COVID-19 Interest Group

March 26, 2020


Report to the club:

CIG Bulletin #1

by Tina Etcheverry 3/26/20

Below is a description of CIG, summarizing the message that Tina E. provided yesterday at our club meeting. Credit goes to Pate who said these things to her on the phone.

COVID Interest Group (CIG) is a forum to share information within Berkeley Rotary: to sift through information flooding the internet and news reports, recognizing the limitations in our expertise, and trying to address 5 specific areas:

1. Data, reviewing current rates especially for the Greater Bay Area and potential risks
2. Medical and Public Health
3. Mental health
4. Treatments and clinical trials
5. Assay development and testing

CIG plans to pass on messages to our Rotary Community on behaviors they can adopt to ensure their own safety and mental health.
CIG meets by Zoom conference calls every Monday at 4PM. Contact Tina E. by email if you want to be included in the invitation to our Zoom calls.

Tina also prepared something, based on the article from The Atlantic - March 25th written by Ed Yong. Her summary below.

Linda Cogozzo said "This is one of the best articles I've read.” Agreed. end/608719/

COVID19 is a widespread global pandemic and is leading to out-of-control, synchronous infections worldwide. It is disrupting our lives and will be a lingering part of American lives for years to come.

The failures are many
- Lack of testing to identify hot spots early in the pandemic
- Failure of people to adopt safe behaviors including social distancing - Lack of personal protective equipment for medical personnel
- Lack of ICU beds and ventilators
But there are success out there
- Rapid review and approval by FDA for new testing

- Data collection and tracking websites
- Private sector moving quickly to provide equipment to hospitals
- Local government making hard decisions like shutting down schools and businesses (shelter in place)
- Quick adaption of working from home and distance learning by children
- Scientists working full-time to create treatments, test methods, serological assays and vaccines

What’s in the future?
There will be simmering hot spots in the world for years to come, but not a total upheaval of society. We will have tools and behaviors to respond appropriately. This COVID pandemic is catalyzing social change. We need to prepare to address the mental health problems, including divorce, suicide, child abuse, depression, and self-medication by drugs and alcohol.

Please note that the above message is freely borrowed from Ed Yong’s article in The Atlantic March 25, 2020.

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