Observations during the epidemic.

I enjoy learning about the world as it is unfolding, even during a pandemic. It’s interesting that I can’t find consensus about COVID-19’s rate of transmissivity R0 or its lethality. Although it’s tempting to do a minute by minute analysis of the data stream online, sometimes you have to wait for data to become more coherent over time. How contagious is COVID-19? We can’t tell because there are asymptomatic carriers that have so far been overlooked. We can’t tell how lethal the virus is right now either because of the same issue with undetected carriers that have no symptoms and who don’t know that they are ill.
The most frightening stories are from doctors and nurses who are facing patients that they can’t save from being overwhelmed by COVID-19. These stories describe virus that directly damages living lung cells, destroying many of them. When that happens, a patient’s immune system can go into overdrive and cause damage not just to the virus but also to the lung cells which are already being undermined by virus. These very sick people usually die. On the other hand, many people experience milder disease and they recover. There have been stories about 90 and 100 year old patients that are in recovery. A physician treating COVID-19 wants to save all his patients and she can’t. The sudden number of people dying of this disease can make doctors and nurses feel as helpless as all of us feel, but worse in some ways because they know the details of the deadly attack. Lots of others who may have the virus but who aren’t there in the hospital are fine.
There are people trying to turn this challenge into an epic catastrophe. Will it end our civilization? Will it kill millions of people? Will it destroy economies everywhere? Maybe not. We can’t tell how this coronavirus story will unfold because it’s still unfolding.
As you wait for what is already happening to finish happening so you can adapt to it, you have a new opportunity to do something different than what you usually do. Take time to relax, to gather your strength, to update your humor or your love of music or cooking or to do a life review. Do you like the life that you’ve been living?
What might you like to change about it?
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