‘California would not have given those respirators if they knew that a really big surge was coming. Donating all of those ventilators was a big hint that things are better than they had seemed.’
According to an updated COVID-19 coronavirus study by the University of Washington’s Institute of Health, California is nearing the peak of the number of virus cases much sooner than originally thought.
A closer peak and a possible closer end to the lockdown
The updated projection, based on current data and figuring in social distancing will stay in place during May, has California peaking early on April 14th, 12 days earlier than the previous April 26th date. Nationally, the peak has also moved forward to April 15th, well ahead of the previous projected date of late April or early May.
These projections also show a total number of deaths in California from coronavirus at less than 1,800, a number that will assure hospitals of having enough ventilators and beds during peak days.
“Credit goes where credit is due,” said healthcare expert Dr. Ben Mu. “Love him or hate him, Newsom’s measures did lower the rates drastically here. We didn’t become the next New York. Even Trump and Newsom, who have plenty to fight about, have complimented each other on how they handled it, at least in regards to reducing spread. Trump is happy not to have to spend a ton on treating COVID-19 to a lot of people here, and Newsom was happy to get increased federal support.”
“We are not out of the woods yet at all, but this shows that the drastic measures worked. We need to keep following social distancing for awhile so we don’t accidentally trigger another spike and overwhelm hospitals to the brink again, but we’ll be on our way back mid-April.”
State sticks with mid-May peak date despite growing evidence against it
While Governor Newsom is still predicting a peak in mid-May, his projections are based off of studies before the latest UW study was released. Despite the belief in a mid-May peak, the Governor has nonetheless moved 500 ventilators out of California to the national stockpile.
“In times of crisis, it’s more important than ever we are the UNITED States of America,” tweeted Newsom on Monday. “CA is answering the call for Americans in NY and across the country, loaning 500 state-owned ventilators to those in need. I know, if the tables were turned, other states would be there for us.”
In times of crisis, it’s more important than ever we are the UNITED States of America. CA is answering the call for Americans in NY and across the country, loaning 500 state-owned ventilators to those in need. I know, if the tables were turned, other states would be there for us.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) April 6, 2020
“We thank California for this,” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo late Monday at a press conference. “That is the right attitude. That’s the only way we do this as a nation. We’re going to have to be flexible and handle the surge as it moves across the country.”
Healthcare officials also applauded the decision while also noting drawbacks.
“Santa Clara County up north really needs respirators right now,” noted Dr. Mu. “They’re being slammed and they don’t have the resources places like LA County has. I think we should have sent some there instead of the stockpile, but they’re getting additional help now too.”
“And here’s the thing; California would not have given those respirators if they knew that a really big surge was coming. They’re still giving a different peak date and higher projected totals, but they have to know what a lot of other places, including that new UW projection, are saying too to have donated all of those.”
“We’re going to see new California projections soon from the state. Donating all of those ventilators was a big hint that things are better than they had seemed.”
Lower projected deaths and positive steps to a coronavirus vaccine
Besides lower infected numbers both nationwide and in California, the UW projection also shows the nationally projected death figures going down from six digits to around 82,000. Medical tests for a future vaccine have also showing positive results with a Stanford blood trial well on it’s way, and human testing already beginning on two possible coronavirus vaccines.
While the state and country continue to suffer from drastic economic effects, the UW updated projections give a lot of hope for California as well as the rest of the country to get back to work and business as usual sooner than expected.
“We need the country to get back to work like it was doing in February,” said labor leader Rafael Mora. “All of my [other member] are out of work right now because of these freezes. But we felt better yesterday. We were previously told that we couldn’t get back on projects until July, possibly August. I got an email yesterday saying the beginning of June, and right now I’m trying to negotiate into May.”
“It’s still awful because it’s hurting everyone, but it’s getting better. We stuck it out at home and now it seems to be paying off for a better restart day. All we can hope for right now, right?”
California currently has a stay-at-home order ‘until further notice‘, but it is widely believed to last until sometime in May.