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How an infectious disease physician will spend the summer of 2020

6/23/2020, 10:15 p.m.
We're starting the summer in Illinois on a positive note: the numbers of COVID-19 cases are decreasing in our state. ...

Taking the mask off at lunch while eating with co-workers is risky. If it's an exposure in an office to one person and that person self isolates, that's only one more infection. But if it's an exposure in a social gathering or in a crowded building, that could be an outbreak leading to a chain of new infections, hospitalizations and deaths.

Summer 2020 is not going to be typical.

We will have to find ways to enjoy the sunny days without inhaling the virus from a friend or stranger.

People are wondering, "Will there be a second wave?" This depends on how well we do this summer with social distancing and masking, and how well municipalities, churches and stores implement distancing guidelines.

I'm taking the long view, looking to the summer of 2021. By then, there may be a safe and effective vaccine, more studies on medications and widely available treatments for COVID-19.

I am going to enjoy a quiet summer this year.

I look forward to the summer of 2021, cautiously optimistic that someday we can safely gather again and celebrate the precious lives we still have.

Dr. Jonathan Pinsky

Medical Director, Infection Control & Prevention

Edward Hospital