Thursday, March 26, 2020

Letter to My Parents

Dear Mom & Dad,

Please practice social distancing, and adhere to calls to shelter-in-place. Early results from clinical studies indicate a significant number of people infected with SARS-Cov2/COVID-19 show no symptoms. These carriers are unsuspectingly spreading the virus and the disease it causes. Already, there are 16 positive tests confirmed in Lancaster, California as of Tuesday, March 24th. Today, LA County reports 1,216 confirmed cases, including 21 lost souls. Compare that to Illinois which was at 1,285 positive tests confirmed 3 days ago, and today is nearly double at 2,538 positive tests confirmed; across both urban and rural areas of Illinois.

Our duty to slow the spread of this virus is two fold: 1) buy time for a cure and vaccine to be produced and distributed, and 2) prevent our existing medical structure from being overwhelmed. Remember that while this pandemic is occurring, people still have urgent medical needs. The current system has finite capacity in terms of people (doctors and nurses), equipment (particularly personal protective equipment), and appropriate physical space for patients (with necessary equipment and proper hygiene). Even before this pandemic, emergency department visits due to influenza-like illness are high this season. This particularly bad flu season exacerbates the situation at our medical facilities.

We do these things not only to benefit ourselves and our family, but as our Catholic duty to be neighbors to our friends, enemies, communities, country, and humanity.

At the very least, please continue to diligently wash your hands, disinfect surfaces, and practice overall good hygiene.

Thank you for listening!

Kathleen & Andre, Alexis, Valerie.

Monday, March 16, 2020

SARS-CoV2 COVID-19 Don't Panic

I am trying. I am doing my best not to panic, to keep anxiety at the level of concern. But it's difficult and I'll tell you why. Right now, social distancing seems to have started, fueled, and caused by communities needing to act. They feel that need to act because we have no faith in our government leaders at any level. We have no faith in our government leaders because they did not have a plan, nor have proposed a plan, nor have put into action anything resembling a plan. We don't have a plan because it takes hard work and determination, it takes grit to create and maintain a plan against a future foe that will take an unpredictable form. And nobody in the government took that time and effort and grit to create the plan. And since we have no plan, we have no leadership. And since we have no leadership, we have no faith in leaders. And since we have no faith in leaders, we simply return to basics. We look after ourselves. We selfishly do the things we can to control what we can control given the little education that we have available to us, no matter how unsubstantiated or outrageous.

Yes, I am trying. But this ship is sinking and I can only bail water from this small pail I happen to have.

Sadly, protecting those most at risk is only a secondary concern for me because the panic is pounding on the door. I know it's morally wrong, but it seems socially acceptable in our current environment: that we're looking at deaths by the numbers, and not the people that they are. I'm stupidly drinking the sand not because I'm thirsty, but because I can't tell the difference. The signal-to-noise ratio is completely whacked... I mean, why are comedians like John Oliver and Trevor Noah my beacons, and not journalists like Korva Coleman and Judy Carline Woodruff, or political leaders like Governor JB Pritzker or #45?