There is nothing more important now than good science — and that means washing your hands often, staying at home and avoiding people.
This is Trahant Reports.
Our ancestors have faced smallpox, influenza, and war. Now our generation is looking at a pandemic that is disrupting our daily lives.
Things that we take for granted are on hold. Visiting friends, even family. Going to work. Or watching our favorite team or musicians.
The coronavirus spreads by contact, so when you meet someone who has the virus, they are likely to spread it. The math says that everyone who carries the disease will likely pass it along to at least two others. That’s a lot of people. And what makes this even more nasty is that you can spread this disease before you’re sick. So the idea of … if you are sick, stay home … is less relevant. We also know that coronavirus spreads more easily than the flu. Think of it as an infectious pneumonia.
Then the COVID-19 pandemic is new in so many ways, one that’s particularly dangerous for elderly people or those with chronic health conditions such as diabetes.
But the biggest concern is human behavior. Can we all adjust, quickly, so that we don’t spread it on? Can we stay home? Away from people? And this is the big one: Can we wait in line for medical help?
So we have been trained to go to the doctor when we are sick. We want to get fixed up as soon as possible. That’s normal.
Perhaps we even had contact with someone who tested positive.
Yet we should wait.
If we get sick, go to bed. Most people get fever and cough, sometimes fatigue or shortness of breath, and then recover in about two weeks. About 15 percent of the cases develop into pneumonia. The symptoms usually start slowly and often worsen as the illness goes on.
So if you are running a fever, experts say, assume that you have coronavirus. Stay home. Yes there will be a growing number of tests available but those should be reserved for patients who are high risk. Most of us should just go to bed and stay there until it passes.
The alternative is the entire medical system will be overrun and none of us will get the care we need.
This is not in our nature. We want to get healed. Now. But this is different. We should call the doctor — and even seek help if we can’t breathe.
This pandemic is different because we can control the outcome. We can shut down life — for a bit — and then limit the damage from this disease.
I am Mark Trahant.