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Early numbers from state contact tracing suggest social distancing is working, governor says

COVID-19 Update: April 30, 2020

At his daily press briefing today, Gov. Baker said the state contact-tracing effort is now nearing the 1,000 people it had hoped to hire and that one early statistic from calls shows the importance of social distancing: Officials had expected every person who tests positive for Covid-19 to provider the names of ten people they'd been in close contact with for followup calls, but the average is just 2.

Coupled with other recent statistics - the percentage of people given Covid-19 probes who test positive and the hospitalization rate - and it shows "we have, in fact, bent the curve," he said. He added that the percentage of people who get a Covid-19 test who test positive has dropped from around 30% a few weeks ago to under 18% yesterday.

But hospitalization and ICU rates have plateaued, not gone down, he said. And he acknowledged that yesterday, Massachusetts recorded its highest one-day death total, so it's hardly time to re-open everything, he said.

Baker added that while Covid-19 is proving particularly dangerous and deadly for elderly residents, that's no reason for younger people to give up the fight. He said a lot of the patients in the state's ICUs are under 60 - "a lot!"

Also, after saying the one good personal thing that's happened to him during the stay-at-home advisory is that for the first time ever, his kids are reading regularly, Baker was asked about what he's watching on Netflix. Watch "The Biggest Little Farm," he advised. "It's magical, it's lyrical and it's beautiful."

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Comments

But I dont know how much more if this our economy can handle. Scary stuff.
How many small businesses are never coming back?

No matter how much the government spends trying to help, it is ultimately up to the individual and if is too difficult they might just throw in the towel.

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What impact would there be on the economy if we didn't take the measures we have taken so far? Seems that it would be far worse, with a lot more death.

A study (pending peer review) of the 1918 flu pandemic shows that the places that had the strongest responses to it ultimately had the better economic recoveries:

http://news.mit.edu/2020/pandemic-health-response-economic-recovery-0401

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It's still scary stuff .
Stay safe

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Sure, it’s a bit bleak now and will get worse but opportunity arises out of every crisis. This one will be no different.

The vacuum left behind by a closed business will be filled if there is a demand for it, perhaps by one that is more agile and resilient. Economic natural selection, although harsh and unpleasant, is going to accelerate.

Political change is in the air. Questions such as who can lead and who can’t haven’t been answered more clearly than now. Greed on all levels will be laid bare.

The pandemic will also provide the impetus for social change. Think about how those who lived though the great depression, how it shaped their lives and society afterwards. We are entering that type of an era and should be thinking about how things will look and function in the years ahead.

It’s not all bad - the upheaval this crisis creates is an opportunity to shape a more just and equitable future. Planning for the future inevitably provides hope, What do you want your future or your children’s future to look like?

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that the contact tracing will not help much at all. But it will make some people feeler better.

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Is your gut an epidemiologist?

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This is utterly irrational. Seriously, even if you're thinking with your gut instead of your brains, this is pretty dumb.

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Any epidemiologist or statistician could tell you that if you relax the rules for who can get testing, you'll end up testing more people who don't have whatever you're testing for. I'd be interested in knowing how many of the extra negative tests are for people who would likely test positive in a week or so as the disease progresses.

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That people with positive test results had, on average, two close contacts instead of the expected ten contacts - that does not show that social distancing is working. It shows that people ARE social distancing.
I believe that social distancing is working, but it is other data that will establish (or disprove) that.

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