April 3, 2020
We promised we would update you weekly on how the COVID-19 global pandemic is affecting our Island community. We are today providing our second update, in the form of two revised documents where updates are noted in red: (1) public health Advice tailored for the Island and (2) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). Documents are searchable on FishersIsland.net under COVID-19
Today we write with good news. The COVID-19 positive patient from Fishers who was admitted to L&M hospital last Friday night is recovering and was discharged from Lawrence & Memorial Hospital on Wednesday. The other family member is still awaiting test results, but both of them have now traveled together back to their primary residence off-Island and we hope they will be fine. We thank you all for keeping them in your prayers and we are relieved and grateful that the patient is getting through this experience and is on the road to recovery. Huge thanks once again to our emergency responders for having successfully evacuated this patient on Friday night.
Learnings from our first experience dealing with COVID on the Island have helped us refine our Advice Note #2, and you will find updates in red. In addition, we have added to our FAQ after an Island Community Board meeting on Tuesday, March 31 which 100 community members attended.
Amid the flood of information, we are all receiving about COVID-19, I also wanted to share a few links that I have vetted and think are insightful:
- For a very practical message on empowering and protecting families during the COVID-19 pandemic, watch this March 27 video from Dr. Dave Price of Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City. It’s 57 minutes long and will answer many of your questions about how to interact with the public and how to protect family members (both sick and well), what precautions to take, and what NOT to worry about. It is scientifically sound and reassuring.
- For some scientific back-up to support social distancing and why you should stay at home and avoid others (and open your windows!) see this video from Japan on micro-droplets from coughs and sneezes, and even talking, and how these particles can float in the air and infect others.
- If you are wondering how the pandemic is playing out in Long Island, FishersIsland.net posts the Suffolk County Emergency Operation Center’s update every day.
- To inspire you to have the stamina to keep up with social distancing, I would like to share an epidemiologist’s message about the disease that has been widely circulated on the Internet:
“Study after study demonstrates that even if there is only a little bit of connection between groups (i.e. social dinners, playdates/playgrounds, etc.), the epidemic trajectory isn’t much different than if there was no measure in place. The same underlying fundamentals of disease transmission apply, and the result is that the community is left with all of the social and economic disruption but very little public health benefit…You should perceive your entire family to function as a single individual unit; if one person puts themselves at risk, everyone in the unit is at risk…You can’t cheat [COVID-19]. People are already itching to cheat on the social distancing precautions just a “little”- a playdate, a haircut, or picking up a needless item at the store, etc….From a transmission dynamics standpoint, this very quickly recreates a highly connected social network that undermines all of the work the community has done so far.
Finally, I would like to implore you to unite in this crisis, because divisions will weaken our small Island precisely when we need to build solidarity and resilience. Please resist any impulse to blame or divide us. Fishers Island belongs to all of us. We are a small community built on trust, and we all have a role to play, so let’s engage and not create distance. Pope Francis recently addressed an empty St. Peter’s Square while the epidemic ravaged Italy, and said this:
“We have realized that we are on the same boat, all of us fragile and disoriented, but at the same time important and needed, all of us called to row together, each of us in need of comforting the other.”
Continue to stay safe, keep calm, keep your social distance, and wash your hands! Please do not hesitate to call me at 631-788-7244 if you are experiencing symptoms and need medical advice.
Dr. Chris Ingram
Physician in Residence, Fishers Island