Members of Our Community,
The idea of a rapidly spreading disease is scary. It is unsettling, confusing and frustrating. Today, we join the rest of the world in trying to manage the spread of COVID-19, as we try to figure out what it means for each of us. We believe education is extremely helpful. Appropriate concern is wise. Panic is unnecessary and unproductive.
The Coronavirus has been well known for many years. This current strain is a mutation, but scientists and doctors are familiar with it. Unfortunately, a vaccine does not exist at this time, and it is unlikely one will be available for at least 12-18 months. However, we do know how to care for people who are infected depending on the symptoms they are experiencing. We also know there are specific changes in behavior that can help slow the spread of the disease.
In general, the most vulnerable people are older, heavy smokers or others who have compromised respiratory systems. That is why our Governor has issued strong guidance about who can visit nursing homes and assisted care facilities. We strongly support the Governors guidance!
We know from past epidemics that certain behaviors “really work” in helping slow the spread of the disease. Handwashing is one of the most effective tactics a person can utilize. Keeping your hands away from your mouth and face is another. Always practice appropriate sneezing and coughing etiquette by turning your head and using the crook of your arm. Social distancing is another tactic that has proven effective. Try to avoid big crowds and, as much as possible, stay about six feet away from other people.
In addition, if you are experiencing certain symptoms such as fever, coughing, joint aches and general malaise, call your doctor. Your physician can help you determine what you have and what steps you can take to recover as quickly as possible.
This letter began by acknowledging the frustrating and maybe scary nature of the situation with which we are dealing. It’s real. Given that, we hope it is comforting to know your local government, health department and health system are working closely together…ensuring we are well prepared to manage whatever situation we may face.
Blanchard Valley Health System has a tagline of “We’re here for you.” This philosophy is true every day of the year. It is especially true today. We stand ready to provide whatever care is required, extend information and generally help in any way we can.
In thinking about the current situation, we are reminded of the 2007 flood. While the two situations are very different in nature, the willingness and ability of our community to take care of each other is, once again, on display.
CEO & President