Covid Updates
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Covid Updates

Covid Update 4/9/21: We Need Your Help

Good afternoon all,

I don’t know how to put this anymore plainly: we are in big trouble. I don’t know how to reach people who aren’t already on board. It’s easy to scream in an echo chamber, hearing all the voices returning to find no one has really heard. I think — I hope — that if each of you reaches out to friends and relatives we can work together to get out of this. Let me explain.

The Problem

Covid cases are soaring in Michigan and will probably top our last surge soon. Hospitals are overwhelmed. I’ve been keeping in touch with emergency doctors, nurses, and other hospital personnel and things are very, very bad. People with serious non-covid illnesses are waiting far too long to be seen. We just don’t have the resources to take care of everyone promptly. Your care or the care of people you love is going to suffer, and when we look back we will see that there were thousands of non-covid deaths that could have been avoided if we hadn’t been inundated with covid. Covid patients are younger than they were before, but this doesn’t mean they’re less sick; the ICUs are filling up with covid patients in their 30s, 40s, and 50s.

We have a pretty good idea what is driving this surge: bars, restaurants, schools, and other social gatherings. Which means solutions aren’t complicated.

The Solution(s)

  1. Cancel all extracurricular and athletic activities — ALL of them. We can’t count on testing and on careful behavior. We’ve failed.
  2. Redouble efforts to keep schools free of covid, including enforcing masking. Enforce distancing by keeping kids from gathering in public areas/cafeterias.
  3. Get vaccinations into the schools. Kids 16 and up qualify for one of the available shots. Set up mobile public health vaccination units and get the kids while they’re at school. Now, not tomorrow, not next week. Divert vaccine resources to schools.
  4. Stop asking people to voluntarily do the impossible. Close restaurants and bars to in-person service. Close gyms and hair salons. These businesses will need immediate assistance, so be prepared to call and write your representatives to tell them to help support business owners during any shut down. Given that this isn’t actually likely, don’t go to these places and tell your friends and family not to. Be firm and loving, but tell them to stop. This isn’t a game.
  5. Get your shot, if you can, as quickly as possible.
  6. Stop behaving foolishly and tell the people you know to be careful. IF YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE IN QUARANTINE OR ISOLATION, DO IT. If you’ve been diagnosed with covid or exposed to it, you should be staying home for at least 10 days. That doesn’t mean go to your condo in Florida, or go see friends outside. It means stay home and away from others.

This is going to piss off a lot of people, and a lot of this probably won’t get done, but people need to understand that when they go to a bar or restaurant now, they are helping spread the virus and they are actually contributing to making other people sick, or worse.

We can make very good arguments that vaccinated people can go out, but how would that work? Do we stamp their foreheads? And when numbers are this high, even vaccinated people are at risk of getting covid, as we’ve discussed before. So please, please, please make yourself part of the solution. Your simple decisions could literally mean the difference between being inconvenienced and killing people. This shouldn’t be a hard choice.

-pal

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