As expected, we now have COVID-19 cases in the DFW area. What I said in my announcement last Sunday is still true: There is no need to panic, but we need to take proper precautions. With an outbreak of any illness there are things we can to do protect ourselves. I have compiled the following list of precautions from websites of the World Health Organization and the United States Center For Disease Control.
- Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Why?Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
- Maintain at least 3 feet distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
- Practice respiratory hygiene. Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately. Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
- If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early. Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health care provider. Why? Local health care providers will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent the spread of viruses and other infections.
- The CDC is recommending people with underlying conditions like diabetes, heart conditions, or respiratory issues, or who are over 60 to stock up on medications, household items and groceries to be able to stay at home for an extended time if it becomes necessary. Why? From studies done of over 70,000 cases it seems that people in these categories are at higher risk. They should avoid crowds, touching “high-touch” surfaces in public areas, and close contact with people who are sick.
Here are some facts to consider. The vast majority of people in affected areas do not get sick. Of those who get sick, around 97% recover. This is a concern for all of us but here is the most important fact: God is always in control and He will take care of us.