As near as I can see, the Trump administration's coronavirus strategy—if it can be said to have a strategy at all—is to dither, doing the very minimum that the public health experts drive it to do well hoping that coronavirus will, like the standard flu, meltaway as the northern hemisphere warms up in the spring. This is a very low odds existential Bette to be making. If anyone has any insight into why they are making it, I would appreciate being dropped a line. Here we have somebody who knows what he is talking about explaining why this is the most draw-to-an-inside-straightish draw to an inside straight: Marc Lipsitch: Seasonality of SARS-CoV-2: Will COVID-19 Go Away on Its Own in Warmer Weather? https://ccdd.hsph.harvard.edu/will-covid-19-go-away-on-its-own-in-warmer-weather/: 'Even seasonal infections can happen “out of season” when they are new. New viruses have a temporary but important advantage—few or no individuals in the population are immune to them.  Old viruses, which have been in the population for longer, operate on a thinner margin—most individuals are immune, and they have to make do with transmitting among the few who aren’t. In simple terms, viruses that have been around for a long time can make a living—spread through the population—only when the conditions are the most favorable, in this case in winter. The consequence is that new viruses—like pandemic influenza—can spread outside the normal season for their longer-established cousins. For example in 2009, the pandemic started in April-May (well outside of flu season), quieted in the summer (perhaps because of the importance of children in transmission of flu), and then rebounded in September-October, before the start of normal flu season. Seasonality does not constrain pandemic viruses the way it does old ones. This pattern is common for flu pandemics. For the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, we have reason to expect that like other betacoronaviruses, it may transmit somewhat more efficiently in winter than summer, though we don’t know the mechanism(s) responsible. The size of the change is expected to be modest, and not enough to stop transmission on its own.  Based on the analogy of pandemic flu, we expect that SARS-CoV-2, as a virus new to humans, will face less immunity and thus transmit more readily even outside of the winter season. Changing seasons and school vacation may help, but are unlikely to stop transmission. Urgent for effective policy is to determine if children are important transmitters, in which case school closures may help slow transmission, or not, in which case resources would be wasted in such closures. Previously it was thought children were not easily infected with SARS-CoV-2. Recent evidence from Shenzhen suggests that children may be infected and shed detectable virus at about the same rate as adults—so now the only question is whether they transmit as readily. It seems likely the answer is yes, but no data as of this writing to my knowledge...


#noted #2020-03-23

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