Thursday, March 19, 2020

SARS-CoV-2 (5)

Is this a Chinese virus? No. This is not a Chinese virus or even an Asian virus. Yes, it may have been identified in Wuhan, China, but viruses do not target individuals of a specific racial or ethnic background or gender or even religious or political affiliation. However, if a person with an underlying chronic disease (especially one that involves the lungs) becomes infected with the virus, their immune system might have difficulty fighting the illness successfully. It is appropriate to be concerned about this coronavirus and prudent about implementing prevention strategies. It is unhelpful to become panicked. The stress of anxiety, worry, and their parent emotion “fear” can suppress immune system function—exactly what you want to avoid doing. In some cases, fear can lead to stigmatizing others, as well, which can increase their stress levels. Learning what is currently known about this pandemic and implementing appropriate prevention measures can help lower your risk. Travel? It can increase your risk of exposure. Current recommendations are to avoid all nonessential travel. There is also the possibility of quarantine upon one’s return to their home country, depending on the viral exposure pattern. I decided to cancel one of my upcoming trips abroad due to the risk of exposure and possible quarantine. More tomorrow.

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