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April 20 COVID-19 Update

As our understanding of the new coronavirus grows, the recommendations for how to behave and what to do are shifting a bit. The most important recommendations are still the same:

– Maximal social distancing

– Wear a mask in public

– Cough and sneeze into your sleeve even if you are wearing a mask

– Wash your hands frequently

– Don’t touch your face

We are still in the upslope of the curve for COVID-19 cases. Our area has not flattened the curve yet. Here is a graph from some data that I have been tracking from Johns Hopkins and the Fairfax County Health Department:

However, as we have learned about the viability of the virus, there are new recommendations emerging about how to handle other situations. Many people are fearful about tracking the virus into their homes on their clothes, their shoes, the mail and even the newspaper. For most of us who are practicing social distancing and making only occasional trips to the grocery store or pharmacy, experts agree that it’s not necessary to change clothes or take a shower when you return home. You should, however, always wash your hands.While it’s true that a sneeze or cough from an infected person can propel viral droplets and smaller particles through the air, most of them will drop to the ground. There is a whole science of fluid dynamics and aerodynamics that has been studied so that we know that even if a virus particle is in a very tiny droplet from a sneeze, you will very likely not run into this. Most of these droplets will quickly drop to the ground. Even for the aerosolized droplets, the chances are that it won’t land on your clothing. When we walk, we actually displace the air around us and move these tiny droplet particles away from us, so the risk from the virus floating in the air is really really small. This information is courtesy of the New York Times. (By the way, the New York Times is offering free online access to their COVID-19 coverage.)

While there is not yet a treatment for COVID-19, Inova is hoping donated plasma will help patients currently fighting the virus. If you have tested positive for COVID-19 and you have been symptom-free for 14 days, you may be able to be a convalescent plasma donor.

The Virginia stay-at-home order is still in effect until June 10, 2020. The governor extended Executive Order 53 until May 8. This order defined closures for essential and not essential businesses.

There are some free online courses available that I would recommend for you now. The website www.coursera.org has lots of online courses and I would first recommend the 5 star course Resilience Skills in a Time of Uncertainty.  Please send us feedback if you have any other recommendations.

If you have any questions about COVID-19 or questions about whether or not something you heard is true – feel free to DM, email, or give us a call.