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Why Staying at Home Makes a Difference

Now that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is upon us, stay-at-home orders are being enforced across the nation. We are all faced with decisions that will not only impact ourselves, but others around us.

In a recent podcast for the American Diabetes Association, entitled Diabetes Core Update – COVID-19 Update: March 2020, John J. Russell, MD, chair, Department of Family Medicine and director, Family Medicine Residency Program, Abington – Jefferson Health, explains the importance of staying home.

“One of the terms they use in public health is the ‘R naught.’ It’s how many people are you going to infect,” Dr. Russell explains. “It is not clear what the ‘R naught’ is for COVID-19, but it certainly seems to be higher than originally thought, and we have found that some patients here and abroad are super spreaders.”

Some believe that they will not get sick from COVID-19, and they may be right. However, that does not mean they will not carry COVID-19 and expose many who may get more severe symptoms.

These are the people you are protecting by staying home and out of the public during the COVID-19 crisis.

Frontline Heroes

Our local frontline heroes, such as healthcare workers and first responders, are doing everything in their power to keep patients, staff and the local communities safe and healthy.

Essential Personnel

Those who have been labeled as essential personnel are still in the office and living their typical work-day lives. These people may not have the luxury of working from home, but are doing what they can to keep themselves healthy during this difficult time.

High Risk Individuals

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists the following individuals as high risk for COVID-19:

  • People over the age of 65
  • People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
  • People with:
    • Chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma

    • Serious heart conditions

    • Immunocompromised, including those undergoing cancer treatments

    • Severe obesity

    • Certain underlying medical conditions like diabetes, renal failure or liver disease

It is important that these individuals stay at home and away from the public to keep themselves safe. If you live with someone with one of these conditions, please take the necessary precautions.

Friends and Families

Think about your friends and family members during this time. Some of them may be of higher risk for COVID-19, while others could potentially be carriers. It is important to consider all precautions with all parties involved.

Yourself

By staying at home during this period of isolation, you are not only protecting others, you are protecting yourself. This way, you are not exposed to others who may be carriers outside of the home.

When you observe the stay-at-home order, you decrease the chance of spreading the disease. This is something that none of us have ever experienced before. Therefore, follow the guidance of government officials and healthcare workers to help flatten the curve.

“A lot of the worry for some is, if it is not going to affect me, then why do you have to take away some of my liberties?” says Dr. Russell. “Certainly in other countries’ experiences there have been super spreaders, spreading this to many people. So, I think that sheltering in place right now is probably the most important thing we can do.”

The next time you think about walking out your door when you have been told to stay home, think about how many lives you could impact. Your decision can make a difference.

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