Community in an Outbreak


Since the beginning of time, people love to participate in communities so they can feel wanted. Sticking with each other at the time of need shows how committed you are to one another.

A lot of people lead a busy life, and it can often be troublesome for them to take some time out of their schedule to meet with others. But that shouldn’t stop you from communicating with your community. However, there are numerous benefits to participating in a community.

In most cases, volunteers provide help to those in need, so if you are feeling left out, you should arrange a meeting with your community members.

Currently, the world is going through a significant outbreak, and the primary remedy is to disconnect with humans. It is a terrible time for socially active people, and it is not a big deal for introverts. During this time, communicating with your community members to console each other can be useful.

It is tough to distance yourself from your friends due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Luckily, social media exists. You can chat with your community members via social platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, Skype, Zoom, and WhatsApp.

Furthermore, people need people to help feel unique and safe. Let’s talk more about this outbreak and what effects it has on communities and its members.

What Is The Difference Between Isolation and Quarantine?

Both of these terms are considered as health precautions to protect people from unwanted exposures to infectious diseases.

As you know, the world is suffering from a lot of problems, so the best remedy to avoid the outbreak is to stay at home (in quarantine) and avoid contact with others (isolation).

It can be hard for extroverts to cope up with this rule, but it is the only way to stay safe. But if you are confused between the meanings of isolation and quarantine during an outbreak, then this will help you. Keep reading to know more.

Meaning of Quarantine

The word ‘quarantine’ is mostly used by the government. It means to stop the excessive spread of contagious and unusual diseases. Quarantines are for individuals who show no symptoms of the disease but have been in contact with the sickness.

Quarantine keeps them far from healthy people (who show no signs nor exposed to illness), so they don’t spread the infection to others.

The situation of quarantine is mostly preferred in:

  • Pandemics: Quarantine is ordered during pandemics, which are more significant than epidemics. It means coursing diseases can affect people instantly through contact.
  • Outbreaks: An outbreak happens when the number of infected patients is rising.
  • Epidemics: Epidemics are closer to pandemics but considered more dangerous and quickly spread.

Meaning of Isolation

Isolation is a bit different. It is when a patient is tested positive for a disease, and the doctors have to keep them far from others. If you are also in isolation at your home, it is best to be isolated from your entire family.

The infected patient must wear a surgical mask with several layers of protection to ensure the disease doesn’t spread elsewhere. Other than that, everything that the isolated patient uses, no one else should so much as even touch it.

If there are not enough rooms in your home, then it is advised to keep a 6-foot distance between you and the infected patient. Even if it is your spouse, partner, children, or friend, do not breathe directly in their faces. You shouldn’t even sleep with them until they are off their isolation duration.

Isolation & Quarantine – Major Difference

Once you’ve determined the meanings of these two terms, it is easy to understand the fundamental difference between them.

We opt for isolation due to the same reason as we choose quarantine. Still, it is usually for those who are infected with the outbreak. It makes sure that healthy people do not get infected. On the other hand, quarantine is to be away from sickness and exposure to the disease.

Key Differences Between a Pandemic and an Epidemic

The novel coronavirus, Covid-19, has captured the attention of the world as it has spread to almost every country in the world. Thousands of people have died, and almost two million people have been infected so far.

Yet even as the disease spread from China to various countries throughout the world, the World Health Organization (WHO) hesitated to change its labeling from an epidemic to a pandemic. If spreading to multiple countries itself is not all a pandemic is, than what are the differences?

Features of an Epidemic

At any given time, someone in your area probably has a cold or the flu. Getting sick is a fairly normal and regular part of our lives, and does not mean there is an epidemic going on. When many people get sick at the same time however, it tips over from a regular part of life into an epidemic.

Typically we think of an epidemic as enough infections to where the problem has gotten out of control, or if they have risen to an alarming level. The number of cases a disease averages in a given area is called its endemic level. This could be none at all for diseases commonly vaccinated against, or thousands for a disease that has no cure, such as the common cold.

A dozen measles cases might be considered an outbreak in a developed country, where it would take hundreds or thousands of flu cases to make it an epidemic. The disease also has to be actively spreading in order to be considered an epidemic.

All of these features are also part of a pandemic, so what then is the difference?

Features of a Pandemic

A pandemic looks at things from a global perspective. According to the WHO, in order for a new disease to be declared a pandemic it must be from a new disease. New diseases are typically more infectious because no one has innate immunity built up. A disease that is seasonal is something many people in the population have built antibodies to, and thus can’t be a pandemic.

The pandemic also must be widespread, either throughout an entire country or spreading globally. A pandemic typically involves more infected people than an epidemic, and typically also involves economic loss and social disruption.

Even if an epidemic has spread to different countries, it still isn’t always a pandemic. If the disease is spreading, but not out of control, it may not quite meet the guidelines for an official pandemic. A disease also does not have to be especially deadly in order for it to be considered a pandemic.

The H1N1 influenza virus met the criteria for a pandemic, but only killed about 151,700-575,400 people in its first year. While this might seem like a lot, the 1918 flu pandemic killed over 50 million people.

Epidemics and pandemics are very similar. They both involve the out of control spread of disease. The difference is in how far the disease travels, and whether it forces social or economic changes as well as infecting people.

Identify Aid Organizations In Your Community

During an existential crisis, an aid organization in a community is necessary. As the outbreak is developing into the worst condition, so there might be a shortage of aid.

However, your community leader should make sure nothing goes wrong during the time of need. An Aid Organization in any community is considered as a governmental NGO handling the disrupted situations of any particular area (your town). Other than that, matters like education, climate change, advocacy, poverty alleviation, environment protection, human rights, sanitation, nutrition, health, enhanced cookstoves, HIV & TB-Aids, etc.

If your community NGO has made arrangements to stand up to this outbreak, you are saved! Otherwise, you may have to struggle.

During an Outbreak in your Community, Protect Yourself and Others

Yes, an outbreak can be terrifying, but you can take some precautionary measures to protect yourself and others in your community from getting infected.

Arrange a meeting with your community members (don’t forget to wear a mask and gloves), and pass a plan on how to protect yourself from this outbreak.

Furthermore, there are a few tiny steps that you can practice in your community to make a difference.

· Don’t Touch Your Face

Our hands contact with several things; taps, door handles, books, keyboards, and lots of other places.

It is a common way of picking up the disease. In that case, you must avoid touching your face, nose, eyes, or mouth as the infection can quickly spread to your body.

· Clean Hands

Wash your hands frequently and adequately, with a lot of soap. On the other hand, the best way to secure yourself from germs and other virus-related particles are by using an alcohol-added handwash.

That way, all of the developing bacteria will disappear from your hands. Make sure to wash your hands for 20 seconds. Clean your thumbs, palms, and fingers properly.

· Keep Your Respiratory System Clean

Every time you sneeze or cough, cover your mouth with a tissue and get rid of it afterward. In the case of not having a cloth, use your arm crook to cover your mouth while you sneeze or cough. Besides that, avoid sneezing or coughing next to other people.

· Do Not Interact With Others

Do not interact with others, as they may be carrying lingering symptoms of the disease. You must stay 1 meter away from an individual to prevent droplets of sneezes or coughs from spraying on you.

· Visit The Doctor In case of Symptoms

If you are weak and fragile, you should stay home. But if you are feeling some of the lingering symptoms of the viral disease, then it’s best to visit a doctor. If you can call before visiting, that would be helpful – they will tell you whether they have room to treat you or not.

· Be Alert

Reliable information related to the outbreak is essential. But be careful, due to false information being tossed around on social media, people are quickly starting to lose hope.

So, avoid fake platforms and try to be alert with the real news channels in your area.

The bottom line is, your community should follow these steps to ensure safety, prevention of disease, and maintain the health of others.

Create a Household Plan of Action

Start making a plan of action now to protect yourself and your family from an outbreak.

Be Up-to-Date
  • Gather real information related to the outbreak from your community health officials.
  • Be in touch with your community members and ask them to share their safety plans with you.
  • Make a list of every local medical institute near you and your community in case you need medical attention immediately.
  • Make an emergency contact list and add your community members, health assistants, family, friends, employers, public health sector, and other community sources.
Be Ready for Anything
  • Consider the health of your elderly in this outbreak and keep them alert from any chronic illness.
  • Select a room in your home where you can isolate the member who is suffering from the symptoms.
Take Precautionary Steps
  • Make sure to wash your hands with an alcohol-based handwash.
  • Stay home as much as you can.
  • Adopt social distancing.
  •  Do not touch your face.
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue every time you cough or sneeze.
  • Disinfect surfaces and objects frequently.
The Kids
  • If your child suffers from the lingering symptoms of the virus, alert the school.
  • Make sure to keep track of all the school dismissals located in your community.
  • Strictly ban gatherings among children and teenagers.
In  Case if Someone is Sick
  • If someone in your home is infected, do not stop your action plan.
  • Transfer the infected person into a separate dorm.
  • Keep every object and surface of your home disinfected.
  • Do not share things.
  • Remain in contact with others via email or phone.
  • Notify your workplace if your routine is disturbed.

If you follow this plan, you can secure yourself and your family from the severity. You can even share this plan with your community to notify them.

Keeping the Spirits up While In-Home Isolation

In-home isolation can often be harsh on extroverts. Still, there are many different ways to lift the spirits during an outbreak.

You can take a lot of measures to keep your spirits, hopes up, and reduce the feeling of loneliness during isolation.

  • You can virtually connect with your friends and family members through social media. Sending emails and chats to each other can get boring. You can prefer to video chat with your favorite person to avoid loneliness and feel wholesome again. Besides that, you can binge-watch the same TV series or read a virtual book with your book club.
  • Always stay active, never be idle. As in-home isolation means stay at home and don’t do anything exposing. Still, the movement is ideal for your body.  Can’t you go to the gym? So what! You can do several activities at your home, such as doing chores, cleaning the house, and going up and down the stairs. Other than that, online exercise and yoga classes can be right for you.
  • In-home isolation is the best time for you to start catching up on the things that you were not able to finish before. Organize your home, clean out the clutter from your computer, phone, tabs, etc.
  • During isolation, do not go overboard with eating. As you know, staying idle leads to hunger, so always keep yourself active and eat lots of healthy and nutritious foods to boost your immune system.

Reducing Boredom During Isolation

During in-home isolation, family members tend to get bored quickly. Fortunately, there are plenty of games and activities you can play and perform as a group to get rid of the boredom.

According to the latest trends, in-home isolation individuals play a lot of online games to avoid boredom. You can even play board games with your family to spice up things and have an excellent time.

Now that we are talking about trying things, you can prefer to cook for your family as well.  Self-isolation is the best time to finish up the things that you started a long time ago.

Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Home

For a homeowner, it is essential to clean your home, especially during an outbreak regularly.

However, do not confuse cleaning with disinfecting because they both offer different solutions. Cleaning means that you are temporarily getting rid of the germs, whereas disinfecting means you are permanently killing the bacteria.

Right now, cleaning your house won’t be enough. Disinfecting can be a good practice because you can kill the germs instantly without taking any chances of disease-spread. If you can purify your home correctly, you’ll be able to get rid of microscopic organisms for good.

The most vital areas to disinfect in your home are doorknobs, handles, shelves, items, and other such places.

Conclusion

This situation is tough for us, but with a little help from our community and a positive attitude, we can beat this outbreak.

To stay safe, you must create a successful itinerary for you and your family and follow it until the virus is gone. CWP

How to report an incident or a suspicious activity (Community Watch blog)

What is Public Safety (Community Watch Paper blog)

References

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