On the Trail of a Pandemic

Some Useful Information

Have you heard from friends or family that they don’t believe in the steps to help prevent the Covid-19 pandemic from spreading because the doctors and scientists keep telling us different things from the beginning? You know, like mask wearing and social distancing?

I know, right? It’s frustrating. It’s frustrating for us. It’s frustrating for the scientists. It’s frustrating for the media. But there’s a reason why things keep changing.

It’s because this virus is a new to the medical world. It swept over the planet in a tsunami, and people are getting sick in ways the scientific community can’t pinpoint yet. The nomenclature doesn’t help, coronavirus. That’s because most people think that’s just the common cold. This virus is different. It behaves differently, for one thing. That’s a problem that the scientists didn’t even know until millions of people got the disease and the scientists could study how it acted. How do I know? It’s because I ran across this article out of the University of California, San Francisco, written by a researcher. https://www.ucsf.edu/magazine/covid-body

It’s a long read but not terribly technical. She explains all the things they had to do, and are still doing, to get this pandemic under control. I’ll let you all read the article for yourselves. It makes a lot of sense, it explains why medical people keep changing their opinions on what to do about the disease, and it’s actually refreshing to see something in print that helps clarify the issue instead of muddying the waters of opinion.

Scientific method, they way scientists and doctors figure out how things work, takes time. Just because this virus is in a certain family of viruses, doesn’t mean the experts know what this thing is going to do. At the beginning, it was all guess work. Now, they know more. They know more about how it infects the cells. They know more about how it’s transmitted. They know more about the symptoms that present in people. They know more about how, as a virus, it could stay in a person’s system and wreak havoc for weeks, or even decades, or even cause permanent organ damage.

I’m not a doctor, a nurse, or even an EMT. As journalist Kayla Chadwick said, “I don’t know how to explain to you that you should care about other people.” https://www.huffpost.com/entry/i-dont-know-how-to-explain-to-you-that-you-should_b_59519811e4b0f078efd98440 I only know that I will continue to wash my hands, social distance, and out in public, wear my mask. These are easy things to do to protect others since no one knows, without daily testing, whether they have the virus or not.

Stay well. Stay safe. Wear a mask.

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