Hart Ford
Hart Ford

Safety Forum

An import we can do without

This great country of ours is an amazing place. From the concept of its structure and design, to the present-day status of world leader, we are so fortunate to be citizens of the good old U.S. of A.

One of the undeniable benefits of living here is the availability and access to so much it’s mind boggling. From the communication with about any part of the world at our fingertips, to a million products we may purchase or acquire, oh how lucky we are. Individually, the only shortages we seem to suffer is the lack of finances to get whatever we want.

Thinking about this land of plenty, many of us forget that a large part of the US economy is based on the ability to export and import a multitude of items, from raw materials to finished goods. Doesn’t seem to mater what you pick up, the far corners of the earth are usually involved somehow. All these imports make life easy for all and yet there are some imports we’d rather not have coming in to our country.

Emergency services have been put on notice, and we’re sure you may have heard news media reports yourselves about a new and potentially devastating disease “imported” to our shores. It is called the coronavirus disease 2019 or, “COVID-19”.

It was first detected in China and is a class of respiratory disease. It is believed that this disease was somehow passed from animals to humans, which is rare, but once done so, human to human spread begins.

In China, there have been numerous cases reported, including a number of fatalities. Here in the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC, is on high alert and actively taking preventative steps to try and safeguard us all. The top scientists and doctors are diligently working to develop vaccines and control and contain this menace.

Yet even with world-wide medical efforts the virus has spread to other countries, including our own. The CDC calls this an “emerging, rapidly evolving situation” and has already investigated over 400 possible reports.

Please note that the vast majority of the “persons under investigation”, as they call it have been found to be negative for COVID-2019, but they have found a number of cases out there. Thankfully none have been reported in Michigan as of this writing, however, there are cases in Wisconsin and Illinois, that’s just a state away folks.

The CDC is moving rapidly to control this and plans on several updates a week for the benefit of all. WWW.cdc.gov is your best bet to stay abreast of what’s happening. Of course, there are State level efforts too, as there always are, and in our area, Heidi O’Malley, BSN, RN, is the North Central Medical Control Coordinator. As if Heidi doesn’t have enough on her plate, she has gone out of her way to make sure that emergency medical providers all across our area have the latest updates and information in our quest to keep all as safe and healthy as possible.

While the risk of contracting COVID-2019 is low, you can do yourselves and others some good, by following some basic simple steps. It’s a respiratory type of illness similar to influenza, so practice good health habits as you would for the prevention of the flu. Hopefully you are already in that habit since we are in the heart of the flu season right now.

Great advice from Heidi and those like her. No need to panic, just stay in touch and we’ll do our best to keep you up to speed and well informed. Sometimes knowledge is the best import of all.

Ken Elmore,

Markey Township firefighter

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