Update on COVID-19 data along with two good fact-based articles

by Linda Hubbard on November 14, 2020

The Bay Area remains more fortunate than other parts of the state and country, and that is true for InMenlo’s coverage area. As of November 12, here are the number of cases to date: Atherton – 46; Ladera – 12; Menlo Park – 438; Portola Valley – 25; west Menlo Park – 13; Woodside – 42.

Menlo Park resident Peter Carpenter sent along two particularly interesting articles relating to COVID-19.

One is a terrific graphic presentation showing why preventing hot spots of transmission is key to stopping the pandemic.

Another is an article from the Wall Street Journal that discusses the “Swiss chess model” described as a “classic way to conceptualize dealing with a hazard that involves a mixture of human, technological and natural element.”

Explained the author of the article, Nicolas Christakis, who is a physician and sociologist at Yale University: “Controlling Covid-19 will take a good deal more than a vaccine. For at least another year, the U.S. will have to rely on a multi-pronged approach, one that goes beyond simplistic bromides and all-or-nothing responses. Individuals, workplaces and governments will need to consider a diverse and sometimes disruptive range of interventions. It helps to think of these in terms of layers of defense, with each layer providing a barrier that isn’t fully impervious, like slices of Swiss cheese in a stack.’

He continues: “Each layer of defense can reduce the impact of the virus. We know that, after stacking two slices of “Swiss cheese,” it might still be possible to look through the two pieces through a hole that happens to line up across the two slices. But after stacking, say, four slices, the random holes are much less likely to align.

“Of course, some layers — such as testing, masking and a good vaccine — are more effective than others, such as sanitizing surfaces. These are the Swiss cheese slices with fewer or smaller holes. But no single intervention is enough. Even after a vaccine is widely available, other interventions will still be needed, at least for a while.”

Here’s link to the full article (subscription may be required).


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