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Stay Home, Wear a Mask

There are two things you can do to make a difference in the war against COVID-19: stay home and wear a mask. Staying home is extremely effective, just compare the number of cases in California with New York and remember that California issued stay home orders before New York. Social distancing is also very important. When in public, stay at least six feet away from people and better yet, also wear a mask. Hong Kong, where masks are more commonly worn, is reporting relatively few COVID-19 cases and even reports a drop in flu cases.

There is much information in the press about COVID-19. Supervisor Ryan Campbell outlined some of the government’s response in his blog here.

Here’s how I look at the situation. Overnight everything has changed. We must adapt and use the time God has given us wisely.

Because I work at a prison where there is a large population in a small area, I have had to make changes in my personal life. I need to protect my wife due to her asthma. For the last two weeks I have not hugged or kissed my family. I wear a mask at work so as to not spread or contract the virus unknowingly. I am making plans to live in a different building on my property. My family has developed a daily cleaning routine.

During this time staying at home, my family is using the opportunity to learn new skills. We started a small garden. Not much is needed to start from seed. We placed the plants in our windowsills and will plant outside when the weather improves.

We have researched how to make our own facemasks. There are plenty of YouTube videos. If you cannot purchase a mask, make one and wear when you must go out. Medical professionals believe wearing a facemask is 3 to 5 times more effective than not wearing one.

Church services are now attended online. I was recently reminded of a scripture of hope: “For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11.

I have a friend who lives in the Bay Area who contracted the virus. Instead of rushing to the E.R. she called her health care provider. She was advised to stay home and isolate. She was sick for three days, felt better for two days and then the virus came back harder with breathing issues. Throughout the event, she stayed in close contact with her health care provider. Her symptoms were not bad enough to need to visit the E.R. per her health care provider. She is now recovering with no further symptoms. Had she gone to the E.R. without her health care provider’s direction, she could have infected more folks who may not have been as lucky as her with recovery.

Please take social distancing seriously and stay home. Even better, buy or make your own mask and wear it if you must go out. By doing so, we will all mitigate the rate of spread and we will all help our health providers by letting them focus on those who need help the most.

My prayers are with everyone. We are living in a moment in History and it is important we meet this situation with respect, love and care for each other.