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Be a leader, you can stop COVID-19

Wednesday, March 18, 2020 - 9am

By President Michael Williams and David Mansdoerfer

The science shows that for a vast majority of folks, the symptoms for COVID-19 will be mild and not require any type of medical intervention. Additionally, given that a virus, by nature, cannot be seen, if you have yet to be personally affected by this, the national response to the crisis can feel a bit surreal.

If you are young, healthy and follow general guidelines on hygiene, it might seem safe to continue to live life as you normally would. But living your normal life is exactly what COVID-19 needs to continue to spread.

This might sound counterintuitive, but you can be asymptomatic (feel healthy) and still transmit COVID-19 to folks with underlying health issues or who fall into high-risk categories.

Put a different way, feeling healthy does not mean it is safe to be around people.

At this point, nonessential social gatherings of groups above 10 are irresponsible. While it might feel safe to live life as you used to, it’s not.

For the world to continue, certain parts of each person’s personal life need to continue (work, grocery shopping, etc.) But nonessential gatherings of 10 or more in various locations such as coffee shops or restaurants need to stop.

Before you walk out the door for a nonessential issue, think about your family member, neighbor or coworker with cancer or child with asthma, and consider what you would think if someone else took that approach and it impacted the lives of the people you love.

Be safe, practice good hygiene and continue to follow the public health guidelines outlined by the CDC and state and local public health agencies.

COVID-19 needs YOU to spread, but YOU have the opportunity to stop it.

HSC prides itself on developing healthcare’s future leaders. Now is the time to lead.

Dr. Michael Williams is President of HSC and David Mansdoerfer is Special Assistant to the President of HSC and former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.