March 28, 2020 CBC Second Opinion newsletter presents coronavirus updates

Many valuable sources of news are available as the coronavirus pandemic unfolds. Among such sources is the CBC Second Opinion newsletter.

The March 28, 2020 newsletter – which you can access here – highlights the following topics:

This week:

Why the case fatality rate for COVID-19 depends on where you live and how hard you look

What Canadian hospitals are doing to brace for a ‘storm’ of COVID-19 cases

How some cancer patients are coping with an indefinite delay in scheduled surgeries

I’ve been following news reports about COVID-19 with particular interest since early in March 2020. The CBC Second Opinion newsletter is evidence-based, easy to follow, and comprehensive.

Additional CBC article – a variation on ‘flattening the curve’

A March 27, 2020 CBC article is entitled: “COVID 19: Can we control the pandemic and move from ‘flattening the curve’ to ‘riding the wave’? Epidemiologists look at how we might control the coronavirus over the long haul.”

An excerpt reads:

Tuite and her colleagues at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto have been exploring a modified version of “flattening the curve” that might be called “riding the wave.”

Put simply, they’ve modelled a path the infection rate could follow that would allow the restoration of some level of physical interaction and normal social and economic activity.

“Instead of having everybody stay at home and work remotely and have children out of school, there’s the potential that we may be able to come up with some creative ways to basically return a little bit more to normal,” said Tuite.

It requires keeping tight restrictions in place until we’ve made sure that an early, intense peak of infections isn’t going to happen.

Lessons from Italy’s response (Harvard Business Review)

A March 27, 2020 Harvard Business Review article is entitled: “Lessons from Italy’s Response to Coronavirus.”

An excerpt (I have omitted embedded links) reads:

In an ideal scenario, data documenting the spread and effects of the virus should be as standardized as possible across regions and countries and follow the progression of the virus and its containment at both a macro (state) and micro (hospital) level. The need for micro-level data cannot be underestimated. While the discussion of health care quality is often made in terms of macro entities (countries or states), it is well known that health care facilities vary dramatically in terms of the quality and quantity of the services they provide and their managerial capabilities, even within the same states and regions. Rather than hiding these underlying differences, we should be fully aware of them and plan the allocation of our limited resources accordingly. Only by having good data at the right level of analysis can policymakers and health care practitioners draw proper inferences about which approaches are working and which are not.

Relatively few deaths in Germany (New York Times)

A March 28, 2020 New York Times article is entitled: “Germany Has Relatively Few Deaths From Coronavirus. Why? The country is not immune to the pandemic. So what explains its current low fatality rate?”

An excerpt reads:

First and foremost: Early and persistent testing helps. And so does tracking people.

An additional excerpt reads:

Both early testing and incubation of the virus among the young go part of the way in explaining why the country’s fatality rate is so comparatively low. “It’s how much and whom we test,” Martin Stürmer, a virologist who is the director of a lab that is running coronavirus testing in Frankfurt, told me. In general, countries that test less and reserve it for those already very ill, like Italy, have higher fatality rates.

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