January 10th, 2022
April 2020 - "Flattening the curve has occurred effectively in most parts of the United States. That is a good thing because we still have serious supply chain issues with protective gear for healthcare workers. I have friends that work for companies that produce the PPE materials and the stories that I am hearing as to the why are frustrating and a clear sign that the supply chain needs to be United States based form here on out. That being said, where do we go from here? We have discussed this on and off over the last few weeks.
However, the issue that is arising heavily right now is the economic damage that is occurring to the most vulnerable Americans. Poverty is the number one risk factor for negative health outcomes year over year and we are slipping in that direction rapidly.
The reality that keeping the country hunkered down for a prolonged period of time is fraught with peril on the poverty spectrum and thus the health spectrum. Children are not being significantly affected by the virus, however, they will suffer mightily if poverty grows exponentially. This is phase two of how we must see this pandemic despite the frustrating reality that as we loosen restrictions more individuals will get exposed and some volume will die.
Dr. David Katz is a brilliant thinker and he has provided us with some of the most logical and forward thinking non emotional plans for the future. His discussion is non partisan and science centric which is exactly what we need.
Now we look back on these and many other discussions that occurred in the public sphere and in these pages and realize that we had many things right and many things wrong. Herd immunity never turned out to be possible, but places like Sweden had it right while much of the politically driven decisions here were a failure for our children. We stressed our children out with lockdowns, social isolation, poverty based disproportionate educational failures, and so much more. Many people were screaming for the children to receive preferential treatment within the calculus of the pandemic response only to see our ideas drowned out by the policy makers and massive fear based thinking. However, the key was that we never took our eye off of the science and the correct message of what is best for the most vulnerable, our children.
I listened with interest when Dr. Peter Attia praised living in Texas where his children remained in mask optional environments that were known to be very low risk. I remember writing a scathing review of the Teachers Union's approach to the pandemic where they put themselves above the children. I remember being frustrated by this reality when all physicians and nurses were at work everyday despite the risk. Ultimately, I wasn't in their shoes and could not judge, so I buried my frustration and let it go. Much of this pandemic is a study in what to never do again as it relates to children.
Maybe at the end of the day that is exactly what we should take away from this pandemic. What not to do next time. I share Dr. Attia's frustration with the CDC's messaging as I to believe that they have shot themselves in the foot with trust. I fear that that will be a great loss for America. Trust is easily lost and hard to regain.
The hallowed halls of medicine need unbiased leaders who do not owe the policy makers anything. They must act in the best interest of the patient and that is it.
I hope that whenever I stop writing about COVID, you feel that I provided a service of unbiased scientifically based information that helped you weed through the noise of this pandemic.
With great humility for you the reader,