United Church of Christ – Wider Church Ministries
Humanitarian Development Team
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Daily Briefing
Barbara T. Baylor, MPH – Temporary Health Liaison
March 25, 2020 - Issue #3
Just Stay Home? Public Health Experts Continue to Urge Social Distancing
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have indicated that the number of COVID-19 cases in the United States now exceeds 50,000, with more than 700 deaths. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one-third of new cases worldwide are in the United States, placing the United States in position to become the epicenter of this disease globally.
Yesterday, the nation’s top doctor, U. S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, M.D. implored Americans to please stay home. He said that the disease is spreading because many people — especially young people — are not abiding by guidance to stay at home and practice social distancing.
Currently, there is no national shelter-in-place order. Should there be? Twenty Democratic lawmakers think so and sent a letter to President Trump asking him to issue a two-week, nationwide shelter-in-place order “immediately.” The order would permit people to travel for essential services such as groceries and health care, as well as to and from workplaces if they are considered critical workers. The suggested move would follow in the footsteps of approximately 15 states that have already issued similar orders in the last few days to prevent the spread of COVID-19. While a national shelter-in-place order would not mandate governors to act, it would serve as a strong suggestion.
American Medical Association (AMA), America Nurses Association (ANA) and the American Hospital Association (AHA) have released a joint statement asking the American public to stay at home during this critical stage of our national response to COVID-19. Read entire statement here.
Understandably, social distancing may bring on a range of emotions that include, fear and anxiety, depression and boredom, anger, frustration and irritability. Staying home can be extremely stressful. While you practice social distancing, mental health experts have suggested that you consider doing breathing exercises, being kind to someone in need, sharing something good, changing your expectations, and managing news intake.
Just stay home? COVID-19 is a crisis that is growing faster than can be contained. If you can, yes, just stay home.