Insight, analysis & opinion from Joe Paduda

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We are out of time.

The time to shut the country down is now. The infection rate just increased 5-fold in 4 days; if that continues, by Wednesday – 4 days from now – there will be 125,000 confirmed cases.

A week from tomorrow there will be 625,000.

Four days later 3 million of us will be infected.

By mid-April, 20 million will have tested positive for coronavirus, and hundreds of thousands will be dead.

Think that’s nuts?

If anything, the actual infection rate is higher than reported – because we still don’t have enough testing capacity.

We do not have the medical facilities, staff, or supplies to handle several million COVID-19 cases simultaneously.  Our government has failed catastrophically, leaving every medical provider from the VA to major hospitals to nursing homes desperately short of everything.

No cure, medication, or vaccine exists – and none will be here until this time next year at the earliest, there’s been lots of media from irresponsible blowhards.

The latest – chloroquine – has been touted as a “cure” despite a) extremely thin evidence that it is effective in humans; b) it can be fatal; and c: according to National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci MD, None of the evidence has been collected through a controlled clinical trial, “so you really can’t make any definitive statement about it.”

This guy is NOT a medical doctor, he is NOT an “adviser” to Stanford University, the “research” was self-published and does not meet ANY standards for credibility.

All this is why we have to flatten the curve. If not, tens of millions more will be infected, the death rate will rapidly increase, and over a million will die.

If you detect more than a bit of anger here, you’re right. Two family members are nurses, both desperately struggling to prepare for the coming tsunami of cases. One is quarantined because there isn’t enough protective equipment, the other exhausted from days of overtime. And both know it will get a whole lot worse before it gets better – and that is terrifying.

The government won’t take responsibility, so we have to. Stop socializing. Go out only when you absolutely have to – and then act like everyone else has Ebola.

Wash your hands. Check on your neighbors, shop for those who are high-risk, call your family members and friends, and don’t panic.

It’s not all bad.  The response from regular people looking to do whatever they can to help out has been nothing short of wonderful. A local business here is using 3-D printing to manufacture face shields because there aren’t enough in emergency stocks (the owners are good friends).

And keep working at your regular job. It’s hard to focus…it’s also essential.


2 thoughts on “We are out of time.”

  1. Agreed, our government has failed the people of the country for decades. Not just in medical supplies, equipment and planning, but also spending Trillions of dollars that we don’t have (borrowing). Regardless of political ideology, we must join together and find a way to fund our federal govt efforts with only the tax proceeds that we collect. The difficulty for WC Claims professionals is in what to do next…many are graded and judged by a list of ‘best’ practices, much of which were created with a baseline understanding that appropriate medical care would be available, the challenge being finding the right clinic / doctor and getting things scheduled. What to do when the Claims Examiner cannot arrange for medical care, cannot aide or assist in the worker’s recovery efforts whatsoever? It’s time to work the phones and engage with recovering workers, every one of them. Let them know we are all in this together and that we have not forgotten about their injury, pain and healing.

  2. The cornerstone of public health in the USA is the County Public Health Department. They along with the States are supposed to be in charge of surveillance and monitoring local epidemics (i.e seasonal influenza) and world pandemics. The Federal Government is in charge of protecting the nation from invasion be it a virus or an enemy. Pretty simple but we like to complicate matters and go off on tangents. As for the infection numbers that is what can be expected with increased testing. Eventually with infectious diseases enough people are exposed to where the virus no longer has hosts. This does not preclude the sacrifice, and misery that this brings to peoples lives. I pray for everyone that is working hard to keep us safe. Stay safe and there is always light at the end of the tunnel.

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Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates



A national consulting firm specializing in managed care for workers’ compensation, group health and auto, and health care cost containment. We serve insurers, employers and health care providers.



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