COVID-19 Research

“COVID-19 Research” is a new post series established to highlight the CBC universities and scientists who aid in the race to develop vaccine and / or cure to combat SARS CoV-2 — the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic.

April 10, 2020   I   Jola Glotzer

The very speech that struck the chord

Looking back, Emily Landon, UChicago, might have been one of the major influencers behind the “flattening of the curve” and helping to save lives in Chicago, Illinois and beyond during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

Yesterday, during the Illinois COVID-19 Daily Update on WGN Live, Gov. J.B. Pritzker gave the first cautiously optimistic statement since the onset of the pandemic in the state, saying that “Illinois may be ‘bending the curve’”. However, Gov. Pritzker also emphasized that, “The curve is still upward trajectory, and so just because we’re bending the curve doesn’t mean it’s bending down yet, so people need to understand it’s unlikely we will be able to lift this stay-at-home order before April 30.”

This news comes almost exactly three weeks after Emily Landon, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine and Executive Medical Director, Infection Prevention and Control, at UChicago gave an emotional but direct and to-the-point speech at Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s COVID-19 news conference on March 20. Calling the COVID-19 virus “unforgiving,” Dr. Landon stressed the absolute necessity of social distancing as a way to “flatten the curve” and stop the spread of the virus.

The video of Dr. Landon’s speech is reposted below to honor her efforts in educating all of us as to why “staying home is saving lives,” why “flattening of the curve” can effectively halt the spread of the virus and why it is crucial to gain time for scientists to catch up with and eventually outrun the virus by developing effective treatment methods and the anti-COVID-19 vaccine.

Thank you, Dr. Landon.

March 21, 2020  |  UChicago News

UChicago doctor on COVID-19 warns: ‘This virus is unforgiving’

Emily Landon explains why staying at home is crucial to protecting everyone

Assoc. Prof. Emily Landon, an infectious disease specialist and hospital epidemiologist at the University of Chicago Medicine, speaks at Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s COVID-19 news conference on March 20. She explains why the statewide order to stay at home is crucial to protecting everyone. Courtesy of University of Chicago Medicine. Source: UChicago News.

An infectious diseases expert at University of Chicago Medicine, Assoc. Prof. Emily Landon’s job has been to prepare for outbreaks such as COVID-19.

A leading authority on the novel coronavirus since the outbreak in the United States, she explained during a March 20 news conference why Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s order for Illinois residents to stay at home is crucial to protecting everyone.

“We all acknowledge that this is the only way forward. This virus is unforgiving. It spreads before you even know you’ve caught it. And it tricks you into believing that it’s nothing more than a little influenza. For many of us, it may not be much more than the flu.”

Landon underscored the need for social distancing as a way to “flatten the curve” and stop the spread of the virus.

“All we have to slow the spread is social distance. And if we let every single patient with this infection infect three more people and then each of them infect two or three more people, there won’t be a hospital bed when my mother can’t breathe very well or when yours is coughing too much.”

Adapted (with modifications) from UChicago News, published on March 21, 2020.


▸ Watch a series of Q&As with Emily Landon here.