COVID MEASURES

I had a conversation with a person yesterday that has prompted me to write this entry. I haven’t weighed in about COVID 19 until this point. It has been a politically charged topic and, frankly, it has been a difficult spring dealing with all the different ramifications of treating this disease. I am thankful that I don’t practice in one of the states where hundreds or thousands of patients have gone to the ICUs. Nevertheless, the presence of this new disease has disrupted life around the world.

Nothing can be done to set the clock back and undo the harm that has already been done in our country, but we have a lot of knowledge that we should pay attention to. This viral infection passes from one person to another as simple as that. If two people remain far enough apart, they don’t exchange air or droplets, and they don’t touch the same objects, they can’t pass the virus from one to the other. If only one person was sick, once they recovered, and were no longer shedding virus, the two could get back together. Simple, right?

Why is there any controversy about directed health measures? If there are 50 people in a group of 100 who are infected with the virus. Separating them from the other 50 would eventually stop all spread of the virus. Fifty people would remain healthy. In 3- 4 weeks, nearly all could mingle again and go back to their lives. It means all 100 would have to agree and practice this. This has happened in some countries already. If one person who is infected violates this practice, it is possible all 100 could become infected. Many would get sick, 20 to 30 would go to the ICU and 6-8 would die. This is our country.

It may not be possible to get back to the 50-50 but we don’t have to give up and let the virus run rampant in the entire country. We can still separate. We can still protect ourselves and those around us. What else can we do?

Masks – Hand Sanitizer – Social Distancing

NOTHING NEW – this can still work

I still don’t understand why people resist the use of masks. Minor discomfort? I don’t know one healthcare worker who stops wearing their mask because of minor discomfort. We find ways to lessen the discomfort and take breaks.

We’ve all read the posts about lack of evidence, personal freedom, and even “I don’t like the way I look in a mask.” In fact, the evidence is that mask-wearing does lessen exposure. Anything that can disrupt airflow will make some difference. Social distancing also just makes sense. Over and over we hear some person who ignored all warnings say, “I thought it was a hoax…” as they lay dying or as their family member does.

Testing has been touted as a way to stop the virus. Testing should help if we had a way to follow up positive tests. Unfortunately, when it takes a week to get results back and people are unwilling or unable to quarantine, testing has little effect. Quarantine, staying at home and letting contact tracers find sources could still slow the spread in some places. Let’s use our heads. If we had stayed the course in May and June, many states would already be recovering. Now it is hard to know if that recovery will come. A vaccine will help, but there are many issues and hurdles for this as well. I won’t delve into that here. Please, wear your masks. Wash your hands/ use sanitizer. Stay away from other people. Give our health departments a chance to work. If you don’t agree, then don’t poison the well. If you talk someone else into flaunting the directed health measures and they get sick how will you feel? These aren’t personal liberty issues. This is a public health crisis. We’re seeing a thousand DEATHS a day. We wouldn’t tolerate a fraction of that in a war. Why are we so casual about this disease?

I’ve heard “Let the virus run its course. There’s nothing we can do anyway.” I believe some of our national leaders believe this. Look at the numbers. One thousand deaths per day. There have been nearly 150,000 deaths from COVID 19 in this country with 4,000,000 infected. We have 380,000,000 people in this country. Simple math indicates that left to its own, even if we can expect “herd” immunity at 60%, we could see over 8,000,000 deaths. This will mean someone you know and probably some family members will succumb. Please don’t let this happen. Each of us can make a difference.

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About smcpherson58

Aside from loving chocolate and coffee (not necessarily in that order) Scott McPherson has learned that he loves to write. He writes fiction and, so far, has published two novels. Scott has many varied interests, though he tries to focus on one at a time. He has worked for nearly thirty-five years as a family physician, a pass-time that gives him great pleasure and pays the bills. He has five daughters and dotes upon three grandchildren. Recently married, he really loves life. Scott writes from his life experiences and from travel. His career in the active Air Force was brief, but he has been a member of the Nebraska Air National Guard since just before 9/11 in 2001. The aftermath of that great disaster changed the face of the Guard and led to missions in far-away lands. He has spent time in Turkey, Iraq, Spain, Crete and Guam in missions related to support for Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. He has been to Iceland and Antarctica as well. Scott has no personal experience with violent death or murder, but has gained knowledge from experts. In his first novel, “A Step Ahead of Death,” his character, Jack Sharp MD, becomes embroiled in a murder mystery. First as suspect, then as amateur sleuth, Jack tries to make a difference. He finds himself right in the middle of an investigation well beyond the scope of a local murder. A man of faith, Scott traveled to Africa with his small family in the 1980s and served as a medical missionary in Zaire (known as Congo today) with a church organization. The vast difference in what it takes to exist in such an environment served as a basis for much of his second novel, a thriller, “Congo Mission.” His character, Jack, is twenty years younger than in the first novel. In “Congo Mission” Jack serves as a physician in a missionary hospital in the jungles of northwestern Zaire. There he is not only captivated by a young woman visiting the region, but falls victim to his nemesis Jacques Levant. His motivations and faith are tested and his resolve to do God’s work gets pushed to the limit. When he is not writing Scott enjoys walking, a practice that actually led to his first attempt at writing a novel. He began making notes and writing prose about the mundane things around him. He tried to make the details sound interesting, even though it was just for his own pleasure. Eventually he found that he could expand his prose to “what if?” “What if I just kept walking?” “What if I, or my character, found a dead body in the ditch along the side of the path?” That was the premise for the first novel, “A Step Ahead of Death.” Scott McPherson is an avid trombone player and has played since he was nine years old. He marched in the Cornhusker Marching Band at the University of Nebraska and now takes advantage of one free football game a year by playing in the half-time show with the UNL Alumni Marching Band. He plays in the Lincoln Civic Orchestra and a community band from the nearby town of Waverly, Nebraska. Scott loves to sing as well, though his range seems to have diminished in recent years. He has sung in college and church choirs and remembers performing parts of Handel’s Messiah as a highlight of his singing experience. One little-known fact about Scott is that he once sang soprano in a boys choir. Scott plans to keep writing as long as the ideas flow and others show interest in his stories. He loves to interact with other writers or readers about what has become a passion in his life. Reviews are always welcome as are questions and comments.
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