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Curbing COVID-19

IF SYMPTOMS PERSIST

By DR. JOSE PUJALTE JR.

“But what does it mean, the plague? It’s life, that’s all”

Albert Camus (1913-1960), French-Algerian writer, in La Peste(The Plague), 1947

Dr. Jose Pujalte Jr.

Dr. Jose Pujalte Jr.

Watching “Conion” a 2011 Steven Soderbergh movie was eerily prescient. The fictional virus was somewhat like COVID-19 in that it was novel (or a new type), it was zoonotic (transmitted from animals to humans initially), and it spread exponentially – with lethal exits.

Avoiding Covid-19. We are in the midst of an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to prevent the virus from spreading even more. Even rich nations admit their lack of medical workers, supplies, and hospital beds should the pandemic peak and therefore rely on their citizens’ participation in mitigation. In our setting, the Department of Health (DOH), also emphasizes prevention as a key strategy to keep infected numbers down.

Prevention Tips. The DOH has flooded print and social media with information on Covid-19. Here are some of them: Paano Makaiwas sa COVID-19 (Preventing COVID-19)

  • * Takpan ang bibig at ilong tuwing babahing o uubo (Cover the mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing).
  • * Iwasang hawakan ang bibig, mata, at ilong (Avoid touching the mouth, eyes, and nose).
  • * Maligo pag-uwi ng bahay (Bathe upon getting home).
  • * Maghugas ng kamay nang madalas gamit ang tubig at sabon sa loob ng 20 segundo (Wash hands often using soap and water for 20 seconds).
  • * Matulog nang sapat, hanggat maari 7-8 oras (sleep adequately up to 7 – 8 hours).

Physical Distancing. Another way to prevent viral spread is actual physical separation of people. It is called “social distancing” – but this gives the feeling of being cold and uncaring in a time when we would want community support (!). “Physical” distancing sounds much better and that, between two persons, is one meter (or about three feet). DOH also suggests that people avoid:

Umiwas sa Mga Sumusunod

  • * Mga masisikip nalugar at di mahahalagang pagtitipon (avoid confined spaces and non-essential gatherings).
  • Mga karaniwang pagbati, tulad ng pakikipag-kamay, paghalik, at pakikipag-yakap (avoid shaking hands, kissing, and embracing).
  • * Pakikipag-ugnayan sa mga taong mas delikadong mahawaan ng virus tulad ng mga matanda at may mga mahinang resistensya (avoid interacting with persons that can easily be infected by the virus such as the elderly and those with poor resistance).

There are straight-forward reminders too:

  • * Maliban kung may ganap na pangangailangan, huwag umalis nang bahay (Unless it is an emergency, do not leave home.)
  • * Mag-iwan ng alcohol o sanitizer malapit sa pintuan at linisin muna ang mga kamay bago pumasok sa bahay (Place alcohol or sanitizer near front door and use before entering).
  • * Kung may sakit, magsuot nang face mask (Wear a face mask if sick).

Now catching the virus and getting sick is another matter. Sometimes, no matter how many precautions we take, and because of many factors combined, COVID-19 latches on. As the infection worsens, patients begin to feel perhaps what Camus did (although metaphorically) when the French-Algerian War started in 1954. He confided that the troubles in Algeria “affected him as others feel pain in their lungs.”

My thanks to DOH Usec. Gerardo V. Bayugo, MD, MPH, CESO III, and Dr. Emmanuel A. Tiongson of the Field Implementation and Coordination Team (FICT) for the COVID-19 information material.

E-mail jspujalte@yahoo.com





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