CEO Update | We can guard against rising COVID-19 cases

Fellow Caregivers,

The recent uptick in coronavirus infections is a sobering reminder of this pandemic’s longevity. Sustained discipline is needed to contain its spread. We see how fatigue is setting in for individuals and entire communities.

Yet this is a time to adhere to safe precautions. The arrival of cold weather will draw people indoors to gather for holidays and other celebrations. It is made even more challenging by flu and respiratory season.

We must therefore rely on each other to take reasonable actions: Keep physical distance, wear a mask, wash our hands, stay home when sick and get immunized against flu. These are our strongest tactics to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect from the transmission of influenza and its complications.

Enduring the pandemic this winter also means paying attention to our mental health. We are spending time in isolation while longing for the world to return to normal. No one should do this on their own.

Remember that caring-for-caregivers is here for you. No issue is too big or small and the service is confidential. Please seek help if it is needed. Doing so can also build resiliency to get through these times. Together, we will emerge stronger in the end.

Until then, clinicians and scientists are working swiftly on treatments. There are now thousands of interventional COVID-19 clinical trials in progress.

While this volume of work is promising, it requires coordination to harness its full potential.

On Monday, I joined Drs. Gianrico Farrugia and Andrew Badley of Mayo Clinic in advocating for the assembly of a national, nonprofit clinical trials coalition on COVID-19. A coalition would help focus the nation’s precious resources on scientific work with the greatest impact. Read our editorial published at STAT.

When looking for inspiration to persevere, we observe our patients — many of whom have a chronic illness. Those with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are particularly impacted by the pandemic.

In this brief video, their family caregivers share how our virtual support groups are creating a connection to the outside.

Thank you for your dedication.

 Dr. Mijahlevic |  Cleveland Clinic

Tom Mihaljevic, MD
CEO and President