COVID-19, the Coronavirus is still moving throughout the United States (U.S.)  New York has been hit the hardest, but every state has cases.  As of March 18th, 2020, Colorado has 216 cases and 2 deaths, Denver and Eagle counties have the most cases, 43 and 39 respectively.  We still need you to be vigilant to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your fellow community members.  It is important to talk about a few essentials to slow this virus.  The information and recommendations put forth at this time are based on news reporting and local observations.  Our lives depend on getting this right!

King Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Survival Times on Surfaces

Although COVID-19 is primarily transmitted from respiratory droplets, surfaces can be contaminated by the virus.  Cleaning the surfaces is aimed at limiting the survival of this virus and reducing spread.  We addressed surface survival in our previous article, but a new study provides the following survival times of the virus:

  • Copper – 4 hours
  • Cardboard – 24 hours
  • Plastic – 48-72 hours
  • Stainless Steel – 48-72 hours

Of note, viral droplets can hang in the air up to 3 hours before dropping, however they usually drop down more quickly than that.

Black People ARE NOT IMMUNE to COVID-19!

Black people can be affected and infected by COVID-19.  We are putting this message out again because people are still asking about this.  There are some lingering fallacies about the immunity of Black people or race based resilience to disease.  The protective nature of melanin has also been evoked but there is no scientific basis for this.  However, we can say that several high-profile Black people – Kevin Durant, Idris Elba, and Rudy Gobert tested positive.  One of our own community leaders released a letter on Facebook about being positive and the impact on his health.  We also know that African Americans are disproportionately affected by chronic diseases that can put us at high risk for the virus.  COVID-19 doesn’t play!  It doesn’t care who you are.

Young People Can Get Very Sick from COVID-19!

The early reports were that young people usually had only mild disease and the major concern was them passing it on to seniors.  Recently the news showed young people on the beach, very close together, apparently not feeling like they are at risk for disease.  However, young people are becoming significantly ill.  France and Italy recently reported about very sick young people with COVID-19.  New York and Ontario are also reporting youthful cases with serious disease.  Some are describing these youth as the walking wounded, able to come into the medical facilities but draped in heavy illness.

Social Distancing 101

Socializing and being communal was fine pre-COVID-19, but it can be deadly right now.  Social Distancing slows the rate and number of new cases.  We are concerned that people are not taking Social Distancing to heart.  Take for instance a scene at a local grocery store.  All the toilet paper, paper towels. and cleaning stuff was gone, but people were still going around the store, shoulder to shoulder with masked strangers.  Lots of people over 80-years-old were clinging to virus infected shopping carts while their younger family member guided them from aisle to aisle.  The vegetable section was pretty much free of people, but every other section was packed.  Most of the shopping carts were not filled with necessities per say – just fun stuff.  This was the middle of the day.  Probably in part, because everyone is working from home to make Social Distancing easier.  Funny how these things work.  Now the object of Social Distancing is to get as far away as possible from people during this epidemic.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Stay at home as much as possible, especially if you are coughing or ill.
  • If you do have to go out, then maintain 6 feet, not 6 inches between you and other people.
  • Try to shop at off hours, early in the day or late at night. Have your list and get in and out.
  • If you are looking for toilet paper, call the store before you go out and spend too much time looking for the toilet paper aisle.
  • Stay out of the gym. Instead – get outdoors, go for long walks or do some functional fitness.
  • Avoid playdates, or sleepovers (kids), parties, clubs, or coffee shop meet ups. Try virtual playdates and get togethers using platforms like Facetime or Skype.  You can have a cup of coffee and chat over these platforms.
  • Social Distancing happy hours on opposite sides of the rode in front of your houses/apartments. Remember 6 feet apart and no touching even if you’ve had a few.

Get Your Handwash On!

Repeatedly handwashing has been mentioned as a necessary way to stop the spread of the virus.  Wash hands properly, 20 seconds at a minimum.  Make sure to wash your hands after you leave the grocery store or bring in your mail.  Handwashing is so important that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a campaign.  Check it out:  https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/

Virtual Visits

If you need to see a doctor but are not critically ill, find out what virtual options are available to you. Most health systems and doctor’s offices are now utilizing telehealth when possible – phone, video, online visits.  Check with your doctor for available options. They will also let you know if an office visit is required.

Alert:   If you have severe breathing problems, chest pain, or other serious health issues do not wait on virtual care.

COVID-19 is a disease that is affecting our entire Nation.  As the United States of America this is a time that we really need to become united to fight this dreaded disease.  The Colorado Black Health Collaborative is on a mission to keep the community informed and updated on this issue, with an Afrocentric flavor.  Don’t be scared.  Get the facts, know the facts, and act.  Every day and everyone matter in the fight against this disease.  We must all do our best to put this virus to rest.  Remember to distance yourself and wash your hands.  If you can’t take any more news reports, then lay down.  Drop us a note if you have some questions or concerns. We are all in this together!

Dr. T


© 2015 Colorado Black Health Collaborative
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