Coronavirus And My Family

My family, unfortunately, has been close to some of the front lines of the Coronavirus outbreak. One of us was in several CDC Level-3 countries before returning to the United States on March 12, 2020.

Corona Virus And My Family

Due to this we have been caught up in a number of emerging issues from screening and testing, to quarantine and more. I’m here to tell you what’s going on behind the scenes.

What Is Increased Screening?

This family member was in several European cities (Madrid, Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris and more) during March. When they flew back into the United States we were anticipating the increased screening that we learned about in this speech.

Screening ≠ Testing

As they passed through US Customs they experienced the aforementioned increased screening. This consisted of being asked if they were in China or Italy.  This family member observed that not a single person they went through Customs with was asked about symptoms, had their temperature taken, or was given a Coronavirus test.

Federal Government Recommendations

They were given no information on quarantine procedures, nor was it recommended. However, this family member immediately went into self-quarantine to avoid becoming a potential vector for the spread of this virus. We all need to do our best to flatten the curve.

What Is Self-Quarantine?

The rest of us are in quarantine too. There are no tests available to those coming from the middle of the pandemic. We are in quarantine to protect others in case we have Coronavirus due to exposure from our traveling family member. Having been in the health space for almost 30 years I take public health very seriously. This is not just about preventing old people from getting sick, though that is of extreme importance. It is about preventing total collapse of our health care system.

Flatten the Curve

How Many Tests Does USA Have?

Unfortunately, we do not have enough tests to test high risk populations (like my family traveler) which include those coming from hot spots around the world as well as our medical personnel, and people who experience typical Coronavirus symptoms.1

Testing In Colorado

The governor is desperate for tests,2 and our Boulder County Medical Director personally told me that they do not have enough tests to administer to emergency personnel. As of March 20, 2020, less than 3,000 individuals3 had been tested in Colorado out of a population of 6,000,000.4 We don’t have enough tests here as outlined in The Denver Post article titled, Colorado Coronavirus Testing Frustrations.

Testing In USA

According to this Wall Street Journal, article:5

When cases of the new coronavirus began emerging several weeks ago in California, Washington state and other pockets of the country, U.S. public-health officials worried this might be The Big One…The testing program they rolled out to combat it, though, was a small one.

How Many Tested?

According to the WSJ, as of March 20, 2020, 32,000 people had been tested in the US. Incidentally, of those, 6,500 people tested positive for Coronavirus. It is concerning that 20% of those tested are positive.

Global Coronavirus Count

Here is a link to a Global Coronavirus Counter from Johns Hopkins. Please note, the numbers you see on this counter will be different than those I cite above, given that this tool is current, and the above are from newspaper articles that do not get updated.

Let’s Start A Global Conversation

I’d love to connect with you during this challenging time. Let me know where you are, how you’re holding up emotionally, what your physical condition is, and if you have access to Coronavirus testing. Stay safe, flatten the curve, and support our health warriors!

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124 responses to “Coronavirus And My Family”

  1. I live in WA about 45 minutes from the very 1st case in the U.S. Even here it’s super hard to get tested. They’re mostly testing people in the high risk category, but lots of people are sick, a co worker of my husband’s, who went home with a fever, for example. They still wouldn’t test him. The kids and I are home until at least April 24th. Lots of people are still not social distancing enough though. I’m sad and frustrated that it may take a state wide “shelter in place” order to change that. Luckily I live in a beautiful and open place with lots of space to walk and meander the beach.
    I have had a request for your blueberry coffee cake!! Sounds like a great weekend breakfast. Your chocolate chip cookies are my favorite too, probably make those soon as well. I wish you well in your quarantine.

    • Melissa, thanks for checking in from Washington. How scary to be near the very first case in the US. And how totally frightening that it remains hard to get tested even there, even with symptoms. That is so very sad. The testing shortage is a true public health tragedy. And agree, we need to do social distancing to flatten the curve. Thanks so much for your well wishes and I’m thrilled to hear that your getting requests for my recipes during this strange time :-)

  2. I live in a California country were there are now 25 cases, a jump from the 15 of yesterday. My family is in Italy, and I am terrified that people are not taking this virus seriously. What I read and see about the crisis in Italy is depressing me, I really hope people understand that importance of the quarantine.

    Thank you for bringing this important issue up.

    • Laura, thank you for your support and for standing by me on this crucial matter of public safety. Stay well :-)

  3. Hi Elana!

    My husband and I are living in Korea. We just moved here last month, departing the US on 2/25 and arriving in Korea on 2/26 with a direct flight. We were a little nervous thinking we were flying into a virus war zone! When we arrived and left the airport, we immediately felt more at ease. Here in Korea, they have taken fairly extreme measures to contain. Communication is very transparent. We know what neighborhood infected people live in. We are told where they went/visited in the days leading up to being confirmed positive. All of this information is given to the general public.

    Here, we all wear masks. There is a system in place where you can by two masks per week in a specific day based on the last digit of your birth year. 1/6 on Monday, 2/7 on Tuesday and so on.

    Stores are all fully stocked. No one is panic buying. We all just buy what we need each week or however often we shop. Personally, we try to shop only once a week, but we needed eggs sooner than that, so we went to the store last night for eggs, so we would have food for breakfast. We walk pretty much everywhere and limit public transportation.

    At school, our kiddos all are required to wear masks. We also teach in our masks. Everyone washes their hands multiple times per day. We spray the desks with sanitizing spray. There’s sanitizing gel throughout the school too.

    I’d say people here still go out to eat, shop and so on… but we are all wearing our masks and practicing good hygiene. We personally are limiting some of our outing until the virus has calmed down. Seoul is only a 30-40 minute subway ride, but that would open us up to so many new vectors and potential of contracting it that we are staying away for now. So much to see in Seoul and so much amazing street food… I’m a little bit sad we can’t enjoy everything there, but we’ll be living here for a year or two (more than likely two years). We are hopeful that means we can explore Seoul and the country in depth later on.

    Hope you all stay healthy back in Colorado and the US! Thinking about everyone.

    • Whoa! A comment from Korea! Thank you for reporting in from there Ann. I am so inspired to hear about the way the South Korean government has handled this. When it comes to public health caution, active intervention, and transparency are so very important. Wonderful to hear directly from you about the highly functional way this has been handled in your country of residence. Thank you again.

  4. Elana, I feel like I know you. You have contributed to making my table healthy and beautiful for years. As we come into this weekend (with a gluten free challah) I hope you ad your family stay strong and healthy. I also hope that we all can find a way to feel socially connected while practicing social space. We need that to support our immune systems. That and your wonderful guidance. Be well

    • Ilene, thanks for your beautiful comment and Shabbat Shalom! I’m so grateful to be on this healing path with you. Big hugs :-)

  5. I live outside of Sedona, Arizona, where our county just has their first positive presumptive case of Coronavirus. The local clinic/hospital has five tests and you have to be admitted and in bad shape before you can get tested. My 70 year-old-husband who has asthma and I suddenly got sick two weeks ago with a cough and fever. There were no tests and because we hadn’t been out of the country they would not have tested us anyway. BUT we had been to the Sedona Film Festival for six separate films, the last being 5 days before we became ill. We were crammed in waiting lines for the movies and the theaters were filled with people from all over the United States. Surely there were people who had been out of the country. Fortunately we are in excellent health without any underlying conditions except for his asthma and have recovered except that we continue to cough two weeks later.

    • Lynne, thanks for checking in from Arizona. I’m so sorry to hear that you and your husband are yet another pair of people in need of COVID-19 tests that could not get them. I am relieved that the two of you are mostly in excellent health. Please keep me posted on how both of you are doing!

  6. I live outside of Cleveland, Ohio and returned two weeks ago from a 5 day trip to San Diego where I attended a family members’ graduation from Marine boot camp. I spent hours on base with thousands of others, often shoulder to shoulder in proximity. The flight back to Ohio showed minimal precautions other than my own use of essential oils and sanitation of the arm rests, seat belt, and tray table. Upon my return home I immediately began coughing, feeling fatigued, having headaches, and an on again-off again sore throat. I saw my primary care physician early this week for my symptoms. She was certain I had a virus of some kind and not the flu but despite the governments statements of plenty of tests and safety supplies, the physician indicated they could not test me for COVID-19 unless I met a few guidelines: Traveling to China or Italy OR being exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 already! The doctor shared she would add my name to the list for suspected exposure and request testing when it became more readily available. I was sent on my way with a Rx for an inhaler, antibiotics, and cough drops. Every day since then the nurse has followed up to see how I feel and if I have been contacted for testing. Every day she reports to the State the numbers of patients she has that continue to need testing. Today I received a call from the testing scheduler and will undergo testing in the morning at a drive through facility. I’m told it will take 72 hours to receive the results. My husband and two teenage children are in self-quarantine at home with me. It is a scary time and concern from the medical community for their lack of supplies and preparedness offers no comfort. Here’s to wishing you and yours good health and patience through this journey.

    • Donna, hello to you in Cleveland and so sorry to hear you are not feeling well. I am also sorry that although the government is telling us there are tests aplenty, few of us that need them are able to get a test. This is tragic on many levels. Please keep me posted on how you’re doing and I’m sending you and yours big hugs as we ride the wave of this wild time.

  7. As of 5:00p.m…….March 20th.
    .opening drive thru at American Airlines at DFW.
    Also Ellis Field between Dallas and Fort Worth.
    Must big first responder or have something from Doctor saying u need to tested.
    Starts in morning

    • Sally, I hope other parts of the country can share in this very good fortune soon. The lack of testing has been a true impediment to containing this pandemic.

    • Sally, that’s great that they were able to test a man in Dallas. Here in Colorado we do not have enough tests for even our health warriors. It is truly a tragedy.

  8. Heartfelt thanks for sharing your story and I will be praying for you and your family from Celebration, Florida minutes from Disney World. When the parks closed, that signaled deep seriousness. Each day the news brings more and more depth as to what is going on. We are in our early 70s and in good health but only going out for walks and essentials. It is heartwarming seeing people caring, sharing, self-sacrificing and helping each other in a united way. We are all in this together…the whole world. I am trying more of your wonderful recipes and so appreciate everything you have always shared. God bless and I sure appreciate the inspiration you are. What do I miss the most about the “new normal”? Not being able to be with our grand children is what my heart misses the most. Grateful for face time and the blessings all around us despite the current “cloud”. Looking for the “silver linings” will continue to give us all the resiliency to get to brighter days along with prayer.

    • Lorraine, thanks for reporting in from Florida! What a beautiful and heart warming comment. During this tragic pandemic, there are also so many amazing moments of good and inter-connectedness. I’m so sorry to hear that you are not able to see the grandies, but glad you are taking care of yourselves and flattening the curve. Thanks also for your kind words and blessings, I’m grateful for you!

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