An increase in Covid-19 cases doesn’t mean social distancing isn’t working

The past few weeks have brought unimaginable changes in the lives of people in the United States. Americans everywhere are waking up to a new reality in which they cannot work or study outside the home and have to stay within a meter of others. More than 80% of Americans are subject to such a home rule.

People also see diagrams in the newspapers that show a rapidly growing number of cases. It’ll probably continue. The United States exceeded Italy and China in the number of confirmed cases in all countries.

The Americans may wonder whether these social distance measures will work if the number of cases continues to rise. The problem is that the number of registered cases does not correspond to the number of infected persons. People need time to develop symptoms, get treatment and tests and report the results. The effects of social distance are therefore unlikely to be reflected in the figures for some time. As an epidemiologist at the University of Michigan, I can assure you that staying home is one of the most effective ways to slow the spread of COVID-19.

One of the main reasons for the delay between individuals, which severely restricts their freedom of movement, and the decrease in new cases is that COVID-19 may have a long incubation period, i.e. the time between infection and disease. The average incubation time is about 5 days, but can be up to 14 days or more. This means that a person who was infected before the order to stay at home can only be diagnosed after a few days.

Tests with KOVID-19

Testing is another factor in the delay between the beginning of the social stratification and achieving results. Many Americans don’t even know if they’re infected with the new coronavirus – SARS-CoV-2. While the United States is finally increasing the production of test kits in government, public and private laboratories, there are strict criteria to determine who can be tested. Testing is mainly reserved for symptomatic persons, health professionals, first and second-line agents and the elderly. However, scientists have discovered an asymptomatic and presymptomatic transmission of COWID-19. A nurse is preparing a COVID 19 test kit in Richardson, Texas. AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez

The symptomatic spread may have contributed to the explosive growth of COWID-19 in the United States.

As the possibilities for screening are limited, the number of patients will generally increase as the number of people that can be tested increases, including people with benign and non-harmful diseases.

Finally, it is important to note that the ongoing trials with KOVID-19 take between 24 and 72 hours to come to a result. Even in China, where the tests are widely used, the average time between the symptoms and the diagnosis of Covid is 19 days. It takes between one and three days to get the test results, because the tests detect the presence of genetic material of the virus in the body of the patient. This requires replication of the viral genome using special laboratory equipment. Scientists are developing tests that look for signs that a patient’s immune system is responding to the virus, and these blood tests should yield faster results.

Faith can contribute to this.

Unfortunately, the number of cases will increase in the coming weeks, even though they strictly follow government guidelines to avoid contact with other people. Late reporting of issues can make people feel that their actions – staying at home and limiting personal social interaction – are not working.

When people think that what they are doing works, they are more likely to do it, a concept known as self-activity. It has proven to be an important predictor of human behavior. For example, people who expect to quit smoking are more likely to do so. As self-esteem decreases, people can become less motivated and less relaxed if they follow the instructions to stay at home.

Experiences with previous pandemics in the 21st century are very positive. Data from the 20th century show that people’s behaviour and attitudes change in the course of an epidemic. As the H1N1 pandemic progressed in 2009, people were less inclined to want a vaccine and felt less at risk. Researchers who conducted monthly surveys of Hong Kong residents during the SARS epidemic found that people’s perceptions of home and work efficiency decreased as the epidemic progressed.

Logo of the call

If Americans see an increase in the number of cases and feel that their own actions are ineffective, they may be less inclined to follow social distance. This could lead to an increase in human contact, which could make it difficult to control the pandemic. Hopefully large-scale tests and faster results will lead to a better understanding of who is and who is not infected with the disease, as South Korea has done so far. At the same time, the Americans should not increase the number of cases of COVID 19, so that their victims do not deserve support.

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