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Note: This thread is related to #Coronavirus #COVID19
COVID Update May 23: 2 months ago, with things heading off the rails & we launched #StayHome, experts told me that if we were successful at reducing the death toll, many wouldn’t believe COVID was much of a problem after all.
Fascinating look at where else I was right & wrong.1/
One popular activity is to go back to earlier days in the pandemic when we knew less & hunt for places where people were wrong and light them up for it.
I think it’s often a bad practice but I’ve decided to participate— by going back & looking at my own statements. 2/
I don’t make predictions. If anything my skill is getting people to return my call & sharing what I hear from experts. In the third week in March I laid out what it might look like ahead based on what I heard.
I made 12 calls @medium captured. 3/
First call: That the #StayHome effort would have mixed success.
So far: Much more consistent success than I would have thought.
R0 reduced below 1 for a time and people were united in taking spread seriously. For any disunity there is now, it’s better than I assumed then. 4/
Second call: That the death toll & scenes from hospitals would horrify Americans.
So far: Sadly not. Or if so, it didn’t last.
Maybe we got numb to the scrolling death toll. Maybe not enough reporters ventured into hospitals/nursing homes, but our sense of horror is uneven. 5/
Third call: That social distancing would work.
So far: Absolutely.
For the two weeks after bars & restaurants were shut down, we kept waiting for the curve to slow. It took 3-4 weeks but then we saw the evidence. If only we had started earlier. 6/
Fourth call: The fact that it worked would cause people to doubt why they were socially isolating.
So far: Sadly, this turns out to be true in portions of the population & as a political argument.
While this was something I was ready for, I worry about the impact of denial. 7/
Fifth call: There would be a summer lull relative to the Spring.
So far: Relative to Spring yes, but lull, hardly.
Dropping even to 1000 deaths/day would be progress from here. Nearly half the states are seeing growth. 8/
Sixth call: Political pressure will have a harmful effect.
So far: We’ll, maybe this wasn’t hard to call, but it feels like bad policy & bad politics.
Churches, bars, Vegas casinos. I worry that Trump is finding new hot spots instead of tough measured approaches.9/
Seventh call: There would become ways to be #OpenSafely.
So far: I didn’t anticipate the widespread stay at home orders, but believed with time, we could get businesses & communities ready to live w the virus.
There’s a whole array of resources in http://www.open-safely.us .
Eighth call: I anticipated that whatever lull we experience in the summer, we will see a worrisome second wave in the Fall. But I also predicted we would handle it better with fewer losses.
So far: We will see but it still feels right. We can of course impact this still! 11/
Ninth call: Why we’re doing #StayHome is not just for our health care system, but to give scientists time.
So far: We have seen some advances in therapies & vaccines.
Some say that since we avoided some hospital jams, we are in the clear. We still need more from science.12/
Bonus idea: Apparently that day Trump started flirting with the potential of hydroxychloroquine which we know now has become one of his most popular & irresponsible refrains.
Even back then, it bothered me. And probably many others.16/
What else I got wrong:
Hospitalization rate: governors/modelers were showing me 20%. I assumed 10%. Looks more like 4%. This is a major assumption to be wrong on but good news.
After NY, more areas did a better job preventing outbreaks w lockdowns than I would have thought.17/
I have made other mistakes. I tweeted something once that I heard from a doctor that a hospital had run out of ventilators & were implementing guidelines on who would get an ICU bed. The hospital clarified that wasn’t the case. I had jumped the gun & regret it. I apologized. 18/
I have occasionally taken the bait in an argument which I usually regret. I upset a guest when we were on @MSNBC together having a discussion. I tracked him down and we talked & was so glad I did.19/
I’m most grateful for how many times I’ve answered a question with “I don’t know” or “I don’t know, but...” or pointed to better expert. But I’m sure there are other times where I smugly sounded more certain than I should have. And that’s embarrassing. 20/
There’s a great conversation here w @BetoORourke about the value of being able to say you don’t know something. 21/
I’ve tried & sometimes failed to see things from others’ perspectives. We’ve lost a number of friends to CV & have had others deeply ill. But we haven’t been greatly financially impacted. Others are coming from a different place. They know no one impacted except financially.22/
I have focused on solutions: through @USofCare, @projectn95, http://whileathome.org , http://www.covidexitstrategy.org , #StayHome campaign, the #opensafely effort, food, essential worker support & others in flight. But there were requests I didn’t get to respond to that trouble me.23/
Maybe I wasn’t objective or too easy on myself even here. That’s what Twitter comments are for. 24/
We have a ways to go. What we know is a fraction of what there is to know. What we believe is likely partly wrong. People have been through a lot & tolerance for each other is painfully thin. 25/
What is clearer today is that there is a path through this. And we should have more & more confidence we can do it without minimal loss of life. We will have to focus on all the displacement— social, financial, health— and help people build their lives back.
*with minimal loss of life.
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