What can the US do differently?
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, delivered some blunt messages to the public during an online video interview with actor Matthew McConaughey. There are three main reasons many island nations and Asian countries like New Zealand, Singapore and South Korea have managed to control the coronavirus, he said.
Social distancing and masks aside, he said these countries had taken many correct approaches to dealing with their respective outbreaks and, as a result, created the right environments to reopen their economies. Public health and economic health are not mutually exclusive, he added, or it's either / or about it. This, said Fauci, is what we can learn in these countries:
1. Outside is better than inside: In an interview on Instagram
On Thursday, McConaughey asked Fauci if certain smaller island states had beaten the coronavirus back more successfully because residents were spending more time outdoors. He replied: "It is conceivable that this is the case." Fauci added that outdoor is preferable for sports, restaurants, and school classes.
Fauci also said that seeking 100% herd immunity – as Sweden tried to do – instead of closing schools and businesses to smooth the curve of new cases of COVID-19, would have dire consequences for the American people. "If everyone becomes infected with it, many people will die," said the doctor. "The death toll would be enormous and completely unacceptable."
Anders Tegnell, Sweden's leading epidemiologist who thought through the plan, admitted the country had made a mistake. "If we faced the same disease with the same knowledge that we have today, I think our answer would end up somewhere between what Sweden has done and what the rest of the world has done," he said in June When the country hit the country's highest death rate in Europe.
In a separate Facebook live chat with Gina Raimondo, Governor of Rhode Island, Fauci said the windows on school buses should be kept open and students should wear their masks as often as possible. "If you look at the super-spreader events that have taken place, they are almost always inside," he said, citing major outbreaks in nursing homes, meat pack warehouses, prisons and weddings.
2. Determine Shut Down To Stop Outbreaks: When asked why so many Asian countries have had relative success in fighting COVID-19 outbreaks, Fauci said, “When they came down, they switched on like 'Bang! & # 39; Asian countries have done it. “Fauci said that stopping / starting and the different approaches to shutdown didn't work that well in the US.
Fauci also said it wasn't an easy choice between public health and economic health. “The faster you pull yourself together and jerk off, the faster you will get back to normal. We're all in the same boat. If we don't do this together, we won't get it under control, ”he said. "Believing that you can ignore the biological and get the economy back is not going to happen. You have to do both."
The US can't afford to let the virus resurgence any longer now or this fall, health professionals say. For one, it's harder to get people to practice social distancing and stay home again, especially after following the stay-at-home instructions early on in the first wave of the virus. Southern and western states have seen increases in some cases after relaxing measures.
Second, the economic impact could push the US into a prolonged recession, even bigger than what some economists have predicted. Third, the winter flu season is just around the corner and these symptoms can easily be confused with those of COVID-19. Fourth, too few people will be immune to COVID-19 after this first wave ends to support herd immunity.
Actor Matthew McConaughey met infectious disease specialist Dr. Anthony Fauci interviewed on Instagram.
See also: Dr. Fauci tells MarketWatch, I wouldn't get on a plane or eat in a restaurant
3. The tracking of contracts prevents them from being transmitted by the community. Fauci said it was crucial to create the conditions in which authorities can trace contacts and prevent community transmission. He used sports as an example. "If you're in a red zone where the virus rate is so high, you can safely try exercising normally, but there is a chance you can infect people," he said.
Young people who play or attend sporting events are more likely to become "super spreaders" and act like they don't have a virus and are the source of community broadcasts, Fauci said in a 40-minute interview. "Many of them will be young so they don't get sick. They go to church." At this point in time, the origin of the spread is much more difficult to trace.
Countries like South Korea, New Zealand and China, where the virus is believed to have originated in a food market in Wuhan late last year, appear to have had more success in fighting COVID-19. Earlier this week, for example, New Zealand quickly banned Auckland after the return of COVID after 102 days with no new infections reported.
"Pretend you have COVID and the people around you have COVID," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said at a press conference. The island nation responded quickly and decisively to the pandemic, banning non-New Zealand nationals from traveling out of China before there were cases in the country and those nationals arriving from China were required to be quarantined for 14 days.
Coronavirus update: COVID-19 has now killed at least 771,276 people worldwide, and the US ranks 10th in the world for deaths per 100,000 people (51.5), according to Johns Hopkins University. As of Sunday, the US has the world's highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases (5,361,302) and deaths (169,483). Worldwide confirmed cases now stand at 21,261,598.
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are currently working on COVID-19 vaccines, among other things.