Corona Virus (COVID19) World-Wide Epidemic or Pandemic?
We first heard about the Coronavirus back in February when cruise ship patrons were being quarantined for possible exposure.
We also heard about the Coronavirus in China and the rising death toll on its citizens.
Now fast forward a month and we have store shelves that are empty of toilet paper, baby wipes, diapers, hand sanitizer, and disinfectants.
In some areas, we are hearing about the scalping and price gouging of toilet paper and hand sanitizer.
Facebook is alive with several memes related to the Coronavirus or panic-inducing stats regarding the virus.
If you were to listen to the news or read social media, it would be easy to assume that an apocalypse is inevitable. Fear, misinformation, and overexposure have caused this fear-mongering.
Why Becoming Informed about the Coronavirus?
The rapidly-evolving and ever-changing Coronavirus situation is here to stay for a while.
Should we panic?
Do we take everything that we see, hear, or read as the truth?
What do we do?
First of all, remember that knowledge is power. It is important to arm yourself with knowledge so that you can remain logical. When you are logical and level-headed, you are likely not to lean toward the trending mass hysteria that is rampant.
However, it is important to be concerned, knowledgable, and know that it is serious. But don’t panic.
Some facts about the Coronavirus (COVID19)
What is it?
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China. (cdc.gov)
How does it spread?
It is thought that it spreads mainly between people who are within about 6 feet of each other when the infected person sneezes or coughs. “It also may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads”. (cdc.gov)
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms range from mild to severe respiratory illnesses with fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
Who is at risk?
- Older adults
- Those who have recently traveled in high-risk areas.
- People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:
- Heart disease
- Lung disease
Some Coronavirus Facts
1. As of now (March 14, 2020) there have been 155,829 Coronavirus cases, 5,814 deaths, and 74,438 recovered from the virus.
2. Out of the currently infected cases, 92% are showing mild symptoms. And the remaining 8% are in either serious or critical condition.
How is someone tested for COVID-19?
It is a specialized test must be done to confirm that a person has been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. Most testing in the US has been performed at the CDC. The CDC has now approved states to do testing. While this means that a wider group of people will be tested, testing is still limited and still requires a doctor’s order. (Because of limited testing capabilities, it is recommended that one does not run to the nearest hospital demanding a test)
4. According to the WHO (World Health Organization), the youth of the planet, (to some extreme) seem to be protected from this virus. With most cases being reported between ages 18-69.
Know Your Terms
A quarantine is used for people or groups that don’t have symptoms but were exposed to the sickness. And a quarantine keeps them away from others so they don’t unknowingly infect anyone.
Quarantines are often used for:
- Outbreaks: A sudden rise in the number of cases of a disease.
- Epidemics: Related to outbreaks, but are larger and usually more widespread.
- Pandemics: More large-scale than epidemics (on a global level)
Isolation is reserved for those who are already sick. It keeps infected people away from healthy people to prevent the sickness from spreading.
Social distancing is a common-sense practice where you avoid large crowds for the purpose of avoiding either spreading or being exposed to the virus.
- Frequently wash hands with soap and water.
- Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze and cough. (Wash your hands afterward)
- If you are sick-stay home.
- Consider those that are at an elevated risk and stay away if you may have been exposed.
- Avoid touching your hands to your face.
- For the time being, stop shaking hands with others.
- Regularly disinfect surfaces (like phones, door handles, kitchen counters, bathroom areas)
In case of a quarantine stock up on 30 days worth of the following:
*Medication, including over-the-counter pain relievers, cough, and cold medicine and electrolytes.
*Hand soap (you only need hand sanitizer unless you won’t have access to water. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.
*Shampoo and other skincare needs
*Diapers and baby wipes
*Toilet paper (which you will use because you will be home full-time)
*Dried beans, grains (like oatmeal), and rice.
*Canned products like tuna, soups, and stews.
*Cooking oils, salt, and pepper.
*Snacks with a long shelf life (peanuts, dried fruit, granola bars)
*Frozen or canned fruits and veggies
*Frozen meats (burger and chicken)
Some Hard Truths
- We are not the first inhabitants in the history of the earth to face such times, where the words epidemic and pandemic are being used.
- “As John Calvin noted, “Duty must not be neglected, no more in epidemic disease than in war or fire.” While the names of the epidemics may change, our duty as Christians to defer to the Word, to divine providence, and to the demands of conscience stays the same.” (The Gospel Coalition)
Don’t Panic, Pray
Is it so easy to worry and follow the world, but now is a time to be in prayer not only for protection but for all involved at this time. Pray for the ill, elderly, those exposed, scientific researchers looking for the cure, and pray for the lost who need so desperately to hear the Gospel.
The threats, diseases, and fears of this world are real; however, we do not stand alone. The Lord said in Deuteronomy 31:6, “be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Below are some verses to consider if you are prone to worry.
John 16:33, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be
Matthew 6:34. “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
Dear sweet sisters in Christ, this earth has seen much worse than what we have going on today. In no way am I diminishing the seriousness of this situation, but I stand here to encourage you to arm yourself with facts and equip yourself with the truth.
The truth is that our Lord is sovereign, we are never alone, and He hears our cries, and hears our prayers.
Stand strong in your faith and as it says in Proverbs 3:5-6,
|“Trust in the Lord with all your heart|
and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Stephanie, Training Keepers of the Home