How to Open Up the Economy from a Medical Perspective and What Happens if We Don’t
First, let’s realize what will happen to this country and its citizens if we don’t open up the economy. We are literally only a few months from the collapse of our society if we don’t get the economy going again. People are being laid off in staggering numbers. Basic necessities are in short supply. Stores of all kinds are closing. The housing industry is grinding to a halt. The stock market is imploding. Plus, we have a powerful adversary in China which is a fact that we have to acknowledge and somehow deal with. To paraphrase Joe Biden in a contradictory fashion, “China wants to eat our lunch.”
So, we really have no choice but to get the economy going as fast and as safely as we can.
How do we do this? It’s a matter of absolute necessity, but we have to do it so as to minimize the risk to the health and lives of our citizens. Here are some steps to consider:
- Test everyone in the country for presence of the virus. There are several companies making test kits now with Abbot Labs being the most well known. One of their test kits can give results about the presence or absence of the virus in minutes, but we don’t need speed we need accuracy.
- Check everyone for the presence of antibodies to the virus. While we do not as yet know if antibodies confer life long immunity, the likelihood is good that the presence of antibodies will confer at least some immunity for a least a season. Remember that it is likely that this virus will return on a recurrent, if not seasonal, basis much like the flu.
- Get our pharmaceutical industry to work full speed on antiviral agents as the priority. This will likely be more important than a vaccine. We know that influenza vaccine are not completely effective. In fact, some studies show that the so called “flu vaccine” is only effective at most 60% of the time. That is likely to be true for any coronavirus vaccine we come up with in the near future. Limited studies and anecdotal reports on the use of hydroxycholoroquine and azithromycin are encouraging. We should continue to study these drugs as we go forward using them, but they may not be the complete solution so we need to vigorously study other antiviral agents. We can do this. We have the science and the means if we make it a priority. Treat this as a real war like we did in WWII when we transformed out manufacturing industry in a matter as months.
- Retool our industries to make all the masks, PPE and ventilators we need now and possibly in the future. Never let us become dependent on any other country for any of the things we need. This country is blessed with all the natural resources we could ever need. As nation never let corporate greed supercede our needs as country. Never put profit before country. This is partially what got us into trouble now.
- As we test everyone for the presence of the virus and the antibodies, we have a better idea as to who is non-communicable and perhaps resistant to infection. Get these folks back to work as soon as possible, but retest them periodically until the pandemic is over and we have the antiviral medications we need to combat this virus and other which may yet come.
- Lastly, we live in an international community. There is no doubt about that, but that does not mean we have to follow the herd. It does not mean that we have to subjugate out rights and privileges for other nations. In fact, we should be wary of countries like China whose declared goal is to replace the US as the premier economic and military force in the world. We cannot let that happen, and we as US citizens have to realize this threat before it is too late. This pandemic should be a wake up call for all of us.