Today we’re doing an unscripted episode on the Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. We know there’s a lot of information out there and no doubt many of our listeners are tired of hearing about the epidemic. However, it is important that we address the fast-spreading virus. We want to encourage those quarantined indoors, calm some of the fears out there, as well as provide caution to those who still have to interact with the general public. So here’s some facts, myths, and general tips about COVID-19.
- The term coronavirus means any group of RNA viruses that cause a variety of diseases. This is not the first form of a coronavirus by any means. Two of the most recent other strands were SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome).
- The current COVID-19 coronavirus is believed to have mutated into two strains which makes it a little more difficult for scientists to come up with a vaccine. But not impossible, simply more time consuming. It also makes the virus difficult to track and it seems it may have originated in more than one source.
- One definite source is believed to have started on the ‘wet market’ in Wuhan, China, which is why some people also call it the Wuhan virus. Though, typically this kind of naming (like the MERS virus) inflicts racial stereotyping. The virus has nothing to do with race, China is not more prone to viruses. This is merely where this strand of coronavirus started. The ‘wet market’ sells a variety of meats and fish in the open and often butchers animals on-site making hygiene standards difficult to uphold.
- Though scientists are not SURE, it appears that bats may have infected the chickens and other animals in the markets. P.S. – No one got sick because they ate an infectious bat. Bats infected other animals that people typically eat.
- As cute as bats are, they are also responsible for spreading other diseases such as Ebola, HIV, and rabies. Much like flying insects such as mosquitoes, bats come in contact with many animals and can spread diseases quickly and easily.
- Because the first outbreak of the disease happened in China, most of the cases (over 80,000) are currently there. However, at this time the disease has spread to 100 different countries infecting 145,000 people as of this writing. 5,400 people have died of the virus, the majority of people experience mild symptoms and recover quickly.
- Several other countries have also suffered greatly. The next highest threats are Italy, Iran, and South Korea. Italy currently has 17,000 cases, Iran has 11,000, and South Korea has 7,900 cases. The most concerning issue has been Italy’s sudden jump which reported over 13,000 new cases in one week. This prompted a countrywide shutdown and house quarantine. In contrast, South Korea saw a dramatic drop in their cases after they instituted intensive testing and monitoring of the virus.
- In the US, we have 2,340 cases as of this writing on 3/14/2020. Doctors and scientists are projecting it will get better before it gets worse which is why it is essential that people follow quarantine guidelines and not chalk this up to media hype.
- As of this writing, most states with a reported case have canceled schools at least for the next week. Boston, Mass has canceled all classes for the next 6 weeks. Causing many to wonder how childcare will work and what will happen for children who rely on school meals and shelter to keep them safe and healthy.
- Likewise, most colleges and universities have canceled classes for a week to 6 weeks. Again, causing concern for those whose only option is to stay on campus. There are agencies working to house college students so if you have not found any resources, reach out to us and we can direct you!
- It should be noted that the biggest cause of the spread of the virus in South Korea was due to a large church congregation. This is why it’s important for people to listen when officials say “NO UNNECESSARY LARGE GATHERINGS”.
- By intervening early with lockdowns and quarantines we greatly reduce the risks and potential deaths. We cannot stop everyone from getting the virus, but we can change the trajectory of the disease.
Who’s most at risk?
- Folks who are primary immunodeficient – known as PI and covers about 350 diseases/disorders.
- Older adults.
- People with diabetes.
- Folks with heart disease.
- Folks with lung disease.
PI is NOT
- Weakened system from treatments like Chemotherapy *People in these conditions should be cautious but are not more susceptible to COVID-19.
Even if you’re not PI, you still can carry the disease to someone who IS PI.
- 14 million Americans work in jobs that put them at greater risk of being in contact with COVID-19.
Wash your hands, don’t touch your face, avoid work if you’re sick. Avoid large gatherings…period.
- Practice social distancing!
- Be aware and conscious of your friends and family at risk. Ask them what they need.
Why are people made at Trump?
- In 2018 Trump dismantled the Pandemic Department as an unnecessary expense.
- When the new budget for the CDC came up it was set for an 80% decrease. Rather than stepping in to find funding, Trump ignored the CDC. Thankfully, Congress stepped in to supplement the department.
- Trump fired every official who had any experience in handling pandemics and rather than replacing them he simply left their positions vacant. Choosing to allow his unqualified and understaffed cabinet to oversee their positions.
- He has spent his entire presidency cutting funding for science and medicine and telling folks not to trust the media.