The unfortunate thing about the global pandemic that we are currently experiencing is that everything seems to happen in slow motion, especially when you’re looking at the big picture.
The strain of coronavirus that causes COVID-19 appears to have a lengthy and fairly variable incubation period, with most symptoms developing 5-7 days after becoming contagious, but some cases have been asymptomatic for up to 14 days, all while still passing the virus around unwittingly.
This is precisely why prolonged social distancing is so important: We simply won’t know that we’re not carrying the disease until 14 days after our last journey into public, with the clock resetting every time we interact with others or with highly trafficked surfaces.
Now, with much of the nation working in tandem to prevent the spread of the virus, President Trump believes the peak of the crisis is only a few weeks away.
“The modeling estimates that the peak in death rate is likely to hit in two weeks. I will say it again. The peak, the highest point of death rates, remember this, is likely to hit in two weeks… Therefore, we will be extending our guidelines to April 30, to slow the spread,” the president said in the White House Rose Garden.
Saying his earlier hope that the country could reopen by Easter was “just an aspiration,” Trump added: “We can expect that by June 1, we will be well on our way to recovery” and that “a lot of great things will be happening.”
When asked about worst-case scenarios if the country were to remain closed indefinitely, the president responded, “You’re gonna have large numbers of suicides — tremendous [numbers of] suicides… You will see drugs being used like nobody has ever used them before, and people are going to be dying all over the place.”
It wasn’t all bad news, however.
On a positive note, Trump went on to note that “two of the country’s largest health insurers — Humana and Cigna — have announced that they will waive copays, coinsurance, and deductibles for coronavirus treatments.”
In a fight such as this one, even having the knowledge of when the peak could occur is likely a victory, and a luxury that those suffering through the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic certainly weren’t in possession of.