Unanswered Pandemic Questions

There are still many unanswered questions surrounding the pandemic crisis. For instance, many Americans are unsure about how to respond to pleas from government officials and corporate leaders to return to work. Will we be at risk?

Working in the safety of your own home has become widely popular among employees and enthusiastically implemented by many employers. The trend may continue long after coronavirus is defeated.

Of course, the desire to isolate needs to be considered in the context of the business involved. Restaurant workers and small business owners must be on-site to serve their clients in most cases.

There are scores of individuals that fall into this category. If employees show up for work, what are the dangers? Someone could enter a restaurant or a small shop and unwittingly pass on the virus to the owner or an employee. The manner in which this can happen is infinite even while donning a mask.

The sick individual, who may not even know he is a carrier of the flu, may have touched his nose or mouth before entering the store. Virus germs could then be transferred to the door handle while entering the store, the counter where the transaction takes place or on the cash or credit card used to make a purchase. The customer may use the bathroom and spread germs in that area as well.

So, the store now contains active coronavirus material where others can contract it. The owner, an employee or another customer may touch an infected area and ultimately breathe in the virus.  The infected person could then deliver the disease to a coworker or a family member. If any of these people are aged or vulnerable, they could perish even if they never left their own homes.

There are a plethora of ways for employees of large companies to get sick or transmit disease to others. Masks and distancing will certainly help, but public transportation, elevators, escalators, cafeterias, bathrooms, meeting rooms, gyms, etc. are all biohazards that need to be contended with.

What’s going to happen if the disease bounces back? From one perspective it may be a blessing that more and more people contract the disease. For the most part, the flu does not kill healthy people under 60. A young person, who has no respiratory issues or diabetes, will feel horrible for a couple of days and not require any hospital treatment or even need to visit a doctor. But what about the parents of the person who may be living with the infected person?

It’s already been proven that old people are mostly the ones who contract the disease and die from it. Consider the number of people who succumbed to flu in nursing homes. It’s a tragedy. Over time there should be increasingly fewer vulnerable targets for the disease to kill as we become more diligent protecting our senior citizens. If we can somehow shield the aged, more people may have the disease as we return to normalcy, but very few will die.

It’s up to each company, family, school and congregation to protect the vulnerable from coming into contact with sick individuals. At colleges, students will be fine if the virus attacks them, but their teachers, food servers, maintenance people may not be as fortunate.

And finally, there is hope for a vaccine. It will make our causes for concern moot. If the vaccine halts the virus, we will all be safe once again and ready to resume our lives.

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