We spend a lot of time on this forum having discussions and making arguments about how to be good citizens and good neighbors. The COVID-19 virus gives us all another chance to demonstrate our commitment to one another and the broader community. This has nothing to do with the right-left spectrum of politics or party affiliation. It’s an undisputed matter of public health, as follows:
It is reasonable to assume that the virus will spread locally and worldwide. A key objective is to slow down the rate of spread, so that our health institutions and providers are not overwhelmed.
Nick Kristoff, from the NY Times, put it this way: “Public health experts have emphasized that flattening the COVID19 curve is very important to avoid overwhelming the health care system. Even if the same number of people end up infected, it helps greatly if the infections are spread over eight months rather than eight weeks.”
Leana Wen, former public health commissioner in Baltimore, added: “This is it exactly. Delay is important. We can all take steps to prevent transmission. This protects us as individuals and buys time for us as a society.“
Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said, “The goal is to reduce the number of cases at the peak of the epidemic. This extends the length of the epidemic, but can push the total number of cases at any one time below the point where the healthcare system gets exhausted, improving outcomes for patients.“
Drew Harris at Jefferson University was more dramatic in a comment: “Important to remember that Covid-19 epidemic control measures may only delay cases, not prevent. However, this helps limit surge and gives hospitals time to prepare and manage. It’s the difference between finding an ICU bed & ventilator or being treated in the parking lot tent.”
The point? Employing personal hygiene is not just a personal choice. Sensible behavior is our contribution to the community at large. Other suggestions are on the CDC website.