Coronavirus update: Good news and bad news

Good news! And bad news.

There's still time to prevent a surge in coronavirus cases in the U.S., but are we on the right track?

Ashish Jha, who runs the Harvard Global Health Institute, says the response to the coronavirus has varied dramatically around the world. "Some countries have been very aggressive and have actually done quite a good job," he says. "Other countries have been quite lackadaisical and, I think, have suffered immensely from it. And I think there are lessons to be learned for all of us." 

How does he rate U.S. efforts so far? Well, there's room for improvement.
"Our response is much, much worse than almost any other country that's been affected," Jha says.

He uses the words "stunning," "fiasco" and "mind-blowing" to describe how bad it is. (NPR)

Physician on the Front Lines

click to enlarge Dr. Gretchen LaSalle
Dr. Gretchen LaSalle
Spokane physician and author of Let’s Talk Vaccines: A Clinician’s Guide to Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy and Saving Lives, Gretchen LaSalle has been blogging about the coronavirus, providing concise and practical information that has been widely shared on social media. Yesterday's blog had a different tone.
Trust me when I say that we need to take this situation extremely seriously. We need only to look to other countries, like China and Italy, to know that our healthcare system, particularly our ability to care for people who need intensive care, is going to be quickly overrun if we don’t do something to slow the spread of this virus. When resources run out, doctors will no longer be in the position of being able to save lives but will have to make the very difficult decisions of who to let go...
I am not trying to scare you. Truly, I’m not. But I want to impress upon you the seriousness of our situation. Please don’t take this lightly. Even if you are not in a “high risk” group, as a member of our human community, you have a role to play… a responsibility. We don’t need to panic. But we do need to take action. If I can convince you to practice the utmost caution, for your fellow citizens and for the wellbeing of those physicians and nurses on the front lines of this viral war, then the knots in my neck are well worth it.

Idaho Gets Ready

With zero confirmed cases in the state, Idaho legislators nonetheless are moving "at lightning speed to bolster the state's ability to fight the new coronavirus." They're starting with cash.

Meanwhile, Oregon's Gov. Kate Brown banned all public gatherings with more than 250 people for the entire state. The state has 21 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus illness.

Music Finds a Way: The Spokane Symphony @ Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Tuesdays-Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Jan. 10
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About The Author

Anne McGregor

Anne McGregor is a contributor to the Inlander and the editor of InHealth. She is married to Inlander editor/publisher Ted S. McGregor, Jr.