May 22, 2020


I have a few regrets. Over the years, I have worked hard to give up the guilt I can readily carry, still carry at times. It is what makes me a good doctor- feeling responsible. But one regret I do have is not pursuing the CDC’s EIS program, when I finished my residency. The Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) is the CDC’s renowned disease detective program, that trains people in epidemiology and field work. People get sent world wide to study outbreaks, from the mundane to the exotic. They are taught how to approach and deal with the politics of the situation, as well as the disease, in order to get buy in and results. I wanted to do it, but chose to go to Arizona instead. The opportunity to work for the Indian Health Service on the Hopi and Navajo nations presented itself, which was an offer I couldn’t refuse. I am grateful I did that. It was an irreplaceable experience, but I wistfully think about the CDC and what might have been, once in a while.

So I was disheartened to read this article about the EIS in the New York Times and to read about the CDC’s other responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. I know good people are doing the best they can under difficult circumstances. It must be frustrating for them.

Along with this news, are the results of a study looking at hydroxychloroquine. This looked at 96,000 patients worldwide who took hydroxychloroquine when they were hospitalized with COVID-19. The disappointing results show, not only, no benefit but, in some cases, harm, due to the deadly arrhythmias. If I had been taking it as a prophylaxis, I would stop it now.

Things are opening up more. We will see if the virus rebounds quickly or more slowly. My feeling right now is that the rebound will be slow because so many people will still be cautious with masks, distancing, and hand washing. But in some areas, the rebound may be faster if everyone rushes out to restaurants, churches, games, and stops wearing masks.

We can stay safe and go outdoors if we follow the recommendations. We got this.

Wash your hands and cover your nose.

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.

Bonus link is to a rebuttal of the debunked video.