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  • Writer's pictureDr. Bow Tie

March 24th: COVID-19 - It's Not The Flu

STOP comparing it to the flu. STAY HOME.

You know why the numbers for influenza look so much worse than those for COVID-19? Because we actually have numbers. Because we have testing.

With COVID we had NOTHING. We are still woefully behind on testing, and despite what the president tries to say to convince us that everything will be fine, there is no assured treatment yet - we only have small studies and equivocal results. So the reason the numbers don’t look as bad is that we don’t have accurate numbers. Now that we finally have more testing coming down the line, those numbers will surge, but that’s just a reflection of what’s probably already been here and continuing to spread.

Some of you are trying to use the flu stats and claiming that this will all blow over because you’re scared or nervous and trying to cope. That’s flawed, but understandable, and my DMs are open if you want to talk about it.

Some of you are trying to justify going to work or partying (“just quarantine the elderly and immunocompromised!”), in the name of “preserving personal freedom” or because you think that being young and able-bodied automatically means you’re protected or that your infection will be mild (look at those spring breakers now). You haven’t seen what I and my colleagues across the country are seeing - people of all ages, races, and states of health, coming in with terrible infections, ending up on ventilators or other invasive methods of assistance in breathing. I haven’t seen a COVID-19 death yet, thank God, but plenty of others have.

Do you know why we need to flatten the curve, even if it means that it takes longer to end the pandemic? It’s because the spike in infections is overwhelming our healthcare system. You’ve all seen how much we lack in protective equipment and ventilators and staff. A short duration of the pandemic means nothing (and the economy won’t bounce back) if so many people die because we’ve had to ration healthcare and to prioritize who lives and dies. Statistics mean nothing to the individual, and quite frankly we don’t have enough accurate statistics to justify these cavalier attitudes. There will be plenty of hindsight when this is all over, but for now, we have to take the needed precautions.

Again, as with my last post - I’m not trying to inspire panic. I am trying to say that we should be taking this much more seriously than some people are. STAY HOME if you can. I can’t, because I have to be at the hospital to help fight this. However, you can bet that on my days off, as long as I have them, I will be at home except for getting essentials like groceries. In addition, I will call my representatives and demand relief for everyone that can’t work right now.

I say and do all this because I cannot justify spreading this to anyone (or potentially catching it from anyone) if I can help it, and I want to end this pandemic the right way, and with the best chances of everyone’s survival.

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