Dr. Michael Osterholm is a public health scientist and an expert in the field of biosecurity and infectious diseases. He was recently a guest on the Joe Rogan Experience and had much to divulge about the rapidly spreading coronavirus, including the fact that it's about to get much, much worse.
Osterholm is the director of the Centre for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota. Osterholm has written several books on this subject, one of which is entitled, Deadliest Enemy, written after the SARS outbreak. He referred to the virus as a "harbinger of things to come," in the book and his other predictions have had staggering accuracy.
When asked by Rogan about the seriousness of the virus, Osterholm gave a stark warning about what's to come, "This is just the beginning. In terms of what hurt, pain, suffering, death has happened so far is really just beginning. This is going to unfold for months to come yet and I think that's what people don't understand."
"It's something that transmits very easily through the air. We now have data to show you're infectious even before you get sick, and in some cases, quite highly infectious, just breathing is all that you need to do." said Osterholm.
Osterholm was also quite critical of both the media and government's handling so far in terms of preparation of what's to come. Osterholm said the media is treating this virus like a "coronavirus blizzard," when the reality is that it will look more like a "coronavirus winter."
While many mainstream publications continue to tell the Canadians that they are at a low risk of getting infected, the research of Osterholm and his team at the University of Minnesota have drastically different findings. "This is going to be 10 to 15 times worse than the worst seasonal flu we've seen."
"We conservatively estimate that this could require 48 million hospitalizations, 96 million cases actually occurring and over 480, 000 deaths that can occur over the next 3-7 months."
Osterholm proceeded to read an email he received from a colleague at largest hospital in Milan, Italy, where they have now quarantined over 16 million people. The email describes the new protocols brought in to handle the pandemic, it reads,
"They're deciding who they have to let die, they aren't screening the staff anymore because they need all hands on deck and they have very small areas of the hospital dedicated to non-COVID-19 patients where they still screen doctors. Everybody else is dedicated to COVID-19 patients so even if they're positive, meaning that they are sick but they don't have a severe cough or fever—then they have to work. They are seeing an alarming number of cases of people in the 40-something age range and they are horrible cases, so we need so stop thinking this is only an old person's disease."
When Rogan asked if wearing face masks and gloves to prevent transmission is just nonsense, Osterholm swiftly responded by saying, "Yes."
It is transmitted through the air so gloves and a face mask are highly unlikely to keep you safe from transmission. Instead Osterholm says refraining from close contact with people is the safest option, he also advises that people opt not to attend large public gatherings.