Alumni Voices: “We Will Get Through This” by U.S. Rep. Greg Murphy ’85

Gregory F. Murphy, MD, FACS

U.S. Rep. Greg Murphy, M.D., class of 1985

We cannot stop the spread of this virus unless each and every one of us take individual responsibility and practice the habits suggested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization. The coronavirus is much more infectious than the regular flu virus, and it comes down to each of us taking ownership and doing what is not only right for ourselves but for our neighbors.

These are lessons embedded into the ethos of Davidson College. We strive for personal achievement yet at the same time for communal benefit. The Presbyterian Church, the foundation on which the college was built, teaches us to become servants to one another not only in thought, but in action.

We are a nation built on individualism but we must recognize that our individual actions can affect the life and welfare of other human beings. This means we should all frequently wash our hands, refrain from touching our faces, work from home, if we can, and only leave the house to go to the grocery store or pharmacy. Social distancing will help us flatten the curve so we don’t overwhelm our healthcare resources. We must encourage our elderly to stay at home. Offer to get them food and medicine. Call them to break up the monotony. Reach out to them with words of consolation and solace in this difficult time.

If we take these preventative measures, we will ultimately get through this. There is no doubt going to be suffering: medically, financially and psychologically. Yet, I firmly believe we will emerge from this difficult time stronger as a nation and a community.

Congressman Murphy, who represents North Carolina’s 3rd district, is a surgeon and urologist and has served as a medical missionary in India, Africa, Central America and Haiti. He recently served as president of the Davidson College Alumni Association.