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March 27, 2020
In the last 8 days since our last post, the number of COVID-19 cases have more than doubled. The US is now the epicenter of the infection with more cases than any country in the world.
Individual states are taking steps to encourage social distancing and eliminate large gatherings. Here in Virginia, Governor Northam closed schools for the remainder of the school year and shut down all non-essential businesses for 30 days.
We are seeing that healthcare infrastructures around the world, even in developed nations, are not equipped to manage an illness that infects even hundreds at a time.
This is largely due to two things: (1) a lack of material resources, such as masks, ventilators, and other PPEs, (2) a lack of organized cooperation between the healthcare system and the local government.
Local governments, communities, & home owners' associations should have pre-established protocols in the event that an infection (or several infections) appear in an area. We should be considering items like quarantine & treatment stations if local hospitals should become overwhelmed, PPEs for our first responders in the community, community cleaning & disinfecting regimens of public & private spaces.
A social workers' group (Social Worker's In Sierra Leone) found that having a plan for these considerations successfully controlled the spread of Ebola during the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone back in 2014.
If you have any chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, and others that require medication management, please practice stricter social distancing to preserve your health.
March 19, 2020
Yesterday, Wednesday, March 18, 2020, Italy reported its highest number of Coronavirus-related fatalities: 475 souls. Yesterday marked day 10 of their national lockdown. The number of deaths yesterday, after over one week of quarantine, is a clear indication that action was taken too late. And Italy has a relatively sound healthcare infrastructure. Yet they suffer.
Today, March 19, marks day 5 of the Lewis Family self-imposed quarantine. We did some strategic bulk shopping on Friday the 13th and Saturday the 14th. My husband had to go to work Monday to fill out all his FMLA paperwork and officially chuck the deuce until further notice. I huffed and puffed for him to stay home Monday but he went. Capitalism. Where you work even if it directly exposes you to your premature death.
I sent a lengthy email to my home owners' association on Monday as well. It detailed Pearls of Wata's work and research during and post-Ebola, what we found helpful to prevent transmission and to treat, etc. No response as of yet. I did end it quite ominously: I surmise we have until Friday to make some hard and fast decisions.
A tweet about Senator Richard Burr was the scandal of the day. Senator Burr warned a private group of the coming Coronavirus pandemic and its "dire social and economic effects" about three weeks ago. The federal government was expressing an antithetical sentiment about the virus at that time and we have lost 3 weeks in this war. Please take the time to listen to the recording on NPR.
Please be mindful that none of this is intended to be political commentary. The federal government is not prepared for this pandemic and we have already seen the consequences of that in China and Italy. We need to be equipped as individual households and as a community. Please contact us for any support.
Please stay home.
Healthcare workers, we honor your sacrifices.
March 17, 2020
When the team at Pearls of Wata started tracking the global Coronavirus cases on March 8, 2020, there were 109,775 world citizens who had been infected.
Nine days later, there are over 188,000 cases worldwide.
The cases in the US doubled over the weekend. I am not sure we can trust these numbers because testing is not being done effectively.
Practice social distancing until we have a real understanding of transmission and infection rates!
March 13, 2020
If you have loved ones over the age of 60 and you are a healthy adult:
- Offer to go to the store for them for any supplies they may need to live comfortably in the house for 7 days
- Make sure they have all medications for any chronic illness for at least 30-60 days
- Practice very good hygiene when visiting anyone 60+ years: wash your hands (and face if you can) before interacting with them when you visit.
Practicing social distance at this time is not just about your personal health.
You are always around someone whose immune system is compromised, such as transplant recipients and those managing chronic conditions like diabetes or heart disease.
Please observe social distancing by avoiding handshakes and keeping a distance of at least 3-5 feet between you and others.
If you live with someone who is immunocompromised, avoid social gatherings with more than 10 people. Take a break on going out to eat, bar hopping, or going to the movies if you have to spend significant time with an older parent or grandparent or a loved one with lung disease.
For our families with children born prematurely or differently abled loved ones with Autism, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, etc., we recommend investing in pulse oximeters and other medical equipment that can measure vital signs like O2 levels and heart rate.
Our differently abled loved ones may not be able to explain their symptoms. It is important that we are able to measure vital signs and know what is going on in the body so we can act quickly to protect their health.