With our planned Spring Break upon us we find ourselves in an unprecedented moment in recent history. Like many of you, I spent this weekend with family and friends - both in person and on the phone - intermittently wondering if my family should go out to a restaurant or if I should head to the gym. The news from abroad continues to be sobering and the forecasting from medical professionals alarming. Gradually, I talked myself out of visiting public places and opted to exercise and do some yard work - probably good things to do all the time! Similarly, after a while, my family and I decided to cancel our Spring Break travel plans. We will be fine with some quality time together at home.
If you’ve watched the news or read any articles about the current COVID-19 pandemic, you’ve surely heard the phrases “flatten the curve” and “social distancing” or the words containment and mitigation. I’m writing to you, the ICS community, today to urge us to consider our part in flattening the curve for our community, state, and nation. The primary way to do this is to engage in true social distancing. Really what this means is to stay at home as much as possible, for as long as possible. If you do head out to public spaces, sound advice is to keep two meters (about a six foot distance) between yourself and others, and to wash your hands if you come into contact with an oft-used surface, particularly those made of metals, ceramics, or plastics.
*Studies have shown that mitigation practices like social distancing are the best way to combat pandemics. (*Compelling research can be found in this article, among many others.)
Medical professionals are advising that anyone with a fever and a dry cough should self-quarantine. It appears that the COVID-19 virus is a lower respiratory illness. Those with additional symptoms like a runny nose or congestion are likely suffering from another malady.
I write to you out of an abundance of caution and with all of you on my mind and in my heart. Please be safe and practice social distancing - staying at home for as much as possible, for as long as possible - throughout this spring break.