LOS ANGELES - At home, using Zoom, Dr. Lucy Jones tells me that when it comes to COVID19 "This is not an earthquake, but it is a disaster. This is a crisis in our community."
Strong words from Dr. Jones. She says what's happening now is much like the kind of disaster created by an earthquake and she's seen many. She's the one we turn to whenever the ground shakes rattling our nerves. She's done it for decades quake after quake and, now, a different kind of life-changer. One, she says is tough.
"We are facing death. This could easily kill more people than any earthquake could. And, we are facing serious economic disruption so I think the way we respond to this there are some similarities to what happens in big natural disasters," Jones said.
She says some of those similarities include how people react to experts and authorities.
"A lot of people reject expert opinion. The idea that all that time epidemiologists have spent studying how this happens... but we don't have to listen. But, in this situation, there is a basic math problem that is emotionally misunderstood. That we are doubling the number of victims every two or three days," said Jones.
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At the current rate of infection Jones thinks we could have two and a half million cases in the United States by Easter.
If we get there Jones said, "like in Italy we will see a collapse of our healthcare response and more people will die than have to."
Jones says there are things in our earthquake kits like food and antibacterial wipes.
She adds, "this shows us why we need food in our earthquake kits so why don't you use it now instead of going that extra trip to the grocery store because when things settle back down you can replace that earthquake supply."
So how can we stay calm? Jones says, "We need to help each other. So, I'm doing my part to do that. Call somebody you know. Don't leave people alone. we don't have to be emotionally isolated just because we're physically isolated."
Learn about the Small Business Virtual Forum where small businesses can get updates and resources from Dr. Lucy Hones and leading business experts at drlucyjonescenter.org.