As we all hopefully understand by now, with no vaccine the virus causing Covid-19 spreads to something like 40 to 80 percent of any population..
The key is managing the speed of the spread, and, thus far, it seems only China, possibly Japan and (hopefully) South Korea are managing this..
Italy, who today surpassed China’s death toll is showing the world just what happens to a highly resourced, well trained and funded medical system when the population it serves only belatedly changes its social behaviors..
We clearly don’t know enough yet, but it seems that even beyond the horrors of being forced to ration the specialized care facilities that are now needed there in multiples of what they have, there are other effects of a belated implementation of prevention that allow Covid-19 to become more lethal – the same occurred at the height of Wuhan’s earlier unchecked outbreak…
This is to say nothing of the effects of not being able to effectively respond to the other daily emergencies that critical care facilities are usually needed for – nor of the effects of the critical care staff themselves becoming infected at inordinate rates by having to work 24/7 without adequate protection or proper rest..
The United States has, all told, just under 100,000 ICU beds and a similar number of ventilators. Of course, no matter how much these two items are increased there are the non-trivial matters of increasing the numbers of trained teams to use them effectively – and the supplies of full protective gear to keep these highly valued teams from succumbing to Covid-19 themselves..