ATLANTA, GA – With point of care testing for SARS-CoV-2 drastically lagging behind patient demand, experts at the CDC are urging the public to help practice social distancing to help flatten the epidemiologic curve. In order to develop guidelines, the CDC has created a pathologist-led taskforce to utilize their specialty’s best practices in extreme social distancing.
“Social distancing may seem like a new concept to many people, yet many Americans and healthcare providers don’t realize that pathologists have been mastering the art of social distancing for decades,” says Dr. Thomas Laikos, MD, FACS, chairman of the CDC social distancing task force.
“I’ve always maintained 4-6 feet between myself and my colleagues and at least 10 feet from surgeons who come to read my frozen sections. Keeping verbal interaction and eye contact at a minimum also has an added benefit of reducing droplet transmission.”
CDC director Robert Redfield, M.D. has praised Dr. Laikos’ efforts and recently unveiled taskforce recommendations to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
“We’ve incorporated novel pathology-inspired greetings into our guidelines, such as elbow touching and foot-shakes. We’ve noticed a particular cohort of pathologists who normally greet each other with the Vulcan salute at a hallway-distance, with minimal eye-contact and a strange gurgling noise. Preliminary evidence shows that this particular greeting may be best for public adoption,” says Dr. Redfield, at a virtual COVID-19 grand rounds, sponsored by GoDaddy.
Other notable taskforce recommendations include a pathology-inspired “basement-quarantine” for anyone exposed to known COVID-19 carriers, or simply for those who are fed up with society at-large. Dr. Redfield believes these guidelines to be robust, but are closely monitoring the pandemic. If the situation warrants even more draconian measures, they are prepared to coordinate with the American College of Radiology for last-ditch efforts.