Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Social Distancing

I’ve always enjoyed my solitude and often don’t venture from the house. I have my computer, reading, writing and the cats. Yes occasionally I like going out with my husband to dinner, the movies or other fun spots. My husband, on the other hand, likes to be on the move and not strapped to the house.

With the Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency all around us (thank G-d we are NOT sick), we are listening to the CDC warnings — “The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.” By Social Distancing and staying away from others we can all help to SLOW the transmission rate of this disease, and actually from all infectious diseases. You don’t have to be sick and there may be no active reports of illness in your immediate community, but this virus can spread through person-to-person contact. A has the illness, even though he doesn’t know it yet, when B comes into town A and B shake hands, B comes home and hugs his wife, B’s wife goes to the local supermarket and touches produce… you can see where I am going from there.

Folks have been catching viruses forever, so why is COVID-19 making headlines? The “simple cold” virus is normally mild and causes respiratory infections, sore throats, and headaches; MOST people get over colds quickly without complications. The most common strains of the influenza virus are more severe than a cold, are accompanied by fever and can result in pneumonia or sometimes death; the flu virus can be passed usually within the first five days of infection — AND there are flu vaccines, while there are some who cannot take a flu shot (Me, me, me!), inoculation and a shorter transmission time does cut down the occurrences.

COVID-19 is a newer strain of Coronavirus, one that does not have a vaccine (yet) and can cause all of the ailments of a severe flu including very high fever and, yes, death. All respiratory illnesses can be deadly for anyone with a compromised immune system. In most people, common cold symptoms usually peak within the first two to three days of infection, while the effects of Covid-19 appear two to 14 days after exposure. A person can come in contact with someone who has the infection and doesn’t know it and then that next person comes into contact with others and passes it along. Covid-19 is spreading much faster than the flu and there is still a lot to learn about the disease.

Some of the best recommendations to stay healthy include keeping a healthy distance (at least six feet) from others who may potentially be carrying the infection. Sneeze into your elbow or tissues, dispose of dirty tissues in a closed garbage can or flushed down the toilet. Wash your hands frequently, soap and water are wonderful germ killers. Don’t touch other people or THINGS and then put your hands to your face as you can carry the germs to your mouth, nose or eyes; it is unknown how long the Coronavirus can live on surfaces but it is estimated as long as nine hours on non-porous surfaces. Wipe down your phone, computer keyboard, steering wheel, etc. with a disinfectant. Carry an alcohol based hand-cleaner and use it after touching ATM machines, elevator buttons, public handrails and more.

Getting back to that lonely isolating social distancing, don’t give the Coronavirus, or other germs, another host by making yourself available to it. If we can break the chain we might be able to slow down the progression.

As for my husband and me spending so much at-home and alone time (together… with the cats), it’s a good thing we like each other.
To your health!

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