Coronavirus Blog: Ensuring You and Your Family Stay Safe
Read our special coronavirus coverage to stay in the know and to make sure you and your family stay healthy during this worrisome outbreak.
COVID-19 needs no formal introduction anymore. Caused by a new strain of viruses, now classified by scientists as SARS-CoV-2, this invisible enemy has been transforming our individual and collective lives at an unprecedented pace and to previously unknown extents. In the span of just a few months, it has jumped multiple borders, infected millions, and put about a third of the global population on lockdown. As the virus continues to take its deathly toll, more and more members of our community become affected by its medical, financial, and even psychological impact.
As of April 24, there were 2,524 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our state. Sadly, as of that date, 84 have died. At this trying time, our Ron Bell Injury Lawyers® legal team would like to convey our support and solidarity to all our readers, members of our Albuquerque community, and the residents of all New Mexico. Our heart goes to all those who are particularly affected by this outbreak–either due to the loss of a loved one to the virus or because of the economic hardship and uncertainty the pandemic has brought.
During a crisis like this, we can all draw strength from the spirit of community and solidarity. Each of us plays an important role in the immense effort to contain the spread of the virus and prevent it from overwhelming our healthcare system. Some, like the medical staff, are on the front lines of this fight; others, like grocery store employees, delivery workers, or bus drivers, may also be at a higher COVID-19 risk due to the essential services they perform for the sake of other citizens. And all of us are making personal sacrifices to social distance and not to expose ourselves and others to unnecessary risks.
As a part of this effort, Ron Bell Injury Lawyers® is dedicating a series of blog articles exclusively to topics related to our fight against the coronavirus pandemic. We will provide practical tips to help our readers stay safe. We will also take a look at important legal consequences and ramifications that the outbreak may bring. This week, we present helpful information to keep your health and the health of your family members protected and secure.
Know Your Enemy
As an old adage states, we fear most what we don’t know. Conversely, obtaining trustworthy information about the novel coronavirus, the conditions it causes, and the strategies to stay safe will help you stay healthy and, at the same time, will help you reduce your anxiety.
Thankfully, as a result of the tireless efforts of epidemiologists and scientists from other fields, we already know much about COVID-19, and this information can save lives. Here are some of the most important facts you should know about the virus:
- The coronavirus outbreak is to be taken very seriously. While similar to the common flu in some respects, novel coronavirus is much more dangerous. For one, it spreads more rapidly and has a higher mortality rate. What’s more, there is no vaccine available so far, and scientists are not sure yet if the immunity developed by recovered patients can protect them from getting the virus again.
- The common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, or diarrhea.
- The virus can spread from person to person through the air. When a person coughs, sneezes, or even talks, microscopic droplets of their saliva or mucus are dispersed in the air. These droplets contain viral cells that can be inhaled by another person. That’s why, as advised by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), using cloth face coverings may help slow the spread of the virus. In addition, you should make sure to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others when in public places.
- Because the virus can spread through asymptomatic transmission, you can get infected even if the other person doesn’t have any symptoms of the virus. This is another reason why covering your face and making sure to maintain physical distance from others is so important to help contain the spread of the virus.
A pandemic is an inherently volatile circumstance. In the past weeks, we have already witnessed that the situation can evolve rapidly and change dramatically within the span of a few days. Therefore, as the coronavirus outbreak continues, the single most effective thing you and your family can do to stay safe and reduce your anxiety is to stay well-informed. This will help you follow the latest guidelines from state and federal authorities and take responsible actions that are in keeping with the current scale of the pandemic in your neighborhood, city, and state as a whole.
On the other hand, it is important to remember that the quality of the news you digest is more important than its quantity. In fact, research suggests that too much media exposure may have negative effects on your well-being. There has been a surge of fake news related to coronavirus, so the bigger your media intake, the bigger the risk that you will encounter–and act on–false information. Therefore, limit your exposure to coronavirus news to the essential amount only, and use trustworthy sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention dedicated website.
Follow Current Social Distancing Norms
Without a doubt, following social distancing guidelines have been difficult for us all. The resulting feelings of isolation may bring on further stress and be emotionally overwhelming. However, while the medicine is harsh, the patient does require it. Social distancing helps to slow the spread of the virus and keep from overwhelming our health care system. It also protects the most vulnerable members of our society–the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions–from contracting and succumbing to the virus.
As of mid-April, each state is making its own decision with regards to social distancing restrictions based on current circumstances and the number of active cases. It is important to check these guidelines regularly and follow them closely. When it comes to New Mexico, the guidelines may be found on the state’s Department of Health website.
It is our heartfelt wish that all members of our community and in the state and country at large stay safe, physically healthy, and mentally strong during these difficult times. Tune in to our blog in the weeks to come for the second installment of our coronavirus coverage where we will analyze how the outbreak of the pandemic may affect personal injury claims related to dog bites in our city.