:::WARNING::: Wordy Wheels posting and partial rant
I am terrified because my mom recovered from Stage 3 breast cancer and had a bunch of lymph nodes removed, so her immune system is compromised. Just getting a regular flu shot knocked her out for a couple of days, and she is 72.
Nobody knows for sure whether half the population is over or under-reacting and nobody knows for sure what the hell is going on is my take on it. I think the next three weeks will lay it bare. Three weeks ago, Italy had three confirmed cases. Now, it's a public health emergency there stretching their healthcare system to the limit. So if in three weeks, it hasn't gotten much worse here, it probably won't. But if it has ballooned big time to tens of thousands of cases, then we'll know it's a major problem.
The media are questioning the lack of testing, asking why is it that South Korea can test 10,000 people a day while we have only tested about that same amount in total thus far, but from what I understand, nobody knows the exact answer to that question. South Korea had a system in place from having dealt with the MERS outbreak some years back, and here in the U.S., they could have used the WHO test (World Health Org) but decided to use their own because it more distinguishes between the different types of coronavirus. An expert I was reading said he didn't think this was arrogance on the CDC's part, just the way that bureaucracy happens to work. However, then it turned out that the CDC test was defective, which created a bottleneck, so the problem now is there's no way to fully know the amount of cases in the U.S. at the moment.
There are also conflicting criticisms, for example some say that there is not enough centralized direction from the federal government on this, while others say that that is precisely the problem, that the state governments and the various private labs can't take action on their own without first going through the CDC and other such agencies, that it is too top-down. For example a lab run by a scientist in Washington state was able to test for the virus but had to get permission from the CDC to do so, who told her no. She waited I think three days, then decided to test anyway, and detected the virus, and now Washington state is one of the epicenters for the virus in the U.S. Yet even after testing and detecting the virus, the CDC still told her to stop testing.
Governor Cuomo of NY here for example said we don't want to have a "patchwork quilt" of policies across the nation, but then again, why not? Let each state figure it out and the federal government work off of that, IMO, as each state knows its requirements best. Let the lower ranks make independent decisions, if you will. My opinion though. So I don't think anybody knows what the hell they're talking about on it fully.
I think it is pathetic that they are running short of things like masks and supplies for the public health workers at the hospitals, I mean experts have been warning about a pandemic occurring for years now, but it seems no administration or government we've had has taken a really hard look at such a scenario saying, "Okay, what happens if the SHTF pandemic-wise..." they should have been stockpiling those kinds of things for years IMO. But that is just the government for you, I doubt any president in recent times has really thought about this and with Congressmen and Senators who demand Google executives explain to them why the iPhone has certain features and how exactly Facebook makes money, it doesn't surprise me. Also reminds me of New Orleans, how they had been told for years to build up the levees and never did.
I have built up a decent amount of supplies though I would suggest while not panicking, people take this seriously, just in case. Don't strip the shelves, but build up supplies now, just in case things really do hit the fan and a mass panic ensues.