One American Citizen

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Monday, January 27, 2020

China's New Hospital and Coronavirus

      I just had to comment on the amazing project that China is undertaking in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak. They are building a one thousand bed, fully functioning hospital from the ground up in SIX DAYS. This is similar to what they did when they had the SARS outbreak in 2003. It has already been started and is expected to start taking patients on February 3, 2020. Four state run construction companies are tasked with the project. More than one hundred excavators could be seen in the time-lapse video, posted on the internet, working to prepare the former parking lot for the structure. As they learned with the SARS outbreak, it is imperative to isolate the effected patients until symptoms have subsided.
     Although this may be a temporary structure, it will have X-ray/CT scan capability and an ICU. It will be able to treat up to 1/7th of the infected population at any given time, keeping the patients out of the main hospitals to prevent the spread of the deadly virus. As could be seen in videos taken from around the quarantine zone, people are taking the lock-down seriously. Almost nobody was on the streets in the province.
     There are some serious concerns about this particular virus because the incubation period seems to be much longer than first thought. That means that you could be contagious for up to two weeks before showing any symptoms. With the amount of travel to and from China, it's a pretty safe bet that there could be many more infected people in the US than first thought. That is two weeks worth of airplanes coming from the Wuhan province that could possibly be infected with the virus. It appears the CDC is on top of it. The first case was caught in my region of Seattle. Luckily, that patient was smart and recognized the symptoms right away and went to the hospital. He was immediately put under quarantine and they have reached out to all known contacts that could have been infected. 
     Ive been thinking about this a lot the last few days, especially since there are a few confirmed cases in the United States. Could the US pull off such a task in that amount of time if it were necessary? Although unlikely, if the virus starts spreading like it is in China, our current hospital system would not be able to properly quarantine the infected. I am always reminded about how slow government projects move in the States. Just last year, our local government shuttered a main arterial road to rebuild it. The project replaced a 3/4 mile stretch and it took NINE MONTHS. That was nine months of having to find a different way home, nine months of fighting traffic that was already bad, made worse by the closure, and in my opinion, the road was better before.

Unfortunately I am not optimistic that our government could do what China is doing

-American Citizen
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