Covid 19 update 5-15-20

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The governor’s order to stay at home will expire at midnight tonight. However, he has advised those at highest risk to remain at home and I strongly agree with this recommendation. Modelling suggests Arizona will not see a decline in cases until June, and unfortunately the data is supporting that observation. While many of the new cases reported this week are the consequence of testing more people, we continue to see an increased daily death rate. According to the state health department website, some of this increase reflects an adjustment in the guidelines for registering Covid 19 deaths. Nevertheless, we are not seeing any decline in the parameters I believe are important.

When social distancing and stay at home orders were recommended back in March, the hope was to reduce and even eliminate the virus from the population. Now two months later, the strategy seems to have switched to one of containment only. We have recorded over eighty-five thousand deaths in the short span of just 3 months. By contrast, influenza (the flu) had an estimated death rate of thirty-four thousand in 2018-19, the last year for which statistics are fully available.

Certain countries have temporarily eliminated the virus from spreading. However, as we are seeing with South Korea, it does come back, and finding the balance between resuming normal life and controlling the spread of the virus is difficult. We will be dealing with this issue for months to come. At the moment, the only certainty we have regarding Covid 19 is uncertainty. There is some very interesting data though, and next week I will share that with you. For now, I wish everyone well and remind you to please call me either at the office or on my cell phone should you need anything. Take care.