Here is my Nurse's view of the Coronavirus.
I have received a few messages asking what my thoughts on the coronavirus are. How worried should we be? So, here are my thoughts - for a healthy level of concern.
CDC is responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and which has now been detected in 37 locations internationally, including cases in the United States. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”). I share this so you don't get it confused with other reports of coronavirus.
Person-to-person spread of COVID-19 also has been seen among close contacts of returned travelers from Wuhan, but at this time, this virus is NOT currently spreading in the community in the United States. This could change, it could change quickly - which is why health care leaders and government officials are moving into action. We have been through similar things before. The complete clinical picture with regard to COVID-19 is not fully understood. Reported illnesses have ranged from mild to severe - it seems to be hitting adults harder than children.
For the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low. Unfortunately, in my opinion, the media creates fear around these threats that bring an unhealthy amount of panic over things that we have little to no control over. This causes an unnecessary stress, and that is not good for anyone. I would go as far as saying that these scare tactics may help ratings and the upcoming vaccination promo - but do more harm than good when it comes to health.
So, let me bring some reassurance - not that you won't ever get sick. But that you only can do what you can do to take the best care of yourself and your loved ones.
The coronavirus is a respiratory infection that spreads by droplets - exactly like the flu. So do all the things to be proactive every day - you are probably already doing them!. Here is what we can do, that will actually help - but not just right now, all year - whether we are aware of the name of a threat or not
Get the facts, but when the media begins to build up hype around anything. When you being to feel the fear - turn off the TV, get off google - celebrate how smart you are for not having to be full of fear because you are already doing the things, you are proactive! right? If you are not fist pumping right now and declaring "THAT"S RIGHT" - then we need to talk!
Here are the things you should already be doing:
SO, bottom line - don't panic, there are simple things that you can do - all day, all year - to prevent illness, We can't do anything about the more global situation, so leave that to the Health Organizations - that is their job. You already know where you can find them if you feel you need to check in and see how it's going. You don't need a fancy emergency preparedness plan. You can still move about, enjoy time with friends and family... with really, the same level of concern you should have every day.
Rest and Manage Stress
If you get sick, stay home.
Let me know your take aways! Drop a comment - questions? comments? I would love to hear from you!
I hear this said every day at work by Anesthesia providers as they explain what their role is in making this experience more tolerable. Years ago, i discovered essential oils - which brought new meaning to organic chemistry.
Did you know a group of essential oils classified as esters may be a solution - research has found it to be so- to one of the top 3 health concerns mentioned in every one of my classes, and polls I’ve taken among my fellow nurses. .
Stress, in itself, is not a bad thing. Unmanaged stress is a problem. Nurses (people in general really) are experiencing an unhealthy constant level of unmanaged stress.
There are many safe, natural stress management tools - that don't require advanced skill or a large budget. There are very common tools that are popular today - that have somehow gained value in our culture, despite their cost to long term health as well as the hit financially that adds up over time. Just one, and maybe one of my favorites - essential oils. Better living through chemistry.
One class of chemical compound, Esters are not just important for beer flavor - Essential oils high in esters are antispasmodic, often sedative and some are analgesic
Common esters found in essential oils are methyl salicylate, linalyl acetate. These are found in lavender, clary sage, Roman chamomile, bergamot, helichrysum, and for methyl salicylate-we have wintergreen and birch.
Essential oils are amazing tools for managing stress.
My favorite "reset" stress management tool - combining Frankincense with Wild Orange for the uplifting qualities with one of my favorite Esters - Lavender. One drop of each in a personal inhaler, applied to aromatherapy jewelry or even just in the palm of my hand - rubbed together, applied to the back of my neck or chest... breathe it in.