The Effective Executive I reference this book amidst starting this blog. As of this writing, Governor Gavin Newsom of California has now place a shelter in place order for the entire state of California. Gavin whom I personally remember back then as the first of Mayor of San Francisco who issued the first licenses in San Francisco for gay marriages. He was the first public official that took this drastic move and also the first hated one then. Decades after now recently elected as Governor of California, the prime example as exampled in this book, The Effective Executive. Added to this a week ago when San Francisco’s Mayor London Breed decisive action to enact this Shelter in place order first in the city of San Francisco.
Here lies examples of taking the bold steps, listening to the experts, standing at the models and numbers and artificial intelligence data scenarios. Reading the online article from The Atlantic on March 3, 2020, The Coronavirus Is No 1918 Pandemic
It’s been ages I left and told myself to stay away from being involved in public services but at times I can’t help it. I’m amaze how the differences between the global response to the Great Flu Pandemic and today’s COVID-19 outbreak could not be more striking. This article I quote, ” That year, as pandemic influenza ravaged communities as diverse as California and Kolkata, no one knew what was killing them. Theories abounded. Some suggested it was a misalignment of the planets. (That’s what gave us the name influenza, from the Italian word for “influence.”) Others believed the cause was tainted Russian oats, or volcanic eruptions. Microbiologists focused on a bacterium they had discovered decades earlier in the lungs of influenza victims, and called it Bacillus influenza. But they had merely recognized a bacterium that invades lungs already weakened from influenza. Not until 1933 did two British scientists demonstrate that the cause must be a new class of disease, which today we call viruses. Finally, in 1940, the newly invented electron microscope took a picture of the influenza virus, and for the first time in history we could not only name, but also see, the culprit”.
This is why I started commending the efforts of the Governor and Mayor based on this history notwithstanding waiting for federal government’s leadership. We also have another class of drugs available today: antivirals, which directly target the virus responsible for a disease. However coronavirus still has no vaccine or anti-viral as of today with challenges on testing and protective gears. The FDA announced today drugs on clinical trials such as those use for Malaria but then again time is the essence and this pandemic infection and death toll numbers go up daily and hours.
Today we understand the importance of infection control and the need to isolate patients to prevent cross contamination. This is why such drastic measures on social distancing and shelter in place has been pioneered in the bay area and now California. In this onset of no anti-viral and vaccine, all you can do is what everyone uses” flattened the curve”. In common lay men term mainly to stop the spread and infection by isolating and prevent the influx of patients to hospitals resulting to no beds to treat patients.
As I write this blog at this moment and time all we can do better as we wait for the epidemic to abate, social distancing, hand-washing, covering our mouths when we cough, and staying home when we are sick are all important, low-tech measures that we can take to reduce the chances of spreading the infection—and the fear that increases its damage.
Finally, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. A cure, vaccine or anti-viral will come and most likely sooner due to our great scientist and technological advancement. At times, spirituality and hope has to be between us as we come together as a nation.