Americans are hitting bars and bragging about not social distancing

Mark Kaufman writing in Mashable:

Uploads 2Fcard 2Fimage 2F1246073 2Fb5377b14 b959 45ad 89e7 36cf2e659f7e jpg 2F950x534 filters 3Aquality 2880 29‘The nation’s top infectious disease researchers have repeatedly warned, if not begged, Americans to practice social distancing as the contagious coronavirus spreads through the population. 

That’s because, due to a woeful lack of testing in the nation, no one knows how many Americans are infected — and the resulting respiratory disease (COVID-19) is 10 times more lethal than the flu. Sunday morning, Marc Lipsitch, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Harvard University, emphasized this point, noting that the true number of infections is certainly “much higher” than confirmed cases.

But, though some folks are social distancing, many still clearly aren’t. Some are even actively bragging about not doing it. This weekend, journalists and others reported that bars across the nation were packed in Boston, Chicago, Nashville, and New York City.

For those eager to ignore the recommendations of scientists who have squelched deadly virus epidemics in the past — like immunologist Mark Cameron who helped put SARS to rest — consider this: Between 20 to 60 percent of adults globally are expected to become infected, and some 15 percent of cases are severe or critical. It is people over 60 who are most vulnerable. So stopping the virus’ spread will help your older relatives or parents from falling extremely ill, or worse. 

“Social distancing is based on the principle of altruism,” Jason Farley, a nurse practitioner for the Division of Infectious Diseases AIDS Service at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, told Mashable last week. “Treating everyone around you like it’s your 80-year-old grandmother is the circumstance we need to think about.”…’

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