poster courtesy our friend Julian Montague and Montague Projects
Our Response to COVID-19: Flatten the Curve
As of Sunday, March 15th, The Center for Disease Control is now recommending all large events and mass gatherings over the next eight weeks be postponed (more information available here). Because of this, we have seen every one of our events originally scheduled from late March to early May postponed. And we are anticipating additional postponements for events scheduled for later in May and well into June. It is not a matter of if but when further postponements happen.
While this is incredibly stressful on for our clients—emotionally, psychologically, and financially—our top priority should be slowing the spread of this pandemic so that we do not arrive at a worst case scenario. Our most effective and controllable method for doing this is social distancing. Which definitively precludes all of the social events, parties, corporate events, weddings, etc. that DJ D-Mac & Associates are involved with.
We are in the
event joy business and while this is most definitely not a joyful time, we will get through this and come out on the other side ready to celebrate together.
Blog editor extraordinaire Alex Deley and his wife Colleen, a registered nurse, offer the following:
Flattening the curve means limiting exposure so that our healthcare system is not overwhelmed by unmanageable numbers of cases all at once. Healthcare workers are human and can only work so many hours before they start breaking down. In treating critically ill COVID-19 patients, they are also frequently exposed to large viral loads of particularly bad cases of the disease, making them likely to get sick as well despite the safety measures they can take. To make matters worse, the US is unprepared. There are insufficient masks available for hospital staff, only 1 million hospital beds in the United States and only 62,000 ventilators. This lack of ventilators is particularly troubling because, without this equipment, it places health care workers in the position of having to potentially decide who gets this life-saving treatment and who doesn’t.
The example from Italy’s experience with the COVID-19 indicates that, despite a robust public health system in that country, conditions are catastrophic and will continue to get worse before they get better. Italy has already found itself, despite having more medical equipment and twice as many doctor’s per capita as the United States, in a position where medical staff have to make life or death situations about who they can treat and who they cannot because the system has been pushed to its breaking point. With a far larger population and no public health system to speak of, the United States is staring down the barrel of a potential catastrophe. As such, the practice of social distancing to limit exposure and give our healthcare system a fighting chance of managing the coming crisis, is critical.
A useful video to watch is this testimony with Dr. Anthony Fauci before the House of Representative’s hearings on the COVID-19 coronavirus and the government’s response. Dr. Fauci is the head of the infectious disease department at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) here in the DC area. The NIH is the largest biomedical research institution in the world. Dr. Fauci has been studying infectious diseases for nearly 50 years and he is considered to be a top “world expert” on infectious diseases.
Dr. Fauci has headed this department since the 1980’s and has advised six presidents on various epidemics from the emerging AIDS crisis in the ’80’s and ’90s to Zika to SARS to Ebola. He is an incredibly smart, measured and practical man. When he says that we as a country are “failing” and that things will get far worse if we don’t take this seriously and basically shelter in place. For all those people who insist this is not a big deal, who plan non-necessary travel, or who are attending public events that have not been cancelled, you are likely making the impacts of this pandemic far worse. At this point, things have only just begun.
President Trump has finally declared and admitted what this is: a pandemic and a national emergency. With the declaration of a national emergency, we will now actually have the funds to get drive up clinics in parking lots across the country. People (with symptoms) will know their status and know if they have COVID-19 and need to self-isolate for 14 days or just have a cold/the flu or allergies.
Keep doing your part. Stay away from old people and the immunocompromised, keep washing your hands, keep binging Netflix and keep reading many different news sources to stay abreast of what is happening. We are looking into the eye of the storm and have quite the journey ahead of us, but at least now we have life vests. That said, many people do not have access to health insurance or to non-emergency medical care. It is important that we all try to do our part to limit exposure for this group to insure that they are not forced to turn to potentially bankrupting ER care.
The United States also largely lacks a coherent social safety net for many. Unless rent and mortgage payments are suspended during this crisis, many small business, service industry and of course, entertainers, are going to be going without paychecks but will still have to pay their bills. Please consider donating to the Patreon or sending direct Venmo/Paypal assistance to those that you know who are likely not being paid. Things are hard in this country for many, and missing paychecks is something that very few of us can manage for long. If we want to make sure that these institutions and individuals are still there at the other end of this, and you are in a position to give, donations are likely to be warmly received.
During this pandemic, it is important that we all do our part to flatten to the curve, to behave intelligently and to behave compassionately. We are all doing our part here at DJ D-Mac & Associates, even with the financial challenges that this poses. We hope that you will do yours. Only by working together can we come through this crisis with the lowest impact possible. We will be here to help you ring in the good times when this is over.