We are learning the true worth of teachers now.
And not just teachers, but all educators.
I was asked to sit in on a Google Classroom recently — because I’m soooooo good looking.
OK, wait. I’m getting ahead of myself here.
Teachers are still teaching — but not in the traditional ways we all grew up with. They are reaching out to students through computer classrooms. This new way might be better because a teacher can tell a student or students to mute themselves while they talk to another student individually.
And that’s better than yelling at a room full of kids to “quiet down.” I did learn there is one problem with the “mute” system, however.
“Vincent, you can unmute yourself … Vincent … VINCENT! Unmute yourself.
“Vincent … Sarah, where did Vincent go? Sarah? Sarah, unmute yourself honey and get your finger out of your nose. You know you’re not supposed to touch your face. Now, where did Vincent go?”
Americans are starting to come to grips with the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic. Several different scenarios can occur. But much of what happens is dependent on what we do now.
There are two strategies.
One is “mitigation” or social distancing to decrease the rate of transmission so as not to overwhelm our healthcare system, but even the best-case scenarios have unacceptable casualty rates. The other is “suppression” and involves going on the offense against the virus.
Most rich nations have staked their bets on suppression, but both strategies are necessary.
One form of suppression is extreme mitigation with months of forced social distancing. This would generally be unacceptable in democratic nations and it would have a devastating effect on the economy, likely creating a global depression.
Governmental and health entities are encouraging the public to self-isolate and social distance as we attempt to the curb the impact of COVID-19 and its immediate threat to our communities. Mental health factors, such as loneliness and depression, can become issues as we limit the social interaction that most of us have become accustomed to on a daily basis.
During these uncertain times, coping with the stress of losing jobs, deteriorating health, and the possibility of losing loved ones may lead to a sense of hopelessness.
Louise Hawkley, Ph.D., a senior research scientist with the research organization NORC at the University of Chicago, cited research that even perceived social isolation can be linked with adverse health conditions such as depression, poor sleep quality, and accelerated cognitive decline. The issues only become more substantial when the isolation is no longer just perceived, but immediate and ongoing.
Anderson County EMS continues to be vigilant in our response and preparation to COVID-19.
We are constantly monitoring and evaluating the threat and potential impact.
We are now monitoring regional hospital bed capacity on a daily basis, and we are in consistent communication with the state EMS office, relaying information and discussing the needs our agency has.
Our business office is still available by phone; should there be a need please call 865-457-8609. Our business office is operating at normal business hours, 8 am. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Anderson County EMS continues to meet all ambulance service needs at this time.
We continue to work with the other healthcare facilities in Anderson County to develop and prepare for worsening situations, hoping they don’t come, but being prepared for when they do.