Maintaining Hope through the Hype – Construction
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We socialized with friends who do not work in the Construction Industry, but instead for companies that employ hundreds of people servicing national and worldwide regions. They asked if our companies had released emergency plans for the Coronavirus.  They also asked me which agency we were following if we were ordered to not go to work for a quarantine. They were referring to how we similarly follow Broward schools plan for our business when we have a hurricane warning. My response was that we are a small business and our focus presently is on immune health and cleanliness.  My husband John chimed in to say our company is already able to temporarily work remotely, and that we are focused on awareness rather than fear.

I believe in planning and preparation, but I also believe that it should not be done to stir up superfluous fear of the unknown.

According to the CDC, since 2010, the common flu has resulted in between 140,000 and 960,000 hospitalizations per year.  Between February 2019 and February 2020, the CDC noted 350,000 – 650,000 flu-related hospitalizations and 20,000-52,000 flu-related deaths.

As of 9 March 2020, The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has resulted in 22 deaths in the United States, and 4003 deaths in the world, out of a total of more than 100,000 reported cases.  You can find information on what COVID-19 is and how it was named at the following website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html.  The news media is finally reporting that the majority of people infected are recovering.  Over 60,000 people alone have recovered just in China.  And overall, those with the virus have a 97% chance of recovering.

“Hope”, according to Dictionary.com, is a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.  You hope you don’t get the flu, and you especially hope you don’t catch COVID-19.

Both the United States and countries around the world are instituting certain precautions to prevent the spread of the virus until a cure can be found. Italy, with a population of sixty million, has implemented countrywide quarantine measures as a precaution.

The ability to work smart and stay focused for others at your company is important.

The construction industry is filled with brave men and women who already risk their lives every day to build in America and around the world. While the thought of a something new and dangerous can be frightening, it is important to maintain a sense of proportion.

The majority of the deaths from the coronavirus to date are amongst the elderly and those with a weakened immune system.   Although there is not an anti-virus or vaccination for this as yet, medics are already developing treatment drugs.  Millions of Americans die each year from heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease, stroke, diabetes, and kidney disease, yet we do not fear these ailments or sense a need to consider quarantine, because they are not contagious.

The third leading cause of death in the US annually is a fatality elicited by unintentional injuries such as vehicular accidents, falls and poisonings. 6% of the approximately 2.8 million deaths per year in America are from unintentional injuries. We can die at any time, and yet mentally healthy people do not live in fear of dying every day.

What can you do?

If you or anyone you know has flu-like symptoms, including a fever and cough, go to a doctor to be examined.

If someone you know has fear, educate them with the facts. https://www.livescience.com/new-coronavirus-compare-with-flu.html

Wash your hands as often as possible, and particularly after interacting with others.  Do not touch your face.

Don’t put pens or other objects that may carry germs in your mouth.

If you have children, wipe down the toys each day that they might put in their mouths and spread germs.

Take time to clean items shared with others in the workplace, where someone could touch it and then their mouth. At the office, this might include doorknobs and railings.

Follow flu prevention tips to build your immune system.

The number one thing you can do is to act swiftly without panicking.

Giving 100% effort at work with your commitment and focus is important.  If and when we have a quarantine like Italy, you will have ample notice.  Planning for what may never happen on work time may result in you getting to work from home permanently, coronavirus or not!

May Faith Overcome your Fears,

Suzanne Breistol