Coronavirus: Building a Social Contract

Mar 13 · 4 min read

If you’re not high-risk, you may have the highest impact on the containment of coronavirus. Building a social contract with Tia.

Being social — togetherness — is what keeps us ticking, transforms the bitter moments in life to sweet ones, and, quite literally, gives us *pleasure*. Research shows that social ties reduce mortality risks among adults with documented medical conditions. Additionally, supportive interactions with others benefit the immune system and help to reduce allostatic load (the cumulative wear and tear on your body from stress — especially chronic stress).

So, how in the world are we supposed to do this in the landscape of the coronavirus outbreak?

If you’re confused about what to do right now, you’re not alone. It feels like there are different recommendations coming from everywhere and making sense of it, is no easy task. Ultimately, the choices in how *you* navigate through this bizarre time are up to you. These choices are likely dependent on a number of factors such as local context, work obligations, personal health, signature-stress type, etc. We’re here to offer a little more context to help you make more informed choices with confidence.

First things first, what is a social contract? It is an implicit agreement among the members of a society to cooperate for the social benefits of many, rather than few. Cooperation in this agreement may include sacrificing individual freedoms (not going on that hinge date, canceling wine club, or swapping your favorite yoga class for a run outside instead). Here we’ll break down how we’re thinking about the choices we’re making from an individual, local, and global perspective:

At Tia, we’ve shared recommendations on how to prepare for coronavirus:

We do not promote:

  • Stockpiling or hoarding supplies, especially masks which are critically needed for care providers working around the clock right now!

While young and healthy people are currently considered lower-risk for personally suffering severe illness from coronavirus, it is vital they dramatically alter their daily lives in order to lower risk from a greater local standpoint.

German scientists, some of the first to look at clinical data on this outbreak have concluded two pieces of information that can help us understand the impact of lessening our movement:

  1. Individuals are most infectious early in the disease.
  2. Viral load (how much of the virus is present in an individual) does not necessarily correlate with the isolation of the virus. In layperson terms, you can be carrying and transmitting the virus *and* be completely symptom-free.

With restricted accessibility and availability to testing right now, one of the greatest measures we can take from a public health imperative is to engage in social distancing. This is because viruses spread easily in dense places (think: a packed subway car, a political rally, or a concert). Social distancing is a spectrum of measures that can be taken to increase the physical space between people in an effort to slow the spread of this virus.

But what about local businesses? What about people who are financially unable to purchase adequate provisions or work from home? What about considerations for public school closings and the children who only receive meals at school?

There aren’t easy answers. But if you have extra resources we encourage you to donate, check-in with loved ones, and members of your community who may be in need.

As of now, the Department of State is advising U.S. citizens to reconsider all travel abroad. Many areas throughout the world are experiencing coronavirus outbreaks and taking actions that limit mobility (including everything from quarantines to border restrictions).

Working paper — model-based estimates of coronavirus burden in King and Snohomish counties through April 7, 2020 Dan Klein , Brittany Hagedorn , Cliff Kerr , Hao Hu , Trevor Bedford , Mike Famulare*Institute for Disease Modeling; Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute

Global travel is only one aspect of this perspective. Unfortunately, we are able to see examples of healthcare systems that are completely overburdened by this virus. Our actions on an individual and local level must be considered as an ethical imperative for not only our own communities but also at a global level. It is our responsibility to work to ensure that our healthcare system does not grow overburdened. It is through small everyday choices that we can make an impact on the health and safety for all.

At Tia, we recommend taking some time to build out a social contract that works *you*. It might look something like this…

Join us in making a social contract — for the betterment of you, your local community, and the world.

That’s What T Said

The latest & greatest taboo tales & tidbits from team Tia


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The modern medical home for women of all genders — online and offline.

That’s What T Said

The latest & greatest taboo tales & tidbits from team Tia

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