Consulo Indicium - 10/16/20

Information for your Consideration… 

Data Speaks – The following graph comes from The New York Times. It is telling. Note that the largest increases in Covid-19 incidence in the October timeframe are emanating from the rural and small metro areas. Therefore the central USA is experiencing a dramatic increase. It is (most) likely that the spread in these areas is coming from the fact that the use of masks is far less frequent than in urban areas. Why? I’ll let you decide…

cases by county

 Data Speaks – Even More!! – And, if the above chart is not enough – YOU DEFINITELY NEED TO CHECK THIS CHART OUT!!  It says it all… It shows the march of Covid-19 through the nation and the incidence of cases. In particular, watch for North Dakota (my home state) as it arrives on the scene on August 8th, then surpasses California on September 12th for total number of cases and by October 2 (the last date of the chart) it is reaching for #1 status to unseat Florida and Alabama as the top producers of Covid-19 cases. It fits with the above chart – and, is a sad commentary. Folks (where I have heard that expression before?) – “Wear Masks!!” Stay tuned… 

The Rising Tide of Telemedicine and Telecare – The Annual Cleveland Clinic 2020 Innovation Summit was recently held, and the prominence of digital care delivery was front and center. Prior to the onset of the pandemic, the use of digital capabilities was percolating along but the outbreak of Covid-19 more than accelerated the consideration and the use of these tools. The tone of the meeting is that the acceleration in use by health care systems is only at the beginning. As an example, one of the speakers – Alistair Erskine, MD, Chief Digital Officer for Mass General Brigham wryly noted, “Virtual is the new black right now. We’re at the top of the curve. We went from 100 visits to 12,000 visits a day. But we still have to digitally upscale our providers and we still have to digitally upscale our patients – the ones that are not used to navigating across all these new technologies themselves.” True – but they are learning very quickly!!

Reskilling – McKinsey released a report on the issue of “reskilling” – or giving workers new skills. Their report comes on the heels of a World Economic Forum report which recently declared a reskilling emergency where they declared that more than one billion jobs are being transformed by technology. The Digital Revolution is essentially the Industrial Revolution on steroids!! Furthermore, the changes are covering the waterfront of jobs ranging from front-line workers to senior executives. Medicine is no exception. Again, the pandemic is touted as one of the major reasons for a heightened sense of urgency in skill building. Check out the McKinsey Report – it’s definitely worth a read.

Personal Protective Measures Make A Difference – A new study coming out of Thailand from the CDC Emerging Infectious Disease Report (November 2020) notes the following derived from a review of 211 case-control cases of the disease and 839 controls. Findings included: 1) Wearing masks all the time during contact was independently associated with lower risk for Covid-19 infection compared with not wearing masks, 2) wearing a mask sometimes during contact did not lower infection risk, 3) maintaining greater than 1 meter distance from a person with COVID-19, having close contact for less than 15 minutes, and frequent handwashing were independently associated with lower risk for infection. In sum: consistent wearing of masks, handwashing, and social distancing were protective against COVID-19!

What Type You Are Makes A DifferenceUSA Today recently reported some good news for people like my brother who have Type O blood. The reported studies come from an article published in the journal Blood Advances in a study out of Denmark. The researchers review over 2 million people in a Danish registry of Covid-19 cases. The study was confirmed by a similar study from Canada which show that blood Types O and B had better outcomes once infected. Long story short – my brother will fare better than me. I’m blood Type A+. Oh well. I’m wearing a mask when out and above (not that much) – see above

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