Over the last few days I’ve been reaching out to multiple Physicians in our network to get their take on the truth behind COVID-19. Here is a message I received today from my brother Dr. Pankaj Chand MD, an Emergency Room Physician at multiple hospitals in Ontario. I feel it’s a great summary of everything going on:
Covid-19 is more serious than everything else except SARS which was 10X worse (and also originated in China) but due to experience with the last 4 or 5 pandemics ie. SARS, H1N1, MERS, WNV, Ebola, the WHO together with SoMe, and greater Chinese transparency, there has been a wider worldwide coordination of efforts.
The only impediment has been Science deniers like Trump/Pence and others who were afraid of the economic impact (Stock Market crash) and complacency of the West (incl. Italy/Europe) that has delayed an effective response and thus unnecessary deaths.
We have even had Western pundits (self-proclaimed experts) say that China’s and Italy’s sweeping travel restriction wouldn’t work when the Chinese clamped down on Wuhan and Hubei Province, built 1500 bed Hospitals in less than a week, sequenced the CoronaVirus genetics to start vaccine research work, etc.
The Italian response was delayed despite knowledge of China’s experience. The next smartest people were the South Koreans and Taiwanese/Singaporeans who understand that tracking people is key to preventing spread. Unfortunately, this rings hollow with people who are Privacy champions.
Thanks to the Chinese, we have the most useful data on CT-Chest characteristics of COVID19, infectivity patterns/epidemiology of disease, disaster planning strategies including isolation techniques, etc.
Germany and China have rapidly ramped up production and given green lights to companies to manufacture masks (incl. N95) and other PPE (Protective Personal Equipment incl. gowns, gloves, etc.) Meanwhile the US government has gutted funding for Health Services, disbanding the CDC in the USA and calling COVID19 a Chinese hoax.
My brightest colleagues in the US can’t even test for the Virus to get an idea of how widespread the disease in the US is because they don’t have test kits. The situation is far worse than most people think and the fallout medically will last into the summer. The economic impact from this will last more than a year.
The virus spreads fast so the Social Distancing thing does work to limit spread which is why allowing even gatherings of 50 or 250 is not good enough.
To answer your question more academically, there is something call R NOT (R with a zero subscript) which describes the relative infectivity of various diseases. This takes into account things called case fatality rates, etc. COVID19 is the actual name of the disease, not the name of the CoronaVirus which is called SARS-nCov-2.
To give you an idea of various ineffectivities, measles is far more infectious than nearly everything else and then the order is SARS>COVID19>H1N1>Influenza and out of all these, COVID19 does not have a vaccine.
Human trials are slowly underway but it might take 6-12 months before they can safely be used on humans even if multiple research centres around the world have developed vaccines (ie. China, possibly S.Korea, Germany), etc.
Here are some useful links I recommend:
SARS-CoV2 Incubation Period (Best objective data to date)
Current Worldwide Epidemiology
EVERY SINGLE CANADIAN CASE:
MOH (Ontario): https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus
JOHNS HOPKINS UNI: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html
PUBLIC HEALTH WATERLOO REGION HCP Resources
MOH (Ontario) Self-Assessment Tool
Canadian Public Health Guidance for Canadian Health Care Professionals (HCP)
CDC (US) HCP Guidance:
WHO Dedicated CORONAVIRUS Website
Dr. Pankaj P. Chand, MD FCFP(EM) Assistant Clinical Professor
About Dr. Pankaj Chand:
Dr. Chand is an Emergency Physician based out of Waterloo, Ontario, a Clinical Professor at McMaster University. He has been an ER Physician for over 30 years and he’s also Canada’s youngest ever graduating Doctor, completing medical school at age 20.