• Dr. Kemia

Social Distancing Is For The Birds

Updated: Apr 10

Dear Everyone: #SocialDistancing to radically #FlattenTheCurve is for the birds. We're social animals, and even those among us who claim to be introverts who "trained for this moment" all their lives are struggling a bit with the level of #PatrioticIntroversion we need to be practicing if we are to truly buy time for our healthcare system to prepare. Right now, the worst of it for those of us NOT currently living in a #HotZone is the wait, the planning, and the daily nagging-niggling-back-of-the-brain voice that whispers, "what if this is all overblown baloney? Look at the local report: no new cases reported today. This is nuts!" It isn’t. Reading reports from front-line physicians in New York, the current epicenter in the U.S., will shatter your heart. They are caught in the first really big wave, and they’re scrambling to care for critically ill patients without the tools, the space, the ventilators, the medication or the personal protective equipment they need. New Orleans and Detroit are experiencing significant spikes in cases, and as of today the U.S. has the most COVID-19 cases in the world. Radical social distancing – working from and staying at home, shopping only when necessary, maintaining 6 ft. between yourself and others, turning down all opportunities for social engagement (no – you should not be going to your cousin’s house to hang out) – will not only buy time, and reduce illness and death, but it also will SHORTEN THE DURATION OF THIS SOCIAL DISTANCING CRAPTASTICNESS FOR ALL OF US. One of the best things about #science is that as we get new data we also get to refine and improve our modeling, and we are getting a literal avalanche of updated data on rates of infection and asymptomatic transmission with every passing day. Of all the modelling and predictions that are being evaluated right now, the following is based on some of the best data compiled by minds like Imperial College epidemiologist Neil Ferguson: 1) Because we have instituted aggressive social distancing measures, the US epidemic may now peak in approximately 2-3 weeks. It is very likely that things will continue to get worse until mid-April, particularly in New York, New Orleans and other hot zones.

2) We should expect to see a daily increase in cases nationally through the coming weeks.

3) The curve will start to flatten in the weeks after that, but because deaths lag the curve by 5-14 days, we will continue to see a rise in reported deaths.

4) Daily deaths should then begin to decline, and the curve will start trending downward.

5) IF we maintain a minimum of 6 weeks of strict social distancing on the downswing, as China has done, by early June we may be able to cautiously relax social distancing measures.

#ProbablyNotEaster (Please note, Neil Ferguson’s update to Parliament is being wildly misinterpreted for political reasons and in the press. Look – this is my shocked face…) I know this still seems like a long time (actually these are much IMPROVED predictions) but this is all predicated on us doing our duty, taking care of each other as #Americans, and staying the course in social distancing measures we’ve implemented. As many of you know, my eldest son was diagnosed with leukemia when he was 13 years old, a diagnosis that required 3.5 years of daily chemo. I can do a few months of“hard time” (aka at home, in my jammies) standing on my head if it will save the life of someone I love… I bet you can, too. And look – if we do this right maybe we bend the curve harder and faster. Maybe the six simultaneous drug trials currently underway at the WHO will yield a promising antiviral. A lot of things are happening simultaneously in science and medicine – buying time also gives hope. Like you, I want this over. Right. Now. But we are called to something bigger than that. And don't forget: it's time to change into your night pajamas. :) More soon. Keep being brave and kind. K #WeCanFixAnythingButDead #Resiliency #TrustDoctors #TrustScience #TrustTeachers #PatrioticIntroversion #StayTheHellHome #America

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