COVID-19 may persist longer in the environment than we realized. If so, the risk of infection is greater than we think
COVID-19, also known as the Wuhan virus or the coronavirus, fills the news of the world today. Universities all across America are canceling in-person instruction and chasing students out of their dorms. Municipalities and other organizations are canceling school trips and limiting large gatherings. The National Basketball Association has halted its season, cruise lines are stopping services, and stock markets are swooning around the world.
The US federal government has stopped travel from China, Japan, the European Union, and other nations. Celebrities and politicians get infected and talk about it. Meanwhile, regular citizens stock up on toilet paper, water, masks, gloves, and whatever else they think that they need to survive the apocalypse.
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Learn how to protect your friends, your family, and yourself from the coronavirus.
The coronavirus is big news throughout the world, with over 90,000 cases and 3,000 deaths so far. It does not show many signs of abating. I have corresponded with journalists writing articles on this topic for the Huffington Post, Rolling Stone magazine, and other venues. But since I am most concerned for (and praying for, even last night), our readers and subscribers at the MD Harris Institute, I want to share important coronavirus information with you.
US and world public health authorities, such as the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are developing and following scientific protocols for quarantine, isolation, and personal protective measures. Hospitals are ramped up for detection and treatment. Top scholars are researching the virus and searching for treatments and vaccines. Many people have died, and more will, both in the US and abroad, but we want to minimize that number. The coronavirus is a serious challenge to all of us, as individuals and as nations, and we must face it as individuals and as nations. As with every other threat in life, governments can only partially protect us; we must protect ourselves and our families.
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A medical musical tale of love and survival between an American man and a Chinese woman in the world of the new corona virus.
The Ballad of the Corona Virus (tune “Open Arms”, Journey)
Lying beside you, here in the dark
Feeling your fever so high
Weakly you touch me, pain so severe
Why did I stay for the night?
I thought it was true love, I wanted some fun
But now, I just want to run
Cause it’s Corona virus, twelve thousand cases
It has got you, will it get to me too?
Oh why, did I, visit China?
Can I catch a plane, or a boat or a train, outta here?
In California, hospital bed
Aching and coughing up blood
In isolation – gloves, gowns, and masks
Chills come on me like a flood
Nurses and doctors, don’t know what to do
There’s no vaccination for me.
Cause it’s Corona virus, often fatal
Waiting for doctors, insurance won’t cover
But soon my lady will arrive from Wuhan
I’m fading away, but we’ll beat you someday, Corona
How leaders can minimize harm in health care, in other industries, and in all areas of life.
“How can we change this process to prevent this error from happening again?” the senior ward nurse asked the group. It is a common question, one that I have heard thousands of times from experienced and dedicated health care professionals of all stripes.
I have worked in health care for many years, serving in positions from volunteer to emergency medical technician to senior attending physician to chief of staff at a hospital to chief medical officer of a large network. In every position, “do no harm” is a fundamental theme. This famous statement from the writings of Hippocrates encapsulates quality improvement, patient safety, access to care, and many other goals in modern medicine.
“Do no harm” can be thought of as eliminating risks that could lead to a bad outcome, such as injury or death. Occupational and Environmental Medicine physicians learn that there are four ways to decrease risk in the workplace and in the environment:
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