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Stop the Spread: Stay Home

Published on Apr. 27, 2020
Stay home Munson Healthcare COVID-19


I'm not sick, do I really need to stay home? The answer right now is yes, as much as possible, even if you are feeling healthy or are not among a population at-risk for complications due to the new coronavirus (COVID-19).

On April 9, Governor Whitmer signed executive order 2020-42, extending her prior “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order through the end of April. As with the prior order, Executive Order 2020-42 limits gatherings and travel and requires all workers who are not necessary to sustain or protect life to stay home. Executive Order 2020-42 also imposes more stringent limitations on stores to reduce foot traffic, slow the spread of the coronavirus, and save lives.

Of course, no one can stay at home indefinitely. There are groceries to buy, prescriptions to fill and fresh air and exercise needed. But here are three reasons why you should stick as close to home as possible and take all of the necessary precautions when you do venture out.

1. Do your part to flatten the curveFlatten the Curve Munson Healthcare

We’ve all seen the chart depicting the flattening of the curve, which explains how keeping your distance from others could slow the spread of the new coronavirus. There are two situations shown, with the first being what could happen if no protective measures are taken. There would be a surge in cases and not enough capacity within our healthcare system to meet the need. People would die unnecessarily.

The other line shows us what happens if protective measures, like staying at home and social distancing, are taken. Yes, the virus still spreads, but at a much slower rate, allowing medical equipment and beds in our hospitals to be available to people who need them.

2. You or someone in your household could be asymptomatic

It is possible that you or someone in your household may have been exposed to the new coronavirus and not know it, as many people are asymptomatic. That means you’re carrying and shedding the virus but don’t have symptoms and could be spreading it to others if you’re going out frequently.

A recent international study that included collaboration between researchers in China, Hong Kong, London and the U.S. estimates that in the period before travel restrictions were announced in China, only 14% — or about 1 out of 7 — infections were recognized, according to an article on WebMD. That means that 86% of the people who were infected had mild or no symptoms, which contributed to the rapid geographic spread of the virus. (The paper can be read in Science magazine.)

3. Coronavirus can be easily spread

The new coronavirus is a respiratory virus that spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose. Some scientists are now saying that the virus can be spread by just breathing or talking. Because there hasn’t been enough research, it’s best to stay home when possible and keep up physical distancing when in public to avoid getting sick. This 3-D simulator from the New York Times shows why social distancing is so important.

Here are some tips to follow when you do go out: Social Distance in public Munson Healthcare

  • Wear a cloth face covering or mask in public where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as the grocery store or pharmacy. This is especially important in areas of significant community-based transmission.
  • Maintain a 6 feet distance between yourself and others at all times. More distance is better. The higher your underlying risk (age, recent major surgery, cancer, immunocompromised, asthma, diabetes, etc.), the more you should avoid crowds.
  • Go to the store at off-peak hours.
  • Make a written list, organized by location in store, so you can be efficient.
  • Phones are hard to disinfect completely. While out, put your phone in a baggie (it still works this way).
  • Bring disinfectant wipes and/or wear washable cloth gardening gloves for handling doors, elevators, and other frequently touched hard surfaces that may retain the virus. Remember you are protecting yourself as well as others.
  • Use non-physical means to pay, such as PayPal or Apple Pay where possible. If not, use disinfecting wipes to disinfect your debit/credit card.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Get outside and enjoy the fresh air, but keep walking. Say hello to people, get some social interaction, but get it in passing. Keep physical distance from others and don’t stop and form groups.
  • Continue to practice frequent handwashing before you leave home and when you return.

If you exhibit any symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, shortness of breath and a cough, Isolate yourself at home and away from family members, and call a healthcare provider.

To learn more about coronavirus COVID-19 and best practices for prevention, visit our website