My Latest Reading and; Thinking about the Pandemic

I was disheartened listening to the New York Times Science & Health Reporter Donald G. McNeil on The Daily morning podcast. He is pessimistic and concerned about the progress of our fight against the coronavirus. In the USA, there are 20,000 cases per day and 1,000 deaths per day with the number of cases rising in 21 states. He pointed out the latest science on the virus shows indoor (no wind) transmission through tiny droplets in our breath is a big factor in the spread. This is not only through coughing and sneezing, but also talking loudly, laughing and singing. The CDC estimates 1/3 of transmission is via asymptomatic people. Both of those facts are a challenge for school. McNeil is particularly worried about the next big wave of Covid-19 cases. In the 1918 Spanish Influenza and other influenza epidemics, a more lethal and bigger wave of infection took place. 1/3 of all deaths from the 1918 pandemic took place between September and December. The only good news was the rapid development of a vaccine, with 150 candidates in testing. Governments are already supporting companies to build factories to produce huge amounts of doses once a safe and effective vaccine is found.

New Findings on Asymptomatic Spread

The findings, published in Annals of Internal Medicine, suggest that asymptomatic infections may account for as much as 45% of all Covid-19 cases, playing a significant role in the early and ongoing spread of Covid-19.

Science Daily (through AAIE Covid-19 Briefing #17
Courtesy of World Health Organization Uzbekistan

As you can see from the chart above, the number of daily cases in Uzbekistan has increased in June and has reached the highest numbers we’ve seen since mid-April. I speculate that the loosening of restrictions and the end of Ramadan celebrations are the causes of increased infections. Uzbekistan has reached over 5,000 cases, with around 1,000 active cases and 19 deaths. There are a small number of cases outside of quarantine centers here in Tashkent, 10 were confirmed on June 14.

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