Dr. Fine discusses the steps RI needs to take next.
We’Ll have much more on that on how we can all buy local and support Rhode, Island’s local economy, rather than just supporting big farmers out in the Midwest. Nothing against big farmers in the Midwest I want to support and help support local farmers, shellfishing industry, etc. As best we can let’s go no press conference with governor Raimondo today, she’s going only to Wednesday’s now breaking news. If you haven’t heard it it’s, just a ridiculous heartbreak, Brinkley’s ice cream down south county is closing one of their locations. After repeated examples of abuse of their staff. Take a look at that article it’s kind of a just the worst of the worst in this environment. Right now, well, let’s now go to dr. Michael fine, dr. fine. How are you, sir I’m good? Thank you Jeff and you I’m good let’s go to testing. We we’ve revamped testing. We’Re gon na have a big article tomorrow on what’s going on in Rhode, Island’s testing, but I do want to just explore. I don’t feel well this morning. Can I go and get a test quickly? Well, I think it depends on your primary care doctor. If you have one, if you don’t, have a primary care doctor unless you live in Pawtucket in Central Falls, the answer, I think, is no, I think, for everyone else. You go through your primary care doctor and your primary care doctor can order you a test or do a test them settles there’s.
Do it they’re doing lots? There are lots of many health centers that are doing testing, particularly for their own patients. Providence, Community Health Center has done yeoman’s work, I believe, has tested close to 10000 people and they do everything they can to accommodate and the men as I understand it. But aside from that, I think it’s it’s a challenge. There are, I think, a couple of practices or health centers that have figured out their own testing, but I, aside from that, I think it’s it’s it’s kind of challenging. You have to get an order from a doctor and go on a website. It got more difficult when we lost when twin rivers right and losing twin rivers was also on top of losing some of the other facilities where the National Guard was running them at the University. So there’s been a significant depletion in the number of locations. The word around the country is that, if you’re getting tested in in really what the rhode island new model is outside of the abbot’s quick testing that you may not get an answer on that test, in some cases, seven in some cases, twenty or more days how Helpful is a testing strategy in which someone is worried about if they’re infected may have been exposed to someone is concerned is doing the right things, but can’t get an answer for let’s just be 7 to 21 days for purposes of math. How helpful is that, in the effort to control the disease, not helpful, I mean it means contact, tracing basically is playing catch up and barely catching up, you know is, is sort of starting a a mile back when everybody else has left the blocks and it’s and They’Re running a mile, that’s gon na be that’s the challenge, but you know I’ve never been a huge fan of the testing strategy.
I always believed and still believe, that the important part of the ice of the strategy is isolation with the first symptom isolation. For ten days for anybody with the symptom period, and then we worry about the test later, because the test misses fair numbers of people who have the disease even when the test is, whenever the test is negative, when the test is positive, you know you have it So you haven’t really learned anything as a person by getting a test. The thing that you need to learn is, if you feel sick at all, if you think you’ve been close to somebody just go into isolation or quarantine, don’t pass code, don’t collect 200. Just do it and protect your family and the community as a whole. Governor of California, Gavin Newsom yesterday announced the closing of indoor dining movie, theaters, hair, salons, etc. That whole section of what was the the reopening plan. California is going backwards and backwards quickly should other states who have not been hit with a spike start. Looking at that strategy, man, I don’t know how to call this. People have to live and breathe and you have to have an economy if you can so. I think it’s reasonable that if the disease and circulation is small, that you can stay open with modifications as we’ve done in Rhode, Island and done in other places, but I think our testing, if we’re relying on testing is a strategy, needs to be better and our Data has to be better the meaning of testing from an epidemiologic point of view vanishes when we mix in prior positives and when we mix in asymptomatic testing – and I don’t think we’re segregating them until we segregate them.
I don’t have the indicator. I need to tell me when things are starting to kick up and when we have to dialogue back and that to me is pretty problematic. We reported her earlier today, Brinkley’s I scream down in South County who had previously the ownership had raised really deep concerns about the treatment of their staff by customers, who refused to wear a mask I’m, getting the the sense that we are not better than this, that When a retailer and ice cream stand, when the poor 15 year old, high school girl asked the individual coming up to the window, to put on the mask before ordering that we just can’t handle it that the pressures too much we’re we’re we’re falling apart under the Pressure of this virus, we’ve talked to a couple times about the mental health aspect of it is: is mental health becoming as an equal factor to the public health factor, the body factor? Well, you ask an interesting question in it to address it. I need to talk about something I’ve always believed about the difference between mental health and personality. Emotions are not diseases and behaviors are not diseases just because somebody is acting, poorly doesn’t mean they’re mentally unwell. Sometimes it means they’re just mean, and I worry that we have gotten to a place in our culture where we have become selfish and mean or too many of us have. There are lots of good people in Rhode, Island and lots of good people in the United States, but we haven’t been promoting and rewarding that behavior.
I mean look at who wins on Wall Street, look at what happens with venture capitalists and with hedge funds. You know, and and with businesses like newspapers that have been important to communities for a long time, somebody buys them up drains their resources sells off the real estate and then the heck with the community as a whole. That is what our culture has encouraged, and this is the time to change. Can we and, and is it, is it the stress III understand that bad behavior is not necessarily demonstrative of mental health, but is it the stress that is causing people this in I’m? A you know: unfeathered unfettered demonstrations of raw emotion that the literally fifteen year old, high school girl, who’s, trying to make a little bit of money for the summer is taking verbal abuse by, in many cases, big strong men who can’t seem to hand and it made Link to their business is going out of business, they’ve been laid off for three months, etc. Where’S. How do we break this disturbing trend? That seems to be the bee manifesting as we continue on in a pandemic. That there is no sign is going to end for a significant period of time. Yeah I mean I – and this is where medical training doesn’t help me, but I think the way we bait we we break. The stress is to make better choices. I mean to start as a community and as a public doing things differently.
I mentioned to you yesterday. After we closed that, we have gone back to putting people who are homeless in shelters from putting them in hotels. What would it have been like for us to take in this moment and to house the 4000 people for homeless in Rhode, Island couldn’t? We have changed that and shown a better side of us instead of putting people in short, shelters and at 600 or 700 in the morning, putting them on the street to walk around every day can’t. We change that. You know when we learn about the number of people who are the number of kids who are fed by schools can’t. We find some better way to make sure that all our children are fed and educated. You know, I think, when we start to do those kinds of things as a community that’s when this all starts to change. I think when people don’t feel isolated and alone don’t feel like they’re at war with the world, then I think people treat each other better people treat each other the way they themselves are being treated and as a society, I think you hit the nail on the Head as a society, I think we’re still abandoning many many people, the head of the World Health Organization today said: listen, we’re, not going back. This disease is with us for a significant period of time, implications years. He’S saying we have to really start. We all know the the problem with the World Health Organization, but this was blunt speak that I think few politicians, elected leaders or even health professionals have been unwilling to utter here in the United States or from a global conversation.
This was a 2×4 to everyone’s head we’re, not going back. It all needs to be designed two strategies of living with this disease for the foreseeable future. Is that a mantra that a is true and B needs to be followed up with responsible, elected and appointed officials? Here in the United States, well, I don’t know if it’s true, yet you know my ability to predict the future runs about one day in advance. I don’t know what its gon na be like in six months. I don’t know whether we’re getting a vaccine and how that vaccine will work. I don’t know whether people will be vaccinated. I mean because of 30 or 40 percent of the population won’t be vaccinated, then he’s right then we’ve got this forever and ever um. You know, III think it is important for people to make choices that are safe and take care of each other and then figure out the rest of the stuff. But we still haven’t looked in the face. Our national failure to contain this disease. You know we haven’t owned this. We haven’t owned our responsibility one iota. We got to do that and then we got to do a bunch of other things to look at who we have become and what we must do to change I’m gon na I’m gon na poke back at you a little bit. Listen if we had a national policy and somebody was instituting – they would go against the the highest common denominator, in other words, to control.
This we’d probably revert to much stricter lockdowns than we have in Rhode, Island, we’d, mandate, masks and penalties. We don’t we don’t issue penalties here in Rhode, Island on masks or in most states only those states that are now in complete chaos due to the pandemic. If we had national policies, we couldn’t have the flexibility of opening and closing in certain areas to preserve the the economy. These governors know enough. They speak to each other. Every week, we’re, faced with in six weeks, thousands thousands of college students coming from those states that are most infected into Rhode Island. How is that not going to impact Rhode, Island’s disease count and it’s implication relative to strategies? Look if we had a health care system. We wouldn’t be in this mess. You know we sort of abandoned health and health care to the market 40 years ago, and we are, we are sowing what we have we, what we have read we are reaping what we have sown. You know so I you know, can we have a national approach? Damn? Yes, we should have done it forty years ago. We could do it tomorrow if we had the national consensus to make it happen. Our problem isn’t the how so much as the where’s. The support for who believes what can people change what they believe in the face of a threat and and change what we do I’d love to think that we can. But I need to hear and see the leadership that gets us there and I don’t really see that from either party, though I can’t say that one part is, you know, sort of looking like it’s it’s thinking at all at the moment, and the other party is Just thinking about what the other party isn’t, but we don’t have, you know I’m sort of looking for that inner Martin Luther King, the person who will remind us of who we are as one people and to talk about the America that lives in our hearts, um That rhetoric, hasn’t appeared and it’s not just rhetoric that ideology that, oh, that commitment, that responsibility is what we’re gon na need and I’m hoping and praying that it comes from someplace soon, because boy do we need it now as we’ve never needed it before families.
Usa came the study released last night. The local had it up first thing this morning, relative to the number of Americans that have been lost, their health insurance from February through March in Rhode Island, which has had a high, very high percentage. One of the tops of the country, a percentage of people who have health coverage, 21000 Rhode, Island families, have lost their health coverage between February and May don’t know what the updated numbers are yet for June. A staggering number in such a short period of time. There has been little narrative at any level in Rhode, Island addressing that number of folks and what stress that lack of insurance coverage is going to create for the overall healthcare system. Your thoughts, you know, I think the overall health care system is teetering on a certain kind of collapse. You know people can’t see their own doctors face to face pretty much or it’s Kylee difficult. Most things are happening by phone. Hospitals are in financial trouble, primary care offices and are in financial trouble less so many health centers, because they’ve gotten a bunch of federal support. You know, I think, now that everybody has gotten used to doing the doctor on the phone it’s gon na be reasonably easy for venture capital, driven big companies to come and consolidate telephone care so that I don’t think the local doctor may be here in six months. We we are, we are struggle and I don’t see us changing unless we kind of put our heads to change me doctor.
Fine, you get the last word. What Rhode Islanders need to know. What do they need to do today? Keep keeping on you know it’s hard. Now summer you want to be outside stay with. The masks, continue to social distance check on your friends. They need you and think about how we can do this together differently, because we’re going to have to do that if we’re going to really survive this over the long haul. Dr. Michael fine, as always thank you so much for everyone else, stay tuned for more updates on go local. He blasted be coming out shortly with some of those updates.