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A typical pandemic day in the old noggin...

April 8, 2020


My emotions get fractioned.

Are you focusing on the lagging indicators of daily deaths as they continue to display exponential growth? Or, are you looking at the leading indicator of daily new cases and see that exponential growth has stopped for the third day in a row? Or, are you focusing on the beauty of being 9 and having so much wonder, imagination, potential, and wisdom? Or thinking like the 44-year-old who is scared for his family and friends, buried in to-do lists, and trying to keep everything afloat? Or, are you processing the conversation with your banker who explains the mortgage deferment program if income dries up? Or, thinking about the task of doing your standard work to close out the prior month? Or, do you have your MD hat on trying to learn as much as you can about this new disease? Or, are you realizing one of the greatest singer-songwriters sung his last song?

And, that’s just a small sliver of a typical pandemic day in the old noggin. 

And, I know we are all filled with fractioned emotions. 
And, I know that the forecasts are looking more hopeful
And, I know there will be people soon that will say “see, we overreacted.” 
And, I know they are like my patients that say they don’t need to take their blood pressure pill anymore because since they have been taking the pill they now have normal blood pressure. 

Remember, we said one thing at the beginning of this, if we don’t say that we overreacted to this, then that means it will have been a blood bath. I am still praying that we will one day all say that we overacted but, honestly, there are about 15,000, no 89,000, families that no matter the final outcome will ever say that we overreacted. 

We will focus mind-share soon on the what, how, and when of social distancing easing. And, this will be appropriate soon. But, as we move into this next phase, likely over the next 1-2 months, this is how you need to think of the Dance…

Social distance based on what the lagging indicator is telling us… the number of deaths per day…


New reported deaths by day in the US chart


Appreciate that the effectiveness of the social distancing is leading indicator... the number of new cases per day…

Cases added per day chart


With how itchy everyone is to get back to normal life, it is likely we will err towards easing restriction too early…

But, short of having a crystal ball and a little fairy dust, we will need to let scientists lead the way. We need to let the easing of restrictions, the Dance, be made by scientific reasoning and educated people who deeply understand the science of pandemics and this disease that are looking at regional, state and national stats on the healthcare capacity, the age/sickness of local populations, the density of local population, the state of proven advances in treatment - to name a few of the big variables.   

So, in short, we have done good work, amazing work, I am proud of the work we have done, but this race is a marathon and not a sprint.    

Stay emotionally connected and physically distant,


PS: The best line of the day came from my grandmother who said, “This was an unusual seder”. Yes, Oma, it was quite unusual. Next year in... person.