27 Comments

I have a lot of empathy for your burnout. But I won't lie, it feels like you're one more person deserting those of us who are immune-compromised and trying to navigate a world that has given up trying to provide information or protection. This is very frustrating, since you are one of only 3 remaining sources of information on COVID-19 who are taking it seriously in any way. I don't mean to put this directly on you-- there should be an entire public health response and the CDC and other public health officials are simply abdicating their responsibility here-- but it feels like the walls are closing in as more and more folks just throw in the towel and resign themselves to THIS state of affairs. Deaths are still high. Long Covid is still a huge problem that vaccination doesn't prevent.

Those of us who still have to care about COVID to survive and don't have the luxury of throwing our hands up? We're being left out in the cold. It's incredibly difficult not to feel bitter and angry and hopeless.

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founding

I feel very sorry for your situation. But Dr. Schmidtke is just one person, who has put forth tremendous effort to help others through the last three years. This shouldn’t be her burden to bear, but she did it anyway. I certainly wouldn’t accuse her of “throwing her hands up”! As a healthcare worker I have watched so many doctors and nurses leave the field entirely (and I don’t blame them either.) Dr. Schmidtke has been very strong.

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Meghan, I am so sorry that you had to deal with being immune-compromised during COVID. You are right that the CDC and public health officials failed when we needed them most. I think Dr. Schmidtke said she was just taking a break, but she would be back. Don't worry. Wishing all the best for you!

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Thank you so very much for being one of the voices of reason for the past few years. I have really appreciated your ability to share the data and point out what it means as well as what the uncertainties are.

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Your reporting has been very much appreciated by me, my family, and many friends with whom I have shared portions of many of your updates - especially the graphics and related interpretations. Please know that your work has reached and helped a much broader audience than the subscribers (paid and free) to the newsletter.

It was perhaps especially important to us here in Georgia - particularly during some of the worst reporting delays and other problems created by our Governor - but my friends from around the country have also expressed appreciation for your reporting.

I am glad that you are already well along disconnecting from emergency mode and will be taking a break. I will look forward to seeing whatever you may choose yo create in the future and hope I will again be able then to offer financial support.

In any case. Be proud of what this was and be well.

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founding

The number of clinicians and scientists who stepped into the public realm during the worst of the pandemic was truly impressive. Your blog has always been a constant for me and I deeply appreciate the work you have put into it. Enjoy the writing break! I look forward to seeing what might come next.

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Thank you Amber for helping us navigate Covid-19 and speaking data truth and science to power. Our family was vigilant throughout this period. Sadly we did lose family and friends. Science and communication were key. Our country needed both a science and marketing plan in March 2020. Unfortunately, we had political posturing with unfathomable deadly impacts. I do wish our leaders were smarter and more courageous. With great appreciation, enjoy your time away.

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Yes, the political posturing was quite ridiculous.

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Thank you for much Dr. Amber Schmidtke for guiding us through these years of pandemic. I get it. We are all burned out from the Covid-19 situation. You were a bright light, a voice of scientific reason in a wilderness of political disinformation about Covid-19, a world where rightwing nuts were (and still are) attacking public health experts who were just doing their jobs. It was a marathon and now, you need a well-deserved break. You have earned it. But it is depressing for me because I felt "seen" by you. There is no "normal" to which I might return as an immuno-compromised person who was "born that way." I have to navigate the Covid-19 risk without proper statistical information. So many states, particularly here in the South, have stopped even trying to collect valid data. Sample size? It is like the governors and their lackeys have never heard of that idea. We really need to require Statistics 101 for college graduation. Oh, well, life goes on, hopefully. Have a good break! And thank you so much for your diligent and excellent work in helping us understand the pandemic and how to manage it.

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Thank you so much for providing so much information and education over the last three years!

Best of luck in all your future endeavors!

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Thank you so much! I have relied on your information. I feel like I am losing a special friend. Best wishes.

Linda Alpharetta, GA

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Thank you, Dr. Schmidtke, for your commitment, your knowledge, your empathy and your unwavering loyalty to people you will never get to meet. Thank you also for your honesty and your bravery, as well as a commitment to the science--always the science. Please take care of yourself and your family. I hope to hear more from you in the future.

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Well Done, Amber!

Thank you for providing the public health information that we all needed. You were the one professional I trusted most for guidance through the ups and downs of COVID and the confusing charts which you made clear. I hope you can relax and have some fun, take a real break. We'll be here when you get back!

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founding

I appreciate everything you have done and I stopped whatever I was doing to read your digest. You really helped me and my family and for that I will be eternally grateful. Best of luck whatever is next.

Russell Honeycutt

Hiawassee, Ga. (formerly Macon)

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Thank you, Amber. You have been a voice of logic and reason during these uncertain and frightening times. I depended on your newsletters when I wasn’t sure who else I could really trust for information that would keep me and my family (which included my husband who had just been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer when the pandemic began. He passed in 9/20) safe and as healthy as possible. I wish you peace and calm and the confidence that comes from knowing you did a wonderful job helping so many people understand data and make good choices. Again, thank you and bless you and your family.

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Thank you for always being a source of information I knew I could count on. I look forward to what you do next!

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Dr. Schmidtke, just a short note to say thank you for all the words & music (for lack of a better term) you gave us during this pandemic. I was one of the first to sign up for your updates. I feel everything you said was to provide accurate information with no bias whatsoever and to help people. I looked forward to every update. I pray for God’s blessing for you and your family as you move forward . David Hardin, Albany, GA

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Thank you so VERY much! So very much. I am grateful that you took time to not only present the data, but explain it. As an immuno-compromised person who loves and cares for many other immuno-compromised friends and family, I have navigated this pandemic covid-free thanks to your guidance. Not always without fear and anxiety, unfortunately, and often out of sheer luck (supplemented by strategy, thank goodness, which is all one can do when luck is a factor). Your newsletter helped me get a grip on my worries, make the best choices available to me, and gave me the tools to move forward as a thinking, questioning, curious human being (I am especially grateful for your explanation of the Swiss cheese theory). I am incandescently furious at the "leaders" who abandoned us, but eternally grateful for you (and others) who took on the responsibility they refused to accept. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Please take good care of yourself and your loved ones.

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I don’t blame you in the slightest for being ready to stop. I have greatly appreciated your wisdom and you have provided insight I literally couldn’t get elsewhere. I am so grateful. I will miss being able to check our assumptions with you, especially as we have less and less access to good data we can use to make informed decisions.

Thank you for the incredible work you’ve done here.

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