How bad will it get?

Dr. Warren Wong Founder, MemoriesConnect

Dr. Warren Wong, Founder, MemoriesConnect

Will I get Covid-19? Or will my loved ones or the ones I care for? How bad will it get?

First a general answer, one that you’ve probably heard:  No one knows how bad it will get.  There will be areas that are hit hard and some areas that will not be hit as hard.  Covid-19 is going around the world.  It arrives at different places at different times.  As things improve in one part of the country, it’s important to realize that Covid-19 could come to your community later. 

How bad will it get where you live? Keep your eye on local news.  The local news will tell you how many cases are occurring.   Pay attention to the “3 day” rule.    Let me explain.   It’s very important to know how fast Covid-19 spreads in a community.  The best way to know that is the “doubling time”.  The doubling time is the amount of time it takes to have twice as many cases.   The faster the doubling time, the more severe the problem.   In the United States as a whole, the doubling time is 3-4 days. A faster doubling time is bad, a slower doubling time is good.  Some places in the United States are having a rapid doubling time, some are not.   A simple way to think of it is this example:  You read in the news that there are 10 cases in your community.  Three days later there are 20.   Nine days later there are 80 (8 times as many).  This rate of spread means that Covid-19 is an immediate and severe threat in your community.   On the other hand, if your community has 10 cases, then 15 cases 3 days later, then 20 cases nine days later, the spread is slower.  That is likely because your community has been doing a very good job of controlling the spread.

In Hawaii, the doubling time is 3.04 days.  This means that the likelihood of getting Covid-19 is significant.  We are likely to have severe hospitalization problems towards the end of April.    It is a time to make sure we socially isolate.  (I will talk moe about that soon).  When problems are severe, governments start to make decisions about quarantine and travel restrictions.

The faster Covid-19 spreads, the more of a threat it is.  The 3-day rule is a simplified way to think about it.   Another question is how long the Covid-19 threat will last.  I will be writing about that too.

Dr. Warren
[email protected]

 

Last time I wrote about coughing; when is a cough just a cough?  I forgot to add this poster.

 

 

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  1. Pingback: Social Distancing: What does that mean to a caregiver? – MemoriesConnect

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