Photo Source: US Department of State
The Coronavirus pandemic is spreading further each day. It is easy to dismiss and treat it as if it is only some news headline that occurs only outside of Iowa, but we Iowans need to wake up.
The Iowa department of Public Health has reported 14 confirmed cases of COVID-19, or “Coronavirus” in Iowa.
As of March 12, 126 people are being monitored because of potential to contract the virus.
105 people have been tested. Out of these tests, 14 have been tested positive, 67 have been tested negative, and 24 are pending.
Where is this happening?
Johnson County has the most cases – 13, whereas Pottawattamie County has 1. Johnson County is where Iowa City is located – about 40 minutes to an hour’s drive from Davenport. Pottawattamie is about 4 hours away, making it less of a threat.
What does this mean?
What we should be concerned about is Iowa City. 13 confirmed cases is a weighty number, and if the virus continues to spread it will continue to go up. In fact, the University of Iowa has shut down its in-person classes to stop further potential cases.
If any cases begin to crop up in Davenport, likely our district will shut down as well.
What should we do?
According to Harvard’s Coronavirus Resource Center, the steps we should all take to minimize our chances of contracting the virus are as follows:
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Stay home when you are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
Wash your hands often with soap or water.
Most of us who are reading this article are young people, so we have less chances of contracting symptoms of the virus as well as dying from it.
However, we will not be young forever, and we do not know how long the virus lasts within our bodies. We don’t have a perfect antidote to the virus either.
Even though we ourselves may not die from the virus, we can still carry and spread it, and we should do what we can to prevent our loved ones who are more vulnerable from contracting it. What can we do to protect them? Keep our immune systems strong so that we can help our immune systems to remain strong and healthy in hopes of fighting the virus off.
How do we do this?
Also according to Harvard:
Eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Take a multivitamin if you suspect that you may not be getting all the nutrients you need through your diet.
Maintain a healthy weight.
Control your stress level.
Control your blood pressure.
If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation (no more than one to two drinks a day for men, no more than one a day for women).
Get enough sleep.
Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently and trying not to touch your hands to your face, since harmful germs can enter through your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Try to get a flu shot as well, if you don’t have one.
For more extensive information, Harvard has published a detailed article over what we can do to protect ourselves and our loved ones from the dreaded Coronavirus here.