Message to Physicians:
My fellow members of the Suffolk County Medical Society, greetings. This is Dr Richard Schoor MD, the President of the Society. We are living through the most extraordinary time in modern history. During times of crisis, people look to leaders for information and for help. As such, we must assume our roles as leaders for the health and welfare of the people of Suffolk County, our patients, and our employees.
I have been encouraged by the tremendous courage that our leaders at the federal, state, county and local levels have shown these last few days but I have been somewhat alarmed by behaviors I have seen on the streets, in establishments, and online.
Make no mistake about. Covid-19 is dangerous. It is imperative that as a leader you let your family, friends, neighbors and social media contacts know that without total commitment to the greater good, Covid-19 will wreak havoc on our community.
Please encourage social distancing and practice it yourselves.
Please discourage complacency with self-imposed quarantining. Covid-19 is highly infectious and limiting targets for viral transmission early on will have a tremendous impact on the ultimate toll that the pandemic will take in terms of disruption to our lives and wellbeing, our health care system, and our economy. To many people, going out to dinner with friends, meeting in small groups, playing sports, or other such activities are innocuous events. They are not. One person can infect 2 to 3 others who can infect 2-3 additional individuals and on and on and on. Many already infected people are asymptomatic yet are highly contagious. Due to the exponential growth curve of new virus infection, every single avoidable transmission event makes a huge difference.
I implore you to pass along the following message to everyone and anyone who will listen:
- Stay at home.
- Keep your children at home.
- Prevent your teenagers from gathering together in groups, even if it makes them upset. The stakes are simply too high.
For ourselves as physicians,
- Keep staffing to a minimum in your offices.
- As best you can, consider remote visits and telemedicine.
- Protect yourselves with personal protective equipment as appropriate.
- Hand wash and avoid touching your face, though this is easier said than done admittedly.
Finally, be a positive influence on social media. As a trusted expert, people will look to you to dispel misinformation, disinformation, and lies. Whether the information comes from an innocent lack of knowledge or from more nefarious actors, human lives are at stake and any and all wrongful information needs to be squashed immediately.
My fellow doctors, this is where the rubber meets the road. Now is our time to shine.
Remember, you are leaders.
Good luck and stay healthy.