COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus, is one of the most pressing global health crises in recent memory. The Centers for Disease Control estimate that nearly 15,000 cases are now present in the United States. Globally, the World Health Organization identified over 200,000 cases with hot zones in Italy, China, and the U.S. The virus isn't going away anytime soon which means that patients will need to stay safe with frequent updates, information, and safety tips.
Recently, healthcare organizations, state government, and local municipalities issues quarantines and closures across the country. These efforts are an attempt to mitigate the spread of a virus that could greatly damage our country's healthcare system.
Many patients may not be fully aware why certain businesses, schools, and public offices are closing. Even more may not be entirely if self-quarantine is necessary. Here is what we know so far:
Why is COVID-19 such a threat? Why are we staying at home?
In a nutshell, the COVID-19 virus is likely to dramatically inflate the use of healthcare systems to a point where many individuals would be unable to secure necessary healthcare. This is because the virus is so infectious that the number of vulnerable patients would get it and require immediate care, which creates an unmanageable volume of patients.
To reduce the volume of potential patients, or "flatten the curve," individuals, businesses, and local governments are issuing orders to close non-essential businesses. Individuals are advised to work from home, avoid large gatherings and practice "social distancing."
So how bad is the curve? What is social distance. Well, these concepts are both best explained by this informative analysis by Vox. Since COVID-19 is especially vulnerable for older patients, as well as patients with unique immune system vulnerabilities, it helps to maintain the spread of infection via social distancing. Social distancing includes working from home, maintaining at least six feet of space between other individuals, and avoiding large public gatherings.
COVID-19 can spread incredibly quick, hospitalized vulnerable patients, and shows no signs of slowing down soon. If individuals can work together to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
What should I know about COVID-19 prevention?
Preventing COVID-19 is fairly straightforward. However, it can become increasingly difficult to maintain a work/life balance with constant working from home policies, isolation, and other factors.
Here are the fundamental preventive steps to limiting COVID-19:
- Clean hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub.
- Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing.
- Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Get an annual flu vaccine if you have not had one.”
Social distancing and limiting contact with vulnerable patients is also key. If you have chronic conditions, advanced age (60+), or other vulnerabilities, then make sure that self-isolate from younger family members and friends.
However, it can be difficult to maintain your economic needs during this time so reach out digitally to healthcare providers, support groups, and other local resources whenever you can.
How can I stay infomred about COVID-19?
The COVID-19 pandemic is an extreme challenge for our local communities, neighbors, and the nation as a whole. Without frequently updated, informative, and collected updates, many patients may not have the most immediate info to stay safe.
That is why the provider team at AFC Urgent Care Denver is providing frequent video updates about COVID-19! Led by Medical Director Dr. Johnny Shen, the provider team is here to help patients understand what is going on, how to stay safe, and what they can do to remain healthy during this time.
To get consistent updates on COVID-19, please follow our main social media platforms to learn more!