I am an orthopedic surgeon, not a virologist by training. But I am a doctor first and the corona virus epidemic has changed life for all of us.
First it has impacted all of our practices no elective surgeries and minimal in-person office visits:. this accounts for a large part of what we do.
Next it has given me an up close window into how truly unprepared our healthcare system is for a pandemic.
Essentially we are all in crisis now. Just like the barber can’t go back to work cutting hair, I will not be able to go back to performing rotator cuff repairs and shoulder replacements electively until we clean up this situation.
Personally I am anticipating being shut down from doing surgeries (except emergencies) for at least a month, likely more. I have endured this before when I personally took some time off to get surgery last year, so I have a general feel for what it will be like to take some time off. I am diverting my energies away from elective surgeries and into other endeavors that I will talk more about at another time as this crisis unfolds.
But nobody knows how long this will drag out or what it will feel like if it goes two, three or more months. Things could get ugly.
I have been chronicling some thoughts on my Twitter account on this unfolding problem @MDiPaolaMD. I have connections with many members of www.EndCoronaVirus.org. It is run by the New England Complex Systems Institute led by Yaneer Bar-Yam.
I took a class there a few years ago primarily because of my interest in Nassim Taleb’s works. Taleb and Bar-Yam have been ahead of the curve in terms of predicting how this crisis will unfold. They have provided tremendously prescient guidance in dealing with the pandemic.
The bottom line is, whether we like it or not we are all on the same ship together. The launch sequence has been initiated and none of us is getting off until we have steered the ship to a safe landing.
This crisis is going to require significant sacrifice on all of our parts. It will require us to take action under conditions of extreme uncertainty and to make good decisions that will have tangible repercussions. I and my partners will do our best here to chronicle some of our experiences and lessons learned in the process. We will try to recruit others with interesting perspectives as well.
Hopefully they will be of use to you. Good luck and stay safe.
By: Matthew DiPaola