Tuesday, March 10, 2020

We Have Nothing To Fear...

...but fear itself. We're familiar with those words, spoken by President Franklin Roosevelt quite some time ago. But they seem extremely appropriate again. We're afraid of the CoVid19 virus because we don't know enough about it. When you look at it carefully, it's similar to influenza. Sure, it's dangerous. But we can be smart and minimize its effect.

Has this ever happened before? I looked through my previous writings in preparation for this posting, and found some interesting information. See if this sounds familiar.

"There are at least 100 identified types of rhinovirus that cause upper respiratory infections (and probably a few that we haven’t yet typed). Right now, though, attention is focusing on this one. This virus isn’t new—its cousins have been around for over five decades—but it’s rarely seen in epidemic proportions. This year is different, and the questions have started to fly. Is it a super-bug? Can doctors treat it? Is there a vaccine to prevent it?"

That post is from 2014. It's about enterovirus, and the "panic" was similar to the one we're now experiencing. It was called a "super-bug" and caused quite a furor. In that case, the symptoms started out like a common cold, but sometimes spread. The  treatment was supportive--both then and now. There was a vulnerable population--in that case, young children. We were afraid of it right then, just as we're afraid of CoVid19 now, but after an initial panic we have  classed it with similar viruses and moved on.

There's a vaccine on the horizon for CoVid19, as well as a possible treatment, but meanwhile we're encouraged to simply employ common sense measures and seek medical attention when "it's more than a cold." Those common sense measures include hand-washing (with soap and water for 20 seconds), avoidance of sick folks, disinfecting surfaces that might have the virus on them, etc.

We've had the flu shot (which doesn't protect against CoVid19. I don't want to hear your stories about why you do or don't take yours, but if you didn't, don't complain if you get the flu). My wife and I are both in the population that are most vulnerable from CoVid19, and we'll take the usual precautions. But we're not going to "borrow trouble," as my father used to say. 

Avoiding purely political comments (which I'll delete if you get into them), what do you think about what I've posted? How are you handing things? I'd like to hear.

23 comments:

Linda Glaz said...

So well said, Doc! You are appreciated as a voice of reason in a world gone crazy!

Richard Mabry said...

Thanks, Linda. I honestly held my breath before posting this, but thought it interesting that in 2014 we faced the same problem, but now no longer even recall it.

DiAne Gates said...

Doing the same as you, Doctor. I'm also in that age group... would not go on a cruise, washing hands more, drinking lots of water,taking Vitamin C, and getting sleep, as well as eating well balanced meals...not junk food. I've always used those wet wipes on the grocery store or Walmart baskets, and avoided contact with people who are sneezing, coughing, or acting sick. I saw something the other day that indicated every presidential election for the past number of years we've been plagued (no pun intended)with a new worrisome virus. Just plain common sense our mothers used when there were few vaccines.

Richard Mabry said...

Thanks, DiAne. At least there are a few of us that aren't running around with our hair on fire.

Author Jessica White said...

I'm not so worried about catching it although we do have one immunocompromised individual living with us who doesn't have health insurance. When it spreads widely (which it will because Americans are notorious for not seeking medical care unless they are dying) especially with about 40% of our population uninsured.

My biggest concerns are the lack of rural hospitals (most have closed). The already overwhelmed ICU units in many hospitals especially during flu season. I think we will see more quarantine areas as this spreads because of overwhelmed hospital units.

And I think quarantines have a natural domino effect on schools closing, people not being able to go to work, and paychecks being missed. I know way too many families who live paycheck to paycheck, work 2-3 jobs many of which will insist workers come in because they are always understaffed unless cities shut down entirely.

It's kind of a catch twenty-two of if people don't self-quarantine if their sick the hospital system gets overburdened causing city quarantines and then no work/no pay that causes systemic economic issues like loss of housing, etc.

And then there will be the deaths of primarily elderly people that will weigh on people. Deaths in this country unfortunately aren't typically prepared for. Even my parents just want to be cremated but that's still thousands of dollars we don't have and neither is coverable by life insurance.

So while yes this probably won't be the wave of death pandemic. It's still going to have huge implications over how our health system and economic insecurity of most of our citizens. And hopefully some good things will come of it too like people taking hand washing more seriously and companies making better sick pay for all workers not just their salary full time ones. But I'm not optimistic that we're going to see this one pass like the last few with only a few isolated outbreaks.

singnlearn said...

Thanks for your posting. We value your opinion!

Richard Mabry said...

Jessica, I won't take the space to discuss each of your points, although doing a bit of computer lookup showed that In 2018, the number of uninsured was 27.9 million nonelderly individuals. Anyway, I hope that you and yours get through this just fine.

And "singnlearn," thanks for your comment.

Crystal (Cris) Ortmann said...

As a former RN, I fully agree with you and your words make sense and are informative. When I was in middle school (we called it Jr. High), there was an outbreak of the Asian Flu. Our school was shut down for a few weeks, I believe. There has always been something new and the panic seems to go along with it. When the origin of polio was not yet known, it was thought to come from stagnant water and we weren't allowed to swim in any. When HIV came, people panicked, etc. and panic feeds panic. The media has helped in some ways but has fed the panic in other ways. We need to use common sense, wash our hands (all so basic, but easily forgotten) and not get too carried away with fear. Thanks for writing. I'm sure this will help many.

Richard Mabry said...

Thanks, Crystal. It's happened before (as this post points out) and we survived without the world ending. Wish we could be as calm now. I appreciate your comment.

Janet McHenry said...

I appreciate the rational response. We are simply taking care not to touch surfaces in public and washing our hands even more than usual, which isn't that hard to do, really. I just flew to and from Palm Springs and used Clorox wipes to wipe down the surfaces around me. And I'm working on keep my lungs strong by walking 10,000+ steps a day.

Richard Mabry said...

Janet, thanks for your comment. Glad your flight went well--we've reached the point where we don't travel a great deal, so it's not much of a decision for us.

Linda Maran said...

Thanks for the post. The WHO media posts are stress-inducing to those of us with a health issue and in the vulnerable age group. My husband takes the NYC subway on weekends to work so that was a concern but may drive him instead for now. Doing bike exercise and trying to stay calm since anxiety weakens the immune system. Hard to avoid somewhat crowded places such as supermarkets, so trying to go early.Making some changes seems beneficial. And many do so every year during flu season but the difference is with this virus there are quarantines so this is what causes the stock piling of groceries. Yesterday the CDC posted that seniors need to be prepared to have enough meds on hand. We hear these kinds of announcements daily. It's important to be informed but some of the headlines do breed fear.

Hamlin 10 said...

We are in the process of cancelling our "bucket list" cruise departing April 19th. Your thoughts confirm our choice. Thank you!

Richard Mabry said...

Good choice.

Patricia Bradley said...

I have a trip planned to Florida the first week in April and I hope I don't have to cancel and drive. I think if we exercise proper precautions like washing our hands, etc, it will lessen the chances of getting the virus. Right now we have so many cases of the flu in my area, I'm much more afraid of it.

Richard Mabry said...

Patricia, My crystal ball is cloudy, so I don't know what's going to happen next week, much less next month, but common sense measures are always good. Hope your trip to Florida turns out okay. And I agree--we've had the flu around so long that we take it for granted, but it's still lethal. My mother died from complications of influenza.

Janet Ann Collins said...

At least it takes our focus off of politics for a while.

Lauri Harris said...

Thank you, Richard. There’s too much panic and not enough reason these days. Thank you for being a voice of reason.

Richard Mabry said...

Laurie, glad you feel that way. This, too, shall pass.

Kathleen Rouser said...

Well, said. Dr. Mabry. We have always tried to take good care of ourselves. We wash our
hands and try not to spread our germs to others, especially if we're sick. We're just
carrying on as usual and not panicking. If cooler heads prevail and we look out for
the more vulnerable, I think we'll be fine in this country. Stressing doesn't help and
it's all in God's hands in the end. Prayer is important too.

Richard Mabry said...

Kathleen, thanks so much for your comment. Not sure whether I'm the voice of reason, but I too hope that we will be fine in the end.

Janet Grunst said...

Let's pray that this calamity will be an opportunity for people will draw close to the Lord as well as put all divisiveness aside
“If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will HEAL their land.”
2 Chronicles 7:14

Richard Mabry said...

Janet, very appropriate, especially in light of tomorrow being named the national day of prayer.