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COVID Update May 19: I wanted to explore this simplified idea that to deal with COVID we “just isolate” the old people.

Why do I get the impression that the people who say this have neither interest nor plans in caring for the most vulnerable?1/
Protecting older people and the most vulnerable Americans is part of our responsibility.

And we have failed miserably with 10s of thousands of un-necessarily deaths.2/
Same for people of color. The homeless population. People in congregate settings. In jails & prisons.

While we didn’t prepare the rest of our country, we completely ignored our most vulnerable communities as they got hit hard. 3/
We have to do better. No question about it.

@USofCare put together this playbook on best practices for caring for the most at risk populations. 4/…
But there are others that discuss older and at risk populations differently. Dan Patrick and Chris Christie talk about accepting a certain amount of death, that we can isolate people so others can go about their lives. 5/
So what does it mean to isolate people? How do you isolate people in nursing homes? What about the people who work in nursing homes?

What happens when we turn 70 or 80? Or want to see our parents & grandparents? 6/
I recently talked to the great actor-comedian @kumailn about this.

Kumail’s wife Emily is immune-compromised. He wants to know if he’s supposed to choose between being with her or being out in the world. 7/…
We had a family friend, Morgan Yesnes, who died a couple weeks ago. He was 24 and a very brave boy. In the face of illness, he insisted on living as normal a life as he could.
The @StarTribune wrote this nice story about Morgan. There’s a part of it that really hit me hard. Something Morgan said just shortly before he died. 9/
Are we writing people off?

Are the poor, the elderly, and the sick just going to be second class citizens? 10/
If it’s not safe for everyone, it’s not safe for anyone.

In a pandemic. Or any time. 11/
Every day for over 2 years of the @BarackObama administration, I walked into the Department of HHS— the Humphrey Building. The following quote was on the wall of the entrance. 12/
I believed it then. I believe it now.

It’s not just an ideal, it’s a North Star that many people live by. 13/
The global pandemic is not an excuse to move into a guarded gate world. Fear isn’t a reason to decide who gets to live one way, who gets to live another. 14/
Some people live in a sort of isolation every day. Surviving is not the goal. Thriving is. 15/
As difficult as life is for some now, it is only a taste of the challenges// the social isolation— some face every day. We don’t really successfully come through this unless everyone does. /end
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