Everyone is waiting for the vaccine. But this may not come out for 12-24 months.
However, we can still end the shutdown and re-start the economy, to a large extent, before the vaccine. Yes, before the vaccine.
We simply emulate countries such as South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore. Our governments’ refusal to do so is mind-boggling. These Asian economies are not back to 100%, but they are not shutdown nor trapped in their homes. They are going to work, school and restaurants. Albeit, there is a limit to the number of customers allowed in the restaurants, but Taiwan’s streets are bustling as can be seen at 5:33 in this video:
Our schools can be busy like this:
As of today:
DEATHS per million people:
One of our biggest mistakes was our refusal to wear masks. The WHO, CDC, American and Canadian governments told people to NOT wear masks if they do not have symptoms. This was a catastrophic mistake, because there is asymptomatic transmission and this has been known since January 30th. According to Columbia University, asymptomatic transmission could have been the source of 79 percent of the infections in China. The MOST IMPORTANT reason to wear masks is NOT to protect the wearer. It is to protect others. It is to stop people, who think they are healthy, from spreading the virus.
One by one, institutions, governments and companies are slowly waking up and coming to their senses:
- CDC finally reversed their recommendation about masks and admitted that there is asymptomatic transmission.
- Czech Republic got their entire country to wear masks in 10 days, flattened their curve and dropped their R (infection rate) from 2.5 to 0.8 from March 18th to April 15th.
- Austria mandated that all shoppers wear masks in grocery stores.
- Canada mandated that all airplane passengers wear masks.
- Walmart will require all associates to wear masks at work and will encourage customers to do the same.
This is the first step in emulating the Asian countries. Eventually, all governments will wake up, come to their senses and mandate that everyone wears a mask in public when within a few meters from others, and enforce it with fines.
Concurrent to this, testing will ramp up, as new technologies are coming out quickly, such as testing kits from Abbott Labs. Then contact tracing will need to be ramped up. How fast contact tracing can be ramped up is questionable because of the privacy laws and concerns.
Governments will eventually wake up and come to the their senses by levying fines or punishment to people who break quarantine.
If people still get infected, treatments will be coming out soon, such as Remdesivir, Ivermectin and maybe even HydroxyChloroquine with Azithromycin. Each of these have shown positive anecdotal results and are going through clinical trials. Each one will do different things and have different side effects. Therefore, they will likely be prescribed to different patients with different underlying conditions. When this happens, they will reduce the death rate.
In addition to the above, companies are working on over 30 different potential treatments and therapeutics. Eventually, the death rate will drop to be closer to the death rate of the flu. However, the infection rate of this virus is still very high, which can still cause more deaths than the flu because it infects more people and there is no vaccine. To reduce the infection rate, we need to wear masks, test, trace contacts and punish quarantine breakers.
Keep in mind that the small Asian countries are able to go to work, school and restaurants without treatments.
The Asian countries restrict travel from hot spots and screen essential travellers, such as business travellers. They put some travellers into quarantine and levy fines for breaking quarantine. We need to do the same. We are still taking in travellers with insufficient screening.
In schools, we should do what Taiwan has done, which is to put up plastic dividers on students’ desks.
Once the above measures are implemented, we can go back to work, school, restaurants, bars and re-start our economy, even without a vaccine.
It’s not that difficult. It’s far easier than putting a man on the moon. Masks and plastic dividers are low tech. Czech Republic got people to make masks at home. Even the most under-developed country in the world can make these. It takes a few days to pass a by-law to impose fines on quarantine breakers. The most difficult part is understanding why the WHO, CDC and our governments are not emulating countries that have controlled the spread and have not shut down their economies.
As Dr. Chris Martenson (PhD in Pathology) said many times: “it didn’t have to be this way”. Now, I say “it doesn’t have to stay this way”. It is truly astounding how we have made, not one, but two huge mistakes.
If you are sick and tired of being stuck at home, tell your politician to emulate these small Asian countries.