It’s no longer a secret that most American adults know someone who has been hospitalized or died due to the coronavirus disease. Since last May, this is a rapid uptick when only 20 percent of Americans knew someone afflicted by the dreaded contagious viral disease.
According to a Pew Research Center study, slightly over 54 percent or more than half of U.S. adults have an acquaintance that’s been infected. This shows how rapidly Covid-19 cases have surged to affect a record 14.2 million Americans. The survey that included 12,648 respondents was conducted between November 18 and 29. There were at least 11.5 million Covid-19 cases at the beginning of the study, and since then, there have been over 3 million additional cases.
Mask-Wearing Habits | Due to Coronavirus Disease
The research findings unearthed severe racial disparities in who Covid-19 is affecting: 71% of Black Americans were likely to say they know someone who has been hospitalized or died as a result of Covid-19, compared with 61% of Hispanics, 49% of White, and 48% of Asian-American adults. The researchers also asked the participants about their mask-wearing habits, where over 72% of U.S. adults got bothered a lot or some when they saw people in public without a mask. At least 28% of respondents said it bothers them when a store requires them to wear a mask.
South Dakota emergency room nurse Jodi Doering recently told reporters that you didn’t have to believe in Covid-19 for it to kill you. The nurse said she had watched that simple truth play out again and again over the last year, as many of her patients who denied the existence of coronavirus or their diagnosis up to their dying breath.
In a tweet that went viral, Doering recently said that her work had become a horror movie that never ends on Saturday. The nurse was particularly frustrated by the patients who embraced misinformation around the virus, even as it wracked their bodies and eventually killed them. She said:
“The ones that stick out are those who still don’t believe the virus is real […] the ones who scream at you for magic medicine and that (U.S. president-elect) Joe Biden is going to ruin the USA […] they tell you there must be another reason they are sick. They call you names and ask why you have to wear all that ‘stuff’ because they don’t have COVID. After all, it’s not real.”
Hospitalizations Rise across the Nation
Months into the outbreak of the coronavirus that causes Covid-19, people have reported a variety of symptoms. They include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, and headaches. Others are new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. If you have any of those symptoms and think you might have Covid-19, stay at home, and isolate yourself from others except to get medical care. Get rest and stay hydrated, and take over-the-counter medicines to help you feel better.
According to Dr. David Steinbruner, chief medical officer at UCHealth Memorial Hospital Central, at least 80% of people infected with the coronavirus, also known as Covid-19 will experience a mild to moderate form of the illness. As the number of people testing positive for Covid-19 and hospitalizations rises across the nation, Steinbruner says:
“You probably want to think now, before you get sick, about making sure you have medications and what you may need and have that available. There’s no proven treatment for this other than treating the symptoms, but the medical community is currently working on treatments for the most severely affected.”
Public Health Mitigation Strategies
Avoiding visiting your doctor’s office in person or going into an E.R. if you are not too ill will help medical providers preserve the resources they need to focus on critically ill patients and those who have pre-existing conditions that make the virus even worse. The use of telehealth services, such as Solve.Care’s Global Telehealth Exchange can facilitate public health mitigation strategies during this pandemic by increasing social distancing. These services can be a safer option for patients by reducing potential infectious exposures. They can reduce the strain on healthcare systems by minimizing the surge of patient demand on facilities and reducing PPE use by healthcare providers.