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Going Viral

March 15, 2020 - by angelsheart - in Uncategorized

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On March 13, 2020 at approximately 4 pm ET, Pres. Trump declared the corona virus pandemic as a national emergency. The President declared an emergency under the Stafford Act, the 1988 law that past Presidents have used to declare disaster areas after storms and other natural calamities. This Act allows access to $42B of the Disaster Relief Fund. 

While it is assuring to know that we have the financial resources to help fund small businesses, housing and aid emergencies on a national level, such a move cannot eliminate the big health issue that the nation is facing.

I imagine myself in a VR game of “Zombie Apocalypse: Deadwood Mansion” wherein I’m armed with every single high-powered weapon with all its fancy bells and whistles but running around with an empty magazine. That’s right. How would you expect me to protect myself without any ammunition to stop the zombies in their tracks? I’m better off finding a safe place to hide until all the commotion and attacks have died down.

The very nature of a pandemic, which is defined as “a global outbreak of a disease”, requires solutions that transcend physical boundaries. It demands extensive coordination from all levels starting from the family as the basic unit to our communities, cities, counties, states, the whole nation and all the other countries around the world. If we are committed to beating COVID-19, everyone needs to be ready to do their part.

Just like in a virtual reality game, we fight the battle by being our own ammunition. It will be of value to know as much as we can about the enemy like its weakness and to creatively find ways to prevent detection until we come up with a successful strategic exit plan to beat the game.     

Corona Virus comes from a large family of viruses that can be found in people and animals such as camels, cattle, cats, and bats. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”).

The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to COVID-19:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Other emergency warning signs include the following:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • Confusion or altered mental state
  • Bluish lips or face    

Since there is no current vaccine available for this virus, the best prevention is to avoid exposure to it.

The virus spreads in two ways:

  • Contact between people (at least within 6 feet)
  • Respiratory droplets from an infected person.

Who Are At Risk:

  • Older adults
  • People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:
    • Heart disease
    • Diabetes
    • Lung disease

How To Protect Yourself and Your Family:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community.
  • Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
6 steps to prevent the spread of germs hand washing instructions.

What To Do If You Get Sick

  • If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room.
  • If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask).
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  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

CDC Tests for COVID-19

The CDC has developed a new laboratory test kit called the “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time Reverse Transcriptase (RT)-PCR Diagnostic Panel.”  This test is intended for use with upper and lower respiratory specimens collected from persons who meet the CDC criteria for COVID-19 testing. However, the test kits may not be readily available at hospitals and clinics since the kit is intended for use by laboratories designated by CDC as qualified and certified by Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) to perform high complexity tests.

Currently, there is no serology testing available to check for COVID-19. It will take more time to be able to collect blood serums from people who had been infected by the virus and check for the presence of antibodies.

According to Johns Hopkins, the death toll has already reached over 5,000 globally and with more than 1,200 cases in the United States to date. The public is overcome with fear. However, fear without a plan of action is a worse move to take. This is a time when we should seriously think about getting ourselves educated and taking the necessary steps to win this viral virus game.

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