It Was So Good to See You!

March 18, 2020 4:03 p.m.
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A few times over recent days I have encouraged people to reach out to elderly relatives or just friends or older people you don’t even know. FaceTime, Zoom, any of the other ubiquitous applications all work just fine. Loneliness and isolation are intrinsic risks of old age under the best of circumstances. Here we have an urgent clinical need for people over 65 or 70 to isolate themselves to a stringent degree. Stay in the house. Don’t have any visitors. Maybe even have the delivery people leave things at the door and come out later to bring it in.

Older people are also faced with a more intense threat to their well-being. That just escalates all the risk of isolation, loneliness, depression and anxiety which are aspects of old age that many of us who have not yet reached that stage of our lives prefer not to dwell on.

But I mention this to you now because a few hours ago we recorded the latest episode of the podcast. We do it by hosting a Zoom conference session (so a video conference) and then simultaneously recording the conversation on each of our iPhones. The different recordings then get mushed together into a single audio which becomes the podcast. This allows us to have some sense of interacting with each other – hearing each other, seeing each other’s faces as we converse – while also getting a better level of audio fidelity for the final product.

But here’s the thing: It was great to see David and Kate! And that’s not just because they’re wonderful colleagues I care a lot about. It’s just good to see your people. And I’m far from isolated. I live with my wife and two sons and two dogs. Believe me, there were moments cooped up in our apartment over the last few days I yearned to be more isolated! But it brought home to me how important staying in contact is, especially in audio and video contact. There’s something about hearing and seeing other people – even if it’s just virtually that really makes a difference.

Late Update: Here’s the new episode.

Key Coronavirus Crisis Links

Josh Marshall’s Twitter List of Trusted Experts (Epidemiologists, Researchers, Clinicians, Journalists, Government Agencies) providing reliable real-time information on the COVID-19 Crisis.

COVID-19 Tracking Project (updated data on testing and infections in the U.S.).

IHME Projections Site (COVID-19 epidemic model which has become the canonical model for many states and hospitals.)

Johns Hopkins Global COVID-19 Survey (most up to date numbers globally and for countries around the world). (extensive source of information and data visualizations on COVID-19 Crisis — discussion of data here).

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