Eric Paul Justin, MD, MPH, MBA | 28 May 2020
Imagine you are the fisherman who is about to use the boat in the above photo. As you plan your day many things must be included. Where to go, weather reports, equipment, fuel supplies, food and water for the day, and some extra provisions just in case. And what to fish for, of course. And a few wishes or fantasies about a great catch.
Experience has taught the fisherman not to waste too much time on dreaming about the catch. Many past trips have taught him to focus on the necessities. He knows that he is not in charge of how many fish he will catch beyond the simplicity of just doing his best for the day.
Our experiences these last months with all the changes from COVID-19 have taught us as well. We know loss. We have seen the confusion and at times the chaos induced by our unpreparedness as a society. We have also learned that there are no ‘silver bullets,’ no easy fixes despite the many promises and false starts offered all too frequently.
But…we have also found that there are things we can do to help ourselves and our fellow community members. These are the fundamentals I have mentioned and listed in prior communications. They haven’t changed. In fact, with virtually every state and many cities and counties in each state opening the fundamentals are even more critical now.
The use of face masks when out of your homes is a must. Practicing social distancing of six feet or more is also a must (some evidence suggests more than six feet is probably better). Below, in an appendix, I have repeated a portion of my prior communication with a summary of the ‘tools’ in the tool box. Please use them every day. Remember, unlike the fisherman, we need to do our best to avoid ‘the catch,’ the virus.
Good health and God’s Blessings on you.
By far the most important things individuals should do…our ‘old friends’ such as ‘social distancing:’
- Stay apart six feet or more especially when indoors, such as at the grocery store and other stores. Avoid crowded stores.
- Wear a mask when you go out of your home and especially indoors.
- Wash hands frequently (20 seconds or more) and use hand sanitizer.
- Clean surfaces in your home, especially those touched frequently. Avoid touching your face.
- If people around you are coughing or sneezing, move away from them or preferably leave. Again, this is especially true indoors.
Know your personal risks and take them into account. Some of the main ones are:
- Age greater than 65 years
- Heart disease
- Lung disease
- Decreased immune status as with cancer patients and especially those undergoing cancer treatments.
Consider use of an online ‘calculator’ to determine one’s risk from COVID-19. Note that such calculators are not to be considered a diagnostic tool nor are they medical advice:
A general risk calculator: https://www.covid19riskcalculator.com/
A very detailed risk calculator: https://www.coronavirusrisk.org/riskcalculator/