November 25,2020

Get ready and reach out

We are in a dangerous moment, even though many are trying to follow the guidelines and prevent further spread of COVID-19. The numbers of infections are increasing massively, at the same time many, many people are compelled to travel home or to be with family and friends over the Thanksgiving holiday. The truth is that these actions will increase infections and threaten to throw us into a dangerous overloading of the hospitals, already stressed and overwhelmed. Rationing of care is starting to happen in some states that have no resources. Doctors and nurses and staff are worn out.

But why do people make these choices? An interesting study by neuroscientists shows that isolation can produce cravings for social interactions, similar to hunger cravings. This is similar to what occurred last summer with the motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota. People felt impelled to go to Sturgis and said they would take their chances. After months of isolation the craving for social interaction was just too much for some people to bear. Pandemic fatigue has increased people’s cravings which result in bad choices. Along with the disinformation spread by social media, these choices will affect, and infect, more people.

Already, King County is surging, despite our relatively good safety record. The data show that most people are infected in homes, at work, or social gatherings. You can track daily COVID cases near you through this New York Times map. As Dr. Fauci said, we are about to be in a world of hurt. The Atlantic has an excellent article about getting ready and staying safe, by preparing now.

As Jane Brody writes, “What is the Greatest Gift to loved ones this COVID Winter? Don’t infect others.” We can follow these tips for a safe holiday season and find new ways to celebrate, we can reach out to our friends and family and others who we know might feel isolated or lonely. This can help fill their cravings for social interaction and connection. Community can be built in new ways.

Times are tough and they may be even tougher for a little while longer. Now, more than ever, we need each other. Please stay safe since we are so close to the other side of this.

Wash your hands, cover your nose, keep safe six, stay safe.

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.nytimes.com/2020/11/16/well/live/covid-winter-pandemic-safety.html

https://www.mdlinx.com/news/10-tips-from-a-health-and-wellness-expert-to-make-the-most-of-the-holidays-during-covid-19/3mVXjO4ioouQopWT8XMj22

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/11/lock-yourself-down-now/617106/

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/11/201123120724.htm social hunger

https://public.tableau.com/views/PHSKCOverviewDashboard/Overview

https://publichealthinsider.com/2020/11/25/where-is-covid-19-transmitted-in-king-county-report-shows-most-common-exposure-settings-are-homes-workplaces-community-and-social-gatherings/

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/covid-cases-deaths-tracker.html