Flattening the Curve as a Doctor Mom

Flatten the curve.  This pic is from last year’s Spring Break ski trip, because we just canceled this year’s trip in our attempt to help mitigate spread of COVID-19.

Am I worried account getting sick or dying from COVID-19? No.

Am I worried about my children getting sick and needing hospitalization from COVID-19? Not really.

But, I am worried about myself or them being vectors for the virus and transmitting to one of our elderly or immunocompromised patients in our practice or community.

I know that if I or my husband or my children get coronavirus, that we will likely not die from it, and we may just feel like we have a cold.

But, by practicing  social distancing, we can play our part to help our Hawaii community.  Cancel large meetings/gathering, cancel non-essential travel (even if you don’t get refunded), wash your hands, telecommute to work, avoid movie theaters and other mass gatherings. Most churches have a plan in place for live streaming, as mine does.

This is how everyone can help.  You don’t need to be in health care to do this.  And, it will help, I promise you, it will.

Flattening the curve is what epidemiologists think might be our best bet at helping stop the spread of coronavirus. China was able to do this by absolutely shutting everything down.

Because what I’m most scared about is the limited amount of ICU beds and ventilators on this island.  Of everyone getting sick at the same time and showing up at the emergency rooms and taxing our already overburdened health care system. I don’t say this to panic people, but it’s a reality living 3000 miles away in the middle of Pacific Ocean.  But, it applies to people on the mainland and across the world.

So, treat your community as your Ohana (family) and take it as your kuleana (Hawaiian word for civic responsibility) to flatten the curve of the spread of this disease. 

As a mama, we can all do this. Limit your family’s traveling. Limit the baseball games and the birthday parties. And, the weddings and all of it. I know it stinks to miss these trips.

My husband and I have to work the week of Christmas and New Year’s ever year, for the past 12 years. It’s our busiest time for the clinic since everyone is trying to use up the FLEX spending or vision plans. So, we never get to travel then. For the past 5 years, our annual Spring Break ski trip with 4 other families, is our one true vacation. My 8 year old son cried when I told him we weren’t going skiing this year. We didn’t get all of our money back, but this is the right thing to do.

So, please help your communities. Don’t just buy toilet paper and make hand sanitizer at home. Make a concerted effort to limit your engagement in large groups. If you feel the need to ask “Should I cancel this trip to my cousin’s wedding?” You already know the answer. Consider it your civic responsibility and just being a good citizen. Oh, and wash your hands.

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Dr. Rupa Wong


Hi! I'm Dr. Rupa Wong. Physician. Private Practice Owner. Mama to 3 kids. Managing Partner. Educator. Textbook Author. Conference Co-Founder. Mentor. I am more than just one thing, even as a doctor and I bet you are too. I would love to help you envision the life you want, and then get after it. What are you waiting for?

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