In an age when we’re used to seeing authorities using measured tones to describe the current coronavirus pandemic, some are becoming more vocal about what needs to be done to contain the virus. One of them is Dr. Anne Schuchat, the principal deputy director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), who is very worried about the current outbreaks happening across the United States.
“What we hope is we can take it seriously and slow the transmission in these places,” said Dr. Schuchat in an interview with The Journal of the American Medical Association’s Dr. Howard Bauchner. “But what I think is very discouraging is we’re clearly not at a point where there’s so little virus being spread that it’s going to be easy to snuff out.”
This is Really the Beginning
“This is really the beginning,” she continued about our recent spikes in hotspots like Arizona, Texas and Florida. “I think there was a lot of wishful thinking around the country that, hey it’s summer. Everything’s going to be fine. We’re over this and we are not even beginning to be over this. There are a lot of worrisome factors about the last week or so.”
She added: We can “expect this virus to continue to circulate.”
“At least 16 states have halted their reopening plans in response to a surge in new infections, but some health officials say the spread of coronavirus will be difficult to control,” reports CNN. “What we have in the United States, it’s hard to describe because it’s so many different outbreaks,” Dr. Schuchat said. “There was a wave of incredible acceleration, intense interventions and control measures that have brought things down to a much lower level of circulation in the New York City, Connecticut, New Jersey area. But in much of the rest of the country, there’s still a lot of virus. And in lots of places, there’s more virus circulating than there was.”
“We’re not in the situation of New Zealand or Singapore or Korea where a new case is rapidly identified and all the contacts are traced and people are isolated who are sick and people who are exposed are quarantined and they can keep things under control,” she continued. “We have way too much virus across the country for that right now, so it’s very discouraging.”
Like 1918 All Over Again
Dr. Schuchat compares it to the Spanish Flu of 1918—and not in a good way. “While you plan for it, you think about it, you have that human denial that it’s really going to happen on your watch, but it’s happening,” she said. “As much as we’ve studied [the 1918 flu pandemic], I think what we’re experiencing as a global community is really bad and it’s similar to that 1918 transformational experience.”
“She added that people can help to curb the spread of infection by practicing social distancing, wearing a mask and washing their hands, but no one should count on any kind of relief to stop the virus until there’s a vaccine,” according to CNBC. Indeed: Only leave the home if it’s essential, wear a face covering unless your doctor advises against it, wash your hands frequently, practice social distancing, monitor your health and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss these Things You Should Never Do During the Coronavirus Pandemic.