Everyone is talking about COVID-19 and it can feel overwhelming. To help make it easier we put together a resource guide to help parents understand what the Coronavirus is, its impact and how you can help #spreadoutthespread.
Like the rest of the world we’ve been anxiously taking in all the news about the Coronavirus. It’s a scary event to experience but it’s important to remain calm and be proactive without being paranoid (sage advice from Dr. Shieva Ghorany). Here are the biggest questions we’ve been asking and the answers we’ve uncovered.
Are my kids safe?
Medical professionals are actively researching COVID-19 and there are many unknowns; however, to this point, it is the biggest danger to individuals over 60 years old and those with compromised immune systems.
Why is everything shutting down?
When one kid gets sick it’s not fun, but it is manageable. When illness goes from one kid to the next it’s exhausting. When you are sick and the kids are sick, it’s nearly impossible to handle. That’s a real-life example of what the nation’s healthcare system is confronting. The virus itself is likely manageable on a case to case basis, but we do not have the infrastructure in place to care for thousands or millions of patients simultaneously (there are 327 million people in America, if 60% (196 million) get the virus and 10% (19 million) need medical attention that’s a lot of hospital beds).
Social distancing is the strategy being used to #spreadoutthespead of the virus. It remains likely that a lot of people will get it (and be okay) but when large groups are together it increases the likelihood that a lot of people could get sick at the same time. For that reason, major sporting events will not have spectators, the St. Patrick’s Day parade is cancelled and other businesses/schools/venues are closing.
What should I be doing right now?
As noted earlier, remain calm. Be proactive without being paranoid. The best case scenario is that we are prepared for the worst without having to experience it.
- Wash your hands and your kids hands often (sing your kids’ favorite songs while you’re doing it and make LOTS of bubbles).
- Use lotion too in order to prevent your hands from drying out and germs sneaking into cracked skin.
- Avoid touching your face (tall order for littles we know!).
- Use saline to clear out stuffy/runny noses.
- Add immunity boosters like vitamin C + D to your diet via vitamins or fish (sticks) cheese sticks, eggs, orange juice, mango, pineapples and berries.
Is it safe to go out or should I stay at home?
Do what makes you feel comfortable, but if no one in your family has a compromised immune system or exhibits symptoms – per recommendations available at publication – you don’t need to be a hermit. Be cautious and perhaps avoid major events that attract over 1,000 people (the current benchmark being used to cancel sporting events). With the weather warming up, it’s a great time to be outside going on hikes or to a new playground. UPDATE: In the interest of public health it is best to limit public activity. We are tracking event cancellations and venue closings. All Michigan schools will be closed until April 5th.
What are the symptoms and what to do if you or your kids have them?
Symptoms for the virus may appear 2 to 14 after exposure and include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If someone in your household has these symptoms here are the best steps to take:
- Call your doctor’s office so they can prepare for your visit/do a tele-medicine evaluation.
- Wear a face mask around other to help contain germs.
- Ask your healthcare provider to call the local or state health department.
What’s the best way to keep up to date on what’s going on?
A lot of outlets are covering COVID-19 but if you want to go straight to the experts, check out the Center for Disease Control for digestible advice and detailed scientific analysis. For information about that’s happening in Michigan, follow @MichEMHS on Twitter for announcements from the state’s emergency responders.
Photo credit: Facebook