Coronavirus has landed in the United States. There are now 13 states reporting disease and 80 confirmed cases. Sadly one skilled nursing facility in Washington has seen 9 of it’s occupants succumb to the disease. The CDC has taken some criticism for the rolling out of their test kits. Despite the months of advanced notice from the situation in Wuhan, China, the CDC was unable to get a dependable test kit created and distributed. Therefore, they are now allowing local testing measures. That creates a blind spot as there is no one entity that has access to all the data about how many people are being tested, how many turn out positive, and how many of those die. Wish it were different, but it’s not. Therefore, exactly how much COVID-19, as it’s called, is out there is a little nebulous. Probably more than is being reported.
Nevertheless, it is again time to prepare and not to panic. Personally, I do not do much drastically different. I’ve stopped shaking my patients hands in greeting. I’m not a fist bump person (unless you include the explosion), but I’ve learned to accept it. Along with a salute or just verbal greeting usually suffices. (I do miss the hand shake, though). We have trips planned for Spring Break and the Summer. I’ve become unattached to those trips emotionally. If my family thinks it’s better for us not to travel, I’ll enjoy the beauty of Austin, TX. I am not so much afraid of being in close quarters with strangers on the plane as much as I am of COVID-19 being reported where I’m traveling to, just to find out I’ll be quarantined before being allowed to return home. Each time we go to the grocery store, we buy a couple of cans of nonperishable food or a gallon of water for 89 cents.
Certainly it is anticipated that the number of cases in the US will increase before it decreases. Let’s be aware of the respiratory symptoms with fever and seek medical attention if it occurs to ourselves.
In the meantime, let’s do what we always should have been doing. Staying home with fever and cough, washing hands regularly with soap and warm water, and being careful but not alarmist out there.