The district has asked the custodians to clean more often those surfaces more frequently touched such as door handles, drinking fountains, and faucet handles. The importance of handwashing is being stressed for all. Absences are being monitored and additional custodian time designated to clean those classrooms thoroughly. Students who are sick are being sent home.
Parents have been asked to keep children home when sick and remain at home until the individual has been fever-free for 24 hours. Seek immediate medical care if symptoms become more severe. Teach “respiratory etiquette” by coughing and sneezing into a sleeve. Switch to tissues when this becomes more frequent. Frequently wash hands for as long as it takes to sing the ABC’s to a toddler. And keep your hands off your face; no touching eyes, nose, and mouth. Practice being and staying healthy.
A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) fact sheet states that the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-2019) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person and that the virus that causes to COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China. Doctors have never been really good at combating viruses. By definition, a virus is an extremely tiny parasite that can only reproduce if it is within a living being. That would be us, as the host. They usually get us sick, run their course, and then we get better and move on. A bacterial infection is treated with medication if we haven’t built up a tolerance to it. Meds don’t give us relief with viruses; colds, flu, and many preceding coronaviruses.
A pandemic is an epidemic of disease that has spread over a whole region or world. The COVID-19 fits the classic definition. It’s scary because we have used it in our horror genre to usher in the apocalypse. This will not happen with the COVID-19.
The Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 infected an estimated 500 million people worldwide, roughly one-third of the earth’s population. It killed 20-50 million people. We were just coming off World War 1, the “war to end all wars,” the greatest slaughter and destruction man had ever known at the time. Europe lay in waste; this makes it difficult to fight the spread of a pandemic.
We have been experiencing pandemics throughout man’s existence. The CDC predicts that 12,000 Americans will die from the flu in any given year. 61,000 people died in the 2017-2018 flu season. Keep a calm head; the sky is not falling. See the COVID-19 for what it is; another virus that life sends our way. Don’t be those sorry saps that loot hospitals for medicine and masks. They will be needed for our young, the old, and those with compromised immune systems. Be those that are helping neighbors! We can do this together.
■ Scott Arens is a resident of Arbuckle. Contact Scott at email@example.com