COVID-19 update and office policy (March 2020)
The World Health Organization called the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, a pandemic. This means that the virus is present throughout the world. Testing in the United States is still ramping up, so we currently do not have accurate numbers for those infected in this country.
Key symptoms to watch for include fever, cough, and shortness of breath, though the illness can also cause body aches, sore throat, vomiting, and diarrhea.
How the Virus Spreads
The coronavirus is spread through respiratory droplets when a sick person coughs or sneezes. People within 6 feet of an infected individual are most at risk for inhaling these droplets.
A person could also become infected through contact with the virus particles on a surface, though it’s unknown how long the new coronavirus can survive on surfaces outside of the body. Research has shown that other coronaviruses can survive on hard surfaces for hours to days. If an infected person sneezes or coughs onto a surface, such as a countertop or doorknob, and another person touches that surface and then rubs his or her eyes or nose, for example, the latter may get sick.
The new coronavirus’s incubation period — meaning the time it takes from a person being infected with the virus to when they start showing symptoms — appears to be about 14 days, though the average amount of time it takes a person to get sick is about five days, according to the World Health Organization. It’s unclear whether a person is contagious during the incubation period.
What We Are Doing to Help
We offer telephone and video conferencing options so that you can stay safe and get the services you need and want.
You can make appointments for our coaching and counseling services via telephone, or secure video conferencing. Forms, handouts, worksheets, and helpful tools can be provided to you online so that we can maintain safe social distancing during this time.
How We Can All Help
The CDC recommends washing hands with soap and water before eating, after using the bathroom, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, and before and after caring for a sick friend or a family member.
The most effective way to clean hands is to wet them with clean water, then apply soap and scrub for at least 20 seconds, before rinsing and drying with a clean towel. Our restrooms are located down the hall near the elevators.
Social distancing slows the spread of the disease so medical personnel can manage the influx of patients. When medical personnel sees a manageable number of patients, it reduces complications and improves health outcomes. Slowing the spread of the disease allows more time to pass for scientists to develop the vaccine.
How to Manage Anxiety
The good news about this virus is that we know what it is, and scientists are currently working on developing a vaccine. We also know that children seem to get mild symptoms and that most people recover from the illness if they do contract it. Older people, (over age 60) and those with a preexisting medical condition are at higher risk for serious symptoms. If you or a close family member fall into a high-risk group, then consider canceling any events with large groups of people.
You can help yourself and your community by practicing good health habits. Eat a well-balanced diet, get plenty of rest, don’t smoke, drink moderately, wash your hands frequently, and exercise. These good habits will keep you healthy, and help you fight off any infection if you do happen to get sick. Practicing social distancing can keep us all safe.
Check-in with friends and relatives using online, telephone, texting, and other remote communication tools. It’s important not to isolate from loved ones during this time of social distancing.
It helps to establish and maintain a regular routine if you are suddenly unemployed and at home. Set daily and weekly goals for yourself, and stay active. Walking outside, while maintaining social distance, can provide fresh air, exercise, and vitamin D to improve your mood.
If you feel symptoms of anxiety, stress, or depression, call your therapist. We can meet with you and help you increase your coping skills during this stressful time.
Please alert your therapist or coach if you have any questions or concerns. When we work together, we can keep our community safe. May you and yours remain healthy, safe, and calm.