I bet you’re worried about the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). We all are! If for any reason it seems like the media is going overboard, think about the following and I hope you will all keep safe and do all that is necessary to stop the spread of this virus.
There are only approx 100K ICU beds in US. These would supposedly service a population of approximately 330M people. If we don’t follow all possible precautions, during this time, the health system will not be able to support the influx of ill, critically ill and severely ill people. For example, if 200K people fell very ill, and needed ventilators, there would only be enough today, for about half. You can now do the rest of the math.
Based on what we’ve seen in China, Italy etc. the rate of spread is very high because the virus incubates for about 5 days without creating noticeable symptoms. At the time that it is incubating, it’s still very virulent and can be passed on very easily. In addition, it lives on plastic and other hard surfaces for up to 3 days and on cardboard or softer surfaces for at least 24 hours. Children and young people up to about 18 years old, are not being affected the same way as those who are older although a small percentage are getting very sick. This group could unknowingly be a major transmitter of the disease.
The rate of mortality for those who are 60 years and older is higher and up to 15% for those who are 80 years and older. So if you do the math, if there’s a group of 100 people who are 80 yrs and above in one location and they all catch this very easily transmittable virus, 15% are likely to pass away. That is, 15 people! That’s staggering! Percentages are lower for younger people but the mortality rate can still be high. So if you’re a younger adult, take this seriously and protect older people around you. If you’re older, please practice social distancing as much as possible so that you stay safe.
Please take all messages to protect yourself and others very seriously. Do everything you can to help flatten the curve.
- Wash your hands often and thoroughly. Use hand sanitizer in the absence of water.
- Disinfect surfaces, packages and any other suspicious areas with Clorox wipes especially when initially delivered.
- Practice responsible Social distancing to avoid getting and making others sick.
- Get tested if you feel sick and suspect you have the virus. This could save lives, especially the elderly. Congresswoman Katie Porter secured a “Yes” from the CDC Director to ensure that every American knows that they can get Corona virus testing for FREE whether they have insurance or not.
- Avoid all non-essential travel.
- Avoid visiting people or attending any gatherings. Even small ones.
- Avoid non-essential doctor visits.
With all this said, don’t stay cooped up all day indoors in front of digital devices or TV. It’s healthy to go for a walk, jog or run. Get some fresh air and sunshine and in the process, keep a safe distance from others. Also keep in touch with others in your network through all the wonderful technology we have in place
Keep safe and let’s defeat this invisible monster by heeding all the guidelines and advice that has been provided. Together we can "flatten the curve", beat this pandemic and help save lives.
Image: CDC/Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS