MetroFocus: April 7, 2020

SHELTER IN PLACE, SHELTER IN VIOLENCE: LOCKDOWN LEADS TO INCREASE IN DOMESTIC ABUSE

THERE’S A LOOMING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CRISIS AND WE HAVE OPPORTUNITY TO GET AHEAD OF IT, SAYS ADVOCATE SELVARATNAM

SELVARATNAM: STAY-AT-HOME ORDERS ‘ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL’ TO SAVE LIVES BUT THEY PUT MANY WOMEN IN GREATER DANGER

ADVISES VICTIMS TO CALL 911 IF THEY ARE IN DANGER OR HAVE BEEN PHYSICALLY HARMED

Quarantines and shelter-in-place orders meant to protect public health may be fueling abusive relationships. The United Nations is reporting a ‘horrifying surge’ in domestic violence worldwide. Law enforcement officials in many cities across America report domestic violence increased in March as the pandemic spread. In New York, the mayor’s office reported a spike in online visitors to the city’s domestic violence resource website. For weeks, advocates have been sounding the alarm that the outbreak could also be disastrous for people in abusive relationships and for families forced to isolate with their abusers. Tanya Selvaratnam, an advocate for domestic violence victims and one of four women to accuse then-Attorney General Eric Schneiderman of physical abuse, discusses the crisis and the urgent need for action.

PANDEMIC WAVES OF ATTACK ACROSS THE U.S.

ONLY OPTION TO CONTROL SPREAD RIGHT NOW IS SOCIAL DISTANCING, SAYS INFECTIOUS DISEASE TRANSMISSION EXPERT PITZER

SAYS WE MAY GET INTO PATTERN OF HAVING REPEATED NEED FOR DISTANCING UNTIL ENOUGH PEOPLE HAVE IMMUNITY

PITZER: VACCINE IS ULTIMATELY NECESSARY TO CONTROL COVID-19 IN THE LONG RUN

Federal and state officials say that large pandemics usually happen in three waves. COVID-19 is already in its third wave in the U.S. as it makes its way across major cities. First came cases on the West Coast, in Washington state. Next, New York City. Then onto Detroit, New Orleans, Chicago and Atlanta. With COVID-19 case numbers climbing and millions sheltered in their homes to slow the spread — many are asking the obvious question: How long will this last? Virginia Pitzer, who is an expert in infectious disease transmission, joins us to help answer that question.

Aired on April 7, 2020. 

TRANSCRIPT

> UP NEXT, METRO FOCUS.

WE'RE WORKING FROM HOME BUT WE'RE DEDICATED TO BRINGING YOU THE IMPORTANT STORIES ABOUT HOW OUR AREA IS AFFECTED BY CORONAVIRUS.

THIS IS 'METRO FOCUS' WITH -- 'METRO FOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY --

GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO 'METRO FOCUS.'

I'M JENNA FLANNEGAN.

RIGHT NOW HOME IS THE SAFEST PLACE FOR PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD TO BE BUT ACCORDING TO EXPERTS AND ADVOCATES THAT'S NOT NECESSARILY THE CASE FOR PEOPLE IN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS.

THE UNITED NATIONS CALLING TO ADDRESS THE HORN-- HORRIFYING S OF ABUSE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS DURING COVID-19.

COMING UP, A WRITER, ARTIST AND PRODUCER WHO CAME UP WITH HER OWN ALE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST NEW YORK ATTORNEY GENERAL FIRST I WANT TO START WITH WHAT MIGHT START WITH WHAT MAY BE A BIT OF A GLIB QUESTION.

THAT IS, HOW ARE THESE QUARANTINES AFFECTING THE PEOPLE WHO FIND THEMSELVES IN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS, HOW IS THIS PERHAPS EXASPERATION BAITING THE PROBLEM.

THE STAY-AT-HOME IS ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL FOR SAVING LIVES BUT FOR MANY WOMEN THAT IS PUTTING THEM IN GREATER DANGER BECAUSE THE MOST DANGEROUS PLACE IN THE WORLD FOR THEM IS IN THEIR OWN HOME IF THEY'RE IN AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP AND THEIR CHILDREN ARE AT GREAT RISK AND ALSO WITNESSING THE VIOLENCE OF THEIR PARENTS.

SO IT IS A LOOMING CRISIS THAT IS A BIPRODUCT OF THE PANDEMIC AND THERE'S AN OPPORTUNITY TO GET AHEAD OF IT.

PLACES LIKE CHINA AND FRANCE AND SPAIN THERE'S REPORTS OF INCREASED DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND THEY'VE TRIED TO INSTITUTE MEASURES TO HELP THE SITUATION.

FOR INSTANCE, INSTITUTING THE CODE SYSTEM IN SPAIN.

GOING TO YOUR PHARMACY IN FRANCE, TO MAKE A CALL TO A HOTLINE, ET CETERA.

THESE ARE ALL MEASURES WE NEED TO BE MAKING MORE KNOWN HERE.

OF COURSE, AND WHEN IT COMES TO MEASURE THAT'S ARE BEING MADE MORE KNOWN HERE, NOW, A COMMON PRACTICE AT LEAST THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE BEEN TOLD IS, IF YOU ARE IN CRISIS, IF YOU ARE FINDING YOURSELF IN TROUBLE CALL 911.

NOW WE'VE ALREADY HEARD FROM THE NEW YORK CITY POLICE COMMISSIONER THAT THEY'VE SEEN A DECREASE IN CALLS TO 91 BUT AT THE SAME TIME THEY'VE SEEN AN INCREASE IN VISITORS TO THEIR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE WEBSITE.

FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE, WHAT DO YOU THINK THE SHIFT IN PEOPLE REACHING OUT FOR HELP WOULD INDICATE ABOUT THE SITUATION THAT THEY FIND THEMSELVES IN.

I THINK THE DECREASE IN CALLS DOESN'T NECESSARILY INDICATE A DECREASE IN INCIDENTS.

WHAT IT COULD INDICATE IS THAT THE VICTIMS ARE NOW IN A PLACE WHERE THEY CAN'T SAFELY MAKE A CALL.

THEIR ABUSERS ARE RIGHT BESIDE THEM MONITORING THEIR PHONES, AND THEIR ACCESS TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD.

THIS IS WHERE IT IS IMPERATIVE FOR PEOPLE WHO KNOW PEOPLE IN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS TO REACH OUT TO THEM AND MAYBE BE THEIR LIFELINE TO THOSE VICTIMS THAT ARE IN QUARANTINE.

THERE'S RESOURCES OUT THERE.

NATIONAL DOMESTIC HOT LINE, 1800799-SAFE.

THERE'S ALSO THE NEW YORK STATE HOT LINE.

WHICH IS, I'M GOING TO GET THIS NUMBER FOR YOU.

IT WAS IN GOVERNOR'S CUOMO DID BRIEFING.

IT IS 800-942-6906.

THOSE ARE SOME RESOURCES OUT THERE.

WHEN WE GET THE GUIDELINES ABOUT HOW TO NAVIGATE THIS CRISIS IN TERMS OF OUR PERSONAL HEALTH, WASHING OUR HANDS, WEARING MASKS, SOCIAL DISTANCING GUIDELINES, THERE'S SHOULD ALSO BE GUIDELINES ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE BECAUSE WOMEN AND CHILDREN ARE MORE AT RISK DURING THESE VERY, VERY DEVASTATING TIMES.

OF COURSE, AND NOT ONLY WITH THE QUARANTINES, BUT I WOULD ASSUME THAT ALSO WITH THE UNCERTAINTY AND THE JOB MARKET, PEOPLE MAY BE LOSING INCOME, ET CETERA, THAT COULD ALSO BE ADDING STRESS TO SITUATIONS AND RELATIONSHIPS THAT ARE ALREADY INCREDIBLY STRESSED.

SO MY NEXT QUESTION IS, EVEN THOUGH AS YOU JUST DESCRIBED, NOT ALL DOMESTIC ABUSE IS IN THE FORM OF PHYSICAL VIOLENCE, FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE EXPERIENCING PHYSICAL VIOLENCE THERE'S A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF APPREHENSION ABOUT GOING TO HOSPITALS AS WE HEAR ON THE NEWS ER RG ROOMS ARE OVERWHELMED AND THERE'S NO MORE ROOM AND DOCTORS ARE STRETCHED TO THE LIMIT.

WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO PEOPLE WHO MIGHT FIND THEM SELVES IN NEED OF MEDICAL ATTENTION?

MY ADVICE IS WHAT THE EXPERTS ARE SAYING.

IN AN EMERGENCY, IF YOU ARE IN DANGER, IF YOU HAVE BEEN PHYSICALLY HARMED, CALL 911.

THAT REALLY IS, AT THE MOMENT, THE BEST RESORT.

AND I'M HOPING THAT OUR GOVERNMENT REALLY TAKES THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN VERY SERIOUSLY RIGHT NOW.

THOSE WHO ARE IN SITUATIONS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.

FOR INSTANCE, CANADA ANNOUNCED PART OF ITS COVID-19 ECONOMIC RELIEF MEASURES IT WAS LOCATED $40 MILLION TO SHELTERS AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ORGANIZATIONS.

THAT'S A REALLY IMPORTANT STATEMENT.

AND I FEEL LIKE CAN FOLLOW EXAMPLES LIKE THAT.

OF COURSE, OF COURSE.

I WAS ALSO WONDERING IF YOU COULD TALK TO ME A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHAT SOME VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC ABUSE MIGHT BE EXPERIENCING, NOT JUST BASED ON YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE, BUT JUST I GUESS, STATISTICALLY.

A I UNDERSTAND, A BIG PROBLEM FOR WOMEN COULD BE PUTTING THEMSELVES SECOND AND THEIR ABUSER BEFORE THEM, IN TERMS OF NEEDS AND CARING ABOUT WHAT HAPPENS.

ALSO THERE'S THE ISSUE OF SHAME.

A LOT OF PEOPLE DON'T WANT THIS TO BECOME PUBLIC.

THEY MIGHT BE HESITANT TO ASK FOR HELP OR GO TO A SHELTER IF THAT'S NECESSARY.

WELL, I WANT TO TALK ABOUT SOME OF THE STORIES I'M HEARING THAT ARE HAPPENING RIGHT NOW THAT SHOW KIND OF AN INCREASE IN THE TENURE AND INTENSITY OF THE ABUSE THAT WOMEN ARE EXPERIENCING.

FOR EXAMPLE A CALLER'S DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOT LINE TALKED ABOUT HER HUSBAND THREATENING TO THROW HER OUT OF THE HOUSE TO EXPOSE HER TO THE VIRUS.

ANOTHER WOMAN TALKED ABOUT BEING FORCED TO WASH HER HANDS UNTIL THEY BLED.

ALSO WE'RE HEARING ABOUT INCREASE IN SALES OF FIREARMS AROUND THE COUNTRY.

PERPETRATORS OF GUN VIOLENCE ARE OFTEN PERPETRATORS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.

THESE ARE ALL SCARY INDICATORS, BUT WHILE THEY'RE SCARY INDICATORS I DO BREF THERE ARE SOLUTIONS AND WE NEED FOR OUR STATE AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENTS TO SUPPORT THEM, TO PROVIDE THEM.

THERE'S FAMILY JUSTICE CENTER.

SANCTIFY -- CDC REPORT ONE IN THREE WOMEN EXPERIENCE ABUSE, STOCKING, BY AN -- STALKING, BY A PARTNER.

SHOCKING STATISTICS.

AND U.S. NAMED THE 10th MOST DANGEROUS PLACE IN THE WORLD FOR WOMEN.

THE ONLY WESTERN COUNTRY ON THAT LIST.

WE HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY DURING THIS PANDEMIC TO TRY AND BUILD A BETTER FUTURE.

TO ENVISION SOLUTIONS FOR A KINDER, MORE HUMANE WORLD.

WE'RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER.

WE'RE ALL IN IT FOR THE LONG HAUL.

WE CAN ENVISION SOLUTIONS TO HELP THE WOMEN AND CHILDREN WHO REALLY NEED US RIGHT NOW.

THOSE WHO ARE IN SITUATIONS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.

OKAY.

I'M SPEAKING WITH TANYA SILVER RUTMAN, WRITER, PRODUCER, ARTIST.

YOU HAVE A BOOK TITLED 'ASSUME NOTHING: A MEMOIR OF PERSONAL VIOLENCE' I WONDER IF YOU COULD TELL US ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL STORY AND HOW IT AFFECTED YOU AS A WOMAN.

I WAS ALWAYS SOMEONE WHO THOUGHT I WOULD NEVER PUT UP WITH ABUSE, AND THEN IT HAPPENED TO ME.

AND IT TOOK ME A WHILE TO SPOT IT, AND THEN IT TOOK ME A WHILE TO GET OUT OF IT.

IN BRIEF, I WRITE IN THE BOOK ABOUT MY EXPERIENCE OF ABUSE AT THE HANDS OF A VERY POWERFUL PUBLIC FIGURE, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL OF NEW YORK STATE, ERIC SNYDERMAN IT TOOK A OPENING UP OF A FRIEND WHO ASKED QUESTIONS THAT HAD ME OPEN UP AND WHAT SHE HEARD ME DESCRIBE MY EXPERIENCES SHE ASKED IF I WOULD BE WILLING TO SPEAK WITH A FRIEND OF HERS WHO IS A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE EXPERT, JENNIFER FREEDMAN WHO IS A LEGAL DIRECTOR AFTER SANCTUARY TO FOR FAMILIES, I REALIZED I WAS DEALING WITH ABUSE AND WAS PART OF A PATTERN AND I WAS ONE OF MILLIONS.

AS A SURVIVOR TOLD WHEN I WAS DEALING WITH MY OWN SITUATION, YOU'RE NOT CRAZY, YOU'RE NOT ALONE.

IN WRITING THIS BOOK I WANTED TO CONVEY THAT MESSAGE TO OTHER PEOPLE.

THE BOOK IS DESCRIBED AS A THRILLER WITH THE POTENTIAL TO SAVE LIVES.

I'M REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO GETTING IT OUT IN THE WORLD.

IT WAS SUPPOSED TO LAUNCH THIS MONTH BUT IS BEING DELAYED FOR VERY GOOD REASONS, WHICH IS THE THEME IS TIMELESS, BREAKING FREE FROM ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS BUT YOU CAN'T BREAK FREE WHILE IN QUARANTINE.

COULD INSTEAD I WROTE TO THE NEW YORK TIMES ABOUT HOW TO NAVIGATE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE DURING THESE CHALLENGING TIMES AND I LOOK FORWARD TO LAUNCHING THE BOOK WHEN THE TIME IS RIGHT WHEN IT CAN REACH THE PEOPLE THAT I'M HOPING IT WILL HELP THE MOST.

ALL RIGHT.

WELL, TANYA, WE'RE RUNNING OUT OF TIME.

BUT I WOULD LOVE IF YOU COULD REITERATE THE NUMBERS PEOPLE COULD CALL IF THEY FIND THEMSELVES IN CRISIS.

THE NATIONAL DOMESTIC HOT LINE AND OF COURSE THE ONE FOR NEW YORK STATE.

THE NOGS DOMESTIC HOT LINE IS 1-800-799-SAFE.

S-A-F-E.

AND THE NEW YORK STATE HOT LINE IS 1-800-942-6906.

ALSO, IF IT IS AN EMERGENCY CALL 911.

AND IF YOU YOURSELF CAN'T MALAYSIA THE CALL -- MAKE THE CALL FIND A WAY TO HAVE A FRIEND P USE A CODE WORD, LEG LET THEM KNOW YOU'RE IN DANGER.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE WORK YOU DO, WE LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR BOOK BEING RELEASED AND THANK YOU FOR JOINING US ON THE PROGRAM.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME AND HIGHLIGHTING THIS IMPORTANT JISHL AND I HOPE THAT NEXT TIME WE CAN DO THIS INTERVIEW IN PERSON.

ABSOLUTELY.

ME TOO.

THANK YOU, AGAIN.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

BE WELL.

WELCOME TO 'METRO FOCUS' I'M JACK FORD.

SINCE THE WORLD IS BESIEGED WITH THE CORONAVIRUS WE STRUGGLE WITH WHEN MIGHT IT END, HOW MIGHT IT END, ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS ARE COMPLEX AND ALLUSIVE, SO WE HAVE DONE WHAT WE ALWAYS DO, WHICH IS TURN TO SCIENCE TO HELP US IN THIS STRUGGLE.

WE'RE DELIGHTED TODAY TO HAVE JOINING US ONE SUCH SCIENTIST WHO HAS DEVOTED HER PROFESSIONAL LIFE TO THESE TYPES OF JURISSUE RESEARCH WRITINGS, WE'RE DELIGHTED TO HAVE AN ASSOCIATE YALT PROFESSOR AT SCHOOL OF HEALTH AND AN EXPERT ON THE DYNAMICS INFECTIOUS DISEASE TRANSITION.

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

LET ME START WITH THE OVERARCHING QUESTION, WHICH IS THE WHEN QUESTION.

WE HEARD SPECULATIONS OF WEEKS, MONTHS, EVEN YEARS SHALL AND WE HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THERE'S SO MANY VARIABLES INVOLVED HERE BUT GIVEN THE RESEARCH THAT YOU'VE DONE OVER THE YEAR AND LOOKING AT THE SCIENTIFIC MODELS THAT YOU'VE SEEN WHAT'S THE BEST SENSE OF PROBABILITIES OF THE TIME PARAMETERS THAT YOU CAN OFFER FOR US?

I THINK THAT WITH THE CURRENT WAVE OF CASES THAT'S OCCURRING RIGHT NOW THAT WE'RE PROBABLY LIKELY TO SEE A PEAK OCCURRING AT LEAST IN PLACES LIKE NEW YORK AND CONNECTICUT AND THE PLACES WHERE THE DISEASE IS REALLY SPREADING, KIND OF A LOT RIGHT NOW, IT SEEMS LIKE SOME OF THE SOCIAL DISTANCING MEASURES THAT HAVE BEEN PUT INTO PLACE ARE STARTING TO HAVE SOME AFBLGT AND THAT WE MAY SEE A PEAK OCCURRING IN SOME CASES IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS BUT WHEN IT COMES TO THE WIDER QUESTION OF WHEN THIS MIGHT PEAK ACROSS THE U.S., I THINK A LOT OF IT DEPENDS ON WHAT CONTROL MEASURES ARE PUT INTO PLACE, HOW QUICKLY THEY MAY HAVE AN AFBLGFECT AS AND HOW IMMUNITY COMES INTO PLAY TO LIMIT TRANSMISSION.

YOUR AREA HAS BEEN THE IMPACT OF INTERVENTION ON THE SPREAD OF DISEASES, WITH THAT AS YOUR BACKGROUND WHAT FACTORS WILL SPECIFICALLY IMPACT THE -- THIS PANDEMIC, AND WHAT IT MIGHT COME TO AN END?

I THINK THERE'S A NUMBER OF DIFFERENT FACTORS THAT REALLY KIND OF COME INTO PLAY.

PART OF WHAT WE'RE DOING NOW AND REALLY I THINK THE ONLY OPTION THAT WE HAVE NOW FOR CONTROLLING THE SPREAD OF THE SARS CORONAVIRUS IS TO INSTITUTE THESE SOCIAL DISTANCING MEASURES THAT REALLY ARE INTENDED TO PREVENT PEOPLE FROM CONTACTING OTHER PEOPLE, LIMITING THE NUMBER OF CONTACTS PEOPLE HAVE, SUCH THAT THEY'RE NOT SPREADING IT AS WIDELY WITHIN THE POPULATION.

AS THE NUMBERS START TO GO DOWN AND WE GET MORE OF A HANDLE ON TRANSMISSION THAT'S OCCURRING, INCREASING OUR TESTING CAPACITY SUCH THAT WE CAN IDENTIFY CASES AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE, MAKE SURE THOSE INDIVIDUALS, WHETHER THEY'RE HAVING SEVERE SIYMPSYMP OR NOT, ARE ISOLATED, STAYING HOME, NOT CONTACTING OTHER PEOPLE, AND THAT THE PEOPLE THEY'VE COME INTO CONTACT WITH STAY HOME, BECAUSE THEY COULD POTENTIALLY BE SPREADING IT WITHOUT KNOWING IF THEY ARE INFECTED.

TO SOME THAT MIGHT SOUND COUNTER INTUITIVE.

YOU SAY AS THE NUMBERS GO DOWN IT'S IMPORTANT WE INCREASE TESTING.

WHY IS THAT SO, JUST EMPHASIZE THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THAT.

I THINK WE NEED TO BE TESTING A LOT MORE NOW, BUT I THINK THAT THE FIRST WAY TO REALLY GET THINGS UNDER CONTROL IS JUST TO CLAMP DOWN AS HARD AS POSSIBLE ON EVERYONE TO LIMIT TRANSMISSION JUST BECAUSE A LOT OF THE CASES THAT ARE CONSIDERING TODAY ARE REALLY REFLECTING TRANSMISSION THAT OCCURRED ONE OR TWO WEEKS AGO SO IT IS A BIT DIFFICULT TO GO BACK NOW TO THE CASES OCCURRING NOW TO SAY WHO WAS IT YOU WERE IN CONTACT WITH ONE OR TWO WEEKS AGO WHEN YOU MAY HAVE FIRST STARTED TO EXPERIENCE SYMPTOMS CAN OR EVEN BEFORE YOU STARTED TO EXPERIENCE SYMPTOMS, THERE'S SOME EVIDENCE PEOPLE WILL STILL BE INFERKS -- INFECTIOUS WITH THIS VIRUS.

I THINK BECAUSE THE INFECTION SEEMS QUITE WIDESPREAD AT THE MOMENT SOME OF THE MORE AGGRESSIVE SOCIAL DISTANCING MEASURES ARE REALLY NEEDED.

ONE OF THE QUESTIONS IS AS WE START TO RELAX STRICT SOCIAL DISTANCING MEASURES CAN WE THEN KEEP IT UNDER CONTROL WITH THE TARGETING TESTING, QUARANTINE CONTACT SITUATION..

EXPLAIN THE CONCEPT OF IMMUNIZATION AND HOW THAT CAN ENTER INTO THE EQUATION HERE OF WHEN THIS ENTIRE PANDEMIC MIGHT COME TO A CONCLUSION.

YEAH, SO I THINK THAT ONE OF THE REALLY NEED KIND OF IMPORTANT AND SOMEWHAT , YOU KNOW, DISCONCERTING THINGS RIGHT NOW IS THAT AS WE START TO LIFT SOME OF THE STRICTER SOCIAL DISTANCING MEASURES, IT MAY BE THAT WE SEE MORE CASES START TO INCREASE AGAIN BECAUSE NOT ENOUGH PEOPLE HAVE BEEN INFECTED AND NOT EVERYONE'S GOING TO HAVE IMMUNITY TO THE DISEASE.

SO WE MAY GET INTO THIS PATTERN OF HAVING REPEATED NEED FOR SOCIAL DISTANCING UNTIL WE GET TO THE POINT WHERE ENOUGH IMMUNITY HAS BUILT UP INTO THE POPULATION THAT INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE INFECTIOUS ARE MORE LIKELY TO COME INTO CONTACT WITH SOMEONE WHO ALREADY HAS IMMUNITY AND THEY'RE NOT ABLE TO SPREAD IT EFFECTIVELY.

BUT ULTIMATELY I THINK WHAT WILL BE NECESSARY TO REALLY CONTROL THE DISEASE IN THE LONG RUN IS TO DEVELOP A VACCINE AGAINST THE SARS CORONAVIRUS SUCH THAT WE CAN IMPART THAT I AM -- IMMUNITY TO INDIVIDUALS AND PROTECT THEM WITHOUT THE NEED TO HAVE TO ACQUIRE THE VIRUS THEMSELVES.

KWAE HEARD EXPERTS TALK ABOUT THE PROSPECT OF A SECOND WAVE AND PERHAPS EVEN A THIRD WAVE OF THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC THAT WE'RE STRUGGLING WITH NOW.

SO PEOPLE UNDERSTAND, WE'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT PAY WAVE MEANING WORKING FROM THE EAST COAST TO THE WEST COAST, WE'RE TALKING ABOUT A GLOBAL WAVE.

EXPLAIN THAT TO US AND EXPLAIN THE PROSPECTS OF IT.

YEAH, SO, I MEAN, THERE'S A VARIETY OF DIFFERENT REASONS WHY WE MIGHT START TO SEE MULTIPLE WAVES OF CORONAVIRUS HAPPENING.

ONE IS THIS IDEA BEHIND THE LIFTING OF SOCIAL DISTANCING MEASURES AND IF WE DON'T HAVE ENOUGH IMMUNITY IN THE POPULATION, IF WE GOT PAST ONE PEAK OF THE EPIDEMIC IS, KNOCK DOWN INFECTIONS, IF WE DON'T GET RID OF IT COMPLETELY GLOBALLY IT IS POSSIBLE BECAUSE THERE'S NOT ENOUGH IMMUNITY IN THE POPULATION AS THE VIRUS STARTS TO TRANSMIT YOU COULD SEE A SECOND WAVE HAPPENING.

ANOTHER POSSIBILITY IS ANO ANOTHER -- A NUMBER OF RESPIRATORY VIRUSES DON'T TRANSMIT AS WELL IN THE SUMMER, COULD BE IN PART BECAUSE SCHOOL KIDS PLAY A PART SPREADING THE FLU, WE DON'T KNOW THEIR ROLE IN SPREADING THE SARS VIRUS, BUT BECAUSE KIDS ARE NO LONGER IN SCHOOL IN THE SUMMER WE TEND TO SEE A DECREASE IN FLU CASES IN THE SUMMER.

ENVIRONMENT CONDITIONS ARE KNOWN TO AFFECT THE TRANSMISSION OF RESPIRATORY VIRUSES LIKE FLU WHERE FLU DOESN'T TRANSMIT AS WELL WHEN HUMIDITY TENDS TO BE HIGH AS IT IS IN THE SUMMER, SO WE MAY SEE LESS TRANSMISSION IN THE SUMMER PARTLY BECAUSE OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS AND PARTLY BECAUSE KIDS ARE OUT OF SCHOOL.

AND WHEN KIDS GO BACK IN THE FALL AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS BECOME MORE FAVORABLE AGAIN TO THE TRANSMISSION OF THE VIRUS THAT'S ANOTHER REASON WHY WE MIGHT EXPECT TO SEE A SECOND WAVE OF THE VIRUS COMING SOME TIME IN THE FALL OR WINTER MONTHS POSSIBLY.

AND THEN ANOTHER POTENTIAL REASON BEHIND WHY WE TEND TO SEE, SAY, YOU KNOW, MULTIPLE WAVES OF FLU HAS TO DO WITH JUST IMMUNITY WITHIN THE POPULATION.

THE TIME FRAMES ON WHICH WE MAY GAIN IMMUNITY FROM PREVIOUS INFECTION BUT THEN LOSE THAT IMMUNITY OVER THE COURSE OF A YEAR OR MORE.

WE'RE TALKING WITH DR.

VIRGINIA FITTERS, DOCTOR OF MEDICINE AND EXPERT IN SPREADING OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES.

WE TEND TO LOOK FOR COMPARISONS IN OUR LIVES, THIS IS WHAT WE HAVE NOW, THIS IS WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM WHAT HAPPENED IN THE PAST.

OFTEN TIMES YOU HEAR PEOPLE SAY HERE'S WHAT HAPPENS WITH SARS, HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED WITH MERS, HERE'S WHAT HAPPEN IN 1918.

ARE THERE IN FACT HARD PARALLELS TO WHAT WE'RE EXPERIENCING NOW TO ALLOW US TO MAKE PREDICTIONS IN THE FUTURE?

OR IS THAT NOT AT ALL POSSIBLE?

I THINK THERE ARE POTENTIALLY SOME PARALLELS.

-- THIS VIRUS IS QUITE DIFFERENT FROM THE 2003 SARS EPIDEMIC THAT OCCURS MOSTLY IN ASIA AS WELL AS IN CANADA WHERE WITH THAT VIRUS MOST INDIVIDUALS WHO WERE IN INFECTED ACTUALLY HAD VERY DISTINCT SYMPTOMS AND ENDED UP GETTING VERY SICK AND THEY ALSO DIDN'T SEEM TO TRANSMIT THAT VIRUS UNTIL RELATIVELY LATE IN THEIR COURSE OF ILLNESS, UNTIL THEY WERE PRETTY SICK WITH THE PARTICULAR DISEASE, AND BECAUSE OF THAT, IT WAS RELATIVELY EASIER TO CONTROL THAT SARS VIRUS BECAUSE WE WERE ABLE TO IDENTIFY CASES, ISOLATE CASES, AS WELL AS QUARANTINE WHEREAS WITH THIS VIRUS IT MAY BE THAT UP TO 60% OF INDIVIDUALS NEVER REALLY EXPERIENCE THE SEVERE SYMPTOMS OR THE DISTINCT SYMPTOMS THAT WE ASSOCIATED WITH COVID-19.

AND IT'S ALSO SEEMS LIKELY THAT INDIVIDUALS MAY BE INFECTIOUS WITH THE VIRUS OR THEY START TO EXHIBIT SYMPTOMS SO IT BECOMES MUCH MORE DIFFICULT TO CONTROL THE DISEASE THROUGH THOSE CASE ISOLATION AND QUARANTINE MEASURE THAT'S WERE INSTITUTED WITH SARS.

AND SIMILARLY WITH MERS MOST INDIVIDUALS WILL BE SYMPTOMATIC WITH THE DISEASE AND IT DOESN'T SPREAD AS EFFICIENTLY AS THIS PARTICULAR VIRUS DOES.

I THINK THE PARALLELS TO THE 1918 FLU IN A LOT OF WAYS ARE MORE APPROPRIATE BUT THAT WAS MORE THAN A SICENTURY AGO NOW, WAS QUITE A DIFFERENT TIME.

SO TO REALLY TRY TO USE THE LESSONS LEARNED DURING 1918 FLU PANDEMIC AND TO APPLY THOSE TODAY, SO MUCH HAS CHANGED WITHIN SOCIETY THAT IT'S A LITTLE BIT HARD TO SAY CAN WE LEARN FROM THOSE LESSONS THAT OCCURRED MORE THAN A CENTURY AGO.

THIS QUICK QUESTION FOR YOU, IF I CAN, ARE WE PERHAPS LOOKING AT SOMETHING HERE THAT MIGHT BECOME A -- A SEASONAL EPISODE IN OUR PANDEMIC OF SEASONAL FLUS, IS THAT A POSSIBILITY HERE?

I THINK IT'S CERTAINLY A POSSIBILITY.

WE KNOW THERE'S OTHER HUMAN CORONAVIRUS WHICH CAUSE SEASONAL ILLNESS WITHIN HUMANS AND CONTINUE TO CIRCULATE KIND OF EVERY YEAR CAUSE -- IT'S ONE OF THE CAUSES OF THE COMMON COLD.

IT'S NOT THE ONLY VIRUS THAT CAUSES THE COMMON COLD BUT IT'S ONE OF THE VIRUSES THAT DOES THAT AND IT'S THOUGHT THAT IMMUNITY TO THOSE VIRUSES ONLY LASTS ON THE ORDER OF AROUND NINE MONTHS OR SO.

SO NOW THAT THIS VIRUS, I THINK, IS WITH US AND HAS SPREAD GLOBALLY, IT'S LIKELY TO BE WITH US FOR A VERY LONG TIME.

WE STILL DON'T REALLY KNOW AND I DON'T THINK WE WILL KNOW FOR A WHILE HOW LODGE LIVED IMMUNITY MAY BE AFTER AN INDIVIDUAL IS INFECTED WITH THE CORONAVIRUS.

AND THAT WILL PLAY A REALLY IMPORTANT ROLE IN DETERMINING KIND OF WHETHER OR NOT WE MAY SEE SEASONAL OUTBREAKS OF THIS IN THE FUTURE.

RIGHT.

WELL, I SAID IN THE BEGINNING WE'RE LOOKING TO OUR SCIENTISTS TO HELP US UNDERSTAND, AND DOCTOR, YOU HAVE DONE A MARVELOUS JOB HELPING US UNDERSTAND.

IT'S A VERY COMPLICATED ISSUE.

I CAN SEE WHY YOU ARE SUCH A GOOD PROFESSOR, YOU DID GOOD JOB EDUCATING US.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US AND HOPE TO TALK TO YOU AGAIN DOWN THE ROAD.

MEANTIME STAY SAFE.

YEAH, YOU TOO.

BE WELL.

BYE.

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