COVID-19 Updates from FamilyCare of Kent
From WA State Department of Health March 25, 2020
Social Distancing and Mental Health
We need each other. Being isolated from other people can make our physical and mental health worse and can especially trigger anxiety and depression. Especially if you live alone, social distancing is hard on our bodies and our emotions. And when we add to that the worries about unknowns—will I get sick? Will someone I love get sick? What will happen to my job?—we layer on additional stresses to our physical and mental health. If you find yourself lonely, stressed, or anxious, pay attention to these emotions and take action:
- Avoid watching, reading, or listening to news reports that cause you to feel anxious or distressed. A near-constant stream of news reports is not calming. Seek out information from reliable sources like the Washington State Department of Health or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just a couple times a day. Fact check what you see on social media. Spread good information.
- Stay connected with others and maintain your social networks. Go for a walk and wave to your neighbors from six feet away. Ask them if they are well and if they need anything.
- Introduce structure into your day. Structure and routine may be helpful for people with mental health vulnerabilities, especially during times of uncertainty. Even if you are working from home or if your life looks completely different right now, try to maintain familiar routines in daily life as much as possible. Maybe we’ll feel better if we shower, get dressed, and eat breakfast.
- Check out these resources to help support your mental health or that of a loved one:
- Care for Your Coronavirus Anxiety Toolkit
- How to Help Someone with Anxiety or Depression during COVID-19
- Resources to Support Mental Health and Coping with the Coronavirus
And if you are in crisis, don’t hesitate to call the 24-Hour Crisis Line at 866-427-4747 or text HEAL to 741741 to get confidential text access to a trained crisis counselor any time of the day or night.
Remember, you can find great information on the state’s new web portal for information about COVID-19 (coronavirus.wa.gov), on the Department of Health website (www.doh.wa.gov), or on the CDC website (www.cdc.gov). Or you can call our COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-525-0127 and press #, or email us at DOH.Information@doh.wa.gov.
Practice compassion. Staying away from other people is not good for us. It doesn’t make any sense except in the light of the compassion we have for our loved ones and communities. Stay at home to protect the people you love.
3/23/2020: We're going to put up information as it becomes available. We'll use the best sources we can find. Below is from the Washington State Department of Health.
Stay Home to Conserve Hospital Resources
Over the last three weeks, we’ve seen a sharp increase in the number of people hospitalized for fever and respiratory symptoms. This week, we saw an increase in the number of adults hospitalized for pneumonia—more even than in the peak of the flu season last year. There are only so many hospital beds. Already, hospitals are postponing elective surgeries so that there is more room for people who get very sick from COVID-19 or who need hospital care for other, unrelated things like heart attacks or injuries. It is so important that we stay home and away from other people. We must stop the spread of COVID-19 before we have more people needing care than we have hospital beds to put them in.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I get COVID-19 from opening mail or packages?
COVID-19 is mostly spread person to person, which is why we are socially distancing ourselves and staying at least six feet away from each other. The virus can live on hard surfaces for a while, but would be very unlikely to live on paper or cardboard for long enough to infect you through the mail.
- What all is closed?
I can understand how this is hard to track—you are staying home as much as possible, so how would you know what is open and what is closed? For the curious, this website has the full list.
- I got a text or email from someone with a cure for COVID-19!
I am so hopeful that we will have good treatments and a vaccine for COVID-19 soon, but we do not right now. Anyone who tells you they have a treatment, cure, or preventative that isn’t social distancing and hand washing is trying to scam you. Do not click on any links in an email or text promising a treatment or preventative. It’s literally too good to be true.
- How are the kids doing out of school?
Our kids are stressed and worried. And they love you! Skype a child and read a book to them this weekend. They will love it and so will you. (Don’t forget to do the voices!)
- Don’t you have any good news?
A little! China’s greenhouse gas emissions were down 25% in the last month. The skies in Wuhan are blue. The lack of boat traffic on the canals in Venice has improved the air quality and allowed the sediment in the water to settle. The water in the canals is clear and you can see fish. The carbon monoxide emissions in New York City are down 50% compared to last year this time. Let’s pay attention to what the world looks like when we prioritize the health of our communities, and, when all this is over, let’s come back to the world gently.
Numbers. The latest numbers are on the DOH webpage, which we update daily. As of today’s web refresh, 30,875 people in Washington have been tested for COVID-19. Of those, 1,996 people in Washington have tested positive for COVID-19, and 95 have died of the disease.
Practice compassion. Remember—we’re isolating ourselves to protect our communities and people we love. This is hard, but our friends and families are worth it!
Take care of yourself and others!