*Please note, we are temporarily pausing the Weekly Wellness newsletters to curate and explain COVID-19 news, in an effort to be sensitive to the times and because it's literally all that anyone cares about RN
Toilet Paper, the New Currency
You're Not Alone
...although you may be in your apartment. If you're feeling more than slightly confused and overwhelmed by the news and fast-paced updates of COVID-19, you're in good company. There is still a lot of mixed messaging about COVID-19, which as a reminder, is a novel coronavirus, rapidly spreading from person to person, with over 3,100 confirmed cases in the US across 49 states.
I'm Kind of a Big Deal
So what's the difference between an epidemic, and a pandemic? An epidemic refers to an increase in disease cases, beyond what's normal, in a certain geographical location. Say little Suzy caught the chicken pox and accidentally spread them throughout your Sleep Away Camp...EPIdemic. If Little Suzy, though, has COVID-19 and accidentally spreads it throughout Europe, then hops on a plane to visit friends in the the United States? Well folks, we've got a PANdemic on our hands.
Social Distancing = "It's Not You, It's Me"
Social distancing is a term referring to the conscious effort of reducing close contact between people. This 6-feet separation recommendation is made in an effort to prevent the transmission of the virus. It's important to note that social distancing is recommended regardless of whether you fall under COVID-19's most at risk-patients (the elderly 60+, the immunocompromised, and people with chronic respiratory issues, such as asthma). Why? It's not all about you! The disease can be transmitted via respiratory droplets aka microscopic drops that sneak their way from an infected person's cough or sneeze, onto someone else. It is also possible to transmit the virus by coming in contact with an infected surface or object and then touching your mouth, ears, nose, etc. Basically, practice social distancing with others, and with your own face!
What, like it's hard?
In areas like China, South Korea, and Italy, extreme measures had to be taken to combat the continuous spread of this novel coronavirus. More extreme than WFH? Yes, and the United States are catching on. Several cities from the east to west coast are starting to implement mandates such as curfews, bar & restaurant closures, and school closures, with more thought to follow suit in the coming days and weeks.
The cherry on top of this "Coronavirus Sundae" is the US's delay in testing. Testing is essential for identifying people who have been infected and for understanding the true scope of the outbreak. Unfortunately, there seems to be a Fyre Festival-like slew of problems when it comes to receiving and processing tests in the states. The public has been assured that we are now better prepared to increase testing, so time will tell.
The Do's & Dont's
- Practice social distancing (are you getting it yet?)
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. Happy Birthday to you...sing the Happy Birthday song to effectively disinfect
- Be sensitive to others. This is anxiety-provoking, uncharted territory for everybody.
And some things that simply WON'T help:
- Don't wear a mask unless you're sick. You're just taking supplies from those that need
- Don't put yourself in heavily populated, crowded, positions unnecessarily (i.e. restaurants, bars, public transportation)
- Don't panic. Stress can lower your immune system and that's not helping anyone!