Monday, March 23, 2020

Comprehensive Info on Battling COVID-19 in Our Community

There is a great deal of information concerning the COVID-19 virus (Corona) and the necessary precautions that is being passed around on social media and other news sources. The volume and purpose of this information can sometimes be confusing, inaccurate or overwhelming. Some of those sources are questionable in content and focus. There is still much that we don’t know about the virus and new and sometimes contradictory information continue to surface. Reposting undocumented and unsourced information from a friend of a friend of a doctor or health care professional may not be the best option.

Locally, Winston Medical Center and our Emergency Management team are doing a good job of providing information and resources to our community and that should be your primary source of knowledge for your actions. Follow the following Facebook pages and associated websites for current local updates:

Also follow WLSM for current info as well.

We have attempted to compile a comprehensive list of do’s and don’ts (from CDC, Ms. Dept of Health, MEMA and Winston Medical) for the public in response to the virus. Please take the time to consider and apply the following recommendations over the coming days and weeks:

1.       If you are sick in any way – STAY HOME. Good advice under any circumstances but especially important now. You may be more vulnerable to the virus, you may spread whatever illness you may be suffering from and generating fear in those you are exposing yourself to.
2.       Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
3.       If you do cough or sneeze – do so into your sleeve.
4.       Don’t travel. Now is not the time for vacations or shopping trips.
5.       Do not gather in groups – especially in groups in excess of 10.
6.       If you are elderly or have significant health issues- STAY HOME and avoid social contact. Have a family member or other do your shopping and errands.
7.       If you must visit a retailer for groceries/supplies, designate one family member to do so. Do not make this a family event! Don’t socialize, get what you need and leave. Sanitize when you go in and sanitize when you exit.
8.       KEEP YOUR CHILDREN AT HOME and supervise them. There are too many reports of unsupervised kids in our stores.

Many people cannot self-isolate due to their jobs and responsibilities. Here are some things to do to protect yourself:

1.       If you are vulnerable due to health issues or age – consider wearing a face mask and gloves.
2.       Wash your hands on a regular basis.
3.       Practice social distancing – keep a 6 foot distance if at all possible.
4.       If someone enters your place of business who appears to be ill – ask them to return to their vehicle and deliver their goods or services to them there.
5.       Clean surfaces that the public may come into contact with on a regular basis with a strong disinfectant.
6.       Consider limiting your services to call-in or curbside if at all possible.

If you are ill or concerned that you may have symptoms of Corona:

1.       If you feel you need medical care – call your health care provider. Do not go directly to the clinic or hospital. Our medical professionals have procedures in place to deal with every circumstance. They can provide instructions on exactly what to do and where to go.
2.       Use the emergency room only for 911 type emergencies.
3.       Self-isolate yourself. Use the same bed and bathroom throughout your illness.
4.       Minimize contact with others in your household.
5.       Limit contact with your pets. (others come into contact with them as well.)
6.       Don’t share household items; utensils, towels, bedding, etc.
7.       Throw used tissues into a lined trash can.
8.       Disinfect your home regularly, especially high contact items such as phones, keyboards, remote controls, door knobs, etc.
9.       Follow your doctor’s instructions religiously.

If you show symptoms of the virus or have been diagnosed with the virus- you should remain in quarantine until all of the following criteria is met:
·       You exhibit no fever for 72 hours
·       Other symptoms have abated
·       At least 7 days since your first symptom
·       After consulting with your doctor

Caretakers should follow the above rules as well

Symptoms of Corona virus include:
·       Continual fever
·       Shortness of breath
·       Cough
·       Possible chest pain

If you are young and healthy or simply have the attitude that the virus is not that serious and you’re willing to take your chances, that is your choice but consider that you may be a carrier of the virus that could affect your parents, grandparents, friends and coworkers.

While this list includes all the things you shouldn’t do, here are some things that you can do if you are healthy to make this time more pleasant:

·       Spend time outdoors – walking, fishing, hunting
·       Catch up on your reading, binge watch your favorite tv shows
·       Do all those household chores you’ve been putting off till “ you had more time.”
·       Play board games
·       Spend time with your kids – games, school work, cooking, etc
·       Donate blood
·       Volunteer to do shopping or run errands for those who may be housebound due to their age or health.