April 30, 2020 letter from Grinnell UCC member and GRMC Covid-19 response leader, Dr. Lauren Graham
Dear Grinnell Community,
First, thank you for all the words of support and acts of solidarity around the community. #GrinnTogether. I am writing today, 6 weeks into my role as COVID-19 medical coordinator for UnityPoint Health – Grinnell Regional Medical Center. As you may know, the last 6 weeks have been consumed with grueling work inside our hospital walls, preparing the medical community for an unprecedented public health pandemic.
However, the work you are doing AT HOME every day is paramount to protecting the health of the community. The way we continue to stay safe and protect ourselves and our loved ones is to continue staying at home until more definitive treatment, vaccination or herd immunity has developed.
Having personally reviewed the data carefully for Grinnell and Poweshiek County, the time is not right to reopen in our community. We are just beginning to see the uptick in cases in our area and are not yet at the predicted peak in cases. As the Grinnell community, we have worked HARD to flatten the curve and have done a tremendous job! Our slow uptick in cases is a true testament to the power of social distancing and staying at home as much as possible.
I would be remiss not to acknowledge that this physical separation is incredibly difficult, especially in these uncertain times. I long for the days when I can rejoin my faith community in fellowship and song and know that for my soul, almost nothing is needed more at this time. However, I know the risk that this poses to others, and cannot recommend reopening congregations at this time.
I encourage you to find ways to connect virtually and feed your soul with fellowship, music and nature within the confines of responsible social distancing. I continue to challenge you to stay away from the ones you love to protect them and hope and pray that brighter days are soon ahead.
In Hope and Love,
Lauren Graham, MD, MPH
Medical Staff President
UnityPoint Health – Grinnell Regional Medical Center