New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo admitted that he was stunned to learn from new research that 66% of the state’s new hospitalized coronavirus patients had been “sheltering in place” before getting sick.
Some cynics pointed out that it shouldn’t be shocking that if almost everyone is being forced to “shelter in place,” that a majority of any group will be people who were sheltering in place. But it also shows that, as I’ve mentioned before, Edgar Allen Poe was right in “The Masque of the Red Death,” that you can’t hide away from disease by locking yourself up in the house forever. Viruses will circulate, some people will be more susceptible than others and will get sick, and when they do, the worst cases will need to go to the hospital. It should serve as a reminder to the “keep the lockdown going for years” crowd that this was supposed to be a temporary measure to “flatten the curve” – that is, to stretch out the infection rate and keep a massive wave of cases from overwhelming the health care system early on, before we had treatments, ventilators or hospital beds.
We now have all those things, and surpluses of the latter two. It’s time to face the fact that some people will get sick and we’ll have to deal with it, but we’re much better prepared to do so. Most others won’t get sick, and that will create herd immunity, which will help defeat this virus, just as it does all viruses eventually. We don’t want the cure to be worse than the disease, but we may be nearing the point where hiding out and doing nothing while waiting for a cure is becoming worse than the disease.
By the way, something to bear in mind: as we do more and more testing, many more people who are carrying the virus will be identified. This is completely predictable, since we now know that it was much more widespread than we thought, so of course many more tests will identify many more people carrying it. This will be used by the left to claim that in states that are relaxing the lockdown, there's a massive second wave of cases, which is not necessary true. Particularly when the tests were conducted even before the lockdown was relaxed and we’re only now seeing the test results.