As most of you are aware, the Pandemic-causing virus COVID-19 has reached Manitoba. You may also be aware that this virus has the potential to cause serious illness in many, many people in a very short period of time. If this happens, we might not have enough resources ( such as hospital beds, ventilators, medications, IVs, nurses and doctors) for all of the people who are sick. This is a scenario that no one in Manitoba wants to see.
This is why public health officials are asking us to help “flatten the curve”.
“Flattening the curve” means that we are trying to slow the spread of the virus so that not everyone gets sick at the same time. If we can prevent the spread of the infection, then we can give those people who do get sick the best health care experience possible.
So far, we know that the virus is spread easily from person to person. When an infected person coughs, they form tiny, microscopic droplets of water and mucous that contain the virus. These are also formed when an infected person talks, whistles or sneezes, albeit it lesser quantity that with coughing.
If an uninfected person is in close contact (within 6 feet/2 meters) of the coughing person, the droplets can land on them. If the droplets land on that persons eyes, nose or mouth, or if they are breathed in, then that person can become infected by the virus.
If the infected respiratory droplets land on a hard surface, such as a table, shopping cart handle, cell phone, etcetera, they are thought to be able to remain on that surface for up to one week without losing their ability to cause infection in another person. As such, if another person touches the infected surface, and then touches their eyes, nose or mouth, then they can become infected with the virus.
That’s how easily these viruses can spread.
This is what you can do to help flatten the curve:
- Cover your cough
- cough into the crook of your elbow or into a tissue
- Wash your hands frequently
- Use soap and warm water and lather for at least 20 seconds
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- When in public, try to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet (2 meters) from the people around you (aka “Social Distancing”)
- Avoid non-essential trips to places frequented by other people, such as malls, grocery stores, etc…
- Avoid large gatherings in your home or office
- Work from home if you are able
We at The Minor Illness & Injury Clinic wish all of you good health during this challenging time.