This week Andrew & Addison have a conversation with Christ Church member Michael Bloem. Michael is a local data scientist, husband and father of three living in Grand Rapids Michigan. Their conversation weaves through areas of Michael's expertise on data and following trends as well as some of Michael's struggle with anxiety over the years and how he has found scripture and God's promises helpful in that battle.
If any of you are struggling with mental health, isolation, depression, anxiety or extreme worry please reach out to Christ Church, we are here to serve you, if you would like more information on how to connect with a pastor, or a staff member to contact you during this time you can fill out our Help Form or if you have prayer requests you can make those available for us to pray through on that same form. You can also reach out to a mental health care provider in the area, counselor, friend or family member. Don't let isolation settle in.
Michael mentioned some statistics and places to look for good data and information. You can find Michael on Twitter as well as read the following resources he has recommended;
- (now quite out of date) fast.ai article Michael read on 3/10 that initially made me aware of the urgency of the situation and that I shared with you Andrew. It highlights the key role of social distancing in helping to avert a likely major healthcare crisis that would be especially fatal to the elderly or those with pre-existing conditions.
- Podcast episode discussing that recent Science article Michael mentioned that estimates that 80-90% of coronavirus carriers do not have a detected disease, making social distancing (even when you don't have symptoms) key to fighting the spread.
- Michael briefly mentioned the need to "flatten the curve" to avoid hospital overload and many deaths. This post discusses the immense scale of the healthcare overload challenge and just how many additional deaths we might see (could be millions), but also provides some helpful policy suggestions for how to flatten the curve to buy us time to learn and hopefully eventually keep the disease at bay with lower economic costs.
- It doesn't have the exact numbers Michael was referencing, but this NYT piece and others like it have helped me understand and mourn the scale of economic devastation coming our way.
Thanks as always to the team that helps us put this podcast together. Grace & Peace.