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COVID-19: Where are we now #4
1.Things will not go back to normal. There is no “back.” This cannot be undone…/2
2.COVID-19 affects different people in very different ways that are poorly understood. Almost nothing is known about its long term effects…/3
3.Children get infected at ~the same rate as adults; they have fewer symptoms, but viral titres are ~ the same & they develop pathology. In ~1/3 this may not resolve…/4
4.In most countries, about 50% of adults admitted to ICU survive, but will likely be disabled and unable to work…/5
5.Adults with severe COVID-19 respiratory symptoms that recover will likely have residual lung damage and may be respiratory cripples…/6
6.Others may sustain severe liver damage, or kidney damage requiring dialysis…/7
7.It is unclear what proportion of recovered COVID-19 patients will be able to return to work, but the numbers invalided are likely much higher than the numbers killed…/8
8.The provision of medical and social supports for COVID-19 survivors will be a substantial economic burden…/9
9.About 10-15% of people infected do not appear to clear the virus. It is possible that this group is larger than this if people have virus sequestered in their lungs. It is not known if these people can become infectious again…/10
10.There probably will be a vaccine, but it probably won’t be very good…/11
11.There probably will be effective antivirals, but they will probably be expensive and take years of development…/12
12.Given all the above, it is clear that the “let it rip” strategy (referred to by the euphemism “herd immunity”) is morally, medically and economically reprehensible…/13
13.Countries that fail to control and then eliminate the virus, will likely suffer repeated, severe, widespread epidemics requiring hard lockdowns for extended periods…/14
14.Countries in which COVID-19 is eliminated will require ongoing public health surveillance, widespread testing, and quarantine of travellers & people infected in small outbreaks…/15
15.Economic modelling shows that of these two outcomes, elimination is associated with the best result by a long way…/16
16.If Australia maintains social distancing and lock down conditions, we have a 90% chance of COVID-19 elimination by the end of July. /end/.
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