Despite the politics and the pressure to choose red or blue when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still several truths that we all need to be aware of. Before we highlight a few of them, it is important to take a step back and be mindful of the ways in which the health situation across the country and around the world has affected your life. School was cancelled and remains uncertain for the fall; the empty grocery stores shelves have made it difficult to shop (especially for toilet paper, hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes); you may be working from home, alongside a spouse or children, and that could present a slew of problems in and of itself. Maybe your nights are a little more sleepless, you’re really missing your loved one who resides at a nursing care facility or you’ve had to reconsider whether that dental appointment or elective surgery is really necessary at this time (keep these appointments, by the way).
The point is, since January, coronavirus has greatly changed our way of living and has created a great deal of animosity for some. We’re all frustrated, it’s summer and masks are hot to wear, we’re lonely and perhaps depressed, and we’ve had to give up more than one of the things we love, like eating out, traveling, visiting with our friends and family, and attending sporting events.
But what we must remember is that a virus is to blame. We are still learning about this virus that brings with it a WIDE variety of symptoms (or none at all, which is even more concerning). As we are seeing spikes across the nation, it is important that we put politics aside and live our lives in a way that keeps not only our own health, but that of others in mind. Just as we prepare for flu season each year by taking a few simple precautions, so should we approach the next few uncertain months with some simple things we DO know about viruses:
Viruses spread easily and can be transmitted on surfaces and through droplets in the air from sneezing, coughing, talking, etc.
Some people have compromised immune systems, like children, pregnant women, the elderly and those with underlying conditions, like cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
Viruses, like the flu, common cold and coronavirus, cannot be treated with an antibiotic.
Proper hand washing for at least 20 seconds with a stream of hot water helps to break through the germs and bacteria to kill them before they are ingested or transmitted to surfaces. Hand sanitizer is useful when soap and water are not available.
Wearing a mask can prevent aerosol transmission between you and others.
Staying 6 or more feet from others can keep us from sharing our germs.
Getting plenty of sleep, exercising, eating properly and drinking plenty of water can help boost the immune system to help fight off viruses.
Staying home can prevent its spread even further.
Imagine that those around you had the potential of spreading a deadly virus to your elderly parents or grandparents. Now imagine that that person is you.