April 19, 2020

Contrasting views

Interesting and disheartening news over the weekend of protestors in many states demanding their governors reopen their economies. I wish it were that simple. Many people are suffering and having hard times, worrying about their losses. But it is important to remember that, first off, the decisions to close things down is never easy to begin with. Our health department in King County talks about it in this article. Reopening is not so easy either. We need to be able to test so many more people than we have been to monitor for increasing infections. The epidemic in the US is still expanding in many areas. Watching for a second wave is key because the second outbreak has potential to be as severe as the first.

This is not the news any of us want to hear. States, health care entities, and other groups are working as fast as they can to speed things up, but there are obstacles, some of which are that we still don’t know enough. Antibody testing can probably be helpful, but looks like it has limitations. There have been some confusing results, and some really smart virologists are working on deciphering what the results mean. They also need more data. We are getting more information daily but the truth is that it often needs to vetted, or peer reviewed, to trust the results.

But we are starting to see our way forward, guidelines for reopening are becoming clearer. Mostly this involves lots of testing, and there is more data coming on treatments. The main goals now are to slowly reopen so we don’t get a second wave that overwhelms the health care system. And this is why the protestors are short sighted. If they got infected by being around a large group of people, they risk bringing it to their communities and infecting their loved ones and the health care providers caring for them. That increase in cases can either slow down the reopening or cause things to shut down again. Balancing huge health care risks and the risk of infecting the health care team is important. Those health care providers are needed for the long haul and we need to take care of them.

All this means is that we are continuing the path we are on. Taking care of our mental health is as important as our physical health. And understanding what’s risky and what is not can help. There is a good explanation link below. Also taking a break from media and making sure you have reliable sources can be valuable. Keep in touch with people and friends and have some play time.

And wash your hands.

And finally, my caveat is that this is my experience and my opinions, which are subject to change as more information is available, and not related to the organization I work for. Thanks for reading.

https://publichealthinsider.com

https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/19/health/us-coronavirus-sunday/index.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/19/us/coronavirus-antibody-tests.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/18/health/coronavirus-america-future.html

https://graphics.reuters.com/HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/yxmvjqywprz/index.html

https://www.bbc.com/news/health-51873799

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/17/well/live/coronavirus-contagion-spead-clothes-shoes-hair-newspaper-packages-mail-infectious.html