Author: Alan

The Coronavirus in our Family

The Coronavirus in our Family

Op-Ed: The pandemic, Hurricane Ian and me — a doctor whose friends say I have PTSD

By David Muhlhausen

Friday, June 2, 2020

The past month has been more of an experience, both good and bad, than a typical month. However, on June 1, as the coronavirus took over the world and the president declared a national emergency, I started to feel overwhelmed, to cope in the usual way.

In the midst of this, the news was not good either at home or abroad. Both the U.S. and Iran were hit hard. In Iran, a week after the outbreak began, I wrote about our experience with a very different new coronavirus—a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) we had seen earlier on in the year—in my April 30 column, “The coronavirus in our family.” The virus was first recognized in Wuhan, China where it was suspected to spread from person to person. There were rumors then that the virus was airborne, but then it spread to Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea. After that, the virus came to the U.S. in Wuhan.

It was not until the news broke that I got my first notification from the CDC that the virus had been identified and was on its way to the U.S. from China.

Soon, I also got my first notification from a friend who works at the hospital in San Antonio where I was born. He told me of his conversations with his colleagues and how the hospital was quarantined, and advised me to stay away from the hospital.

The virus is transmitted between humans by close contact or possibly by exposure to bodily fluids from one infected person. The virus has been reported to spread through fomites, which are items such as handrails, doorknobs, doormats, doggy bags, and even food preparation surfaces. In New Orleans, for example, a restaurant worker working on the kitchen floor used a plastic garbage bag to catch what she thought was dust on the floor and the virus was on her hands then when she touched the food prep counter.

On May 5, the CDC issued guidelines for “social distancing.” This is the recommended practice of having fewer but more distant social interactions to help slow the transmission of the virus

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