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An Abundance of Caution

That – along with social distancing – is the phrase that will mark 2020.

So here’s where we are – typed as I wait to board a plane home.

This is from Johns Hopkins University; best site I’ve seen for current infection rates and locations.

What we know about Covid-19:

  • It is most dangerous for the elderly and those with underlying health conditions such as COPD, asthma, and other chronic conditions.
  • It is MUCH less dangerous for the rest of us.
  • The overall fatality rate appears to be between 1% and 2% – but may well be lower as we do NOT know how many of us are walking around with the disease and no symptoms
  • Most of the deaths in the US occurred in a nursing home in Washington state.
  • The epidemic appears to have peaked in parts of China, with fewer and fewer new cases appearing
  • Italy is hardest hit; the death rate appears to be about 8% – again that may be distorted due to inadequate testing.

What works

Social distancing – defined as staying a few feet away from others wherever and whenever possible.

Washing hands, covering coughs and sneezes, using sanitizers containing alcohol.

What we have to do

Be realistic. There’s a ton of happy talk out there about how this isn’t that bad, it’s a made-up crisis, and somehow all will be fine and it will disappear in April and a vaccine will be here shortly and .

That’s crap. A vaccine won’t be here for at least a year, hot and humid Singapore has a persistent outbreak, and Covid-19 is much deadlier than the flu.

But, Chill. This isn’t Ebola, SARs, or MERs. Yes it may be 10+ times worse than the flu, but it isn’t the black plague.

Tip service workers. Baristas, Lyft drivers, Uber Eats and Instacart workers, bartenders, maids are getting crushed financially. Help them out.

Be kind and thoughtful and nice.  We will get thru this, and we’ll be wiser for it.



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.



© Joe Paduda 2020. We encourage links to any material on this page. Fair use excerpts of material written by Joe Paduda may be used with attribution to Joe Paduda, Managed Care Matters.

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