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About COVID-19--Be safe--Warnings and safety suggestions

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    About COVID-19--Be safe--Warnings and safety suggestions

    This is a bit of a long post. I apologize for that. But it is important. Also important to note. COVID-19 is not a political issue. It is a contagious disease. It is a pandemic. It affects everyone, regardless of politics, religion, race, economic status, location in the world. It is, literally, a life and death issue.

    As the COVID pandemic grows around the world, concerns grow. It's such promising news that a vaccine is coming. But it will be a while (probably at least April, according to experts) before it reaches the general population. First, it will go to long term care residents and health care workers. This is right. Health care workers have been at the front line of this disaster from the beginning, and have not always (many still don't) had proper protection for themselves. They've gotten sick and died while working so hard to save lives, giving literally everything they had to help.

    Different countries are faring differently right now. Some have had tight restrictions, and now have case numbers so low, that areas without cases have been able to return to a semblance of normalcy, with reasonable precautions. Others, like the US, have uncontrolled spread.

    I'm going to address the US specifically now, though certainly anywhere with COVID should use at least some of the precautions mentioned. COVID spread is uncontrolled here. Many states are running dangerously low on ICU beds, some running out of hospital beds in general. It's been suggested that they can just open field hospitals, etc, to take care of that. And it's true, field hospitals are being open in some areas. But here are some important facts to know: All hospital beds must have staffing to support them.

    We are also dangerously short on health care workers. They are stretched to their limits. We even have organizations like Doctors Without Borders working inside the country to try to back up our system. Also, ICU beds specifically require specific support. Only certain people with specific qualifications can staff a bed/room with ventilators. We're not just running out of the beds and ventilators, we're running out of the people to staff them. In the Spring, staff could travel around the country to specific hot spots. Now the entire country is pretty much a hot spot. Everyone's in trouble.

    If you, or someone you love gets sick, there is a chance that there won't be a hospital bed, or a ventilator, or even a doctor, available.

    I've read people's stories of people who have lost loved ones (who died alone) to this disease. I've read stories of healthcare workers who are getting sick and dying. I've read stories of healthcare workers who are treating people in ICU who still don't believe that COVID is real. I've read stories of people's experience with this disease, struggling to breathe, having to phone loved ones from the ICU to say goodbye, just in case they don't make it. This disease is vicious.

    So yes, that's all really hard info, and it's scary. But this is not hyperbole. All of this IS happening. According to the CDC, the US is averaging one COVID death every minute. Over a quarter of a million Americans have died from this virus, and that number is rising rapidly.

    CDC guidance for quarantining after possible exposure as follows. The best thing is to quarantine for 14 days. However, they consider it acceptable if you don't develop any symptoms, to quarantine for 10 days. Also possible is 7 days, but only if you test and the result is negative.

    Today, the CDC gave the following guidance for people who gathered with others over Thanksgiving:

    CDC Guidelines

    "If you are under 40, you need to assume you became infected during the Thanksgiving period if you gathered beyond your immediate household. Most likely, you will not have symptoms; however, you are dangerous to others and you must isolate away from anyone at increased risk for severe disease and get tested immediately. If you are over 65 or have significant medical conditions and you gathered outside of your immediate household, you are at a significant risk for serious COVID infection; if you develop any symptoms, you must be tested immediately as the majority of therapeutics work best early in infection."

    In addition, they have given specific guidelines for keeping safe over Christmas holidays ( COVID-19: Holiday Celebrations | CDC )

    "Celebrating virtually or with members of your own household (who are consistently taking measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19) poses the lowest risk for spread. Your household is anyone who currently lives and shares common spaces in your housing unit (such as your house or apartment). This can include family members, as well as roommates or people who are unrelated to you. People who do not currently live in your housing unit, such as college students who are returning home from school for the holidays, should be considered part of different households. In-person gatherings that bring together family members or friends from different households, including college students returning home, pose varying levels of risk."

    Trust me folks. I know that this is hard. I have not left my house since March, with the exception of going for a drive in the car to keep it running. It's hard being isolated. It's hard being away from people that you love and want to celebrate special moments and holidays with. It's so difficult.

    But please, be safe. Wear a mask around others if it's not medically impossible for you to do so. Social distance. Avoid gatherings with people who don't live in your home. As hard as that is, being separated from people that you love temporarily is so much better than losing them.

    Remember any precaution that you take does not only protect you. It helps protect all of the people you hold dear.

    We can get through this and come out the other side. But we have to work together. Love is a verb. And right now, we have to love each other enough to be willing to be uncomfortable for a time, so that we can try to minimize the suffering as much as possible while we wait for the vaccine. Being apart for holidays especially is so hard. But being safe now means having future holidays.

    I love all of you guys. And I want you and your families to come through the other end of this intact. Please be safe. Please use precautions. Please listen to guidance of the scientists and experts.

    There is hope. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

    Let's walk there together. Then we can celebrate.
    Last edited by Emily; 02-12-2020, 19:36.
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    Scars remind us of where we've been.
    They don't have to dictate where we're going.~Criminal Minds




    #2
    thank you, emily.

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      #3
      This really is the craziest time to live through. Certainly taking Covid seriously here.

      I didn't realize you have been so strictly isolated, Emily. That's extremely difficult.

      The only ones I've seen in person are my elderly father and his caregiver. Contact-free pickup has saved the day for groceries, along with occasional shipped orders.

      I think it gets harder to maintain one's resolve as the situation lingers and it can feel like there's no end in sight.

      I'm no anti-vaxxer, but I have concerns, even once the vaccine is available. After having tranverse myelitis years ago, I've avoided flu shots with the advice of the neurologist I saw.

      Catie

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        #4
        ((((Cookie))))

        It is definitely a crazy time, Catie. The isolation is difficult. I have a housemate, so I have a person to interact with. But it's still rather difficult.

        It's tricky, when you have someone whose care you're kind of in charge of, isn't it? So glad for contact free. We've ordered everything. Haven't set foot in a grocery store since March. As silly as it seems, that's one of the things that I miss most. So grateful for delivery and shipping, and grateful for those who risk themselves for those of us staying home.

        It is harder, the longer it goes on, for sure! I've found that the hard part of that is that if people start slacking off, it will make it last even longer. So that's what I remind myself of every time I feel like I've just had enough and I'm over it. lol. Being careful now means shorter time.....

        Makes sense to have concerns over the vaccine. I figure that given that it'll be at least April before it reaches most of us, at least it gives time to see if any issues arise. Also, for anyone unable to take the vaccine, like with your previous transverse myelitis, there should be a similar situation like with flu regarding a herd immunity, if the vaccines provide good immunity. I guess time will tell how long they last, or if it ends up being something that's yearly like the flu vaccine.
        Email me!
        Scars remind us of where we've been.
        They don't have to dictate where we're going.~Criminal Minds



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          #5
          Emily, I completely relate about missing the grocery. Not silly at all. I had gotten down to the wire with renewing my car registration and learned I could get my sticker inside one of our grocery stores in lieu of waiting for it to be mailed. It's a technicality they can tow you for in our apartments, so last week I went in early to the service desk then ("gosh, I'm here!") sped my cart around a few aisles. It felt just unreal to be inside after so many months! Since March, too. I miss bargain hunting and just seeing everything! The thrift stores keep calling my name too, but thus far I've resisted.

          Oh yes indeed. Grateful for people keeping the supply chain going and who have done my grocery shopping for me, in essence!

          I have a special concern for the long haulers, the folks who have had serious symptoms remain for weeks and months. Some very tragic stories also.

          For years in flu season, if I heard sneezing or coughing, I would try to head for another part of the store!
          Catie

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            #6
            Thanks Emily for this reminder. It is vital that we take care of our health care workers and other people in our community. Although I do leave my house for work, that is the only place I am currently going (minus the doctors who aren’t doing teletherapy in our area). And I am being so strict to protect my students and to continue to be able to go to work where they and I need to be! Zoom does not work for my student population and so I will do anything possible to keep them safe. But it’s a heavy burden. My family was very angry with me for not going to thanksgiving and I haven’t even broached the fact that I won’t do Christmas yet, but I won’t! I have to think larger than that and do everything I can to not spread.

            thank goodness for Walmart delivery.... I don’t even know what the inside looks like anymore!

            it’s very frustrating talking with people who aren’t taking the same precautions because I am trying so hard! I miss restaurants and shopping in store etc. especially goodwill and other thrifts Catie! but it’s worth it.

            again thanks for the reminder. Hang in there! Glad you have a housemate for company.
            "We cannot hold a torch to another's path without brightening our own."

            Comment


              #7
              Hopefully a time will come soon that it'll be safe to do those fun things like the thrift stores again, Catie. It's kinda hard work, being so diligent.

              Overcome, my thoughts are always also with all of you who are working. You are an essential worker as well as the folks who work at hospitals and those who do my shopping. And I appreciate you. I also am always thinking of you all and sending extra thoughts for your safety. I bet it is so hard to be working so hard to be safe, but having others not happy about it, or not understand that you're doing what you can to keep them safe as well. I hope that the time will come when they really see that you're showing your love by being safe.

              Thank goodness for Walmart delivery indeed. I always think that my luck, by the time I get back to my grocery, they'll have moved everything around. lol. I thank goodness for Instacart all the time, as well as Fedex, UPS, and other services.

              Be safe! Hopefully this will get better soon!
              Email me!
              Scars remind us of where we've been.
              They don't have to dictate where we're going.~Criminal Minds



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                #8
                Overcome, it's so unfair that your family wasn't understanding about the holiday. But I'm thankful you are taking such excellent care of yourself and your students!

                I haven't yet used Instacart, though I've heard good things about it!

                Having groceries plopped into my trunk has been amazing though.
                Catie

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                  #9
                  Thanks for this thread, (((((Emily))))).

                  I see covid fatigue all around me. It’s very, very easy to get relaxed about things when back at work. For example, I was working after school in my classroom and I typically remove my mask when no one else is in the room with me. I was so focused on my work and then I had to run to the restroom. Well, I got into the middle of the hallway and realized I had forgotten to put my mask back on. It was a moment of horror - @&!% - I said...do I run back to the classroom or dart in the bathroom???? Which is closer??!! Thank goodness no one was in the hallway at the time, but I realized that I had felt normal for a moment and forgot where I was and the reality of this hidden danger.

                  It takes effort to be vigilant....especially when it’s something you can’t see.
                  ♥ ♥ ♥
                  The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save.
                  Zeph 3:16

                  Comment


                    #10
                    It's true, Star. The covid fatigue is a real issue. I think besides just going through routines that are were so normal pre-covid, and forgetting, there's the fact that so many think, "well, we've made it all these months without getting sick...so it's all good." There's the exhaustion of isolation. There's the financial burden, lost jobs, etc. There's the stress of front line workers. And that's of course healthcare workers, delivery people, grocery clerks, etc. But it's also teachers. And I know that we have several members here (you included) who are among the frontline workers, who still are out there, doing what needs to be done. It's just a lot, isn't it?

                    I can totally see, btw, how easy it would have been to forget to put your mask back on when you were going to the restroom. I bet a lot of that is just body memory, routine, doing it the way you've been doing for years. Glad you were safe!

                    Not to belabor the point here, but just going to add here that I saw that as of today, an American is dying on average every 32 seconds. It's numbers like this that make me more determined to do everything that I can to slow this thing. Because there are people like so many of you who have to be out in it.

                    Today, my heart is just so heavy for healthcare workers....the burden that they're facing right now is great....and getting heavier daily as the numbers go up. Just so hard.
                    Last edited by Emily; 04-12-2020, 03:28.
                    Email me!
                    Scars remind us of where we've been.
                    They don't have to dictate where we're going.~Criminal Minds



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                      #11
                      Originally posted by Starship View Post
                      ...but I realized that I had felt normal for a moment and forgot where I was and the reality of this hidden danger.
                      I think this is so true Starship. I have done similar things myself and then later wondered how I could have, but I think it is simply because we are human beings not machines with a default setting. There probably isn't anyone on the planet who hasn't done something like this I reckon.

                      It is good to read of the diligence of everybody in this forum to the use of physical distancing. It does work. In the state of Victoria, there was a huge surge of cases - hundreds and hundreds of deaths - and the population of the entire state had to go into lockdown for several months. It must have been incredibly hard but to the credit of everyone involved, there was widespread compliance with the rules of lockdown.

                      As a result, there has not been a single new case there for 35 days - down from over 20,000 cases. There are now no active cases whatsoever.

                      So, hang in there because the precautions really do work.
                      Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery
                      and today is a gift;
                      that's why they call it the present.


                      Eleanor Roosevelt

                      Comment


                        #12
                        So true Falena, when we in Victoria were having over 700 cases a day, there was a state in the USA with the same amount, we went into lock down and masks were mandated, we have no cases at the moment and they have thousands of cases a day.

                        that just breaks my heart, because it could have been so different if people took this seriously and thought of others.
                        Email me!

                        Women are the largest untapped reservoir of talent in the world

                        ~*~Hillary Clinton~*~

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                          #13
                          It's wonderful that your cases are so low now, Falena and Brina.

                          True Falena, the precautions do work, as evidenced everywhere that they're in place. Unfortunately, most leaders won't put the necessary restrictions in place. And far too many people won't voluntarily use the precautions.

                          I feel like if we had leaders who implemented lockdowns and mask mandates, and people showed enough concern for others around them to wear masks and distance even if someone didn't make it a rule, we'd be much closer to those results.

                          Now that things are so bad here, I really hope people begin to take it more seriously, particularly given that the experts are predicting a really large surge of cases and deaths in the next few weeks because of the Thanksgiving holiday.

                          Honestly, I find myself just increasingly annoyed and frustrated at people's lack of regard for others and complete selfishness. So I really hope that it gets better, because aside from the suffering....I am struggling with what it says for humanity that there's such an unwillingness to do the simplest of things to help everyone (whether they know and love them or not) stay healthy and alive.. It's as though "Love your neighbor as yourself" is a foreign concept these days.

                          It really does break my heart.

                          Last edited by Emily; 05-12-2020, 07:50.
                          Email me!
                          Scars remind us of where we've been.
                          They don't have to dictate where we're going.~Criminal Minds



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                            #14
                            We did almost a complete lockdown in our house for several months. The second half of spring semester our clinical hours were made virtual, so I only left the house (with a mask) for groceries and I managed to only go out every 10-14 days. Beaches were closed, playgrounds were closed, but the walking path I can see from my back window that isn't technically on the beach was still open and there were 10-15 times the normal number of people out there.

                            When cases began dropping here, towards the end of the summer, more and more restrictions were lifted. Now technically there is a mask mandate in place, there are signs on the door of every store, but almost no one is willing to enforce it. I've seen several instances where people have gotten violent over being asked to wear a mask.

                            I don't watch the numbers on a regular basis, I don't have the energy for that. At my hospital though COVID numbers are still down from what they were a few months ago, it will be interesting to see what the next few weeks bring though. We did get an email earlier this week asking for volunteers willing to go to the hospital to give vaccines to other health care workers. It's not the be all end all and I know a lot of people who aren't willing to get a vaccine early on. We have yet to hear if it will be mandated for us like the flu shot and all other vaccines are. We are in an unprecedented time for sure.
                            Moonflower

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                              #15
                              I've seen that as well, Moonflower, people just being horrible about being asked to wear a mask. And really, it's the simplest of things if it means saving lives.

                              The numbers are really hard to watch, that's for certain. Honestly, I think I watch them closely just to keep myself vigilant. But it's tough when they're rising so exponentially.

                              I hope the vaccines end up being both safe and successful. I'm also hopeful that by the time they reach the general public there will be enough evidence of that safety to make people trust them more to get them. So much riding on it all really, isn't it?

                              I do think it'd help if there wasn't so much rampant misinformation, far too often from people who are supposed to be leaders, and some media downplaying the virus, downplaying it's danger ("oh, it's just another flu..only people with comorbidities are dying...blah blah"--as though those people's lives are less important.), downplaying the importance of masks and distancing, even to the point of making fun of people who are taking every precaution. It's all just hard.

                              Email me!
                              Scars remind us of where we've been.
                              They don't have to dictate where we're going.~Criminal Minds



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