Today’s message, though brief and slightly less literature-based, is no less hard hitting:

When it comes to the COVID-19 virus, we must move – just as seen in the Kübler-Ross grief model – from denial to acceptance.

Beyond the denial of COVID-19 itself by a select few, we are focusing on a far more pervasive form of denial.  Namely, the denial that COVID-19 can come to my own house or infect my own family or my own friends.

Daily we encounter news of the havoc that this virus is wreaking on our nation, our community, and our economy. Daily we read statistics about rising rates of infection. Daily we hear stories of others that have fallen ill. In this recurrent cycle, many of us have become complacent. Many of us have fallen into a false sense of security, thinking that we are somehow special and therefore immune to this epidemiological crisis despite COVID-19’s indisputable virulence. The virus continues to spread through society in large part because roughly 40% of infections are thought to be asymptomatic (though still highly contagious) and because even among those with symptoms roughly 50% of transmission occurs prior to symptom onset.   We must progress from denial to acceptance of our current reality. There is no known immunity to the COVID-19 virus aside from the immunity (of unknown duration) gained through survival of active infection.

A vaccine may be soon around the corner – possibly even beginning rollout before the end of 2020. In the meantime, however, do not lose your focus. Stay strong, stay resolute, stay vigilant. We hope to be free of this virus, but that day has not yet come.  Until then, confront your inner denial, grow to accept the current reality, and keep your composure.

Be safe. Be well. Be patient.

-Dr. Brian Hollett, Dr. Ari Levy, and the SHIFT Medical Team