Eric Paul Justin, MD, MPH, MBA | 2 July 2020 

Happy Fourth of July Greetings! Hopefully you are well and looking forward to celebrating the birth of our great nation with family and friends. 

Freedom is the enduring watchword of our nation and especially July Fourth celebrations. Yet during these trying and unrelenting times of challenge it may not be foremost on our minds. 

The pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus and resulting disease called COVID-19 have caused terrible heart break and loss across our country and the world. It is clearly worsening. Unfortunately this includes Kansas and Missouri. 

Far more COVID-19 cases are occurring even allowing for increased testing. “Opening” has not gone well. Sadly, refusal by too many to use masks and social distancing has led not only to a marked increase in cases. It has led many to falsely believe the “worst is over.” 

It is not. 

Increasingly public health and medical experts believe COVID-19 is progressing to an “endemic” phase (defined:  “regularly found and very common among a particular group or in a particular area;” Cambridge Dictionary). There is some promise that medicines which can decrease suffering and death may possibly be ready for use in a year or so. Yet the only way to successfully deal with an endemic viral illness is a vaccine

Several vaccines are in final clinical trials. Some people assert one or more will be ready for use by the end of this year. Many challenges remain once the vaccines are said to be clinically ready. 

The basics have not changed and include:   

  1. Wear face masks when out of your home especially when indoors i.e. grocery stores.
  2. Wash your hands (20 seconds with soap) frequently; alternatively, use hand sanitizers.
  3. Six feet or more social distancing when out of your home.
  4. Clean the surfaces in your home and vehicle that are frequently touched.

Please consider using this smartphone app:  https://covid.joinzoe.com/us. It was made by folks at the Harvard School of Public Health to gather data around the country. The more people who use it (takes less than a minute each day) the better the data that is used to battle the novel coronavirus and COVID-19. This has become more and more important for identifying “hot spots” earlier. This can safe lives and suffering. Consider sharing information about the app. 

In closing, I told my wife a day ago this Fourth of July will be unlike any other I have experienced. We are all being forced to change. And to recognize our own vulnerability. But…God’s love never changes! Christ cares for us no matter what happens. 

God’s Blessings on you and yours this Independence Day Weekend. 

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