To this day, the coronavirus continues to generate more questions than answers. Experts are eager to explain what exactly COVID-19 is, how it was born and, above all, how to fight it to end a pandemic that has already claimed more than 264,000 victims worldwide. But the doubts we have regarding the virus continue to leave us feeling unprotected, about which some scientists try to offer certainty to reassure us.
This is the case of Dr. Tom Frieden, one of the most reputable in the United States. For more than 30 years he has been working as a doctor in the North American country and later became the director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the USA, where he was the person in charge from 2009 to 2017. Now, he is putting his knowledge at the service from the North American government, with the aim of offering answers to what is happening.
For this reason, he participated as an expert in a public appearance of The United States House Committee on Appropriations, which was collected by CNN, and in which he offered what he called “the 10 truths” that, today, are known about the coronavirus. They are as follows:
1 – This is just the beginning
In Frieden’s opinion, what has happened in the first wave of contagion is only the beginning of the pandemic. He calculates that it can last between two and three years and that, in that period, there could be much worse moments than those we are experiencing now, with a greater possibility of contagion and greater resistance to the virus.
2 – Lock up the coronavirus
He believes that the only effective way that has been found to stop the pandemic is confinement, which must serve to eradicate the virus from certain areas. It is essential, to continue advancing towards normality, that these already ‘healthy’ areas do not have relapses that make them go backwards.
3 – Use the data as a weapon
The control of information, especially of infections, it is essential to prevent an outbreak will become pandemic. For this reason, Frieden advocates making good use of the data and acting responsibly with them, carrying out policies that allow controlling the groups that show their first symptoms.
4 – Protect the ‘heroes’
Ensures that one of the fundamental ways to get control of the pandemic is that those workers who are in the front line of fire – doctors, nurses, police … have all the necessary protection measures against the virus. They are the first line of struggle to end the disease.
5 – Special attention to the vulnerable
Likewise, it is essential that people with the greatest possibilities of suffering a lethal coronavirus infection be protected from a hypothetical contagion, especially those over 65 years of age, a population in which the disease has wreaked real havoc. It is time to establish measures that protect you more than ever.
6 – Economic balance
One of the great consequences of the coronavirus is that, in addition to the health crisis, another economic crisis ensues. For Frieden, you have to combine restarting work with stopping the virus. Therefore, it is necessary to have a logical balance with both concepts: neither too much confinement nor too much economic openness.
7 – Hot spots, like New York
Different places around the world have been found where the disease attacks harder than in other parts of the planet. This is what happens in New York, where more than 320,000 people were infected. It is essential to understand why this catastrophe has been especially primed with certain populations.
8 – Public-private collaboration
It is very important that all available resources come together to fight the virus, especially in the search for a vaccine that can stop the spread. For this reason, the collaboration between public and private entities is essential to pool knowledge and means in the fight against covid-19.
9 – Do not forget the rest of the sick
Although the coronavirus attracts all, also the healthy one, Frieden warns of the importance of not losing sight of other patients, with pathologies other than covid-19. Despite the importance of the virus, at the moment the rest of the patients are not immune to the other ailments, for which resources must also be left.
10 – You have to be prepared
It is evident that, in the near future, there will be outbreaks of the disease and, who knows, if future coronaviruses can appear and even be more aggressive than covid-19. For this reason, Friedman considers that the mistakes made must be avoided: we must be prepared, technically and psychologically, for another similar crisis.