Entering spring should have been an exciting and happy season for us all. Instead, it’s reeked with fear and a lot of anxiety. The numbers for COVID-19 are growing and not abating. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of confirmed cases worldwide has already exceeded 200,000. It took over three months to reach the first 100,000 confirmed cases, and only 12 days to reach the next 100,000. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are now 10,442 cases within the US. Of this number, 290 cases are travel-related while 310 was due to close contact or community transmission. They are still investigating the remaining 9,842 cases.
Many businesses have halted operations or operating in a limited capacity. Schools have been closed temporarily. Our loved ones, the elderly, are in a vulnerable state. Social distancing has started becoming a new norm, which will effectively cause loneliness and that sense of being cut off. Yes, we all feel uncertain at this time. But do remember, we are all in this together. We, as a community, can fight against Covid-19 collectively, and help one another to manage its impact on Lake County. Before doing so, we need to understand the virus.
What is COVID-19?
The COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) is a new coronavirus strain identified in China, which has caused cases of severe pneumonia. The virus has been spreading globally. As of March 20, around 7pm PST, it’s in 166 number of countries, according to Johns Hopkins University’s real-time tracker. Typical symptoms include cough, fever and shortness of breath. The incubation period, which is the time between contact with the virus and the onset of symptoms, is fourteen days.
How is COVID-19 spread to others?
Like the flu, COVID-19 spreads from person-to-person through close contact. Please see some examples of how it can be spread:
- Coughing by an infected person within a short distance of someone
- Touching or shaking hands with an infected person and then touching your face without washing your hands
- Touching surfaces or objects (ie doorknobs) that have become contaminated with the virus and then touching your face without washing your hands
- Hugging someone who is infected with the virus
What can you do to protect yourself and others from the virus?
Here are some of the things we can do to protect ourselves and our loved ones:
- Use a tissue to cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing. Dispose of the tissue promptly and in the right place. Wash your hands after.
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water. The rule of thumb is washing for 20 seconds. An alcohol sanitizer could be used as an alternative to clean hands.
- Avoid touching your face – your mouth, eyes, and nose.
- Use a good cleaning agent to clean all surfaces frequently touched by other people.
- Avoid crowded places and being around people who are unwell.
- Observe social distancing. Maintain at least 6 feet physical distance from other people.
- Wear a mask if you don’t feel well.
- See a doctor right away if you are unwell.
- Follow the advice given by your healthcare provider
- Always be informed. A wealth of information can be found in the World Health
Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
We also need to help reduce the stigma. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has highlighted public health emergencies to be stressful times for people and communities. Fear and anxiety can lead to social stigma towards people, places, or things. Stigma can hurt people. Some groups that are possibly feeling it are persons of Asian descent, people who have traveled and our healthcare professional. Let’s not discriminate—everyone can help stop the stigma by knowing the facts and sharing them with others in your community. Always refer to CDC website to be informed.
We are all in this together. Let’s protect ourselves, our families and our community. Let us help and provide strength to one another in this trying time. Don’t let fear and uncertainty control our lives. Instead, let us try to live as normally as we can while being cautious and conscious of our actions. Together, we will beat COVID-19.