Exponential Risk

NaBloPoMo 2020 – Today’s Lesson

Things are looking really bad again, folks.  Illinois saw more than 10,000 new COVID cases for the fourth day in a row.  Between the first and third weeks of October, COVID inpatient census rose 500% in one metropolitan hospital system, and it’s still climbing.  At this rate, we may run out of ICU beds by Thanksgiving.

I had more calls today about COVID (symptoms and/or exposures) than any day since the pandemic started.  Every call takes time to explain the profound importance of distancing, masking, and minimizing contacts, then the logistics of quarantine, testing, and contact tracing.  It’s totally straight forward in some ways, and completely convoluted in others. 

With rapidly escalating disease prevalence, every unmasked contact with a non-household (or ‘pod’) member carries exponential risk.  You breathe on me, I breathe on you.  We have now exposed each other to everybody we have each contacted in the past 14 days—we have merged our bubbles irrevocably in this one encounter, endangering everyone in each bubble and all of their extended contacts.  It cannot be undone.  This is the nature of a pandemic. 

I understand how hard it all is—how inconvenient, fatiguing, disruptive, and maddening.  Our masking and distancing, missing friends and activities, restricting our kids’ social lives, is all immediately and concretely costly to us, and only distantly and abstractly beneficial to others (and us).  Still, it is what we can do to slow the spread of a deadly virus that has infected more than 10 million Americans, and will have killed more than 240,000 of us by tomorrow.

Avoid these 9 pitfalls to stay safe.

If you want to pod, follow this guide closely. 

We can stop all paths of the virus through us.  But it takes all of us.

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