A new norm. That’s what we’re faced with. It’s crazy what’s been happening.
As of July 22, 2020, worldwide:
We are always learning new things that come and so maybe by the time that you come across this, numbers and accuracy of the current information I’m sharing may have changed. My heart goes out to everybody going through this time.
The virus was originally detected in Wuhan, China.
December 31, 2019:
world health organization gets alerted
Although the World Health Organization (aka WHO) was alerted about a flu-like cases in Wuhan on December 31, 2019 (just before the new year was about to happen), no action was taken because back then they didn’t suspect it to be that severe yet.
January 11, 2020:
first death in Wuhan, China
The first death report: a 61-year-old man on January 1st who checked himself in the hospital on December 27 because suspected of the flu.
January 13, 2020:
confirmed case in Thailand
The first confirmed case outside of china was known to be in Thailand.
January 17, 2020:
second death in Wuhan, China and another case in Thailand
The second death reported in Wuhan of a 69-year-old man. Another case in Thailand is reported, a 74-year-old woman.
January 21, 2020:
first case in the US, more confirmed cases show up, china reports more deaths and cases rise
A man, in his 30s, who traveled back to the US from China, is confirmed the first Coronavirus case in the US, Washington state. Hong kong (person in their 30s) along with Taiwan (woman in 50s) confirms first cases. China confirms two more deaths (a 66 year old man and 48 year old woman). By this time, there was about 300 confirmed cases in China.
January 23, 2020:
transportation shut down
Steps are being taken to try and stop the spread of the virus. Wuhan announces the shut down of all transportation. Take note that Wuhan is home to 11 million people. Beijing cancelled fairs and large gatherings. Singapore has its first confirmed case.
Fast forward to today:
There are 213 countries affected by Covid-19. Millions of confirmed cases. Hundreds of thousands of lives taken.
There is currently no vaccine yet. However, they are working on making one.
Events (like Coachella, TED, NBA, GDC, Shopify, and more) have been cancelled. Tourism has taken a big hit.
Countries and cities have gone into lockdown. Some example of places that have undergone lockdown would be: Beijing, Italy, Leicester, Manila, Iran, Germany, and more.
Schools have closed.
Cruise ships gets headlines as they go through quarantine.
Groceries had to put limits on the quantities on food that could be bought per family.
The economy takes a hit.
Millions of people have lost their jobs.
However a lot of places are slowly starting to reopen and lift restrictions. Some places have even opened up their schools. The result of this have been mixed as some have gotten their number of cases spike up again.
What should we be doing?
Let’s look at the health strategy that’s been going around, A.K.A Flattening the Curve.
What the heck does that mean?:
Before learning how to do this flattening thing, let’s first learn what the curve actually is. First off, the number of cases shown when flattening the curve refers to a projected number of people who will get covid over a period of time, not the actual amount of people who have it currently. In a chart, this curve we’re talking about, actually it’s two curves, are shown. One of them shows the spread of the virus with protective measures and steps taken to slow it down (we’ll get more into these details in a little bit), whereas the other curve shows the virus spread without protective measures. Although the number of cases are the same for both curves, the difference is that one of them (the curve that took the extra measures) has a more gradual rise of cases rather than just a huge spike of people getting Covid infections in a short span of time.
Why is this important?:
There’s only so much that the medical equipment and the health-care system can take at a time. Without any measures to slow the spread of infection, there would be overwhelmingly amount of cases that wouldn’t allow the health care system to properly give people better access to care, hospital beds, ventilators and treatments.
Here’s an example:
We have a city called ABC (real creative there- okay, not the point) and in this city there are about 100+ people and 10 front-liners (the doctor and nurses in this case). For simplicity sake, we’ll say that there is only one hospital in the city and there are currently traveling restrictions in place, preventing people from leaving the city. The number of people who will contract the virus is projected to be 100 in a span of about 5 months. If no actions were taken to prevent the fast spread, there could be 100 people going to the hospital in the span of two months, making it the biggest struggle for only 10 doctors and nurses to cope with the few supplies and vital medical they have in such a short period time. However, if health and safety measures were to be implemented and followed, basically how it would be if we worked to flatten the curve, then we could try and lower the amount of patients checking in and being treated at the hospital during a five month period and that would help the health system cope and increase the quality of treatment per patient. So instead of having the challenge of 100 patients at once (or in a span of two months) in a hospital with limited medical equipment and 10 people on the job (that’s about 10 patients per doctor or so), it could be like 20 patients per month for the next 5 months (that would be about 2 patients per doctor) allowing the operation of helping these patient recover to run more smoothly.
How exactly do we flatten the curve then?
Okay, okay so we’ve covered the importance of flattening the curve. The next thing I want to talk about are steps that can help in flattening the curve. Let’s do this. Our collective actions will make a difference and it does matter. Here are some things that could do for your social responsibility:
Although you might have heard of these already, these are important to remember to do, they go a long way.
quick note to remember: The main way that Covid-19 is transmitted to others are through droplets coming from an infected person. When a person exhales, speaks, coughs, or sneezes, there are small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth that are expelled to their surrounding. If you are too close to a person with Covid-19, you could inhale the the droplets.
Try maintaining at least 1 meter (aka 3 feet) from other people. It’s better to be safe and take extra precaution when you’re out! Keeping a distance will be better for you so that you don’t inhale the droplets that someone with Covid might have exhaled out.
Avoid touching your face
Another way that someone can contract the virus is through touching a surface that someone who has the virus has touched and then touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. These are easy ways and paths that the virus can enter the body. The average person touches their face a few times per hour. Sometimes we don’t notice we touch our faces, but it’s a habit we need to break! Keep the hands away from the face peeps.
Cover your mouth and nose when coughing
Change starts with you! You amazing human being. While we’re breaking away from the habit of touching our face, we’ve got to work on the habit to cover your nose and mouth (use your bent elbow or tissue) when you sneeze or cough! Remember, droplets spread the virus.
Wear mask when you are out
WEAR. A. MASK. You might not be used to it but it is empirical that you do so. They can prevent those huge droplets from someone who has Covid-19 from spreading with a mask. Make sure that mask covers the nose and mouth. Wear a mask please.
If you have the privilege of staying home, stay home!
Yes, it’s a struggle. Plans have been cancelled and you can barely see any of your friends at the moment. It’s only natural that we want to run and hug all the peeps that we miss in our lives. And, yes, it can get boring at home. However, it’s critical to maintain our distance while we let the numbers stop rising and flatten the curve. There are nurses and doctors who have to work hours on end and who can’t even go home to their families, stay home if you can stay home please! Avoid crowds and large gatherings.
Wash your hands often
Wash your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water as often as possible, especially when you’ve been out or touched surfaces that could have been contaminated, after using the toilet, after coughing or sneezing, and before eating. Hygiene is very, very important!
Call for help
If you’re not feeling well, reach out and call professional help. A great place to start would be your local health worker.
but I’m young…
Covid is very real and it’s not yet over. It’s true, people who are 60+ years or with an underlying health condition or in a state that comprises or affects their immune system have a higher risk. Yes, your immunity might be strong and maybe you got this thought that you probably wouldn’t catch anyway. Or, if you did, you’d be able to recover fairly well. But, that’s not the point. How about the people that you come in contact with. Your parents, grandparents, and even your friends. Although you might be strong, how about them? You might have Covid but be asymptomatic (you don’t show any symptoms) and spread it to people without even knowing. It’s important to understand that this is so much bigger than it may seem. And, what you decide to do is important. So, if you have the option to stay home, please stay home. And, when you do go out remember to flatten the curve and wear a mask, social distance, wash hands frequently, and always take extra precaution! Thank you guys 🙂
Don’t panic and be alert. I know it’s easy to fall into this feeling of fear and panic, but now more than ever is important to calm. Your mental health is super important. Being in a worried state can also compromise your immune system, your fighting engine. Call a friend, take a bath, find something that works for you to stay happy and healthy.
Before ending this, I want to give huuuugggeee thank youu to all the essential frontline workers. True, hardworking heroes. Despite the hardship and the health risks that they have to endure, they choose to continue to do help and fight. To all the front-liners around the world, thank you! THANK YOU to the medical professionals. THANK YOU to the restaurant workers. THANK YOU to the sanitation workers. THANK YOU to the farmers. THANK YOU to the delivery peeps. THANK YOU to the grocery clerks. THANK YOU to the truck drivers. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU all heroes. ❤
© Elizabeth Anne Villoria