A coronavirus pandemic is killing an average of 1,000 Americans a day and 4,000 globally and that shouldn’t be the new normal, said Dr. Tom Inglesby, director of the Bloomberg School’s Center for Health Safety, on Thursday.
“We can do better than this,” Inglesby said. “I’m worried that people have somehow accepted where we are as the new normal, and it’s not normal.”
Some states have hundreds or even thousands of new Covid-19 cases every day, and Inglesby pointed out that countries like New Zealand and Thailand have brought their cases to zero.
“Have we accepted the loss of 1,000 Americans a day until we receive the vaccine?” he asked. “I hope not.”
Around the world: The tactics used by New Zealand, Thailand and other countries to reduce the incidence of coronavirus are the same common practices of public health officials in the United States have been advocated for months: border control, widespread testing, rapid isolation, search, quarantine, excessive hygiene, intense physical distancing. closing schools and jobs and a coordinated public health strategy, Inglesby said.
“We can do that in the U.S. and it should be,” Inglesby added.
This week, he cited research from the University of Berkeley in California, which found that home orders alone prevent more than 62 million coronavirus infections in the U.S. and 530 million so far in six other studies.
“Social distance works,” he said, noting that in some places in the country, people are lowering their guards, moving “too fast to open the economy, with the risk of accelerating the spread of the disease.”
He also warned that he considers internal gatherings to be one of the continuing dangers of catching and spreading the virus.
“I think things with a higher risk will be indoors for a long time with others who are not part of your family and you inhale the exhaled air. If you are at close range, it will pose a higher risk,” he said.
Moving forward during a pandemic: Inglesby also expressed concern about the reopening of schools. There is no information on whether the children spread the disease at school. They obviously do not have the same level of severe illness as adults, he said.
“The concern is that we don’t know if children in schools will accelerate the spread within those institutions and then transmit the disease to teachers or administrators who are older, or to their homes, parents, grandparents,” he said.