SALT LAKE CITY — In the midst of the rise in COVID-19 numbers, Dr. Angela Dunn, Utah’s state epidemiologist, was a presenter at a special TEDx event in Salt Lake City.
Dr. Dunn has become a household name in Utah. As the state epidemiologist, she has worked with community leaders to help determine the best plan of attack to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
On Saturday, she took the stage at TedX Salt Lake City to talk about how pandemics show the interconnection between people.
“It’s a great opportunity to give a different message and that supplements kind of what I do on a weekly basis or daily basis,” said Dunn.
The event featured 19 speakers, including Steven Sharp Nelson of “The Piano Guys,” and some lesser-known Utahns with unique backstories.
“Everything about TED is ideas worth spreading,” said Beth Wolfer. “It was just a really pertinent topic. We also really consider, ‘is this the right person to share this idea,’ and she absolutely is.”
While COVID cases have spiked in recent days, the one thing that has stayed consistent is location. Utah County makes up roughly 40 percent of all positive results.
Dr. Dunn said that likely won’t change until the younger population starts taking precautions more seriously, and that includes wearing masks.
The reason we’re asking you to do these things is because it’s killing people, so by you protecting yourself, you’re preventing it from spreading to someone more vulnerable.
–Dr. Angela Dunn, Utah’s state epidemiologist
“What we know is that COVID is still here and it’s spreading throughout our communities at the exact time when we are all so tired and sick of wearing face masks, and sick of social distancing, and just want to go back to life as normal,” said Dunn. “Unfortunately, the virus is impeding that desire, and we’re going to have to stick with it for a little while longer here.”
She then shared her big message with the audience.
“Unfortunately, now’s not the time to stop doing the things we know work,” she said. “Wear a face mask, wash your hands, stay home when you’re sick, and practice physical distancing. That is the reason we’re asking you to do these things is because it’s killing people, so by you protecting yourself, you’re preventing it from spreading to someone more vulnerable.”
Dr. Dunn said flu shots should be on all of our “to do” lists.
She said fewer people hospitalized with the flu will keep medical facilities open for those that may need it for COVID.
Select Tedx Salt Lake City presentations can be found on the organization’s website in early December.