I almost didn't read this, but I did and it's really important.
I've been thinking that surely it can't hurt if we can sneak out and catch up for a coffee with our mates down the road.
This has shifted my understanding. We are all in this together and if we're going to make a meaningful difference.
Shared from Jo Hyde
Thank you Alicia Kennedy ... shared from an infectious disease epidemiologist -
First, we are in the very infancy of this epidemic’s trajectory. That means even with these measures we will see cases and deaths continue to rise globally, nationally, and in our own communities in the coming weeks. Our hospitals will be overwhelmed, and people will die that didn’t have to. This may lead some people to think that the social distancing measures are not working.
They are. They may feel futile. They aren’t. You will feel discouraged. You should. This is normal in chaos. But this is also normal epidemic trajectory. Stay calm. This enemy that we are facing is very good at what it does; we are not failing.
We need everyone to hold the line as the epidemic inevitably gets worse. This is not my opinion; this is the unforgiving math of epidemics for which I and my colleagues have dedicated our lives to understanding with great nuance, and this disease is no exception. We know what will happen; I want to help the community brace for this impact.
Stay strong and with solidarity knowing with absolute certainty that what you are doing is saving lives, even as people begin getting sick and dying. You may feel like giving in. Don’t.
Second, although social distancing measures have been (at least temporarily) well-received, there is an obvious-but-overlooked phenomenon when considering groups (i.e. families) in transmission dynamics. While social distancing decreases contact with members of society, it of course increases your contacts with group (i.e. family) members.
This small and obvious fact has surprisingly profound implications on disease transmission dynamics. Study after study demonstrates that even if there is only a little bit of connection between groups (i.e. social dinners, playdates/playgrounds, etc.), the epidemic trajectory isn’t much different than if there was no measure in place.
The same underlying fundamentals of disease transmission apply, and the result is that the community is left with all of the social and economic disruption but very little public health benefit. You should perceive your entire family to function as a single individual unit; if one person puts themselves at risk, everyone in the unit is at risk.
Seemingly small social chains get large and complex with alarming speed. If your son visits his girlfriend, and you later sneak over for coffee with a neighbor, your neighbor is now connected to the infected office worker that your son’s girlfriend’s mother shook hands with.
This sounds silly, it’s not. This is not a joke or a hypothetical. We as epidemiologists see it borne out in the data time and time again and no one listens. Conversely, any break in that chain breaks disease transmission along that chain.
In contrast to hand-washing and other personal measures, social distancing measures are not about individuals, they are about societies working in unison. These measures also take a long time to see the results. It is hard (even for me) to conceptualize how ‘one quick little get together’ can undermine the entire framework of a public health intervention, but it does.
I promise you it does. I promise. I promise. I promise. You can’t cheat it. People are already itching to cheat on the social distancing precautions just a “little”- a play-date, a haircut, or picking up a needless item at the store, etc.
From a transmission dynamics standpoint, this very quickly recreates a highly connected social network that undermines all of the work the community has done so far.
Until we get a viable vaccine this unprecedented outbreak will not be overcome in grand, sweeping gesture, rather only by the collection of individual choices our community makes in the coming months. This virus is unforgiving to unwise choices.
My goal in writing this is to prevent communities from getting ‘sucker-punched’ by what the epidemiological community knows will happen in the coming weeks.
It will be easy to be drawn to the idea that what we are doing isn’t working and become paralyzed by fear, or to ‘cheat’ a little bit in the coming weeks.
By knowing what to expect, and knowing the importance of maintaining these measures, my hope is to encourage continued community spirit, strategizing, and action to persevere in this time of uncertainty.
PO Box 419, Double Bay, NSW 1360
- 573 Hits
- Since 29-03-20
- Posted by Eastern Suburbs Life
- Eastern Suburbs Area
- Key Words: Corona Virus, COVID-19, Social Distancing, Really Important, Counter Intuitive, Please Share With Your Friends :-)
The Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize, Australia’s pre-eminent award for small sculpture presented by Woollahra Council, has announced 56 finalists for the 20th annual Prize and exhibition. The 2020 finalist works, by artists from Australia, New Zealand,… Eastern Suburbs Area
Council services The safety of our community and our staff is Council’s number one priority, and we ask that everyone continue to follow social distancing requirements and observe restrictions to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Whilst our Customer… Eastern Suburbs Area
WEBINAR: A Medical Doctor Presents Healings that are Medically Verifiable About this Event WEBINAR: Unique Series of Lectures by a Medical Doctor Healed people report how they became healthy. Professionals present medically-documented healings. Speakers… Eastern Suburbs Area
Would you like to be able to: - Attract more people to your business? Let more people know what you are doing? Keep the community up to date with changes? Collectively promote your business in Social Media? Share information with other businesses that… Eastern Suburbs Area
Cat owners who don’t desex their feline companions by the time they turn four months old will pay an annual $80 permit under tough new Government guidelines now in effect. The $80 annual fee is in addition to the one-off lifetime pet registration fee.… Eastern Suburbs Area
It has been reported in the media that Council is working on a proposal to reopen its beaches. I strongly reiterate that this is not the case. The Waverley LGA is a hotspot for coronavirus cases and we have no intention of reopening our beaches at this… Eastern Suburbs Area
Did you know that almost 40% of the waste that’s currently thrown out in red-lid bins is food? When food is sent to landfill, greenhouse gases are released into the environment. Starting in March 2021 Council will introduce a new way for residents to… Eastern Suburbs Area
Meet the newly-appointed 'ambassadors' keeping Bondi and neighbouring beaches COVID-safe. That means gatherings of no more than 30 people and keeping a towel length distance from others while using beaches. As well as patrolling beaches, the… Eastern Suburbs Area
Public Health Orders govern the way we operate our services and facilities. Here’s the latest about what the changing restrictions mean for you. Customer Service Centre The Customer Service Centre is open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. To comply with… Eastern Suburbs Area
New ‘swim & go’ measures introduced at Woollahra beaches and harbour pools will provide a safe way to exercise while maintaining social distancing. Commencing Wednesday 6 May, a quick swim, a walk or run or launching watercraft will be possible at the… Eastern Suburbs Area
Maroubra Beach will become Insta-famous this July thanks to a temporary art installation that includes a 3D perspective mural and augmented reality Instagram filter that will bring it to life. The installation will run for two weeks from Sat, July 11,… Eastern Suburbs Area
All Randwick Council beaches, including Clovelly, Coogee and Maroubra, will be made available for exercise purposes from Tuesday 28 April 2020, Randwick Mayor Danny Said announced today. The time restrictions imposed over the Anzac Day weekend have been… Eastern Suburbs Area