A particularly destructive feature of COVID19 is that someone can have the disease and pass it around to others without feeling sick.
That is the reason that we are practicing social distancing — keeping 6 feet away from other people at all times so their cough/sneeze/breath can’t reach us and ours can’t reach them. That’s on the rare occasion that we go out among the people to buy groceries or go to the pharmacy or visit the doctor. Ninety-nine percent of the time we should be at home, sheltering in place, keeping away from all except people who live with us. The less contact, the less the disease will spread. (Some people who are crucial to our survival will still go to work but will be very careful to limit contact with others.) People who ignore the idea of social distancing and staying at home endanger themselves and others and cause more illness and death.
Schools have been closed along with restaurants, theaters, gyms — anywhere that many people get together. People should not meet in groups. Use social media, phone, mail, or conversations at a distance of six feet.
If someone is feeling sick, he should go home, self-quarantine and stay there and keeping other people who live in the home there also. Symptoms of COVID19 are similar to those of a cold or flu — fever, cough, shortness of breath, headache. Anyone who feels sick should contact his doctor for instructions and should always wear a mask when out in public.
A recent article in the Navajo Times reported how the virus may have started on the Navajo Nation and how it is spreading. A church group met near the small community of Chilchinbeto on Sunday, March 7; many people from many parts of the Nation attended because it was a special rally. One person who coughed as he spoke to the group was probably was contagious. Many of the attendees plus others also attended another prayer service nearby.
People started getting sick after a few days, and one attendee became ill and died before he could be tested. Later, in the Kayenta area near the church, 18 people tested positive, and Chilchinbeto was closed off and the people told to shelter in place. Unfortunately, people from other areas who had attended the rally had already returned to their homes, and more cases in more areas on the Nation began to pop up. The numbers are growing exponentially because each person with the disease infects three more people, on average, and those infect three more apiece, etc. As of March 23, 25 Navajo County people have tested positive. In three days, that could rise to 200.
On Monday, Donald Trump said several times that the cure (people staying home, not congregating, not working) shouldn’t be worse than the problem (the illness and the deaths) and he hinted that he might remove restrictions on people’s movements and get-togethers in a week, after a 15-day restrictive period. That is wildly against medical advice, and he isn’t even the one who imposed the restrictions. Mayors and governors and presidents of tribes did. They will decide if restrictions are lifted or not.
Next week: How did this all happen and why is it going so badly for the USA?