Dr. Paul Carson: Hard truth regarding COVID-19


Dr. Paul Carson, professor of practice at NDSU and director of antimicrobial practice at Sanford, says there’s a hard truth coming out when it comes to COVID-19.

“The hard truth that we all have to come to realize is that it’s not going to be normal like we knew it for quite some time, maybe not ever,” Carson said.

Currently the incidents of COVID-19, along with the deaths, are falling. That is because, Dr. Carson said, of the rigorous stay at home and social isolations states are putting in place. He said, however, the opposite could happen when the states are opened up.

“As soon as we relax that (stay at home and social isolations), we will see the number go back up,” Carson said.

North Dakota has not seen a surge yet, and, when the time comes for state government to decide to reopen the state, Carson says “we have to be very smart about this.” Whether it comes to getting back to work, or protecting the most vulnerable, there is a lot to be thought about when it comes to resuming business across any state. North Dakota has a large percentage of people in this category, Carson said.

“We need to have conversations about how to get people back to work smart,” he said. “Can we attenuate it in a way that the impact is not severe, and we can start to turn the economy back on slowly.”

When asked about hospital beds being set up at the FargoDome and in Bismarck at the University of Mary, Carson says the models were wrong on the needs for hospital beds.

“We don’t need those extra beds right now,” he said. “I don’t see that changing in the future.”

How do we get to the herd immunity? Carson says 50 to 70 percent of the people need to be immune in order to stop the spread of the virus. He says there are only two ways to get to that level—by vaccination, which is currently not available but being worked on, or by infection.