Implement Stay at Home Orders Across States #6ftApartNOTUnder

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In response to reports that President Trump is considering relaxing social distancing guidelines and that doctors want to “shut down the world for a couple of years”, we along with the undersigned represent doctors, nurses, other frontline healthcare professionals, and their supporters who are joining forces to call for immediate action on social distancing.

To do our jobs and save lives in our healthcare institutions, we need help from American citizens to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus within our communities.  Given the failures and delays with implementing widespread testing coupled with the lack of personal protective equipment that leaves us at risk on the frontlines, social distancing is our ONLY chance at limiting the virus' devastating impact on our health systems, our patients, our cities and our nation.  As photos of Spring Breakers on sandy beaches, revelers during St. Patrick’s Day, or crowded airport terminals demonstrate, the implementation of social distancing on a voluntary basis remains challenging.

In addition to federal action, we call on our nation's mayors and governors to immediately implement more aggressive mandatory measures such as those taken in New York, Illinois, and California to facilitate social distancing before more cases of COVID-19 arise. Such measures may include (1) Requiring all individuals to shelter in place with the exception of essential activities (buying groceries, picking up medicine) or those who perform work for essential businesses, healthcare organizations, and government agencies; (2) Closing all remaining non-essential businesses including bars, restaurants, gyms, movie theaters, and stores (excluding essential businesses such as grocery stores, gas stations, and pharmacies, which need to stay open).  

The future depends on taking immediate action now.  Every hour counts.  We must not lose our nerve.   We must listen to our public-health and medical experts. This pandemic will not go away without definitive actions today.  The long-term human and economic consequences of our current trajectory are unimaginable.  As health professionals, we already know that the current rates of viral spread will overwhelm our already-fragile healthcare system in the weeks to come.  Survival depends on social distancing.   

Join us by signing this petition supporting immediate action and pledge to stay 6 feet apart from one another. Help us help our patients and our communities survive.   

Vineet Arora MD MAPP, Shikha Jain, MD, Laura Zimmermann MD, Ali Khan MD, Amisha Wallia MD MS, Eve Bloomgarden MD