The Corona Chronicles: Uncertainty

News, facts, thoughts, and advice from Dr. Maurice Beer and the IMNY Team


Confusing and inconsistent guidelines lead to uncertainty, anxiety and fear. We need reliable sources so we know what to expect and what to do. Overly optimistic projections add to the stress that is already rampant. I am providing this information so we can look at circumstances with a clear eye. Forewarned is forearmed.


Whom do you trust?


In my view, the most reliable and useful information sources are Dr. Fauci, Governor Cuomo, Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s CNN podcast and IHME (The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation).


IHME is an independent population health research center at UW Medicine, part of the University of Washington, that provides rigorous and comparable measurement of the world's most important health problems and evaluates the strategies used to address them. IHME makes this information freely available so that policymakers have the evidence they need to make informed decisions about how to allocate resources to best improve population health.


About IHME


THE BAD


More than 2,000 deaths in the US with 20,000 new cases in the last 24 hours.


According to IHME, the peak of illness and demands on hospital care will be reached in about two weeks. They project 80,000 deaths by August.


Dr. Fauci has presented information often at variance with the government. In spite of his expertise, experience, and honesty, he has become a target of a social media campaign to discredit him. Dr. Fauci says that based on current data we could see millions of cases and 100,000 or more deaths.


COVID-19 Testing failures in the past few weeks still plague healthcare workers. We still do not have enough testing and data to make rational decisions about moving ahead to economic recovery.


THE GOOD

In many parts of the country, compassion, care and gratitude are being expressed in creative and heartfelt ways, and are helping people overcome loneliness and isolation.


We are on the verge of having testing widely available. A rapid test and antibody testing are the keys to getting through this crisis. Abbott Labs will be introducing 50,000 rapid test kits by the end of the week. Self-test kits would speed the process of testing even more.


Humana and Cigna will be waiving deductibles, co-pays, and co-insurance for all treatments related to COVID-19.


COPING


Focus on reliable info sources.

Breathe, exercise and give of yourself in any way you can.


More important now that ever, focus on self-care and caring for others. The best way to do that is to stay home.


Just before the theaters closed I saw a documentary titled “#Anne Frank. Parallel Stories.” It featured Helen Mirren reading excerpts from the diary and interviews with five women who were Anne Frank’s age and survived the camps. Anne Frank's diary, with its insightful descriptions of living in fear and isolation, may be a guide to getting through this pandemic. Anne was in hiding, as we are from an “invisible enemy.” Her perspectives on the human condition highlight options relevant to the current crisis.