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What’s the deal? Why are we being told to self-isolate?
Coronavirus aka COVID-19 is super serious. I’ve been screaming about this since January. I think by now you all get it. Or at least I hope you do.
Yes, it’s much worse than the flu. No, it’s not “just like a bad cold.” And yes, you should be practicing social distancing, staying home except for essentials.
Because this virus can and will overwhelm the healthcare infrastructure IF we don’t all do our part.
Please remember, my other business producing 3D medical animation is healthcare-adjacent. That means that no, of course I’m not a doctor, but yes, I speak with a lot of doctors and people actively in the healthcare system – every day.
And it’s true – there aren’t enough beds in the hospitals to handle the volume we are on track for. There also aren’t enough ventilators for the volume of patients likely to develop respiratory infections. The healthcare workers don’t have enough PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment) to safely treat their current workload, let alone their future workload. This means that the doctors and nurses treating patients are increasingly likely to contract it and either work while contagious or stay home, exacerbating the problem.
Forget the blame game now. This has nothing to do with politics and politicizing it helps nobody.
Flattening the Curve
I’m sure you’ve heard the term. But what does it mean?
What it means is that we are past the point of keeping the virus out of the country. It’s here and it’s multiplying and testing has been way too slow and with an incubation period of up to 14 days, people are spreading it without knowing they have it.
So, the reason for social distancing (meaning that you stay 6 feet from anyone not in your household and really stay home except for essentials and some exercise) is to slow down the infection rate. That means fewer people getting infected all at once and allows for the hospitals to catch up to the demand (a combination of expanding facilities, like the Navy hospital ships being deployed to both coasts and less simultaneous cases).
In Italy right now, their healthcare system is so overwhelmed that patients over 80 years old requiring hospitalization may be turned away.
Just because you are young and carefree doesn’t mean that you won’t catch COVID-19. And you may be incubating the virus (no symptoms) and unknowingly transmit it to a loved one – possibly a parent or grandparent whose immune system can’t fight it off. My parents are just 40 minutes away and I’ve told them I won’t be visiting anytime soon – just in case I am an unknowing carrier.
And if that isn’t enough to scare you straight, new data shows that 38 percent of those sick enough to be hospitalized due to COVID-19 are under 55. Even as young as 20.
Yes, It Sucks to Stay Home
As you know, my lifeblood is travel. I can’t exist without it.
And yet, I’m stuck home in a small 1 bedroom apartment in NYC with my fiancé after postponing our wedding and honeymoon. We are depressed about literally everything now.
But we have our health. And self-isolation – as much as possible – is for the greater good or our country. It’s for the greater good of our elderly and of your grandparents and of your parents.
So yes, you should be cancelling near-term trips. We don’t know how long travel will be inadvisable. I wouldn’t cancel anything now beyond 30 days from now and you can keep reassessing. As well, if the virus doesn’t subside, airlines will have to extend waiver policies – so there is just no reason at all to touch bookings for later on just yet.
I’ll be following this post up with an article on managing your emotions during coronavirus. Because it’s OK to feel down and sorry for yourself alongside seeing the bigger picture.
Are you “self-isolating”?
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