The path ahead now appears fairly clear. First we get by the grim month-and-more forward, supporting well being care employees in any means we will. (Tip: findthemasks.com lists the place to donate PPE, private protecting tools, in the US. If you have got any, accomplish that. We are very actually all on this collectively, and they want it a lot greater than you do.) Then we ramp up huge, pervasive, frequent Covid-19 testing infrastructure in all places. Then we take inventory.
Things will worsen earlier than they get higher. Hospitals in some locations are already creaking at the seams. The sufferers coming into the ICUs right this moment have been contaminated 3-Four weeks in the past. Those contaminated the day of your native lockdown will attain ICUs 3-Four weeks from that day … and their quantity doubled each a number of days between the former batch of infections and the latter. The math is bleak. Many locations haven’t locked down but. They will, hopefully sooner moderately than later.
What can we do in tech? Well, right here’s an NYC physician saying “We need our technology friends to be making and testing prototypes to rig the ventilators that we do have to support more than one patient at a time.” Here are the UK authorities’s specs for Rapidly Manufactured Ventilator Systems. And right here’s a suggestion that folks ramp down their Dunning-Kruger armchair epidemiology a bit of–or so much. Also:
It’s beyond appalling that the US authorities is barely now realizing that they’d extra want private protecting tools, however right here we’re, past appalled. Anything we will do to offer extra PPE might be massively helpful as properly.
Then we have to take a look at, take a look at, take a look at. It can also be past appalling that America has solely just lately began testing at scale, and that testing remains to be massively restricted, however once more, right here we’re, past appalled. We want nationwide, or higher but planetwide, ubiquitous testing.
Ideally we’d need everybody to get examined usually, possibly weekly, symptomatic or not. Realistically, proper now we have to massively expand and expand and expand our testing, and trace the contacts of those that take a look at optimistic, so we all know the place the virus is and how many individuals have it. At the second we’re all however blind.
Once we all know, on a quasi-real-time foundation, the numbers of the contaminated in a given space, we’ll be capable to speak about lifting the lockdown. Maybe just for non permanent intervals, in sure areas, for individuals who don’t have a fever, lest the virus come roaring again. But the level of pervasive testing-and-tracing is that we’ll know whether or not that threat exists, and be capable to reply appropriately.
Currently we’re making overall progress with testing, however at the similar time, in locations we’re dialling it back, and we’re limited by take a look at kits, by swabs, by testers, and extra. We want a lot, rather more testing capability to return on-line in the following months. Once we get there, as soon as the blinding lights of pervasive testing have lit up the virus for us and we will watch it in close to actual time, then life can slowly start returning again to regular. Ish.
Maybe then we will begin eager about how, in lots of locations, and in some ways, the pandemic has compelled us to begin doing the proper factor as a short lived emergency measure – every thing from housing the homeless, to realizing that it’s grocery employees / janitors / drivers / nurses who’re truly important to our civilization and ought to be celebrated and rewarded accordingly, to admitting that the liquids restrict on airplanes is meaningless, and virtually everybody can do their workplace jobs from residence.
Let’s bear that in the again of our minds: however proper now, we have now a really laborious month–and doubtless months–forward. I am sorry to be the bearer of unhealthy information, however it’s already later and worse than you assume. Whatever all of us can do to assist, we must always.