We’re living in an unprecedented time and information is lacking. It’s lacking, because here at home in the United States, testing for COVID-19 hasn’t yet begun in an effective capacity. It was only just Friday, March 13 that President Trump declared a state of emergency.
As reported by CNN, Trump said on Friday that 5 million coronavirus tests would be available within a month. What are we to do until then while over 3,000 cases are currently reported as of Sunday, March 15, in the country?
The key is: in the absence of effective testing and therefore the data needed to understand the full scope of the virus’s impact on our community, we need to mitigate the risks. Meaning, we need to stay away from each other to contain the spread as best as we can.
These measures of shutting down schools, restaurants, sports, public gatherings etc. are not extreme given this lack of available information. They are our best chance at containing this thing in the absence of information, in the absence of testing.
Trump also said American retail executives would be donating resources to facilitate drive-through testing across the country. But those companies later said they had few details on what they could offer or when test kits would be available.
The country’s testing system has received stark criticism from health officials and people who said they were turned away despite showing symptoms. This article from The Atlantic sheds more light on the troubles around the delay in effective testing in the US.
And so, for now, practice social distancing as it’s our best chance to protect our loved ones.