“We will not throw Grandma from the train . . .” quoted from Timothy Egan, author of The Worst Hard Time, from recent New York Times op-ed piece.
If just 1% of Americans were to die from COVID-19 because we did not act fast enough as a society, the United States would lose more than three million individuals. While they would be of all ages, those 65+ could account for 2,400,000 of these.
What should we have done earlier to prevent this potential tragedy? The same thing we need to do now but with more speed and alacrity.
Test, Isolate, Trace and Find
Testing that can immediately or within hours provide a diagnosis will be critical to separate the sick from the healthy. We must isolate the sick. We must then begin the process of tracing the people with whom they closely interacted, find them, test them and again isolate those who are sick.
Today I am making a plea for speedy introduction of immediate testing for any place where people live and are cared for by others. This is not only hospitals but any residential living or senior housing community. These communities house our Grandmas and they deserve a fighting chance. They can get that if we test them and the people who care for them. We must go on the offense to stop the disease transmission. This will save lives and money. We need massive testing not only for those with symptoms, but also for all. Otherwise, it may be too late for the frailest among us.
As Governor Jay Inslee of Washington stated ““We cannot let up on this virus. We’ve got to pound it and pound it till it’s done.”