And the number is…

s-l300Since last week, my daily habits have changed significantly, including looking at the statistics of newly infected COVID-19 cases in Washington state.

Each morning, with my coffee in hand, I read the daily counts of infected and other news updates on what other part of the infrastructure has been effected.

Increased testing of the population in Seattle has begun.  UW School of Medicine has established a drive-through testing center in their parking garage on campus.  The governor has said that the university has used genetic modeling to show the likelihood at least 1000 cases in the state.

This isn’t just limited to long-term care facilities.  As the numbers come in, we are headed into serious measures that will impact our city and state.

Enjoy the freedoms you have now, they will change significantly with the infected case numbers being confirmed.  And..they will be coming in this week.

I am copying this news update by Daniel Bookman from this evening’s Seattle Times for you to read.  Specifically open the chart (‘shared’ link highlighted in red).  Italy has just done the 5th level of action in closing their country.

Seattle area official outlines potential next steps in coronavirus response

Seattle area public-health officials are “at the ready” to start ordering involuntary isolation and quarantines and are considering cancellation of major public events, with information coming soon, a top official said Monday.

Patty Hayes, director of Public Health — Seattle & King County, outlined potential next steps in the area’s effort to slow the spread of the virus at a Seattle City Council meeting and said officials are talking about what to do.

Hayes shared a Washington State Department of Health chart that listed five levels of actions that officials could take. Gov. Jay Inslee hinted at the ongoing discussions Sunday on the CBS show “Face the Nation,” saying the state’s response could involve “reducing the number of social activities that are going on.”

Although King County’s first confirmed COVID-19 case was announced less than two weeks ago, the area’s response already has ratcheted through Level 1 and Level 2.

Read the full story here.

Copyright 2020 Eileen Dey Wurst

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What’s Next?

whats-next240x400With northern Italy now putting 16 million of their people in quarantine the US and more specifically, Seattle, where I live, is asking ‘what’s next?’.

Since starting an online Coronavirus support group/healing circle last week, residents of King County have been joining me and sharing their own personal experiences.  It’s been helpful to hear we aren’t alone in how our communities are responding to the crisis.

Coming together like this does help in reducing the sense of being isolated at a time when we will be encountering more restrictions of social interaction and gatherings in the weeks to come.

Our leaders in government have only offered recommendations rather than mandatory measures, but today there has been hinting that these initiatives will be coming to pass.

If you take a moment and do a little self-educating of how this virus has spread infects it’s hosts and you’ll see that in order to help defeat it’s spread, containment, including quarantine, is imperative.

Is it too late for that in Seattle?  It remains to be seen.  This next week we will hear about more cases and more deaths.

As several people in our online virtual groups have mentioned, just dealing with the daily news reports is anxiety producing.

So I talked about my last blog of being proactive rather than reactive.  If we are aware of how a virus spreads, and also that cases and deaths will continue, when we hear reports about it, we will be less surprised and shocked.

Also, if we can continue to monitor ourselves, taking care of our health, getting enough sleep, boosting our immunity with vitamins, fresh fruits and fresh air, we really are doing as much as we possibly can.

I recommend following the advice from the Department of Health to avoid large groups of people, especially inside buildings or when close together at events.  I feel that whether you have health complications or are healthy it is probably a good idea for everyone at this time.  You can be a carrier for the virus and not even know it.

This weekend I went out to the nearby mountains as well as to a museum in town.

I observed plenty of fellow Seattlites and Washingtonians taking time to be outside as the weather became a bit sunnier today.  I saw them out at the farmers markets and on the nearby ski slopes.  I noticed only a dozen or so people within the Asian Art museum itself, but many were walking around the grounds outside.   It seemed to met people kept their distances from each other (the 6 feet recommended?).  It wasn’t awkward, but it was apparent.

Perhaps if and when measures are enacted to limit indoor gatherings, the outdoors will become our sanctuary and haven as it is already for so many of us.

Keep calm and stay informed.

Copyright 2020 Eileen Dey Wurst

Photo Credit

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