Effective immediately, all MSMAP activities are ••SUSPENDED•• through at least ••MARCH 29••. Our resuming activities on March 30 is dependent upon the coronavirus situation within our community at that time. We will keep you updated on our status via email and Facebook.
Thank you for your understanding.
Following are our thoughts about our new reality, how and why we arrived at our decision, and what we can all do from this point forward. Hopefully, this is both informative and helpful.
If you have thoughts or questions, please don’t hesitate to share with us via email, Facebook, or phone. We appreciate hearing from you!
Today on "Face The Nation," Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, stated that people should prepare to take far more drastic steps to blunt the rapid spread of this novel coronavirus. “I think we should really be overly aggressive and get criticized for overreacting," said Fauci. “Americans should be prepared that they are going to have to hunker down significantly more than we as a country are [currently] doing.”
Following these statements from the nation’s top infectious disease expert, we think that the two week “wait-and-see-how-it-goes” approach to activities is very optimistic. This novel coronavirus causes a very serious disease, COVID-19. Don’t be surprised to discover that our new normal extends deep into next month — or beyond.
Flatten The Curve
The decision to suspend all activities in the studio is made with a great deal of consideration for the well-being not only of our participants, parents, and spectators that come into the studio on a regular basis but also for consideration of the health of the wider community.
This coronavirus moves like the wind from person-to-person. If even one person comes into the studio with the virus, it is highly probable that everyone in the studio would then have the virus, take it home with them, and transmit it to everyone they meet from then on out. This happens before anyone knows they are even sick. The suspicion is that people are infected for several days before showing symptoms and feeling sick.
The primary goal right now is to “Flatten The Curve”.
This means doing whatever we can to decrease the number of infections at any one time. We need to make certain that our health care system is not overloaded with more patients than staff, supplies, and equipment to effectively treat each and every patient. There are only so many doctors, nurses, beds, and ventilators available in our hospitals. If everyone is sick at one time, not everyone is going to be treated effectively — or maybe even at all. The idea is to ensure everyone is treated by having a lot of people sick over many months (i.e., 6+ months) instead of a lot of people sick in one month.
To provide some perspective, there are approximately 45,000 intensive care unit beds nationwide. At the peak of this coronavirus pandemic in this country, there could potentially be 200,000 patients — at the same time — requiring intensive care unit beds, respirators, bedside staff, and other services. In Mount Shasta, there are less than 10 ICU beds. It won’t take many patients in our area to completely overwhelm the existing facilities.
We simply cannot afford to have everyone ill at the same time. Everyone needs to help ensure that the most vulnerable of us have access to the medical care that they will need when they need it.
Flattening The Curve only works if we all take necessary measures BEFORE they seem necessary.
If it works, then people will say that we overreacted.
We all have to be willing to look like we overreacted.
Why Close At All?
We’ve been told: “Wait. Wait until there are more positive cases before closing the doors. There aren’t any cases of the coronavirus in Mount Shasta at all. It’s stupid to close the doors.”
We believe that waiting is not a prudent course of (in)action at this time for the following reasons:
1) NOT ENOUGH TESTS
Although the official numbers of positive cases in Siskiyou and adjacent counties are low (one positive case in each of Shasta, Modoc, and Jackson Counties with no positive cases found in Siskiyou County as of this message), our thinking is based on a simple premise: the less testing being done, the fewer positive cases are identified. A few token tests don’t give us the full data we need to know what's actually going on in our communities.
2) WE JUST DON"T KNOW
Our medical advisors work at four hospitals in Northern California, and not one of these four hospitals have been given access to tests for COVID-19. Without tests on samples from these hospitals, the results are not surprising: zero positive cases of COVID-19. The thought is that the actual numbers of positive cases in our communities are likely an order of magnitude greater than the published numbers we read about each day. Again until there are more tests being done in our area, we really don't know how this novel coronavirus is spreading in our communities.
3) EASILY TRANSMITTED
The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is such a rapidly spreading virus that the World Health Organization has classified it as a pandemic &emdash; this is a big deal and not something to be minimized nor ignored. This virus is easily transmitted person-to-person through the air: sneezing, coughing, breathing. Trying to stop the spread of this virus is like trying to stop the wind — it’s just not going to happen. Breathing in the vicinity of someone that has the virus will spread the virus to others in the immediate area and then to others when those people go home, to school, to work, on vacation.
4) NO IMMUNITY
Our bodies have no immunity against this virus, and there is no vaccine so we are defenseless against this infection. Expect that individuals that are 20 years and older will become ill to some degree. The question is, “How ill will they become?” COVID-19 is particularly devastating for the elderly and individuals with chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease. In our area, people with chronic health conditions may not come into the studio, but we may meet people who meet people who come into contact with the elderly and others off the mat.
The bottom line is that MSMAP is going to err on the side of caution and take a hiatus and follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and the California Department of Public Health. Closing our doors is helping to limit the transmission of this virus in our community.
Off the mat and outside the studio, everyone can do their part to take positive acton in this health crisis and help each other by practicing social distancing. This is a critical piece of the puzzle to flatten the curve.
Social Distancing is the practice of limiting contact with other people and staying at least six feet apart from other people as much as possible when working, shopping, walking.
For example, rather than having face-to-face meetings in a group of 10 or more people at work, have an online meeting through Zoom, BlueJeans, or some other meeting software tool. Instead of making three or more short trips for shopping, make one big trip to get what we need in one big trip. Instead of having a sleepover with 20 other kids, have a sleepover with two kids.
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The three goals of social distancing are:
1. Likely flattens the curve.
2. Helps limit the number of people in the hospitals at one time so health care facilities are not overwhelmed.
3. Buys time for a vaccine to be developed.
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With all this being said, we do need to make a living and live our lives. Practicing social distancing is about being aware and cautious and prudent with who and how we interact with other people in order to slow the spread of the virus and not overwhelm our health care system with too many illnesses at one time.
In other words, do your job, take care of your family, and have fun when and where you can.
At the same time, remember that people that do not show any symptoms may still have the virus and may unknowingly transmit it to others. Pay attention to who you share close quarters with in a car, room, store, etc.
Again, if our community ends up with with too many severe cases in too short a period of time, our available local medical services could quickly be overwhelmed to the point that not everyone can get the medical care that they require whether it’s treating for the coronavirus or any other medical condition.
A Little Bit More
The following article provides some perspective about flattening the curve. It's not about not ever getting sick from this coronavirus; the goal is about doing what we can to ensure that everybody is not sick at the same time.