On a recent out-of-town trip for a high school athletic tournament, I had an interesting interaction. As I got on the hotel elevator, I noticed someone walking up to the elevator behind me. When he …
On a recent out-of-town trip for a high school athletic tournament, I had an interesting interaction. As I got on the hotel elevator, I noticed someone walking up to the elevator behind me. When he did not walk on after me, I held the door and asked if he was waiting on someone else. “Some people are afraid of the corona” was his response. I put my mask on; he got on the elevator; and we shared the 15-second ride to the lobby and went our separate ways. I found it interesting that a simple gesture of holding the elevator for someone was met with hesitation, out of a concern of “fear.”
I do not live in fear of the coronavirus and I will not let the coronavirus change my ability to show kindness, respect, care and compassion to others. I suspect this gentleman had previously been greeted with contempt or indignation from getting too close to someone. No, I do not fear coronavirus and COVID-19, but I do, at least partially, understand it and respect it. More importantly, I respect my fellow man. I am out in public on a very limited basis, but I wear my mask, keep to social distancing whenever possible and carry hand sanitizer with me. These are not protective measures I take out of fear “of the corona.” Instead, they are calculated efforts to keep me, my family, my coworkers, my patients and my community, as well as our state and nation, as safe as possible.
COVID has undoubtedly affected everyone — directly and indirectly. We are likely to lose friends and neighbors to it. Is it that different from other calamities we face? The 2020 hurricane season comes to mind. We do not live in fear of hurricanes, but we try to adapt, prepare and mitigate losses, especially loss of life. Our approach to COVID-19 must be the same — we need to take the knowledge we have now and adapt, prepare and mitigate losses. We must do the simple, painless, selfless things to protect each other — these actions are akin to mass evacuations before a hurricane as ways to protect lives.
COVID-19 will not let us ignore the consequences of our doubt or disbelief or willful ignorance — our hospitals are filling up and the surge continues at unprecedented levels. We urge everyone to respect “the corona,” but more importantly, respect, honor and serve each other.
(This article was originally published early November in the 307Health monthly newsletter and is reprinted here with permission. Dr. Robert Chandler is a co-founder of 307Health. He has practiced in Powell since 2004.)