I recently read an article that interviewed doctors from San Francisco who volunteered to work on the front lines of the pandemic in New York. They warn that while many states are reopening and life seems in some ways to be returning to normal, it can be easy to forget that COVID-19 is still spreading and still deadly. Pandemic fatigue is setting in, but the fight is far from over. 

winston-churchill-statueIn November of 1942, Winston Churchill delivered an address about Britain's progress in the war effort. He said, “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” Churchill's words ring true for us now. As we head into summer, we find ourselves at the end of the beginning of a pandemic. We still have a long way to go.

Much of the world deployed the "hammer and the dance" strategy to combat COVID-19. The goal of the hammer (complete shutdown) was to get the spread under control as quickly as possible, avoid overwhelming the healthcare system, and PREPARE for the dance.

Multiple areas across the country are now experiencing a surge in increased cases and hospitalizations as they reopen their economies. In my opinion, we are in the early stages of the difficult phase: THE DANCE. This is the process of moving forward with life while continuing to follow protocols that will help mitigate the spread of the virus. Like many things in life, it's about finding balance. The choice between indefinite "social abstinence" and returning to business as usual is a false one. Risk is not binary. 

Instead, we face a process of careful balance to save as many lives as possible. That means taking every precaution to minimize infection rates to the best of our ability, while finding ways to keep moving forward, sustain livelihoods, and minimize collateral damage. 

People NEED People. In a time where we are all isolated from each other, it's more vital than ever to come together and find solutions for the difficulties ahead. 

COVID-ER-NurseI feel blessed to work for a company whose mission is to UNITE and EMPOWER PEOPLE to improve health. We need to better leverage mobile technology to unite people—care teams, patients, and family members. Only by applying the lessons we've learned during the beginning of this pandemic can we forge ahead and face what lies in front of us. As we mark the end of the beginning and prepare to move forward, let's take this time to reflect, take stock of what we've learned, and replace what's broken with systems that can help us prepare for what lies ahead.

James Woodson, MD

Written by James Woodson, MD

James is a board-certified Emergency Physician, and is the Founder and CEO of Pulsara.