There are times when someone tells us we must be living under a rock and it means we’re woefully uninformed.

And there are times when living under a rock might seem like an OK plan.

Covid-19 is everywhere and not only the virus itself. TV, newspapers, social media and general conversation seem to be overwhelmed with statistics, warnings, and recommendations (not all of them valid).

It is serious. It can be fatal for certain groups. It is here.

Very briefly — and in very broad terms — the virus can cause severe respiratory illness and pneumonia. It is highly contagious and is spread through coughs and sneezes, physical contact and/or touching infected surfaces.

While statistics vary somewhat, the range of symptoms range from asymptomatic (no symptoms, but still may be infected) to extremely critical. And much of the variance has to do with age and compromised immune systems.

Pacific County has been sending out announcements and bulletins and has provided the following for Covid-19 questions:

Note: The Pacific County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is fully activated and has a call center for all COVID-19 questions. The call center number is 360-875-9407 or 360-642-9407, and it is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

While much caution is needed, we all still have to work, shop, go to appointments and so on — whether we’re 60-plus or not. There some common recommendations for all of us:

• Wash our hands — frequently — with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds.

• Keep hand sanitizer with you — and use it after touching anything someone else may have touched.

• Use disinfectant wipes on anything you frequently touch — counters, chairs, yes, but also our phones, glasses frames and so on. If you’re driving, remember surface areas there, also. (Use your own judgement on your pets.)

• If sick — and possible — stay home. Avoid close contact with people who are ill.

• Avoid — again, as much as possible — touching your face.

Much of this is not very unusual during any active viral season. We simply get out of the habit. Isolation is usually not a good thing, but preventing the spread of Covid-19 makes it a positive.

Remember: We do have access to communication. Social media allows us to stay in touch — safely — with friends and family. And if we don’t have computer or smartphone access, we still have the old-style telephone — remember those?

We need to be safe — and that also means protecting ourselves from anxiety-driven panic. And, unfortunately, scammers are already all over this. The Office of Insurance Commissioner (OIC) has sent out warnings about robocalls offering “special virus kits” and of course they need your Medicare number, etc. Let’s remain alert and smart. On a daily basis, we, as community, get through tough times. And we still can.

Information & Assistance

Long Beach: 360-642-3634

or 888-571-6558

Raymond: 360-942-2177

or 888-571-6557

www.o3a.org

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