This post is sponsored by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
COVID-19 IS STILL AMONG US
It is hard to believe that it has been almost a year since COVID-19 arrived here in the United States. So much has changed in this timeframe, yet so much has remained the same. Just about everyone I know has had their life upended one way or another because of COVID-19. I personally know dozens of people whom have been infected by it, and some have had lifelong, serious consequences. Other people I know have lost family members to the virus, and that is such a tragedy. Many business have closed, some permanently, and thousands of people remain unemployed. As tiring as it is, everyone must do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19. This means we should continue to wear a mask whenever we are in public, maintain 6 feet of social distancing at all times, and avoid gathering with others. And if you have the opportunity to have the COVID-19 vaccine, you should definitely do it! I had the vaccine myself, and to have it made me feel hopeful that this all would come to an end very soon.
The Importance of Masking, Handwashing and Social Distancing
You may not believe that masking and social distancing work to stop the spread of the virus, but I’m telling you when all of these measures are taken together the virus can be stopped. Did you know that universal masking can reduce the spread of COVID-19 by up to 70%? When masking is used in conjunction with social distancing guidelines the spread of COVID-19 can be slowed even further. But what else can you do? If you have a cough or nasal congestion, make sure you cough or sneeze into a tissue or your upper sleeve. This is important because sneezes and coughs release droplets and these droplets can travel up to 6 feet for a cough and 27 feet for a sneeze! Also make sure to wash or sanitize your hands regularly. I carry a bottle of sanitizer with me and I use it several times a day – every time I touch someone or something that isn’t in my house. And don’t forget to avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. My family and I have been taking these measures for so long, it has become second nature. I don’t feel right leaving my home without my mask, and I keep plenty of them in my car so I’m never without one.
I watch the Michigan COVID-19 numbers daily, and they are finally trending down because everyone is doing their part to stop the spread. But this virus is unrelenting, and we cannot let our guard down. The only way we are going have life return to “normal”, to get our jobs and economy back, to see our kids play sports, to gather together with friends and family, and to live the life we want, is if we rally together.
The Importance of Contact Tracing
Contact Tracing is another important tool that is used to stop the spread of COVID-19. Contact tracing is the process of contacting everyone in Michigan who has had contact with an individual who tested positive for COVID-19. Your bubble is bigger than you think, and if you become infected, everyone in your bubble can become infected too. Through contact tracing, public health employees reach out and ask about close contacts a person has had during the time when they may have been infectious. Contact tracers then call anyone who may have been exposed as quickly and sensitively as possible. Those contacted are given information and support to understand their risk and how to keep others safe. They’re asked to monitor themselves for illness and to get tested or seek help if they become ill. And they may be asked to quarantine or isolate themselves. All calls are confidential. The public health contact tracers protect the privacy of patients and contacts. They don’t give the name of the patient, only that they may have been exposed to someone with the infection. And they will never ask you for your personal information. So if you get a call from 866-806-3447, MI COVID HELP or your local health department, please answer and give any information that could help keep your community safe.
Michigan COVID Alert App
As soon as I heard about the MI COVID Alert app I downloaded it from the App Store. MI COVID Alert is a free, easy to use, and anonymous app to help you stay informed and protect yourself or others from spreading COVID-19. Research from Oxford University found a potential to reduce infections and deaths, even if just 15% of a population uses an exposure notification app like MI COVID Alert. If you test positive for COVID-19, you will receive instructions from the local health department or the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to enter a code and share your test results anonymously on the app. If you have been in close contact (within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes) with someone who has COVID-19, you will receive a push notification to your mobile phone. The alert tells a user they may have been exposed to COVID-19 and how many days ago the exposure took place. This allows you to think about where exposure might have taken place, how to get tested, and consider quarantining. This is information I definitely want to know!
SPREAD HOPE NOT COVID-19
We all have a common goal when it comes to halting the spread of COVID-19 – to keep Michigan open. When we work together, everyone benefits and everyone can feel good those around them. The one thing the virus cannot take away from us is hope. So be considerate, wear your mask, and don’t go into large crowds. I myself will be forever grateful for those who help prevent the spread and so will countless others. To learn more about how you can prevent the spread of COVID-19, please visit the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services website here.
I hope you have found today’s post helpful! And please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions.
Thanks for stopping by!
xo | April