Gene Johnson

COVID-19 has reached pandemic levels in the United States. It is time to live with caution and develop new and renew healthy practices at home, at work, in schools in medical centers and senior care facilities. People are frightened, herd buying is taking place at food stores primarily for bottled water, toilet paper and canned goods.

This is a new virus and it will take time to build immunities, develop vaccines and to

understand all its characteristics. The federal and state governments are gearing up to control the spread of this harmful respiratory disease. They are behind in testing equipment and facilities. Medical facilities are preparing to meet these challenges, thanks to the federal government financial aid.

Imposing international travel restrictions, closing educational facilities, churches, sporting and entertainment events which draw crowds will help control the spread. A great deal of health disciplines have been hitting my desk via email. Let me try to help readiness with this summary.

The symptoms:

1. It will first infect the throat, so you’ll have a sore throat lasting 3/4 days

2. The virus then blends into a nasal fluid that enters the trachea and then the lungs, causing pneumonia. This takes about 5/6 days further.

3. With the pneumonia comes high fever and difficulty in breathing.

4. The nasal congestion is not like the normal kind. You feel like you’re drowning. It’s imperative you then seek immediate attention

The Mayo Clinic has sent the following reminders:

If you experience COVID-19 symptoms - fever, cough or shortness of breath - contact your regular provider before you arrive to determine if you should be seen. Wash your hands; avoid touching your face; and practice appropriate self-care, including staying home when you are sick.

Another source sent the following:

1. If you have a runny nose and sputum, you have a common cold.

2. Coronavirus pneumonia is a dry cough with no runny nose.

3. This new virus is not heat-resistant and will be killed by a temperature of just 26/27 C or 82-84 F degrees. It hates the sun.

4. If someone sneezes with it, it takes about 10 feet before it drops to the ground and is no longer airborne.

5. If it drops on a metal surface it will live for at least 12 hours - so if you come into contact

with any metal surface - wash your hands as soon as you can with a bacterial soap.

6. On fabric it can survive for 6-12 hours. Normal laundry detergent will kill it.

7. Drinking warm water is effective for all viruses. Try not to drink liquids with ice.

8. Can’t emphasis enough - drink plenty of water!

Use common sense:

If you are sick, don’t go to work and contaminate your fellow workers.

The federal government is making provisions to cover loss of wages while confined or quarantined to your home.

We will overcome this new disease as we have done with the Spanish Flu, Polio, Measles, HIV, and other flu types.

If you are considered elderly, or have a chronic illness, be concerned but do not panic over this new disease, which can affect senior living of all types. Be diligent in health practices.

Extra hygiene is in order. Use prevention techniques such as cleaning the sinks, food preparation areas, bathrooms with disinfectant bleach. wiping down all remotes, door handles with disinfectant, washing clothes with hot water, avoiding crowds and drinking plenty of fluids.

Gene and Carter Johnson own Northstar Media. They can be reached at

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