Today has been a very depressing day. Maybe it was the rain. I warn you… you’re not going to get the funny until the end of the blog. It must feel the same for most of you.

I lived through the worst of the HIV epidemic, where in total 25 million people died. A million Americans died in that plague and are dying still. But this feels different. Maybe because during the AIDS epidemic it was just “us” . The rest of the world kept marching along because it didn’t really care. But at least there was a sense of stability outside of “our” disaster. Now it is all of us. It is “quicker”, if that makes any sense. The social impact is more abrupt. The financial impact is hugely obvious COVID19 needs to be taken seriously. Yet people who have never even heard of Pythagoras’ Theorem, let alone solved a problem using it, are leading this country. The divides that are ripping our county apart are making this epidemic even worse. There are no teams here people. There are no walls. We are in this together
Anyway. I am rambling. So here are my pearls of wisdom for today.

  • If you have a cough, fever, sore throat or shortness of breath, call your health care professional FIRST. They will advise you. DO NOT COME into any office. You will be triaged via telehealth or advised to come into an office or an ER.
  • Slowly test kits are arriving. For now, symptomatic people are the ones being tested. But we need almost everyone tested. We need information about what is really happening. It is not sufficient to tell people to just stay home. Don’t get me wrong… it is crucial at this time to not spread this virus. But when new studies show that people who are not symptomatic can spread the virus, it is crucial that we know patterns of spread. Along with risks for acquisition and severity. If nothing else, by doing so we can get real data and probably reassure people that the death rate is less than we thought. Therefore, less panic. We can hopefully predict sooner when this epidemic is ending.
  • In the meantime, take social isolation seriously. Tempting fate and laughing at fate doesn’t make you cool. It makes you stupid.
  • Hang in there. I will get over today’s funk and so will you.

So here is the bright, funny part. I had a really sweet patient of mine come in to the office last week. He is one of my favorites. He said the he had been having a cough, but that he did not have a fever. I congratulated him for taking his temperature. At least he had a thermometer. He hesitated and said that he didn’t have a real thermometer. When I asked how he took his temperature he said sheepishly: “with a meat thermometer”. I didn’t ask. People, buy a real thermometer.


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