Hi everyone, I wanted to check in and give you some updates from the Boston hospitals. Please read to the end.
In the past few weeks, as things have buckled down, we clinical research assistants have been hoping to work remotely. This is not because, as young adults, we are at risk of becoming critically ill. It is to prevent social interactions with people and creating increased exposure for others from every place we touch. Those who appear to be the most at risk are older adults above the age of 65 or anybody who has a chronic health issue such as heart disease or cancer. Unfortunately, with a crisis like COVID-19 is hard to understand how it happens. It is particularly serious when our older family members become sick and wind up in Intensive Care, separated and isolated from everyone. Many people in China, Italy, France and the US have already experienced the hardship and loss that accompanies this illness, and it is bound to grow worse.
Although this is a difficult time, there are ways you can protect your family members and others with underlying health conditions, regardless of their age. This is a critical time to keep these people safe; however, we can only do it by coming together as a community. It is our responsibility to do this as good human beings who do not want to put others at risk.
There are ways that you can help to prevent this virus from spreading, either as a carrier or if you are infected. We were just informed by the director of Dana Farber/Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, one of the best hospitals in the country, that we cannot participate in “routine social interaction or out-of-house excursions.” We were told that the only time to leave our home is if there is a need to go to the grocery store for food or elsewhere for medical treatment. Grocery store visits should be limited to once a week. I am sure this will become legally enforced by the government in due course, not only for healthcare workers, but everyone. However, as you know, the legal system takes time, even in emergency situations. In the meantime, the directors of America’s leading hospitals and other health care professionals are telling people to stay home. This may be for two weeks or a month, so start thinking of ways you can pass the time. Set up days to have face time dates with your friends; have family dinners; take on a new hobby, such as reading a book or watching an uplifting movie. Make sure to get all your work done and stay uplifted and motivated. This is not a time to treat the virus as a joke. It is not a time to hang out with friends and risk people’s lives. As American citizens, this is a time to be humble, and for this short time, sacrifice your own well-being and what you consider good times. This is a sacrifice we can make for others so that they can live. Your small actions can help the greater good. Accordingly, please stay home and only leave for extreme extenuating or urgent circumstances!