COVID-19… what you need to know
March 16, 2020
The World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic. Our church’s top priorities are the spiritual and physical health and safety of our congregation.
While PCCC is taking measures to mitigate the spread of the virus, we also must take responsibility to educate ourselves. We must learn about the virus and what we need to do to protect ourselves and our families.
The following are excerpts from the Center for Disease Control, World Health Organization and Wikipedia.
Situation in U.S.:
Different parts of the country are seeing different levels of COVID-19 activity. The United States nationally is currently in the initiation phases, but states where community spread is occurring are in the acceleration phase. The duration and severity of each phase can vary depending on the characteristics of the virus and the public health response.
What are coronaviruses?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause diseases in mammals and birds. In humans, coronaviruses cause respiratory tract infections that are typically mild, such as some cases of the common cold, though rarer forms can be lethal, such as SARS, MERS, and COVID-19. There are yet to be vaccines or antiviral drugs to prevent or treat human coronavirus infections.
The name "coronavirus" is derived from Latin corona, meaning "crown" or "wreath", itself a borrowing from Greek κορώνη korṓnē, "garland, wreath". The name refers to the characteristic appearance of virions (the infective form of the virus) by electron microscopy, which have a fringe of large, bulbous surface projections creating an image reminiscent of a crown or of a solar corona.
How does coronavirus spread?
The virus that causes COVID-19 is infecting people and spreading easily from person-to-person. Human to human transmission of coronaviruses is primarily thought to occur among close contacts via respiratory droplets generated by sneezing and coughing.
When and where was coronavirus discovered?
Coronaviruses were first discovered in the 1960s. The origin of these viruses is believed to be in bats. The earliest corouasviruses discovered were infectious bronchitis virus in chickens and two viruses from the nasal cavities of human patients with the common cold that were subsequently named human coronavirus 229E and human coronavirus OC43.
In 2003, following the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) which had begun the prior year in Asia, and secondary cases elsewhere in the world, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a press release stating that a novel coronavirus identified by a number of laboratories was the causative agent for SARS. The virus was officially named the SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV). Over 8,000 people were infected, about 10% of whom died.
How serious is the risk of coronavirus?
The complete clinical picture with regard to COVID-19 is not fully known. Reported illnesses have ranged from very mild (including some with no reported symptoms) to severe, including illness resulting in death. While information so far suggests that most COVID-19 illness is mild, a reportexternal icon out of China suggests serious illness occurs in 16% of cases. Older people and people of all ages with severe underlying health conditions — like heart disease, lung disease and diabetes, for example — seem to be at higher risk of developing serious COVID-19 illness.
The risk from COVID-19 to Americans can be broken down into risk of exposure versus risk of serious illness and death.
Risk of exposure:
The immediate risk of being exposed to this virus is still low for most Americans, but as the outbreak expands, that risk will increase. Cases of COVID-19 and instances of community spread are being reported in a growing number of states.
People in places where ongoing community spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 has been reported are at elevated risk of exposure, with the level of risk dependent on the location.
Healthcare workers caring for patients with COVID-19 are at elevated risk of exposure.
Close contacts of persons with COVID-19 also are at elevated risk of exposure.
Travelers returning from affected international locations where community spread is occurring also are at elevated risk of exposure, with level of risk dependent on where they traveled.
Risk of Severe Illness:
Early information out of China, where COVID-19 first started, shows that some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness.
Older adults, with risk increasing by age.
People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:
Turn to GOD…
Meanwhile, we are called to not be anxious.
While we take the proper precautions, we rest in the hope and peace of a sovereign God. We trust Him in all things as we navigate our lives, our families and this church through these challenging times.
The Lord is our ultimate source of comfort and guidance. We thank Him for the opportunity that He gives us to be the hands and feet of Jesus in loving our neighbors and showing compassion.
As we embrace the Lord and His Word, let us pray for the world, our church, our community and all who have been impacted by this crisis. We are confident our Mighty God will be magnified through His beloved people through this trying time.
Center for Disease Control (CDC)
Center for Disease Control (CDC)
The World Health Organization (WHO)