March 27, 2020

Vacation deferred

Today, Jamie and I were supposed to be in North Carolina. Sigh. I have not been back in way too long. I went to Med School in Chapel Hill, my amazing cousin is there, and we have so many, many musical buddies who we were anticipating playing tunes with and hanging out with. Truly some of my favorite people. Springtime there is a favorite of mine. Dogwoods and azaleas, need I say more? Disappointing, but we know it is the right thing to do. We will have more time in the future.

So instead, we finished our taxes, Jamie and I took our social distancing walk and talked with a friend from 10 feet away. I made calls to patients with COVID 19 positive results, and continued to plan for caring for our patients who get the disease. We want to try to manage them as much as possible at home, but get them to the hospitals when they need extra help. That can save valuable hospital space for others.

And it has been hard to predict when the surge is coming. It feels as if we have been in this anticipatory state forever, but it has only been about a month. Surprising that we have not exploded like New York, since we started with such a bang. Maybe because, we don’t have the kind of density of NYC, the Seattle Flu Study folks (article below) gave us a heads up, and Amazon, Microsoft, and other tech companies immediately moved to have people work from home. UW also is an amazing resource and their IHME institute has new models out- check the links below, they have data for the US as a whole and for individual states, you can see when your state will peak. Seattle Times has an article about the modeling that shows some flattening of the curve here in Washington. But still 1400 deaths and not enough ICU beds and respirators. However, the things we have done and are doing are working. I want to shout from the rooftops: Social Distancing is working! We are flattening the curve! Keep it up and stay sensible!

But skeptics abound, mixed messages from our leader at the top, hoaxes being promoted that trouble vulnerable people, worries about the economy, disheartening talk about whose lives are valuable. If we give up now and relax our distancing, the models worsen and more people, young and old, will die needlessly.

And so I leave you with Amabie, a healing spirit from Japan, that can protect from disease and give refuge from epidemics. Make your homes your refuge. Be safe and be sensible.

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://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/health/uw-model-says-social-distancing-is-starting-to-work-but-still-projects-1400-coronavirus-deaths-in-the-state/

https://covid19.healthdata.org/projections

https://mynorthwest.com/1758762/coronavirus-washington-seattle-flu-study/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/03/27/coronavirus-models-politized-trump/

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/japanese-healing-spirit-covid-19