Letter: We must all do our part to fight pandemic
To the editor:
In this time of crisis, we all must do our part to help each other, for it is only along this path that our society will truly recover. The health and economic effects of which we are now aware will eventually disappear. Less tangible emotional and cultural wounds may never heal if they are inflicted on individuals or groups out of fear. What we do and ask to be done must apply to everyone evenhandedly, and it must be perceived to be so applied.
All of us must practice impeccable social distancing. The goal: to slow the rapidity of the spread of the disease. people are contagious even when they have no symptoms, even when they feel good.
The probability of being someone who feels good but is contagious increases dramatically when you come from an area where the disease has already taken hold. For every identified coronavirus victim in a "hotspot" of disease, six people are asymptomatic carriers who are contagious. This is why the disease spreads so fast. People who have it do not think they have it.
Those who come from a "hotspot" of disease to this community should do more than just social distancing. They should self-quarantine for 14 days. Stay home. Don't go to the post office. Don't go to your favorite grocery store or you may make the workers sick and the board of health will have to close the store. Those in self quarantine should ask a friend to shop for them, order take out or home delivery.
Anyone from this community who has gone to a hotspot and returned, should similarly self-quarantine for 14 days.
Anyone who is waiting for a coronavirus test result should self-quarantine until your doctor clears you.
Anyone who has had contact with a known or suspected coronavirus victim should self-quarantine for 14 days.
If there are no symptoms after two weeks of self-quarantine, you are probably safe to return to social distancing. Ask your doctor.
Anyone who is elderly or sick with chronic disease should self-quarantine. Ask a friend to shop for you, or call your town offices and they will help you.
If we all do our part, we stand to profit from this experience by increased mutual self-respect and trust, so that when the next disease comes, we will know we can count on one another.
Charles Kenny M.D.
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