Dear Church Family,
I suspect most of you have heard about the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The country of origin is China. It is a new virus for human beings. Presently, it is thought to have originated in an open air market where a variety of animals are sold for food or to be pets. The virus supposedly made the jump from infecting animals to humans, and now it is being passed by human to human contact.
The CDC is still researching how the virus is passed on. Presently, airborne droplets (respiratory secretions) appear to be the main route of transmission. It has not been determined if, or how long, the virus can survive on inanimate objects (ex. doorknobs). Questions have arisen about the “made in China” packaging on certain products. At this time, the CDC feels the chance of this virus surviving a trip from China on a package is extremely small.
We presently know there are 7 states in the USA where people have tested positive for the Coronavirus. As I am writing this there are no positive individuals in NY State. However, I have heard via the grapevine we have a number of Chinese students at area universities who are on a 14 day “self-quarantine” due to recent travel to China.
This virus attacks the respiratory system and like the flu can wreak havoc on a person’s ability to breath. The symptoms listed by the CDC are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The incubation time from being exposed to onset of symptoms is believed to be 2-14 days. This virus is very similar to the flu in the way it is experienced by someone who becomes ill with it. From what I have been able to find online so far, if you would survive the flu, you would survive this virus too. It seems to be primarily folks who are quite old, very young, or in poor health who die from this. People who have compromised respiratory systems or poor immune systems are most at risk (just like the flu). Remember, China is very crowded and may not have sanitation standards as good as we do here in the USA. This could be why so many thousands of people in China have it.
So, what do we do to avoid getting COVID-19? The same things we do to avoid getting the flu. Avoid close contact with folks who are sick, wear a mask if you have to be near them. I have some masks in my room if you need some. If you are sick and need to be around people, wear a mask. Wash your hands frequently (there are really very nasty germs on shopping cart handles and doorknobs). Don’t touch your face (eyes, nose, and mouth) with unwashed hands to avoid planting germs in openings to your body. Eat a healthy diet to help boost the immune system. Call your doctor if you have symptoms and discuss what to do. Watch the CDC site for any new information, or call me with questions you may have.
God Bless! Beth