Art by Hannah Lyden
You may have heard there’s a virus going around. The good news? There are simple measures you can take to protect yourself and decrease your odds of catching & spreading COVID-19, aka coronavirus. The bad news? The Trump admin still refuses to believe in scientific facts. So this week we’re talking about what you can do to stay informed, keep yourself healthy, and resist Trump’s latest assault on public health.
While we're on the topic, we'll be in touch soon on the status of next week's Broad Social. Please stay tuned and thank you to those who have already bought their tickets!
The facts. COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered virus from the coronavirus family. The most common symptoms—which are usually mild and begin gradually—are fever, a dry cough, and shortness of breath (think a bad cold or flu). The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, through contact with respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes, rather than through the air. Illness due to COVID-19 infection is generally mild, especially for children and young adults. ~80% of people recover without needing any special treatment.
The fiction. Trump seems to believe he’s a medical expert but continues to spread false information and minimize the threat of the outbreak. He’s falsely claimed a vaccine will be available in mere months, suggested sick people should still go to work, blamed a fake Obama-era rule prohibiting tests for coronavirus, and even credited the disease with boosting job numbers. This all comes as the Affordable Care Act is headed back to SCOTUS. While Trump continues to wage his war on Medicaid, prevent undocumented residents from seeking medical treatment, destroy the ACA, and raise the cost of Medicare, it’s no surprise who’ll be hit hardest by this outbreak: low-income families, immigrants, people with preexisting conditions, and seniors.
We should take the outbreak very seriously—but now is not the time to panic. How can you channel your energy?
-- Wash your hands regularly with soap + water for 20 secs (yes, it’s long, but do it) or use an alcohol-based hand rub. Avoid touching eyes, nose, & mouth. Stay 6 feet away from people who are sick or are sneezing or coughing. And stay home if you feel unwell!
-- Talk to your HR department to see what their plans are to adapt to the virus.
-- Follow RELIABLE sources for updates, such as the NYC Health, World Health Organization, and Centers for Disease Control.
-- Support small businesses. While guidance continues to change day by day, as of now, if you are healthy, support small businesslike—like Asian restaurants—that have suffered from a racist & xenophobic backlash.