social, health, political imagery through the lens of G J Huba PhD © 2012-2021

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For the first 9 months of the covid pandemic, I used to consult one of the covid information websites about cumulative deaths at least hourly. I looked at about a half dozen of these sites to see how their models of future deaths diverged from one another. I understand how most of the math models work, whether the data used is of “excellent” or “bad” quality, and how to present the results so that they were accessible to most people.

Now I do the statistics exercises every couple of days. The numbers sometimes numb you so that you loose sight of the fact that every person counted is a soul who had a family and friends, worked often for the common good, loved many of the people they knew, had a great laugh in happy times, and in most cases went out of their way to help others out.

We need to honor and remember all of those who died from covid. Most were good people who were quite simply the victims of a virus that our scientists learned to control and our politicians ignored. Probably at least two-thirds of those who died would not have done so if our politicians had done their jobs and protected their constituents in ways public health and medical scientists recommended.

Rest In Peace. May those of us who survived covid always remember to honor those who did not by applying the knowledge we have gained about how to manage a pandemic in the future.

A comprehensive continuum of care is needed to provide services needed for many, if not all, infected by COVID-19 and their families. Not everyone will need all of the services shown in the mind map but many will require a large subset of these in addition to medical care. Case managers help link patients to both the medical and the social care they need to combat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a loss of income, stress on their families, child care for families with children, and many other services provided by most counties in the United State or through non-profit integrated care facilities, or charitable groups with many communications. The case manager will also follow up with all of the agencies helping the client (patient) to ensure they all have the same information and are communicating with one another in an integrated way.

The pattern of the overall service needs of individuals who become (or became) infected with COVID-19 is very complicated. This group probably requires continued medical monitoring for continuing or new symptoms of COVID, psychological counseling, they may need to be in a support group to help them deal with the trauma of treatment or having friends and family die, they may need help in dealing with basic needs (food, shelter-rent, childcare, and many other things). They might also require help getting a job or requesting unemployment or child care or healthcare payments from government and (former) employer services.

What would case management system look like when applied to helping those needing COVID-related help. Take a look at the figure above.

The next tweet deals with setting up an appropriate service system.

March 18, 2021. I published the blog entry below exactly one year ago (March 18, 2020) as the pandemic was just starting to be acknowledged in the USA. There are days I hate to be correct in my predictions. This is one.

It is very clear that in the United States, some of the money in the large Biden Covid Recovery bill must be spent trying to cut the pandemic-driven and all other domestic violence that has spread without check over the past year. The same psychological conditions that drive domestic violence also drive the racial hate that is out of control in the USA and the escalating hatred between Trumpists and other Americans. Just as the coronavirus is an escalating problem so are pandemics of domestic violence, psychological distress and disease, and hate. If the elected national officials of all political parties can rein in their dogmatism and hatred and promotion of social unrest, that could also help.

Isolating someone in their home with another person is a possible recipe for domestic violence. Keep them there for weeks-months, add in the use of alcohol and/or psychoactive drugs and the likelihood of domestic violence increases. Add in a possible gun and the violence can easily become fatal.

And during the coronavirus pandemic, police intervention will be less available to end an out-of-control episode.

There appears to be no real alternative to sheltering large numbers of the public in place during a viral pandemic. The long and intense frustrations of being sheltered in place do not mix well with alcohol, psychoactive drugs, and guns. During a viral pandemic, you can die from more things than just the virus.

Click on the image to expand it.