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As we recover from the COVID pandemic, it is important to recognize that much of the world population has been under severe stress from the pressure of dealing with deaths of loved ones, uncertainty, financial pressures, anxiety, depression, and fear.
The symptoms of psychological crisis in the past 15 months are not going away without professional help.
The following show some of the ways that help needs to be offered. If even 10% of the global population has been affected by psychological stress, we have huge issues to address.
Click the mind map to expand its size.
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.
Case Management and the Major Medical and Social Services Communities Need to Provide to Those Who Become Infected by COVID-19
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.
Case Management Can Pull Together the Many Different Service Systems Needed to Help Put the Covid Pandemic Behind Us
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.
PROJECTED COVID DEATHS IN THE USA
Feb 25 = 500,000
Mar 30 = 550,000
May 14 = 600,000
Projections from the IMHE Model (U of Washington) which includes the administration of vaccines.
Note: This post intentionally omits issues about sending children back to public schools. Those issues are covered in a second post under development.
Most of the problem issues in February 2021 are carry-over problems from the Trump administration that ended on January 20, 2021.
February 4, 2021
Trump is preparing for his second impeachment trial and still denying Biden is president. Biden is doing an excellent job fixing the huge mistakes Trump’s policies and incompetencies caused.
Help has started. Biden has had to spend the first weeks of his presidency fixing up all of the major problems Trump’s political views and incompetence created for his successor. Within the next two weeks a funding bill for Biden’s new policies and fixes to Trump’s disastrous mistakes will be passed.
Know that the immediate changes President Biden is making to the American response to covid-19 is stronger and much more scientifically correct than the 2020 response of President Trump. You and your surviving fellow citizens have a much better chance to avoid coronavirus and if you contract it, to survive the disease. You are finally hearing the truth from your president (Biden) instead of the lies from his predecessor.
Wear a mask. Socially distance. Don’t touch your face. Wash your hands.
Get vaccinated as soon as you are eligible.
COVID is not a political issue. It is a question of how many die. Do what it takes to save your friends, family, all others, and yourself.
2020 was one heck of a year. I documented my year in terms of themes and have shared them as blog posts with mind maps on this site.
Looking back, I should have also documented parts of the year as a visual diary.
I have started to look through my huge collection of Field Notes Books and my mind maps and my blog post and even tweets I sent out to recreate the year.
You will see the whole story later in this blog.
Here is a mind map of the kind of data I am collating from my personal observations over the course of 2020.
Somebody finally took the trash out.
January 20, 2021
Trump fled the capitol today.
Help is on the way. Biden came to the capitol and the first thing he did was to hold our first national memorial service for our 400,000 fallen friends, family members, acquaintances, and fellow Americans.
Rest in peace knowing that the immediate changes President Biden is making to the American response to covid-19 is stronger and much more scientifically correct than the 2020 response of President Trump. Your surviving fellow citizens have a much better chance to avoid coronavirus,
Change is good.
Roughly 12 million Americans have been given the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine that requires a second dose in 3 weeks (one producer) or a second dose in 4 weeks (one product).
According to the US DHHS, when a person gets a first dose, a second dose is stored for use in inoculating that individual for the second time 3 (or 4) weeks later . Trump’s band of idiots have been saying that for many months.
Today the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services revealed that they were not saving any vaccine for second doses.
After all, they only lost 12 million doses.
Donald Trump and his followers have cost the United States good relationships with our international friends and allies, the welfare of the citizens of the United States and the world, help to people from war zones and areas of natural disasters, and the consequences of our global population facing a pandemic spread around the world by the denial of Trump that the covid-19 virus exists.
The failures have occurred at a time when our friends and enemies are coping well with these problems.
This week, Trump incited a riot when he tried to take over the democratically elected government by force.
The United States has been a big loser in the war between the fascist government envisioned by Trump and our history of democracy.
Click the image to expand it.
How much do you think Trump is going to charge his various associates for a pardon? How much will he charge Putin for American state secrets and plans for our superweapons?
Trump has clearly set himself up for a post-Presidency business selling the secrets and property of the United States to the highest bidder. Or those to whom he owes the most dollars, rubles, pounds, euros, yen, yuans, or bitcoin.
Here is what I predict might be his business plan. Or that of Rudy.
Click the image to expand it.
The total number of covid-19 deaths in the USA is growing rapidly.
For the first time, I have personally experienced the devastation of having a family member die from covid-19.
Why is our death count rising so rapidly compared to the rest of the world?
The answer is very simple. Donald Trump and his cadre of sycophants are the biggest group of idiots and bigots ever tasked to run our national efforts in a catastrophe. Every task they needed to complete was totally botched. Really.
Click on the image to expand it.
Now that the physicians and virologists and Big Pharma have put together effective vaccines we need to get the vaccine into the arms of our fellow citizens. People are nervous about the fact that the super-fast development of a vaccine may have been possible by not taking the same care as has been provided in the past. They fear possible side effects and wonder if researchers have fully studied and discovered all of the potential problems. Horrible mistakes from the past were made when white scientists used black populations as their test subjects, often giving people dangerous drugs without any information about problems or any informed consent protections. Some don’t think that the information they provide during the vaccination process will be stored on computers by doctors or health organizations or the government for future research.
Behavioral scientists can easily notice issues like the one I discussed in this tweet on 12/18/2020.
The bottom line is that physicians and nurses spend decades in training and clinical residencies about how to treat patients once they come in the door to the hospital, clinic, or office. Their excellence is second to none.
The second bottom line is that both behavioral research and clinical behavioral workers spend decades in training and supervised experience in getting people to evaluate and trust medical professionals, treatments, and aftercare, and then come through the door at the hospital, clinic, or office. Their excellence is second to none.
The US national covid response committee formed by President-elect Biden is comprised of physicians and a few epidemiologists with public health degrees (and without medical degrees). In general, this group is inexperienced in reassuring patients and getting them to accept treatments that appear scary.
To develop the best possible covid response we need to include behavioral scientists (psychologists, social workers, public health facilitators, community organizations, counselors, and many others) on the advisory panels and in the implementation of the covid response. Someone afraid to walk through the door or not. convinced that a vaccine works is not coming in for an injection.
The issues and a possible plan for implementation are summarized below. Click the mind map to expand it.
or the same map in an alternate color scheme.
The response to the pandemic was botched in just about every way imaginable by the national, state and territory, and government agencies.
If there was a way to make things worse one or the other political party espoused it.
Covid was turned political as was mask-wearing and social distancing.
Half of America wanted to sit inside isolating themselves and working at home why still earning their salaries. Once in a while, they would come out to protest the lack of civil rights and related issues. They would wear masks and preach to non-mask wearers. And then go order online meals from restaurants and goods from Amazon. Having kids at home rather than in school or daycare became a major hassle because parents were trying hard to work at home. When distressed they could talk on video chats with their friends and families on their i-devices with fast Internet connections.
The other half wanted to go to restaurants, go to bars, go to grandmother’s house, and go to work, too. Many were unemployed and given insufficient emergency unemployment benefits and they wanted jobs not just for money but also for the social support from their work friends and the sense of belonging and self-worth a job provides. Many could not afford food and rent. On top of all of these stressors, it seemed hopeless because their major sources of emotional support were their family and friends and isolation meant they could not get necessary advice, counseling, and assistance from families and friends and those invaluable hugs from their family members. They had to deal with all of the issues associated with being poor (many for the first time) in the world’s richest country.
They fought over who would lead the country, whether those in-need should be represented by politicians from one of the two groups, who had access to what, whether taxes should pay for sufficient amounts of different types of services for those in need, and just about everything else.
The outcome of fighting and feeling bad and being angry and having to wait in food lines and having to provide homeschooling to their kids and worrying about their retirement and facing eviction and being unable to talk intimately with friends and family face-to-face clobbered the American people in both groups. In response they clobbered each other.
The outcome was inevitable.
Every little bit of time wearing masks will help you and me and our neighbors. Every little bit of aid to pay for food and housing and security will help you and me and our neighbors. Excusing medical expenses (through government payment) will help you and me and our neighbors. And the list goes and on. For each and every service there are direct and indirect ways that the service will help you and me and our neighbors.
We need to get our act together as a nation and as individuals. There is not a lot of time left. And if you think that vaccines are going to save us from our disorganization and hopelessness and hostility and stubborn behavior, you are deluding yourself. Full vaccine coverage will not come about until the beginning of 2022 or later and may never if a substantial percentage of Americans refuse to accept vaccination.
We are failing ourselves and our neighbors.
Time is running out. But we can still help you and me and our neighbors and maybe the rest of the world.
The dreaded day has reached us in the United States.
On November 19, 2020, death 250,000 occurred in the United States.
On December 14, 2020, less than a month later, death 300,000 occurred in the United States. Current statistical models indicate that a new spike in coronavirus deaths is just starting.
Whether you have been vaccinated or not, had an episode of COVID-19 or not, or have high-risk factors that might make you susceptible to COVID-19 episodes in the future there are measures you can take to minimize your chances to get infected for the first time or a later recurrence.
Use a mask, socially distance, wash your hands, and use some COMMON SENSE. Everyone will need to keep doing all of these behavioral interventions for a currently unknown time.
300,000 souls should not have been lost. We could have avoided the wildfire of COVID-19 infections. We didn’t.
Our highest priority should be for every person on the planet to work their hardest to make sure that COVID-19 transmission is slowed and then stopped.
To the lost family, friends, acquaintances, and those we will never know, we cherish your shortened lives and ask the Almighty Power that you rest in peace.
In the next 20 years, the world will experience significant change. After the shock of the coronavirus pandemic and its consequences, everyone alive knows that significant changes must be made in the next 20 years to our governments, distribution of services and wealth and opportunities. We must integrate all global development with a restoration of the global environment as it was before the industrial revolution.
It’s a hard job. The change itself will provide numerous opportunities. The creative destruction of what is wrong and the creative building of what is right will be fun to observe and participate in. Hope will spring out as we get a lot of the things right that we screwed up the first time.
Here’s what we gotta do. It’s possible. It will be fun and rewarding to fix.
Click on the mind map to expand the start of a plan and an emerging roadmap.
This is what we have to achieve this time. The inclusion of all. The distribution of services to all. A high-quality of life for all.
Presenting the ALL-STAR Team of Healthcare Professionals and Staff of the American Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
The healthcare professionals and those that support them are an incredible team.
They have the hardest jobs to do during the pandemic. Let’s give them the support they deserve. Every one of us must try as hard as possible to not force these over-tired people to have to do even more heroic acts.
Wear a mask.
Wash your hands.
Stop acting like a spoiled baby. Stay well, don’t overload our hospitals, protect our All-Star Team. We owe it to them.
Let’s help them win this war.
If other words come to mind that you would like me to try to add to the mind map, please tweet them to me at @DrHubaEvaluator or post them here.
Click on the mind map below to go to a highly related post that discusses the individual positions people in our All-Star team play. The full, additional post will appear in a new window and contains a description of the mind map.
Poster children for avoiding consequences (as long as they don’t blame Little Daddy).
The best of the best. Everybody is a star. The hardest working people in the medical services field.
The public health mitigation methods used to deal with COVID-19 are much more complex than the wash your hands — don’t touch your face — wear a mask — check for fever. — stay six feet away from others — do not congregate in groups mantra.
There are many “keys” to making such a simple set of procedures work. Hundreds of them.
The mind map below lists some of the keys to making the simple set of public health techniques work. Click the image to expand it.
How to Fix Problems Originating from the Fragmented Public Education Provided to COVID-19 Kids 2020/21
COVID-19 greatly damaged the educational experiences of US children throught out country. Some schools stayed open, some jumped around between classroom and online education, most went in and out of classrooms as the rates of COVID transmission went up and down since March 2020.
3rd grade is no longer 3rd grade in another county or state. Individual school districts set their own schedules and patterns of using the classroom as opposed to online teaching methods.
It is no longer possible to assume that all children learned the same basic skills by the end of 3rd grade.
We are going to have to individually and independently assess where each child is in their education as the pandemic winds down. Many children are going to need to repeat at least part of the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years because many schools could not even start to present all of the materials which are usually taught in the fifth grade. As anyone with school-age children knows, school districts were asked to almost immediately switch class from classrooms to the Internet without any additional resources or teachers or support personnel to help. Teachers and students were asked to do the impossible and many amazingly were able to do 50 or 70 or 90 percent of the impossible.
Unfortunately, in order to make out traditional educational system work, a fourth-grade teacher has to be able to assume that each child mastered certain materials in the third grade in order to manage a large class of fourth-graders.
Right now, the skills of our children are no longer in synchronization with the labels we use about their grade levels. Some are far behind what we would typically expect of children in their grades, some are almost at the typical level. It is likely that there are very few children who are not at least a small amount behind the traditional assumptions about what children can do at certain times during a school year.
The problems being caused by the way that schools have been opened and closed haphazardly will require some time and a lot of money to sort out.
Some of the major issues are summarized in the diagram below. Click on the image to expand it.
Like other retired people I have been at home since March (today is November 25). In the interest of not going stir crazy, regular crazy, and agitated crazy, I decided to expand my knowledge of Covid-19 and from the standpoint of basic disciplines like epidemiology and methods of mathematical modeling and ways of presenting information about the pandemic in a visual way so that there would be more accessible information for the general public than is available in peer-reviewed scientific journals. I also decided that I might as well let out my accumulated rage on Trump who caused tens of thousands of deaths from Covid-19 by denial, apathy, stupidity, crimes, and greed. [Whoops ….. there I go again.]
After all, there is only so much time you can spend watching sports played in empty stadiums, reruns of Battlestar Galactica, John Wick movies, and the unending din of MSNBC, CNN, Fox News, the 2020 election., and idiots going to spreader events.
So I decided to work on building up cognitive reserve and eliminating some of the holes in my brain caused by laziness, distractions, and current dementia. It was helpful for me.