Are you asymptomatic and infecting others?

Does She have Covid or Not? Going to a Party!

Typhoid Mary.

     Some of you may not be old enough to have heard about Typhoid Mary. But her story is relevant today. For those who don’t know the story, here is the Wikipedia entry. Her name was Mary Mallon (September 23, 1869–November 11, 1938), She was an Irish-born cook believed to have infected 53 people, three of whom died, with typhoid fever. She was also the first person in the United States identified as an asymptomatic carrier of the disease. An asymptomatic carrier of a disease is one who carries the disease but doesn’t know they have it. So I ask the question.

Are you A Carrier?

     If you are asymptomatic, you could be a carrier and you won’t know until it is too late. The facts are that for several days before you become symptomatic you can infect everyone you come in contact with- friends, family neighbors, and even people you don’t know. At a local University, six athletes and a trainer tested positive for Covid this week. We don’t yet know how many people they have been in contact with while they had the virus and were asymptomatic.

This is why testing and contact tracking are so important to reducing the multiplicative spread of this disease. These are also two of the things our government should have been doing from day 1.  However, the current increase in hospitalizations and deaths are more because we as individuals weren’t being responsible than what our government hasn’t done.

Do we know what we as citizens should do?

     Dr. Fauci has been very clear as to the steps we need to take to halt the spread of the virus. Dr. Fauci told a Senate committee that the U.S. could see 100,000 fresh cases of COVID-19 daily if behaviors don’t change. But we don’t seem to listen. We go into stores without masks; we congregate in sizeable groups and seem surprised when everyone we went with has tested positive. Are we being misled because the number of daily deaths has been going down? I don’t think that will continue. As we admit more and more into the hospitals and ICU daily, we are likely to see the number of deaths rise again.

What is our resistance to doing, what will work to slow the virus?

     I understand that when we were under stay-at-home orders for so long;  we wanted to get out and see our friends and party. There were two ways we could have done that. We could go out and follow the safety guidelines or we could go out and ignore them. 

The younger you are, the stronger that feeling to ignore the safety guidelines apparently was. They either didn’t care or felt that because the first major age group affected was mostly over 40, they were immune. We saw massive gatherings, packed bars, and packed beaches as soon as they relaxed the stay at home orders. Now we are seeing the effect of these mass gatherings. Infections and hospital admissions are rising at an alarming rate. Now the primary age group affected is 29 to 40. 

We now have to turn this trend around, apparently without the leadership of our federal government. The spread of COVID will not stop until each individual takes action.

5 things to do now to help stop the spread of COVID?

     Here’s what we need to do to slow the spread down. There is no magic. There is nothing new here. It is common sense. But everyone needs to take part. It is your individual responsibility. The spread will not stop unless we are careful.

     1. Don’t go out any more than you have to. If you don’t expose yourself to people who may have COVID,  then you are less likely to get it. Remember, not everyone who has COVID knows they have it.

     2. Don’t go where there are large crowds. The risk of catching COVID goes up exponentially the more people you cram into a closed space. Large family gatherings for the 4th of July parties this year are not an excellent idea. Wait until next year. Waiting a year won’t kill you, but COVID might. A family of 38 gathered over Labor Day, several got COVID, and the 90-year-old patriarch died from it.

         3. If you go out, wear a mask. This is not only for your safety, it is for the safety of everyone around you. It won’t hurt you to wear the mask while you are in a store around people you don’t know. Perhaps you have the right not to wear one. But you do not want to infect someone else. In what sounds like a fun college research project but is actually a matter of critical national importance, Goldman Sachs tried putting a number on the effect of face masks on the U.S. economy.

The results: A national policy requiring face coverings could prevent a 5% hit to national GDP, the bank’s chief economist wrote. How?

         Mask mandate → more people wearing masks, → fewer cases of COVID-19 → no need to close businesses again.

  •                                     Goldman said mask-wearing could partially substitute for those closures, which it projects would knock 5% from GDP.

     4. Stay as far away from those around you as you can, especially if they are not wearing masks. Space is your friend. You even need space outdoors.

     5. Wash your hands several times a day. When you go out, make it a habit upon your return to wash your hands.

Dealing with it is the operative word.
I found myself at seven years not battling it.
Not struggling with it.
Not suffering from it.
Not breaking under the burden of it,
but dealing with it.

Michael J Fox