By DeeDee Strum
National Public Radio (NPR) and other news outlets are currently reporting 22 states experiencing increased rates of infection from the novel coronavirus that can cause the disease, COVID-19. These states are characterized as having either unchecked or escalating community spread.
No surprises here since the health care professionals warned us this past spring that the early fall would mark the next big wave IF Americans did not take “necessary precautions”.
So, relying on two of my strongest KSAs: that of public health professional and family and community advocacy it boils down to this: BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION.
Simply put: adopt new habits to safeguard your health and the health of your family and others.
Looking in the rearview mirror most of us will recall other iterations of the dreaded “coronavirus”. The Norovirus (commonly conveyed through contaminated food, water, infected persons), and so in an abundance of caution many people started relying on bottled water both here and while traveling abroad.
We have long been advised that certain behaviors like the frequent and vigorous hand-washing, “smart” use of antibiotics, and staying home from school/work while ill, are simple ways to combat the family of influenza viruses like Avian, MERS, and SARS.
And, then there is the virus that causes HIV-AIDS, wherein the public was educated on the necessity and success of “safe sex practices” to include monogamy, abstinence, and more practically speaking: the use of a condom.
Well, the new (novel) coronavirus now requires behavior modifications to include: keeping clean hands (wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds particularly in or after occupying public places, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing); maintaining 6+ feet between you and others; and, WEARING A MASK…just think of it as a “face condom”.