December 7, 2020

Swiss cheese approach or is it a day of infamy?

The SARS-CoV-2 virus is now into its second year. We have more and more knowledge about it and how to prevent spread, which has caused confusion understandably, as recommendations changed. We are still battling misinformation and outright denial at times. The thing is though, that denial can turn around and bite you if you aren’t careful. Maybe this little warning about COVID-19 causing erectile dysfunction will finally wake some people up. Whatever it takes.

One of the best explanations I have seen about why we recommend and follow several preventive measures is the “Swiss cheese” explanation that multiple layers are more protective. Think about the holes in slices of Swiss cheese. The virus may get through one hole and be blocked at the next layer. That is why your mask wearing added to your grocery clerk (or other exposure) wearing a mask, added to hand washing, added to distancing can improve your safety. Add testing and tracing and we would really be making a dent. Prevention requires more than one method, and the more layers we add collectively as a community, the Swiss cheese holes that feed the pandemic get more and more blocked and we slow it down.

These are important points because the disturbing news came today that earlier this year the present Presidential administration passed on buying more Pfizer vaccine. We now must wait in line for more. We will get an initial 100 million doses, enough for 50 million people since 2 doses are needed. We may not get more Pfizer vaccine until the summer. The deal with Moderna for its vaccine is also for 100 million doses of a 2 dose vaccine, meaning that we will start off with only enough doses for 100 million people. Getting enough people vaccinated will take much more time than I anticipated. We need our Swiss cheese protection a little longer.

I am shocked but not surprised. Thank goodness for elections so that we may have a more competent and caring administration to get more vaccine, as well as testing supplies. However, we will need the cooperation of Congress, especially the Senate, to approve the spending needed. Please write your senators and representatives and let them know how important it is to support the country through this. People are dying now and more will die if nothing is done, especially since business are hurting more than ever and jobs will not be coming back quickly. People are losing hope.

That is why we need to sustain ourselves and our families the next few months, our communities are more important than ever, self care and supporting your immune system can help. These tips in this article are helpful. Hang on to hope and look for beauty and kindness, and share it with others when you can.

Wash your hands, cover your nose, keep safe six, and remember these all add up to protect you and your family.

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.