Could Michigan’s COVID Spike Set Off a National “Fourth Wave”? - Slate
Apr 07, 2021 3 mins, 8 secs
But Abdul El-Sayed, who is in the middle of one of these localized outbreaks, looks at what’s happening right now a little differently.

I want the future to look like everyone learned their lesson.

I don’t want to say that, but there is a theoretical possibility that it could get worse.

You think about where we are right now, where the city of Detroit is battling the worst pandemic in over a century with a health department that’s functionally 5 years old—that is a function of choices that we make about how we allocate a whole bunch of different resources.

It’s not just health care, but it’s also who gets access to good, stable housing, who gets access to water, who gets access to good schools, who gets access to the jobs that come with that that education.

The other part of that is that your experience in the health care system is you are constantly looked down upon because we as a society don’t provide people universal health care.

You may be someone who has health insurance via Medicaid, which commands far lower reimbursement rates, and doctors and hospitals see you as a charity case and therefore look down on you because our system literally discriminates against you and says your body is not worth giving health care.

There’s this other issue that isn’t just about access, which is folks not wanting to get vaccinated in Michigan?

It’s not a one-size-fits-all hesitancy, and I think we have to think about dealing with it on different fronts?

I don’t think it’s been enough and I also don’t think it’s been imaginative enough.

But I think it’s been great to see leaders of church communities take up the cause, and I think they’ve been met by a set of leaders at the federal and state levels who want to empower them and make sure they have the resources that they need to take on this this hesitancy.

If you’re looking at a set of institutions that you don’t trust and all of a sudden they’re like, “We really want you to take this vaccine and then we’re just going to go back to where we were before that,” that’s not really a trust-building exercise.

The thing about leadership that matters is that it signals what ought to be done, even more so than just doing it right.

It’s not just the actions that need to be taken, but it’s also the message that needs to be delivered through those actions about the fact that this thing is serious.

Mayors really want to open up their cities for a lot of reasons.

It’s like, just because the vaccines exist, in theory, we’re sort of acting like everyone’s been vaccinated—and those two things are not the same.

I think what we need to say, “Look, here’s the benefit for all of us,” not just in saying that I’m protected and I can do things safely, but in saying, “I really want to go to a local restaurant.

I really want to go back to a gym.

I really want to be able to go to a concert.

It’s just the place where it’s happening first.

If we start to see these dynamics happening in other states a couple of weeks from now, a month from now, it really could throw that timeline off.

The important thing to remember is that the more we do now to prevent that kind of thing from happening, the closer we are to the ultimate “normal” that all of us would like to get to.


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