OK, people. It’s getting real. Ohio is careening up the sharp slope of the epidemic curve. High percentages of our local population are expected to contract the virus in the next year. However...
Do not lose hope.
Open up Pandora’s box and release that last treasure so that it can prop up our flagging spirits.
There is so much to be hopeful about!
The above graph shows how effective Ohioans have been at mitigating this health crisis. We are making things better.
The yellow bell curve tells us how devastating the situation could have been without mitigating action. The blue curve shows our much improved present reality: that the volume of cases is expected to be so much lower and spread way out over time.
Here is what our wonderful blue curve has bought us:
- Time for innovation. Amazing work on how to sterilize and reuse typically disposable equipment like masks is being done. Research for treatments is moving along at unprecedented speeds.
- Time to build needed infrastructure. Recent Cleveland Clinic projections, Per Dr. Amy Acton, show we need 2 - 3 times more ICU capacity than we have, and Ohio is on it. General Harris of Ohio’s National Guard has been appointed to coordinate the effort to increase ICU capacity statewide.
- Conservation of critical resources: hospital beds, equipment, and care delivery personnel. We have more of what we need because we have both started saving and protecting resources early.
This shows us that we, as individuals, have incredible power to keep ourselves and others safe. Because of our mitigation actions, everyone is safer, and the many who do contract COVID-19 will have better care and outcomes. As scary as the days to come may be, stay the mitigation course. Your actions matter more than ever.
Resist Social Pressure
Don’t allow social pressure to put you and others in danger. This doubly applies to my friends in high-risk groups. It can feel rude to tell someone to step away if they are too close. It can feel like you are letting someone down by not going to a funeral or wedding. Being safe is more important than how others perceive you. It is OK to be kind but firm while protecting yourself and others. How other people react to that is their own concern. You can be both polite and have boundaries at the same time.
If you have to be embarrassed to be safe, or to keep others safe, sit in the embarrassment.
I’ll give you an example of some of my own embarrassment. We had some food delivered from Kroger.
van Doremalen, N., Bushmaker, T., Morris, D. H., Holbrook, M. G., Gamble, A., Williamson, B. N., . . . Munster, V. J. (2020). Aerosol and surface stability of SARS-CoV-2 as compared with SARS-CoV-1. The New England Journal of Medicine, doi:10.1056/NEJMc2004973
...I knew that SARS-CoV-2 —also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19, can possibly survive on some surfaces for days. While chances of getting infected this way are much less likely than droplet person to person transmission, the probability is not zero.
So, given I am in a high-risk group, I decided to proceed with an overabundance of caution. I made a ‘dirty’ and ‘clean’ area on my front porch. As I unpacked a grocery bag from the ‘dirty’ area, I wiped all the items inside it with a Clorox wipe. I then placed them in the ‘clean’ area and put the empty grocery bag in the garbage. At the end of the process, we disinfected the ‘dirty’ area and washed our hands.
I felt RI-DIC-U-LOUS.
I was so embarrassed. There were people on the sidewalks watching this OCD behavior. Some people made comments. It was mortifying. I was now the crazy Hyde Park lady.
But I did it anyway. And you know what? I’m glad I did. It may have helped me, and it certainly didn’t hurt me.
Find Ways to Stay Home
If you are in a high-risk group and need something - get it delivered if you can afford it. Our health is more important than saving the delivery fee. There are delivery delays, so planning and ordering ahead is your best strategy.
Visit https://ohio.org/supportlocalohio/ for ways to do this that includes supporting small Ohio businesses and restaurants. This link also has a collection of virtual museum tours and digital art collections.
Unless it is a true emergency, or otherwise directed by your provider, stay away from your healthcare facility. Telehealth has been gigantically expanded to still meet your medical needs.
Wash your Hands
Been outside? Wash your hands.
Get the mail? Wash your hands.
Bring in that Amazon package? Wash your hands.
Bored? Wash your hands.
Partner forget to wash their hands? Nag them.
Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Wash your hands.
To all of those first-responders, including people making deliveries to those of us who are bound to our homes, thank you. You are heroes.
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This post was made possible with the generous support of the following patrons. Thank You!
- Kid Cryptid
- Pat Schoettker