COVID-19: Don’t Panic, Be Proactive!

Hi friends!  I know what you’re thinking “Oh god, not another thing about Coronavirus!” But guys, I hate to say it but COVID-19 is here & will be for a few months yet.  So, let’s get into it shall we?

Look, I know there is a lot of misinformation, anger, frustration, & panic surrounding Coronavirus.  Normally, I’m not one to wade into the fray, but I have been seeing so much vitriol & ignorance online that I felt compelled to say something.

Has Coronavirus directly affected me?

No, not that I know of.

Do I know anyone directly affected by COVID-19?

Again, not that I know of.  We are in the exponential growth phase of this pandemic. Cases will double every 4 – 7 days, meaning US cases will be well into 2,000 by next week.  You can get real time updates of how many confirmed cases are your area here.

How contagious is Coronavirus?

The contagious life cycle of this virus is not just 14 days.  It is from 8 to 37 days and the severe cases are actually more prevalent in the 14-49 age group. And then add in all the factors that contribute into making you more of a risk – age, underlying health issues, auto-immune diseases, obesity, heart conditions, & so on.  So, if Person A is told to stay put for 2 weeks because they may just have mild symptoms and then goes out, and exposes people from days 15-37 of their virus life cycle.  Most people, realistically, aren’t going to stay home for months making it a very tough thing to navigate.

Is Coronavirus destroying the economy?

This is a partial truth.  It is effecting the economy somewhat, especially the Hospitality industry; we most likely won’t know the full effects for a few weeks or months.  The Coronavirus is related to the stock market dips; however, the temper tantrums being thrown by Russia & Saudi Arabia regarding oil prices, is probably a bigger concern to the economy.  In this week’s episode of Pod Save the World, Tommy & Ben (the hosts) spell this out very clearly.  It’s a great listen.

Should I panic & stock up on everything?

I am not one of these people panicking.  I haven’t been to Costco, and I love Costco, to stock up on toilet paper & hand sanitizer.  In fact, I have been living my life as I always have…with more precaution.  But, now I frequently ask myself “Did that person wash their nasty hands?” or “I wonder if they have it & don’t know it” or “Man, would I thrive in a quarantine!”

How to stay calm:

This is from Dr. Samantha Boardman via @jessicayellin on IG.  “Your anxiety is understandable.  Unanswerable questions coupled with conflicting information, especially from government officials & experts, further fuels fear.  One moment, you’re told it’s no big deal and the next, schools are shutting down.  Mixed messages are confusing & amplify uncertainty.  It’s no wonder people are panicking.  Facts not fear.  Clean hands.  Open hearts.  Our children will thank us for it.”

Why are all my plans getting cancelled?

I get it.  It sucks when a concert we want to go to gets cancelled.  But, I really don’t understand the outrage & fury over big events getting cancelled, like SXSW & the Houston Rodeo, Coachella getting postponed, etc.  I get it, the Hospitality industry is losing out on tons of revenue; I truly get it.  This is the perfect time to start tipping service industry people; tip more than you normally would.  But, stop complaining about it – public safety is what is most important.  The good of the whole is far better than the good of a few.

What is social distancing?

I’m sure every introvert loves this term.  At this point the WHO has officially declared a global pandemic, so social distancing is the best way to slow down the spread of COVID-19.  Let us also not forget that just because you have no symptoms does not mean that you are not contagious.  Yes, I know that more people have died from the flu & cold this year, but quite frankly I don’t want you to pass around the flu either – that’s just common sense.

Also, limiting the spread helps hospitals actually treat those that are ill.  Hospitals in the US are at 68% capacity on a normal day, now we’ve added a pandemic & a certain level of hysteria – our flawed medical system & infrastructure can’t handle the uptick.  The goal is to treat people in phases, instead of all at once.  Thus, social distancing.  You’ll also hear about “flattening the curve” – this is the treatment of those infected in phases.

Don’t believe me, here are some facts from legit sources, the CDC & Vox.A4115F74-F209-4DFE-910C-D2A61B5126A7_1_201_a0957CCFA-1766-4C69-BBE0-96CB55719AFE_1_201_a

Okay, so what should I do?

It is all of our responsibility to be proactive, even if you think this is not a big deal.  So, here’s some practical advice:

  • Don’t panic, but be proactive.
  • Telling someone to “calm down,” does not make anyone clam down.
  • Avoid places where there will be crowds of more than 250 people.
  • Work from home if you can – I’ve never been so happy to have a job where I work from home.
  • If you’re sick – STAY HOME.
  • Use virtual care/apps/hotlines first (not the ER) if you can
  • Avoid touching your face – this is personally hard for me, my face has never had so many itches!
  • Remember, don’t panic and don’t become selfish in the midst of a potential crisis.  Buying all the Clorox wipes may help a smidge, but do you really need ALL of them?  Toilet paper & water is not the first line of defense int his case.
  • Order groceries online & do curbside pickup or have them delivered.
  • Also, wash your nasty hands!  Think about how many germs you come into contact with during the day.  Coronavirus can live on surfaces for 9 days.  Let me say that again.  NINE DAYS.
  • This is my personal favorite “Wash your hands song.” 5894F8F9-A0AD-4053-96FB-44546F8E2C53

Here are some helpful links:

World Health Organization

John Hopkins Medicine

The Guardian

The Atlantic

Now that our beloved Tom Hanks & Rita Wilson have COVID-19, it has gone A-list! All of this to say, keep calm & be proactive.

Wash your hands,

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