It’s been five days since I posted my first blog about the NBA’s approach to the coronavirus: were they prudent or did they panic? In light of recent developments it continues to be obvious they were prudent. In an environment that is being monitored by the minute, here are the numbers. From the start of my research this morning there were 9415 coronavirus cases in the United States. In less than two hours because of the increase in the ability to test there are now 10755 cases with 155 deaths. We now have over 50% of positive tests coming from three states: New York, Washington and California in that order with about 10% of all tests coming back positive.
From a global standpoint, Wuhan, China claims today as being the first day without any new cases of coronavirus. On the downside, Italy has now surpassed China in its death toll. There seems to be a slowdown in northern Italy while the cases in the south are going up due to less infrastructure and less adherence to the guidelines set by the Italian government.
As for U.S government intervention, the second coronavirus bill has been signed providing paid sick leave, unemployment aid and free testing. Two medical hospital Naval ships have been deployed to each coast. These will serve to help take the pressure off of medical facilities in New York and California. The great NBA owner of the Miami Heat and Carnival Cruise Line, Micky Arison has offered our government his help to provide ships with lots of rooms if needed. In total, we are looking at government expenditures in excess of 1 trillion dollars.
The most significant development in the last twenty-four hours is in the area of drug interaction. The U.S government has slashed the red tape usually required for drug research and clinical trials. This move is in response to a drug that has been used in the past for the treatment of malaria. Chloroquine and Remdesivir are now being expanded through the compassionate use program which cuts about 15 months off its normal timeline to be approved. Wuhan, China is reporting the development of Favilar, an anti-viral drug that has shown efficacy in clinical trials.
The French Health Minister, Olivie Veran tweeted a warning from a recent article published in The Lancet to not use Ibuprofen to reduce fever from coronavirus. The warning also came with the suggestion to use acetaminophen (Tylenol). To date, the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as most infectious disease experts, are saying there is little to no evidence that would suggest a link between Ibuprofen and worsening the effects of the coronavirus.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver stated this morning that the league could resume games by late June and run into August which makes Christmas the future start date for the 2020-2021 season. This makes all the sense in the world working with the current coronavirus infection curve of six to eight weeks. We should know significantly more in the next two weeks. There has been some criticism over NBA players being able to receive the Covid-19 tests while others must wait. The reasoning behind this came from public health officials concerned that players and staff were in direct contact with each other and the general public and then possibly traveled bringing the virus with them. They also used private labs to take any strain off of the medical system. This is much different from most of society that has limited contact with the general public in which the guidelines remain the same to only be tested if you are symptomatic. To date, six NBA players have tested positive.
The key to preventing the spread of the virus continues to be social distancing. You should also know the virus can also survive on metal surfaces like mailboxes, doorknobs and front gates for up to three days while twenty-four hours on cardboard and paper. After opening your mail or touching these surfaces, do not touch your face and immediately wash your hands. Last thought for today, although the coronavirus started in an exotic animal food market in Wuhan, China there is no evidence that it can be carried by domestic dogs and cats.