Hi, I’m Dr. Vipul Shah, clinical director at Pack Health. Today, we continue our weekly video updates on the COVID-19 pandemic. Pack Health is committed to sharing what we know and answering your questions as we all adapt to new routines at home and at work.
This week, COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, continues to spread rapidly. Local and national governments have issued sweeping new restrictions on businesses and travel. Restaurants, daycares, and other familiar places may have closed, or have limited service. Many large gatherings have been postponed or canceled. And you’ve probably heard about social distancing, which encourages people to limit contact with others.
We know this can seem overwhelming. These measures are temporary but extremely important to stop the spread of the virus. COVID-19 affects people differently. While most people will show mild or no symptoms, others can become very sick. That’s why we all have to take precautions. Even if you don’t show symptoms, you could still spread the virus. And slowing the spread of the virus, so-called “flattening the curve,” can help our hospitals in this unprecedented time.
Let’s talk more about social distancing. The CDC recommends that we stay at least 6 feet away from others. We shouldn’t attend gatherings of more than 10 people, and try to maintain that distance even in small groups. When we do encounter people, try not to shake hands. Check packhealth.com for a list of activities that are safe, and activities to avoid.
Other preventive measures still stand: Wash your hands often with soap for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Try not to touch your face. Cough or sneeze into your elbow or into a tissue, and then throw the tissue away and wash your hands. And frequently disinfect surfaces such as countertops, doorknobs, phones, and keyboards with approved cleaners.
As testing for the virus becomes more widespread, the number of confirmed cases will increase. You may hear about a confirmed case in your area. So, what if you think you’re sick? The common symptoms of COVID-19 are cough, fever or fatigue. Others may experience a runny nose, muscle aches, a sore throat, or diarrhea.
If you have any serious symptoms, such as shortness of breath, chest pain or tightness, bluish lips, or confusion, call 911.
Call your clinician before seeking care in person, especially in an emergency room. You may also need to meet with your doctor virtually over the internet. Their office, and your Health Advisor, can help you prepare for that. If you have an underlying health condition, your routine appointments may need to be postponed.
Your Health Advisor is here to answer your questions and provide resources to help you. They can arrange for delivery of groceries, household items, or medications if needed. Your Health Advisor can also help you plan meals and at-home exercise routines, and help you cope with any added stress.
For the time being, we are all adjusting to a new reality. Remember to be kind to one another. Avoid overbuying supplies, so everyone can have what they need. And remember that the better we respond now, the stronger we will be when we get through this.
We’re a phone call away. Now as always, we’re here to help.