Here’s our personal bellwether for how the Delta variant is impacting health systems: we’ve had three different, in-person leadership retreats cancel across the course of the past week, due to COVID concerns. Three very different parts of the country, on both coasts and in the heartland.
Case counts are up, hospitalizations are up, and clinical leaders are (rightly) becoming more skittish about large, in-person meetings. As many have noted, this latest wave of infections is unevenly distributed across the country, primarily affecting the unvaccinated but also putting vaccinated people at risk of transmitting the virus or becoming ill.
As frequent business travelers who thrive on meeting face-to-face with our members, we had just begun to get comfortable being back out “on the road”—but now that’s changing, too. The recent cancellations are a good reminder that we’re still in a fluid situation in this pandemic, and that being flexible and adaptable will continue to be critical for the foreseeable future. (Thank goodness we’re not in the conference business—that’s got to be a nightmare right now.)
Just as we always check the weather forecast for places we’re traveling to, we’ve started checking the number of cases per 100,000 and the test positivity rate as well—over 10 per 100,000, or over 5 percent, and we’ll think twice about visiting.
And our masks have gone back on. We’ll hope to see you out there soon, but in the meantime—stay safe and get vaccinated!