Roses and Raspberries (March 15)

Roses and Raspberries (March 15)

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ROSE (roz) n. One of the most beautiful of all flowers, a symbol of fragrance and loveliness. Often given as a sign of appreciation.

RASPBERRY (raz’ber’e) n. A sharp, scornful comment, criticism or rebuke; a derisive, splatting noise, often called the Bronx cheer.

Amid the daily tsunami of news this week about the widening coronavirus pandemic, it’s hard to think about anything else. With that in mind, here’s an all-coronavirus edition of Roses and Raspberries.

We hereby deliver:

ROSES to the cleaning crews working tirelessly to keep the germs at bay. At schools and hospitals, restaurants and retail shops, government offices and private workplaces all over the mid-valley, workers are donning rubber gloves and rolling up their sleeves to combat the microscopic invader that has us all on edge. As we all know by now, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can lurk on all sorts of surfaces, where it can then infect more people. Cleanup crews are the unsung heroes of the epidemic, fighting back with powerful disinfectants and more frequent cleansing of tables, chairs, desks and “touchpoints” such as light switches, elevator buttons and doorknobs. Their efforts help protect us all.

ROSES to the health care providers on the front lines of the crisis. As more and more reports of patients testing positive for COVID-19 have cropped up in Oregon, doctors, nurses, health navigators and other providers are facing ever-greater demands for their services. They also have to deal with the anxiety of people who think they may have been exposed to the coronavirus and, in some instances, must explain to their patients that still-scarce testing resources need to be reserved for the most urgent cases. That situation should start to ease soon as production and distribution of test kits ramps up around the country, but the wait can be torture for people who think they or their loved ones may have been exposed to the virus.

ROSES to the public health workers whose job it is to monitor the outbreak and try to limit its spread. These are the people at your county health department who are called upon to investigate reports of infectious diseases such as COVID-19, determine whether a person is actually infected and take steps to keep the disease from being passed on to others. That can include excluding a patient from schools, children’s facilities or food service facilities, and in some cases complete quarantine may be warranted. Public health workers also interview patients to determine how they may have been infected and who else may have been exposed to the disease through contact with the patient.

ROSES to everyone isolating at home in self-imposed quarantine. The decision to stay home from work can be an agonizing one for dedicated employees who don’t want to leave their co-workers in the lurch, disappoint their bosses or let their customers down. But in the face of a rapidly expanding pandemic such as COVID-19, the responsible thing to do is to stay home if you think you may have been contracted the disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise that people at medium to high risk of having the disease should self-quarantine for two weeks (the incubation period of the disease), staying at home and limiting their contact with other people. If you haven’t tested positive or developed symptoms of COVID-19 at the end of that time, it should be safe to go back to work or school.

ROSES to all the good Samaritans who are looking out for friends, neighbors, co-workers, church members and even just casual acquaintances who may need some help to weather the outbreak. If you’re one of those goodhearted people who have been checking in on the elderly or those with compromised immune systems, making sure they’re OK and offering to keep them supplied with food and other necessities so they don’t have to go out, we salute you. Times of crisis put us all to the test, but they can also bring out the best in people.

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