Interesting timing on this article (go read it, I’ll wait here) as just yesterday I had a friend of mine ask (via text) a lot of these same questions, which essentially boil down to, “Is this all just a huge overreaction?”
It’s a fair question and, given some of the extreme provisions that have been implemented, understandable. Especially when those implementations affect us personally. Those kind always elicit a feeling of “going too far” and, again, is understandable.
But my short answer to my friend yesterday was, “No, we’re not overreacting.” In fact, given the progress of COVID-19 across the world, I wish this administration had instituted these measures 2 or 3 weeks ago. I feel like we would be a lot closer to slowing down the spread of this thing here if we had.
This virus is highly communicable and, in some cases, deadly. Especially so to those who fall in the demographics of being older and/or have underlying medical conditions. The whole purpose of the “social distancing” advice is to reduce the communicability of COVID-19 so that fewer people overall contract the virus and thus fewer people infect others and ultimately reduce the pressure on the healthcare system to deal with those who are sick. Doctors, nurses, hospital beds and medication (when it becomes available) are all finite. So the fewer people who fall ill, the better for all of us.
In Italy, ventilator shortages (because so many people were infected) cause healthcaregivers to make horrendous choices as to who would get a ventilator and who would not, ultimately resulting in the death of the person who did not get a ventilator.
“Some doctors have said that they sometimes make the call on who gets treatment based on the age of the patient.”
I fear that, where countries like Italy are NOW is where the United States WILL BE in another 2 weeks. Those who feel we are “overreacting” may have a change of heart if the decision about who to treat comes down to their parent, grandparent, older sibling or loved one. I am hopeful that, if we fully implement and adhere to these measures that some view as “overreacting”, we will find ourselves in a much better position. The more we do, even if bothersome or painful, the closer we’ll get to flattening that curve we all keep seeing on the news.
If not, I think people a month in the future will be feeling that we did not “overreact” enough. I hope I’m completely wrong.