandemic that is spread through virus-laden droplets sneezed or coughed by sick people. On the other hand, hoarding enormous quantities of toilet paper, crates of bottled water or five-year supplies of hand sanitizer as if the end is nigh is irrational and unhelpful to your fellow citizens. (3/11)
NBC News: Do Masks Prevent Sickness? A Coronavirus Guide On What To Do (And Not Do) To Stay Healthy
My parents are confused and worried, and I can’t blame them. Every article they read and every TV segment they watch about the novel coronavirus outbreak is dominated by pictures of people in masks. Hundreds of people at a time, all in masks. But then the surgeon general says to stop buying masks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says healthy people shouldn’t wear masks, and even former President Barack Obama says to leave the masks to the health care professionals. What gives? (Leora Horwitz, 3/11)
CNN: What Matters: Coronavirus Is About To Change Your Life
If you thought coronavirus was no big deal or if you thought it was going to go away, wake up. Your life is about to change. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, issued a disturbing warning during a White House briefing Tuesday: Americans everywhere need to change the way they live their lives. Right now. (Zachary B. Wolf, 3/11)
Los Angeles Times: How To Reach The Homeless In The Coronavirus Crisis
With the broader spread of the coronavirus now inevitable, the implications for the homeless are becoming more alarming. This is especially true for California, which currently has more than one-fifth of the coronavirus cases reported nationwide and half of the country’s street homeless population. (Stephen Eidemarch, 3/11)
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