Covid-19 Update | April 19 at 8:28 PM
Ok, it’s time for tonight’s coronavirus update brought to you by Nike, and our theme for tonight is “Just Do It!” Since last Thursday’s update a lot has changed. We have so much more data to use and make decisions based upon. First, the actual national, state, and local data. No new national hot spots have emerged. 65% of the nation’s COVID deaths are from NYC metro and Detroit, despite the areas only having 13% of the population. This is a regional issue primarily. Hospitals in the NYC area are finally having discharges exceeding admission and the ICU and inpatient bed data in Michigan shows availability throughout their state. New Orleans also has had declining cases and mortality for many days now. The Boston area has had so many of their nursing homes affected that 810 of the state’s 1,560 deaths are these patients. That’s right, almost 60% in MA and in New Jersey 40% are from nursing homes. NY/CT/MI do not have information on nursing homes immediately available. In Florida, only 175 of the state’s 774 deaths are from nursing homes. That is a credit to our governor acting on proven measures and doing so swiftly and early on. Much like President Trump shutting down travel from China, Gov. Desantis ending visitation to nursing homes has saved more lives in our state than any other action. Florida has just over 26k cases and 774 deaths. Our state’s cases and deaths are overwhelmingly from Broward, Dade, and Palm Beach counties. Bay County has registered 13 new cases in three days and that is from 156 tests. Our percent of positive tests is still running at 6%. At 324 cases per million, we are still the lowest in FL and lower than any state in the nation. So new studies really blow the doors off the lockdown alarmists this weekend. First a seroprevalence study in Chelsea, MA tested 200 random healthy adults (with no COVID symptoms or testing) for antibodies and 32% tested positive. That is nearing the level you need for herd immunity. They say 60% gets you to effective herd immunity. Given that 1% of Suffolk county, MA residents have tested positive for COVID, it indicates that for every one case of tested symptomatic disease there are 30 cases of very mild or completely asymptomatic disease. So, in reality the 3% case fatality rate quoted in the literature is closer to 0.1%. And that’s flu numbers right there. What other bombshell data has come out that the media hasn’t picked up on? It appears that the Dept. of Homeland Security has been looking at transmission characteristics of COVID-19 and has found high heat, humidity, and UV light quickly inactivate the virus. Great evidence for opening up the beaches and outdoor venues as soon as possible. The last study I am going to leave here for anyone to read is going to probably be a bit of a bummer because we all hate to have done something painful for no real benefit. But the author of this study looked at the lockdowns based on the date instituted by state and the outcomes on death rates and found no correlation at all. He did find population density as a correlation; however, it was weak. He is planning on running eight or so more variables to see if mass transit is a commonality with high death rates. Last, the Sweden experiment is going well. They have peaked on deaths and they are the nation that decided to keep schools and businesses open and just isolate their at-risk populations. So, I know many of you are nervous about reopening America, but I can tell you we need to channel our inner Nike and Just Do It. Florida has everything going for it — heat, humidity, and sunlight to destroy the virus. A young workforce ready to spring back into action. And we are in a regional pact with Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Mississippi; SC has already announced opening of its retail businesses, beaches, and restaurants starting next week with social distancing measures in place. Alabama has its plans ready to go. Gov. Desantis is coming out on Tuesday with our state’s plan as well. I do want to reiterate that I do recommend at-risk individuals continuing to isolate themselves and that we all continue to practice impeccable hand hygiene and social distancing in public settings. Have a great night and I feel certain we will have a great week with much good news ahead.