Let's flatten the curve
We will never know if the drastic measures we are taking now will make all the difference in slowing the spread of the coronavirus, but we will second-guess ourselves, if we don’t do all we can.
The fact that Kansas has closed schools this week is another indication of the severity of the coronavirus.
Health officials are taking these measures and many others to slow the spread of the virus in the human population - flattening the curve, as they say - so as to buy us some time in learning more about the new virus in humans and so as not to overflow our health care facilities’ ability to care for those who get the sickest.
There’s no need to panic, but all of us do need to stay informed and follow the directions of our local, state and national health officials.
For the time being, it’s not a good idea to congregate in groups of 50 or more people, for example, experts say.
The heath experts are also saying that most people who get COVID-19 (the other name for coronavirus) may only have the symptoms of a common cold.
The coronavirus reportedly started in late 2019 in China and eventually spread regionally and by February 2020 there were cases in every continent but Antarctica.
This coronavirus is a variation (or mutation) of the virus that causes the common cold. It can cause anything from nothing to a mild cold to a potentially lethal viral pneumonia.
Those who seem to be most affected by coronavirus, thus far, are those who are more at risk to begin with: those who are older, those with multiple chronic health conditions, etc.
Young people must do their part to slow the spread of the virus, too. While young people may not get sick from the virus, they could transmit the virus to their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents.
Here’s some things we don’t know:
*We don’t know if the virus will quit spreading when the weather gets warmer.
*We also don’t know if this is a one-season thing or if it will come back strong again next cold and flu season.
*We don’t know when or if we’ll have a successful vaccine to prevent against this new virus.
Here’s some tips on protecting yourself:
*If you feel sick, stay home, just like you always already do.
*Take good care of yourself. Exercise regularly, eat nutritious, balanced meals, get good sleep.
*Wash your hands! A lot!
*Don’t touch your eyes, mouth, nose, etc., and get into the habit of washing your hands before eating.
*If you can, avoid contact with those who are sick or are caring for the sick.
*If you are not actively sick (or caring for someone who is), surgical masks are not likely helpful. Health care workers will wear masks (and often higher-rated ones than the ear-loop masks), as they have a much higher likelihood of caring for someone with the disease and don’t want to spread it to others.
Those who are exposed to someone with COVID-19 or who are being tested for COVID-19 will likely be asked to self-quarantine (currently not mandatory).
Because of the real possibility of a quarantine, stock up a couple weeks’ worth of non-perishable food items in a pantry.
Also make sure you have the basics — like medications and (a rational amount of) toilet paper, facial tissues, etc.
Note: Some information shared above was provided by local doctor Vance Lassey.