Due to the high number of inquiries received and the continuous developments regarding the virus, TAG is offering COVID-19 Retainer Packages to businesses concerned with the impact of this outbreak.
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Updated: March 28, 2020
In this time of COVID-19, misinformation and fearmongering have become commonplace – especially about coronavirus and food safety. Many of you may have seen videos that have featured “experts” giving purported COVID-19 advice including unproven ways of “keeping one’s food safe”.
Dr. Don Schaffner explains COVID-19 misconceptions, food safety misconceptions, and discusses misinformation, including why it’s not good idea to take microbiology advice from a person who is not a microbiologist (Link on Twitter).
the Food Industry
Why Flattening the Curve Is Critical for COVID-19.
“Flattening the curve” has become an integral term in discussing controlling COVID-19’s spread. But what exactly does it mean? Why is “flattening the curve” so important? Today, we expand on our Key Point of “Flattening the Curve” from a few days back and discuss its implications to the food industry, further.
As used in epidemiology, the “curve” is the predicted or actual spread of the virus (by number of people infected) over a defined period of time in a defined location. A steep, high curve means a lot of people are being infected. For a disease like COVID-19, a steep curve would mean that a significant number of people may be ill at the same time. Having so many sick individuals at once can be bad because the healthcare system will see a spike of cases that it may not be able to handle. However, when there is a longer, flatter curve, although the same number of people may be infected (like in a steep curve), the number of cases become spread out over a longer period. By spreading out the cases, less strain is put on the healthcare system. At this time (March 28, 2020), many COVID-19 epicenters have seen a steep curve; the healthcare system has seen enormous strain.
Thus, “flattening the curve” is the concept of slowing down an outbreak so that fewer people need to seek treatment at any given time so as not to overload the system. In order to “flatten” the curve, communities and individuals can collectively take to reduce the number of people who may have severe symptoms at the same time. Actions including “stay-at-home” orders and social distancing can slow the rate of infection, thus preventing overload of the healthcare the system and slowing depletion of limited supplies (such as approved masks, ventilators, etc.).
Health experts and officials around the world believe that COVID-19 will continue for months, infecting millions around the world. But there is a significant difference in the ability to care for the severely ill based on the rate at which the population is infected – as has been seen by the overwhelmed healthcare systems in places such as Italy, Spain, and now New York City.
Because we do not yet have vaccines or medicines to prevent or treat COVID-19, the way to flatten the curve, and slow the spread, is by reducing close contact. Thus, the implementation of self-isolating sick individuals, and social distancing and shelter-in-place orders by many states and countries – even in areas where the outbreak is not yet severe – is not to make things inconvenient for you, but, is to help all of us! Ultimately, while flattening the curve may not necessarily translate to fewer illnesses; but, combined with effective interventions, we may see a reduction of cases and increasing survival rates for individuals who do become ill as we are better to control resource depletion. Remember, we are all in this together; please be kind to one another. Read more at the CDC or Live Science.
Everyone should practice social distancing (more specifically, physical distancing), not only those who are ill or at higher-risk (e.g. older individuals, pre-existing conditions) but also among healthy individuals so we may "flatten the curve".
Please feel free to use this free poster at your establishment. Please email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a copy of this poster (English, Spanish, French, and Chinese - simplified, traditional are available).
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