COVID-19 CORNER: 5 Cornerstones
Updated: Mar 29, 2020
A LOT of information has hit us over the past months about the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causing the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). While we find space for even more information and brace for the unknown, these point remain as relevant as ever:
1. Wash Your Hands
Like good wine, this doesn't get old. And I hope it remains imprinted in everyone's mind long after we overcome the coronavirus. While hand sanitizer will work in a pinch, soap and water is first-line for hand cleanliness. If you need a song to help you remember the 20-second minimum, Wash Your Lyrics can help you with that.
“We came to work for you. Please stay home for us.”
The idea is to delay the spread of the virus so that there are not new cases happening at the same time. This allows healthcare systems to keep up with those who need help. So, while there may still be persons who get sick, it will be more spread out
Stay at home, traveling only for essential needs. Know the symptoms and when to contact your doctor. If you need to visit a clinic, call ahead of time to let them know.
The classic symptoms:
Fever (≥100.4° F (38°C) ; may also have chills
Shortness of breath – may present like a “tight” chest, unable to get a full breath, or breathing quickly
Cough (usually a dry cough)
Other symptoms may include tiredness and sore throat, occurring in 29% – 69% and 5% - 17% of people, respectively . Loss of smell is an emerging self-reported symptom but has not been confirmed by the CDC.
Even if you have had a known or suspected case of COVID-19, there is a lack of information of long-term immunity, which means you could get it twice. There is still much to learn about the coronavirus like its mutation rate, whether there may be multiple strains with varying degrees of virulence, and an FDA-approved treatment.
3. Prepare, Don't Panic
Coronavirus and the “fishing line” jewellery robbery. Mark Knight.
DO Buy extra supplies, especially dry goods, non-perishable high energy foods, and frozen foods that retain their nutritional value.
DO Get refills of your maintenance medication. Have a 2- to 3-month supply of your medication if possible; many insurance drugs plans are making allowances for this. However, it might only be possible to get a 30-day supply if your medication is in very high demand. Also, have basic first aid kit supplies and over-the-counter medications to provide relief of common cold and flu symptoms.
DON’T Stockpile supplies that our hospitals and healthcare professionals really need! For example, gloves and masks, especially N95 respirators. Don’t stockpile multiple cases of toilet paper [we’ve ALL seen this], foods you never really eat, and cleaning products that can easily be substituted with inexpensive CDC-approved supplies.
If you find yourself with free time on your hands, there are ways to un-twiddle those thumbs:
DONATE BLOOD. Per the American Red Cross, there is currently a severe blood shortage due to blood drive cancellations. This affects surgeries and blood transfusions for cancer patients, who are among our most vulnerable population. If you can, give blood.
DONATE TIME. There are many in our communities who are helping friends and neighbors in need. Thank You! This could be helping someone who can’t leave the house pick up their groceries. Or providing food to first-responders who are working around the clock. Volunteer Match is a online company that connects people to the organizations that could use their help.
DONATE SKILLS. Washington is currently looking for Emergency Volunteer Health Practitioners from any state. This is allowable under the Uniform Emergency Volunteer Health Practitioner Act and provides suitable healthcare workers with a temporary permit. Other states may be allowing the same. Here is a list of all State & Territorial Health Department Websites.
DONATE MONEY. There are several organizations raising funds to help with critical needs due to COVID-19, including:
COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund (coordinated by the World Health Organization)
Give a dollar if you can – it will come back to you in ways you cannot imagine. Or you could support someone closer to home who might have lost their livelihood because of COVID-19. Creativity has no limits!
5. Social NOT Emotional Distancing
While we are in quarantine and trying to protect those dearest to us, it is easy to forget to look up and reach out.
Kindness and community are more important now than ever.
Many events, from motivational talks to dance classes, are now virtual. Stay connected. Stay involved. Support your local businesses, like restaurants offering delivery services.
Quarantine does not mean you can’t get a breath of fresh air. It’s OK to enjoy a solo backyard picnic or to go for a walk around your block if you can safely keep 6 feet more from others. Get a start on spring-cleaning – you might need extra space to store those supplies anyway! Set up a virtual movie night with family around the globe. These are all ideas to prevent you from feeling over-isolated, which perpetuates emotional distancing.
And remember: smiles are free, non-contagious, and visible from 6 feet away!
Accessed via /www.berkeleyside.com. Photo, taken on March 25: Pete Rosos
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any organization in this post. All views, information, or opinions expressed are solely personal.
1. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). BMJ Best Practice. Accessed Mar 24, 2020 from https://bestpractice.bmj.com/topics/en-gb/3000168/history-exam#keyFactors