HD113 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update | Dealing with Sheltering in Place

HD113 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update | Dealing with Sheltering in Place
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update:
Dealing with Sheltering in Place

The " Safer at Home Order " in effect at 11:59 p.m. last night and will end Friday, April 3 at 11:59 p.m. Today we woke up to a reality that most of us have not ever experienced. For the first few days, we may not feel any different. But as the days pass, the stress of confinement for some and isolation for others may begin to set in. This can manifest in various ways and have both direct and indirect affects on the people around us.

Child Abuse
During his remarks this past Sunday, Judge Jenkins noted that there has been a spike in child abuse cases across the county. Many of these being reported involve children age 4 or younger. For school-age children, classes being out means that one of their few safe places is no longer available. Teachers are historically the first people to detect child abuse and report it. Without this important set of eyes watching to safeguard our children, the responsibility falls to individuals in our communities. Childhelp.org  offers a resource for both parents and children alike during this time. They are currently available to help and welcome any phone calls. If you suspect that a neighbor child may be experiencing abuse, the National Child Abuse Hotline is 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or call the local authorities.

Elder Abuse and Isolation
Another vulnerable group in our communities is our older citizens, many of whom live alone. It is unfortunate, but there are people that will take advantage of this situation to do harm to our grandmothers and grandfathers, aunts and uncles. They too, may be dealing with being cut off from important social outlets and safe places outside of their home. They will need our help as well to ensure they stay safe and healthy during this time of extreme social distancing. In fact, studies have shown that social isolation significantly  increases the risk of death  among older adults. So if you know a senior, especially if they live alone, check on them with a phone call or leave a kind note with your contact information so they can reach out to you. The AARP also provides some great ideas and tips for seniors, and all of us, during this time: Five Steps For Dealing With Social Isolation
Domestic Violence
In this time of uncertainty, when many businesses are closed and many are facing the real possibility of job loss and economic hardship, frustrations and fears may get the better of some who may turn to violence as a means of venting. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,  1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men in the U.S. have been victims of violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime,  which it defines as rape, physical violence or stalking. Nearly 9 out of 10 incidents of family violence happens in the home of the victim or the home of a friend, relative or neighbor,  according to the U.S. Department of Justice.  The majority of spouse violence occurs in the victim’s home.

While shelter in place has been implemented to minimize the spread of the coronavirus, for some it means confinement with their abuser. According to an article published by USA Today, domestic violence, experts say, is about power and control. In a pandemic, many people feel as though they're losing control and  search for healthy ways to cope. But when an abuser feels powerless, it puts their victim at risk. Just as I have advocated earlier in this message, if you suspect someone is being abused, let someone know. The  National Domestic Violence Hotline allows people to speak confidentially with trained advocates online or by the phone, which is recommended for victims who think their online activity is being monitored by their abuser (800-799-7233). They can help survivors develop a plan to achieve safety for themselves and their children.

Please continue to stay safe and take care of yourselves and your families, and as much as we all can, look out for your neighbors. Remember that this is being done to minimize the spread of the virus and avoid the very real possibility of a full quarantine. Please continue to follow the CDC recommendations:
Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Preventive Measures 

It bears repeating, the CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

  • Stay home when you are sick.

  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask. The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a healthcare facility).

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