COVID-19 persists

The illness continues. We are all sick of the sickness. Many of us are  scared of the sickness. I work in a Walmart, as a cashier It is scary. Literally, each new shift starts the clock ticking off another sequence of 14 days, another 14 days of watching and waiting for signs of symptoms. I’m trying to stay sane by checking out all the hysterically funny memes on Facebook. I commend all the creative people out there who are injecting some levity into this madness.

I poked around the internet tonight for some facts on this disease. Coronaviruses are a family of viruses. Some of them cause the common cold and influenza. They are also the culprit that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome or, SARS and Middle East respiratory syndrome or, MERS,

Dr. Clayton Cowl who is a pulmonologist and chair of Mayo Clinic’s Division of Preventive Occupational and Aerospace Medicine explained in an article on mayoclinic.org on March 30, 2020 that the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is referred to as, “novel,” because it began in the animal population. It was passed to a human, in China, and now can pass from person to person. Because this is a novel virus, humans have not developed an immunity to this particular strain of coronavirus.

The novelty of this virus among humans makes it more contagious than either the flu or the common cold. Because of this, COVID-19 can cause more cellular damage and greater inflammation. As with all infections, people who have compromised immune systems are particularly vulnerable. Such people include those taking certain medications (including drugs that treat diseases such as lupus, psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis, among others) and those with diseases such as diabetes or kidney disorders.

As of 11 pm Tuesday April 7th, total US cases numbered 387,000, with 12,280 deaths. By the same time, here in Florida, the Sunshine State had 14,747 total cases with 1,893 people hospitalized and 296 deaths. Right now, Florida ranks seventh in the number of cases.

County-wise, Miami-Dade had the greatest number of cases at 5,100, 320 hospitalizations and 47 deaths. Broward has the second largest number of cases with 2,230. Three-hundred of those patients are in hospitals and 34 people have died. The county with the third largest number of cases is Palm Beach ,which has a total of 1,159 cases, 203 people in hospitals and has had 64 deaths.

Orange County, which makes up the bulk of the Orlando Metro area, is in fourth place with 768 cases, 95 hospitalizations and ten fatalities.

I live in Winter Springs, which is part of Orlando Metro but, directly north of Orange, in Seminole County. Seminole has 202 total cases, 40 hospitalizations and one death. A  few days ago, my usual news channel, WKMG, showed a map of Seminole County depicting three hotspots: Altamonte Springs, in Southwestern Seminole, Lake Mary, in Northern Seminole and Oviedo, in Southeastern Seminole. Oviedo is where I work and spend probably half my time. So, I’m a little anxious.

By the time this gets read, the numbers will be greater.

 

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Sources: The New York Times, WESH.com, Clickorland.com, mayoclinic.org and cdc.gov.

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Modified entrance to Walmart store #5894 in Oviedo. I took this photo on 4/7/2020.

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Same Walmart. Our empty toilet paper shelves. I took this photo on 3/27/2020.

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Same Walmart. Manager, Melissa, just stocked a few cleaning products. I was there today and spent $4.42 for a bottle of Clorox. There were about six bottles on the shelf. 4/7/2020.

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Same Walmart. Stanchions dividing entrance from exit. Employees are stationed outside to count people coming or going. We are allowed to have 495 customers and employees in the store at one time. 4/7/2020.

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The Kohl’s store next to my Walmart is closed because it is a non-essential business. 4/7/2020.

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Dog food is slim pickins. Same Walmart. 3/27/2020.

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