Social Distancing

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A majority of events are canceled well into the summer, including track days, because of the corona virus pandemic. I understand why, and it’s to slow the infection rate of the virus.

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The corona virus doesn’t show symptoms up to two weeks after being infected. The person might not even have symptoms but still pass it on to other people. The virus spreads though infected droplets of the person. A droplet can travel as far as 7 feet. If a person coughs or even speaks directly to you, then you have chance of getting the virus yourself.

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Another way is though indirect contact. The infected droplet can land on an inanimate object and survive for hours or days. A person can touch that object, then touch their eyes, nose, or mouth afterwards. That person can get infected.

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The last way is when the virus gets arosolized. Meaning the virus can become airborne. That happens in large groups of people in close quarters talking or shouting. The droplets are bigger when a person shouts. The bigger droplets tend to evaporate in the air, and makes the droplet lighter. That means the virus suspended in the air longer. Or in the hospital setting when a patient is on nebulizer treatment or on a bipap machine. The the forceful air evaporates the droplets and makes it airborne.

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The general public can reduce the chances of infection and slow the spread. A face mask wont protect a person from inflating the virus but instead contains droplets when a person talks or coughs. This help reduce the infection because a person can be asymptotic and the mask will help contain the infected droplets. Always wash or get a new mask when the mask feels wet. Good hand hygiene and avoid touching the face is another good practice to do. You can get the virus from an intimate object and not know about it. The skin is a proactive barrier from the virus but once you touch your eyes, mouth or nose the virus can enter though the mucus membrane and infect you. Make sure to wash hands before touch your face and wipe down areas to kill the virus.

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What about if the virus is airborne? The virus isn’t airborne by nature, people make it airborne. Only happens in large gatherings in inclosed spaces. That’s why a lot of events, stores and shops are closed. In the hospital setting, the medical professionals are wearing the proper PPE and patients placed in negative pressure rooms to prevent spread aerosolizing the virus and containing other rooms or workers. You can go out and exercise, like in a park, and not get infected because very few people are close to each other and it is an open space.

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If you do get infected, their isn’t a cure or vaccine. You hear about deaths on the news. Kinda scary. If a person immune system is weaker, the virus can overwhelm the body. Virus are not bacteria, so antibiotics wont work to kill the virus. Antibiotics might be given because the virus can cause a 2nd infection, which is a bacterial infection. The only way currently to defeat the virus is you body’s own immune system. In a healthy immune system the body will recognize the virus and starts to produce antibodies. The antibodies will then attack the virus and kill it. Thus, the person will recover and systems will go away. Just takes time, and could be days or weeks before a person feels better. If a person symptoms become worse, then its best to be evaluated at the hospital for additional support. Be it extra oxygen or fluids or additional labs.

 

I think, if the person is generally healthy with no medical issues, the greater chance of recovering without hospital admission. I work in the ER, and yeah, I’m worried. I might get infected and pass it on to other people. I learn from what I read, hear and see from other medical professionals. I do my best to keep good hygiene and wear a mask. Practice social distancing. This isn’t our first pandemic and history has shown that. With modern medicine, I’m sure we’ll be able to ride this one out.

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