March 27, 2020
Despite President Donald Trump’s call to put the economy back to work by Easter, one Johns Hopkins physician says there may have to be “variability” in when states and cities restart their economies.
“The best time to start opening up businesses is when we see that the numbers in an area start to stabilize,” said Dr. Juan Dumois, an infectious diseases physician at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida. “What really may be a practical thing to consider is different recommendations in different areas of the country, depending upon the disease activity in those areas.”
That could mean variability at the state level or local level, as the virus peaks at different times in its steady spread across the country.
In what has become the conventional wisdom of the medical community, Dumois reiterated that a combination of social distancing and testing is still the best option for halting the disease.
“The virus is spreading. It will continue to spread, but if we can slow it, we can try to manage the cases that come into the hospitals so that the hospitals are not overloaded,” he said.
Absent these measures, the doctor said hospitals will inevitably become overwhelmed.
“Eventually, some patients won’t be able to get the care they need,” he added.
But when or if this will happen in a given area is hard to determine as official projections change.
“We’re seeing changes by the week, and even by the day,” Dumois said.