CROMWELL, Conn. (WTNH) – Business leaders from all over Middlesex County learned about what they can do to fight the coronavirus at a workshop in Cromwell Friday morning.
“The general message is that this is not a time to panic, this is a time to prepare,” said Middlesex Health President & CEO Vincent Capese.
Capese said it is even something for which hospitals have been preparing for years.
“A pandemic is something that has been predicted for a long time,” Capese said. “This is just one scenario of many that can play out.”
It will play out a lot better the slower the virus spreads. That is where business leaders can help out.
“We like to think of the transmission of infection like a chain,” explained Middlesex Health Infection Prevention Manager Jodi Parisi.
You break a chain at the weakest links. One like is keeping the virus from getting out of an infected person. That’s why it’s so important you don’t cough into the air or into your hands. Cough and sneeze into your sleeve.
Another link involves surfaces where the virus can live. That’s why disinfecting surfaces is so important.
The third is something you are probably tired of hearing.
“I heard one of my friends say the other day, ‘If one more person tells me to wash my hands, I’m going to scream,'” Parisi said.
Proper handwashing can cut the risk of infection by around 50%, however.
“And it sounds like a cliche, and it sounds like a simple thing to say, but here’s what we know: The virus enters the body through the mouth, nose, eyes,” said Middlesex Health Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Alina Filozov.
That’s why doctors keep telling you to stop touching your face. Even with all these precautions, a big part of the population is still going to get infected.
“People are going to get it,” said Capese. “The question is how many people, and how quickly it will spread? That’s what is anyone’s guess right now.”
The slower it spread, the better hospitals will be able to help the people most at risk of dying.
“And those are smokers, people with chronic conditions, whether it’s diabetes, whether it’s chronic lung and heart disease, and older individuals,” Dr. Filosov said.
Since this was a Chamber of Commerce event, a lot of the people in that room were business owners, and what business owners are asked to do is allow, even encourage, employees to stay home if they feel sick.