Our nation is in a state of desperation and panic. Our health care systems, first responders, and front line staff are spending tireless hours away from their families, exposing themselves to risk, and putting the lives of others before their own, as they always do. But this time, it’s different. This time, it’s urgent. This time, it’s critical – for all of us.
As a Catholic health care ministry, our faith informs our commitment to compassion, community and doing the right thing. Today, that innate and fundamental commitment is being compounded by not only the worried faces of patients, or the desperate cries of family and friends, or the fear of what the future looks like, but also by the math. It is raw mathematics showing the exponential and rapid growth of this disease that on its own tells us – we must all put our personal desires and convenience aside and do the right thing for the health, safety and prosperity of our country, our people and people across the globe.
This sounds straightforward. It seems easy. Many of you are at home wondering why others are not showing the same discipline and consideration for the health of humanity as you are. I applaud your commitment, but I want to ask you to double down today. We can also help prevent the spread of this disease by facilitating the spread of good information.
Tell them that each infected person can infect 2.5 more when they choose not to practice social distancing. And then those 2.5 can each infect 2.5 more. 1, 2, 4, 8 – you only have to double 20 times to pass 1 million. And 1 million only has to double four more times to pass 16 million.
Tell them that for every person who stays home, there is one less number to double. And these aren’t numbers – these are lives. One person’s choice today can truly save thousands of lives. That’s an incredible gift to give to our people and our nation – to make a simple choice to put your entertainment, your desires, or your convenience aside to save lives. And it really is so easy.
Our health system’s teams have showed up. They came to work to stand up testing sites, staff hotlines, and treat and care for the people who have contracted COVID-19. And now I ask that you do one thing for them – stay home. They showed up for you, and now, you can show up for them. And in doing so, you’ll be showing up for humanity and people across the globe.
In health care, we think of our patients and our teams before almost anything else, but today, while we’re thinking of them, we’re also thinking of our nation and of our people.
Stay home. Spend time with your family. Go on walks. Whatever you do, make the choice today to do the right thing. It will make all of the difference in the world. It will make all of difference for the world.