Articles, Blog

LCCC Virus Expert Dr. Harry Kestler on the Coronavirus

March 11, 2020

Hi everybody. My name is Harry Kestler. I’m the professor of microbiology here at
the college. I’m also known as ‘Microprof’. And I’m also for the last thirty-five years
a molecular virologist. And it seems that a lot of people are interested
in viruses these days. I read every week, I read a journal called
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report stands
for, Morbidity for those of you who don’t know is disease. Mortality is death. Those are two real popular subjects I guess,
disease and death. And I’ve added a third column here and that
third column is misery. And I’m here to tell you that we have some
misery to go through in the next few days but we will come out the other side. I’m confident we will come out on the other
side on top of this. Now I have been doing calculations about for
the last month about what’s going on in China versus everywhere else. And I’ve come up with this, I’m looking at,
I’ve looked at cases, cases are sometimes under-reported so I went with deaths. So these are the number of people who have
died with COVID-19 virus which is the coronavirus that is currently around, and, and there’s
about four thousand total as of today. That number will go up as time goes on. And so what you can see here is these are
the number of cases in China and I want you to really pay attention to what’s going on
right there. This is real. And I’m going to plot more data as time goes
on. China is recovering. China has beat this. China, in fact President Xi stepped foot in
Wuhan City yesterday on the, on Tuesday, and he signaled Wuhan City, which is the epicenter
of this whole story is under control. Now that takes this to us. We’re Americans and we want to know what is
going on with us, and that shows you where we are. And I have to tell you where we are is, as
time goes on, we are about here. Let’s go to, let’s say, the fifth. The fifth of, of March. And if you draw back to this line here, that
corresponds to the fifth of February for the Chinese. We’ve got one more month. We’ve got one more month of misery to get
through. One more month from the fifth to get to the
point where we are, are where China is. Now some of you may be wondering about why
we’re doing what we’re doing. The net result is going to be, why the governor
chose to do, and all the schools and all the colleges have chosen to do what we are doing
is the following. If we do not do closures and some of these
social distancing protocols, we get a peak earlier. And the problem with getting a peak earlier,
you might say, well, why don’t we just suffer through it, you know, two weeks from now we
all either get sick or die, we either get better or we don’t. And the reason is, is because this is going
to be a massive strain on our healthcare capacity. We have only so many, we have only so many
infectious disease beds in Northeast Ohio. And so what we’re trying to do is actually
flatten the peak out, delay the peak, delay when the virus actually hits. It will, this is an inevitable thing. And so we may be longer than, this may be
longer than a month, but we will all come out better on the other side. And for those that are vulnerable, who need
healthcare, who need the emergency services, they’re going to be able to get those cases
a little bit better because we are, we will be at healthcare capacity, not above it. This scenario, we have more morbidity, more
mortality. So the idea is to blunt it so we get less
morbidity, less mortality. And so I encourage you all to wash your hands,
not touch your face. I have begun a protocol with my students that
if they see me touch my face they point it out and then I have to go and wash my hands. And so we should do that for each other. Social distancing is a distance of six feet. So if two people hold their hands out that
is about how far you should be. We are all trying to make protocols that will
keep our students safe and yet we will be able to do our job and get through this and
hopefully we all get through it together. I have a lot of faith in the people and the
students here at the community college. I think we will rise to the occasion and I
wish you all good heatlh. And thanks for listening. Have a good day.

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