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Urgent!! Social distancing COVID-19

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  • Question: Urgent!! Social distancing COVID-19

    Dear Defcon Members,
    I use to love the quote "don't waste the hours of daylight to what you can do at night". With the years, and > 1000 24h/36h shifts as anesthesiologist and emergency physician later, I try to live an ascetic life or structured as you will, where sleep, healthy food and minimizing sensorial input are essential when they are accessible. I reality the day starts between 5-6 am where I train my 2 german shepherds fully skilled as personal protection working dogs trained to be teddy bears when they are not working or training (22/24h). Not that I live in a dangerous region or I am paranoid but accomplishing difficult tasks with another intelligent creature is very satisfying. Probably a similar satisfaction as interacting with you all. Back to the current reality:
    1. The covid-19 pandemia affects our view on health, disease, manufacturability of life, even for me being confronted with end of life every day multiple times
    2. This pandemia required essential and complex structural changes in patient flows in a hospital finding a balance between protecting fragile non-covid positive patients from the pregnant young women to the critical ill patient with abdominal sepsis AND all positive or potentially positive patients in need for exactly the same care plus the extra invasive care when they are covid-19 positive and become critically ill.
    3. Nobody has any clue what the next days will look like in terms of the number of patient admissions testing positive for covid-19. Here we are looking in the direction of the data science communities to better predict disease spreading taking into account that the numbers of covid-19 patients reported are far from the actually infected patients because a lot of patients have no symptoms but are potentially able to spread and the fact that the trigger to test for covid-19 is geographically different AND is changing over time.
    4. We try to use our skilled nurses and doctors strategically realizing that we are all exposed and that 10 weeks is a realistic range for a flue epidemic. Even with the best protection (personal protective equipment (PPE)) consuming a massive amount of hand sanitizers, gloves, FFP-2 and FFP-3 masks, goggles and face shields and biohazard clothing (beekeepers like) which make you sweat like hell, we are exposed more than anyone else at this moment and we need to stay healthy for some weeks, keeping our family free from infection.
    5. There are several efforts developing, testing new drugs or vaccins but there is no hope we will be able to use them even as compassionate use or whatever.
    6. We all failed by our premature GDPR, HIPAA, etc guidelines not being adapted to find a better balance between privacy and the global value of being able to study spreading based on smartphone sensors, gps, social media content in an early phase in order to prevent further spreading. Examples such as the twitter ebola spread analysis would be welcome.
    7. Additionally, the majority of the population is saturated with questions where chatbots could be helpful. (They exist, but more translations and locally adapted versions are welcome)
    8. We (my colleagues with me) all spend more time in the hospital than being at home, but everyone is proud to provide the care needed. They learn to have meetings by zoom etc, a step forward how funny this must sound for you all.
    9. Our future will be largely dependent on how we can prevent spreading. Additionally, recent social contacts (for Europe the diaspora a few weeks ago from ski holidays in Italy back home plus the carnaval festivities) are responsible for how the covid-spread is behaving. Therefore, (legal) ways if any to visualize the current and recent close (<1meter) interactions using smartphones (NFC?, bluetooth?gps?) or by analyzing social media content (image, date?) similar as previously ebola spread was demonstrated based on twitter messages are currently urgently needed. Although I am also active as datascientist and now full time covered by growing numbers of critically ill covid-19 patients, I kindly request you all to look for several ways to get this spreading clarified, even it represents a fraction of the reality, actually we have almost nothing to pro-actively identify cohorts at risk.
    10. As a physician I am confronted with privacy every day and it is not my intention to break any law!! I hope a few interested members are aware of the importance and are willing to solve this real world problem.

      THX !!!
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