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Coronavirus: Fear, Faith, and Freaking Out! Nurse & Parent perspective

Is anyone just as confused about how we got here? I mean, to the point where America is on the ultimate survival mode at this time and people are afraid to even come outside? We, the United States, have survived wars, recessions, viruses, and natural disasters. But what makes this so different? I think it’s due to feeling of lack of control. Researchers and scientists have done a phenomenal job historically in developing vaccines, medications, and determining root causes of illnesses and many diseases, however this one is no easy egg to crack. We know that since this Coronavirus is listed on bottles of Clorox Wipes and other cleaning agents that it is not a newly discovered virus, however it is one that we had to dust off from the history books because it was so rare or not prevalent in today’s time. The other day we learned that Tom Hanks was infected with the virus and things “got real”. We often look at celebrities as invincible for some reason so when they said that, it was time to pack up like the piano players in “The Color Purple”. And then everything is canceled. Can you believe NBA & NCAA games won’t have fans? Say what? Has Space Jam really come true where the players are ill and sports is canceled? Wow! Who would’ve thought the day would come where whole festivals, concerts, and Disneyland would be shut down. No gatherings of more than 50 people allowed. Whoa, this is real life.

Fear: The world seems afraid of this ever-powerful and rapidly spreading disease and for good reason. For one, the media is hyping it up so much giving breaking news updates by the hour and reporting hundreds of new cases daily that we have all gone to panic mode. I had the news on before I went to bed. Every time I woke up to change the baby or feed him in the middle of the night in my sleepy state, I would glance at the TV and it seemed to get worse each time I looked at it. I felt myself developing some strange anxiety and had to just turn on some cartoons to even get my focus away from it. This constant reminder will make you afraid to leave your home and lose your mind. For believers of a higher power, it is truly a test of your faith. As Christians, we are taught to cast your cares upon God, lean not to your own understanding, and to not be afraid for He is with you always. But, we also must not forget that "Faith without works is dead" (James 2:14-26), so we must use the tools that we have to survive in addition to praying. Also with social media feeds and the news reports, it seems like thousands of people currently have this virus at the SAME TIME. From the info they provided, those infected have to be in isolation or quarantine for approx. 14 days right? So after the 14 days, are they healed and no longer contagious? What’s the incubation period? It also seems like it takes somewhere between 5-14 days for the symptoms to even appear, which is most likely the reason this is spreading so quickly from country to country. They shared on the news the other day that China is one of the few countries that has the proper test kits and knows how to use them so are we even using them correctly? Could there be false positives at all? Now we know that the unfortunate deaths of those infected truly had the virus and I am in no way discrediting those reports but at the same time, we need up-to-date reports. We need “During February, this amount of folks were infected, these amt passed away but only this many still have the virus. And as of today, the amt infected has gone down to this amount”. Otherwise, we will remain in a panic, the stocks will continue to be a rollercoaster ride with our future, we will continue to run or side-eye anyone who even clears their throat around us, and store shelves will remain swept of necessities. Some people may think it’s the end of the world but we just have to keep pushing until the end, whenever it shall be.

Nurse perspective: I feel (my personal opinion) something could have been done to prevent the rapid spread of this disease. Now, instead of prevention, we are reactive to the situation. If we were able to contain EBOLA, which seemed like the grim reaper’s dream disease, this should’ve been acknowledged in a similar fashion and taken seriously. Now there’s a ban for visitors from Europe for 30 days. Will that be effective? You could contract tuberculosis and the flu the same way. If you’re limiting the event attendees, what about the stores too? Does it make sense for stores to only allow 50 people inside at once and have folks bring their own bags? That way you can ensure people are distanced how you desire and give employees the opportunity to keep up with the demand of restocking the shelves. And there’s possibly a vaccine in the works to initially be released next month. Who’s going to be the first person in line to receive it? I applaud their quick efforts but what will be the side effects? Will it be contraindicated with other meds? Will it temporarily suppress your immune system like the flu vaccine and have you experience “mini-Corona” symptoms? I’ll wait for the next round. Now folks with the masks. (sigh) If you’re going to wear them, PLEASE for the sanity of all the health professionals, wear them properly. They shouldn’t be worn like chin straps or lip covers. You breathe in the droplets therefore your nose needs to be covered as well. Once again, I applaud folks who wear masks if you are ill, as a preventative measure, or simply just want to avoid the temptation of touching your face with your hands. If you choose to wear the N95 masks, just FYI that they must FIT properly and most guys would need to cut or trim their facial hair for that. Shout out to all the medical and nursing professionals who still have to go into the trenches to care for patients as there are no work from home or remote opportunities. I thank God that I am on the more technical side of Nursing now so that I do have this opportunity to be remote. And my final note, what are the symptoms? Is it a dry cough, wet cough, productive cough? Must you have a fever or is that when it’s too late? And for sore throat, those of us who chronically suffer from acid reflux, this one is a toss up as there would be no way to distinguish whether you have coronavirus or need some Pepcid. If you do however have any of those symptoms, please don’t hesitate to at least give your doctor’s office a call. The least they could do is have you get tested to give you some relief or determine your treatment.

Parent perspective: Anybody else dodging folks that cough or sneeze like the Matrix? As a mom of little people including a new baby, call me hover mother cause I shall try my best to protect my babies. Are they going to close schools too? How do we prepare for that? With Miles, you might as well refer to him as Blanket because that’s exactly what you will see when you try to see him in public. He is covered up the majority of the time. Whenever I place the carseat in the store shopping cart, I try to wipe it down first. One day, I said forget a cart, I brought my own wagon to the store. It was quite handy as I placed his carseat in it as well as my grocery items. I did self-checkout as well. I dread even taking the kids to their doctor’s appts for checkups as they desire to touch the toys or items around the office. There’s no telling what type of germs we are exposed to in there.

Yo! Mama’s final thoughts: Everyone be careful out there. Wash your hands frequently (while singing Country Grammar chorus or birthday song twice) and try your best to avoid anyone who appears ill. It is extremely challenging and almost seems inevitable to be completely free from things in the air that are unseen. This too shall pass. Grab a couple of necessity items from the store just in case you have to be home for 2 weeks. Not saying to go buy 85 packs of toilet paper as I hear some people re doing and slanging dime bags of tissue and hand sanitizer on the corner. Things like water (Niagara I hope, wink), frozen foods, canned goods, ice, and basic things for your babies. Make sure your bills are paid so there’s no risk of your electricity, water, phone, or cable will go off during that time. Not sure how true this is but I’ve read that it helps to keep your throat moist. Not sure how effective that it but I do know for sure it is important to stay hydrated. Maybe take a multivitamin. Every little but helps. Pray for our elderly as this is hitting them harder than pneumonia as the virus attacks your lungs directly. Avoid lots of simple sugars. As soon as the kids come from school, I have them wash their hands. They’ve come home once and hopped right in the shower just to take those school germ clothes off. And last, I continue to pray the God be a shield of armor around us and protect us all from any virus, bacteria, or harmful agents that we may be around us. Heal the world and relieve our minds. Amen and take care!

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