On Feb 19, I attended the University of Washington’s MetaCenter for Pandemic Disease Preparedness and Global Health Security’s public forum which took place on the campus of UW in recognition of the need to bring colleagues from “diverse disciplines” and sectors together to shed light on the rapidly evolving coronavirus epidemic. You can watch the video of this forum at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C04Ts8n0gXY&feature=youtu.be. There was an impressive group of speakers from our region who spoke on the subject. Among the list of speakers, we had many UW officials and professors, infectious disease experts, public health officials, deputy director of Global Health at the Gates Foundation, and former director with the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases. For more information on the speakers, refer to https://globalhealth.washington.edu/events?trumbaEmbed=view%3devent%26eventid%3d142017600. The speakers covered a variety of subjects, and the main medical treatment ideas they were discussing included the development of a potential vaccine and antiviral drugs. The speakers did bring up the subject of how extremely difficult it is to make safe and effective vaccines in a timely manner with a limited budget. Unfortunately, the panel of speakers did not include anyone from the alternative medical world, even though you would think by “diverse disciplines” they would mean allopathic as well as alternative medical professionals. I attended the meeting as an audience, and over the microphone during the Q&A portion of the program (at 1:51:00), you will hear me introduce myself, talk about my background in regards to epidemics/pandemics, and inquire if the doctors and the institutions involved in the forum had considered collaborating with the alternative medical community at all. You will hear the moderator asking the panel about alternative medicine (approximately 4.5 minutes after I asked my question, at 1:55:25 into the video), rephrasing and addressing my question to the panel. Unfortunately, of course none of the speakers had any comments at all in response to my inquiry. The moderator did thank me for my question. After the forum was officially over, I did talk to several of the speakers in person (who were all MDs). With the exception of a scientist on the panel that I had the honor of speaking with, none were interested at all in anything I had to say about alternative medical approaches to this pandemic threat. I did plant some seeds and the rest is clearly up to God.
Note that 1:52:30 into the video, someone from the audience asks about the capacity of our local hospitals to be able to treat coronavirus patients? The answer from the doctors on the panel is far from reassuring, but completely understandable and rather obvious- Our hospitals cannot truly handle a serious epidemic/pandemic! One hospital claimed a maximum of 60 patients, and another one (Harborview) 40 patients; and that is at a cost of “displacing other patients”. Then, another person on the panel goes on addressing the question of “what would a pandemic do our county if the epidemic was similar to the 1918 pandemic?” He went on by saying that based on their calculations, “there would be 200% of present hospital beds needed (i.e. twice as many beds as they currently have). No health care system in the world is able to meet that demand without drastic changes in the way we deliver health care, crisis standards of care and alternative care delivery models…” What’s shocking to me is that the panelists who were all doctors and/or professors all seemed to realize and acknowledge that we need an alternative solution to this potential threat, and yet when I inquired about any interest in alternative medicine, they had zero comments, and unfortunately did not appear to truly want to know what we could offer as alternative medical professionals.