As confirmed coronavirus cases continue to increase throughout the United States, Black Americans are suffering from it the most. Studies show Black people are dying from the virus at disproportionately higher rates compared to the general population. That’s why Starting With Today, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of people through the mission of providing customized training and local resources for underserved adults, hosted two Instagram live sessions, “The Shape Up.” One with Dr. Tiffany Turner, a hospitalist physician licensed in Virginia and another with Cheri Lee, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute of Health, to inform and enlighten our community on tangible steps that can be taken to stay safe during social distancing.
Since the virus primarily spreads through close contact, Dr. Turner suggests people wash their hands for 20 seconds with soap and maintain a six feet distance from others. Masks are also a good precaution that people should be taking to help prevent the spreading of germs. However, if you cannot obtain a mask, she also suggests creating your own using any scarf or piece of cloth.“When people cough or when they sneeze, we all know there is mucus or droplets that come out. We believe the ones [mucus or droplets] that allow us to infect others travel six feet before they drop to hit the ground” Dr. Turner explained.
The coronavirus targets the lungs making it extremely difficult for the human body to breathe and fight off the virus. So what’s the most significant difference between COVID-19 and the flu? According to Dr. Lee, the symptoms of the coronavirus appear 14 days after infection. Unfortunately, making those who are asymptomatic, especially dangerous. In cases where people cannot work from home, i.e., essential workers who have to leave their houses should wear protective gear such as gloves, particularly if you work with “high-touch” surfaces like desks or keyboards.
Additionally, she also advises keeping track of which clothes you wore out, suggesting for people to change into new clothes when returning home from outside. “Depending on the size of your home or even if you are in an apartment, have a bag by the door for your outside clothes and also leave your shoes by the door. There is no reason that you need to walk around your homes and bring in things from outdoors,” she said.