Southcentral Foundation thanks the vice presidents for their guidance and direction. Your support, leadership, and commitment deserve our greatest admiration and appreciation. The leadership displayed by you has given direction and inspiration to customer-owners, employees, and the greater community.
“It is an awesome wonder, to have been blessed with the A team! ”
— Katherine Gottlieb, SCF President/CEO
Some find it difficult watching the COVID-19 virus spread across the world. Many are feeling vulnerable and stressed, wondering how COVID-19 will impact Alaska. With headlines focused on grocery store shelves running low on supplies, the continued spread of the virus, and the increased need for safety precautions like hand washing and disinfecting surfaces we touch, it can be hard to avoid feelings of fear. The good news is, there are many things that can be done to keep a calm mind during times of distress. Recognizing and managing anxiety is doable and there are many things anyone can try. First, it is important to understand if you are feeling anxious, worried, helpless, or edgy, you are not alone. These are common stress reactions.
What steps can be taken to reduce stress about COVID-19? It is healthy to take breaks from the news and social media about the pandemic. Instead, work on an art project, read a book, take a walk, or watch your favorite movie. Stay grounded. Take time to de-stress by doing a breathing exercise. An easy one to try: breath in for a count of four, pause and hold the breath for a second, and then breathe slowly out of your mouth for a count of seven. Set a timer for three minutes and maintain this breathing pattern the entire time.
Stay centered. Sit in a comfortable chair, with your feet flat on the floor. Focus on how your body feels as it rests in the chair, starting at the neck and shoulders and then shifting awareness down the body, ending with how the feet feel resting against the floor. There are various apps that can help with stress management. A couple options to consider include Calm or Headspace. Another helpful activity during these difficult times is to learn about mindfulness. There are many books and online resources that provide education on mindfulness, one good online resource is mindful.org.
Finally, make sure to support the health and wellness of everyone by cooking a healthy meal, eating together, and talking with family.
COVID-19 has common signs of infection including respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death. As we do our best in our self-quarantine, catching COVID-19 is still a possibility. Below is useful information on what to do if you or a loved one catch COVID-19.
Stock up: Absurd amounts of toilet paper don’t need to be at the top of your shopping list. Include items like facial tissue, Acetaminophen, and cough medicine. This is also a good time to get a refill of any prescriptions you may need. Call the pharmacy to request mail delivery. A humidifier can be a useful resource for your isolation.
Separate Yourself: If someone in your household is sick they should stay in a specific room and away from other people in the home as much as possible. The infected individual should use a separate bathroom, if available, otherwise disinfect the bathroom after each use. This also means pets should not be handled during this time. If the infected household members are unable to care for themselves such as a child or elderly, limit to only one caregiver in the household. If someone is sick and must travel or come in contact with others, it is important for them to wear a face mask to limit the spread of illness.
Get comfortable: Be sure to get plenty of rest and stay hydrated. Get fresh air by cracking the window if the weather is permitting or have an air conditioner nearby to keep cool. Avoid sharing personal items with other people in the household, like dishes, towels, and bedding. Monitor any symptoms by keeping a log of any changes and check your temperature at least twice a day.
Finally, remember to wash your hands often, disinfect high-touch surfaces daily. Binge-watch your favorite television shows, get plenty of rest, and stay hydrated during this difficult time. Together we can flatten the curve and limit the exposure rate.
What is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19? The answer, social distancing and good hygiene practices. Social distancing is different than being quarantined or isolated and can be key in slowing down the spread of contagious diseases. It is important for us to come together as a community and everyone start to practice social distancing as much as possible, not just those who are considered higher risk for serious illness or individuals who are seriously ill.
Social distancing means:
- Avoid large gatherings
- Limit travel
- Maintain a distance from others of six feet whenever possible
- Avoid shaking hands and hugging
- Stay home if you feel sick
Social distancing can go a long way in flattening the curve of COVID-19. Flattening the curve is when the number of cases that could result in a spike of COVID-19 cases in a short period of time is reduced. As a result, the curve is flattened, and the number of cases happen over a longer timeline which helps prevent hospital resources and employees from being overwhelmed and overcapacity. Without people taking protective measures like social distancing a spike in new cases could occur. The result of the spike in cases could have repercussions. Intensive care units could run out of beds resulting in not everyone who is sick being treated. This information can be hard to hear but it reinforces the importance of starting to practice social distancing.
Even though social distancing may affect normal day-to-day life, there are still plenty of activities to keep busy. There are a variety of activities that can be done at home; get an early start on spring cleaning, play board games, visit a virtual museum, do home projects, video chat with loved ones, meditate, find and try new recipes, make some arts and crafts, catch up on sleep, and read. Currently, social distancing doesn’t mean individuals can’t go outside, with the temperatures warming up across Alaska consider going out and getting some fresh air. Take a walk, hike, or a run, but remember to still maintain a distance of six feet from people whenever possible.
Social distancing alone will not make COVID-19 go away, but it may lessen impact and spread of the virus. By coming together as a community and social distancing ourselves, we will help to reduce the spread of COVID-19