Yes, we should – especially if you do not have access to 24/7 care. Let’s redefine “being afraid”
Short answer: Be careful of the false narrative happening.
(Heads up – This post is still fully based on science – but is probably not in my normal friendly-neighbor voice. I’ll bring that back this week when we talk about Thanksgiving. For today, I used my advocacy voice. The claims I make are still science and data – you can find those links at the end. But through the lens of the ‘preferential option for the poor’ and my own advocacy research work.)
Y’all, I’m at a bit of a loss for words from frustration and ‘what is happening?’ thoughts. This is not a political statement – this is me speaking as a scientist, an epidemiologist. I would say this about anyone in leadership. 𝑾𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒍𝒆𝒂𝒅𝒆𝒓𝒔𝒉𝒊𝒑 𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒔 𝒓𝒆𝒔𝒑𝒐𝒏𝒔𝒊𝒃𝒊𝒍𝒊𝒕𝒚. Removing your mask when you are still sick, disregard for Secret Service agents/reporters (several are now sick) and WH staff (2 housekeepers are now sick) while you are contagious, not following protocols in an enclosed vehicle, and comparing COVID to the flu – is as opposite as you can get from the science we know about COVID-19. There has been and continues to be a false narrative about COVID and that difference seems to be growing along party lines. (At the end of the post, I’ve re-linked to those the data on why this is not the flu, why masks are necessary, and the debunking the false narrative.)
𝐒𝐨, 𝐰𝐡𝐲 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐰𝐞 𝐛𝐞 𝐚𝐟𝐫𝐚𝐢𝐝 𝐨𝐟 𝐂𝐎𝐕𝐈𝐃? 𝐁𝐞𝐜𝐚𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐜𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐭𝐞𝐥𝐥𝐬 𝐮𝐬 𝐰𝐞 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝. 𝐋𝐞𝐭’𝐬 𝐝𝐞𝐟𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐢𝐬 𝐟𝐢𝐫𝐬𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡. 𝐓𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐢𝐬 𝐚 𝐝𝐢𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐰𝐢𝐬𝐞, 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐭𝐡𝐲 𝐟𝐞𝐚𝐫 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐮𝐧𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐭𝐡𝐲, 𝐝𝐞𝐛𝐢𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐟𝐞𝐚𝐫. 𝐓𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐢𝐬 𝐚 𝐝𝐢𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐫𝐞𝐜𝐤𝐥𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐛𝐞𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐢𝐨𝐫 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐜𝐚𝐮𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐮𝐬 𝐰𝐢𝐬𝐝𝐨𝐦. 𝐈𝐭’𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐨𝐧 𝐰𝐡𝐲 𝐰𝐞 𝐭𝐞𝐥𝐥 𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐜𝐡𝐢𝐥𝐝𝐫𝐞𝐧 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐨𝐮𝐜𝐡 𝐚 𝐡𝐨𝐭 𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐯𝐞 – 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭’𝐬 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐮𝐧𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐭𝐡𝐲 𝐟𝐞𝐚𝐫, 𝐢𝐭 𝐢𝐬 𝐰𝐢𝐬𝐝𝐨𝐦.
So, why should we be afraid with cautious wisdom? Because it is a new virus that is highly contagious, has killed more than 210k in the US (6x times MORE than the flu), has long-lasting effects in many that do not die, and disproportionally affects those most in need. In other words, not listening to science around COVID-19 has real-life repercussions. And, that burden is not equal.
𝐋𝐞𝐭 𝐦𝐞 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐰 𝐲𝐨𝐮.
𝐂𝐚𝐬𝐞 𝐬𝐭𝐮𝐝𝐲 𝟏: Early on in the pandemic, NYC was hit hard. But, the majority of people who were hospitalized and died were not from Manhattan (wealthier part of NYC). They were from Brooklyn and Queens. And, the deaths skewed younger among minority groups. Why? Several reasons. But, a main one was waiting too long to get care when you were sick.
𝐂𝐚𝐬𝐞 𝐬𝐭𝐮𝐝𝐲 𝟐: We are seeing “a historic decimation of Hispanic, Latino communities across the Southern part of the United States…the virus is taking away a whole generation of mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters [in those communities] – stated last week by my friend, colleague, and one of the most respected experts in infectious diseases, Dr. Peter Hotez. I’m linking to his full Congressional statement he made and would encourage you to read the full article. These communities are deeply affected by lack of testing, poverty, and many are essential workers.
𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐝𝐨𝐞𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐦𝐞𝐚𝐧 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐮𝐬? 𝐁𝐲 𝐮𝐬, 𝐈 𝐦𝐞𝐚𝐧 𝐦𝐲𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐟.
–This means I keep my mask on, especially while I’m contagious, but even when I go to the gym, church, a restaurant. It means I pay attention to not infect others around me that do not have health insurance or savings.
–It means I walk in wisdom according to the science. (And, if you’re a person of faith, we walk according to the Good Samaritan and teachings of Jesus. We have Faith Over Fear (see the link below)).
–It means we believe the science. For those in the public eye, we lead with integrity and by example. Do not believe the false narrative.
-Friendly neighbor epidemiologist
1. COVID’s toll is not equal. https://tinyurl.com/y48mbg47
2. How the pandemic defeated America https://tinyurl.com/yxz5agl2
3. Be careful about the false narrative – 8 myths debunked include 99% recover, hospitalizations are going down, test numbers are being inflated, this took us by surprise. https://tinyurl.com/y64klldr
5. 99% “recover” https://tinyurl.com/ybz5846c
7. COVID-19 is not the flu, cases are not inflated. https://tinyurl.com/yyutx479
8. Did the CDC say 6% of deaths were from COVID? Is it true that all deaths are counted as COVID-19? – https://tinyurl.com/yxblsl3k
11. Myth-busters for mask: A LONG post debunking common myths about masks (masks work realy well, clearing up what the surgeon general/WHO said, CO2 fears) https://tinyurl.com/y642sefb
12. Why state-wide mask mandates work! – https://tinyurl.com/yxu6gl4r
13. A reminder of when someone is contagious and the importance of masks (and a note on bipartisan science) – https://tinyurl.com/y4rfjmc5
15. Faith over fear – https://tinyurl.com/yxsaatcf
16. Healthcare expenditures in the US: https://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/issue-briefs/2020/jan/us-health-care-global-perspective-2019 https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2019/08/08/how-us-healthcare-spending-per-capita-compares-with-other-countries-infographic/#6fa4cbf8575d