You’re sheltered at home, feel cooped up and want to do something useful as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps the country.
We get it. So we checked in with nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals battling COVID-19 across the Bay Area and beyond about what people who aren’t on the front lines can do to help them.
Here’s what they told us.
1. Stay home
You’d have to be living under a rock at this point to have missed this message, but medical experts across the board say it’s the single most important thing the community can do right now: stay at home.
“I know it feels passive, but it’s definitely the most important thing,” said Beth Griffiths, a primary care physician at UCSF.
“The best advice that the public can do is to stay home!” echoed Jan Emerson-Shea, a spokeswoman for the California Hospital Association. “We need everyone to follow the guidance of public health officials – the more we all shelter-in-place, the more we all are doing to ‘flatten the curve’ of the pandemic. The fewer numbers of people who get sick is the best way to preserve the capacity of our health care system.”
So dig out a puzzle, turn on Netflix, do whatever it takes. But only go out if you absolutely must.
Kaiser staff urge people to stay at home. 2. Donate supplies
Nurses and doctors across the country have sounded the alarm that some hospitals are running critically low on masks, gloves, and other protective gear commonly referred to in the medical world as PPE, or personal protective equipment. A number of systems, including Kaiser Permanente and Sutter Health are now accepting donations.
But check before you just show up. To try to stop the spread of the disease, hospitals are restricting access and many have posted specific instructions for how to drop off supplies.
If you don’t have supplies to give, some healthcare providers — including UCSF — have set up COVID-19 response funds that are accepting monetary donations.
3. Provide a caffeine fix
While daily life has slowed down for some of us, it’s ramping up for medical professionals who are logging lots of hours caring for patients infected with the coronavirus — and those with other health care needs.
Several workers we spoke with said they’d be grateful for a simple cup of joe.
In addition to PPE, coffee pods, “instant coffee/coffee would also be appreciated as most Starbucks near hospitals are closed and doctors and nurses are working long shifts,” said Katherine Beattie, a Bay Area native and graduate student currently pursuing an MD/PhD.
The Seattle-based coffee giant announced Wednesday that it would give free coffee to first responders and healthcare workers. But as Beattie and others noted, a number of locations — and many neighborhood cafes — have shuttered as people hunker down to get through the pandemic.
One caveat: Make sure you get the OK from whichever hospital or facility you want to send coffee to beforehand.
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Source:: The Mercury News – Health