I want to update you all on a few things that I’ve been thinking about based on your questions:
Why are people getting the virus if people are at home? I’ve been thinking about this question, so I decided to do some research.
New York City is asking this question to those who come into hospitals with COVID. They found that 66% of those who tested positive had been complaint with the stay at home order, they hadn’t even used public transportation. Additionally, early numbers from healthcare workers from late April showed that using the most aggressive analysis, that 3% of healthcare workers were positive. This shows that those who are exposed to the virus all the time, and then had symptoms, represent a very small percentage of the total number of people with the virus.
There has been a lot of discussion around masks, different groups are giving different information. I think it makes sense to cover your mouth and nose, therefore wearing a mask.
We’ve found a study from Great Britain that looked at different models of preventing transmission. Under a complete body lockdown versus most people wearing a mask, or some people wearing a mask, the best rate of lowering transmission was among most people (about 80%) wearing a mask! This is even lower than staying at home in complete body lockdown. This is also more sustainable because it allowed people to go back to work.
Close to 97% of those who have died from COVID had other medical issues before they got sick. The three biggest factors are obesity, heart disease, and hypertension. There is a high rate of obesity in the United States, so that means that many people will have to deal with these risk factors.
This acts as more evidence to support that decisions to return to work in the private sector is the right decision. I often get frustrated in conversations about these things because I hear political answers that are stirred by ideology. I think we need to use principled decision making, and look at science to inform our decision making. In this case, the science is supporting the decision that going back to work in a safe way is the right thing to do.
We have to be watching the executive orders that have been laid out by the state government and our Governor, to ensure that checks and balances are demonstrated and are in place.
I believe that we need to have a special session of the legislature, so we can be available to help make decisions because that acts as a check on the Governor. Unilateral decisions should not be made as we move to reopen the economy, and we need to have a conversation between two branches of government. I hope we got into a special session soon.
Looking at the data over the weekend and showing a small uptick, will that delay us in moving into phase 1?
I don’t think so. As of last Friday, we’ve had a decrease in deaths and in percent positives. Overall, the curve is still moving downward, and the evidence is in favor of opening up.
Why were gyms excluded from phase 1?
This is guesswork on my part. I believe we need to move quickly into phase 2. I think gyms are capable of decreasing the number of people in their facilities and to clean the equipment frequently. I believe this could be a safe place to be. I will send that letter into the Governor, and see if I can find out more information.
Phase 1 is expected to last a couple of weeks, and I will work to hold them to that. After everything is okay for a couple of weeks, I hope we move quickly into phase 2, letting more businesses open.
Why aren’t recovered individuals reported on by the Virginia Department of Health?
I don’t know why they aren’t reported on. Their job is more focused on transitive illness, but it is inconvenient. The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association does post those numbers, I always go back and forth between the two. The VDH is focused on disease prevention as opposed to how well people did in hospitals and such.