It’s almost impossible to go an hour without hearing about coronavirus on TV, radio, or social media. Downstairs in church Sunday, I overheard a lot of conversation about it. I would like to take a moment to address some concerns.
First, everyone is absolutely right to be concerned. Coronavirus—or COVID-19—is like the flu on steroids. It can spread easily, and is especially alarming for children, adults over age 65, and those with other serious health conditions. We already have confirmed cases in the United States; about 200, in fact, 12 have died from coronavirus in the United States 10 of them from a nursing home in Washington state. There is no vaccine available for coronavirus.
That said, the United States has far better resources than most of the rest of the world. Spread of the infection, according to experts, is all but inevitable. However, the U.S. will likely fair better than many other countries.
Wash your hands, especially after coughing into them, touching foreign surfaces (i.e. at the grocery store, Walmart, restaurants, etc.), being in contact with people you don’t know, or being in contact with someone known to be sick. Wash your hands with warm water and soap and scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds—long enough to sing “Happy Birthday.” If you can’t immediately wash your hands, use hand sanitizer.
Avoid anyone who might be sick, especially if it is a respiratory illness or they have a fever.
Keep a safe distance from children, especially those that have not yet been vaccinated due to age; those older than age 65; and anyone you know has acute or chronic disease.
Seek medical attention if you feel ill or have a fever, especially if you fall into one of the high-risk categories listed above. CALL AHEAD TO LET THEM KNOW YOU'RE COMING! The quicker you get treatment, the better the outcome will be.
Wear a mask around other people if you are sick to prevent spreading the infection to others. (However, don’t wear a mask all the time if not sick…see below.)
Get your flu vaccine, and pneumonia vaccine if applicable (ask your health care provider). It won’t stop you from getting coronavirus, but it could prevent serious complications that are more likely to be fatal.
Panic. Coronavirus is not in our community yet; and it can be prevented by taking proper precautions or treated with prompt medical attention.
Wear a mask to AVOID catching coronavirus. Not only will it NOT prevent you from getting it, but studies have shown that it can increase your risk by causing you to touch your face more often. Also, hospitals are running low on masks because the general public is buying them unnecessarily.
Go out in public if you know you are sick for any reason if you can avoid doing so. Not only do you risk infecting someone else, but you could also get a secondary infection that could make your condition worse.
Come to church if you know you are sick. See the point above. We would rather have you miss a week of church and see you the following week than know that you got worse and are sicker…therefore missing more Sundays!
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. I am by no means an expert on coronavirus, but I’m trying to stay up to date and will happily try to find verifiable information for anyone that wants it! Love and 3 Ts, Stephanie Schreiber