The ongoing pandemic of the novel COVID-19 coronavirus has created tremendous risks for everyone, including Navy sailors, veterans, retirees, and their families. Individuals who are older and/or have compromised immune systems and other underlying conditions are at the most risk from the virus.
The main symptoms appear to be:
- Shortness of breath
Note: This is NOT essentially a “mild flu.” Current projections place the mortality rate at 1-2%, which would make it 10-20 times more deadly than the seasonal flu. It also appears far more contagious and scientists have not yet developed a vaccine to combat it. It is important that you follow CDC guidelines in order to lower the risk of transmission either to you or from you to someone else.
AUSN urges all individuals who can to stay at home and avoid contact with others, and to follow all CDC guidelines:
- Wash hands often for at least 20 seconds, especially if you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- Stay at least 6 feet away from everyone you are not currently living with.
- Stay home if you are able to, and especially if you’re sick.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your elbow, discard used tissues, and immediately wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or a hand sanitizer if the former isn’t available right away.
- Wear a facemask if you’re sick, but don’t if you aren’t sick because the nation faces a critical shortage of facemasks.
- Clean and disinfect all frequently touched surfaces often. The CDC has guidelines here on how you can do that with common household supplies.
Authorities expect cases to continue to rise until possible late into the summer and even beyond. Remember: even if you are not feeling sick, by ignoring these guidelines you could be spreading the virus to others who would be at significant risk from the disease.
AUSN will continue to monitor the situation and provide important information when it becomes available.