Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Perspective on COVID-19

Latest articles

Oregon reports four COVID-19 deaths, 49 new cases

COVID-19 has claimed four more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 33, the Oregon Health Authority reported at 8 a.m. today.

Otis armed robbery fugitive in custody after high-speed chase

Wanted fugitive Jacob Leeland Lunstedt was taken into custody today after a tip to Salem Police led to his capture by local law enforcement after a high-speed chase on Forest Service Road 1726.

Child care openings available to essential workers

Samaritan Early Learning Center in Lincoln City has been approved by the state to provide emergency child care for a prioritized group of essential workers.

Reporter rides bike in Lincoln City, takes pictures

I rode my bike through the seven miles that is Lincoln City Monday and took some pictures along the way. 

Oregon reports 1 COVID-19 death, 69 new cases

COVID-19 has claimed one more life in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll from 26 to 27, the Oregon Health Authority reported at 8 a.m. today.

Oregon reports four new COVID-19 deaths, 100 new cases

COVID-19 has claimed four more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll from 22 to 26, the Oregon Health Authority reported at 8 a.m. today.

Coalition of state agencies ask for voluntary hold on burning

In response to the "Stay Home, Save Lives" Executive Order to reduce the effects of the COVID-19 virus, a coalition of Oregon state agencies are asking Oregonians to voluntarily refrain from conducting outdoor burning. 

Lincoln County receives more high ratings for social distancing

Today, Google announced the release of its COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports that use data from their user’s smartphone location history, to compare how social distancing efforts are working.

Officers use deadly force in Lincoln City

Lincoln City Police officers shot and killed a man late Thursday night who witnesses say was wielding a knife and "acting crazy."

Fourth Lincoln County resident tests positive for COVID-19

Lincoln County Public Health announced today another positive case of COVID-19. The new case brings Lincoln County’s total to 4 confirmed cases.

Spanish Flu Graph

Publisher’s Note: The following is the first in a series of articles from Oregon Coast Community College educator Jim Kusz.

As restaurants try to keep serving the public with take-out, and schools, shops and many hotels remain closed, the news looks bleak. However, there are hundreds of awesome, inspiring stories of how people are coping on social media, sharing with songs, and with the national economic relief/stimulus fund passing there is financial relief; for some in our workforce community.

Still many need your support as this pandemic continues, there are many other concerns and unfortunately as in any severe event, there will be many unforeseen challenges. COVID-19 is a serious virus and all precautions need to be followed!

This pandemic is referred to as the worst, and that we (the global community) have never seen anything like this. Well that simply isn’t correct when we look through the lens of history. Multiple viruses, plagues and contagious diseases have swept the planet over the last several hundred years, and we’re still here.

 In more recent times, globally, we’ve combated swine flu, H1N1 virus and of course the “Spanish Flu”. The Spanish flu 1918-1919 pandemic killed between 30 and 50 million people worldwide (675,000 Americans were among the dead). The coronavirus COVID-19 should not invoke such numbers, especially, with modern medical advantages and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) through media outlets giving proper guidance and education; we need share and follow that information seriously to empower ourselves from COVID-19!

Coronavirus discovery and research really kick-off in the 1960’s, coronaviruses are responsible for a substantial proportion of the upper respiratory tract infections. Since 2003, research has identified several human coronaviruses worldwide. There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses, the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), a contagious and sometimes fatal respiratory illness.

Most viruses spread through droplets that enter the air when someone with the disease coughs, sneezes or talks. They can also spread mainly through close personal contact. The virus may also be spread on contaminated objects — such as doorknobs, telephones and handrails.

Why is this virus different?  COVID-19 is a new disease, a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans. COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community in some affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

We will not know how long this will go on; and unfortunately, there are individuals whose fear can turn to anger and hostility. That would be the most damage any disaster can cause and it would be the biggest causality to our society. We need to be logical, and know that someday this will be behind us.

It is important to put things in perspective, follow the CDC guidelines and local government recommendations, especial stressing social distancing, closures and self-quarantine. In this unprecedented time in our life, appreciate your family, stay at home and keep vigilant, your actions are the first defense to coronavirus COVID-19.

Be informed, be prepared, be empowered and stay calm. Our response to COVID-19 is creating the history that will assist the next generation as to how to handle future events!

We are all in this together.

To learn more about COVID-19 and how to protect yourself go to the CDC website for further information.

Stay safe, stay informed and stay healthy.

Historical note:  The 1918-1919 pandemic was labeled “The Spanish Flu” not because it originated in Spain, but because that country had remained neutral during World War I and was a source of news that freely reported news of flu activity globally. Scientists currently believe the Spanish flu was a form of H1N1!


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Jim Kusz
Jim Kusz
Oregon Coast Community College, Disaster Preparedness Educator

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