The world looks different than it did just a few weeks ago. The hustle and bustle of everyday life has come to a temporary halt. We are facing one of the most significant potential health threats in our history. As a medical doctor and your state senator, I want to point out several aspects of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). COVID-19 is a virus that is spread through cough, sneezes, mucus transmission and fomites (which are contaminated surfaces), from infected individuals. People can be infected but not show any symptoms while others show symptoms ranging from a low-grade temp (99.1), dry cough, sore throat, loss of appetite and body aches; to more serious symptoms of difficulty breathing. We know the virus can live on surfaces for a variable amount of time. Once you are exposed, it may take 4-14 days to show signs of the virus. Therefore, 2 weeks in quarantine is necessary, if there has been exposure.
Here are things you can do to maximize your health:
- Wash your hands with soap frequently for at least 20 seconds. Sing happy birthday to yourself or a short lullaby while washing your hands to help you reach that 20 second mark.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue, and then discard the tissue and wash your hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Avoid close contact with individuals who are sick.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Get plenty of rest and maintain a healthy diet.
- Practice social distancing and avoid being in groups or crowds.
- I know we Texans love a good handshake, but please try to avoid shaking hands for the time being. Wave hello, give a fist bump, or a friendly elbow tap instead.
At every level of government, extraordinary steps are being taken to keep us healthy. This includes, but is not limited to, equipping scientists and doctors to develop a vaccine, producing medication for treatment, and minimizing the effects the virus has on us as well as our economy.
My greatest concern is beyond the medical. Promises of catastrophic results and false rumors dominate social media. This creates fear and panic. I want to urge you not to be driven or controlled by fear. Remember, we are Texans. It is time to return to our faith, confidently move forward and meet this challenge. Help a veteran and help a senior. Walk with wisdom, do not run with fear.
Have questions or need assistance? Then please visit the websites or call the phone number provided below:
- Texas Education Agency Coronavirus support page to keep you informed on the latest developments: https://tea.texas.gov/texas-schools/safe-and-healthy-schools/coronavirus-covid-19-support-and-guidance
- If your employment has been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, then please visit the Texas Workforce Commission website to find the most up-to-date information on assistance and benefits available: https://twc.texas.gov/news/unemployment-news
- DSHS daily morning update on cases: https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/news/updates.shtm#coronavirus
- If you have questions about COVID-19, then please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- For questions about COVID-19, dial 2-1-1, then choose Option 6. Hours: 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., 7 days per week.
Do not hesitate to contact my office at Donna.Campbell@senate.texas.gov