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Coronavirus: How to protect yourself

By Cash Michaels, Peacemaker Senior Contributor / March 6, 2020

Traditionally, medical experts say, poor communities of color have to cope with the disproportionate impact of communicable diseases like STDs, AIDS and influenza.

But with the global onslaught of the coronavirus (COVID-19), and at least six reported deaths across the country, African Americans, among others, now have to cope with a new health challenge, one that, according to state officials, has now appeared in North Carolina as of Tuesday. The N.C. Dept. of Instruction has advised all schools across the state to have the same policies and procedures for COVID-19 they normally use to protect against communicable diseases in students. Precautions were even issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to minimize transmission at polling places during Tuesday Primary Day voting by having poll workers regularly wipe and disinfect electronic voting machines and computers where the public came in contact.

There are preventive measures available from local health departments, and online for work, home, childcare colleges, healthcare faculties, and for first responders, at

Despite the Trump Administration’s controversial efforts to address the coronavirus in the United States, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) was preparing, as of Monday, for Pres. Donald Trump to make an infectious disease emergency declaration” that would allow disaster relief funding to state and local governments in the event of a coronavirus outbreak in their area.

According to published reports, at least 60 countries, including its place of origin, China, are reporting the spread of COVID-19. Back in the U.S, New York state has reported its first case, as well as New Hampshire, and Tuesday, North Carolina, where a Wake County man, back from visiting Washington state, was diagnosed with it.

He is reportedly doing well.

The medical community urges both calm, but caution. Religiously wash your hands with soap. Wipe down shared areas you touch in public places with portable sanitizer. Try not to shake hands with individuals, and try not to touch your face after being in a public place.

As with other opportunistic infections, the elderly, and those who have compromised immune systems are vulnerable to the coronavirus. Symptoms include persistent cough, shortness of breath, chills and high fever. There is no known cure or vaccine for treatment yet. If you are sick, stay home from school or work to prevent a spread.


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Since 1967, the Carolina Peacemaker has served as North Carolina’s leading news weekly with a national reputation. Founded by Dr. John Kilimanjaro, the newspaper is published by Carolina Newspaper, Inc.

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