Covid-19 is a rapidly and continually changing topic. Anything talked about today will be out of date come tomorrow morning - but this is an important topic even with the ever moving target.
This week's podcast was recorded on 4/4/2020 - and we knew that data would change between initial recording and release - but I don't think any of us expected it to change as much as it had. When we recorded this episode we had not yet hit the peak and surge in most states, but since then we have passed this date in Wisconsin/Illinois and hopefully will be passing this point in most other states - and the data looks WAY better then it did back on the 4th. Back on the 4th it looked like the models for the number of deaths would be closer to reality on what they predicted but since then - things have gotten better. The Army field hospital in Seattle was up and running for nine days and has been returned back to the government after not seeing one patient. On April 14th, Trump and others have started having honest conversations on talking about re-opening the US economy sooner rather then later. That being said there are also some bad things that have come to light as well.
17 million people have filed for unemployment over the course of three weeks (when we recorded it was only at 6 million), there is a fear of an increase of suicides, potentially people being unable to pay rent and being kicked out once the crises ends. And a lot of other things - but I don't want to focus too much on the negative regarding covid if possible.
According to this article from CBS, financial stress due to loss of job/money leads to an increase in suicides. During the great recession (2008-2010) it was found that there were around ten thousand suicides which were directly linked to the great recession. Unfortunately there is already incidental evidence that this may be true during the covid crises as well. This article is one of many from around the country which is talking about the increase in numbers of calls to suicide and mental health help lines. Some places are seeing increases of calls in excess of 100% (and according to this article some places were up to 300%+ as of late March.). I personally hope that as the stimulus checks reach bank accounts and the talk of re-opening the economy starts to take off, that these calls start to stop and go back to pre-covid hours.
So that being said - let's talk about hope. As the number of daily infections starts to level out and decline, the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter and brighter - but we are not fully there yet. We are in that weird phase of the epidemic where we can start to get hopeful - but as we start to get hope we need to keep being smart with how we do things to prevent a second wave of this virus from spreading in the US. If we let hope override everything and stop being careful - we will end up in a second lockdown with this despair spreading further and wider. Hope does not mean stupidity but it does mean looking toward the future of what may be based on how things are going. Hope means being able to survive until the light at the end of the tunnel is realized.
Hope is powerful.
And right now - more then any other time that I can remember - Hope is what we need.