As we’re sure you are aware, the novel coronavirus — a respiratory disease known officially as COVID-19 — is spreading rapidly in New York State; as of this writing there are thousands of positive cases statewide, with hundreds of them in Nassau County, and that number continues to increase by the day.
Last week, Governor Cuomo declared a statewide emergency freeing up additional resources to fight the virus. NY State Department of Health has launched a toll-free hotline for information about coronavirus: it is 1-888-364-3065. Nassau County followed suit on March 13th and declared its own emergency, with its own hotline which is 516-227-9570. Our schools and houses of worship have been shut down for at least two (2) weeks, along with sporting events, movie theaters, gyms, casinos and bars, and restaurants limited to takeout and delivery only. The list of closures continues to grow, and as of Sunday, March 22nd, 100% of all non-essential businesses must implement a work-from-home policy. In an abundance of caution, we at Maidenbaum have already implemented a work-from-home policy to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our staff and clients.
While most people contracting the virus survive it, with many suffering only mild symptoms, certain people, especially the elderly, and those with serious chronic medical conditions – including heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease – are at higher risk of becoming seriously ill and perhaps even dying from it. For those of us over 60, or with loved ones who are elderly, this situation obviously causes concern.
Protecting your health during the outbreak means taking reasonable steps to reduce your exposure to the virus, which can spread via airborne microdroplets expelled from a sick person’s sneezing or coughing. Here is a summary of those reasonable steps drawn from official health authority sources, along with links to the sources themselves.
Get the Facts
Guarding your health during the outbreak means arming yourself with accurate, science-informed information and avoiding baseless rumors about the disease. The Centers for Disease Control website contains a frequently updated page with the latest information concerning the outbreak at:
The CDC also publishes an excellent PDF discussing methods to keep your workplace, home, school, or commercial establishment safe. View and download it here:
The New York State Health Department’s advisory page on preparing for the coronavirus also contains current, vetted information. You can access this page here:
Social Distancing and Personal Hygiene Matters
All of the official sources listed above consistently state that taking commonsense precautions can reduce your risk of being exposed to coronavirus. They are as follows:
- First and foremost, do not panic. Try to keep a clear head and follow the instructions of medical personnel.
- Practice social distancing, by remaining at least 6 feet away from others, when possible, and avoid unnecessary gatherings consisting of 10 people or more.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with hand soap for 20 seconds (if soap is not available, use a hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol-based) after touching doorknobs or other surfaces handled or touched by others, or after blowing your nose, sneezing or coughing.
- Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands, specifically your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- If you yourself sneeze or cough, do so into a tissue and immediately throw it away. If a tissue is not available, sneeze or cough into your elbow.
- Avoid close contact with those who are sick.
If You Believe That You Are Ill or Become Ill
If you begin suffering the symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, cough, or shortness of breath, or have been in close contact with a person who is positive for the disease, it’s best to call your doctor/health care provider for further guidance. Do not just walk into a doctor’s office, hospital or urgent care facility without contacting them in advance; the risk here is that you might unnecessarily expose others, including patients and health care workers, to the disease.
If you are diagnosed with the virus, be sure to wear a mask when in contact with others and stay at home to protect yourself and those around you. Be sure to continue to monitor your health and follow your health care provider’s instructions.
Your friends at Maidenbaum wish you, your family, and your community good health in this difficult period. We hope that the duration of this pandemic will be brief and that life in Nassau County will get back to normal soon.