COVID Lessons Still Worth Learning

July 2, 2020
So much seems to move so slowly these days, as if we are stuck in an endless replay of only slightly revised versions of the same, often disturbing storylines. Yet, at the same time, major new outcroppings do arise even as we retrace steps over increasingly familiar ground.
The resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, seemingly before it truly resided, leads me to send out this newsletter calling attention to three pieces that I wrote as it swept into my country originally. The lessons, I believe, still unfortunately apply and, as I also believe, if taken to heart could still help us as we consider how to work our way through this challenge AND toward something decidedly better.
The lessons fit the approach to change advocated in the newly revised edition of my book with Cassie Solomon Leading Successful Change: 8 Keys to Making Change Work. More specifically, my newsletter appeared on March 17 and concerned how we could have used (and could use) the approach advocated in my book to begin with the end in mind and think of system changes that would produce it, i.e., act far more proactively and far less reactively. On April 1,this article presented the clinical, very human, and ethical benefits of increased use of artificial intelligence to aid clinical decision makers overwhelmed by waves of patients. On May 29, the article The Problem with Heroes laid out the troubling reality that the continued reliance on so many heroes to sacrifice so heavily to deliver care and to provide essential services bespeaks a failure of the systems to support their work.
Our handling of the pandemic highlights these lessons. However, the lessons transcend the pandemic as these pieces point out.
Be well. Stay well.
Keep paddling and, as usual, please feel free to forward this newsletter to anyone who you feel might benefit from it.