Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

Corona Virus – No Hype, Just Facts

There it is.  The Corona Virus.  Covid-19.  That is a fact.  What makes it bad?  That it has the word “virus” with its name.  Defined simply, it is an organism that has a detrimental result.  The problem is, how bad can the virus get?

At one time, we used to just let our doctors diagnose us, and treat us.  And it was that simple.  Of course we had to deal with outbreaks, but we did not have social media to broadcast the mayhem and paranoia, and in the case of the Corona virus, even racism.  And now, we cannot even rely on factual information from our leaders, out of concern for how it may impact our day to day operations or our economy.  And pardon my cynicism, but as a country that prioritizes profit over health, I understand why there is the need to minimize the severity of this current health crisis.  Already the war cries have begun, comparing Corona virus to a flu outbreak, heart attacks, car crash deaths, all meant to lessen the impact of what we are dealing with.

My post here is not going to be conjecture or assumptions or hype.  With my involvement in the medical community over the last thirty years, I believe in the resources that I have used to find out as much as I can, to protect myself, and if necessary, take care of myself in the event of an infection.

These are all major health networks that I have a connection to.  For that reason, I feel that I can trust what they are reporting about the Corona virus.

At issue, is just who is going to contract this virus and why.  And you need to understand the “why.”  Everyone is at risk with a new virus, and for one reason, you do not have any antibodies in your system, like you would have from a prior exposure or vaccine.  That is how that works.  So then the next issue is, how bad will it get.  This is the fuzzy area.  Because if you are a “normal” and healthy individual, if you contract the virus, your symptoms may be minor to flu-like and then recover.  Some may just carry the virus.  And then there are those who have pre-existing conditions.

There is a group of people always listed as especially susceptible, the elderly, the immuno-compromise, the young.  And I suppose this is where the anger and more importantly, the misinformation originates.  Under normal conditions, if something does not affect you, what do you care?  You don’t.  And you move on.  So, here we are with Corona virus being told it is not going to affect normally healthy individuals, and of course it is likely that they do not want to hear any more of it.  But here is why the healthy need to hear it.

The immune systems of the elderly do not work as well as they used to.  And according to resources, those with cardiac, respiratory, and compromised immune systems, not only have higher risks, but also potentially difficult recoveries.  In my case, I have all three of these pre-existing issues.  So, yes, I am paying a lot of attention to what is going on.  But I am also dealing with it, like I have dealt with all other potential exposures.

At work, I would actually go home if a co-worker came in with some illness that could really have an impact on me.  When my daughters got their vaccines, depending on if it was a live or dead virus vaccine, I was restricted from diaper duty.  I even restrict myself from exposure to those who have received a live flu vaccine until a certain time period.  But I do not lock myself in a plastic bubble until everything passes.

I carry all kinds of alerts and identification warning those who must care for me, the various issues with my health.  And I rely on medical personnel to respond appropriately.  That means that the rest of the efforts fall on me, and those around me.  Again, if you are normally healthy, you may not even get sick, or not as severe.  And if you do not get sick, you might still be a carrier, meaning others can get sick from you, even if you do not.

That is why this is a big deal.  And that is why, in spite of the false assurance of our government, we are likely to see an increase in these cases, because of carriers, not just the sick.

We are not prepared for this virus, and this is not the first time.  That is why we have these outbreaks.  We do not have vaccine yet.  We have only just begun to have testing kits available for use.  But there is no protocol for if we suspect we are dealing with Corona virus.  Do we call for help?  Do we walk into a doctor office or ER, and risk contaminating everything?  Sure, washing hands and not touching faces (not something I have had an issue with much to my friends’appreciations) help, but what exactly are we to do if we think we have it?  But every one of these networks, and many more all say the same thing, and it does contradict the misinformation being dispersed, we are going to see more cases.

But as I said, even with my health issues, I still have a life I want to lead.  I have to travel to see my daughters, and there are other opportunities that I might be in groups of people.  I have previously written about the use of the “surgical” masks that people feel protect them from viruses, and they do not.  They are a splash guard for your sneezes and coughs.  But they do not prevent you from breathing in airborne particles, like viruses.  The use of the N95 respirator, and here is the key, properly worn, is the level of protection needed.  Here is the problem, medical personnel need these in order to take care of the sick.  And just like people flocking in fear to Costco and Walmart to prepare for a hurricane, the shelves are empty when it comes to masks, sanitizers, even toilet paper.  This is one message that the medical community is trying to get across, DOCTORS AND NURSES AND EMTs NEED THE RESPIRATORS TO HELP THOSE WHO ARE SICK OR ELSE THEY RISK BECOMING SICK THEMSELVES AND THAT LEAVES NO ONE TO HELP THE REST OF US.  It does not get more simple than that.

So yes, wash the hands thoroughly.  Cover yourself properly when you sneeze and cough.  Sanitize surfaces that may get contaminated.  Stay home if you think you are sick.  And if you are using the masks, they are not reusable.  Properly dispose of them.

I have gone through SARS, bird flu (avian flu), swine flu, MERS, and though not an illness, the events of 9/11.  Dealing with Corona virus, it is going to be no different.  We still have to carry on with our lives.  We have no reason to hide in seclusion until it passes.  We just need to be a bit more careful.  We need to be informed.  And we need to be prepared to make necessary changes as they come up.

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