In this chart, we can see that, while the number of cases are still going up, they are going up more slowly. In mid-March, before the lockdown started, San Diego was doubling the number of COVID-19 cases every day. Right now, it takes over 10 days for the number of cases to double.
Since San Diego county has around 3,000,000 people, and since we currently have 1,696 known cases (which means we probably have around 15,000 cases total), we need seven or eight doublings before everyone gets infected, which means we currently have about 75 days to expand testing and treatment.
We can not end the stay-at-home order and restart the economy without there being more widespread testing. Right now, we are flying blind: We do not know the full spread of the virus, and we really do not know who has and who does not have the virus. This is why, right now, everyone has to stay at home except to get essential supplies, and why everyone should be wearing a mask in public. Because we have to act as if everyone has the virus.
Once we have widespread testing, the only people who will need to stay at home will be people who test positive for the virus. Once that is in place, we will be able to re-open schools and non-essential businesses.
Current numbers for the number of COVID-19 cases are available from The New York Times.
I know it’s hard to stay at home all day, day after day, but that is what we need to do to save millions of lives and give us enough time to treat everyone who will need COVID-19 treatment, and to find better treatments and more widespread testing.
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