Daily Prompt–Take Care | My Life, Such As It isJust this minute, I read that the World Health Organization has officially designated the COVID-19 thing a pandemic. Merriam-Webster defines a pandemic as “an outbreak of a disease that occurs over a wide geographic area and affects an exceptionally high proportion of the population.” There’s nothing necessarily magical about whatever the disease itself is; a pandemic just means the outbreak involves lots of people over a big area.

That said, communicable disease and illness should be taken seriously. Medical experts advise us:

  • Wash hands often and thoroughly with soap and water
  • Clean often-touched work surfaces with disinfecting solutions
  • Cover/suppress coughs and sneezes
  • Stay home when showing symptoms of illness or if one has been caring for an ill loved one.

Avoid the Library (And Other Public Spaces) When You Are Sick

Let’s take a minute to talk about that last one: STAY HOME WHEN SHOWING SYMPTOMS OF ILLNESS OR WHEN ONE HAS BEEN CARING FOR AN ILL LOVED ONE.

The public library is an excellent place to come if you’re well; there are books and materials and devices the community can use and share for their education and entertainment. The key word there is “share.” Just a few years ago, Channel 5 ABC came to this library as part of a story meant to show how easily one can spread germs on surfaces of things like library books. Here’s the link to the story:

https://www.weareiowa.com/article/news/5oys-tool-shows-how-germs-spread-across-fingers/524-8e50e7f4-ba7f-4ea1-97b5-2acf60db036d

If you watch the little video on that page, you’ll see that library materials actually AREN’T that great a way to spread germs, using the ABC5 “blacklight” protocol. Many library materials have covers designed to make it tough for germs and microbes to stick, and staff cleans covers and cases with decent regularity.

But it’s best to err on the side of caution in a special case like the current pandemic. To that end, please, please make your public library one of the places you avoid if you suspect you (or anyone who depends on you to get there) are sick.

If you are showing symptoms or have been caring for someone with symptoms, I, Darryl Eschete, your Library Director, ask you to avoid coming into the library, especially programs for children or those that involve group activities.

From home, you can download an e-book [Go Here!], watch a streaming video [Go Here!], read magazine articles [Flipster and More!] or learn a language [Go Here!]…but please help us keep the physical building from being a place where illness–any illness–is spread.

Thank you.