The worst pandemic in modern history was the Spanish flu of 1918, which killed tens of millions of people. Today, with how interconnected the world is, it would spread faster. Bill Gates
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) will kill thousands of people in the UK, we can’t stop that, but with isolation we can reduce the number of infected people and ease the pressure on the hospitals.
Slow the spreading of the virus is the only way we have to stop the hospitals being over run.
Isolating and social distancing seems drastic, most people don’t know anyone who has the Coronavirus.
Isolating, testing and sanitising were how China controlled the coronavirus outbreak. Bill Gates highlights this approach in his Ted talk — The next outbreak? We’re not ready | Bill Gates
Time and delay make it difficult to see the effect of coronavirus and isolating, when the results of are actions have a delay it’s hard for us to associate them.
The incubation time of the coronavirus (the time between catching the virus and you feeling the effects) is between 1 and 14 days. This means you can have the virus and not know you have it because the symptoms are not visible. This side effect of this delay is people don’t stay at home (and not spread it) but go on with their life and socialise with people as normal.
This webpage shows the key facts of the Covid-19
There is no cure for the coronavirus so the only effective measures we can take is to test people and isolate to slow the spread of the virus.
Hospital capacity and flattening the curve
There has been mentioning of flattening the curve and the graphic is great but I don’t think it makes clear why it’s vital we flatten the curve.
The UK numbers are like the numbers seen in Italy (we are two weeks behind them), it seems like we have put in drastic measures but the reality the UK will have as many deaths as Italy and we need to isolate to try and have fewer deaths.
The Coronavirus targets the lungs and 80% of people have mild symptoms, there are 19% who are hospitalised and 1–3% mortality rate.
Those who are hospitalised will need a critical care bed, a ventilator and trained specialist to work the ventilator and doctors.
The UK doesn’t have a big number of critical beds, ventilators or ventilator operators. By next week or the week after it’s likely all the hospitals in the UK will have all their critical care beds taken. New patients who need a critical care bed and ventilator will not have room in hospitals.
We can all contribute
Thousands of people are already infected, in the next 10 days the hospitals will hit capacity for critical care beds. The only thing we can do in the short term is to reduce the number of people infected who need to go to hospital.
The most effective tool we have is to isolate, not get infected or infect others. This will save the lives.
John F Kennedy said this
“Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” John F. Kennedy
Isolation and social distancing are the only tools we have in reducing the number of deaths and avoid the hospitals hitting capacity. No hospital has enough ventilators and staff to run them, and in the next 10 days they will be full.
Isolating and social distancing will help protect you, your family, and other people in the UK.