June 1, 2020

Letter To The Editor: COVID-19 insight from healthcare pros

Attention Citizens:

Tonight, as you lie in bed and reflect on your day, I hope it is full of memories of a day spent with your children while self-isolating in the comforts of your home.

I hope that the biggest thing you stressed over today was why your kids refuse to do their homework when they have all the time in the world right now.

I hope that when you say your prayers that you prayed for those out there fighting COVID-19 for you. The doctors, the nurses, the pharmacist, the pharmacy technicians, the doctors office staff. You know the ones that can´t just sit this thing out at home.

I hope that if you HAVE to get out in public you do so in a timely fashion. I hope you use soap and water to wash your hands the correct way.

I hope you use a Lysol wipe to take care of the germs on that buggy handle. I hope you only get enough of what you need for right now.

I hope you realize that the grocery stores are essential so they will be there for you during all of this! You don´t have to pay their entire payroll in one visit.

I hope that if you have to go to your pharmacy to get medicine that you have patience with them. They are trying to help you in the middle of this chaos.

I hope that if you have an issue getting a medication at your pharmacy that you realize that some things truly are beyond their control, and there is always another pharmacy you can check with if it is necessary.

I spent my fair share on the other side of the pharmacy counter and I can tell you that on any given normal day, it is stressful. I couldn´t imagine being behind the counter now. These guys are truly unsung heroes.

¨Be patient when you go to your pharmacy. Your pharmacist and technicians are trying very hard to get you in and out quickly all while keeping you, as well as themselves, protected. Use the drive thru! It´s the safest place. Or use the delivery program. It’s free! The pharmacies are not closing, so don´t worry that you might not have enough medicine for six months. We will be here! If everyone stock piles, then we run a risk of shortage for all. Take a deep breath and stay home! Especially our senior citizens! Let your children and grandchildren go out for you. Don´t risk your health. Let them take care of you. Stay informed and call your pharmacist for any questions. We are here to help you.¨– Jodi Ward, Pharmacist.

I want to take a brief moment to educate some of you who seem to think that since coronaviruses have existed for ages now that this isn´t anything to concern yourself with.

This particular virus is a novel coronavirus which means it is new. We haven´t had this coronavirus all of these years.

COVID-19 was discovered in Wuhan, China in 2019. There is no evidence to suggest that this virus was made in a lab.

¨By comparing the available genome sequence data for known coronavirus strains, we can firmly determine that SARS-CoV-2 originated through natural processes.¨ ~ Kristian Andersen, PhD

It is believed that COVID-19 originated in a non-human host. There has been stories circulated that it potentially originated in a bat but there are no documented cases of direct bat- human transmission to support that.

I think we have all seen on social media, or even heard, people talking about how it is not their responsibility to worry about someone else’s health or well being.

Whereas that may be true to an extent, in this situation there is no truth there. I don’t think people realize ignorance only goes so far. Once you know better and still choose to not do better, it’s a conscious choice we all know as stupidity.

I’ve seen the arguments used “if it were your grandmother…” and “if it were your child…”. Why does it matter who it is!? We are ALL human beings and we deserve to be treated as such.

The symptoms of COVID-19 can appear 2-14 days AFTER exposure. You can carry this thing around with you asymptomatic for TWO WEEKS. You aren’t “sick”, so you don’t have to take heed to the self-isolation suggestions set forth by the CDC.

You aren’t invincible and unfortunately, I think a lot of people are going to find that out the hard way.

In the process, they’re going to make other people suffer with them because “it’s not my place to worry about someone else.”

I have spent almost 10 years in healthcare. I work with people who have been doing this for 40 years. It is unlike anything we have seen before.

Just scrolling numbers over the last few days and it looks like cases are rising at a rate of 8000-10000 PER DAY.

I don´t know what else you need to see to make you realize that it is important for you to stay home.

I sat down with Dr. Richard Ingram to get a little of his insight on COVID-19:

“All the talk about social distancing has to do with avoiding exposure to the droplet which carries the virus. How does one do that? Number one is to wash hands with soap 20 seconds and do it frequently. Number two don’t touch your face. When we talk it is a habit we tend to just reach up and we touch the mouth and nose and scratch the eye. What we need to do is to come up with mechanisms where we don’t do that. So for instance, interlocking the hands and letting them just sort of carry down at the waist or put your thumbs in your belt loops. Anything that reminds you not to reach up and touch your face because again even if you have the virus on your hands it can’t transmit unless it gets to those mucous membranes. Then if you wash hands frequently well then you get rid of the virus that’s on the surface of your hands. The other is handshaking. It’s a social convention, it’s a big deal. It’s a means of dissemination, therefore doing the two tap heart thump is much safer and conveys the same sort of greeting. A pleasure to see someone else without the gymnastics it takes sometimes to do the elbow tap, the toe tap and that sort of thing.”

If one is around someone who is coughing or sneezing, if they will be six feet away or beyond, even if one coughs with effort the spittle tends to hit the ground within six feet; that’s the physics of it. That’s the reason for the six feet distancing.

This is for real. It is droplet dispersed. And when we talk about social distancing and we talk about isolation. We talk about not going to stadiums, we talk about not going to the beach.

The reason is because we are trying to prevent dissemination of droplets that have the virus in it. So is there any way after we get through this hibernation, this two weeks, we want to go back to routines.

But they will never be routine. SO, we can still protect ourselves if we will:

1.   Wash our hands frequently
2.   Don’t touch the face
3.   Do the 2 tap heart thump
4.   If we are around somebody that is coughing, stay six feet away
5.   If we have to cough or sneeze, take a tissue catch the sneeze in the tissue and discard the tissue. In my mind that is better than coughing or sneezing into the bend of your elbow.

You can watch Dr. Ingram demonstrate his two-tap heart thump, the new hand shake, here:

While a large majority of you have the option to self-quarantine, there are those of us that still get up every day and go to work for YOU. Do your part for us and STAY HOME.

When you lay your head down at night, rest easy knowing that you did your part. For some of us when we go home, we are fighting our racing minds. We are making sure we took our shoes off at the door.

We are making sure we go straight to the shower. We are pushing are toddlers back telling them we need to shower before we can love on them.

We are telling our little one’s that we need space, so they don’t get the yucky’s. But they don’t understand!

Get outside of yourself and be thankful that there are people out there that willingly risk their health, and their family’s health to keep you safe! Please stop thinking you are invincible and that YOU don’t have to worry about other people.

We are all in this boat together.

At this point, we are all sinking in this boat together. Doctors, nurses, medical office staff, pharmacists, technicians — no doubt, we choose to go into the medical field, can’t you respect that enough to sit at home and breathe for a little bit?

This is scary stuff. This is real stuff. People are dying. This is only going to get worse if YOU do not comply with CDC recommendations and keep your distance.

If you MUST go out, wash your hands, don’t touch your face, wipe down your surfaces, whatever you need to do to sanitize the areas you are going to be in. We can’t flatten the curve if we don’t all comply.

Dr. Kenneth Gordon and his nurses show us how important it is to sanitize in order to help kill this nasty coronavirus!! Enjoy this video:

Thank your healthcare professionals, your grocery store clerks, your law enforcement agencies. It truly is for YOU that we show up every day. The least you can do is WASH YOUR HANDS and stay home for us!

Emily Fomby Thompson

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