The news is alarming! The steady rise in the statistics regarding COVID-19 produces in me much concern. Louisiana is not excluded from the list of states facing considerable deteriorating numbers. Locally, the number of cases is going up; however, the number of deaths is going down as is the number of COVID-19 related hospitalizations. Physicians attribute this spread to the fact that the virus is now community-based and infecting more younger people. It isn’t just a nursing home phenomenon. That’s what worries me.
As more and more Christwood residents go out into the community, there is greater exposure to the virus, some with asymptomatic carriers. Our staff who are out and about are encouraged, instructed, and trained to use safe ways of being outside work in order to stay safe. I can’t say they are all proficient at it; but they are screened and in close contact with their supervisors on a daily workday basis. Additionally, employees are now being tested on a regular basis. The general public is not. And just from a causal observation, many are disregarding the generally accepted protocols (should I say pleadings?) from the authorities to practice the THREE W’s. (Lest you forget: wash your hands, watch your distance, and wear your mask.)
As we continue to make decisions to stay safe, some interesting rules have been suggested:
1: Check where you’re going; be aware of your community; are cases rising or falling; what’s the infection rate? COVID Act Now and Johns Hopkins University along with Louisiana Department of Health are good sources of monitoring the rate and getting some metrics that can help in the decision-making. Calling ahead to establishments to find out their protocols risk levels, and not using those whose risk levels exceed your own.
2: Limit the number of close contacts (as noted above.) Practice safe visiting among those whom you trust. Form a “Corona Bubble.” This arrangement requires a high level of trust.
3: Manage your exposure budget. Risk is cumulative. You’ll have to make choices as to what’s important and how much risk capital you’re willing to expend. Plan your outings and reduce the exposure. Choose when, such as a mid-afternoon dining experience when there are fewer folks sitting outside.
4: Keep higher risk activities as short as possible. Brief exposure, such as passing someone on the sidewalk or in the hall is not likely to get you sick. Indoor exposure, even across the room for prolonged periods of time among those whom you don’t know may take you out of your risk comfort zone.
5: Remember the pandemic has not left us. It ain’t over yet. Be aware, self-caring, and make as smart of choices as you can. We give the virus its mobility and our actions make a real difference in controlling it.