Yesterday I posted a piece written by an epidemiologist at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center.
I received another copy of it by email sent by a Dr.
There was a lot of information, I would like to address the section on being a “unit.”
Unfortunately, it appears that message is not getting across too many families.
Yes, you are all individuals, but living in isolation or quarantine creates a unit. Whatever one person does outside the walls of their home affects all the others in the unit.
2 days ago, my daughter and I (we are a unit) took her dog for a hike in a nearby park. It was lovely. For the most part the trail was empty, every so often we passed others – everyone respectful of social distancing – walk pass, smile, nod your head, say hello, keep moving. It was delightful to be outdoors for an hour or more, in nature.
As we approached the parking lot cars where pulling in faster than need be filled with kids shouting out to their friends in the other cars. There were 5 to 6 cars maybe more (with multiple kids in each car). As we were leaving the kids were meeting together in a group standing close together, laughing and carefree.
Be scared people if these are your children. For they have just exposed you and your whole unit to anything and everything the other units have been in contact with.
Be scared but more so BE AWARE. It is a time to tighten the reigns on your own personal units.
Do not take offense when others decide to protect themselves and their units by limiting exposure. We will get through this. Let’s all do our part to stay safe and healthy.
below the section on a “unit” from the epidemiologist at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center
“Second, although social distancing measures have been (at least
temporarily) well-received, there is an obvious-but-overlooked phenomenon
when considering groups (i.e. families) in transmission dynamics. While
social distancing decreases contact with members of society, it of course
increases your contacts with group (i.e. family) members. This small and
obvious fact has surprisingly profound implications on disease transmission
dynamics. Study after study demonstrates that even if there is only a
little bit of connection between groups (i.e. social dinners,
playdates/playgrounds, etc.), the epidemic trajectory isn’t much different
than if there was no measure in place. The same underlying fundamentals of
disease transmission apply, and the result is that the community is left
with all of the social and economic disruption but very little public
health benefit. You should perceive your entire family to function as a
single individual unit; if one person puts themselves at risk, everyone in
the unit is at risk. Seemingly small social chains get large and complex
with alarming speed. If your son visits his girlfriend, and you later sneak
over for coffee with a neighbor, your neighbor is now connected to the
infected office worker that your son’s girlfriend’s mother shook hands
with. This sounds silly, it’s not. This is not a joke or a hypothetical. We
as epidemiologists see it borne out in the data time and time again and no
one listens. Conversely, any break in that chain breaks disease
transmission along that chain.”