March 25, 2020 Opinion-Editorial

VOE Chair Sounds Off on Coronavirus

By James L. Schwartz

Good Day Fellow Senior Lawyers:

Current news strongly urges seniors to take extra precautions to protect our health and avoid the Coronavirus. Medical experts emphasize the recommendations by reminding us that we are the highest risk group due to our age and other medical conditions often found in seniors.

Early on, many federally elected leaders sought to downplay the threat of the virus, creating confusion and a false sense of security. These failures, among other falsehoods including the quantity of personal protective equipment (PPE) on hand and/or being shipped within the next few days has contributed to the spread of the virus, spiked the “bell curve,” and put our first responders at greater risk. 

Our elected leaders failed in their preparation of the country for a pandemic while consistently telling us how wonderful they are and how much they have done. But there is one federal official who has given us accurate information, accurate statements of what is going on, and even disagreed with the President when he misstated vital facts and gave inaccurate information to all. That individual is Dr. Anthony Fauci, a 79-year-old physician who is the director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. I first became aware of Dr. Fauci during the early days of the HIV crisis. As I recall, he was the first to say that HIV cannot be passed through tears or by hugging another. Back then, as he is now, he was the calm voice amongst the frenzy and misstatements from others.    

From the beginning, Dr. Fauci has said that seniors are the most at-risk group. Time and again, Dr. Fauci has said seniors should “hunker down” and stay home. Dr. Fauci has also warned against travel or any activities that would put people at risk by being in proximity with others, especially groups of 10 or more. It was Dr. Fauci who was the first to say that the NBA should not be playing until after the virus’ spread had ceased. In direct response, the NBA canceled the rest of its season as have most other professional sports. From his first statements, Dr. Fauci has provided correct and accurate facts and information, not political spin and falsehoods. His actions have guided the country in awesome ways.

By staying at home, the rate of new infections may go down‒time will tell. Dr. Fauci has often stated that he would rather over‑estimate the threat and what is needed to end this problem than underestimate it. While the President apparently wants to resume business as normal next Monday, it is Dr. Fauci who has said “Stay at Home” may not be enough.  

Speaking for the VOE Board, I know I can say: WE CARE FOR EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU AND WE WANT EACH OF YOU TO BE SAFE. Relying on Dr. Anthony Fauci and the other RESPONSIBLE leaders, I STRONGLY urge each of you to “hunker down” and stay at home.    

So, we urge each of you: STAY AT HOME. DO NOT GO TO A FRIEND’S HOME TO VISIT OR EVEN FOR DINNER. Make your own dinner and have a virtual cocktail or dinner party with friends. Call one another to check in. Socialize virtually. Staying at home and social distancing don’t have to mean social isolation. Hunkering down doesn’t mean becoming a hermit.

If you have any questions or even just want to chat, please feel free to call me or any other Board member. We are there for you and we look forward to continued friendships with each of you now and for many years in the future. STAY WELL and STAY HOME.

Best,

Jim Schwartz,
Voice of Experience Editorial Board Chair