life Travel

Quick Trip & COVID-19 Thoughts

March 5, 2020

On the spectrum of “ahh, it will blow over” being a 1 and “OMG we are ALL GOING TO DIE” being a 10, I’m currently sitting around a 7 re: COVID-19. I am very (VERY!) happy that children are not getting very sick from it, but there are many older adults that I would be very devastated to lose. And none of us are invincible.

CDC graphic from 3/4/2020

(This is not my ‘professional’ or ‘medical’ opinion; these are my personal thought and feelings. I am getting my information from the same publicly available sources that everyone else is: CDC, WHO, and yes, to some extent from mainstream media. I know that at least one person was angry that I expressed concerns given that I am a medical professional, but I’m also a human and really, posting things without mentioning the main thing that’s been dominating my thoughts over the past week feels disingenuous. For the record, Josh is less concerned than I am.)

That said, I am getting on a plane this morning. And, unless ordered otherwise, I am going to continue to work and see patients (thankfully, I’m in a field where kids with contagious illnesses usually reschedule their visits, but who knows how much asymptomatic shedding could be going on). I am going to be working in the hospital when needed. And, like everyone else, I am sending my kids to school (aka giant germ cesspool).

So, given the above, I don’t think it makes sense to curtail other activities right now, particularly when there are no instructions (or even really suggestions) to do so. I am continuing to try to just go about life, because at this moment, I’m not sure there’s anything I (or my children & loved ones) can do personally to lower our risk of contacting the disease. Other than impeccable hygiene measures of course — hand washing, wiping things down, etc. If anyone is curious, I am not going to wear a mask on the plane (I did not feel it would be ethical to take one from my workplace, and I don’t have a stash of masks lying around at home!).

(Of course, everything could change in a heartbeat. And I will absolutely follow any official recommendations or instructions that come out!)

So, where am I going?

I’m headed to Amelia Island for ~48 hours — it’s a mini break & retreat! Josh is at a vascular surgery conference (he left Tues) and so I am coming to join him. We are driving home together on Saturday.

On today’s agenda: 2 podcast episodes (1 that I am particularly excited about – a style-focused episode with expert guest); some blog work; nice diner out

Tomorrow: personal retreat! I had this on my 20 for 2020 and this feels like the perfect opportunity. I will be getting a massage, relaxing, reading, journaling, etc for the entire day. I can’t wait.


  • Reply Canuck March 5, 2020 at 8:04 am

    I’m glad you write about your thoughts on things like COVID-19. I have personally found that this blog humanizes doctors – you are a human being with thoughts, feelings and anxieties just like everyone else. That is important for people to recognize.

  • Reply Brooke March 5, 2020 at 9:10 am

    I live in Seattle. Following the county’s health department’s recommendations, a lot of large tech companies are remote working starting today. We’ve seen increasing school closures. I’m not directly concerned about my families health but I am concerned about hospitals getting overwhelmed in our area if this continues to spread and the societal impacts if this drags on.

  • Reply Ali March 5, 2020 at 10:01 am

    I think we should all be at ‘7’ and those who aren’t are just kidding themselves. The number of people infected doubles every 7 days without serious intervention. Right now, we’re not testing enough people or doing those interventions. The numbers are very low now, but unless something changes dramatically, we’re going to be in serious trouble in a few weeks. Being scared certainly doesn’t help, but everyone should be thinking about how to prepare for school closures/working from home/overloaded hospitals.

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns March 5, 2020 at 10:51 am

    I’m probably at a 7, too. I am a bit more concerned for myself than the average person since I am on immune suppressant drugs for my RA. I work for a large financial company and they suspended non-essential travel so I won’t have to go to Chicago later this month. I’m relieved about that. We don’t have any cases in Minnesota – yet. But I am sure we will any day now.

    Enjoy your personal retreat day! I try to take a ‘shouldless day’ per quarter! Today is sort of one of those days although I will probably do some errands. I have a haircut this morning, though, and will probably get a coffee and read in a book shop afterwards or something like that. My hair person is tough to get into, so my ‘shouldless/personal care days’ tend to involve a hair appt. It’s a wonderful treat to take a day off just for yourself!

  • Reply Amanda March 5, 2020 at 3:13 pm

    Enjoy your retreat/couples’ weekend. And pause from the focus on COVID19. For right now, I am finding comfort in knowing that the 5 FL cases are directly related to travel from WA and China. If it expands from there, then I will become more concerned. (It’s like hurricanes…you know one is coming, but you don’t know the strength, duration, or location. You just need to be prepared and have multiple contingency plans that continue to evolve.)

    A comment in regards to this week’s podcast and the appreciation for timely doctor’s appointments, especially in our area. I don’t know if it’s endocrinologists in general, or just the two that I know ;), but my doctor saw me EARLY this morning (I was the first appointment of the day, and he took me 5 minutes before the scheduled appointment). I was in/out of the office in 20 minutes from the time I walked in, and that included labwork. Usually it’s closer to 45 min total, which is still great.

  • Reply Dana March 6, 2020 at 9:02 am

    I live in Washington and work in a school. I do not envy the people who have to choose whether to keeps schools open or not. We have closed for cleaning (twice now) but not closed completely. I suspect it is spreading in our school but when it’s asymptotic so often for kids how can you stop it? Such hard questions. I am just hoping that the death rate is lower than expected. That’s what scares me for the older people we care about.

  • Reply A. March 8, 2020 at 1:41 pm

    I live in Canada and I would say I am 5/10. Our health system is very good and cautious. I fear more, to be honest, that people continue to travel for fun. Right now, it is worst in Europe in general, like in Italy it is not looking good. It could change in a heartbeat there… Universities and work companies are postponing conferences and public events…. it should stay like this for a while and I think travelling should be kept to minimal.

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