As many of the states have imposed a voluntary or involuntary shut down of our lives, are we going to live our lives differently when we are allowed to go out again? Have we taken the warnings seriously and changed how we live, or are we just waiting for the green light to go back to normal? What will normal be like after this? Who will be to blame if this isn’t slowed down?
Many of the restrictions that have been recommended have been to help us restrict the spread of an invisible virus that we can’t see or detect. Where it hasn’t been a recommendation but enforcement, will it make a difference? These restrictions listed by the CDC and other government officials help by limiting the chances of us getting sick from any respiratory disease and many others. One issue facing us as we move forward will be our personal responsibility to ourselves and others to keep practicing those few steps to stay healthy once the quarantine is lifted.
Governments can restrict, impose, and try to control the situation for a period of time, but in the end it will be either stopped or continue because of people. People making the day to day choices to do what is right or wrong. The federal government has agencies to decline or approve treatments and to regulate the medical industry. Local governments are sometimes responsible for how many hospitals are built and what equipment should be available for emergency disasters. Governors, counsel men, and others determine where money is spent and what buildings are approved. They don’t create cures or build the facilities, but people and private companies do. They don’t go to school or work for you every day to know what you and your community needs all the time. It is the responsibility of the communities to know if the government is spending the money to have the supplies and equipment on hand for emergencies or wasting it on other areas. Government regulations have restricted the number of residences in hospitals for students to become doctors which limits how many doctors we can have which can have a impact when we need more medical experts.
Right now, we are concerned that the medical network that we have can handle the load of sick patients and help them to get better with as few people loosing their lives as possible. The actions of every individual working together will be the deciding force moving forward in caring for these patients and finding a cure. The hospitals and labs have doctors and nurses working together to find what works and what doesn’t. It has taken government to stop regulating and allowing for more experimental procedures to find a cure and treatment faster.
As the hospitals have started to fill up, medical supplies to treat patients have taken a hit. Protective suits, mask, and ventilators have become items in high demand. It has taken time for test kits to be produced for a virus that didn’t exist a few months ago to become accurate and then be able to mass produce them. The government can only approve the ones that work, but they are not the ones responsible for the creation and manufacturing of them.
To keep the doctors and nurses able to treat the patients, private companies have stepped up to meet the demands of medical supplies that have been in short supply. Companies have created test kits getting faster in the process to test positive or negative for the virus, but it takes time to create a production process and then manufacture them. The federal government and state government can’t provide equipment to the hospitals without these private companies. We have seen some private companies shift production lines from what they usually manufacture to produce healthcare products. Ford motor company was able to use parts from the F-150 to produce ventilators and My Pillow went from bedding & pillows to producing protective face mask. In Italy, a start up company saw hospitals about to run out of breathing valves which would stop treatment of hundreds of patients. They began to design & 3D-Print the emergency breathing valves for the hospitals for much less and get them faster for hospitals to use than the regular manufacturer. It was individuals who ran the companies who made the changes in the production lines and individuals who created the new parts.
Outside of the hospitals, it will be the every action of the people in the community that will also slow and end the spread of this virus and others. It doesn’t matter how many times you hear it said, washing your hands for 20 seconds is important for everyone. Clean hands are less able to spread germs from person to person or person to a common touch point for someone else to pick up. How many times do you go through the day and never properly wash your hands? Consider how much has built up over a day on your hands and how many surfaces you have touched over that time that someone else is going to touch. That person may not get infected, but become a carrier to someone else. This is one way it is hard to contain a virus is because not everyone gets sick when exposed.
When you or someone you are around is feeling sick, keep some distance from others or stay home. How many times has an office employee forced themselves to go to work and a couple of days later two or three more are our sick? The same can be said of those who go to school or college. They don’t feel that they can stay home and miss classes. Not only do you put those around you at work or school at risk of getting sick, but everyone you came in contact with on the way to and from there. If they don’t get sick, they can become carriers to someone who it could be more harmful to.
The last step is one the no government can watch over or make sure that it is done. Everyone is also going to have to learn to clean more often and better. There is so much said about how long a virus or bacteria can live on a surface. It is only true if that surface is never cleaned. Everyone needs to get past it looks clean or smells clean so it must be clean. Viruses and bacteria are invisible to our naked eyes so you can’t see if it is really clean or not. Cleaning a surface that is touched frequently by many people will help prevent the spread of germs. When cleaning those surfaces, read the label on your cleaner on how to use it. You would be shocked on what it says sometimes. Spray and wiping is not always cleaning and most of the time it is not disinfecting.
When you need a surface to be disinfected, you must first clean the surface. Cleaning is separate from disinfecting even if you are using a disinfectant/cleaner. Dirt and grime must be removed to get to the germs on the surface and most disinfectants require a dwell time for them to kill the germs you want dead. One more point is that not all disinfectants are the same. Some disinfectants have limited killing strength so it won’t kill everything you need to kill. You must read the label front and back. Take time and learn what you are using and how to use it properly.
Not only must touch points be cleaned, but floors, furniture, and your means of transportation. Dirt holds in germs. Many people don’t want to spend the time nor the money in having cleaning done right so it will leave a door open for germs to spread. It will require budgeting and learning about new processes or products to get the results needed to reduce the spread of germs. There are cleaning processes and coatings that will reduce germ counts and make it easier to keep things clean and healthier.
There are professional companies that will take time to train cleaning staff to clean properly and provide cleaning products to fit your individual cleaning needs. Some will walk home owners through on what products to use and how to use them. Find local companies that provide professional cleaning services that will not only provide you services, but the tools you need to do as much as you can as well. Together you can slow or stop the spread of germs in your work place and at home.
In the end, it isn’t the government who will save you, but you and your neighbor working together for the benefit of each other. Normal will be different, but better for you all around if you do what you are supposed to. Good hygiene, cleaning better, and caring about others is what it will take for you to stay healthy and to help others around you in your community. Take time to know that your local government is doing to be prepared for emergencies as well. It is our responsibility to not only elect officials who are to care for there constituents, but to make sure that they do what they are supposed to and to communicate to them the needs of the community. If they stray away, get someone in there that will take care of there area whether national, state, county, or city. The people will always be the ones who will decide the fate of a nation by the decisions they make and who they put in authority over them.