In some ways, counting infection reports is a risk for unwanted surprise.
They do not test the whole world, only portions of the world and portions of specific populations.
Counting deaths give more information. Perhaps even when deaths are miscounted.
Death numbers give us the ability to compare. Compare against previous years. Adjust the comparison for weather that time of year.
For me, it takes detachment. Seeing a death toll in relation to those that die of pneumonia year after year.
I grew up in a strange time. Television stations might show live heart surgeries during the daytime.
Surgeons thought skill and methodology could allow for complex heart operations. Operations where the patient would live.
Most died. They died because the equipment to pump blood in the patient damaged the blood cells.
The most successful heart operations were small and quick. Stop the heart. Make the correction.
Restart the heart. Completing the task in minutes, before the body suffered from not having blood flow.
People were dying from lengthy operations because the blood pumping machines destroyed the blood.
That is medical history.
So, I now will repeat something I heard. I do not know if it is true.
People getting very sick are being put onto ventilators. The way the ventilator is set up and run can cause damage to weakened lungs.
It was reported that the sickness can damage the lungs in ways similar to 'high altitude' lung tissue damage. On a ventilator (reportedly), that damage can be made worse.
Something that was supposed to heal, might add to the death counts.
In places where the medical staff are overburdened, asking for extra attentiveness… asking for skilled awareness. That might be tough.
If it were true, we do have other technology to help. We have connectivity. We can join experts all over the world with data and metrics. It would require agile use of information.
It might benefit from modeling to provide optimal treatment.
It would need to start with reliable data collection in those worst hit medical centers.
An effort not to directly combat the virus. An effort to improve the processes of care.
I hope we are up to this kind of task. Being mindful not to obstruct the doctors and health care givers, because their work is paramount.
If we fail the sick when they are completely helpless, because we overtax the staff. Because the equipment can be dangerous if not setup with caution. Maybe that would be the worst that could happen.