First, Danger. Later, Hope and Action.
Danger. Today, starting out with our baseline situation:
New COVID cases in the U.S. have never been higher, and are still on the rise. In Denver, for example, about 1 in every 60-70 people is currently infectious with COVID. So picture the grocery store: while the chances of encountering someone shedding COVID in October was low, now you are very likely to be crossing paths. That’s taking into account that people who have symptoms are staying home -- between asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic cases maybe half of infected folks are probably still out and about.
Cases and hospitalizations are already starting to overwhelm health systems. Why hasn’t the Convention Center opened up to accommodate surge overflow with the beds they have set up there? Not enough staff. That’s partly because hospitals are getting full, and partly because health staff themselves are falling ill with COVID, most likely due to widespread transmission in the community.
Kids under the age of 10 seem less likely to be super-spreaders, but can still acquire and spread COVID, including to peers and within families. Kids older than 10? Similar to adults as far as COVID transmission dynamics.
Right now Denver County and Cook County (Chicago) have similar COVID incidence rates. Chicago’s stay-at-home order has already been issued. Denver has a soft curfew coming online. What’s happening here? Probably a political impasse: Statewide action earlier in the pandemic came under heavy criticism from some corners, although likely representing only a minority opinion. Local jurisdictions (counties and cities) have it in their power to take further public health action, and it seems like the Governor is waiting for them to do so, while the locals themselves now want Statewide action.