Everything that happened to China and Italy and now Spain and much of the rest of Europe is happening here too.
After we’re on the other side of the tsunami that is rushing over us, we can talk about how we got here and why, but right now, none of that is important. What IS critically important is what we do right now. Today – this hour!
Everyone knows about covering a cough, washing hands and to some extent, social distancing, but not everyone is taking social distancing seriously.
Whether they don’t believe the authorities are correct, think they are invincible or something else isn’t for me to say. What I am saying is one thing – this pandemic isn’t just coming, it’s here. There’s no discussion anymore about maybe. The only debate left now is how many will die.
Here’s the chart for Michigan. The very first case was less than 2 weeks ago. Beginning on the 17th, the cases began increasing rapidly every day, and on the 18th, the first death. Southeast Michigan hospitals are already out of ventilators for patients and masks for staff.
The Michigan governor ordered:
- Schools closed on March 13th
- Restaurants and bars to close to the public, open only for takeout on March 16, along with restrictions of public gatherings
- Shelter-in-place lockdown today, March 23rd
New York is ahead of Michigan in terms of infections and deaths, as are a few other states, but many are not. Don’t think it won’t arrive – it already has. Look here for the state by state cases.
There is no consistent survival directive for the entire US. Each state and sometimes each city or county is left to its own devices to decide what to do, and when.
However, you are in charge of you, and possibly of other people too – family members. Those you can’t control, you may be able to influence.
The most important thing you can do, and people’s lives depend on it is…
Right now, there is nothing more important. If everyone simply stayed home for the next 2 or 3 weeks while the cases currently developing worked their way through the system, we’d see a downturn in 3 weeks.
If we don’t, the cases will continue rise and the outcome will be catastrophic, like we’re seeing in Italy right now.
Remember, you’re contagious for as long as 2 weeks before you actually exhibit symptoms. You may have a mild case of the illness and not know it – meaning you’re contagious for a lot longer than 2 weeks.
You will be touching doors and other public places during that time, unaware that you are infecting others.
NOW YOU KNOW
Now that you know, you’re responsible for protecting yourself from becoming infected which means you’re also protecting others – your family, your neighbors, friends and the vulnerable population.
Everyone over 60 is considered vulnerable, but they aren’t the only ones. Many people have diseases or conditions you can’t see, like asthma or diabetes. If you risk being contaminated, you risk the health of everyone else too.
And you risk killing your own family members.
People Are Dying
In the past couple of days, this insidious virus has moved from the threatening to the deadly. I know people who have it. My friend’s nephew, a physician. Another friend’s neighbor died. This is just the beginning and there is still time to avoid the worst outcomes.
This virus is real, deadly and here.
The people who die and have already died will probably never know HOW they were exposed to the virus, because it was likely from someone else who didn’t know they were ill yet.
Illness and deaths today are reflective of what was happening 2-4 weeks ago – the day before that first case was reported in Michigan. All of these cases were percolating among the population at that time – deadly time bombs. We just didn’t know it.
Be a Hero
It’s never been easier to be a hero – because all you literally have to do is nothing. Sit on the couch.
Only go out when necessary, and then keep a distance of 6 feet. Practice pandemic hygiene.
We’ve limited our trips out to once a week, and only then if necessary. No, buying a newspaper or your child having a play-date is not necessary. Neither is buying a lottery ticket. Besides that, you’re much more likely to get exposed to Covid than win.
Yes, working one of the essential jobs is necessary.
You may also be able to do things to help out.
Urgent Need – Masks!!
Project N95 was begun just 72 hours ago as an entirely volunteer effort to coordinate the need and delivery of N95 (covid) masks and other personal protective gear for our medical professionals. Click here to see what’s needed and where.
An army of sewers and quilters have taken up the mantle to provide masks to individuals who need masks, but not necessarily the Covid-19 masks, freeing up those masks for those who really do need them.
If you would like to help with a donation of material, time, money or sewing masks, please coordinate to be sure that the masks are being accepted by a facility near you. Also, note that elastic does not survive an autoclave. I’ve been using bias tape for the ties or t-shirt material which is stretchy and doesn’t fray.
Some institutions only accept specific patterns, so don’t start sewing with great intentions only to have your masks be rejected or thrown away.
Here’s a FaceBook group, COVID Mask Crafters, that is coordinating request, supplies, sewing and distribution efforts.
JoAnn Fabric in many locations is coordinating both requests and masks through their local stores. Some are even providing free kits for people willing to make the masks.
EQuilter has provided this information:
Dear Sewing Community,
Passing on this message:
There is a critical shortage of face masks for health professionals and first-responders.
We have been asked to mobilize our community to do what we do best: sew.
We are calling on you all now to share the “Keep Calm and Sew a Mask” campaign on all of your social media platforms.
There is a tremendous need for masks that tie at the top and the bottom, as seen above.
A large hospital uses hundreds of thousands of masks a week — so we need to move as quickly as we can.
To start making an impact, get your materials ready and click the link below:
Also see these crucial details offered by our friend Rachel Wallis:
Many thanks to Andover Fabrics for sharing this today.
Providence Hospital is desperately asking for people who sew to join their “100 Million Masks” challenge.
Call your local hospital, EMTs, police and firefighters, doctors’ offices, senior living facilities, rehabilitation facilities or elder-care facilities. Masks are needed for so many people in our health care system, including janitorial staff.
Opportunities to Help
How else might you be able to help?
Restaurants are still open for takeout in most places. Not only do people need to eat, but supporting restaurants reduces the economic impact at least to some extent. Business like GrubHub and delivery services are functioning in most places as well as grocery shopping and shipping services.
Many restaurants have implemented a curbside pickup and no-contact delivery.
Many times restaurant staff and gig-workers have few or no benefits like sick time, paid vacation or insurance and often depend heavily on tips. Be as generous and patient as you can be.
Call your neighbors, especially anyone who is a little older, lives alone or who is vulnerable. Ask if they need assistance with shopping or picking up medications. They may not know how to order online delivery or be comfortable doing do. You can pick up their groceries when you pick up your own and drop them off on their doorstep.
They may also be lonely and frightened, isolated from their family as well, and a friendly voice may be quite welcome.
What else can you think of to do to help?
We are all in this together and we need to do what we can, individually.
I want to say a very special thank you to medical professionals – our doctors, nurses and first-responders along with all of the other people who make their jobs possible. People you don’t necessarily think about or see, but people who are at risk of contracting the virus by virtue of working in a hospital or medical setting. Everyone from receptionists to nurses aids to lab personnel to cooks in the hospital kitchens to cleaning staff.
Medical facilities simply cannot run without these people and we need them so desperately. They are risking their lives every single day right now to go to work and care for ill people.
Let’s all of us do our part by making sure we aren’t exposed, and exposing them, any more than possible – just stay home and practice your best couch potato, read a book, do some genealogy or sew a mask.
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