On Tuesday, March 3, I participated in a Webinar for congregational leaders on coronavirus (COVID-19), led by three M.D.s, including a pediatrician. The most important message I got from this Webinar is to take coronavirus seriously, but there’s no need for panic. In fact, the precautions you should be taking are the same public health precautions you should be taking anyway. You already know that during flu season, adults and children should wash their hands frequently. You already know that if your child has a fever, you should keep them home from school or church so they don’t spread their illness to others. These common-sense precautions, which you are already taking, are the best precautions for preventing the spread of coronavirus.
If someone in your family does become ill, said the doctors on this Webinar, it’s pretty much the same thing you’d do if someone gets the flu — stay home, get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids, and stay away from elderly or immunocompromised people (it’s worth knowing that coronavirus is different from the flu in that it is prompting more severe infections in elderly and immunocompromised people, and less severe infections in children). Symptoms to watch out for include lots of fever, deep lung cough, and/or difficulty breathing — of course, this is true for flu as well — and as always, if you see any of those symptoms, you should contact your doctor.
All of this is simple common sense. The doctors’ recommendations for congregations were also common sense, and staff and volunteers will be following those recommendations. One last piece of sound advice from the doctors on this Webinar: Don’t believe what you read on social media; the best source for accurate information about coronavirus in our area is the Santa Clara County Public Health Web site — https://www.sccgov.org/sites/phd/Pages/phd.aspx
Stay healthy, and I look forward to seeing you soon!