Germ Warfare

The next great world war is here. But this time it’s not country vs country. It’s humans vs a virus. And in this war, the soldiers on the front lines are health care professionals, grocery store employees, janitors, sanitation workers, delivery drivers, and all the others who keep the gears of society turning. The generals are the governors, mayors, principals, and others making the tough decisions to keep us safe; and who keep working for their constituents and students, even as they’re dealing with their own health and safety concerns. And then there are the rest of us, the people on the homefront; a term that, in this case, should be taken entirely literally. “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” What you can do for your country is: stay home, work from home, learn from home, inform and support your neighbors, drop off stuff for older people who shouldn’t be going out, wash your hands. Or just do nothing. No one is asking you to jump on a grenade. Right now Uncle Sam Needs You to just sit on the couch and watch TV. It’s a vital role and one many of us were born to do. Don’t take it from me. Take it from these ordinary Italians who were where we are ten days ago.

+ 16 National Health Care leaders share tips in a very simple and clear op-ed: The best thing everyday Americans can do to fight coronavirus? Stay Home, save lives. (New rule of thumb: Every gathering is a cluster f-ck.)

+ “I am carrying a burden of seeing what we’re doing at the hospital, seeing how concerned we are about what we know is coming. But my fellow citizens don’t see it. My personal psychic crush is that I’ve been walking around for the last week seeing what’s coming and feeling somehow unable to share that clearly and effectively with friends, family.” A Frontline Physician Speaks Out.

+ How one asymptomatic person can change everything. “South Korea managed to avoid a major outbreak with only 30 people contracting the virus … This changed with the emergence of Patient 31.”

+ The CDC said gatherings of more than 50 people should be canceled. (That number is within 49 of optimal.)

+ If you run an organization and are in a position to lead by example, tell your people to work from home. Millions of Federal Workers Still Waiting on Work-From-Home Order During Coronavirus Pandemic. And if you’re the mayor of NYC, maybe skip the workout at the public gym.

+ USA Today: People line up to buy guns, ammo amid coronavirus concerns. (I used a war metaphor above, but, sadly, you can’t shoot the virus.)

+ “The pastor of a megachurch in South Florida warned his parishioners Sunday that fears of exposure to COVID-19 was a ‘demonic spirit,’ and he encouraged his parishioners to show up to worship and not heed warnings from officials to avoid crowded spaces.” (I encourage these worshippers to say Shabbat Shalom and head back home.)

+ Not finding the right guidance right now? You can always look to the past. Gunnison, Colorado: the town that dodged the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic. “A century on, what can we learn from how US mountain community dealt with viral outbreak.”

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