Coronavirus

To Open Or Not?

Angie Szumlinski Announcements, News

Assessing COVID-19 Risk Amid Confusion With Reopening

It is thought that 60-70% of the population will get infected with COVID-19 and develop immunity before the transmission of the virus will slow down, and to date only 5-7% of the US population has been infected.

Dr. Michael Osterholm, the founder of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, was interviewed by NPR on the risk of reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic. During the interview Dr. Osterholm discusses why there has been so much confusion with managing the virus impact and transmission in this pandemic. 

A few highlights of his interview include:

  • The COVID-19 virus is transmitted when we breath the air where the virus is present, not on environmental surfaces, packages or food.
  • Face masks and physical distancing remains the best practice to curb the spread of the coronavirus; he clarifies it is physical not social distancing.
  • Indoor air with large crowds, especially with loud voices, shouting and singing can enhance the virus being aerosolized.
  • Outdoor air dissipates the virus; anything that moves air is helpful.
  • Antibody tests currently have very poor results.

As states begin to loosen restrictions that were put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19 we have seen varying effects on cases of COVID-19. Many states are experiencing an increase in cases where other states are stable. Understanding that Pandemic’s may last for years, we need to figure out how to live with the virus as well as understand and accept that some will die from it. The public has been given information about the transmission of the virus on surfaces when in actuality, the virus is spread when breathing air where the virus is present. Thus physical distancing is vitally important even as we “re-open”!

Sadly, the coronavirus has been treated as a political issue even more than a public health issue. Maybe it is time to put down our “verbal weapons”, join forces and take on this pandemic head on. Let’s avoid politicizing the facts and simply do the right thing no matter what side of the aisle you are on.

Stay well, stay tuned and wear a mask!

Listen to the NPR interview and/or read his interview highlights https://www.npr.org/2020/06/17/879255417/amid-confusion-about-reopening-an-expert-explains-how-to-assess-covid-risk