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Covid Corner with Dr. Gary Jacques

"Human beings are social creatures. We are social not just in the trivial sense that we like company, and not just in the obvious sense that we depend on others. We are social in a more elemental way: Simply to exist as a normal human being requires interaction with other people." --Atul Gawande Dear MANNM staff and Los Alamos community, Facts 40 new cases were of corona virus have been confirmed in New Mexico yesterday. This brings the total cases to 403. 14,776 tests have been conducted. There have been 7 deaths. Commentary Interpreting numbers is difficult. Much is being kicked around on social media regarding the best way to track and report on the spreading corona virus pandemic. The number of test-confirmed positive cases does not equate with the total number of cases and in many cases is not even a good correlate. Death rates can be skewed in both positive and negative ways due to how they are calculated. In a relative sense New Mexico seems to be doing well. The total tests done in this state is higher than many others and certainly tests per capita is among the top. The rate of positive tests to total tests this week seems to be around 5% by my calculations. Tests are still biased toward those with symptoms and contacts of known exposures. I'd love to see the numbers for our county but currently do not know how many tests have been performed here. Stay tuned... Encouragement I recently enjoyed reading "Being Mortal" by Dr. Gawande and so today's quote comes from him. I have found myself pushing back on the term "social distancing" preferring instead "physical distancing". We can keep ourselves physically separated without sacrificing social connectedness. In our divided, politicized country we need to find more ways to come together in cohesiveness, understanding and empathy for others. Let us become socially closer even as we practice physical distancing. Have a good day, Dr. Jacques

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