DR CARL JUNEAU—It’s here. COVID-19 hit China, Europe, and is grinding America to a halt. On March 13, President Trump declared a national emergency. Still, as a PhD in Public Health who specialised in epidemiology, I’m worried. Here’s why:
•The virus is spreading quickly
•It’s 10-40 times more deadly than regular flu (3.7% of people infected worldwide have died)
•16% of people infected get “seriously ill” (Guan et al. 2020)
•In Italy, hospitals are overwhelmed (an intensivist said “patients above 65 are not even assessed”—they’re forced to let them die).
•US Centers for Disease Control projected “200,000 to 1.7 million people dying” and 2.4 to 21 million requiring hospitalization—but the country only has 924,107 staffed beds
•Based on 5 other countries, it looks like the virus will be around for 3-4 months