As President Trump and governors across the country suggest the cautious reopening of America, with Georgia allowing some nonessential businesses to restart this past Friday, many Americans are wondering if things are moving too fast.
Dr. Mehmet Oz joined The Cats Roundtable to take stock of the current fight against COVID-19 and how Americans can begin preparing for easing restrictions in a future of a new normal.
“The main goal for us is to open the country when the American public has confidence that we’re doing the right thing,” Dr. Oz explained. “What they’re asking for is a concrete, understandable plan that they know can be followed.”
But Dr. Oz explains grinding the country to a halt again is not on the table, telling The Cats Roundtable that the U.S. can “fix the problem” by taking a step back without grinding to a halt..
His comments come as nearly 60 percent of Americans have expressed concern about reopening the country without a clear-cut plan.
That plan, according to Dr. Oz, would require widespread testing for the virus; along with ways to track those who have been infected, and those who have had contact with infected people.
“You have to have adequate testing to tell if you have hotspots,” he explained, adding that cases after the lifting of restrictions are all but certain.
“We have to be comfortable as a nation that we can identify people who are sick, take care of them quickly, but, more importantly, identify people they may have contaminated,” Dr. Oz said, comparing the early spread of the virus to a forest fire. “We’ve got to be able to smell the smoke.”
One of these methods includes antibody tests, which detect infection of the virus, that may have gone undetected, in someone.
These antibody studies have shown that those with antibodies vastly outnumber those confirmed to have had the infection.
Dr. Oz called this “maybe the biggest insight” of the past week, and shows the necessity of the caution being taken.
“We have to socially distance,” he said, “we have to wear masks, we have to pretend like people around us are infected, because they might not know they’re infected.”
As for the antibodies’ impact on the chance of someone contracting the virus again, Dr. Oz says the answer is still a guess. He pointed to studies in Korea that have shown those who have developed antibodies have gone on to contract the virus again.
“Now, did they never quite clear the virus? Or, is their immune system not strong enough to keep the virus away? We don’t know the answer to that,” Dr. Oz admitted. “However, we want to figure it out.”
Listen to the interview below