Break the chain!

Published 6:37 pm Friday, March 20, 2020

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

What would happen if you placed 10 stick matches in a straight line, each one-quarter of an inch apart, and set fire to the one on the far left?

You would have 10 charred sticks of wood.

Now, what would happen if you removed the fourth match from the left and repeated the same thing?

You would have three charred sticks of wood and the other six untouched and intact.

That’s the philosophy behind breaking the chain of infection and the spread of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus).

It should go without saying that this virus will eventually invade our rural part of the state. It spreads upon close human contact as well as from droplets from an infected person (emitted from a sneeze or cough) inhaled by a new victim. Those droplets could also land on objects such as tables, countertops, a telephone, door handles, the handle of a gas pump, etc. The virus can be transmitted to humans from those surfaces.

That’s why it’s so extremely important to break the chain….stop the transmission.

If you feel ill – to include a dry cough, a fever, and perhaps even tightness in your chest that impacts your normal pattern of breathing – STAY AT HOME!! Immediately call your doctor. If you do not have a doctor, contact the health department in your county of residence. In either case, you will be instructed on what to do next. It is not recommended to show up at a medical provider, even at a hospital’s emergency room, unannounced….call them first to make them aware of your situation.

You need to isolate yourself from others, to include members of your own family, even those living under the same roof.

In the great majority of these cases, a self-quarantine at home for approximately two weeks is required…thusly breaking the chain of transmission. For those who worry about their jobs and feel the urge to protect their employment by showing up for work while sick, please understand that the federal government is now working on measures that will prevent you from losing your job if you are diagnosed with COVID-19 and you will be PAID while at home recovering.

We beg of you not to be reckless in your behavior. This doesn’t affect just you….it impacts those closest to you, including family, friends, and co-workers.

Here are some other “best practices” during the COVID-19 outbreak:

Wash your hands often, at least for 20 seconds each time;

Avoid touching your mouth, nose or face;

Attempt to keep at least a 6-foot distance from others while in a public place;

Constantly wipe down all surfaces at home and at work with a bleach-based sanitizer;

Prepare yourself to use drive-thru windows, online communications, and possibly even remote medical triage areas;

Talk to your children about this medical crisis. Encourage them not to wander around town or their communities unsupervised. You never know who they may encounter along the way; and

Keep yourself informed with the latest updates from local and state medical organizations as well as from trusted media sources. This newspaper is constantly updating our website with all the latest information we are receiving from government and medical sources. We have removed the paywall from our website, giving you free and easy access to that news.

And, last but certainly not least, please shop locally for all the items you normally need. A strong economy serves as the backbone for a strong community. We need those businesses to survive and be here for us when this crisis ends!

– The Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald


About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

email author More by Cal