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如果美国向欧洲学习,新冠死亡病例就会减少6万

如果美国向欧洲学习,新冠死亡病例就会减少6万

Rich Lesser 2020年08月09日
美国在遏制病毒和保护公民方面的失败之彻底令人震惊。

意大利一家医院的医务人员正在进行血清检测。图片来源:MARCO RAVAGLI/BARCROFT MEDIA—GETTY IMAGES

上周,美国又跨越了一个令人悲伤的里程碑。不仅仅是死于新冠病毒的美国人突破15万大关。更具象征意味的是,按人均计算,美国的新冠死亡病例超过了欧洲大陆。

欧洲拥有近7.5亿人口,是美国的两倍多。迄今为止,其新冠累计死亡病例超过20万。假如美国的死亡率与欧洲相同,就会有大约9万人死亡——比目前的累计死亡病例少6万。

欧洲比美国更早遭受新冠病毒的重创。欧洲在疫情初期政府犯了很多错误。但欧洲大陆现在的人均新发病例和死亡人数少太多了。

美国在遏制病毒和保护公民方面的失败之彻底令人震惊。多死了6万人是什么概念呢?它就相当于美国遭受了20多次911恐怖袭击(这起事件造成近3千人丧生)。

与许多其他疾病一样,新冠病毒对不同人群的影响不尽相同。

有两个特定群体最容易感染新冠病毒。第一类是健康脆弱群体,其中包括65岁以上或患有特定基础病的人。大约30%的美国成年人属于这一群体。健康脆弱群体的入院风险比65岁以下的健康成年人高出10倍左右。最高危人群(即65岁以上,并患有基础病的老年人)的入院风险大约是18-65岁健康成年人的30倍。

第二类易感群体是那些更容易暴露于病毒环境中的人,而其中有相当大一部分是有色人种。有充分的证据表明,新冠病毒在有色人种中造成的致死率远高于其他群体。就拉丁裔和黑人而言,65岁以下成年人的死亡率是白人的四倍以上。

为什么会这样?波士顿咨询集团的分析显示,只有不到15%的死亡率差异可以用潜在的健康状况或获得优质护理来解释,而这通常被认为是根本原因。相反,我们的分析表明,死亡率的差异主要是社区或工作场所的暴露风险升高,以及缺乏足够的测试等因素共同导致的。

要采取旨在保护美国人生命安全的措施绝非易事,但它毕竟不是火箭科学。商业圆桌会议概述了一系列行动,以使许多地区的学校重新复课,商家重新开业。我们必须坚持在室内戴口罩,避免大型聚会。我们需要采取更多行动来保护健康脆弱和更容易暴露于病毒环境的人群;相较于我们为维持奄奄一息的经济而耗费的巨额资金,这样做的成本简直不值一提。

这种改变包括向易感人群分发高质量口罩,将检测资源向这些群体倾斜,通过向最高危群体提供新服务来实现就地避难,确保为工人提供最有力的健康保护,并应用已知的最佳实践来最大限度地减少聚集生活环境中的传播。我们的模型表明,这些政策可以将住院人数减少50%以上,并使美国大多数地区能够安全、快速和公平地重新开放。

没有时间可以浪费了。本周,美国将再次发生两起911恐怖袭击事件。下周,再下一周……亦是如此。我们将看到许多孩子仍无法上学,这将对经济和社会造成长期的毁灭性后果。

美国现在必须改弦易辙。政治领导人应该共同努力,从过去的错误中吸取教训,切实保护好公众的生命安全,就像美国在其历史上多次做的那样。商界领袖也必须大声而明确地宣布,现在是采取行动的时候了。战胜病毒是拯救生命和生计、保护弱势群体,并负责任地支持孩子成长的核心所在。(财富中文网)

本文作者Rich Lesser是波士顿咨询集团首席执行官。

译者:任文科

上周,美国又跨越了一个令人悲伤的里程碑。不仅仅是死于新冠病毒的美国人突破15万大关。更具象征意味的是,按人均计算,美国的新冠死亡病例超过了欧洲大陆。

欧洲拥有近7.5亿人口,是美国的两倍多。迄今为止,其新冠累计死亡病例超过20万。假如美国的死亡率与欧洲相同,就会有大约9万人死亡——比目前的累计死亡病例少6万。

欧洲比美国更早遭受新冠病毒的重创。欧洲在疫情初期政府犯了很多错误。但欧洲大陆现在的人均新发病例和死亡人数少太多了。

美国在遏制病毒和保护公民方面的失败之彻底令人震惊。多死了6万人是什么概念呢?它就相当于美国遭受了20多次911恐怖袭击(这起事件造成近3千人丧生)。

与许多其他疾病一样,新冠病毒对不同人群的影响不尽相同。

有两个特定群体最容易感染新冠病毒。第一类是健康脆弱群体,其中包括65岁以上或患有特定基础病的人。大约30%的美国成年人属于这一群体。健康脆弱群体的入院风险比65岁以下的健康成年人高出10倍左右。最高危人群(即65岁以上,并患有基础病的老年人)的入院风险大约是18-65岁健康成年人的30倍。

第二类易感群体是那些更容易暴露于病毒环境中的人,而其中有相当大一部分是有色人种。有充分的证据表明,新冠病毒在有色人种中造成的致死率远高于其他群体。就拉丁裔和黑人而言,65岁以下成年人的死亡率是白人的四倍以上。

为什么会这样?波士顿咨询集团的分析显示,只有不到15%的死亡率差异可以用潜在的健康状况或获得优质护理来解释,而这通常被认为是根本原因。相反,我们的分析表明,死亡率的差异主要是社区或工作场所的暴露风险升高,以及缺乏足够的测试等因素共同导致的。

要采取旨在保护美国人生命安全的措施绝非易事,但它毕竟不是火箭科学。商业圆桌会议概述了一系列行动,以使许多地区的学校重新复课,商家重新开业。我们必须坚持在室内戴口罩,避免大型聚会。我们需要采取更多行动来保护健康脆弱和更容易暴露于病毒环境的人群;相较于我们为维持奄奄一息的经济而耗费的巨额资金,这样做的成本简直不值一提。

这种改变包括向易感人群分发高质量口罩,将检测资源向这些群体倾斜,通过向最高危群体提供新服务来实现就地避难,确保为工人提供最有力的健康保护,并应用已知的最佳实践来最大限度地减少聚集生活环境中的传播。我们的模型表明,这些政策可以将住院人数减少50%以上,并使美国大多数地区能够安全、快速和公平地重新开放。

没有时间可以浪费了。本周,美国将再次发生两起911恐怖袭击事件。下周,再下一周……亦是如此。我们将看到许多孩子仍无法上学,这将对经济和社会造成长期的毁灭性后果。

美国现在必须改弦易辙。政治领导人应该共同努力,从过去的错误中吸取教训,切实保护好公众的生命安全,就像美国在其历史上多次做的那样。商界领袖也必须大声而明确地宣布,现在是采取行动的时候了。战胜病毒是拯救生命和生计、保护弱势群体,并负责任地支持孩子成长的核心所在。(财富中文网)

本文作者Rich Lesser是波士顿咨询集团首席执行官。

译者:任文科

Last week, the U.S. crossed another sad milestone. It is not solely the more than 150,000 lives lost to COVID-19. It is that on a per capita basis, the U.S. has lost many more lives than Europe has.

Europe, a continent of nearly 750 million people—more than twice the size of the U.S.—has experienced more than 200,000 deaths due to COVID-19; if the U.S. had experienced fatalities at the same rate as the Europe, it would have lost about 90,000 people—60,000 less than it has by now.

Europe was hit hard earlier by the coronavirus than the U.S. was. Early on, European governments made plenty of mistakes. But the continent is now enduring seven times fewer new cases and fatalities than the U.S. per capita.

America’s failure to control this virus and protect its citizens is shocking. The 60,000 difference in deaths mentioned above is the equivalent of more than 20 September 11 attacks (in which nearly 3,000 people perished).

Like many other afflictions, COVID-19 has not affected us all equally.

Two particular groups are most vulnerable to COVID-19. The first of these is the health-vulnerable group, which includes those who are over 65 or have specific preconditions that make them more vulnerable to the virus. About 30% of American adults are in this group. The health-vulnerable population has about a 10 times higher risk of hospitalization than do healthy adults under 65. And those with the highest risk among us—individuals both over 65 and with preexisting conditions—are 30 times more likely to be hospitalized than are healthy adults aged 18–65.

The next segment includes those with greater vulnerability to virus exposure, or the exposure-vulnerable—who are disproportionately people of color. The disparity in fatalities from COVID-19 among people of color has been well-documented. For Latino and Black populations, the fatality rate for adults under 65 is more than four times what it is for whites.

What has been less discussed and documented is why. Boston Consulting Group’s analysis suggests that less than 15% of the difference can be explained by underlying health conditions or access to quality care, which are often suggested as the root causes. Instead, our analysis suggests that it is primarily due to a combination of heightened exposure risk—in communities or in the workplace—and a lack of sufficient testing.

The solutions to protecting Americans are hard, but not rocket science. The Business Roundtable outlined a set of actions to enable schools and businesses in many areas to reopen. We must consistently wear masks indoors and avoid large gatherings. We need to do more to protect our health- and exposure-vulnerable populations; the costs to do that are a fraction of what we are spending to keep the lights on in our moribund economy.

Such changes include distributing high-quality masks to vulnerable individuals, skewing testing resources to these groups, enabling shelter-in-place by providing new services for the most vulnerable, ensuring greater workplace health protections for workers, and applying known best practices to minimize spread in congregate living settings. Our modeling suggests these policies could reduce hospitalizations more than 50% and enable most regions in the U.S. to reopen safely, faster, and more equitably.

There is no time to waste. The U.S. is on track for two more 9/11s this week … and next week … and the week after that. And we are on track to see many of our children remain out of school, which will have devastating long-term economic and societal consequences.

We need to change tracks now. Our political leaders should work together and learn from past mistakes to make that happen, as the U.S. has done many times in its history. Business leaders must also declare loudly and clearly that now is the time to act. Defeating the virus is at the heart of saving both lives and livelihoods, protecting the vulnerable, and responsibly supporting our children.

Rich Lesser is CEO of Boston Consulting Group.

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