What we need to do to fix the coronavirus catastrophe is stick to the basics. Solving a problem does not require amazing thought or amazing insight; instead we need to stick to the basics that have been known to us for a long time.
- Protect the elderly and the immunocompromised. These people should be placed in super-lockdown sites where no one gains entry unless we are absolutely sure they do not have the coronavirus. Temperature checks must be put in place. My mother, who lives in a retirement home in the Philadelphia area, is 94. Harry Houdini couldn’t break into that facility.
- Quarantine the sick apart from elderly people. Given the crisis, there is no shortage of available hotel rooms to quarantine people.
- Allow children to attend school. We will need the children and the young to develop a solid measure of herd immunity. Full herd immunity is not necessary at this point in time; we will take any measure of protection we can get. Children are remarkably resilient in handling the coronavirus. The sooner we can get children interacting with each other, the further we will get in developing herd immunity.
- Recognize that you are not saving lives by locking all of us up; you are costing lives. New people enter the elderly age bracket every day of the week. The only measure we have to protect them at this point, aside from locking them away, is herd immunity. The sooner we get there, the better.
- Allow businesses to stay open. There was never any hard-core science supporting the lockdown. The lockdown was counterproductive. The experience in many other countries supports this.
- Understand that you can’t make the virus go away by locking people up in their houses. You can only make the virus go away by creating immune people. Locking people away creates a false, not a true, lowering of the R-naught value. When coronavirus virgins come out of lockdown, the virus will be waiting.
- Relocate as many elderly people as possible to warm, humid climates. it has been known for some time that warm weather and higher humidity protect against the coronavirus. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
- Stop the routine testing. The tests are near worthless; they only serve to heighten the panic. We need less fear, not more. What are we doing with the tests anyway? What do they mean? Are we going to change our outpatient treatment which at this point is quarantine? Or are we going to treat them clinically?
- Stop the incentives for diagnosing and treating coronavirus. These incentives have only muddied the waters.
- Permit doctors to prescribe hydroxychloroquine. There might be something there.
- Encourage Big Pharma to pursue a hydroxychloroquine analog. Modern medicine was built upon anecdotal reports. Nobody used Cox regression analysis in 1335.
- Yes, pursue a vaccine but do so in a safe methodical manner without cutting corners. We don’t want to give false hope; nor do we want to hastily administer an unsafe vaccine to compound the problem.
- All the people who have died of coronavirus must have their bodies exhumed and studied to ascertain the precise cause of death.
- Conduct an intensive epidemiological survey of coronavirus victims, particularly after the surge took place in Texas. Find out who they knew, where they worked, who lives at home, who their friends are. This can be accomplished through Facebook with stiff penalties for being untruthful.
- Ditch the masks. The masks are worthless and may indeed cause more disease by acting as a personal, wearable fomite. Plus there is no cogent common-sense reasoning that supports why they should work. Instead, double-down on what does work – religious handwashing.
- Recognize that the pursuit of herd immunity is a viable methodology in combating the coronavirus. Every species on the on the planet is here precisely because of herd immunity. Our immune systems are the soldiers against disease. There was no Louis Pasteur in 1335. Likewise, there was no Louis Pasteur for cats, dogs, hyenas or any other animal 10,000 years ago.
- Ditch the media. Free speech is important, but there are limits. You aren’t allowed to yell “fire” in a crowded movie theater unless there is a fire. Encourage the media to talk about people who have done good things for society. That will lift people’s spirts and elevate their immunity.
- Ditch the politicians. When the shit hits the fan, it’s time for the politicos to stand aside. This is wartime, baby. There was a point in the Civil War when Lincoln made a few suggestions to Grant on tactics. Grant wisely, calmly and diplomatically stated that he didn’t think that those suggestions were good ideas.
- Relax. Go out with the family and enjoy yourself. Face the world with courage. It’s better to die on your feet than to live the rest of your life on your knees. Courage will make you feel better; besides your fear often becomes you.
- Our National Anthem, for which we should all stand, for many reasons, not least of which is because our ancestors formed this country because they had spent a lifetime kneeling before monarchs, has as its last measure: “… O’er the land of the free and the home of brave.” Are we?
- Remember that things are never as bad or as good as we make them out to be.
Success isn’t a pipe dream; it’s a series of slow steps taken methodically.
Archer Crosley, MD
Sunday, July 26, 2020
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