as anyone considered what happens when we come out from hiding under our beds and the virus is still out there waiting for our unequipped immune systems? This excellent piece (edited slightly for length) appeared at Medium.com and was written by doctors.
“Eight Reasons to End the Lockdowns Now”
By Jonathan Geach, M.D., an anesthesiologist in Loma Linda, CA.
- We have already flattened the curve.We have gone from predictions of millions of deaths, to hundreds of thousands and now we are predicting about 60 thousand deaths. This is with the likely over reporting of death. Dr. Birx admitted the attribution of death to COVID-19 has been liberal (her word). If the death count were limited to deaths directly caused by COVID-19, it would likely be even lower than this.
- Economic collapse and unemployment are destroying familiesEach day the shutdown continues, we are losing approximately one million jobs, as evidenced by 16.5 million initial weekly jobless claims in three weeks (since March 26). Many of these lost jobs will never return. If the lockdowns continue through April (essentially, a best-case scenario), we’ll be lucky if job losses are limited to 25 million. Many people see 6.6 million people as just a number.it is the size of the state of Missouri. Twenty five million is almost the size of the state of Texas!
- We have not overburdened the health care system.Although, the ER and ICU capacity has increased in many locations, overall healthcare system capacity has decreased dramatically, as all non-COVID and non-emergent care is being neglected. This has led to layoffs of healthcare workers and delays in care for countless patients, which will result in a range of negative consequences. Assuming the need for healthcare services has remained constant while availability of such services has plummeted, countless patients are not receiving the care they need in a timely manner.
- Suicide may kill almost as many people as COVID-19 this year.In 2018, there were 48,344 recorded suicides. Economic ruin results in a wide range of health problems, suicide, mental health issues, loss of health insurance, reluctance to visit doctors in light of financial hardship, and increases in substance abuse. This is on top of the delay in non-COVID care.
- The mortality was overestimatedThe IHME model, as well as Dr. Fauci have recently decreased the likely deaths from this pandemic to around 60,000 from earlier estimates of 1-2 million. The early reports of 3-4% case fatality rate (CFR) are likely misleading. The numbers miss those who are asymptomatic or recovered at home without seeking testing. What we really need to know is the infection mortality rate (IFR).
Fortunately we have some good clues. Looking at the data from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, the infection fatality rate on the cruise ship was 1%. However, the average age of people on the cruise ship was much higher than the age of the average American.
When you adjust for the differences in age between the cruise ship and America, you see that the IFR should be about 0.1%. There was a recent study out of Germany in the city of Gangelt where they tested 80% of the population, the IFR there was about 0.37%. The way we are testing now, we cannot know how many people have been infected with COVID-19 since we are missing those who had the disease and recovered.
- Children are at almost no risk from this disease.The CDC estimates 37 to 187 children die every year, not from Covid-19, from the flu. This year we have lost 105 children from the flu. Yet, we have closed every school in America. Education is vitally important and a whole generation will miss a fourth of this school year. Closing schools also goes a long way towards limiting the development of herd immunity.
- PPE was limited but is now becoming more available.This article is not meant to diminish the pain and horror this disease can bring to those who get it. I am a physician in one of the highest risk specialties for contracting the disease in the hospital. The lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) facing US healthcare workers is unfair and wrong. Yet, as the curve has flattened, it seems more hospitals have found adequate PPE.
- Authorities should show clear evidence regarding the benefits of indefinite lockdown.Those who want to continue the lockdown indefinitely should show clear evidence regarding the benefits of indefinite lockdown. There needs to be a clear reliable model that shows how many additional lives will be saved considering we have already flattened the curve and there is essentially no further risk of overwhelming the health care system. The previous models were wrong. The consequences of indefinite lockdown are quite staggering, to the tune of one million jobs lost per day.
Jonathan Geach, M.D.
Ankur J Patel, M.D.
Jason Friday, M.D.
Lacy Windham, M.D.
Ashkan Attaran, M.D.
Jennifer Andjelich, D.N.P.