Dear Lightning Society Community,
I’ve decided to cancel all Lightning Society events for the next two weeks until we have clearer direction from authorities regarding protocols for containment and response to COVID-19. Precaution is the easiest way to protect our community and particularly those around us who are at-risk due to underlying health conditions. This decision wasn’t made lightly and comes in response to conversations with several doctor friends who are actively working on the outbreak as well as the guidance of social distancing from the CDC itself. I am as frustrated as anyone with the media’s scaremongering, however, a cautious response feels responsible given the lack of clarity we have about COVID-19 and the potential volatility of the situation.
The long incubation period during which people may unknowingly be infected is what makes the disease so difficult to get ahead of. In Europe and Asia, the biggest issue emerging seems to be that hospitals are quickly overwhelmed and cases that would otherwise be treatable may be left unattended because there are not enough resources in the short term. The system needs time to grow in response to increased demand. By committing to keeping each other safe we can do our part to slow the spread so the medical system has a chance to react.
Remarkably, in China, the 30 provinces that have enacted social distancing protocols are already experiencing a decline in cases. Limiting physical interactions has allowed doctors to do their work finding cases, isolating them, and tracking their close contacts. What China demonstrates is if we settle down and control the spread, the authorities can begin the systematic work of case finding and contact tracing, it’s possible to change the shape of the outbreak, take the heat out of it, and prevent many people from getting sick and the most vulnerable from dying.
Tomorrow, March 12th at 3:30pm I’ll be hosting a Facebook live stream with a friend who was a doctor at the CDC during the ebola outbreak and has been staying abreast of the COVID outbreak. We’ll be covering topics like social responsibility, how to react when a friend or roommate tests positive and what to do if you feel sick. If you have a question you’d like to ask please use this link and we’ll address it during the live stream tomorrow.
Founder of Lightning Society