Patience…for Public Health!

by | Apr 13, 2020

Reflecting on Easter Monday . . .


Lengthy lockdowns get old. Really old. Duh.  Getting “back” to whatever the next chapter of life brings us is SO anticipated. By May Day? Another day?  Before we get to that chancy chapter – how about one more look at how we got to here…patiently awaiting a new “normalcy.”

“Mister Virus showed up.”

As a behavioral economist, Neil Senturia, alluded in today’s Union-Tribune column,  we are facing discomforting psychological, cognitive, emotional, cultural and social effects from economic decisions of individuals and institutions. This column thankfully cited his Rule 655, which I bullishly endorse, “This, too, will pass (I hope). “Yet Senturua reminds us that things will NOT stay the same.

We will again face epic epidemiological scares OR global awful afters when and where intersections of bats and humans occur again. [Three-fourths(!) of our new human diseases come from animals.]  Prescient epidemiologists and influential icons, like Bill Gates were canaries in proverbial coal mines before Wuhan became ground zero, this time. We individuals and institutions were tone-deaf to them, as arguable post mortems.

Hollywood got “Contagion” right, most regrettably. A LA Times article about that pandemic movie and our real-life exposure cited:

“destructive social effects of pandemics…dips in the stock market, countries blaming each other, as well as people hoarding masks and other supplies…the movie illustrated how misinformation and fear cause people to behave in ways that frequently are going to make the problem worse, or cause new problems.”

We ARE immutably linked (my opinion) by public health. Those of us who are blessed with good immunities shouldn’t unknowingly spread diseases to neighbors – now or next time. Perhaps lessons of the next inevitable epidemic will show that we were more prepared than we were this time.  There WILL be a next time… We will need each other to survive and thrive.

As Gwyneth Paltrow offered, after dying as patient “0” in Contagion, ““Stay safe. Don’t shake hands. Wash hands frequently.”

Those are public health words to LIVE BY!  Be patient for public health.

Be well and fit. Be optimistic like Neil Senturia. Listen to Gwyneth. Stoke your immunity for your and our health!




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