Rabbit Holes

COVID posts keep coming and I’m topped off. Nevertheless, here’s another to scroll on past. Some folks type to change minds. Some to impress. Others to vent. I type to reset my skull, then sleep. Here are my latest competing rabbit holes, and not all scary:

On research:

If you’ve ever wanted to chase a PHD, now’s the time. When has there ever been such a global medicopsychosocioeconomic experiment? Aside from medicine, incredibly, some energetic minds may finally be able to put to bed “Are we causing global warming?” If each years’ fires keep getting worse, if each summer is hotter than the last, if the ice keeps melting, if all the other curves continue despite planes grounded and businesses shuttered, then we’re donefur. Smoke ‘em if you’ve got ‘em. Solar flares and God’s will it is. However, if we inadvertently flatten some other curves too, then maybe there’s hope. Gracias C19.

What other topics need grad students ASAP? Mass shootings, road fatalities, domestic violence, pregnancies, ODs, bumblebees, polar bears, silvery minnows, rain forests… To anyone with an inquisitive bone, this is your decade!

On healthcare:

We’ve waited desperately for disruption in medicine. This is it. So much has to change. The dysfunction is front and center at last. I’m hoping hospitals will finally start segregating infectious disease from all the rest. Not just with separate wards, I want separate buildings with every effort made for home care. And the general public too is finally starting to understand what the first letter in “ER” stands for.

Also, telemedicine at long last is finally legit and embraced. I think a wave of telemedicine doctors may emerge from actual residencies sooner than later. Up to now, it’s been a fairly fringe gig for docs needing side income. But no longer. It’s incredible what telemedicine offers everyone involved. For docs… flexible and steady income, low medmal risk, one patient at a time, ZERO infection risk, no commute, no odors, patients say thanks. For patients… no waiting rooms, no driving, low cost, ZERO infection risk, easy second opinions, privacy, no curtain separators, unrushed reassurance, home court advantage especially for kids. Of course many things need hands on, but tech will keep whittling that away.

And regarding vaccines, to those opposed, a penny for your thoughts lately?

On parenthood:

I’m hearing some common age based threads.
0-1 “Yeah whatever. We never sleep and we’ve been self quarantined this whole year anyways.”
1-7 “Schools, museums, pools and parks closed??? Noooo!!!”
7-18 “Well it’s been nice not driving everywhere to so many activities. We’re talking a lot more and it’s actually been pretty mellow.”

So personal lesson learned with 2 and 4 year olds: Sign up for less… maybe swimming, hockey and drums. We’ll see.

On homeland security:

OBL could just as easily have sat smugly with comrades in a cave wearing an N95 waiting for COVID19. It seems to have already done more damage in the past couple months than 9/11 along with everything we’ve done to ourselves in the past 20 years.

One of many C19 lessons to me is we’re far more vulnerable to bio threats than anything other than the next asteroid. Chemical and nuclear threats got nothing on bio from where I sit today. Plus, while terrifying, C19 is a relative lightweight. If a virus that most people survive can destroy the US economy this fast, what happens with a real bioterror event with a bug that has real killing power? I’m not a prepper or hoarder, but install your bidets now people.

On the “frontlines”:

The compliments and thanks I’m receiving make me feel awkward. This is the gig we signed up for and at long last I’m feeling mildly useful. I bet physician burnout (or “moral injury”) actually starts trending down this year. I’ve got a job. I get to drive to work when others are trapped indoors. Nobody is talking “patient satisfaction scores” at all any more. Not knocking any healthcare workers in the deepest trenches of course. But to me the maskless, low paid, cashiers and grocers should be getting big props too, among others. #hugurcashier… jk

So I think most folks view me as a fairly benign nut. I’m pushing 50 and feel like the rest of my existence is gravy. It’s been a great run and my bucket list is near empty. My kids’ buckets fill mine now. If I can bend the needle towards general peace and tranquility a bit for them and others, then great.

COVID19 is awful and I really feel for all of its medical and economic victims so far. But it’s also an opportunity for nations to collaborate and do some incredible things to heal old wounds. I used to wonder if a Martian landing (them here or we there) could help refocus the world. Could COVID19 play the part instead?

I really hope the powers that be will point Space Force, and every other force we have towards helping folks who are struggling globally to survive and get along. Let’s paint some old battleships and vacant cruise ships nice colors and repurpose them for the current and soon to be homeless not just here, but globally. Let’s offer global telemedicine consultations.

In the meantime, I’ll keep coming to work and playing with the kids and typing ineffectively. Hopefully somehow we’ll seize the opportunities COVID19 may provide… or just keep streaming Netflix.

Night night.

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