Stop the Spread of COVID-19

March 17, 2020

As a company whose mission is to make people healthier and enhance and protect their lives, we understand that there has never been a more critical time to remain steadfast in our pursuit of health improvement.

As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has made its way across the globe since December 2019 and continues to be an emerging pandemic, public health experts have learned more about how you can protect yourself, your family and your community against this virus. Here’s our recap to-date: 

  1. Build your resilience by eating well, sleeping well and being active. Just as you protect yourself against any illness, get enough rest, eat right and exercise regularly.
  2. Practice everyday preventive habits:
    • Practice proper handwashing. See the CDC’s guide for a reminder.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Many germs, including the coronavirus, can enter your body through membranes in your eyes, nose and mouth which is why it’s a good idea to keep your hands away from your face.
    • Clean and disinfect often. Germs, including the coronavirus, live on surfaces for hours to days, so cleaning frequently is a must. 
  3. Practice social distancing. The term “social distancing” has become part of our lexicon as to how we can best prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Public health experts have learned from the situations in China and Europe and are recommending social distancing as a strategy to slow the spread of the coronavirus here in the United States. When we practice social distancing, we help flatten the curve of the spread, avoiding the sharp rise in new cases all at once. Our healthcare system is not capable of taking care of mass numbers of sick people all at once, but if we as a community slow the spread of the coronavirus by minimizing our contact with other individuals, the healthcare system can take on the surge of ill people, over a longer period of time. Considering that there is no vaccine and the care for those who become severely ill is very intensive, practicing preventive and communitywide strategies is our only defense. Learn more here. Also, here’s our short list for how to practice social distancing.
    • Minimize all social contact – especially if COVID-19 is spreading in your region and if you fall in a high-risk group (over age 60, have heart disease, lung disease, diabetes or other chronic conditions). This means staying at home and only going out for essential reasons. Yes, this means cancelling social events and travel plans. It also means not physically engaging with friends who are also off school or work. In short, it means hunker down at home.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Practice social distancing. Stay 6 to 10 feet away from others when you do go out. The coronavirus is spread through saliva droplets in the air. If someone with the virus coughs or sneezes near you, you can easily breathe it in. 
  4. If you do experience symptoms, follow the measures listed below. (Symptoms include fever, dry cough and difficulty breathing.)
    • Stay home and avoid contact with others.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, or sneeze or cough in your elbow.
    • Wear a facemask if you are sick.
    • Call your healthcare provider. If you can, make an appointment via telemedicine. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions for next steps.

Now that we’ve briefed you on the facts, here are some myths that we’d like to dispel:

Everyone needs to wear a face mask: FALSE.

Healthcare providers need them. If you’re sick and in contact with people, you will need to wear one and so will your family members who are caring for you. Otherwise, the face masks are not going to help and should be reserved for when they’re most effective.

Stocking up on supplies is recommended: FALSE. 

You only need a two-week supply on hand in case you need to be quarantined in your home. Experts do not expect a significant impact to the supply chain for household items and groceries. Be considerate of others and don’t stockpile what you don’t need.

Finally, the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are both planning to release new information daily as we learn more about the coronavirus as it rapidly spreads throughout the United States and throughout the world. One good resource from the CDC includes a checklist on how to prepare your household. Also, many states have hotlines. For information, go to your local or state health department’s website to learn more about information local to you.

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