Dear Neighbors, near and far:
The most important biological fact that everyone needs to know related to the coronavirus pandemic is that we are all in this together. It is not a choice. It is a fact of biology. Given what we now know about coronavirus transmission, and the laws of “exponential growth” you may have been reading about, it means that any single additional transmission, anywhere, increases the risk for us all.
But if we all do everything we can to reduce transmission to a minimum, and “flatten the curve”, we will get through this, our health system will never be avoidably overloaded, and we will emerge from this crisis stronger and more connected as neighbors than ever.
Success will come from integrating two things into every part of our lives in the days and weeks ahead:
Physical Distancing that keeps every uninfected person safe from any coronavirus that may be nearby;
Social Connecting through which we support each other, using our family and social networks to spread both accurate information and moral support at a speed that no virus can compete with, ultimately reaching and including everyone.
Our Practical Guide to Staying Safe During the Coronavirus Pandemic provides concrete details on how each of us can keep a healthy physical distance between any possible coronavirus and ourselves and our loved ones. As you rely upon your family and social networks to support each other, please share this guide widely.
Dr. Andrew Junkin, Dr. Julia Cooperman, and Dr. Lachlan Forrow
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Harvard Medical School