In his second blog, guest contributor, Dr. Derek Turner tackles COVID 19.
The world has changed since my last blog of early March 2020. In that five weeks the novel coronavirus infection total has reached 1.5 million people and the death total worldwide is now 84,000. Including over 400 Canadians.
I know the pandemic will pass. The novel coronavirus is a wimp and is easily killed. Kids 0-14 aren’t getting COVID-19. Acquiring COVID-19 is preventable. If I do get infected, I’ll survive and acquire immunity.
The pandemic will pass. Like all viruses, the novel coronavirus will have its run, will likely have a future short spike, will mutate and stick around, even years, giving people flu or cold like symptoms not COVID-19. I know we’ll get back to normal and we will have positive changes in our way of life having endured the pandemic.
Wimp: The virus is easily killed by 20 seconds of soap and water hand washing. Liquid hand cleansers are totally effective killers with just a couple of drops rubbed on my hands.
Symptoms: I’ll watch for fever, a dry cough, fatigue and soreness then maybe after 2-3 days shortness of breath in myself. And, I’ll warn others to watch for these symptoms in themselves.
Kids: Kids, fourteen and under, very, very rarely acquire OR carry the disease. Everybody else, young or old can get the disease.
Rules for Prevention: I know that if I follow a few easy rules I can prevent being infected: 1. Wash my hands often for 20 seconds (singing twinkle little star for timing) 2. I don’t touch my face when I leave home unless I have washed/cleansed and have touched nothing or have just applied hand cleanser. 3. I practice social distancing in public respectfully and at two metres (6 feet) THAT’S IT!
What if: If symptomatic I will isolate myself from everyone and stay at home. I’ll go to the hospital only if I experience considerable shortness of breath. I’ll stay home if I only have a cough and/or fever. I know that 80% of infected people just don’t feel well. I’ll fully recover in a couple of weeks or less and I’ll be immune.
I won’t be scared! It is liberating to know my family is safe and I am safe by following simple rules. I’m empowered to prevent being infected.
A few more things: It’s safe for me to go outside. Walk, run, cycle and follow the rules! Mostly I’ll stay at home and follow the rules! I can protect others from myself while outside if I wear a mask. I won’t rub my eyes if my hands are suspect even if I’m wearing a mask and I’ll follow the rules!
I don’t need an N95 mask. Even home-made is ok. If I am unknowingly infected, my mask will help protect others from me. I could be infecting others for two or more days before getting any symptoms, but that is not likely if I have been following the rules.
I don’t need to wash my clothes when returning home because I’ve been out. (front line health care workers do) But, I will wash my hands immediately.
I will not acquire the infection by a brief passing of an infected person. But, sustained contact with that person and ignoring the rules could infect me.
Finally, I’ll shrink my social circle. My wife is inside that circle. If I admit anyone else into my social circle I have to protect my circle by awareness of the newcomer’s social circle. I have to keep this expanded total of people very small.
Until next time. Be well and be calm. I don’t have to say it.