Coronavirus Diary (23): “A Disdain for Science”

A plea from my sister-in-law, Jessica Franklin, MD, of Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, New Jersey. She posted this on Facebook, and was reluctant to have it posted publicly, describing it as more a “frustrated, heart-broken rant than a reasoned opinion.” But there’s been no paucity of reasoned opinions at this point. Every other commenter on her Facebook post has a story to tell about someone’s backsliding or refusing to comply with social distancing, the ban on gatherings, etc. If we’re going to break our health care workers and our health care facilities in this excruciating way, we should have the courage to watch it happen in real time. 

Jessica:

I am heartbroken when I hear reports of people with such a disdain for science. What is happening at Liberty University is a crime. People who aren’t sheltering in place are causing the suffering and death of health care providers, friends, and family.

Let me be clear. I have no political agenda. There is no hoax. Young people are dying. Previously healthy people are dying. There is no significantly effective therapy, no matter what you have heard. Health care providers are getting sick. Many are our patients. If we had effective treatment, don’t you think they would be getting it and getting better?

If you are not sheltering in place, you are directly contributing to the death and suffering of others. Come at me, unfriend me. I will be busy trying to do my job.

I am not asking anyone for a pat on the back. All I want if for you to show some backbone, tell your kids they can’t go hang out with their buddies, even if they promise to stay six feet away (spoiler alert, they won’t), tell your parents to stay home, and say “no” to house guests. Thanks.

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