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It’s Just a Cold

It’s Just a Cold

He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. Acts 18:26

For anyone unfamiliar with my blog, I write daily on my own addiction, faith, and recovery. I use scripture as a platform to spur introspection on my ongoing flaws and struggles. As such, I usually write for and about myself. If anyone else finds it useful, I’m thankful. I rarely write in a teaching tone, because I’m simply trying to figure life out myself.

There are rare times though, when it’s necessary to put on my white coat and be a physician. Today is one of those times. As a starting point, I’m using the story in Acts 18 of Apollos who taught about Christ but didn’t have all the facts. When two disciples, Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they gently pulled him aside, sharing their knowledge. That’s my goal here – to gently impart some accurate information about Covid-19.

Daily, I hear those around me say things like this: It’s just a cold . . .  What’s everyone so worked up about? . . . I saw a video on Facebook about how masks don’t work at all . . . I don’t need to be careful. God is my mask . . . Our president even went so far as to accuse physicians of falsely inflating numbers to defraud insurance companies.

In response, I’ll first say that I have good, intelligent friends who say these things. They are still my friends and I respect their right to have an opinion. I have an opinion too, though, and if you trust me as a physician, I hope you’ll listen. If you think I’m part of some vast conspiracy to defraud Medicare and subjugate the masses with fearmongering, then you should never entrust me with any of your medical care.

I don’t have this all figured out. I don’t wear my mask all the time and I’m not the Covid-19 authority. I do know however, that our hospitals are alarmingly full. We’re at a capacity that I’ve never witnessed in my career. When we need to admit patients to the hospital from clinic, beds simply aren’t available. Patients are being transferred to smaller and smaller towns, where beds are also becoming scarce. Our hospitals are at capacity and resources are stretched thin. It will take a very small increase in the number of sick patients to push us to the point where people will begin dying from routine illnesses simply because we’re unable to care for them. That is terrifying. That is a fact.

Most people who get Covid-19 of course (somewhere around 95-99%), will have the luxury of saying, It wasn’t that bad. I don’t know what the big deal is. For most people, that will be the case. Our hospitals aren’t being filled with those who aren’t that bad. Our hospitals are strained by the small percentage who get really sick, after they get Covid-19 from those who weren’t that bad.

What can we do? What should we do? This is hard. Mitigating the spread of the virus isn’t the only priority. Education is a priority. I think my kids need to be in the classroom. We shouldn’t simply throw away a year of schooling. The economy is a priority. I don’t want my friends and neighbors to lose their businesses. Mental health and addiction are priorities. I’ve known many addicts who’ve relapsed during this spring’s shelter-in-place order. I don’t want the economy to shut down and I desperately want to keep my church and gym open. I do, however, also want to take practical steps to slow the spread of the virus, decrease the burden on our hospitals, and save lives.

What can we do? We can stop saying, It’s just a cold. We can take it seriously. We can stay home when we’re sick – even if it is just a cold for us. We can and should get tested when symptomatic. We can keep our kids home from school when they’re sick. We can wear masks (Yes, they work, no matter what that YouTube video says). We can wash our hands and maintain social distancing. If things get bad enough, we may have to forego certain activities that put us at higher risk for spreading Covid-19.

As Christians, it’s profoundly selfish of us to say, It’s just not that bad for me and mine. We have a responsibility to love our neighbors, which means that our right to live the way we want may not always be the right way to live. We’re all in this together and at some point, we’re all going to need the hospital. Unless of course, you don’t trust physicians because they’re all just part of a vast conspiracy . . .

Now, I’m going to go back to writing about my own flaws and struggles.

5 Responses

  1. Rob Taylor says:

    AMEN / AMEN / and AMEN
    And did I say AMEN !!!!!!!
    Thank you soooo much Dr Scott
    Blessings for safety on you and yours
    And A Hugh THANK YOU FOR BEING ON THE FRONT LINES !
    Did I say AMEN ????

  2. Natalie Capps says:

    Thank you Scott! There are not enough people of faith speaking out right now. I so appreciate you and all that you do at the clinic and all that you accomplish on your blog. I often share one of your postings or recommend your blog. You are accomplishing great things for the kingdom, flaws and all!

  3. Sheila Tebben says:

    Thank you!! This was the most unbiased factual opinion I’ve heard and I totally appreciated your guidance and information especially as a physician.

  4. Doug Ardoff says:

    Your recent post was sent to me from a mutual friend. I find some common ground, being a believer with issues. Thank you for your post.

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