Probably most of us are tired of hearing about the deadly coronavirus (and COVID-19, the disease it produces) that has plagued our entire planet for more than a year now. Most of us have probably never seen anything like this deadly pandemic in our lifetimes. Never since the horrendous 1918 influenza pandemic has there been a similar plague
that has affected our everyday lives, health, and routines to such an extent.
To date, COVID-19, the disease that the coronavirus produces, has infected more than 220 million people worldwide, 22 million of them in the United States. And tragically, more than 400,000 people in the United States have died from this deadly disease. We may all be very tired of hearing about this disease and its ongoing legacy of death, but
our weariness should spur us on to be ever-vigilant about protecting ourselves and our families and the clients for whom we care from this pestilence.
This virus and the disease it produces will likely kill many more people worldwide unless we practice certain safeguards to avoid catching and/or spreading this deadly pestilence.
As most of us have heard on television newscasts or read in local newspapers, there are several common practices that we must undertake in order to safeguard ourselves, others with whom we come in contact, and those for whom we provide care. One of the things that you may not know is that fully 50 percent of COVID-19 cases are spread from non-symptomatic or pre-symptomatic people. This means that fully half of the people who develop COVID-19 get it from people who are not showing symptoms. In addition to the ease with which the virus spreads, the fact that the disease can be transmitted by those who are showing no symptoms makes it particularly deadly.
Here are some practical things that each of us can do in order to protect ourselves, at least a little bit, from getting this toxic disease.
1. Hand-Washing. In order to curb the transmission of the virus, at least to some extent, each of us should wash our hands—vigorously with hot water and lots of soap—several times a day. By cleaning our hands, we lessen the chances that we will pick up and/or transmit the virus off of a variety of surfaces, including other people.
2. Wear a Mask. Scientists and medical experts think that the coronavirus is often spread through respiratory droplets that are produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Wearing a facial mask or covering is thought to reduce the possibility that coronavirus can be spread by these droplets.
Unfortunately, some people have interpreted requests to wear a mask (by local and public officials) as somehow being infringements on their personal civil liberties. Politicizing the wearing of masks is counter-productive because one thing is for sure: COVID-19 is a deadly disease that has killed hundreds of thousands of people and, as someone once told me, you can be right, but sometimes you can be “dead-right”. Wear a mask or face covering when you go out or are in the presence of people with whom you do not live to protect yourself from catching or spreading this deadly disease. Wearing a mask has nothing to do with politics; it has everything to do with staying healthy and alive.
3. Limit Your Physical Proximity to Others. Since large groups of people increase the possibility of your contracting the coronavirus, scientists and doctors suggest that you avoid large groups of people. It is also suggested that you maintain a social distance of at least six feet when you do come in contact with someone else. Some experts suggest that, except for work or other necessary functions, you limit your contact with others to only those people with whom you live. By limiting your contact with large numbers of other people, you reduce the chances that you will come in contact with someone who is infected with the coronavirus.
Who Gets COVID-19?
Anyone can be infected with the coronavirus. However, it seems that older adults and those with pre-existing conditions (diabetes, asthma, heart disease, etc.) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill if they contract the disease.
Since COVID-19 appears to spread so readily and easily, taking the simple precautions listed above may help you reduce your chances of contracting this deadly disease.
Vaccines for COVID-19
Recently, a number of vaccines have been developed by pharmaceutical corporations like Pfizer, Moderna, and others to provide protection against the coronavirus. Most states and cities have developed guidelines about the availability of these vaccines and when and where you can get vaccinated against the coronavirus. Check state, city, or coronavirus websites to find out when, where, how, and to whom vaccines are being administered in your area.
Good health is one of the most precious gifts that you can be given. If you have good health, be thankful for it and do everything you can to maintain and protect it. If you have health challenges, do everything you can to improve your health. In these days and times, lessening your exposure to the deadly coronavirus can go a long way to maintaining and/or restoring your good health and wellness. Following the advice in this article may help you do just that. Here’s to your great health!
About the Author
Cynthia Barnes, PhD, lives in Denver, Colorado and is an experienced educational and training professional at all educational levels. Dr. Barnes has a background in organizational development and change and systems thinking/operating. She is a published author with exceptional written, oral, and interpersonal relationship skills. Dr. Barnes has consulted with organizations and school systems throughout the United States and in Canada, Germany, Micronesia, and South Africa.