Are We Out of the Forest or Is Our View Blocked by the Trees?

Cathy Stern MSOL, RN
Manager, Clinical and Operational Improvement

It seems like an eternity since I have been out of my home without wearing a mask and thinking about how close I am standing to strangers (not that I typically stand close to strangers 😊). Wearing a mask is really a protective measure, not for me, but for those I come into contact with. It is my opportunity to provide passive care for others and assuming my ability / responsibility to protect others in this small way.

States / cities across our country are returning to daily activities of living – shopping, dining out, gathering in groups, etc. In some cities that have recently began to re-open the number of COVID-19 cases have risen. While there are numbers being reported all around us – total number of cases for the country, by state, by county, by city, by zip code; the number of new cases in the same categories; as well as the numbers of citizens that have succumb to this nasty virus. Along with these daily / weekly updates; learned individuals in nationally respected organizations are making projections of what may or may not be in terms of COVID-19 future state. I am a believer that numbers can tell the story. I also know that numbers, depending on what is included or excluded and how calculations are performed can change the reality of the story. While all of the reported information we receive regularly is very important, I would encourage us to think about this…COVID-19, the virus as a living cell has never attended a math class and does not understand statistical analysis. You may chuckle at the previous sentence and if you did, it has invoked some thought. So what?

Again, while numbers tell a story, I would suggest a more telling story is the behaviors being exhibited by members of your community. Are people, who are able, wearing masks in the grocery stores, local department stores, local home improvement stores? Are people practicing social distancing? These two simple questions seem to be a more relevant indicator of what the future may hold in your community. Just something to consider.

Stay vigilant, wear your masks, social distance, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer regularly. We will get through this in time.