News reports are filled with reports about the spread of illness and death due to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-n CoV). As I listen, I cannot help but see the similarities between reports of influenza and Coronavirus. While much is known about the influenza (flu), scientists are just learning about 2019- n CoV that appeared in China, affecting so many people. Authorities are working diligently to contain the spread of the disease as much as possible with travel advisories, bans and quarantines.
Here in the U.S., I think it is important to keep our perspective while implementing prudent precautions and staying informed. The Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization are recommending basic precautions that are helpful for most respiratory viruses, common sense actions that we teach our children. Especially during the winter months when we are indoors with other people we can: cover our cough, wash hands frequently, use hand sanitizer, keep our hands away from our eyes, nose and mouth (download a 'Henry the Hand' poster to share here) and stay home if we have a fever, cough or feel ill. We should contact our doctor if our symptoms do not resolve or get worse quickly. If we or someone we know has traveled to China, it is especially important to call your doctor and inform them of your condition and travels to receive instructions for care.
What greater way is there to love yourself and your neighbor than by using basic infection control like hand washing to help stop the spread of viruses and other illnesses? As I reflect on all of the recommendations recommended by the experts, I hear my mother saying, “wash your hands,” “keep your hands away from your mouth,” what great advice from my earthly mother and God my creator.
So I encourage sensible caution, basic hygiene and awareness of conditions in the world. Take a deep breath, avoid panic and do your best to stay well.
So don't be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time. ~ Matthew 6:34
View the World Health Organization video below:
Deborah Ringen is Transitional Minister of Health and Wellness for the Southern New England Conference, UCC.