A recent report about the transmission of COVID-19 was released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Presymptomatic Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 — Singapore, January 23–March 16, 2020 – Wei WE, et al. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report April 2020). Examining 243 cases among seven clusters of COVID-19 reported in Singapore from January 23–March 16, researchers suggest that presymptomatic transmission is the most likely explanation for the occurrence of these cases.
In their conclusion, Wei and colleagues wrote, “These findings also suggest that to control the pandemic it might not be enough for only persons with symptoms to limit their contact with others because persons without symptoms might transmit infection. Finally, these findings underscore the importance of social distancing in the public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the avoidance of congregate settings.”
I live in California, a state that takes a fair amount of ribbing for hot tubs, liberal ideas, and its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, I feel safe in the hands of our left coast governor, Gavin Newsome, especially since he issued an early statewide order to stay at home. Apparently Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey took issue with California’s extreme response explaining why she did not plan to issue a statewide order. Her plan is to balance the health of the state’s residents with the health of the economy. “Y’all, we are not California, we’re not New York, we aren’t even Louisiana.” As of this moment, Alabama does not have a statewide stay-at-home plan (along with a number of other states) Note: Alabama’s governor issued a stay-at-home order on April 4th.
California’s plan seems to be working, especially since some of the more populated areas had shelter-in-place plans as early as March 17. At this point, San Francisco and Seattle have flatter curves than many other areas. It all comes down to social distancing, or as some have renamed it, ‘physical distancing’. Alabama is projected to suffer as a result of their sharp curve.
Want to know how your area is doing? Here are three links with good information:
- COVID-19 Projections
- Map showing where people traveled recently
- Kinsa’s U.S. Health Weather Map
- Johns Hopkins’ Coronavirus map
If COVID-19 can be spread before people are aware that they have it, physical distancing is out best tool for keeping ourselves and others alive. If you want to help, stay at home if you can.
Thank you to all of those on the front lines. Thank you to all who are staying home.
If you want to read more about COVID-19 or other health-related issues, I am also blogging at hepmag.com.