JULY 2020
Levels of influenza-like illness (ILI) and COVID-19-like illness (CLI) activity remain lower than peaks seen in March and April but are increasing in most regions*. Levels are increasing here in San Angelo. For you naysayers (I used to be chief among them!) the increase is NOT because we are doing more testing. It is because more people are contracting the virus. As of today, July 5, 2020, our health system here in San Angelo, Texas, is almost to capacity (i.e. both hospitals are filling up) and the emergency rooms are busy!
We let our guard down. Maybe we got tired of being told what to do. Maybe we did not want to appear to be “sheeple”. Maybe the masks irritate us or make us have hot flashes. Whatever the reason, wear a good quality mask when you are out in public. (Fabric masks do not prevent YOU from getting the virus, however, they can stop you from giving it to someone else.) You can find quality masks here and here and here .
The coronavirus can spread among people who are less than 6 feet apart, whether that’s by talking to one another, coughing or sneezing,” says Aaron Hamilton, MD. “This holds true even if none of those people notice symptoms commonly reported with COVID-19, like fever, shortness of breath or coughing.”
Dr. Hamilton says a cloth mask will not prevent you from breathing in respiratory droplets that carry a virus, like COVID-19. But it will help to protect others from you if you happen to be infected, with or without symptoms. Furthermore, cloth masks help to reinforce social distancing and good cough etiquette, which ultimately will help to slow how far the virus spreads.
Cloth masks can also prevent you from touching your face, and can be a visual reminder to practice social distancing, Dr. Hamilton adds.
For those of you that don’t think COVID is “REAL” . . . or it’s REAL but it won’t ever effect you; please reconsider for the following reasons:
1) If you don’t take precautions (i.e. excessive hand-washing, using hand sanitizer, taking off your shoes when you enter your home, WEARING A MASK IN PUBLIC, keeping 6 feet away from people) . . . we will OVERWHELM THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM HERE IN SAN ANGELO. It has nothing to do with getting / not getting . . .because most of us are GOING to get exposed sooner or later. It’s a virus for goodness sake! But MOST PEOPLE have strong immune systems and it will be little more than a “flu like” episode. HOWEVER, there are those that have weakened immune systems, who may be battling a myriad of other illnesses, that will suffer greatly if they get this virus. How would you feel if you knew YOU were the one who unknowingly transferred the virus through a hug, or simply by breathing close by them without a mask?
2) The virus hangs on surfaces for longer than you might think. So even if you touched something that someone else touched (i.e. gas pump, checkout counter pin pad) . . . you can catch the virus. They may not have symptoms of COVID but are still carrying the virus (that can be frightening, but please do not let fear overtake you.) Practice using hand sanitizer at every opportunity after you have touched a foreign surface. Wash your hands often . . . and use lotion immediately afterward so you avoid getting dried out hands (cracks can lead to infection). Use common sense and try not to touch surfaces when in public. If you must (like at a checkout counter) use hand sanitizer immediately after.
3) Take off your shoes before entering you home (leave outside, spray with Lysol or Disinfectant wipe). You may want to do this as you enter your vehicles as well.
4) More about hand sanitizer . . . use one that contains at least 60% alcohol. * Look for labels with at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol.
a. Cover all surfaces of both hands with the sanitizer. Read the package to be sure you are using the right amount.
b. Store and use hand sanitizer carefully, especially around children. Swallowing hand sanitizer can cause alcohol poisoning. Sanitizer also can catch on fire.
Good news! Based on death certificate data, the percentage of deaths attributed to pneumonia, influenza or COVID-19 decreased from 9.0% during week 25 to 5.9% during week 26, representing the tenth consecutive week during which a declining percentage of deaths due to PIC has been recorded.
Call on San Angelo Home Health if you have questions or would like to discuss nursing care at home. Your physician can be contacted to write an order for home health if you qualify.
We are staffed 24/7 so we are just a phone call away. (325) 655-6600.
*Centers for Disease Control