Case Update: April 9, When can we go back to normal?

Originally posted April 9th, 2020 on Facebook

Friends,
You may have heard lots of positive news in the press in the last few days about new lower rates of new infections in the US. If you saw my posts on March 30th and April 1st, you know that I was enthusiastic about some good news a little earlier than was warranted. So I wanted to wait a few days to see if the current positive trends would hold.

All that being said, I do have good news for you today! For the World, the US, California, and San Diego County, the rate of new cases as been below 10% every day since Sunday, April 5th! That’s great news. The actual daily new cases has been trending basically flat in the US since Sunday, and in California since April 1st. So the news is definitely good! There is even better news if you live in San Diego County. Daily new cases actually appear to have peaked on April 3rd, and are actually down since then.

Some in the media are discussing an end to our isolation, but I have to say that it is still very important that we continue to practice social distancing for a while longer. Our efforts are working, but we still have a lot of work to do!

My brother asked me when I thought it would be safe to go back to normal. I’ll preface my opinion by saying that I am not an epidemiologist. My opinion on this is informed, but I’m not an expert. In my opinion, we can go back to normal when:

  1. Our daily new cases are very low, a few a day.
  2. We can be reasonably certain that we know where every sick person is located, and that they are isolated.
  3. That we have enough testing capacity that we can test those who have been potentially exposed, not just confirming cases that appear to be COVID-19 cases by symptoms.

You can see that we have quite a ways to go to achieve these 3 criteria. So it’s important that we remain diligent! It is highly likely that we will experience a second wave of infections if we try to go back to normal too early.

A local physician told me last week, April 1st that wait times for testing was 12 days. Yesterday, Wednesday, April 8th, he said that results were coming back in just 2 days. So with new cases falling, we are able to test much faster. This will eventually give us capacity to test for exposure! I don’t know if public health officials are considering this yet.

So be encouraged, but be diligent! Your efforts are paying off!

Don’t fear, but be smart!
Erik

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