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Apr-21-2020 13:28printcomments

COVID-19 - Facts or Fears? Solutions or Shutdowns?

A successful infectious disease protocol is called "common sense thinking."

medical nurse COVID
Photo by Jonathan Borba, Pexels

(MYRTLE BEACH, SC) - In 1991 I graduated from a nursing school as president of my class. Somerset Medical Center in Bridgewater, NJ hired me and I was mentored by brilliant nurses the hospital had recruited from the Philippines.

I worked the infectious disease floor and was exposed to everything you could imagine including AIDS patients. Every room we entered to treat the patients we loved had a protocol because of risk of transmittal of infections. It was gown up, glove up, mask up, shoe coverings when we entered the patient's room.

When we left the room, gowns, gloves, masks and shoe coverings were disposed of in a large cart with a lid on it. We entered the utility room and scrubbed our hands and up our arms.

Next room -- same drill -- gown, gloves, masks and shoe coverings.

Many interactions with patients and families stayed with me in my working with patients and one recently resonated with me because of the coronavirus. This did not take place on the infectious disease floor. In fact, it was on a medical floor where families visited loved ones and even small children were allowed in patient's rooms.

I walked in a patient's room and a woman was laying in bed surrounded by her family. On the floor sat a small child eating Cheerios sprinkled on the floor in front of her. I gasped and called out "no don't let her do that." The mother of the child was sitting in a bedside chair and quizzically asked me "Isn't the floor sterile?"

At the time, I could not believe that anyone could think something as ridiculous as that. Little did I know what was going to prove to be a runaway train in 2020 causing panic and more questions than answers.

When I see people in stores wearing the same mask that they have worn for God knows how long as well as gloves, I shudder. They are touching the same merchandise I am touching and contaminating it with the gloves they have been wearing throughout the store "protecting" them.

Is COVID-19 airborne or is it contact, or is it both? The next time you shop in your local supermarket garbed in your "protective gear" and choose to belittle or call out an employee for not wearing gloves and a mask remind yourself that they have left the safety of physical isolation to stock shelves and keep you and your family fed. They may also be educated in infectious disease protocol called "common sense thinking."

"Physical" distancing and limiting contact with others makes sense until this virus gives us some credible information and treatment. In the meantime, has fear taken over common sense? Now we are dealing with a virus that is taking over our country in lives and livelihoods and rationale and answers are badly skewed.

Want to ponder something about the COVID-19 pandemic? How's this? Physicians, medical examiners and morticians are taking this world crisis seriously. So seriously that they are using every precaution not to contract this deadly virus.

My question is -- who is calling the shots as far as how people are dying -- accurately? Are patients diagnosed with COVID-19 having death certificates written up as the virus the cause of their demise, or is it an underlying long-term illness or disease responsible for the death?

Medical examiners are certainly not conducting autopsies -- no one wants contact with the deceased victims of COVID-19 including funeral directors. Smell what I'm stepping in?

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