March 31, 2020: Public Health Update

From: Tom McLarney, MD
Date: Tuesday, March 31, 2020 at 11:49 AM
Subject: Public Health Update

To the Wesleyan Community,

The Davison Health Center sends our wishes for good health and safety to everyone.

We continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic closely at the local, national and international levels.

Over the next few weeks, experts in the field predict increased cases of COVID-19 in the United States. Coupled with the lack of a vaccine, medication trials still in early phases, and troubling shortages in testing, personal protective equipment, and ventilators around the country, it is understandable to see high levels of fear and anxiety as we worry about our own well-being and the health of our loved ones.

With all these challenges, I would again like to stress the measures that we can all do to decrease the risk of infection:

  1. Social/Physical Distancing: Stay 6 feet away from others.
  2. Wash Hands Frequently: With soap and water for 20 seconds (which is two verses of Happy Birthday). If soap and water is not available, you may use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, worked into your hands until dry.
  3. Do Not Touch Your Face: Touching your face can either introduce viruses into your body or spread a virus that you may be carrying.
  4. Sneeze/Cough Etiquette: Cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow and not into your hand. Or, use a tissue then discard it in the trash.
  5. Clean Surfaces: Wipe down high-touch surfaces with a product containing bleach or Lysol. These include tabletops, counters, doorknobs and stair railings.
  6. Avoid Anyone Who is Sick.
  7. Avoid Groups of Five People or More.

Please note there is no evidence that a person who does not have COVID-19 needs to wear a mask in public.

Another challenge we all face is isolation. Human beings are social creatures and it is very disconcerting to isolate ourselves. Rabbi David Teva sent out a fabulous article to help us all to deal with this. One of the suggestions is to stay informed with what is happening locally, nationally, and internationally. One caveat I would mention is that too much exposure to the media can overwhelm us.  So be informed but be judicious.

  • Maintain the ‘’new normalcy’’ that we have adopted.  For our students and professors, this is the online learning that you are all actively involved in.
  • Address negative feelings that can manifest at this time: fear, anxiety, sadness, anger, worry. Use other methods to contact your support systems (phone, Skype, FaceTime, Zoom).
  • Exercise is one of the best ways to maintain both physical health and mental wellbeing. You can find exercise groups, yoga, or Tai Chi online.
  • Isolation does not mean you cannot go outside (unless you are on quarantine). Take advantage of a nice day to take a walk but remember to adhere to the rules of social/physical distancing.

Davison Health Center is open and operating with 24/7 availability by phone. Please do not hesitate to call us at 860-685-2470. We will be in touch weekly to keep the community updated as the situation progresses.

Stay well and be safe,

Tom McLarney MD

Medical Director