It’s hard to imagine a time when we were scared about another contagious disease, but in 2003 many of us working in hospital preparedness were incredibly worried about SARS. Although the number of cases was initially low, some estimates show that 10% of infected patients died. When a group of researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security mapped out what widespread transmission of a SARS-like virus could look like in the U.S. it terrified them.
Bring on COVID-19. By the end of October, COVID-19 had infected more than 8 million people and killed more than 220,000 in the U.S. alone and we may still be less than halfway through the pandemic. The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) has predicted another nearly 180,000 U.S. deaths from October to February if current trends continue. The United States has 4 percent of the world’s population but about 20 percent of the COVID-19 infections and deaths.
Dr. Eric Toner, an internist, emergency physician, and senior scholar with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security wrote an with senior scientist in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Toner called “Seven Ways to Fix This Pandemic – and Stop the Next One. Although there is a political spin on the article, you can agree or disagree but the information is interesting at a minimum. Take a look at his 7-step plan to avoid the next pandemic! Stay the course, stay strong, stay well, mask up and stay tuned!