COVID-19 Update: New Progress and How You Can Help From Home

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Let’s face it. At this point, the coronavirus has already affected your life––not to mention everything going on around you. That being said, there is still information and perspectives that are not as commonly known as they should be. Recently, much progress has been made with the goal of resetting, and until then, there are still things we can be doing to help in our homes.  

With Oklahoma as the home to over 3,000 of the 957,875 cases in the USA as of April 27, it’s important for us to stay up to date–but don’t get lost on the internet. Untrustworthy sites and posts can be found suggesting unusual methods of precaution with little to no actual evidence of proving effective. The basics of what you should know start with prevention. According to the CDC’s “How to Protect Yourself and Others,” you should be avoiding contact, washing your hands frequently, wearing homemade mask coverings when going out, and cleaning frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes your phone, which contains 25,127 bacteria per square inch. Also, on their website, you can find instructions on how to make one of these masks with something as common as an old t-shirt. Better be safe than sorry.

Along with staying healthy and making ourselves masks, there are more ways those of us can stay productive and help our community. There are several options, such as shopping from smaller businesses’ websites, getting takeout to support food and hospitality businesses, and there are even ways to virtually volunteer. You should also keep your mental health in mind, by taking healthy breaks from the news and staying calm, says UpToDate, in their recent “Patient education: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) overview.”

If you want to know more about the recent nitty-gritty details concerning the virus, the CDC offers weekly updates, and in their latest one, they informed, “Levels of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 activity remained similar to, or decreased slightly, compared to last week.  Mortality attributed to COVID-19 decreased compared to last week but remains significantly elevated and may increase as additional death certificates are counted.” In a more optimistic view, it’s apparent that progress has been made to combat and slow the disease. Also according to the CDC, several clinical trials are in progress, and experts are trying to understand not only how many were affected without knowing it, but also if they could still get it again. 

As for reopening, in The Washington Post’s article, “CDC, FEMA have created a plan to reopen America. Here’s what it says,” the CDC stated their priority was to “reopen community settings where children are cared for, including K-12 schools, daycares, and locally attended summer camps, to allow the workforce to return to work. Other community settings will follow with careful monitoring for increased transmission that exceeds the public health and health care systems.”

And finally, here’s a tip from a physician at OU Medicine. Dr. Hellman advises you to “avoid the crowds, enjoy the weather, and take precautions.”