Yesterday morning I received an email from my cousin Ed, a retired Air Force pilot who plans well and pays attention to detail. He included a link to an April 17 Huffington Post article by Jenna Birch, “Why some coronavirus patients get sicker than others.” Then, he wrote:
Until I read this, I had a one year plan on how to live with (the threat of) this disease. Now, I think I may need two or more. … The world has totally changed.
The USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier is now out of the news. But I receive constant updates via Military.com. The 4,800 crew have now become a very important controlled “test group” to learn about the virus. The ship remains in Guam with most of the crew ashore for over 30 days.
1,100 have tested positive, a half dozen remain in the hospital, and one has died. Those infected have been isolated on the Naval base. The rest are restricted to single rooms at civilian hotels. U.S. marines from Japan have been brought in to provide sanitized room service to every unaffected sailor. Social distancing has been mandated and maintained.
However, when the Navy began transferring some back to the ship, they found many to be infected even though they had tested negative and had been in isolation for weeks. Others had tested positive, quarantined, tested negative, then later positive again. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) is now in Guam studying this phenomenon. Either the virus can “hide” undetected in a human thought to be cured or the testing is defective.
This “test group” consists of young, healthy, fit personnel in a very controlled situation. Whatever happens to them would be magnified in the general population.
If the Navy cannot control infection on their ships, how can Carnival or Royal Caribbean cruise lines, major hotels, entertainment complexes, public schools or even large churches succeed?
Historically, we expect a medication and protocol to be found that wold limit the disease and death rate. Eventually we expect a vaccine that would eliminate the virus completely. But, that may not happen soon, in our lifetime, or at all.
Bottom line: If you are doing things the same way you did last December, you may be making a (fatal) mistake! Old habits are difficult to change, but survival chances improve if you do so.