Coronavirus Update 3/20/2020 8:30 am
3/20/2020 8:30 am
Lisa Reynolds MD
This is Lisa Reynolds, MD. Portland Pediatrician on the frontlines of the coronavirus epidemic. Mom and daughter. Candidate for Oregon HD36.
Factual update Coronavirus
WORLDWIDE: 244,000 confirmed cases, 10,000 deaths, 150 countries
US CONFIRMED CASES: 12,000 confirmed cases, 200 deaths
OREGON CONFIRMED CASES: 88 confirmed cases, 3 deaths.
Continue to practice social distancing
All K-12 schools closed until April 28
Gatherings of more than 25 people banned
Bars and restaurants closed - except for take out
No shelter in place order yet.
Testing for the coronavirus will be at medical provider discretion (ie lifting state regulations). But there is little to no testing equipment/reagent. Very few tests are being performed.
To mitigate Oregon’s shortage of medical beds, the state fairgrounds in Salem will become a 250 bed hospital (the Oregon Medical Station).
Multnomah County and the City of Portland has placed a moratorium on evictions.
OREGON UNIVERSITIES join hundreds across the US (including the two that my sons attend) in announcing a shift to online learning for the rest of the school year. This includes Univ of Oregon, OSU, PSU.
Oregon hospitals and frontline medical providers face a severe shortage in Personal Protective Equipment. Measures taken: cancelling all elective procedures; taking donations from dentist, veterinarians, construction companies (read about that here); repurposing factories to make PPE (read about that here). I talk about this in Willamette Week (3/18) here. And my tweet on this made it onto MSBC!
Yes, this means massive disruption in our work and our education. The lives of Oregonians and the safety of our health system depend on making the right choices right now. REMEMBER THE CURVE. We need to #Flattenthecurve
What to do - the list is pretty short now
Extreme Social Distancing: Practice “shelter in place” - staying home except to procure food and medicine, or to exercise outdoors (keeping 6 feet away from others). Or travel to your essential work (health care, feeding others/grocery workers, pharmacy).
We really should call it PHYSICAL distancing, not social distancing: Look for ways to engage your community. My neighbors met from our balconies last night (I live in a multi unit building). Schedule walks with friends. Use video conferencing to share a meal.
Continue to wash hands/hand sanitizer. If you’re in an essential job, strip down and shower when you get home, and wash your clothes. And, thank you.
Many Oregon internet companies are offering free service; energy and telecommunications utilities are suspending service disconnections, and waiving late fees to support Oregonians impacted by coronavirus. In addition, state and federal programs can provide assistance to qualified individuals and households. Read more here.
Portland public schools is providing meals for families. Details here.
If you are still going into work, you can find childcare services by calling 211.
The state and the federal governments are pouring more resources to help businesses and employees affected by furloughs, layoffs, decreased hours and lost revenue. More information: unemployment benefits, small businesses.
Tips for families by my amazing friend doreen in Psychology Today
Story of the World for school aged kids: accessible history curriculum with reading lists and projects.
Kahn Academy - amazing online classes on everything from calculus to psychology.
I’d love to hear MORE from you all.
What I’m worried about
Of course, disease and illness overwhelming our health system
The health and safety of my friends and family
My own exposure on the frontlines
That Oregon public schools are not equipped (nor do they seem to be making plans to become equipped) to provide substantive online learning. See this article. This will lead to a larger learning and performance gap for our vulnerable kids. This could have lifelong consequences for those kids whose families cannot fill the void. The inequities in our education system was a driving force for me to run for office.