By Jackie Deal
It’s real! It ain’t funny! Nor fun. Covid 19 is real; it’s worse than it’s ever been. And, yes, we’re tired of the masks, stay home, 6 foot distance…blah! Blah! Blah! But you know what? We can’t opt out. We can’t ignore. It’s the nightmare monster breathing its fetid breath all over us. It’s here in Timber Valley.
What are our options? If you can—-RUN. If you can run to somewhere safe, maybe Greenland, maybe the South Pole? For Pete’s Sake: get vaccinated. It’s our only hope of containment. Most of us can’t or won’t run. So option # 2: keep as safe as you can; try not to endanger others. And get vaccinated!
Now let’s try to make this story very, very personal. You know someone I’m sure, as I do, a good friend who’s had multiple infections, and multiple hospitalizations. Frequent high fevers coupled with other medical problems cause people to, as we so graphically say, go out of their heads. And then…..
What to do? If it’s a husband, a big guy and a small maybe frail wife-caretaker. What to do? Are you going to leave a practically moribund person (especially a loved one) on the floor to die because you can’t get them up? No, you call 911. Ambulance to the hospital. Hospital works its magic. Sends him home. And if it’s a chronic condition you can bet it’s going to happen again. Over and over. It’s a revolving door. Friends help, after all this is a SKP park.
Now enter a big change. This hospital admission, one of many, the test for Covid this time is…POSITIVE. The hospital (currently, right now) is overrun with Covid patients. They will get his fever down and they WILL SEND HIM HOME AGAIN. Because point blank: they ain’t got room!!!
I’ve heard unknowing people say, “Well, why don’t you do something? Get him in somewhere. This park isn’t a nursing home.” The family explores every alternative. Nursing homes: No. Assisted living: No. They simply will not take a Covid positive patient. Home Health will assist for a few hours but they aren’t 24 hour care. So who’s going to volunteer for 24 hour duty?
I’m trying to get direct information. I have calls in to both nursing homes in Roseburg; yes, there are only TWO places that are actually “nursing homes”. The rest are “assisted living” and even if you can afford it (I couldn’t) they don’t want Covid. If I get any answers I’ll let you know.
Let’s switch gears and talk about some basic Covid facts, or facts as near as I can discern them that probably affect you. Some of what I’ve found on medical Google sites: there is no nasal test specifically for Delta variant. But about 80% of current cases are said to be Delta. Patients are most contagious 2-3 days BEFORE they show symptoms. Patients with mild to moderate cases can be infectious for about 10 days and those with severe Covid can be infectious up to 20 days. If you’re exposed and test negative you still should quarantine. Here the recommendations get fuzzy: 14 days if possible. 10 days if 14 are a “hardship”, or maybe only 7 days?? Watch for symptoms. Take your temperature twice a day; that also helps to establish a baseline of normal for you. And temperature spikes are one of the first signs of Covid.
Don’t take my word for it. Look it up for yourself. We need to be knowledgeable and believe me, that’s not easy. Get the best advice you can (that may not include your family doctor or best friend). Follow the best advice and take care of yourself and your neighbor. Now it’s said that when we achieve 80% “herd immunity” things will improve. Yes, at one time, it was 70% but Delta is more virulent. And the only two ways to achieve that immunity is get vaccinated or get Covid!