Get ready. COVID-19 is on its way around the world.
The incipient COVID-19 pandemic is fed by sustained transmission from person to person to person without a Wuhan Connection.
Italy has canceled Sunday Mass for Lombardy and Veneto regions in the north of Italy. It may take weeks to get a complete set of real numbers but as the experience in South Korea teaches, 500 Catholics receiving their sacrament of Holy Communion will end up killing as many as a dozen of them and infecting hundreds and even thousands more. People close together are extremely vulnerable. This thing is like a terrorist with an AK-47.
Everything is to be cancelled in the Lombardy region of Italy. Shops will close. “People must stay home,” says the local governments. “The COVID-19 infections cannot be traced to Wuhan through persons having visited there. It’s just spreading from person to person,” say local health officials in public statements.
Doctors are scrambling to get the outbreaks under control.
FPMag and its partners tacking the COVID-19 suspect the world is three months behind China. Think of how the novel coronavirus was progressing in mid-December in China and that’s where the rest of the world world is at.
Early March will be like China’s early January because the rate of change is accelerating and the virus is morphing into an evolutionary level that is more capable of surviving.
Meanwhile, China has five vaccine development projects, some of which may be ready for patient testing in late April, say sources.
“Clearly China bought the world a lot of time. Governments need to use that time by cancelling missiles and bombs and buying oxygen systems and sophisticated patient imaging systems,” says Sara Qin, a Wuhan nurse who has been fighting the virus on the front lines.
The World Health Organization has publicly agreed with that assessment.
“We still might win, but that is very unlikely because the level of care needed for the most severely impacted patients will drain the resources of large regions quickly,” says nurse Sara Qin. “The disease shuts down lungs, spreads sepsis to all organs, and the organs all begin to fail one after another without intervention,” she explains. Nurse Qin has seeen this over and over however her section has been awarded by the state for having a higher rate of good patient outcomes. She says “care counts”.
Once again we see people gathered together mixed with infected persons causing explosive spread of the disease.
South Korea has demonstrated how closely connected groups spread the disease. It’s exactly what the world has seen in the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked at Daikoku Pier in the Japanese port of Yokohama.
The cloistering of people took place in a cult ceremony that lasted a weekend. Cases grew from a handful to hundreds.
South Korea is in big trouble. This disease is spreading like a wildfire and some 20% of impacted patients will need life support medical apparatus to help them survive or at lease mitigate their massive suffering.
Can Iran handle a nationwide epidemic?
Iran is in worse trouble although the numbers do not show it yet. The rate of change and the number of inexplicable transmissions have Iranian doctors worried. In a matter of days, patients test positive and then die. FPMag and its partners have been vigorously working contacts to get the data, but Iran does not have the data. They barely know what is hitting them.
The United States has blockaded medical supplies and medicines to Iran for far too long. If the world does not start moving ship-loads of supplies to the Iranian medical facilities, the country will not be able to handle the crisis and the death rate will be outlandish.
It’s the same bug but it has no clear “epidemiological link, such as travel history to China or contact with a confirmed case from China”, is how the head of the World Health Organization is describing the pockets of puzzling cases.
Money is the reason why the political organizations like the UN and WHO have not declared a Pandemic.
Dr. Tedros is on the right track. He needs the world to continue churning money but at the same time realize a different set of priorities about where to spend that money. It’s the only way to win against COVID-19. If Tedros does not get his way, the world is screwed.
By all definitions the disease has become a pandemic but it seems that the political organizations do not want to admit that is true as it would seriously harm world markets and thus would dry up donations and start a pandemic of hoarding. An N-95 mask would cost what a magnetic resonance imaging system costs now. Chill.
Notwithstanding the pure practicality of getting the world prepped for a major outbreak, one must also consider that no country currently has the kind of hospital facilities and critical care life support systems that would be needed.
China’s theory was traditional: treat only the worst cases. Xi Jinping has worked miracles by listening to some very smart doctors. He broke many social mores, but he is getting it done.
It seems cruel but it is the only choice for such massive numbers of nasty cases.
Only money can make a difference now.
What should we say to the West’s politicians we asked a doctor and a nurse in Wuhan.
“If you don’t start equipping hospitals now; if you don’t start training and equipping medical staff now; if you don’t spend like crazy to get medical industries’ production levels up to snuff; hordes of sick people will riot your cushy office and tear you apart limb by limb,” two nurses and three doctors in Hubei province agreed.
So hush about the pandemic. If the markets go south, the billionaires will vanish. That’s the kind of world the human race has built. Dr. Tedros has put his finger on the most paralyzing fear. Dozens of weaker nations must receive help to fight the COVID-19 outbreak.
Not just own health care systems need bolstering but each strong nation must help a weaker one. Failure of a weak health system could bring death to all.
Sources for this statistical data.
The following sources are available to readers. Additionaly FPMag and The Nurses Without Borders make direct contact and interview colleagues and sources close to the information around the world to track events and statistics. Information about China comes from the official website of the National Health and Health Commission and from direct contact with health and other officials, patients, doctors and nurses.
- The People’s Republic of China
- Canadian Department of Health
- US Centers for Disease Control
- Hong Kong Global Tracking (PDF)
- Philippines COVID-19 Tracker
- Iran News Agency
- Govt. of Ireland
- Australia DoH
- Australia Public Information (PDF)
- Ministry of Health, Singapore
- Ministry of Health and Welfare, South Korea
- Province of Ontario, Canada CoronaVirus Info
- Government of New Zealand